Get the Facts
Natural, Holistic Medicine – What’s the Difference?
By Dr. Len Lopez
Nutrition and fitness expert
It’s unfortunate but health is a lot like politics and religion. Everyone has a point of view that usually serves their own special interest or background. But when it comes to health and healing you need to consider the different approaches taken by the different healing philosophies.
Traditional medicine has one approach, whereas chiropractors, naturopaths, homeopaths, as well as, Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine address health issues from a different approach. This is one of the reasons why you may find so many different opinions on health and healing.
Take for example indigestion, heartburn, reflux and other digestive problems. Mainstream medicine tells you the problems are a result of too much hydrochloric acid (HCL). Whereas those who follow natural, holistic medicine recognize the problem is more commonly related to inadequate levels of HCL and digestive enzymes, which are needed to breakdown protein.
FYI…HCL is very important in the digestive process.
Insufficient HCL allows the protein in your stomach to rot and putrefy. It is this putrefied food that irritates the esophagus and gives that burning sensation. Could there be ‘hidden’ food allergies or sensitivities causing the digestive problem? Could constantly eating on the run or drinking too much fluid be contributing to your problem? How about food combining, are you eating foods that are more difficult to digest versus others? Have birth control pills and antibiotics weakened your digestive system?
Don’t forget stress and constantly being on the go. The constant hurry up lifestyle keeps you in a state of ‘flight or fight’ which doesn’t give your body a chance to produce HCL. Thus the thought that the problem is too much acid is hardly the case.
How about heart disease! Are elevated cholesterol and blood pressure the real cause of heart attacks and strokes? Or are they merely indicators telling us that are cardiovascular system may be in jeopardy? Is our body giving us a signal, by raising our cholesterol and blood pressure, to let us know that our heart is working to hard?
Isn’t cholesterol found in every cell of the body? We need it to make all our hormones so wouldn’t restricting cholesterol levels to address one problem basically be working against the way the body is designed? Could inflammation, lack of exercise, nutritional deficiency caused by poor dietary choices be part of the problem? Didn’t we use to eat lots of monounsaturated fats commonly found in nuts, seeds and fish, which gave us a lot of the so-called ‘good’ fats? How about stress and that when you combine stress with coffee you cause your heart to beat faster and arteries to constrict – how many coffee drinks or energy drinks have you had today?
What about osteoporosis! Is it lack of calcium and milk? The United States is one of the leading consumers of milk and calcium, yet we are also leading the way in osteoporotic fractures. Other countries consume half the amount of dairy as we do here in the US, yet have a much lower rate of osteoporosis.
Could the problem be that our diet is too acidic? Refined foods, processed grains, coffee, energy drinks, protein and yes stress makes the body more acidic. All the acidity is harsh on the body at the cellular level and triggers the body to dilute the acidity with calcium, magnesium and other minerals stored in our bones and teeth. Could the osteoporosis be a result of the body is stealing calcium from your bones and teeth in order to make your body more alkaline? Fruits and vegetables which make you more alkaline, are you eating them?
FYI…An acidic environment is the ideal environment for infectious microbes, fungus, candida and cancer cells to thrive in.
I can go on and on about many other subjects including arthritis, hormone imbalance, depression, allergies, aches and pains, which I’ll do on the next article, but until then remember it’s your health. Make sure you ask your doctor or health care provider the right questions which should be “is this medication going to make my body, my immune system healthier and stronger so I can overcome the problem, or is this medication only addressing my symptoms?”
Like politics and religion – a second opinion may not be as helpful, if it comes from someone trained with the same background. Do yourself a favor next time you find yourself struggling with a chronic, degenerative condition that isn’t getting better, speak with someone who comes from a different background. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of a lot of the procedures for western medicine, but when it comes to helping chronic, degenerative problems – the success rate needs improvement.
Also don’t be fooled by those who say “natural, holistic therapies have not been studied through double-blind procedures. Only about 15% of the procedures for western medicine are studied under ‘double-blind’ procedures. Find a doctor who is more proactive in helping you stay healthy as opposed to those who only practice ‘reactive’ medicine.
Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert and creator of The Work Horse Trainer. He speaks extensively on diet, exercise, and how stress can affect your overall health and wellness.
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