Alternative Healing Education in Western Medicine

Guest Blog by Carolyn, Author who writes about education in the field of medicine from LPN Programs to medical schools.

Very few things in medicine are actually black and white. That’s why so many people are seeking out alternative healing methods. But, what if you go to an alternative practitioner and they miss something that needs antibiotics or you go to an MD and they give you antibiotics with side effects when a good dose of vitamins and herbs would have done the trick? Patients are starting to visit both styles to cover their bases and get the most informed treatment they can. However, it can be very dangerous visiting two different kinds of practitioners for the same medical problem.

Years ago I woke one morning with a troubling case of Bell’s Palsy, which is a unilateral facial paralysis that effects the 7th cranial nerve. My particular case had baffled half a dozen doctors and it had not responded to the rounds of steroids, anti-viral medications or shock wave treatments that are the common approaches to cure this bizarre occurrence. Most people, 80% that is, have full recovery within 6 weeks and as a healthy 20 year-old college athlete no one could figure out why I had 0% improvement in 6 months. Neurologists ran multiple scans and tests to rule out tumors, stroke and every other possible cause. In the end my case was a giant question mark in the field of western medicine.

As a young woman in college I couldn’t eat or drink without drooling all over my shirt, couldn’t keep my eye closed while I slept or blink enough times to stand wearing my contact lenses. I had to give up competing in athletics for a year.

I tried going to acupuncturists for nerve regeneration and chiropractors for depressurizing my cranial nerves, but nothing worked.

Until one day I heard about a doctor from China. She practiced primarily acupuncture and herb therapy, but was a fully certified medical doctor that specialized in oncology in China. Due to her education in both alternative and western medical techniques, she was able to look at me with a more holistic approach and treat my entire body for what was happening on only half my face. After 6 months of treatment I regained 70% of my facial function. You can still see it when I smile, but I was able to go back to athletics, wear contacts again, sleep with my eye closed, eat and drink in public and not be afraid to go on dates for fear of embarrassment.

I’ve spent the last 10 years wondering why there isn’t more alternative method education in western medicine. Holistic approaches to treatment are only as good as they are accurate. Western views of quack methodology is founded in some fantastic examples of uneducated people passing off folk wisdom as a cure, but if certain methods were tested, approved and incorporated in the field of modern medicine, wouldn’t we all benefit from the really helpful ones?

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