When I left the USA early in 2001 to see if I could learn to wrap my brain around the Chinese language there were precious few advertisements on TV for drugs. When I returned again five years later it was as if suddenly the United States population had fallen in a chronic state of dis-ease, as every hour of every day blast forth a televised plea to treat conditions that could be controlled (not cured, but controlled) by some chemical cocktail of molecular magic.
Be it shyness, or reflux, furballs or a general sense of unwellbeing. There is a drug for you. Just ask your doctor.
Time and again we are reminded that health and wellbeing come not from how we live our lives, but from a designer pharmaceutical. That we can medicate away the effects of our choices in life. That there is something wrong in our lives in all their quirky glory, and thus the need for treatment—the need for a drug.
The other day I had a patient who came in and told me she had had a bone scan and the doctor wanted to put her on Fosamax. She was having none of it. “Low bone density does not mean I have a Fosamax deficiency!” she extolled.
Do you see it too? How a test result equals the need for a life-long drug prescription?
What if we made a different kind of sense from those test results?
The information we obtain from lab work, various scans, and biomedical imaging are all useful and relevant. But, what about taking those results and using it as motivation to improve your diet? Commit and follow through on exercise? Use acupuncture, or Tai Chi, or massage, or herbs that can shift your physiology without a lifetime commitment?
Actually, there are options, and plenty of them.
It is common knowledge these days that moderate weight bearing exercise will build your bones. Eating well, increasing the high calcium food, ramping up the green leafy vegetables, and making sure you are getting enough Vitamin D are all things you can naturally do for yourself everyday to support strong bones.
Yes, low bone density is a problem. And there are plenty of side-effect free ways of turning that problem around.
Bone density is but one example; there are plenty of other situations that would also benefit from your attentive intervention. And do consider that health does not come from a pill. It comes from the choices and actions you take on a daily basis.
Are there times when pharmaceutical medications are essential? Absolutely! But, before you fill that prescription from your doctor, ask if there are other ways to achieve the results you are looking for. Or spend some time doing your own research on the Internet. Or ask us if there is something we can do with acupuncture and herbs that will help you gain the balance and robust health and wellbeing you seek.
Remember, test results are information—they are not a prescription!