Natural Remedies

 From Health Around Your Corner Publications



Why Not Try the Natural Way First? 

By Juanee Surprise, DC, DAAPM, FAAIM (Nutrition) 

Dr. Surprise is nationally recognized as an expert in nutrition and pain management. She teaches postgraduate nutrition and pain-management courses to doctors and staff. She has been interviewed for many articles in various journals and publications and has published several articles on nutrition. Patients from many states consult with her for help on a variety of health issues. 


It is false security to just pour supplements, even very good ones, into an ill-fed and overstressed body. Without changes in diet and lifestyle factors, supplementation alone is not going to achieve vibrant health and longevity. 


If you’ve ever looked for something to listen to on your radio on a Sunday morning here in North Texas, you’ve probably come across a program called “The Dirt Doctor.” If you stopped and listened at all, it didn’t take long for you to figure out the show’s host advocates “the natural way” to treat problems in your yard and garden. 


Natural solutions are his answer to problems that came about because of misuse of the soil, inappropriate plants for the area, and the use of harsh, man-made chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. To stop, and even reverse, the downward spiral of plant health in the yard and garden, the Dirt Doctor recommends things like molasses, corn meal, nematodes and good old manure, along with adequate water, instead of man-made chemicals. 


And, you know what? His recommendations almost always work! Plus, the natural way doesn’t leave you, your kids, and your pets exposed to or rolling in toxic chemicals, and the food grown in a “natural” garden are higher in nutrients and not full of the toxic chemicals. Followers of the Dirt Doctor say their grass, trees and shrubs are healthier, look as good or better than those treated chemically, and often live longer. Imagine that? 


"Natural Way" For Humans?


Now, if there is a safer, healthier, non-chemical, natural way that works for daffodils, tomatoes and oaks, why isn't there a natural way that works for humans too? The answer is, "There is and it almost always works, too!"


But, thanks to modern food-production technology; fast-paced, stressed-out lifestyles, and support for the lazy way of fixing meals with take-out, fast food, prepackaged and microwaves, there is little “natural” left in the Standard American Diet (SAD.) And, we’ve also moved away from the natural plants, given to us by our Maker for health and medicinal purposes, to faster acting, man-made chemical drugs.    


Many articles have appeared in past HAYC issues about the SAD and how we need to return to eating a more “natural” organic, living, nutrient-dense diet, and drink pure water that is uncontaminated by toxins, chemicals and unhealthy microbes. 


And, there have been articles showing it is false security to just pour supplements, even very good ones, into an ill-fed and overstressed body. Without change in diet and lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol, adequate rest, exercise and stress reduction, supplementation alone is not going to achieve vibrant health and longevity. So, if you haven’t gotten these messages yet, you need to, if you ever want to be healthy and live longer, with fewer symptoms and health issues.


Drugs as a First Choice? Why? 


It is always sad to see how many people have turned to and depend on drugs to cover up symptoms and get themselves through another day in their life. With few exceptions, drugs do not treat the cause of the symptoms or health issue. Drugs cause side effects, ofter life threatening or requiring the use of another drug to ameliorate. Have you ever listened to a drug commercial and wondered at the insanity of relieving a headache, but causing ulcers and GI bleeding that can lead to ademia or liver damage or even cause death? Surely, there must be a better, more natural way.


Let’s take pain (backache, headache) and inflammation (arthritis, fibromyalgia) for instance.   The man-made, chemical route would be NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen or acetaminophen. Among the most common pain-relief medicines in the world, more than 30 million Americans use these drugs to soothe headaches, sprains, arthritis symptoms and other daily discomforts. 


We know drugs do work, but they can and do cause side effects. Some of the more common side effects are gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, kidney damage and allergic reactions, which then require more drugs, with their own probable side effects. 


Several of these drugs encourage blood clotting and tighten the arteries, leading to heart attack and stroke. Serious toxicity (leading to hospitalization or death) from NSAID use occurs for an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people every year and it is estimated there are at least 10,000 to 20,000 deaths per year are related to NSAID use. Side effects can occur after only one dose, or it may take several years of use before they develop, and there is no way to know how many doses a body will tolerate. With the use of these drugs, you may die, but without pain! Great!  


Of course, the best treatment for pain and inflammation is prevention. Proper feeding, watering, exercising and upkeep of the body allows the body to work better doing any job you put it to, AND would prevent or eliminate much of the pain and inflammation caused by everyday activities. You know ~ like it was designed to work? 


But, if you have had an injury, or are currently suffering from headaches, arthritis or other painful process, wouldn’t it be safer and healthier to use natural remedies and treatment for pain and inflammation? Sure, because when natural remedies are used correctly, there are almost no nasty side effects.


Natural Pain Relief 


Pain and inflammation in all parts of the body usually respond very well to non-drug approaches like chiropractic adjustments, if there is fixation and abnormal motion in joints. Acupuncture and chiropractic work, just in different ways, for most health issues, especially pain and inflammation. They have been used long enough to show they are safe and effective.


Homeopathic remedies have been used with great success and very few side effects for all health issues over the last couple of centuries. Botanical medicines, herbs and spices such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, boswellia, and cayenne, to name a few, have been used successfully since before man even started recording treatment for pain. There are reams of research showing the value of essential fatty acids from fish, flax, borage, evening primrose and other oils for the prevention and treatment of pain and inflammation. The same is true for proteolytic enzymes (do not use with ulcers and gastritis.) Many other specific nutrients like vitamin B complex, vitamins C and E; calcium, magnesium; quercetin, zinc, selenium, all have documented use for the prevention and treatment of pain and inflammation. 


Knowledge, Advertising, and the Quick “Fix” 


So, why isn’t everyone going the natural way when it comes to pain and inflammation? (Or any other symptom or disease process for that matter.) First, lack of knowledge about natural ways is probably the biggest reason. Over the past 30 or more years, our parents and teachers quit using those “old-fashioned” remedies, so the knowledge wasn’t passed on in the usual manner.


And for about the last 50 years, in combination with the drug companies, medical doctors are trained to use drugs, not the old-fashioned natural remedies and treatments. Plus, advertising has everyone believing the SAD is fine and that there is a quick fix, safe and effective, over-the-counter or prescription drug available should a symptom or disease develop. The potential side effects are down played and seldom are all mentioned. Drug advertising is just not the whole truth. 


There are also some real and perceived drawbacks to natural prevention and treatment methods. They usually take a little more time and effort to do than just popping a drug. The results may not happen as quickly as drugging the body into submission, instead of supporting it to heal, then become and stay healthy with natural diet and treatments. 


Surgery First?


Sometimes surgery is the best or even only option. An example might be a compound fracture, an aneurysm that has or is about to rupture, or a blocked heart artery. 


However, what about gall-bladder removal, when there is not a stone actually blocking the duct? There are many ways to help an inflamed, or sluggish or even stone-filled gallbladder to repair and function without the need for surgery. Besides, once the gallbladder is removed, fat digestion and detoxification is forever compromised. 


And, what about heart arrhythmia surgery? How many heart cells can you kill with a laser before there really is a permanent problem? Why not first try the nutrition supplements known to “fix” most arrhythmias? 


Remember, the knowledge of the doctor you see will dictate his/her recommendations. And it is well known that surgeon’s families have more surgical procedures than others. So, choosing a doctor who might have knowledge of non-surgical recommendations for the same problem could keep you out of the OR. 


Power to Choose 


But, in the end, it is always a choice ~ the “natural way” or the “man-made way. If you choose the drug option, you have to be willing to accept that it usually leads to side effects that require more drugs with side effects, leading to…. 


Or one can choose to spend the time to learn how to do the “natural way” to support healing and health. One can take a short cut and just find a doctor who knows about and uses natural methods and treatments. There are quite a few in the North Texas area. And remember, if the natural way doesn’t work, one can always switch to the drug method of health care.  


Here is an observation from years of practice. It just seems that we’ve got it backward when we use the drug method before the natural way. And this is true for the human body as well as for our yard. Most of the people who come to us for help, do so when all else has already failed or they are tired of dealing with the original problem AND the side effects of the drug(s) they are using. The overwhelming majority show response to just changing their diet from SAD to “natural” and modifying their lifestyle issues. Then, when the underlying cause of their symptoms is determined and addressed in a “natural way,” it is both amazing and gratifying to see the shift from ill health to health. The sad thing is, why didn’t they try the “natural way” first? 


Copyright 2009 Health Around Your Corner Publications




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