Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Illusion of Healing

Many studies and people interested in natural healing focus on the chemical effects of pharmaceuticals and the dangers these side-effects can be to the body. However, there is not as much focus put on the equally dangerous "healing illusion" that they create.

I was speaking to someone yesterday who told me a typical story. They had been taking some medication for a while, they felt better and then they stopped. A few weeks later they were feeling very badly and wondered why. They started taking their medication again and felt better. Their conclusion? "I must not have been ready to stop yet."

However, there is really no reason they should ever be "ready to stop". What made them think they would one day "be ready to stop?"

This is a misconception that many people have about their medications. There is a difference between medications and healing. There are some modern pharmaceuticals that claim to heal various diseases (the jury is still out on many of these claims) but most pharmaceuticals and even the doctors themselves are very honest with their patients - "This medication will help relieve the effects of this disease. You will most likely be taking this medication the rest of your life." In most cases, even the medicines that do "heal" create a temporary situation. Once the medication is halted, the problem may come back "full force" years later.

And this is the reality. Medications relieve - they do not usually heal. The danger with not being aware of this is that it creates a "healing illusion" in people so they are less motivated to make life changes that they need to make to heal, and they are less likely to seek out herbs or therapies that WILL heal them.

What makes the illusion even more powerful is that people often feel so much better after taking their medication for a few weeks that they often go back to their old habits. Before medication they were watching what they ate because their heartburn was so bad. After medication it does not matter anymore. They go back to eating all the fried at fatty food that caused the problem in the first place.

While modern medicine does have its place, and I have seen many instances where relief enabled a person to continue living, the misunderstanding of modern medicine has caused many people to go deeper into their illness and prolong their pain and illness when they actually have the power to heal instead.

I would like to encourage anyone who is taking pharmaceuticals to remember that these drugs are helping you - NOT healing you. They can help you have enough energy so that you have the time and spirit to pursue real change and healing in your life. They can take away crippling conditions so you can drive to the health food store and supply yourself with fresh organic foods and herbs. They can clear your mind and focus you so you have the clarity of thought it takes to sort through all the information out there and really find some life changing solutions for your illness. They can also help you feel better so you have the energy it takes to visit different healers and seek out natural healing alternatives. However, pharmaceuticals will not heal you.

As long as you are taking medication and doing nothing else to help your condition, you should expect to be on that medication your entire life. Your hope of escaping the "pills" comes with the effort you put into healing the underlying causes of your illness. You can do this at the same time you are taking your pharmaceutical drugs. There are many herbs and healing methods that are compatible with modern drugs and sometimes all it takes is changed sleep habits, more exercise or a slight change in diet. Many people don't realize you can do both at the same time - relieve with modern medicine AND heal with natural therapies.

If you want to consider this the best place to start is with a natural health care practitioner who can help you create a program that is compatible with the modern pharmaceuticals you are taking. I offer online consulting at However, there are also many resources online and in your community.

1 comment:

Leilani said...

Wow Kristie - this is so well stated! It's too bad that people simply do not get this message in our medicated culture. My doctor told me several years ago that I would be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life. Although I m thankful for them as it is what I needed to get out of bed in the morning, I simply was not going to take forever as my solution. Not even knowing what I was doing back then, I weaned myself off the drugs with simple stress reduction, exercise, diet changes & finding my creative outlet again (which I think was what was lacking the most at that time. We neglect this side of us in this fast paced, make money culture). You state it clearly and with common sense! :)