I had a bad toothache the other day after some dental work, and decided to forgo the drugs to kill the pain. Instead I opted for a safe topical pain killer: clove oil. I had it on hand, and knowing that it was a safe option that even dentists used sometimes I tried it. . . The Dentist’s office called me later to ask how I was making out with just the oil, and I told them that sometimes “The cure is worse then the disease.” (Meaning it tasted pretty bad!) YUCK!
It did get me thinking though. . .How often is it worse to take the treatment then to live with the “problem”? So I did a little research into some things I’m familiar with and came up with some interesting facts. I was intrigued with one article in particular from Newsweek magazine, called “The one word that can save your life: no!”
In it Sharon Begley speaks of numerous specialists and physicians who are doing the research and skipping the Doctor recommended tests and procedures for both themselves and their patients. She states, “These physicians are not anti-medicine. They are not trying to save money on their co-payments or deductibles. And they are not trying to rein in the nation’s soaring health-care costs, which at $2.7 trillion account for fully one sixth of every dollar spent in the U.S. They are applying to their personal lives a message they have become increasingly vocal about in their roles as biomedical researchers and doctors: more health care often means worse health. There are many areas of medicine where not testing, not imaging, and not treating actually result in better health outcomes. . .From PSA tests for prostate cancer to surgery for chronic back pain to simple antiobiotics for sinus infection, a remarkable number and variety of tests and treatments are now proving either harmful or only as helpful as a placebo.”
I can clearly see this proved in birth statistics. The unproven and often dangerous prenatal testing leads to risky medication, and that leads to emergency interventions, leading to more risk and even side effects as serious as death. . .all sometimes because of a tests false positive, or a result we don’t even understand.
As for the placebo effect, I’ve been shocked at the amount of circumstantial evidence (like results only equal with placebo effects) that is being used as proof for the effectiveness of all manner of healthcare, (Not to mention all religions. . .) including even some alternative therapies. There is no denying the benefit to some people of homeopathics, magnets, holograms and cold light lasers for instance, but when skeptics try them for the many things they are suppose to help or cure, they are often disappointed with having no results. (Myself being one of them.) Personally I think the body is just way too complicated to understand, and we are all just guessing about the whole energetic/spiritual part that we just can’t easily study.
On the other hand, we can see things in the physical body to study, like fever or cholesterol, but many still don’t know their benefit or function in the healing process. With the proper mindset and education though we can appreciate nature and the body trying to heal itself. That could then help us not presume that we can control it by chopping out “unneeded” things, and stopping the body’s own cure or dismissing it’s “red flag” symptoms.
A little humility with our great knowledge is SOOOO needed, as we don’t understand most of what we find “wrong”! The article put it this way: “Difficult as it is to believe, there can be such a thing as too much information, especially from new imaging technology. . .Our imaging and diagnostic tests are so good, we can see things we couldn’t see before. . . But our ability to understand what we’re seeing and to know if we should intervene hasn’t kept up. There is a longstanding fallacy among physicians that if you find something different from what you perceive to be ‘normal,’ then it must be the cause of the patient’s problem.”
So thus we make some drugs to take things away that aren’t even a problem, but are the body’s own cure! Other drugs are made for symptom control of the side effects from the way we live, eat, or even other drugs! As well as surgery for often correcting only a symptom of the real problem.
Then we are made to feel poor or desperate if we don’t have (preferably cheap or free) access to this “healthcare”. . .hardly worthy of it’s title. Our children are even nigh unto being forced to use it whether they need it, (or we want them to have it), or not! This doesn’t come free to either us or our country though, in any way, shape or form! I quote, ” Experts estimate that the U.S. spends hundreds of billions of dollars every year on medical procedures that provide no benefit or a substantial risk of harm, suggesting that Medicare could save both money and lives if it stopped paying for some common treatments. Millions of people are being put at risk unnecessarily. . . treating adverse drug reactions (alone) costs the U.S. $200 billion a year. The dilemma, say a growing number of physicians and expert medical panels, is that some of this same health care that can help certain patients can, when offered to everyone else, be useless or even detrimental. . .We’re killing more people than we’re saving with these procedures.” Here is a article called “10 reasons to think twice about calling your Doctor” My conclusion to the matter would be, do the obvious (even if hard,) things first for your health as preventative, and even emergency care when you haven’t been doing it in the past, but when there’s a true trauma like a broken bone, or gaping wound, make use of the wonders of technology. . .otherwise, as a general rule, avoid it. Just imagine how healthy, and out of debt our country could become if everyone just did this. . .please spread the word!