Voices

To be pricked or not be pricked…

Many rave about alternative therapies, but are they really worth it?

By Leelee A.

I have received numerous inquiries from people I know, i.e.:

I am what you may describe as a skeptic – this is more so when it comes to Oriental medicinal approaches, which, for me, are generally fashionable alternative approaches to staying healthy, without delivering the promise to get well that Western medication guarantees. Am I right in this or… am I right in this?
LEX A.

I want to try alternative therapeutic approaches, but uncertain if by doing so I’ll just be wasting my time. Any help on this, please?
A. ANCHETA

I was told by my doctor (he is a general practitioner, who trained in the US, among others) that, to help deal with my stress, I may benefit from alternative medicine more than I would from drugs he can prescribe. The effects of drugs, I know of; but alternative therapy? Should I heed him, or I might as well change doctors?
RIANNE M.

Did you know that no medication can cure the common cold?

Yes.

Meaning, those over-the-counter, or even those prescription drugs given you to free you from your sniffling and sneezes and all are, well, to put it lightly, USELESS as far as curing you of the common cold is concerned (what they do, actually, are deal with the symptoms of the common colds – e.g. fever, muscle pain, et cetera).

But we still take the medications for common cold, do we?

The point is, just because we are used to something, doesn’t make it right.

Medicine, as a science, is a classic example.

Western medicine, in particular.

And this should bring to the fore giving alternative forms of therapies some fair chance.

Will a chiropractor remedy your bad posture? Perhaps it will. Or perhaps not. But can putting a metal case inside you to align your spine, as in extreme medical cases cited by Western scientific journals, do the job? Perhaps it will. Though, then again, perhaps not.

Can acupuncture relieve you of your stress? Perhaps by putting needles in certain pressure points in your body, what physically ails you can be remedied because, yes, the pressures are dealt with. But then again, perhaps not; perhaps you need a much, much stronger therapy. But then again, can the drugs prescribed to you deal with the same afflictions – especially if/when you have been taking these drugs for a while now, and you are still plagued by the same concerns? Yes, yes, perhaps not.

Alas, no, alternative forms of medication (the term alternative only used, generally, from the Western eye, in the belief that Western medicine is the “norm”) are not exactly new (e.g. massage has been around longer than, say, mesotherapy; just as acupuncture has been around longer than, say, heart transplantation), so they can’t exactly be described as faddish – perhaps the practice is just picking up in Western countries, but that’s about it.

How do we know what will cure our ill?

We try different approaches to see what works for us.

When one does, we use that to get well.

Thus, should you be pricked with acupuncture needles, or would you rather not?

That is entirely up to you; but it may just be the right cure for you.

Leelee A. is a staunch believer of “alternative” forms of medicine – though she hates the use of the word “alternative” in this context, believing that non-Western forms of therapies can complement others ways to heal.

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