Is modern medicine truly modern?

This post was triggered by a comment on a social media platform; something to the effect that they had complete faith in modern medicine. I think the discussion was about something to do with alternative medicines and other methods of healing. Well, as someone who depended on “modern” meds for years (yours truly), to keep at bay an autoimmune, deformative disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis), I would like to say that I got to witness the full-blown effects (negative) of prescribed “modern” medicine that, I now know, is nothing but harmful chemicals that though they provided immediate relief, cause long-term harm to the body. I knowingly started taking immuno-suppresents (as apparently, according to “modern” doctors, there is no other way around it), after I got a little adventurous and thought of trying out something different. I had been on homeopathic meds for years, and my RA was under control but I still wasn’t able to do activities like run etc.

Now many people think of homeopathy as something that renders a placebo effect. Keeping a dangerous and degenerative disease like rheumatoid arthritis at bay cannot be placebo. Although, hypothetically speaking, if a placebo effect can help manage dangerous and harmful disease without having to consume tons of chemicals that will alter something in my system, I am all for it; the placebo effect. After all, what is wrong if a belief, a faith can, and does, help and heals you? Though that is not what it is. Not just me, homeopathy helped my daughter with this skin infection she got and no modern meds could cure her of it. After living with it for close to a year, she started on the homeopathy pills, and she was cured within weeks. But that’s another story. And yes, a lot of times it doesn’t have such immediate effects. It is not an exact thing. One has to keep trying different combinations of various salts and such.

Anyways, I had recently moved to Mumbai and as a single parent I thought it’d be nice to give some “modern” meds a go and see if they make me more active. I started consulting a very sweet Dr at the Hinduja hospital. When I told her about the homeopathy pills, she seemed shocked and said that I should keep away from such quacks. I tried to tell her that these pills had kept my RA at bay for years, but she just wouldn’t listen. Most doctors of “modern” medicine, I see, are way too closed and not at all open to newer, alternative ways of healing and health. Sad! Not too modern…

The high dosage of iron turned my shit black, and the other pills used to ruin most weekends. One of the meds causes nausea so the doctors advise that one takes it on weekends. It was that, that eventually made me give it all up. Initially, of course, it made me feel good; chemicals have that effect on you, which made me stick to it for a while. But within a couple of years, my stamina went down (I am a serious walker), my tummy became sensitive, alcohol made me sick (I went off it, completely, one good result of the meds), and eventually, I started spending Sundays getting nausaes like hell. My Dr warned me that if I get off these medicines now, I’d be wheelchair-bound within 1-2 years. Like Diabetics, I’d have to depend on these meds, for life. I started reading up on RA and other alternative health stuff, esp on the medicines that I was taking. The current prescribed meds for RA, anywhere in the world, are immuno-suppresents. They suppress one’s immune system; the system that helps you keep all disease and ailment and bay. RA is a disease wherein the white blood cells go a bit crazy and start attacking the own body’s tissue, causing internal tissue damage, resulting is some major swellings in joints and eventual deformation. Ah yes, and pain, it is V-E-R-Y painful. At times it feels like every damn pore on your body is screaming with pain. So what do you do? Well, kill the immune system. I think whoever thought of that was not a genius.

My body got so, so wary of these pills that I (clearly) remember once buying them in bulk, and when I held them in my hand, I got nauseous (could that be placebo? Hmmm..). By that time, I had read enough, and my body was yelling to make a new start anyways. I had earlier felt a lot of relief taking Yoga classes with this amazing teacher in Mumbai, Jehangir (have to remember to look him up if I am ever in Mumbai again to live) and taking certain food items he had advised (there were 3-4 things, I only remember black raisins). I stopped taking my meds, gradually. I self-medicated, trying out hajaar different things, foods, soups, veggies (moong daal soup turned out to be mannah), started working out regularly, which was of great help, and eventually completely stopped the meds. It took less than a year or so. And I did not start homeopathy again, as it did not want any dependency, but good food and home, natural, remedies. I also breathwork that gave me amazing results and Reiki, which needs a lot of time and effort. 🙂

Yes, yes, that is what this all is leading too. Good food. Greens, veggies, fruits, smoothies, salads, soups, whole-grain shit. Sticking to natural things, and good exercise regime. All of it helps. Good ol’ home remedies. Today, whatever aches and pains I still have, I know that they’re there entirely due to my laziness and (current) lack of discipline. When I am up and about, it’s all good. And of course, I’d have to stick to this “regime” for life too, but this one I don’t mind.

Another example, different than mine, my daughter never saw the doctor for the regular cold and flu the year I started her on an orange first thing in the morning during the winter months. Thankfully, she likes oranges so she took to it without much fuss. Of course she’s bored of it now and doesn’t listen to me the way I wish she would, so we are not disciplined about that anymore. But still we cure colds and coughs the old, simple way. Honey and ginger juice for cough, for example; I notice most people don’t take it like they should. Like medicine, it needs to be taken every 3-4 hrs for 1-2 days. I normally keep the mix in a small glass bottle. I have never taken a pill for it.

I once had a bad swelling way back in the jaw, wisdom-tooth-gum area. Hurt like crazy; the Dr prescribed anti-biotics and pain-killers. I thought I’d give my mom’s remedy a try before getting anti-biotics the next day. Mixed 1:1:1 of mustard oil, turmeric powder, and salt, and put it generously on the swelling; spat out whatever oozed out of my mouth and went to sleep. By the morning, the swelling had reduced and so had the pain. It was all completely gone by the 3rd morning of the nightly application.

I have had bad acne problem since forever as I have some pretty oily parts on my face. My sis-in-law had once advised on the goodness of orange peels for the skin (Orange is a God’s gift to our body, besides coconut oil). And that’s what I tried; 1:1 of besan and orange peel powder (home-made), mixed with some curd, rubbed on the face twice a day, and lo-and-behold, all breakouts gone; the problematic chin area was clear after years. Of course I still get a big one (or a couple small ones) once a month, but that’s another cyclic thing. It’s been a long, long time, and I haven’t used any kind of a facewash, or cream. I wash my face with this mixture and moisturize with aloe-vera gel (real gel, not store-bought).

Nature is abundant with things that cure and help heal and stay heal-thy. Besides, truly “modern” medicine is one that is open to anything that helps, that truly can help, and employs a more wholesome, holistic approach to health and upkeep. Keep smiling. 🙂

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