When you hear the term “alternative medicine,” your mind may bounce through an array of different associations. Perhaps after years under allopathic (traditional) care with no prevail, you were grateful to finally find relief through a more holistic approach. But maybe you hear “alternative” and your mind jumps to “pseudo-science,” “bogus,” “wishful thinking,” you get the idea...
While we sometimes refer to Seed and Soil Wellness as alternative healthcare since it helps patients discover our practice, we don’t necessarily feel it’s an accurate or useful description. We don’t see our services as an “alternative” to allopathic medicine. Rather, our approach fills in many of holes that allopathic medicine fails to address.
In this article, our integrative wellness practitioner shares how an “alternative” medical approach compares to allopathic medicine and how holistic medicine may better help you achieve your health goals.
The Pros and Cons of Allopathic Medicine
The term “allopathic” translates from Greek to the “opposite of suffering.” In many cases, allopathic medicine provides a quick fix to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. The practices of allopathic medicine are built upon the principle that opposites are the best course of treatment.
For example, a headache can be treated with ibuprofen while constipation can be relieved with a laxative. In many cases, allopathy is life-saving. If you suffer severe physical trauma from a car accident or begin experiencing anaphylaxis, you’re not going to simply throw back some herbs and call it a day.
Unfortunately, there is a price to pay for the majority of allopathic treatments, as they typically come with adverse side effects.
We all know chemotherapy has awful effects on the body and many medications can even propagate another disease or create new symptoms.
Many health conditions we face in modern society can’t be reversed by slapping on a band-aid. In fact, allopathic medicine still can’t explain the cause of many chronic conditions, such as autoimmunity. This is where an “alternative” approach can be incredibly effective.
The Philosophical Differences Between an Allopathic and Integrative Approach
Two major philosophical differences distinguish allopathic and integrative medicine.
Allopathic medicine treats the disease, whereas integrative medicine approaches the individual as a whole.
Allopathic medicine approaches disease with the belief in a simple, singular cause, while a holistic approach recognizes the multifactorial model of disease.
While allopathic medicine claims to rely on heavily research-based approaches, the truth is there is a lot that remains unknown about the body and disease. Google “what causes autoimmune disease,” and you will be met with a resounding “unknown.”
An Integrative Approach to Disease