In a crisis, when something breaks, we often reach for duct tape to temporarily mend the problem. Duct tape might hold things together, and things might seem perfectly fine on the surface but deep down, something is seriously wrong; something is still broken. We often take a similar approach to our own health and that of our families and pets. Something’s wrong, patch it with a drug. Deep down, the problem is not fixed. We just found a way to carry on and pretend there isn’t a problem.
According to a 2000 Journal of the American Medical Association paper by Dr. Barbara Starfield, M.D, medical carehas climbed to the third leading cause of death in the United States. A total of 225,000 deaths were attributed to medical care (surgery, hospital-borne infections, errors, etc.), behind only cancer and heart disease. An astonishing 106,000 deaths were due to the PROPER use of drugs (prescription and over the counter). Yes, that’s right. 106,000 people correctly followed the directions that came with their prescription and over the counter drugs and they died from doing so.
A 2010 paper in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine states that “from 1999 to 2006 U.S. hospitalizations for poisoning by prescription opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers increased a total of 65%.” [J.H. Corben, M.D. Hospitalizations for Poisoning by Prescription Opioids, Sedatives and Tranquilizers (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2010) 1-10.] The total number of these deaths surpassed those of motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of unintentional injury death among people 35-54 years of age. With approximately 10% of Americans taking antidepressants, this is particularly disturbing data.
Illegal drugs are not the only kind of drugs that can fry your brain, your liver, your kidneys, or any of your other organs, tissues or cells. Why would someone want to use natural healing methods instead of simply taking a pill to make their problem “go away”? The truth is it’s not that simple. When the list of side effects is much, much longer than the list of intended effects, the drug may be doing more harm than good. “Eating or driving without knowledge of the event may occur.” Literally – that’s a known side effect of a commonly prescribed sleeping pill and this is still allowed on the market! No wonder people are having trouble losing weight: they could be hitting the fast food drive thru in the middle of the night without even knowing it! OK, that’s a little hyperbole but you get my point. Thousands upon thousands of people die each year due to their prescription drugs that are being taken as directed. Often people start with one prescription which has some side effects that are treated with another pill which has some side effects that are treated with another pill and the cycle goes on ad nauseum. The truth is, the more drugs you are on, the more of a guinea pig you are.
You see, it is extremely rare that are drugs tested in combination in clinical trials. (Clinical trials are the FDA monitored experiments on people) Clinical trials test first for toxicity, then for efficacy and finally for dose optimization. They are almost never tested in combination with other drugs, so if you are taking one prescription drug along with another (or an over the counter drug), and you live, and it doesn’t seem to be a problem (in the short term) then they say it’s “safe”. If you die, they note it. If enough people taking that combination die, then they tell you not to take those two drugs together. Sometimes they can predict problems based on the shape of the molecule and sometimes it’s a gamble; they have no idea what will happen. We regularly hear news reports with a new warning that a drug we have been using or giving our children for years is now considered dangerous or has been recalled.
Instead of taking the duct tape approach to your health, consider actually fixing your health. Build your health and provide your body with the tools and ingredients it needs to restore, rebuild, repair and rejuvenate. The holistic approach to health will support you in restoring the natural, healthy state you are designed to experience. Nutrition, exercise, relaxation, positive thinking and natural therapies that support the body in healing and maintaining balance such as chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and homeopathy are nourishing and non-toxic. Save the duct tape for the shed and fix your health.
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. ~Jim Rohn
(Parts of this article were extracted from my book “7 Steps to a Naturally Unbridled Life – An Introduction to Holistic Living: Body, Mind, Spirit and Planet”, download a free chapter by entering your name and email address at www.NaturallyUnbridled.com)
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There is so much great information in your article. I often it find it comical when watching an ad on TV about all the side effects a pill can have that I’d rather just live with the current condition. I believe that it is all about focusing on living a healthy lifestyle. It has been said so many times – regular exercise, drink lots of water and eat whole foods. And for many of us, it boils down to our belief systems.
We believe we are prone to certain health issue because it runs in our families or that is just how we were taught to eat or as we age our health declines. It is such a vicious cycle. I feel better today than I have in years and I believe that I will continue to be healthy, therefore, I exercise, drinks plenty of water and eat whole foods. When I say whole foods, I just mean foods that when I read the label, I understand the ingredients.
What we believe ultimately becomes our reality.
If you haven’t read “The Biology of Belief” by Bruce Lipton, you would love it!
Funny what you said about people believing they are predisposed to certain diseases. The opening quote in my book, “7 Steps to a Naturally Unbridled Life” is “Cancer, heart disease and diabetes runs in families. Do you know what else runs in families? Recipes!”
Good article… thanks for posting. This duct tape approach is probably what bothers me most about conventional medicine. If told you have hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, back pain, etc., you are given pills but rarely will the physician say “Let’s first try to figure out why you have this.” And like the article states, the pills frequently cause more problems… interactions with other drugs, side effects… Strengthening internal resources through diet, exercise, reducing stress, natural therapies makes sense. The body truly has the ability to maintain a perfect state of health and to heal itself… we just keep getting in the way (through bad food, air, water, etc.) and making it’s work too hard. We can’t control everything our bodies are exposed to, but there is a lot we can control.
Thanks Pat! I appreciate your comments!
I had to laugh at the opening image of a role of duct tape. While my reaction doesn’t relate to the theme of your article, I’ve spent more than twenty years shaking my head about the use of this tool to repair breaks in the training track rails at an area racetrack. Might be a quick fix, but isn’t much fun on a windy day when trying to get past the stuff flipping around while aboard a young horse spooked by the movement and noise.
The content is a gold mine on its own. There are lots of essential information that you shared in this article. I just wish everyone could find and read this. It’s frightening to know that even properly prescribed drugs though taken accordingly could pose some danger to our health and could even cause death. I always believe that Prevention is Better than Cure. I strongly agree on investing first on a healthy lifestyle. Health routines such as healthy eating, proper exercise, fitness workout to keep fit and hopefully be rewarded with a 6 Pack Abs and a good sleep are equally essential to living healthy.
Thanks for your comments! Based on what you said, I think you will like this article too:
It focuses on the importance of health vs. treatment of disease.