I come from a lineage of medical physicians specialising in different streams. There are instances where we have had livid arguments and there have been moments of cognizance that come to my mind habitually. Let me take this opportunity to share my insight with you.
Till very recently I would resolutely oppose ideas from any practice besides conventional medicine (allopathic as it is usually called). I still believe that it is the most rational science ever. We are trained to know every bone in the body, the muscles that attach to it and the nerves and blood vessels that nourish it. We are taught the intricacies of every bodily function. We are familiarised with the ways in which each harmful microbe attacks the body. When we prescribe drugs we choose it with the offender’s strategy in mind. We have an idea about how much to take, when to expect an action and when to discontinue the drug. All our medicines are approved after effective clinical trials. We know to adjust the dose in accordance with the body’s adaptability. We make recommendations after analysis and metaanalysis and have forums publishing them. We gather often to present our experiences and support each other. I felt that those practicing other branches like homeopathy, yunani, Ayurveda and the like did not spend so much time studying or questioning their science.
Ironically there are many instances where these practitioners have achieved significant success in areas where we have dismissed relief. They cannot be branded as quacks. Their practice also has a rationale. While allopathy uses chemical compounds, others use herbs, extracts and even metals. Their success lies in how safely these compounds are handled.
I think people follow different streams based on their mindset. Many parents of asthmatic children are repulsed by steroid inhalers. They switch over to natural treatments. Yet when those medications are analysed, they contain steroids too although the source is from the plant kingdom. Alternative therapy is not always risk free or painless and I do not see it as a replacement to our practice.
Alternative therapy does much to support the immune system and the body’s healing powers with nutrients which will have a direct healing and immuno-enhancing effect. A well-known paediatrician always tells parents of critically ill kids that he sees the situation akin to a fire breakout.” I will douse the flames”, he says,” but we will have to go on a long journey seeking a lot of help to know the cause of the fire and not let it happen again”. We allopaths save lives but we need the support of other streams to enhance living.