To Medicate or not to Medicate
How much medication do you or your loved ones take daily? Is it something positive? Is it something you feel you have no choice about? Is it something you wish would be different?
This complex and sensitive debate about medication is really not as simple as to be for or against. What is important for us is to understand the role of different kinds of medicines and to use what works while reflecting on the risks and benefits of any treatment or healing modality. We must understand why yes and why no, making the best decision for ourselves in each moment. We also need to change the way we talk about these sensitive issues. Like many other loaded conversations, our opinions can block us from seeing the truth of the other side. Learning to listen in an honest and open way is the most important part of my message whatever the subject may be.
Please don't take any of this as medical advice, yet in this time where our health systems are put under the spotlight I believe this is an important conversation to have.
So, why not medicate?
There are side effects, we don't know what they put inside so it might not be safe and there's a possibility it could cause long term damage to our body in addition to possible dependency or addiction.
And why medicate?
Western medicine is the result of hundreds of years of medical and scientific research that has brought us incredible results in our life expectancy and the eradication of many diseases. Medication itself will reduce symptoms and can sometimes even get rid of different symptoms that cause us pain, discomfort or other possible negative experiences, as well as saving our life in extreme situations. The possible side effects are minimal compared to the illness and they've been tested properly to ensure safety. If the side affects are potentially bad, we can choose whether we prefer the problem that is physically present with potential future complications or the possible side effects which change from person to person but probably won't be worse then the symptoms.
If that's true, why not medicate?
Even if the symptoms are alleviated and we feel better, this is only a short term solution. We haven't solved the actual problem that created these symptoms. It's like if the engine light would turn on in our car and we would cover it up with a sticker so that we wouldn't see it. Or even worse, we would remove the light bulb of that specific light to ensure that the engine light would never appear again. Would that solve the problem that the light is pointing at? Of course not! there's a reason the light is on and if we try to cover it up in any way, with any kind of medication, we are not looking at something that is wrong at a deeper level. We might think we've solved the problem and can keep going for a bit but sooner or later the car will stop and we'll have take a look at the engine.
Is medication really like putting a sticker on the engine light?
Western medicine has not been able to discover the root causes for many illnesses and as you can see from medical exams or blood tests, results are affected positively by the use of medication.
I've met some people who are against medication and are even afraid of doctors. When they get sick it almost seems like they ignore the symptoms so that they don't find out what they might be sick with, and have to face the problem. Wouldn't it be better to do something about the symptoms rather than not do anything at all and wait for your health to deteriorate? By opposing medication you might not turn to help when you really need it and let a problem go from bad to worse just because you were too stubborn to go ask for medical advice.
In addition, there are times that you just need to get better, you just need to to move forward and the medication will allow you to do that in tough times. If you would have an emergency I'm sure you would take antibiotics that would save your life rather than let things get much worse by trying to solve things with plants or releasing suppressed emotions.
Western medicine is very efficient at emergency isn't that true?
Can we please separate between emergency and other cases?
In emergency I believe western medicine has tools including different medications, antibiotics, and even surgery that are very important and useful. If I'm not sick I would never choose to go into surgery and no doctor would recommend that, but if I'm in danger the risk of not having surgery is far higher than the risk of the surgery. It's all a matter of looking at the benefit vs. the risk. If I have a headache, depending on how bad it is, I can choose to wait for it to pass or try natural ways to treat it before turning to medication that will just suppress the symptom momentarily and could create a different imbalance I'm not even aware of. Have you asked what is the reason behind the headache? Why is it here? What is it pointing at?
In a world of chasing momentary pleasures and comfort you miss many signals life is trying to tell you. You're so obsessed with fixing every problem, faster, stronger, NOW! You have no patience, you're not listening to your body, to your true pace, to what's best for you. You're being tricked by marketing and advertising tools that will sell you more and more products you don't need and don't add at all to your happiness.
Can we find a balance between these two approaches? These two approaches represent two different mindsets or personalities that can be seen in other healing modalities as well.
1. The first which opposes medication represents those who rely only on themselves and do not want to trust anything and anyone that tells them what to do. This kind of mindset is incredibly useful in finding solutions and resources without having to depend upon external substances or advice by experts. They are knowledgable in many fields, very resourceful and like to learn and find answers on their own. The biggest problem with this mindset is the stubbornness and inability to ask for help when needed.
2. The second approach is one that depends on the system and on others whenever there is a problem or crisis. This can come from a deep trust and belief or on the other hand, from an inner weakness or lack of self confidence and worth. These people feel that there is an answer out there and that someone else will take them there. These people follow the doctors orders, knowing that it is the best option for healing. They rarely question or argue and look up to authority with respect and even awe. The biggest problem with this mindset is that when the authority doesn't have a solution they are left with nowhere to turn. These people might lack the inner resourcefulness that can find solutions when they are not out in the open.
Of course we all range some where in between the two. What's interesting is that I've met many people who have the first mindset in many aspects of their life but when it comes to medicine there is still a strong dependency on the medical system which makes them behave closer to mindset no. 2.
During this pandemic, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers have done incredible work, saving lives and helping many people in emergency and desperation and I'm so grateful for their contribution in this time. But when it comes to understanding why specific people were affected the way they were or to long term solutions, all we've heard about is creating a vaccine and medication to treat the symptoms of this unknown virus. This could be helpful for many people who are sick or afraid, but to me, this seems like it's just putting a sticker on the engine light and not looking for long term solutions and prevention.
In a medical system that rarely looks at the emotional and spiritual aspect of our being I find it harder and harder to turn to it for help when it comes to a long term, sustainable system that can treat diseases like cancer and chronic illnesses. There seems to be so few answers, after so many years of research that I feel I have to question why is that.
The most important questions I've implemented in my healing practice is 1. When did the problem start? 2. What was happening in your life at the time or right before the problem started?
If we could start to connect the events and emotions in our life, to the symptoms that seem to appear out of nowhere, we might discover that there is always a deep connection between our bodies and life events and that there is always a message from our body telling us that something is not right in our life. If we could realize that emotions can create dis-ease, we'll also find that they can solve them. It is so hard to find solutions when we don't know where the problem came from.
In a world where most people choose to medicate before asking WHY, my recommendation to you is to start asking. Don't stop using medication or stop trusting your doctors, that's not my point at all. Just add to whatever you are doing this one question. Why?
Why am I feeling bad?
Why am I sick? in pain?
Why this part of my body?
If you get an answer that does not satisfy you, ask again. Like a child asking why over and over again.
This simple question can empower you when asked from the right state of mind. This is not a victim's cry of "why me?" This is an open ended, curios WHY that will open your mind to look at the world with a new set of eyes. A good therapist or healer does not give you the answer to your why, but gives you more tools to ask it better, to go deeper down the rabbit hole and to discover the true "why" behind your problem. You are the only one with the answer to your why. You are the best doctor, healer and therapist for yourself. There's so much for you to discover within yourself and there's no better time to start than now.
Please feel free to comment below about this important issue. I'll be happy to hear from you.