Natural Medicines (Homeopathy, Ayurveda, etc)

Blessings are important and I have been fortunate to receive a lot of these.  “Bless you” was something I heard quite a lot, particularly due to the regularity of my sneezing.   It wasn’t just regularity but all the number of times I sneezed in a row.  My sister made it a game to see how many times I would sneeze,  I believe my record was something around 25 sneezes in a row.  If you haven’t guessed it my now, I had health issues growing up.  I was the one with the weak immune system.  I was allergic to everything on the allergy chart list except for oranges.  When I got sick, the cold and fever would go away in a few days, but the heavy nasal congestion would stay for weeks afterwards.  I would be carrying around a toilet paper roll and cream for my chapped nose.

Things improved as I got older, California weather definitely helped.  India did not.  The dust and pollution severely aggravated my allergies and I was continually sick or had nasal congestion.  When I started tabla, this was very problematic because I would practice for a few minutes and would have to stop to blow my nose, which disrupted any sort of continuity I would try to build.  After recovering from one particularly severe bout of sickness, where I went on antibiotics and the ENT doctor gave me local steroids for my nose, it was time to find a permanent solution.   The ENT doctor was of no help when I asked him for a long term preventative solution, offering only reactive solutions like the local steroids after the next infection sets in.  There had to be a better solution.  So off I went.  I ended up going to 3 homeopathy doctors and one ayurvedic doctor.  Each doctor was HIGHLY recommended by people who swore by them.  The following advice is based on my personal experiences and that of close friends.

Natural medicines boost your body’s long term immunity, when possible avoid allopathic medicines I grew up on allopathic medication.  It was a childhood full of Tylenol, antibiotics, Benadryl and more.  One of gurubhais didn’t.  He grew up on natural medicines, even if it meant that he was sick for a day or two longer than those who took allopathic medication.  (I am speaking in reference to the common cold and flu, not life-threatening or serious diseases).  Today, he is one of the healthiest people I know.  No allergies and hardle ever gets even a minor cold.  Allopathic medicines, especially at a young age, make your body dependent on chemicals to fight off infection instead of allowing your body to develop natural defenses.  I can see how it would be more difficult for a mother to see her child suffer for longer as natural treatment may result in a longer recovery, but in the long terms its better for your child. Even a highly recommended doctor might not be able to solve your problem, but that doesn’t mean they are not good doctors. While most ayurvedic and homeopathy doctors will tell you that they can solve all of your health problems, whether it is poor circulation, allergies or weight loss, they can’t.  Even if two doctors practice the same form of medicine (ayurveda, homeopathy, bach flower essences, etc), each doctor has their own method of diagnosis (from the ones I went to, some read your pulse, another used a magnet to read vibrations, another asked A LOT of questions) and treatment.  Each usually has certain things that they are very good at treating and other things for which they are not effective.  You may have to go to more than one doctor before you find one that works.  Going to a recommended doctor is a good place to start, but don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results from them.

So how do you tell if their medicine is working? Simple rule of thumb – If you don’t see a marked improvement (at least 10 –20%) improvement in a week to 10 days, try something different. Natural treatment takes time as they work on the root causes of health problems, not the symptoms, BUT if the doctor has correctly diagnosed and prescribed medicines (the two are different – correct diagnosis doesn’t not necessarily mean their medicine will be effective), you WILL see some improvement within a week.  I tried some doctors for over a month or two before getting frustrated with the lack of improvement and trying someone new.  When I finally found the right doctor for me, I saw a marked improvement within a few days.  This has been the case for others as well.  No improvement means the doctor might need to try a different approach.   I’ve had to be a little aggressive in pushing to see some results or changing the approach if there is no success, but it saved the weeks or months that could have gone by.

Find a doctor whose treatment works with your lifestyle. Lots of ayurvedic and homeopathy doctors will tell you that you can’t eat this, have to X medicine after X time, etc.  If you can make that work for you, great! If you can’t, seek alternatives.  One doctor gave me a very large list of things I could not eat over the course of the treatment.   Reasonable restrictions are okay, but I knew that I would not be able to follow the degree of restrictions he had given, especially since I didn’t cook my own food.  If you are not able to follow through on a treatment and its conditions, it’s better to be honest with the doctor. Decide upon something that is within your reach or you might end up not seeing results and will be unable to pinpoint why it’s not working.   I don’t believe a doctor expects 100% adherence to restrictions, but only 50% can be detrimental.

Follow your treatment through. Like I said above, natural treatment take time, but give long-term benefits as they address problems from their root rather than symptoms.  It can be easy to “forget” about taking your medicines once you have experienced a 70- 80% improvement.  Follow through and erase the problem completely from its root, otherwise it can re-emerge.  If you don’t follow treatment through, at least go back for further treatment when you see some of the symptoms (even in a milder form) coming back.

Like I said at the start, I have experienced a huge improvement in health since finding my naturopathy doctor.   When I went to her, my allergy index was over 1200 more than 3 times a healthy person’s allergy index.  I can’t do much about the allergens – dust, pollution, smoke – but I improved my immunity.  Instead of going from being functional to taking antibiotics within 1 day, the symptoms of an infection develop gradually over a period of 10 days.  At the onset of symptoms, I can take booster medicines to fight off an infection and have successfully avoided antibiotics for over a year.  Also seemingly unrelated problems have disappeared without direct treatment as they were all effects of the root cause.

So if you like me, had come to live with your allergies or other health conditions because there just didn’t seem to be a solution.  There is hope.  Give natural treatment a shot, there really isn’t much to lose.

PS. Anyone who have an allergy problem and is going to spend any time in Ahmedabad, email me and I’ll give you the info on my doctor who has successfully treated my allergies and those of many friends.

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