Hi, My name is Al Perry, and I work in health-care as a therapist. I’d like to take you through a look at the different types of medicine. Perhaps it will help add to your health toolbox.
A Broad Look At Medicine
The traditional and alternative medicine fields use various techniques to treat and cure disease. Western medicine uses the language of science to study the human body, dividing the body into organ systems. There are two broad areas of Western medicine: Surgical and non-surgical. Surgical areas include general surgery, neurosurgery, and urology.
Psychiatry is a separate field with a distinct focus on the functionality of the mind. Both doctors have an MD or DO degree. Physiologists are experts in biology who specialize in studying organisms and their diseases and conditions to come up with solutions for better health. Physicians can specialize in many aspects of healthcare. Doctors can also practice psychotherapy or pharmacology.
A practitioner of the mind/body paradigm believes that the person is more than the sum of its organs. Therefore, they believe that the mind and body are intertwined. Some of these practitioners might conclude that the physical problems are the result of psychological issues.
Diverse Approaches of Medicine
Western medicine focuses on treating symptoms and does not tend to consider the body as an entire system. Holistic practitioners treat the whole person, including the mind, body, and spirit. They work to identify the root cause of a patient’s symptoms and then work to correct that problem. In western medicine, a physician may perform a physical examination, order lab tests, and make a diagnosis based on the patient’s symptoms and history.
As far as the physical symptoms of disease are concerned, western medicine is the shown to be most effective in treating acute ailments and trauma. This style of medicine tends to treat the symptoms, which works well on acute problems, but doesn’t necessarily address how the body works in synergy. For example, the traditional Western medical practice does not address a patient’s mindset to diagnose or treat a disease. It addresses the symptoms, not necessarily the underlying cause. In other words, western medicine is not the best at understanding the complex mechanisms of chronic illness. Long term drug use rarely works for chronic illnesses. These patients and their symptoms are generally managed, not cured.
In addition to conventional medicine, alternative, and complementary medicine use plants and plant substances as a remedy. While the practice of these methods is not widely used in the U.S., it is considered somewhat effective in treating certain kinds of disease and illness. However, it works best to complement traditional therapy and not substitute for conventional treatments. There are different types of medicine, and not all of them are equally effective. It is important to understand the differences between them, to choose the best treatment that will ensure optimum health.
A Deeper Look Into Types of Medicine
Modern Western medicine relies heavily on the use of drugs, which differ from Natural Medicine or Indigenous Medicine treatments. A Chinese Medicine doctor may treat an illness using either herbs or acupuncture. Herbal medicines are also a form of complementary or alternative medicine. While both types of medicine are based on plant-based remedies, they do not always have the same benefits. As a rule, herbal medicines are not as immediately effective as conventional drugs but have fewer side effects if professionally formulated.
There is another type of medicine. Mostly, in our western culture, we do not think of what I am about to present as a medicine. The root of this medicine is in Indigenous cultures, such as Native American Medicine. This medicine may not be a substance at all, but an action. Those actions may include, “running to meat the dawn”, “walking and breathing deeply through Nature”, “sweating out the pathogen”, or “dancing to express the stuck emotion at the root of the symptom”.
To look at medicine defined, what does Webster say?
Webster’s top 3 definitions of medicine are: ( taken from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/medicine )
a substance or preparation used in treating disease.
b: something that affects well-being.
c: the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease.
Let’s look at b. “Medicine is something that affect well-being.”
The Concept of Wellness
If Medicine is something that affect well-being, then the best medicine you can provide for yourself and your family is a healthy lifestyle. More than any doctor, healer, or guru, you are the medical provider for your life and the lives of those you love. What you eat, drink, how you move and interact with people will affect your health more than any drug.
Eat smart and think balance! It’s not “all or nothing”. Yes, sugar is the enemy, but a small amount once in a while won’t kill you. Exercise is important, but it can’t run your life. Work brings in money, but there has to be time to rest and have social interaction. This is life! we want to live, love, and enjoy the time we’re here! Wellness is all about balance.
Nature Meets Technology
Here is a tool that, to me, is the best medicine that I have experienced in my life. I teach Qigong, one of the branches of Chinese Medicine. Also, I practice Yoga, and am a certified Yoga instructor. At service at a young age in the armed services, I am a product of the VA Medical System. In 33 years of practice and 70 years of life I’ve seen a lot of Medicine, across the spectrum. Nothing has caught my attention more than (NIR) Near Infered Light therapy.
I wrote a blog on my initial experience with it. Al’s Blog: Review on Red Light Therapy Device
I wrote another on how and why it works: Al’s Blog on Mitochondria
Now I’m just going to tell you. I use it on myself, daily. My wife uses it, my extended family has started using it, and I use it in my clinic. This works. Effective on most muscle pain. Helps arthritis. Effective on sprained ligaments. I’m just starting to scratch the surface of all the issues NIR therapy can treat.
So if you want real medicine, that is natural (light is as natural as it gets), tech savvy (LED technology is the future. LED’s turn electricity into a single color light, without wasting any energy on other light spectrums or heat production. It’s low cost and efficient) and backed by science. Scientific studies on red light therapy.
Here’s where you can get yours—>-> Get My Own Red Light Therapy Device
Thanks for your post! I agree that the mainstream medical system is mainly about fixing the symptoms, not going to the root cause and taking care of the person holistically. Sadly it becomes the mainstream and makes other ways look mystical and unreliable. Anyway, I’m interested to know more about the light device but your link at the end led me to an unavailable option. Please have a look.
Thanks Grace, for catching that..
I rushed a bit at the end, that’s what I get.. I’ll check it now👍
The link is good👍
Hey thanks for this post! It proved really useful to me as currently I’m studying health science and this information is something I need. It’s cool how there are many ways to look and treat health.
Modern medicine like drugs provide instant relief on most occasions however like you stated aren’t the best option for long term health, they carry many side effects too. Herbal medicine I feel take a while to take effect and I’m not too sure how effective they are as well.
Thanks, Sariyah, for taking the time to read and comment.
Good for you for studying health science. We live in this body our entire life, we need to know how it works!
Stay well and thrive!
I would say that upon reading your article that no one size fits all. The body and mind are very complex systems that we still are learning about daily. Yes, western medicine treats symptoms and is more immediate while eastern medicine is more holistic aiming to improve balance, lifestyle, outlook, motivation, and mood for instance. I have seen ‘Healers’ detect problems just by tapping the hand without the use of CT scans and blood work. I have experienced remarkable progress with reducing inflammation and stress just through certain diets. There is clearly a pathway for alternative medicine. I therefore would be willing to ‘go down the road’ on your recommended Red Light Therapy. So will be checking out the article referred.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
I’m happy you resonated with the article. Red Light has been a wonderful add to my toolbox.
Stay well and keep Thriving!
I was just having a read at your well written article here which I really have to say I found to be an absolutely amazing read indeed. I also have to say that I found it to be very interesting, Intriguing as well as very educational to read. So thank you for sharing this with us all.
Thanks for reading, commenting, and the kind words.
Stay well and keep Thriving!
This was a wonderful read about the different types of medicine. I like to work with natural medicines to treat illnesses, as here in the US get an illness physician writes prescriptions for drugs and then another. One after the other that just wears our bodies down. When I get sick with cold/flu, ear infection, or anything similar I look for natural ways to overcome that sickness instead of prescriptions that only weaken my system.
thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this article, Jannette.
Yes, i agree, it’s always a good choice to go natural if you can.
i hope you start well and continue to thrive!
Hi, Al! I’m also in the healthcare field and really appreciated reading your perspective on the different types of medicine. I think this would be a very helpful article for people who are thinking about a career in medicine and want to understand their options. I also have done some red light therapy in the past and have enjoyed it!
Thanks, Erica, for reading and commenting,
Yes, it’s a wonderful field to bed a party of. Thanks for doing your part! Happy to hear you resonated with Red Light therapy!
Stay well and keep thriving!
Hi Mr. Perry, I enjoyed your post on the various types of medicine. I am interested in learning more about red light therapy. How long has it been around? You hear about blue light from electronic devices. How does red light compare?
I was fascinated about Native American medicine. I can see how walking it out, or sweating it out can be beneficial. (That is why the Finns have saunas, and the Native Americans have sweat lodges.)
I would like to study more into red light therapy.
Thanks, Carolyn, for taking the time to read and comment on this article.
Yes, Red Light therapy is fascinating!
Red Light therapy got a boost when low level lasers were approved by FDA in 2002. When LED’s, which gives out a consistent frequency, were improved in the’90s, studies began that showed RedLight’s ability to reduce inflammation. I use it in clinic now with much success!
Good luck on trying it!
Stay well and thrive!
Thank you, it is really really interesting to read your article and learn your perspectives.
I agree 100% when you say “Western medicine focuses on treating symptoms and does not tend to consider the body as an entire system.” This is a major flaw, also that it is funded by the pharmaceutical industry so I am concerned with Western medicine. Also the fact that in medical schools that the medical students are only trained a small portion of their studies on health and nutrition. So it seems to be very little on preventative health and mainly about dealing with disease. And dis-ease is primarily focused on prescribing pharmaceutical drugs. So the whole industry does not seem to be about health at all, rather seems to be biased towards pharmaceutical companies making profits and doctors/medical system peddling this.
Do you believe in naturopathy? or only the red light therapy? Why or why not?
Thanks in advance, John
A short answer is that I believe in holistic Medicine. Taking the best from all types of practices abed theories, abd leaving the things that don’t serve us alone.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Stay well and keep thriving!
This is a very interesting article. Thanks to modern science and technology, medicine has become so much easier for everyone to access and use, and with that it is helping to save or help millions of people everyday. I’ve never tried Red Light Therapy, but I am willing to.
Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for reading and contemn.
Good luck with trying Red Light Therapy. Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.
Stay well and thrive!
I must say this is new encounter for me ” red light therapy” I am interested to get farther about it and on top of it, looks natural way.
I am a person who believe in natural medicine or eating the right foods to combat the future illness or remedy to prevent the sickness of what’s in your gene, if it comes in medicine I definitely choose the herbs and avoids all the bad foods for the certain defect or health you were facing, through experience of course.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge of different types of medicine, It gives me another look or a possibility of alternatives to care my health in natural way in my opinion, Very much combination of our new generation I must say after all its 21st century, looks interesting indeed!
Thanks, Jocelyn, for taking the time to read and comment.
Red Light is indeed a combination of modern technology, (even futuristic), and Natures own medicine. Nothing is more basic than Light. One might even say we are made of light.
Stay well and keep thriving!