The American Recall Center, a new site that is devoted to inspiring good health and promoting up-to-date Food & Drug Administration (FDA) information, and I are teaming up to spread the word about World Health Day on April 7. As someone who has dealt with a variety of physical (ulcerative colitis, infertility, and carcinoma-in-situ) and mental health challenges (periodic bouts of depression and anxiety), I am passionate about using both modern medicine and alternative medicine to prevent and treat what ails me. An informed and educated patient, in conjunction with a competent and caring healthcare provider, is vital to one’s good health, and it can be a matter of life and death.
I know firsthand at the importance of working with a healthcare provider who is invested in holistic treatment, as opposed to being influenced by pharmaceutical companies. I have horror stories of being prescribed medication and ending up in the emergency room in worse shape than what I sought treatment for, and I have wonderful stories of eastern and western medicine working together to heal my body and mind. Along the way, I learned a great deal through trial and error, and with my healthcare providers, I was able to devise a treatment plan that works well for me.
One of the greatest health lessons for me has been being proactive with my physical and mental health, as prevention really is the best medicine. On a regular basis, I put the following measures into practice:
- Take prescribed medication to control my ulcerative colitis, along with vitamins and supplements.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes/day, at least five days/week. In addition to cardiovascular exercise, I also do 2-3 days of strength training/week. Exercise helps me mentally, as much as it does physically!
- Pray and/or meditate. This is the most challenging thing for me to do, as my mind tends to be in overdrive most of the time.
- Have a monthly massage. Hands down, or hands on, as the case may be, this is one of my favorite ways to relax physically and mentally.
- Use aromatherapy in the form of oils and candles to manage stress and anxiety. I tend to favor balsam fir oil to reduce my anxiety.
- Write and journal. The pen is definitely mightier than the sword when it comes to expressing my thoughts and feelings in a healthy way.
At times, when I need help getting my body and mind back on track, I have been able recover using various treatment methods:
- Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have helped to relieve and eliminate my anxiety and depression. Traditional antidepressants trigger my ulcerative colitis, and traditional antianxiety medications render me too drowsy to live and work effectively. So, when my depression and anxiety were at their worst, acupuncture and a specially brewed tea made with Chinese herbs provided me great relief. I also used acupuncture in the mid-1990s when I underwent infertility treatment to both prepare my uterus and to reduce my stress.
- As much I try to avoid steroids, sometimes, they are needed. When my ulcerative colitis comes out of remission, which thankfully rarely happens any more, taking a prescribed dose of steroids for 5-10 days usually is just what the doctor ordered.
What works for me may or may not work for you or anyone else, and it is important for you to consult with your own healthcare provider to come up with the right healthcare regime for you to follow. Do your own research, ask as many questions as it takes to get the right answers, and communicate openly with your healthcare provider. Also, if you cannot work well with your healthcare provider, do not hesitate to seek a second opinion and/or transfer your care to someone else. There are many paths to optimal health, so, choose the one that is best for you, and remember that you do not have to walk along this path alone.
Here’s to you and your health on World Health Day and every day!
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story