By Donna Gates, as seen on:

Conventional medical doctors are trained in how to prescribe pharmaceuticals. Education in Western, or allopathic, medicine does not devote much time to nutrition.

Have you been taking the same medication for years? It is often the case that medications for chronic pain, on-going infections, anxiety and depression, even for heartburn can be refilled for years without ever re-evaluating the need for it.

A large percentage of Americans are taking one prescription medication or another. Sometimes several. And often, for very good reasons. Prescription medication can support a higher quality of life.

Unfortunately, there are times when they can also contribute to an already highly toxic internal environment. As common as this is, it is not talked about.

Remember, some of the fundamental principles of medicine are:

  1. Do No Harm. Whether or not your health care practitioner follows this principle, you still need to. This is the first cardinal rule of medicine. Apply it to your own health. If you feel or know that an action or drug is harming your overall wellbeing, take small steps to discuss and evaluate alternatives—whether pharmaceutical or holistic. Even if this change feels massive, every step towards it counts!
  2. Encourage Your Body’s Natural Healing Abilities. Proper diet is essential. Find the nutrients that support your body’s wellbeing. Believe in food. Believe in your body. Find the exercise or movement that takes you to that happy place. Laugh with others and smile a lot.
  3. Have A Treatment Plan. A treatment plan outlines a goal. It underscores obstacles. It is a problem-solving map. Most importantly, it includes an exit strategy for the medication that you are taking. This means that while we may be on a medication for heartburn, anxiety, depression, a chronic infection, hormonal replacement, or pain, we know that ultimately we are taking steps to heal the body and one day have the doctor support no longer using the medication. Sometimes it is important to find other physicians to get second opinions or other modalities that support your goals.
    The healing process itself can be a gift, if you choose to see it this way.

No matter where you are at in the process, it can be full of mystery, missteps and triumphs. Enjoy the journey. And trust yourself along the way.

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