Western Medicine utilizes pharmaceutical drugs, surgery and radiation to assist with symptoms and diseases.
Eastern Medicine utilizes way of life, whole food, herbs, and energy to assist with the holistic healing and wellbeing of the individual.
Integrative Medicine utilizes evidence-backed therapies, synergistic relationship between the doctor and patient, and the body’s innate healing ability to improve health and promote healing of the mind, body and spirit.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines medicine as:
1 a : a substance or preparation used in treating disease
b : something that affects well-being
2 a : the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease
b : the branch of medicine concerned with the nonsurgical treatment of disease
As heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and neurological diseases are on the rise, I believe that we should not limit ourselves to one perspective of medicine but more of a holistic perspective of medicine.
For clarity and simplicity, this article will focus on the definition of medicine as “something that affects well-being.”
I believe everything we need is present to assist us in overcoming 99% of disease that runs rampant in our world. We must give ourselves the proper and most appropriate medicine in the moment to cultivate effortless healing, resilience, and adaptability throughout our life journey.
Medicine can be taking prescriptive medication as directed by your physician, herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals. Yet, medicine can also be creating change in your lifestyle, thoughts, beliefs, and habits.
Medicine can simply be taking care of self with great compassion, acceptance and love. It can be working with your team of Medical Doctors, Holistic Practitioners and Energy Healers with specific treatments for empowering self-healing.
Being with nature, away from technology, people, and distractions, can be the perfect medicine for all of us. Gathering as a conscious community to support each other with authenticity, acceptance and accountability may also be the perfect prescription.
Music, dance, yoga, counseling, journaling, conversation, words of wisdom, painting, health workshops, retreats, reading, sharing, nature’s fresh fruits and vegetables, water, exercise, movement, breathing, sweat lodge, ocean, beach, meditation, hugging a tree, animals, choosing love, hugs, creative expression, camping, vision quests, rocks, crystals, honoring thy self, smiling, laughing, feeling, forgiveness, God and prayer are all great medicine.
With this holistic perspective, what’s your medicine?
The beginning of August has been quite challenging. I had two little girls that were sick and deeply cleansing. In the past, my daughters would alternate not feeling well which gave me breathing room to individually help them as best I can. It was much different this time with all the juggling I had to do to give each one the attention they needed.
After a week, the girls were at the tail end of their summer cold/flu. Thank goodness. They definitely kept me busy especially with having very little sleep. For several nights in a row, I tended to their high erratic fever, cough, runny nose, and swirling emotions. Playing Doctor Mommy, medicine included Western Medicine to prevent my oldest from going into another asthma attack. For both, homeopathy, energetic clearing, chiropractic, and nutritional supplements were very helpful. Prayers for divine guidance and assistance were necessary to rely on. This led to the most powerful medicine of all, presence. Kalea and Kara felt my love, strength, knowing, and something greater guiding all of us. The common response from both of them was, “Mommy, I love you.” Their words of love were my medicine to keep me going throughout the day and night.
Finally, my medicine of stillness and time became highly essential. Feeling a bit exhausted and emotionally drained, I sent hubby a text while grocery shopping. I wanted to make sure it was okay to have some me time. He was home with the kids recouping from the flu as well. A little bit of guilt was present for prioritizing myself; however, my sanity and health was more important in order to be the caregiver for the whole family. Being a wonderful supportive husband, he encouraged me to follow through with what I needed to recharge my batteries. With that, I was able to grab a healthy vegetarian meal to go for dinner and have a picnic near the Fox River in South Elgin.
I laid my picnic blanket on the soft green grass and prepared dinner in less than a minute. To be able to relax and be nourished without any pressure was a great feeling. The trees embraced me. The breeze reminded me to breathe. The earth grounded me. The sight and sound of the river soothed me. I remembered all that I am grateful for. There was nothing missing in my life. All is well once again. Amazement struck me realizing how quickly I came back to my center. Looking back, I simply gave myself the medicine needed in the moment. This gave my body the resilience to thwart the nasty flu and cold my husband and children had to endure. The whole experience was medicine for all of us.
In closing, honor yourself. Give yourself what you need when you need it. And, ask, “What is my medicine?”
Dr. Jaena Stanley-Gonzaga