I have been clobbered by sickness recently. I've had pneumonia, and can honestly say, aside from Dengue Fever, it's the sickest I've ever been.
But as with everything, my illness has provided an incredible learning opportunity.
Before you roll your eyes, hear me out...
This illness, "my body can heal itself" was my mantra. When my fever was 104, I rested and drank fresh juices instead of popping a Tylenol. When my doctor prescribed me antibiotics for my cough, I drank tea, took baths and decided to wait it out instead of take them.
95% of all pneumonia cases are viral, which means antibiotics can't help. Yet the very same antibiotics are given for everything from pneumonia, to acne, to a UTI.
How can this make sense?
Health savvy people know the importance of gut health, and one major side effect of antibiotics is that they destroy healthy gut bacteria. And we've read about how our bodies are becoming resistant to antibiotics because we take them so frequently.
While we are lucky to benefit from Western medical advances, we have become addicted to the Quick Fix. We are so uneasy with discomfort, that we'll do anything to mask it as quickly as possible. We ignore the signs and signals of the body, and demand that we get back to "normal" without considering the repercussions or encoding the messages.
We take Tylenol believing there can't be side effects, pop birth control pills for years rarely asking how our hormones are influenced, and take Statins because we believe they're preventing future harm for our hearts.
But is this really wise?
Longest lived communities take the least amount of medications, for both common or chronic illness. Perhaps our progressive and fast-paced culture can learn something from this.
My cough is still working its way out, but going through this illness without drugs and using basic and natural principles of self-care has shown me what's possible for myself and my kiddos. It feels good to have more trust in my body's natural healing ability.
Next time you or your loved one is sick, give THESE TIPS a try:
1. Pause. Make a mental shift away from the Quick Fix Mentality. If you (or your child) feel ill, ask yourself if there is another way besides medication? We're conditioned to believe we need medication, when most often rest, clean food and juices can do more for us than drugs. Most common illnesses are not life threatening and merely a communication from our bodies to SLOW DOWN.
2. Find an alternative doctor and get a second opinion before taking pills or drugs of any sort. We put too much stock in what our general practitioner says in the 15 minutes we are granted during our appointments. There ARE other, completely harmless approaches.
3. Substitute fresh juices and broths for Pedialyte, Gatorade or any other "electrolyte replacement."
4. Try visual meditations and energy work with small children when they have a headache, tummy ache or any ache. They tend to be very receptive and show us what is possible with our own healing. The last thing we want to do is teach them that when they're sick they must take something to get better.
Here's to reclaiming trust in our own systems of healing!
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