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Why Western Medicine Sucks & You Should Be Your Own Doctor

I’m on vacation this week! Woot! I really needed a getaway and heard that Tree of Life (Dr. Gabriel Cousens retreat center) had a Thanksgiving day celebration. “It’s only a 15 hour drive” I thought to myself. I can handle that. Since I’m passing through El Paso and met the lovely Lisa from the Vegetarian Society of El Paso at the Chili Cook-off, she helped me set up a book signing here. So I’m here in El Paso, staying with my friend’s parents who just went vegan a week or so ago, relaxing and such. I head to Patagonia, Arizona tomorrow for three days of bliss and relaxation. So I wasn’t going to post anything this week (except a guest recipe post).

Until this happened:

As my friend’s dad and I were sharing some Coconut Bliss Granola we chatted about his high cholesterol, his travels to other countries where he lost weight even though he ate more, and how he wasn’t on any medication. He told me how he went to the doctor for a routine check-up and they were shocked that he wasn’t on ANY medication. The doctor was literally taken a back and didn’t believe him. It has become the norm for anyone over the age of 40 to be on at least one if not 10 different medications. I’m reminded of another friend who recently told me her father was on fifteen (yes 15) medications.

How did the United States become such a place where it’s the norm that everyone be on medication?? It’s not like this in other parts of the world. Since I am not in western medicine circles and haven’t had many chances to sit over tea and granola with people of an older generation, our conversation was enlightening. He informed me that doctors have to prescribe medications because they can get sued by their patients if something happens to them. If a patient has complications due to their high cholesterol, and the doctor didn’t give them a pill for said high cholesterol a jury will side with the patient saying the doctor was negligent. If the doctor told him or her to eat less foods that are high in cholesterol, change their diet, get exercise and be less sedentary alone without a prescription the doctor is liable for that patient’s health. WHAT???

So not only are doctors getting kick-backs from the pharmaceutical companies for prescribing meds they are doing so to protect their asses. They will hand you a sheet that tells you what kinds of foods to eat to help you reduce your cholesterol as well as prescribe a pill that will help lower it. Guess who created that list? Probably a mix of the FDA, USDA, and AMA; all organizations that are in the pockets of big business and have no real interest in your health. This list will include foods like meat and dairy, which are high in cholesterol and contribute to your problem. How many of you have been to a doctor that suggested a mostly or all plant-based diet to you to lower cholesterol?

Doctors are not responsible for anyone’s health and wellbeing. YOU are responsible for your health. No doctor can fix your health issues and it’s not really their responsibility. Sure they can give you a pill that will be a band-aid to your symptoms, never truly fixing your ailment or disease. If you want to actually cure yourself of anything you must change your diet and lifestyle. Pills keep symptoms at bay, maybe make your life a little more comfortable, but in the long run, they cause more harm than good (in many instances, not all medication is “bad”).

It’s never too late to attempt a healthier life with good diet and exercise. My dad at the age of 65 is living proof that changing one’s diet can transform your health, literally curing what ails you, helping you get off your medications. So why aren’t more people taking charge of their health? There doesn’t seem to be one answer, but there is hope for us. The younger generations will rise up, make change, educate others, share their knowledge. I feel like we are on the brink of something big. A tipping point is nearing. Even though the state of our country saddens me I can’t get depressed. I must use this as fuel to help others, to set a good example, to live my truth, to be the change.

Be the change.

(Granted western medicine does have purpose for fixing broken bones and such. I’m not saying it’s totally worthless.)

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  1. Preach on, sista! I highly agree with your opinions. It's the same thing in Canada. And it's the very reason I am so resistant to go on any medications that are prescribed by my doctor without digging further and figuring out the root cause of the health issue. I think the majority of health issues in North America can be treated with a simple change in lifestyle and eating habits. It maddens me that we have been brainwashed into believing medication is the only answer.

    1. I figured it must be the same way there too. It is maddening! Thankfully our friends and family can be touched by our light and we will continue to fight this brainwashing. Hugs!

  2. I work in a medical office. Many of our patients are on 10+ medications. That's very common. And I believe most of the conditions that are being treated are brought on or worsened by the standard American diet and lifestyle. From what I've observed, often, a patient is given a time to try out lifestyle changes to reduce the beginning disease process of high cholesterol, diabetes or hypertension without medications. Most of the time, the patient doesn't stick with changes and comes back wanting a pill. Every pill has side effects and there is often a domino effect where the side effects need another pill to take care of them, and so on, and so on. This isn't just in older folks, either. We see thirty-somethings with metabolic syndrome (the triple threat of high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes.) I can also tell you that doctors formal education doesn't adequately cover nutrition or natural healing. And much of the continuing education information is rapidly changing and often comes from the drug companies standpoints. Kickbacks and perks are less of an issue now, however, which is why we see so much advertising for drugs, they are educating the public to ask for the new miracle medications. We would do well to remember that education is often with a bent or an agenda. I do believe most doctors do want to help people. The money is just not that great when you factor in the cost of the lives they lead, on call 24/7 much of the time, the stress, the toll on family life, the expenses of liability insurance, overhead, and staff. 

    We are responsible for our own lives. In all areas. I answer for what I say and do at work, in my relationships, and my finances. We need to remember that health is something within our control, too. Not 100% but far more that what we think.

    On a personal note. My husband is on three medications for Rheumatoid Arthritis. He had worsened to the point they began discussing adding injectibles to his medication cocktail (He was on 5 meds). At that point it scared me enough that we rethought our lives. We stopped the Standard American Diet, went to organic, local and whole food. His disease responded. Didn't go away but became more tolerable and he avoided the injectibles and was able to get rid of two of his medications. In April we went Whole Foods/Plant Based (Vegan) and his body has responded further. He is still on the three meds, but his hands look almost normal and his flareups are few and far between. I believe he will go into remission and be able to come off of those meds.

    1. Thanks for sharing Kelly! It’s sad that people aren’t willing to change their diets, especially when WE know it’s so easy and satisfying to do so.

      Have you checked out a macrobiotic diet for his arthritis? There’s also inflammation elimination diets out there that use some of the macrobiotic principles in reducing arthritis. Congrats on going whole food vegan! I have a feeling over time, reducing nightshades, sugar, alcohol and other acidic foods he can get even better! I do consulting if you need guidance for his condition or can put you in touch with a macrobiotic counselor that can go more in depth with him.

  3. LOVE your blog and completely agree that we have an over-medicated North American population. It is really quite sad. However, what about conditions like bipolar? I do not think this is something veganism and working out can heal. Please enlighten me if I am incorrect, but I have vegan friends who have trouble accepting that their bipolar meds help them and prevent them from feeling suicidal. They want to be off of their meds. I can understand this feeling, but I think its a dangerous idea.


    Also- what do we women do about contraception? I take the pill and love not getting pregnant, but do wrestle with forking out a ton of money for it, some side effects, and hate supporting Big Pharma. Am I the only one who struggles with this?

    1. Hi! I personally believe that food is all powerful and healing for most conditions, especially mental/psychological. When a healing food plan is mixed with therapy, meditation, other healing modalities I think anything is possible and I’ve seen it. But most people are not willing to give up toxic foods, like sugar, alcohol etc and eat a clean diet and do the serious work that would be needed. It’s much easier to take a pill.

      Personally for me I do not take birth control and would never take it. It is horrible for a woman’s body, though I think there are some methods that do not cause such wreckage nowadays (like the copper wire thing?) I’m all for natural methods though that takes a lot of work as well. I’m sort of a purist and I’m willing to do the extra work needed to not deal with those side effects. But you gotta do what’s right for you!

  4. I'm a scientific reviewer for the FDA, and think that it's very unfair to say we are corrupt and don't care about patient safety or health. 

  5. The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. ~

    Thomas A. Edison

    I don’t think I can put my finger exactly on when remission occurred, because from that moment on, I left Western medicine and never looked back. I practiced every day for ten to twelve hours a day – spiritual studies, meditation, pranayama, yoga postures, Ayurvedic studies, deep, deep, powerful cleansings and fasting.

    Brad Willis

    The problem with the western medical system today, is that it treats our body like a common machine, when in fact it is so much more. They might as well call our doctors body mechanics. “Hmmm, let me look under the hood here, yep, looks like I need to replace your liver and heart. Your pancreas is going to need some more insulin oil and your exhaust system is going to have to have an overhaul. Let me prescribe you a couple hundred quick fix pills, and take your first born and house as payment. If your body vehicle turns out to be totaled, would you like to sell the parts to our shop? Will give you twenty dollars off your one hundred million dollar bill.”

    It is a system that causes mass frustration. It ignores the entire realm of spirituality, and a lot of common sense.

    My experiences with doctors have not always been the best. They look at my chart, and then prescribe pills, with very minimal communication. If my cholesterol was high, it was a quick fix pill, not a discussion on exercise or better eating. If I go to the doctor for depression, again, a quick pill to take care of the anxiety. No discussion on other factors that might be going on. My body is treated like a car, nothing more, just a machine that will inevitably wear out and die. No wonder people are feeling terrible, if that is what they believe they are.

    It is a mystery to me, how the western medical society became what it is. Hospitals have turned into giant body shops, where people go in, get their repairs, and then go out. They don’t focus on prevention, or what truly caused the disease in the first place.

    There is a huge variety of amazing techniques that have existed for thousands of years, and have healed millions of people, and it is not being utilized in the United States. For example, the one thing that has helped me more than any pill is meditation. And I have never been prescribed meditation.

    My point is, western medicine ignores the spiritual side of us, which is a real thing. Being (spirituality) is not just an imaginary thing that makes us feel better. It is the life energy that sustains us, connects us with the universe. And if the flow of energy in our body is broken, because of worry, or fear, or chronic anxiety, then health problems will ensue.

    There are many ways to free up the energy in our body. It is unfortunate though, that many people do not understand this part of existence, and how important it is.

    Things are beginning to change though. For example, I have heard that some doctors are actually beginning to subscribe meditation to their patients, just because of the amazing empirical evidence of how much it helps the body. Meditation has proven better in lowering blood pressure than medications.

    My point is, we must take it upon ourselves to educate ourselves on being. We must understand that doctors are not gods, and that they are following a very narrow theoretical approach to medicine, and healing. We must understand that the western medical society is influenced hugely by the pharmaceutical corporations, and lawyers. With that in mind, we must understand, their diagnosis, and treatment may not be the best. It is important to keep an open mind. Bring an advocate with you when you get checked out, and ask plenty of questions. Do research into other forms of treatment, look at all the things in your life, from your diet, your environment, too your personal relationships. You must trust in yourself, and understand that you know what is best for you. You are an expert on yourself, and must learn to trust your body and yourself.

    I enjoyed reading your post, and I absolutely believe that Western medicine is in the hands of big business.

  6. So I’ve encountered a dead end with the VA. Basically they have told me there’s nothing they can do for me. I have depression and anxiety problems, very few foods I am able to tolerate, and a much longer list of foods that I cannot tolerate. Even foods like blueberries and avocados, things that would be great nutrition for my body, will send my anxiety into overdrive. Can anyone on here help me? I can’t afford to go to a naturopathic doctor and medical doctors clearly aren’t going to do anything for me but offer me pills and shots. If anyone here has ANY advice, I’ll gladly read it, consider it, and read/search it out.

  7. Aaron, try the scd diet. You can buy the book on Amazon. I had very severe Crohn’s, and it’s put it into remission. There’s certain steps you have to take for it to work, that aren’t detailed very well in the book, but there’s several websites and support forums that will help. Give it a try.

  8. Also for the anxiety, start taking adaptogens like maca root powder. It will help your body adapt to stress, and lower cortisol levels. Start taking large amounts of vitamin c as well. Just make sure it’s plant based, and not ascorbic acid. I take 3000-4000 mgs a day. This also lowers cortisol.

  9. I agree with much of what you said, but you should be aware that we alt medicine types have known for years (and now even the slow learning western med docs finally figured out) that eating low cholesterol foods doesn’t effect cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a function of arterial health. Some people find relief if they also coincidentally happened to be allergic to the foods they cut out, but eating foods with high or low cholesterol doesn’t change your cholesterol levels any more than eating apples will make you crunchy and sweet. It’s an old myth that must die, and was perpetrated by western medical practitioners long after the rest of the sane world figured it out. Don’t buy into their ignorance.

  10. I also agree that changing your diet and lifestyle will help improve your health and well-being. In addition to that, if you can increase circulation, decrease inflammation, and boost your immune system, your body will be readjusted and reactivated the new healthy cells to fight back chronic illnesses. With the help from gentle acupuncture, you can expect to get the same mechanism and embrace your lifelong wellness.

    Trang Pham, DACM, L.A.c

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