The long journey

I can only say that my life has truly been changed through my diseases. I can say in large part it had to doing with going through the experience and coming out if not at least healthy but also happy. I feel like a totally different person, eager to learn, to speak, to interact with others about life. Yeah it may seem as if I act seriously too often, but its only because so much has happened. Because I’ve been so greatly helped it only seems right to try and tell other people about what I’ve been through and what I’ve experienced. Its all pretty new to me but I feel eager to learn. I guess this passion comes from the personal connection to my life. The opportunity has risen for me and I have to take it.

But I feel a big barrier to doing this. If anything seems out of the ordinary its just not to be looked at and considered automatically fake. They tell you to prove your claims – well how would I start (wheres the money, the research, the resources supposed to come from)? I can see the skeptical point of view because I’ve been there. However when it comes to your life being at threat, the comfort of statistics is useless. The conventional procedure may have a 70& ‘success’ rate with 30% death, but that statistic isn’t for an individual. If you happen to be in that category then people will just say its just ‘bad luck’. I don’t think its stupid, irrational, ignorant to try alternative medicine. I’ve tried the conventional stuff. Every new medicine (the drugs before they are tested) have just as much uncertainty as any other unproven medicine. They people who try the new theorized/hypothesized methods are just as liable to failure as anyone who does anything else. I don’t think I’m an uninformed individual who is starting to turn to ‘stories’ instead of evidence. Sometimes you have to believe what you can’t see (how do you know its not there) and sometimes you can’t believe what you do see. I feel that all the experts (in my experience listening to lectures, conferences, meetings, etc) all know they don’t know everything and are humble at heart. But online, I think its way to easy to ignore alternative approaches and dismiss what is said as emotional stories. Everyone should take a step back and really think about the conventional approach to health we are taking today. Maybe we might realize the fundamental problems with the approach and the amount of resources that are there but aren’t in the position to support research in alternative methods.

Before everyone runs me over saying that I’m turning a story into scientific data/conclusions, that anecdotes = truth, I’m not claiming that. I’m not denying what the current medical system has done and am not denying that it has usefulness. If i did already then I didn’t mean to say that. 1 case study, 1 example, 1 story sure doesn’t mean it will work for everyone, that its truth, that it means that there’s no argument. However, the research of everyone in the world, the agreement of experts, and thousands of studies still can’t guarantee those things either. Your depending all upon statistics, and the averages and data points of test subjects. The conventional medicine can fail for that same individual as well. What I’m trying to argue for is that this anecdote is ‘evidence’ for truth/correlation that may lead to better understanding health and medicine.

The big problem isn’t that people are being tricked into being fakery, people turning to alternative medicine because of ancedotes of success, people talking about the misincentives of corportaions, doctors, etc. The problem is that the people who are in the industry aren’t doing enough research about it. It may seem true that a lot of the alternative approaches would bring a lot less money in (they don’t cost a lot).

It’s probably going to be a long ride to get to the state we would like to be in. I would certainty like to take part in it.

Update: I’l probably write a longer post about what I think to be reasons for the barriers to alternative forms of medicine. A lot of it will be purely conceptual, experienced based, and full of my own assumptions but hey I want to speak  what I’ve been thinking.

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One thought on “The long journey

  1. I totally empathize with this post. As a person who has actually benefitted from Alternative medicine, I completely agre.

    I also want to leave the account of my experience because it throws some light into why Alternative medicine is treated with suspicion.

    I suffered about 3 years ago with what was diagnosed as wet degenerative macular degeneration in one eye – the vision was pretty bad and I could read only first few letters on the chart.

    The only conventional treatment available are Lucentis shots which has to be taken with regular frequency of around 3 months. The consequences of not taking the treatment include partial or complete blindness.

    Lucentis is $1000 for each shot. There used to be a cheaper drug called Avastin only $200 per shot which was used as an anti cancer drug, but can be applied to this disease as well. The company manufacturing Lucentis acquired Avastin and got its use banned for this treatment. Some doctors still use Avastin to treat this disease especially in the third world from where I belong.

    Moreover, the doctors can not guarantee any improvement in the vision after the administration. The vision would most likely not deteriorate any further. Luckily I found someone marketing Acupuncture to treat the disease. I decided to give it a shot. The acupuncturist did admit that the success rate was only about 30%. However, I decided to go for it nevertheless since there was a chance of restoration of vision. It worked for me and I got better spending much less than conventional treatment, without any risk of severe side-effects.

    The improvement in vision was better than in most cases with conventional treatment, it was 20/20 at the end of the treatment. Even the conventional opthalmologists were surprised to see the results. He advised me to go back to the Retina Specialist and show her the results. However, I decided not to do that since I did not want to pay her a fee to tell her that I had gotten better.

    I think the conventional doctors believe that alternative medicines do not work, because the only patients, who tried alternative medicine and then go back to them are probably ones whom alternative medicine did not help. Hence the belief.

    Again this is a personal experience and I am willing to share details in case someone needs them. Write to me at gupta.chandan@gmail.com

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