Thursday, July 2, 2015

Natural vs Unnatural

Through the years I've tried a lot of different health treatments. And I've talked to a lot of people who've tried things I didn't.

For every recommended treatment there's always a "success" story - "I did this treatment and now I'm totally well!" For almost every treatment there's usually more than one "horror" story as well - "I tried that treatment and it almost killed me!"

The reality is that each body is different. Each health situation is different. Each person has different factors that led to their health problems. So each person needs different things to help them regain their health. This is important to remember when assessing whether a recommended treatment will be good for you or not.

However, I've observed through the years that most health treatments can be divided into two categories:

- Natural to the body
- Unnatural to the body

This applies to any form of health treatment, whether mainstream medical, alternative or wholistic.

By "natural to the body" I mean treatments that the body can understand, can receive without stress, are compatible with how the body functions, etc. 

By "unnatural to the body" I mean treatments that the body sees as foreign, invasive, stressful, not compatible with how the body functions, etc.

Some examples:

Natural to the body - massage, reflexology, deep breathing, stretching, exercise, sunlight, grounding, foot baths/detox baths, etc.

Now obviously even with these "natural" things, we need to be wise...too much sun or exercise is not good; massage and reflexology need to be done within the individual's tolerance level, etc. But in essence, these things are natural for the body.

Things like herbs and essential oils I would consider natural to the body, however with caution because they are quite potent. Be sure they are used appropriately and with the guidance of a professional. 

Some things like juicing and supplements aren't strictly natural to the body, since we have to produce them. But again, when used with wisdom and guidance, I think they can be good tools. 

Things like sauna and coffee enemas may sound natural, but they can still put stress on the body. I always advise caution with things like this. For some people they are a wonderful help, but for others they can be harmful.

Unnatural to the body - IV's, injections, medications, surgeries, electro-therapy, etc.

Please don't misunderstand me here - I am not saying you should never use these kinds of treatments. I am only saying that they are not "natural to the body." I realize that these things are life-saving in many instances, and for that I'm grateful! The point is that when you are evaluating various treatment options, it's helpful to recognize whether the treatment is something natural to the body or unnatural.

Some treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic are considered "alternative" today, but I would categorize them as more unnatural to the body than natural. But again, they do help some people. I think it depends a lot on the specific practicioner whether these treatments are helpful or harmful for people. Personally, I recommend physical therapy, which I think is much more natural to the body (as long as you have a good therapist who doesn't push your body past what it needs).

The point of all this is to help you in evaluating what kinds of treatments are best for you.

A treatment that is natural to the body is not likely to do harm (unless used unwisely or in excess, as noted above). So whether it is very helpful for you or only a little helpful, there is less risk involved in trying these kinds of things. 

A treatment that is unnatural to the body will cause stress in some way. The potential for harm is also much greater. So the question is, will the benefit outweigh the risk and the negative effect of the stress it causes?

In my own experience, I began with many "unnatural to the body" treatments. At one point I even did a treatment where my blood was removed and run through a machine and then put back in my body. (It didn't actually work because my blood clotted so severely, so I basically just lost a lot of blood.) Looking back I can't believe some of the things I tried, simply out of desperation. But eventually I learned how to better evaluate the options and make better decisions for my health. I hope what I've learned is helpful for you as well. =)

P.S. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this post. Do you agree with this theory? Do you have any wisdom to add? Do you have questions about specific treatment methods and which category they fall in? Please let me know in the comments. =)

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