Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back to School and a Bit of Ranting

Since delving into the natural health/traditional foods/holistic wellness thing, I've read about some very interesting ways that supposedly boost health and immunity. Suggestions like drinking your morning pee for vitality ( and ingesting a legless spider to fix a fever, its no wonder "doctorless" health care has a bad name. Recommendations like these are NOT part of holistic healing yet when I mention to people that lavender can fix a headache or that their child's allergy symptoms can be alleviated with stinging nettles, they look at me like I'm some devil woman witch doctor who just asked them to swallow a limbless arachnid.Oh no. They say. We'll just go to the doctor.
I was the same way.Though I didn't rush my kids to the pediatrician for every little thing, I found myself there more often than I'd like. When I did choose to take them, I would wait FOREVER in the office and leave with instructions for rest and a prescription. Usually, I wouldn't even fill the prescription and with time and care, my kids were back to normal in a few more days. I began to ask myself why. Why was I wasting my time?  Wasting my money. If all an MD could do was pretty much what I'd already been doing at home, than why go through the process?

I am NOT knocking traditional medicine. When my then 19 month old's little chest was shallow and heaving, an xray showed double pneumonia. Oxygen and steroids got him breathing again. When my father's bladder infection turned out to be cancer, surgical intervention saved his life. I am forever appreciative and grateful that these interventions are available to help patients survive maladies that they might not otherwise endure. But in an overburdened health care system, it makes so much sense to learn how to treat ourselves and more importantly, how to stay well in the first place. Western medicine is great for "fixing" but not so great for maintenence.

So do I take my family to the doctor? Of course I do. But 90% of the time, whatever is ailing us can be treated at home, by me.  My general "rule" is if they aren't improving in five days time, I will began to consider calling in professional assistance, usually in the form of our family naturopath. I'm still learning of course, but I'm pretty confident in my abilities to treat fevers, coughs, colds, stomach distress, headaches and administer general first aid.  However, to further my knowledge on the subject I'm headed back to school....sort of. As a belated birthday gift, my husband has paid the tuition and enrolled me in a natural wellness course through the Vintage Remedies School of Natural Health. The course is for home use and covers the essentials of herbalism, aromatherapy, nutrition, natural health philosophy, natural preparations and prevention with an emphasis on practical, effective techniques.

I am BEYOND excited. The textbooks should be here sometime next week. It so empowering to know that I can care for my family on a whole different level. Plus, I'm a huge nerd and look forward to homework and testing :)

Don't forget to enter my giveaway! The winner will be announced Friday, April 22nd!



  1. I work for a big pediatric practice and I am always surprised that parents want to bring their kids in so soon after symptoms start. Many times waiting and symptomatic treatment is all they need. I do understand though the financial pressure that many of our working parents face. They literally cannot afford to miss work and just want something done quickly. They are often frustrated because our docs won't dole out antibiotics just to make parents happy. It's a tough one. I applaud you for everything you do!!! (Miss you too!) - Brenda

  2. I am entering, again! I am entering, again! I am entering, again!!! You get that nerdiness from me!

  3. I feel exactly as you do. As a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner I see so many people on a daily basis that do not need to be seen by me or a physician - at all! I can't get over the number of people coming in with a cough or runny nose for 3-4 days requesting antibiotics - or worse antibiotics for their children. It truly worries me! I am a huge supporter of people being advocates for their own health and taking their health into their own hands.