On Alternative Medicine: Health is a Long-Term Game
One of the big things I’ve really focused on as I’ve traveled the world for the past three years (almost!) is health. Specifically alternative medicine.
I tried everything from ancient Indian medicine at an Ayurveda Resort in Kerala to fasting at a Tao Resort in Thailand to meditating like a monk in Leh, Ladakh for 10 days to more casual things like getting Thai massages in Thailand or floating in a sensory deprivation tank or acupuncture.
I’ve also changed my diet to mostly vegan - because a healer lady told me to do it. I don’t drink caffeine or alcohol or take any Western medicine if I can help it. I haven’t taken pain killers in probably a year - instead, I use meditation techniques I learned to deal with the pain, and herbal tea. And I changed my daily ritual to include Eastern health habits, such as using the neti pot and a tongue scraper.
Recently, a skin problem that I’ve had for over 3 years just went away. Nothing horrible, but it was enough to really annoy and upset me.
When I first encountered this problem, my first step was to go to beauty professionals and dermatologists in the U.S. And of course, they gave me “quick-fix” solutions - creams (some with steroids in them) and treatment options with tons of side-effects and different levels of severity (I’m pretty sure one option was to remove my pores!).
Some of the creams worked right away, but eventually they irritated my skin more than they helped, so I stopped using them. I also didn’t want to be using an expensive cream for my entire life as the solution. And some treatments I refused because I wanted to keep my pores… One beauty professional told me how her friend got that pore-removal treatment and all his hair fell out!
The thing is, in the West, we are trained for quick-fixes. There is a pill for everything! With horrible side-effects, but that’s in the long-term… And there will be a pill for that too once you get there! In the short-term, your problem goes away right away and you can go back to work.
But one thing I learned from experimenting with Eastern medicine over the past few years, and finding the right natural balance based on everything I learned that works for my body is that it is actually the opposite. You have to play the long-game with your health. In the short-term, your problem is just an indication that you need to change your life in some way - eat healthier, exercise, reduce stress, etc. At the time when my skin problem emerged, I was the unhealthiest I’ve ever been.
As I mentioned, my problem went away after THREE YEARS!!! That’s an intolerable standard by Western Medicine. But I did it all on my own by natural means with no side-effects, and I know that this means that my body is healthy overall - in many other areas - as a result. After all, another unrelated “more normal” problem I had just magically went away after a year!
But I’m not perfect and I still have to maintain everything I’m doing for the long-term. Just because my problems are going away, doesn’t mean I can now stop and eat pizza and french fries. If I do that, my problems will simply come back. I learned what happens to my body when I’m unhealthy, and I don’t want to return there.
Far from being a short-term fix, health is a lifestyle. And that’s exactly how Eastern Medicine treats it. After traveling the world, that’s how I now treat it.