Many people today have found themselves awash in too much information. Nowhere has that become more apparent than in the medical community. The overabundance of conflicting information has led to an 'age of anxiety.' From patients who bring online research to their doctor appointments to medical staff who heavily rely on tests, our western medical understanding has encountered new challenges. The good news is that the same access to information has supplied solutions.
Eastern medicine has been providing answers to some problems which Western medicine has been experiencing. Eastern medical practices seek a holistic understanding of the underlying causes of health issues. Western medicine is better suited to surgical and other immediate treatment applications which save many lives. While both Eastern and Western medicine have their place, medical professionals and patients must maintain an open mind to the range of treatments available. There has been a rise in supplements, fitness, alternative health practices, and even a shift in beauty products.
Supplements (and other similar health products) include vitamins, minerals, live cultures, and some metals. Their purpose is to offset issues that arise from the western diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and too many chemical health products. Using them without real understanding is a concern.
Fitness is available for more people with different physical needs. We have experienced growth in aerobics, yoga, pilates, and meditation. These allow people to adapt exercises to their physical needs, reduce injury, accommodate their lifestyles, and treat stress. Fads for muscle building, with the potential for supplement abuse, can be one consequence.
Alternative Health Practices
From acupuncture to herbs, new treatments have entered into our culture. Using reliable methods helps various health problems, reduces the physical effects of mental stress, and cleanses the body of toxins. Unfortunately, many people self-medicate without knowledge of the possible consequences of herbs they vaguely understand. One result is that surgeons must double check every health practice of their patients or risk complications.
Beauty product producers have become more responsible by reducing dangerous chemicals that used to be common. Perception of beauty now includes signs of a healthy body rather than harmful images that damage well-being. Beauty is no longer just in the eye of the beholder, and it is in the charts of the doctor.
With this much information available, it's important to know that while you can always integrate Western and Eastern medicine together (it doesn't have to be mutually exclusive), carefully combining them is better than choosing one over the other. Nothing replaces a good patient-doctor relationship.