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Blending Traditional And Alternative Approaches To Health – Lessons From A Health Journey

Written by: Mindy Schrager, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Mindy Schrager

Many options are available to us as we traverse the path of well-being and health on the physical, mental, and emotional levels. How do you approach finding the best pathway forward for yourself?

Serious woman in sportswear sitting on a exercise mat and stretching arms.

My experience, and that which I’ve seen with others, would indicate that no one approach works for everyone. Some people only work with traditional medical approaches, others stick to an alternative path. My own preferred option is to blend them.

I say this after having experienced a series of “life-interrupting” health challenges, which led me to explore over 100 different alternative approaches. Some of them were effective and others were not a fit. My journey down this blended path started because of initial encounters with a medical doctor saying – “you have to have this surgery done right away,” even before examining me. Others said, “You will have this condition forever,” with no acceptable resolution, and still others told me my ongoing experience was normal and natural.

By going beyond this feedback and working with alternative practitioners to get to the root cause of these situations, as well as doing more in-depth research on my own, I discovered:

  1. The surgical approach I needed right away was unnecessary.

  2. The condition I would always have went away after working to address the underlying cause.

  3. The emotional impact of the medically “normal and natural condition” was too big a price to pay, especially when discovering an approach that eliminated future occurrences of the condition.

At the same time, traditional medicine with a good doctor is amazing for specific diagnostic tests, conditions outside of the expertise of alternative practitioners, and situations requiring a prescription. Highlighting this point were the words of an alternative practitioner who said to me after I received a diagnosis of asthma – “Be thankful for the medication until the day you no longer need it.”

What strategies do you use to support yourself in finding your own blend of alternative and traditional medicine for the best outcomes?

1. Get a 2nd opinion – if something a doctor tells you doesn’t ring true, get a second or even third opinion. The same is true when you receive a diagnosis you feel is inaccurate or you hear the doctors saying there is nothing wrong with you (even when you know deep down something is off). I’d recommend the same with alternative practitioners. I’ve had more than one experience of two practitioners providing contradictory or vastly different recommendations.

Do you always believe the first opinion you receive or ask for input from a variety of sources?

2. Trust your intuition – You know you better than anyone else. Certainly, there are times when we are unable to objectively self-observe, but we live with ourselves 24/7 and have insights others don’t. I recently had an experience where a test result didn’t ring true (several other people didn’t believe the result either). What struck me the most was the practitioner suggesting she knew what I was doing in my daily life, even though she had no way of knowing.

Do you listen to yourself, or do the opinions of others carry more weight?

3. Step out of hopelessness – There is a point at which hope may be lost, but until that time, focus on what you can do. When a practitioner said there was nothing I could do, or I would have to live with the condition forever, I first felt a sense of hopelessness. But whether it was seeing others reverse so-called forever conditions, the results I saw with alternative approaches, or having a sense of knowing there was something I could do, I opted to take action.

When have you experienced a sense of hopelessness with a health condition, and what have you done to move beyond it?

4. Research options – I remember when a medical procedure was recommended, and a simple Google search came up with “victim’s network” as the first item. That was a clue for me to stay as far away from it as possible. As new treatments are discovered in both the traditional and alternative medical fields, our options evolve. Sometimes, the options available merge the two worlds, as I’ve found recently. An alternative practitioner suggested I see a medical doctor, and a medical doctor recommended something that an alternative practitioner already had.

What are your sources for researching options for your health? 

5. Take ownership – While practitioners and doctors can treat us, we need to take ownership for pursuing the approaches and establishing healthy habits for ourselves. Cutting out sugar, building an exercise routine, or changing your diet are all within your control. Sometimes, test results lead someone to say – “enough is enough” – and after changing their diet or eliminating an unhealthy habit, the condition is no more.

When you know you can do something to positively impact your health, do you own it or defer it to another day?

6. Consider the emotional causes – There are numerous examples of stress leading to illness, emotional patterns within our families causing disease, and phrases such as she worried herself sick. Each highlights that emotions can be a cause of a medical situation. In my experience, we need to investigate emotional patterns connected to all areas of our lives, but the body/mind connection is especially important.

When you have a physical condition, do you only address it from that point of view, or do you look at other causes, such as mindset and emotions?

The strategies mentioned here are steps to finding the pathway for your preferred approach to health. Whichever approach or approaches you opt for, remember even with all the training medical and alternative practitioners receive, they live through their own filters of the world – not your world.

If you find it challenging to listen to your intuition, resist taking ownership of actions steps, or could use a dose of emotional education, please get in touch with me for a coaching conversation to design your transformational pathway.

© 2024, Systems of Change, LLC

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Mindy Schrager Brainz Magazine

Mindy Schrager, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Mindy Schrager is an ICF PCC credentialed coach, Systemic Facilitator, Aura-Soma practitioner and founder of Systems of Change, LLC. Mindy’s focus on and passion for transformational work is built on years of experience creating strong, well-balanced teams, combined with a powerful personal discovery journey. Her experience and training have been focused on creating positive change in life and business experiences working with individuals and groups. Mindy loves to shine a light on hidden patterns and the root cause of dysfunction and then help create new pathways to growth.



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