This chapter speaks about consumerism and complementary and alternative healthcare. First it goes into detail about our responsibility for our own health. This includes self care practices like getting routine check-ups, performing self breast exams, learning first aid, and being able to check blood pressure and temperature. These simple tasks and help diagnose from home, instead of going to the doctor for acute care. We should seek help when we have a serious injury, chest pains, trauma to the head or spine, high fever over 103 degrees, signs of stroke, unexplained bleeding, persistent vomiting or blue-colored lips / nail beds to name a few. In some instances doctors will provide a placebo which will improve health without active ingredients. When choosing a healthcare provider there are different questions to ask yourself. These may include understanding their training background, what they specialize in, and what treatments do they provide. One type is Allopathic medicine, a traditional Western practice. They use evidence-based medicine to decide on options for treating illness. Primary care Practitioners (PCP), would be the type you see how routine ailments or general medical advice. Osteopaths are GP similar to MD’s that specialize in skeletal and muscular health. Ophthalmologist perform surgery on the eyes, and optometrists evaluate visual issues. There are also Nurse practitioners or NPs with advanced nurse training to prescribe medicine; similarly Physician Assistants also can write prescriptions but with supervision. Prescriptions are given to treat ailments, and one should beware of buying them off the internet. Many of the websites used to fill prescriptions selling counterfeit drugs. Over the counter drugs do not need a doctor’s prescription.One can get medicine to help relieve symptoms of the common cold to a mild headache. There are also complementary and alternative medicine practices that are used in place of conventional medicine. People who pick these are often educated women that have pain conditions, gastrointestinal disorders or sleeping problems. These holistic approaches are things like natural herbs or vitamins, deep breathing, meditation, chiropractic, massage, yoga, or diet therapy. Traditional Chinese medicine is an alternative medicine that uses acupuncture. Ayurveda focuses on balancing the body through diet, massage, and yoga to name a few. Similarly, manipulative body based practices like Chiropractic medicine focuses on the spine and alignment issues. Massage therapy can help remove knots in muscles and improve flexibility. Herbal remedies and supplements benefit immunity, digestion, circulatory health, and can even reduce stress. Research shows that common herbs like echinacea, flaxseed, ginko, ginseng, and green tea can improve health. Supplements like coenzyme Q10 can improve heart functioning. Vitamin E can reduce risk of heart disease. Melatonin can regulate circadian rhythms and treat insomnia. These are not typically covered by health insurance. In the US there is typically a premiums people have to pay for insurance; these include deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance. Medicare covers Americans 65 years or older and the permanently disabled. They place limits on provider reimbursements. Medicaid is a welfare program that helps about 62 million people that are low income. Although these are available people are still facing issues having access to health care due to cost of care and insurance. Healthcare is a human right; everyone should be able to have access to medical care because it is not a commodity.
I can relate to this chapter because I personally choose to use complementary and alternative forms of medicines. I have never been one to want to take medicine or go to the doctor and prefer to take care of my digestive health through nutrition and also herbs and supplements. I have been adding flax-seed and chia seeds to my diet as a way to get Omega 3 vitamins. I also take a multivitamin, calcium, fish oil, super B complex, biotin, and iron to ensure I am getting vitamins that I am not through diet. When taking these I feel physical benefits. Meditation, breathing, and yoga practices help with reducing stress. They are also beneficial to circulation and digestion. These are important because I am lactose intolerant and anemic so instead of going to the doctor these forms of self-care are something I can perform from home. This chapter also gave risks for herbal supplements I was not previously aware of; I found it interesting because I had been putting off going to the doctor and I am prone to kidney infections. I had given in and they put me on antibiotics that had not been seeming to work as quickly as the NP had said – which after reading about flax-seed slowing down medicine absorption I am curious if that would be the reason why. Due to being sick and bedridden I have not practiced yoga as much as I have wanted. I try to stretch when I wake up or before bed to reduce the aches I am feeling. Along with the methods they noted for self-care in this chapter I also think that listening to your body and resting is important as well. So for the last week that is my plan.
As for my semester goals I feel like I could have pushed myself to put in more effort and learn poses that are out of my comfort zone. I think that after learning more about personal goals and how my body is responding I would have chosen to write my goals differently. I still believe that patience, balance and consistency have helped through the semester. In the future I plan on utilizing peer knowledge to help with my practice rather than trying to guide myself alone. I am excited to have more time to focus on myself this summer and work on personal goals then as well.