Before returning to his slumber, the Rajah of the famous Hindi parable said, “Perhaps if you put the parts together you will see the truth”. Each of the six blind men, having known only small ideas of what parts of an elephant look like, argued with each other over the correct depiction of the mighty creature. One man believes the trunk is a snake, another finds the tail to be a rope, and another thinks the leg is a giant cow. The Rajah tells them that they are all none the wiser and that, perhaps, if they put their ideas together, they will find out what an elephant really looks like.
Indeed, the story of the Blind Man and the Elephant exemplifies the debate on the most effective approach to medicine today. Modern medicine is nothing without technology, laboratories, and other elaborate devices that amount to its empire. Even still, alternative medicine often pales in comparison during medical emergencies and fast-acting relief.
Instead of arguing over which approach is best, we need to come together and allow each method’s strengths to work their magic so that the total approach – mind, body, and spirit – can be adopted from a scientific lens. The merging of modern and natural medicine is a seamless integration.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body.
Aromatherapy, Reiki, acupuncture — any ancient tradition — will do wonders for, at the very least, our relaxation levels, and, on a good day, possibly accent our medications for further benefit. Yoga, as one example, may work hand-in-hand with our SSRIs to fight depression, and CBD oil partners well with anxiety medications.
Really, it’s no wonder that integrative care hospitals are becoming so popular. Whatever route you choose to take, be mindful of the blind men who mistake the elephant for the cow. Although there is no one size fits all approach to wellness, the blend of Eastern healing traditions with Western medicine is a match made in heaven.