One of my current reads, "Whole Health: A Holistic Approach To Healing For the 21st Century" by Mark Mincolla, Ph.D, elaborates on "Whole Health." Mincolla details successful, evidence-based research that his holistic techniques mixed with alternative medicine are safe and effective; witnessing dramatically reduced symptoms in patients who present symptoms of cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, lupus, etc.  Published in 2013, this read also highlights statistical evidence that traditional medical practice driven by antibiotics, prescriptions, and financial gain have more dangerous risks than natural alternatives. 

" According to Melody Petersen, author of Our Daily Meds, 100,000, Americans are killed by prescription drugs each year. That's 270 deaths every day! More than twice the number of people killed in car crashes. This number does not include deaths from medical error. Despite these facts, 65 percent of Americans continue to fuel a $250 billion antibiotic/prescription drug industry annually ."  - MARK MINCOLLA, Ph.D.

I never understood why natural, holistic lifestyles always raise questions and eye brows, but the traditional medical approach is not as commonly challenged. I am a healthcare professional; I clearly understand that pharmaceuticals can improve quality of life, particularly for long-term illnesses. However, coming into consciousness on how these are abused for economical gain , substance abuse, and the harm of everyday antibiotics use, has really made me re-evaluate the decisions I make concerning my health. 

Im not the most extreme naturalist, but I am a believer of the effectiveness of aroma therapy, raw/clean diets, mindfulness, and many home remedies that have been used for decades. I don't understand how the topic of essentials oils is viewed as this "thing" by some ( it has become some-what trendy to be natural/hippie, so many are opening up to these things), but people will read a medicine label that literally says " This may cause heart-attack, stroke, liver disease, etc" and we're just like "ok". I literally laugh at that. It's like when someone discusses being on a whole food diet and eliminating processed or microwavable food; the other person stuffing antibiotic injected beef in their mouth is like "that's so weird." #Icant I eat junk sometimes, but I can't wrap my mind around a healthy choice being"bizarre", but eye brows don't raise when obese individuals continue unhealthy habits.

There is also an ongoing issue of pain pill addiction that is not really addressed. Meds are continually getting prescribed and prescribed; sometimes illegally purchased. Pain pills greatly affect the body's neurotransmitters and I have watched entire hospital staffs go with the flow, knowing that a patient is addicted. Yet, the use of marijuana is "bad". There is evidence clearly backing the dangers of inappropriate use of pain pills, but several functionally addicted people are just living their lives while many (mostly minorities) are serving jail time for use of marijuana. That is not acceptable.

I support some traditional medical strategies, but the power of alternative/holistic strategies can be so less invasive and are so undermined in today's world where greed is the intention of everything; even our health. I write this to promote advocacy for one's health; knowing there are options and vocalizing that you want to know many of these options before making a medical decision. Everyone is entitled to receiving education on healthy choices and opportunities no matter race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Health literacy is vital. 

Healthy choices are good ones. Get out of the box. Educate others.