Alternative Medicine

by Dr. Bruce Goldberg


The primary concern of a doctor should be to teach the prevention of illness. The direct treatment of the disease itself should be secondary. Preventing illness in the first place is far easier, wiser, and less costly than treating the disease once it occurs.

Conventional medicine is usually effective, sometimes with the help of drugs, for the management of acute conditions on a short-term basis. Where it is less effective, or not effective at all, relates to the long-term use for chronic conditions. In the case of chronic diseases, allergies, cancer, viral infections and psychosomatic illnesses, conventional medicine is useless in eliminating the cause of the disorder. The best it can achieve is symptom is removal by the use of suppressive drugs.

Two major types of problems arise in this connection. First, the patient is exposed to many side effects of these drugs (toxicity). Second, the disease process may actually be strengthened over time by these suppressive drugs. Suppressive measures can actually drive the disease process inward and affect the body's vital organs. For example, patients who take Prednisone for many months to control rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, or allergic disorders, commonly experience depression, ulcers, weight gain, acne, and weakened bones. In fact, these patients experience a recurrence of these symptoms in full force when they stop using these drugs! The result is unfortunate. The disease remains and a dependency on the medication is established.

Even when conventional treatment appears to work, it is often in spite of the traditional regimen. The results more likely represents the activation of the body's own intrinsic healing mechanisms. In other words, it is most probably the body's own inner restorative powers which effected the healing, rather than the outside stimulus from traditional medicine.

Fortunately, there is a growing trend for alternative approaches to health care. Illness is defined as our body's natural energy (the soul), out of harmony. Healing is achieved by a process of wholeness (hence the term holistic), or being at one with the universe.

Mainstream America has already demonstrated its interest and participation in alternative medicine. Although Americans made 388 million appointments with mainstream physicians in 1990, they visited alternative health practitioners over 425 millions times in that same year. As Bob Dylan so nicely stated, "The times, they are a changing."

Since the true cause of illness rests in the imbalance of our soul's energy, it is through some type of "soul healing" that we can restore this harmony. Conventional medicine ignores the soul. I spent four years at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and never heard the word soul mentioned by my professors.

The United States Federal Government funds the National Institute of Health ( NIH) located in Bethesda, Maryland. This is, by far, one of the most respected medical research hospitals in the world. In 1992 the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) was created as a component of NIH. The OAM has formally recognized hypnotherapy and past life therapy as classifications of alternative medical practices.

They also acknowledge the following disciplines:

  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Ayurveda
  • Homeopathic Medicine
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Guided Imagery
  • Sounds/Music Therapy
  • Yoga, Meditation
  • Acupressure
  • Alexander Technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Biofield Therapeutics
  • Chiropractic Medicine
  • Feldenkrais Method
  • Massage Therapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Reflexology
  • Rolfing
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Trager Method
  • Shamanism
  • Tibetan Medicine
  • Traditional Oriental Medicine

The Congressional mandate establishing OAM stated that the office's purpose is to "facilitate the evaluation of alternative medical treatment modalities for the purposive of determining their effectiveness and to help integrate effective treatments into mainstream medical practice."

To summarize, conventional (allopathic) medicine can greatly help with cases of trauma, acute bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections, surgical emergencies, hormonal deficiencies, infectious diseases (by immunization), the replacement damaged of hips and knees, and so forth. But allopathic medicine cannot cure cancer, combat viral infections, cure allergies, manage psychosomatic illness, or cure most chronic degenerative diseases.

My rule of thumb is: do not rely on soul healing for a condition which conventional medicine can handle well and do not consult a physician for a conditions which conventional medicine cannot treat. Of course, if your physician is also a soul healer, you have the best of both worlds.