Alkaline Water and the Medical Community
For the most part, alkaline water is snubbed by the medical community as being unproven. At best it is regarded as something that “shouldn’t cause any harm.” At worst it is considered a dangerous alternative for patients looking to avoid beginning what often becomes a lifelong regimen of prescription medication.
When first introduced in western health care, acupuncture and chiropractic were regarded as baseless and ineffective for treating illness and disease. Today, both are widely accepted as viable options for treating and preventing a wide variety of illnesses. Most insurance companies now cover some portion of these treatments. And even well-known centers like Sloan-Kettering use acupuncture and other alternative therapies – once snubbed by the medical community – as part of their treatment programs.
It is becoming increasingly clear that more and more individuals are looking outside of traditional mainstream medicine for disease treatment and prevention. As interest in and demand for alternative treatments grow, more and more individuals strike out on their own, often against the advice of traditional health care providers. The end result, over time, is that the medical community can no longer deny that these “alternative treatments” are viable and they find a way to incorporate them into their practice.
Why the Snub?
If you were to find yourself in the back area of your doctor’s office around lunchtime you’d get your first clue. Medical clinics and doctors’ offices are heavily courted by pharmaceutical representatives from multiple companies. They often arrive with trays of food for the whole office, boxes of samples of their “drug de jour” and stacks of research justifying the benefits of prescribing the medications they are peddling.
That’s at the “local level.” It’s how things have been done for decades. What is more significant is what happens at the higher levels – in government – and what really boosts the cost of most prescription medication.
Pharmaceutical companies spend outrageous amounts of money every year maintaining their hold on government. In the past the focus was on making it easier to bring new pharmaceutical products to the market but today it has actually become more sinister.
What we are seeing now is a concerted effort to significantly limit the availability of non-prescription treatments and remedies. Pharmaceutical companies and big business are lobbying lawmakers to the point of threatening the availability of many vitamins and nutritional supplements that have available to the public for years. It is actually easier to get a “heart healthy” label on a box of cereal than it is to get permission to use the same statement on some natural fruit products.
Alternative health care providers, along with insistent patients, have already helped the alkaline water industry take strides forward in acceptance. Earlier attempts to discredit practices like chiropractic and acupuncture have at this point “backfired” somewhat. Once shunned and now proven effective, the public has begun to question what other viable treatment alternatives physicians are just refusing to accept.
As these once-snubbed-now-accepted practitioners have become more vocal in their promotional of the benefits of alkaline water, more patients are at least giving it a try. In most cases the results are “as stated” by their health care practitioner. Return visits to their traditional medical practitioners show improvements in their conditions causing more mainstream doctors to take a closer look at the potential benefits.
It’s Not All or Nothing
Sadly, anger and frustration about the seemingly immovable “status quo” in the medical community has lead to a deep divide. Patients feel they are in an “either/or” situation and feel the need to put one group as wrong and the other as right.
The best solution is for patients to remember that they are in control of their health care choices. Ask your traditional medical doctor to work with you. Look for a doctor who is willing to work with you to design a health care solution that you feel is right for you.
More and more traditional doctors are being faced with these types of situations and opening up to working with patients – rather than just running diagnostics and writing prescriptions. Many are beginning to recognize the “path of prescriptions” – one prescription eventually leads to another to address side-effects from the first – which leads to another to address the side-effects of the second.
Just like a lawyer, plumber, mechanic or architect – your doctor is a professional that YOU have hired to work for/with YOU. Don’t be afraid to shop around for someone who is willing to work WITH you, someone open to designing treatment plans that go hand in hand with your philosophies.
Vilifying the medical community or doctors as a whole is not the solution. Patients must be willing to extend the olive branch and repeatedly ask doctors to work with them. Reform is in the power of the people – or in this case, the power of patients. Insistent patients brought acupuncture and chiropractic out of “voo-doo” status with the medical community. Over time the same will be true for alkaline water.