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The Allopathic vs Holistic Family
Making the best decisions for your family is becoming
more challenging. With access to billions of articles
on the internet talking about the different healthcare
options available (some written by wise and counseled
professionals and others not so much) it can leave a
parent’s head spinning. Who’s right? Who’s wrong?
What’s best and what isn’t?
Defining the Difference
Allopathic medicine is defined as “the system of medical
practice which treats disease by the use of pharmacological
remedies which produce effects different from those
produced by the disease under treatment.” In other words,
allopathic medicine uses chemicals to relieve symptoms.
Other definitions also include “physical interventions such
as surgery”. Again, treating the symptoms not the cause.
The holistic model lifestyle is defined as “a form of healing
that considers the whole person – body, mind, spirit and
emotions – in the quest for optimal health and wellness”.
In other words, acupuncturists, homeopaths, naturopaths
and chiropractors work to find the root cause of the illness
instead of just masking the symptoms.
How We Were Raised
Many decisions are made based upon the familiar; how
we were raised may be reflected in how we care for our
own families. When our child is showing discomfort from
a cold and they have a slight fever, our reactions will vary
depending upon whether we were raised in an allopathic
or a holistic family.
The allopathic approach will react with worry to any grade
of fever, not understanding that an elevated temperature
is a sign that the child is healthy and their body is working
to fight off whatever is attacking (whether it is bacterial
or viral). Once the worry begins then it moves to fear that
the fever or illness may cause permanent damage, not
recognizing that this rarely actually happens.
This fear of the symptoms leads to over-the-counter
chemicals that mask them and may actually make things
worse. For instance, Children’s Tylenol may reduce the
fever but there’s a serious danger of overdosing which can
be fatal. The reality is that the fever is actually helping the
body fight off the illness and reducing the fever interferes
with the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Perhaps the
child has a cold with a runny nose or hacking cough, overthe-
counter medications to “treat” these symptoms have
side effects such as headache, nausea or trouble sleeping
(unless it’s Benadryl which actually contains a chemical
found in over-the-counter sleep aids). However, worse
than these side effects, is the fact that these chemicals
may impede the body’s ability to heal. The runny nose is
actually getting the bacteria out of the sinuses; dry up
the sinuses and the bacteria may get stuck there and turn
a simple cold into a sinus infection. The cough is trying
to get the bacteria out of the bronchial tubes; stop the
cough and a simple chest cold may become bronchitis.
In addition to the over-the-counter chemicals, allopathic
parents will fill their child with Gatorade, other sports
drinks or Pedialyte hoping to keep them hydrated when
in reality their bodies are working harder to eliminate the
chemicals and sugars included in these drinks.
Finally, many parents overreact and take their child to
a pediatrician where they may demand, and usually
will receive, an antibiotic. According to the American
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP.org) this overuse of antibiotics
is leading to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and
The Holistic Approach
In comparison, the holistic approach will react with
patience to the symptoms presenting. While they don’t
like to see their child in discomfort, the holistic parent
will monitor the fever without interfering, understanding
that their child’s innate (or inborn) intelligence is at work
fighting off the bacteria or virus. Since most colds and
associated fevers will resolve themselves in 24-72 hours,
this parent will focus on providing as much comfort as
possible while they follow the AAP’s suggestion to wait
They will keep their child hydrated with healthy fluids and
simple broths, and incorporate natural home remedies for
comfort that will support the immune system while it does
its job. Probably one of the most important steps they
will take is to have their child’s nervous system checked
by their Family Wellness Chiropractor since this system
controls the immune system.
Creating Your Integrated Team
What if you decided to move to an Integrated Model
of healthcare? If you’ve recognized for yourself and
your family a desire to build a team that allows you to
access many healthcare providers, this new model of
thinking starts with this thought: “My body has an inborn
intelligence to heal itself”. Once you recognize it and
study natural ways to support it, then you find healthcare
providers to support that desire.
Your new holistic team may start with your family wellness
chiropractor who recognizes the body’s ability to heal
itself. The wellness chiropractor naturally fits this team
because, if there is interference to your nervous system
and you eliminate it with a chiropractic adjustment, this
will support your immune response.
Your chiropractor will also recognize the three stressors
that may be compromising your family’s health: these
are physical, chemical and emotional. Their desire as a
holistic practitioner is to take an active role in helping you
recognize your personal stressors and give you and your
family strategies for change.
As your wellness doctor, the chiropractor can also help
you select other healthcare providers who embrace the
What if I Can’t Find a Holistic Medical Doctor?
Medical doctors who are recognizing and embracing the
natural approach are slowly becoming more plentiful.
Andrew Weil, Mehmet Oz and Lauren Feder are just a few
who are leading this movement but there still might not be
allopathic doctors in your community that accept where
the future of natural health should be going. In this case
there are two things to consider.
First, remember that chiropractic care will help you and
your family stay healthy so you’ll rarely need an allopathic
doctor and, second, you don’t have to stay with your
current healthcare team. Consider moving to “urgent
care” facilities. Many families are making this choice if
an emergency occurs or their child is extremely sick as it
provides a general physician at hand for the quick test,
treatment or referral.
How to Become the Empowered Parent
Lauren Feder, M.D., a medical professional who made
holistic choices for her children as a mother and a
physician, wrote several books empowering parents
to make their own choices regarding the treatment of
their kids including Natural Baby and Childcare: Practical
Medical Advice and Holistic Wisdom for Raising Healthy
Children from Birth to Adolescence. In this useful text, she
recommends home remedies before over-the-counters or
visits to the pediatrician and encourages parents to make
the healthy choices for healthy children.
Additional books to help with holistic choices include: The
Well Adjusted Baby by Jennifer Barham-Floreani, D.C.,
which offers holistic parenting advice for pregnancy, birth
and beyond, Grow Healthy. Grow Happy. The Whole Baby
Guide by Becky Cannon is a complete resource to help
parents raise a holistic child from birth to age three, and
The Holistic Baby Guide: Alternative Care for Common
Health Problems by Randal Neustaedter, O.M.D. provides
holistic choices as opposed to harmful chemical products
The body was created with an inborn intelligence that
works to keep us healthy and every system is controlled
by one master, the Central Nervous System. Many parents
report back that their children have fewer colds, suffer
fewer illnesses and are overall healthier children after
beginning regular chiropractic care.
If you support the nervous system, the entire body