This past week I have been dancing with a persistent kidney infection. I started on one course of antibiotics last Wednesday, but based on the symptoms I was still continuing to experience after four days, my doctor and I decided to try a stronger antibiotic. I noticed almost immediate relief when starting the new antibiotic and knew that my kidney would be feeling better soon!
I am grateful for modern medicine and the invention of antibiotics. Without them there is a possibility that I could die from this infection, or be sick for a very long period of time. I say this because I think there is a false perception that alternative medical practitioners are against modern medicine. I cannot speak for other practitioners, however I personally am not against modern medicine. Both western physicians and alternative medicine practitioners have sets of tools that are unique to their tradition that they can use to help their patients heal.
The Western medical system is excellent at fighting infections, however they lack the tools to help nourish the patient back to the state of well being they experienced before the infection. Often times patients still feel weak after a course of antibiotics or experience side effects such as constipation or diarrhea, even though the infection has been successfully cleared. This is where plant medicine, nutrition, and acupuncture come in! The traditions of herbology, nutrition, and acupuncture all have a wide array of tools that are effective at fortifying the immune system, clearing stagnation, and supporting energy levels.
While taking my antibiotics, I have also been taking probiotics and eating fermented foods to replace the good bacteria in my digestive tract that was killed by the antibiotics. I am also taking herbs that clear the urinary tract of inflammation created by the infection and herbs that strengthen my immune system. Additionally, I am treating myself with acupuncture daily. Most importantly, I am resting and listening to my body; if I feel that a certain task is causing a flare up of symptoms or fatigue, I stop and return to it later when I feel stronger.
I have noticed in my own body, that combining western medical treatments with acupuncture, herbology, and nutrition that I have become more resilient to illnesses. I have noticed that it takes my body less time to heal and that I am back to my daily routine faster! I have also noticed that my body feels stronger after finishing the course of treatment and I do not relapse back into illness shortly after recovery. For this I am grateful. I am grateful that I live in a time where I have all of these great treatments to choose from to help keep me strong and well! I am also grateful that I live in a time where practitioners and physicians from all traditions are willing to communicate and share ideas in order to provide their patients with holistic care. We are stronger together.