Alternate Medical Systems & Asthma
There are acute diseases and there are chronic diseases. Acute diseases are those which come suddenly. For instance, malaria or dengue or viral fever. Many people think that “acute” means severe. That is not true. Acute means sudden. Viral fever is also acute, but it is a mild disease. A stroke is an acute disease which is severe or life threatening.
Chronic diseases are those which persist. They don’t come and go. They are there. Examples are diabetes, high blood pressure, parkinsonism, asthma or allergy; to name a few common ones.
Patients of chronic diseases feel tried and frustrated with their disease. There is no cure for these diseases. They can be controlled with precautions and regular medications. But they cannot be cured. At least that’s what mainstream medicine practitioners say. This is what frustrates these patients. They are tired of curtailing their lifestyle and taking medicines every day. And they worry about the side effects of medicines. They wish there could be a one -time cure for their disease.
So they look for alternatives. They look for systems of medicine which will say “Yes, come to us and we can get you rid of this disease and cure you.” Ah, a ray of hope!! Light after the darkness of a tunnel !! Let’s give it a try, even if it seems it is unlikely to happen. Even if I waste some money.”
It is this line of thinking that drives patients of chronic diseases to try alternative medicines.
Asthma is also a chronic disease. Children with asthma sometimes outgrow it. This will happen in 30-50% of the childhood asthmatics. That’s a fairly large proportion of patients. The chances of this are brighter if one avoids the allergens. Modern medical practitioners will say “do the avoidance and let’s hope for the best.” Alternate system practitioners will say “I can cure you.” His prediction will come true in some. So he has effectively cured at least some of his patients !!
I’m not a total disbeliever. Every system has something to offer. Sometimes faith in the system or in the practitioner also helps.
It’s my experience that at least 80% patients of asthma have tried, at one time or another, alternatives like yoga, homeopathy, ayurveda, acupuncture or acupressure for their ailment – with mixed results.
So if you have faith in a particular alternative system, try it. Do not stop the usual asthma medications. Discuss with your doctor openly that you are doing this. Try to be on the same page.
Doctors would also do well to be more open to alternative therapies.
Mahatma Gandhi had written more than 70 years ago in his book Diet and Diet Reforms: “Why can’t practitioners of modern medicine and Homeopaths work together for the benefit of patients ? The trouble with homeopaths is that they make tall claims without proof and the trouble with modern doctors is that they are haughty and think it is only their system which works.
That, I think, pretty much sums it.