Sometimes when I’m talking about health with friends and neighbors who don’t know me well the conversation will turn toward a health problem or concern that someone experienced. Like it or not, I’m generally asked about my experience, which is when I politely mention that I handle my health problems through prayer. Recently, when a reporter asked me how I took care of my health needs and I mentioned by prayer, she wanted to know about check ups and prevention. I’m finding however that I’m not alone – there are a great number of individuals finding reasons for not jumping for expensive medical treatments before alternative methods are tried, such as physical therapy and spirituality.
In an article written by Jordon Rau titled, “Hospitals Have Got Your Back, Maybe a Little Too Quickly,” Medicare data was presented that stated “that among states, Minnesota had the highest average rate of MRI back scans without prior interventions, at 40.9% percent. Wyoming was second, followed by Arkansas, West Virginia, Utah, and Montana.” This data indicates a high use of expensive medical services without preliminary and/or non-invasive alternatives.
It seems that budget slicing, at least with Medicare, doctors, and hospitals, are coming under scrutiny as to not only how to cut costs but how to practice better health care. Recently, Newsweek carried an article by Sharon Begley titled, “One Word Can Save Your Life: No!” I think I would be safe in stating that the essence of this article was that alternative methods of health care should be explored and that more health care is not necessarily better health care. Author Begley quotes Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of Medicine of the University of California, San Francisco, and editor of the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine, as stating, “there are many areas in medicine where not testing, not imaging, and not treating actually result in better health outcomes.”
The public should be aware of the effectiveness of the mind-body and spiritual alternatives. A recent You-Tube presentation by 15-year Pharmaceutical Representative, Gwen Olsen, urges all Americans to become much more knowledgeable about the long term effects of drugs on the individual’s health and alternative options available to them. It does seem that there are many thoughtful ways that health care can be managed and that one of the most unexplored is alternative care.