The alternative health movement continues to gain popularity despite the unrestrained advertising and lobbying dollars from pharmaceutical companies, big-agriculture, conventional medical organizations and the health insurance industry.
There is Room for Alternative and Natural Health in Addition to Mainstream Medicine
The current generation understands that our world is full of toxins, yet environmental medicine is not a priority in conventional medical education. On one side, there is an expanding population who embraces a clean environment and wishes to prevent illness rather than treat it. On the other, there is great respect for the medical profession, a need for insurance coverage for illness, and mandated public health laws. There really doesn’t have to be a dominance of one over the other. With vast amounts of information now available to us on the Internet and the expanding numbers of healthy products and holistic practitioners, there is room and justification for both. We are all on this planet together.
Finding Solutions in Alternative and Natural Health
My husband and I were conventionally trained dentists. But when our health deteriorated, and mainstream doctors couldn’t determine what was causing our symptoms, we were forced to do our own research, which, by the way was pretty difficult before the Internet. We suspected that we may have been exposed to mercury from the aerosol created from drilling out thousands of mercury-containing amalgams. Regrettably our allopathic physicians knew nothing about chronic mercury toxicity since they were not taught in medical school how to diagnose it and therefore had no idea of how to treat it. They could only offer medications to suppress our symptoms. That was unacceptable for us.
Frustrated, we turned to the Federal Government. Through the Freedom of Information Act, we were able to obtain from the Department of Commerce, a scientifically researched government publication, “The Toxicological Profile of Mercury”. We were shocked to discover that we were experiencing the same symptoms described of workers exposed to mercury in the manufacturing of certain medical devices and fluorescent light bulbs.
Vulnerable and ailing, we had the challenge of finding trustworthy alternatives. The pool of alternative health providers was pretty small at that time. Today, there are many practicing experts, including traditionally trained physicians, who understand the impact of environmental poisons on the body and can safely help with detoxification and boosting the immune system.
Alternative Health to the Rescue
Let’s take a look at a part of the body not well understood. The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the only joint in the body not covered by medical or dental insurance. People who suffer from facial pain or headaches may have an imbalance in the jaw joints. But too bad if you need treatment. Procedures involving the hips, knees, shoulders, spine and every other joint are covered by medical insurance, but not the joints connecting to your skull. Well, ask your physician how much she/he learned about the teeth and jaws and ask your dentist about her/his education in TMJ.
Both my husband and I took year-long post-grad certification in TMJ where we learned just how complex this area of body is. Even though it falls in the domain of dentistry, TMJ and Facial Pain is not considered a dental specialty. A few health or dental insurance plans may cover aggressive oral surgery which could result in a worse outcome. Yet less invasive treatments that could involve restoring occlusion with dental appliances, amalgam removal and replacing with compatible dental materials or removing tooth and bone infections are looked upon as unnecessary dental treatments and not covered as a needed medical expense.
These patients suffering with head and facial pain who declined drugs or surgery found themselves in a similar situation we were faced with in obtaining trustworthy healthcare within the system. Out of necessity we discovered that alternative health providers offered helpful guidance and treatments without the risk of infections, addictions, disfigurement, and intractable pain. These holistic practitioners included the services of functional medicine doctors, naturopathic physicians, hypnotherapists, psychologists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, homeopaths, massage therapists, reflexologists, nutritionists and many others.
Your Responsibility in Alternative Health
Our healthcare system is set up for conventional medicine. But despite the unequal economics, the number of people seeking natural, alternative and preventive health products and services continues to grow. While the country debates over health insurance coverage, alternative, natural, and holistic health practitioners really want to prevent ill health and give us the tools to recover easily and stay healthy.
Regardless, we all agree that our freedom of choice is dearly valued in this country. With freedom comes the ability to be responsible. Choose wisely.
Find alternative health services and practitioners on our Holistic Practitioner Directory
As holistic dentists, we've recommended products and services that supported our patients’ health for decades. In experiencing our own health challenges from mercury toxicity, we worked closely with many natural, alternative, and integrative health practitioners who aided our recovery as well as our patients’. We built this site to provide you with a simple-to-use, comprehensive, informational, and functional resource for your physical, emotional, and spiritual health & well-being.