Sunday, August 30, 2009
Medicine is something I was always interested in, particularly neuroscience. But it was mostly an intellectual exercise combined with increasing appreciation for the wonders of creation. When one of my children turned out to be very allergic to quite an impressive list of substances ( whoever heard of someone being allergic to garlic?),I decided to do some research. First we tried the standard route - allergists, benadryl, hydrocortisone, etc. There was only one problem, it didn't help and I was not so enthused about my infant getting addicted to antihistamines or using steroids on regular basis. As I discovered, allergies are a fairly undiscovered field and therefore the possible solutions in conventional medicine were few and formulaic. So out of desperation I started looking for alternatives and discovered a whole new (or rather old) field of natural medicine. Eventually someone recommended a homeopath. I was desperate, my husband was skeptical, both of us prayed that we should find some relief for our child. The homeopathic treatment worked and relieved his symptoms so he could function, thank G-d ( he is still allergic but his reactions are not as severe). In the process though I learned a lot about the human body and the amazing way it works and a whole lot about natural ways to treat many different problems that could arise. Having gone through this experience and becoming more informed about health and various related issues, I also gained more confidence about making decisions about my family's health. I am not anti conventional medicine but neither am I totally under the sway of New England Journal of Medicine to the exclusion of all else. I particularly like to read naturopaths who are also MDs, or MDs who also use naturopathic treatments in their practices, I think one gets a more balanced view that way. One of these days I'll hopefully write a post on my favorite natural health books(consider yourself forewarned). But either way medicine, study of plants, etc and their effects on the human body makes for a very interesting study. One can also use it as a great springboard for health related topics such as healthy living, nutrition, home remedies, various branches of medicine, history, chemistry, biology and other sciences, anatomy and of course various practical, mussar and metaphysical implications of how and why our bodies are organized the way they are. And if neuroscience tickles your fancy, try books by Oliver Sacks, he has quite a few popular books on the subject (just ask my editor:).