I have spent a lot of time in visits to doctors and specialists over the years (mostly when I was younger and had some chronic health issues).

I don’t go to regular doctors that often anymore but I will visit them when needed., of course.

I’ve had mixed results with some of their recommendations which either didn’t help at all or helped one health issue but caused other issues.

Doctors and healthcare practionners are doing the best they can but it’s important to recognize that sometimes there are limits to what they can help with.

Western medicine and pharmaceuticals have their use and value, and it’s good to cautiously use them, when needed.

Be proactive with your medical care

I believe that it’s helpful to consider other solutions and alternative healthcare, in addition to carefully navigating the Western medical system.

Medications and surgery are sometimes needed but alternative healthcare and naturopathic doctors can complement Western medicine to provide you with a well-rounded solution.

Be preventative.
Once your health has been compromised due to years of unhealthy and damaging practices, it can be hard to get healthy again. Start now and keep up those good health habits. It’s a continual education process and requires will-power.

Eat well.
Eat natural, whole foods. Food that is in it’s natural state, unaltered. If you shop in the outside aisles of the supermarket, you’ll be fine. Avoid the aisles. Avoid “food” in packages. Remember: The food industry wants to make you addicted to their products.

Buy organic, if you can. It tastes better and has more vitamins and minerals. If not, then locally-grown produce is also a good option.

Your exercise routine doesn’t have to be difficult, especially in the beginning. Start with a light form of exercise every day. This should also include a stretching routine. Prior to the 1950’s, most of us would have had work that was much more physically-demanding. We were built to move and be active. Make time for at least 20 minutes of exercise, 3-4 days a week.

Follow mental health best practices.
Retrain your mind to view things positively. Experiment with meditation. Let things go. Cultivate true patience. Choose to spend more time with positive people.

Do your own medical research.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a health condition, learn about it. Get a second medical opinion, if you have any doubts. When your doctor recommends a prescription, read up on it. Get all the information. You need to protect yourself because your doctor might not have time to explain all the details of your medication.

Ask your doctors good questions.
Write down a few questions you’d like to ask your doctor. Bring a notepad and pen to make notes when you visit your doctor.

Question the need for prescription drugs and surgery.
If your doctor recommends drugs or surgery, ask if there are other options. Ask what the risks are if you don’t use drugs or surgery. Get a second opinion from another doctor.

Stop relying on your doctors for a quick fix.
Instead, consider natural health solutions. If you’re sick or have chronic illness, the very first thing you need to look at is your diet. Food is medicine. Also, don’t immediately run to your doctor for minor things.

Complementary and Alternative Health Care Works

I went to a naturopathic doctor a few years ago for several health issues. The first consultation lasted an entire hour. I had never had a doctor’s visit that long and in-depth before.

He asked me good questions, listened and took notes the entire time. He was very attentive and interested in my health situation and in finding solutions.

I was pleasantly surprised at this detailed level of patient care. And he could prescribe medications, if needed, as well as order diagnostics, just like regular doctors, although he preferred to prescribe medications only if absolutely necessary.

I would highly recommend looking into alternative forms of medicine, especially for chronic health issues that haven’t improved through standard medical care.

After following my naturopathic doctor’s diet recommendations, I saw really good improvement with some chronic health issues I had.

I no longer had heart palpitations or a fast heart-rate. My energy was the best it’s been in decades.

I didn’t need naps anymore. I didn’t need to sleep as many hours. I woke up feeling clear, alert and my concentration had improved considerably. My mood improved significantly.

My chronic wrist pain mostly disappeared and I was able to play guitar again without pain.

Take Charge of Your Health

Take your health into your own hands. Start right now.

Be cautious when agreeing to take medication. Consider visiting a naturopathic doctor or Chinese medical doctor.

Do your own research on your health issues and medications.

What’s been your experience in dealing with the western medical system and natural medicine? Share your story in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this article, share it on social media. Maybe it’ll help someone you know take the right steps to get healthy again or help them re-think their approach to their health issue.


  1. Hey Nigel,

    You’ve asked some really insightful questions here. I work in mental health and am amazed by the number of medications prescribed for the side effects of other medication! There seems to be absolutely no accountability as you have suggested. It’s scary…I mean how many of us look at the situation of people going through troubles with their health and think: “Poor bugger! he/she doesn’t even have good care here. I hope I can avoid that.”

    You seem to have done a lot of work to understand what’s happening there and how to work with it and and more skillful approaches.


    1. Hi Matt,

      Thanks for checking out the article and for your insights. Interesting to hear that that’s happening. Drugs to help people handle their drugs. Wow…I’m stunned by this…

      On a related note, I worked with a few nurses and they told me that polypharmacy has become a real issue. Polypharmacy is the use of several medications at the same time. Drug companies are not able to test how all the various combinations of drugs interact with each other and how they will affect the patient. Scary stuff, indeed.

      Let food be our medicine!

  2. Hi Nigel,
    I read your article and I can’t be more in agreement of what you said. I have been diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer (bone and lymph nodes metastasis) I’ve been following the treatment (chemotherapy in pills) and they have a horrible side effects on me. I have mentioned to the doctor but she brushed me off telling me that they will go away, but they’re still persisting and getting worse.
    Last disappointment was to ask this dr. for short term disability to be able to do a treatment that will help with the side effects and she refused to giving that to me. This is not taking anything away from her, but she did not approved it.
    She is closing the door on me for something that could help me and I feel so sad and depress at this moment that it’s hard for me to keep positive attitude.
    I am looking for other doctor that can approve my STD which my company is willing to approve ( I live 50 miles from work and I have a 3 years old son)
    I drive 100 miles a day with my son and this chemotherapy gives me insomnia which makes me very difficult to be alert when driving.
    Do you have any advice you can give me? – I have no advocate in all this.
    I’m single mom with no family in US.

    1. Hi Luciana,

      Really sorry you’ve been dealing with cancer and strong side effects from the treatment. I’m sure it’s been very stressful. I can’t give you any medical advice since I’m not qualified to do that. I just don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction so I want to be cautious about any recommendations that I give you. However, I can make a few suggestions to help support your health and healing, as well as your ability to stay in a more positive mindset which will help you make the best decisions for your healthcare.

      The first suggestion is to make sure your diet is really, really healthy. Be obsessive and fairly strict about it. Eat food in it’s natural state, avoid most packaged food. Avoid obvious junk food. I believe there’s a strong link between our modern diets, disease and immune systems. Keep reading and learning about diets and foods that boost your immune system.

      To help you stay more positive and optimistic about your health, I recommend doing a short (2-3 minutes) “gratitude session” every morning. “What’s working well in my life?” “What do I love or enjoy doing?” “What is one thing I’m grateful for?” (can be even something small or minor). Spending time to stay positive can reduce stress which will allow your body to heal and come back into balance.

      For helping you make health decisions and life decisions, write your thoughts, stresses, problems, and potential decisions down on paper. Doing short writing sessions can be really helpful to “unload” thoughts/emotions/problems onto paper so that you can clearly see them and make good decisions.

      I hope that you overcome cancer very soon, that you feel better soon and that you find the best healthcare treatment that works for you. Take care and let me know how you’re doing. You can email me privately through my contact form if you prefer that. : )

  3. When I read this, it’s like a repeat of what I am going through with the Canadian health care system. I used to be an athlete, I was in really good health. I have a bad wrist injury (work accident) going on 2 years. 4 opinions later I’m finally getting help. I have countless reports stating it’s as good as it’s going to get, that it is chronic, that I need to live with it. But recently I found out I just had no chance of healing because of the late diagnosis and the wrong treatment was prescribed and all that “rehab” made it worse. The first doctors told me to stop complaining at first it was apparently all in my head, then they had the wrong diagnosis, then dismissed a warning on an xray among other things )then of course they prescribed medication that turned one problem into others, the first specialist said there was nothing to do, the second one as well, then asked for another opinion and the referral got lost…the third said that I fell through the cracks and sent me to the doctor that is planning to operate because he is more qualified. That doctor seemed to be in disbelief he wanted proof of what I was saying. I am drained I feel like I am in a fight against this system. I was asked by this new doctor to trust him and to not give up yet but I’ll be honest I don’t think I can trust again.

  4. 27yrs on placebos…. benefits……not able to get work…..lonely….confused………..now…..they say there’s nothing wrong with me.

    No money, no friends, no job, no family…..I am severely disappointed, angry and depressed. It’s a wasted life. The guilty walk free.

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