According to recent medical studies, the United States is a nation of self-medicators. Indeed, there is substantial evidence that self-medicating is a trend, as more than 240 million prefer to use non-prescription products to handle their health complaints, from mild pain to more serious mental health problems. In a world where doctors are trained to identify and manage their patients’ health, it is fair to wonder whether self-medication has a safe future, or if it a reasonable practice.
However, it is fair to say that, while self-medication can have a bad reputation – as it can lead to dramatic consequences –, most people experience a liberating feeling. Does it mean that doctors are a thing of the past? Of course not. But there is a sense of control that you can’t get from your local healthcare. When done carefully and reasonably, self-medication can help you to understand your body and mind more effectively. It can even help you to improve your health!
Tune in; your body is talking
The first and most essential step of self-medication is to be able to intercept the body’s communication. Indeed, your body sends constant messages to your mind. Unfortunately, our fast-paced lifestyle tends to break the connection. We’re out of touch with our bodies, and unless we learn to listen, we can’t honestly look after ourselves. You can, however, train your listening skills with a simple exercise to manage your eating habits. Giving your body the nutrients needs is crucial to stay healthy. But how many of us can safely say they know at any given time what the body requires? Start by disconnecting yourself from the clock; eat when you’re hungry not when it’s time to eat. More importantly, you need to learn to stop eating when hunger disappears. Additionally, try to think about what your body needs. For instance, feeling tired doesn’t mean you need comfort food, but instead, opt for vitamin C and iron, which give you boosts of energy.
Beware of unreliable medicine sources
Once you become more aware of your body, you can extend your self-tuning approach to healthy medication options. Plant-based medications, for instance, is a safe strategy that maximizes all the natural goodness around you. You can learn a tip or two from cultures that are known to rely on plants for their health benefits, such as by reading a few books on remedies in the Roman Empire or some of the best Chinese cures. Thyme, for instance, was a favorite in Roman camps to fight infections and colds. Panax Ginseng has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory. Nowadays, if you know where to buy Panax Ginseng safely, you can also use it as a stress-management remedy. Common plants might even grow in your garden! As for more exotic species, you want to find a reliable supplier to avoid problems.
How do you know medication isn’t helping?
Self-medication becomes a source of issues when you fail to maintain a healthy connection to your body. Indeed, while plant-based medicines offer a safer approach, they don’t protect you from excessive consumption. Regardless of the medication, you’ve chosen for yourself; self-control remains crucial to avoid harmful consequences, from addictive behaviors to poisoning. While it’s easy to stay in control of what you need when you’re dealing with a simple cold, when you struggle with sharp or chronic pain, the situation is different. Pain can affect your mind, making you feel vulnerable, which is likely to create a dependence on painkillers. Similarly, self-medication can also affect prescribed medicines if you choose to take different amounts from what your doctor recommended.
Your instinct can be trained
Everybody can develop an understanding of what the body needs. However, when the symptoms are getting complex, it can be tricky to pinpoint the real issue. A general rule of thumb is to avoid self-medicating health concerns that you can’t identify clearly. Ultimately, even self-medicators need a doctor to handle more serious issues. But their ability to listen to their body can play a significant role in figuring out what’s wrong. Indeed, your instinct is a precious ally. You may not be able to understand what is happening, but you can use your gut feelings to explain what feels different.
You can look after your health without medicine
Ultimately, your body reacts to a variety of disrupting factors, from your mood to germs. But the best way to keep your immune system strong is not to pick the best medicinal plant for your morning tea but simply to reduce pressure onto it. Reducing stress in your everyday life helps your body fight out physical and mental health problems more effectively.
In conclusion, while self-medication is a learning process, it can help you to get in touch with your body. Understanding how you feel and what you need gives you back control over your health, and, ultimately, keeps the doctor away!