A friend recently asked me to explain how I could possibly recommend complementary health therapies while also being a practicing pharmacist. I would like to take this opportunity to explain my philosophy and the driving reason I felt a need to start this website. My journey with “alternative medicine” actually started out the summer after my senior year in high school. I was privileged to be in a high school science, mathematics, and technology institute. That summer we took a trip to Belize. Among other things, we camped at a rain forest preserve, went spelunking, and learned about Rosita Arvigo. Her Rainforest Remedies were my first glimpse into the fact that there were alternatives that had been used in other countries for centuries before and since modern medicine.
During pharmacy school, I also was able to take an alternative medicines class and continued my interest in natural healing. We learned that even these herbal products can, in fact, have major side effects and drug interactions and that is was our duty, as a pharmacist, to always ask about them and treat them as any other medication.
Fast forward 11 years to the present. In that time I have seen and experienced much of what modern medicine has to offer. I have had the opportunity to dispense life saving medications to transplant patients, have watched a dear friend valiantly battle incurable cancer through chemotherapy, and of course we haves used medications for everyday needs as well.
Once I had my son, I really became aware of all the toxins and chemicals in our everyday life. From cleaning products to bath soaps to scented wax or candles, everything seemed to have nothing but artificial colors, fragrance, and other ingredients. When a Facebook friend posted she was having an essential oils class I was intrigued. I really just wanted some alternatives for the kinds of products above, what I rediscovered was my interest in alternative choices. I read everything I could find including articles like this one on PubMed and this one which explains more of the chemistry behind the benefits seen from essential oils. I also looked at accupuncture, crystals, energy healing, chiropractic, yoga, meditation, and more. For me it’s about finding balance between Modern and Alternative therapies. I would never tell someone to give up a life saving modern treatment but at the same time I would be just as quick to offer a complementary therapy. I am careful to follow and respect the FDA regulations and will not speak in terms of cures or treatment. I will, however, share my own and others personal experiences as well as any scientific studies on the subject. My hope is with all of this information, you’ll find your own comfortable balance and live a YingYang Life!