Aug 15, 2013

Are you treating a Symptom or the Cause?


More and more I see and interact with people who are wanting a greener version of a pharmaceutical drug (Disclaimer here; I read those last few words in a text book recently and was like "ooooh I LOVE that analogy" and so here my friends, I just used it!).

If you happen to work in a health food shop you may know exactly what I mean. And in all transparency, I have been here myself, but can happily say that I catch myself out if I start treading down this path again.

What am I talking about?

Allow me to role play here for a minute...

Customer: "Hi there, do you have anything for headaches coz I keep getting them lately and never used too?"
Me: "Ok, has anything changed in your life of late?"
Customer: No
Me: "Do you feel any more stressed than usual? At work, home, relationships?"
Customer: No
Me: "Any changes in your digestion?"
Customer: "No its fine. I eat healthy and drink water, I just want something for these headaches!"

And the conversation could continue, but as it's a customer that has walked in off of the street and not a client paying for an hour long consult, I drop the questions. They clearly are not interested at looking at their lifestyle, diet, and other contributing factors to health. They just want a greener version of a pharmaceutical drug. And if there is no such thing, it's back to the chemist.

You may be wondering why exactly I'm bringing this to the blog table today... Good question.
Two reasons;
#1 To get it off my chest; I see it daily and it bugs me
#2 To educate you lovely readers on why this isn't doing you any favours

Whether it's daily headaches, bloating, occasional cramps, monthly PMS, or eczema conditions, if you enter a health food store wanting to get something that will fix your issue right now, the staff will likely give something to you for that exact purpose - to treat your SYMPTOM. But will that magic box of pills mean you will never get PMS again? Never get a headache again? No. Why? Because you are not treating the CAUSE.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

The problem is it is much quicker, easier and usually less painful (both physically and emotionally) to treat the symptom - but only in the short term. And this is the point we forget to realise. The options in the health food stores are far better than the chemical options at a chemist, but they should still only be used short term, like a bandaid helping to guard the wound from infections until it has healed. Then the bandaid is no longer needed.

Unless you treat the cause of whatever it is that you are seeking to heal, you will continue to experience the symptoms that you are running to the store to get band-aids for.

Case in point; bloating. A very common occurrence, particularly in females. People always ask me what they can do for their bloating. And I wish it were that simple. From a green-drug point of view you can drink peppermint tea or ginger tea, or suck on lozengers or chewable tablets with either of these herbs as active ingredients. You could take aloe vera juice each morning. Apple cider vinegar before every meal. Digestive enzymes with your meals. The list goes on.
These are all wonderful natural remedies to help alleviate the pain of bloating. But what is the reason for the bloating? Ask WHY? Is it stress? Is it a bad diet? Is it food allergies? Excessive worry? Constipation? All these different reasons have different treatments. And this is why it is so important to look at the CAUSE or you will never get rid of the bloating.

So next time you either want or need something, ask yourself first,
"Am I treating the symptom or the cause?"

Taking something initially to help deal with symptoms (like apple cider vinegar before meals for bloating) whilst beginning to treat the cause of the issue is often needed, but this will eventually no longer be needed once treatment is successful.

Christie xx

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