Why Being Aware of Alternative Treatments is Essential for Your Practice

With the rise of electronic medical records (EMRs), a more complete and in-depth understanding of a patient can be provided to new doctors. This is essential not just with treating their health, but to understand their mental state and the relationship that they have with physicians. If they complain of constant pain or are suffering from an anxiety disorder or depression, but refuse the standard medication, it’s important to think outside of the box. 

The placebo effect might be dismissed in the medical community where drug development is concerned, but for the treatment of patients, it can be very effective. That is why alternative therapies need to be discussed and taken seriously by physicians. 

The Rise of the Anti-Establishment 

There is great distrust when it comes to “Big Pharma”, and with the recent opioid crisis and recent Johnson & Johnson trial, patients are given an increasing number of reasons to distrust medication and even doctors. 

This is a travesty. The distrust in the medical industry is leading to anti-vaccination and even anti-healthcare sentiments that are putting people at risk. Being closed off to alternative treatments and compromising and meeting in the middle can turn patients away for good. Moreover, it is irresponsible to not provide alternatives to medications, especially if they have addictive properties like with opioids or benzodiazepine. 

The options you offer don’t have to be completely baseless with science, either. Research into CBD oil has found it to be effective both with pain relief and with anxiety relief. For those asking, what is CBD? It is a chemical harvested from the cannabis plant. Without the psychoanalytic properties of THC, CBD offers a natural alternative option to conditions that would previously have been treated with heavy medication. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Require a Different Approach than Simple Medication 

Mental health plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of your patient, and simply dismissing their worries about side effects or history of dependency of a drug is ill-advised. Listening and even giving them direction of the first step will give them the control and assurance that they need that they are being listened to.

Building rapport is essential, especially if the problem at hand needs more direct and targeted medical treatment. By building up a rapport first, you can address their fears and anxiety. Natural remedies might improve other areas of their health, making the health issue more apparent and easier to diagnose. 

Finding Middle Ground with Your Patient 

Finding middle ground is a great way to approach those who are disenfranchised by the healthcare industry. Tea has been found to improve brain health, CBD has been found to reduce anxiety and depression, and many other alternative therapies do have proof of effectiveness. By addressing their concerns head-on, you will be able to steer them towards alternative therapies that have proven beneficial with the compromise that they keep you up to date with their progress and are willing to return to work on different strategies if this initial treatment does not work. 

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