Choosing Holistic Healing Over Traditional Medication

By Dorothea Qian on May 12, 2017

With more and more research depicting the harmful long-term impacts of certain pharmaceutical drugs, I often wonder if there are other forms of healing that can treat various health conditions. Just last year, the U.S. FDA (Food & Drug Administration) recalled over 30 different drugs from stores across the country. Thankfully, there is hope with alternative healing through herbs, treatments, and tonics that do not undergo chemical processing.

I grew up with high levels of anxiety and still battle mental health issues to this day. Psychiatrists and doctors have suggested medication such as Xanax; however, given the addictive qualities of drugs like Xanax and its proven side effects, I have always tried to stay away from these forms of treatment. I have also witnessed many of my dear friends struggle with powerful prescription drugs and it has taught me to embrace holistic healing to receive natural remedies.

I found that eating a cleaner diet, one that includes lots of water and vegetables makes me feel lively and fruitful, both mentally and physically. And ultimately, mental health is just as integral as physical wellness because when the soul is nourished and the body is healthy, a beautiful balance is created.

As a young person, it may often be difficult to find delicious sources of nutrients and vitamins especially with the overabundance of cheap, processed fast food. However, I encourage the youth to visit their local farmer’s markets; you would be surprised to see that locally produced food can be affordable and extremely beneficial for the body. Plus, you would be supporting neighborhood farmers and stimulating the local economy.

A 2001 study published in the journal Psychopharmacology described the link between Vitamin C intake and psychological stress levels. It was discovered that adults who incorporated generous doses of Vitamin C in their diets for the span of two weeks found lower stress hormone levels. Blueberries are an antioxidant powerhouse that contains Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and fiber that lowers cholesterol levels.

And while I do value my health tremendously, I also think it is important to pace myself. That means that I make it a goal to eat cleaner and incorporate more veggies in my diet throughout the weekdays. So for five days a week, I strive for a veggie based diet with loads of vitamins and several glasses of water and mint tea. But when the weekend rolls around and I am out with my friends, I still enjoy my shrimp and grits or mac and cheese. Pacing is important and having cheat days like the weekends allows for sustainable commitment to clean eating long term.

In addition to sticking to a wholesome diet through the weekdays, I walk at least five miles a day and make time for the gym every couple days. But you do not have to purchase a gym membership to get a healthy workout in. So many well designed public spaces make great spots to stretch, practice yoga, throw a softball around, and run laps along a waterfront. Exercise and diet make a huge difference when these healthy benefits become a pattern.

Coupled with diet and exercise, aromatherapy is also a form of healing that has contributed much-needed wellness in my life. Lavender oil promotes soothing relaxation and can really benefit those with anxiety and high levels of stress. Diffusers are great investments as you can mix and match different essential oils to create a soothing botanical smell that fosters a calming environment. I personally love to mix sweet almond oil as a base oil, a hint of peppermint oil, and traces of lavender oil to create a wonderful vibrant smell. Along with using a diffuser, lighting some candles and putting on some old jazz records can really produce a tranquil vibe.

All in all, a healthy diet, adequate exercise, and aromatherapy have provided holistic wellness in ways that a Xanax pill could never do for me. And while I still struggle with anxiety, my moments of healing provide such a peaceful space for me to meditate and gain more confidence in the way I live my life.


LA - Brooklyn, NYU 2016, Director of Social Media & Spokeswoman for Nasty Woman Gang

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