02/03/2014 12:56 EST | Updated 04/04/2014 05:59 EDT

Your Health Care Shouldn't Be All About Drugs

As a practicing family doctor, I have always been fascinated with health and healing. Over my 20-year career, I have marvelled at the resiliency of the human body. Most of us are taught that our bodies are basically stuck with a disease and there is little hope. My questioning mind and search for more has taken me down a slightly different path. I have had the opportunity to watch seemingly "incurable illnesses" miraculously resolve. This has always been a fascination of mine, and hopefully this article will inspire you and help you in your own journey towards incredible health.

As most of us know, our current health care model relies heavily on medications and/or surgery for interventions. You or perhaps someone you know is likely on a few pharmaceuticals to balance anything from blood sugar to pain levels to blood pressure and more. As most of my patients will attest, and likely yourself, there is a growing disharmony amongst people to continue this approach.

Studies have shown that as high as 45 per cent of patients do not actually fill the prescriptions written for them by their physicians. This compliance rate is low for many reasons. Some reasons have been hypothesized to include side effects, cost, and the patient's desire not to mask symptoms amongst others.

Regardless of reasons, more patients are searching for alternatives. Many seek out different health remedies which may include anything from reiki to acupuncture to massage to colon hydrotherapy and more. These are also without side effects and leave many of us wondering if health has to be this complicated.

In my own personal journey for improved health, I stumbled across the field of Mind-Body Medicine. Within Mind-Body Medicine, we believe that our bodies are actually completely healthy and well. With the use of tools and techniques, all which revolve around our self care, we can decrease symptoms and potentially reverse disease as a whole. It takes patience, practice and regular discipline, but when we do it, the outcome can be truly mind-boggling!

For example, many of us have heard of the myriad of health benefits of the technique called meditation. To the average person, who has no experience in meditation, they may visualize it as an act of great labour and difficulty. In fact, meditation is simply breathing and being in the moment. Logically, with practice, meditation can decrease stress levels, reduce anxiety and even reduce pain.

Studies, time and again, consistently show this to be true. Mind Body techniques have even been studied to show increased longevity and quality of life in people suffering from cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

Despite these studies and the pervasive literature on the bodies' ability to heal, we are often convinced that we are not powerful and therefore incapable of such abilities. We have been taught that our body, our mind and our emotions are distinct. In these belief systems, we are left as victims to our own body, which does not serve us at all. Instead, we are literally at the mercy of externals for help.

Given that these studies have been repeated time and again, it always puzzles me that this information does not "meet the masses of people". Instead, we are always exposed to this latest pharmaceutical or that new medication, which is "guaranteed" to make us feel like we are 12 again. As many of us can attest, this is never the case. In my experience, no pharmaceutical can help us to feel young, joyful and alive, despite the numerous ads we are exposed to.

As we age, more of us are turning to mind-body techniques to compliment well-being. For example, we have seen a significant rise in interest in activities like yoga, tai chi, meditation, amongst others which helps us to connect the mind and body. With patience and regular practice, people consistently report improved states of well-being.

If you have always dismissed such activities, you may be surprised. In some of the latest research from Heart Math in California, deliberately thinking thoughts that feel good can raise your own physiological levels of DHEAS. With a rise in DHEA, you will not only look younger, but feel more youthful, get fewer wrinkles and simply be happier.

So, why not start today? In Vancouver, I run a mind-body medicine center and almost everyday, clients report seeming "miracles" from the application of such techniques. From diseases like endometriosis, to chronic pain, to hyper/hypothyroid, to obesity, recurrent infections and more, I have born witness to the body's innate ability to heal.

If you have never started, why not start today? Perhaps spend a few minutes in meditation, or simply re-think the possibilities that are available for your body. You may be pleasantly surprised to realize that there are more treatment options available to you than you would have ever believed. - Dr. Divi Chandna

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