Your Choice of Treatment

IN HIS book on alternative medicine, Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld emphasized this point: “Any health measure or intervention dispensed to a randomly selected group of individuals who are assured that it will ‘work’ may result in improvement as often as half the time.”

This is called the placebo effect, which means that even a sugar pill can be effective if the person believes that it will be. The placebo effect can relieve subjective symptoms, including pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, and depression. What does this fact reveal?

For one thing, it shows that having confidence in whatever treatment one receives is  in many cases an important factor in getting better. At the same time, it may be the course of wisdom to check to see if a form of treatment is attacking the root of the problem and not just the symptoms. This can be done by measuring the effects of the treatment by objective means, such as laboratory tests and X rays.

Yet, there is more that a person can do when choosing a form of medical treatment.

Important Steps to Take

It is wise to do research before making a decision. Ask questions. What results can be expected? What are the advantages, the disadvantages, and the expected costs and length of treatment? Talk with people who have received or undergone the treatment being considered. Ask them if it helped. Remember, though, that mere anecdotal evidence can be misleading.

A form of therapy that is not conventional may not be advisable if it causes one to put off treatment that has a record of success, even though the success rate of the conventional therapy is limited. Evidence of the harm that can result appeared in a report in The New England Journal of Medicine. The magazine described the progression of cancer in two young patients who refused conventional therapies while using alternative remedies. One of these patients died.

People with chronic or life-threatening illnesses wisely remain alert to the fact that they may be vulnerable targets of charlatans who promote fraudulent therapies. Be wary of any product that promises to cure a variety of ailments. A recent example involved a new vitamin that was said to have “helped eliminate everything from breathing problems and lack of energy to life-threatening diseases.” An analysis of the “vitamin” found it to be nothing more than salt water.

No doubt some forms of alternative therapies can be beneficial in promoting good health. However, be realistic in your expectations. It is wise to concentrate on eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep, exercising sufficiently, and being cautious when choosing medical treatment.

The Quest Realized

Obviously, no human therapy can put an end to all sickness and eventual death. This is because these have been inherited from our original parent, the first man, Adam. (Job 14:4; Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12) Many medical treatments—of whatever kind—may perhaps prove helpful, yet they are only stopgap measures that may extend life and make it more pleasant for a limited time. However, there is a sure cure for the problem of poor health, and millions have already discovered it.

That cure has been provided by our Creator, Jehovah God, the Great Physician. By exercising faith in him and taking advantage of the sin-atoning merit of the ransom sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, you will be able to enjoy perfect health and everlasting life in a disease-free world! (Matthew 20:28) The Bible promises that in that new world, “no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’”—Isaiah 33:24.

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Millions have found the only sure hope for perfect health