Is there an alternative to antibiotics?

Could it be that a more holistic approach to health care will lead to a reduction in the use of antibiotics? Photo: Searching for an alternative to antibiotics / ©

LOS ALTOS, CA, September 23, 2013 – According to a report released last Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 23,000 people die each year from drug-resistant germs, an indication of what medical researchers are calling a post-antibiotic era and what World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Dr. Margaret Chan, once referred to as the “end of modern medicine as we know it.”

In remarks made last year at a conference on combating antimicrobial resistance, Chan highlighted the fact that as this trend continues and bacteria continue to build up resistance to antibiotics, common infections could become deadly, and diseases that were once curable will become more difficult and more expensive to treat.

“Prospects for turning this situation around look dim,” she added, noting, “The pharmaceutical industry lacks incentives to bring new antimicrobials to market for many reasons, some of which fall on the shoulders of the medical and public health professions. Namely, our inability to combat the gross misuse of these medicines.”

Despite the dire outlook, however, there are other options.

For one, in a study on the future of health care in America prepared for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2003, updated 2010), it is predicted that over the next ten years “our view of health will be expanded to encompass mental, social, and spiritual well being.” This reflects a growing acknowledgement by researchers and medical professionals alike of the direct link between spirituality and health. Even more significant, though, is the number of people who are already turning to spiritual forms of care and seeing good results.

Take, for example, Marivic. In 1988, she was diagnosed with a latent tuberculosis infection and prescribed antibiotics. She became sick, lost a lot of weight, and began losing her hair.

SEE RELATED: CDC issues stern warning: a new/old era dawns for antibiotics

In search of a different approach to dealing with the disease, she soon found herself attending church where she discovered that it was possible to treat her condition through spiritual means, including a better understanding of her relationship to the Divine. Three years later, she was required to take another TB test and was found to be completely free of the infection.

There are many others of course, besides Marivic, relying on spiritual means in whole or in part to maintain their health. And while their methods are by no means uniform and the results not always medically verified, there seems to be enough evidence to warrant further study.

Exactly what impact this might have on the use of antibiotics remains to be seen. What is certain is that a shift is taking place in terms of the world’s approach to health from a strictly biomedical model to one that takes into consideration other factors, including spirituality.

Perhaps, then, what we’re seeing is not “the end of modern medicine” but simply the close of just one chapter, and the beginning of a more holistic approach to health.

Eric Nelson’s columns on the link between consciousness and health appear regularly in a number of local, regional, and national online publications. He also serves as the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California.


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Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson has been published and featured in numerous newspapers, online publications, and radio talk programs. He speaks from years of experience in the mind-body field, especially as it relates to health. In addition, he is the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California and is a self-employed Christian Science practitioner. He’s also a huge baseball fan and loves riding his bike in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. You can find him at

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