The Beauty of Alternative Medicine

I was twenty years old when I first encountered alternative medicine while working as a receptionist for a chiropractor.


I grew up with a conservative, traditional model of health care - when you get sick, you tough it out for three to five days, and if you get worse you go to the family doctor for a prescription. Holistic options were discounted as quacks, charlatans, or frauds.

Yet as I got to know the world of chiropractic, naturopathic, and other alternative health care providers, I discovered a depth of untapped, often ignored knowledge. What began as an interim job became a trusted resource for medical concerns. 

Keeping an open mind, I was willing to try many forms of alternative methods over the years to come.

Fast forward to last week. I was having episodes of vertigo and related vision problems, so I brought it up at my regularly scheduled acupuncture appointment with Susannah Freeman-White. I told her that several of my known medical issues could be causing dizziness, and I didn't know which health professional to consult. She suggested that rather than a medical problem, it could be caused by a stress response to my recent travel along with neck tension. She treated me with small needles placed in specific points, and it made me feel better for several hours.

I knew I was on the right track.

The next day, I mentioned the dizziness to my physical therapist, and she set me up with her colleague, Steve, for a Positional Vertigo assessment. He told me that medical doctors used to just give patients like me anti-nausea drugs and send them home. More recently, physical therapists can access special training to treat the inner ear canal with a series of specific movements to solve the problem. After our session, I left feeling a bit improved, but I wanted to try one more approach.

The following day, I called my former employer, Dr. Clete Linebarger, to schedule a chiropractic appointment. I updated him on my symptoms and my slow but steady progress. He seemed hopeful that he could help, so he instructed me to lie back on a table and adjusted my neck. "That should take care of it. Get some rest to reboot your system, and give it twenty-four hours."

Within less than a day, my vertigo was markedly improved, leaving only occasional, fleeting episodes.

It would have been easy to avoid or discount the alternative advice I had received and bring the worrisome symptoms to the traditional forms of medicine, but this was not the first time I've gotten positive results with holistic health care, having learned to balance these remedies with conventional treatments, so I was able to trust the experts and accept their guidance.

I plan to return to the physical therapist for vision exercises, and if that isn't enough help, I'll call in another expert. 

There will be no shame or embarrassment in seeking healing for myself.

Instead, I will take comfort in and will be grateful for my health care options and the fascinating ways the body can be repaired.

What kinds of care do you seek? Are you open to alternative approaches?

Can you see the beauty in your health care?

----
Two doorways from this week:

  • We celebrated my nephew's birthday last weekend (my sister-in-law's son) and I saw beauty in his joyous smile when unwrapping his gifts.
  • As I was driving home, small hail began to come at my windshield, but it was falling from a bright blue sky, so I was able to see each mesmerizing piece.
It's really difficult to capture a hail storm with a camera! You can see a speck of hail in the top right corner of this photo.

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