This past week, while at Sun Oaks knocking down some cardio time, I indulged in a guilty pleasure I don’t often give myself: daytime television. I only watch about an hour of television max most days, not because I feel like it’s evil (though some of those reality shows are like evil’s next door neighbor), but because of all the other things I want to dedicate my time to doing. You know, like writing this.
This treadmill daytime tv was the early stuff. I settled in on “The Today Show” which looked more like “Dr. Oz” or “The Doctors.” The host had set up stations with different alternative health therapies. I know eastern modalities ebb and flow in popularity, but my sense was that with the current direction of western health care, “alternative health care” may quickly become mainstream health care.
I’m all for it. I live in a small, rural area, not especially known for its open minded ways, so I get the hesitation factor about the unknown and anything different. It can be scary. Acceptable alternative modalities fall on a spectrum. While people seem fairly open to the idea of a proactive trip to the chiropractor (and we have a gazillion chiropractors in our area to prove it), they still shirk away from the idea of accupuncture.
But as I sat there watching the different stations on “The Today Show,” from accupuncture, to inversion, to foot therapy with a laser, to stick stretching, I was prompted to visit the accupuncturist myself. Why? Not because I was in pain, or because I was sick, but because I knew my hormones were a little wonky. It was showing on my face. And even though I’ve gone to accupuncturists for preventitive health for years, I’d completely forgot to think of this option for this reason until prompted.
I guess that’s why it’s still alternative. It’s not where our minds go first. We don’t think to go to the root cause–we think to bandaid the symptom. Instead of asking ourselves why we have a migraine, we ask what can we take to suppress it. We, like our western medical docs, are groomed to treat the symptoms, not the underlying causes.
This is frustrating to me when I see my son’s friends who miss lots of school because they have “allergies.” I have seen NAET (Numbudripad Allergy Elimination Technique) work like magic to address underlying allergic reactions, and with far less invasive technique, but when I explain it to the guardians of said young adults, they look at me like I’m from Jupiter. Like it’s better to keep sending their kids to western docs who aren’t helping them.
Twelve years ago while living in LA, my accupuncturist treated me for animal allergies using NAET because we were going to have an indoor puppy. Not only did my allergies to animals go away, but to many other substances as well, some I didn’t even realize I was allergic to. Most notably, I hardly ever get sick any more and prior to that I was sick on average 5 times per year.
We also used this NAET treatment on my youngest son who was terrified of needles but seemed to have some food allergy issues. There are no needles with NAET which just uses basic concepts of muscle response testing to check for sensitivies, then works the meridians with an activator to “reprogram” the nervous system. Completely non-invasive. Relaxing even. To this day, he doesn’t have the reactions he once had to foods he was once sensitive to and, like me, is hardly ever sick. Numbudripad’s book, Say Goodbye to Illness, poses that much of the illness we have in America can be attributed to the foods we eat. The more I experiment with nutrition the truer I think this is.
It’s true you have to try a little harder to find practitioners, especially in rural areas. It’s not as easy as a $30 co-pay and a trip down to urgent care. But for not that much more of a cash investment up front, you can avoid multiple $30 co-pays and urgent care by staying well. Better yet, you can be the best, healthiest version of yourself there is to be, and what’s “alternative” about that?
I trained for my nursing career in the early 70″s and it was strictly Western culture based. Now I see many more Western trained physicans willing to meld their treatment plans with Eastern , I think it’s great.
You have such a great first hand view of this being in medicine when you were and seeing it now. I think all the shifts in health care our happening to teach us many things as a world…to help us evolve. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself as our insurance rates continue to sky-rocket:)