This blog was inspired by my rich and abundant dream life. Last night I dreamt of parasites and a Chick-Fil-A sandwich keeping me from going on a tropical vacation –obviously, a crystal clear sign as to what I had to do upon awakening this morning. Write about my recent observations of Western medicine, of course.
For years now, I have sworn off doctors, medicines via conventional methods…even people that looked like doctors and medicine, and definitely those whom smelled like doctors and medicine. I have worked for chiropractors across the United States and proudly stood for and fastened myself to their doctrine. I have been able to find this alternative river whose current I want to shout from the rooftops about. This is not to say, I have not had my fair share of….medical encounters.
When I first entered high school, I remember sitting daily through long lectures about how to become a cartographer and dissect a pig (should that need ever arise) while simultaneously trying to keep my focus away from the fingernails that were scraping their way through my large intestine. No, I did not bite my nails (yet)….but my stomach hurt every day like I had swallowed an industrial size, lifetime supply of hammers, nails, and some screws. Toss in some drill bits and you have yourself a school year’s worth of inner agony. Looking back, I can attribute the pain to having a schedule that was non routine and constantly rushed, being stressed out about paying my dues for all the trouble I caused, being constantly aware and nervous, and paying poor attention (ok AWFUL attention) to my diet. Also, I suppose the fact that I had to wear nylon stockings and tights everyday with my uniform didn’t exactly help my case (though I could do a mean mix-and-match outfit with all the neon tights they made those days). I am pretty sure that they were pressing on my abdomen, as if in an effort to squeeze my brain out like toothpaste from a tube, in order to make it function better. Too bad it didn’t work —Leggs might have actually been onto something marketable there.
During high school, I got tons of advice from doctors, teachers, counselors, spiritual leaders, anyone and everyone who claimed to know the answer to what was going on in my body. My parents supportively poured money down the drain to bring me to specialists who stuck cameras down my throat, and took my blood from my veins like it was going out of style and soon only to be available on the black market. “Trust me, you guys, my blood is A negative, it’s not worth a dime!” Every test came back with a shake of the head and a shrug of the shoulders. No one could find out what was wrong with me although I did have access to a pharmacy’s worth of antacids and painkillers if I felt so inclined to fill my prescriptions.
After going verifiably insane and getting myself a DSM-IV diagnosis code to present my insurance company with, I sought counseling which did little to ease my pains, but did a lot for my art skills. I was finally justified drawing lots of doodles in my notebooks during class, became more poetic, and finally understood how it felt to have to pay someone to listen to me, which then gave me an excuse to write depressing songs.
When I began working at Spinal Corrective Center in Amherst, I was happy to learn that part of the pay package included getting adjusted by a chiropractor (two in fact) and instructed in the ways of whole food nutrition, probiotics, and food combining; my eyes started to open, and my stomach began to be a little less clenched. When I was doing well financially, I was able to give myself all the tools to keep myself well with proper nutrition and care that took away any recollection of even being in pain! All the puzzle pieces began coming together and I started to see the medical system in a new light.
The last pill I can remember popping was after getting my wisdom teeth taken out at age 18. I took a Vicodin and quickly disposed of the rest of the bottle after levitating my way down a ski slope while snowboarding with my friends. Before the wisdom teeth experience (which mind you, was quite a gas), I can’t remember the last time I even took an Advil.
Depending on my level of poverty, and the amount of willpower I have possessed to keep myself in optimal health, I have wavered back and forth on the line from doing wonderfully to failing miserably. I have learned that the concept that health is not a stationary or fixed state is VERY true. I also found out that much of my health lies within my control.
While in France, I battled for my own routine, my own diet, and personal schedule; I felt out of control while going through many of the same debilitating pains that I experiences when I was just a young sprout. I eschewed medical help, preferring to wait until I could return to the States. Although I did have to breakdown and visit the village doctor after squeezing lemon juice and oregano oil all over my lips didn’t work for the bacterial sunburn infection that was taking over my face. Hesitantly, I followed his instructions to slather a creme all over my face, which surprisingly worked to relieve the burning sunburn and get rid of the bacteria. After being empowered with the knowledge that it was not a life-threatening, nor permanent Frankensteining disorder, I handled it on my own from there with probiotics and reiki moon dances.
Ok, enough of my water balloon fight with the medical field; I completely respect their purpose and schooling and realize there are times we must turn to conventional medicine. Not all doctors give you nightmares like the Boogeyman and not all nurses promote popping pills to reduce your risk of heart disease. But what if we start to change the entire term “conventional”? What if the accepted standard was health and wellness and not just symptom management?
Recently, I heard of the following “get well soon” remedy prescribed for a post-operative recovery from surgery:
Junk food: Have it by your bedside at all times so you don’t have to worry about cooking anything.
Antiobiotics: Even doctors know the negative consequences of antibiotics, yet they do little to tell of the other natural “antibiotics” that exist. Likely, they have not been FDA approved.
Painkillers: Understandably so. But in doses that promise to knock one out and keep you in a hazy high for days on end.
I get it….I really do.
But what about my friend with a brain tumor that completely dissolved when she passed the Main Stream and hopped on board the Alternative Canal?
What about my Nana who religiously takes a slurry of pills that are never going to make her better, though claim to do so?
What about a little girl who wore glasses from age six on, only to find that she had 20/20 vision and better after she started eating vegetables?
Heartburn symptoms completely vanishing after a body’s healing with chiropractic adjustments?
Inches being shed off the waistline by shoving organic vegetables through a juicer?
Will removing half of someone’s intestines really make them be able to digest hormone-injected meat a little better?
I know nothing. All I know is that human beings are multi-faceted, they have at least eighty dimensions. All I want to see is that they are treated this way. All I want to know is that there could possibly more than eighty ways to skin a cat (what a horrid expression!). All I want to see is some miracles. Or even be one.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
With that, I have a halo to affix to my head and a world to save….