“Two roads diverged in a wood and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. — Robert Frost
How many of these are familiar to you:
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Craniosacral therapy
- Zen Shiatsu / massage therapy
- Body awareness
- Guided Imagery
- Mind/Body education
- Natural remedies
- Holistic approach
- Integrative (instead of “alternative”) medicine
Doctors have described me as a complex puzzle, a conundrum, a mystery, rare, hypersensitive to medications, etc. Ok, so maybe I am unusual, but when they couldn’t find the answers to my symptoms, I needed alternatives. The list above, which is growing, comprises those treatment alternatives. I continue to learn how important they are not only to my healing, but also to a person’s general well being, balance and prevention. The more I learn and the more I experience, the more they make sense to me. Sure some have had their limits, but I have had more positive results than negative. I will continue to use many of these therapies as long term maintenance even beyond my recovery.
I am going regularly to a craniosacral therapist/massage therapist, an acupuncturist, and a pain psychologist. They are my current alternative treatment team, who I refer to as my “healers.” They have provided me with many ideas about what may be causing my symptoms and are tailoring my treatment based on that. They are reputable, credible, accomplished, have years of experience and are experts in their field. They came highly recommended by people I trust.
I will never abandon conventional medicine because it is very important. I still use medical doctors as my primary care for other conditions. In those cases, I think the doctors provide effective treatments. I also think it is important to maintain regular checkups and screenings. But I will continue to “integrate” and use alternative treatments more often where it makes sense. I prefer to consider and try safe, less invasive treatments first and want to know about the available options. Also, with my hypersensitivity to medications, I need to find alternatives to drugs where possible.
As far as the terms alternative, Western, conventional medicine, etc., my opinion is that medicine is medicine regardless of the source. There is medicine that works for you and medicine that doesn’t work.