It’s been quite a whirlwind of events these past few years culminating in my biggest challenge of all during the past couple of weeks. It’s been a time when I’ve been challenged to practice what I teach. For over 45 years, I’ve been in the field of alternative and complementary medicine and have always believed and experienced the importance of combining standard medical treatments with alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage, tai chi, yoga, homeopathy, nutrition, etc. In fact, that’s why I founded and directed three healing centers based on integrative medicine. It works and I have continued to believe that it works through my experience of working with others. However, the true test came when I was faced with my own medical challenges and my husband’s medical challenges, as well.
Over the past couple of years, I have had several diagnoses attempting to explain why I was feeling so badly. Some of them were accurate, some were not. I was tested for many things and I saw many medical doctors. They all had a piece to the puzzle but what helped to keep “some” sanity in this (sometimes overwhelming) medical world was the knowledge that not all of the answers are contained in allopathic medicine. I have continued to consult with a team of alternative practitioners and they have helped guide me through the maze of confusion and uncertainty (and, yes, fear) while still acknowledging the necessity of standard medical treatments. And, as a result, I’m healing and my belief is intact. Whew!
Then came my husband’s medical challenge. Hanging on to my boot straps (yes, I’m from Kansas), we have begun a similar journey. And, without fail, the combination of standard medicine (sometimes called Western, mainstream, orthodox, allopathic, biomedicine, or regular medicine) and complementary medicine (such as acupuncture, energy medicine, Yoga, nutrition, herbs, massage, etc.) continues to work. We still have challenges ahead of us but we are facing them with gratitude for what we’ve learned and experienced.
I truly am grateful for this knowledge and I feel blessed that after 45 years of believing and experiencing integrative medicine, I know that it works. It truly does. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still get fearful and anxious when faced with these challenges but it does mean that I can take responsibility for my own health and healing when challenges inevitably arise.
I know I’ve used some terms that might be confusing so it might be helpful to give some information about these. I hope it’s helpful.
- Complementary medicineis treatments that are used along with standard medical treatments but are not considered to be standard treatments. One example is using acupuncture to help lessen some side effects of cancer treatment.
- Alternative medicineis treatments that are used instead of standard medical treatments. One example is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of anticancer drugs that are prescribed by an oncologist.
- Integrative medicine is a total approach to medical care that combines standard medicine with the complementary and alternative medicine practices that have been shown to be safe and effective. They treat the patient’s mind, body, and spirit. YES!
What experiences have you had with your health and various treatments you have used? I’d love to hear from you. I truly would.
Blessings on your journey,