Witch, Doctor?

My Experience with "Alternative" or "New Age" Medicine...


I think there is a place for alternative medicine, but I am not a fan of those who forgo conventional medicine all together for themselves and their children.  In the past few years I have suffered from chronic upper back pain and after conventional medicine did not really help I tried a procedure where they inserted large needles into my muscles to release the spasms.   I also went to a chiropractor several times, massage therapists, and enjoyed Acupuncture.   I also tried different forms of clinical therapy that are "New Age"  (I was living in Seattle after all..every other corner is a "New Age" place).  Some of them worked some of them didn't.  My insurance company was billed hundreds and thousands of dollars for these alternative therapies but none of them cured me but they did relax me!   The only thing that worked was a low dose opiate and physical therapy exercise to strengthen my back.   I think alternative medicine is great if you add it on to a program approved by a conventional M.D.

I have some friends that don't believe in conventional medicine and get caught up in MLM companies that sell potions and machines intended to "cure" most ailments.  Witch doctor, anyone?

I don't believe that if you become suddenly ill you should ignore conventional medicine and head straight to your chiropractor or alternative energy healer to "fix" your problem.    Why do I feel this way?  Well, I almost died twice and it was conventional medicine that saved me.

In the 1990's I was visiting my friend in a remote village in the Philippines.    I became suddenly ill with a high fever, vomiting and nausea.  I could not keep any food down and would vomit even a small amount of water.  Due to the tropical heat and vomiting I became extremely dehydrated and lethargic.   My head was pounding.  My friend took me to a reflexologist to "cure" my headache and vomiting.   I paid her 100 pesos and had a great foot massage.   I went home and still had a terrible headache and could barely walk.   Eventually I started to lose my sight due to dehydration.  When I started screaming for my "Mommy" my friend took me to another friends house in the village.  She was a smart woman and hired a pedi-cab to take me to a real hospital.   At that point, I could not see the faces in front of me.  They were all blurry.  I was screaming for my mom and that I was going blind.   A conventional M.D. came to my cot, hooked me up to an I.V., drew some blood, and half an hour later I was diagnosed with Amoebic Dysentery and extreme dehydration.   I had lost over 20 pounds and temporarily lost my sight due to lack of water in my body.   I spent the next several days hooked up to antibiotics and fluids and was soon back on my feet.    Reflexology did not cure me...but antibiotics did.

In 2005 I started vomiting everything I ate...I thought it was just anxiety so I went to a shrink.  She told me to focus on the positive and take Xanax as needed.  I took Xanax but still kept feeling super nauseous and sick to my stomach.  On night I woke up with a sharp stabbing pain in my abdomen.  I screamed bloody murder..and  woke the neighbors.  I thought it was just "bad gas" but after several doctor (not all doctors are as smart as they seem) visits later, I finally had a CT scan.   I had a ruptured appendix and severe peritonitis.   After emergency surgery I was in and out of the hospital for a few weeks hooked up to IV antibiotics.   Without the antibiotics I would be dead.  Focusing on the positive did not really help me.   It was not "all in my head" or an anxiety disorder - even though I was young, blonde and skinny (at the time)!

I think "alternative medicine" is great as an additional therapy but don't fall prey to all the crystal rock healers and forgo modern medicine all together!  I am proof that modern medicine works a little bit better than crystals....or reflexology (gasp!)  How can rubbing your feet cure disease anyway?

This crystal is pretty but can it heal me? I would rather make some cool jewelry out of this rock! 
P.S.  I am still a big fan of chiropractic, massage and physical therapy and I use those practices once in a while, though not as often.





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