Alternative Therapies: What I Have Tried
by Lisa Poole on Tuesday, October 11, 2016
CHIROPRACTIC. ACUPUNCTURE. MASSAGE. NATUROPATH. HOMEOPATHY. MEDITATION. OH MY.
There are lots of alternative therapies. Some good some bad some proven and some questionable. I am no expert and I will not speak to what is good or bad. I will not bring up the science or lack thereof. There are much smarter people than myself who have done that. I do get asked about many of these and have tried a lot. I want to share my experiences.
Been there done that a bunch.
I have seen a few chiropractors over the years. I have been on drop tables, had traditional spinal manipulations, activators used, trigger point therapy done, EMS pretreatment, inversion tables and Graston technique all used on me. I have had my neck, jaw, ears, ribs, shoulders, hips and even my fibula adjusted. I have gone in for low back pain, jaw pain, migraines, neck pain and the inability to look over my shoulder, hip pain and knee pain. I have had a rib slip out of place during an adjustment (ouch). Sciatic pain post adjustment. And one time an adjustment to my hip made me burst out in tears (pre-hip replacement).
Overall I did feel better most of the time. When I went for migraines I saw a major reduction within 6 months. Was it the adjustments or just my hormones calming down I don’t know but I got relief. It has been very helpful with my neck and gets a big thumbs up there.
I have had a couple of acupuncturist explain the theory of how it works and it goes over my head every time. Something about blocked energy or blood flow. idk I have tried it and did find some help. I went for pain management when I could not take the medication the orthopedic surgeon recommended. When I went on a regular basis per the treatment plan I did find some pain relief. A cure? No but in my situation anything that helped was great. I also went for treatment post surgery to help with my sleep issues. That helped. I can tell you the needles DO NOT HURT. Once in a while, there would be a tender point that would take a second to go away but very pain-free. It was the best naps eva!!
Recently I have been going to get some help with my crazy mid-life hormones and lack of sleep. I am finding it to be of some help. I did go a couple weeks ago a few days after I was in a minor fender bender. The acupuncturist did some work specifically on my neck and back and the effects were immediate and amazing. I believe what was done was dry needling. The release of the muscle contractions was a little ouchy for a moment but the effect was worth the moment of discomfort.
Naturopathy and Homeopathy
I put these together because the people I saw always did both. I loved the doctors I saw. The first one I saw was an MD who practiced Naturopathy and Homeopathy. She was a hoot. Like a grandmother who would not hesitate to scold you. I came in one winter day with my coat opened and no hat and was read the riot act. It was pretty funny. The other was a doctor of Naturopathy. Both were kind and so thorough. The intake/initial appointment took 2 hours. Yes 2. Not sitting in the waiting room but intake and exam. After seeing a Naturopath going to a PCP you realize the lack of quality care. In my experience the care you receive is great. The treatments take some time to see results and it can be expensive. It is based on natural treatments of adjusting diets, taking supplement, and getting hormones aligned. Did I see some benefit? Yes and no. When I followed a plan I did see changes. Following the plans can be challenging and I stopped the second time out of frustration of not seeing immediate results (shame on me for lack of patients). I wish my insurance covered it because I would go back because the quality of care. ***I never feel heard at my PCP, but that’s another story.***
To clear the mind, wouldn’t that be nice.
To feel focused. To rid myself of the chatter.
Those are my goals. Years ago when I practiced yoga we would end with a few minutes of meditation. I tried and tried but the squirrel kept popping up. I went to a meditation class recently. The squirrel is still there but the instructor said its ok. We all have our squirrels it is about getting it to go take a nap
I have heard great things about meditation so I am going to go to more classes and see how it goes.
I love me some massage. What can I say. It is a wonderful thing to receive with many benefits and it is also a wonderful thing to give. I watched a lecture by some really smart scientist (wish I could find link) and he talked about the benefits of touch and how those that give have greater benefits than those that receive. I believe it. In the past 5 years I am a happier and much more content human being than before. I have had good and bad massages. Along with traditional massage I have had Thai, Ashiatsu, and Mana Lomi. The Thai and Ashiatsu are very different. Thai’s nickname is the lazy man's yoga. You lay on the floor in workout clothes and get stretched. Ashiatsu the therapist uses her feet to massage. They hold on to bars over the massage table, stand and walk on you. They are both fantastic therapies that everyone should try. Mana Lomi is very similar to how I practice to give you an idea of what its like.
And Modern Medicine
I also am a big fan of modern medicine. What the doctors can do today is absolutely amazing. I would not be pain-free with the mobility I have without it (my story). There are lots of medications that help and even cure. There are times when an alternative therapy can be used in conjunction with typical medicine to have better results with less side effects. I do believe that both sides need to come together to treat patients for the best results. I do not believe in alternative treatment in lieu of some modern medicine (cancer to name one) its one thing to see a massage therapist for chronic nagging low back pain. Its another to be told you have broken vertebra with nerve damage and think a massage or 2 will fix ya right up. Alternative therapies still do not have all the science backing them the way modern medicine does. Be safe, be your own advocate, and be wise with your decisions on how to treat what ails you.