Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Alternative Therapies

I've figured out the main reason people visit doctors: pain.  No one thinks about doctors when all is well.  No, it is pain - as in, "Make it go away!" - that compels us.  But how much pain is tolerable before we are motivated to seek treatment?

On the flip side, it's often embarrassment that stops many from getting needed help (that, and the expense).  I've pondered these ideas a lot lately.  Yes, as you'd suspect, pain is a constant companion of mine.

This year, I've chosen to take action.  That action, I realize, involves entirely non-traditional, non-Westernized treatments. Western medicine has taken me only so far (hello Advil!) but has fallen short.  So I'm fighting pain with acupuncture (brand new for me), chiropractic care (not new for me, but a return after a year-long hiatus) along with some dietary changes, supplements and traditional Chinese herbs.

Of course, none of these would ever be recommended by my general practitioner - which kind of makes me mad.  They are things I researched and learned about on my own.  Did you know, for instance, that 2-3 magnesium tablets are not only good for migraines but - taken an hour before bedtime - relax muscles and promote restful sleep?  Me neither...until I wandered into a homeopathic/natural supplements store and talked to the employees.

Alas, the mainstream medical community and insurance companies (don't get me started on Aetna - grrrrr!) are slow to understand the benefits offered by "non-traditional" therapies.  Ironic, since traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, has been used successfully to treat various conditions for centuries.  Among the conditions it is most successful at treating is pain.  Chronic pain.

I'll be writing future updates regarding my "stomp out pain" journey; I promise to be truthful.  But for now, dear readers, I urge you to push past your psychological comfort zone if that is what's holding you back.  Set your skepticism aside and try to be open to different modalities.  Life really is too short to live with pain.

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