Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Gratitude Day 27: Alternative Medicine

I know I have already posted about medicine, but I think that there are larger categories of healing than just Western based medicine. When I was young my mum used to take us to a herbalist pretty regularly so I have always been exposed to quite a broad way of thinking when it comes to health.

When I got quite sick a few years ago, I went to the doctor and they gave me some of the usual tests - I had an MRI scan (which was terrifying and exciting at the same time) and some blood tests, but once they figured out it wasn't anything serious they pretty much gave up on finding out the cause of the pain. They gave me preventative medication that turned me into a zombie. I quickly decided that wasn't for me and went back to ask for more tests. They refused, saying that since I get headaches it could be related to anything. I didn't want to get stuck on pain medication with horrible side effects for the rest of my life so I decided to explore a bit. My friend, Miss M, told me about a herbalist in London and I tried them out - they gave me medication for the pain but they said that they were baffled about the cause - though I did find out I'm in a class of people called 'atypical' which comes from the Latin for 'strange'. Miss M suggested that I try something that works on my energy rather than just my physical body, something like acupuncture. I did. It helped enormously.

I'm not completely healed up but I only go once every three months now and I am getting better slowly. I feel like it has helped me get more in touch with my body as a whole, to see it from a holistic perspective. Rather than just looking at my head when I have a headache I try to get a more sweeping perspective. There are also emotional components related to the body in Chinese medicine, so I have learned a lot about my emotional health as well. I get on really well with my acupuncturist and I always look forward to going because I really feel like it's not just working once, but I am learning how to not get into that situation again, to be aware of what I do with my body and my mind the rest of the time so I can maintain my health. There were times when the pain was so awful I was using pain medication just to take the edge off the pain so that I could function. There were days when I wanted to just drift out to sea and never come back if it meant no more pain. I'm a great deal better now, but I'm not exaggerating when I say the lady is saving my life. I am, and always will be, so grateful for the treatments she has given me and the things that she has taught me.

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