My first visit to a Naturopathic Doctor was thus far a success and my one and a half-hour session certainly gave me a lot of ‘food for thought’. It was a jam-packed visit and gratefully, he wrote everything down for me to take home and further digest. This now feeble, once-sharp mind (we are going to work on that one, thankfully!) requires a bit more reminding these days, sometimes one moment to the next, never mind a full-out science lesson. However, I did do really well in high school biology and chemistry, so maybe I am a pre-disposed to this bio-chemical way of thinking and it will all come as naturally as it is intended to.
I am fortunate to live in a country with free healthcare, and my husband and I are each lucky to have additional health benefits through our work plans–something we do NOT take for granted in this day and age when many around the world STILL have no access to medical care whatsoever, including some in very, near parts of the globe. The best thing here in Canada is that we usually have a choice of which professional(s) we feel would best serve our needs and we are able to explore different avenues of care. While results may not always go our way since medicine is not an exact science and wait times can be long; there are private options to explore and/or sometimes additional funding can be accessed through various government programs.
In recent years, maybe because I am older and I pay more attention to my state of wellness, I am beginning to hear of people exploring thousands of year old potions, lotions and remedies as healthcare alternatives. In saying that, I do not wish to discount how far we have come in modern medicine with respect to things such as, transplants, new medications and advanced procedures–some of which have helped me personally in the treatment and management of a couple of long-term health conditions. Clearly, researchers, scientists and doctors have all worked tirelessly over the decades to extend people’s life span and quality of life. At the same time, there is a draw toward the many, traditional ways which have contributed to good health and liveliness for hundreds, even thousands of years. As a long-time student of yoga (which originated in 3000 B.C.), a relatively healthy eater, a three to four times-a-week exerciser, a receiver of acupuncture and cupping techniques, and someone who is always looking at different perspectives, traditional medicines have piqued my curiosity. Trends toward all things organics and natural show an increasing number of people, similar to me, who are turning to tried and proven, non drug-related therapies and the like.
One thing that we should also not forget is that our minds are a VERY powerful healers and tools; a concept that was reinforced for me in a recent ‘energy’ session from a once-studied physiotherapist, now practicing energy coach. Regardless of a person’s background or beliefs, most people will agree that a lot of our symptoms which manifest physically can actually be quelled from within. “A state of thriving versus surviving, ” to quote coach, Glenda L. After eighteen years as a practicing physiotherapist, Glenda shared during our session that she left her longtime practice after observing that upward of 80% of her patients’ symptomatic issues appeared to be related to more than just obvious injuries/trauma, hence her growing interest in energy work. Much of what she discussed in our all-ladies’ group resonated with each one of us five participants. From the initial grounding and guided meditation to her simplistic visuals of the effort it takes to survive versus thrive (a striking quantitive difference from one to the other), a chord was struck; all of us were moved to tears at different points in her presentation because we knew that truths had been spoken. Mainly, our universal truth of worthiness, health, well-being and overall healing.
I am not sure about you, but in my circle of friends, loved ones and colleagues, there have been an overwhelming number of us who have and/or suffering from major illnesses, including cancer, dementia, MS, Parkinson’s, in addition to the loss of one’s life, unfortunately. While I am aware that being middle-aged contributes to the growing statistic around me of those affected by disease or death, it is nonetheless alarming. In addition to forcing us to face our own mortality, one has to wonder what is really happening in our environments, as well as from within, such that there appears to be a noticeable rise in both physical and mental afflictions and deaths attributed to each. Knowing that something must be going on is both good and scary: Good in that we are aware and awareness usually brings about action/change and scary in realizing that not everything around us is in our control, i.e. the rules around foods that we consume or the air that we breathe.
What is in our circle of influence, however, is how we choose to react and interact with our surroundings, and those around us. If exploring alternative ways of doing or looking at things provides us with otherwise unknown answers and insights, then count me in as I will do whatever I can to help myself and my loved ones with living our fullest, healthiest lives. If that includes a prescription for the use of castor oil topically, (although it notably has internal uses as well) and George’s Pure aloe juice as advised by my naturopath, well so be it. I’m willing to try almost anything as opposed to sitting back and being my own sufferer, as are many other people.
I must say that there is something empowering about exercising one’s freedom of choice and advocating for your own health knowing full and well that not everyone on this Earth is quite so privileged. With many individuals not in a similar position, it seems all the more reason for the rest of us to take advantage so that we cannot only better ourselves, but ultimately be in a position of service to those who require assistance. Now, that would be a win-win in this game called, Life!