In the prior two blogs I addressed self-healing and the occurrence of miracles. If you ask a physician, each doctor has witnessed at least one case of unexpected and unexplained healing. However, with healing, there is an underlying question I would like to ask. Have you tried any alternative treatments? Or do you always follow your physician’s recommendation? If you need some encouragement to seek alternative treatments, let me share one personal experience.
When I was researching and writing The Boomer Survivor Kit, my health improved because of the changes to my eating style and exercise routine. But, by thumbing through page after page of 30-40 books, I developed a “trigger thumb”, where my thumb became swollen and would not bend – except in jerky, partial increments. I saw a physician who gave me 6 shots of cortisone into different parts of my thumb and placed my thumb in a temporary splint. When the cortisone shots and splint led to zero improvement, the doctor referred me to a surgeon.
The operation for a trigger thumb is not that different than the operation for the common carpal tunnel syndrome. The surgeon just opens the sheath around the involved tendon, creating more space for the tendon to slide smoothly as the hand opens and closes. However, I did not elect to follow the physician’s advice to seek surgery. Instead, I sought a trial of acupuncture, hoping that a course of needles would cure my trigger thumb.
Let me explain my thinking. First, I love the Chinese philosophy of three levels of care with the lowest level of care being the treatment of a disease, which is 99% of our American health care system. Second, I love their philosophy of working up the levels of care from treatment to prevention to maximum health, plus their belief that our American treatment does not typically allow for that upward progression. Third, I love their philosophy that illnesses develop (and injuries don’t heal) because our natural healing “system” is blocked. It needs to be opened; and opening the channels improves more than just the physical symptom.
So, I am embarked on a 2-3 month course of weekly acupuncture treatments. I wish I could describe the sensation of opening up the healing channels in your body. If a part of your body is not healing, Chinese medicine attributes that problem not just to that part of your body, but to the blocked channels that connect to that part of your body. With each treatment of needles, I felt this new sensation – a new force – within my body suddenly being released. In my case that healing energy traveled directly to my trigger thumb, making it feel like Obi-Wan Kenobi of Star Wars has just released the “force” to heal my body.
For me, the treatment worked wonderfully. My thumb’s swelling decreased; the thumb’s movement grew freer; and the thumb’s mobility returned to normal. More importantly, other areas of my health also improved. Again, the healing channels had been opened. Now, I am not trained in Chinese medicine. I have only read some textbooks. But, as a patient and as a physician, I want those healing pathways open, not closed. So, I continued with the acupuncture, asking for additional treatments that might lead to more open healing pathways. Again, for me, the result was a sense of greater health and vitality, which would not have occurred with any surgical procedure.
There’s one other point. I think this process of opening pathways and promoting healing is not so different than the material we discussed in the prior two blogs on self-healing. I recommended a dramatic change in eating style, a significant change in cognitive style, and daily periods of connection with God, possibly through meditation, contemplation, or reflection. But the results are striking similar. With those actions, your physiology and neurochemistry changes; and with these actions, our body’s environment for healing blossoms. With acupuncture, that environment for healing opens – allowing a new force to flow to the involved areas, promoting improved health.
So, when you received your next pill or shot or surgical procedure, I want you to ask yourself. Are you receiving the lowest level of treatment? And is there any other alternative treatment that could improve your health on a higher level – and a wider scale? I think the answer is a yes. I think you can seek alternative treatments (and you should seek alternative treatments) with the possibility of improving more than your physical complaint. The goal is not to reduce the swelling in a joint. The goal is to improve your health to the point where that swelling goes away and stays away, plus you improve other areas to the point where they are better protected from illnesses. From my perspective, open is good. Open channels. Open healing. And an open mind to some alternative options, including self-healing.
Any stories or miracles to tell? Submit and I will gladly share …