Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Alternative Medicine

Excerpt from "Alternative Medicine" as seen in Sick Girl Speaks!

He came highly recommended to me. He had been one of those people that seemed almost to defy physics in the magic he could perform to help the sick. A woman I had close connections with would see him once a week and spoke of all the amazing things he knew about her body and how to heal it; nothing that the western doctors had been able to do.

I made an appointment and was anxious to see what this man had to offer me and my ailing health. He lived far out in the country near a beautiful lake. The house was large and had an entirely separate building as his office. One thing was for sure, he made money doing this healing work.

When I went inside, he was with another client. I sat in the waiting room and noted the many Native American chachkis around me. That made sense, someone who had been trained by Native American healers perhaps? I was excited to find out where his skills came from.

His client left and he came out to meet me. Although I was startled by his appearance, I was not surprised. He had long grey and white hair and so many crystals dangling from everywhere that I hardly noticed his weathered face. He spoke to me in a soft voice, one that I had heard many times, one filled with pity and sympathy.

He took me back to his large “treatment area” that was reminiscent of a covered greenhouse. Strange art, presumably his, was sitting on the floor encircling the room. We went to the very back corner where he had me sit in a chair and he sat at his desk.

He began by asking me to put both feet on the floor, closing my eyes and breathing deeply. Very familiar with this routine, I obliged with the exception of the breathing deeply part, as I was unable to do so at this point. I naturally began to go into my meditative state, a place I was familiar and comfortable with. He began talking to me about going inside and feeling the white light starting at my feet and moving up my legs into my torso, my arms, my head. While the meditation was routine, his comments were not. He was acting as though he could see the light and confirming that I was successful in my mediation. It rang phony to me and I decided to test him. When he moved on to an exercise where I would “open” and “close” my heart, I purposely did the opposite of his directions. He proved to me that he wasn’t “seeing” anything by his dramatic ooh’s and aww’s at my ability to open my heart when I was in fact not. He was on thin ice.

After the meditation was done, he stared at me, intensely, for what seemed like weeks. I was irritated with his charades and stared back. Eventually, he asked me in that liquid tone, “What do you think?” And I said “I’m just waiting”. He replied “No, what do you think of me?” I replied “Not much.”

He was clearly upset and flustered by my lack of wonderment. He then launched into a lecture about how I needed a spiritual tradition and that when I found one I would be much more centered. Translation: “I am the Guru here, you have no idea what you have in front of you and you’re way off base.”

Little did this man know I did have a very strong spiritual tradition; one that I had in fact dedicated much of my life to. His rude assumptions based on my appearance alienated me even farther but, for some naive reason, I still let him treat me.

We moved to the table and he hooked me up to a machine that he had “adapted”. I recognized the machine; they had the same one in my chiropractor’s office. The wires did not look the same and it did not have sticky pads either. Instead it looked more like small coat-hangers at the ends. He bragged that this was the only machine of its kind. Again he was miffed when I told him my Chiropractor had the same one but he quickly replied; “But does hers measure your Aura?” No, hers did not measure a person’s Aura because that would be stupid! By definition, an Aura changes second by second based on your emotions and the environmental stimuli. Even if he could measure it, what would be the value in that? Weary of our battle of spiritual wills, I agreed he had the only one and shut up. I was ready to go.

It would be a long time before I could leave this man’s lair. I was on his table for 2 hours, getting my ‘Aura checked by the only machine of its kind”. Finally, it was time to go and he was going to make me up some homeopathic remedies. I declined. Again, he was flustered but offered a big discount because I didn’t want his remedies. He charged me $200.00! This was a discount as he normally charged at least $500.00 a session. I threw my check at him and got out of there as fast as I could. I obviously never went back.

I shudder to think what might have happened to my bank account if I hadn’t had the presence of mind to test this man’s abilities. I like to think that I would not have fallen into his spell like my friend but someone who promises health in the face of death can be quite an alluring thing.

These are the kinds of alternative “practitioners” that give all the good ones a bad name.

He promised me the things I most wanted, health and happiness, and used those things to lure me into his practice, despite his limited ability to provide those things. As for my friend, he became her primary source of treatment and strongly advised her to not seek council outside of his techniques. The result was that she went into early kidney failure and he tried to treat it with his remedies but she became so ill she had to “defy” him and seek out a western doctor. She then realized that he would have let her die before relinquishing control of her health. This is when she chose to stop seeing him.


Nature Goddess Speaks said...

Well done! I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am always most comfortable when my patients are willing to think for themselves.

Jacqueline L. Jones said...

Through using alternative medicine, I now have a life after suffering from chronic pain and fatigue more than 20 years. I don't claim to be well, but I now have to strength to help my family and work toward personal goals.

clement said...

n 2002, the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Section staff of the National Library of Medicine classifies alternative medicine under the term complementary therapies. This is defined as therapeutic practices which are not currently considered an integral part of conventional allopathic medical practice. They may lack biomedical explanations but as they become better researched some, such as physical therapy, diet, and acupuncture, become widely accepted whereas others, such as humors or radium therapy, quietly fade away, yet are important historical footnotes. Therapies are termed as Complementary when used in addition to conventional treatments and as Alternative when used instead of conventional treatment

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