From Western Medicine to Alternative Approaches: How Did That Happen?

October 6, 2015 by
Pills, tablets and drugs poured into open hand

My mother was a nurse. My sisters became nurses. I was the only holdout, the one who refused to consider it. My commitment to choosing something else was based on two things: contrariness (I’ll admit it) and my complete inability to deal with unpleasant human fluids, including but definitely not limited to blood.

As you can imagine, my life was strongly influenced by the Western medicine environment in which I grew up. There were some wonderful advantages to having sisters who were nurses. When we were sick, we saw doctors, we took pills or got shots, we did what we were told. That’s what sane, educated, intelligent people do, right? 

I viewed alternative treatment methods, including quality food, with skepticism at best and as criminal scams at worst. People who used alternatives were “out there,” and people who practiced them were con artists or nuts. Our paths didn’t cross because when I’d see them coming, I’d turn away.

Skeptical Woman

So how on earth did I get from where I was to where I am now, a practicing holistic health and wellness coach with a contact file full of wonderful alternative practitioners? It took decades of life, of struggle and of suffering, before I even began to consider them.

It would take more than a blog post to paint the complete picture, so let me just give you an overview. My health was pretty much on track until my 40s, and then, with a new career, new husband, and a mom who, in her 80s, began to have health issues, I took the focus off me and put it everywhere else. And I went to pot. You can imagine the stress. I didn’t handle it well.

By the time I was 49, my day to day reality consisted of chronic allergies, hypertension, high cholesterol, depression, headaches, frequent respiratory infections, obesity and exhaustion. My future looked grim.

Frustrated woman with scale

I did the best I knew to do at the time: I saw my doctor, I tried weight loss plans one after the other, and I took my prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. The jumbo sized bottle of extra-strength Excedrin was my best friend. Underneath it all, though, I was resigned to a very bleak future. I might smile during the day, but in the quiet moments I was deep in despair.

The turning point came when a fellow teacher, a fitness and health fanatic, shared some information with me about therapeutic supplements she had been using. Although I was very skeptical I was also desperate. Because I trusted my friend and because a doctor had protocols for using the supplements to help specific conditions, I decided to try them. 

At the same time I  learned how to eat to keep my blood sugar steady, and for the first time in years, my cravings and weight began to stabilize. I began to feel better and better, to have more energy, to have hope. Within that first year I said goodbye to every one of those medications  - yes, with my doctor’s approval - and that really got my attention! 

It was like someone had pulled the plug on my reluctance to try new things. From that point on, I tried out lots of things. I tried new foods, from avocados to jicama and from cacao nibs to turmeric root. I tried vegetarian, vegan, and paleo and eventually settled on plant-focused (more plants than anything else) eating. We invested in a Vitamix for the creamiest smoothies on the planet. We even made our own fresh nut milks and fermented foods.

Herbs and Supplements

I went back to school. I detoxed, enjoyed thalasso pools and had nutrition seminars during a long weekend at Sanoviv Medical Institute in Mexico, and enjoyed lunch and a lecture at the Hippocrates Institute in Florida. I experienced Reiki, kinesiology, Emotional Freedom Techniques, various cleanses, several types of massage, theta healing, colonics, acupuncture, clinical hypnotherapy, different approaches to chiropractic and meditation, homeopathy, essential oils, herbs, yoga, countless lectures by raw food enthusiasts as well as proponents of paleo and traditional food lifestyles, and more. Whew!

So that’s how this girl, raised on Western medicine, became a holistic coach. I haven’t heard it all. I haven’t experienced everything there is to experience, but I have learned and experienced a lot. In the process I’ve met some wonderful practitioners to whom I’m happy to refer, others who fit my earlier view of nut or con man, still others who are serious eg0 maniacs. 

By far, the most important thing I’ve learned is that:

Every approach, plan, and therapy works for somebody.

No single approach, plan or therapy works for everybody.

Here’s the thing. If I was clinging to what I knew despite the fact it wasn’t working for me, I know that others are doing that too. And I know it can be scary to dip a toe into a world that seems so foreign and, frankly, weird.

I also know we’re living in very exciting times. Times when alternatives are becoming more mainstream, when there's sound science to support many of them, and when we can find out more with a few clicks on a keyboard.

As a skeptic who has learned a few things over the years, I want to be a part of spreading that awareness. If you know me, you know that I absolutely love connecting people. I love sharing key information with others so they can make up their own minds. And I trust my clients to do just that. That's why I created the Cut the Pill tele summit.

Do you have questions about alternative solutions? Tune in to the Cut the Pill tele summit. You’ll be glad you did!

Register at http://CutthePill today!

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