Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Alternative Healing

I'm interested to hear if any of my readers have explored alternative medicines or therapies, either through mistrust of the current medical practices or to avoid a fat-hating doctor.


For example, many of the women I know (including myself) will exhaust herbal options before setting foot in a doctor's office (mmm...sage honey cough syrup...). I also know a few people who have become disgusted with their doctors and turned to acupressure, massage therapy and Reiki energy healing with various levels of success.


I'm not putting any sort of value judgement on any system. There are, sadly, very bad doctors out there. There are also very good ones if people have the means to seek them out. Just as there are quacks, thieves, and talented and ethical healers amongst most alternative therapies. Perhaps the reason so many fat people turn to the alternatives is that they feel the holistic therapies are more likely to treat them as an entire person instead of a BMI. Possibly there's also a perk in that I've never met a Reiki master that insisted their clients step on a scale before pulling out the chakra crystals. Either way, I believe that the growing popularity (and insurance support) of alternative therapies might actually get more fat people to seek some form of diagnosis and treatment in good time instead of too late. Perhaps one of the more important purposes of the FA movement is to convince us that we do not deserve to live with pain or illness. Once we can convince every human being that every other human being has a right to equal access to medicine (regardless of weight, age, color or socioeconomic bracket) I think it will narrow many equality gaps in our society.


In the meantime, every doctor should be required to read the blog "First Do No Harm" before they're allowed to venture into the world of human beings. It may remind them that their patients and they are the same species.

7 comments:

Bri said...

I do prefer an alternative approach to some things. However knowing a women (who practices massage therapy, reiki and many other healing modalities) who is virulently anti-fat, I am now second guessing myself about the alternative practitioners I have seen/do see. Finding out how much this particular healer hates fat and demonises fat people makes me question not only her effectiveness as a healer but also question what attitudes do other alternative practitioners have that I haven't been aware of. Are they laughing their arses off once we walk out of the room? It concerns me. I have been trying to come up with a post about it but have been struggling because I want to discuss that one woman's attitude but I don't want to get myself into trouble by doing it, if you know what I mean.

Tari said...

I am all about alternative modalities. I have treated with chiropractic, accupressure, cranio-sacral, various kinds of massage, various kinds of energy work, and Traditional Chinese medicine, not to mention plenty of homeopathic stuff. My go-to treatment is acupuncture, though....and I have treated with several different practitioners over the years, and always had great results (for treatment of such disparate conditions as chronic pain, allergies, pulled muscles, headaches, and slipped discs).

Just like with any other healthcare, though, I think it's really important to be educated and assertive in obtaining information and making decisions about treatment. I've been lucky to find alternative practitioners who weren't hung up on weight, but I know of plenty who preach the gospel of thin - and they're not people who I want working in "support" of my health.

Breanna said...

I'm with you on not trusting the dr's these days. Hell I have not trusted them for years. My mom didn't trust them either. Which in the end lead to her death at 52. It sucks. I try very hard to believe in them. I have finally found a Dr I like but I still have my reservations about her as well. The whole reason I became a reiki Master was because I found them when my mom was ill and they wouldn't treat her unless I had 75.00 and we just didn't. I know it doesn't seem like so much to some but at the time if I had come up with 75.oo my kids would not have eaten. So Now I am one. I don't use it near enough. Specially on myself. And I don't charge for it either. If someone is in pain, sick or just wants healing if my guides tell me to go for it I do. You know I'm always willing to do Reiki on you or any of my friends. I just don't like to push it to much. I look at it like if you guys want it either you will tell me. Or my guides will have me bring it up to you in some manner. I think it might be good for you. But even as a Reiki practitioner I still feel there are things that Reiki and herbs can not heal. Somethings that people do still need to see a Dr for. sigh. Sometimes even if its just going back to a Dr to have a test done again after doing alternative healing to see if it had a result before you put your self through something painful or life changing.
Sometimes I know some of my pain would be less if I could just lose 20lb. Weight off my knees is a good thing. But I don't see how that will help the place I have 95% of my pain. My shoulder. and its been a real pain in the ass.

JoGeek said...

Bri: That's interesting, and I would also question someone's integrity as a healer if they brought their physical prejudices to it. If nothing else you wouldn't want to go to someone who does energy healing if they're directing negativity at you because of your weight!

JoGeek said...

Breanna: I don't normally allow comments that talk about weight loss as a positive (or permanent) solution to any health problem. I don't honestly believe 20 pounds makes any difference (you might as well say that no longer carrying a purse or wearing cotton skirts instead of heavy denim would do wonders for your joints). I believe that the steps most people take when endeavoring to lose those 20 pounds is what really does it (i.e. taking more exercise that gently builds up the muscles around the knee so that they can work to support the joint and tendons).

Ginger said...

I have to say, I am so fortunate to have a doctor that is not a "fat phobic". She has seen me vary at least 60+ pounds in weight and has NEVER mentioned anything about it. She has always treated the ailment at hand. Whenever I ask her what I should weigh, she says "What are you comfortable weighing? I don't think I can just put a set number on someone". She's very open and very anti GBP and Lapband surgery. She's also a thinner doctor. I think she's just in-tune with her patients better than most. But, I do agree. I was at the gym yesterday (just trying to strengthen the back) and I felt so out of place. It would be nice to have some support. The trainers avoided me. :(

Kevin Gowen said...

What is the Reiki treatment for skin cancer?