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.
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