|Alternative Health Information|
The Writer As Activist
Almost two years ago, before the release of my first book, "Short of a Picnic," I began writing nonfiction Internet essays that, like the book itself, deal with mental health. I say "deal" with mental health instead of "dealt" with mental health because these essays, five or six of them altogether, continue to be read. I know that people still read them because some folks e-mail me about them, sharing their personal stories and requesting elaboration on my part. In addition, the pieces have appeared in various places without my prompting, which means not only are they alive, they are multiplying.
"Short of a Picnic" depicts mentally ill characters without suggesting remedies; the back of the book even warns readers about this. My nonfiction essays, however, are all about remedies. Such are the two sides of my experience of mental disorder. I've wandered many dark corridors, but I've also known the sweet taste of relief. When writing about the latter, I never expected to engage this many readers. That shows just how thick I am: I assumed that people would be more interested in the dramatic dark side of my experiences (my fiction) than they would be in the inspirational light side (my nonfiction). Leave it to a youth like me to forget how much the masses relish happy endings.
With no shortage of irony, the essays I crafted to draw attention to my book have drawn attention to themselves, making me into an accidental activist. Before I started hearing from appreciative readers, I had underestimated the power of relating my positive tale. But now I comprehend the power. And I intend to wield it (here and again) for anyone in need. This essay is more ambitious than my previous ones. I intend to make a general case in favor of alternative mental health. In the past, I've plugged acupuncture, discussed the appeal of spirituality, and questioned the value of diagnoses. Allow me to step back for a wider view. Allow me to explain why alternative treatments work. For those of you who don't need convincing, I thank you for your time; you should probably take your business elsewhere. But for those of you in pain, for those of you who dread waking up in the morning, for those of you who fear you won't be able to stand it much longer, I humbly offer the following.
The person writing this essay has had prolonged exposure to acupuncture, shiatsu, homeopathy, massage therapy, reflexology, and a macrobiotic diet. All of these modes of healing work, and I will do my best to explain how. My explanations will be low on formal jargon, for I am not an expert and would never claim to be. I am merely a stunned, joyous witness.
Before I move on, I offer a kick in the rear of all skeptics. I recently watched an episode of Showtime's tastefully titled series, "Bullshit!", wherein Penn and Teller -- those esteemed contemporary philosophers -- made a half-assed attempt to disprove alternative health. Their analysis consisted of little more than having some traditional doctors scream "It's all nonsense!" into the camera. To be sure, traditional medicine is fundamentally different from alternative medicine. The former treats illnesses; the latter treats individuals. The former aims to eliminate symptoms; the latter aims to promote holistic balance. The former is often defensive; the latter is often preventive. I happen to believe that both schools of treatment can work. To each his own. But I personally prefer alternative medicine.
Upon entering the alternative medical world, one is encouraged to accept the following two principles (among others too numerous to discuss): (1) Our bodies are possessed of a natural ability to heal themselves, and that ability can be triggered via treatment. (2) We are all composed of highly sensitive energy, the imbalance of which leads to illness, and skilled healers can help us to balance our energy.
Though one doesn't have to believe in these principles to heal, one does have to understand them to grasp how most alternative therapies work. The first principle is more initially trustworthy than the second, for we all agree that something -- some life force -- is sustaining our existence. Whether we call it "God" or "matter" or "the flow" or what have you, we all realize that some internal engine is propelling us through our lives. So it logically follows that this engine has a sustaining, healing element. We see this element in action when our cuts turn into scabs and our bodies eliminate waste. Our bodies strive for constant efficiency. The job of the alternative healer is to enhance this natural efficiency.
The second principle -- the presence of energy -- tends to set off more alarm bells. The concept carries an unfortunate air of "hocus pocus." People tend to believe what they see, hear, touch, taste, and smell, and energy does not appeal directly to our five senses. So how then does one accept the idea that a healer is going to balance something of hers that is insensible? The best answer is: Make an appointment with an alternative healer and "see" for yourself. The present answer is: Although our senses bridge the gap between our inner and outer worlds, we should not be dismissive of post-sensory possibilities. Could our five senses possibly grant us access to all that there is? Most of us believe in God, so what is so fundamentally irrational about believing in energy? Whenever two people have a conversation, they typically exit the conversation feeling altered, for they have traded energy. Energy is everything; everything is energy. The skilled healer has the ability to progressively interact with this fundamental layer of existence.
The following modes of healing have all inspired my "inner physician" and balanced my energy. To put it more plainly: The following modes of healing have all helped to change my mind from a distressing and uncomfortable realm into a landscape of relative peace (though, like anyone in the world, I still have my moments of torment). The knowledge that I can turn to these treatments at any time fills me with an overpowering sense of optimism and comfort. Anyone who's tired of perpetual mental duress should pick up the Yellow Pages, locate an experienced practitioner, and bask in the wellness that results. Should you fail to do so, I can only quote a salesman from "Glengarry Glen Ross": "Your excuses are your own."
ACUPUNCTURE. I have had great success with acupuncture. Those of you who fear needles needn't worry; acupuncture needles are practically invisible and hardly penetrate the skin. The needles -- sometimes as few as three or four -- are strategically placed in different points on the patient's body. The patient's energy is tangibly impacted; myself and countless others have been known to shed tears upon acupuncture tables. It is not uncommon to leave an acupuncturist's office feeling like you are floating on a cloud.
SHIATSU: To the best of my understanding, shiatsu is acupuncture without needles. Shiatsu practitioners go after one's trigger points with their fingers. Truth be told, I personally have found shiatsu to be softer and gentler than acupuncture as far as energy is concerned. In other words, a shiatsu cloud is even softer than an acupuncture cloud.
HOMEOPATHY: Unlike the last two, homeopathy has nothing to do with reclining on a table. The homeopath administers sweet-tasting concoctions known as "remedies." Remedies look like tiny white pills and taste like exotic candy. You sprinkle a remedy under your tongue and -- wait a while. It's that simple. The skilled homeopath will have listened closely to your case history, taken detailed notes, and selected the appropriate remedy (from a list of thousands) to cure what ails you. If it doesn't work after a few weeks, you move on to another remedy. I personally have had only mild success with homeopathy. But my cousin who had a seizure as a child took a single remedy and hasn't had another seizure in over a decade. And his whole immediate family swears by homeopathy. These are credible people of uniformly sound minds, so I grant homeopathy a place on this list.
MASSAGE THERAPY. I belong to a special club of people who are lucky enough to be engaged to massage therapists. I'll do my best not to brag about her (though it is pretty swell when I have a headache and she relieves it within 90 seconds). Massage therapy is tops for people in the throes of mild mental distress: occasional anxiety, shallow depression ("shallow" in the literal sense, not the superficial sense!), insomnia, transitional stress, et cetera. Once, when I was in the midst of a five-alarm panic attack, a massage therapist cooled me off within thirty minutes. Massages make you sleep sounder and have luscious dreams. Bob Hope supposedly had one massage a day for his entire life. All 100 years of it.
REFLEXOLOGY. Despite what Penn and Teller say, your feet are a map of your entire body. The various parts of your feet correspond with the various parts of your body. This is why, when I have a sinus headache, my girlfriend (who's also a reflexologist!) need only massage my toes before I'm feeling dandy again. Reflexology is inordinately effective and relaxing. I envy any person who is about to experience it for the first time.
A MACROBIOTIC DIET. "What could my diet possibly have to do with my mental illness?" That's a question I asked myself after an acupuncturist told me to eat healthier. I regret that I didn't listen to her advice until three years later. My pasta, hamburgers, potato chips, and bologna sandwiches were just too good to pass up. Nowadays, I've scrapped meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. My diet is a personalized version of the standard macrobiotic diet. By eating more soy, tofu, tempeh, vegetables, and fruit, I've rid my body (and, more importantly, my brain) of destructive toxins. I've been bothered by almost no obsessive thoughts since I began doing this. Do I have my bad days? Of course; that's life, baby. But my mind is clearer, my body is lighter, and my energy level has never been higher.
I've left out yoga, meditation, energy healing, reiki, herbs, aroma therapy, somato emotional release, magnet therapy, and other modes of healing that I've had only passing exposure to. But I have faith in all of them, because I have faith in alternative medicine. It has treated me very honorably. It has made my mind a safer, healthier, and more constructive place. This isn't because I'm lucky. Nor is it because I'm delusional. It's because it works. Afflicted readers can either trust my testimony or remain trapped in the darkness.
Ordinarily, I like to close my essays with sharp, potent one-liners, the nonfiction equivalent of punch-lines. I'll resist doing so with this one, because this essay is not for me. It's yours. Take it, leave it, dismiss it. I've done my part. It belongs to you.
About The Author
Eric Shapiro is the author of "Short of a Picnic."
Phillies Rumors Tracker: Team sees Xander Bogaerts as 'reasonable alternative' to Trea Turner – Phillies Nation - Phillies Nation
Phillies Rumors Tracker: Team sees Xander Bogaerts as 'reasonable alternative' to Trea Turner – Phillies Nation Phillies Nation
Construction of largest alternative diesel refinery in U.S. faces permitting challenges – Oregon Capital Chronicle - Oregon Capital Chronicle
Construction of largest alternative diesel refinery in U.S. faces permitting challenges – Oregon Capital Chronicle Oregon Capital Chronicle
Hungary vetoes Ukraine aid, EU seeks alternative solution POLITICO Europe
AS-CMC: a pan-cancer database of alternative splicing for molecular classification of cancer | Scientific Reports - Nature.com
AS-CMC: a pan-cancer database of alternative splicing for molecular classification of cancer | Scientific Reports Nature.com
Taking a partner’s perspective can inoculate against the allure of alternative romantic partners - PsyPost
Taking a partner’s perspective can inoculate against the allure of alternative romantic partners PsyPost
Mixed Migration Review 2022 - Alternative ideas and solutions for contemporary mixed migration challenges - World - ReliefWeb
Mixed Migration Review 2022 - Alternative ideas and solutions for contemporary mixed migration challenges - World ReliefWeb
Nestlé develops plant-based foie gras alternative for European markets FoodNavigator.com
There is no alternative to alternative assets Financial Times
Shaker maker, TriggerMesh launches AWS EventBridge alternative ComputerWeekly.com
Doehler invests in lab-grown palm oil alternative FoodNavigator.com
Woman's Doctor: Needle Tenotomy offers alternative for pain relief WBAL TV Baltimore
Cool Pi 4: The RK3588S Eight-Core Raspberry Pi Alternative Tom's Hardware
Alternative proteins podcast highliughts sustainability potential FoodManufacture.co.uk
Musk May Have Killed Twitter: Here Are Some Alternative Sites People Are Jumping To - Jumpstart Media
Alternative plans: Fifth Street businesses scramble to find office space in wake of fire - The Republic
Alternative plans: Fifth Street businesses scramble to find office space in wake of fire The Republic
Panorama - Glass Futures partners with government on use of alternative sustainable fuels to reduce carbon emissions - Renewable Energy Magazine
Panorama - Glass Futures partners with government on use of alternative sustainable fuels to reduce carbon emissions Renewable Energy Magazine
Leatherback Long/Short Alternative Yield ETF (LBAY) Marks Two-Year Anniversary as a Top-Performing Long/Short Fund - Yahoo Finance
Leatherback Long/Short Alternative Yield ETF (LBAY) Marks Two-Year Anniversary as a Top-Performing Long/Short Fund Yahoo Finance
Global Alternative Protein Market to Offer Revenue Opportunity of $142.48 Billion by 2028 | Cultured Meat to Offer Lucrative Opportunity - Yahoo Finance
Global Alternative Protein Market to Offer Revenue Opportunity of $142.48 Billion by 2028 | Cultured Meat to Offer Lucrative Opportunity Yahoo Finance
On-Demand Part Service Offers 3D Printing as Faster Alternative to Machining or Injection Molding - All3DP
On-Demand Part Service Offers 3D Printing as Faster Alternative to Machining or Injection Molding All3DP
When should you avoid the ER? Doctor discusses alternative ways to seek care amid 'tripledemic' - KABC-TV
When should you avoid the ER? Doctor discusses alternative ways to seek care amid 'tripledemic' KABC-TV
The Alternative Tech Stack - Articles Advisor Perspectives
Estonia becomes unexpected China rare-earth alternative fDi Intelligence
Ozempic Alternatives [Updated] Over the Counter Alternative to Ozempic for Weight Loss - Deccan Herald
Ozempic Alternatives [Updated] Over the Counter Alternative to Ozempic for Weight Loss Deccan Herald
5 States Where Human Composting Is a Legal Alternative to Burial Money Talks News
Alternative approaches to corporate sustainability with Stacy Kauk Economist Impact
Dogeliens Looks To Be A Low-Risk Alternative Meme Coin To Dogecoin Analytics Insight
Phillies rumor: Dansby Swanson could be club’s alternative to Trea Turner That Balls Outta Here
Gundam Evolution Is the Perfect Overwatch Alternative CBR - Comic Book Resources
Europe's Top 50 Lenders 2022: The Alternative Lenders, Part 2 Real Estate Capital Europe
Clanton offers alternative to prohibited alleyway parking downtown - The Clanton Advertiser - Clanton Advertiser
Clanton offers alternative to prohibited alleyway parking downtown - The Clanton Advertiser Clanton Advertiser
Uncertainty around revival plans pushes Jet Airways employees to explore alternative avenues - Moneycontrol
Uncertainty around revival plans pushes Jet Airways employees to explore alternative avenues Moneycontrol
3 Alternatives to the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee MotorBiscuit
AC Milan interested in Fenerbahce star as Hakim Ziyech alternative turkish football
Analysis | Democrats join Twitter alternative Mastodon in protest of Musk The Washington Post
America Should Motivate Chinese Protesters by Presenting Them With Alternative to China's Model: Gen. Spalding - The Epoch Times
America Should Motivate Chinese Protesters by Presenting Them With Alternative to China's Model: Gen. Spalding The Epoch Times
The satellite-free alternative to GPS Nature.com
€47.6M Worth Of Loans Funded In November Via Alternative Investment Platform PeerBerry | Crowdfund Insider - Crowdfund Insider
€47.6M Worth Of Loans Funded In November Via Alternative Investment Platform PeerBerry | Crowdfund Insider Crowdfund Insider
Alternative funding, tech-friendly and personalised services to boost digital lending, say experts - Moneycontrol
Alternative funding, tech-friendly and personalised services to boost digital lending, say experts Moneycontrol
AGCS to boost Alternative Risk Transfer team | AGCS Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Larry Hogan’s GOP alternative, with Mileah Kromer Niskanen Center
The Alt Weekly Roundup (12/5) getalternative.com
I just watched Netflix's Wednesday — and it's the Harry Potter alternative I didn't know I needed - Tom's Guide
I just watched Netflix's Wednesday — and it's the Harry Potter alternative I didn't know I needed Tom's Guide
A former Ohio lawmaker floats an alternative to keep 'special interests' out of Ohio's constitution - WOUB
A former Ohio lawmaker floats an alternative to keep 'special interests' out of Ohio's constitution WOUB
Chinese model offers an alternative from Western model with more certainty and quicker decision-making - Global Times
Chinese model offers an alternative from Western model with more certainty and quicker decision-making Global Times
If you’re thinking about quitting Elon Musk’s Twitter, here’s how to use alternative Mastodon - CNBC
Hive is the latest Twitter alternative to gain steam — and to show how hard it would be to replace Twitter - CNN
Hive is the latest Twitter alternative to gain steam — and to show how hard it would be to replace Twitter CNN
Flickr weighs support for ActivityPub, the social protocol powering Twitter alternative Mastodon - TechCrunch
Flickr weighs support for ActivityPub, the social protocol powering Twitter alternative Mastodon TechCrunch
New oral drug may become alternative to statins to lower cholesterol Medical News Today
Holistic Methods: Color Therapy and Aura Soma in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
The human body is recognized as a series of colors, detectable only in the last fifty years with the technology of Kirlian Photography. The colors relate to the body's subtle energy fields, known as auras and chakras.
Making Your Lungs Work Better With Water
All of us know when our lungs aren't quite working right. We feel sluggish, and our heads feel foggy.
Flu Vaccine Hysteria
Last week the media circus surrounding the flu vaccine reached a crescendo.Half of all the flu vaccine supply is not available this year!Why? Because the British company that supplies half of the U.
Garlic - My Favorite Healing Herb
Garlic is a wonderful healing herb and, unlike many of the other herbs, it tastes great and can be incorporated into a variety of meals. Garlic has been used for over 5000 years as a healing herb and has strong antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
Some parents have the shock of hearing their young child start to stutter as a toddler. I am somebody who runs a speech centre in Birmingham, England, I now help people to achieve fluency.
An Introduction to Bach Flower Essences Part II - The Seven Helpers
The 12-7-19 Method of Bach Flower ClassificationDr. Edward Bach, developer of flower essence therapy, classified the original 38 essences he used in his practice according to the 12-7-19 method: the Twelve Healers, the Seven Helpers, and the Second Nineteen.
The Aromatherapy Home Medicine Chest - Part I: The Essential Oils
Here we will have a brief look at ten essential oils considered by some to comprise the 'basic home care kit'. While by no means exhaustive, this list will go a long way to providing effective (and often pleasant!) treatments for you and your family for things like cuts and scrapes, sunburn, digestive troubles, stress related conditions and more.
What is aromatherapy? Used for centuries, aromatherapy is known to have been utilized by the Egyptian physician, Imhotep; and Hippocrates. The first person to dub the term "aromatherapy, was French chemist, Rene-Mauric Gattefosse during the 1930s.
As The Primary Caregiver, Should I Journal My Feelings About Alzheimer's Disease?
Being a caregiver is stressful and difficult. It involves contradictory feelings, thoughts and frustrations.
Substance P - A Pain Amplifier You May Be Able To Restrict Using Your Subconscious
Substance P is a key neurotransmitter required to produce moderate to intense pain. Here's a natural method you may be able to use to help neutralize this pain-transmitting chemical.
The Raindrop Technique Massage
Raindrop Technique is a procedure for applying therapeutic grade essential oils to the feet, back and spine. It is a form of aromatherapy.
Suffering from Osteoarthritis? Acupuncture to the Rescue
Keeping in tune with our commitment to providing the latest, medical breakthroughs, I recently had the rare pleasure of speaking with Professor Jorge Vas Ruiz, (Subdirector of the Master University of Acupuncture, ACMAS Huangdi located in Sevilla, Spain) regarding acupuncture's effectiveness on osteoarthritis of the knee.For over 8 years, Professor Ruiz and his team of elite professors have investigated the effectiveness of Acupuncture treatment.
What Exactly is Alternative Therapy and How Does It Boost Your Health and Well-being?
My first yoga retreatI never wanted it to stop. It was a wonderful feeling of joy, love compassion and connection to everyone who was there with me.
Natural Medicine--Finding a Qualified Naturopath
Naturopathic medicine is currently the fastest growing segment of the alternative health movement but not everyone practicing this branch of "natural" medicine is qualified to do so. I like to group naturopaths according to their educational backgrounds because I believe that the quality of your naturopath's education directly affects the quality of care you'll receive.
A Natural Body Detox Can Dramatically Improve Your Health
Detoxification therapy is a completely natural and necessary process to get you healthy and feeling your best! If you've never done an official detox program, you are long overdue for a cleansing experience that will renew your energy, reduce food cravings, improve your metabolism, give you radiant skin, better your sleep, and strengthen your immune system.What is detoxification?Detoxification is the process of either clearing toxins from the body or neutralizing them.
Reiki Energy Balance
Here's a simple exercise that anyone can do, even if they haven't been 'attuned' to Reiki. It requires a basic knowledge of channeling Reiki energy, the positions of the 7 primary chakras and a willingness to spend some time making someone else feel good.
Reduce the Effects of Fears and Phobias with Hypnosis
Hypnosis is very useful in the treatment of fears and phobias. Hypnosis is perfectly natural and allows you to experience deep physical and mental relaxation.
What Is A Home Remedy?
Home Remedies - Facts or Quacks?Myths and legends often have their basis in a grain of truth. So I wondered if home remedies, alternative treatments, and folklore cures might also be based on truth.
Hemorrhoids Remedy: Practical Diet Tips, Toilet Habits And Exercise To Prevent Hemorrhoid Symptoms
Some people say that prevention is better than cure. That is a wise statement indeed.
Inflammatory Arthritis: Alternative Treatments
There are two main types of arthritis: inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. Inflammatory arthritis can be treated naturally without drugs.
|home | site map|