A friend of mine posted a link to this article, "11 Integrative Medicine Breakthroughs Of 2011" a little while ago on Facebook. Most of the items seem like common sense to me, but I am glad that they are formally recognizing that yoga helps bad backs and acupuncture is safe for kids. The article also introduced me to the term CAM. It stands for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Turns out I have used some forms of CAM for several years. I managed my depression with acupuncture while trying to get pregnant and the first trimesters with Superman, as well as the days leading up to my induction with Mr. T. I have done yoga to help my flexibility and increase my core strength when my back was hurting me. I take an amino acid to avoid getting cold sores when I go to the mountains (but apparently I didn't take enough a couple weeks ago because I ended up with 2 after our tubing trip). I used a chiropractor for my lower back pain during the pregnancy and then Mr. T received craniosacral treatments shortly after he was born.
It wasn't until recently that I decided to take it a step further. As most of you know, I am on a journey to feel better. It started just as weight gain, but as I continued to try and figure out what was going on, my therapist recommended "Intuitive Eating". As I began to pay more attention to how I felt before, during, and after eating, I began to realize that I was feeling pretty crummy. Actually, more than crummy. I was downright sick and had no idea.
The logical thing to do would be to my primary care physician. When I decided that I didn't want to do that because of my lack of help in the past from her, I knew I needed to change primary care physicians (and am in the process of doing that but am not having much luck). I also knew that maybe I needed to look at alternative medicine for the answer...so I began researching naturopathy, found a naturopath (ND), and met with her. (I did end up at my old primary care physician's office so that I could get lab work paid for through my insurance. The nurse practioner gave me a flier on how to lose weight and circled the walk at least 10,000 steps a day after I had just finished telling her that I walk between 11,500-13,000 steps a day on average.)
All I can say is that for the first time in a really long time, I have felt truly heard when I talked about my medical issues. I wasn't looked down upon, I wasn't ridiculed for thinking that something else might be going on despite the lack of evidence at the time, I was listened to because I am the expert of me. What a concept!
So I have been working with my Naturopath for just over two months and have not only learned why I feel like crud, but how to fix it....for good. I have been complaining to my "regular" doctors for years and been told nothing is wrong with me or that I just need to take x pill for 10 days and then I would be better. It infuriates me that mainstream practitioners are so quick to blow patients off just because their lab results are within the normal range.
Now if I could just find a regular physician that works well with naturopaths, I would be golden.