There are times when I can heal myself and times when I can’t and I have spend some time in the last couple of years trying to sort out which is which. I’m going to the optometrist next week to get my eyes and glasses checked, and that isn’t something I can take care of myself. Neither is a broken leg or many chronic illnesses.
But there are many more ways to heal myself than I imagined, and given the chance, the body is an astonishingly effective healer. Even though our social system keeps alternative practitioners on the fringes, I have found some wonderful healers, and they are constantly showing me how my mind and soul and body can take care of me. When I began this process a few years ago, I was nearly broken, body and soul. I am learning all the time.
I had a bad fall last week, banged up my knee. I was heading for x-rays, pain-killers, probably an MRI, I was told. I went to my chiropractor myself and we decided to first see if the knee and bruise would heal. I got wobbly for a few days, as the pain was attention-getting and I was having trouble moving. But I used ice, elevated the foot, rested it, and I walked a lot, because I just felt it was helping my knee. I’m seeing the chiropractor again tomorrow and am happy to be able to tell her the knee is much better and getting stronger and more fluid every day. I admit to wondering how such a painful injury could heal itself. I trusted my health care, and their sensitivity to my feelings and comfort. I trust them even more now.
My health care is not casual. Except for emergencies, I avoid conventional medicine which has always left me feeling powerless, confused or frightened. I accept blood work, but in three years, no other tests. Although I was on prescription drugs for nearly 40 years for various things ranging from sleep to cholesterol, I am on none now.
I see a naturopath who gives me some herbal and non-prescription medicines. I take vitamins. I am learning about nutrition every day. I shop carefully, study labels, eat little or no fat or sugar, lots of vegetables in many forms and ways. Health through nutrition involves knowledgeable cooking and I do that as well. I am active in many ways that fit into my work and life and are comfortable for me. I seek a spiritual life and see a spiritual counselor, for I have learned that one of the elemental foundations of health is treating the soul as well as the body. They work in tandem for me.
I sought and found connection in my life, love and friends, and animals have been a seminal part of that. So has my writing and my photography, which has engaged me in the natural world in the most extraordinary way.
I meditate, every day. I see a massage therapist, and this, which I was intensely skeptical of, has powerfully altered my body and brought me a window into peace of mind and perspective. My fall was a blessing. Life sometimes brings pain, and not too long ago I would not have given myself the chance to heal. I am learning all the time. I am coming to see what holistic means. How wonderful a thing my body – which I have hated all my life – really is.
I consider each of these new practitioners friends. They take the time to know me, to talk to me. They respect me, and I am fond of them. I love seeing them, talking to them, sharing my life with them. I bring them books and photos and stories of my life and hear about theirs. They are available to me and take the time to get to know me well. I can talk to them about anything, all of them. In the face of pain, it is difficult not to panic, as the world is always encouraging me to do, and plunge into the other system. I did not do it, and I hope I will not do it. My health care is effective, inexpensive, compassionate and individual. It is efficient. My health has never been better.
Corporations, politicians and governments have little to do with my health care, other than to keep it marginalized.