Going Home

I find it interesting to be where I am in my career life right now. A nurse doing massage therapy, nutritional counseling and working on a degree as Master Herbalist. Pretty fascinating stuff­­ fun to watch my clients find their answers. Of course, I don't always have the answers. In the first place, I do not have the answers, they do. I'm just helping them realize the answers were always there, just obscured.

It's a lot like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

Speaking from experience, loosing one's health and then finding it again is like going home. Home to a familiar place that is warm and cozy and safe. Many of us will make several journeys through the maze of illness in our lifetime. Some bouts will be more serious than others but you can be sure that each time we enter through the doors of illness we will learn new things about ourselves and our bodies. Most us will go kicking and screaming, shouting about the unfairness of it all­­ but go we will. And each time will be a testament to the endurance of the human spirit. None of us wants to to be ill but we can shorten the time we spend unwell and reduce suffering by being more accepting of things as they unfold.

The world of medicine has become a confusing place for someone who is ill­­ if not downright frightening. If traditional medicine does not have the answers most people have no idea where to being looking. The saddest thing is that many will simply not look.

All the western world is abuzz with various forms of complementary medicine. But where does one start? Even the bywords have changed. First it was "alternative." Even I agree that wasn't the best terminology. Now we have words like "complementary," "integrative" or "holistic." What do those words mean? Other modes of non-traditional therapy can seem quite frightening to patients and to the traditional medical community where alternative came to mean quackery.

Complementary therapies are meant to be just what the word implies. That someone else is doing the majority of the work, hopefully the individual, guided by a trained physician. One thing you should remember if you are about embark on a journey of healing in this new field, there's a place inside each and every one of us that speaks loudly when it feels right and even more loudly when it's wrong.

Make sure that you are dealing with an individual who is well-trained. If they promise you the moon, do they have a shuttle sitting outside the door waiting to take you there? Don't let a "silver tongue" overshadow what you are feeling. I remember various individuals that I worked with along the way. Some pieces of advice I got are still with me. Some were phony promises that I wanted to believe out of desperation.

Here were some of the best pieces of advice I got:

"Six weeks is long enough to try any new therapy, drug or program. If it isn't working, move on." Dr. Carl Strauch.

"We don't always have the answers. I'm afraid I don't have yours." Rheumatology physician, Mayo Clinic.

"What are you willing to explore to be well?" My counselor from Catholic Social Services.

"Dream big, you can always scale it down." Morgan Eagle Bear, Native American Shaman.

Healing is like a journey home. Home to the heart where all good things can and will unfold. To all my fellow travelers who have not returned home as yet, take heart and do your best to keep the faith; healing will come.

Till next time, Rebecca.

Posted to Zephyr Online July 3, 1998
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