Most of us accept certain healing methods such as chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, bioenergy seance, hypnotherapy, herbalism, using of crystals, etc. as (leading) alternative medical practices. Some of these methods make sense and yield results. Others are in the same realm as witchcraft and other shady practices. Naturally, one is warned to be cautious and question anything that runs counter to one’s common sense.
When judging the effectiveness of some of these methods, we should consider the impact of the placebo effect - an accepted but not yet fully explained mystery, similar to, say, the mystery of dreams. The notion of a placebo has frequently been used to discredit the results of legitimate research. Mainstream scientific thought is unforgiving and, in this case, crude in its blindness.
Let’s take a closer look at some of my experiences with alternative healing. My grandmother experienced terrible migraines throughout her life. The acute pains she felt were chronic and drove her mad at times. When the headaches were at their worst, she felt completely incapacitated. But my grandmother was not a lady that simply surrendered to a problem; she actively sought out a solution. So, she visited quite a few hospitals and clinics. Unfortunately, after being seen by various doctors, she was sent off without being cured.
As far as I know, migraines are considered incurable; their causes continue to baffle the medical community. However, the symptoms of migraines are well known, and most sufferers have some idea of what to do to get some temporary relief. We know that migraines are more prevalent in women, and when they strike, it is best to avoid exposure to light. There are painkillers to be popped, of course, but you can’t always count on them to be effective. Though my grandmother frequently sought help, she continued to be tormented with pain for years. No traditional doctor seemed able to help her.
The migraines weren’t the only thing that afflicted my grandmother. She also suffered from back pain. Every doctor she saw was unable to heal her. Finally, she decided to try alternate therapy. She sought the help of a well-known and respected acupuncturist, who acquired his expertise after many years of studying the technique in China.
For those of you who might not know what acupuncture is - it is a procedure of piercing areas of the body - the cross points of bodily meridians ¾ with fine needles in order to produce various therapeutic effects. The actual physical procedure of acupuncture is only the smaller visible part of an iceberg floating in the whole sea of eastern philosophy. But that’s a whole other topic unto itself. Acupuncture has actually gained a certain respect - from both laypeople and professionals alike - though much of its recognition (most of it, really) remains off-the-record.
Hoping to find some relief from her back pain, my grandmother walked into an acute-center. During the initial consultation, she mentioned she had recurring migraines. The practitioner just gave her a nod and a discreet smile and asked why she hadn’t consulted with him before, as he routinely handled such cases. Right after that, he asked her to have a seat, relax and close her eyes. This marked the beginning of the healing process.
Later she told me, she was in such terrible pain before she took a seat that she didn’t feel any of the needles piercing her skin (she had them stuck in her face and all around the head!). The whole procedure didn’t take long.
Then, she said, something quite unusual started happening, but more of this in the next article.
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