Friday, February 6, 2009

Operation Alternative Healing

Holy week of integrative medicine.  Blood counts down?  Eat garlic. . .do acupuncture. . .take these chinese herbs. . .visualize. . .massage. . .take vitamin C. . . don't take vitamin C. . .get lots of rest. . .bounce on your heels. . .jump rope. . .drink electrolyte enhanced water. . .antioxidants. . .no antioxidants. . .salvia. . .astragulus. . .coriolus polysaccharides. . .holy shit.

On Monday I went to see Dr. S, a "body talk" therapist.  Though I can't really think about that term without getting Olivia Newton John's song "let's get physical" stuck in my head for hours, the therapy is interesting and, even more interesting; Dr. S is a walking talking survivor of debilitating MS.  Years ago, she was blind in one eye and could not ungnarl her hands.  She had all kinds of crazy neurological issues on any given day.  The doctors gave her the "you are incurable" prognosis.  To which she said (to herself, but maybe to the actual doctors - I'm not sure), "Just because you fuckers can't cure me doesn't mean I am not cureable.  I'll cure myself."  And she did.

Body Talk therapy is basically about directing the body and mind to direct "healing attention" to neglected areas.  The practitioner is talking your mind through a process of reprogramming systems in your body.  For instance, by tapping my hand and feeling my hand pulse, Dr. S claimed my pancreas was dehydrated.  She also said my cells were dehydrated because my cell membranes weren't allowing hydration to enter the cells.  She does some "body talk,"  which is very technical and medical sounding, and then taps on the brain to get it to "fix the faulty communication" and taps on the heart to "store the fix."  Tapping on the body to get it to focus on healing is apparently an age old practice and and is used in yoga and acupuncture practices as well.  

Body Talk was developed in the 1990's by Dr. John Veltheim - an acupuncturist and Reiki master.  Sound like mumbo jumbo?  I'm not sure about it either.  But what do I have to lose?  All I know is Dr. Sid said since my cells and dehydrated systems would be rehydrating, I might notice that I have to pee more.  The night after the first therapy, I had to get up to pee 3 times.  So either something is working in a healing way like they say it's supposed to, or I will just be peeing  a lot now.

Tuesday was yoga and then a steam/sauna with detox tea and some sweetious time with my friend Andrea.  Wednesday was a meeting with my Naturopath, Dr. T, and acupuncture at the Immune Enhancement Project (IEP).  Thursday was a meeting with my other Naturopath, Dr. C and Acupuncture at Providence Cancer Center.  This morning was Acupuncture and Shiatsu massage at IEP.  

Crazy week of "alternative healing." It is leaving me feeling rather exhausted.  I will welcome the day when chemOtherapy and radiAtion are considered the "alternative," but for now I will commit to every single piece of healing possibility that blows toward me in the breeze.  So, I go in for more blood work on Tuesday and hopefully will have my white counts and platelets flying like tiny little kites so I can hop back on the chemo train.

The sun has been showing itself lately.  When I get home from work today, I will go in the backyard and pick up some apples.  I've been wanting to do this all winter, as they have been littering the way back of our yard since dropping off the trees in the fall.  They are scattered like little balloons, ready to pop if you step on them and it's time for me to clean them all up.  I'll bend and gather, scoop and toss.  And then I'll feel much better.


  1. Julie.. I am so happy to read you are checking out all of these alternative therapies. I work in a wellness center and see people healing all around me, every day. And you, as well.
    Remember going to Crater Lake in the 7 feet of snow and sleeping in your little white honda? We went down to flirt with our old college friends at Lake Tahoe. I loved that trip. We had no idea what we were doing whatsoever. It was perfect.

  2. Jules, that comment was from me, Bettina, not Tim, my husband.