When I grew up, we didn’t know anything about holistic healthcare. My parents were steeped in the medical model of healthcare. Who could blame them, really, since they were coming out of an age when it seemed like medicine might have all the answers, and we were looking to run around nature at every turn, thinking that we knew better? When I was young, I got my vaccinations recommended for me at the time. I also had frequent ear infections, and got a few rounds of antibiotics. By the time I was five, I had childhood asthma. I was put on a rescue inhaler and used it pretty much every day from then on. I still tried to be active, but also suffered from Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, which provides pretty intense pain in the knees, though I was lucky enough to only have a mild case. I didn’t have to get my legs put in casts. I think my ibuprofen dosage was around 2000 mg per day.
We did not eat organically, nor did we have any awareness of toxins in cleaning products or foods. We ate out often, and fast food, by the time I was a teenager, was a pretty common staple. We also didn’t pay too much attention to the food pyramid, though grains were heavily represented in my diet, as per the pyramid recommendation. When you have both parents working, and two teenagers, you do what you can! I took ibuprofen daily, several times a day, to deal with the knee pain and other aches and pains I’d accumulated during my growing years. I’d also graduated my asthma meds to an anti-inflammatory steroid, a long term bronchodilator, and my rescue inhaler, all taken several times a day.
When I entered college, my asthma took a turn for the worse, and nothing seemed to help. For three months, I had a persistent cough and attacks whenever I tried to work out. The answer was to take more medications. I was put on a pill called Singulair. I was still taking ibuprofen daily to work with the lower back pain and general joint pain. By the time I’d left college, the asthma was pretty sorted out, though I still took my big three. Once out in the workforce, insurance became too expensive for me to maintain, and therefore, so did my big three asthma meds. I weaned myself off of them slowly so I was only on my rescue inhaler.
Then I discovered meditation. In the course of meditation, I realized that I was creating my asthma through anxiety and worry about if or when I was going to have another attack. Meditation required me to simply look at my breathing, without doing anything. That was enough to trigger an attack! Months of work brought me to the point where I could exercise without inducing an attack. Regular chiropractic care reduced things even more. Only cats would bring along an attack. Eliminating dairy made attacks so rare I stopped carrying an inhaler. Eliminating wheat completely stopped asthma, and my cat allergy. It’s now been years since I’ve had an asthma attack, and I take no meds.
The point of all this is to say that going the traditional medical route failed me. The recommended medications only made me susceptible to infection and kept my symptoms at bay, offering no real healing. So called alternative health care and philosophies have made me the healthy person I am today. Meditation worked where nothing else did. Following the USDA and FDA guidelines for food resulted in more allergies, more asthma, and more sickness. Since adopting a paleo lifestyle, which eliminates an entire base of the pyramid, I have less inflammation, less pain, and no asthma. Getting adjusted regularly has made a difference in every area of my life. Reducing the toxic loads from chemicals across the board has also done so.
I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m stronger, fitter, clearer, more emotionally stable, happier, healthier, brighter, and older than ever. I don’t know too many people my age who feel as good as I do. Most of my friends from college try to tell me that I’m over the hill and old. I’m truly sorry if you feel that way because you don’t have to! I am like a fine wine, I get better with age. My workouts are done in the CrossFit style, which takes the government recommendations for activity and laughs at them. I wear barefoot shoes, which have restored arches to my feet, which had previously been flat. Arch supports, the traditional medical approach, made my feet weaker over time, though it did reduce my symptoms.
So I have developed a viewpoint where I generally distrust government recommendations. A government that allows fast food, thinks drugs are healthcare, and puts out a food pyramid that has no basis in health reality, but is basically responding to lobbying pressure doesn’t get my trust when it comes to my health. They let toxic chemicals be on the shelves as cleansers, and in our foods that aren’t foods but food products. They take “safe” drugs off the market because they are killing people outright. So I am biased against anything the government recommends. Moreover, I don’t trust that simply because it’s available, it’s safe for consumption or use, i.e. cigarettes or alcohol.
I know there’s this study “proving” this, and that study says that, and none of it matters to me. Not really. Studies are faked. Studies are shown to have poorly worked methodology or statistical analysis. I’m willing to bet that that’s true on both sides of every debate. So I don’t trust them. Adding to that a journalistic bias that makes the media want to trump up everything or spin it so that it sounds sensational, and that makes me trust studies even less. Many of the drug studies are funded by the drug companies. And people I greatly respect show up on both sides of every debate, it seems. What’s more, studies don’t prove causation. Nor do I believe in causation. I believe in a very complex and intricate network of factors that are constantly working and interacting and revealing what is so about nature. Rarely is it so simple as to say that “X” caused “Y”. I would say never. Studies can show us correlation, which can only take us so far.