Day 20 – Write about alternative treatments/regimens/medicine. What do you support? What is crazy?
Today’s prompt amuses me. Alternative treatments – what is crazy?
What, indeed? I could wax lyrical about people in tin foil hats dancing naked under the light of the full moon, or sitting on the bottom of frigid salt water pools in the Himalayas holding their breath to the count of 100, but when it comes down to it – one person’s crazy is another’s person’s medicine. I’ve seen enough reminders in this month’s postings from other bloggers of the dangers of blindly pursuing the conventional pharmacological route that results in one of the largest causes of death in the U.S. (which is our holy grail of statistical normalcy). Indeed, what is crazy? If we’re going to put ourselves at risk, we may as well have fun with it.
Other doctors will go on about alternative therapies and the danger of the placebo effect, but after all, isn’t any kind of medicine one great placebo effect? Whether we’re taking a Prozac or getting poked by a practitioner armed with dozens of needles: isn’t the overriding hope that we’ll feel better? At least that’s the reasoning I’ve used over the years when someone confronts me with the Next Great Idea for Beating Depression. I’ve pretty much tried anything. I don’t mind how relief comes, as long as it comes. Although most of us hope it won’t cost an arm and a leg, hurt in any significant way, or have us dancing in those tin foil hats. Definitely not naked – not a good idea!
When I look at my years of tackling depression, I’ve tried a few alternatives: lack-of-talk therapy (this is an innovative therapy where you sit with a psychiatrist who says nothing for the 50-minute hour – which leads directly to mindfulness and meditation as you stare at the wall), St John’s Wort, 5-HTP, massage, aromatherapy, aromatherapy massage (have you noticed the most astute alternative practitioners get more mileage by combining different therapies or, at the very least, constructing interesting noun phrases?), exercise (although not very alternative as most traditional practitioners hit us over the head with that one), breathing (very useful for living), deep breathing (even more useful), meditation, cranial sacral therapy, acupuncture, B6, B12, yoga, gardening (one of my favourites), art (also a favourite – although some may look at my work and think crazy), chanting, mindfulness (finding peace in depression in the present moment), meditation (trying hard not to think about depression in the present moment), self-compassion, homeopathy, reiki, hands-on, hands-off – it’s all good, but no sex please, I used to be British. If that’s your thing, go forth and enjoy. Oh, and of course, writing silly blog posts.
So, if you haven’t deduced by this point – alternative therapies – I pretty much support them all, as long as nobody gets hurt, no important laws get broken, and there’s not an unnecessary economic burden from the overuse of tin foil. That would be crazy.