Monday, September 27, 2010

Store-Bought Health


I wrote this last week. It was full of deep contemplation and emotional angst. Some how some wehere it got lost in the internet oblivion. Normally, when that happens, I move on and say it wasn't meant to post. But it really bears repeating. I just hope I can generate enough bile to make my point.....

There is a pheonomen I see all the time. And quite frankly, I'm sick of it.I go to the health food store. And the health food store I frequent is a co-op where the food is at always vegetarian, mostly organic and sometimes vegan. Clearly not Whole Foods. This co-op has not only foods, but herbs, books, canldes, incense, oils, clothes, etc. It could be considered a botanica of sorts. Invariably I will see and hear someone ask an employee if they carry ---insert herb/tea here---.

Now let me explain why I'm pissed.... This co-op are the earthy type. You know the ones where the employees and patrons have loc'ed hair, wear Birkenstocks, hemp or thrift store clothes, no makeup, you know. The people asking are the high heeled, made up, perm having folks who seem to think that by using 1 herb/tea all their health problems will be solved. It doesn't work like that.

I know these people. These are the people who are so western in their thinking that they believe that every modality works the same way. It doesn't. You can not correct a problem by just taking 1 herb. Before you allow anything into your body (and I do mean anything) you should thoroughly research it first. One needs to know how a substance works. I am certain if more people did their own research rather than take their doctors word at face value folks would not take perscription meds as they do.

Example..... I used to have raging gastric reflux. So much in fact, it had begun to erode my esophagus. I went to a sort of traditional doctor (she had an ND in addition to a MD), and she perscribed me a medication that cost $120 for a months supply with my insurance kicking in on it. It bothered me so I complied. After being on the drug for about 2 months, and having all kinds of side effects due to the meds, I asked the doctor when I could be done with it. She said never. Yeah... Not gonna work for me. So I put in the research. I found that an increase of my water inake, a loss of 10 lbs, cessation of coffee and cigarettes, and slippery elm would be effective. I ain't gonna lie, I did everything else only decreased my coffee and cigarettes. But it was enough for my reflux to sunside. And I only took the slippery elm for a month before I saw results. And now I'm good.

See the the problem is in these peoples approach is not correct. There is no miracle drug, except maybe water. If one wants optimum health one has to take responsibility for one's one health. You are the best knower of you. You have to educate yourself on the different healing modalities available and institue life changes. Then you need to be able to step back and evaluate whether it is working for you You aren't going to cure asthma by drinking yogi asthma tea. You aren't going to ward off colds with vitamin c supplements. You aren't going to reverse diabetes if all you take is cinnamon or cure MS with tumeric. I know you have read that it could work but it won't all by itself. You WILL need to make lifestyle must build and destroy.

Another example.... I became a vegetarian in 2000. I had been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. My mother had them and they led to a hyterectomy for her. It became my determined idea to keep my uterus and keep it intact. I did research in the hospital's (that I was working for at the time) medical library. I found that (a) it was hereditary, (b) afflicted Black women more frequently, (c) was linked to obesity, because the fat contains high amounts estrogen; so everytime a fat cell is burned it will release estrogen which in turn will stimulate the fibroids growth, (d) ingesting animals meant ingesting THEIR estrogen. Most animals we eat are females and have their own estrogen in their fat. And (e) firbroid growth is stress related. OK. That's a lot of shit. I can't do anything about the heredity part or being Black. But all the other stuff I can work on.

So I stopped eating meat. I lost weight. To see me now you wouldn't think it, but I have been bigger. Much bigger. Being a successful vegertarian opened me up to other things. I stopped using traditional soap. Its not cool to eat meat, but it's cool to bathe in it? I learned about other healing modalities like Ayurveda. Ayurveda lead me to yoga and meditation. Both of whichh aided my stress relief. In gaining control of my body, I gained control of my mind and got the confidence to leave Christianity behind as I had wanted for a minute. I am a completely different person, literally and figuratively, than I was 10 years ago. I barely recognize myself. I didn't just go into a helath food store looking for a supplement.

Now some of y'all are asking, what's the big deal? It can't hurt. Yeah, it can. These people will meet with unsuccessful results and then get very loud mouthed about how it doesn't work. Then they will influence others and institue changes that will limit access for those of us that know how to properly use herbs. Then you will have all kinds of regualtions applied and the availibility will decrease. Used to be all one had to do to be an herbalist was to study. Now one has to be certified.

Example....My mother has a pharmacy of drugs that she has to take everyday at different times. She is proud that she has great retired teacher's health insurance that will pay for whatever she needs. Mommie has all kinds of health problems. You name it, she's taking something for it. She heard that cinnamon is a good supplement for diabetes. So she goes off the the health food store for cinnamon. She can't get it from the grocery store? She found only loose cinnamon that she had to put in capsules herself. I suppose they had to go into capsules rather than just pouring some in her tea or in plain water so it would really seem like a drug. Well... It didn't help her diabetes. I suppose the 1/2 gallon of ice cream that she eats 2/week or all the bread, crackers and cookies she ingests had nothing to do with it. She heard cinnamon helps and when it didn't help her, ALL alternative meds are quackery. And she tells me I must be mentally unstable for using this as my primary healing modality. Yeah... But I ain't sick.

Another thing that offends me, is these uniformed people are making a mockery of my chosen lifestyle. Now I don't have a specific name for how I live, but I have reasons for every change that I have made. Everything has been tried and found effective. It it didn't work for me, and not everything does, I discarded it. But I don't judge or clown folks that it does work for. We are all different and everything aint for everybody. These interlopers insult our way of life by dismissing it and treating us like we are less informed, less insured, less financed and idiotic.

That has been my soapbox rant for the morning. Go back to what you were doing.



Flying Mermaid said...

Hold up -- did I write this??? Amen to all of it, and I do miss me some Sevenanda!

Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth said...

"Flying Mermaid said...
Hold up -- did I write this???"

High praise indeed!

The Original Wombman said...

Wow sis . . . this was an excellent post. It captured so much about how I feel about the issues of "alternative modalities". But it also emphasized how frustrated I am these days trying to heal myself and not really being able to even identify what it is that I have much less what I need to do. I'm going to an MD today and I already feel defensive which is not the greatest way to be but I'm so skeptical of ALL health practitioners these days (including "natural" ones). Whatever this doc says today, I will be definitely reading about it in depth. Thanks for writing this.