I must say that I am madly in love with plants. They have taken over my life and…to be honest…my apartment. Herbs are drying in various nooks and extractions are littered about my bedroom and kitchen.
I don’t mind. I’ve been kissed by the plant divas and they tend to keep you enamored as long as they are able to.
Why am I so in love? Plants pretty much saved my life. They were quite instrumental in helping me regain harmony and balance in my body, heart and mind when I had hit a metaphorical wall in the hardest of ways. Of course, that is what eventually led to the opening of my co-owned apothecary in Mississippi.
It has been a fascinating experience being back in Mississippi. After moving away for 13 years, I moved back October 2012 after following some hints and clues from the universe that this is where I needed to be. Soon after my arrival, an herbalist friend of mine and I decided to create Sweet Gum Springs Apothecary. We didn’t know where it would go, but it just felt right.
There is a lot of education we have to do around health care here in Mississippi. The physicians in Mississippi happen to be quite adverse to any alternative modalities of health, making the lack of education on these topics quite palpable. However, that is slowly changing, One example is the growing TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine, mostly acupuncture) availability in the state. It has taken a huge amount of legislative work to make it legal for them to practice. To me, it is shocking to see how hard such a valuable health modality has to struggle to become legitimate.
The good thing is, things are changing. However, there still is residue in the culture here regarding how to contemplate and pursue health care options. Many people here have not had the option to do that for decades. I know it will take some time and patience for people to become informed so that they are able to explore and integrate new modalities into the local culture.
Ok, so now to the blog title…who do you trust?
Last night a woman asked me about how to find the right alternative care practitioner because “one says one thing and the other says another thing…how do you decide!?” Basically, she was saying that she doesn’t know who to trust because different practitioners offer different advice.
My quip was, “well how do you know what doctor to trust?” Basically, I was saying that you find the same issues with doctors. They, too, say different things. I know this because when I was going through my health crisis in 2000, one doctor told me, rather flatly, to drink more green tea and another told me to take birth control.
I told them both the same thing about my health ~ heart palpitations, dizzy spells, severe depression, agoraphobia, etc. And those, my friends, were the suggestions I got from two different medical doctors. I felt as if they didn’t have a CLUE about what my heart and soul were screaming for.
Yup. You guessed it. I found an herbalist and I began rebooting my body-heart-soul. I went to an acupuncturist for a year as well. I changed my diet. I practiced yoga and learned about meditation. The amazing thing is ~ my life changed. My body recovered and I am forever indebted to the healing arts.
I also beg to ask, how do you find that diamond in the rough within the modern medical system? Many doctors are simply uneducated when it comes to preventative health and many use the only tools they have been trained in, surgery and pills. They rely on diagnostic tests more than what is coming out of the person’s mouth. Isn’t what a person feels or experiences relevant in understanding their health issue?
Surgery and pills have their place. It’s true. And, if I get in a car accident, I don’t want to go to an herbalist. I want to go to an allopathic doctor. Modern medicine is war medicine ~ great for when your arm is shot off, bad for when you have Crohn’s Disease.
It doesn’t take much knowledge and understanding to conclude that modern medicine has found to be ineffective when it comes to preventable and curable diseases. They are also ineffective when it comes to the nuances of nourishing the body.
Who do you trust then?
First, people let me tell you. TRUST yourselves. Educate yourselves. Read books. Experience alternative therapies and explore your feelings before/during/after. Think outside the box because what’s inside the box *just isn’t working.* I see it all around me. People are really sick. It’s horrible. So many people are sick that they think it’s *normal* to feel that way.
My advice is to try eating a wholesome diet. Try eating more plants (toss in some wild plants!). Get rid of junk food and processed food. Build up your intuition and your sensibilities. Believe me when I tell you that you WON’T be fooled by anyone other than your own self based on what you know and what you have experienced.
With that said, healing is a lot more simple than people think. It does take a leap of faith. But that faith is not in another person, it is in the divinity of the body and the life force moving through it. Trust in that and you will know what to do for your health and well-being when you arrive at a cross-roads and need to make a personal, health decision. Trust in your ability to find the right resources for your own recovery, so that you can return to balance.
There is no magic bullet people. However, there IS a responsibility that we have to steward our own health, our family’s health and our community’s health.
If you wish to watch a *great* documentary on the rise and fall (and then, the long-awaited rebirth) of herbal medicine in the US, I suggest looking into the film, Numen (the link goes to Dr. Mercola’s page as he has a link to the film and a great article on its content). It is an amazing film. Please watch!