I have been a blogger for almost a decade, and it has been one of the more rewarding experiences I’ve had. I didn’t anticipate that it would amount to much other than providing an outlet for putting thoughts and ideas to “paper”, but it expanded my life and social circle in ways I could never have dreamed when I logged in to WordPress.com for the first time.
I met one of my closest friends in the blogosphere. I fell in love in the blogosphere. I enjoyed community and found support during some of the hardest times of my life in the blogosphere. I am a die-hard supporter of blogging. So, it only makes sense that I would turn to blogging now that I’m pursuing a PhD in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) while, at the same time, trying to deal with a newly diagnosed blood disorder–Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
I have come to strongly believe that the only way forward in terms of true healing is an integrative approach. What do I mean by that? Well, if we were to compare conventional or Western medical treatment modalities to a toolbox, then we would have a very cool kit full of awesome looking tools. Western medical protocols are effective particularly for acute trauma injuries.
Now, if we were to look at complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment protocols as a toolbox, then we would also find a very interesting toolbox albeit a much older looking one. Perhaps not as slick and shiny looking, but CAM modalities are often tried and tested with thousands of years of documentation recording their use across cultures. Think TCM and Ayurveda. Ponder what would happen if we were to integrate CAM and conventional medical treatment approaches in order to attain the best possible results for patients. What might happen? Suddenly, the toolbox would get a whole lot bigger, and this is what I mean by an integrative approach to medicine–the biggest toolbox available for the best and most effective treatment protocols.
And, this is what I’m studying. This is also what this blog is about. We humans are not just our bodies, and modern medicine in the West is starting to accept this idea even though it still holds onto the Cartesian view of human experience and, consequently, illness and disease. I firmly believe that there is a way to heal from chronic conditions be it chronic mental health conditions, autoimmune conditions, and even acquired issues like PTSD and viral and bacterial infections, but it requires a paradigm shift. Our diet, relationships, and lifestyles are our primary and sustaining interventions, and medical treatment is the secondary treatment that enhances our primary interventions.
This is my hypothesis, and, as luck would have it, I get to test out my hypothesis on myself! There is a shift occurring in the West around medicine and health largely because there is also a crisis occurring. Healthcare costs are exorbitant. People are sicker now than they ever have been, and the class wars rage on leaving medical care out of reach for those who need it the most. For the time being, I’ll share what I learn as I make my way through grad school in hopes that it will affect a change for the better for anyone out there who might benefit from the information. We arrive at our destination faster and in better spirits when we go together (most of the time anyway).