Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2011

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pathology perspectives BY RUTH WERNER WHEN CLIENTS SEEK MAGIC ELIXIRS Understanding Chronic, Low-Grade Illnesses This article is dedicated to the many thousands of our clients who live and struggle with imperfect health, but who are not ill enough to be diagnosed with anything specific. Our medical culture is extremely well designed to deal with health emergencies and life-threatening situations. If you have a broken leg, the chances are excellent that you can access a practitioner who has the skills to make sure you heal without lasting problems. If you have a heart attack, your chances of survival today are better than at any time in history, mainly because our health-care providers have gotten progressively smarter about how to deal with this emergency. But if you struggle with a long-term health problem that is neither acute nor life-threatening, our conventional health-care system can be frustrating. Maybe you feel tired all the time, or you have a chronic cough, you can't lose weight, your skin never seems to clear up, your digestion is sluggish, you have frequent headaches, it's hard to focus on your work, and you just never seem to feel good. Any combination of these small but nagging problems can seriously impact your quality of life, but your choices within the traditional health-care world are extremely limited: intrusive and costly testing that may or may not turn up a finding, or a "may as well try this" approach and a prescription for Prozac. Further, a lot of these symptoms may never even get to the point of demanding an expensive and inconvenient visit to the doctor, so you just … live with it. Essentially it comes to this: if you are sick or injured with something that is acute and well recognized, you can probably find some answers. But if you just don't feel good—not bad enough to be completely disabled, but bad enough that you know there's something better—our health-care system simply doesn't have much to offer you. You're on your own. So what do you do now? Obviously, you go online. You look up your symptoms, you visit chat rooms, you try to be proactive about taking care of your health—a monumental effort, when you feel crummy all the time. Maybe you visit a health food store and look in some of their reference books or talk to people there who seem to know what they're doing. Here is a short list of some of the messages you're likely to get: You have an overgrowth of yeast. You have an underproducing thyroid. You're not getting enough protein or iron. You're getting too much protein or iron. You're allergic to your building. Your liver is congested; you must detox immediately! Your kidneys are congested; you must detox immediately! You're not getting enough sunshine—but be careful, because too much will kill you. You are gluten-intolerant. You are lactose-intolerant. You're not breathing right; you have carbon dioxide poisoning. You have sleep apnea. Your mitochondria are clogged. You have the wrong bacteria in your gut. Are you confused yet? It may sound like I'm being flippant, but in fact I am all in favor of dealing with candidiasis, or recognizing hypothyroidism, or any of the other strategies that are listed above. I have friends and family whose lives were turned around when tune in to your practice at ABMPtv 101

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