The time line in alternative medicine is so different than the time expectations fostered by allopathic medicine that I’ve run into lots of people over the years who have not been able to understand why it often takes so much longer to see results in alternative medicine. I guess I didn’t question it in part because western doctors just dismissed my health issues and alternative practitioners actually took my complaints seriously, found explanations for my incessant exhaustion and felt they could treat me. As long as somebody was doing something I didn’t question how long it might take.
The big difference is that in alternative medicine they’re actually trying to heal the problem and those shots and pills that make you feel miraculously better are designed just to mask or remove symptoms with little or no concern as to whether you’ve healed the problem that created the symptom. [I realize there are more doctors now who have a holistic view, but they were exceedingly rare when I started the journey — if you note a little bitterness, it’s based on my experience and I’ve never gone back to a medical doctor] Not surprisingly it takes longer to heal issues than it does to hide a symptom.
Acupuncture, for instance, works sort of by layers. If you have the flu the day you show up to complain about a sore shoulder the acupuncturist is going to work on the flu first because the treatment on the shoulder won’t work if your body is turning all its resources to healing the flu. I’ve seen people walk away disgusted when the practitioner was actually giving the best treatment because it didn’t address the issue in the expected way. Takes time to heal all the interrelated layers.
In chiropractic and body work a good practitioner is also looking at patterns and layers and if something in your hip is contributing to the pain in your shoulder then the therapist will treat your hip. I’ve also seen people give up in disgust because they couldn’t grasp that their body has interconnected parts. Sometimes a pattern somewhere else in the body is pulling on the area where you feel the pain and that pattern has to go before the specific area can release. Takes time.
Now in my case all of the treatments dragged on long enough that I now realize I should have been looking for a new modality a while back, but I am not dissatisfied with the treatments I received, all of which helped me move to the place of wellness I’ve reached and all of which helped me sometimes to get relief from pain or to have a little more energy.
For me the slowness of this process seems to have been part of learning about patience. The detail of this process seems to have been related to learning about my own body and how to treat it not only for healing but for wellness. I’d rather go slowly but feel certain that my health will have been restored when I come to the end than to go quickly and just hide symptoms without achieving actual good health. Relax and enjoy the journey seems like the best advice.