Alternative styles more accepted
In a time when East meets West, alternative health care is becoming increasingly popular.
For more than 2500 years, Chinese medicine has paired holistic and non-invasive procedures to promote wellness, improve range of motion, and prevent illness.
“Massage is a form of self-care,” said Carol Wituk, a certified massage therapist at St. Luke Integrated Health. “It’s all natural with no chemicals or drugs.”
With medical massage, the therapist focuses on a person’s specific problem areas, she said.
“It’s a great natural pain reliever that increases circulation, helping the body heal itself,” she said.
Wituk practices Swedish massage. Along with treating pre-natal clients, she works with many geriatric patients, adapting care to their individual needs, sometimes using a table and other times a chair if they have trouble standing and walking.
Massage pairs well with other complimentary medicine — chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, nutrition, essential oils — to help the mind heal the body.
“Chiropractic is a conservative option with minimal, if any, side effects,” said chiropractor Heather Fay of Fay Family Chiropractic.
It restores proper motion and reduces pain, she said.
Fay and Wituk think their practices are an alternative to controlling pain with opioids.
“In a time when medical doctors are reluctant to prescribe opiates because of their addictive tendencies, alternative medicines like chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture are being recommended,” Fay said.
Pamela Maag of Marion is a long-time chiropractic patient.
“I tried steroid injections and it was not a good experience, she said. “Chiropractic treatments are much less invasive with a better outcome,” she said.
Chiropractic care pairs well with acupuncture, an ancient pain reduction strategy. It can be done with ultrathin needles, electrical current or a handheld tool. Traditional Chinese medicine is said to open meridian channels so energy can travel through the body, Paul Fay of Fay Family Chiropractic physician said.
“On the ear alone, there are 2,000 points that connect with the body,” Heather Fay said. Using acupuncture is an all-natural, strong pain reliever. It releases endorphins, which help the nerves function better.”
Each acupuncture point makes a small “microtrauma” that causes the body to boost its immune system, healing from within.
Remember the saying “you are what you eat?” Fays are convinced it is true. They provide a variety of nutritional supplements, all made from whole foods. No additives or preservatives are included.
“We assess and tailor a nutritional protocol specifically for a patient’s individual needs,” Heather Fay said. “The body knows how to heal itself. These supplements boost that ability.”
Stress and fatigue are constant companions in today’s society.
“Physical therapy recognizes that bodies are tight, stiff and not moving,” said Matt Vermillion, a St. Luke hospital therapist.
Therapy increases circulation and mobility working with different tissue layers, he said.
Two practices — cupping and astym — help increase blood flow and decrease tightness through soft tissue mobilization, Vermillion said.
Sales of essential oils have grown. “Using oils is not a new practice,” Marion resident Andrea Klenda, consultant for doTerra Essential Oils, said.
She offers a proactive approach which is a cost efficient natural alternative with minimal side effects.
There are three ways to use oils — aromatically, topically, and internally. “Oils are targeted for a specific purpose to affect. Sometimes it’s trial and error until we find the right combination, she said.
Oils are concentrated extracts made from plants, trees and herbs.
“I tailor a program with several resources that works for a client’s specific needs,” she said.
Kim Kroupa of Marion said, “I am convinced that oils are beneficial and although some can be pricey, the oils last a long time.”
As a school teacher, many of her fellow staff and students were out for days with the flu last year.
“I remembered Andrea mentioning a blend called On-Guard that supports immunity,” she said. She diffused it and used it as a general surface cleanser.
“On-Guard SOLD me on essential oils, as all four of us made it through flu season without a trip to the doctor’s office,” Kroupa said.
Regular use of alternative practices along with traditional medicine keeps the body and mind in harmony.