Whenever I think of alternative medicine I always think of an old ad that used to be on TV in Australia in the 90s. It was for an insurance company, and showed a woman lying down on a table, while a man chanted something and banged two large fish together over her back. The gist of the ad was that the company covered everything.. well, almost everything.
Last year I started trying a few different things I never would have thought I would ever try. I went to acupuncture weekly for almost two months. It was very relaxing, but I am not sure that it was anything more than that.
I also went to a chiropractor/masseur, who took one look at me and said I was in terrible shape. He really went to town on me, especially on my feet and legs. I felt something like bread dough probably feels like when it is being kneaded.
Despite this, (or perhaps because of it – I am something of a masochist!) I’ve been back to see him on a regular basis since then, and despite the fact that the sessions can be quite painful, I do seem better afterwards. While what he does doesn’t seem to address my state of mind directly, it does help my body get into slightly less twisted shape. And that can’t help but benefit anyone’s state of mind.
Late last year a friend recommended that I try yoga, saying that it helped them with running. So I decided to give it a go, and went along. It was hard! I wouldn’t have thought that it was so strenuous to go into simple poses, but apparently it is. I have never been the most well coordinated person, but doing some simple yoga seems to help a bit.
I don’t really buy into the spiritual side of it, and one class I went to about chakras made me feel downright uncomfortable. Not physically, but there was just something that felt wrong somehow. I’m not sure if this is just a hangover from the Christian indoctrination of my youth, my innate skepticism about and disdain for religiosity or what, but whatever it was, I just didn’t feel comfortable.
However, the other class I went to was fine. It was basically a long series of different kinds of stretching exercises. I’ve been to the class a number of times now and it seems good for me on a few levels.
It is physically challenging but not dangerous, and there is qualified supervision. It gives me a different type of exercise to running, and is a more active way of putting my body the way it should be than getting kneaded. In addition, it is a peaceful and relaxing environment, and a group activity.
I don’t have any immediate plans to try any other alternative therapies, but I would be interested to hear about the experiences that others have had with alterative treatments.