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Western and Wellness: Can They Coexist?


This entry was posted on Aug 11, 2022 by Charlotte Bell.

Doctor with Patient

Till the ACA went into impact, I didn’t have medical insurance for many years. I’ve been self-employed as a yoga trainer since 1986; costly premiums have been out of my attain. For the previous couple of years earlier than the ACA, I had an costly catastrophic coverage that lined subsequent to nothing. So when given a selection between Western and wellness modalities, there was actually no selection. I used to be by myself.

This motivated me to take actually excellent care of myself. I finished consuming meat in 1978. I by no means cared for the style or texture, and I don’t digest it nicely. I all the time prepare dinner from scratch, a number of recent veggies and no processed meals. I decrease sugar consumption, by no means smoked, and drink solely on very uncommon event. I make the most of dwelling in a walkable neighborhood, and having hikable mountains nearly in my again yard.

And I started working towards yoga in 1982—it’s been 40 years now! Yoga has saved its promise, on all ranges—bodily, psychological, emotional and non secular.

Fortuitously, for all these insurance-free years, my physique didn’t give me a lot bother in any respect. There have been no well being points I couldn’t care for with eating regimen, dietary supplements, physique work or yoga. I might say I used to be fortunate—and I used to be—however I additionally attribute my “luck” to staying totally on a wholesome path.

When Wellness Modalities Aren’t Fairly Sufficient

For a few years, I eschewed Western drugs. I’d been caring for my wellness wants with different strategies for therefore lengthy that I felt I actually didn’t must have an everyday physician. Once I started having stabbing ache in my left hip joint, I relied on my trusted modalities—acupuncture, therapeutic massage, chiropractic—to ease the ache. Whereas these items helped, aid was all the time momentary. Inside a day or two, I used to be again to sq. one. As time went on these intervals of aid shrank, till they now not existed.

The ACA required me to have a required me to have a physician. On my first go to to my completely great doc, I requested for a hip x-ray. The diagnoses got here again: end-stage degeneration. I would wish a hip alternative.

As a result of hip replacements are widespread on my mom’s aspect of the household, I wasn’t fully shocked. The truth is, I suspected as a lot, which is why I requested for the x-ray. Nonetheless, all these years of yoga! How might this occur?

Right here’s how: I used to be born with hip dysplasia, shallow hip sockets. This makes them way more inclined to carrying out. So the structural anomaly that allowed me to do a number of loopy yoga poses had an expiration date. And it was overdue. No quantity of yoga, acupuncture, or physique work was going to develop my cartilage again.

Western Medication to the Rescue

So I swallowed my wellness pleasure and had a brand new hip joint put in. It’s no exaggeration to say that the surgical procedure gave me my life again. For a number of years I’d been placing up with ever-decreasing perform. Towards the tip, I couldn’t stroll greater than three blocks or lie on my left aspect. Climbing in my beloved mountains was out of the query. Hip alternative surgical procedure is a miracle. With out this Western modality, I in all probability would have spent the remainder of my life in a wheelchair, particularly since I needed to substitute my proper hip joint a 12 months and a half later.

As a lot as I as soon as eschewed Western drugs, I owe my life to it. However that doesn’t imply that each one my years of wellness focus have been for naught. Despite the fact that I couldn’t cease my hip joints from carrying out, I really feel that my fast and simple restoration from surgical procedure was the direct results of my years of yoga follow. I spent solely 5 days utilizing crutches—and solely a single crutch at that. My bodily therapist declared me to be formally purposeful after solely 5 of my twelve allotted periods. I used to be again to instructing yoga two weeks after my surgical procedures.

Can Western Medication and Wellness Coexist?

So can Western drugs and wellness modalities coexist? Completely. As time passes, the 2 are melding an increasing number of. I’ve taught yoga at Huntsman Most cancers Institute’s Wellness and Integrative Well being Middle since 2013, and have supplied mindfulness instruction for the previous two years. The middle presents yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba®, acupuncture, energy coaching, physique work—together with therapeutic massage, craniosacral remedy and lymphatic drainage—and osteopathic manipulation.

These practices assist most cancers survivors—and the remainder of us—reside in our our bodies with higher ease. They assist lower stress, which is very necessary if you’re going by intense remedy. These modalities might even assist strengthen the immune system’s capability to combat most cancers. (Right here’s an article about how yoga follow helps most cancers sufferers.)

I hope that the 2 modalities proceed to combine. Taken individually, neither one can function the be-all-end-all for each individual. Collectively, they’ll complement one another and supply distinctive options for all of us on this huge and diverse human neighborhood.

About Charlotte Bell

Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and commenced instructing in 1986. Charlotte is the creator of Aware Yoga, Aware Life: A Information for On a regular basis Follow and Yoga for Meditators, each revealed by Rodmell Press. Her third guide is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and people sextet Pink Rock Rondo, whose DVD received two Emmy awards in 2010.


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