#1 in the 2020 Series: Adventures in Holistic Health & Harmony
“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of Nature.”
– Steve Maraboli
In this New Year of 2020, the Year of Clear Vision, whether we have thought about it or not, we are embarking on a Journey, sailing together out on the Sea of Life. It is also a New Decade, and so we have double the reasons to examine our lives using the lens of Natural and Holistic Medicine and practices. It’s an opportunity to consider best use our creative powers and our investments in selfcare by asking:
What is working in my life… and what isn’t?
How is my Health? What would I like to improve?
How happy and fulfilled am I?
What Natural and Holistic Medicine and practices do I want to explore and incorporate into my life?
As you read this article, and the ones which follow in the coming months, I expect many of you will be surprised by something you learn. You’ll have insights into real people’s lives and healings. You may even come to conclusions about the nature of how illness—and wellness—are created and most effectively treated or maintained. And my hope is this: Within all the complexity, may you ultimately find simplicity and answers!
This first article in the series “Adventures in Holistic Health and Harmony” introduces you to possible Ports of Call on your Journey. You may find more than you bargained for…options available for healing and wellness which are in, for you, uncharted waters. (Just ask us about them.) But you’ll never be bored! Great tools, new levels of understanding about your body, mind and spirit will become yours. New practices, tastes, sounds, and colors you’ll value and enjoy await discovery! No, you won’t be bored with Natural & Holistic Health & Wellness practitioners and practices.
Note: When I use the word “Medicine” in this series, I am referring to substances or healing practices which attempt to positively aid in altering functions of the body, mind or emotions. For example, Meditation changes brain patterns, calming down parts of the brain and easing stress and anxiety. Many studies exist to support this. There are also some studies involving Reiki’s calmative effects. Based on those studies, you will find Meditation & Reiki present in many hospital settings these days.
PORT OF CALL #1: HOLISTIC HEALTH & WELLNESS
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
-Hippocrates, 400 B.C.
First, let me put it out there: We are Mind, Body, and Spirit, and everything is connected. Holistic medicine addresses all of these realms with many types of treatments and self-practices. These are not necessarily to the exclusion of Western Medicine or other spiritual and religious practices. They can be, and are also complementary to anything else that is supportive of our health and happiness. In Dr. David’s opinion, anyone on chemo benefits from the use of medicinal mushrooms which boost the white blood cell army.
In today’s modern world, and in the most highly-developed countries in North America and Europe, we have higher rates of mental illness and chronic disease than ever before in human history. Sure, there were massive, deadly plagues hundreds of years ago, and there are scary viruses out there today. But what we are seeing now is that 75% of our illnesses are considered “chronic diseases”. These are typically lifestyle issues involving everything from environmental toxins, to what we eat, to our stress levels and the level of physical activity (or not) in our lives.
It is in these realms where Natural & Holistic Medicine is often more effective than Western Medicine. Indeed, at least half of our first-time patients have seen 5 to 11 M.D.’s (with no resolution) before seeking out Chinese Medicine with our well-trained acupuncturist who uses thin-as-human-hair needles and Qigong energy healing to help resolve some of the most difficult pain cases. Acupuncture can wipe out stress and anxiety (over time) for many who suffer from those conditions as well. And, as we say at the clinic, if it’s chronic or weird, bring it to Dr. David.
PORT OF CALL #2: INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncturists are integrally involved with the surgery team at Johns Hopkins University, and that has been so for over 20 years. In 1999, we saw a panel of Johns Hopkins surgeons and acupuncturists at a conference. Their topic was back pain, and they discussed which approach was more effective: Surgery or Acupuncture? These M.D.s and acupuncturists all worked together in one of the first Integrative Medical Facilities in the country. They had close-up knowledge of the effectiveness of each other’s tools. And the answer to that question “Which is better?” was: “Eighty (80%) of the time, acupuncture works best, and is safest, quickest and cheapest, with no side effects; 20% of the time surgery is required.” Johns Hopkins is a prestigious hospital. It’s a leader, so some other hospital facilities have followed their lead.
Yes, “Allopathic” Medicine, aka “Western Medicine” definitely has its place and offers great solutions for urgent care; and sometimes it creates other amazing miracles! Until I was 41, I wore such heavy corrective lenses that I was considered legally blind. I have NOT needed eye glasses or contacts since my Lasix surgery over 20 years ago. What a miracle! And there are other reasons to use Western Medicine. Western Medicine shines in trauma care. And sometimes a pharmaceutical drug makes sense to use…if even just for a little while. Each person must navigate their options to create best health.
There is much history between the time of Hippocrates’ quote about food as medicine—significant changes in the philosophy and practice of medicine, conditions and lifestyles in our modern world. As Dr. David Martin often says, we are now getting sick in this country because we have too much abundance of food. We don’t have to work to acquire it, and it’s ever present, at all hours. Plus, much of it is unhealthy and even toxic. And because the primary medicine in the U.S. is just beginning to rediscover certain valuable aspects of natural medicine, we do have a health crisis of chronic conditions. But this isn’t true everywhere.
PORT OF CALL #3: MEDICINE AROUND THE WORLD
Medicine is different in Asia, in Central & South America, and all indigenous peoples around the world. Indeed, Nature provides a variety of medicines for the same maladies using different plants in each climate. In South America they use raw cacao to treat many illnesses, including heart disease and anything with chronic inflammation. However, in India, you’ll find the use of turmeric for some of these same health issues.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: Recently I was speaking with a relative from Texas who is following a treatment recommended by the mother of a friend, originally from Mexico. He’s making bone broth, and he’s excited about the positive effects he’s experiencing in his immune system! This healing remedy happens to be used frequently in China as well. It is most known for building bones and connective tissue, protecting joints, and helping osteoarthritis. It also boosts the immune system. Bone broth provides key nutrients such as iron, vitamins A & K, selenium, zinc and manganese…in other words, natural medicine. In India, my relative would be taking turmeric and ginger.
We give our older dog a Chinese Herbal remedy for incontinence. And it works as well with her as it worked with a 93-yr-old patient who came to our clinic soon after we opened the doors in Fort Myers in 2007. After several M.D.’s were unable to help him, this simple little pill did the trick. What’s in it, you may ask? Well, it’s composed of about 10 ingredients. The main one –strange as it seems–is from praying mantis egg sacks. Over thousands of years, Chinese Medicine has honed its skills using Mother Nature’s Medicine.
In Canada and Europe, I’ve been seeing news reports of schools using Meditation. They are having great success calming and focusing the kids, especially prior to testing. And the kids love it!
Although many countries (such as China and India, Central and South American countries, Island Nations and many more) still practice forms of natural medicine as their primary medicine, Holistic healing practices are still a small part of the medical equation in America.
Many of us know that insurance is a big reason (and why we are so excited to be in the V.A.’s approved acupuncturist program—with a V.A. referral, it’s no cost at all to the Veterans!). However, the use of Natural and Holistic treatments has been growing in the American public’s awareness—and use–over the past few decades as people seek natural and effective answers to health issues. For example, twenty or thirty years ago, massage was not a normal thing for people to consider for their health. Too frequently, it had other connotations. Today, it’s normal, and every town has massage establishments. Some, (like ours) have a wide variety of therapeutic modalities. We of course offer relaxation massage. But we have other ancient and modern body-work methods available including Thai Massage, Trager, Trigger Point, Lymphatic Drainage, Tui-Na (yep, that’s Chinese), Orthopedic, and more.
Holistic Medicine is based on the philosophy and practices that human beings are a whole, connected system, with energetic and creative powers, interconnected with one another and all of Nature! Many harken back to practices and wisdom of ancient and indigenous people. And today’s holistic practices vary widely and offer what is considered “uncommon” or “alternative” solutions to chronic health issues.
PORT OF CALL #4: REDISCOVERING NATURAL MEDICINE
By the time we are six years old, our basic belief systems about Life on the High Seas of Life is mostly set. When I was growing up in the late 1950’s and 60’s, I believed my pediatrician knew everything! He was definitely an M.D. (Minor Deity, I thought!) My doctor was kind, competent, and my mom believed in him completely.
As I came into young adulthood, though, I encountered a few immune-oriented oddities such as flathead warts all over my face. Yuck! Over the course of 2 years, while I went thru various treatments (some rather horrible) at the offices of 3 dermatologists, I figured out the problem myself. What did I do? I read science magazines in the doctors’ offices! In obvious synchronicity, I read 3 articles. The first an article educated me on how viruses hang out in the body, and how the immune system is on constant alert to keep them under control. But the message was that they are always there, waiting to attack!
The second article I read at first seemed unrelated. It was about how important it is for the skin to have the use of Vitamin B to remain in healthy condition. The third article was the puzzle that put the picture together for me. This article provided research on how “The Pill” (contraception medicine) blocked the use of Vitamin B by the skin! Wa-la! I had my answer. STOP TAKING THE PILL. Sure enough, in short order, my warts went away, never to return.
It’s just this kind of weird health issue (and many far worse) which brings people to Holistic Healers. They KNOW there are more answers available to them if they just keep looking. A “I can’t help you, you will just have to live (or die) with it” just doesn’t stop these intrepid travelers from continuing to sail to the next port! Through often ancient-and-highly-effective application of the Holistic medicine a bevy of possible answers exist. For example, at Lotus Blossom Clinic you’ll find these and more:
Acupuncture, herbs and the practical application of food as medicine, which is considered a Functional Medicine.
Practices such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), aka “Tapping”, and Theta Healing Clinics on a Saturday Morning.
Over 15 widely-varied types of Therapeutic Massage
Reiki Practitioner Classes – all levels
In our large, open “Movement Medicine Room” you’ll find these and more:
- Reiki Share Night (Free – 1st Tuesdays)
- Dr. David’s “Rockin’ Your Qi” Movement to Music Class,
- Qigong Classes (this is the predecessor to Thai Chi.)
- Mindfulness Meditations and discussions of Buddhist Philosophy
- Iyengar Yoga which is a much different “in-body” experience than “flow yoga”. This yoga helps to re-educate the body and even has helped me remake my skeletal structure so scoliosis doesn’t become debilitating as I age.
- Sound Healing and multiple Energy Healing sessions. Some private and some group sessions are available
For all of our classes see the current calendar
The insights and solutions offered by Holistic Healing and Wellness Centers are wide and varied. Come experience and learn! Do some online research about these healing techniques! They are still somewhat uncommon in Western Medicine. And they address real, human health issues.
YOUR ITINERARY IS SET!
Now that we’ve considered some of the available Ports of Call, let’s return for a moment to the Holistic Health and Wellness Port, where the number of practitioners involved with Holistic Healing in the U.S. is on a significant growth curve. Several local Fort Myers businesses doubled their size and expanded their offerings this year. The news is spreading into the public about the effectiveness of Natural and Holistic Medicines of all kinds.
The Holistic Chamber of Commerce, begun in 2010, has chapters all over the U.S. and Canada, including 3 chapters in SW Florida. We began the year by doubling our space, and 9 new practitioners joined Lotus Blossom Clinic in 2019. Some of our practitioners are from Western medical backgrounds. For example, we have 2 Mental Wellness Professionals who have discovered–and now practice–highly effective ways to help people using Holistic Healing treatments in Theta Healing and Shamanic Deep Imagery. You’ll see the Practitioner Board in our lobby with pictures and information about everyone who offers services and classes at Lotus Blossom Clinic.
And then there are the Events and Community Classes! One of our longest-running and most popular events involves Sound Healing. Every 2nd and 4th Thursday we have a Crystal Bowls Meditation with Jenny Hong. Sometimes another healer joins in to give Reiki or Breathing techniques which deepen the experience. We typically have over 30 classes and events—open to the community—each month!
OUR HOME PORT
Holistic Medicine, Holistic Healing and Holistic Wellness are all based on the Philosophy that we are designed to be a part of Nature. We are Mind, Body and Spirit, and the mysteries of our intricately connected body systems are to be honored. And, we are so much more than just a body! Everything affects everything. And Good News! With Natural and Holistic Medicine and Treatments, the side effects are nearly always positive…giving unexpected relief or revival to other areas of our body, mind or spirit!
Come along with us on the rest of this Journey next month: “Surviving the Rough Seas”.
Deb & Dr. David Martin
And all the Providers at Lotus Blossom Clinic
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area with Natural and Holistic Medicine: Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Science-backed Food as Medicine, Energy & Transformational Medicine…. and Community Classes & Events galore!