The winter months bring more than snow and cold temperatures — they bring a whole line-up of different ailments and illnesses. No one likes to feel sick, whether from the flu, diarrhea, strained muscles or broken bones, or from chronic conditions like arthritis, cancer or high blood pressure. Feeling sick is unpleasant, motivating people to find relief.
In the United States, Canada, and European countries, the Western-style medical model based in human anatomy and physiology generally looks like this: Patients don’t feel well, so they ask doctors to treat their symptoms. Doctors may order tests, tell patients to take specific pills, or may recommend surgery or some other form of therapy. Not finding relief with this conventional system, a growing number of people are searching for alternative and blended forms of energy healing. Along with these unconventional approaches comes a new vocabulary of terminology to learn.
In Asian cultures like China and Japan, their traditional, feel-better model concentrates on energy, the positive life force also known as ki or chi. Practitioners use approaches that rely on Eastern philosophies like Zen Buddhism and Taoism. They believe that a person’s impaired energy flow signals what is going on inside the body and then use modalities like acupuncture, yoga and herbal remedies to feel better and maintain health.
Over the past 40 years, Western medical treatment has opened up to holistic health modalities including acupuncture, Reiki, meditation, reflexology, therapeutic massage, aromatherapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), hypnosis, and naturopathy. Whatever the approach, more and more practitioners in Northeast Ohio are employing holistic health methods. Their aim is to treat the client’s physical body, emotions, and spirit together, and to get the person involved in the healing process. These integrative approaches can be used to nurture health while at other times to complement standardized medical treatment for more serious conditions.
Holistic medicine is based on Eastern philosophies that focus on energy. This approach says that there are seven chakra main energy centers “swirling” within the body all connected to body organs and systems. Many health problems stem from blocked energy flow along the body’s meridians. The goal is to identify and reduce the obstacles blocking energy and bring the body into harmony and balance again. According to the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, many Americans use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in pursuit of health and well-being. However, the field is difficult to define because it is broad and changing. Complementary medicine refers to use of CAM together with conventional medicine. Alternative medicine refers to use of CAM in place of conventional medicine. Integrative medicine (also called integrated medicine) refers to a practice that combines both conventional and CAM treatments for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness. Visit http://NCCAM.nih.gov for more information.
The Insight Learning Center, a large series of studios and offices, now has 30 practitioners using a wide array of modalities to help children and adults on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting. Clients receive a thorough evaluation before pursuing a goal-directed treatment recommendation. The Center also offers a program in the formal practice of meditation mindfulness for people with drug addiction problems. Visit http://InsightWellness.org for more information.
Sarah Weiss, founder of the SpiritHeal Institute, has worked in a very specialized area of the healing profession for 30 years. “As a medical intuitive, I help clients find the root of what is going on in their bodies,” she explained. Weiss acknowledged people are skeptical, but she can see people’s energy fields outside their bodies and the organs inside. “The energy fields are the blueprints for what is going on inside the body,” she explained. “I have received confirmation of what I see through x-rays and surgeries.” Intuitive healing dates back to the Greeks. Today, it is a certificate professional program based on the teachings of Caroline Myss and Dr. Norman Shealy training people to meditate and actualize their intuitive skills to help people be healthy. Visit http://www.SpiritHealOnline.com for more information.
The American Holistic Medical Association, a national organization founded in 1978 and located in Cleveland, serves as the leading advocate for the use of holistic and integrative medicine by all licensed healthcare providers. Their membership roster includes licensed practicing physicians and practitioners utilizing holistic and integrative medical treatments. The Association also acts as a referral source providing a list of names and specialty areas by state for where to seek help.
Six years ago, under the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, the Center for Integrative Medicine was established “providing access to practices that address the physical as well as lifestyle, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients.” The Center now has three physicians and 20 practitioners seeing over 1,000 patients per month. Dr. Tanya Edwards, medical director, said “Our Center is based on the National Institute of Health definition of Integrative Medicine combining mainstream with complementary and alternative approaches using safe and proven modalities. Our practitioners, using holistic approaches, help people who are out of balance find the cause of their distress.” Visit http://My.ClevelandClinic.org for more information.