Adding Complementary Therapies To Your Toolkit Can Have Real Results
What brings us happiness does not always mesh with what is found to be healthy. Chips, cookies, cake, and too much of a good thing are a great example of what might bring joy, yet with some risk.
Whether it is a healthy diet or lifestyle, we owe it to ourselves to indulge, even occasionally.
There is a risk when going against the grain, and not following the crowd can lead us to great success or outstanding failure. The unknown is a mystery if there is no investigation.
Too often, that which brings us joy (potato chips and the couch) is not conducive with the healthy option. For most of us, exercise can be a chore to make a routine.
Getting motivated and off the couch is a big step but when you see muscles you have not seen for years beginning to bulge, a sense of accomplishment comes over you.
Factors of overall health
As a person diagnosed at 23 years of age with young-onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD), who is now in their mid-50s, I have had ample time to see the amount of work it takes for Parkinson’s and happiness to intersect.
There are numerous factors that are vital to our care that play a role in our overall health. Budget and our access to good medical services, exercise, diet, a support network, and socialization make up key components to a solid foundation for health and probably happiness.
True happiness comes from doing the hard work, savoring the present while preparing for the future, and knowing that we did our best.
Being open to new approaches
Creative solutions, unconventional approaches, complementary therapies, thinking outside the box, or whatever we decide to call non-traditional approaches, have merit. They deserve investigation for those of us seeking relief from our chronic conditions.
Just as there is no guarantee from a pill or surgery, some complementary therapies may not be right. But if we are willing to explore, 1 or more may offer some relief.
Tips for finding a practitioner
Here is a list to consider when looking for a complementary therapy practitioner:
Get a referral - Just like all people with Parkinson’s are different, so are complementary therapy practitioners. Some practitioners are better than others. Get a referral from a friend or someone that has worked with the practitioner.
Ask questions - Ask lots of questions and if you don’t get the answers that satisfy your requests, ask for a short therapy sample to experience the therapy, before working with that individual. Trust your gut instinct and concerns about the practitioner as much as you might in selecting a new dentist.
Do some research - Try to understand the thought and concept behind the therapy that you choose to explore. Don’t just do it to do it, without putting real effort into the therapy or practice.
It's okay to be skeptical - Consider uncovering the mystery of yoga, reiki, meditation, and energy work with cautious optimism on an experimental trial. Give the practice a chance to prove it's worth. Pay attention to what you encounter and experience to monitor your improvement. It's alright to be skeptical before trying a practice outside your comfort zone.
Check their qualifications - If the practitioner is not a referral, check with your state for licensure, state complaints, or good standing on state regulations. You might ask for a referral as a precaution.
Exploring your options
Our health and happiness are within our power. It is our job to take on the responsibility to be willing to explore what we may be unfamiliar with and is slightly out of our traditional comfort zone. Our lives and our happiness are worth the effort of investigation.
Do you participate in a support group for PD?