Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Lighten up, Francis*

I wince when docs denigrate integrative modalities that are meant to be used in conjunction with medicine, but I understand it. I’m ambivalent about the vocal alternative community because my views don’t necessarily mirror theirs, and I prefer docs not lump all of us into one group. But what choice do they have? Docs and nurses are people of science, and they want proof that some of the crazy things we do actually make scientific sense. For instance, I can't put Reiki under a microscope and prove its efficacy. But I do see the huge difference in the amount of pain meds patients use post surgery. When I do Reiki on a patient who's freaking out before surgery actually doze off without meds, I don't have to get all agro at doubting docs. I know it works, and I'm good with that.

But what really gets my cheese whiz in a lather is when alternative practitioners accuse docs of being evil harbingers of ego and money, and that alternative medicine is the only path to true health, or worse, advocate the bellicose rantings of nutters like Kevin Trudeau and his irresponsible book, Natural Cures “they” don’t want you to know about. Trudeau is a wheezebag, and anyone who advocates abandoning medicine in favor of cinnamon or coffee enemas is walking far south of sanity. If I had cancer, you can bet your biodegradable Birkenstocks I'll get radiation, chemo, and whatever else my doc recommends. But I'll also round that out with Reiki, vitamins, guided imagery, and diet.

I've never been a believer that we turn our backs on medicine, and proposing just that is what rightly drives docs up the wall. To suggest that the medical community is arrogant and irrelevant while trying to knock on their front door to gain entry is tantamount to idiocy. Is it right to bite the hand of the very group we’re trying to influence? We're coming into a very traditional territory that's based on science, so we're not gonna have the welcome mat tossed out at us. We're often seen as being the invaders from Mars, and we have to prove ourselves.

So to those who feel "gorilla" tactics (as in chest beating, foot stomping) and insults are an effective method to bridging the gulf between integrative/alternative methods and traditional Western medicine, lighten up. You’re making us look like idiots.

*Great line from Stripes a la Sgt. Hulka


#1 Dinosaur said...

Actual (not grammar Nazi) question: did you really mean "gorilla" warfare, as in large, chest beating, not overly logical monkey; or "guerilla", as in "unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes, raids, etc.) to combat a larger and less mobile formal army"? If so, it's an awesome pun.

Lynn Price said...

Ah, Dino, I can always count on you to see through my genius. I thought about putting gorilla in quotes but decided to see if anyone got it. Bless you! Yes, chest beating, stomping, and making a general nuisance of oneself is exactly what I meant. Think I'll go back and add the quotes.