Needles, Babies, and Bathwater. Many wil NOT AGREE with this post. eh.

 
 
Sep
12

Needles, Baby, Bathwater....many will not agree with this post.

 

 [But first some pictures of the last couple weeks...as I have been MIA here ;) ]

 Some serious conversation between two 5 yr old besties...who wear clothes that reflect their Momma's tastes :) Luv.


 The is an amazing area of our Art Museum. There are 100 acres of outdoor art installations. Some are interactive...as you can see :)




 "FRAMILY" .... Silly "Framily"....
 "I am sure we can roll this log into the water." says 3 little boys about a huge fall tree trunk.
 "hmmm. Maybe not?" said 3 little boys to the fallen tree trunk.



 Catching insects and little fish were the "science" activities of the day. The Holloways homeschool too. (thank Heavens!)
 Miss Tessa joshin' on Trey :)



 AND.....our cars were broken in to while we were gallivanting around the 100 acres.
 "They" popped the locks on the driver's door. We, the Cockrums, did not lose much but it cost $800 to fix the lock?!! wha??? The Holloways lost a lot more. We both had our purses stolen but they were recovered later that night...It was frustrating and made me feel "unsafe" in an area I know very well. sheesh.


 Yep. My 5 year old can, and often does, make her own lunch ;)


My latest, and rare, organization idea. These jars hold items that "are always lost" in our house. 1. Hair brushes. 2. Pencils & sharpeners 3. scissors, glue, markers, tape. 

Yes, I am proud of myself ;)


 Myself & Jess....We "get" each other and have a crazy history together at this point. That makes for a great friendship...
Aven and Tessa attended a "craft night" at a local toy store. They left on a red carpet!!! Awesome!!!

**************************

Well.  

I am not sure which I want to write about today.  

Yes, I have been a bit lagging around here lately. We have had some intense family (not family under our roof...thank you Jesus). 
 
It had and has left me a bit, er a lot, confused and frustrated...and confused!  It came out of left field and cause Jim and I to make difficult choices. 

I did not, truly, trust myself to write here. I was afraid that I would vent and then hit the "publish" button and dishonor those involved. Dishonor is not the point. 
 
Confusion and miscommunication is but fixing that is, seemingly, impossible right now. 

As a result, we proceed, even more..without a some family support that used to be there. Hearts may heal but right now they are raw.  

I know many of you can relate. 

It hurts doesn't it?  To lose some trust that was once there. To have feelings pierced. To have words thrown around that should not be. To be shocked.

Well...see...there I go. I shall stop now. I just know many of you relate and sort of want to reach out to others who know these feelings. 

ANYWHOOO....

I do want to talk about my continuing experiences with acupuncture. 

This is going to sound odd to some. It sounded and resonated as 'odd' to me too until I got my head around the practitioner's thoughts and worldview. 
 
It is different than mine. It was and is interesting to hear and compare.
 
Here is the deal:
 

The acupuncturist, let's refer to him as Mr. C, and I have had some interesting conversations.
 
I have been interested in his religious beliefs as he presents himself with typical, Bible-belt philosophies. 
 
He started practicing ancient Chinese medicine and practices after working in a standard, local, westernized hospital for over 30 years. He saw that medications were not the answer to all ills.
 
He wanted to find an answer to help the actual illness rather than "band-aid" the illness with a medication. 
 
That being said, he believes that medications do serve a necessary purpose. However, his goal is to help his patients, like me, to no longer need them. 
 
Though this journey may take awhile...or...as he says, "It absolutely may not and when you tell me you feel better we are done. This is whether you are still on your medications or not."
 
Wow. You do not hear that from alternative medical providers that often. Normally, alternative practitioners, from our experience [except for a few..Anca and Lise ;]
 
Mr. C is still involved in Westernized practices as he still does rotations, on the weekends, at the local hospital.
 
However, the more I have been around him...the more I realized he was not a "Bible-belt" kinda guy. 
 
I realized that he functioned under a somewhat different belief system than myself but it seemed that the differences were miniscule. 
 
As a result, of course, I was exceptionally interested as I am always looking to compare my beliefs and faith to what others believe. 
 
It is not a lack in MY faith but it is an interest in others, and interest in educating myself, and interest in understanding better. 
 
Over the course of several conversations I found that...
 
IF Mr. C had to define his religious beliefs it would be "Buddhism" but he took about 5 minutes (while being silent mind you...I thought I had offended him!) to answer.
 
My knee-jerk reaction, of course, was..."So, Mr C, do you think you have been reincarnated?".
 
After several moments of thought [which confused me as he has surely thought this through before and he is exceptionally intelligent...] he responded, "Yes. I do believe I have been 'around before'."
 
I was quite interested. I appreciated his honesty within our little midwestern community. A community that has a 'typical' Christian-oriented church every 2 blocks. 
 
Sure, we have a diverse culture but the Christian-type church is dominant in our area. 
 
I asked, "Do you think one must be reincarnated to get to Heaven or do you believe one must continue the journey to get to the '8th level' and then there is a perfection or a Heaven?"
 
Again. The verbal pause.
 
[I must add. He is sticking needles all over me as we talk :]
 
"No Andrea. I think it is easier for some to get to Heaven than others."
 
I sort of rolled my eyes and responded, "Are you placating me Mr. C? Are you stating it that way because you are assuming I come from a Christian background and do not want to 'offend' me?"
 
He laughed and, without verbal pause, said, "Andrea, I do not placate." 
 
Now THIS is a guy I can understand!  I am NOT a fan of 'placating"...saying what someone WANTS to hear versus what you truly think. 
 
BUT HERE IS THE THING:
 
He uses the Chinese-based words in regards to ancient medical practices.
 
You are all familiar with them, however he has explained them to me in "Westernized" language. 
 
He explains that these words have received a "Western Stereotype" that keeps many away from Chinese treatment, especially Christians.
 
Some of these words are (I will include Chinese definition and then the Westernized definition that Mr. C gave me so I would not be 'freaked out' when he used them...He is exceptionally accommodating to my/Midwestern preconceived ideas. 
 
(CHINESE)qì (also chi or ch'i) is an active principle forming part of any living thing.  Qi is frequently translated as life energy, lifeforce, or energy flow. 
 
Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts. The literal translation of "qi" is breath, air, or gas. "Wikipedia...sorry!"
 
(WESTERN) qì (also chi or ch'i) :  the electrical pulses that keep your organs running as one. The same electricity/energy that keeps your heart pumping. ("Mr. C.")

[CHINESE] SHAMAN: Chinese spirit possession is the paranormal/supernatural and sorcerical event in which, allegedly, when Chinese spirits, or gods such as Jade Emperor, Xi Wangmu, Sun Wukong, Dragon King, Nezha (deity), Guanyin, Guan Yu, or other disincarnate or extraterrestrial entities take control of a human body, resulting in noticeable changes in body functions and behaviour.
 
 It was alleged that once the spirit possession take place, the practitioners would be granted supernatural powers like Firewalking, handling red-hot steel rods without getting burnt, and withstanding sharp knife attacks without being cut open. The most famous Chinese spirit possession practitioners were to be found. (Wikipedia...sorry!)

[WESTERN]: SHAMAN: ..."what some scholars of shamanism treat as being definitive of shamanism...
 
 (most notably drumming, trance, chanting, entheogens and hallucinogens, spirit communication and healing) 
 
....are practices that exist outside of what is defined as shamanism and play similar roles even in non-shamanic cultures (such as the role of chanting in Judeo-Christian and Islamic rituals) and that in their expression are unique to each culture that uses them and cannot be generalized easily, accurately or usefully into a global religion of shamanism. 
 
Because of this, Kehoe is also highly critical of the notion that shamanism is an ancient, unchanged, and surviving religion."
 
  [NOT SO SCARY TO US CHRISTIANS! added by myself] ( Alice Kehoe in her book Shamans and Religion: An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking and some of "Mr. C's" confirmations)

One can see the massive differences between the Chinese definitions and the Western.

Before I met Mr. C, these terms would have been dismissed by me as ancient terms that had no pertinent application to modern medicine. 

I would have considered them against my Christ-loving Worldview (Bible-follower)

Now...

I see them as a bit different. Not entirely, but a bit.

Why?

Pharmaceutical companies. Advertising. Habits.

If "chi" or one's electrical pulses/energy can be addressed via acupuncture and NOT medicines...these pharmaceutical companies make an exceptionally-reduced profit. 
 
The last thing Westernized pharmaceutical companies want is for Americans (and other non-third world countries but I do not feel I can speak to them as I do not know the prominence of alternative medical practices in say, Italy or Canada) to realize that medicine is not ALWAYS needed to resolve an illness. 
 
We would have to completely audit our habits. 
 
Television companies would have to replace big-profit medicine commercials with small-profit, just squeaking by right now alternative medicine clinics.

Most of us picture this when we here "Shaman":


Or EVEN:

 
 Definitely NOT someone you see walking around your local Wal-Mart. But it is someone who we have stereotyped. 

What if we have stereotyped them simply because of their dress? Don't you think they look at us and our Westernized ways of medical treatment and shake their heads?  
 
They know that ecology or non-man-made medicines can heal an illness. Herbs, vegetation, tree leaves, etc (not an expert here...kinda going off documentaries I have watched and my own preconceived ideas!)

Now...PLEASE...

I am not implying that Mr. C wears a neck full of beaded necklaces, nor that he has odd pierces within his body!

Actually, he wears an button down shirt and the typical, white, doctor's jacket!  

HOWEVER, Mr. C has referred to himself as a "Shaman".....

I gotta say. It sorta freaked me out. 

A "Shaman"? Am I under the influence of practices of a man who employs ideas and beliefs that go directly against my own and will that affect me in some spiritual way?

I could not be more wrong.

"Shaman" is, truly, a stereotyped word as much as the phrase "Soccer Mom" or "McMansions".

We, I am focusing on Christ-followers, have snubbed our noses at non-medicine solutions because of commercials, generational habits, and lack of learning.

Doesn't it make COMPLETE sense that God provided all that we need to help our illnesses? 
 
Yes, medicine is necessary for many to help them...while they are, hopefully, addressing the under-lying issues of say - blood pressure, cancer, MS, PTSD, depression, etc. 

I am on 5 medicines. I realized the necessity of them! I would not be safe or useful, at this point, without them. 

However, I sure as heck to NOT want to be on them for the rest of my life.

As a result, I am working on debunking the stereotypes that reside within my Western-educated mind. 
 
A mind that has been dramatically influenced by my M.D.'s practice to issue medicines versus figuring out what is truly wrong with me. 

I am SURE I am offending many. It is surely those that are on maintenance drugs. 
 
Those that are going through cancer treatments. Those that have loved ones who are only here because of medicines.
 
I am not writing to offend. I am writing to hone my ideas and to challenge my kids and us to redefine our ideas of "medical treatment".
 
To consider that we are strongly influenced by pharmaceutical companies' needs, advertising, and habits. 
 
I have one more surprise up my blogging sleeve...
 
Mr. C has cancer. CANCER.
 
He has had it for an elongated period of time. He is the vision of health (except for a bit of a pot-belly ;)
 
He, though he works in a hospital, has chosen to treat his cancer without the typical regime of chemotherapy and radiation.
 
He has chosen alternative interventions that many would shake their heads at. 
 
Acupuncture, Diet, and... Native American and Mayan medical practices. Yep. You heard me right.
 
He goes to Mexico approximately every 6 weeks to an area that is a hub-bub for alternative medical intervention and treatment (especially for cancer) that does not involve medicine.

The treatments involve treatments I've described along with...hang with me...sweat lodges! 

 

NATIVE AMERICAN SWEAT LODGE
History of Sweat Lodges
©2011 Mikkel Aaland All Rights Reserved


 



"CULTURAL REVIVAL

My experience with the Ogala Sun Dance ceremony grows from a cultural revival now sweeping the Native American community. Wounded Knee, Alcatraz, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs takeover come to mind as urgent manifestations of this need for identity.
 
 Many Indian groups, such as the National Indian Unity, are reviving use of the sweat lodge in their annual conferences.

Three basic forms of the sweat bath are indigenous to North America: the
hot rock method, used by the Navajos and Sioux; the direct fire chamber, heated by blazing logs; and a more sophisticated type relying on a heating duct system believed to be of Mayan origin."


So......

Wow...eh?

Meeting Mr. C has educated me. He has made me think. 

He has not influenced my belief system as much as he has made me reconsider the stereotypes that reside within my mind. 
 
Stereotypes that have been embedded from many sources...sources that I need to audit.

I understand that alternative, non-medicine practices are no going to be widely accepted in our country any time soon (IE: juicing marijuana leaves...it would practically cure my PTSD within weeks. 
 
Juicing the leaves does NOT give the "high effect". [the leaves but be smoked for the high]
 
The leaves were and are, in some states and surely in many other countries, used to heal the body. They have been used, actually, since ancient times.
 
BUT the plant is stereotyped in most states within the U.S.A. and, in Indiana, I am not allowed to, legally, juice the leaves of a plant that would dramatically improve my health. 
 
And there I go again...stepping on toes ;)

My overall point?
 
Why do we through the baby out with the bathwater? (stereotypes)
 
Why are alternative practices not employed?? 
 
Because of a lack of overall education stolen from us by various means.

Why not audit "words" and "practices" like Mr. C has? He has his feet in BOTH worlds of medicine. 
 
He sees the benefits of both; however, I am amazed at his treatment of his cancer and how healthy he continues to be. 

Do I love Jesus less? ha. NO!  
 
I am not converting to Buddhism. 
 
I do not, suddenly, believe in reincarnation because I have met an intelligent, older, medical professional who believes in it. 

Do I think the Bible is missing something now?
 
 NO!! 
 
I think, though, that WE, Christ-followers, are, in fact, missing information that the Bible gives us in regards to treating the ills and evils that settle into our bodies.

The journey to "healthy" has led myself (and Tye) into so many corners of the medical field that we never knew existed...but yet do not involve medicine. 
 
I know God is guiding us...as much as He is guiding me to the correct medicines right now until my underlying illnesses are removed.
 
 I picture these two practices Western & Eastern,  as 'holding hands' but wanting to separate as soon as possible because I will no longer need either of them.

What do you think? (eek...I'm sort of afraid to ask that ;)

Andrea
"Thinking Forward Continually" 
[one of Jim and I's new motto's for our family...it is from the Greek meaning of "HOPE"...]


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