November 20, 2013
If you've been dealing with health issues like depression or chronic pain, you've probably tried medications, doctors and maybe even surgery, but there are other options out there. As CBS19's Stephanie Satchell reports, some say it may be time to think outside of the box and try a different type of medicine like Integrative or Alternative Medicine.
Seeing someone with needles in their arms, feet or legs may look painful, but patients at the Community Acupunture Clinic at Common Ground Healing Arts in Charlottesville say the feeling is actually the complete opposite.
"You're kind of relaxing and all of sudden you get out of the chair and you feel like you're floating right along on cloud 9," said Ben Quade, Acupuncture Patient.
For years Quade has been suffering from arthritis and digestive issues.
"It's gotten to the point where I couldn't even walk from the pain and doing Alternative Medicine such as acupuncture has really helped kind of release a lot of that pressure and pain," said Quade.
Kyung Lee is an acupuncturist and has been practicing this type of Eastern medicine for years. She says there is a science to how it all works.
"The Chinese theory is that stagnation occurs in the body whether it's due to injury or diet or stress and by putting in needles in specific locations you will break up that stagnation and allow the energy to flow to that area once again," said Kyung Lee, Acupuncturist, Common Ground Healing Arts.
She says that then brings relief to a patient and eases their pain.
However, acupunture isn't the only method of Eastern medicine out there. Many people are also turning to hypnotherapy for treatment.
"I was in a state of turmoil. I had just lost my fiancé and he had died of cancer and I had a really hard time moving forward," said Leta Stalnaker, Hypnotherapy Patient.
Stalnaker was in a deep depression after her loss and reached out to hypnotherapist Erin Pearson of True Heart Hypnosis in Castleton after trying depression medications.
"I took one of those depression type medicines. I was told just take it for a month and you'll be better and after that month. Well, take it for a year and your depression will stay away. I just wasn't the same person," said Stalnaker.
Pearson started hypnotherapy with Stalnaker and began with the basics which included relaxation.
"It just relaxes you and allows your conscience mind to step aside and your sub-conscience mind to come forward," said Pearson, Hypnotherapist.
Pearson says once a patient gets to this point, they will open up under hypnosis. That allows a hypnotherapist to tackle issues, like depression, pain and trauma.
"I really like the hypnotherapy because I really think it gets a lot deeper into what the issue is and it's not a band-aid. It's the real cure," said Stalnaker.
"I'm seeing people go from being hopeless and basically not functional even on medication to being able to pick themselves up and look forward to their life," said Pearson.
While taking a holistic approach like acupuncture or hypnotherapy may work for some, Ann Taylor at the University of Virginia's Center of Complementary and Alternative Therapies says people shouldn't abandon conventional medicine all together.
"Our Conventional Medicine is some of the best practice in the entire world and what we want to do is to amplify that with the best of Eastern Medicine," said Taylor, Director, UVa Center of Complimentary and Alternative Therapies.
At the center, they practice something called Complimentary Medicine or Integrative Medicine.
While still under physician care and taking medication or opting for surgery, patients also undergo massage, healing touch, yoga and more to help symptoms such as fatigue, pain, sleep related problems, anxiety, and depression.
"I think we live in a time and place where we need to use the best of our Western Medicine and have adjunctive use of that from the Eastern Medicine that can help us have a strong integrative healthcare system," said Taylor.
Whether it's Eastern, Western or a combination of both types of medicines, everyone has to decide what's best for them when it comes to treating their medical issues.
However, if you're open to trying something new, many say you could find the cure without seeing your doctor.