Alternative Medicine: Miracle Cure or Snake Oil? (Part 1)

Posted: July 8, 2010 by Adrian Sanders in Rants and Raves

Alternative medicine is something that has intrigued me for quite some time now. As a back pain sufferer, I’ll be the first to say that once you experience chronic pain, it doesnt take long for you to start looking for ways to relieve the pain. The problem is, how do you know what to believe? What works and what doesnt?

Just over two years ago, I found myself mesmorized by one of those presentations on the home shopping network. They were advertising a device called an inversion table. It looked really funny at first. These people were hanging upside down by their ankles and its supposed to relieve ailments in the back. It was rather pricey at $300, but they conveniently offered a 5 month installment plan…..SOLD! After some internet research, I found that this was the best inversion table on the market, so I decided to order it.

A week or so later, the huge box arrived and I put it together. Once I got it all adjusted, I hop on, adjust the ankle holding device and lean back. WHOA…that was scary at first. I havent hung upside down since I was a kid…if then. I quickly determined I shall take it slow, and maybe perhaps try reading the directions. Long story short, after a couple of months of using the device, I quickly figured out this thing was worth every single penny I paid for it. It takes your body a while to get used to the head rush with all the blood rushing to your head. However, after a few weeks, your heart begins to pump more efficiently while upside down, thus keeping the blood from rushing to your head. So in all actuality, its good for your cardio health as well. Once you are hanging upside down and not scared of it, you begin to feel your back pop and stretch. This is your body weight and gravity working to lengthen your spine and pull apart the vertebrae in your spine. This relieves the pressure between the vertebrae and disks in your spine. After hanging for five or ten minutes, you feel great after getting off the device. Your posture is better and you would be surprised how much you just feel refreshed. I even measured my height before and after one day and found that I gained a full inch in height. After using this thing for the past two years, I am amazed at how much of a difference it has made. I have more mobility in my back and the pain is substantially less. I have recommended this to so many people. Most people just dont understand that its a regimen, you cant just use it once or twice and expect a miracle, but if you are willing to stick with it, and commit, you will see results.

I discuss this because yesterday I took another step in my quest of alternative medicine. I decided that due to my lower back pain and stiffness, I would go see a chiropractor. After doing x-rays, it was revealed to me that my back is messed up all kinds of ways and out of whack, most likely due to car wrecks in my past life as a race car driver (ha). Even though I was never involved in anything major as far as on-track wrecks, the doctor said I probably had a very minor injury and over the years it escalated, even causing a ruptured disk four years ago. The number one cause for this type of injuries is after all, car accidents. The vertebrae where I had this disk problem has now slipped out of line and is touching the one under it. The chiropractor said it is his belief that if not for the use of my inversion table, I would probably be in much worse shape and in a lot of pain. So this definitely made me feel better about my investment.

It definitely goes without saying that I am a true believer in some alternative medicine practices. According to most medical doctors, even chiropractic care is considered alternative medicine. Insurance companies pretty much think the same because they arent too keen on paying for the procedures. Mine will only pay a very small amount per year only after meeting a deductible. Although I just started my procedures, I whole heartedly believe in chiropractic care and hope to get on a quarterly regimen to maintain proper spine health. Unfortunately, there are definitely people and devices out there whose sole purpose is for nothing more than taking your hard earned money. I experienced one of these devices first hand earlier today. Check back tomorrow for part two where I tell about my experience with ionic detoxifying foot baths. In the meantime, if anyone has any experiences with alternative medicine practices, please share because I’d be interested in hearing about it.

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Comments
  1. […] they’re always complaining about something. Whether it’s FedEx, or the oil spill, or alternative medicine, they’ve got an opinion on just about everything. Their opinions are usually wrong, but […]

    • superkait says:

      Wow! Great post – I’ve been dabbling in alternative medicine research myself and this drove it home for me that I really ought to give it strong consideration.
      I am studying to be a chiropractor myself, so I found this all to be very useful and relevant. Two thumbs up!

      -Kaitlin

      • Adrian says:

        Thanks for the compliments. Some people definitely arent open minded when it comes to some things. I have discovered this just this week when I tell people I am going to a chiropractor. However, there are some good reasons why, as you will read in my next post. Best of luck to you in the Chiropractic studies, we are rooting for ya!

  2. Rick says:

    I need to get one of those. I’ve heard good things about them and even though I don’t (normally) have back pain a little pre-emptive therapy can’t hurt!

  3. Adrian says:

    Worth every penny. Just do yourself a favor and buy a good one so you dont topple on your head. Dont trust the crap they sell locally in retail stores. Home Shopping Network has the best deal. 5 monthly payments, no interest and free shipping

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