Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who are you seeing?

I'm seeing a chiropractor. I'm seeing an Alexander technique teacher.
I'm seeing a rock star. No, I am seeing an orthopedic surgeon: same
thing. Of course I am reading Dr. John Sarno, guru to the stars' back

This pain I have, what is it? Depends on who you ask. A herniation in the cervical spine. Spinal degeneration. Incorrect thinking, a childhood
accident, the obesity epidemic, that I sit keyboarding too much, that I
don't eat enough greens. That I have negative energy and engage in unhelpful self-talk.

What I want is to be without pain. But it's not simple, for
first I must identify with a school of thought, a philosophy, a world
view of disease and healing be it traditional or alternative or
crystal angel therapy (there is such a thing and it has zealots). Like
religion, medicine has sects, and cults. No one buys what the
others are selling. My neurologist laughed at yoga! My chiropractor
said, cortisone injections are hooey! My surgeons say, schedule
surgery already. Dr. Sarno's New York appointments are thousands of
dollars my HMO says oh, hell no. It's mud pit wrestling.

I am an interfaith and an interdenominational medical pragmatist, please don't judge me, as I wear the veil and eat pork, keep the Sabbath, but mindfully, while sipping anti-inflammatory tea, I just want to get well.


  1. I want you to get well, too! I am so sorry to hear about all this. I l know this has been bothering you for a long time. shit. If only there were magic wands. If you need a nurse, I will come over! love love love molly

  2. Well said! I often feel like a spy because I often keep secrets from my various 'gurus'. Don't tell the acupuncturist that the medication is helping. Don't tell the doctor that the acupuncture reduces pain and stress. Don't tell my yoga teacher about the drugs and surgery. It's like being a secret agent, only with less cocktails and glamorous outings.

  3. Kelly: Pssst. Meet you in an alley with a trenchcoat on, to swap secrets of what works.

  4. I want you to get well, too! Do as Andrew Weil suggests and use integrative medicine that acknowledges the good in modern Western, science-based, medicine combined with the good in traditional healing—yoga, meditation, green tea—in whatever way feels most correct to you. Have you read Weil's 1996 book Spontaneous Healing? I think that book is a good description of the profound difference between being buffeted about by warring systems and finding your own place within that system. He acknowledges the way in which we have made our doctors' demigods who can put "curses" on our health with their pronouncements, and suggests how to take back control of our health. Dr. John Sarno is featured. I wish you very, very well.

  5. Hey Elizabeth,

    Sorry to hear about your neck issues. Your tweets about Rolfing® SI led me here to your blog. Doesn't Dr. Sarno mention Rolfing® SI in his book? I suggest that you try whatever modalities that call you and that you seem to respond to within 3 to 5 session. If you're body is not responding to whatever treatment you are trying it's either not the right modality or the practitioner doesn't have the skill. Best of luck to you.