holistic doctors - how are they different? do you use one?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Shannonsparkles, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    I just found a listing of holistic doctors in the yellow pages, and it made me go 'hmmmmmm...' and wonder, would this work better for me than the regular docs I'm using now?

    I'm picturing in a holistic doc someone with the prescribing powers of a docotor (holistic guys have their MD) and experience in natural and alternative medicine, and hopefully a more caring and knowledgeable person. Is that what you get with a holistic doc?

    Has anyone here worked with one of these? What do they do, what are they like, and what has been your experience with them?

    The regular MD's I have used have been so lousy for me that they're like another part of my disease! They don't understand my illness at all. Also, I can't take drugs anyway due to an intollerance to them. Could a holistic doc be a good person to have on my team? I've used a herbalist and other alternative practitioners, but they don't seem to have the whole picture on me.

    Thanks all ((( ))) Shannon
  2. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I would definitely try a holistic doctor. No regular M.D. has been able to help me with CFIDS. Most don't even seem to believe that it is real.

    I've seen two naturopaths, and one I would recommend and one I wouldn't. One was kind, caring, etc. and the other wasn't. So there are good and bad, just like with regular M.D.'s, only I think you stand a much better chance getting help using a holistic-type doctor than with a regular M.D.

    Also, I was helped tremendously by my chiropracotr who does muscle testing. I had had several types of digestive problems (including inflamed gallbladder) and he helped me wtih all of them, without drugs and without surgery, and my digestion today is very good.

    The chiropractor also diagnosed my weak adrenals and gave me adrenal glandulars.

    So different "holistic-type" healthcare providers have helped me in different ways. The chiropractor helped me in ways other doctors couldn't.

    But in all of this, you really need to educate yourself, and read and read and read. Be informed when you go see the doctor (holistic or not) so you can ask good questions, and even make suggestions of your own. The more you know, the greater your chance of getting helped.

    Read Jacob Teitelbaum's book, From Fatigued to Fantastic, it has a lot of good information and may be a good starting point.

    I have CFIDS, but my digestion is much improved from sevearl years ago, my sleep is much improved. Unfortunately I still "crash" after exertion and don't have a lot of stamina, but am trying different things for that. I just recently saw another doctor who prescribed glutathione cream for me, because my immune system was working so poorly (I was getting sick all the time, and it would forever to get over something and then I would just get sick again). I think the cream is helping, though it's a little early to tell. But this was new to me -- I wish I had learned about it before.

    So there's a lot of potential help out there, but you have to look for it, and keep an open mind. Good luck!

    Mary
  3. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    I think that the holistic/alternative medicine approach is actually very beneficial for those of us with fibro. Supplementation and alternative treatments like acupuncture, massage, etc. can be so much more helpful than Rx meds.

    I was considering going to a holistic doctor for a while, but due to financial reasons, I have not. Luckily, my insurance does offer discounts on alternative therapies though.

    If you do a search for holistic or alternative medicine you can find a lot of previous posts on the subject with good info.
  4. darude

    darude New Member

    Thers a group of them at the clinic I used to go to. They do all the tests like FFC. I was recomended by dentist for Mercury testing and they do the chelation treatments.
  5. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Thanks Darude. What's the name of the clinic, and who did you work with?

    Mary, hope the glutithione will help. :) I used it in the form of whey protein isolate early in my illness, and found it very helpful, especially with depression. I too was having colds all the time. Now I joke to myself that viruses run from this wrecked up body like school kids would run from a haunted house! Serriously though, yep, there are a lot of suppliments that help the immune system.

    Thank you all for your replies. I gather that with holistic docs, there are good and bad ones. But the pinch in this decision is the price. Get a bad holistic doc, and you don't get your money back.

    You are right, the big key in working for recovery is learning for yourself what is the right thing to do. And it can be more affordable to bone up on the latest research and comb the health food store, and go with what feels right. I've made a lot of progress doing that and listening to what has helped people here. (((thanks))) I do feel confident that self-treatment is a must.

    BUT, I feel insecure that none of my docs will know how to help me if there is an emergency or if my symptoms worsten. Though I'm working with the FFC, I feel I need someone in my hometown looking after me too. I think a holistic doc may turn up some options I had not thought of before.

    What I would like is someone I can see with the convenience and cost of a regular doc, but who knows what planet I'm from and doesn't give me that blank and faintly hostile stare when I talk about the treatments I'm using. My current doctor just gave me a long speech about why I shouldn't take vitamins! I can't take drugs, and, like Stormyskye in her "natural" thread that's up now, I need a doctor who understands how to help me this way, and be open to doing what I ask for. And be smart like Stormy's doctor is.

    There's one holistic doc here that I know about that only charges for the innitial appointment (expensive, but an hour), and then no charge, as I understand it. His waiting list for new patients stretches into May, so I know people like him, and he is an MD. Have to get some more information on him, like how long in practice, experience with FM/CFS, website. He seems sharp, because he is one of the TWO docs in town that will prescribe pregnenolone when needed. Pregnenolone is virtualy unknown in Canada, as I'm finding out, so I am pleased to learn that someone here has experience with it.

    I'd like to hear some more of your own experiences. I might check into the archives. Please share any bad experiences too.
  6. kch64

    kch64 New Member

    I was skeptical about the integrative doctor that i went to, but many things that she prescribed have helped me.

    One that I didn't take, because I didn't know about it, was glutathione and now that I've read about it on this board, I'm going to try it.

    So far, everything that she had told me, plus some, many of the members on this board have confirmed that they've been helped by it.

    So, I would try once or twice and if they don't offer you anything more, then just read and do your own trial and errors. I would go to a good chiropractor, get a word of mouth referral from someone you know that has been to a good one. Some are quacks just like any other doc.

    AND do try acupuncture. I'm going to go back and give it a try. I had a terrible headache last year that I couldn't kick, and within two hours of my little treatment, it vanished. I met a lady at another acupuncturist (I was there for something else) and she said she was diagnosed with CFIDS and that acupuncture had helped her very much. She was really bad and started going and now she is much improved.

    Money is definately an issue, but a good chiropractor can really help. I was in so much pain last Winter and now I not in nearly as much pain with my neck and shoulders.

    Good wishes to you.
    Kendra
    [This Message was Edited on 01/21/2006]
  7. elsa

    elsa New Member

    Integrated ... yes .... MD that easily believes in prescriptions and nutritional, alternative treatments. Like using valtrex first then adding colostrum and transfer factors afterwards. They are better md's in some cases because they treat the whole.

    I am so confused .... are you not a FFC patient? They are treating their patients this way .... rx'es and alternatives .... whatever works best.

    Straight holistic "I have a cure" is not a good thing , but that can happen in any area.

    Elsa
  8. kch64

    kch64 New Member


    Yes, integrated. thats the doc I've been too.

    Kendra
  9. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    Shannon, my personal opinion is that you will never achieve any real healing with a traditional doctor. You have to find one that is willing to step outside of the box. I think you already know this by what you said in your post.

    As Elsa so aptly pointed out, I'd be on my guard with any alternative doc that is just wanting to push supplements and tells you that they can cure you.

    There are good alternative doctors out there and bad ones, you just have to try. It'd be great if you know someone that has gone to one and they have achieved success with their healing.

    There are integrative doctors, these are usually traditional docs that either, A, got tired of not being able to help their patients and saw patients getting well with alternative methods, or B, saw $$$ going out the door with patients going to alternative doctors and have decided to get on the bandwagon.

    Then you have chiropractors, who most use supplements and are able to help you somewhat, if you need adjustments. The only problem I have with total healing through chiropractic, is that alone is not going to solve all your problems. The theory with chiropractic, your spine will not stay in alignment due, not only to physical causes, like whiplash, falls, etc., but also toxins in your system can cause your spine to not be in alignment.

    You can get adjustments, but if you haven't addressed the toxic angle of your spine with your organs, after the adjustment, you'll just become unadjusted in short time and need more adjustments.

    Then you have your naturopathic doctors, which I've found most of them to be pretty good.

    You've got your herbalists as well, but although I'm a firm believer in herbs, I personally don't think just with herbs is going to solve your problems.

    Some acupuncturists are very good, again, not a total solution, but depending on what they offer, you can achieve a lot of success here.

    Yes, you can realize a lot of educational support from this board in regard to your healing, but I think with the right practitioner, you can achieve more healing.

    Then, of course, there is the emotional angle. I know people don't like to hear this, but unfortunately our emotional health is really, really a big part of this picture. People that hold on to toxic emotions or have had emotional unstability in their life and are unable to release these emotions, as they are holding onto these toxic emotions, so does their body, kidney and liver, holding on to toxins.

    The ideal holistic doc in my book is one that has a lot to offer you, one that does NAET or some version thereof, one that is able to help you emotionally heal, one that also addresses your spinal health, not so much through chiropractic but with body balancing or polarity, one that also has a good detox regimen to offer you and is knowledgeable in that regard. That person also has to be really, really understanding of our condition. Again, the ideal person here would be someone that had had poor health at one time and healed themselves through utilization of the above modalities, so, henceforth, they have walked in your mocassins and know how you feel, and also one that conducts themselves in a professional way and does not charge an arm and a leg for treatments.

    This person would probably sell some good supplements to round out the program and help your body heal, but the supplements do not comprise the majority of the healing regimen, and that practitioner should be able to muscle test you for those supplements so you are not wasting your dollars on supplements that do not agree with you.

    And the final piece of the puzzle, after you're feeling a lot better, the ideal practitioner would also coach you on nutrition, emphasizing proper digestion and eating the right foods and proper food combining so that you can maintain your good health.

    That in my book is the ideal holistic doc.

    Sbilek
    [This Message was Edited on 01/21/2006]
  10. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    What is integrative medicine?

    Thanks for the informative reply, sbilek. I am tired of getting a pill for this, a pill for that, and not feeling better. Natural docs I have tried have been like that for me too. I seem to do better when I pick out the pills myself and go with my guts on it.

    Yes, I am an FFC patient. But I'm feeling insecure and like I need more support. I've been feeling sicker since starting with them, my mood is terrible and I am so tired I can't cook anymore (and I wasn't cooking much before even, just a piece of fish sometimes). I have trouble expressing what is wrong with me to a person I can't see through e-mail, which is what I do when I have to ask Dr. Marti something. I want to tell her I'm feeling worse, but I don't want to complain... silly, I know.

    Sib, you're right about the emotional stuff. I had to stop using my counsellor when I started using FFC, because I ran out of money... and then when I got some money to do it, I was too sick to go anymore. :( "Too sick to get help" is one of the big frustrations in my life. So if there was some sort of medical-holistic thing that could help with my emotions that I would be physically able to do, that would be great. I have been so depressed and sick these weeks. And I choked on my pills and fainted and hit my chin on the floor, which doesn't have anything to do with what we're talking about, but that was scary!

    FFC is getting me to take more pills (hope they help), acupuncturist says, "get off your pills, you don't need pills, just a good diet." I am so stressed and I can't think at all or remember anything. When I started DGL FFC want's me on, I started getting pain, which I haven't had before. I'm up till 4 and 5am every day feeling wound-up, and sleep till 1pm, and crave sweets like mad, and everything I do or don't do, try or don't try, just seems to be feeding into the illness somehow. I guess I don't make a lot of sense. I just started taking pregnenolone they want me on today, and I feel "weird" on it mentally... and my pupils dilated for a while after I took it.

    I'm so thirsty, and hot. FFC says my thyroid is high, and I can't get in to see the specialist till march.
  11. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    Shannon, integrative medicine is a regular "western" minded doctor, MD, or osteopathic doctor, that is "integrating" alternative medicine with traditional medicine.

    I believe the FFC docs would fall into this category.

    Shannon, one thing that might help you, and this is my opinion, having been there, I was feeling really, really good after the NAET, from the first practitioners that I went to, I started on their regimen of all their supplements and then spent the next three years with very severe depression, that quit once I quit taking all their supplements.

    I then discovered that a good majority of the supplements out there are synthetic vitamins and they just do not agree with me, and I believe they do not agree with a lot of other people, too. They just simply are not able to be assimilated through our kidney and liver properly.

    I have to say that I do agree with your acupuncturist, that you might do better with getting your vitamins and minerals from proper nutrition and then maybe supplementing occasionaly with something if the need arises. This has been the case with me.

    I can tell you that minerals are very important, in my opinion, plus electrolytes. Some of us, the membranes around are cells isn't allowing the absorption of the vitamins and minerals, taking electrolytes may help restore this and then the vitamins and minerals cross over that membrane properly and are utilized by our bodies.

    If that cell membrane is closed off, I don't care how many vitamins you are taking, they just are not doing any good and are just really clogging up your organs more with toxins, money down the toilet, literally.

    I've been following the FFC posts, and my belief, they will help people to a certain degree, and it's very impressive with all the tests they do, etc., but I just don't think they've worked out all the kinks yet in their methods, just my personal opinion.

    Sbilek