Put yourself at ease. Youre not alone. Not by a long shot.
Were constantly using others to judge the value of our own lives, says Dr. Jerry Berbaum, a holistic healer and author of *A Sacred Journey: The Awakening.* We take on roles of what others think we should be.
The alternative medicine doctor works with individuals to realize their wants in life and recognize the relationships between people and the natural world. Incorporating nutritional analysis, homeopathy, counseling and natural medicines into his practice, Berbaum believes addressing both physical and psychological needs promotes wellness most effectively.
His methods, he says, leads people to break away from limiting social roles, which often can be the root of illness.
When we get locked into those roles, we dont like them, but we dont recognize them either. So we feel stress and fatigue, the 63-year-old healer says. I put a big emphasis on getting people to see their self-worth and value and a lot of the emphasis on getting rid of self-judgment.
Berbaum hosts self-realization workshops periodically at the Center for Conscious Living, 1200 W. 11th Street in the historic building 50, Traverse City. He is a guest of the Yoga for Health Education program.
Berbaum introduces attendees to methods for recognizing the origin of subconscious fears and self-imposed limits. He also teaches an an exercise helpful for releasing emotional stress. We talk about how the subconscious mind works so we can have some basis of control over it, he says.
TAKING HIS OWN ADVICE
Approaching his 30th year as a certified chiropractor, Berbaum began to feel the weight of not only twisting necks and aligning spinal columns but also with providing spiritual guidance and alternative health advice.
On the side of his traditional practice, Berbaum was doling out dietary plans and explaining Native American philosophies to his patients. Realizing the stress the double-duty created, he gave up his chiropractic duties to study more holistic healing methods and Native American teachings.
For the past 11 years, Berbaum has studied under an Oklachoctaw Native American elder, who is specialized as an Ojibwa Peace Shield teacher. Peace shield teachers focus on the relationships between individuals and the world at large.
Leaving chiropractic work largely in the past, Berbaum now shares a Whitmore Lake office with a massage therapist, where he does everything from discuss his patients lives to answer the phone and arrange appointments.
This untraditional approach may stem from his experiences in chiropractic school, where Berbaums professors taught him to keep a distance from his patients.
I totally do not believe that, says Berbaum, who usually goes by Jerry with his patients. People hug me on the way out the door. Its very family-like.
Sometimes going to the doctors office and getting a prescription is all anybody wants when affected by illness. But have you ever had the feeling that medicine alone wont get you out from under the covers?
Antibiotics may not always be the solution, says Berbaum, who advocates supporting the bodys natural defense systems by balancing physical and psychological discrepancies.
For example, he enjoys telling a story about a sick man who visits a doctor, who tells the man he has six months to live.
They die just on time, right on schedule, Berbaum says of those patients. People are very influenced by their doctors.
The power of a doctors influence adds to his belief in taking unique approaches to curing ailments.
There are so many variables with what kind of healing works for people, he says. One variable that myself and others have found, its really the emotional side of the picture that can make a tremendous difference.
Find out more about Dr. Jerry Berbaum, his book and his workshops at http://www.readingup.com.