Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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My disillusionment with traditional medicine

Nicole Wildman - March 3rd, 2008
My disillusionment with traditional medicine started shortly after I quit my job of four years as a hospital unit clerk. I began to see for the first time just how much the medical community at large is motivated by fear.
That fear leads some doctors to micro-manage every symptom, treating everything with a different pill. I saw patients taking pills to allay the side effects of their other pills. Then there was the failure I saw taking place in my own family. I watched my husband taking Naproxen every day for the “arthritis” in his wrists (he’s 28 years old); I saw my kids having repeated ear infections, chronic coughing, asthma, constipation... and the very unpleasant side effects of the repeated antibiotics, oral and inhaled steroids for a three-year-old... and still, the problems didn’t go away.
Then there was my own poor health. My body has become hypersensitive to all kinds of drugs, even Ibuprofen. I have numerous food allergies, and just feel sick and weak all the time. I’d seen a few doctors, but got no answers. It seems that most of the time, if doctors don’t know the answer to your problem, they just tell you it’s “stress.”
One doctor told me to exercise. That was the extent of his treatment. Never mind that exercise made me feel like I was going to drop dead, but the doctor wouldn’t know that, because he never really listened to anything I had to say.
On top of all this was the harassment from the nurses at our pediatrician’s office, who could not get over the fact that my husband and I, after careful research and consideration, are among the many concerned parents who have decided not to vaccinate our children. I knew I had to find something better for my family.
Then, this fall, I heard of a branch of medicine that was new to me: naturopathic medicine. I was fascinated by what I heard. These are doctors who use only natural methods of healing, and treat the whole person by finding the root of illness, helping patients to find overall good health. I knew this was what I’d been praying for.
I did a little searching and found Dr. Nathan Olsen, N.D. A native of Traverse City, he received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at Portland, Oregon’s National College of Naturopathic Medicine. I was excited to find out that, yes, he is a real doctor. We met with him for a 10 minute “meet and greet,” which turned into a 45-minute discussion.
I initially had a few doubts about starting on this path. I wondered if I could trust this person with the health of my children. I had heard that herbs could be as toxic as drugs. I worried that he’d just want to get us taking all kinds of supplements.
As a Christian, I’d always been warned that holistic medicine usually incorporated spirituality that would clash with our beliefs. Dr. Olsen quickly put my mind to rest. He treats children on a regular basis. His homeopathic medicines are FDA-tested and approved. He only gives supplements as they are needed for healing. He will incorporate whatever spirituality the patient is comfortable with.
I had also wondered if he was qualified to diagnose diseases, such as diabetes or cancer, and if he could run blood tests. The answer to this was also affirmative. As a licensed physician he has access to labs.
A few weeks later, my youngest got her first ear infection of the year. So began our journey into natural healing. Instead of prescribing antibiotics, the doctor gave us some homeopathic eardrops, and helped us adjust our children’s diet to avoid future infections. The eardrops worked wonders. My older daughter has never developed the horrible chronic cough and asthmatic symptoms that she usually has from November through May. This is almost definitely the result of simply removing dairy from her diet for the winter.
I was a little put off by one thing though. None of us were weighed and measured. I thought, maybe he forgot. I know better now; it’s really not beneficial to keep such careful track of those things in a healthy person, and many people are much too focused on numbers on a scale or growth chart, rather than just being aware of a person’s overall condition. Any drastic changes in weight or failure to thrive will be obvious without the use of a scale.
This kind of attitude gave me a sense of freedom and peace. As we continued our visits, we started to really feel the benefits of Dr. Olsen’s approach. We are never rushed. He really listens.
My husband and I also began to receive treatment. My husband’s so-called arthritis turned out to be nothing more than a few bones out of place. He had also suffered for a long time with stuffy sinuses and very loud snoring, and he seemed to get sick often. The doctor formulated an herbal tincture for him, to boost his immunity and open his sinuses. He saw results immediately, with no side effects. He can breathe freely now, and the volume of his snoring has decreased.
As for myself, I finally found someone who understands my health problems. We have not solved them yet, although Dr. Olsen is confident that we will, but we have made good progress through regular counseling.
This incorporation of emotional and physical health is a dream come true for me, as my health problems are very intertwined with my emotions. Our doctor has started to feel like a true friend to our family, someone we can trust and depend on. He’s not motivated by money, but truly cares for us. I can’t imagine what life would be like if we had not found him.
There are a few downfalls though. Since naturopathy is considered “alternative medicine” in Michigan, it is not covered by most insurance companies. However, I find the price to be affordable even for a young family of four, with every one of us seeing the doctor regularly; and we live on one income.
Then there is the fact that even though the doctor can legally prescribe drugs, he chooses not to. In the event that a patient does need antibiotics or other drugs, they are referred to a traditional doctor.
Dr. Olsen tells me that most people usually seek out natural healing as a last resort. I think this is a sad fact. It makes more sense to me to seek out naturopathy as the first form of treatment, and seek help from traditional medicine only if it proves necessary, since traditional treatments seem to have more shortcomings and side effects. I’d encourage anyone looking for a healthier way of life to look into naturopathy. I’m so glad I did. Some good websites to check out are www.naturopathic.org, and www.michnd.org.

Nicole Wildman is a resident of Traverse City.
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