A Time for Change
My journey started when I was in high school. I was one of those over the top obsessed athletes, mainly with basketball but I played every sport I could. Competition has always been a driving force in me, perhaps a good thing, but sometimes a bad thing. Needless to say, I hurt myself bad when I was 17. I was instructed to stop playing for 6 weeks, and being a dumb teenager I laughed at the doctor. I wanted a scholarship, no way was I going to stop playing at this critical time in my ‘career’. So what did I do? I popped pills. Nothing major, just advil, aleve, and tylenol. Alternating them because you have to when you take them chronically. Most of us know why right? Because your liver can’t handle it.
To go further, I wasn’t getting any better. Worse if anything. So what now?? More pills. More frequently, and guess what? My liver didn’t like it. A very influential trainer I had sent me to physical therapy, which sent me to a spine specialist MD. While he didn’t call himself a holistic doctor, he essentially was a holistic geek if that makes any sense. He did acupuncture on me, and a realm of other alternative modalities. For the first time, something helped me. I didn’t know why, and it didn’t last (I was still playing) but it helped. I was pill free and able to compete with weekly acupuncture sessions.
Moving forward in life, I always had an appreciation for what acupuncture did for me, and I went on to pursue an acupuncture certification once I graduated vet school. I felt pets needed to experience what I did. But I still wasn’t taking care of myself. It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I noticed myself making a change towards being aware of what I was eating in regards to content and not just calories. I had a little boy completely depending on me to put nutritious food into my mouth to provide for him. Ever since my son was born I have been even more aware of what is natural and designed for our body. I wouldn’t let him touch processed food until he was about 10 months old and life got a little crazy. But even then, I cringe at giving him food that I know isn’t designed for his body. The drive to feed him to the best of my ability, both in utero and out, has led me to be aware of all aspects of a healthy body. Food and exercise are certainly a huge part of it, but also preventative care and keeping the body balanced is vital to well being. I pushed into embracing a holistic lifestyle.
I hate that the word ‘holistic’ is viewed negatively in the veterinary community for the most part. For me in my personal life, holistic stands for maintaining the body in a homeopathic state via food, chiropractic care, and massage therapy. I don’t want to take a pill to fix it, I want my own body to be strong enough to fix it. After all, it was designed for that! So if I’m going to live this way in my personal life- how hypocritical of me to hand you a pill to give your dog or horse to ‘fix it’ when we haven’t even diagnosed it? Animals are absolutely designed to heal, so why wouldn’t I support them in that?
So now I’m here. I got tired of trying to make my client happy by sending home meds that aren’t absolutely needed. I’m done with that. I got in this profession for the animals anyways, so I must advocate for them. All I can ask is that you just try it. Animals don’t understand a placebo effect, they can’t convince themselves they aren't better. They either are or they arent. So give them the chance, adjust them regularly, just acupuncture when needed and lets think about their food! As I go on with my blogging, I’ll touch on individual species, conditions and how we approach treatments. I hope you will join me on this journey to wellness for both your pet and yourself!