It’s always painful to have to learn things the hard way. My test came in 1995 with the onset of a serious case of asthma. Back then, the sum total of my knowledge of alternative health approaches and nutrition were skimpy to non-existent. A typical college lunch for me was two Hostess chocolate “cream” filled cupcakes and a pint of milk. I always considered myself “healthy,” whatever that meant. Eventually, the “typical American diet” and an increasingly toxic environment caught up with me. At the age of 42, I was being told by a highly regarded Park Avenue pulmonologist that I would now be crippled for life; that I would need to be on medications forever to control my asthma; that I would become increasingly debilitated and the asthma would probably shorten my life; that it wouldn’t surprise him one bit if the next phone call he got from me was from the hospital emergency room. Pretty grim prognosis. After a few months of high dose steroids and inhalers, which not only didn’t help but seemed to worsen my condition, this lovely doctor threw up his hands and gave up on me. The one thing he said that made any sense to me was that there had to be something underlying the onset of this asthma and that I could try to be my own detective to figure it out. He was not offering any clues as to what those underlying problems could be. That was my final visit with the venerable Dr. R.
And so my odyssey began. My family doctor recommended a Chinese trained acupuncturist. A friend in Connecticut who had my very same symptoms, referred me to a naturopath. The acupuncture and Chinese herbs pulled me back from the brink. I stopped having asthma attacks. More slowly, the naturopath led me down a road of wellness that woke me from my Dark Ages thinking about modern medicine. She diagnosed me as having many allergies, parasites, and Candidiasis. One by one, we worked on these conditions. It took a full five years to be in perfect health. But for the first time in my life, I really knew what being healthy meant.
For me, there was no turning back. I started doing my own research on a variety of chronic illnesses and the use of alternative approaches to healing. I took food and nutrition seriously and changed everything about the way I fed myself and my family. I learned that treating a symptom is not the same as treating the underlying cause of a symptom. I sought out practitioners that used an integrative approach to medicine, who could see their patient as a whole person and the intricate web that brought on dis-ease. I promised myself I would never take a prescription or over-the-counter drug if there might be a more natural way to treat a problem. And I vowed never again to be treated by medical personnel who didn’t look at least as healthy as me!
In the last ten years, I went back to school and studied integrative nutrition. I also learned how to channel energy and furthered my interest by studying with a master energy healer and with healers from the Maori tribe of New Zealand. In addition to all of the New Age approaches to health, I also manage a large investment portfolio. That may seem incongruous but investment management was my former profession. What I had always brought to that discipline was an intuitive approach. And now I’ve come full circle, incorporating all of my life experiences into health, wealth, and hopefully a dash of wisdom.