By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — Had a bad experience with a doctor, hospital or insurer that made you question the validity of traditional American medicine? You might find that you’re not alone.
Frustrated with waiting to get sick, visiting a doctor, returning laden with medications, plus medications to treat the symptoms of your medications, and so on? Wish that there was an alternative to being told that surgery is the only option for an injury or, that there is no recourse for certain maladies?
A group of healthcare professionals of a different sort want to show there may be another way — that traditional healthcare can be both complemented by other services or supplemented entirely by alternatives that are proven, scientifically, to prevent sickness and help a person heal.
On Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m., the public is invited to a Fall into Natural Health Forum. The event will begin with a brief introduction by providers during a sit-down session at Village Pharmacy. The interactive portion of the event, where attendees meet with alternative health providers, will be held in the adjoining offices of Smile Sculptors.
No purchase necessary
Dr. Sherri Raley, coordinator of the Sept. 9 forum, said the organizers, “wanted to give people opportunity to meet wellness practitioners in a non-threatening environment where they would be able to get acquainted, ask questions and, in some cases — such as chair massage and reflexology — experience a sampling of services.”
“The idea is to give people the opportunity to meet face-to-face without having to feel obligated to make an appointment,” she said.
Other health services to be presented include chiropractic spinal screenings, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, healthy eating tips, fitness, organic skin care, dental and nutritional assessments and an overview of both types of medicine by Village Pharmacy owner Art Minton.
Event co-organizer Sue Robinson will provide a background for genetic key nutrition. Genetic nutrition is the science of finding factors you are predisposed toward — such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease or even macular degeneration — and countering them with changes in diet and other factors.
“These are all things — markers that don’t have to be turned on even if you’re high risk, based on lifestyle changes,” Robinson said about her field. Diabetes, which runs in her family, for instance, can be countered with diet.
Food samples will also be provided by organic and gourmet business representatives.
The event is the second in a series of Wellness Forums presented by four health professionals: Robinson, Dr. Sherri Raley and Dr. Katie Chenkus of Vitality Chiropractic and Dr. Shanean Anderson of Smile Sculptors.
“People have to be open to consider that whatever they may be doing might not be working,” said Robinson.
An ounce of prevention
One other issue with traditional medicine is that it’s often applied only after people get ill, as opposed to being applied preventatively. Robinson and other purveyors of alternative healing hope that people will get accustomed to the idea of becoming their own preventative care specialist, learning what ails them and how to counter it.
“More and more people are taking responsibility (for their health),” she said.
The Research Triangle offers a pantheon of top notch medical practitioners. Though physicians are sometimes slow to change their ways, even here, more and more preventative methods being accepted by doctors, Robinson said. In some areas of the U.S., alternative medicine has become prevalent, she added.
One issue Americans may have with practicing alternative healthcare is the lack of insurance coverage for some preventative methods.
But health insurance often doesn’t pay the full amount even when you get sick, so it’s worth it to do what you can, Robinson said.
For every dollar spent on prevention, you eliminate $15 on healthcare costs later,” Robinson said, citing a commonly repeated statistic. “In America we’re drowning in healthcare costs. …We say to people, you can ‘pay now or pay later.’”
If the event is successful, Robinson said they’d like to make it annual or semi-annual and invite practitioners from other alternative fields, such as acupuncture, family therapy and applied kinesiology.
The forum is free, but space is limited and attendees must preregister by calling Vitality Chiropractic at 919-761-5158.