Many years ago, a nutritionist, Louisa, said to me “I can help you with your arthritis”. Sure enough, she changed my diet (for life) and I went from incapable of walking to the corner store, to running the Toronto Marathon – supplement, anti-inflammatory and pain killer free – the change taking less than eight months. Later, a homeopath helped me get my Restless Leg Syndrome under control (check the blog archives for that adventure).
Recently (a few years ago), I developed an itchy and painful scalp. “So what” you might think. But being a business owner (The Virtual Alternative), it’s not very attractive to be out at a networking event when you can’t stop scratching. On one very embarrassing occasion I realized that my black shirt collar was completely white with flakes…extremely unattractive.
So, after visits with five or six different dermatologists who couldn’t help me and the purchase of some extremely expensive shampoos from Arbonne and The Big Carrot (all great products but not the right ones), it was suggested to me by Martha at Muskoka Natural Foods that I try going to the Robert Schad clinic at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Well, what the heck, I thought. If a change of diet can help me walk, maybe the CCNM can help me stop scratching…nothing else was working.
I’ve had 3 appointments so far and although we haven’t specifically done anything for my scalp other than some gentle detoxing, in the immediate Keila has been able to help with my arthritis (at least as far as pain control), which continues to get worse despite my diet. But back to my head because that’s why we’re here, Keila has me doing some interesting things.
First, I’ve increased my fish oil consumption – that was fairly easy.
Second, I had to switch from oat bran to chia seeds and stop eating my strawberries for breakfast. Lack of strawberries has had an effect on my head – it’s slightly better. Apparently lots of people have a intolerance and don’t know it and it can cause itchiness.
Third, I no longer drink liquids with meals – not sure what that’s doing for me but I’m trying (except at dinner – dinner without wine …what’s the point?). This has been way more difficult for me than it sounds.
And the latest? Every day I have to spend an hour with 2 castor oil poultices on my belly…one over the descending colon and one over my liver. Apparently castor oil can leach out impurities and also stimulate circulation and the liver might be causing the itchy scalp.
Also, every day I have contrast showers: at the end of my shower I have to turn off the hot water for 30 seconds then back on for 60, off for 30, on for 60 – minimum 3 cycles, best case 5 cycles. Well, that sounded like something torturous out of Fifty Shades of Grey to me so I stopped listening to why I needed to do it, so I can’t tell you. Frankly, it is just as awful as I expected.
So, scalp is still itchy but mostly it’s not painful anymore. That’s progress.
One of the things I like about the naturopathic approach is that it treats the whole system as related. A naturopath doesn’t just look at the scalp for obvious signs of irritation or disease, a naturopath looks for what might be causing the problem systemically and then look to cure that. Do you know, that during the years of dealing with this issue through the medical community, at no time was it suggested that allergies could be involved – to strawberries or shampoo. You’d think that might be an obvious starting place, wouldn’t you?
I like to think that I do a similar thing for my clients. They may hire me to answer the phone while away on vacation, but it’s not enough as far as I’m concerned just to take messages. Here’s a recent example of something that happened. A new client hired me to answer the phone and then left the country. I received a call about a missing prop (she directs plays on the side). Thinking that to leave this for the 2 weeks she was gone might mean the elusive prop would never again be seen and wanting to do whatever I could to protect her reputation with her prop supplier, I went on line to see if I could find a phone number for the theatre. Best I could do was the box office but I kept pursuing the matter and letting Marty Millionaire know I was doing everything I could to find that prop. Don’t know whether the prop was ever found, but at least Marty knew that in my client’s absence I was working on it. The client was very pleased. It’s about looking at the whole system, not just the presenting issue.
Whether it’s naturopathy or virtual assistance, you have to look at the whole, in order to give effective service.