Recently I felt a cold coming on. You know the feeling. You’re not sick yet, but experience tells you that something is not right. Maybe you have a mild headache or a scratchy throat. I tend to get the headache and an overall feeling of an alien invasion. It’s almost as though I can sense the viral particles trying to inject themselves into my cells.
About to go on a trip, the last thing I needed was to get sick. So I opened up my medicine cabinet and took several homeopathic preparations to help me fight it off.
That got me to wondering about what research has been done lately on the efficacy of what’s called “alternative” or “adjunctive” or “holistic” medicine, including acupuncture, chinese herbs and homeopathic medicine. Also known, as one reader said in reaction to a post I wrote in 2011, “Wackadoo Medicine.” (This was not offered as a compliment, but I’ve been fond of it ever since. I rather love saying the word “wackadoo”. I strongly encourage you to incorporate it into your vocabulary.)
As often happens in life, I had also recently stopped in to visit the new clinic of my own holistic veterinarian, Dr. Carrie Donahue at Full Circle Veterinary Care on Monroe Street in Madison, WI. We got to talking, and I asked her if there has been new research on the efficacy of some of the procedures and supplements/medicines considered “alternative”. Bless her, she came through with some interesting ones, although mostly from human medicine.
Here are a few that surely relate to issues we often find in our pets:
Acupuncture and Cutaneous Medicine: Is It Effective? (Owners of dogs with Skin Allergies, take note.)
Role of Antioxidants and Natural Products in Inflammation (This one is not beach reading but it is absolutely fascinating. I’m saving it to read again. And probably again. I’m especially interested in it because some scientists have argued that there is no basis for the “antioxidant” craze.)
Future Therapies for Food Allergies (No food allergies in dogs, hey? Ha.)
A related issue–psychosomatic responses to preparations and interventions continues to fascinate me. Finally the world is beginning to acknowledge the powerful interplay between mind/emotions and body! It’s not “all in your head” as we now know, it’s actually in “your gut,” and it’s not a product of one’s imagination.
Ah, so much to learn about the body and the mind. I’d love to hear if you use alternative or holistic medicine for your animals. I use chiropractry, chinese herbs, homeopathics preparations (which I use because I swear they work on me but I still don’t believe the standard explanation of why they work), physical therapy and tons of tons of western medicine. I am very lucky to have so many great vets and experts in my area. You?
MEANWHILE, back on the farm: Well, no, not today anyway. We’re in Mexico on March 5th, and the plan is for all of the speakers from CICA CONGRESO to go to see the Monarch butterflies on one of their winter reserves. Ooooooo, so excited. Next week I’ll post photographs from the entire trip. Here are photos of where we are staying after the conference: