I remember a time, not too long ago, when chiropractic care was not often covered by insurance. The impression that I received growing up was that the greater scientific community perceived the practice as quackery, that it hadn’t proven itself a worthy form of treatment. Even so, I came to embrace the world of complementary and alternative medicine. Â
Perhaps it is because I started off so young in a dance at theÂ fringe of accepted norm? Whatever the case, since I had scoliosis from an early age, chiropractic care was how my parents decided to monitor the condition. I didnâ€™t like it at first, but after the handful of times where the neck cracking and spine crunching left me terrified, I started to actually get excited for the visits. I got to ride on the funky motorized table that lifted me up in the air like Frankensteinâ€™s monster, ready to be set aliveâ€¦crunch, snap, pop! Iâ€™d hop off the table, feeling super duper, and dive through the drawer of stickers to find one that would suite my already bulging collection. Ah, the thrills of a kiddo.
I’ve continued those occasional visits for tune-upsÂ into my adult life. Thankfully, now, chiropractic care has reached a level of assumed treatment and is covered much more frequently by insurance policies. So what has taken its place? What else exists as a rebel on the edge, waiting on the fringe for the day it can be accepted as the norm? Last year I found out acupuncture is making its way, with insurance starting to cover some instances. Massage is also finding more open arms for the many rewards and health benefits it offers (itâ€™s not just for pampering, people!). And now, make way, here comes yoga to the frontlines of health care.
Yesterday CNN Health posted a story about Medicare covering yoga for heart disease treatment. This got me pretty excited. When I looked into it further I discovered itâ€™s not strictly yoga thatâ€™s being covered. Itâ€™s actually a broader and intensive â€ścardiac rehab programâ€ť that â€śteaches a plant-based, meatless diet, meditation and regular exerciseâ€ť, where yoga fits in under the last two categories. The program has four components: â€śnutrition, stress management, moderate exercise and group support.â€ť Even though yoga isnâ€™t standing alone in this, itâ€™s very cool to see the medical community branching out and considering newer areas of preventative and restorative health and healing. To hear about a couple who has lost weight, eliminated the need for several medications, and sustained life that may otherwise have been lost, is the proof that the fringe isnâ€™t as â€śout thereâ€ť as it sometimes seems.
Do you have a story of healthy living on the edge?Â What forms of treatment or practice have you most benefited from? How has the perception of that treatment changed over time, if at all, and what has that meant for you?