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Healthy Practice on the Fringe

This post was written by Angela
on February 28, 2012 | Comments (0)

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.  

The ultimate sticker I would have been searching for. Unicorn. Need I say more?

Perhaps it is because I started off so young in a dance at the 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 didn’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 Frankenstein’s monster, ready to be set alive…crunch, snap, pop! I’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-ups 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 (it’s not just for pampering, people!). And now, make way, here comes yoga to the frontlines of health care.

<3 Yoga...get it?

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 it’s not strictly yoga that’s being covered. It’s actually a broader and intensive “cardiac rehab program” that “teaches a plant-based, meatless diet, meditation and regular exercise”, where yoga fits in under the last two categories. The program has four components: “nutrition, stress management, moderate exercise and group support.” Even though yoga isn’t standing alone in this, it’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 isn’t as “out there” as it sometimes seems.

Do you have a story of healthy living on the edge? 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?

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