I received an amazing story this past week from one of my patients.
Karen came to my office in October of last year. She was hoping to get acupuncture for pain relief. But based on her health history and symptom pattern, I recommended a different approach.
Her response to that approach was excellent, so much so that recently she wrote an article for a local newsletter in her winter home overseas. She is an excellent writer and was kind enough to let me share her article with you in Balance Point.
This is a great story about what is possible when you get to the real
underlying cause of a health issue. So without further ado, here is Karen’s story in her own words:
I was in pain for 30 years. I had pain in my joints, eyes and some internal organs. Western doctors did tests, but couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t find anything wrong. Their Ã¢â‚¬Å“solutionÃ¢â‚¬Â was a lifetime of pain medication, but with several people in my family already addicted to painkillers, that was not an option for me.
Chiropractic, Ashtanga Yoga and Thai massage helped, but I did not experience total relief from pain until I did a two-week Acupuncture course. It was the first time in my life I could remember NOT being in pain. But it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t last and acupuncture is expensive and time-consuming. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exactly drag my acupuncturist around the world with me!
In addition to being in pain, I was sick all the time, despite societyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s assurances that my mainly vegetarian diet full of whole grains, fruits and veggies was really healthy. Every cold turned into bronchitis, leaving me out of sorts for weeks at a time. The pain continued unabated and I was miserable.
Last autumn, I found a new solution: The Metabolic Type Diet.
Dr. Bruce Eichelberger, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine based in Reno, Nevada, had me download, print and complete a seven-page health questionnaire before seeing him. I sat in his office while he read about my problems and then he said, “Well, I can do acupuncture on you if you want me to, but I know exactly what the problem is.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“OkayÃ¢â‚¬Â¦what is it?Ã¢â‚¬Â I asked.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your diet,Ã¢â‚¬Â he replied with confidence.
He then went on to explain that we are all very different genetically in the way that our bodies process foods and nutrients. This largely has to do with the climate regions our ancestors came from and the foods they ate and adapted to.
For example, the Inuit thrive on very large quantities of meat and fat. Give them a vegetarian diet and they will wither away. Likewise, if you took someone from the tropics and had them eat nothing but meat and fat, they might become very sick.
Scientists have learned that those who eat according to their genetically based dietary needs are much healthier, with fewer incidents of heart disease, cancer or other degenerative diseases.
Dr. Bruce explained that there are six different metabolic types, two for Protein types, two for Carbohydrate types and two for Mixed/Balanced types. These metabolic types determine, for example, why your best friend lost weight on a diet, but when you tried the same diet, you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t lose any weight. The metabolic type also determines why some people thrive as vegetarians, while others feel sluggish and sickly without meat.
He suggested I take a Metabolic Type test. This test is done online and consists of a multitude of questions about oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s health, body type, typical diet, cravings, sleep patterns, moods, and the like. I answered the questions and clicked Ã¢â‚¬Å“SubmitÃ¢â‚¬Â.
The next morning, Dr. Bruce emailed me to tell me that the results were ready. I went back to his office and he presented me with my new diet. I was sure I would be a Carb type. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d grown used to a carbohydrate-laden diet, full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and plenty of sweets. The last thing I wanted to eat was the flesh of some dead animal.
But I was very wrong. I tested as a Protein type: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Parasympathetic DominantÃ¢â‚¬Â to be specific. Once glance at my new diet and I was appalled. It suggested that I should be eating elk, liver, kidneys and full-fat dairy at every meal. Ugh! My reaction was swift and tearful. I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t possibly eat these things! Equally as disturbing were the things that were banned: Sugar, salt, ketchup, jam and alcohol to name a few. I foolishly fretted about my carefully constructed social life in Prague, where nearly every outing or gathering involves a glass of wine or beer.
Dr. Bruce waited for me to calm down. Then he carefully explained that the things I had been eating couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t possibly be healthy for me because I was unhealthy. WasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that why I went to see him in the first place? Then came the clincher: Ã¢â‚¬Å“You can stick with your old diet if you want, but you are the one who has to live in your body,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why not just try this for a few days and see how it makes you feel?Ã¢â‚¬Â
I reluctantly agreed to try it, and we began to discuss the healthiest and highest quality meats and fats available.
I went home and cleaned out my pantry, giving everything to some friends of mine who were receiving food aid from the government. I pored over recipes, made my shopping list and headed out to buy meats and whole dairy products that do not contain hormones or antibiotics.
Two days later, the joint pain was gone. It simply evaporated. After a week, I felt better than I had ever felt before in my life. I was strong, happy, healthy and energetic. My digestion had improved and my skin had a new vibrancy.
Then I came down with something that I thought was a cold. I rushed back to Dr. Bruce, who determined that this was a detox reaction. My body was simply getting rid of all the crap that I had loaded it with over the course of my life.
I went home determined to stick to this diet.
Since then, I have only become healthier. I learned to ski, which I never had the strength or energy to do before. The pain in my eyes vanished just a few weeks ago, so I no longer need to wear enormous sunglasses on cloudy days.
The Metabolic Type test wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cheap, but it was worth every penny because I am no longer in pain. Dr. Bruce continues to be just an email away if I have questions or concerns.
I will never go back to my old diet. Elk, anyone?