We drove up to Sebastopol on Wednesday to check out the Amitabha Medical Clinic and Healing Center. Unfortunately we were running late - the appointment was at 10 and we didn't get there til 10:30, so I was feeling rushed and stressed. Fortunately it is a very calm environment, and Elaine was a lovely individual, who tried her best to get a feel for my situation and what the center could do to help. She suggested a few relaxation methods, and gave me some instructions for a "cleanse", which is essentially a way for me to clean out my system by eating super-healthy foods as I prepare for the surgery. She also gave me some herbal supplements to take. Those I feel iffy about - I'm not entirely sure what they do, and I hate swallowing mystery pills. I'll do some research on their ingredients and see what can find out. Of course she told me what they were for - helping to rid the body of toxins - but it's unclear to me if that's totally necessary. Since I'm pretty sure it can't hurt, I'm starting off by taking one or two a day, rather than the prescribed four or six, to see what my body has to say about it all. I'll likely take them thru the middle of next month then take a break. If I feel all full of toxins, I'll start up again. (Just kidding: I'll be more intelligent about the process than that.) Another worrisome thing: Elaine didn't think about the fact that I'll be taking thyroid hormone pills first thing in the morning, and that it might not be a good idea to mix one of the supplement pills with my hormone pills. I actually called her to check on this, and her response was along the lines of "Oh, right. Yeah, don't take them together." Hey! That's not confidence-building!
But I do think I benefited from going - it gave me some alternative approaches to dealing with stress and surgical trauma, and it was great to have someone devote an hour to listening to my concerns. It was a little like medical psychology. The talk of chakras, toxins, meditation, and of visualizing healing light was different from anything I'd get from Kaiser - again, I don't have to accept it all, but I'm happy to have more options available to me. Certainly as regards relaxation techniques and ways to treat my body better. Kaiser has offered me zero information on the former, and as to the latter it pretty much sticks to "eat more fruits and veggies + exercise more." All well and good, but there's so much more that can be done!
The folks at the clinic would like to see me after my surgery, but partly that's because they recommend something called vitamin i.v.s, where they basically inject vitamins into your bloodstream in order to help the healing process. I am both repelled & fascinated by this. We'll see.
The trip up there was great, tho. We found an amazing thrift store, had a tasty lunch, and then walked along the beach at Bodega Bay for a couple hours. Beautiful stuff.