mad in pursuit journal


Paths to Emotional Wellbeing

I spent yesterday with Joanne P at the International Center for Cultural Studies conference: "Achieving Inner and Outer Balance in the Ancient Traditions and Cultures: Exploring Ancient Paths to Wellbeing."

Joanne's presentation went really well — she was the only one who invested in good visuals, which makes such a difference when you only have an hour to explain a lot of arcane concepts.

I decided to spend the whole day at the conference to let my mind wander into new territory. In the vender area I got a mini foot reflexology session (ah, foot massage!) and a mini Reiki session. At the workshops I learned about polarity therapy, feng shui, and native American medicine wheels. The grand finale was a presentation on drumming, where we all got to play together on African djembe drums.

I vacillate between being open and being skeptical about these alternate approaches to health. I do believe in a certain amount of "mind over matter" when it comes to healing or getting my act together. And I do believe that our bodies and the world are full of energies that can benefit or harm us. I push back when the claims get too extreme or too commercialized (just like I do for regular medicine, I guess).

At their best, these alternatives can help people take charge of their own wellbeing and make breakthroughs for themselves without depending on doctors to come up with quick fixes. At their worst, they turn their backs on science and devolve into the same wackiness as fundamentalist religion — in my humble opinion. Everything has its place.



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