In the past, in a final act of desperation, people turned to holistic treatments for pain relief when modern Western medical procedures and drugs failed. The 1960s saw a wave of Eastern philosophies and practices flood America, many of which are now fairly common in care plans for healing body, mind and spirit.
A common denominator in many of these treatments is harnessing and channeling the human body’s innate energy pathways called meridians, known as qi (chi) by ancient Chinese. Holistic practitioners from various disciplines often work in tandem to provide a broader realm of solutions to create a sense of balance in life. Numerous local options exist for those interested in pain management and overall well-being, including acupuncture, chiropractic, Reiki, massage and more; we highlight three of them here.
The Carlson Clinic of White Bear Lake
Chiropractic care is arguably the most established of alternative options. Practitioners spent a century of battling the medical establishment to earn legitimacy; millions now swear by it as part of their ongoing health maintenance regimen. White Bear Lake native Dustin Carlson, D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine) is celebrating 10 years in practice. He always wanted to be a doctor; a high school back injury steered him to chiropractic medicine when he experienced, first-hand, instant relief after weeks of relentless pain under traditional care.
“The body is made to heal itself,” says Carlson. “Skeletal adjustments and soft-tissue work remove interference from the nervous system so various parts can communicate freely. We optimize biomechanics and balance to reduce pain and help the body function better.”
Adjustments can help alleviate a host of ailments, including migraines, stomach disorders, allergies, and menstrual cramps, as well as pain in the arms, hands, legs, feet, neck and back. Newborn infants also benefit after the trauma of birth. And, according to Carlson, spinal realignment helps little ones sleep through the night sooner.
Retired kindergarten teacher Melody Sweet has been a patient since soon after Carlson opened his practice. A fibromyalgia sufferer, she finds her bi-weekly adjustments and weekly massages a gift from heaven. “I go to my happy place each week. Everyone is warm and loving,” says Sweet. “The laughter is contagious. That’s important when people are suffering. Plus, he loves this city and gives back so much.” 4717 Clark Ave., White Bear Lake; 651-762-8040.
White Bear Lake Acupuncture
Attention needle-phobes: Acupuncture feels like nothing more than a little zing or mosquito bite. If you shy away from acupuncture, fear no more. Tina Thayer, L.A.C. is a new resource at Synergy Family Physicians.
“Acupuncture is a solution for many who suffer from migraines, joint and muscle pain, digestive problems, addictions, hormonal imbalances, even infertility,” says Thayer. “It’s rewarding to see clients experience amazing, life-changing results.” Thayer offers additional services such as cupping, a toxin-reducing healing process where small heated cups are placed on the skin surface to create a drawing vacuum.
After years of battling multiple medical issues, client Jackie Sayres went from being on 17 different prescriptions to just two, with the help of acupuncture. “I know myself again,” she says. “I’m upbeat each day. This is what life is supposed to feel like.” 4422 White Bear Ave., White Bear Lake; 612.327.9600.
A relative newcomer in American holistic care, Reiki (pronounced “RAY-key”) means “universal spiritually guided life force energy.” Through gentle, non-invasive touch, the body is allowed to find its own healing path.
“This Japanese alternative therapy opens doors to self-awareness, what’s happening in your body. It allows connection with your energy field and self-healing abilities,” says Reiki master teacher Michelle Buersken. “I serve as conduit to universal energy, and help clients unblock channels within themselves so they can heal and move forward.”
Sessions are both therapeutic and instructional; students gain skills while being treated. Over time, they can attain master teacher level. 4801 Highway 61, White Bear Lake; 651.653.1660.
Costs vary for treatments and methods depending on individual needs; practitioners are flexible and want to collaborate for best results. Check your health insurance policy for coverage information.