A Lime in the Coconut… Nicole Carnarius


No one would describe going to the doctor as a pleasant experience. Medicine models its techniques based on biology, chemistry, and physics. Doctors, in a way, are like glorified mechanics who repair broken parts in the human machine. Going to a hospital, patients are hooked up to machines and given medicine to make them better. Though the experience is life saving, many people look at it negatively. Because of this, many people are drawn to alternative forms of medicine. Tired of being treated like a machine, people want to believe that they possess a holistic life force and can be treated as such.


Much of the distrust that people have for doctors is that doctors can’t actually make them feel better. Doctors can give them medicine for a specific ailment that they might have, and if it’s some bacteria infection, well they’re really good at that. But doctors have no special power, and as I becoming increasingly aware of are only human.


This summer I visited the notoriously apathetic Arthur Ashe Center because of my growing concern over tonsils that had become swollen after a bought of strep throat and never went back down again. After waiting a decent amount of time I was brought to a room in the clinic where I was confronted with my doctor who, to my horror, had no teeth!! After describing my affliction, all while politely averting my eyes, he mumbled past his useless gums the infamous words: “Some people have big noses, you just have big tonsils.” Daunted, I scurried out, ashamed that I even wasted the Doctor’s time. Four months later, two cases of strep throat later, visiting another doctor, I’m told my tonsils are almost touching in the back and I should have surgery.


Not only are doctors people, but they can also be ass holes. 



In the meantime, looking for other options, I stumbled across a man who I will refer to as the Reiki Man. Reiki is a technique where practitioners believe they are moving “healing energy” through the palms to the place where it is directed on the patient. The Reiki Man performed reiki on me for about an hour, not in any specific spot but more like moving all over my body. Afterwards I felt completely recharged and a little high, though no specific ailments were healed. Later using what I learned from the Reiki Man, I tried performing reiki on myself to heal my tonsils and other parts of my body. I can never be sure if the reiki had done anything physically although I do feel like it has helped me become a more creative person.


Researching about reiki on the internet, I run into one of two alternatives, either the pro-reiki holistic site that expounds upon the endless benefits of the practice or the anti-anything new age site that can’t even believe that these sort of energy-based therapeutic touch practices made it past 19th century. 


What the anti- new age sites can’t ignore, however, is that there is a need for humanity in medicine that doctors do not address because they have to be “scientific.” These types of healing methods never measure up to scientific scrutiny, but there are people who swear by them. Therapeutic touch is now widely practiced by nurses despite the lack of credibility it is given by the medical community. The body is still mostly a mystery even to people who study it all their lives. So far neither doctors nor reiki have made my tonsils go down. In the end it is the body that is most equipped to heal itself. 


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