Life and Health

It is pretty amazing how life and health go together. If you are healthy and pain-free, life is good. If not, life can be pretty miserable (unless you are an enlightened being).

Around six years ago, I had a major problem in my lower back (coccyx). I couldn’t sit anymore. I even bought a special chair for work that allowed me to put most of my weight on the knees. I also went to a few doctors and eventually ended up at the office of a back surgeon at Scripps (one of the best hospitals/clinics in the US). After a series of x-rays and other exams, the doctor basically offered me two “pills”: a red and a green. The “red pill” was surgery and removal of the coccyx, something he said was not guaranteed to work. The “green pill” was the name of a Doctor of Osteopathy he told me could work miracles. Her name is Aline Fournier. I decided on the green pill and “woke up” in Dr. Fournier’s office.

Yes, she cured me of my coccyx pain. But, there was more. I had been sick since I can remember. As a kid, I was always sick with throat infections and tonsillitis. It was so bad that I had to be hospitalized a number of times and went through a series of prescribed injections to boost my immune system. There was a nurse who came to our house every week to give me injections. Her name was D. Marieta. She dressed in white to make a point that she was a nurse. She carried with her a bag full of glass syringes (this is in the 70s). She would then proceed to pick one and boil it in water to sterilize it. All the while tension was building up inside me. Those injections were super painful and so once, I locked myself in the bathroom. It took a lot of persuasion from my parents for me to unlock the door. I believe they had to bribe me. In any case, when I finally opened the door, there was D. Marieta with her huge glass syringe waiting to poke me. There was no escape.

But, all the immune booster shots didn’t really quite work. In the year before I met Dr. Fournier I was prescribed antibiotics four times and was told I needed to have my tonsils removed. Dr. Fournier was the first person to tell me that I might be gluten intolerant. As a matter of fact, she believes I may have a problem with grains in general. She told me to stay away from gluten for a month and I did. A month is now almost six years. And guess what, not only didn’t I get sick that month, but I never had tonsillitis again. I have also been antibiotics free every since. Antibiotics are great, but they also kill the good bacteria, which opens you up to all kinds of other problems (have you heard of candida?). Science is just now beginning to understand the importance of our community of bacteria. We all have an individual bacterial biota and the good bacteria are essential for our good health.

It turns out gluten was weakening my immune system and the biggest immune booster I could have had was to stop eating it. Mind you that my family is originally from Italy and I grew up around my nona who masterly made the best tasting pasta from scratch.

Dr. Fournier has also cured me from other issues and she advices staying away from sugar. It is bad for the liver, promotes inflammation (and arthritis) and feeds cancer cells (and the list goes on). Since carbs (such as rice and pasta) metabolize almost instantly into sugar, it is prudent to also stay alway from those. It was very hard for me to be gluten-free and almost carb-free in one fell swoop. I lost a lot of weight in the beginning but gained most of it back once I learned how to navigate my way around food choices that were healthier.

Dr. Fournier is an expert D.O. and a master of prolotherapy which she uses to threat many ailments. I just saw her yesterday for a general alignment. My left foot has also been a problem. It goes out sometimes, mostly whenever I walk barefoot or wear sandals. It is then painful for a number of days, before going back into place. It happened a few days before my hiking down the Grand Canyon and I almost had to cancel the hike. Luckily it stopped hurting just two days before. Dr. Fournier believes my ligaments are weakened and so I went through a painful prolotherapy session on my foot. Prolotherapy, also known as regenerative injection therapy, is a nonsurgical treatment which stimulates healing. Now, these are injections in ligaments and tendons. Remember D. Marieta? I did feel like hiding in the clinic’s bathroom.

The interesting thing about Dr. Fournier is that she is also an energy healer. Her healing hands are a blessing (in fact the whole clinic seems to be immersed in this amazing healing energy). Because of her hands, she reminds me of my dad who has the same gift, but never really advanced it much. People would come long distances to see him (and still do). Once we were fishing by this beautiful river in Brazil and I happened to stand on top of a stone which sat on top of a colony of fire ants. When I realized it, the ants were all over my legs and seemed to bite me at the same time. I was probably 7 years old and in a lot of pain. My dad made me lay down and proceeded to heal me through his hands (by hovering them over my legs). As soon as he did that, the pain was gone. I was surprised and happy but mostly, I was proud to have a super dad.

Anyway, I wanted to write this entry about health and the person who changed my life for the better. I am very happy I took the green pill and grateful for all the health I got out of it.

Cheers to doctors that treat the causes of sickness, not their consequences!

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