So you hustle and bustle and things are wearing you down. It’s causing health problems and, perhaps, Western treatments aren’t giving you the relief you need. A friend recommends yoga, or meditation, or any of the wealth of complementary therapies out today and you shake your head, “Don’t see how breathing special while laying down will help me. I Breathe all the time and look at me.” Dismissing without trying. Decision made without any data.

Complementary therapies are named as such because they’re meant to complement Western treatments whereas alternative therapy providers believe in doing their therapy in place of Western treatment. So many complementary therapies are showing in clinical trials and research that they boost healing and health when done in conjunction to standard Western care.

If you’ve not tried any, you should give it a try before nay-saying it away. And keep an open mind that if yoga didn’t work for you, perhaps shiatsu will, or reiki, or any of the other therapies. One therapy missing the mark will not mean that all of them will. It’s the same as Western therapy, just because one antibiotic didn’t work on your infection, doesn’t mean that they all won’t work. Therapists work to find what works for you and expands upon it.

So yeah, I will never fault you if you say “I have tried everything to help me feel better and it just keeps hurting” at least you are proactive and giving it all you have to help. But if you have only popped some Lorcet and still hurt or are finding that the chronic pain is now feeding over and giving you other symptoms like insomnia and such, perhaps open the door – and your mind- to what other things that are out there that could indeed help you live a better life with a better quality of life. Things that can work in addition to your medications and therapies. Things that could mean a world of difference for your mind and your body.

I have chronic illness – two of them actually – so I highly respect and listen to my doctors. I also do movement therapy and meditate to help me live my life with fewer medications and bring my test results to a more normal status. While it won’t work for everyone, aren’t you worth a little self-care to see if it will work for you?

Namaste, Rome.

Tina Samuels, a native of Rome, is a local yoga instructor and shiatsu bodywork therapist. Readers can contact her at

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