In addition to eating healthy, there are numerous ways we can take care of our bodies, and people are hungrily seeking out healing methods such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and yoga, thinking outside the conventional Western medicine box.
San Diego is lucky to have Ryan Altman, Founder and CEO of Alternative Healing Network, a non-profit promoting integrative or alternative healing arts and improving access to care in under-served neighborhoods. They run free clinics every Thursday around San Diego which blend Eastern and Western healing arts, and offer services at the Adams Avenue Integrative Health Center on a sliding scale. Altman also coordinates dynamic events like the yearly San Diego Healing Arts Festival and the Alternative Happy Hour.
I was a happy camper at my first “Happy Hour” today. First, a massage student spoiled me with a soothing chair massage, and then I received integrative somatic energy work by an impressively in-tune 19-year old student of bodywork. Hordes of enthusiastic people received similar nurturing services and gathered at Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center for yoga, qi gong, drumming and other classes.
Altman, mostly vegetarian since 1990, made sure nutritious food was a part of the afternoon, with Govinda’s (a local Hare Krishna group) catering the vegan cuisine: spinach chickpea masala, coconut curry veggies, basmati rice pilaf, and blueberry halvah.
With such positive outcomes like feeling relaxed, healthy and happy, we can only hope many more people become practitioners and clients of alternative methods of healing. As anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”