(Lessons from Nature, Other Stuff)  An issue that has been surfacing for many Fertile Souls seems to be the tendency for becoming overwhelmed by "healing" options. Acupuncture, herbs, chiropractic, dietary interventions, nutritional supplements, hypnotherapy, homeopathy, yoga, healing touch, massage, mind-body classes... all these efforts to become healthier can actually cause more stress than they are trying to alleviate.

There are many fabulous services available to us these days, with relatively easy access. So, how do we know when to say no to too many adjunctive therapies? Even positive changes can be perceived as stressors as far as the body is concerned.

My rule of thumb - pick one or two outside services at a time. Give it adequate time to see if you are experiencing measurable, noticeable changes. If not, move onto something that resonates with you and gives you demonstrable levels of improvement. I used to check in with my patients each week with the improvements they were noticing. Were they feeling better physically, mentally and emotionally? Did they have a greater sense of wellbeing? More hope? Were there tangible changes that they noticed in their menstrual cycle? Were they experiencing fewer negative symptoms than before? If not, their body isn't responding to the therapy. Time to try something else.

Also, regarding testing - lab tests are done for one purpose - to find what's wrong and invite therapy or intervention. If you go to a practitioner who advises that you take blood tests, saliva tests, or some other tool of examination, it is your option to say yes or no. If you say yes, be prepared to follow up with the therapy they recommend, or else don't take the test.

One of the reasons I was so drawn to Chinese medicine is that it was a full system by itself. Our tools for diagnosis are already within - tongue, pulse, appearance, and inquiry. The results of diagnostic tests provide recommendations for lifestyle adjustments, dietary changes, herbal remedies, and of course, needles to adjust the energy. But I never institute a therapy that the patient does not embrace, or the results will likely be nil. In one of our classics of Chinese medicine called the Su Wen, it states in chapter 11: "if one does not accept being treated and cured, do not treat him." Therapies cannot be imposed.

Another recommendation is that if there is any question about whether to move on to another form of therapy, don't. Let it set with you for awhile. Bring it into the space of quiet within. When it feels right, it will reveal itself to you. The inner wisdom never lies.