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P.O. Box 827
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
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Consider the Alternatives

An alternative practitioner may see your health issue from a different angle.  By Cathy Cassinos-Carr

Function Versus Structure -

Holistic practitioners generally focus on functional disorders, leaving structural problems to their conventional counterparts.  A heart arrhythmia, for example, is a functinal disorder; coronary artery clogging is structural.

this article is not intended to send you running away from your trusted family doctor. But it does say this: If conventional medicine isn't giving you the answers you seek, it may be time to try the alternative.      

Just ask Melinda Wilson, a 38-year-old Folsom High teacher who six years ago suffered from such extreme exhaustion that she was dragging even after 10 to 12 hours of sleep. Her primary doctor said blood tests in­dicated mononucleosis, but when her condition didn't improve, Wilson found herself on a medical merry-go-round, spinning from specialist to specialist. Was it endometriosis? Multiple sclerosis? Gall bladder disease? Nobody knew.

Sick and tired of being sick and tired, Wilson was ready to try anything when a colleague suggested she see Angela Burr-Madsen, a traditional naturopathic practitioner and kinesiologist in Shingle Springs. Using muscle testing, it took just one visit for Burr-Madsen to pinpoint the problem: adrenal insufficiency (also known as "adrenal fatigue"). To restore adrenal health, Burr-Madsen suggested a host of homeopathic medicines, along with Siberian ginseng, B-complex vitamins and other natural remedies. Although it was a long road to feeling as good as she does now, Wilson says there was a "night and day" difference after just two weeks on Burr-Madsen's regimen.

So, what gives? Why did alternative medicine provide answers that conventional medicine did not? The an­swer: Most M.D.s don't acknowledge adrenal fatigue— and therefore don't generally test for it.

"From my perspective," says Ron Cotterel, M.D., director of the Sutter Center for Integrative Health in Davis, "the difficulty is that the scientific evidence for conditions like adrenal insufficiency is not clear, which is why conventional doctors may have a problem with it." Even Cotterel, who has training in both camps (he's a family practice physician as well as an herbalist), says he's not sure he believes the basic theory behind adre­nal fatigue, which says that our adrenal glands become worn out and start underperforming when we've been stressed over an extended period of time.


Adrenal fatigue is just one of a number of conditions more likely to be acknowledged by your local naturopath than by the family doc. Heavy-metal toxicity, intes­tinal dysbiosis, leaky-gut syndrome and systemic yeast imbalance also are on the list.

Here's the lowdown from our panel of local holistic health experts ..... more

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