Sharon Ufberg, DC discusses the importance of remaining nonjudgmental within the healthcare community.

by Sharon Ufberg, DC 

Twenty eight years ago while in Chiropractic college in Southern California, blue green algae was being touted as the latest superfood. Yes, you read that right, almost thirty years ago the health food gurus were busy trying to get anyone to believe that spirulina (algae) was as great as the early studies reported.

Same goes for Acidofilus bacillis, a probiotic which we would get refrigerated in the health food store and would drink in the form of kefir or organic yogurts. And then there is Vitamin C; who doesn’t remember Linus Pauling speaking out on behalf of the miracles of higher doses of Vitamin C? The list is very long if you include all the vitamin, minerals and trace minerals that were studied and their benefits reported.

Those of us in the alternative healthcare communities who embraced these brand new concepts were thought to be health nut whackos and the health practitioners that were proponents of their use were definitely considered quacks and snake oil sellers. There was an overwhelmingly negative sentiment about alternative practitioners recommending non mainstream healing methods.

While in professional school, most of us tried many of these untraditional nutritional supports and recognized their value. We were in an environment where unconventional or alternative methods of healing were encouraged and supported. Once in our private practices, separated from our colleagues and surrounded by a much less welcoming healthcare environment, many of the more alternative methods for healing got pushed into the back of our closets and subsequently our brains too.

Fast forward and here we are in 2008 at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium, surrounded by the best and brightest physicians and healthcare practitioners. The panels are full of “the latest and greatest” research. Guess what I hear them talking about? You got it: algae and probiotics and many vitamins and minerals.  I have to just sit and smile and remember when we “whackos” were taking all of these products almost thirty years ago! It is my greatest hope that some of the practitioners that were the early proponents of these options are alive to witness the allopathic community now recognizing the amazing potential of these products for optimizing human wellness. How validated they must feel to finally see their work acknowledged as having merit.

This experience has reminded me to keep an open mind. It has woken up the part of my brain that recognizes the importance of remaining nonjudgmental – especially within the healthcare community. It is as essential now as ever before. In a global learning environment, new ideas and methods are circulated in minutes instead of years. Healing traditions from all over the world are now available to study and witness. What a fortunate time to be a practitioner in the art of healing.

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