News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Alternative health care gains wider acceptance

While we still go to the doctor when we're sick, more and more Americans are open to exploring alternative healing strategies and practices, many of which involve changing our way of life, from what we eat to how we exercise.

"We've been doing this for over 20 years, and it's definitely more accepted," says Greg Wieland of Sisters Acupuncture Center.

He and his wife Julia Wieland-Smith combine acupuncture with Chinese and Western herbology, nutritional counseling and massage therapy in a 14-year practice that has gained wide acceptance in Sisters.

Wieland believes people are increasingly aware of the impact of toxins in their lives and open to work that purifies the system to nourish tissue and rectify illness. They are also more receptive to the energy-balancing focus of Chinese healing.

"All most of us need is a nudge in the right direction, then the body self-heals," Wieland says.

That's welcome news to many folks in Sisters who seek health, not just absence of illness.

Kari Sims of Life. Love. Yoga. has seen yoga turn into a mainstream phenomenon over the many years she has engaged in the ancient practice.

"I have been teaching actively for the past 10 years, and just over the last 10 years it's amazing how much more yoga is accepted in the society as a whole," she says.

She believes the surge in yoga's acceptance and popularity is tied to concrete understanding of its benefits.

"I think it was just a matter of time before Western science started researching it more," she says. "And they've seen some staggering results."

Studies have shown that yogic controlled breathing techniques are beneficial to the autonomic nervous system, taking people out of stress-induced sympathetic nervous system responses. Practice of yoga improves posture, circulation, respiratory and cardiovascular efficiency and promotes greater energy and a sense of well-being.

"A lot of doctors are increasingly prescribing yoga for Parkinson's Disease," Sims notes.

Despite the surge in popularity and increasing acceptance by the mainstream medical community and society at large, "there are still quite a lot of misconceptions out there about yoga."

That stems largely from the fact that there is a wide variety of yoga practice and tradition. Sims says that amid all the variations, just about any person will find a form of yoga that is beneficial to them.

"Yoga really is for everyone," she says.

Dr. Irv Givot, of Snow Creek Chiropractic and Natural Health Center, understands the growing acceptance of alternative forms of health care. He has built his 30-year practice around the ability to help people when the usual methods hit a dead end.

"People in Oregon are willing to travel a long way when they find a doctor who can help them when conventional approaches fail," Dr. Givot says.

Givot believes independent practitioners, like chiropractors, have broader scope for innovation in their approach to relieving illness and promoting wellness. Givot employs cutting-edge diagnostic tools like Electro Intersticial Scan to get at the root causes of illness, and techniques ranging from herbal and naturopathic detoxification to biocranial therapy to treat the root causes of disorders.

"It's incredible how many people have a toxic burden in their bodies these days," Dr. Givot says.

Through detoxification, work with the glandular system and nutritional therapy, Dr. Givot seeks to relieve toxicity problems that manifest themselves as physical, but mysterious, medical conditions.

Biocranial therapy manipulates the sutures between the cranial bones, where adjustment can relieve neck pain and promote better glandular function.

Dr. Givot sees it as "crucial to penetrate the patient's lifestyle" in order to promote a more healthy way of life.

"I try to get people to have more balance in their lives," he says.

For some, true healing extends into the spiritual plane. Peter and Anne Selby, of You Angel You Clairvoyant Angelic Healing, have seen a broad acceptance of what they call the "deep medicine" of their practice, which observes Plato's dictum to treat the soul with the body.

A spiritual but non-religious practice, You Angel You does not treat specific conditions, rather supporting the body's ability to heal itself through "improving Source connection, elevating consciousness, restoring the soul and releasing negative astral influences..."

Peter Selby, a physical therapist licensed in Montana, does clairvoyant evaluation of auras to recognize areas of disorder and seeks angelic intercession to remove distress and help people regain lost function. Selby says their work, while obviously outside the scope of Western medicine, earns acceptance for results.

"I think when doctors see their patients healed, they say, 'Cool. Do more of that,' he says. "So there's acceptance on that level."

None of the local practitioners of alternative forms of healing see themselves at odds with conventional medicine. Rather, they see themselves as a means for people in Sisters Country to pursue the root causes of their ailments and address them in a way that promotes a healthier way of being.

And the path they blaze in Sisters is one more and more people are willing to walk.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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