Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Life Savers and Safety Nets

Today I had my weekly appointment with Chulan Chiong, my NAET practitioner. Six months ago when Pete and I arrived in Seattle I knew that a big part of the transition from wandering the roads, parking lots and temporary rest stops of O`ahu would be connecting with a support system. LIFE SAVERS AND SAFETY NETS is an image and an affirming focus every one needs. And, for someone riding the swells and bottoms of an illness like MCS finding Life Savers can be a tricky thing ... and that's putting it mildly. Stepping into a new office or building is always a venture into the twilight zone. What smells and possible allergic/sensitivity triggers are there? Even after questioning a potential "life saver" the proof is only in the step through the threshold. Fortunately, I had developed an internet and phone pal who became my first new MCS Life Saver. Days after getting off the plane from Honolulu I called "G.C." to tell her we'd landed. (There'll be more about G.C. and the uncommon good she has shared with us and others with MCS in Seattle.) I asked "Do you know a good NAET practitioner in Seattle?" "Why yes I do!" That was the beginning of my healing relationship with Chulan Chiong, licensed accupuncturist and NAET practitioner.

NAET = Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques. I have included a link to the NAET website where you can explore for yourself the history and the practice of this non-invasion and holistic "Life Saver" that has expanded my world, and improved my health.

Here's a beginning checklist of questions I have asked (over the phone) a potential practitioner/wellness provider: (Thanks to the friends, counselors for sharing bits that make up this list.)

If you have any other questions to add to this list, we'd love to hear them ...thanks!

1. Are you familiar with MCS? Do you have clients/patients who have MCS?

2. Are you a fragrance free office? If they answer "Yes" ask for some details ... air purifiers/fragrance free handsoap/fragrance free laundry detergent used to wash linens...

3. I wear a mask and may need to bring a sheet or blanket to cover any carpet smell or upholstery that might affect me. How do you feel about that?

4. I can usually tell within a few minutes whether I can tolerate a new office, would it be possible to just check it out before making an appointment?

5. Do you offer any discounts to clients/patients with MCS who have a limited financial resources and/or no insurance?

  • Listen to the feelings you get when asking the questions. Your gut has intelligence called intuition. I've learned to trust it more and more.

  • Listen to the answers (the words) and the emotives that you get when you ask your questions.

  • Try to talk with both the receptionist (or whoever might be screening calls) and the practitioner herself. It's good to get a feel for the people in that office.

  • Trust your instincts and your intuition; take notes as you do your phone interview.

  • Take time to decide.

  • Call a trusted friend, a pal who can know you did this very courageous thing.

  • Give your self credit for this act of bravery.

One last thing. Here's a quote from a woman and healer-medical physician who has inspired me throughout my journey to be unafraid to seek wholeness in my relationships with any "lifesaver" or "safety net"...

"Serving is different from helping. Helping is based on inequality; it is not a relationship between equals. When you help you use your own strength to help those of lesser strength...we don't serve with our strength, we serve with ourselves...Service is a relationship between equals...Helping incurs debt...But serving, like healing, is mutual. There is no debt."

-Rachel Naomi Remens, excerpt from the article "In the Service of Life"

To link to an incredible site where I post a whole piece on Rachel Naomi Remen and where other HEROES OF HEALING connects you with a world of healers please go to Jenny Mannion's website: http://www.jennymannion.com/

Aloha, Mokihana


Liberty said...

I know I'm coming to this thread quite late but wanted to add that I would ask how new their particle board furniture, carpeting or laminate flooring was. If particle board or laminate is new enough, I won't go even with mask because the masks I use are not able to filter out enough of the formaldehyde (and it's a real bugger!).

I do also tend to ask if they understand that MCS is a physical condition and is not about 'liking' or 'disliking' a smell.

This is a great thread and I hope people add to it over time!

thanks Mokihana :-)


Mokihana and Pete said...

Liberty, It's always great to see an old post getting new attention. Yup, depending upon the 'being' all those things you mention are not tolerated well at any stage. I used to go to a regular appointment I truly valued with my old sheet to cover the carpeting in the room. For an hour it worked, using my mask.

And yes, asking if they understand it is asking if they 'get it' where it matters ... in the heart without the heading running interference. It's not football we're playing here. Where's my headhear to go with this mask?

Thanks dear. Cheers, Mokihana