It’s not the least bit spooky.
People ask what my therapy at Dr. Lisa Graham’s Naturopathic centre entrails—I mean, entails— and I’m here to reassure you it’s all quite normal. Just random strangers running around barefoot in blue hospital gowns or white bathrobes. Folks sweating together, not to the oldies, but in the 180 degree sauna to cook their germs. Patients lying around in beds with wet towels on their torsos to fend off evil. Acupuncture to encourage the exercising of vocal chords. Electrical stimulation to ward off aliens. Soft spa music, accompanied by the soothing howl of hungry wolves and the unmistakable but comforting grunt of constipated rhinos. Routine stuff like that.
Even Dr. Lisa’s homeopathic remedies are conventional. Wretch weed for digestive disorders, dogbane for consumption, dried beetles for energy, mud dauber’s nests and lizard eggs for fertility. Not a drop of snake oil to be found.
And Dr. Lisa knows what she’s doing, believe me. First, she gets her vapours fusilatin.’ Then she gets her fumigatin’ fire going with a little skunkweed and tosses her “puttin’ down” powders into the air. Then she clips your toenails and snips a bit of your hair, and buries it under a cottonwood tree by the light of a full moon. Nothing weird.
And she truly cares. If you try to get out of bed before your time is up, she throws her boots at your head and shouts, “Don’t you know you’re at death’s door? That’s why I’m doctorin’ you, ya dern fool. Now git back into that bed!”
You think I’m making this up, but I’m not. I got most of it from an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, where Granny Clampett is out to cure an ailing Jed, whom she has diagnosed with a deadly case of The Misery. But it’s my way of playing a Halloween trick on Lisa, since I’m pretty sure she won’t be allowing me any candy.
Especially after she reads this.
The truth? While I adore Granny Clampett, even Jed’s double barreled shotgun couldn’t coerce me into submitting myself to her mountain medicine. So what keeps me going back to Dr. Lisa?
I admit, it’s a bit stranger than what we’re used to. Yes, it’s time consuming going for treatments twice a week and using her sauna on the days in between. Yes, the new way of eating, shopping, and cooking seems like a huge burden at first. But, like one of my fellow patients said, “It’s working, and I really wish it weren’t.”
On the one hand, I know what he means. It takes effort! There are tons of things I’d rather be doing with my time than breathing eucalyptus steam morning and night, exercising, and juicing vegetables. But if that’s truly how he feels, he’s not desperate enough. When you’ve been ill for over a year and you find something that’s making you feel better, you want to stick with it. (If she’ll still let me through the door, that is.)
Unlike Granny, Dr. Lisa doesn’t promise sure-fire cures. But she’s seen enough people get healthy to make her believe more firmly every day in the God-given power of the body to fight back when given what it really needs. What’s more, her faith in Jesus Christ makes me feel right at home. Come to think of it, that place embodies much of what a good church should: community, peace, joy, and healing.
Though I look forward to the day when I can get back to my life and stop going so often, I would want to go whether I was experiencing health issues or not. The joyous atmosphere, encouraging coaching, healing prayers, and gentle nurture are things I wish everyone could experience at least once in their lifetime.
Now, where did I put my jug of stump water? I believe it’s time for a dose.