Alternative Healers Like Vibram Five Fingers Saved Me Money and Possibly My Dream

by AJ Pettersen · 10 comments

Health care spending reached an all time high of 18.2% of GDP in the United States in June of 2011. This is far higher than a number of developed countries throughout the world. Who is responsible? Do we blame the health care industry? Or are we all partially responsible for the poor health of the country?

Five years ago, I was a college athlete, trying to find my way into the lineup. I was struggling with horrible knee and foot pain, preventing me from playing at my peak. I tried a number of different things; tape, braces, medications, orthotics, and all of these traditional practices failed me. A foot doctor recommended surgery, but I thought there had to be another way. Being a curious young man, I searched vigorously for an answer. I stumbled upon barefoot shoes and ordered a pair as a last resort. This led me down a path of alternative solutions to traditional options.

What Are They?

Vibram Five Fingers are essentially fortified toe socks. They simulate being barefoot, taking the user back to a natural gait. Shoes had contributed to my pain because of their shape and structure. The dropped heel on my new barefoot shoes led to a midfoot strike. This lined up my body, putting me back into a natural position. Within a couple of weeks my pain had disappeared. Once I returned to my natural body mechanics, my muscles and joints healed quickly.

More Alternatives

I paid $70 for my Vibram Five Fingers five years ago, and I still use them today when I feel pain approaching. They saved me from requiring surgery and from contributing to the bloated health care industry. They may have saved my athletic career too.

There are a number of similar ways you can avoid getting hurt or sick by taking care of your body. Proper exercise is a great way to avoid trips to the doctor. It is proven that running, walking, lifting weights, yoga and many other activities can contribute to a long, healthy life. We often get caught up in the rush of life that we lose sight of our health. Are you working out to stay healthy?

Certainly good nutrition and positive personal habits contribute to better health. What you put into your body is what you are going to get out. Obesity has run rampant in the United States. If you want to avoid sickness, you need to pay attention to how you are fueling your body. One of the biggest contributors to our health is what we eat and drink. Spending a little extra time and money at the grocery store can go a long way towards adding time to your life and saving money on health care costs.

How Do You Stay Healthy?

I needed an answer to my knee and foot pain in college, and I went through a number of different failed avenues before finding my solution. In what ways have you done the same? Your health is your most important asset in life. It is what keeps you alive and vibrant. What one change can you make that will improve your health and save you money? Decreasing your dependence on health care is essential to your long-term economic health. Be creative, you may be surprised at the results.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

robert helfrick April 26, 2012 at 7:50 am

I believe you meant orthotics, nor orthodontics.

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Kristi April 26, 2012 at 8:06 am

After years of allergy shots, pills, etc., I grew tired of treating the symptoms rather than the cause. Despite being a bit skeptic at the time, I went to an acupuncturist who also did Reiki (energy work) on me, and it was a life-changing experience. I’m now a Reiki master and use Reiki all of the time. Aside from regular physicals, I haven’t been to the doctor in ages and my husband can’t believe the difference in my allergies. We have the windows open all the time now and I never sneeze! I did it on my sister who has lupus and seizures, and she’s now off all medications and hasn’t had another seizure. I don’t believe that Western medicine has all the answers, and think adding in “alternative” therapies can make a huge difference (but make sure you go to a reputable clinician.)

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AJ April 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Kristi,

I also have allergies. Got shots for 11 years as a kid. The allergies are not as bad now, but still have had an occasional sinus headache or nasty nose. Last year, I started using a few teaspoons of local raw honey in my coffee every morning. This year, the weather has been exceptionally warm and the pollen count high. Guess what? I haven’t had to use a tissue or rest my head at all. Could I be growing out of allergies? Yes, maybe. However, the raw honey sure can’t hurt.

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Kristi April 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I use local honey too! Also, I love honey so I’d probably find an excuse to have it anyway. ;)

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Mo November 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm

One of the best ways to prevent allergy problems, is to consume honey that’s locally obtained. It’ll often contain spores & antigens of loval plants, but wlong with micronutrients in the honey that have immune stimulating abilities. The net effect is that you cut down your allergy reactivity.

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solomongilda April 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

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Charlette Furman April 30, 2012 at 1:14 am

Five years ago, I was a college athlete, trying to find my way into the lineup. I was struggling with horrible knee and foot pain, preventing me from playing at my peak.

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Jean May 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Pretty interesting to learn about alternate treatment methods like this. A lot of people are skeptical about them sometimes but like you said, it can totally work and even be better than surgery on the long run.

-Jean

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Scribblerlarry June 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm

A WORD OF CAUTION

I have spent years checking out alternative remedies. Some work – some don’t. You can spend a fortune on stuff that does you no good at all. There are many people out there who prey on people with health problems by selling useless products. Those people are the scum of the earth and deserve nothing less than hanging.

You can protect yourself to some degree if you are careful….

FIRST: ALWAYS check with BOTH your doctor AND your pharmacist before trying any alternative remedy and DO NOT stop taking your regular medicine until you do so.

SECOND: You can catch most quack remedies right up front. They very often will make the claim, “Things your doctor doesn’t want you to know” or “Things Big Pharma hates” or some such attack on the Medical Profession or on the pharmaceuticals industry. Real professionals NEVER attack other professionals. It is considered unethical to do that. They simply recommend their own remedy.

THIRD: Watch out for silly claims. Something that might help you with arthritis is not likely to also help you with a skin problem or heart disease. And NOTHING can turn back the hands of time. You CANNOT get ‘younger’.

FOURTH: Check references. Often articles (actually ads disguised as medical articles) will attempt to give their claims weight by alluding to research that proves their claims. They will state that Dr.____X_____ has done research at ____XYZ____ research institution (often a university). Google that institution. Check to see if a research doctor by that name does research there. If so then check his published papers to see if he has done research into that particular remedy. You can even e-mail him/her care of the institution and ask him/her about that research; when it was done; is it still valid; does he know of newer research into the same thing, etc., etc.?

I have found that often that researcher is unknown to the institution he supposedly did that research at. Or is at that institution but has never done any research into that particular thing. Heck I even found that one university cited didn’t even exist!!

Having said all that, I will also say that, when I’ve done my homework properly, and checked out something I want to try, and everything lines up properly, I have had good success with SOME alternative remedies.

Best to you……….Scribblerlarry

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JC October 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I really can’t consider vibram fivefingers a form of “Alternate Medicine.”

There’s no medicine involved, and they’re an alternate to… what, shoes with thicker soles and no toe differentiation?

To go from “these things are like going barefoot (which is great for your joints and so on) without having to worry about the pain from every little pebble” to woo stuff like reiki and crystal healing is a bit ridiculous.

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