Regarding the first suggestion ("Check with your primary care physician for a referral..."), somehow medical doctors have been designated as the gatekeepers of health in our society. I would encourage people to look at a medical doctor's opinion as just that -- an opinion.
No one specialty is knowledgeable about all specialties in the health field. Just as I can't offer opinions regarding heart surgery, heart surgeons can't offer educated opinions about chiropractic; it is not their field of expertise.
On the fourth suggestion ("Find out if the therapy you seek is covered by your health insurance"), I would reclassify "health" insurance as crisis insurance, for it doesn't cover things defined as wellness care or services that actually help improve a person's health or well-being.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They make their money by charging you and then denying care, not covering everything health related. It can be useful if you have an accident or a medical emergency, but to look at your insurance as a way to keep you healthy will prevent you from seeking services that could help enhance your life.
Insurance does not cover your organic food or gym memberships, and don't look to it to provide for other true "health" services. For this reason and many others, the vast majority of alternative health practitioners don't take your insurance.
On the last suggestion ("Disclose all complementary and alternative medicine visits to your primary care physician"), I would encourage people to realize that the best doctor for them is within themselves and that no one knows better what their body needs than they do -- if they only listen to it.
To truly know this gives people real empowerment to make the best health decisions, ones that they're happy with regardless of the opinion of other health professionals. Being empowered in their health will also allow them to seek out doctors who support them, even if it means choosing something that the professional isn't skilled in themself.
-- Dr. Julie Nichols, Mount Lookout
Generosity of the Human Spirit
Thank you for CityBeat's recent three-page cover story about the Victory of Light Festival ("Psychotic Festival", issue of Dec. 12). I truly can't thank CityBeat enough for the positive support you've shown, starting with your sponsorship of the Victory of Light Festival in its early years, accepting and publishing our ads for 16 years and now honoring us by choosing to feature the festival not only with three pages with photographs but on the front cover, too!
How thrilling to know that CityBeat acknowledges the rapidly growing social movement of "cultural creatives," about one-quarter of the population of the U.S. and Europe, comprised of people who follow the holistic philosophy that all things are interconnected and interdependent, a philosophy Victory of Light supports and encourages.
Through the Victory of Light Festival, contributions have been made to Make A Wish Foundation, Pediatric Aids, Katrina Relief and various cancer and environmental organizations. The generosity of the human spirit knows no bounds.
To those of you at CityBeat who have exemplified this, I thank you.
-- Victor Paruta VictoryofLight.com
Troubled, Unhappy Writer
In response to your cover story "Psychotic Festival" (issue of Dec. 12), I have been reading CityBeat magazine on and off for longer than most of your writers have been alive. I am a conservative Christian woman who is not totally sold on the whole New Age philosophy.
Until I read the article, I had no idea Victor Paruta or the Victory of Light Festival existed. What I do know is that what Gregory Flannery did to discredit Paruta and his festival is just plain wrong.
Right out of the shoot, Flannery targets everything from participants and vendors to license plates and animals. Paruta stated that he and the festival have no agenda. What is CityBeat's agenda?
How unfortunate for CityBeat readers that we were subjected to such a hateful, biased assessment that clearly reflects the author's disdain for anything he doesn't understand. Flannery's article is not responsible journalism but rather a self-portrait of a troubled and unhappy writer.
-- Linda Kunkel, Loveland
Editor's Note: CityBeat was founded in 1994.
Pick Your Men
(Re: "He Got What He Wanted" post on CityBeat's Living Out Loud blog.) The same thing happened to me once, more or less. After having sex one time, this guy got up, put on his clothes and kissed me goodbye. Haven't seen him since!
I try to pick my men more carefully now.
-- Beth, posted Dec. 26