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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial


Non-traditional medical treatments have risen in popularity.  We have a wide variety of options available to us in New York City, ranging from acupuncture to aromatherapy and yoga.  These types of treatments are referred to as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). CAM is an umbrella term used to refer to various treatments that fall outside conventional Western approaches. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), “many Americans—more than 30 percent of adults and about 12 percent of children—use health care approaches developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine.” NBC News reported that Americans spent more than $30 billion in 2012 alone for treatments ranging from acupuncture to homeopathy. The Mayo Clinic reports that the term “alternative” medicine has been dropped and replaced with newer terms, such as complementary and integrative medicine, integrative medicine and health, or just integrative medicine.


Why Nontraditional Treatment?

Nontraditional therapies have the potential to be extremely valuable. Integrative medicine may provide support to those suffering from cancer, persistent pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many other conditions.  It can also assist certain individuals in better handling their symptoms and improve their quality of life by reducing fatigue, pain, and anxiety.

Being open-minded is essential when turning to integrative medicine because these treatments can sometimes be, for lack of a better phrase, out there.  Examples of non-mainstream medicine other than those mentioned earlier may include animal-assisted therapy, aromatherapy, dietary supplements, massage therapy, music therapy and meditation.


What is a Medicine Reading?  

One non-traditional treatment here in New York that recently caught my eye is the “Medicine Reading.”  Deborah Hanekamp, also known as “Mama Medicine” conducts Medicine Readings out of her space in Soho. According to her Web site, Medicine Readings are “one-on-one multi-sensory healing experiences.” The Readings “begin with an intuitive aura reading (some refer to this section as heightened therapy) then followed by energy balancing, crystal healing, and healing songs to cleanse, bless, and protect.”  At the end of every medicine reading, Hanekamp recommends a specific bath recipe.

I’m beginning to feel relaxed from just hearing the description of the service! Even if you’re not a believer in energy balancing, you may find the results intriguing, and if you’re like me, you may be attracted to the concept of someone being able to read your aura.  

When turning to complementary medicine, it’s essential to review the credentials of your provider. Mama Medicine has had a proper shamanic apprenticeship in addition to “17 years of experience and wisdom in the healing arts.”


Medicine and Meaningful Connection  

While there are many options for non-traditional therapies here in New York, Hanekamp stated in a December 2016 interview that one of the reasons she’s able to continue her practice is because “New Yorkers have a very keen sense for authenticity and I believe that my approachability and confidence in my work has to lead my clients to feel comfortable enough to uncover their truths with me.” Mama Medicine’s services are aimed at helping her clients to “to pick up some tools and align themselves on their paths to being their own healers.” One of the attractions to services such as those provided by Mama Medicine is that they are truly customized for the individual.  I have found that sometimes it’s more meaningful to have the personal touch that comes with non-traditional treatments such as those provided by Mama Medicine as opposed to feeling rushed during a visit to the doctor.