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Alternative therapy changed our lives

More and more women are turning to complementary therapies as an effective way to ease chronic aches, pains and even diseases. Three Dubai-based women share their life-changing alternative health stories

Alternative therapy
Image Credit: Grace Paras/ANM
From left: Wendy Minto, Michelle Robertson and Jose Garbe-Vilijn.

"Energy treatments cured me when the doctors couldn't"

Wendy Minto, 58, retired 

There are some days you never forget. For me, that day was 16 years ago when I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. I was told my liver had been compromised and that I would eventually need a liver transplant.

I was 42 at the time, happily married with two children and working as a dental professional in Canada. To make matters worse, not long after my diagnosis, I was also told to prepare myself for the fact that I would eventually get cancer. It was, without a doubt, one of the darkest moments of my life.

When it later became apparent that the medical community could do very little to help me, I turned to alternative therapies with the hope that one might just work. In 2007, after relocating to Dubai, I began working with a naturopathic doctor. A specialist in treating patients with severe autoimmune diseases, the doctor started me on a three-month cleanse to rid my body of toxins.

I then began having regular energy therapy, during which I was hooked up to a Quantum Biofeedback Energy Machine and given specific energy treatments based upon the device's recommendations. The machine measures even the slightest energy change in the body and, as I could see immediate changes in my ‘numbers' after each session, I knew it was working.

After two years of consultation with the naturopathic doctor, and having followed a strict diet with supplements, I was referred to several energy therapists, including a Pranic healer, a Kinesiologist, and an energy specialist who practises Reiki and Jin Shin Jyutsu.

Despite knowing little about them I tried all of the therapies, continuing to have regular Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) sessions for some 18 months. Similar to acupressure, JSJ involves pressure placement on certain parts of the body.

At first, the changes were subtle, but over time, everything in my life - physically, mentally and emotionally - began to change. Today, my symptoms have completely gone and my blood work has stabilised and is now normal.

What has amazed me most is that not only has it helped heal my body, but I strongly believe it has prevented me from getting cancer. When I was originally told about the need for a liver transplant and that I would one day get cancer, I knew that I wouldn't sit around and wait for my condition to worsen.

While it has taken me just under four years of therapy and lifestyle changes to heal my body, I'm convinced that using alternative therapies has enabled me to become healthier and stronger in both body and mind.

The therapy Naturopathy is a type of alternative medicine, which favours a holistic approach to healing. It focuses on prevention through stress reduction, as well as encouraging a healthy diet and lifestyle. Naturopathy also includes energy therapies such as Quantum Physics, acupuncture, Reiki and Jin Shin Jyutsu. These treatments are available at Synergy Medical Centre, Umm Suqeim, call 04-3485452. 

"Reflexology made my baby dream a reality"

Michelle Robertson, 32, freelance writer and mother-to-be

In 2009, just one month after my wedding, I discovered that I may not be able to have children. During a Well Woman check-up, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and told that I would have problems conceiving and that, if I did fall pregnant, there was a high probability of miscarriage. I was devastated. I was advised to take medication, but I declined - for me, medication was the last resort.

I tried to be optimistic and positive and even believed that I'd eventually get pregnant, but sadly that was not the case. After two years of trying, one miscarriage and several alternative therapies later, I was very close to taking the medication that I had previously dismissed.

However, by chance, I stumbled upon a treatment last year that turned my nightmare completely around. I'd booked in for a relaxing reflexology session, a treatment that involves pressure being exerted on specific points on the feet. During the treatment, I felt terrible pain when the therapist applied pressure to my heel. Without knowing anything about my medical history, the therapist informed me that the pain in my heel indicated an imbalance in my reproductive system, before advising me to have regular reflexology massage to help return the balance to that area.

From that day on, I became her regular client, visiting twice a week for 50-minute foot reflexology sessions. After three months, the pain was considerably less, and after four months, the pain had gone. Wondering if this meant anything, I visited my gynae who, much to my amazement, informed me that my PCOS had also gone. Incredibly, there were no cysts and all my blood tests were normal.

A month later, I was pregnant and I was over the moon. Today I am eight months pregnant and so far, so great.

I've been asked several times what advice I'd give to people struggling to get pregnant, and all I can say is, trust your gut instinct, do your own research, and understand that sometimes it can take a few months before you see results.

The therapy Reflexology is a traditional healing art that involves the manipulation of specific pressure points on the hands and feet. As the palms of the hands and soles of the feet relate to different parts of the body and organs, reflexologists claim they can unblock energy pathways in the body and help the body regain its natural balance. Reflexologists say that reflexology can be beneficial for women who have PCOS, endometriosis and irregular periods. Reflexology is available at Tips n' Toes, JBR (04-4293477); Feet First, The Dubai Mall (04-3399369); Thai Privilege Spa, Jumeirah (04-3489679); and Talise Spa (04-3666818).

"The Dorn Therapy and blood-type diet saved my life"

Jose Garbe-Vilijn, 55, PIDDDS founder and practitioner 

My story began at the age of 39, when I rather bravely decided not to take any more medication to treat my asthma. Instead, I chose a more holistic approach, following Dr D'Adamo's blood-type diet. My asthma quickly disappeared and I felt great, so I continued to eat according to my blood type.

Sadly, nine years later, while visiting family back in Holland, I had a stroke, which left my arm partially paralysed. After six months in intensive care, I could still hardly move my arm, but I returned to Dubai and struggled to live a normal life.

It was by chance that I met up with a Dorn Method Practitioner, who explained some of the principles of Dorn Therapy, such as the insight that an uneven leg length can result in a twisted pelvis, an asymmetrical spinal column and displaced vertebrae. He further explained how each vertebra is related to a different part of the body, so when one is out of alignment, various ailments can arise. He told me that by simply realigning my spine through some dynamic movements, I would see considerable improvement in my arm. And I did. After just two sessions, I regained complete use of my arm, and today I'm able to live a perfectly normal life again.

Little did I know at the time, but that was not the only thing that helped me. I later discovered from my doctors that the reason I even survived my stroke was because my blood at the time of the stroke was thin and clotted slowly, due to having followed the blood-type diet for the previous nine years.

Armed with this knowledge and inspired by the positive experiences I'd had, I changed careers, qualifying as a Dorn Method Practitioner. I combined my diet and nutrition background with my Dorn Therapy expertise and created my own programme, PIDDDS 3-D Living, which stands for Personal, Integrated, Dynamics, Diet & Determination Solutions. Now, I advise clients on nutrition and spine realignment and I treat all kinds of ailments, including weight gain, infertility and diabetes.

It's been a life-changing journey. Making changes to my diet initially saved my life, while Dorn Therapy gave me back the use of my arm, but the combination of both transformed everything for me and is now transforming the lives of others.

The therapy PIDDDS is the evolution of Dorn Therapy. It is a combination of body posture, movement, physiological and mental health therapies. It is all about bringing your body and mind into harmony, aligning your bones and personalising your diet. Using self-help corrective exercise techniques, PIDDDS can help improve various ailments and conditions. Two treatments are normally given on consecutive days and patients are provided with a series of exercises to do at home. Results are often seen within a month. PIDDDS treatments are available at the Manchester Clinic in Dubai., call 04-3497008.