Friday, January 10, 2014

Stuttering and Herbal Medicine

     A few days ago, I went to an herbal shop. I am still torn on how I feel about it. It makes perfect sense to me that we should view plants as medicine. What's "alternative" about using the medicinal methods that have worked for centuries?? It shouldn't be. The problem, as I see it, is that because of its place as less mainstream medicine, it's been mixed with pseudoscience instead of being well investigated by modern science. Instead of doctors prescribing, say, St John's wort for mild depression, the same plant might sit next to flower essences, and the herbalist might suggest that putting it in a pouch on your person may do the trick because that still gives you that plants "energy."
    But regardless. I feel like there's at least some degree to which traditional uses may have some poor explanations for observed effects, but those effects are nonetheless real. So, I thought that it might be worth exploring what an herbalist might be able to do for me in regards to my stuttering. The woman I talked to made me a blend of plants after a talked a little about what I felt like the cause might be, and despite my skepticism, I went ahead and tried it. 
    I know full well that there may just be a placebo effect going on, or observation bias, but... even if that's the case, I hardly care. It feels like it's working. My voice seems more fluid, more usable, and it is amazing. 

   I'm extremely quiet. I don't think I can entirely blame this on my stutter, but I think that part of it is that I feel like any word I say has to be worth a lot. It's a lot of energy to say anything, it can be hard on the other person, it certainly takes more time... a lot of the time it just doesn't seem worth it. And when I do speak, I feel like I have to cut down what I say to the bare essentials. Like on the telephone, when I'm supposed to be professional, what I'd like to say is the standard "Hello, this is (name) in (location), how may I help you?" Instead I just force out a "hello" because otherwise the other person tends to get frustrated and/or thinks the call is cracking up. That bit is painful enough, and that's just trying to get by in my crappy retail job. 
   So the possibility that this may help me regain control of my voice, and therefore my expression, and let me actually participate and say what I need to say... that I can cut down that particular block to showing who I am to the world... it feels very freeing and happy-making. And maybe this particular herbal cure is bullshit, and it's all in my head. But maybe it's not. For the time being, I'm going to stick with the hypothesis that it's helping; there is a lot more to gain that way than assuming that it couldn't possibly be real. 

1 comment:

  1. Don't be worried about it not working because it's a plant. I think that puts a block in your head where someone that was working may not.