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Some take different approaches to health

Staff writer

Rhonda Toal of rural Hillsboro was weighing whether to begin hormone replacement therapy. She decided against it because she thought if she started it, she would be on it the rest of her life.

Instead, Toal researched nutritional and herbal alternatives. She learned that soy was a common alternative and tried it.

“To me, it’s better than something cooked up in a lab,” she said.

Since then she became a firm believer in nutritional treatments.

Some modern medicines originated as home remedies, Toal said. Willow bark, for example, was used for headaches before it became the basis of aspirin.

Traditional medicine has its place, especially for emergencies, Toal said. But whenever she has an ailment, she reads about possible remedies and tries to find one that works.

“It’s kind of hit-and-miss,” she said.

It also isn’t for everyone, she said. Curiosity is important, and some people don’t have time to reflect on their health.

Toal also believes in the effectiveness of chiropractic care, although she has limited experience with it.

Bill Good, chiropractor in Hillsboro, said his field is often misunderstood. Most people think only of spinal adjustments, but chiropractic can include more.

It also includes nutrition, herbal remedies, exercise, and lifestyle changes, though not every chiropractor explores those alternatives.

All are intended to facilitate a body’s natural healing, Good said.

Kodi Panzer, another Hillsboro chiropractor, said nutritional therapies required more commitment than prescription medication.

Chiropractors in Kansas are licensed by the Board of Healing Arts, which also licenses physicians and osteopaths, chiropractor Bruce Skiles of Marion said.

Chiropractic and medical care can complement each other well, Good said.

“I feel like without both, our health care system would be a disaster,” he said.

Last modified July 1, 2009

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