Madeline woke up in the middle of the night screaming and holding her ears. She could not be consoled. Even putting her in bed with me and my husband – something we don’t usually do – could not get her to calm down. I gently swabbed a little melaleuca oil on a Q-tip inside her ear. In fifteen minutes, she was out like a light. She still wasn’t feeling great the next morning and my husband suggested urgent care. I insisted on trying the melaleuca oil a little longer. By lunchtime, she was outside riding her bike.

A high fever or a spiking heart rate, difficulty breathing, excessive vomiting, are all key signs that you need a doctor, but Western medicine has become about reactive treatment, not preventive.

If Madeline’s ears had gotten worse, we definitely would have taken her to the doctor. But this was just another example of how the doctor isn’t always needed.

Here are some other alternatives to think about:


I am such a baby about needles, I practically have to take Xanax before getting my blood drawn. The first time I went to an acupuncturist, I was so stressed about the needles, I was sure it wasn’t worth it. But then I realized how easy it was. Yeah, it pinches just a teensy bit, but just for a second. The acupuncturist will ask you about your health, what’s going on in your life, if there are any chronic issues. Then you lie down, they put tiny needles in your skin and you totally relax. One of my marketing staff was cured of lifelong constipation literally overnight. Within a week, she was complaining that she couldn’t understand how people did this EVERY DAY, sometimes more than once!


Sleeping and asthma meds were the last two things to go when I switched to a holistic lifestyle. I couldn’t understand how essential oils were going to help, but one night I filled a diffuser with a blend of lavender, chamomile, sweet marjoram and a few other oils, shoved my face in the mist and slept so hard for eight hours, I didn’t even wake up to pee. Your olfactory sense plays a huge role in how the brain functions, which is why the aroma of essential oils can be so beneficial, but they can be applied topical and even in some cases digested too.


Oil pulling sounds gross and kind of is at first, but it really works! And, it is part of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healthcare tradition that incorporates eating only foods that are in season, herbs, yoga, massage and breathing techniques that are intended to treat mind, body and spirit. My husband loves berries, is always asking for them, but berries aren’t in season in the fall. Apples are. The acid in apples is cleansing our systems and that’s what we should be eating – not strawberries from Guatemala. Even Madeline’s body knows what it needs right now: “Mama, can you get me an apple cutted?”


A chiropractor saved my life. They’re not just back crackers. Chiropractors really look at how the whole body works from the inside out. When I got really sick a few years ago, no medical doctor could figure out what was wrong with me. I got every test under the sun, CT scans, MRIs, endoscopies, colonoscopies. I was still throwing up constantly and couldn’t walk. A chiropractor looked at my tongue, took my pulse and said your body is shutting down and your liver isn’t functioning. He got me on a new regimen and here I am today. It’s more than that our vertebrae that are out of alignment.

Traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine

I honestly don’t know much about these two methods. The herbs can have a strong flavor to them, but there’s so much more than just herbs. Both practices treat ailments with herbs, dietary modification, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture. Some of it sounds pretty out there to the Westerner, but the Tibetans and Chinese have survived on it for thousands of years.

I’ve really only scratched the surface on the world of alternative healthcare, but hopefully this gives a brief overview of some words you might have heard. If you’re really interested in trying something different but are afraid to go all in, make an appointment at an alternative wellness center. You’ll find MDs that are also trained in alternative wellness and will help you find the method that’s right for you. There are very few scientific studies out for most of these alternatives and very little of the results are conclusive.

Listen to your body and go with what works for you. @hayleyhobson (Click to Tweet!)

Be smart about it! I don’t want your arm falling off because you swore acupuncture was going to save it!

I just gave you a really brief description of some types of alternative wellness. Do you have a method you are getting results from?

XO Hayley

Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.