Radical Queer healing™
This here is an introduction to me, Lark Malakai Grey, and to what it means to me to be a Radical Queer Healer™ (this is not actually trademarked).
I live with my partner and three adorable pit bulls named Jezebel, Rufio, and Inigo Montoya. I also have a betta fish named Rogelio de la Vega, and approximately 50 thousand house plants. I grow a lot of food. I love Buffy, Harry Potter, queer YA fantasy novels, and fiction podcasts. I have a ton of tattoos. I am a nonbinary transmasc human (he/him or they/them) who lives with an invisible disability (EDS) and serious mental illness. I am a Pisces, Scorpio rising (I’ll allow you a moment here to shed a compassionate tear for me), a Gryffindor, and an INFJ.
A lot of alternative healthcare providers believe a lot of shenanigans about the human body, and I wouldn’t ask you to trust or listen to me without some information about which specific shenanigans I subscribe to, so...
here is a list of things I do and don’t believe in:
I DON'T like kale that much. This isn't a belief, but kale is a trigger-word for a lot of folks and I just want to put it out there that I honestly am more of a chard fan. And more importantly, that I don't think either of these things is a miracle cure.
I DON’T believe that yoga or meditation are the answer to all your problems. Like every disabled person, I have been told to do yoga so many times that it makes me want to throw things. As a person whose disability causes hypermobility (aka yoga makes my body fall apart), I take this suggestion as evidence that the suggester hates me. And as someone with anxiety, I consider meditation a form of torture.
::That being said, I totally recommend these things to my clients all the time. They are proven to help with pain and depression, so okay, I put them out there as options.
However: 1) I recommend them with a ton of caveats about how it’s super okay if they don’t want to/can’t and I’m sorry for being another person bringing it up. 2) I recommend them only as co-therapies, because they reduce stress which reduces symptoms, 3) I always tell my clients that if trying to incorporate them causes stress they should stop, and 4) I usually include them only as part of a long list of potential stress reducers, including going outside, drawing, and “whatever it is that you like to do but don’t give yourself time for.” These things are not going to magic away your symptoms. Everyone needs to stop saying they will.::
I DO believe in acupuncture, because it's been proven to work.
I DON’T believe in homeopathy. Homeopathy just isn't my flavor of woo. Every study shows that it works no better than placebo. That being said, placebo is a pretty great medicine! Our body’s ability to heal is pretty dependent on our beliefs about whether or not we can. I never tell my clients who are into homeopathy that they should stop using it. And for those of you who are super mad at me right now, I say the same to you—go forth and get your placebo on. It’ll probably help.
I DO believe in crystals for healing. There’s no evidence to back this up, but I am a witch and witches love a crystal. I have literally told a client who asked point blank for my opinion on homeopathy that it was shenanigans and they should go buy some onyx to keep in their pocket instead. I always have crystals in my pockets. #SkepticalWitch
I DON’T believe that it’s easy to start healing this way. It’s super hard to shift your diet around, to have to say “no” to things that are offered to you (even when you know the food will make you feel bad, this is still hard!), and to give up* foods that you loved but turns out make you sick. What these changes are are different for every human, because everyone’s body is different. (No joke, a friend’s kid will turn completely white, vomit, and have a migraine for two days if she chews a piece of gum with blue #40 in it. Kiddo has to say no to every piece of food with artificial dye in it). But I DO believe that it becomes easier. Once you know what better feels like, feeling better becomes way more enticing than the trigger food. I had to give up dairy (among other things, including wine, chocolate, and bread, so don’t ask me on a romantic picnic date), and it was SO HARD—until the first time I ate cheese after quitting, when I realized that not only were my guts sad for days, but the sinus symptoms that used to be normal for me came back for a month! I so profoundly do not miss saturating three hankies a day that that’s all I have to think of in order to pass up pizza. No one wants that much snot. It’s not worth it.
*Important note: I am all about replacing rather than eliminating. Whenever possible, I work with folks to find satisfying alternatives to the things their bodies want them to forgo. I want healing to be as stress-free as possible!
I DO believe that psychiatric medications can be super helpful. The violence perpetrated on folks with mental illness by a lot of practitioners in my corner of the world fills me with rage. You are not weak if you take psych meds. You don’t just need to drink more water/do more yoga/eat more kale. Mental illness is complicated and difficult and there’s no simple fix for it. Do your meds make you feel better? Take them! I take mine. Do you think meds are terrible and avoid them at all costs? That’s cool too! My point here is that I think you should do what works for you.
I DO (also) believe in the gut-brain axis. Healing your gut can totally reduce (but probably not eradicate) the impact of mental illness. Also, not being in pain/discomfort all the time makes living a hell of a lot easier. So yes, take probiotics, drink bone broth, eat healthy food (read: feeds beneficial bacteria/doesn’t promote the bad guys/doesn’t make you sick/heals your gut). And take your meds and/or go to therapy and/or do the things that help you manage your illness.
I DO believe in vaccines. I believe that everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. I think it’s sinister to put anyone at risk of preventable diseases. I think that it’s absurd to make decisions based on a study that has been disproven oodles of times. And I especially believe that being antivax is super ableist and shitty.
I DON’T believe in weight as a litmus for health. I think it’s absurd that anyone would look only at the outside of someone’s body to determine how “healthy” that person is, rather than their symptoms and physical experience in their body. My only goal as a healer is making your body a comfortable place to live. When clients come to me to lose weight, I straight up refuse to address their care plan from that angle. My goal is to help your body start functioning at its own personal optimal level, and if weight changes are part of that, they’ll happen as you heal. It doesn’t work the other way around, despite what doctors seem to think.
I DO believe in trusting tangible evidence above all else. Sometimes (often?) the information out there in the just doesn’t work for making people feel better. That’s why folks seek out people like me. I trust results. I trust what people report. The reason there are so many conflicting studies is because studies often isolate things to a point where they don’t actually represent reality. So even when science says there isn’t evidence that something works (such as, “diet has no role in Crohn’s disease”), I trust what I see in my clients. And I’m really good at making people feel better.
Want to know more? Set up a Clarity Call!