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Tuesday, March 1, 2005

LIFELINES

More pet care, honey and advice on quacks


Pet service

In reply to a dog owner in Tokyo last year seeking a sitter or pet hotel while abroad, here are Susan and Takashi Shiobara with a great service: Pet Mate, located in the Fuchu/Koganei area of west Tokyo, offers petsitting at the owner's home while they're away as well as dog walking services any time. Call for information in either English or Japanese on (042) 302-1808.

"My husband and I are the owners/walkers; we're in our 10th year serving both the foreign and Japanese community out here," they write.

Physio cover

Roger asks: "What is the Japanese equivalent to a physiotherapist in Canada and the U.S.? My doctor in Canada recommended that I find one here to work on my posture and bad back. And is such treatment covered under national health insurance?"

In Japan, a physiotherapist ("butsuri ryohoshi") is concerned with rehabilitation and generally works in a hospital.

There are also clinics. My own in Zushi, where I went for help with frozen shoulders (now back to normal) and arthritic joints from neighbour Yuta Ito (046-873-6046) is called the Bone Setters Clinic ("Honetsugi").

Establishments such as these grew out of a Meiji Period declaration that provided blind people with work as masseurs and judo trainers additional income. Because many of these do accept insurance, so limiting income, patients tend to be packed in fast and furious.

My advice then is to either find a good seitai chiropractor like Yuta, who specializes in sorting out skeletal-based problems, often based on bad posture, or go to a Feldenkreis specialist, whose holistic treatments are based on the way you move and use your body. Check out www.naturalhealingcenter.com for specialists in both fields, or rely on word of mouth.

Holistic quackery?

In response to the search for a holistic dentist (Lifelines; Feb. 8), Donald had a chronic tooth pain problem that lasted from 1998 to 2002. "I was desperate and tried many doctors and treatments." The consensus diagnosis was "atypical neuropathic pain."

Since this is a problem with the trigeminal nerve and there's no definitive treatment, "I got conned by a 'holistic dentist', flying from Tokyo to Columbus, Ohio, where the doctor said I had NICO (dead areas in the bone) and scraped away some bone. His bill came to about $5000. The treatment hurt and didn't solve the problem, so it was a waste of time and money."

Later Donald found Quackwatch online, which says that the NICO treatment is a scam, and that the entire "biological dentistry" area should be regarded with great caution.

Here's their take: www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/cavitation.html

Honey

Ahmad is also looking for raw unprocessed honey which is pesticide-free and contains all the natural components, e.g: pollen, propolis and wax., etc all in one. Since N.Z. is nuclear free and environmentally conscious, their honey is most probably as about as natural as you can get. Check out organic Maori-recommended Manuka honey on www.store.thewildbee.com/ind.html

For further suppliers try www.organicsnewzealand.org.nz

Closer to home, Tengu Natural Foods in Saitama (0429-85 8751) stock organic honey from various sources. Check out their catalog on www.alishan-organic-center.com/en/tengu

Other places to shop include Natural House ( www.naturalhouse.co.jp ) with stores in Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Kanagawa, Kobe, Kochi, Kyoto, Osaka, Saitama, Shizuoka and Tokyo.

Warabe Mura ( www.warabe.co.jp/english.html ) is an organic and macrobiotic wholefoods mail order company based in Gifu Prefecture.

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp


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