Salazar initiates Alternative Medicine club – Luther College Chips


Alexis Olson (‘20) and Erin Haefner (‘20) practice alternative medicine techniques.

Alexis Olson (‘20) and Erin Haefner (‘20) practice alternative medicine techniques.

Madeline Ajack (’20) | Chips

Madeline Ajack (’20) | Chips

Alexis Olson (‘20) and Erin Haefner (‘20) practice alternative medicine techniques.

Madeline Ajack, Staff Writer

Kathy Salazar (’17) created an Alternative Medicine club with the help of Doctor David Gehling from Decorah Chiropractic in hopes of providing students with information on alternative medicine.

The club had its first meeting the week of April 12 and meetings will continue into the next year.  Alternative medicine is defined as therapies and treatments that are implemented as substitutes for other mainstream medical therapies and treatments. Students involved in the alternative medicine club will study these therapies and treatments scientifically and academically. 

The alternative medicine club is lead by both Salazar and Gehling. Gehling will teach students about different kinds of alternative medicine. As a certified chiropractor he brings a professional view on alternative medicine.

“The club began because I’ve had great experiences with alternative medicine,” Salazar said. “I wanted other people to know that it’s another option along with traditional methods of medicine.”

The alternative medicine club will meet approximately twice a month. The first meeting is going to be lecture-based with guest speakers and seminars from Gehling. The second meeting of the month will be a hands-on learning experience with alternative medicine.

“Meetings will consist of Gehling coming and speaking, maybe bringing some of his equipment too,” Salazar said. “He also suggested heading into the labs to work with some anatomical structures. He wants people who are going into medicine to understand that when patients come to them with questions about alternative medicine that they can say that ‘Yes, this is real and it works.’”

A January term class for first-year students allows students to explore the world of alternative medicine. Students, such as Alexis Olson (‘20), learned how to reverse a human’s natural energy, how to use herbs to help remedy illnesses, and different points on the body that can be massaged to counter chronic pains.

“It was fun to explore different therapies that I’d never heard of before,” Olson said. “I had so much fun in this class, and I actually use the remedies that we were provided in class.”

One of the techniques Olson learned in class is reversing someone’s energy.

“The purpose of reversing energy is to stay focused,” Olson said. “It also helps maintain someone’s positive energy flow and recharge yourself.”

Similar to the class, the club will give people an introduction to alternative medicine and how it can be used in everyday life. Those who attend club meetings will research and experiment with the scientific aspects of alternative medicine.

“Basically this club would be a resource for students,” Salazar said. “You don’t get this kind of exposure in Decorah, IA. It’s made my life better, honestly.”

In other parts of the world, these alternative medicine practices are commonly used in everyday life. Current members were drawn to the club for many reasons.

“When I was growing up I had a lot of exposure to different kinds of alternative medicine,” Haley Ogoy (‘17) said. “I always thought it was fascinating having grown up in Juneau, AK, and I wanted to help people have a better understanding of alternative medicine.”

Another focus of the group is to help medical students to expand their knowledge of different treatments, therapies, and remedies outside of the traditional methods. These include home remedies that are easily accessible to all people.

“I think, especially for pre-med students, Luther prides itself on having a very well-rounded community,” Ogoy said. “This is just another way for people to discover new methods for treatments.”

Salzar hopes the club will help make Luther a more diversely educated community.

“Not only will this club be super helpful, especially to college students but it can help people find other career options through the club,” Salazar said.

Items such as acupuncture, chiropractic practices, cleansing diets, holistic healing, spiritual healing, herbs and oils, and meditation can all fall under the category of alternative medicine.

“Students would be using these skills on a day-to-day basis,” Salazar said. “It helps with stress and daily pains, it’s super useful.”

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