VitalityLink was recently featured in an article in the Globe & Mail when we talked about the stigma attached to the use of holistic healthcare.
A lot of people who commented voiced concerns about complementary medicine that often come up when it gets discussed. In particular, many have reservations based on the idea that these therapies are not backed up by scientific evidence (if you’re in the field, you have certainly heard ‘snake oil’ at least once!)
Stories frequently come to us from people who have struggled to find a treatment for their condition and have exhausted the options conventional medicine has to offer without finding a solution. They are often grounded, professional people holding down responsible jobs and have no background in holistic healthcare. These people are able to find relief from pain and suffering through modalities they might never have considered otherwise.
It is also important to understand that there are a whole range of treatments based on different ideas, philosophies and research. Some users may not find an energy healing modality like Reiki to be right for them but might find huge relief from a condition like arthritis through Tai Chi or Massage. Holistic healthcare recognises that every individual is unique and that a treatment takes into account a range of factors, both emotional physical, when finding a way to treat them.
It is important for people who use these therapies to have all the information they need to make their decision. For some users it is important to see that a therapy has been investigated by western medicine before they are willing to commit to it. That’s why we are in the process of researching all of the modalities featured on our site and finding the studies that relate to them. We want to make sure our users are as well informed as possible. But many more people recognize that holistic treatments predate western medicine and that they cannot always be effectively evaluated by traditional research. For these folks, we also seek out the stories of people who have been helped by these therapies. Seeing how others have found wellness again through these practices is an important factor for many people in deciding what route they will go down to finding a treatment that is right for them.
Lastly, the treatment that works for one person with a particular condition may or may not be effective for another (or it may work at one point in time and not at another) – the most important thing is being able to explore the variety of options and find the ones that offer hope for you in your whole person and with whatever condition and pains and challenges (physical or emotional) you may have. There is hope out there, and pain is not the end of the story.
We are thrilled by the discussion the Globe and Mail article is generating, and invite you to participate and share your own experiences and stories. It seems a shame that even exploring these treatments should carry a stigma when they are able to help so many people overcome pain and get back to their normal lives.
One day, holistic health will be as acceptable as any other form of treatment, and working together, we can all help to bring that day closer!