If It Helps, Then That’s What Matters

I’ve said this to my patients. I’ve said this to my clients. I’ve said this to my loved ones. If it helps, then that’s what matters.

What am I talking about? I am talking about the care and services that people seek out when they are not well, struggling with an illness, or managing a chronic condition. The help may come from the mainstream medical field by way of working with a physician or nurse practitioner…it may be a medication, a therapy, a surgery. Or the help may come from outside of the mainstream medical field such as massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic, etcetera. In this message that I convey – I want these people to understand that we as human beings have the right to heal and that the avenues of healing are many. There is no right or wrong way. There is only the way that serves the person best, to be determined by the person who is struggling and the health providers they choose to work with.

I feel strongly that we are interconnected, physical, emotional, energetic, spiritual beings. Those components are not separate, but deeply integrated and tangled to the point where healing cannot take place in one component alone. Therefore, it is fair to say that I believe that healing happens when the these interconnected components are balanced, in harmony, and served equally.

Unfortunately, there seems to be this battle between the mainstream medical field and the complementary/alternative/integrative/functional health fields. I have been a holistic health practitioner for nearly 18 years and I thought that the two sides of the healthcare field were endeavoring to build a bridge. And I am not sure why we’re here. Why this battle seems to be ramping up. So I wanted to explore this notion a bit today. I’m not going too deep, but I’ve got to explore to get this little gnawing sensation out of my brain.

In my opinion, there was never meant to be one or two designations leading the charge for the field of medicine. There are many walks of life, there are many types of medicine. But the American Medical Association does a good job of stamping out any health practice that hasn’t completed the rigors of medical school, residency, and beyond. The AMA’s main mode of action is to call any practice that veers from the medical field quackery. Which is significantly confusing for patients, especially if the quackery in question is THE THING that is helping them feel better!

I get it…there are questionable practices out there. In great numbers. In BOTH the mainstream medical field and the complementary/alternative/integrative/functional health fields. My confusion comes from this lack of a bridge between the two sides. Why haven’t we evolved and adapted? Most of us entered into the health fields because we wanted to help people. So if we really are motivated to improve the health of our communities and actually help people, then we should really stop opposing each other and be willing to learn from each other.

Again, my opinion…The monopoly on healthcare is a failure. Our medical system is horrifically broken. We the People have never been so sick. So in my mind, it’s all hands on deck. And perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to shift the mindset away from the battle toward a more accepted view that holds space for these two sides of the health field to work in harmony? Would it be so hard to agree that if it helps, then that’s what matters? I really don’t think so. But that’s me.


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