With the rise of trends, what was once nomenclature in my line of work has transformed into buzz words, and spurred nearly a death sentence for originality and an approach to holistic medicine. A practice that pre-dates any documented science and essentially touches the earliest human history.
Holistic Practitioner is a term that applies to a broad spectrum. A holistic practitioner is not, by default, a Naturopath, which is a Dr. of Natural Medicine. Any doctor could choose to study and become a holistic practitioner to grow their practice. Functional Medicine doctors are a new(ish) breed who focus on Western Medicine and Science but bring in aspects of Naturopathic Medicine.
By definition, counseling is an example of pseudoscience and yet is an accepted method of healing. While some aspects of Holistic Medicine are considered pseudoscience, not all methods categorized under Holistic Practice are. Science is slowly catching up to evidence-based, proven, and measurable results that our ancestors knew for centuries. There are several mainstream scientists, doctors, and other leading experts in medical science who have been sharing and showcasing this proof for the last 10+ years.
In a traditional village setting, each member would have a role within the community. There will be many jobs within the village: hunters, warriors, foragers, those who mend clothing and gear, cooks, gardeners, midwives, nannies, bonesetters, and medicine men. Children are raised to learn each role, to be self-sufficient, and so that at any time each role is able to be replaced if need be. As they grow they find a role best suited for their skills and that is the way. A medicine man is not gender-specific, but always called the same name, and could be male or female. Perhaps they are called Shaman, Piache, Kahuna, Witch Doctor, and so on depending on what part of the world. Of these, there is usually only one or two for a village at a time, and they spend their entire life training for the role, being taught firsthand by the one before them.
It is difficult to imagine this person being ill-fit for the job. The village relies on their medicine man to bridge the gap between this solid world and the realm of spirit. They rely on the medicine man to show them where to hunt, when the rain will come, and to help them prepare for the future. When sadness plagues the village, the medicine man is the healer, they are the one who brings Spirit near so they will feel peace again. If someone is ailing and it is beyond the realm of the bonesetters and midwives, the medicine man is up to bat. The medicine man knows how emotions and thoughts can poison the spirit, eventually causing disease. They know how to cleanse a body of spiritual illness and make way for healing.
Holistic Medicine was the first way of medicine, it is engraved in our DNA and part of being human. It has survived colonization, genocide, slavery, wars, and time. A critical point is to give yourself the chance to develop discernment and critical thinking. Opportunities for this learning come through experiencing a range of Practitioners; and discovering for yourself who is genuine. One simple code that was passed down to me is this Work only with someone you would trust with your life.
Keep it in mind, if you like, and get a feel for practitioners. Who feels nourishing as opposed to seductive?
The practices which have been passed down to me, through lineage and blood are held sacred and I respect them as such. People often have questions before working together, and if you are curious about what to expect please read here.
I honor the first peoples, the peoples of this land, and those who came before me and those who will come after.
- Laurën Blūm -