Wellness: Choosing a Holistic Practitioner, by Carolyn Belanger

Image credit: Tara Angkor Hotel

The time has come for a new healthcare paradigm that views the human being as more than simply the sum of its parts. Those who have long seen the reductionist western medical approach as the only valid means to healthcare, are now exploring some alternatives to symptom management and wellness maintenance. This can include healing services from an ever-growing list of holistic modalities, including Reiki, massage, acupuncture, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, acupressure, and aromatherapy, just to name a few. These types of therapies are part of an old yet reviving approach, referred to as holistic healing, that views the human being as a whole, made up of equal parts mind, body and spirit in which all components must be considered to elicit healing.

The general population is starting to become more aware of the positive possibilities that holistic healing can bring to our healthcare paradigm. But because holistic healing is not yet mainstream, some may still hold misconceptions that such services are random acts delivered by unsavory types in dodgy places, demanding payment up front.  Actually, holistic healing techniques are rooted in a spiritual science and becoming aware of how to access holistic healing services, including how to choose a healer that is the right fit for you, may very well resolve some of the intimidation around reaching out to one.

Holistic healing practitioners are often people who have felt a calling in their life to genuinely help others and have learned the art of their chosen healing technique solely to help you on your life’s journey to health and happiness. Therefore, trustworthy holistic healers are very forthcoming about their credentials. For example, credible holistic healing modalities are taught through institutions that certify their graduates, who are proud to obviously display these certifications in their healing environment for your reassurance. Healers can also choose to display documentation of being part of part an association or other such licensing body, which not only regulates and insures their practice, but also demonstrates their dedication to professionalism, as participating in such organizations is optional. 

When considering a holistic healer, you may also want to talk to them about their experience with their chosen healing modality, for example how long have they been practicing and if they have a particular demographic they specialize in. For example, a pregnant woman might not be well matched with a practitioner who specializes in elderly clients with Alzheimer’s. Once you have determined you are the right type of client for your practitioner, ask them what you can expect during a session to see if you will be comfortable with how the therapy is delivered. This may include a range of possibilities, including lying on a massage table between sheets, undressed to you level of comfort, to ingesting holistic prescriptions, to simply dialoguing over the phone. Determine if there are any side effects of the therapy and roughly how much time after the session will be needed for processing and integration.

Your intuition should be the main determinant in choosing a practitioner. If your first impression of them is a good one then this is likely an indication of good things to come. If instead you have a sense of unease and trepidation it is important to determine if this is because you are pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone trying something new, or if you are genuinely feeling uncomfortable with the practitioner. A good way to make the distinction is to picture them outside of their workplace, in an environment that is neutral for you. For example if you were to see them at your favorite coffee shop, would you feel comfortable striking up a conversation? If your reaction instead would be to walk the other way and avoid them, then this is not the right practitioner for you.

A holistic healing practitioner is out there to help you on your journey to well being. As awareness is brought to the barriers of accessing holistic healing, the benefits of its use will find its place in our healthcare system, aiding the transition to a more effective healthcare paradigm.

Carolyn Belangre

Carolyn Belanger holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and began her healthcare journey in emergency nursing before shifting to the role of a co-creative facilitator of healing. She graduated with a diploma in Five Elements Acupressure from the Canadian Acupressure College in 2013, and achieved SER2 Certification in Cranio-Sacral Therapy through the Upledger Institute the same year. Her life’s passion is to provide effective and informed healing for clients, facilitating their transformation from illness and injury to health and happiness, so that they may ultimately transcend to their greatest potential.

For more information about Carolyn, please visit cocreativehealing.ca.