I never realized how difficult it would be to be a homeopath. I never expected that I would have to continually fight for a place at the table and explain why my voice should even be relevant in a health discussion. I never thought that people could be so adamantly opposed or closed to something they didn’t understand or have knowledge about.
Despite the fact that homeopathy is a regulated health profession in Ontario since 2015 and that it is widely practiced by medical professionals in Europe, parts of Asia and Central America, homeopathy continues to be called a placebo medicine, quackery, and in general is poorly received by health care professionals and lay persons in North America.
Mention the word homeopathy and the response is usually – “What is that?,” or “That’s naturopathy, right?” Sadly, so many people are misinformed or ignorant about homeopathy because current mainstream views of health, wellness, disease and illness are strongly (and almost entirely) influenced by the media and pharmaceutical companies…and they are definitely NOT pro-homeopathy. But even more frustratingly, people continue to choose to be misinformed, uninformed or closed to homeopathy. Even though research has shown its effectiveness and people continue to testify to the miraculous power of homeopathy, people remain adamant that traditional mainstream medicine is the best (and often) the only treatment option until there is no other option but to try another system of medicine.
Don’t get me wrong here. I believe that we need doctors and pharmaceuticals. In fact, as a nurse, I highly value evidenced based practice and scientific research and the work of our medical doctors. But even more so, I’m a person who believes in health, healing, a holistic and individualized approach, empowering people and using what God has given us to bring healing to people.
Why choose to ignore something that has been around for 200+ years, has shown itself effective (and actually the most effective medicine in epidemics) over the past 2 centuries and has been a powerful medicine when mainstream medicines have failed or there are no other options?
I’ve come to the conclusion that it is because healthcare is a belief system – and that people buy into that belief system, just as someone would commit to a religion or system of beliefs. That is a POWERFUL thing! Think about it! When you commit to a certain systems of beliefs, you accept what is approved by the system (whether you understand it or not), and you refuse to accept (or don’t easily accept) that which is not acceptable by that same system.
This is in no way a judgment on people’s choices or beliefs but an explanation as to why it is so hard for some people to open themselves up to a different way of thinking about and treating illness and disease. This is a question about an unwillingness to entertain a thought that another system of healthcare could possibly work better even when the current system is not capable of solving all problems or looking at things holistically.
This is a statement that I hope challenges people to consider other options of healthcare that might actually work better for their healing and provide solutions and hope for a better future.
Let’s stop believing that what the media states as true or false about homeopathy or other ‘alternative’ medicines is the only truth. Let’s start asking questions that don’t lead you down a path to answers that suit your agenda but create space for other options that could mean the difference between a short-term problem becoming a chronic disease or long-term pharmaceutical drug use.
This is about HOPE. Hope for healthcare that provides answers and solutions to people suffering from un-diagnosed or chronic illness, unaffordable prescription medication and long-term painful medication side effects. This is about looking at healthcare from a realistic, sustainable and holistic perspective. This is about buying into a belief system that inherently values healing, holism, and individualized healthcare. I don’t know about you, but that is something I want and want the next generation to have.
So instead, next time you read a newspaper article disparaging ‘alternative’ health professionals or questioning the science behind other health disciplines or you find yourself a part of a discussion about the validity of homeopathy, I challenge you to ask yourself a few of the following questions:
- Since when did any one system have all the “right” answers? (Remember our current medical system’s roots began with blood-letting and massive doses of arsenic and mercury just 200 years ago!)
- Does your doctor always get it right or provide a solution to your health problems? (I mean, we are all human, right?)
- Do the drugs you take always work and have you taken into consideration the drug’s adverse effects or side effects?
- Do you understand how the drugs you take work – and if not, do you ever question your doctor about how they work, where they work in the body and what kind of side effects they have short-term or long-term?
- Have you done your research and chatted with the right people? (For example, go to a homeopath or osteopath, talk with them, ask them questions instead of reading another article biased against them!)
- Have you considered that this ‘alternative’ treatment might actually work and have a proven track record? (Look at the 500+ year history of Chinese Medicine or Ayurvedic Medicine or the system in India which combines allopathic & homeopathic medicine – and how effective these systems of medicines are even to this current day).
- Have you considered that the way you evaluate a treatment might not actually be the only or the best way? There are other ways that you might not be understand given your educational background and the scientific paradigm you’ve been brought up in (What I mean by paradigm is the lens which you view something).
Our current health care system is an incredible resource to those suffering from any kind of health issue. But the system is overburdened and the cost of healthcare is high and unsustainable. There are other options. There are more holistic options that allow for more empowered health and wellness! Let’s look to and build into a future that is informed, holistic and empowering!