What is Integrative/Holistic Health?
Integrative Health combines conventional Western medicine with the more-traditionally Eastern-based complementary and alternative health therapies. It is a patient-centred approach to wellness and a healing process that focuses on the whole person - mind, body, and spirit, rather than just treating disease symptoms.
A wonderful and more detailed description of these therapies can be found at Mt. Royal University's website: Click HERE.
What this means is that we do not try to replace the care by physicians and other hospital and clinic-based primary healthcare providers. We encourage our clients to obtain a medical diagnosis of their condition before visiting us, and in fact require physician consent for some conditions and treatments. We want to work in conjunction with your health care team. However, where Integrative Health differs is that we believe a person often has the ability to heal themselves with the right tools and we believe in the power of the mind and spirit to create meaningful and measurable physiological changes. We therefore use mind-body interventions and energy healing to go beyond just our anatomical forms.
What About the Placebo Effect?
My response to this one is always a resounding "WHO CARES????" If the end result is to be free of pain and suffering, does it really matter whether that result was achieved because of something "scientifically proven effective" or because the person's mind only thought it was going to work so it did? Are you really going to walk up to someone who is finally off the meds they have been taking most of their life and say it doesn't count because it was only due to a placebo effect? In any case, we don't look at the placebo affect as being some false belief that something worked; it is simply a demonstration of how powerful the mind is in helping to heal the body. What the mind believes, the body can achieve.
Are Natural and Holistic Treatments Safe?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Like everything, many natural and holistic treatments do have some risks associated with them, particularly if used by someone unqualified, if used in an inappropriate manner, if abused, or if the person receiving the treatments has not been open and honest about pre-existing conditions, medications or supplements that could be contraindicated. Natural does not always mean safe.
Review any known risks with your practitioner before receiving treatment, and do your own research to see what is out there (keeping in mind the source of information). Ultimately it boils down to your personal comfort level about what and who you want to trust. Some people would take a scientific study that included 10 people as being more valid and trust-worthy than purely anecdotal evidence, even if the anecdotal evidence is based on use by entire populations all over the world for centuries. It is up to you.
Keep in mind that not everything works for everyone. Just as with some medications and medical treatments, natural health therapies can be individual-specific. For some it won't work at all, some might require additional treatments or modifications to be effective, and the next person might walk out after one treatment feeling like it was life-changing. People being told to stay away from a product or service because it is stupid pseudoscience just because it didn't work for a portion of the population could be cheating someone out of relief from pain and suffering.
While some holistic treatments carry serious risks, so do 'scientifically studied' and government-approved options. Just check out the side effects and even deaths caused by many Health Canada-approved medications. Yet one natural anti-anxiolytic that could help many people get off their prescribed medications is banned for commercial sale in Canada because of "health risks", even though more people die from shark attacks or a coconut to the head than by taking it. "Safe" is often relative to who stands to profit from it.
Either way, you will find lots of information both for and against most natural treatments online, and it is your health, so it is up to you to make a personal decision about which side you want to stand on.
Therapy is too expensive. Can't I just do it on my own at home?
We will let you read our blog for an answer on this one:
I see some hypnotherapists charging almost double. Why are you so much less?
Rest assured, paying less does not mean you are getting some back-alley quack with no skills or training! Our lower price and the lower price charged by many of the hypnotists who share our space is also not meant to devalue the industry or its many wonderful benefits. At Healing Vibrations Wellness Centre, we understand that for people to make meaningful changes in their life they should be willing to invest in themselves, and we also know very well how expensive running a practice is - standard business operating expenses plus the education to get us where we are, continuing education, memberships, websites, advertising, etc. are not cheap, not to mention for some practitioners their practice is their sole income and it therefore needs to provide a decent living wage.
However, we also understand that there are a lot of people who want to make changes in their lives and will be fully committed to doing so, but they just do not have the financial means to pay for treatments not covered by most health plans. Unlike many of our colleagues, we have chosen to specialize on a few key areas, and one of our focuses as a wellness centre is on stress management. Given that financial burden is one of the top-reported causes of stress, we do not want to be adding to that by putting people into debt while trying to get well. We want to be as affordable as possible for as many people as possible, while recognizing that it is still a business.
For those who have the means and feel the service is worth so much more, we graciously accept tips from those who can afford to pay more and want to do so, though they are by no means expected. We also welcome "Good Vibes" donations to help subsidize those whose health is improving but they just cannot afford to continue with treatments. If finances are the only thing standing in the way of you getting the help you need, we can have a discussion about pricing and payment methods.