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Tips For Choosing The Best Alternative Health Practitioner For Your Needs: Important Questions

Chinese Medicine Herbs

Re-posted from Michelle's Weebly blog

A lot of people write to me asking questions about which type(s) of alternative healing/complimentary medicine might be most helpful to them and about how they should go about choosing a practitioner. Unfortunately, some of those who come to me for advice only ask this question after being taken advantage of by someone who took their money and ran, without helping the problem/ailment that they promised to help with. While only YOU can decide upon the right kind of healing work for you, here is my response: BE CAREFUL. First, always, always, always follow your intuition (not your ego)! Someone may have an exciting sounding company name or a flashy, trendy new type of healing technique that they advertise...but does that FEEL right to you and for your needs? Is it something you feel drawn to for healing purposes serving the highest and best good, not something that stokes your ego because it is "cool" sounding or part of some new pop culture technique? Some of the newer techniques are wonderful. But, when in doubt, I would recommend going with techniques that have been around for a long time, since these have proven results, and have a solid foundation with teachers or mentors who follow the progress of their students and future practitioners, training and guiding them in positive ways and preparing them for all kinds of potential situations with future clients. These are usually a safe bet. Next, AFTER doing some basic research about the practice, technique, and practitioner, check in with yourself to see if this type of healing work really resonates with you. Does the person who will be working with you logically and intuitively seem trustworthy? Have you heard recommendations for this type of healing work or for this healing practitioner from others you trust? What is the cost per visit? How does it compare to your local "going rate" for this service? Is the practitioner/practice owner willing to work with you (or, depending upon the type of healing work, willing to work with your insurance company) to have reasonable rates and/or a payment plan or barter system for services rendered? Is this a licensed business? Also, does the person doing the healing work have any type of licensure/certification/formal or informal education, or at least some solid references or testimonials proving that he/she has had ample training and practice with success or had someone who taught or mentored him/her during the learning process, so that he/she can help you properly balance your energy and not have any ill or unintended effects from the work being done? For example, if someone is running a sweat lodge, who taught him/her how to do this with the necessary respect, reverence, and the years of training and discipline to keep those participating in the extremely high temperatures safe? Remember what was in the news about this very subject just a few years ago? A man who owned a new age spa/alternative healing complex had no formal training, but was a great salesman who was very convincing. He became fabulously wealthy and famous almost overnight...and is now in jail for his part in several people dying in an unsafe, plastic-covered sweat lodge structure, for which he charged his clients hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars to participate in...which is contrary to the belief of indigenous peoples...sweat lodges are supposed to be FREE or by-donation only. This is a worst-case scenario, but shows just how much people can be taken advantage of if they don't do their homework. If practitioners can't answer your questions directly about the training they have taken part in, or if they tell you they were just "given" their "talents" by their guides or they read a book or two or took a weekend class or two...that may be a big indicator (not always, but frequently in my experience) that this person may be out to become famous--meaning that he or she is working from a place of EGO, which means he or she is not truly a "hollow bone" who is going to be helping others without expectations of riches and fame in return. Again, this is not always the case, but does happen. Also, if they do or say anything that feels disrespectful, belittling, or inappropriate, that is a reason to get out of there asap! Or, he/she may just be looking to jump on the alternative healing bandwagon to make some fast money at your expense and may not have enough training to help you with your issue(s) safely. Or, even worse, this person could be a sort of "energy vampire" who seeks out people who are feeling hurt or weak to take advantage of and manipulate/ please do your homework and at least a little bit of research before choosing an alternative health practitioner for common sense and for your own safety! It is your choice whether or not you want to work with someone following an ego-based belief system. Remember, you DO NOT have to give your power away to anyone to get better. Your healing options are ultimately your choice and no one else's...and your wishes and beliefs, your wallet, your space, and your comfort level with all aspects of healing should ALWAYS be respected. It never hurts to ask some questions and to check in with your own intuition before proceeding forward. In my experience, it is a smart idea to ask questions and to find a healing practitioner whose belief system/intentions are at least somewhat in line with your own. In almost all cases, it is not enough to just be born with talent. In fact, on some level EVERYONE is born with talents in some aspects of healing work. Healers of any type need to practice and fine tune their skills, applying self discipline and a just, respectful, compassionate way of life as a basis for their work. Pretty much anyone can learn to do this type of work...if they are open to it and willing to put the time, effort, care, and necessary training and practice into it first. Finally, feel free to ask exactly how much training and experience your potential healing practitioners have. What type of business ethics do they follow? Why did they go into this business? Is the business insured with liability insurance for their protection and for yours, in case something like a slip and fall incident happens? What are their goals for their clients and for the future of their business? Feel free to get all the help that you need. But, make sure it feels "right" to you intuitively and that you have done some research before committing to anything. You have a right to ask these questions and any others you feel are important for your treatment and care. If this is an ethical, trustworthy practitioner with good intentions and enough training and experience with whatever type of healing work they participate in, they will take the time to answer your questions and concerns and will be respectful of your unique situation...before they begin charging you for their time.

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