Even though some holistic healing modalities pre-existed centuries before the medical system ever did.
With so many holistic healing choices and varying lingo, it’s hard to communicate in a unified manner. So, it’s understandable that using medical terms are easier.
However, if communicating in these terms with your holistic health practitioner, some understandings should be put in place first. This helps manage expectations and prevents miscommunication – especially since those medical terms are not part of the foundations of many holistic healing modalities.
Here are 3 questions NOT to ask your holistic health practitioner and some alternative considerations instead:
1. Can you cure me (of my health condition/disease diagnosis)?
For the holistic healing practitioner, who exist in many countries where the dominating health care is considered the medical system, this is a mine-field waiting to happen. Since, they can’t legally use the word ‘cure’ (among some other terms).
Anything that implies:
- Diagnosing a disease
- Treating a disease
- Curing a disease
Legally, we can’t say yes to this question – so it’s unintendedly loaded and a leading question to only one answer or a vague answer.
Holistic healing practitioners can’t diagnose, so technically, how can we even treat the health condition? Let alone ‘cure’ it.
While this can be explained, it also gives insight into the expectations of the client/potential client.
Who, rather than wanting to understand their body/self better or instill better self-care & health habits, is heavily focused on getting rid of the symptoms (or impending symptoms) they’re facing. Where’s the self-love in that?
It’s OK to initially communicate the diagnosis given by a doctor because it may make it easier to understand what’s been happening (a real benefit of the medical system is their documentation & protocols).
However, moving into discussing treatment of that diagnosis is a whole other territory.
Did you know that many holistic healing modalities fundamentally do not even view health/healing or do their healing work from the foundation of diseases, as they do in the medical system? So, there is no place for viewing the diagnosis as an ‘entity’ in their sessions.
Communicating the diagnosis does, however, give clues to symptoms (which is what many diagnoses is largely made up of) – and most holistic healing practitioners do want to hear about the symptoms that the client is experiencing.
The client experience is translatable.
ALTERNATIVE – Can we trial your modality/healing style and see if it helps ease my symptoms? What are your thoughts on this?
Sometimes a little bit of trial and error can give you more clues on what your body is needing from you.
A healing modality is not the guaranteed be-all and end-all for every situation. It’s just another option, another path on the journey. There are so many modalities out there that work with the body and healing with a slightly different view-point.
And that different point of view may be exactly what YOU need in your bio-individual case and for your healing journey. Regardless of your diagnosis.
Symptoms are only the tip of the iceberg. They don’t always indicate what’s happening under the surface. So, being heavily focused on ‘this symptom needs this modality’ before you’ve even trialed it on your body is likely going to lead to disappointment after disappointment.
Just because the symptoms are a problem for you, it may not actually be the ‘real’ problem for your body.
Better to view it all as another part of the journey or self-discovery.
2. Can you guarantee I’ll get better in XX sessions?
The short answer to this is – no, there are no guarantees. This is not buying a product from a store & checking whether they have it in stock and can deliver to your address.
And no one should be giving absolute guarantees, including your doctor.
And the question to this is – what does ‘getting better’ even mean? This is likely leaning towards the ‘can you ‘cure’ me?’ question again.
Putting a set number of sessions before even starting or before starting to gauge the body’s response is based on a very false ideal.
For one, it assumes everyone is at the same ‘starting line’. But that just simply isn’t true.
The 'all men are created equal' quote does not apply to health. The 'starting line' is different for each person, and so is the 'finish line'.
Not all health concerns are equal and you can’t expect the exact same speed of transformation for everything. You also can’t expect the same healing response for each person.
Secondly, it values EFFICIENCY over CARE & SUPPORT. Many times, the foundations need time to be built, before changes in health start to show. Going too fast can cause a healing crisis in some people too.
And sometimes, just knowing someone is there to support you no matter what is far more healing than any magic cure. Speed is not the healing some people need.
That being said, there are always some clients who have travelled extensively on their health journey, and only need 1 or 2 sessions from me because they’ve already uncovered a lot of what was going on under the surface.
It’s about what people need customised uniquely for them, not a standard set number.
ALTERNATIVE – What can I do to get the most out of working with you? What number of sessions do you feel will give me a good sense I’m on the right path still?
I’m going to say this with a disclaimer. You can ask your holistic healing practitioner and get their opinion or advice, but always check in with yourself whether it feels true and aligned.
This is the same with anything.
If you do have a moment in consciousness where you sense something is off (this is a SUPER important skill to develop, if you haven’t already – but understandably takes more focus in the face of personal health anxiety), then the best thing to do is to pose yourself the question.
“Is this really true for me?”
This is not a question that can be answered logically from the mind, but something you need to check in with your inner being.
If you just assume it’s true, and never question it, then all the work you do to deal with the problem at hand, the things that aren’t working, is futile. You’ll get run round in circles resolving things at the surface level and never getting to the root.
And whether or not you get a clear answer, the very fact that you are asking the question with this perspective is already moving you in the direction of willingness to hear and connect to your ability to effect change in your situation.
The time you take to enquire is priceless. It doesn’t matter how long it takes.
You are important. And your health is important.
While it would be nice to say exactly how fast a healing would take (holistic healers would love that just as much as clients), the energy you put into your healing journey & determining what support your body-mind vehicle needs is way more important than how long it takes.
3. Have you worked with my condition/diagnosis before?
Again, this is assuming the holistic healing practitioner works in the sphere of ‘treating conditions’. It’s also trying to ascertain guarantees, and truthfully there are no absolutes.
One of the biggest problems with this question is forgetting the bio-individuality of a person, and talking more about the diagnosed condition. As if the diagnosed condition actually exists (most are a collection of symptoms & observations/test results) rather than a person experiencing an imbalance.
Many holistic healing modalities focus on determining the bio-individuality of the person (within their field of focus) and many don’t even have within their protocols a method for any diagnosis. Instead, they have their own system based on the perspective of the bio-individual imbalance and work within that system to bring back into balance.
It’s folly to lump holistic healing and the medical treatment together as if they’re working from the same premises and concepts, although I believe there’s great capacity for the 2 to work together and potentially complement each other beautifully.
I don’t look at one being better than the other, they’re just different, but that an individual may want to take from either in a combination based on their needs in that circumstance. They are both working with helping people return to a state of health and functionality ~ with very different perspective on the method to try to achieve that.
Therefore, leave the diagnosis and treatment of that diagnosis with the doctor and find out how your holistic health practitioner of choice might look at your health situation to help communicate in that language with them instead. You are always free to ask and learn, even if you feel new to that language.
ALTERNATIVE – Are you comfortable working with my health diagnosis and symptoms?
Some health diagnosis are more critical than others, and have larger consequences than others.
Some are potential legal tripwire for holistic healing practitioners (for example, cancer). It doesn’t mean that the holistic health practitioner can’t work with the client at all, if the client wishes to, but that care and consideration must be taken into account.
Ultimately, all practitioners from both the holistic and medical sides wish to ‘do no harm’. Some health diagnosis have bigger risks, and some clients have bigger sensitivities.
Some healers may be concerned when hearing a critical diagnosis (or any diagnosis considering it’s not really our sphere) and others will be unfazed. It’s better to just ask.
On a side note, I’ve had some health practitioners be nervous when they ask my current health conditions that I’m focusing on (& others not). But I have a very strongly developed intuition now on who I gel with & who is the person that can give me the next clue on the journey. This is through developing my intuition, but also A LOT of mistakes throughout my life. If I know it’s true to work with a practitioner as my next step, I will find a way to come to an agreement with them if they are nervous about my focus.
If you haven’t developed your intuition on this, that’s OK, it’s there even if your mind or emotions may be getting in the way. Just take time to sit with yourself, not need to know an answer straight away & keep listening and checking in with yourself. This is the perfect way to start developing a deeper connection to your intuition & your body – which can only be beneficial to your health in the long-run.