As a hypnotist I fall firmly into the camp of alternative healthcare systems. I value the fact that we are an unregulated group. The last thing I want is government regulation of my business. Equally I feel extreme disquiet when I look at some other hypnotists, and other systems of alternative healthcare. My clients need real solutions, not to have their chakra realigned. If we’re in the business of providing an alternative health solution, then let’s keep it real.
So what do we have to offer that the conventional providers cannot provide? Who is this individual, and what could he possibly provide that a medical professional can’t? The truth is that modern orthodox healthcare has lost its way so thoroughly that even if it can provide help to some patients, there are many situations in which it is unable to actually deliver. The average time a visitor to a GP spends with their doctor is only 17 minutes. The orthodox channels of healthcare are so severely hindered by this limitation that they simply cannot service their patients in the manner that the patient requires. This is a result of staffing issues, the way medical training emphasizes the use of pharmacy and the need to maximize patient throughput to assure funding.
The issue is not really with ‘medical science’. It’s more to do with the fact that the provision of medical services has become so compromised. As a result the opportunity for alternative healthcare systems to provide solutions is enormous. However, with this opportunity comes the risk that some providers will deliver a service of no value, or even of a damaging nature. With this in mind I always suggest my clients research myself and other alternative healthcare providers very thoroughly. The greatest reassurance to clients is to look at the performance the alternative healthcare provider has delivered. Testimonials and reputation are the greatest seal of approval for orthodox and alternative healthcare provision. It’s very important to me that our clients are satisfied and feel we have contributed positively in their lives. Websites like http://doctorcheckup.org and RateMyMD.ca help people do this in the orthodox sector. The feedback needs interpretation, but has value. A similar website is yet to emerge in alternative healthcare.
In reality a doctor visit of 17 minutes provides only very basic information. It’s unlikely that a doctor will uncover deep-seated causes of anxiety in such a superficial visit. And yet we know without a shadow of doubt that anxiety impacts recovery time, immunity, even such things as allergy responses. So, when a doctor attempts to discover the causes of anything but the most simple of cases the chances are he is doing so at a great disadvantage. This is just one example, but a relevant one. At best the doctor will treat symptoms, not causes; at worst he will fail the patient entirely – as is sadly often the case.
In discussions with doctors many acknowledge that hypnosis has a great role to play. They also are beginning to see that a pharmacy based treatment system often fails to provide long term solutions. When patients keep coming back to a doctor it’s because they are not getting healthy. The treatment just isn’t working. Doctors can’t argue with the fact that many of their patients see them repetitively, and fail to achieve good health. For whatever reason, in many cases they are not winning with a pharmacy based solution. This observation is often met with the response, “How can we do otherwise! The system doesn’t allow us to spend the required time with this patient!”
This is not to say that alternative health care can always provide a solution. However, with the challenges that orthodox medicine delivery faces, a competent alternative healthcare provider really is a valid option in situations where the issues are anything which requires time and exploration. In many mental health situations this is the case, and until the situation changes, is one that many clients will turn to. By providing a valid alternative we are able to support our clients and also reduce some of the load on orthodox healthcare. So, while I am not proposing a replacement to orthodox medical treatment, I do sincerely believe that those of us operating responsibly do have a substantial contribution to make.
My best advice to clients is always to check your provider thoroughly and be sure you are comfortable working with them. Most are categorically not healthcare professionals, which in many instances is fine. In the case of hypnotherapy, explore their website carefully and satisfy yourself that their offerings fit comfortably in your own belief system. In the end many of our clients need more than a change in their prescription. They are looking for a change in their life.