Holistic healing gets a really bad rep. If you asked me to define holistic healing a year ago I would have said it was voodoo nonsense and a complete scam. I figured it was some sort of meditation session where you get your aura cleansed or your chakras revitalized.
I had no idea what I was talking about. 6 months ago I went to a holistic healer and it changed my life. In a week and a half I was able to eliminate 7 years of back pain that 3 chiropractors, a massage therapist, a manual therapist, a physical therapist, a MAT specialist and an orthopedic surgeon were incapable of fixing over close to a decade.
Every profession has a few scam artists, and unfortunately these are the most famous types holistic healers. Most people think it is complete B.S. However, holistic healing just means using a combination of therapies to correct basically any medical problem in order to bring a person to their healthiest possible state.
The key here are what therapies the holistic healer uses. There is no “exact set” of treatments holistic healers have to learn. These therapies can include traditional medicine and surgeries, chiropractic work, acupuncture, massage therapy, diet changes, mediation, and hundreds of other treatments to combat anything from allergies to chronic pain.
If a holistic healer only uses essential oils and meditation I don’t think it’s likely they are going to fix a legitimate injury.
The holistic healer I worked with was a licensed chiropractor, acupuncturist and most importantly was licensed in postural respiration therapy. He watched me perform a variety of movements for 10 minutes before making any comment. The key here was that he was looking through the lens of three different types of heath care providers. Because of this he did not immediately crack my when he saw my spine was not in “proper alignment”. Shockingly he didn’t crack or pop my back at all. Instead he had me do various leg holds and blow into a balloon in order to get into proper alignment. Then he stuck needles in my ankles and had me do breathing exercises while he dug into my rib change with his fingers. After this I was also assigned a full workout routine to combat the severe muscle imbalances all over my body and come back three days later. Over the next three days I didn’t see a huge difference but he said it would take at least 2-3 sessions to “fix me”.
The second session was much shorter (I was in there almost three hours the first time doing different leg holds in conjunction with acupuncture). We did the leg holds and balloon breathing exercises again with a few added modifications for increased difficulty. We also changed how I stood. Because I played a lot of sports growing up I had always been told to stand on the ball of my feet. While this is good advice for playing defense in a basketball game it is terrible for default posture. When you are standing still 60% of you weight should be on your heels and your butt should hover over your ankle, not the middle of your foot. The next morning was unbelievably different. The numbness and tingling I typically felt when I woke up was almost completely gone. The desk positions that usually caused my back to seize up no longer did so. I still felt a little discomfort working out but way better.
I went back a third time because I still felt a tiny amount of discomfort but was fully on the Kool-Aid. He checked me out and gave me a few more exercises to do. Two days later Covid hit and I didn’t feel a huge need to go back.
Fast forward four months and I had done a road trip to Florida and my back was aggravated but not nearly as bad as it had been. I went back and started talking to “the healer” about getting a trainer that was certified in postural respiration therapy (that was the primary technique that fixed my back). He gave me a few numbers to call and I found a trainer.
I guess the moral of this story is don’t judge a book by its cover. Holistic healers are as varied as financial advisors. Some are scam artists and some are amazing. Holistic is a really general definition. Before you write it off make sure you understand what a person is certified in and how difficult/expensive the certification is to complete.