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Our Healthcare Culture

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This is a subject that is dear to my heart – and as I run a holistic therapy business, my bank balance. It’s also going to be relevant to the other therapists working here at the Wellbeing Centre.

Culture is defined as a state of manners, behaviour and intellectual development at a particular time of place.

So how do we behave when we’re ill? How do we go about returning our bodies and minds to optimal health? Do we even actively do this?

We’ve finally left the traditional season of colds and bugs, but they often continue throughout the summer months too. Now I know from my days of working in an office, that there was definitely a culture of not having time off as people had “too much work to do”. I was never in favour of this strategy as it seemed to me that if you have time off, you can heal better and return to optimal productivity quicker. But, alas, it was difficult for me to go against the culture, so I struggled on too.

We also have a culture of going to the doctor only when we can’t fix our health issue ourselves and when it’s got so bad that we feel we won’t be accused of wasting time. This is backed up by advertising campaigns directing people to a pharmacy or a phone service for “minor complaints”. This is obviously a necessary strategy by an underfunded organisation, but it still creates a culture.

Now along come holistic therapists. We can help prevent disease by treating blocks in a person’s system before they manifest into nasty symptoms. So ideally I’d like to see clients earlier rather later. However the majority come to me when they’ve been suffering, for longer than they needed.

We also have a culture of free healthcare, which I’m very grateful for. I’d never advocate getting rid of the NHS, but at the present time myself and similar practitioners aren’t funded by the NHS, so we have no alternative than to charge our clients directly for our services.

This seems to be quite a large block. I often hear people say they can’t afford sessions. Whereas this may be true for some people, after all we don’t give away our expertise for free, I believe many people are just choosing to spend their money on different things.

So my question to you is what is the most important thing you could be spending your money on? My personal answer to that would be health and wellbeing. In this section, I’d include food (of the healthy variety, of course), a warm roof over our head, and healthcare support. For those who are familiar with Maslov’s Heirarchy of Needs, this relates to the lower levels of the pyramid. If our base is rocky, the higher levels aren’t going to be firm and reliable either.

So how would it be to go on a great holiday, but spend it worrying about going back to a stressful job. How would it be to buy new clothes, but to feel ill when you wear them. How would it be to subscribe to a TV service, while wishing you had the energy to be out actually living your life.

Now I’m not criticizing anyone for spending their money on these things. Everyone makes choices about what they do and where they spend money is one of such choices. However, if you have any unwanted symptoms, I would invite you to challenge our culture of healthcare and invest in your health sooner rather than later so you can lead a more enjoyable and fulfilling life.

Ros Kitson

Ros Kitson is a professional kinesiologist and practises Three in One Kinesiology and Face Reading at The Wellbeing Centre. She also has qualifications in Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, and Counselling.

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