I was introduced to natural healing, the professional variety, through Chiropractors and a few Naturopaths. There was exposure to the milieu natural through the Post Counter-Cultural Explosion of the 1970s, but most information came through lay people like myself who just shared cool things with other like-minded souls. There were very few people making a living doing massage; there was no acupuncture, no herbalists (a few herbologists were around but none in my area), spiritualists, psychics, Cayce mongers, and natural hygienists–but one was never quite sure what that discipline entailed–nudism? colonic irrigation? people that smelled funny and drank carrot juice? The only professional healers that I knew about had the credentials DC or ND. Now, years later, I realize that I probably have more training than most of the NDs I met back then, and know more about natural healing than all the knowledgeable DCs who turned me on to so many mind-blowing ideas.
Things have changed for sure. There are so many excellent classes, schools, and teachers out there. A number of disciplines have masterful teachers, and accomplished practitioners. The range of practitioners, depending on the discipline, or the area one is in, run the gamut of great to excellent to good to merely competent.The below average or seriously bad weed themselves out. Unlike regular medicine, it's a cash business, and the public supports those who help them get well.
Our culture is changing and natural healing is becoming part of it. The rate of acceptance of wholistic and vitalist models of healing is accelerating. People don't understand it all and they aren't supposed to. They are drawn to what's natural. It is the practitioner's job to educate them in healthy practices. We are now living in a fitness and wellness culture, so much so that even the medical industrial complex is having to adopt some of our natural healing principles and philosophy. If they don't, they will not only lose market share, but the people's faith in their form of medicine altogether.
I have seen this shift happen since the late 1970s. So many people have worked so hard to make this happen. So many have given so much to create a better world of healing. It has been beyond the understanding of the intelligentsia, the big brains, the industrialists, the shapers of opinions, and the government. People are more empowered now. They are students of natural healing. The practitioners, especially the excellent ones, are the teachers of health, what some define as a “true physician,” an educator.
We all started out with a blank page. Isn't that what the educational process is? We were Know-Nothings. Now we are Know-Somethings. I fondly remember many of the things I was turned on to even if I can't remember all the people or names that were involved. I've in turn passed on those things to my patients and the people in my world. It's important to remember the humble beginnings of the Natural Healing Revolution so that we don't forget that a lot of it is the application of basic principles to living. No matter how many degrees or institutions are created to perpetuate professional natural medicine, it started out as a philosophical interpretation of Nature and how to live naturally.