Is it better to be considered a healthcare provider or a wellness practitioner? Does it matter? There are so many of us who are committed to fitting into one category or the other. Others like myself haven’t really cared and have moved in and out of these two circles for years. For the record, I have finally settled comfortably in the wellness arena with a pinch of wellbeing.
What’s the difference? In my experience, Healthcare is working with medical towards restoration; Wellness is about the things that we do to invest in our mental and physical health present and future; Well-being is about our quality of life. The focus of my practice, as with my life, has been evolving along these same lines. It turns out I’m not alone. Industry forecasts indicate that people are increasing their focus on wellness due to the frustration with and rising costs of healthcare. Personally, I don’t need to defend healthcare when all I have to do is take a step back and recommit my energy in supporting my client’s wellness and wellbeing.
In deciding what’s best for you, there are factors like work setting, skill set, and personal needs. I have a primarily clinical skill set, but fortunately, I have always coupled my evidenced-based training with a healthy dose of forays into indigenous healing practices. Despite where I have worked, there has, for the most part, been an interest in exploring the more holistic wellness trend. So that leaves personal needs that, my friend, is a simple matter of honestly accessing what you need to feel satisfied with your professional standing.
I’m not judging those who seek the titles and credentials associated with medical fields, heck I’ve spent a ton of time and money to acquire them myself. We need to remember that due to its allopathic and prescriptive nature, medicine comes with many boundaries, making it easy to narrow focus till we lose respect for other equally valuable contributions that our profession provides. There are holistic options that don’t traditionally get integrated into the clinic that are critical to individuals' wellness and well-being. So it’s important that when we seek to raise the awareness of one, we do not do so at the expense of an equally beneficial other.
2018 was a stellar year for me professionally. I was inducted in the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame and received a Governor appointment to the Oklahoma Advisory Board of Massage Therapy. Involvement in both of these things made me really look at our profession with a retrospective bent and a broader vision. I see us as a mosaic of the different paths that have brought us here. I’m asking that we keep our minds open to the contributions of this array of approaches. Remember that ultimately we are all here to serve the greater good and that it’s ok to have a strongly held position…. but it’s not ok to be ugly about someone else’s. Respect
One of the best things about 2018 was the ability to thank everyone who got me here publicly. Jean Shea and Biotone is a big part of that journey. I appreciate the commitment that they have always shown our industry, which has given me so many opportunities to participate and educate. I leave you with my sincere gratitude, respect, and my favorite tips.
Be so good at what you do that they can’t ignore you.
Go the extra mile. It’s less crowded there.
The treatment plan is in the body.
Could you work with the body they bring you today?
Coax doesn’t bully
Where thoughts go, the energy goes
Everyone’s body tells their story, don’t forget to listen.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing slowly.
Don’t confuse what you do for love and what you do for money
and don’t become distracted by what some do for the love of money
Be well, Do good work, and remember I’m rooting for you