Why Are Healthier Options Still Considered “Alternative”
My Quest To Debunk Limited Health Care Choices
I was asked by a client who works with nutritional products, massage & other healthy options, if I could write a letter to a government agency official who had told her she could not provide information to people about anything “alternative” without a license. Honestly, I was appalled. While everyone, including me, believes you should seek the most professional care possible, it is also common knowledge that much of what is taken as set-in-stone by many Americans as per the best choices for a healthy lifestyle is either information since debunked, assessments that are incomplete, or data that is now obsolete.
As someone who is extremely proactive about my own health, I can safely say that if I had not sought & implemented alternative options, I would be far less calm & productive, less mobile, with more chronic pain,& suffering multiple side effects that would eventually taint any chance of continued health.
Why are so many of these options, now backed by mainstream research & recognized centers for health…still considered alternative?
Here’s the letter I crafted for the client, who realized that I was indeed, very passionate in my rhetoric! I don’t know if she’ll use the letter in its entirety, but I definitely think it is valuable for continuing the dialogue on obvious glitches in the information on healthcare available, & the dearth of recognition & acknowledgment of how valuable other options can be. * I have removed the names to protect both the official & my client.
I am in receipt of a collection of letters concerning the dissemination & discussion of various topics of information that you have stated are in violation of Maryland’s Health Code MD Code, Health Occupations, § 5–101 (h). For our review purposes here, I have copied the entire passage link.
What is primordial here initially are several points:
-Free speech, free press & the right to assembly are guaranteed by our First Amendment; allowing all of us to meet, review, exchange, discuss & disseminate information on nearly any subject.
-When a speaker merely presents information to an audience, includes a clear liability assessment, & does not accept fees for the information provided, there is no violation of any state or federal statutes. Correlating information from cited & recognized sources that people can research for themselves as per validity, & use to eventually make their own choices, is all that is in play here. Analogous, if you’d like, to a live Google search.
-Even in my own experiences as a Lifestyle Concierge, the state of Maryland certified me as:
812199 — MBE/DBE — OTHER PERSONAL CARE SERVICES: (SPECIFICALLY: NON-MEDICAL WEIGHT, LIFESTYLE, FITNESS AND ESTHETIC GUIDELINES, COACHING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS, & 812990 — MBE/DBE — ALL OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES, PERSONAL FITNESS TRAINER.
I am simply someone who shares information, have no licensing of any sort, & offer with the liability clause, & proviso that people must responsibly review & decide for themselves. I am also someone who has witnessed the licensed practitioners in the area, both in community centers, the YMCA & other places, provide antiquated information that has since been refuted or debunked, allow activities like Zumba classes to be practiced on cement floors with barefoot participants, causing a wide range of injuries, dieticians talking about 5 servings of processed, modified foodstuffs that clearly add to a whole host of detrimental conditions & ailments…I could elaborate & have sufficient supporting information, should you wish to see it.
In essence, what I can glean about the person’s work in question, as well as thousands of other unlicensed, but healthy & concerned people, including me, is that the current information available is not only lacking the cutting edge in research, it is not even current. Trying to assist people, when the great majority of Americans are unhealthy & do not have the simple information that might change their lifestyles & preclude various health conditions & diseases is invaluable, since there are so many mainstream practitioners that are still advising detrimental practices & choices, & do not have access to or are willing to, provide updated & often life-saving information. Natural options should not still be considered “alternative”, especially when the degenerative health of the typical American is at stake.
Everyone has the right to review information & decide if it’s something they would like to explore. I fear your citing of statutes is not only inapplicable, but abrasively against the interest of anyone trying to seek options for a healthier lifestyle. A great case in point: the medical community only just recently publicized that people who have chronic back pain should try yoga before painkillers. There is, after all, an opioid epidemic from licensed physicians too often prescribing painkillers while never even mentioning what yoga, acupuncture & other means of management might offer. You see my point. Mainstream information, even by “licensed practitioners”, is often outdated & even harmful. Many healthy people have been sharing our views & experiences for years, proving by our own examples, that there are other ways to approach health. Based on my own spinal injuries & subsequent surgery, I have shared the amazing benefits of yoga for years as an alternative to immobility & opioids. We always stress that although we are not doctors, & you must research & review the choices right for you, at this point, the “alternative” community is far healthier than the traditionally-based community that still advocates diuretics instead of diet changes, oxycodone instead of yoga, anti-depressants instead of aerobic activities. Sorry, but these are the facts.
When you meet a dietician who is 40lbs overweight, takes diabetes & blood pressure meds…well, she might be licensed, but she’s not helping anyone to choose a healthier lifestyle which might preclude the very ailments she has. So, as a layman, wouldn’t you want to speak to as many people as possible, so you could amass the best amount of varied data to make the best & most important decisions concerning your own health?
Having lived here for 10 years, I also suspect that whoever made the original complaint about someone offering alternatives to the often detrimental standard practices, might very well be one of these antiquated, licensed & traditionally trained practitioners who does not want to continue to educate & evolve, or perhaps fears the loss of clientele.
In any case, in summation, I do hope we’ve cleared the confusion about simply exchanging information with people about options & choices they might have concerning their own health & well-being.
I will cite, as well, your reference to HO§ 5–103, which is broad in scope & leaves a range of interpretation, especially: when using the phrase “nonmedical nutrition” as it pertains to disseminating information,(b-4) operating programs(b-1), & selling products related to the information(b-3). There is no information provided by the people you’ve mentioned, one with doctorate in research, & another, a doctor of naturopathy, along with many others that have offered information concerning diseases & conditions that threaten people’s lives, that has not has been culled from credible & readily verifiable sources & recognized medical institutions who have provided data backing these healthier & more natural options. There is, quite simply, a lapse in everyone staying up-to-date & more importantly, acknowledging that traditional medical advice is often outdated & counter-productive if not coupled with every available piece of research & information possible on additional & alternative options to insure the healthiest choices possible. Shore Health has alternative treatments, Cancer Centers of America have alternative treatments. And we all agree, everyone should seek the most professional care possible. But, if no one even knows that there are other options, research backing them, & certified providers offering them, they cannot make a fully informed choice on what might very well be a life-threatening situation.
We hope you will explore & recognize not only the legality of what I’ve discussed here, but also the intent with which it’s being presented, simply to offer as much varied information from credible sources & experiences as possible, so that people can decide what will work best for them in their efforts to improve their own health, & create a more supportive lifestyle.
I will be curious to see the official’s reaction & would love to hear everyone’s take & experiences on the subject!
Concierge Jo-Anna@Corporate Caretaking®~All Rights Reserved