There are many people who think of those interested in holistic healing as out of touch “hippie types” who have abandoned common sense in support of unproven theories inconsistent with mainstream scientific research. The fact that people feel that way is not an accident. Holistic health is under attack from a variety of outside forces with an agenda that may not have much to do with encouraging the well-being of others.
At first glance, the idea of intentionally marginalizing those who are committed to finding better ways to live seems counterintuitive, if not masochistic. If one looks deeper, however, the attack on holistic healing is predictable.
Holistic healing approaches health in a manner quite inconsistent with the reductionist tendencies of mainstream medicine. It looks for larger connections and recognizes the interrelationships between our physical systems and our psychological outlook. Instead of relying on chemical quick fixes, it hopes to inspire health via more natural methods and a whole-person outlook. Emphasizing prevention instead of focusing primarily on treatment and displaying a willingness to consider natural folk remedies and solutions to health problems that do not always comport with “business as usual”, the holistic outlook is a significant deviation from the dominant perspective on health.
That may sound innocent enough, but the perspective does pose a threat to some significant forces who would rather maintain the status quo. As is so often the case, the threatened party has reacted to protect its turf–and its specific interests.
The old expression “follow the money” comes to mind. The medical establishment is a huge element of our economy. People are generating billions of dollars in revenue every year by maintaining our current approach to health. The system may be broken and incapable of providing optimal health for people, but it is profitable. Holistic healing and other threats to the mainstream perspective’s near monopoly on healthcare poses a significant financial risk to those with a vested interest in the maintenance of the status quo.
Medical facilities are not interested in seeing their value decline as their services are used with less frequency. The massive and powerful pharmaceutical industry is banking on a continuation of our reductionist, pill popping ways. Politicians and policy makers are funded by special interest groups whose primary purpose is to protect traditional medicine.
It is not surprising that those who advocate holistic healing are portrayed as laughable fringe figures. Marginalizing the opposition is one of the most effective ways to protect one’s interests, after all. By regularly and loudly dismissing holistic perspectives while trumpeting the alleged virtues of a reductionist perspective marked with numerous obvious failures, these powerful forces are doing their very best to keep a medical revolution at bay.