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Health Practitioners Need to Stop Shaming and Judging People

Something I have noticed lately now that I’ve been able to have more moments online after not being able to tolerate hardly any time online is, I’m noticing a pattern with holistic health and conventional professionals that I think needs to stop.

The shaming and judging of people. For me, as a patient or a human being (whatever word you want to use) desperate for help with several debilitating issues, having someone shame and judge people publicly immediately deters me away from ever wanting to receive their help. Am I next to be shamed? Will they publicly judge and shame me for having any sort of illness or problem?

Now, I get what they are doing, as it’s a marketing tactic and it’s meant to “shake people up.” I know because I am a former health coach and I know the tactics that were taught to me to use, which I didn’t agree with and walked away from. I don’t believe shaming someone for being overweight, or spelling something incorrectly, or having to use medical services or mobility devices or whatever, is a good way to be a human being. How many people are turning away from the help they could possibly benefit from because of something like this? I also understand the world doesn’t bend for sick people, but I’m speaking to the professionalism of health practitioners.

As someone who has struggled to be able to read and write again, does a health practitioner who shames and judges really understand their patients? Maybe they can’t spell correctly because of a brain injury. Maybe they can’t prepare their healthy food because they are now severely disabled. Maybe their GI tract is now paralyzed from nerve damage, or their nerve functioning has limited their ability to even swallow food. Maybe they need medical intervention because it’s a serious issue, not something “eating your greens” or meditation or processing your emotions can fix because they have done all that and more. Maybe they gained or lost weight due to any number of issues including possible medication side effects they can’t fix.

Why am I speaking about this? Because it is harmful to see a lack of compassion and empathy from holistic and conventional health practitioners. We trust these people with our lives and our healing. It’s already hard to ask for help. I’ve seen natural health professionals even tell people to stop wearing watches. I have a seizure disorder and autonomic issues that affect my heart rate. My Apple Watch actually has helped save my life and I wear it to monitor my heart rate as well as ensure I can get the help I need when I have seizures because I don’t have a service dog.

I also want to point out that here in the United States, which is considered a wealthy nation, many people do not even have the means to access the quality care or the resources they need. Many of my doctors only take cash as payment, which means you blow through your savings if you are lucky to even have any, or you have to take out loans. Sometimes you have to choose between paying rent or seeing a doctor. Plus, some people do not have access to transportation or quality food or even clean water for any number of reasons. Just take a look at Flint, Michigan.

So as someone with late stage neurological Lyme disease, who may continue to need practitioners to help me on my journey, I would hope that practitioners would be more compassionate than egotistical and judgmental. Heck, even Tony Robbins took advantage of his power in an exercise with a woman at one of his events who was trying to point out his errors regarding the “me too” movement. I would hope someone would be willing to help me, not shame me.

More helping, less harming.

Getty Image by RomoloTavani