Do you just survive, or do you thrive? The wellness industry is built around this question. Underlying this seemingly simple statement, however, are assumptions that need to be reckoned with, namely who is in the survival category and who is entitled to thrive.
It is certainly a paradox that holistic, non-Western and ancient forms of healthcare arose almost entirely from poor and oppressed populations, and yet are now being accessed primarily by those with significant disposable income. However, as more and more people face the reality that health insurance and healthcare costs are a major liability in the course of a secure and prosperous existence, holistic health maintenance, stress relief and wellness practices are starting to be viewed as an investment in one’s productivity and longevity rather than a luxury.
Thriving has frankly been too often packaged as a special club membership. Worse, it can read that wellness, inner peace and mind body balance are simply not “for” a certain segment of our national population. What a chilling assumption that is. It is one I have spent my entire career working to dismantle.
Of course, my clientele is my livelihood, and for that I am extremely grateful. But for every client I take who can pay full price for my expertise I have made it my business to pay that forward in ways that bring this thousand year old tradition of care to a patient population that also deserves to thrive. Substance abuse and trauma survivors, prison populations, our proud and hard working poor, our veterans, our elders – there are so many in every walk of life who deserve compassionate and holistic attention to their health and wellbeing. I passionately believe that we all deserve to thrive. Often I find that folks have no idea that there are simple and cost effective ways to care for themselves, ease their pain, balance their nutrition, not to mention non-invasive non-narcotic remedies that are infinitely less expensive and habit-forming than they are used to. I have also done extensive and rewarding work in my native Haiti where I advocate for women’s health education and menstrual rights. I am constantly reaching out to grant organizations to fund this important work and I often partner with like-minded practitioners. The barriers are great, but by no means insurmountable. I find joy in the knowledge that the community I build through my practice is mutually beneficial. The good news is that thriving, like a good laugh, or a kind word, is contagious.
It is important to state that I am not here to compete with or replace the life-saving care that Western Medicine delivers. I have a profound respect for my allopathic colleagues and we often work in tandem. My practice is primarily focused on quality of life wellness interventions -keeping you well enough to feel and enjoy the beauty of a body that is your friend and ally. When you feel the inner harmony that results from an empowered relationship between your mind and body, that is the kind of resilience and balance that makes us all capable of weathering the storms we cannot foresee. Thriving creates the space within us that allows the beauty all around us to enter in, regardless of where we live, who we are, and what we own. We all have the right and opportunity to own our story of health, day by day, breath by breath, choice by choice. That is thriving.
I wish you all well and I am here for your journey, no matter where you are coming from.