The preference for relying on conventional “white coat” medical doctors and their endless lab tests over taking swift action to begin holistic healing and support can be attributed to several psychological factors:
- Trust in Authority: Many individuals have been conditioned to trust traditional healthcare systems and medical professionals as authoritative figures. They believe in the years of training and expertise that these doctors possess. This trust in authority often leads patients to prefer following the recommendations of mainstream doctors, even when considering alternative or holistic approaches.
- Fear of the Unknown: Holistic healing approaches can sometimes be unfamiliar and less mainstream, leading to a fear of the unknown. Patients may feel more comfortable with the well-established routines and treatments offered by conventional medicine, as they perceive them as safer and more reliable.
- Immediate Gratification: Western medicine often provides quick fixes, such as medication and/or surgery to alleviate symptoms. Patients might prioritize immediate relief over long-term holistic approaches that require consistent lifestyle changes and may not offer instant results for them. The desire for immediate gratification can deter patients from committing to holistic practices that are truly corrective care and healing.
- Psychological Dependency: Some patients become psychologically dependent on lab tests and medical professionals. They may feel reassured by “concrete” data from test results and rely on doctors to provide them with clear treatment plans. This dependency can make it challenging for patients to take the initiative in holistic self-care.
- Social Influence: Social norms and peer pressure can play a significant role. If family and friends predominantly rely on conventional medicine, patients may follow suit, fearing criticism or ostracism if they pursue natural / alternative approaches.
- Cognitive Bias: Confirmation bias, where people tend to seek information that confirms their preexisting beliefs, can be at play. Patients may actively seek out information that supports their trust in traditional medicine while ignoring or dismissing information about holistic healing options.
- Taking Personal Responsibility: And this one is Huge. Patients may hesitate to embrace holistic healing because it requires a higher degree of personal responsibility. This responsibility encompasses making significant lifestyle changes, such as altering dietary habits, committing to regular exercise, managing stress, and consistently following a holistic treatment plan. For some, taking such ownership of their health can be intimidating and challenging. Let’s go further in depth.
- Psychological Barrier: Assuming personal responsibility for one’s health can be psychologically demanding. It means acknowledging that one’s choices and actions directly influence their well-being and this is most often the psychological barrier that they face. Some patients may find it easier to delegate this responsibility to medical professionals and lab tests, avoiding the emotional burden that comes with self-accountability. Patients may fear that if they take personal responsibility for their health and their condition doesn’t improve, they will blame themselves for failure. This fear can paralyze them, preventing them from taking the necessary steps towards holistic healing.
- Resistance to Change: Humans are creatures of habit, and change can be uncomfortable. Patients may resist the changes required in holistic healing, whether it’s giving up certain foods, adopting a regular exercise routine, or managing stress through mindfulness practices. The inertia of maintaining existing habits can be a significant barrier.
- Overcoming Denial: Personal responsibility also involves confronting health issues and acknowledging their role in their own ailments. Some patients may be in denial about the severity of their conditions or their contribution to them, making it difficult to take the necessary steps towards healing.
To address these psychological factors, healthcare providers and holistic practitioners must engage in open and empathetic communication with patients. Educating patients about the benefits and evidence supporting holistic approaches, while acknowledging their concerns and fears, can help bridge the gap and empower patients to take an active role in their healing journey. Building trust, providing clear guidance, and offering support during the transition from conventional to holistic care can also facilitate the process.