By: Bill Brackney, Founder
My observation has always been that others also put a great deal of trust and faith in Integrative Medicine, but navigating the “waters of health and wellness” can be daunting, not only for the end-user, those being the patient or client, but also for “traditionally” trained health-care providers and other practitioners of Integrative Medicine.
I created Asheville Natural Wellness, LLC as a means of removing two major concerns: credibility and liability. I also wanted to create a website that would help educate, inform, and provide the public with easy access to local and regional Highly Credentialed Integrative Practitioners.
In my initial stages of company development, I spent a good deal of time talking with three major groups: end-users, traditionally trained medical Practitioners, and other Integrative Practitioners. All agreed that “credibility and liability” were of major concern and needed to be addressed before individuals within the three aforementioned groups, would feel comfortable using Practitioners of Integrative Medicine.
End-users: This group is made up of individuals such as myself, someone who considers him or herself to be a patient or a client. For most end-users, finding a highly credentialed integrative Practitioner is problematic in that it is difficult to know if the presented “credentials” are legitimate and from an accredited institution that has the right to bestow titles or certificates. Additionally, it was even more difficult to know which of all of the Integrative Modalities would be of assistance to you or your particular health concerns.
Traditionally Trained Doctors: We all know this group and have our own family doctors. I know of very many doctors who supplement their own health care with Integrative Modalities such as massage therapy, yoga, nutrition, and the like. To more fully understand the complexities for this group, you must first look at the landscape through their eyes. There is a huge issue of “liability and credibility” for them. What if they inadvertently or unknowingly refer a patient to someone with falsified credentials, or they are unclear as to whether or not the issuing institution even has a right to bestow the title or credential? How is a doctor, whose schedule is already very full, supposed to take the time to meet and/or research an Integrative Practitioner? Every doctor I have ever spoken with (and I have spoken to many), said they would certainly be willing to refer their patients to “Highly Credentialed Integrative Practitioners,” but where do they find this list?
Integrative Practitioners: This group is composed of the chiropractors, healing-touch, naturopaths, energy workers, sound healing therapists, etc. The list is extensive and impressive. Let’s look at the landscape from their point of view. This is what I heard consistently: when am I supposed to find the time to introduce myself to traditionally trained doctors; how will I meet them; do I have to book an appointment to introduce myself; will I have to pay for that visit; will they even understand what it is I do and how I can facilitate the healing of their patients. I cannot afford to close the doors of my practice for a day or two in order to travel to their offices; how would I even identify doctors who would be willing and interested in hearing about my healing abilities and therapies?
So, there are our three main groups, all with valid and very reasonable concerns. Asheville Natural Wellness, LLC has basically removed the aforementioned barriers.
Our standards and qualifications for becoming listed as a Member Practitioner are clearly outlined on our website under “Becoming a Member Practitioner.” Our requirements are extensive and will remain so. We require references, which are contacted; a site visit and interview follows; all documentation and certifications are copied and verified; the applicant must agree to and sign our Code of Ethics, also clearly outlined within our website.
After all of the above has been completed, members of the Standards of Performance Committee review the documentation and review the report presented to the Committee from the interview conducted with the new applicant. Once all Committee Members are sure there are no questions or concerns, the new applicant is notified that he or she has been accepted as a Member Practitioner, and subsequently are listed on the website with a picture, biography, contacts, and list of health conditions specialties.
Extensive – yes! But that probably explains why Asheville Natural Wellness, LLC is being followed in 36 foreign countries and 44 US States, and we only launched our website on January 30, 2012. Our newly formed Community Outreach Committee will be developing local and regional programs that serve to educate and support.
Our “Highly Credentialed Member Practitioners” are here to help YOU with your health concerns! We look forward to hearing from you. www.ashevillenaturalwellness.com