When we experience health challenges that are difficult to deal with on our own, we are lucky in our modern times that there are established health institutions that can help us. We can go to the doctor, the ER or - an alternative many, but not everyone, know and choose above all - seek help from a man or woman offering natural threapies.
Seeking out the right therapy
Natural therapists are not allowed to inform people of all aspects: what can be addressed with the treatment, research on the therapy, results achieved with the therapy, and so on ...
This also means that there is less information for those searching for alternatives, whether to address diseases, ailments or illnesses. A man or woman operating under the title "patient", who enter a search word on the internet, containing their diagnosis or name of illness, might get many search results: but just as many may be missing, due to rules against spreading this (crucial!) information.
These restrictions makes reaching people with information a big challenge for natural therapists, wanting to promote treatment options that can serve as unique or complementary; while it is hard for individuals to gain knowledge about the various options that are actually out there.
In my opinion this suppresses the true freedom of choice for our health. We have so-called freedom of health choice in Norway, but it is hard to make well-informed choices for our health when a lot of the information is not available (forbidden) to us.
Referencing research = forbidden
According to Norwegian marketing laws, it is completely forbidden for "alternative" practitioners of natural medicine to inform, and spread knowledge, about research on their treatment method.
If I: as a woman; choose to use the title "homeopath", I am not allowed to share information about research on homeopathy, or which diseases homeopathy have proven - time and time again - to be effective for.
Why this prohibition?
If I, when using the title homeopath, am allowed to share research on homeopathy, and clinical studies and experience with homeopathy for various diseases, this may give the impression that homeopathy - the treatment form I use - works.
The prohibition covers individual cases of promising results, as well as strong evidence and proof of the treatment's effectiveness.
As the natural medicines are not regulated in the same way as conventional allopathic medicine, and currently has no political support for establishing minimum requirements for education and qualifications, the aim is to ensure that only publicly approved health services are allowed to spred their information about treatment options.
It is a shame that patients seldom have any clue that there is an array of natural approaches that could complement the public health services, or maybe even make their measures obsolete - without the need for patented pharmaceuticals (which thereby are not natural: you cannot patent something in nature, without modifying or adding something).
Instead, natural therapists are sought out by individuals who has "tried everything"; are on strong allopathic pharmaceuticals (and have been on them for a long time), experiencing side-effects (harmful effects); or simply are close to giving up on ever getting healthy.
The sad thing is: many of the original illnesses could have been addressed by natural approaches first, before the cascade of issues continued. There is still a lot of benefit to be gained from natural medicine at this point, but it takes longer: harmful effects of prescribed drugs must be addressed, in addition to restoring health after longer periods of suppression of symptoms.
What are natural therapists doing to address these issues?
I have been a proud member of an organisation that takes an active role in tidying up the seeming chaos of natural ("alternative") therapies in this country. NNH address politicians; support their members; find allies; and ensure that their members have their qualifications and education in place.
But this cannot be done without a political will, if we are to complement the country's public health services - to the best of the patients.
In NNH's congress in February 2019 one of the speakers expressed this beautifully: "It should be up to the patient to choose the treatment form(s), with all alternatives presented to them: whether evidence based conventional medicine; evidence based natural medicine; or non-evidence based conventional/natural medicine".
We should be allowed to become fully informed on all alternatives, and decide for ourselves what we wish to try, and when - instead of hearing from a friend of a friend who has a mother who has benefitted from ... and so on. That is my view, anyway.
What I, when using the title natural therapist, am not allowed to tell you:
The government has established guidelines for "alternative" therapists, to help us assess what marketing (information) we can use, and what we have to stay quiet about.
We have a list of terms we are not allowed to use, and a list of terms we (mainly) are allowed to use: but each instance can be assessed by our public servants as not being allowed - depending on the context.
Terms we are not allowed to use, in general, when referring to conditions:
- diabetic ulcers
- facialisparese (facial paralysis)
- frozen shoulder
- golf elbow
- laryngitis (sore throat)
- cardiovascular disease
- hyperthyroidism (high metabolism)
- hypothyroidism (low metabolism)
- impingement syndrome
- impotence (in women and men)
- carpal-tunnel syndrome
- chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- low- or high blood-pressure
- mouse arm
- myalgic encephalopathy (ME)
- plagiocephaly (skewed head)
- pollen allergies
- runners knee
- Schlatters disease
- mucositis (bursitis)
- tension headache
- tennis elbow
- urinary tract infection
- ear infection
Terms we are allowed to use, in general, when referring to conditions:
- back- and neck issues
- stomach- and bowel issues
- stiff muscles
- problems, ailments, pains, aches
- digestive issues
- tiredness, weariness
- weakened immune system
- mental issues
So, how are you supposed to find us?
You tell me!
It is not easy to seek out natural therapists with experience in treating the issues you present with, simply because we are not allowed to share this information on our websites and other marketing materials.
So unfortunately it is up to you to assess who you want treatment from, for what - and get in touch with him or her to investigate whether their services can be of help to you.
Why I am writing about this
We do not know everything, and when I share with people I know about the limitations I face when choosing to portray myself as a natural therapist, many are surprised.
So, the day you maybe experience symptoms and ailments in your own body, I consider it of utmost importance that you are conscious about the amount of information available to you - and the information you have to seek out yourself.
I myself was not aware of this, when I experienced my health deteriorating.
Describing the possible outcomes of the treatments we offer
The same guidelines from the authorities also decide which terms we are allowed to use regarding the treatments' effectiveness.
Here we also have a list of terms we are not allowed to use, and a list of terms we (as a general rule) are allowed to use: however, the authorities may deem them as illegal, depending on the context in which the terms are used.
Generally not allowed to use, when describing possible treatment outcomes:
- recover, become healthy
- good result
- ... and words with similar meanings.
Generally allowed to use, when describing possible treatment outcomes:
- used for
- experience in using
- suitable for
- reduce the amount of
- ... and words with similar meanings.
I: the woman; Marianne Borchgrevink Claussen
I have become sick of people who are tasked with serving me - and every individual living in this country - acting under titles that give them the opportunity of affecting our lives strongly; hindering me in living the way that I wish, and offering my services in the way that I wish;
The last straw was, for me, the implementation of VAT on natural treatment forms. This has led to:
I: the woman; Marianne Borchgrevink Claussen; choose to put aside titles that hinder me from freely applying my qualifications and approaches that may benefit other men and women who come to see me; and I, choose to not interact with men and women who invoke their titles, but only interact with them as men and women; with the highest law of not inflicting harm on others and or others' property; and with responsibility for my own choices and consequences of these;
Therefore, I, am a woman, offering homeopathy services to men and women, and children of men and women when they approach me together;
I, receive compensation in the form of donations from men and women; according to the value I set at the current time of collaboration and value exchange