It wasn’t until I studied holistic therapies that I became aware of the word ‘practitioner’. For me, this meant someone that had trained in something specific, such as massage, physiotherapy, counselling or aromatherapy. If I am really honest, once I got my qualification in Reflexology and holistic therapies and started practising, there was definitely an element of “Here I am – I have finally got somewhere in my life,” even though I knew I was kidding myself and it was only the beginning and there was a lot more to learn.
Indeed, there was a lot more to learn! Even though I was a ‘practitioner’, I was not looking after my health and wellbeing, or taking care of myself. I was not eating well, I was eating on the go, and not listening to or honouring my body, which eventually led to an illness that forced me to stop being a ‘practitioner’ and go back to work in an office environment while looking at my health.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I heard the term ‘practitioner’ being used in the office workplace. People were calling themselves practitioners and at the time I felt this was really strange. Why would you do that? A practitioner was someone that had a qualification and worked in the bodywork / therapy industry, not a team Manager!
Through Universal Medicine, what I have come to realise is that actually we are all practitioners, no matter what our age, qualifications or job role; that each and every one of us has something to bring or reflect to another person.
This was made really clear to me while I was on a recent training course, where the room was set up with the person at the front of the room as the trainer ‘teacher’, and the people listening as the ‘students’.
It was a long and painful day and it wasn’t until the end of the day, when we did a group exercise, that everyone in the room came alive. The ‘students’ were talking about the young people they were working with, sharing their experiences until eventually at one point everyone in the room was helping each other with the cases they were working on.
For me this was gold and very valuable, far more valuable than everyone sitting facing one person listening to them talk. It emphasised that we are all practitioners, that is, we all have our lived experiences and know if these have truly supported ourselves and others, or not. We all have access to the same innate wisdom within us, whether young or old. It is just a case of whether we know how to connect to this or not. Being a practitioner is not a title, it is a way of living – how we live and what we learn from choices, either good or bad, that we have made. It is a forever learning and evolving.
By Vicky Cooke, London