Personal beliefs have a major impact on what kind of health care a person receives. Some people will go to a witch doctor, healer, or shaman. Some will go to an herbalist, chiropractor, or nutritionist. Some will go to an acupuncturist or reflexologist. And, of course many people will have some overlap, while still others put their care solely in the hands of “modern medicine.”
Belief systems impact care quite a lot. In westernized medicine, because it is based on science, is overwhelmingly in the lead in the developed nations. Despite this, there is now greater respect and relevance for traditional healers. They are very popular due to how much more intimate the sessions and compassion seem to be.
The average primary care physician, for example, can only allow most patients about ten minutes of time for the entire examination, history review, case study questions, pharmaceutical advisement, and answering all patients questions. Most people who spend at least one hour at the Doctor’s office, are not well pleased with the amount of personal care, and trust bonding that is built, as there is so little time.
More traditional and "native" approaches take more time for the client, but are possibly dubious due to less regulation. Ancient and traditional treatments however, are not as profit driven in many cases. They are not so dependent upon the broken health care system driven by insurance companies and drug companies that are so often debated in the political realm today.
Other ways that a person’s belief system can influence his or her care, is in the way they view their lives. Religious people may approach illness with a firm unshaken faith. Spiritual people, especially those in the “enlightened consciousness” movements, will have differing ideas about the holistic approach to mind, body, spirit and even global healing.
What people of faith also take to their health care visits, is their belief systems about spiritual healing. Some people will refuse modern intervention, if they view it as differing from "God's will." This is an extreme viewpoint at times, for example when some refuse organ donation or blood transfusion. Still, everyone takes some amount of their personal world view with them when they speak to any kind of healer.
When it comes to mental health, there is often a deep division between those who rely on intervention treatments with drugs alone, and those who wish an entirely “natural” treatment. Again, just as often as opinions are divided, they are complementary!
There is often some assimilation and overlap with both belief systems. Very often a person taking any medication from the ever growing arsenal of constantly introduced drugs, will also participate in some form of holistic approach as well.
This is because people are now living in a a much more information and technology connected world. They also are rightfully suspicious of motives in health care, noting that as in politics, it has become immensely profit driven.
People also long for the connection and healing of knowing they are eating better, exercising more, and shopping locally for better personal, family, community and global health.
The health industry is going through enormous changes right now, as people are waking up to the connections between mind, body, mental, community and global health. They are also much more aware of how everything they buy, whether service or medicine, impacts the whole self and the whole world.