The Pagan/Polytheist Health Survey

Medicine logotype

Symbol of Medicine Image via Wikipedia

I read about Kimberly Hunt’s Pagan Health Survey this on The Wild Hunt and after taking the survey, I want to encourage you, the reader, to contribute to her research.  Here are her reasons why:

As both a Pagan and cultural anthropologist, I felt it was vitally important that we help policy-makers and service providers understand our needs and beliefs. This will help us to meet the health care needs of our community and build public understanding of our religious and spiritual traditions. I designed the Pagan Health Survey to help people better understand us and our views on health. The results will be combined with what I have gained by being within the Pagan community and sitting in on healing panel discussions, workshops, and so forth, as well as interviews with Pagan clergy and health care practitioners.

And here are mine:

  • It allows your opinions to be heard by policy-makers.
  • Policy is informed by research.
  • We want more alternative healthcare options.
  • Why not?
    • It takes about five minutes.
    • They survey doesn’t ask for any identifying information (not even your email address).

Please take the survey here.  The last question is open-ended, allowing you to submit your thoughts in a cohesive manner.  Please save that answer and post it blow in the comments section. I’ll refrain from posting mine for now so as not to bias you.  I’ll post it later on next week.

What do you do to prevent health problems and treat them when they arise?  When it comes to your health, do you think science is in conflict with spiritual treatment?  Do you think they are separate?  Have you had bad (or good) experiences with MDs or spiritual healers?  If you are Atheist, what do you think of spiritual healing and prayer and have you ever tried it?   If you are a polytheist, in what cases would you employ western medicine?  Please comment below!

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8 comments on “The Pagan/Polytheist Health Survey

  1. Labrys says:

    I’ve had horrid issues with the man who was my long time physician. I finally ceased going to him at all, since he seems to have become a drug-pusher for big pharmaceuticals and not someone who listens to a patient.

    I don’t think science HAS to conflict with spiritual belief, but sometimes it gives that appearance. I get squicked out at the idea of seeking spiritual counsel for physical ailments—I’ve seen too many cases of blaming the patient for their disease. Had one alleged psychic tell me my left shoulder hurt because I had “mother issues”. No, my shoulder hurt because I had traumatically damaged FIVE cervical disks in my spine!

    I think moderation and a more holistic approach exploring all avenues of healing would be more useful than pushing pills alone. I now am giving naturopathy a trial, since herbs and supplements have always had more effect on my health than body-skewing prescription drugs.

    • Ruadhan says:

      I don’t think science HAS to conflict with spiritual belief, but sometimes it gives that appearance. I get squicked out at the idea of seeking spiritual counsel for physical ailments—I’ve seen too many cases of blaming the patient for their disease. Had one alleged psychic tell me my left shoulder hurt because I had “mother issues”. No, my shoulder hurt because I had traumatically damaged FIVE cervical disks in my spine!

      Agreed.

      I’ve been seeing a DO for years, and she’s wonderful; if anything, I’m usually the one asking for medications.

    • Some doctors do get that way, when they become specialized in what they do and not up on other therapies.

      In both cases, with the medical and spiritual paths not fitting, I try to keep in mind that the individual healers are people themselves and prone to error.

      …which is why I like having options and a multi-faceted approach.

      For someone with schizophrenia, for example, not much can be done until they are on stable medication. But that combined with family therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can do wonders, much more than the medication alone.

      And for more temporary ailments, it’s like breaking your leg. You don’t want to be on the crutch forever, but it helps you get out of bed and to a physical therapist who can help you learn to stand on your own feet again.

  2. mamiel says:

    Thanks for posting this! Now if I might be a tiny pain in the ass- I wish they had mentioned the title LCSW as a counseling position alongside MFT in the first part of the survey.

    Also, they should have put LCSW in addition to or instead of MSW in the second part of the survey about mental health counselors.

    An LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker, a counselor licensed by the state to provide the same clinical and counseling services a MFT or PsyD provides.

    An MSW has a master’s degree in social work without the clinical counseling license.

    Thanks! -Ellen Catalina, MSW

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