Written, produced and directed by Kelly Noonan Gores, HEAL takes the viewer on a journey through the natural healing and health world. At least 17 practitioners and experts are interviewed speaking of the many ways outside of conventional medicine that people are finding healing and wellness. Gores also interviews several patients who have experienced dramatic recoveries through these methods.
In addition to being a journalist, yours truly wrote a doctoral dissertation for the California Institute of Integral Studies on non-medical healing. HEAL is the finest, most inspirational cinematic introduction to this world of healing I have experienced to date. The film is well crafted, covers a lot of territory, and provides hope to many.
When it comes to holistic health I have two major concerns. The first has to do with the challenge of securing the most effective help. There are now many sources of substances, processes, methods, and procedures available. When it comes to making a decision as to what methods to utilize I’ve come to the conclusion that the practitioner’s skill and compassion is more important than the particular method. This puts the onus on the individual and/or their helpers in choosing the most appropriate method(s) and the most able practitioner(s)—which brings me to the second concern.
Money. With rare exceptions, natural health treatments are not covered by insurance. Although they may be massively less expensive than the conventional medical treatments for serious diseases, many of these natural treatments can be expensive for those of us in the lower or middle classes.
Kudos to filmmaker Gores for tackling this difficult issue in her film. This is the first time I’ve experienced a leader in the field acknowledging this painful economic challenge. Finding ways to bring suffering patients together with talented practitioners is the next big step in the natural health world. The challenge is especially daunting, of course, since the United States is trapped in a profit-based health care system. It will take a massive cultural shift in values to make quality health care a human right in the United States, and to include natural healing methods in that right.
See the film’s website for information on screenings.
(Pictured: Kelly Noonan Gores /// courtesy of HEAL documentary)