EPA Newsletter March 2018
Welcome to the International EPA Newsletter, our Global platform for EPA members.
In this edition we overview the recent EPA Annual Conference held in the UK on 23rd of September 2017.
On the 23rd of September 2017 the EPA UK/EU held its annual conference. The focus of this year’s event was the topic of 'Quality’, and what it means to live as a Practitioner in all that you do in life. This led to discussions about how being a member of the EPA is more than simply practicing the modalities as taught by Universal Medicine, but furthermore the effects that are possible when true quality and integrity is brought to all that we do.
The principles of The Code of Ethics and Conduct, which form the foundation of the EPA, expound what it is to establish a reconnection to the inner wisdom that lives inside us all. It is in our expression from this essence that brings a true quality of love, care and responsibility to our lives. This unfolds our energetic responsibility where we naturally consider the quality and impact of our choices for the health of our own bodies and includes how our way of being by reflection can influence those around us.
The Practitioners Membership therefore incorporates all professions and trades by principle and is an opportunity to confirm the fact that no matter what our jobs or roles in society, the quality with which we live and express makes a difference to our own well-being and to the people and systems around us. In everything we do therefore we have an opportunity to bring a quality of care and connection based on energetic integrity and responsibility. This lived way can inspire true change regardless of the sphere, stage or position in industry or in life, setting a true standard of care, connection and expression with ourselves and each other.
Simply put, there is no ‘on and off’ switch when we come to work, the Practitioner Membership offers us the joy-full understanding that in whatever we do we have a responsibility to bring a true quality to all that we live and express. This places ‘healing and wellbeing’ squarely into our own lives, rather than ‘out there’ for someone else or an expert to do for us. All who attended the conference explored the responsibility we each have to bring a true lived quality to all aspects of our lives and the great power this has to bring true change.
In this edition we present:
An update from Sara Williams, EPA Chairperson UK, on developments in the Complementary Medicine sector.
Elizabeth McCann - Reversing the trend: Ageing with Vitality
Jerome Douglas - Leading from Within, Making Connection a Priority
Words from the Membership: Testimonials on the 2017 UK/EU Conference
EPA - Activity on Complimentary Medicine in the UK/EU
The EPA continues its work to stay informed about on-going developments regarding the treatment of complementary medicine (CM). The overall trend across the UK and Europe focuses on the regulation of the practice of CM, with particular concern reserved for the safety of alternative modalities that are promoted and practiced in replacement of conventional medicine. The EPA’s focus is on the approach to CM.
The EPA supports the unquestionable need for regulation that brings us to ensure public safety, quality and effectiveness of care, of which the EPA is well placed to be an industry leader in relation to our unparalleled Code of Ethics and Conduct, with a commitment to the energetic integrity and energetic responsibility of its members. However, a predominant key issue is that parliamentary calls for the regulation of CM have come about as a result of a concerted campaign by a small group of influential sceptic groups, who insist
that any healthcare modality that does not conform to evidence-based scientific research measures, like RCTs (randomised controlled trials) are based on pseudo-science, and thus are questionable in their safety and effectiveness. In the interests of public safety, they argue that these modalities then have no place in public funded healthcare, nor should they be made available to the public to choose.
As a result, the EPA has increasingly made itself a presence and voice at national meetings and conferences in the UK, and more recently in Belgium and Germany, about regulation and the future of CM as a valid healthcare choice for the public.
European Parliament and growing numbers of member states have been implementing an ever-stricter line of regulatory requirements that has led to situations in countries like Belgium and Germany, ruling that only conventionally medical trained practitioners can practice CM. In addition, these modalities are required to prove their safety and effectiveness under a research model that has been exposed from within their own fraternity for its bias, corruption and out-dated methods.
The UK currently operates in a voluntary regulation environment, with only two complementary modalities, Chiropractic and Osteopathy practiced under mandatory industry regulation. This however, has not shielded them from attacks by sceptics and their determination that all healthcare but conventional medicine, be muted when it comes to making claims about the impact of the modality on medical conditions.
The EPA continues its work to not only keep informed about trends in the regulation of the practice of complementary medicine, but to be a voice that introduces an entirely different conversation that raises the bar with energetic integrity and responsibility in practice, and amongst other factors, emphasises the value of qualitative data, i.e.: Living Evidence – the client/patient voice on the efficacy of health care modalities.
An Update on EPA Contributions to Public Consultations
WHO: UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Integrated Healthcare (March 2017)
WHAT: Consultation on Integrated Healthcare ‘Challenges and Opportunities in a Post Brexit UK’ asked questions about the value of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in an integrated healthcare approach, safety, regulation and hostility experienced towards CAM.
PURPOSE: An opportunity to highlight and further expose the flaws in a reliance on evidence-based research as a ‘gold standard’ in establishing efficacy, the value in qualitative data (client experience), CM regulation and the necessity for a complementary collaboration in healthcare.
OUTCOME: No conclusions as yet.
WHO: UK Charity Commission (May 2017)
WHAT: Consultation on The use and promotion of complementary and alternative medicine: making decisions about charitable status. This consultation sparked legal threats to the Commission by an influential sceptic group in the UK, demanding the commission stop registering charities that practiced or promoted CAM without proof of efficacy based on robust scientific evidence-based research.
PURPOSE: An opportunity to highlight and further expose the flaws in a reliance on evidence based research as a ‘gold standard’ in establishing efficacy, the value in qualitative data (client experience), the public’s freedom to choose and the necessity for a complementary collaboration in healthcare.
OUTCOME: No conclusions as yet.
WHO: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
WHAT: As a registered Stakeholder with NICE, the EPA makes submissions to NICE on Public Consultations regarding NHS (National Health Service) Guidelines of Practice.
Commencing in January 2016 – 13 Submissions involving 33 EPA members (and growing) from 3 countries have been submitted to NICE on a variety of healthcare topics, including:
End of life care for infants, children and young people
Supportive and Palliative Care in Adults
Low back pain and sciatica
Mental wellbeing and independence of older people
Older People with social care and multiple health conditions
Eating disorders: recognition and treatment
Carers: provision of support for adult carers
Oral health in care homes and hospitals quality standard
Child Abuse and Neglect
PURPOSE: In an environment of financial strain, the scientific evidence based medical model has been used to justify the call to remove any previously recommended use of complementary medicine in the publically funded NHS. We are seeing the systematic removal of modalities like acupuncture and homeopathy, along with the tightening of guidelines for the use of massage and talking therapies in the NICE guidelines. Meanwhile, whilst the issue of opioid addiction is raised, the increased use of pharmaceuticals as central to healthcare solutions remains dominant.
OUTCOME: Whilst there has been the rare inclusion of distant references to the theme of recommendations from EPA submissions on subjects like self care and quality of practitioner training, there has been little tangible evidence that the NICE process of public consultation is genuinely open to recommendations from bodies outside the traditional medical organisations. This was further confirmed in the two meetings the EPA representatives attended as members of the RCCM (Research Council for Complementary Medicine) at NICE London headquarters, with the NICE deputy Chief Executive – where the question of what research is good enough for NICE to recommend the use of CAM, was met with an insistence on robust evidence based scientific models like RCTs.
Despite the growing resistance to complementary medicine and recommendations from the field on the present and future of healthcare, the EPA will continue to actively present in this area, witnessing not least of which the influence on contributing members and the valuable impact on the raised authority in their expression, and the importance of this in representing the truth in medicine for all.
Elizabeth McCann - Reversing the Trend: Ageing with Vitality
When I first read the Code of Ethics and Conduct of the Esoteric Practitioner Association (EPA) I felt it was asking that its members be responsible in their professional life. I was in complete agreement with this, but it also was talking about how we live our ‘so called’ private life, is reflected in our professional life.
I had always considered what I did in my private life to be my own business, as long as I was able to turn up for work on time and complete what was asked of me.
I made the choice to become a member of the EPA after sitting and pondering, and coming to the realisation that of course how I live outside work will affect the quality of any work I engage in. If I eat unhealthy food, don’t allow for sufficient sleep, or ingest copious amounts of stimulants, then the quality of my body and wellbeing that I go about my day with, will be less than optimal and will affect all I do and all whom I come into contact with.
I consider myself a practitioner of life because I know in my heart how important it is to be caring, understanding and supportive of others and to treat others as I myself would like to be treated. If I did not have consideration for my fellow man I feel my life would be very insular, I would become self-absorbed and would miss out on the joy that I now experience from living and contributing to the wellbeing of society.
I am committed to various voluntary roles within my local community. I support local schools, older peoples’ care schemes, neighbours who are house bound or are in nursing homes and if I see a need for support. I will offer my services whether I have experience or not in the area where the need has arisen.
Even though I am in my 70th year, I am reversing the trend concerning ageing, I am more active and involved within my local community than I ever have been and I can feel the benefits of this in my overall health and wellbeing. I am able to live a full and active life because what I do to support my local neighbourhood all boils down to the fact that the care I take of myself and my wellbeing is exactly the same whether I am at home or out in the community. I know that I bring healing and support to those I meet on a daily basis because of my living way, and at the end of the day it is not about what I do but the quality I bring to what I do that matters.
Being a member of the EPA supports this developing practice of living life as a ‘practitioner of life’ considering energetic responsibility and what I bring in all areas of life. It offers a depth of appreciation and understanding of life that is both humbling and inspiring.
Jerome Douglas - Leading from Within: Making Connection a Priority
Jerome Douglas has worked in health and social care in the UK for several years, facilitating projects and programmes for large hospital trusts. Healthcare and the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is currently coming under increasing pressure due to reductions in budgets and increasing levels of illness in society.
We caught up with Jerome to find out how being a member of the EPA and a student of Universal Medicine supports him in his work with groups of people in high-tension situations.
How do you approach your work, Jerome, and how have you found that the EPA has been able to support you?
All of the resources that are available as a member of the EPA are a support to me to help me to build a consistency on a day-to-day basis.
I know that the environment that I’m working in is always going to be pressurised, so a lot of the time it is about how I am with myself first. If I go to work feeling tired, because maybe I’ve had a late night or overeaten, or whatever it might be, I know I’m going to feel out of sorts and more vulnerable to falling into reaction, instead of presenting how I can be of support.
If I’m at work, how I sit at my desk and how I have my desk organised makes a big difference to my ability to be consistent. In meetings, when having conversations with other people, I ask myself, “how am I holding my body to support the conversation? How do I react in situations where potentially I could be brow beaten by someone else who is coming with a bullying energy?” It is about supporting myself and holding myself steady in those situations.
What are the practical things that you use when you know you are going to have a tricky conversation?
It’s about me acknowledging that I may be going into a meeting where I need to, for example, sell a particular idea to someone or reach a common agreement about something, so I need to be steady within myself going into the meeting. I may take a deep breath beforehand, or other very simple things that make sure that I’m not feeling intimidated by whatever situation I will be walking into.
Quite often I may have to meet with very senior people, so I can’t go in there feeling like I am less in any way, or less accountable than them. I have to check in with myself before the meeting to ask, “how am I feeling?” and if I’m feeling a bit racy or out of sorts, I’ll use the Gentle Breath, for example, to support myself to remain steady.
It is about staying open with people, seeing what they are coming to a meeting with and getting some level of connection with them. Quite often I just look people in the eye, smile, and connect with them. It is about offering them a level of decency and respect, so they don’t feel like I’m coming in with any arrogance.
What is your role in these meetings and conversations?
I’m often brought in as a program or project manager, so my job is to lead the way, but I don’t see myself as a leader, as in someone who tells people what to do. I see myself as a facilitator, helping everyone to go on a journey together, so we can come to a level of agreement about whatever it is that we are planning together.
I have to get people to talk together in workshops where everyone is heard. My way of doing that is facilitating in a way where everyone gets a chance to speak so no one person is dominating the conversation. It is about coming up with an array of options that is drawn from everyone’s individual expression, rather than a single view about how things have to be done.
It sounds like what you really excel at is getting people to step out of their world and getting them to see things in other ways.
I would say that everybody can understand once they know what’s going on, but the main issue is that because people don’t talk to each other as much as they should, and because they don’t connect with each other first before they do things, that creates a barrier to accomplishing what they want to. If you can get people to realise that there are two sides of the coin and that it is the same coin, and it is the same people living together, sharing, working, trying to come to the same outcome.
The fact is, it is somebody’s health and wellbeing at stake, so how do we support them? How do we support the people in the back office to work in a way where they are supporting the health and wellbeing of the patients of a hospital, and manage the business at the same time? All of this needs to be thought of in a very holistic way. That is what tends to be my challenge, because we all come with different ideas of what the business of running a hospital is.
What People Are Saying...
Physiotherapist and Practitioner of Universal Medicine Modalities, Practitioner Member of the EPA
“I joined the EPA because of its unparalleled Code of Ethics that I have not come across in any other field that I know of. Particularly in my field, which is the medical health area, I have never seen a code of conduct or code or ethics that matches it.
What I like about it is it asks the practitioner to consider all of their life, not just their conduct at work and it is not just a set of rules or regulations to stop you being sued or whatever.
It goes further than that, it takes into consideration how someone lives every day, and a certain code of living that actually is very nourishing for the practitioner or person who signs up to it but also very supportive for their clients.
The clients are getting so much more than they would otherwise receive in terms of level of care, level of attention and level of focus that you can do when you live by this code.”
Aged Care Worker, Waitress and Member of the EPA
“It’s that integrity that makes the EPA Code of Ethics stand out. I’ve compared the EPA code to other industries and they just don’t stand up. It’s not just about what you do, it’s about who you are and the quality you live in.”
Practitioner of Universal Medicine Modalities, Property Manager and Designer, Practitioner Member of the EPA
“The code of ethics outlines everything that is important to me and the way I live my life. It is what I feel everyone deserves as a way of conduct that can be taken into every part of life.
The Code of Conduct is a loving way, no rules, no discipline, just a lived way.”