Alternative medicine association formed – The Royal Gazette

Updated: Mar 21, 2024 10:20 PM

CAMBDA members Karen Simons, left, Deryn Higgins, Shanell Vaughn, Bianca Komanaky, Shirley Bridgewater and Kuni Frith (Photograph supplied)

After six years of preparation, a group of alternative medicine practitioners have formed the Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Bermuda Association.

The group’s mission is to support qualified practitioners in the fields of complementary and alternative medicine, and members of the public who seek treatment from these professionals.

To join CAMBDA, alternative medicine professionals, must fill out an application and agree to a code of ethics and standard of practice.

The code of ethics asks members to be honest about the qualifications, not date clients until two years after service with them is terminated, and avoid actions or language that could be perceived as sexual in nature, among other things.

A small group of individuals recognised the need to establish a regulatory body that would bring credibility and integrity to the field in 2018.

Member Deryn Higgins said: “Many Bermudians have invested years of study holding certifications, diplomas or degrees in a wide range of holistic health platforms. These experienced practitioners lacked support from a regulatory body that was able to uphold the ethics and standards of practice for those disciplines deemed unconventional and without scientific evidence by allopathic medical associations.”

The association currently has eight members. Some of the modalities represented are naturopathy, kinesiology, energy medicine (such as reiki and jin shin therapies), transpersonal psychotherapy, various types of hypnotherapies, holistic coaching, herbology, cupping therapy, types of acupuncture and Asian massage therapies.

Potential clients can go to the CAMBDA website to find accredited practitioners who carry out particular therapies.

Ms Higgins said the focus was always on reaching a standard of excellence that would benefit the practitioner and the client.

“The council reviewed the standards of practice set out by other jurisdictions that would enable the client to experience a plethora of CAMBDA modalities in a safe and professional environment,” she said.

“Examples were taken from long established accrediting bodies in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand and several countries throughout Europe to create an association unique to Bermuda.”

She said that globally the efficacy of CAMBDA could no longer be overlooked and labelled pseudoscience and that several world renowned hospitals and clinics now incorporated these disciplines into their healthcare practices.

“Bermuda insurance companies have already accepted and offer coverage for therapies such as acupuncture, massage, chiropractic medicine and nutritional counselling as viable applications to reducing healthcare costs, and as an adjunct therapy to traditional medicine carried out by allopathic practitioners,” Ms Higgins said.

She said Coral Isle Insurance had become a leader for complementary alternative medicine coverage.

Ms Higgins said it was of “paramount importance” to always be an active and involved participant in your healthcare decision making.

“We would like to invite the reader to explore our website and feel free to contact any of our members for further guidance and direction in choosing a professional CAMBDA practitioner,” Ms Higgins said.

“We would like to invite CAMBDA practitioners to review our website and seek guidance on how to become a member.”

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