What does "healer" mean? Does it describe a job or a social title? How does one qualify to be identified as "a healer"?
What are your thoughts when you think of a healer persona?
When you search for holistic health services in your cities, you probably would find a few local healers with different titles: tarot healers, energy healers, sound healers, and so on. If you want to become a healer too, you can. There are courses out there, in-person or online, that help you become a healer in few days or so. Once you finish the course you get a certificate with your name and your healer title on, pretty neat!
Folks, the doctors and therapists out there go through years of learning and training and working, after that they then get to put the title "Dr." in front of their name. (As I write this I suddenly think of one day when healers also put a title "Hr." or something in front of their names. That would be terrific.. )
A classy scene from Doctor Strange (2016), when Stephen Strange wants to be addressed properly as "Dr. Strange"
When I took the Yoga Teacher training, our teachers carefully educated us about the appropriation of words and terms. They said that the yogis in the past never called themselves "yogi", because being a yogi is a huge deal. It is a term for highly realized beings who have been through trainings and practices to shed their ego and transcend their mind. And they wouldn't attain enlightenment just to benefit themselves, but it was for all beings. They were humble and they understood the weight of this title. So they never called themselves "yogi".
Nowadays, everyone is a yogi. Yoga teachers are yogis, yoga students are yogis. The word itself has lost its original meaning and energy.
Let's talk terminology. "Healer" is a term for those who cure and heal others. While "doctor" and "healer" are considered separated terms nowadays, in the past they are basically the same. Those in the ancient periods who we call "healers" did the work of a doctor, didn't they?
In the era when mystical work and spirituality interwoven with daily lives, the healers could be the shamans of the tribe, or they could be the monks, the yogis, the martial art masters. They went through trainings and hardships before they could start going out there to offer help. Then as humanity evolved, we separate the terms "doctor" and "healer" to distinguish the types of education they go through.
So, in the historical context, "healer" indicates the people who did the work of a doctor. Nowadays when there are so many healers graduating from the few-day-courses, the word starts losing its meaning too.
To me, "healer" is a big word, because healing is a big work. Healing has many levels of depth and it depends on the goals of those who seek help. It can range from something down-to-earth like "I want to move on from this trauma" to "I want to connect with my Higher Self and hang out with my spiritual guides on a daily basis". It really is up to the person. The healer has one job, and they better make sure they can deliver.
However, in a wonderful world where the number of healers grow exponentially, how to make sure your healer can meet your expectations? I don't have the answer. Google reviews maybe.
Cut to the chase, I think it is an appropriation. The main reason for this appropriation probably is because our society is normalizing the term. However, when we have the understanding, we can make a conscious choice whether we want to stick with calling ourselves healers or not.