Throughout the interviews, the subject of personal beliefs as related to health care emerged again and again. Practitioners mentioned finding that their particular practice fit into the way that they saw the world, and pursuing the work in health care because of that reason.

The type of health care sought out, however, also depends on the beliefs of seeker. When a primary care physician in Mount Vernon was asked if there were any situations under which a referral to a holistic practitioner would be made, the physician made the following reply:

People generally get better based on what they believe is going to help them. And so there are certain people that go to M.D.s. They think that pills are what they need, that's going to treat them. And then there are certain people who feel that pills aren't going to help the, at all, but other alternative forms of medicine are going to help them–herbs or vitamins, whatever their belief may be. So I think it depends on the patient. There are certain people you're going to recommend going to reflexologists and they're going to think you're absolutely crazy. And then other people swear by them. So it's really, I think, whatever form of medicine, the patient has to believe in that form of medicine for it to be effective.

Health care in Knox County is highly dependent on what people believe will work for them. The existence of practitioners in such a relatively small area indicates that for many residents, holistic health practices can be valuable tools for health living.

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