By Darlene Merkler, Merkler’s Consulting Services. Darlene was our first associated HCC Chapter President in the Inland Empire (CA)!

Initially, I couldn’t find any options… When I was diagnosed with osteo-arthritis and told by my medical doctor that there was nothing that could be done for me-- that I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 55.

Eventually, after asking everyone I came in contact with about other options, someone mentioned Acupuncture and Massage. So, I tried them both and they helped a lot. 

I also tried Reflexology, Meditation and other holistic approaches to healthcare. 


I soon realized that a mind, body and spirit approach to healthcare got to the root of the problem.  Western medicine treats the symptoms. It uses the “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning” approach.  Many doctors have told me to just take more medicine, to try another medication.

I learned a few things while looking for different holistic solutions and practitioners to help me:

(1) Most practitioners don’t know how to market their business, making it difficult for those who need them to find them;

(2) Many practitioners don’t know about each other, so they can’t collaborate or refer to each other; and

(3) Most people don’t know what a holistic approach to health is all about, because holistic practitioners aren’t getting the word out to enough resources, or they’re not taken seriously when they do...

When I started this journey in Maryland, I worked on my own to start the Carroll County Holistic Networking Group.  After coming to California, I found The Holistic Chamber of Commerce and saw the benefit of a growing, national organization that can get the word out to more people on a larger scale, bringing more attention to holistic solutions, which benefits those in need as well as the professionals and businesses offering a healthier way.

By the way, I’ll be 60 years old this year and am still going strong, walking my dogs every day and very active.  To those of you who are committed to helping and healing others-- thanks!