Changing the Global Health Care Landscape—Proceedings of a “Glocal” Symposium

  • Antony Joseph Porcino, PhD Candidate CAMEO Project, BC Cancer Agency
  • Daniel Hollenberg, PhD Ontario Health Human Resources Research Network
  • Tom Graff, MFA Tom Graff Exhibitions
  • Glenn M. Hymel, EdD, LMT Loyola University New Orleans, Department of Psychological Sciences
Keywords: congresses, consumer advocacy, delivery of health care – integrated, complementary therapies, holistic health, economics, organizing, financing, policy


Background: This glocal (global knowledge with local action) symposium was convened by a professional therapeutic massage bodywork professional organization to bring together the fields of economics, politics, and traditional and complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) to begin development of effective TCAM advocacy worldwide. The symposium addressed the core question, “What information will be needed to address issues that will arise as TCAM practitioners advocate for a respectful and equal-footing access to health care provision, public and private, worldwide?” Participants and Setting: The 35 international participants convened in a Victoria, Canada hotel. They were selectively invited to provide expertise in: advocacy, politics, public policy, economics, TCAM practice, integrative practice, sociology and TCAM research, education, media and language framing, psychology, and mediation. Methods: The two-day symposium used a facilitated dialogue and knowledge-sharing design process geared to achieving group-supported recommendations. Invited panelists discussed each agenda topic, followed by facilitated discussion with the entire group. Results: In general, participants agreed that advocacy from a TCAM perspective is needed. Additionally, more research should use methods with more relevance to everyday health care provision and health care costs such as effectiveness comparative trials and cost effectiveness studies. A number of specific advocacy steps were recommended. Most focused on developing local support for better access and equity regarding TCAM within local health care systems and advocacy work, which needs to both understand and engage the local TCAM practitioners and those using the TCAM services. Conclusions: The increasing awareness of TCAM and advancement toward integrative medicine—including traditional medicines and perspectives— are themes currently in development worldwide. Now is a good time for TCAM practitioners to open dialogue to develop better partnerships in health care. Such dialogue is facilitated when diverse people at the health care table understand each other’s perspectives. More discussions like this, with diverse people across more disciplines, need to occur worldwide.

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How to Cite
Porcino, PhD Candidate, A. J., Hollenberg, PhD, D., Graff, MFA, T., & Hymel, EdD, LMT, G. M. (2011). Changing the Global Health Care Landscape—Proceedings of a “Glocal” Symposium. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, &Amp; Practice, 4(4), 20–32.