…I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug…
– taken from Hippocratic oath
I consider myself a holistic practitioner. I value many approaches to healing from all angles. I want to clarify that holistic doesn’t only mean natural healing practices. Holistic encompasses ALL angles and practitioners who value and shape such angles for their patients. I also want to eat my first statement as I do not believe that there is any such thing as holistic healing that can come entirely from an external source. However, since most healing begins with the seeker going down external avenues for answers we will discuss the disconnect in the holistic healing model from that view point.
And, for the sake of this article we will name “natural” and “modern” (which I dislike being a catch all as well but…) medicine for our contenders in the ring of Us v. Them.
Disconnection lies in separation- the real root of all disease. I felt called to write about the very real separation between natural v. modern healthcare approaches as my journey has stood facing the great wall of “what the hell is going on with me” from both sides of the same landscape- just divided. Division creates confusion and conflict which will inevitably translate into the bodies of almost all seeking care. For balance in the body to be achieved we need a comprehensive holistic approach with natural and modern healthcare practitioners working together. When there is separation and conflict there will always be fear. Fear breeds confusion creating separation within the self which is truly the root cause of illness in most people- our complete disconnection from our own inner healer. And most people do not have their inner healer intact leaving them vulnerable to the manipulation I witnessed first hand in my own healing journey…
~I have a body and she is working some things out that have secured 2 surgeries, a colonoscopy, an endoscopy and lots of tests under my belt within 2 years. Much of this journey with my healing is quite shamanic in the way it is revealing deeper layers of healing and reconnection to my inner wisdom. I am quite fortunate that I understand how to navigate the nuances of this and most illness in the body. I am also very well versed in the many modalities available to heal the layers of the mind-body-spirit. Unfortunately, most are not equipped with this same wisdom so it makes their inner navigation system easy to influence through confusing external messages. And so…
I met with a very intelligent doctor in his field (Gastroenterology) and I was clear about my health history, my commitment to natural healing and my needs. Despite this he struggled to have a conversation that didn’t’ include a very scripted sell on the medications he is prompted to push by the pharmaceutical companies. When he saw I was listening with grace, but not following the bait, he sweetened it with-
“well, this acid blocking medication can change your life and when taken at the recommended time period really poses no threat”.
I was all of a sudden one of my clients feeling confused and trapped with no other alternatives presented and a dazzling doctor dangling promises of “a normal life”- yes he said that and those are big words that work on a fearful mind. I could clearly understand now how deluded and deceptive the world of medicine has become.
The part that really stood out to me most in his pitch was the bit about “when taken as directed”. What many are never told is that most of the pharmaceutical medications are created for short term use. However, most all medications are used long term creating devastating side effects. Very few medications, if any, heal. They are designed to prop us up short term so that the imbalances in mind/lifestyle/body and spirit can have some support while our entire organism works on healing. However, prescription medications are administered by a system that knows full well, and relies on, their dependency, addiction and general inability of most patients to approach their healing holistically.
Yes, often patients feel better short term on pharmaceuticals as symptoms are suppressed. But, then side effects begin to emerge because the big picture was never addressed. And, because pharmaceuticals are confusing chemical compounds to the body, the long term use can create new diseases that create the need for another medication. Fortunately, the body is wired with many alarm codes and the one that lands people in my practice most is the “there has to be another way because I am not getting any answers”. And, I know this is true for most natural medicine practitioners. (I realize I sound as though I am bashing the “other” side but bare with me).
On the other side of this wall are the natural practitioners who have such resistance to modern medicine that patients can form hesitance and even feel guilt and fear of judgment before entering their offices. They feel like they are going to be ridiculed in some way for seeking modern approaches first. I have had clients mention this unsupportive vibe from their natural practitioners making them feel faulted and unintelligent- not helpful. Rather than validate the modern approaches their patients have chosen there can tend to be a shaming type dialogue. Rather than looking to support the body where it is, there tends to be a passive bullying to get patients off their medications or use fear language around modern techniques.
I have to admit- I have done this as it becomes difficult in the natural medicine world to not formulate strong opinions and opposition to modern medicine practices. This mostly because by the time patients reach me so much damage has been done that the course of action is a long list of emotional mind-body-spirit home work. But I have learned- really learned to shut up (with all kindness to myself). And, that the best support I can give my clients in this separation of sides is in validating their wisdom and their path and then support them in ANY decision they make for THEIR body.
I feel “we” would be more supportive of these modern medicines and measures if they were recommended responsibly and as they are designed. In fact it may make our jobs in the natural world a bit easier as we support our patient’s body’s in other ways while they are temporarily propped up on modern interventions. In return, maybe the modern medicine community would be more supportive of natural healing practitioners if we reached out in support of their practices. What if we encouraged them to recommend natural support to their patients as they are going through their prescription-surgery- medical protocol. Their patients would begin to actually feel better making them look like the supportive doctors I know they really want to be. What if they admitted and spoke on what most of them hide- that their modalities are, for the most part, abused. I know a lot of disheartened MDs imprisoned by this which tells me we are ready to make a shift.
The Perfect Holistic Medicine Utopia
Modern doctor writes a prescription for said medication along with the contact info for a natural practitioner to help assist the other pieces to support overall healing. Natural doctor creates a protocol and openly suggests that if symptoms are not improved then diagnostic evaluation by the modern medical community is recommended.
This model invites in all sides. This model allows the patient to receive knowledge of their body from all angles and then, with assistance, make a more informed and less fear based decision. I know how lofty and optimistic this sounds but the conversation and awareness has to begin somewhere and I do much prefer optimism in my life in general. So-until that Utopian time how can we work together to “prop people up” without so much collateral damage? Well, we begin by encouraging the destruction of the tallest wall of separation- the one within our clients. We empower them to listen to their bodies so that the inner healer awaken.
What to do if you are a patient reading this?
You remember what is- as one of my brilliant clients put it- HOLY-stic within yourself- your somatic intelligence and your intuition. You remember that you have a choice, THE choice, in what happens with your body. You remember that knowledge is power and that in order for the inner healer to awaken you must reclaim your own inner intelligence and get as much information you can around your healing. Empowered with information, you can then allow your inner wisdom to guide you.
However, I understand that it is easier to talk about awakening to and empowering your inner navigation skills then it is to actually do. This path back to remembering your own inner wisdom will meet emotions and places you long forgot- maybe because they were painful. There are amazing tools to help this process unfold gently. Often a guide in the process can be helpful to simply hold space for this- not to be your wisdom guru but to reflect back to you your own. The road to this may not be easy but the rewards are rich. And, let’s appease to the practical side for a bit- healthcare is expensive and the more you are empowered to heal from within you won’t be draining your resources on avenues that leak your energy out.
No one can know the path to your healing better than you. No one has your life, your children, your partner, your job, your heart and your rich inner self dialogue to know the absolute best course for you. So follow your heart and listen to your body. The signals, the imbalance- embrace them as guideposts back into your HOLY-stic YOU.
If this spoke to you and are looking to empower yourself back to inner wisdom and intuition I would love to hear from you.
I do offer private coaching sessions for this journey and sometimes just one session is enough to awaken something in you.
It is an invitation to reach out to me- or to one of the many amazing individuals who I know reflect the message in this body of words.