To illustrate what I mean, here’s a comparison between the dominant approach to healthcare and the marginalised, “alternative” approaches.
Recently I went to see a medical doctor.
The first thing the staff did was collect my data. They weighed and measured, poked and prodded, writing everything down in a form as they went.
Then, suitably reduced from a human being to numbers on a sheet, I was ushered into the next room to wait for the doctor.
The doctor spent more time looking at the computer screen than at me, entering data and analysing it. Even when she asked questions, she kept looking at the screen while I answered, adding my responses to the information in “my” file.
(I use inverted commas for “my,” because I know I have no control over that file.)
Less than fifteen minutes later, I was ushered out again with an order for blood tests and instructions to come back in 3 months for more testing. (The doctor also suggested a pharmaceutical prescription, but I politely declined it.)
Conversely, here’s the kind of experience I’ve come to anticipate when I go to a healer with a more holistic approach – one who sees me as a unique individual rather than as a case study, and who approaches the business of helping me with deep humility and compassion.
First, the healer looks into my eyes, and I feel safer immediately. Then, for an hour or more, she listens to me. Really listens.
I’m nourished by her undivided attention and unconditional acceptance. She listens to my story, rather than taking my data. She asks questions that draw parts of the story out of me that I had not previously recognised. This in itself is deeply healing.
And when finally this healer prescribes, the prescription is full of nourishment for both body and soul. Real food. Rest and renewal. Connection with family. Time in nature.
As well as nourishment she may prescribe supplements, homeopathy, or other remedies, and she sometimes also calls on modern scientific medicine, but all these are secondary to the nourishment; they don’t replace it.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like this previous article which describes how pharmaceutical medicine is the medical equivalent of fast food – its fast, its convenient, and it erodes our health over time.
There is also a companion article which compares commercial, profitable medicine with natural, local, not-for-profit medicine.
Kate writes at ARealGreenLife.com about thinking differently and living a more natural, connected, and sustainable life. Check out her free downloads page or her blog.