Edge Life by Cathy Combs

Physician Heal Thyself

"Physician heal thyself" perfectly expresses my feelings toward the role of alternative, complementary health care today. What I love about these health-care systems is that they all express and honor the vitalizing body-mind-spirit interconnectedness. They are heart-connected systems. For me, these health-centered alternative systems express the basic difference between love and fear. These systems express the value that there is an infinite variety of ways to heal ourselves, because there is an infinite variety of ways we express as humans. We are infinitely different and yet, we are the same spirit.

Alternative health care systems express the understanding that our integrated body-mind-spirit system operates as an inherently wise and loving universe -- one that is love and wisdom itself. It is a system that speedily communicates on every level. We have the response-"ability" to heal ourselves, and this is recognized and honored. Rather than fighting dis-"ease," which seems to be Western medicine's approach, I see alternative systems as embracing the value of being healthy in the first place; being proactive rather than reactive. Alternative health care truly values the individual.

The disciplines of alternative care work to support, strengthen and supplement the immune system -- the body's healing center -- rather than work against the body to destroy the dis-"ease." What I love about holistic approaches is that they honor the body as sacred and recognize that the body-mind connection serves as a mutually supportive feedback loop. Alternative health care systems truly recognize that healing comes from within; healing is not imposed from the outside. This holistic approach recognizes that we must work with the root cause of disease to truly heal.

Honoring our bodies
To support the vast intrinsic knowings of these alternative health care systems, we must support the re-enculturation of our medical social system to the age-old value of honoring our bodies as sacred. In such a patriarchal, hierarchical system, that value has been intentionally subverted, almost destroyed. Thankfully, it has not disappeared.

Alternative, complementary systems of health care hold sacred the value of listening and truly caring about each person. It honors the value of seeing people for who they truly are. This value is in direct contrast to the dismissiveness that so many people encounter from the disease-oriented system of care in which the prevailing attitude often is to not question the physician, to not say that "this medicine makes me sick," and to not express your opinion as an intelligent, cognizant individual. These disconnected, uncaring attitudes prevent communication and healing. The imbalance inherent in the hierarchical system prevents care and caring! That is why I say, "Physician heal thyself; come back into balance with yourself, your community, your purpose as an informed, compassionate partner in the healing process."

True caring
It is vitally important to recognize the differences between the holistic system and the dualistic system. It is vitally important to realize that the relationship established between the person being treated and the health practitioner is a huge part of the healing process. It also is vitally important that we recognize that the healing process is a partnership based on true caring!

Research has established that a person's positive frame of mind has a great impact on healing. In alternative health care systems, practitioners focus on the functioning of the whole person. Disease is not an enemy in these systems. It is a signal of imbalance. Honoring of the body-mind interconnectedness is easily visible, as it must be for true healing to happen.

Some of the alternative, complementary health-care practices that I truly value are prayer, Pilates, cranial-sacral balancing, movement, tithing, forgiveness work and eating organically grown foods. This rather eclectic blend of practices expresses my deeply held understanding that the body is sacred. Life is sacred. Movement, flexibility, strength and generosity are integrally linked at every level. For us to be the fully functioning, joyful beings we were created to be, we must be fully alive to the present moment. We must be happy, healthy, connected with ourselves and each other, and most of all connected with our divinity.

Ongoing research on the power of prayer in healing is very fascinating to me. It is showing that prayer is a powerful component in the healing process. We are spirit in expression. Prayer is my conscious alignment with my divinity. Tithing is my conscious expression of gratitude for the spirit within me and my trust in the love this infinite spirit has for me. Forgiveness work is my conscious understanding that I must forgive everyone and everything so that I can keep my connection with the divine flow of blessings clear.

This conscious understanding of tithing, forgiveness and self-worth is at a new level of depth for me. I feel freer than I've felt in ages. I feel far more joyful and far less stressed than I've felt in ages. This change in attitude and practice expresses the vitalizing connection between body, mind and spirit that I treasure so very much.

The point behind any alternative methods is to heal, to be happy, to be well -- and that involves consciously recognizing and valuing our inherent worth and dignity, our intrinsic wellness and wholeness. We must consciously recognize that we must think and do things that express joy, love, peace, flexibility, authenticity, wholeness!

Alternative systems of health care help us to re-establish the vital connection we have with ourselves. They help us to break up the crystallizations of restriction that have formed in our bodies and minds as we unconsciously brace against the fears we might be feeling.

Our bodies and minds are temples of spirit. We are powerful beings of light and love. Alternative systems of health care recognize and value this reality. Therefore, I say again, "Physician heal thyself." Come into balance! Namasté!

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