Kind of Healing Do You Need?
by John Williston
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- This is something the western medical profession doesn’t
really do. Prescriptions are given to alleviate pain, to relax
muscles, to relax the brain, to address chemical imbalances and
so on; however, amongst the medical protocol there isn’t
a healing component such as we in the holistic community know
it. Given the medical community’s lack of understanding
of what healers do, one cannot generally seek direction from them
in deciding what form of healing is appropriate to one’s
situation. Indeed it can be confusing given the variety and the
sometimes blurred lines between different holistic modalities.
Nonetheless, all of the healing modalities can be placed in four
categories; lifestyle changes, the process of detoxification and
rejuvenation, emergency medicine, and, spiritual medicine. Some
of these may overlap but ultimately all are helpful.
Change - Not only is this the most readily available, it is also
the one that most people will not undertake until they find themselves
in a compromised state of health. An example of such a case is
the overweight person who, faced with the increasing risk of heart
disease, diabetes, and other obesity related disorders, finally
decides to take responsibility for their life and undertakes a
lifestyle change. These changes need not be precipitated by the
prospect of disease but generally humans do not change unless
put under some stress to do so - either by someone else, by their
bodies, or through some spiritual insight.
of lifestyle changes are available - one can join a gym, attend
yoga class, begin attending worship services, get a divorce from
an unhealthy marriage, leave an onerous and repressive job, change
one’s diet, and others. Lifestyle changes are embarked upon
only when one realizes that life has to change.
process of detoxification and rejuvenation - This is more invasive
than lifestyle changes and requires more understanding on the
part of the healer. It is important to recognize that once a healer
begins to administer various purifying actions, it is understood
that the healer is beginning to influence their Karma. It is important
that the client be comfortable with and have confidence in their
detoxification and rejuvenation one looks to supplement their
body functions. One will begin to consume herbs and supplements,
becoming more aware of the relative value of what one is putting
in one’s body and the need to augment it. Additionally,
one may undertake fasting (which has been recommended by all religious
practices throughout the world) which could be called detoxification
medicine. Detoxification options including various colonic treatments,
deep tissue massage, shiatsu massage, yoga (this can be a powerful
detoxification process), steam baths, etc.
the Medicine Buddha practices there are Five Karmas that are detoxificants
and which include enemas, purgatives, emetics, nasal douching,
and blood-letting or blood purification.
detoxification is complete one can move towards rejuvenation.
Too often people will skip the detoxification process and attempt
rejuvenation. Generally speaking, this is not at all helpful as
the rejuvenation results will be minimal at best. However, it
must nonetheless be recognized that there may be times when rejuvenating
practices need to be undertaken first in order to raise one’s
energy prior to detoxification such as when one has been weakened
through chemotherapy, or an accident or surgery. Rejuvenation
is attained through consumption of herbs, and of supplements,
essence extracts (such as aromatherapy), massage, hydrotherapies
with rejuvenating herbs, and herbal enemas.
Medicine - By its very nature, emergency medicine is more invasive
than either of the above approaches. One seeks emergency medicine
once the condition has approached either a chronic or emergency
level and requires immediate treatment. The reason for this urgency
generally is that one has not undertaken lifestyle changes or
sought to detoxify and rejuvenate the body before this point.
Emergency medicine is therefore the treatment for deep-seated
problems that require radical intervention. Such intervention
may include acupuncture, moxibustion, or surgery. These are usually
considered last resorts with all other attempts at treatment having
Medicine - Spiritual medicine is certainly the deepest, most invasive
and most complex form of healing. Not only does it generally require
a highly skilled spiritual helper, it also requires the absolute
commitment of the individual and hence is the least undertaken.
Spiritual medicine is often used by those for whom the above approaches
have failed and who are now facing the fact that they will soon
leave their bodies. However, over the past few years there has
been an increasing and encouraging trend toward people beginning
to incorporate spiritual medicine into lifestyle changes - a wonderful
development indeed. The most powerful form of spiritual medicine
that I have personally uncovered is a traditional form of Reiki
healing energy which allows for the release of repressed emotions
and fears thereby allowing the client to remove the source of
their challenge. For more information on undertaking a spiritual
journey please see the article ‘The Spiritual Journey -
Are You Ready’ by this author in a previous issue.
medicine includes the practices of contemplation and meditation
as well as spiritual seeking. One needs to be able to contemplate
how they have contributed to their distress and the resulting
illness (hence its lack of popularity) and then take responsibility
for the situation. Such personal knowledge is critical if one
is to move beyond the present situation. When this process is
successfully completed the chronic situation is often spontaneously
research has proven that people who meditate or pray regularly
and have a spiritual practice are much less likely to become chronically
ill, and when they do, the recovery time is generally shortened.
medicine is considered the most invasive because it requires a
thorough examination of one’s life with the goal of addressing
all unresolved conflicts, abuse, pain, heartache and other unpleasant
circumstances that have created the seed from which illness arises.
Interestingly, some people would rather face death than resolve
their internal struggles. Where this is the case, one must show
them compassion and understanding and support them on their journey.
change, detoxification and rejuvenation, emergency medicine, and,
spiritual medicine are the four categories of holistic health
practice that one can choose from. Each has its own purpose and
they are quite often combined with one another - they are not
necessarily meant to be followed in a sequential fashion. Indeed
a combination of them is usually more helpful than any one in
Williston is a Holistic Therapist in Halifax (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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