Care is the Best Medicine

practitionersBack in the days when penicillin and sophisticated technology were not yet discovered, how old western doctors cure their patients? Many believe they were armed with the Big C, or CARE. They stood by the bedside of their dying patients, patting their hands, offering their support. Their knowledge of curing diseases may have been very limited, but their hearts were big and caring.

Care is the best medicine which cannot be merely substituted with powerful drugs or the latest hi-tech invention. Caring may not produce quantifiable results that can be seen and scrutinized in the laboratory, but its results should not be underestimated.

An endangered patient who is finally equipped yet has no one who sincerely cares for him, may not be able to heal as fast as a person who is battling an infectious disease and has the loving support of his family.

Many people recuperate very fast because of their caring relationships. Caring for someone, infuse in them the understanding that you really want the best for them, opens wide the road to recovery. This is also very true in practical life. No matter how stubborn and hard a person may be his wall of antagonism and cynicism would melt down when he realizes your sincere desire for his well-being.

Listening is vital. If the patient is assured that when he talks someone is interested enough to listen and help him, he feels very fortunate and full of hope. If the doctors really cares and knows how to listen, then he gets to learn about the values of his patient. Do his patients want to be hooked up onto so many machines, holding on to the fortress of the body even if it’s falling apart? Or does he want to preserve his dignity and let just nature takes its course? Otherwise, the doctor would be imposing his own value system on the patient, which is preserving life at all cost.

Each person is part of mosaic. Each has his own special way of connecting with himself, his family, and his community. The art of understanding the whole person and not just the physiology process involve in curing the disease is more important. This integral appreciation of the person makes the doctor deal with the spirit, an essential part of body-mind medicine.

There are people who may have been diagnosed for terminal illness like cancer and are given, to say, six months to live. Yet, since some of them whose spirits are whole and are determine to live strangely so live longer than expected. Some who are low in spirit, bereft of love and care in the family, suffer from depression and die in a couple of months. Still, some old people like the Native American Indians can die at their own will with no apparent physiological reason.

In body-mind medicine, suggestion and belief system have a very strong bearing just like the placebo effect, which demonstrate the impact of belief on the physical body. When a person firmly believes that he could get better according to the doctor does or gives him, and then his body responds accordingly. But what actually happens is that his endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin doing the job as a result of the healing and mind act.

Some may think that they can skip the part of caring for someone’s pain and just administer placebos. In the sense, this is being dishonest to the patient and would not help anyone who should be confronting the problem, which is dealing with the real pain. Perhaps pain is symptomatic of the person asking for your time or attention.

Dr. Ron Anderson, chair and CEO of Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, which is rated among the 25 best hospitals in the US, has used the principles of body-mind medicine in his work. Dr. Anderson co-authored Medical Apartheid – An American Perspective. He has this to say about hospital care; “It’s like preventive medicine if I deal with the patient’s problems and anxieties and concern ahead of time; I actually made the therapy plan and the outcome better for both of us. We beat out our medical students and our

House staff officers of compassion and empathy and a lot staff willingness to understand the person. They are told to understand the disease and that’s what they’ve tested on.

“Traditionally, hospitals have been organized for doctors, for auxiliaries, for insurance companies – everybody but the patient. Hospitals have taken in the total institution format. The total institution is like a concentration camp or a jail or even a place created to service a need, but that is overwhelmed with volume, stress, strain, and people not dealing with their own feelings. Public school systems may be the same way. Hospitals should be places created for the service of the patients. We ought to deliver care as best as we can within a very clear value system. Doctors should be customers of a hospital, but not the only customers.

“When people get to the wards and see a harried faculty member of a senior house staff, they may develop the attitude that the patient is the enemy. One of the reasons that many physically don’t want to do primary care in this country is that they’re trained in hospitals where they don’t understand the patients as that patient lives in a family and a community. They don’t have any continuity with the patient over time.

“Any physician who takes care of patients for 10 or 15 years cherishes that relationship. Medical students don’t see that. They just see an intensive care unit with the technology. It’s easier to write a prescription instead of stooping to talk to the patient. One of the things I tell medical students is that writing a prescription is not the end of the social contact with the patients. They need you to visit them, particularly the elderly person. Somehow that offends the house staff, who says, ‘She just wants social contact. What’s wrong with that if it’s healing’?”

Dr. Ron Anderson has hit the nail on its head with his perspective on effective healing environment. His perspective in medicine is nothing neither new nor common. A vital key to the healing process of a person is care which anyone has a heart could give. Care enhances the power of medicine, medical technology, and doctors’ guidance. Care could help the diseased not to be deceased easily.

The Greatest Love

face to faceMaria was very concerned with how she looked, especially her teeth. She was just not pleased with her image on the mirror. She had gone dentist hoping, feeling that each had only made her look worse. She went to have her nose fix, but they did a poor job. Each professional only mirrored her belief that she was ugly. Actually there is nothing wrong with how she looked.

Tina had a terrible breath that made people uncomfortable being around her. She was a theology student so her outer demeanor vibrated with piety and spirituality. Beneath this was a raging current of anger and jealousy that exploded from time to time, when thoughts of how a certain person was threatening her position. Her inner thoughts were expressed through her breath, and she was offensive even when she pretended to love. No one threaten her but herself.

We may know of people in similar situation – we may even be in it. We may scold and criticize ourselves endlessly. There could have been a time when praises and compliments surprised us, even made us feel uncomfortable. Again, criticism or reprimand seemed be safer water to tread. And if someone else expressed their love, sometimes we may have felt, “Why me?” – Or “You might be mistaking me for someone you know.” The belief that we are unlovable seems to be prevalent.

There is a litany of other negativities that could be included: we procrastinate on things that could benefit us. We are quite afraid to charge a decent price for our services. We create illness or pain in our body. We live in chaos and disorder, as reflected in how our house is arranged or how we work. We may even be attracting lovers and mates who belittle us.

By denying ourselves of our good, we show how we regard ourselves. Try to see these examples:

The husband is grouchy and tired; the wife wonders what she could have done to cause it.

A friend takes you out once or twice and never calls again. You think something must be wrong with you.

The marriage ends and one feels he/she is a failure.

An employee is afraid to ask for a raise.

We don’t close the sale or get the position we aim for and we are sure we are not good enough.

We mistreat our body with food, alcohol, or drugs.

A person is afraid of intimacy and allowing anyone to get close, so he/she has superficial friendships.

We can’t seem to make decisions and put other people on the spot to make decisions for us because we are quite sure that if we make them they will be wrong.

What about you, how do you show your lack of self-worth?

Problems and situations may be different but at the root of all these is how much we love ourselves. Some of you might even react on this, thinking that loving yourself is vanity or some kind of arrogance, an utter to conceit. These are beliefs that have nothing to do with love, but springs from fear. When we love ourselves, we respect ourselves and express gratitude for the miracle of our body and mind.

Loving ourselves can burst and overflow in all directions. Consequently, we feel love for the very process of life itself. We feel joy in being alive so we see beauty everywhere, in another person. We are curious and strive to learn more about how the universe works in us. Love is the miracle cure. Loving ourselves cures and transforms our lives.

Thanks to Marilitz “thoughts”.

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Using Your Intuition

When an insight suddenly occurs to you, you have tapped the trunk line of intuition. You can call this the buried sixth sense. Although uncalled for, intuition sends you clues about the world around you and often gives directions on what you need to do.

You heard about women’s intuition. Some husband would wonder, “I don’t know how she found out without anyone telling her”. Women sure have a way of feeling their way, or smelling trouble even if its miles away if someone they love is involved. A woman’s intuition often gets erring husbands busted by their wives.

Intuition is also hot in therapists, doctors and even businessmen. People try to tap into their intuition for guidance in decisions about love, health and work. Effective doctors rely no just on their physical instruments for diagnosis, which could point to 101 diseases, but also in learning to hear and trust their intuition. In the past, the cultivation of intuition was one of the major works of Egyptians, Chaldeans, Indians and Persians. The influence of their cultures extended beyond the great oceans. Today, intuition is developed enough for man to bring about greater cultures and civilizations. By opening our faculty of intuition, you can by-pass the traps set by the mind as dictated by modern civilization.

Your intuition can bring you information you won’t receive from any other source. If you are quiet and calm, you can experience how your intuition sends you messages and insights. This could even be happening right now. It’s just that you often dismiss these ideas because you were taught to think in a logical and rational manner.

If you let your intuition work, however, you’ll be surprised at how intelligent you seem to have become – certain concepts have become easily comprehensible, or you are able to “see” certain aspects not normally perceived by people. In fact, your intuition can also be like an inner doctor whom you turn to all kinds of advice. Your body gives you early warning signs on what is wrong with it; your intuition enables you to find out what is exactly and what to do about it.

Many people wonder if they are indeed id touch with intuition. We all have different ways of explaining it. It’s a feeling, a subtle turning or pulling in the navel area, which some people call the “gut instinct”. Sometimes, this sixth sense appears as a quickening of the heartbeat, hair standing on end, a queasy feeling, or a burning or tingling sensation. When something is right, you feel a sense of lightness, and when something is wrong, you feel heaviness.

The logical, conscious mind is compared to a big, bossy brother who drowns out and bullies the younger sister (or the intuitive voice) by dismissing its suggestions with quick, harsh, thunderbolt judgments. Try to trick your conscious mind once in a while and be uninvolved so you can find it easier to be intuitive.

As wise and knowledgeable as your intuition may be, don’t expect it to be totally relieving you of your decision-making responsibilities. Your intuition just provides you options to take, not absolute answers or solutions. You’re still responsible for weighing your intuitive impressions against the data found in reality and then making the ultimate decision. It’s never a question of preferring intuition over the intellect because you need both.

Without getting too esoteric, intuition can be an asset, health-wise. With the wisdom your body is telling you, you can collaborate with health practitioners. He, who feels it, knows it more. The doctors are only guide by what you tell them.

On its very deep aspect, intuition reveals three great qualities: illumination, understanding and love – a love that transcends all barriers, makes criticisms and produces separation. Intuition, according to a Tibetan sage, is synthetic understanding, a comprehensive grip of universality and loss of the sense of separateness. Intuition embodies universal love and identification with all living beings.

Next time, we will explore how to tap intuition and how to feel a lie or truth in your body.

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