May 2019 Newsletter
Medicine is a creature of the mind...
I’m going to make a sweeping generalization. Like all such things there will be many exceptions, but a kernel of truth exists on which the generalization is built.
I offer this observation because it is foundational to the mindset shift necessary to succeed with the Whole Woman work.
My generalization is this - modern medicine is more concerned with making symptoms disappear than addressing root causes.
I am convinced that this is not a new phenomenon, but has been true probably as long as there have been “doctors” as opposed to healers we, the lay public, are primarily to blame for this phenomenon.
My reasoning is as follows -
When someone visits the doctor, s/he is experiencing something that feels like a problem. Often, the root cause of the problem can be traced back to some behavioral issue, diet, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, poor stress management, to name just a few examples. The potential list is long.
I believe doctors were taught early on by their patients that changing behavior was not an option. After all, people like their behaviors generally, or they wouldn’t keep doing them.
Even if their behaviors are killing them.
“Just make the pain go away!” Making symptoms disappear is generally relatively easy, particularly because doing so is a largely passive process on the part of the patient. “Take this pill. Undergo this surgery.”
A suggestion that someone might consider changing their diet is likely to elicit a response like, “What’s wrong with my diet? I learned it from my mother. Are you saying there is something wrong with my mother?”
So the medical institution we have created is largely a creature of our own collective willingness to accept the quick and easy “solutions.” The hard work is acknowledging that there is order in the universe, our bodies are deeply ordered, and health is a product of that alignment.
However, we as human beings are remarkably oblivious to both cosmic and bodily order, and have never been trained to listen to our body’s wisdom of what it needs for health.
As I have said before, the Whole Woman work is based on a healthy skepticism of the medical system, educating yourself so you have the knowledge you need for the third pillar, which is Self-care.
Self-care is simply listening to your body, running experiments, and adapting attentively to what your body has taught you about what it needs through your experiments.
Or, as you have heard me say before, “You are not the patient, you are the Physician.”
What emerges from this experimentation are changes in behavior, which are made possible through a growing trust of the body’s wisdom about what it needs.
These facts become personally verifiable. And, it becomes increasingly clear to us that what we can trust is the deep order of creation.
Where human beings tend to get lost in life is hanging their hats on an “ism”, a belief structure that is divorced from personally verifiable facts. The more rigid our belief system, the more divorced it is from the deeper realities which surround us and infuse our very sense of being.
We hang onto these belief systems because we have no cultural or societal models to help us feel comfortable with letting go of our beliefs and trusting the deep order of existence to reveal itself to us.
Listening and responding to our body requires us to change our behavior. This is how healing happens.
I point this out because when a woman discovers prolapse, incontinence, hip or knee pain, goes on the web looking for a legitimate alternative to medical interventions, at Whole Woman she will quickly find herself facing an existential dilemma.
The Whole Woman message is in direct opposition to the medical model. There is little in the way of intersection outside of trauma or contracting a demonstrably curable disease.
For some, stepping away from the medical system as we know it is as easy as stepping off a curb. For others, it’s like stepping off a cliff. It all depends on how tight the grip of the medical paradigm has on how you think about your health.
Walking away from the medical system can be terrifying. But that is only because we have not studied, learned, and come to appreciate how miraculous our bodies are. The more we develop our awareness of the depth and awesomeness of cosmic order, the easier it is for us to validate and adopt life-giving and life-supporting behaviors that are the root of health and healing.
Some women struggle with the Whole Woman work because it expects changes in behavior. It acknowledges that prolapse, incontinence, and chronic hip and knee pain are just symptoms themselves. It makes clear the reality that when you eliminate the root cause, the symptoms take care of themselves.
Native American healers understood disease to be the symptom of mis-alignment or dislocation or disconnection from life’s deep order.
Medicine is a product of the human mind. Health and healing are products of the human heart.