The root word of healing is hale, or to make whole. Healing may or may not apply to what is commonly labeled physical health. The purpose of healing is not just to return a body or a mind back to what society considers normal. Healing should be something that facilitates one to move towards a greater wholenesswellness. It is impossible to separate what is mental from the physical or spiritual, yet our language does not offer concepts to best understand these connections.
A healing path usually depends on what one believes to have caused the disease. Concepts to think about:
All diseases and disorders have a multiple and complex basis that varies with each person.
You may never know the real cause of your particular problem as there are no universal standards in determining cause. Cultural attitudes often determine cause. But that doesnt prohibit healing.
Regardless of cause, some problems manifest their symptoms most clearly at the physical or mental level, others at the spiritual level and still others at the social/community level. These symptoms respond best to treatments designed for their appropriate level.
There are many systems of healing. Some systems have been in place for many thousands of years while some just a few hundred. Each system has its own treatments, assumptions, and has a model for naming and treating a variety of problems. There are three well known systems in the healing model of this country.
In the United States, only allopathic physicians may legally practice medicine. The underlying assumption of allopathy is that disease is an entity, usually having an external cause with treatment geared toward removing the cause, and/or relieving symptoms with surgery, pharmaceuticals and machines. This theory presupposes a person can do little to help themselves other than comply with an allopathic treatment.
Behavioral medicine is a relatively new system of healing. Its basic assumption is that behaviors have something to do with health. Behavior is variously defined, from observable activities such as eating, smoking, exercise, and work to a concept of internal events such as attitudes, emotions and response to stress. Behavioral medicine attempts to modify health by changing behaviors.
Transpersonal medicine comes from extremely ancient healing systems i.e. acupuncture. Transpersonal means beyond the self. This system of healing looks beyond the development and expression of the self, to the greater, more cosmic, global, and spiritual self of the human community. One of the basic assumptions of transpersonal medicine is that somethingusually invisibleis transferred among and between individuals, i.e. God. This something is often referred to as energy, prayer, dreams, or visions and much more.
A new medical system of healing is slowly developing in what is called Integrative medicine. In most cases it is attempting to provide a body/mind/soul healing environment or whole person healing opportunity. With healthcare reform, the money involved for being un-healthy, people are learning to take responsibility for being healthy. Even the practitioners and systems of medicine must learn to support and cooperate with each other to offer true total healing. Responsibility can be defined as responding with ability. And we all have the ability to heal ourselves.