Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Mystery Within

I have just read the following in Sujata Varadarajan's blog from India, which I would like to share with everybody involved in healing work of all kinds.  She writes:

"We all need reminders. This time, mine came through my friend Nora. She wrote describing how she believes that what goes on inside each of us is a mystery and cannot be read in entirety through graphs and chemical tests.

It's something we forget, more so after visiting conventional doctors or hospitals. Modern medicine, in its desire for objectivity and rationality, has lost sight of that which brings about healing and balance - the inner spark of which we know little. There are some exceptions, a handful of doctors, some books (my favourites being 'Love, Medicine and Miracles' by Dr. Bernie Siegel, a surgeon at Yale and the 'All Creatures Great and Small' series by James Herriot, a vet. who worked in Yorkshire) and a few films (eg. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Munnabhai MBBS) to remind us that medicine is not about statistics, it is about individuals. Illness and health work in ways that are not as well understood as doctors would like us to believe.

As I visit hospitals, I see many kinds of illnesses on the rise, notably those to do with endocrine and reproductive health and lifestyle related problems. And I see the patients - people of all ages waiting patiently ('patient' is apt here!), many showing signs of stress, frustration or despair. And I think once more of what I would do if I were running a centre to tackle these kinds of problems.

I would definitely rope in an acupuncturist, a masseuse and a yoga teacher to help release some of the physical and mental stress. I would create a separate room for discussions for patients- with each other or in a group, as they please (have you noticed how isolated or pressurized some of these people look? And how their faces light up at the sight of a smile, even though it comes from a stranger?). A library with books and music to help them while they wait. And last but not least - lots of clean bathrooms and plenty of drinking water. And sit back, wait and watch those 'healing statistics' soar as each person feels better in his own way."

Wouldn't it be lovely if people could be greeted, as Sujata would like them to be, with smiles and love and care, rather than with the cold informality with which hospital and doctors' reception desks now usually greet us?

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