Modern medical practices raise questions about healing.
I am motivated to write today’s Post because a week ago, last Tuesday 24th April, I went to see my local doctor here in Payson. I don’t want to rabbit on too much about that doctor’s appointment because that isn’t the thrust of this ‘essay’. But let me just say this about that experience on the 24th, because it’s relevant to what I’m trying to convey.
A few years back, I was diagnosed with vestibular migraine but the reason for going to see the doctor was motivated by the realisation that over the last few months my memory was getting a little sporadic, for want of a more technical description! But I felt that the vestibular migraine, that I still suffer from, was relevant to my assessment. I should further add that the health clinic where this doctor is based have only seen me once before, for something minor. In other words, they do not have a good understanding of me from a medical perspective.
So I enter the doctor’s room and in comes the medical assistant with her wireless-connected laptop. Her fingers are poised to enter details.
I said, “Before we get going on my memory, can I talk about my vestibular migraine?”
The assistant replied, “Well I’m on the memory page, not the migraine page. Which do you want to talk about?”
I sighed and indicated that she should ask me questions about my memory!
Ergo, this human that wanted to be seen as a human had to conform to the relevant medical label!
So with this still reverberating inside me, I was positively tuned to something recently published by Michele of Dogkisses Blog. It was a very recent post called Green Healing – Horticultural Notes. Let me ‘borrow’ a few words from that Post.
We always begin Horticulture Therapy by gathering in a circle to share plant news. This time together is good, interesting and takes us in many directions. We often visit our past of garden or plant memories and look to the future with hopeful or creative garden dreams and ideas.
Last week I arrived just in time to hear another participant sharing his idea for a creative planting container. The young man was more engaged than usual and when he smiled and became excited about what plants to choose and where he would put his new container, I felt like I saw the heart of horticulture therapy.
I like to call these times Healing Happenings, which are moments in time when hope or happiness fills my heart and mind. I’m not talking about everything being right or all problems being fixed. I’m talking about a little piece of time when worry and stress take a back seat and the beauty of life emerges.
This got me thinking. Is there a schism these days in modern medicine between curing and healing? Have we created a situation where we rely on chemical and pharmaceutical technology to find a whole range of cures but, in parallel, is medicine losing sight of the need for healing? Maybe some would argue that such a distinction is irrelevant; if one is sick then one is very needy for a cure. But, overall, perhaps the evidence of better and better healing in our societies is pretty hard to find. Take this that I read recently,
There is a growing epidemic of obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and predictions that 15,000,000 people in the United States alone will have Alzheimer’s Disease by the year 2050.
Back to Dogkisses blog,
Personally, ‘healing happenings’ include moments when I enjoy what I imagine most Mothers do, which is seeing our children, no matter what age they are, smile and be happy. They’re also moments when I feel that my family will be okay.
There is always hope in a garden. We hope it grows. We hope it rains. We hope to have a good harvest of food or lively blooming flowers that paint our world pretty. I’m sure hope is part of why it feels good to work in a garden, whether you have a large field or a modest arrangement of containers on your porch. Each day you have hope.
“When I’m in my garden, life’s troubles crumble away with the rich black soil between my fingers. I’m fully in my body, out of my head, my worries banished. My garden is my church, my time there sacred.” (Garden your troubles away, by Amy Karon, PsycheScoop).
Here’s what I wrote as a comment to DK’s Post,
You using the phrase ‘green healing’ touches on the essence on what we all need to do to ‘survive’ in this crazy world. And, of course, I’m using the word ‘survive’ in a mental rather than physical sense.
It reminds me of the odd moments during the day when I hug one of the dogs and really give in to the feeling; almost as though the dog and I recognise it could be the very last hug in our lives. The emotional intimacy that flows from that private bonding across the two different (very different!) species is truly breath-taking!
So forgive my meanderings today but you may share my fear that by losing touch of the very powerful curative aspects of communing with nature, whether it be a garden, a walk in the woods, a swim in the sea or the warmth of an animal body, we may be missing real healing. As Michele wrote, “Each day you have hope.” Without hope there is nothing left.