Healing Body, Mind and Spirit

Autumn 2015, Living Well Magazine

At some point in the development of modern scientific medicine, physicians became specialists who focused only on the physical aspects of illness. For the physician disease means nothing more than the breakdown of the physical body. Patients are often seen and treated mainly as a range of symptoms. Our modern medicine is a specialisation which is materialistic (physical) and reductionist (symptoms); this is just the opposite of the traditional approach to healing from ancient wisdom which is integrative and holistic. Traditional medicine treated the whole person – body, mind and spirit.

These days, physicians take care of the physical body, psychologists take care of the mind and emotions and priests take care of the spirit. Mostly they don’t communicate with each other nor work as a team. In his book Healing Beyond the Body Dr Larry Dossey asks the question, “Whatever happened to Healers?”

Dossey writes: “If modern medicine is to be a healing art, it must embrace three ideas it has long ignored. It must address not only our bodies but our minds and spirits as well; it must deal not only with the mechanism of illness but its meaning; and it must recognise that our power to heal and be healed extends beyond our physical bodies.”

Modern integrative medicine is beginning to embrace Dr Larry Dossey’s “three ideas” by not only treating the whole person but by assessing their physical environment, relationships and spirituality. Integrative medicine draws on more resources for healing illness and offers more possibilities.

The Gawler Cancer Foundation is an advocate of this integrative approach to medicine. We believe that healing is possible and achievable by a holistic approach to treatment and lifestyle choices.

An important aspect of this approach is our spiritual nature. Many people who are dealing with chronic illness broaden their perspective by seeing the illness as a wake-up call. This wake-up call can rekindle forgotten spiritual beliefs, values and practices or it may awaken new interest in this domain.

Quest for Meaning / Spirituality is one of the 7 Essential Elements in the Yarra Valley Living Centre’s holistic approach to wellbeing, health and healing. Those of you who wish to go deeper into the connection between Spirituality and Healing are encouraged to attend our annual weekend “Spirituality & Healing Retreat”,  facilitated by Paul and Maia Bedson on 3-5 June 2016. Click here to learn more.