It is astonishing to think about the variety of healing techniques in the world.
You can find everything from shamanic healing to atomic medicine. Herbs to high-powered drugs. Laying on of hands to laser surgery.
And every approach has people who swear by it.
What does that tell us?
One thing it says is that healing is more than any single system. Each approach has its own internal logic.
That suggests that the healing process cannot be described fully by any one system or perspective. If any system works for someone, then it is, by definition, a valid system.
Yes, you will hear practitioners of one school of thought bad-mouthing other schools of thought. But that always looks suspiciously like people defending their turf. Anyone who claims to have exclusive access to the truth is a liar.
But is there something all systems of healing have in common? I believe there is. The common feature?
Every technique requires the patient to participate in the healing process.
That seems like a simple statement, but it’s deeper than you might think. For example, it also means that if someone doesn’t participate in the process, it’s highly likely they won’t get better.
This brings up some questions:
- What does “participation” mean?
- If it is true that the patient must participate, what does this mean for healers and patients?
So let’s answer these questions.
First, participation as I’m using it means that the patient is willing to allow the treatment to help them. Without this they won’t get well.
I’ve seen many cases where something as “concrete” as surgery doesn’t work. And drugs that either don’t work or stop working over time are very common.
It’s not that the offending tissue wasn’t removed or the drug doesn’t have an effect. Rather it’s that the patient doesn’t have complete faith in the process. The result is that the problem either doesn’t get better or shows up again later in some form. Or there might be some number of unintended side effects.
Before you say anything, I agree that there is such a thing as botched surgery or other medical mistakes. But the factor I’m referring to is different. It has to do with free will and intention.
The common name for this in modern times is the placebo effect. This effect is actually quite common.
As many as 70% of patients get well when told the sugar pill they’re taking is an antidepressant. There have been a number of studies showing that sham knee surgery makes knees better. And they stay better even many years later.
In these cases, it isn’t the pill or surgery that heals, it’s the patient’s mind.
The mind is very powerful. There are many ways to understand this phenomenon. If you want a deeper understanding of it, I recommend the book, “You Are The Placebo,” by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Suffice it to say that many studies have shown this effect.
What’s the practical side for you? If you’re going to a health practitioner, be all-in. Be completely willing to be healed from what they are doing. You’ll greatly increase your odds of getting better.
As for healers, regardless of your approach be sure to support your patients’ willingness to get better. Give them hope for an ideal outcome. Not pie-in-the-sky optimism, but real, human support.
One of the best ways to do this is to be completely present with them at every appointment. If you do that and listen, they will know you care. And caring goes a long way towards healing.
All the best for your health and happiness,