A New Earth in Medicine (Healing as Becoming Whole)

“Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all, we need the right view that transcends all notions of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

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This piece was inspired by the following books:
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra

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In my years of medical training, I had the unique privilege of learning about the human body and disease processes. I came across patients with a wide spectrum of medical conditions and learnt about the strengths and limitations of modern medicine in treating these conditions. In most instances, modern medicine is unable to offer a complete cure – it merely promises symptom relief or palliative care.

As I delved deeper into the field of medicine, I came to the realisation that I had lost my faith in modern medicine though I was a medical practitioner. The limitations of medicine became more and more evident to me with each passing day. In the majority of cases, medicine is a zero sum game – the treatment may help with symptom relief but there ultimately no cure; it also comes with numerous side effects and is extremely costly. This is especially apparent in treatments such as anti-rheumatic drugs and chemotherapy drugs. It became clear to me that the average medical practitioner believes that in most instances, medicine can at best offer comfort. The motto of medicine is often stated as this: to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.

I began to ask myself – are relief and comfort sufficient outcomes for treatment? While I accept that medicine is ultimately unable to prevent death, I believe routine treatment should be directed towards targeting the root cause of disease rather than symptom relief. I later learnt that healing is a concept that is different from curing and healing can occur with or without curing. Curing only refers to eliminating evidence of the disease. Healing refers to becoming whole and requires a deep level of understanding of the self and the disease including the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects. Upon reflection, I realised that one of the fundamental problems of medicine is that disease is only understood as a physical condition. In medical school, we learn about anatomy, biochemistry, physiology and pharmacology etc … the conventional understanding is that disease is a physical process that can be attributed to dysregulation at some level of the human body. In truth, physical illness is merely the outer manifestation of problems that may have occurred on many other levels. As with all problems that manifest in the external world, there is often a deeper internal cause that needs to be addressed. The conventional practice of treating illness purely at a physical level overlooks the root cause of many medical conditions and is often unable to offer a deep level of healing.

In the book Quantum Healing, Deepak Chopra wrote that most people consider there to be 2 types of healing – one that is considered normal (e.g. a healing wound) and one that is considered exceptional (e.g. complete recovery from terminal stage cancer). In truth, there may not be any fundamental difference in the two types of healing. All healing is ultimately the result of a mind-body connection. He further argues that it is ultimately consciousness, the substance of reality, which allows for the healing process to occur. In essence, healing is an inward journey which then leads to an external change.

As Deepak Chopra wrote, “every doctor must make an inner journey, taking his understanding beyond the limits of the physical body and into the heart of a deeper reality. His responsibility is to solve the riddle of life and death.” Throughout my medical training, I felt compelled to take this inner journey and question the fundamental building blocks of life. It was the challenges I witnessed in my medical training that truly opened me up to spiritual practice. I believe that before we attempt to understand what disease is, we first have to answer the question of who are we and what is the nature of reality. Without first looking inwards and understanding ourselves, we can never have the capacity to solve problems in the external realm.

In his book, Eckhart Tolle refers to A New Earth as collective awakened consciousness. He also teaches about conscious creation, which refers to creating out of presence for collective benefits and not out of self-interest. I was truly inspired by his teachings. This is my vision for A New Earth in medicine – a collective shift in consciousness in both medical practitioners and patients and an inward journey to understand the fundamental nature of reality and disease. We have to embrace disease as a symptom of deep problems in the human condition, which may be personal or transpersonal problems. Often, these deep problems remain in the collective unconsciousness within our families, our communities and our cultures. We can only understand and treat disease completely if we understand the larger context in which it occurs. True healing requires a deep level of self-understanding and inner work. Only with this insightful approach can there be greater hope of cure instead of symptom relief.

© nightdawnday
p.s. Leave a comment if this resonated with you. I love to hear your stories!

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post❤ Healing has many facets to consider- mind, body, view-point, belief and faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Simply Ange says:

    Wonderful post! As someone who works in the pharmacy profession, I think it’s important to view patients holistically! Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  3. meenawalia says:

    Great post..thanks a lot for sharing

    Like

  4. Several years ago I began working with hypnotherapist to heal root causes of food cravings. Eventually I connected with a spiritual hypnotherapist who connected me with my own higher wisdom to help me not only address emotional triggers, but physical issues. Raised by a medical doctor, I have deep respect for allopathic medicine. When my chronic heartburn eventually became GERD, I followed my naturopathic doctor’s prescription and took medicine daily until during a hypnosis session I addressed the root cause of the GERD and healed it. Six weeks after the session I no longer needed the medicine and haven’t needed it since. That was five years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SOWZ says:

    I never truly understood how neglected the mind-body connection was until I worked in the ICU. I chose to leave specifically because of this loss I felt every day at work. In my profession as a nurse I turned my focus towards healing, rather than curing, because healing MUST encompass the integrative networks of mind, body, and soul. Thank you for this wonderful post. So much wisdom, and it all rings true.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. P Squared says:

    I am a diabetic and hypertensive. You know how completely useless modern medicine is in healing both. And it really gets my goat that doctors lay every other medical condition at the door of these conditions while offering no long term cure for either. I learned Pranic Healing just to explore whether there is a world outside this, a place where healers take time to understand, use their intuition to heal and use loving kindness rather than modern factory parameters such as profits and efficiency. I heal sporadically, but every time i heal someone, i realize how the network of body, mind and soul, as someone has pointed out, really come into play to give long term relief and healing. Thank you for the post. Really well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jonicaggiano says:

    Fascinating post and so true I believe. I have seen many people who have been cured of terminal illnesses through prayer and faith not to believe in those things that go beyond medical treatment. I also believe the mind body connection is very strong. Thanks for this enlightening article Doctor. Love 💕 Joni

    Liked by 1 person

  8. iamjustoyin says:

    Great post, faith goes along way too when it comes to healing.

    Like

  9. I thought this way for some time, especially since my diagnosis of MS.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post! I like your distinction between cure and healing. As an RN all I saw was treatment to relieve symptoms, very little in the way of a true cure, and as you note, healing is a step further. So much to our own body, mind, and spirit 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ilene says:

    Pain, physical and emotional, are symptomatic indicative of a deeper concern: dis-ease of the mind, body, or spirit. Pain is meant to alarm and wake up the sufferer like the three o’clock bell in elementary school. Keeping our heads down or covering up the symptoms with a pad of prescriptions may mask our discomfort temporarily, however these pain killers widen the separation of mind, body and spirit. We as patients get a diagnosis, some prognosis if possible, and are sent off to wait patiently for our next visit, next drug, newest treatments, more expensive and more costly than just money.

    Having been diagnosed nearly five years ago with metastatic breast cancer my pain was the first line of offense in a game of cat and mouse. I’m not sure if I’m the cat or the mouse some days. Please head over to my blog if you have a few minutes to read a couple i\pf piefor more of my p

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ilene says:

    Hit reply accidentally – edit would be an awesome feature ! anyway my blog is at https://cancerbus.com/ where I address this from a patient’s perspective – I’d love to hear your insights and continue a dialogue on such an important topic between physician and patient.
    Peace in peculiar times,
    Ilene

    Like

  13. Brian Balke says:

    Hello. Wonderful post and thanks for all that you do.

    You came at me through my hypnotherapy blog, but I have some answers elsewhere. Regarding the relationship between suffering and soul, there’s https://love-returns.org/2017/04/04/in-over-his-head/. The endpoint of our expression of other-wonder is described at https://love-returns.org/2017/08/19/consummation/.

    Chopra has adopted the term “quantum” for his mind/body dialectic, but there’s no “there there.” The mathematics don’t support it. It needs new physics, and I offer a framework out at https://everdeepening.wordpress.com/toward-a-new-physics/.

    Like

  14. Cici Tourmaline says:

    Firstly, thank you for liking my most recent post on my blog, I am so happy that I was able to take a read and gander through yours!
    But in regards to this post:
    As a studying Herbal physician myself, we follow something called the “Holistic Approach”, which you might be aware of? Essentially, we don’t believe in only temporary getting rid of or managing symptoms in our patients, but rather treating a whole person, which includes establishing the root cause of things. This taps into spirituality and mental health as well. So I guess I agree with you! 🙂
    I highly enjoyed your posts. I can’t wait to delve more.

    Like

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