We are healing all the time. We have been healing from infections, cuts, bruises, DNA damage, trauma, wayward cells, and more since the day we were born. Healing is a natural, ongoing activity. What we have to figure out is what is blocking our innate healing process and how we can potentiate our innate healing process.
Because we are already healing all the time, greater healing and human potential are always possible. Powerful stories of healing and human potential are part of every culture.
Healing is about accepting power, hence it shifts the balance of power in society and is revolutionary. When we believe that only others are the experts on health and healing, we relinquish our power.
We must not be afraid of words like healing and cure. We must raise our vision from disease management to health, healing, and cure. We must look for new, rational, science-informed perspectives to get us there.
The Four Engines that drive health and healing are Nutrition, Movement, Connection, and Rest.
Nutrition is what we consume: food, information, environment.
Movement is physical movement, breathing fully, range of motion, balance, emotional movement, intellectual and creative movement.
Connection is connecting with others (relationships), oneself (meaning, purpose, identity), and the planet (soil, sun, fresh air).
Rest is sleep, downtime, resting the mind.
The Four Engines are primary medicine. Everything else, including pills and surgery, are complementary medicine. The current understanding of what constitutes complementary medicine is backwards and inhibits healing and cure.
The Four Engines have been shown to heal, reverse, and even cure diseases. When they do, the cases are generally not written up in medical journals, so they are seen as rare, though they are happening all around us. Because we generally don't study or teach about these cases, we do not know the true prognosis of many diseases we consider chronic and/or incurable.
There is a common misconception that the Four Engines are only about preventing disease. In fact, the Four Engines facilitate healing across the full spectrum of life, including disease prevention, healing from chronic disease, healing from acute disease, improving general wellbeing, and advancing spiritual insight.
We must re-think the definition of a health expert. A person who heals from an apparently incurable illness is a kind of expert. A person who is sensitive to how their body responds to different foods, people, moods, environments, and medications is a kind of expert. A person who goes to medical school and completes training in a particular field of medicine is an expert. All of these kinds of expertise are valuable. Dia-gnosis means deep knowing shared between two kinds of experts: doctor and patient.
We must understand the concept of medicalization. Medicalization is when we look at our experiences through the lens of a particular healing system, usually allopathy and the biomedical model. We need to understand the strengths and limitations of medicalization and ask whether medicalizing our experience is likely to lead to the experiences and solutions we want.
Health reaches far beyond healthcare into every area of society. Health connects individuals, families, communities, organizations, and our planet. Health and disease anywhere at any level affects us all.
Our model of anatomy is incomplete. Our model incompletely represents a living being as only a body. Accordingly, our diagnoses and treatments will be incomplete.
We must declare, understand, and work to overcome the implicit philosophical biases that govern our approaches to medical science, diagnosis, and treatment, namely the bias toward the dualism of body and mind, as well as the physicalism and reductionism of body being primary and mind secondary. In particular, we must understand that these views are not scientific conclusions, but rather unexamined philosophical opinions that have been implicitly handed down through tradition.
We don't know what the body is fundamentally made of. Teaching and curiosity about this topic stops at the level of subatomic particles in medical school.
We don't know what the mind is. It remains a vague, poorly defined notion.
We don’t know how to reconcile the various models of human anatomy across different healing systems (Allopathy, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc.) We must be able to see the human completely through many lenses to have an optimal health and care system.
Despite not knowing what the mind is, where the mind is, and what the ranges of the mind are, we have named an entire range of experience as "mental illness" and fallen back on localizing the problem within one person as well as physicalizing the problem in the form of neurotransmitters.
Medical education and clinical care must become inter-professional and inter-system. Tomorrow’s healthcare leaders and clinicians must understand the strengths of each healing system and how to coordinate care among them.
Clinicians must be trained in schools and environments that facilitate their own healing so that they know what it takes to help others heal.