Many years ago, another family physician and I were discussing our ‘practices’ of medicine. He commented that ‘The fun had all gone out of medicine.’ I pondered this for many years. I knew what he meant, but wasn’t sure WHY the statement felt true.
Years later, when I was in my late 70s, the answer came to me while I was in conversation with a few friends. I realized that everything I had been taught in Medical School had to do with KILLING… and the concept of killing continues to be taught in medical school today. I stooped forward and said, “What we really need is Living Medicine and not Killing Medicine. There is life and joy in living, but it is absent in killing.”
Conventional medicine has led to magnificent growth in the science of medicine, involving medications, therapeutic procedures, and amazing surgical advances. Untold numbers of lives have been saved. The quality of medicine that deals with diseases has never been greater; however, physicians and patients know that this system is broken. We need a paradigm shift from this war machine.
For example, in conventional medicine, our language is against life, itself. We kill bacteria, eradicate AIDS, eliminate diabetes. We have antibiotics, antihistamines and even anti-aging! Anti-aging really bothers me, since I am 94 years young and prefer to age into health.
The concept of Living medicine does not negate the different conventional and alternative approaches to healing. But, instead, it changes the focus from getting rid of, or killing, to the joyful aspect of life and living. Living medicine claims that life itself is the great healer and when any therapeutic modality shifts its focus from killing to living, it becomes part of Living medicine.
In living medicine we do not look at pain as the enemy, but as a messenger. The body, mind or spirit is calling our attention to something that is not in balance and the life force is blocked. If we are conscious and alive, we will feel pain because we are connected with life.
If a woman tries to fight against the pain when she is in labor, her whole body becomes tense and fear sets in. If she learns to ride on the waves of pain, then, her focus will not be on the pain, but instead, it will be on the outcome. Her birth experience may not be without pain, but it will not be: “The valley of the shadow of death.”
Living medicine does not view disease as something to be gotten rid of. Instead, it is something to be understood. I have a physician friend, who says, “Disease is a socially acceptable way for the body to communicate.” I have seen patients cured of a disease, but not healed, and others healed, but still dealing with the disease and living a full life. That is Living Medicine.
A patient of mine had gone through therapy for lung cancer. One day, when she was told that she needed a blood transfusion, she called me in distress. She didn’t want the transfusion because of her fear of catching AIDS and hepatitis from a transfusion. Nothing I said seemed to ease her. That is, until I responded, “Perhaps, you could consider the fact that someone loved you enough to give their life blood for you. That is what a transfusion is. It is a gift of love.” When her focus changed from fear to love, she was able to get the transfusion.
There are 5 “L’s” which summarize Living Medicine:
- Life. If we are not alive, nothing else matters.
- Love. Cures without love can take care of the disease without healing the person.
- Laughter. Joy brings hope and light into healing.
- Labor. Without labor the first 3 aspects of healing do not become real on this plane of consciousness. Action is needed.
- Listening. For real healing to happen we have to listen to ourselves, others and the world around us.
Life itself creates the medicine we need for healing. This requires working with the physician within and cooperation with the physician without. Life itself is Living Medicine.