“Healing,” Papa would tell me, is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.” –W.H. Auden
Throughout the ages, in both western and eastern medicine, the art of wooing nature as an active participant in healing has taken many forms. Prayer, chants, ceremonies, sweat lodges, herbal and flower remedies and poultices, trace frequencies, the use of needles in certain points of the body, hands-on-healing, visions, journeying, journaling, meditation—all of these have been used to invoke the help of nature in times of illness or injury.
What these approaches all have in common is the desire to help the ailing being to become whole, to create a balance and to maintain an energy level that allows the body to find its own way back to wellness and longevity.
Over the years, with industrial revolutions spurring advances in technology and medical science, “curing” and “healing” have taken on new meanings. The differences between the two became more and more apparent in the 20th century, with the invention of vaccinations for life-threatening diseases such as polio, and of antibiotics to heal the deeper infections from which people had previously routinely suffered and died. (I think the desire not to suffer or see suffering was a driving factor in many of our medical advances.)
Then something happened. Our bodies began to reject certain antibiotics, and the long-term effects of medicines used for temporary relief actually began to take their toll on our physical health. The intelligent body system therefore began to compensate, creating its own healing in new ways that were often ignored by doctors or taken for symptoms and masked with another type of medicinal cure.
Modern medicines are keeping people alive, no doubt, but what are the deeper implications of this ongoing disharmony between medical care and the body’s own resources? What is the body trying to tell us, either through physical pain, or emotional and mental distress?
the difference, I believe, between a healing and curing is that a “cure” comes from the outside and deals with symptoms, masking or treating the them so that a person may feel better temporarily, or pass through a crisis. The root cause, however, is still there.
Healing, on the other hand, comes from the inside, and affects the deepest mental and emotional levels of Spirit. It is important to realize that curing can take us to healing; in many cases, radical treatment may start the healing process by dealing with immediate intense distress so that the body can re-group and create its own healing strategy.
The concept of curing the patient, which still dominates the US medical system, comes from the mindset that there is something heroic and quick that we can do, a pill we can take, or a surgery that can be performed to make us better immediately, or at least quickly. This is the model for allopathic or “western” medicine, which tends to treat immediate symptoms or injury.
Healing, on the other hand, is based on the vital force within us. The strength of this vital force determines the state of our health; where the force is blocked, there will be pain and/or debility. It takes courage and perseverance to identify one’s blocks. It may take the help of a guide or facilitator using various modalities, a skilled healing dowser being one very affective way to help unlock the mystery of what is creating a disease on an unconscious level. I believe there are very few people who consciously wish to be in pain of any kind.
Thus, healing is more long-term and deep-seated; curing is more specific. A healing is brought about by active participation in one’s own wellbeing; by identifying and removing the barriers to one’s own natural healing power, dealing with the root issues of what is afflicting them, and working on mental, spiritual and physical levels to resolve those issues.
It is important to realize that healing, being a deep ongoing process, may not bring quick alleviation of symptoms. For example, deep healing will not fix a broken bone; you need the crisis-mechanics of a “cure” for that. Allopathic medicine is great in an emergency. Once the bone is properly set, however, conscious healing can be brought into play for the recovery process.
So curing and healing can in fact work together. After the bone is set or the operation has been performed (if necessary), than the genuine healing can begin. The juncture between curing and healing is an ideal time to take stock, to begin to determine what you can do at deeper levels of body and mind to facilitate your healing process.
You can take this opportunity to look at what can be different or better in your actions and/or mindset, and to check for underlying mental/emotional factors that may have caused your physical system to break down or get out of balance.
Healing carries the idea of being true to our Self, sensible and holistic and staying in the moment, in order to restore our body and Spirit at their deepest levels. Healing demands that we let go of the things that hold us back inside.
Can we make space in our thinking system to address the root cause of the imbalance?
Is there room in both healing and curing for extraordinary healing?
Miraculous cures are more frequent than is commonly supposed. What do you think it takes to create spontaneous and miraculous healing?
Do you believe that various factors such as karma, heredity, lifestyle, the training from the era in which you were born, and your level of consciousness as a whole, have anything to do with your dis-ease, dis-harmony or imbalance on any level, whether emotional, mental, physical, or Spiritual?
This is the beginning work of healing.
Many Blessings ~ Melinda
Journaling Option: Taking stock: what is going on physically, mentally and emotionally with you right now? Free-associate and make a list of all non-beneficial emotions that come up for you right now. And note where they might live in your physical body.(For instance, anger may be felt as a clutching or pain in the stomach or gall bladder.) Acknowledge that such emotions exist and ask yourself what they are trying to teach you about yourself; look for the upside or positive motive.
Alisa, Self-Healing Priority, tribes.tribe.net, 2005; Epstein, Donald M.: Healing Myths, Healing Magic. San Rafael: Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., (2000); Sill-Holeman, Rev. Jenny, R.M.: Healing vs. Curing: A Holistic Perspective, bluerosehealingarts.com, (2009)