In indigenous cultures if a member of the community has an emotional or physical ailment, the entire community gathers the person and brings them to the shaman or medicine person of the village or tribe. They gather and collectively hold healing ceremony because each person has a role to play and each person is an integral piece in their community. So if one person is ill it is a threat to them as a collective. Can you imagine this happening in our society? What would happen if you fell ill, were admitted to the hospital and an entire city stopped what they were doing and held healing prayers and ceremony for you?
In the western world we have tirelessly searched for the panacea to cure our emotional and physical ills. The pharmaceutical industry is a multi-billion dollar business crafting a pill for everything which we consider a malady. If there is an ill, there is a pill for it and each one comes with a riotous list of side effects. Upon researching the definition of medicine in the Merriam Webster Dictionary, this explanation is given, noting the last item provided actually recognizes indigenous practices:
1.a : a substance or preparation used in treating disease
b : something that affects well-being
2a : the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease
b : the branch of medicine concerned with the nonsurgical treatment of disease
3: substance (as a drug or potion) used to treat something other than disease
4: an object held in traditional American Indian belief to give control over natural or magical forces; also : magical power or a magical rite (1)
Illness is a result of imbalance in the body. While genetics plays a large part in illness, very often it is a result of emotions being stored to such a degree that it causes physical ailments. In our society we have created a luxurious cushion for pharmaceuticals to take their seat because we have become so reliant upon them. Prescription drugs have become the pacifier, distracting us from the cause of disease and focusing only on easing the symptoms. This distraction causes us to idle in the face of imbalance often exacerbating the disease rather than doing the work needed to heal and extract the cause.
In our present society the presence of community-based healing is almost non-existent. As a population in practice of overconsumption we are out of harmony with our planet from which we have derived. So of course as a modern people we lean inherently towards imbalance, although with the emergence of the New Age those of us who are paying attention, are in practice of inviting balance once more. Yet as a rule, we rely heavily on allopathic medicine because it offers a quick antidote to the symptoms we are suffering from. In many cases by the time we are experiencing the physical symptoms, there is often little time for the deep emotional processing and energetic movement to unravel it from the body. More shockingly, even when we are told the cause of the illness and what we can do to heal and prevent it further, such as changing our eating habits or getting more exercise we’re not interested in making that shift. So we’ll medicate it and often suffer the side effects of a prescription drug and so goes the carousel!
There is the Hippocrates quote which says: “Healing is a matter of time, but is also sometimes a matter of opportunity.” True healing is about rebuilding relationship to the source within us so that we are better able to listen to the subtleties of our body and what it needs for its own harmony.
I used to bristle at calling myself a 'healer'. Afterall it is up to an individual to ultimately heal themselves. I recently read a passage from Cyndi Dale's book, The Subtle Body which says this, "To cure is to erase symptoms. To heal is to assure a state of wholeness. A whole person is whole in spite of a missing leg, a flu bug or a death sentence. A healer is essentially someone who helps another person realize his or her inherent wholeness, regardless of appearances or the outcome of treatment."
Since time began we have been accumulating ways to better connect with our own divinity, our intuitive mind, our source. We draw upon innate tools such as prayer, meditation, herbs, dance, chanting, playing music, painting, etc. These methods bring us closer to that spiritual state we so long for yet have so much resistance in keeping. When this is restored and reinforced, we begin to step into our true state of being, the place which we’ve abandoned and has caused so much pain.
In my work I’ve cultivated a practice to help people find balance in their lives. It’s become an amalgam of medicine which infuses various spiritual teachings. It’s a weave of light, earth, air and water. With the primary modality being Reiki, it shares space with Ayurveda, flower essences, shamanism, meditation and bodywork. Above all it is based in the sacred gift of the intuitive mind which assists others in lifting the veil that keeps them from their truth. It is this practice of honoring and quietly listening to the intricate complexities of our physical and subtle bodies that we may all continue to evolve as the medicine keepers of our time.
Have you had an experience which empowered you in your healing process? Tell me about it in the comments below!