Medicine For The Soul

Jun 10, 2018




There are two ways that physicians can pray for their patients.

Firstly, privately without asking their patients consent or sharing the fact with them that they are praying for them.

Secondly, praying openly with patients.

A paper just published this year cautions against praying for patients unless invited to do so. The paper cites concerns about professionalism and boundaries as reasons to wait until invited before praying.

An amazing book by neurosurgeon David Levy shares his journey as he began to offer to pray with patients. He offers to pray with his patients. He absolutely respects any refusal to allow him to pray (although this is rare enough). He finds that surgeries tend to go more smoothly, patients and their families are happier and he is happier. 

He calls it 'Medicine For The Soul'.

Medicine For The Soul gets my vote!

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The Village Effect

Mar 13, 2018

Research has shown (over and over again) that one of the key determinants of longevity is being part of a meaningful social network. Some call this social integration.

Author and researcher, Susan Pinker, calls this The Village Effect.

Susan explains that we are cavemen living in the digital era. Caveman triggered his/her stress response when separated from his/her tribe. This was a biologically appropriate response as caveman was unlikely to survive if separated from the tribe. 

We exist in two states:

stress (the sympathetic nervous system) when we focus on escaping from threat, release adrenaline and cortisol and ignore our internal housekeeping

relaxation (the parasympathetic nervous system) when we lay down memories, eliminate cancer cells and repair damaged tissues.

Chronic triggering of the stress response puts us at risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's Disease.

We have retained cavemans' instinct to trigger our stress response if separated from our...

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Walking in Beauty

Mar 12, 2018

One of my favorite concepts from Shamanic medicine is walking in beauty.

From a Shamanic perspective, our health & happiness flow from walking in beauty.

An invocation or mantra used is

'Beauty above me

Beauty below me 

Beauty to my right 

Beauty to my left

Beauty all around me'.

Any attempts to explain this further would probably take from the true meaning of the idea but essentially relates to being at peace with yourself and the world and doing things with great love and grace.

Modern medicine is amazing but could be even more powerful by adopting the concept of walking in beauty.

I see many patients with diseases or medically unexplained symptoms who volunteer (in their now words) that they don't walk in beauty.

It is far easier and quicker to order tests or prescribe medications but sometimes I can't help but wonder how their lives would change of they began each day with the intention of walking in beauty.

Decluttering your space and adding some flowers,...

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