Healing is a fascinating and often mysterious process. In over six
years of practice as naturopathic and homeopathic doctors and counselors, we
have had many opportunities to observe the healing process from a bird's eye
view. Since we have a particular interest in the body/mind/spirit integration
and in exploring and understanding the roots of illness, we have paid
particular attention to how and when healing does or does not occur. We began
to notice that there were times when even the simplest and straightforward
symptoms, either our own or those of a patient, would just not respond to
whatever treatment we used. However, there were other patients for whom we
could do no wrong. No matter what their complaint or what we recommended to
treat it, it worked like magic and they felt wonderful. In talking with our
colleagues and in reading about master healers, we found that no one, no matter
how great their therapies, had a 100% success rate. So, we began to ask
ourselves what made the difference in the healing process. Why was it that the
same methods of diagnosis and treatment and interacting with our patients
worked in most cases but not in others. We want to share with you some of our
thoughts on this subject.
Motivation- We have found the sincere desire to heal and to change
to be one of the most, if not the most, essential factors in healing. When we
have genuinely reached a point where we cannot tolerate our suffering another
moment, some type of healing is likely to occur. This holds true regardless of
the specific complaint. It might be smoking or persistent back pain or
depression or poor memory. When we realize that our lives and our health just
aren't working and feel that we have no choice but to do something about it, we
open ourselves up to healing. One of our hypnosis teachers, a highly
experienced and successful therapist, taught us a good lesson about motivation.
He told us to ask anyone wishing to come to us to get rid of an unwanted habit
how motivated they were, on a 1 to 10 scale. If they didn't say "9" or "10",
he told us to tell them to come back when they reached that point.
A 45 year-old man came to see us a couple of months ago because he was
sick and tired of his 33 year history of smoking! He was a very independent
fellow. He was not so worried about his health as about his having to change
his habits to conform to the wishes of non-smokers. He wanted to go where he
pleased when he pleased, and to do that he decided he needed to give up
smoking. We have a terrrific four-session stop smoking program which works for
anyone who's really motivated to quit. This man was so committed to quitting
that we only needed two sessions. He can't even imagine himself smoking again.
He was tired of being bound by his smoking habit and his desire for freedom was
greater than his desire to continue smoking. He was highly motivated and the
program worked beautifully for him.
The contrary can also be true. We have had some patients who are only
mildly interested in changing themselves. They have often been to many doctors
and complain that no one can really understand or help them. When we delve
deeply into their lives and their suffering, they usually have considerable
fear and anger and hold others responsible for their difficulties. It is
unlikely that this type of person will be healed until their attitude changes.
It is never too late, though, to allow healing into our lives. Healing can
occur even in our final moments prior to death.