Wisdom is indemonstrable, art uncertain, strength powerless, wealth useless and speech impotent if health be absent.
Greek Anatomist Herophilus, the Father of Anatomy
A stunning moment in human history occurred in the 3rd century BC. Two men, who were curious about what caused the pulse, were given permission to dissect the first human cadaver on a condemned criminal. There was fierce opposition to human dissection. This was due to many reasons, mostly fear that the soul of the cadaver, once cut open, would not make it to the afterlife and wreak havoc on the community. In order to not interfere with the cadaver’s soul, the anatomists were instructed to not involve themselves with the soul, drape the body and expose only the body part being dissected. This early separation of body and soul, the physical from the emotional, gave birth to the medical model which still persists today. The medical model assumes a mechanical view of illness, a fault in the machine. This early separation of body and mind has led to remarkable innovations, yet when we silo body parts, we miss the mark. A lot.
I recently witnessed this firsthand with a relative after a knee replacement. While all of the procedures were followed and she received great care, there was nobody looking at the whole, looking at the person, the emotional landscape and what she needed. I could see her ‘patient’ needs going unmet day after day. What my loved-one needed was autonomy and she was nearly yelled at and given little to no choice. About anything.
When you experience a health care encounter and don’t get what you need or aren’t made more whole, perhaps you are running into the limitations of the medical model and are in need of a wider lens, a more integrative approach. If you have a chronic symptom (or unsustainable stress levels, loneliness, etc) which can be modified with how you live, you may want to explore the unseen emotional conflict within yourself. Excavate your needs, re-integrate your body and soul, look at the whole arc of your life and don’t rely solely on the medical model for answers.
Science is organized knowledge, wisdom is organized life.
04 August 2015