A holistic look at an urgent pediatric case
Before I begin with today‘s case history, I would like to run past everyone an issue of cultural diversity in health care. We have a tendency to not examine our own inner programmes, and to go full speed ahead into ‘fix it’ mode- rather than observing and exploring the ‘why’s’ of the case . . . .
The dominant culture of Western Medicine tends to want to ameliorate – make it better, to dominate over nature – to take control, to act now – do something, to consider timeliness – sooner than later, to use therapeutic aggressiveness – stronger equals better, to use future orientation plans – that newer equals better and to standardize – treat similar the same. This is seeing the apparent focus as being the issue, not the context as being a component.
What about why they are ill/what are the karmic – (reaping of past actions) – issues that may need addressing?
Looking now at the Tibetan Buddhist framework – as another medical model, that comes from the same region as our own medicine, in roughly the same time frame, we can see how cultural blindness has taken off.
In Tibetan Buddhist medical teachings, we need to consider karmic and evil spirit possession as very real and significant issues if we wish to be in any way useful, let alone holistic. To really address and possibly the only way to overcome (if that is what we are attempting to even do) anything medical – we may need to widen our perceptions, regardless of how uncomfortable this makes the patient, our selves, or even our professional standing..
If we look to the issue of cultural diversity and health care, the culture of Western Medicine tends to want to ameliorate – make it better, dominate over nature – take control, act – want to do something, consider timeliness – acting sooner than later, with therapeutic aggressiveness – stronger equals better, equating newer with better and standardization as much as possible. These all fall short of our medicine’s roots.
Originally, we accepted gracefully, balanced and were in harmony with nature, possibly applied a more wait and see, cautious and gentle approach, individualizing to recognize differences.
“Ours” as the recent acupuncture thrust – incorporating the Western Medical and the modern Chinese need to be seen to be current – wanting to emulate the western medical paradigm –
We still try to/want to
- Make ‘it’ Better
- Control over Nature
- Do Something
- Intervene Now
- Use Strong Measures
- Plan Ahead – Recent is Best – TCM and what is recently published/out of China ‘ wins’
- Standardize – Treating Everyone the Same
“Others” – where we were when I learnt (36 years ago), a more classical approach /preventative, possibly contemplative. . . . .
- Accept With Grace
- Balance/Harmony with Nature
- Wait and See
- Cautious Deliberation
- Gentle Approach
- Take Life As It Comes – “Time Honored”
- Individualize – Recognize Differences
Both the modern university and professional entry standard with the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine – a misnomer as it is a homogenised dumbed down medicalised herbalised version of true acupuncture) focus and the rational evidence based perceived professional need to validate our medicine using orthodox tools has left graduates with little space to work in reality with the real and diverse issues that people wish relief from.
Possibly in the push to appear ‘respectable’ and not at all “New Age” or hippy like, we have thrown the baby out with the bath water. The case I present today has all the markers of this.
Back to Simone – I had no research that I could easily access – 25 years ago computers and definitely home computers were in their infancy. Ne of my past students ha d a baby at 8 months with leukaemia and she gave him a treatment or two daily till he was better – if she could – I the one who wrote the course, surely could also?
I also had the significant handicap myself in the form of a rehabilitation project ongoing within my own home, as 50 volunteers a week case in to assist with my own ‘hopeless’ case – my baby daughter Skye/Kathryn, massively brain injured and learning how to be a functional unit.
What I did have was my common sense approach, honed as a teacher and healer of then 10 years standing, and my own daughter’s case as a template – anything is possible if you accept a wider picture, a multi dimensional world view, and ignore limitations.
Both the modern university and professional entry standard with the TCM focus and the rational evidence based perceived professional need to validate our medicine using orthodox tools has left graduates with little space to work in reality with the real and diverse issues that people wish relief from.
Relief from suffering . ..
Here is what one mother/healer did when faced with the horror of another’s woes . . (whilst in the depths of her own) – I would think – if only Simone was mine – so easy to fix – when compared with a baby with a wrecked brain – Simone just had a bad case of leukaemia . . that is easy – live or die, then move on – Kathryn at 26 is still here – and though much loved, is a colossal drain on all resources . .