A New Generation of Healers Expands the Horizons of Western Medicine
Excerpted from an article written by Diane Olson Rutter*
Healing was once the realm of the shaman, the person in the tribe believed to have the most direct relationship with energetic forces of the universe. The healer did more than dispense herbs and cleanse wounds, for it was believed that illness manifested itself not only in the physical body, but also in the mind and soul. Purification rituals, communal prayer, exorcism and sacred objects were essential elements of the primitive pharmacopoeia, as was complete participation on the part of the sick or hurt.
As society evolved into a more complex and unwieldy structure, so, too, did healing. In western medicine, “health” was divided into three mutually exclusive areas--physical, spiritual and psychological. In doing so, the intricate weave of body, mind and soul was disregarded, and the holistic—“greater than the sum of all parts”—approach to healing abandoned. The healer became a mechanic, and the ailing a “patient,” a word defined by Webster's as “submissive.”
Today, doctors, therapists and clergy commonly recommend yoga, meditation, mindfulness, biofeedback, imagery, therapeutic touch and body work to treat conditions ranging from heart disease, to depression, to spiritual dyspepsia. Inspired researchers, teachers, practitioners expand our understanding of the fusion of body, mind and soul, and thereby the mechanisms of healing.
...people learn that if what troubles them is removed from the right-wrong axis, as in 'I'm not bad because I hurt,' or 'it's not bad, it just hurts,' then a whole set of other perceptual appear—both perceptual and responsive. Integrated Awareness contains no dogma, no theology, only sensorially verifiable material—what you can feel for yourself. If you're willing to do what it takes to make a change in you life, the tools are already present within you!
..."Integrated Awareness® is not a modality or process so much as a state of consciousness," he says. "It's a matter of learning--among other things--to influence your brain chemistry, to learn to choose the way in which your central nervous system is functioning., so that what you perceive, do and feel, all vary by your desire.
"When we begin life we have no rules, only wide-open, extraordinarily broad perceptual skills, and no pre-assigned meaning to our experiences. By age three, 95% of the basic motor and sensory priorities and the recapitulation of the evolutionary cycle in the brain have been completed. By age four, the rules of your life have already been created, hardwired into your nervous system, shape your physical structure and control your sense of self-other The physiologic and neurological truth of humans is that the rules by which your body will continue to influence your consciousness are set in place very early. In essence, the world of humans is run by very young children."
Lansing Barrett Gresham points out that, “IA® doesn't have my name in it for a good reason. What I desired was to create a way of healing that could be easily transmitted to other people—one that they could learn for themselves. I foster other teachers because it's very important to me that other people embody and model, by their behavior, that this is not a particular quirk or skill of any one person. I'm trying to make it clear that these skills are part of the human game board—like having skin, eyes, ears and a brain and being responsive to touch, light, sound and environment.”
“If the Architect is not our enemy, then we have been given the tools we need to heal ourselves and each other—to better steward our world. We just need to decide to use them…”
* Published in Catalyst Magazine June 1998--Salt Lake City, Utah
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