Dear friends,


When I start my talk on "criminal as the first victim of his criminality", the audience becomes a bit puzzled. Then I explain how the thought travels to every cell of the body and mense rea(criminal intention) adversely affects all the systems of the body. Every one gets satisfied. here is such an article from You may like it.



Views on health and the mind

The following is extracted from the book 'The Master Key system' by Charles F. Haanel

Thoughts are spiritual seeds, which, when planted in the subconscious mind, have a tendency to sprout and grow, but unfortunately the fruit is frequently not to our liking.

The various forms of inflammation, paralysis, nervousness and diseased conditions generally, are the manifestation of fear, worry, care, anxiety, jealousy, hatred and similar thought.

The life processes are carried on by two distinct methods; first, the taking up and making use of nutritive material necessary for constructing cells; second, breaking down and excreting the waste material.

All life is based upon these constructive and destructive activities, and as food, water and air are the only requisites necessary for the construction of cells, it would seem that the problem of prolonging life indefinitely would not be a very difficult one.

However strange it may seem, it is the second or destructive activity that is, with rare exception, the cause of all disease. The waste material accumulates and saturates the tissues, which causes autointoxication. This may be partial or general. In the first case the disturbance will be local; in the second place it will affect the whole system.

The problem, then, before us in the healing of disease is to increase the inflow and distribution of vital energy throughout the system, and this can only be done by eliminating thoughts of fear, worry, care, anxiety, jealousy, hatred, and every other destructive thought, which tend to tear down and destroy the nerves and glands which control the excretion and elimination of poisonous and waste matter.

"Nourishing foods and strengthening tonics" cannot bestow life, because these are but secondary manifestations to life. The primary manifestation of life and how you may get in touch with it is explained below which I have the privilege of enclosing herewith.

1. Knowledge is of priceless value, because by applying knowledge we can make our future what we wish it to be. When we realize that our present character, our present environment, our present ability, our present physical condition are all the result of past methods of thinking, we shall begin to have some conception of the value of knowledge.

2. If the state of our health is not all that could be desired, let us examine our method of thinking; let us remember that every thought produces an impression on the mind; every impression is a seed which will sink into the subconscious and form a tendency; the tendency will be to attract other similar thoughts and before we know it we shall have a crop which must be harvested.

3. If these thoughts contain disease germs, the harvest will be sickness, decay, weakness, and failure; the question is, what are we thinking, what are we creating, what is the harvest to be?

4. If there is any physical condition which it is necessary to change, the law governing visualization will be found effective. Make a mental image of physical perfection, hold it in the mind until it is absorbed by the consciousness. Many have eliminated chronic ailments in a few weeks by this method, and thousands have overcome and destroyed all manner of ordinary physical disturbances by this method in a few days, sometimes in a few minutes.

5. It is through the law of vibration that the mind exercises this control over the body. We know that every mental action is a vibration, and we know that all form is simply a mode of motion, a rate of vibration. Therefore, any given vibration immediately modifies every atom in the body, every life cell is affected and an entire chemical change is made in every group of life cells.

6. Everything in the Universe is what it is by virtue of its rate of vibration. Change the rate of vibration and you change the nature, quality and form. The vast panorama of nature, both visible and invisible, is being constantly changed by simply changing the rate of vibration, and as thought is a vibration we can also exercise this power. We can change the vibration and thus produce any condition which we desire to manifest in our bodies.

7. We are all using this power every minute. The trouble is most of us are using it unconsciously and thus producing undesirable results. The problem is to use it intelligently and produce only desirable results. This should not be difficult, because we all have had sufficient experience to know what produces pleasant vibration in the body, and we also know the causes which produce the unpleasant and disagreeable sensations.

8. All that is necessary is to consult our own experience. When our thought has been uplifted, progressive, constructive, courageous, noble, kind or in any other way desirable, we have set in motion vibrations which brought about certain results. When our thought has been filled with envy, hatred, jealousy, criticism or any of the other thousand and one forms of discord, certain vibrations were set in motion which brought about certain other results of a different nature, and each of these rates of vibration, if kept up, crystallized in form. In the first case the result was mental, moral and physical health, and in the second case discord, inharmony and disease.

9. We can understand, then, something of the power which the mind possesses over the body.

10. The objective mind has certain effects on the body which are readily recognized. Someone says something to you which strikes you as ludicrous and you laugh, possibly until your whole body shakes, which shows that thought has control over the muscles of your body; or someone says something which excites your sympathy and your eyes fill with tears, which shows that thought controls the glands of your body; or someone says something which makes you angry and the blood mounts to your cheek, which shows that thought controls the circulation of your blood. But as these experiences are all the results of the action of your objective mind over the body, the results are of a temporary nature; they soon pass away and leave the situation as it was before.

11. Let us see how the action of the subconscious mind over the body differs. You receive a wound; thousands of cells being the work of healing at once; in a few days or a few weeks the work is complete. You may even break a bone. No surgeon on earth can weld the parts together (I am not referring to the insertion of rods or other devices to strengthen or replace bones). He may set the bone for you, and the subjective mind will immediately begin the process of welding the parts together, and in a short time the bone is as solid as it ever was. You may swallow poison; the subjective mind will immediately discover the danger and make violent efforts to eliminate it. You may become infected with a dangerous germ; the subjective will at once commence to build a wall around the infected area and destroy the infection by absorbing it in the white blood corpuscles which it supplies for the purpose.

12. These processes of the subconscious mind usually proceed without our personal knowledge or direction, and so long as we do not interfere the result is perfect, but, as these millions of repair cells are all intelligent and respond to our thought, they are often paralyzed and rendered impotent by our thoughts of fear, doubt, and anxiety. They are like an army of workmen, ready to start an important piece of work, but every time they get started on the undertaking a strike is called, or plans changed, until they finally get discouraged and give up.

13. The way to health is founded on the law of vibration, which is the basis of all science, and this law is brought into operation by the mind, the "world within." It is a matter of individual effort and practice. Our world of power is within; if we are wise we shall not waste time and effort in trying to deal with effects as we find them in the "world without," which is only an external, a reflection.

14. We shall always find the cause in the "world within"; by changing the cause, we change the effect.

15. Every cell in your body is intelligent and will respond to your direction. The cells are all creators and will create the exact pattern which you give them.

16. Therefore, when perfect images are placed before the subjective, the creative energies will build a perfect body.

17. Brain cells are constructed in the same way. The quality of the brain is governed by the state of mind, or mental attitude, so that if undesirable mental attitudes are conveyed to the subjective they will in turn be transferred to the body; we can therefore readily see that if we wish the body to manifest health, strength and vitality this must be the predominant thought.

18. We know then that every element of the human body is the result of a rate of vibration

19. We know that mental action is a rate of vibration.

20. We know that a higher rate of vibration governs, modifies, controls, changes, or destroys a lower rate of vibration.

21. We know that the rate of vibration is governed by the character of brain cells, and finally,

22. We know how to create these brain cells; therefore,

23. We know how to make any physical change in the body we desire, and having secured a working knowledge of the power of mind to this extent, we have come to know that there is practically no limitation which can be placed upon our ability to place ourselves in harmony with natural law, which is omnipotent.

24. This influence or control over the body by mind is coming to be more and more generally understood, and many physicians are now giving the matter their earnest attention. Dr. Albert T. Shofield, who has written several important books on the subject, say, "The subject of mental therapeutics is still ignored in medical works generally. In our physiologies no references is made to the central controlling power that rules the body for its good, and the power of the mind over the body is seldom spoken of".

25. No doubt many physicians treat nervous diseases of functional origin wisely and well, but what we contend is that the knowledge they display was taught at no school, was learned from no book, but it is intuitive and empirical.

26. This is not as it should be. The power of mental therapeutics should be the subject of careful, special and scientific teaching in every medical school. We might pursue the subject of maltreatment, or want of treatment, further in detail and describe the disastrous results of neglected cases; but the task is an invidious one.

27. There can be no doubt that few patients are aware how much they can do for themselves. What the patient can do for himself, the forces he can set in motion are as yet unknown. We are inclined to believe that they are far greater than most imagine, and will undoubtedly be used more and more. Mental therapeutics may be directed by the patient himself to calming the mind in excitement, by arousing feelings of joy, hope, faith, and love; by suggesting motives for exertion, by regular mental work, by diverting the thoughts from the malady.

28. For your exercise this week concentrate on Tennyson's beautiful lines "Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and spirit with spirit can meet, Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet." Then try to realize that when you do "Speak to Him" you are in touch with Omnipotence.

29. This realization and recognition of this Omnipresent power will quickly destroy any and every form of sickness or suffering and substitute harmony and perfection. Then remember there are those who seem to think that sickness and suffering are sent by God; if so, every physician, every surgeon and every Red Cross nurse is defying the will of God and hospitals and sanitariums are places of rebellion instead of houses of mercy. Of course, this quickly reasons itself into an absurdity, but there are many; who still cherish the idea.

30. Then let the thought rest on the fact that until recently theology has been trying to teach an impossible Creator, one who created beings capable of sinning and then allowed them to be eternally punished for such sins. Of course the necessary outcome of such extraordinary ignorance was to create fear instead of love, and so, after two thousand years of this kind of propaganda, Theology is now busily engaged in apologizing for Christendom.

31. You will then more readily appreciate the ideal man, the man made in the image and likeness of God, and you will more readily appreciate the all originating Mind that forms, upholds, sustains, originates, and creates all there is.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body nature is, and God the soul.

Opportunity follows perception, action follows inspiration, growth follows knowledge, eminence flows progress. Always the spiritual first, then the transformation into the infinite and illimitable possibilities of achievement.

..©2003 Last updated 3/3/2004 Web design by Mischa Fulljames

From India, Delhi
Excellent article. What do you do? Are you from the field of psychology? I see that your posts transcend matter, system thinking and human biology and psychology.
From India, Bangalore
"Excellent article. What do you do? Are you from the field of psychology?

I see that your posts transcend matter, system thinking and human biology and psychology."

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your appreciation of my choice of the article. Yes, I am from the field of psychology. But as I understand, I am inclined to diagree with your last sentence. Will you please clarify? In favour of my position I am quoting a paragraph Wisdom of healing authoured by David Simon, MD as:-

"more than sixty different chemical messangers-known as neurotransmitters or neurochemicals-have been identified as " communicator molecules" because of their ability to conduct biological information throughout the physiology. every thought, feeling and experience that is generated in the mind correlates to a cascade of physiological and chemical changes in the body. these are awesome discoveries. for the first time it has been revealed that intangible, non material information can be transformed into physical reality. moreover, it has now been shown that a number of chemicals previously believed to originate only in the brain are actually produced by cells in other organs of the body. since many of these substances are associated with cognitive and emotional processess, we rcognize that intelligence is not localised in the central nervous system. we can now say with certainty that even such organs as the stomach and the liver are thinking entities. the entire body is a compex network of energy and information, which we in turn experience as consciousness" (pp10)



From India, Delhi
Dear managehr,


It appears that you are very prolific. But somehow you have missed to reply my post. Will you please expedite? On the topic I am posting another article by Elliot S. Dacher MDwhich you may like.



The Whole Healing System


As practitioners, we approach our patients and their problems within the framework of a conceptual model which organizes and defines the questions we ask, the information we seek, the diagnostic and therapeutic options, and ultimately the outcome of our interventions. Because we are so accustomed and conditioned to think and act within a specific framework, we rarely if ever consider the fundamental conceptual principles underlying our practice even though these principles can assume a powerful, although often unseen, authority over our professional lives.

The dominant medical model of western culture, the biomedical model is based on three underlying, yet untested, assumptions and principles: Objectivism, the idea that accurate knowledge can be exclusively achieved through an impersonal assessment of sensory based information; Determinism, the idea that causation is exclusively characterized by an upward and linear mechanistic linkage; and Positivism, the idea that knowledge exclusively accumulates through the accretion of data from the positive results of sensory based experimentation. This model has served us well, but with the progressive urbanization of life accompanied by the industrial and technologic revolutions humankind has seen the development of new and very different adversities which have resulted in the emergence of a uniquely new category of modern day ailments, particularly stress related diseases, acute and chronic, which are directly linked to personal attitudes and lifestyle. As a result, the limitations of a medical model which cannot effectively incorporate psychological, psychosocial, or spiritual factors, factors that are at the source of these ailments, has become increasingly evident.

The emerging public interest in health promotion, self-care, alternative healing practices, and mind/body medicine is a response to the limitations of the biomedical model and challenges future health practitioners to develop a more comprehensive understanding and approach to the care of individuals. 1 Ideally, such an approach would maintain the scientific rigor and discipline which has so successfully served the biomedical model while at the same time expand the vision and reach of modern medicine. New approaches to clinical care must be developed in a manner that can be easily integrated into clinical training and effectively assist the future practitioner in meaningfully expanding his/her capacity to respond to the changing needs and demands of a diverse population of clients.

The comprehensive model I am proposing incorporates and integrates the principles and practices of the biomedical model with the new and emerging initiatives noted above. It does so by presupposing that there are multiple maps and explanatory models for perceived reality. Each map is considered valid in itself, yet when considered together they provide a closer approximation to reality than is possible when each is taken alone. As complex beings living in a complex ecology, we can appropriately and simultaneously be considered as mechanical devices whose parts are amenable to repair, interactive units whose major component systems are the mind and body, and spiritual beings who emerge from and ultimately re-join the timeless flow of nature. The model I am proposing will consider each of these aspects of our being - mechanical, mind/body, and spiritual - their relationship to each other and the manner in which each can be integrated into a comprehensive approach to health.

This approach will be based on new set of assumptions and principles which incorporate, yet expand upon, those of the biomedical model. The first principle, Dynamism, reflects the view that the human experience is at all times in an active and vital relationship with its environment, continuously exchanging nutrients and information and adapting to new and different circumstances. Unlike a machine which cannot change itself once it is set in motion, humans can repair their own tissues, re-generate new tissue, and through will adapt to varying external conditions by altering their actions. The second principle, Holism, is the term that we use to designate the viewpoint that human life is a natural, self-organized, unfolding process that consists of constituent elements bound together from the very beginning as a unitary interactive whole. If an embryo is homogenized into a soup that contains all of its initial ingredients, DNA, RNA, etc., it is not possible to reconstitute a living embryo from these isolated parts. The memory and pattern of the whole precedes the development of the parts, and is disrupted when the intact living process is altered. The final principle, Purposefulness, intentionality and goal directed activity, can be found at every level of the human experience: the automatic mechanisms of homeostasis are directed towards maintaining a precise physiologic balance; the in-born psychic instincts, the Jungian archetypes, outline the patterns, intentions, and directions of psychologic development which sustain a continuity and stability of the human experience; and consciousness appears to follow the universal quest to expand itself sufficiently to understand and re-unite with the ground of its being. Together, these three principles extend our understanding the human condition and recognize the full range of healing capacities built into the human mind and body.

Systems Theory

Based on these new assumptions and principles, the model I am proposing draws upon the knowledge of systems theory which first developed as a modern response to the accumulation of expanding volumes of information and data and an increasing emphasis on micro-specialization. Systems, or organizational theory, is an attempt to integrate, to create wholes out of parts. It is in essence a science of wholeness. Its concepts and principles are based on the observation that nature is organized in patterns of increasing complexity and comprehensiveness, and that these larger wholes, or units, have characteristics and qualities which are unique to the whole and cannot be identified or accessed through an analysis of their component parts. 2,3 For example, the human organism, composed of cells, tissues and organ systems, contains qualities and characteristics that cannot be exclusively accounted for through the linear summation of its parts. These include: the capacity for self-organization, integrated action and adaptability, will, intention, and creativity.

In the 1970's George Engel, using the principles of systems theory, developed the biopsychosocial model, an expanded model of healing.4,5 His intent was to extend the biomedical model to include the psychologic and psychosocial factors which are largely excluded from it. The model I am proposing similarly draws upon systems theory, but unlike Engel's biopsychosocial model, which is based on the biosocial hierarchy of nature, the health continuum is based on a hierarchy of healing systems which are seen as the essential linkage between cellular physiology and social adaptability. The model is composed of four healing systems: Homeostasis, Treatment, Mind/Body, and Spiritual. Figure #1 illustrates the relationship of the component parts to the whole.

Each of the sub-systems of this model is a complete and distinct whole in itself, yet at the same time it is part of a more comprehensive healing system. As an intact system, each of these component systems has its own frame of reference, operating principles, internal stability, characteristics, and research methodology. As we ascend the hierarchy of healing systems we expand our conceptualization of healing adding both complexity and comprehensiveness at each new level. Each component of the system can be studied separately, and the entire system can be studied both in terms of its system wide characteristics and the inter-relationships of its component parts. For the scientific researcher, it is appropriate to selectively study a particular system applying the research methodology appropriate to the system under study. The practitioner, however, whose focus is always the whole person, must have the dual concern of attending to the individual components of the healing system while simultaneously considering these components within the context of a more inclusive and comprehensive multi-system approach to healing.

System #1: The Homeostatic Healing System

Walter Cannon described the most primary and basic healing system available to the human organism, the homeostatic system. This built-in instinctual system of internal physiologic checks and balances evolved over the millennia of human development, providing the human organism with the potential to automatically respond to internal states of disequilibrium with immediate, reflex like physiologic corrections. This system assures the maintenance of a steady physiologic state which in turn insures survival.










Checks and Balances


Feedback Loops

Steady State

However, our homeostatic system is far more suited to the life of primitive man than it is to the more recent and dramatic changes in lifestyle and environment that characterize and accompany "civilized" urban life.6 As a consequence, the homeostatic system is often maladapted to the changing lifestyles, practices, and environments of modern man; our nutritional choices, exercise patterns, physical environments, and above all, our stress levels. This mismatch of primitive adaptive mechanisms and the realities of modern life have resulted in significant limitations and deficiencies in the natural protective mechanisms designed into this system. For example, the maintenance of normal glucose levels and the integrity of our vasculature is undermined by our modern day diet and sedentary lifestyle, and the on and off mechanism of the stress response and the maintenance of normal levels of blood pressure are distorted by the presence of unrelenting mental stress. To remedy the results of the mismatch between the built-in mechanisms of the homeostatic healing system and the realities of urban life civilized man has developed "treatment" models whose purpose is to step-in where homeostasis has failed and to restore normal function.

System #2: The Treatment Healing System

The treatment system is activated when the patient seeks assistance from a health care practitioner as a reaction to the appearance of a symptom or the presence of overt disease, an indication of the breakdown of the natural homeostatic system. This is routinely followed by the requisite testing, establishment of a diagnosis, and the prescription of therapy, usually, in the biomedical treatment system, in the form of external agents such as drugs, surgery, or physical therapy. Biomedicine, the dominant form of treatment in western society, seeks to establish and explain causation by reducing the field of study to a single body system and its associated biochemistry. Its aim is to repair the biophysiologic abnormality and re-establish health which in the biomedical system is defined as the restoration of normal function.

The success of biomedicine has resulted in a shift in the burden of illness from acute infectious disease to chronic, often stress related, degenerative disease whose causes are largely a result of personal attitudes and lifestyles. Although biomedicine is well equipped to diagnose and treat these diseases, which are currently the major source of premature death and morbidity, its therapies rarely result in cure. The characteristics that have been responsible for biomedicine's many accomplishments, by necessity also define its limits. A reductive system, by its very definition, is incapable of meaningfully including psychologic and psychosocial factors which cannot be exclusively reduced to the level of biochemistry without losing their complex and interactive meaning and significance to the human experience. For this, we must extend our vision of healing to consider the mind/body healing system which both incorporates the homeostatic and biomedical systems while extending them to include factors which were previously excluded.












Drugs/Surgery/Alternative Therapies

Restore Function

System #3: The Mind/Body Healing System

The mind/body healing system relies on the assumption of personal responsibility and the self-motivated effort to develop and use the personal skills and capacities, psychological, psychosocial, and physical, that are available to assist in the process of self-regulation and healing. Mind/body healing is intentional and preferably proactive. Its focus is on personal attitudes and lifestyle, the central factors in the development of stress related degenerative disorders. The concern here is with psychological development, individuation, personal transformation, and mastery, to the extent possible, over the activities of the mind and body.

This aspect of healing finds its scientific legitimacy in the emerging research in the field of psychoneuroimmunolgy.7 The discovery of the inter-connectedness of psychic and physiologic functions mediated by the mobile neuropeptide messenger system has assisted in establishing the biochemical pathways which account for the long accepted relationship between mind and body. Further, we are now able to demonstrate the specific psychological qualities and psychosocial influences which appear to provide enhanced resistance to the detrimental effects of physiologic stress.8,9,10

The shift in focus from diagnostic categories to issues of personal attitudes, lifestyle, and psychological development alters the relationship of the health practitioner to the patient, perhaps better referred to here as the client. The relationship is more of a partnership than the hierarchical relationship that characterizes biomedical healing. The focus is long-term and the "treatment" modalities, which can more accurately be termed health promotion practices, are more internal than external. Examples include meditation, exercise, nutritional practices, psychosocial education, biofeedback, and yoga. The intent is more educational than therapeutic and the health practitioner serves more as an educator and coach.

As with each of the preceding systems, the defining focus of the mind/body healing system, psychological development and individuation, also accounts for its deficiencies and defines its limits. This system fails to consider the spiritual aspects of the human experience which transcend and extend the boundaries of personal development conveying to the individual a more comprehensive and sustaining understanding of the living experience.

Mind/Body Healing











Mind and Body


System #4: The Spiritual Healing System

There are many definitions of spirituality, but for the purposes of this model I have chosen to define spirituality as an individual's capacity to view the living experience in the context of an organized and unifying perspective that transcends day-to-day experience and provides meaning and purpose to the essential human concerns about life and death. A spiritual perspective can have a profound effect on personal attitudes, values, and behaviors, and as a consequence biochemistry and physiology. These effects on the mind and the body are termed spiritual healing.

Of the healing systems discussed in this paper, the spiritual healing system is the most difficult to define and presents the most significant challenge to our current research methodologies. Yet it conveys an essential completeness and wholeness to this comprehensive healing model by encouraging an existential exploration of the primal human issues of life, disease, and death, their meaning and purpose.

Spiritual Healing













The Health Continuum

When these four healing systems are considered as an integrated comprehensive system certain characteristics appear that are not evident when each is taken separately. We are able to see the evolving characteristics of healing as we approach figure #2 in a horizontal direction. For example, the expansion of consciousness from instinctual, to reactive, intentional, and intuitive, the shift in resources from built-in automatic feedback loops, to drugs and surgery, mind and body, and finally to an expanded consciousness. Similarly we can see an increasingly inclusive and comprehensive vision of health as we shift from the goal of maintaining a physiologic steady state, to restoring function, to individuation, and finally to the attainment of wholeness. Taken as a whole, the movement through each healing system reflects the natural developmental sequence of a human life. We discover that much like this model, we are both parts and wholes; mechanical, interactive, and integrated - all at the same time.

The adversarial distinction between conventional and holistic/alternative therapies disappears as we consider the intent, usefulness, and mechanism involved in each form of therapy and properly assign it to one of the four healing systems - homeostasis, treatment, mind/body, and spiritual. This is a more functional way to categorize a therapeutic practice than the current arbitrary and capricious view of its status as "conventional or holistic/alternative". To the extent that a practice, "conventional or holistic/alternative" fits within a specific system, it then, by necessity, must attain its legitimacy and credibility through the disciplined exploration of its efficacy by means of the research methodology appropriate to that specific system.

Whole Healing

Homeostasis Treatment Mind/Body Spiritual







Instinctual Reactive Intentional Intuitive

Autoregulation Repair Self-Regulation/

Self-Exploration Integration

Checks and Balances Reductive Developmental Unifying

Disequalibrium Disease Person-Centered Myth/Symbol

Feedback Loops Drugs/Surgery

Alternative Therapies Mind/Body Consciousness

Steady State Restore Funtion Autonomy Wholeness

This model is inclusive rather than exclusive, honoring and respecting the contributions, independence, and interdependence of each of these healing systems and the integrity and professionalism of the many and varied practitioners whose practices, when proved efficacious through a rigorous system based research methodology, serve as accepted and valuable resources for one or more of the healing systems. Reductionistic and holistic thinking, and conventional and alternative practices are each seen as essential components of a comprehensive intellectual process and a unified approach to health and healing.

Clinical Decision Making

It is in the context of this model that we can now explore how practitioners-in-training and the active clinician can incorporate these perspectives into the daily practice of healing. In the biomedical system we are accustomed to using a symptom as the "ticket of admission" to the clinical setting and as the basis for the ensuing interview which begins with a general review of the body systems and progresses, in a reductionistic manner, towards a subsequent focus on the particular single system most directly related to the presenting symptom. This process can be directly applied to the expanded approach proposed here by adding an initial level of triage which precedes the more detailed interview process. This initial triage decision determines which one or more of the healing systems, homeostatic, treatment, mind/body, or spiritual is to be applied to the presenting problem. This decision is based on three critical factors: the intensity and severity of the illness, and the age and mindstyle of the patient.

For example, a minor acute illness is not the basis for a multi-system interview. In contrast, a myocardial infarction requires full attention to the homeostatic, treatment, mind/body, and spiritual healing systems. An individual's age further assists in determining the applicability and usefulness of the mind/body and spiritual healing systems. Mind/body healing cannot be introduced until the attainment of a certain level of maturity, and similarly, a spiritual approach is generally inappropriate for the adolescent or young adult. Mindstyle is the final indication of which direction to proceed. The later two healing systems require a certain openness, interest, and intellect as they call upon the direct and enthusiastic participation of the client. Once made, this triage decision defines the next level of inquiry which consists of an interview related to the particular healing system(s) that have been selected. If the problem seems most appropriately resolved in the biomedical system the traditional review of systems ensues. If the problem calls upon the mind/body or spiritual systems, the inquiry appropriate to these systems is inserted. Briefly, the homeostatic system is concerned with the circumstances, environmental, dietary, and physical that support the normal auto-regulatory functions of the mind and body; the treatment system focuses on the traditional issues of diagnosis and therapy, the mind/body system is concerned with personal attitudes and lifestyle, and the spiritual system considers issues of meaning and purpose. As with the traditional review of systems, an inquiry into each of these aspects of healing proceeds with a series of questions and responses between practitioner and client.

With the above considerations and the appropriate inquiry into the nature of the presenting problem, a comprehensive plan can be agreed upon in-partnership with the client. This plan will apply the appropriate range of resources from each of the selected healing systems. In its most complete form such a plan would aim to support the normal operations of the homeostatic system, restore function where dysfunction has developed (the treatment system), expand personal resources and capacities (the mind/body healing system), and assist the individual in the attainment of a more whole and balanced life (the spiritual healing system). As with any plan, there is a continuing reiterative process that occurs throughout the life cycle.

To better illustrate this process let us consider the case of an individual who presents for the first time with the symptoms of atherosclerotic heart disease. The initial triage would suggest that the age at which this disease presents itself and the intensity and severity of this particular illness indicates the need to consider, at a minimum, biomedical and mind/body healing. Further inquiry, which may continue over weeks, will clarify whether this specific individual is amenable to viewing the implications of his disease within the framework of a spiritual perspective. Initially the appropriate steps related to treatment, diagnosis and therapy, are pursued. Concurrently, an inquiry into personal attitudes and lifestyle are initiated. Finally, if appropriate, a dialogue can be initiated which is directed towards seeking an understanding of the meaning, purpose, significance, and implications of this disease for the individual's life.

In this case the development of a comprehensive plan would include a mixture of approaches: the use of appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic interventions (the treatment system), the introduction of attitudinal and lifestyle changes in the areas of stress management, nutrition, exercise, and insight based psychological counseling (the mind/body system), and an ongoing consideration of the impact of this illness on previously held values, beliefs, and priorities (the spiritual system). The goal for the practitioner is to begin to perceive disease and the individual in a larger context. For the individual, the goal is to use disease as a doorway into a more considered and expanded life - one that both serves to remedy the problem at hand, reverse the personal factors that have contributed to the development of the illness, and enhance the overall quality of life.

The Clinical Setting

At this juncture it is reasonable to ask, "How can such a model be integrated into the contemporary health care setting, and more specifically the biomedical model?". As a consequence of the introduction and expansion of managed care delivery systems, individuals have increasingly lost their capacity to directly access specialty care practitioners. As a result, the primary care practitioner has become the door of entry into the medical care system. Therefore, it is the primary care practitioner who will become the critical triage officer. This most important and highly trained individual must have the capacity and skill to triage problems according to the levels of care required, and to train and supervise others to do the same. Although the primary care practitioner should coordinate and overview the various aspects of care, the individual components of the health care plan can be implemented by a variety of individuals trained in each of the specific healing modalities. This would require a re-orientation of the clinical setting to allow for a variety of intervention formats in contrast to the exclusively biomedical approaches of our current system. It is important to recognize that mind/body and spiritual healing approaches are largely educational in contrast to therapeutic. It is therefore preferable that practitioners can easily access educational programs, off-site or on-site, which provide these services in group formats. To a considerable degree the resources of mind/body and spiritual healing, which are not currently considered in clinical settings, are best provided for in educational, non-clinical environments, and that the distinction between medical therapeutics and person centered education slowly disappear as we shift towards the latter levels of healing.

Practitioners and Clients: Partners In a New Perspective

This proposed model has very definite implications for practitioners and their clients. If primary care practitioners are to carry out the role of triage officers as proposed here, they must be provided with an integrated systems based education. Such a physician must be knowledgeable in the dynamics of each of the four healing systems, but the distinctive aspect of his education will be an understanding of the principles, concepts, and structural issues that underlie a comprehensive approach to healing. We are not seeking experts in specific domains. The level of data and information available makes that task impossible. Rather, we are seeking practitioners, conventional and "alternative", whose training is expanded to include an understanding of each of the essential aspects of healing complimented by a strong emphasis on integrative studies. The latter is not merely an emphasis on structure and organization, but contains a value system that emphasizes synthesis and wholeness, a perspective that is largely absent from current educational programs.

Similarly, our clients must also re-look at their monotheistic and fragmented approach to health care. It will be increasingly necessary to view health as an artistic creative act, one that is engaged for the duration of the life cycle. The expansion of consciousness, self-knowledge, capacities, resources and skills is the very process of health itself. In these terms health becomes more a verb than a noun, an intentional and proactive orientation to life that values personal growth and development. Health is then viewed as a lifetime journey rather than as a response to illness. In this context, a consciously lived life cycle will engage an individual in exploring each of the healing systems and in this manner maximize their contributions towards enhancing the quality and duration of life while simultaneously compressing morbidity into the final years of life.

Shifting Paradigms

Thomas S. Kuhn in his seminal work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions11 suggests that scientific paradigms which serve to tightly organize and structure the development of a particular field of study will in-time progressively fail to account for anomalous findings. The tenaciousness of an entrenched paradigm will, through denial, discounting, or other attempts to sustain itself invariable delay the crisis that will inevitably confront an increasingly inadequate model. Eventually, more comprehensive models will develop, and a competitive battle will ensue between old and new This is our current circumstance. The biomedical treatment model, as a direct result of its very successful reductive approach, cannot adequately incorporate the significance of psychological, psychosocial, and spiritual factors on health. It cannot make sense of and respond to the extensive literature that documents the effect of social support and socioeconomic influences on morbidity and mortality.12,13,14,15 It cannot easily acknowledge and integrate an exceedingly well documented lifestyle and psychosocial based program for the non-pharmacologic reversal of coronary atherosclerosis.16 There is no accommodation for the increasing research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology which is demonstrating the relationship between mental attitudes and physiologic change, and no explanation for the well documented reversals of what are considered terminal diseases.17 Finally, there is no consideration of the potential efficacy of "non-conventional" therapies, or the emerging and growing public interest in health promotion.

Beyond these issues are the social and cultural consequences of the biomedical treatment model which have become progressively detrimental to the human experience. The social roles assumed by the practitioner and his client, roles which are a direct consequence of the professionalism and authoritarianism of modern medical practices, and the "medicalization" of many aspects of human life, for example, socially deviant behavior, have undermined the development of personal autonomy and responsibility, the very qualities that are essential for both human development and for access to the extended aspects of healing. Further, the cultural view of essential human concerns such as disease, health, pain, suffering and death, are increasingly defined in medical and pathological terms. For example, pain and suffering which can be viewed as an existential issue to be lived through and grown from have now become something adverse to fix and remove. They have shifted from personal concerns to technological medical problems, from a source of knowledge and wisdom to an unwanted disruption in life.

In response to these concerns we have seen the development of various new models and approaches: the wellness model, the biopsychosocial model, and mind/body, holistic, and alternative practices. Each of these initiatives is a response to our current dilemma: the inability of the biomedical treatment model to fully respond to the needs of our time. The model I am proposing incorporates these ideas into a singular expanded vision of the future, one that is inclusive, comprehensive, accessible, and functional. This model can serve to responsibly integrate conventional practices with the emerging interest in mind/body and spiritual healing, alternative therapies, and health promotion initiatives, provide a theoretical basis for new system based research methodologies, assist with the development of an expanded curriculum for practitioners, and serve as the template for an innovative and flexible approach to healing that responds to both individual and social needs as they have emerged in our time.


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