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A New Perspective in Medicine
by Anita Allen
I have been practicing the discipline of Physiotherapy for over 13 years. Over the course of those years, the human system has never failed to fascinate me. Our incredible design and complexity is one of the greatest marvels in our known universe and there is so much more to discover. Each time I engage in a process with a client I feel such a sense of wonder and honor for the incredible expression that they are. There is such remarkable intelligence in the reason that has brought them to this appointment seeking an answer or a solution.
A metaphor that has been used to represent the uniqueness of each of us is that of a Bonsai tree. There is incredible intelligence behind the way our bodies express themselves. What we have considered as dysfunction is a magnificent and artful expression of not simply survival, but growth. As the poet, Maya Angelou stated so eloquently, “to survive is necessary; to thrive is elegant”. Part of my personal evolution has been to begin to recognize and reclaim all the wonderful twists and turns in my own life that have left me not with gnarled branches, but with grace and elegance. This metaphor represents my own ability to not only grow, but to thrive. In reclaiming all those experiences I discovered the space that allows me to engage my practice of physiotherapy with a sense of reverence and respect for the incredible intelligence in the body.
As a University student, I had the experience of human dissection. It was the intimate knowing of the machine without life present. The knowing was of only the most basic nature, visible only to the naked eye. Although encouraged to treat cadavers with the utmost respect as they lay as empty shells, there was such an obvious separation of essence and matter that it was difficult to identify with the person that once lived, breathed, laughed and cried. Without animating force, tissue lay as inert as the gurney that supported it. Stripped of all vitality, the mechanism that once housed an animated being was available for rudimentary exploration, an opportunity to understand the vehicle. When would we begin to understand the vital force that once inhabited tissue?
When Descartes struck his deal with the church so many years ago in order to obtain bodies for dissection, he left behind a legacy of separating mind from body. Descartes had never believed this separation to be a true representation of how humans functioned. The separation of body from mind/spirit was one of convenience at the time that Descartes was negotiating with the Church to have access to human cadavers to dissect and study. The Church wanted to maintain undisputed authority over all spiritual matters and the artificial distinction of vital essence and body was created as a boundary.
Fast forward to the 21st century where this arrangement of convenience has now acquired status as “fact” simply because it has remained undisputed for so long. This view along with the prevailing view of Newtonian science has left little room for exploration in medicine outside of the limitation of these perspectives. Yet science marches on in other forums as our evolution demands. It is growing impossible to continue to hold this separation of mind from body as true in the face of mounting evidence from the scientific community.
Candace Pert has demonstrated the presence of the same neuropeptides, once thought to belong solely in the realm of the brain, to be present throughout the body. As someone who uses acupuncture as a modality to assist in restoring balance in the body, I find this particularly compelling. Is it possible that acupuncture meridians are the neuropeptide channels? It is quite possible that soft tissue techniques such as Rolfing, Mysofacial Release and Craniosacral work are all possible means to engage in the physical manipulation, release and metabolization of neuropeptides. These physical modalities have been given a very esoteric and marginalized place in medicine and yet I believe there are undeniable reasons for the effectiveness of these techniques that requires us to embrace more than a simply mechanistic perspective in future research.
Valerie Hunt has measured the electromagnetic fields that emanate from the human body and has noted the changes in frequency as fields interact. Her contribution to science was possible once sufficiently sensitive technology was created to measure the subtle fields. The fields existed all along. What was new was the science that allowed such subtle signals to be measured. There was a shift in perspective that created a context for this information to be measured and considered useful.
What about nuclear medicine? We use our as yet limited understanding of energy and fields as a non-invasive means to examine the health of tissue or distribution of blood flow through the body with CT scans, MRI (magnetic resonance images), Bone Scans, PET Scans (Positive Electron Transmission) among others. The images created are representations of the energy signals transmitted or absorbed by tissue. They reflect field interactions.
All this evidence and there are still those who believe that the human body does not carry an energetic field. We are much more than a mechanism made of bone and tissue. Bone itself is a living and dynamic structure that is constantly remodeling itself. Cells are in constant renewal. Neuropeptides flow through the nervous system and tissue, communicating information. The scientific discoveries of Bruce Lipton demonstrate the cell’s ability to adapt and express is based largely on environmental cues and much less on what we once considered to be pre-determined genetic expression.
How did ancient civilizations come to their complex understanding of the body? What can we learn from their holistic perspectives? What becomes possible in the fields of physiotherapy and medicine when we are willing to embrace a broader perspective, one that invites curiosity about the place of quantum science in a larger context than diagnostic tests; a perspective that considers concepts of self-renewing systems and fractals as evidenced in nature and how they apply to humans as organic beings. The perspective proposed by the WEL-Systems Institute takes these points into consideration. A WEL-Systems® perspective is an invitation to consider that the body is not separate from the mind and that within the expressions of what otherwise might be considered pain, dysfunction or emotions there is a vast amount of information at our disposal. The concepts of normal/abnormal, good/bad or right/wrong do not exist in this perspective. In place of these arbitrary judgments there is an invitation to explore intelligence and information, as the body communicates it. The route to this engagement is not through the intellect but through the body directly.
Our bodies deal with an amazing amount of information on a daily basis as they are engaged in all the processes necessary for life. Although present, our intellect plays no significant role in the processes of digestion, respiration, reproduction and so on. Since we also recognize the presence of information networks in the form of neuropeptides and electromagnetic fields, it stands to reason that these systems are capable of functioning without intellectual direction. By artificially and perceptually disconnecting the body from the intellect, we humans have lost touch with a means of incredible resourcefulness in our lives. Its implications are staggering to our future health, wellness and evolution. The good news is that the disconnection is simply one of perception. A shift in perspective is all that is required to reconnect body to mind/spirit.
Original Copyright 2005 Anita Allen
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This article is reproduced with the permission of the author, Anita Allen. This article may be reproduced provided premission has been granted by Anita Allen and it is reproduced in its entirety with appropriate acknowledgement of the author, the source and a web link to www.WELsprings.com