Friday April 29, 2016
So far, this series has been looking at pain through the lens of the western medical model. Today the lens is being widened to let more light in on the subject. Notwithstanding its contributions, the drawbacks of the traditional medical model are significant: side effects, potential drug dependency and lethal interactions, not to mention the risks associated with surgery.
In the western model, the body is seen as something to fix. Pain is something to manage, and imbalance or disease something to conquer through external means.
Pain has a highly irritating quality to it - it hurts. Of course humans seek the quickest answer to quell it! Swallowing a pill for pain relief has become the norm because it is as convenient as it is highly advertised. It has become a conditioned response, - have pain, take something.
The challenge is that it can be easy to get lost in the loud distraction of discomfort. Instead of the underlying cause, getting rid of the pain becomes the focus sometimes regardless of the cost.
The first step in shifting a paradigm is to be open to a fresh way of considering underlying assumptions.
Through the holistic model lens, the body is seen as a whole organism of interdependent systems with capacity for self-correction given the support to do so. Treatment is based on looking and listening to the whole - body, mind, internal and external influences.
Instead of being viewed as something to manage, what if pain could be viewed as a warning alarm purposely built into the system?
Pain is your body's dashboard warning alarm. In your car, disconnecting the warning light on the dash doesn't resolve the problem it just stops the irritation of its glare. Instead of being irritated by the warning alarm of pain, what if you could see it as your very intelligent internal friend giving you a heads up that something needs your attention? (Like KITT in the old TV series Knight Rider, only without the wise-cracks.)
When you start to see your body/mind as your wise partner rather than something to fix, manage, blame, abuse, criticize or judge, the paradigm for healing shifts exponentially.
The road widens, and in amazement you find that your body/mind already has the GPS locked in on your route to greater health and well-being.
Next time, we will look at some other assumptions about pain from the driver's seat of the holistic paradigm.
To your great health and well being,
My mission with this blog is to provide information that supports holistic pain relief and self-care that encompasses all of who you are - body, mind, and Spirit.