Saturday, September 27, 2008
Ho'oponopono and Hope for Medicine
This weekend I'm enjoying an annual conference with my colleagues from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, Arizona. It's a wonderful group of people, graduates of Dr. Andrew Weil's fellowship in Integrative Medicine.
Integrative Medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.
Physicians come to the 2-year fellowship for all kinds of reasons. Some want to bring additional modalities such as nutrition or botanical medicine into their existing practices. Others want help shifting their entire practices in more healing, prevention-oriented directions. Still others are developing Integrative Medicine clinics and departments in their own medical centers. Perhaps some of us seek healing ourselves.
All fellows come out valuing our fellow humans' natural healing capacities, even when this wasn't emphasized in our previous training. It's a great relief to discover that patients and physicians can be partners in care.
Our annual conferences allow us to review recent research in areas such as botanicals, vitamins, and mind-body medicine, plus experience modalities like holotropic breathwork or energy medicine together. Most of all we can connect with each other, supporting our myriad efforts to improve health care for our patients.
In our opening circle, we each shared what we are really passionate about. Here was a group of well-educated clinicians from all over the nation, telling about their own personal journeys. When my time came, I shared how Ho'oponopono has helped me find such peace within my own everyday life and medical practice.
Many of my colleagues were very interested in this, and came up to ask more about it at dinner. They responded with excellent questions (of course all the time I was cleaning). Understand, we're all very intellectual people -- for better or worse! And yet none questioned that Divinity is in charge of the healing in us all.
As I spoke with two people in particular, the noisy room seemed to quiet down. I mentioned nothing, but spontaneously, both commented on this shift in the room's energy. "Yes, that's Ho'oponopono for you," I said, the hairs on my arms standing up. My friends marveled and wanted to learn more -- so I directed them to the Foundation of I for seminar information.
The next day, one man I'd spoken with said he'd called his therapist wife and mentioned my comments about Ho'oponopono. He was shocked to hear her reply: she'd been interested in this practice for years! However, he'd never remembered her telling about it. He laughed that it was now coming to him "in stereo", so perhaps it was time to really listen. We agreed that wake-up calls come in all forms.
Even though this process has helped me so much, I had been somewhat shy about telling others -- especially other physicians who might think me "nuts". This weekend, I got over that. I simply shared something that offers me solace and peace. No one laughed. Instead, they were curious. How wonderful to find my colleagues so open to the possibility that our patients' problems offer opportunities to let go of our own memories!
This gives me great hope for medicine itself. Imagine a world where our practices are informed by Inspiration, rather than engaging in conflict. And as we touch others' lives, we'll be able to hear without judging. I am grateful, and continue to clean.
Peace begins with me,