By Alice Lee-Bloem, MD, ABIHM – Holistic Psychiatrist – Rockville, Maryland
As a holistic psychiatrist, I have wondered over the years, “Which is more powerful in healing, orthomolecular/functional medicine or energy medicine?” It’s like asking whether the nature of man is good or evil. My answer to that question has been, “Neither–the nature of man is self-centered.” Similarly, as I’ve reflected on the healing process, I’ve come to realize that neither orthomolecular/functional or energy medicine is more powerful than the other. Instead, they depend on each other. Energy medicine is like the blueprint for a house, or the hard drive in a computer. But orthomolecular/functional medicine is like the building materials for the house, or the software for a computer. Neither can be fully creative without the other.
Once I came to see healing as being cooperative, rather than hierarchical, I broadened my ideas about healing to include five levels of being: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and social. I call them levels, because I think of them as being made of vibrational levels. However, unlike Russian nesting dolls, separate and distinct, these levels of being are more like music, with the high notes interwoven with the low notes–the melody intermingling with the backdrop of harmonies. The music of life is made of many parts, each part as important as another in producing the final masterpiece.
True healing happens when all levels are part of the transformational process. Let’s take for example a person who enters treatment feeling depressed and anxious, hoping to get off their psychotropic medications.
Orthomolecular/functional medicine would focus on providing the building blocks to the physical form and removing the toxins that block normal biological functioning. These building blocks would come from vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, gastrointestinal support, and detoxification.
Energy medicine would focus on correcting inappropriate energy flow and function. This could be done with focused meditation, acupressure (EFT, TAT), acupuncture, or a myriad of other modalities (Reiki, Healing Touch, Yoga, Tai Chi).
Social healing begins within the therapeutic relationship with the clinician, where unconditional love, respect, and equality is experienced. The person begins to see and develop the healer within him or herself. Issues such as trauma, abuse, neglect, and other damaging exposures (video games, media, incidents overheard or seen) are explored and healed through psychotherapeutic and energetic interventions.
Mental and Emotional healing occurs as harmful events, traumas, and stressors that led to the initial state of depletion are healed at the conscious and subconscious levels. Harmful mental and emotional habits are discovered and overcome. Forgiveness heals abuses and neglect from self and from others.
Spiritual healing focuses on one’s connection to a source of unconditional love, forgiveness, and God. It allows the person to feel deserving of being loved, happy, well, and successful. It removes guilt and shame as it builds the person’s faith in a loving, accepting God.
The person’s first steps along the path of healing begins in a state of misery and desperation. One’s early goals are limited to getting off medications and a cessation of pain and suffering. Even that may seem at first a rather grandiose hope. But true healing takes one more than out of the grave. The nature of true healing lifts one up until one has arrived back home to Life–vibrant and whole again. It is about transforming into a healer who has been healed.
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