The Ladder of Healing Hierarchy
There is a kind of a Maslow’s hierarchy in medicine and healing, only it works in an opposite sense.
The principle in Maslow’s hierarchy is simple. It states that, if a person is hungry, they will seek food before shelter. If a person has no shelter, they will not seek intimacy with others. When a person is completely occupied with their loneliness and not belonging, they will set that as a priority before they begin looking deeper into themselves. It is only when all the lesser needs are fulfilled that a person looks to self-actualization, which, one might say, is the highest calling for a human being.
Medicine and healing are similar, but opposite. The best medicine on earth cannot be achieved until all the other, lesser forms of medicine are relinquished.
The False Notion of Raging War on Disease
The basest medicine is the crudest and also the most false. It is based on a premise that is completely untrue – that the health of a patient in chronic illness lies in the hands of the doctor.* The notion that the doctor is responsible for the patient’s health is one of the most potent mass deceptions to ever sink its teeth into humanity. Conventional medicine is dominated by this form of belief. It’s method of applying medicine is by raging a war on disease. Combat, battle, suppress the symptoms. Cut out the sick part of the body. Drown the person in toxic drugs with global side effects. We call this form of medicine allopathic, and it is the lowest form of medicine available today. The fact that those who practice this form of medicine are heralded as the authorities on health is an extension of the deception. This form of medicine is no stranger to naturopathic medicine. A sizable chunk of naturopaths practice allopathically, but do take a step up the ladder of medical hierarchy by using much less toxic supplements and natural herbs. This medicine is not even really healing. It’s just a game we play to pretend we’re doing something for our health while in the meantime, the suppression makes the root cause worse and in time, a greater form of disease will emerge down the road.
The next step-up of medicine is where the doctor offers healthy advice, like good diet, exercise, healthy practices, good water, and helps to empower the patient to carry this forward on their own. This form of medicine often involves the detoxification of the body and is “Systems-based,” meaning that the systems of the body, like immune, digestive, reproductive, endocrine, nervous, etc. are the main focus. This level is still quite physical based and the patient has no understanding of the workings of their mind and emotion, but it can be targeted more toward the individual and becomes closer to the source of a person’s problem. A very sizable chunk of naturopathic doctors practice at this level and the wiser of the conventional doctors and chiropractors do as well.
The next rung up on the ladder of healing hierarchy involves subtler medicines that remove blockages to the person’s energy field. Acupuncture, reiki, shiatsu, light healing touch and other energetic forms of hands on healing work at this level. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the Shen (mind) governs the Qi (energy) which governs the Jing (blood and body level). By removing blockages and restoring balance at the level of the Qi, these medicines work at a point higher in the human being and closer to the source of healing. Instead of combatting the outward manifestations of the symptoms of disease like in the lowest form of medicine, they endeavor to remove issues closer to the source. For this, they can be more effective at healing subtler forms of illness and also more effective at really healing the body, because they are not geared toward simply suppressing symptoms. However, the patient is still not all that involved in gaining a deeper understanding of where their problem lies mentally and emotionally and how to address it.
Homeopathy and the Law of Similars
The next level of healing lies on a higher plane and is almost the best form of medicine. It is homeopathy. Homeopathy is so effective because it takes into account the totality of a patient’s symptoms on the mental, emotional, physical, and even spiritual levels and because it works with the Law of Similars – using the poison for the cure. Spelled out more, homeopathic healing involves using a substance in nature that causes a picture of disease on all levels in a healthy human being on a sick person with that similar symptom picture. It is a true “whole person” medicine. One could be tempted to place essential oils and flower remedies at this level, because they can and do address the mental emotional symptoms but they are not nearly as effective at healing as homeopathy because they do not take into account the whole picture of disease, they are not potentized, and the Law of Similars is not used. They can and do move energies and help to restore balance on the level of emotion and Qi, so they would belong somewhere on the lower level.
When a homeopathic remedy is administered in the best possible fashion classically, it is really tough to beat. The effects are global, lasting, gentle, yet often rapid and profound. I have often thought this to be the best medicine on the planet, and it’s not far off. If the best medicine that I have yet to call by name did not exist, homeopathy would be tops. But it, too, is missing something. It is missing the highest element. The one thing which is the simplest yet most important for each person to eventually discover and employ.
The Best Medicine is Will
I do not mean the force, or using the power of the will to push away illness and see it gone. This is a blend of using willpower to combat illness and circumvents understanding the root cause of the problem.
What I am instead suggesting is the person using their God-given ability to find the will to change what they are doing in their mind, emotion, body, life, spirituality, relationships, Holism, everywhere, that is not healthy for them. It involves making better choices in regards to what we believe is true, firstly, and then what we feel as a result and finally making changes to the choices of how we act.
In this highest form of medicine lives the most important truth. That each of us is responsible for our own health and that the power to heal lives in all of us. The potency of this medicine is also augmented by the fact that it dispels the myth of allopathic medicine, that the doctor is responsible for the patient’s health.
There are not too many forms of medicine that adequately apply the best medicine.
Most are stuck in treating symptoms or systems.
The Realm Where the Best Form of Medicine Dwells
The realm where the best form of medicine dwells is in psychology, but counselors, psychotherapists, and psychologists don’t help the patient connect their mind with their body and psychology has not yet really recognized the potency that it can have to heal even physical disease. Psychologists and other like practitioners also don’t know how to help a patient become aware of the deepest aspect of their problem without inputting too much of their own knowledge and awareness, thus denying the patient from having their own ‘aha’ moment. This then results in a disconnect from the highest form of medicine – Will.
I have worked many years to develop a form of medicine that enables the patient to heal themselves through the revelation of what their problem is. It is called Holistic Counseling – The Vis Dialogue, and it is a form of counseling that I created that involves asking non-directional questions to help a patient recognize the root cause of their illness and then find the way to use their will to make the necessary change that brings about health. My book Holistic Counseling – Introducing the Vis Dialogue, is designed to reveal this method as well as the surrounding naturopathic medicine philosophy that illustrates Will and in particular, choice, as the highest form of medicine.**
Relinquishing the Lesser Forms of Medicine
And that is how the hierarchy of healing works backward from the way that Maslow’s hierarchy works, because in order to access the highest form of medicine, the lesser forms must be relinquished. How will you ever know what choices and beliefs have led to your illness if you only have the symptoms treated and do not demand to know more about the root cause? How will you change those root causes if you run for symptomatic relief? How will you grow as a person through the learning involved in the illness if you don’t even grasp what has led to the illness in the first place?
And here’s where it has gotten very subtle. In cases that have gotten very deep through Holistic Counseling – The Vis Dialogue, I have also become clear about a very potent homeopathic remedy that can equally help a person heal. But I don’t give it, because I know with their newfound awareness, should they choose to apply it, they will be performing medicine at the highest and most significant level. They are applying their will to change their life and health for the better. I have noticed at the end of phenomenal Holistic Counseling sessions that a patient is right there, mind staring down the root cause of their problem right in its face, and then when I offer a homeopathic remedy to complement the healing, the focus is gone. It’s like the patient shakes their head and loses the alignment of their will right to the cause. Their eyes gloss over slightly as they have switched from the highest form of medicine – “I have the will and the power to heal myself,” to “The homeopathic remedy will do it for me.” Sure, I will prescribe homeopathic remedies where the patient is caught up in too much debris to recognize their will and be able to apply it. It’s not always possible to apply the highest form of medicine. But in time, these patients too will be able to climb up the last rung of the ladder to find their will to align with what is healthy for them. And it is also true that homeopathy does not remove the patient’s will from the equation. With a good remedy, the patient often finds themselves naturally and sometimes effortlessly making the better choices. However, if one is able to get there without the remedy, to me, that is the highest.
And there, at the top of the ladder, one can attain something quite interesting. In recognizing one’s ability to align all of one’s Will with the Healing power of Nature and the Divine, one achieves self-actualization. At the summit, the hierarchy of healing and Maslow’s hierarchy become one and the same.
So next time someone asks if you’ll share with them what the best form of medicine is, tell them you will.
* There is the exception of where a person is in need of emergency care, or unable to undergo mind-body medicine.
** Holistic Counseling – Introducing the Vis Dialogue will be launched officially on March 25, 2016 at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.
Moshe Daniel Block, ND, HMC is the author of The Revolution of Naturopathic Medicine: Remaining True to Our Philosophy, a book about the philosophy and practice of naturopathic medicine, and Holistic Counseling – Introducing the Vis Dialogue, a book about a breakthrough healing method uniting the worlds of Mind-Body Medicine & Psychology. He graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto, Ontario) in 2000. Dr Block then went on to complete the Homeopathic Master Clinician course with Louis Klein, FSHom, in 2003. He specializes in autoimmune illness and myasthenia gravis, a disease he was personally diagnosed as having and from which he has healed himself. He teaches the very wisdom and knowledge that helped him heal himself and others in his Holistic Counseling course for NDs (holistic-counseling.ca). Some of the other projects Dr. Block has worked on can be found at his private practice website (myasthenia-gravis-cure.com), his books website (nddoctor.net), Holistic Counseling (http://www.holistic-counseling.ca) and his global website (david-house-productions.com).