Health Medicine Center: Integral Healing Circle--How it Works
Health Medicine Center Services
The Integral Healing Circle, How it Works
Once we developed a background regarding the wide range of practices our group comprised, we were eager to begin working together to help our patients. We began this formidable challenge by experimenting on ourselves. At our workshop meetings we split up into groups of 8-10 practitioners, and one person agreed to be the patient. Representatives from each group would describe what happened in each healing circle. We were particularly interested in how the patients felt about what unfolded.
We learned that there are many ways to analyze and treat our patients. While the languages of each discipline were often difficult to comprehend, it was remarkable at how we usually came to the same conclusions regarding what problems our patients suffered from. It was equally fascinating that the treatments varied from discipline to discipline and yet, our patients improved.
No single discipline has been able to solve all the health issues we face. In fact, according to recent medical journal articles approximately 50% of all Americans suffer from a chronic disease. There are obviously enough diseases to go around, but there are clearly not enough solutions to manage them. The idea of working together to see if we could do better by collaborating appealed to all of us.
Eventually, we began practicing on willing patients who welcomed this integrative, Healing Circle approach. We learned a lot—so did our patients. The highlights of what we learned included:
Information exchanged in the presence of many different styles of practitioners leads to an exchange of a wide range of possible treatment strategies with less authoritative stances.
There is a willingness of practitioners to listen very attentively, and to participate only when information from their field of knowledge is appropriate to contribute. Sometimes silence if more powerful than active participation.
Most Healing Circles transform from information exchange to connection. The group and patient merge into a single entity that has the intent of healing. An intense desire to support the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of each patient ensues.
Patients feel deeply listened to and supported by the group. A powerful sense of community emerges. Yet, periods of silence often provide time for deepened understanding and the awakening of new ideas. “Not knowing” is okay.
Patients become inspired that even if they cannot be cured of their symptoms, it is nearly always possible to heal—using illness as a process for personal transformation. This leads to personal empowerment.
To date, we have completed more than 100 Healing Circles. We have learned to ask our patients two questions prior to participating in these circles and an autobiography:
Why are you participating in a Healing Circle?
What do you hope you’ll gain from the experience?
We require an autobiography of each patient’s life from the physical, emotional, and spiritual perspectives.
We’re impressed at the ability of a circle of healers to inspire patients to look at illness as more than physical disability and psychological challenge and use illness as an opportunity to return to wholeness.
Healing Circles with a Caring Team of Practitioners
Healing circles are for those who have challenging health issues and are not getting better. A team of practitioners convene at no cost to provide information, listen, care, and support patients