The Difference Between Healing and Cure
In the summer of 1996 I attended an integrative medicine conference in Findhorn, Scotland. During the course of the main conference, Dr. Steve Wright, one of the Therapeutic Touch instructors, was asked to introduce himself. He slowly unfolded his lanky six foot four inch frame and faced the assembly. His wavy black hair and long lashed brown eyes seemed more suited to a movie star than to the director of nursing of a geriatric ward at an English hospital.
In a soft, gentle voice, Steve told us a little about the hands-on healing system of Therapeutic Touch. To illustrate how the holistic approach to healing differs from the contemporary medical model of fixing the broken parts to affect a cure, Steve shared the following true story which he has graciously allowed me to retell.
Maevis had never been a large woman but at ninety-four, time had put a curve in her spine and softened her bones until she was barely four foot ten inches tall. The cancer that had been eating away at her for many months had left her too weak even to stand without assistance.
One afternoon as he was helping her to rise from a bedside chair, Steve stood in front of Maevis with his arms under hers and carefully eased the old woman to her feet while another nurse steadied her from behind. Standing supported in his arms, the old lady looked up at Steve with the hint of a smile on her lips and the glimmer of long forgotten memories shining in her eyes and said, “This reminds me of times when I was a wee lass… Me da would hold me in his arms and dance with me.”
Still supporting the old woman, Steve turned to the other nurse and asked her to place the old woman’s feet on top of his toes. The nurse’s head whipped around. Her jaw dropped and she stared at him, an incredulous expression on her face.
Oh well, she thought, Stephen was, after all, her boss and though he was prone to doing things that were, in her opinion, a bit odd at times, he had never harmed anyone. So she shrugged her shoulders and complied with his wish, placing the old woman’s feet on top of Stephen’s toes.
Steve gathered the old woman up in his arms, began to hum a little tune and started waltzing around the room. He held the old woman tenderly in his arms, her feet upon his feet, as a father might hold his small daughter when he lovingly shares a first dance with her.
After a few turns around the room, Stephen returned the old woman to her bedside, carefully helped her into the bed and gently tucked the covers up under her chin.
The old woman looked up at Steve with a radiant smile on her lips, tears of joy and remembrance shining in her eyes and she said, “Thank you.”
A short time later, the old woman closed her eyes and drifted off into a peaceful sleep. Later that day, her spirit left her body and she died. HEALED.
copyright©2000 Jeri Mills
What People are Saying
Introduction to Tapestry of Healing
Excerpt 1 from Tapestry
Excerpt 2 from Tapestry