• To pee or not to pee – should that even be a question?

    By Coleen Hensey

    I was recently advised by my GP to keep an eye on my blood pressure as we worked together to find the causes of some health issues that had arisen.

    After attending a specialist appointment one lovely, warm day, I took myself for a rainforest walk and then walked my gorgeous labradoodle to the local dog park. We were both thirsty from our walks so I shared my water with my dog, who was most appreciative. I was feeling lovely – connected with nature and purposeful in having started to attend to these matters of personal health.

    I felt so good that I decided to pop into the local pharmacy before going home and have my blood pressure measured, so that I would have a reference for ‘feeling lovely.’

    My friendly pharmacist welcomed me warmly, as always, and we attached the sleeve to my arm to measure my current blood pressure. As the sleeve deflated and the reading appeared on the screen, I observed how the pharmacist had started to mask a sense of alarm: the diastolic reading (the bottom number) was registering a reading of hypertensive crisis – 124. (1) My usual reading is around 75-80. The systolic pressure was also higher than usual for me, but not alarmingly so.
    Continue reading

  • Healing my Separation to Humanity through Illness

    By Susan Evans, Student, Mullumbimby NSW

    A year ago I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Initially I was very shocked, as over the last 5 years I have made many lifestyle changes and have been living in a much more healthy way and was beginning to nurture and care for myself on a much deeper level.

    Over time, I came to a deep acceptance and understanding that this was a culmination of the poor choices I had made, as a result of holding on to and not dealing with my hurts for the past 54 years of my life. It was not easy at first to let go of the habits and choices I had become accustomed to, but little by little, my connection to my body deepened and I began making more loving choices. I realised that this diagnosis was going to be an opportunity for me to clear all that was no longer a part of me.

    The prognosis was positive as the cancer was caught early, but I was advised it would involve major surgery to remove one third of my lung. Continue reading

  • The Power of Physiotherapy and Universal Medicine in Palliative Care

    by Gill Randall, Physiotherapist, Grad Dip Phys, Banbury, UK

    I work as a physiotherapist in palliative care. Now, physiotherapy and palliative care are not always words that we might put together. I have often received perplexed looks when telling people where I work initially, and the response often comes with ‘how sad and dreary that must be’, but no, on the contrary, that is not true. However, I do understand their confusion. Physiotherapy is associated with healing, recovering, getting better, or rehabilitation. Palliative care can imply coming towards the end of life, giving up or giving in at the end of the journey. But I consider that we all have the opportunity to learn or to feel a difference in life, right until our last breath, and in the hospice environment, we aim to keep people as well as possible, even in the last days of life.

    Life is the journey that we are all on to learn and to evolve. This isn’t a ladder going upwards, it’s often a reflection back for us to observe. Continue reading

  • Appreciating a western medicine practitioner and more…

    by Coleen Hensey 

    Witnessing the media comments on both doctors and the healthcare system in Australia, I feel to share a recent personal experience of Western medicine in action, which was nothing short of exceptional.

    I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years ago but had felt that my body was becoming devitalised in spite of the medication, a synthetic type of thyroxine prescribed routinely for this condition in Australia. I was losing weight rapidly, had dark circles under my eyes, my blood pressure and sleep cycle were very erratic and I was, by turns, racy or had little energy to do anything, including activities I absolutely love. My body was clearly indicating something was awry, so I decided to look more deeply into what was happening with my health.

    This proved to be a great decision on many, many levels.

    I referred myself to a local endocrine specialist to discuss and address the possible causes for the change in my health. The doctor I met with listened attentively and respectfully to what I shared about my symptoms and treatment to date, asking clarifying questions and making notes throughout. In itself, this respect for me as a patient who knew my body, was very confirming. His avowed philosophy was that the patient is the one who holds the keys to both the aetiology of their illness and to their healing. I had a clear sense that this doctor knew how to exercise true patient care. Continue reading

  • Osteoporosis – how could this happen to me?

    by Francene Cartaar, Australia

    I recently suffered a shock – the shock of being informed that at the age of 54 I had osteoporosis in my back and also bone weakness in my hips. My reaction to the news from my GP was to ask myself: ‘How could this have happened to me?’

    I realised that I held a perception that osteoporosis only occurred in ‘older’ women who did not look after themselves. As I regarded myself as a ‘healthy’ person, this diagnosis did not fit in with the image I held of myself.  My GP explained that bones could regenerate with weight bearing exercise and that vitamin and mineral supplements were also beneficial. The diagnosis and explanation left me feeling unsettled and upset.

    I subsequently decided that I wanted to understand this diagnosis from an energetic perspective so I decided to consult an Exercise Physiologist who also had a deeper understanding of the body on an energetic level from her studies with Universal Medicine. Continue reading

  • The effects of holding back on my body

    by Lieke, Dentistry Student, Ghent, Belgium

    You may think that our lifestyle is just what we eat, how much we exercise and whether we smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs, but I have come to understand that there is a deeper level of lifestyle, or livingness, which includes my whole way of living, that has an effect on how I feel and the health of my body.

    One of the things that affects me is holding back.

    What is holding back?

    Holding back, for me, is to not follow through an impulse that is true and from my heart, and instead not doing it or doing the absolute opposite.

    Holding back is not doing something my WHOLE BODY is telling me to do.

    It is like feeling extremely joyful, wanting to jump and celebrate and totally go for it, and then being nice, courteous and polite and moving slowly instead.

    I have been holding back for most of my life, and through the teachings presented by Universal Medicine and Esoteric Healing sessions, I have come to understand – and have now an absolute knowing for myself – that holding back has an effect on my body. A big one. Continue reading

  • Care and Cure – same same, but different!

    by Anne Malatt, Ophthalmologist, Australia

    What is the difference between care and cure?

    Both words originally came from the same word – isn’t that curious?

    The Latin noun ‘cura’, meaning ‘care’, became the verb ‘curare’, meaning ‘take care of’ and then the Old French ‘curer’, meaning ‘cure’.

    The original sense of the word was ‘care, concern, responsibility’, particularly in a spiritual sense, but in late Middle English the meanings ‘medical care’ and ‘successful medical treatment’ arose, and hence ‘remedy’.

    Interestingly, curare is also a type of poison, as are many medical treatments, when not used according to directions (and sometimes even when they are!).

    Modern medicines are powerful, and sometimes a helpful treatment can become a harmful poison, especially if the dose is too high. Paracetamol is a great painkiller, but it can also kill liver cells, if taken in excess. Chemotherapy drugs are designed to kill cancer cells, but they can kill healthy cells as well, hence their side effects. Continue reading

  • To Breathe my own Breath: Healing from Asthma

    by Maree Savins, Australia

    When I was very young, about 4 years old in fact, I regularly had trouble breathing. I was diagnosed with asthma and could not go anywhere without my medication.

    The doctor said that if I hadn’t outgrown asthma by the time I was 21 years of age, then I would have it for life.

    My siblings outgrew their asthma symptoms, so there was all hope that I would do the same. I waited for that magic year to come along, only to discover that the asthma persisted into my 30s and beyond.

    I needed my medication morning and night and sometimes during the day, particularly if I exercised or laughed a lot, and usually this was enough to keep the attacks at bay and my lungs breathing clearly.

    I really didn’t pay a great deal of attention to my health and wellbeing until I met Serge Benhayon. It was here that I came to truly appreciate the significance of the body and to listen and note its limitations rather than just pushing on through. I became more gentle with myself and in the way I was living, challenging the many false ‘beliefs’ imposed by society about how I should live and how I should be.

    I made many small changes to how I was living in day-to-day life, making different choices to those I had made in the past, and over a period of time, I became aware just how big a difference these small changes had made. I began to enjoy my life. Continue reading

  • Our secret medical history

    by Matthew Brown, Registered Nurse, Perth, Western Australia

    Most of us have seen a GP or been to hospital at some stage, and have had our medical history taken. The usual questions cover a range of illnesses that include most parts of our body. Commonly asked questions are related to blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, heart and lungs, any previous surgery and what type of medication we are on, which may provide a clue to anything else we may have ‘forgotten’ to mention!

    I call this the public medical history, the one that is carried around like a backpack, that informs all health professionals just what type of body they are dealing with. These are the problems that are often managed with medication, and the more you are on, and the higher the dose, the greater your problems are.

    But there is another history we keep hidden. This secret history is the one we keep really personal and generally don’t share with anyone, or maybe only one other person. These secrets are the vital evidence and the foundation of our ill ways, ill health and poor decisions. They may at first seem irrelevant or even minor, but they are crucial to understanding the person as a whole, and hold the clues to the kinds of events, illnesses or injuries that happen to people.

    Those things that we keep secret are the things that we find embarrassing or personal; that we would never share with another. They could range from anything from early childhood all the way through life. There is often a hurt of some kind that holds us back. It may prevent us from either admitting it is there, or we may find a way to completely ignore the feeling associated with it. Continue reading

  • The Value of Qualitative Research – Understanding and Expression

    by Jennifer Smith RN Australia.

    I recently had the opportunity to participate in a research study. I had completed a survey and was then asked if I would like to participate in an interview as part of a qualitative study on self-care. The research was about exploring the topic of self-care in nurses who work in palliative care and whether this may relate to compassion for self and compassion for others.

    I love participating and supporting other nurses, especially when it comes to research, so I jumped at the chance.

    The qualitative approach to research, is less about figures and results and more about the experiences and themes of the participants, with a view to establishing a broader understanding of what a group of people’s experiences are on a particular subject. The numbers of participants in qualitative research are often much smaller than with quantitative research and whilst this allows for a richer, in-depth analysis to be performed, there are some factions in science that do not value this and who consider quantitative research superior. Both are valid ways of performing research and are suited to address different research questions and fields of study.

    The questions asked were quite broad about how I self-care, how it affects how I am at work, the strategies I use, the things that get in the way of me self-caring and whether or not I had a ‘self-care plan’ and whether a plan is beneficial (this is something that is talked about a lot in palliative care circles). The questions were open so I could really discuss and explore how self-care supports me both personally and most definitely professionally.
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