The Value of our Expression in Research

By Jen Smith, RN, Australia

Two years ago I participated in a research study on self-care for health professionals who work in palliative care. It was a qualitative research study where I was interviewed on what self-care was to me, how I understood it and how I applied it to my own life. This interview was a wonderful experience, which I shared in a blog at the time called ‘The Value of Qualitative Research -Understanding and Expression.’  

The research has since been published and it’s had me pondering further about what we call research.

In fact, I re-read the article that I wrote on my experience at that time. As a result of participating in that research I came to new understandings about:

  • Myself, working as a nurse and how important self-care is
  • How confirming it was to discuss with a researcher how my life has changed with the simple activities of self-care
  • Research itself and how amazing it was to participate in a research study.

Continue reading “The Value of our Expression in Research”

Quality of life or quality in life?

by Jane Keep, London UK. 

In medicine, and in life, ‘quality of life’ can be used as a measure or as a way of making decisions.

Quality of life has many definitions including:

  • “The general well-being of a person or society, defined in terms of health and happiness, rather than wealth.” (1)
  • “The standard of health, comfort, and happiness experienced by an individual or group.” (2)
  • “The patient’s ability to enjoy normal life activities.” (3)
  • “The degree of satisfaction an individual has regarding a particular style of life.” (4)
  • “A patient’s general well-being, including mental status, stress level, sexual function, and self-perceived health.” (5)

In health, decisions can be made based on quality of life e.g. helping patients make decisions about treatments, decisions about a care pathway through a particular illness, disease, or surgery, and decisions about end of life care. In our lives we can also make healthy living decisions about our quality of life – e.g. exercise, countryside walks, certain foods or nutrients. We also make quality of life decisions based on where we live e.g. to live in the countryside or in a certain town or village, and about what type of work or where we work e.g. flexible hours, or somewhere that is easy to commute to.

Whilst these conversations and decisions are important, do we ever consider our quality in life?

What if our quality in life is equal to or more important than our quality of life?

What’s the difference between our quality of life and our quality in life?

Continue reading “Quality of life or quality in life?”

What is the responsibility in our work as medical professionals?

by Lieke Campbell, Dentistry Student, Ghent, Belgium.

There is a saying that goes something like: ‘you can only truly care for another when you care for yourself’. This makes sense because when we do not make sure our body is well cared for we might get tired, exhausted or even ill to the point we cannot care for another anymore. I have also found that becoming very emotional, e.g. angry or frustrated, and taking on too much from or for others, are also signs that we are not truly well and not taking care of ourselves first. Taking care of ourselves is a key part of the responsibility of being a health care professional.

If this is true, and if this is the way our bodies naturally work, why is this level of responsibility not lived in everyday life? Continue reading “What is the responsibility in our work as medical professionals?”

The Evil of Hope

by Fiona Lotherington, Registered Nurse and Complementary Health Practitioner, Northern NSW. 

You may think that the word evil is extreme when describing the effect of hope. Yet I define evil as anything that holds back our growth and development and anything which perpetuates the separation from the truth of who we are or which delays the healing needed to return to our essence. Defined in this way, evil and hope are perfect bedfellows.

I was recently listening to a friend talk about his experience with his partner who had died many years ago from breast cancer. As he shared the details of the events around her illness and eventual death, the word ‘hope’ came up several times. Each time I heard this word, I experienced a growing sense of dis-ease, as I became aware of what a detrimental role hope had played in her illness and death.

For a moment this surprised me, as hope is normally considered to be a virtue. Like a warm coat in winter, it is used to comfort ourselves or other people when we are ‘down on our luck’. It is common to hear people say, “I hope you get better soon” or “don’t give up hope” and consider this a kindness. We give generously to charities dedicated to researching medical conditions, in the hope that a cure will be discovered. Continue reading “The Evil of Hope”

Clairsentience – Our Sixth Sense

 By Andrew Mooney, Physiotherapist, Complementary health practitioner, Cornwall, UK

I recently attended a medical course on the nature of pain. Presented in this lecture was the current popular scientific theory that as human beings we perceive our environment based on our five senses and own mental projections and best guesses, and then respond accordingly; that we are constantly perceiving, processing and reacting to our environment based on our sensory systems, previous experiences, ideals and beliefs and whether reality meets our own expectations or not. Effectively we are at the mercy of our minds, our nervous system and our five senses, from which we form our experience of life and the choices we make.

This perception of what is happening outside and inside our bodies is a crucial thing, for in the case of pain it can be the difference between someone having chronic, debilitating pain and someone not having any pain at all.

It makes sense that our perceptions are influenced by our five senses and our previous experiences, as well as our ideals and beliefs that we hold about the world, but could there be more to this process than a nervous system dominated approach? Continue reading “Clairsentience – Our Sixth Sense”

True Physiotherapy – Part Two

by Kate Greenaway-Twist, Goonellabah NSW

Following on from True Physiotherapy – Part One:

Over the last 16 years I have transformed from a person driven by the goals of how things should be, how a patient should move or feel after a treatment, to a person far more at ease in myself, with a body that is far less tense. I am lighter and more fluid in all my movements and I am able to truly support my patients in their own natural healing process.

A big part of this transformation was due to me reconnecting to my natural gentleness, a quality within me that I had been disconnected from for a long time.

Gentleness

I have also learned over the last 16 years how important it is to reconnect to the natural gentle quality in me, that is in us all. I was inspired to give gentleness a go from the constant reflection of gentleness, love and true caring for others from Serge Benhayon, of Universal Medicine.

Gradually I became more gentle in my approach to myself and with everything I do, especially in how I am with my patients – how I touch them and treat them. Continue reading “True Physiotherapy – Part Two”

True Physiotherapy – Part One

 by Kate Greenaway-Twist, Goonellabah NSW

I have been working in Physiotherapy for over 30 years. I graduated from Sydney University in 1984 and worked in teaching hospitals for the next 2 years. For the following 6 years I worked in private practice, learning as much as I could from more experienced physios, but I found there was a hardness to the way physiotherapy was practised and so I went overseas in search of a more gentle way to treat the whole body.

In Boston, USA, I did courses introducing me to the importance of the connective tissue in the body. I experimented with more gentle ways of releasing this tissue for my many clients that had complex chronic spinal pain.

I came back to Australia in 1997 and moved to the Northern Rivers region of NSW, working in Community Health for 4 years full time and then 4 years part time. I treated the full range of ages and conditions, from babies to the elderly. Since 2002 I have been self-employed, working in a wonderful complementary healing clinic called Universal Medicine in Goonellabah and for 2 years until December 2016 I also worked in a family medical practice nearby. Over the years, I have undergone such a transformation in myself and my work that the way I am with patients, and how I approach my treatments with them now is a world away from even 15 years ago. Continue reading “True Physiotherapy – Part One”