People often confuse the terms and concepts of curing and healing.
Curing is getting rid of something that is causing you discomfort so that you can continue your life the way you were living before. This is what most “healthcare” systems and providers have as their basic goal, to return you to a previous state of being. This is disease care/symptom management rather then health care and wellness promotion.
Healing on the other hand has little to do with getting rid of something and instead is about creating greater wholeness and connection. It looks beyond the surface of “something is wrong” and asks the question “what is really going on here?”.
Let’s take a curing example. Say you are a runner and your knee hurts so you go to see your medical doctor because you feel something is not right. They tell you that you can take “xxx” drug, do “yyy” exercise or have “zzz” procedure done in order to get rid of the pain so that you can keep running. You decide to do “yyy” exercise and your knee feels better for a little while so you keep running (doing the same thing you’ve always done in the same way). 6 months later the pain is back and now you have to decide your next course of action to try and get rid of the pain and thus begin the cycle of chasing the symptom.
Now for the healing example. You are the same runner in the above scenario but this time you decide to stop and take a bigger look at what is really going on here. You love to run, you’ve been doing it for 10 years and you also realize that something needs to change as your body is telling you this loud and clear. You decide to stop, listen and connect to your body/knee (instead of trying to get the pain sensation to go away). In listening you realize that even though you love running you need change some things. First you realize that running indoors instead of outdoors would support your knees on a physical level. Secondly you also realize that you’ve been wanting to increase the intensity you run and decrease the distance, which you can easily track on a treadmill. Lastly you realize that you want to be more social and relational in your life, so you join a gym. 6 months later you feel grateful for the changes you’ve made to support your needs (and knees), your running faster than you ever have before and you’ve made several new friends that have similar interests in fitness that you do.
Sometimes things need to change and we wouldn’t have previously made those connections until we stopped and listened to what our body is to communicating to us. We often get so focused on wanting to do things the way we want to them (very limited focus) and don’t see that there may be better ways and options that include more aspects of ourselves and our life.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC
Also check out a short video on this concept