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Holistic healing is a principle focus of the HU graduate program. The founding President of Holos University Graduate Seminary, Dr, C. Norman Shealy, outlines the philosophy of holistic healing and holistic medicine in exerpts from his document:
PHILOSOPHICAL OUTLOOK: A THEOLOGY OF HOLISM
C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD
In 1926, Jan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa, wrote the foundations for a major world philosophy, Holism and Evolution. In this seminal work, Smuts emphasized that down through the Holistic universe:
Finally there emerge the ideal wholes, or Holistic Ideals, or Absolute Values, disengaged and set free from human personality, operating as creative factors on their own account in the up building of a spiritual world. Such are the Ideals of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, which laid the foundations for a new order in the universe.
The concept of Holism, so to say, dissolves the heterogeneous concepts of matter, life, and mind, and then re-crystallizes them out as polymorphous forms of itself. We should thus be prepared to find more of life in matter, and more of mind in life, because the hard-and-fast demarcations between them have fallen away.
We speak of matter as including all particles of matter in the universe: in the same way we shall speak of Holism as including all wholes which are the ultimate creative centers of reality in the world. The ultimate reality of the universe is neither matter nor spirit but wholes.
Mind is the third great fundamental structure of Holism.
The rise and self-perfection of wholes is the slow but unerring process and goal of the Holistic universe.
Interestingly, it was also in 1926 when Ernest Holmes wrote The Science of Mind, the textbook for his church, Religious Science. He wrote:
The essence of Science of Mind has perhaps best been summarized in the powerful “Essay on Prayer”, by Ambrose Worrall who, with his wife Olga, the most studied healer of all time, conducted healing services for thirty-five years at Mount Washington United Methodist Church in Baltimore:
The great Swiss psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Jung, surveyed many societies and concluded that 90% of people believe in three primordial aspects of life: God, Soul, and the Golden Rule. Jung stated that those who do not share these core beliefs do not thrive. Dr. George Gallup, Jr., a theologian, does annual surveys and has concluded that 90% of Americans share these essential human values. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, four religious movements shared a unique philosophy, a belief in the power of the mind to determine health and well-being. They were:
• Christian Science, founded by Mary Baker Eddy
• Unity, by Charles and Mildred Fillmore
• Divine Science, by Ernest Holmes
• Religious Science
In the early 1970s, Dr. Elmer Green and his wife, Alyce, introduced the concept of biofeedback. Initially, they called it autogenic feedback therapy, as the ‘software’ component of it was based upon autogenic training. Autogenic training was first formally introduced to the medical world by Dr. J. H. Schultz, a German psychiatrist, in 1932. In 1969, with Wolfgang Luthe, Schultz began the first of six volumes on autogenic therapy including some 2,600 scientific references. Autogenic training was recognized by Schultz and others as a Western form of the spiritual practice of Raja Yoga. Schultz, indeed, indicated that those who practiced autogenic training for six months began to have spontaneous spiritual images. He further emphasized that 80% of individuals with a wide variety of stress illnesses improved when they practiced autogenic training. Interestingly, in general, approximately 80% of individuals with a wide variety of illnesses also improve when they practice biofeedback. As Dr. Green stated, “If there is such a thing as psychosomatic illness, there must be psychosomatic health.” And, he concluded that psychosomatic health results from the connection of the individual to the inner or higher self or soul. Dr. Green’s philosophy has been well documented in his books, Beyond Biofeedback, written with his wife, Alyce, and his three-volume masterpiece, The Ozawkie Book of the Dead.
In the early 1980s the science of psychoneuroimmunology was introduced. This scientific perspective has convincingly demonstrated the effects of attitude, belief and even thought. Every thought affects the complex biochemical cascade that establishes the overall homeostasis of the Body/Mind continuum. Ultimately, it is spiritual thinking that determines every aspect of health and often of healing.
In the last twenty years of the 20th century, the work of Drs. George Solomon, Candace Pert, Larry Dossey, and Leonard Wisneski, among others, has further enriched the scientific foundation for the theology of health and healing. Hundreds of scientific papers have demonstrated the power of prayer to heal and the remarkable effect of positive spirituality upon health.
This positive spiritual attitude determines the choices individuals make in nutrition, exercise, habits, and all aspects of lifestyle. Conventional allopathic medicine has extensively investigated the effects of nutrition, exercise, and habits on health, disease, and longevity. The effect of the placebo has been used, not as a healthy aspect of Body/Mind/Spirit, but as a standard for drug efficacy. Most drugs have a benefit of 5%, to rarely 25%, above placebo. Virtually none equal the average 35% efficacy of placebo. Dr. Herbert Benson is one of the few who has emphasized that up to 90% of patients respond well to placebos when combined with a strongly enthusiastic attitude of the physician! As Sir William Osler, the Father of American Medicine states, “Far more important than what the physician does is the physician’s belief and the patient’s belief in what the physician does.”
Other major contributors to the holistic theology of health include Dr. Abraham Maslow, the primary founder of the Humanistic Psychology Movement, whose book, Toward a Psychology of Being, emphasizes the concept of self-actualization. Maslow’s concept of a self-actualized person approaches closely the Hindu and Buddhist concepts of a self-realized individual. Dr. Roberto Assagioli, an Italian psychiatrist, in his books Psychosynthesis and The Act of Will offers additional transpersonal psychology techniques for achieving self-actualization or the integration of personality and the higher self or soul. Interestingly, just as Carl Jung’s Spiritual Psychology has not been widely accepted by conventional psychologists and psychiatrists, so also the scientific work of Maslow, Assagioli, Green, Schultz, Pert, and Dossey is little known and is seldom incorporated in conventional psychology or medicine.
As one professor of neurosurgery said, after the founding of the American Holistic Medical Association, “We are too busy taking care of disease to be bothered trying to prevent it.” This attitude of conventional medicine ignores both spiritual aspects of health as well as common sense. Dr. John Knowles, at that time President of the Rockefeller Foundation, stated in his article “The Responsibility of the Individual” that 85% of illnesses are the result of choices in lifestyle. This suggests that a comprehensive approach to body, mind, emotions, and spirit could reduce illness by 85%!
There are thousands of scientific articles proving the 80% success of autogenic training and biofeedback, both spiritually based therapies. There is no other known therapy that approaches their success.
Body/Mind has increasingly been recognized by the medical profession but spirit remains almost as isolated from medicine and psychology as it has been since Descartes led the scientific community to discard spirit and separate body and mind. Meanwhile, most religions have emphasized only the spiritual aspects of life, exceptions being Christian Science, Religious Science, Unity, and Science of Mind. Most religions ignore body and mind, and encourage either denigration or severe scourging of the body. Denial of sexuality has also frequently been a central facet of many religions; this is not consistent with science or humanistic psychology.
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