Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process is by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D.?? He has relatives in town, and is here often for the Victory of Light Expos.? I actually bought this book, and had him autograph it, at the Expo in November, 2008.
And just finished reading it.? That sometimes happens with me and books – I always trust that my hand will pick it up at exactly the right moment.? I’d already read a couple of his other books, which are Coyote Healing, Coyote Wisdom and Coyote Medicine.
Everything this summer seems to be about stories and the wisdom to be gained there, each of us gaining what we need, so that one story can provide many lessons to many folk.
This book is clearly written with the medical profession as the target audience – trying to get those status and pill and machine centered persons to look at the whole human and how we really heal.
The reason I love Lewis’ books is because of his stories – he tells long and intricate and multi-faceted stories, which wander around a fair amount, bringing in bits and pieces, as they work their way toward their own conclusions.? He is Native American, and works with various indigenous practices (like sweat lodges), in addition to his left-brained specialties and certifications.
Here’s a statement from the book that I like – “I consider diabetes to be a social disease that manifests in an individual’s biology.”? In his chapter on asthma, he writes about using a guided imagery process to find the spirit of the illness and begin a dialogue with it.? In this case, a huge spider which said it feeds on shame.
One of his goals, he says, is to avoid insights and interpretations until entities and illnesses literally shout their meanings to us.? Sound intriguing?? I’m sure you will find it so.? As I did.