Holistic healing uses many disciplines in harmony
Suzie Daggett interviews Dr. Emmett Miller, a pioneer in mind-body medicine, a psychotherapist, as well as a poet, musician and master storyteller. Author and creator of many healing tapes and CDs, he sees individuals, couples, and families for diagnosis, treatment, therapy, counseling and coaching.
How did you get interested in mind-body medicine?
Before medical school, I was a mathematician who studied computer programming. I realized that the human mind is very much like a computer. I noticed that people’s behaviors often did not reflect who they were and what they wanted. Instead, they had been programmed what they were to think or believe. In medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, I was taught that the poor physician treats the symptoms; the good physician treats the disease, and the excellent physician treats the patient. I learned respect for humans, as well as for the spiritual essence of my patients. When I started my family practice, I began to realize that perhaps 80 percent of the illnesses and dysfunctions I saw could have been prevented if people lived their lives differently. If they managed their stress, diet, exercise, thinking, and lived differently, some of their diseases could be healed. I was looking for some therapies to change attitudes when I helped found the fields of holistic healing and mind-body medicine.
What is holistic healing?
Holistic healing is a specific method of approaching healing … addressing the mind, body, spirit, emotion, behavior and relationship, using whatever tools that can heal at each of those levels and putting those levels into congruence and harmony with each other. That is what human health is about. This takes time and listening. Unfortunately, doctors today are prisoners of the managed care system, having about eight minutes per patient during which there is only time to treat symptoms, not the whole patient. To assist healing, it is important to understand the whole person. At the top of the hierarchy is true spirituality – love thyself and love thy neighbor as thyself. The mind comes next, guided by wisdom and spirituality, producing the kind of emotions within us that enrich our lives, making life worth living. The emotions are then transferred to the cells in the body, instructing those cells to behave in such a way as to enhance health, fight off disease, lower stress, improve performance and enable the body and its behavior to serve humanity and all of life. That is what holistic means. It does not preclude medication or surgery – those are sometimes the most necessary elements for the moment.
How do you do to assist your patients to heal?
I teach them how to go to the “Healing State” – a deeply relaxed meditative state. Sometimes, a meditation and imagery tape is made during a session. This enables their internal bio-computer to be rescripted and offers a way to touch into the deeper self, as well as be in the present moment. If patients have very low self-esteem, for instance, I help them discover parts of themselves that are really valuable. Listening to the tape helps them rehearse that feeling of high esteem as they enter the healing state. They then notice the behavior, thoughts and emotions that are changing as a result of the new program. I also use hypnotherapy because it offers the mind simple declarative statements. Sequencing those statements can produce the desired outcome. This is exactly how computers work! I found that if hypnosis is used appropriately, it can assist people to control their symptoms without drugs. (Four-fifths of the medications dispensed by doctors are used to control symptoms and not to treat the disease.)
How does your work differ from that of other MDs?
I am most interested in the whole person, learning about their dreams, desires, and goals; what they care about; who they are; what is inhibiting them from reaching their dreams. I find out two important things about people – what is their contact with their deeper self – who are they really at their core? Secondly, I want to understand how people represent themselves and their world to themselves. What are the “programs” that are loaded in their bio-computers? Many times, I find the wrong programs are loaded into people’s minds by their environment and culture, and thus, they cannot function as themselves. If they do not know who they are at a deep level, they are unable to experience success, health, inner peace and joy in life. I get to see miracles happen every day as people discover love, success and a deeper understanding of their religion and spirituality, thus healing on a deep level.
Emmett Miller, M.D., can be reached at 478-1807 or at http://www.drmiller.com, where you can explore his writings and listen to samples from his recordings.
Suzie Daggett is the TV host of Healing INsights on NCTV and the publisher of INSIGHT, the Directory of Healing Arts Practitioners; she can be reached at 265-9255. http://www.insightdirectory.com
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