THE BANYAN TREE: VOLUME I : MOVE TOWARDS HOLISTIC HEALTH
( By Editor : Carol Huss )

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Appendix : Case Study -- My Move Toward Holistic Health A Case Study By Celine Payyappilly Introduction

As a nurse-midwife I was very Faithful to the profession, to the extent that I never thought that there is a better way to heal the sick and serve mankind. I was a real professional nurse, kept up the ethics of my profession perfectly, such as being a hostess to the patients who came to me and taking all the responsibility for their cure. I kept all the professional secrets and followed the letter of the law. I was well disciplined myself and enforced discipline on all who worked with me. The departments under my supervision were well run. I was credited for efficient management and dedicated Service to the patients. I took pride in hard work to heal the sick. Patients were fond of me - and sometimes they were afraid too. I used to keep them very secure under my care. If anyone asked any question regarding their illness, I told them not to worry, now you are in safe hands. We will take care of you. If any student nurses told the patient anything about their illness, I took them to ask - as they were supposed to keep professional secrets. In this manner I enjoyed my nursing career for eighteen years. I was well experienced in practical work. I did my studies in Nursing Administration, Post-certificate, and then Post Basic B.Sc. Nursing. Then I came back to the same hospital and took over the post of Nursing Superintendent.


Holistic Health
It was in 1979 that I was introduced to Holistic Health with a half day seminar and the person who conducted it, was very happy that I was there and hoped that I would integrate Holistic Health ideas in Nursing Services. But I didnít take any interest in it, as I was overworked with the day-to-day problems of the nursing service of a big hospital, so I just field away all the papers.
In 1980 I was compelled, due to many reasons, to be away from the hospital for some time. That time I got involved with a cancer research programme with a team of three other members. We did a six weeks training programme - two days in a week for 2 hours with the cancer patients. We used Holistic Health methods integrating the body, mind and spirit through the five dimensions of Holistic Health. We explained to them how the immune system functions, how it gets weakened, how we get sick, and what we can do to strengthen the immune system. This research work opened my eyes. I reflected back on my work and what I was doing in the hospital. When I looked back into my many years of nursing - that is four years of training, then post graduate studies working in all levels of nursing and administration - I saw that none of the patients were fully recovered from standard nursing practices. I saw that instead, the patients were dependent on me, they were not allowed to ask any questions. I enjoyed my work and was sincere in it, but now I realise that I mainly saw to the running of my department efficiently. I used to visit the pateints every day and showed them my smiling face. If there were any problems I took care of them, otherwise I had no time to find out the cause of their illness. I saw patients come back again and again. Sometimes I got angry with them saying that they like the hospital too much! But I never taught them how to reach a high level of wellness, using their illness as a point of growth. In the hospital we cared merely for the physical aspect of the patient. The money spent on medicines was enormous, then the lab tests, x-rays etc. But we never went into the root cause of the disease, nor made the patient responsible for their own healing. We did the investigations and gave the medicines. But when I compared it with what I learned in Holistic Health, I saw how far the old method was from true healing.
Holistic Health has been defined as a state in which an individual is integrated in all his levels of health: body, mind, and spirit, It has been suggested that all modalities of treatment may be used in holistic healing, that is, surgery, medicine, chemotherapy, rdiation, nutrition, rehabilitation, yes, hypnosis, acupuncture, psychics and of course religion. To achieve such a broad goal it will be necessary to tap the resources of our most learned scholars, our most sophisticated researchers, and expert commissioners and practitioners. For that ultimate goal is to use these authorities to teach an individual to assume responsibility for himself and to heal himself by modifying any unhealthy attitudes, values and life styles.


Self Responsibility
I saw clearly that if patients take responsibility for their health, then they can achieve wholeness. By making the family get involved they will understand the patientís needs and will support them in their healing efforts. In Holistic Health we take time with each person, to educate them, guide them, and help them to take responsibility to heal themselves. It is a deeper level of healing. We are partners in the healing process, and experience love and concern for each other. Compared to allopathic treatment - where the bills are very high and the time spent for each patient is very low - in Holistic healing the time spent on each person is very long and the bill a bare minimum.


Dealing with Cancer
One of the men from our cancer research group was called to one of our workshops to share his experience of healing through the Holistic health approach. He told the group: "In my family many people have died of cancer. My wife died with it. I spent Rs.30,000 treating her, taking her to different doctors and hospitals, but it didnít help her. Seeing her and looking after her for two years, I also got cancer. I thought that there was no more hope for me to live as it is in my family. But these Sisters came they didnít ask us for money, they didnít give us medicines, but they gave me love, concern and hope. They didnít get any reward from me, but I will be always grateful to them and I will teach these things to people who are in need whom I meet. I see now that healing is in me. All the healing takes place from within".
The cancer research using Holistic health healing methods was my first experimential exposure to holistic health healing. This was the cause for my break with the nursing profession as I had known it and held so dear and I moved on into a new era of healing. I embraced Holistic healing with enthusiasm and commitment. I had never seen myself as a teacher, but now I saw the value of education for the patient, the family, and public. I saw that I could teach and that those I taught didnít keep it to themselves, but in turn they taught othes. A person who has been a part of their own cure feels a part of it and can talk to others about the process. If we look at the allopathic system, the doctor has the answer for everything. The patient is passive and cannot talk much about his healing because he has no part in it. We see that many patients who come to the hospital come only for relief. If they really want cure, they have to work for it and not the doctor nor anyone else. What happened to the cancer patient cited above was that during our course his courage came back and hope of living increased, and he is healthy, happy man.


Non-functioning Pancreas
Time after time I have seen that by this method the patients learn about their problem, work towards the cure and this experience is shared with others, which makes it very valuable. One of the clients said when I asked about her healing: "I made myself sick and I removed it myself. I knew why I was sick-the main cause was stress and I know now how to manage stress in a better way. They gave me foot reflexology through which I am alright now from the problem of not being able to digest my food. After many investigations, I was told that my pancreatic enzyme was not being produced.
I was told that nohting can be done for it and I have to live with it and keep a strict diet and continue pancreatine tablets until I die. Then I attended the Holistic health Centre and was helped to see the real problem. Side by side with foot reflexology, diet with sprouts, and stress management, within two months my pancreas started to function normally. I stopped all the medicines and started a normal diet. By taking responsibility for finding the cause, I achieved a permanent cure."
There are many more such cases where clients learn the cause and take care of themselves with our help, then they grow from that by education, growth, self actualization to a high level of wellness.


Further Education
I spent eight years learning and sharing with people on Holistic Health from 1980 to 1988 and am still continuing the good work. I did my Masters in Holistic Health by self study programme in India and got my degree from California, USA. I spent six months in USA and got many certificates in different drugless therapies. At present I am working for my doctorate in Holistic Health by developing a new research methodology to conduct clinical research on our methods of healing. When I have worked out the method, I will train the students in our correspondence course for Holistic Health practitioners so that they can also conduct clinical research.
We opened our Holistic Health Clinic in May 1987 which is open mornings. In the afternoon we visit our target area of 4,000 families living in the slums and slum re-settlement areas near our centre. We include not only healing, but education, school health, and environmental sensitivity leading to global health.
We have a large herbal garden and people learn how to prepare and take simple herbal remedies. I feel very happy with the functioning of this centre. We have a very informal approach, all the family gets involved. The satisfaction I get from this work is far greater than any I experienced in hospital work. I see myself leading the way to a new era of healing, using right brain healing to strengthen the immune system and restore health. My hope is that by our clinical research, many health workers will also see their way clear to come into this holistic way of healing.

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