Reorganisational Healing: A new paradigm in healing and resourcefulness

Reorganisational HealingOur current “health” system is at crisis point – we are being called to find a more resourceful and sustainable path. Reorganisational Healing is a new wellness, growth and behavioural change paradigm developed by Dr. Donny Epstein. In order to fully understand Reorganisational Healing, we must understand the current paradigm of healthcare, Restorative Therapeutics, which is used by traditional medicine, alternative medicine, and society in general.

Where are we now with health care?

“Our ‘Health Care’ system, Restorative Therapeutics, reflects the cultural norm in our way of thinking, acting and being. It seeks to eliminate, reduce, control, restore or return a person to a prior minimal state, and is based on the emotions of Fear and Helplessness. There is no intent to help improve the human condition or the health/wellness of an individual to more complex or deeper levels, beyond what existed before the condition or symptom or crisis.”

 “Restorative therapeutics helps the individual and society move away from the very processes and experiences, which can give more meaning, direction, understanding and impetus to create fundamental change and progress in life.

Donald Epstein, SRI Workbook. 2009

 Our “Health Care” system is wonderfully powerful for emergency treatments and “fighting” some diseases and there are lots of people alive and able to function more fully because of these treatments. But if we want to be healthier as individuals, communities and in our relationship with our environment we have to add another way of thinking and acting.

 “We must be able to create new evolving, more efficient and empowered states, lives and levels of being”

                                       Donald Epstein, SRI Workbook. 2009

 As a society we are quite sick; 86% of our population over the age of 15 years has at least one chronic condition and 80% of people over 65 years have 3 or more chronic conditions. Chronic diseases consume over 70% of our health budget.

Restorative Therapeutics Data:

  • In Australia we spend $104 billion dollars a year on “Health Care” of which less than 2% is spent on prevention.
  • The World Health Organisation rates Australia 32nd in the world in “Health Care” performance and 29th in the world for infant mortality.
  •  “World wide, health care errors cost an incredible 10,000 disabilities and deaths –every day. In the world’s best resourced health systems such as in Australia.”
    • “A person has only a 50% chance of receiving the recommended care”
    • “A 10% chance of something going wrong in hospital.”
    • “A 2% chance of a death or major disability caused by the health system.”
      Ref: Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, Centre for Clinical Governance in Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of N.S.W.
  • “Only about 15% of medical interventions are supported by, solid scientific evidence, because only 1% of the articles in medical journals are scientifically sound and partly because many treatments have never been assessed at all.”
    Reference British Medical Journal 1991 (Oct 5);   303:   798–799
  • Medical treatment is our third most common preventable cause of death after cigarettes and tobacco.

While science and technology have contributed to our society, our pharmaceutical industry based “Health Care” system appears to be ever slipping into the realm of scientism (an ideological belief in the omnipotence of scientific knowledge and techniques.) Additionally, there is a promotion of a limited view of science based on what is acceptable and congruent with the aims of the “health” industry and government.

For example, a huge amount of human and financial resources are being expended on lifestyle related “diseases” – arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, obesity and diabetes. Yet these are some of the health problems that are most easily, effectively and safely treated with diet, exercise, stress awareness and non-pharmacological remedies.

Interestingly, these non-medical approaches can also be considered as Restorative Therapeutics if they are aimed at just getting rid of the “problem” rather than accessing the capacity for learning and growth contained within it.

Three Important Concepts of Reorganisational Healing:

1. Diseases of Meaning:

“Disease and health are commonly thought of as distinct opposites. The concept that diseases are a manifestation of health is an entirely different way to look at the relationship between health and disease – a new paradigm. In the paradigm of “Diseases of Meaning” the presence of disease calls us to create a different relationship with ourselves and our environment, both animate and inanimate.”

“Disease becomes meaningful as the healthy response of an organism striving to maintain physical, psychological, and spiritual equilibrium. Disease is not necessarily to be avoided, blocked, or suppressed. Rather, it should be understood to be a process of transformation.”

“Instead of being meaningless, people’s problems/conditions become diseases of meaning, enabling people to see that things are not necessarily ‘‘going wrong’’ but are, in fact, helping them become stronger, to live more fully and with more understanding.”

from Diseases of Meaning, Manifestations of Health, and Metaphor Jobst et al. Click on the title link  to read the full paper.

2. Wellness: 

Wellness is; An active, lifelong process of embracing personal responsibility that empowers an individual to become aware of choices and make decisions, toward a more dynamic and fulfilling life. – Enkindle Wellness definition

Wellness is centred on connections and the idea that the mind, body, spirit and community are all interrelated and interdependent. It is self perceived and is independent of a person’s state of disease or symptoms. A person’s developing wellness is self-assessed through their noticing of changes in their body, energy, and consciousness.

 Wellness is; 

  • A choice – a decision we make towards making optimal health our responsibility;
  • A way of life – a lifestyle we designed to continually enhance our ability to express our potential;
  • An active ongoing process – it’s about a purposeful direction rather than an end point;
  • A developing awareness of the choices that allow health and fulfillment to be possible in each moment;
  • An empowering acceptance of oneself;
  • An acceptance knowledge, resources and allies congruent with our well-being.
  • The interaction of the body, mind and spirit – the appreciation that everything we do, think, feel and believe has an impact on our state of health and the health of our community.

This definition embraces a Reorganisational Healing vision of wellness grounded in increasing knowledge, empowerment, choice, and awareness. These concepts sharply contrast with those of Restorative Therapeutics – the fear driven, patient passive, episodic strategies of early detection, prevention and treatment. 

3. Health

 Definition of Optimal Health:

“A individual’s state; characterized by anatomical, physiological, psychological and spiritual integrity; the ability to perform personally valued family, occupational and community roles; the ability to deal with physical, biological, psychological and social stress; a feeling of well‑being and freedom from the risk of disease and untimely death.”    Adapted from Physician’s Desk Reference 2003

Health is mainly an external (so called) objectively assessed by various tests, scores and observations.

Reorganisational Healing

“On rare occasions, one can step back and say: ‘‘Wow” that is a really good idea.’’ Now might be that time. The article on Reorganizational Healing (ROH) in this issue by Epstein et al. presents a viable big-picture option for improving the health of individuals and addressing the current health care crisis in the United States and worldwide.”

The new ROH paradigm is about helping people to be well and stay well. ROH reflects the highly complex and dynamic nature of health across all biologic psychologic, social, and spiritual domains. The intention of ROH is to bring about changes in individuals, helping them to develop new resources so that these individuals use the health challenge consciously to effect changes in their lives and bring about greater understanding and increased ability to thrive under most circumstances.”

Robert H.I. Blanks, Ph.D. THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE Volume 15, Number 5, 2009, pp. 461–464