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The healing Potential in a Word - Part V

by Dr Daniel Benor(more info)

listed in healing, originally published in issue 131 - January 2007



Alternative medicine is the term most commonly used for therapies that have been outside the spectrum of conventional medical care. These include therapist-administered treatments, such as Acupuncture and Massage, as well as the self-healing techniques of Relaxation, Meditation and Imagery. When expertise is required in learning the methods, or in choosing remedies, as in Aromatherapy, Flower Essences and Homeopathy, the approaches and therapist/ respant relationship can be fairly similar to those found in conventional care. The self-healing approaches are often practised under the guidance of trained practitioners.



Holistic has been used generally to indicate a focus in treatment extending beyond physical problems, as addressed by conventional medicine. In most instances it refers to the addition of some aspects of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) therapies to medical care, such as needling particular acupuncture points for pain relief, or providing massage for relaxation and post-injury rehabilitation.
Wholistic refers to whole person care, including body, emotions, mind, relationships and spirit. Where CAM therapies are modalities for wholistic care, wholistic healing acknowledges the broader philosophies of these approaches. Many varieties of Bioenergy therapies are available within the wholistic healing spectrum (Benor unpublished).


Integrative Care

Integrative care – in its highest form – seeks to blend the best of conventional and CAM modalities, respecting the approaches of each modality.

Unspoken Words

Unexpressed Emotions that Fester

We may hesitate to say something that could lead to hurt or anger, often when we are experiencing these same feelings ourselves. If I am feeling such emotions, it is likely that others I interact with are too. When words go unspoken and underlying negative emotions simmer, they often leave residues of unresolved feelings on both sides of the communications. Unexpressed feelings tend to fester, generating defensive, irritable and angry interactions.

Unexpressed feelings may produce physical tensions that cause or contribute to headaches, backaches, migraines, irritable bowel syndromes, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergic diseases (asthma, eczema).
Respants may feel unhappy or upset with doctors’ interventions. For instance, respants often complain that doctors take too little time to listen to respants’ explanations of their problems, don’t actually listen to hear what might lie behind the problems, and prescribe treatments without adequate explanations. This is often experienced as an expression of uncaring on the part of the doctor. Respants may reject medical advice and ignore recommendations for treatment. It is estimated that half of the medical prescriptions written go unfilled – a reflection of these sorts of problems.

Many people who come to doctors are not looking for treatment. They want to share their anxieties and learn whether a pain, or other symptom, is serious. As often as not, if they are simply asked, “What is your body saying with these symptoms?” they will be able to identify the underlying stresses that are contributing to, or actually producing, physical symptoms. Joe, who had severe migraines, responded, “My headaches come on towards the end of the weekend, as I start to think of going to work on Monday”. Frieda, who had been suffering excruciating stomach aches for years, with occasional bloody stools, was scheduled for surgery to remove part of her bowel. She was startled to be questioned about why her guts were in such an uproar. No one had ever asked her to consider the stressors in her life and how she was swallowing down her feelings. Psychotherapy, relaxation and imagery exercises, and careful attention to her diet, relieved her pains and made surgery unnecessary.

Words, wisely used, are avenues to healing

Denial of Death

Western medicine tip-toes around mention of death. Avoiding naming what every person is going to face denies respants the opportunity to deal with their anxieties and fears. Most doctors are not trained to deal with end of life issues, and therefore, avoid them. This is worsened by Western society’s general tendency to deny and avoid dealing with death, doing everything possible to prolong life at all costs.


Benor DJ. Healing Research. Volume II: (Popular edition). How Can I Heal What Hurts? Medford NJ: Wholistic Healing Publications. ISBN 0-9754248-3-1. 2005.
Popular edition explains self-healing, wholistic complementary/ alternative medicine (CAM) and bioenergies, and discusses ways in which you can heal yourself.
Benor DJ. Healing Research. Volume II: (Professional edition). Consciousness, Bioenergy and Healing. Medford NJ: Wholistic Healing Publications. ISBN 0-9754248-0-7.2004.
Thorough review of research validating the efficacy of self-healing, wholistic complementary/ alternative medicine (CAM), biological energies, and environmental interactions with bioenergies.
“Book of the Year” award – The Scientific and Medical Network.
Green E and Green A. Beyond Biofeedback. Delta/Dell. New York. 1977.
Green E and Green A. Biofeedback and states of consciousness. In: Wolman BB and Montague U (eds). Handbook of States of Consciousness. Van Nostrand Reinhold. New York. 1986.
*An expanded version of this article appears in Benor DJ, In a Word, International J of Healing and Caring – Online 1-8 January, 2001.


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About Dr Daniel Benor

Daniel J. Benor, M.D. is a psychiatrist in New Jersey who blends wholistic, bodymind approaches, spiritual awareness and healing in his practice. He is the author of Healing Research, Volumes I-IV and many articles on wholistic, spiritual healing. He appears internationally on radio and TV. He is on the Advisory Council of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychotherapy (ACEP). He is editor and producer of the International Journal of Healing and Caring ­ On Line See more by and about Dr. Benor at:


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