Healing Power Ten Steps to Pain Management and Spiritual Evolution Dr. Phil Shapiro Founder and Director Northwest Institute for Healing Power
Integrative Medicine • Separate tracks • Healing principle in health care • Community Psychiatry • Healing principle in religion • Spiritual Seeker • Single track • Dr. Herbert Benson • Integrative Medicine • Mind-Body Medicine • Personal, private spiritual experience becomes medically relevant
Integrative Medicine • Biological high-tech medicine • Has great power but alone can be reductionistic, often leading to symptom management without getting to the root causes of disease. • Integrative medicine • Includes biopsychosocial and spiritual aspects. • Look for the root causes of disease and healing here.
Integrative Medicine • Four evidence based healing universes • Biological • Traditional Medicine • CAM: Complimentary and Alternative Medicine • Psychological • Social • Spiritual • Mind-Body Medicine
Mind-Body Medicine • Mind-body Medicine • The spiritual aspect of cognitive-behavioral therapy • Belief systems impact disease and healing. • The mind can be used for: • Expansion of healing power • Pain control • Spiritual evolution
Mind-Body MedicineEvidence-based: The Data • People with an active faith or belief system have better outcomes in medicine, surgery, mental health, and addiction • Includes cancer, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, asthma, COPD, infections disease, kidney disease, and more. • Lower medication rates • Lower length of stay • Higher quality of life • Much more
Mind-Body MedicineEvidence-based: The Data • Suggested reading • Herbert Benson M.D., Timeless healing • Jeff Levin PhD: God, Faith and Health • David Larson M.D. • Larry Dossey M.D. • Dale Mathews M.D. • Harold Koenig M.D. • James Gordon M.D. • Deepok Chopra M.D.
Mind-Medicine Evidence Based: The Data • What the data tells us: • There is no separation between mind and body. • The mind is connected to every cell in the body through electromagnetic and chemical waves. • In some yet to be determined way, thoughts have leverage in the inner workings of our cells having to do with disease and healing.
Mind-Body MedicineThe Mechanism • Community: support from like-minded people • Behavior: good habits such as no smoking, drinking, or drugs; healthy diet • Thought: the power of positive thought--faith, hope, belief, optimism, and much more • Feeling: the healing power of positive emotion—peace, love, joy, compassion • Spiritual practice: expansion of healing power from yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and prayer
Mind-Body Medicine Principles • The scientific connection between spirituality and healing has been made. • Spiritual belief systems have a role in healing mind, body, and soul. • When we activate or intensify our spiritual belief systems, healing power expands. • There is healing power on the table.
Mind-Body Medicine PrinciplesHealing Power • Healing Power • A magnificently intelligent healing power operates every cell in the body. • It is incomparably brilliant. • We know how to make it grow and shrink. • We know where the leverage points are. • The key leverage point: how we manage our pain.
Mind-Body Medicine PrinciplesPain Management • Skillful pain management • To tap into the expanded reservoir of healing power, we must become more skillful pain managers. • How we manage our pain determines whether we move forward, backward, or stay stuck in this life.
Mind-Body Medicine PrinciplesPain Management • Pain Management • The fear factor: we are afraid of suffering, disease, disability, the unknown, and death. • This mental distress slows down healing and makes the pain worse. • When disease persists, we can teach people to slow down and relax so they can stay in charge and get their lives back.
Mind-Body Medicine PrinciplesPain Management • Pain Management • Often we cannot take disease away but we can always help with pain management. • Pain is both physical and psychological. • All pain is experienced in the mind and can therefore be modulated by the mind. • We can contain and reduce or expand and magnify the pain. • We can control pain so pain does not control our lives.
Mind-Body Medicine Principles Spiritual Evolution • Spiritual Evolution • If we manage our pain skillfully, healing power expands and we evolve spiritually. • Spiritual qualities such as compassion, understanding, forgiveness, patience, peace, love, and joy grow. • We feel better. • We become better people.
Mind-Body Medicine Principles • When we activate or intensify our spiritual belief systems, we harness the untapped power of the mind for: • Expansion of healing power • Pain Control • Spiritual Evolution • This is very good news but there are many barriers.
Problems Entering the Spiritual Domain • We don’t work with Spirit. • We are not comfortable talking about religion. • We have no language or map. • We ignore or refer to spiritual counselors. • Lack of training. • Belief systems are personal, intimate, complex. • Many have a traumatic religious history. • Fierce feelings and defensiveness. • Fear of unravel to the abyss (The Cheeseburger) • Enormous variation and level of commitment. • There is no time-brief appointments, paper work. • How to enter without losing life, limb, or property.
Guidelines for Approaching Belief Systems • Access: we need models that give us safe, efficient, and effective access to the territory of belief systems. • Map: how to get there. • Language: how to talk to each other and our patients about religion and spirituality. • Keys: to enter the territory of belief systems so we can get in and out safely and effectively. • An efficient delivery system: so we can help our patients learn how to do this work when we are already too busy.
Guidelines for Approaching Belief Systems • Universal and inclusive • Look for universal or near-universal spiritual healing principles, methods, and qualities. • Design models that can work for as many as possible. • Include atheist, agnostic, religious, and spiritual persons.
Guidelines for Approaching Belief Systems • Individualize • Stay in religion of origin and expand practice • Build your own program • Cafeteria of options • Root cause and solution • Look for root causes and solutions to our deepest suffering. • User-friendly • Remain user-friendly and non-invasive as possible
Guidelines for Approaching Belief Systems • Biopsychosocial-spiritual • We think of high-tech medicine as real and mind-body principles as touchy-feely. This is reductionistic and wrong. • We are biopsychosocial and spiritual beings. A disturbance in any one of there leads to a disturbance in the others. • Therefore, comprehensive treatment planning includes biopsychosocial and spiritual interventions.
Guidelines for Approaching Belief Systems • Self-help and Skills Training • There is an explosion of knowledge and models having to do with healing in each of the four domains: biopsychosocial and spiritual. • There is no time to do it all: managed care, fifteen minute appointments, paper work and so on. • How can we activate healing power in all four domains given the limitation of time and system problems? • Good news: it can be done through skills training and self help.
Guidelines for Approaching Belief Systems • Self-help: much of the healing in the psychosocial-spiritual domain is self-help. • Skills training: classes, groups, books, manuals, tapes, CD’s, DVD’s, Internet • Self-healing: we can teach people how to increase healing power while in the comfort of their own homes or during the day while performing their routine activities. • There are many ways to do this. No one way works for all people.
Universal Spiritual Healing Models • I will present two models • Brutal Reality and the Illusion of Safety, Security, and Immortality (1980) • Healing Power: Ten Steps to Pain Management and Spiritual Evolution (2005)
Personal Spiritual History • Before discussing the models, a brief personal history • From personal to universal • To enter the spiritual domain, we need to learn how to move with facility from our personal religious or spiritual experience to the universal. • In that light, I will share with you a very brief history of my religious-spiritual journey as it relates to professional work. • As you listen, find yourself and your patients in these stories and models.
Personal Spiritual History • Seventh month of fetal life: an early introduction to brutal reality • Conservative Judaism • The dynamics of unraveling a belief system • The Cheeseburger • The Chess game: The King goes down. • The Abyss: the unknown, the great mystery of life
Personal Spiritual History • Whether we stay in our religion of origin or not, belief systems remain monumentally important. • The meaning and purpose of life • Story and metaphor • Cultivation of spiritual qualities • Inspiration • Protection and guidance • Truth • Healing • Community and service • Much more
Personal Spiritual History • The Seeker • Mining the great religious fields for pearls • Studies in Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Native American Spirituality, others • Review the lives of saints, sages, teachers, masters, gurus • The scientific method in metaphysics: direct personal experience • Develop a spiritual practice: meditation, mindfulness, affirmations, prayer
The Scientific Method in Metaphysics • We can decipher spiritual fiction from fact. • How to do this without lab tests or x-rays? • We can put profoundly important questions to the test of direct personal experience in the laboratory of life. • Does compassionate service to humanity give us peace of mind and strength? • Does meditation work? • Do higher states of consciousness actually exist? • Does the body-temple harbor the God of the universe?
The Scientific Method in Metaphysics • Test a theory by practicing a spiritual method. • Assume the agnostic position. • Do not accept of reject the theory. • Stay open and receptive. • The body is the test tube. • The experiment is on the life force itself, consciousness, energy, thought, feeling, desire, and behavior. • Prove or disprove it to yourself through direct personal experience. • If a method or concept works, we keep it and teach it to our patients. If not, discard it. • We trust our ability to tell the difference.
Brutal Reality and the Illusion of Safety, Security, and Immortality • Dual Diagnosis process group at Harlem Hospital • The emergence of a model • Criteria • Brutal reality and higher states of consciousness • Connect the dots between pain and healing • AA meetings and psychotherapy • What do you do when you are in pain? • Healing power: where is the leverage?
Brutal Reality and the Illusion of Safety, Security, and Immortality • People • Activities • Belief System • Self-knowledge • Brutal Reality • The Illusion of Safety, Security, and Immortality
Belief Systems • Spiritual, religious, political, national, cultural, racial, familial, psychological, personal • Mechanism of perpetuation in health or disease • Thought repetition with denial and repression of conflicting data • The Cheeseburger Effect: a single countervailing thought or action has the potential to unravel an entire belief system, thrusting the individual into the unknown, the abyss. This is equivalent to psychological annihilation or death.
Belief Systems • Defense and resistance • The Living Room • Simple fixed belief systems • Eclectic synthetic belief systems • The abyss between simple fixed and eclectic synthetic systems • Intra-psychic battle for healing
A Universal Prescription for Any Problem, Pain or Symptom • Tell your patients they can enhance healing when these four domains are active and positive: • People • Activities • Belief System • Self-knowledge • You can prescribe these with confidence. Each is evidence based.
A Quick Assessment for the Busy Practitioner • A quick, efficient, and safe entry into the psychosocial and spiritual domain for the busy practitioner: • People: Who is in your life that you can really talk to? • Activities: What is your day like? • Belief system: Do you have a spiritual activity such as church, prayer, personal system, etc. • Self-knowledge: How do you handle emotions such as anger, depression, fear, and guilt?
Brutal Reality and the Illusion of Safety, Security, and Immortality Exercise • Describe how the six components weave the fabric of your life. • Focus on how you use people, activities, belief system, and self-knowledge to shift from brutal reality to a feeling of safety. You might want to use the handout to help you diagram your story. • Describe how the six components drive the lives of patients, family, friends, strangers, and enemies.
Mind-Body MedicineHerbert Benson M.D. • Conference in Chicago on spirituality and healing in medicine • Day one: science • Day two: religion • Day three: applications
Mind-Body MedicineHerbert Benson M.D. • Day one: scientific proof • People with an active faith or belief system have better outcomes in medicine, surgery, mental health, and addiction.
Mind-Body MedicineHerbert Benson M.D. • Day two: religion • Rabbi, priest, Hispanic Pentecostal, Florence Nightingale mystic, Tibetan Buddhist PHD—former secretary of the Dalai Lama, Islamic professor and teacher • Each discussed healing principles, methods, and qualities from their great faith traditions.
Mind-Body MedicineHerbert Benson M.D. • Day three: application • Extract and organize healing principles from the great faith traditions into cognitive behavioral or mind-body medicine practices. • Practice these ourselves and teach them to our patients.
Cascadia: Spirituality and Healing Group • Clinic survey • Create a group and manual using the criteria described earlier. • Two groups: • One was consumer run • The other is ongoing at the Northwest Institute for Healing Power • The Ten Steps
Healing Power: Ten Steps to Pain Management and Spiritual Evolution • Deconstruct: religion into discrete pieces • Eliminate: dogma, ritual, and other non-essentials. • Extract: the wisdom of the ages—the elegant essence of religion. • Organize: into doable practical steps and tools • Ten steps, 12 methods, 100 spiritual qualities • Cafeteria of options • Any person: atheist, agnostic, religious, spiritual • Anywhere, any time: home, work, play • Any problem: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual • Self-help • Self-Healing
Healing Power: Ten Steps to Pain Management and Spiritual Evolution • Some advice as you listen • Take what you need and leave the rest. • Nuke offensive language and substitute your own. • The Higher Power as you understand it • God, Buddha, Consciousness, Mystery • Stay in your own lane. • Do not proselytize. • Discuss without debate. • Reform yourself, not others.
The Ten Steps • The Core Drive • Duality and Brutal Reality • The Compromise • Habits • Tools Become Barriers • The Seeker • Soul and Spirit • The School of Life • Spiritual Practice • Spiritual Experience
Ten Steps • Steps 1-5 • The evolution of suffering • Unskillful pain management • Descend • Steps 6-10 • Spirituality and healing • Skillful pain management • Ascend
Ten Steps • Follow the pain • Pain management is the swing point between descent and ascent. • How you manage your pain determines whether you move forward, backward, or stay stuck in this life. • Turn the tables on the pain: use the pain to heal.
Step 1: The Core Drive • We want: • Unlimited peace, love, joy, and safety • No suffering • Immortality: more time • This is our motivation whether robbing a bank or serving the poor.
Step 2: Duality and Brutal Reality • Life on the physical plane is dual and brutal. • Duality • The ups and downs of life • Pleasure and pain, good and evil, health and disease, success and failure, wealth and poverty, gain and loss, praise and blame, joy and sadness, love and hate, war and peace, and so on • Brutal Reality • Death, pain and suffering, and the unknown • The down side of duality
Step 3: The Compromise • There is a collision between the core drive and duality. • We can’t get everything we want on the physical plane. • We compromise by creating the illusion of safety through relationship and activities. • In the compromise, we may feel comfortable and safe.