I had a long conversation with a friend yesterday, we were trying to find the answers to why people get better/stay ill. During this deep conversation we covered many topics including Reiki, energy healing, conventional medicines, belief systems and many more.
We discussed many successes we'd seen in all these fields and many failures to try and reach the answers we sought.
At the end of our foray into "what heals" I feel like I came to one conclusion. What heals is care, the simple act of caring. As I expanded on this idea in my own thoughts later last night I was struck by how care for another person or group of people can have the most profound positive affect on their wellbeing.
With the NHS being stretched beyond all expectations and enormously underfunded the function of a simple act of caring is replaced by the need to meet targets, keep inside budgets, improve productivity etc. All it's seems at the expense of care.
So what exactly is care? For me it is the primary act of wanting the best outcome for an individual or group and the actions you take toward that goal.
Simply put, in my every day therapy work it involves listening to my clients, I have two ears and one mouth - I listen twice as hard as I talk.
Empathy plays a huge part in caring, what would I feel like if it happened to me? But also what would the impact of it be on me and those around me?
Finally for me the act of care is as simple as a human touch, when we spend so much of our day sat in chairs gazing at computer screens, followed by the inevitable supermarket trip where no one looks at each other any more because we are all face down in our smart phones. Human touch the act of engaging in reaching out to another person with purpose actually speaks a thousand words and has the potential to heal a thousand hurts.