Nice interview - the idea of “whole-person health” is way overdue as a model for the health care system - it's time to move from treatment to prevention as the goal of how we work with people.
Sciences’ teleseminar series “Exploring the Noetic Sciences,” IONS President Marilyn Mandala Schlitz talks with Dr. Janet Quinn, a distinguished speaker, educator, nurse, and pioneering advocate of “whole-person health,” who was also the first recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study the effects of therapeutic touch on the immune system.Read the whole interview.
MS: What are you working on right now? How have you taken your own life experiences and channeled them into training programs for others?
JQ: Over the years I engaged in deep inquiry about fundamental questions of healing, and my interests grew increasingly beyond particular techniques and strategies and much more into the whole realm of what’s possible. What is healing? What can we do? What can we be for each other? That’s really where my passion is now. These are such challenging times, and so many people feel disempowered, as though there’s nothing they can do, the problems are too big. We’ve also given away our sense of power, thinking that solutions come from outside of us, for example, that “the health care system” will take care of healing. It’s just not true. Those models of looking outside – of looking to the government to initiate change, of looking to the health care system to initiate the healing – are no longer sustainable. So everywhere we look, I think we’re being invited to imagine a different way to be in the world. How can I, as just one person, do something in the face of so much crisis and chaos and change? This is really the fundamental question, the heart of the way of the healer: How do I walk this planet, not as one more person who is collapsing in fear or withdrawing in hopelessness, but as an instrument of something larger, more transcendent? How can I serve that which is bigger than all of this?
MS: It’s all about personal work, but also how we blend the personal with the social or the collective. What are some practical ways that you are helping to ground yourself in this time of incredible confusion and complexity?
JQ: If we want to walk the earth as a healer, as one who supports the emergence of right relationships – my definition of what healing is – then it has to start with the self but it also has to move beyond the self. I think there has been the tendency to have it either/or. We can be out there making a difference and doing this work in the world and neglect the cultivation of the intimate, or we can take a dangerous narcissistic turn and completely withdraw from the world. I’ve certainly experienced this tendency in myself as a deep place of nourishment for me, but I’ve had to really look at what is solitude and what is isolating? What is coming into a more contemplative present, and what is avoiding connection with painful realities? Discernment is needed, the willingness to inquire, the willingness to ask ourselves those questions. For me, it’s about staying grounded in the Truth with a capital “T” and knowing what’s Real with a capital “R,” which means I have to be interested in all the places that I’m deceiving myself, where I’m not in alignment with myself, where I’m not engaged in something real. It’s a path of continual reflection and yet not getting totally self-absorbed.