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Developing symbolic vision for yourself and your patients
Medicine, including optometry, too often embraces a purely mechanistic, reductionistic basis for health. Current standard of care typically ignores the impact of energy imbalances from unconscious external and internal influences upon the human body.
All ODs have encountered situations in which no amount of fastidious attention to lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, medications, or supplements was helpful to patients’ ocular prognosis and eventual health trajectory. Perhaps we do not have enough tools, and maybe our perspective on health, life, and disease is wrong—or at best limited.
Various cultures throughout history have certainly appreciated the human body as, foremost, an energy center. Examples include American Indian shamans, Asian acupuncturists, and the ancient Egyptians from the city of Heliopolis. These advanced cultures built this healing knowledge into their theologies.
We now know that human bodies respond to light, color, sound, acupuncture, and electromagnetic radiation.
Quantum physics has confirmed that unseen, unifying forces are at work, from the tiniest subatomic elements of the microcosm to the largest galactic elements of the macrocosm. Alongside physics has converged an entire field called “energy medicine," as catalogued by Richard Gerber, MD.1
Our bodies are not merely machines, with parts that wear down only to be replaced through surgery or managed with nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. A history of a physician’s struggle and pioneering research applying electromagnetic fields toward regenerating limbs, spinal cords, and organs can be found in The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life by Robert O. Becker, MD, and Gary Selden.2
On an implicit level, much of the public has moved beyond the existing medical paradigm by embracing the practice of yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong for opening lines of energy flow. In the process, those practicing have created less chaotic, more protective energy fields.
Biography becomes biology
In her classic book, Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing,3 Caroline Myss, PhD, discusses the important concept that every attitude, opinion, and belief we carry inside affects our biologic makeup and healing potential.
Each organ and system of the body is calibrated to absorb and process specific psychological and emotional energies. When all are in tune, the body is healthy.
This is the foremost goal of energy or vibrational medicine. Myss, a theologist and healer, brilliantly draws a connection between the Hindu chakras, Christian sacraments, and Hebrew kabbalah; all address our 7 major energy centers (Figure).
Conquering fear and developing “symbolic vision” Although a loving thought can relax your entire body, fear is a negative biological attitude that can activate every system of your body, tightening your stomach, increasing your heart rate, and causing you to break out in a sweat. Fear not only leads to lack of self-esteem but generates a feeling of powerlessness that can deplete the body of energy and overall health.
Another way of stating this is that personal power within all 7 major chakras is necessary to maintain optimal health, and that energy leaks result in disease. Developing our “symbolic vision” is the missing link connecting biology, psychology, and higher spiritual truths. Myss’s book in particular can help develop an optometrist’s “symbolic vision” by dispelling the myth of genetic determinism and, by implication, victimhood.
DNA doesn’t control destiny
The implications of energy or vibrational medicine and quantum physics are profound. They are supported by research that is changing our understanding of life itself while synthesizing ancient and modern medical practice.
A profound work, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles by cellular biologist Bruce H. Lipton, PhD, shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology.4 Rather, DNA is controlled by signals outside the cell, including energetic messages from our positive and negative thoughts. Lipton, in a sense, prepared the foundation for the epigenetics revolution by studying what forces interact at the cellular level.
The shortfall of relying upon manipulation of the transcription and translation of DNA alone is becoming more evident day by day. What we think, believe, and feel creates the life we live and has a profound effect on our health.
Reading any or all of these introductory books on the mind-body-spirit connection discussed here should provide a consciousness-based understanding of how you view the truth(s) of how your own body functions, as well as those of your patients.
1. Gerber R. A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine: Energy Healing and Spiritual Transformation. William Morrow Paperbacks; 2001.
2. Becker R, Selden G. The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life. William Morrow Paperbacks; 1998.
3. Myss C. Anatomy of The Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing. Harmony; 1996.
4. Lipton B. The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles. Hay House Inc; 2016.