The religious belief in science.
My brother shakes and neurologically freezes in his hospital bed of a mental health ward. In the dimmer periods of his hospital stay, the family thought he might not recover. He looked like someone spiralling down, and we didn’t know if he could find his way back out.
He had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease years before. It is unknown whether his symptoms had been caused by long term anti-psychotic medication or secondary symptomology originating out of birth trauma – he had no oxygen for 20 mins causing frontal cortex damage. The long-term decline of my brother’s human faculties was painful to watch from the sidelines. Over a 20 year period, modern medicine maintained his myriad of psychiatric, neurological and behavioural dysfunction.
I hold a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology. I had worked in research and the pharmaceutical industry for many years. My life was science, it was my religion. It was how I understood life and the meaning of it.
In those science years, I became disillusioned by what I saw. How results were not pure, but moulded by what the scientists wanted to see because it aligned with their expectations. Scientists are humans too, and all humans have the same driving forces for perceiving the world and maintaining their beliefs and values. The pharmaceutical world is driven by their value in profit. Researchers who aren’t in the game for profit are largely driven by personal motivations to support their beliefs.
“There is nothing more we can do for him, he has end stage Parkinson’s,” said the top neurologist in our region. A statement like this is so final – the words, “End-stage”. Where is the possibility in that? Where can one find any spirit of life affirmation in those words?
My brother looks up to those that hold title in the medical world. For him, to receive words like that would mean that it was true. The mind has a powerful influence over the body.
Luckily for him, those words were delivered to family and not to him. He was bedridden at this low point. Unable to move, unable to stand and he appeared to have something that was going to end him soon.
Because family is one of my highest values, I rallied the family to support my brother and embrace faith in him walking out of that hospital. I used every ounce of my NLP skill set and mentored my family to use life-affirming language. My husband is a Guru of NLP, but no fancy NLP techniques or Hypnosis could be plugged in because of my brother’s inability to cognitively process and follow instructions.
The other key to my brother’s puzzle was connection. We engaged a body worker, a Cranial Sacral Therapist. Her role was to connect him to life and “will”. Nursing staff were taught to be life-affirming, as well as his family and friends.
My brother walked out of that hospital unaided by machines or wheelchair. It’s a miracle! Nah, just an open-mindedness about possibility … until it really is the end. When do you know it’s the end? When it happens. Before that, it is only an opinion. Is my brother jumping around all cured? No. But he doesn’t have end stage of this or that.
I am not singling out the Neurologist as a special case; he was merely following his religion of Medicine. Everyone is religious for at least some seconds of every day. The question is, do you catch yourself doing it and do you question it?