In my office, I had a small plaque on the wall with the inscription, “Love cannot be begged, bought or stolen. It can only be given away.” After listening to the medical histories and stories of many patients, I am convinced that the prescription for many diseased states should be love, as needed, at least three times a day. Now, this Rx could solve many medical and mental problems of the sick and needy. Love is a healing and lifesaving force.
Mrs. C. was a patient of mine who was hospitalized in Jamaica Hospital. She had experienced a devastating stroke that left her speechless, blind and paralyzed. The nurses and house staff doctors felt that there was little they could do. Her daughter, who was a social worker at the hospital, visited her mother daily and would even spend her lunch hour with her. She also took her vacation time to be with this dependent soul. Often, I would pass the afflicted patient’s room and observe the daughter stroking her mother’s brow and whispering in her ear. After many months of this demonstrable love, the patient responded-just with a blink of an eye or maybe just a tear. Her daughter was thrilled with this response.
Finally, Mrs. C. was discharged from the hospital only as a shell of a person. Months later, I met her daughter and inquired about her mother’s health. In time, her mother passed. However, the daughter continued to live a wonderful, rewarding life as she still served others less fortunate.
In her book, “Living Therapeutic Touch,” Dr. Dolores Krieger writes, “In general, the healing act is a conscious, full engagement of one’s energies in the interest of helping another person.” Krieger was a pioneer in using simple touching to foster healing and has trained many professionals to do so. The effect of wanting to keep a person alive is real and measurable, and should be part of the healing process. I feel it is a subject that should be taught in every medical school.
During my medical career, I have used and observed the power of touch and love. This has assisted me in quelling unrelenting pain, lower sky-high blood pressure, relax tense and painful muscles and also have a positive effect on other diseased states. As negative energies increase the intensity of an illness, positive energies can reverse it.
In closing, I would like to refer to a Negro spiritual written by William J. Gaither in 1936:
“He Touched Me”
Shackled by a heavy burden
‘Neath a load of guilt and shame,
Then the hand of Jesus touched me,
And now I am no longer the same.
Since I met this blessed Savior
Since He cleansed and made me whole,
I will never cease to praise Him,
I’ll shout it while eternity rolls.
He touched me, O He touched me
And O the joy that floods my soul;
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole.
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