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Posted on 07-04-2016

Holistic Care, Striving toward BALANCE

Originally published 1/3/2014:

I just had the great pleasure of reading an article published 20 years ago, An Essay on the Reconciliation of Opposites, by friend and colleague Steve Gallop, O.D. yin-yang   We have the choice to apply such philosophy in the treatment of our patients (or clients), to support them to come to balance voluntarily, rather than to instruct them on their next steps.  To pull, rather than to push.  To allow, rather than to impose.  We help heal others as guides when we raise questions, rather than supply answers.  By taking a wider vantage when we observe our patients, a holistic approach, we help them find balance along a continuum, rather than try to "fix the broken part" ...which may just as easily create a secondary weakness.   There is an art in the space of allowing.  A teacher of mine encouraged a gentle "push, pull, neutral" approach, to encourage a subtle imbalance in the system with a push and a pull, and to follow this with nothing more than support.  In this neutral space, a system will reorganize on its own, stronger and more capable of weathering fluctuations.  This is the practice when we support patients to integrate new skills.  We provide subtle imbalances, problems to be solved by our patients, as they learn to allow for all possibilities.  We encourage not just focus or depth, but BOTH focus AND depth.  Not just vision or thought, but BOTH vision AND thought.  We help them strengthen the entire system, not just an aspect of the system. 

Three dimensional illustration of the Yin & Yang principle, from http://www.mu6.com/psychology.html

It is a balance between duality and unity.  We attend to both sides of the continuum, and by doing so, we learn to appreciate the continuum as related aspects to a larger whole.  This helps us to take a step back, take a larger perspective without sacrificing the clarity of the detail.  From duality arises a unity.  Please feel free to share your thoughts on what this discussion, the diagram or the essay brings up for you!

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