The healing art of listening

Posted by on Feb 16, 2010 in Philosophy | 1 comment

The healing art of listening

I enjoy listening to stories. There are over six billion unique stories playing out in the world but all are variations on the same themes. Screenwriters need not complain of lack of material for inspiration.

Even at a young age, lending an ear to friends’ soliloquies of personal triumph or struggle (of young love or parental tyranny), was natural to me. I felt I was being helpful in some way. I believe it was an important start to my path. Listening is healing. Listening without judgment heals, and we all need both at one time or another. Imagine what listening can do for those who are in physical and emotional pain. We always feel better after being heard.

While studying science as an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to listen to a public lecture on homeopathy. Homeopathy was my first exposure to a new science of healing. As a scientist I was skeptical but went with an open mind. I have since seen its benefits firsthand on myself and on others.

The healer must listen to the whole person and prescribe based on the totality of symptoms of mind and body. People are more than their headaches. A doctor should treat the person not the headache. Though root causes of disease may often be difficult to uncover, listening is a way to peel back the layers of ‘baggage’ and ‘stories’ (we all have) to see what lies beneath affecting health.

Listening is the art of quieting the mind to allow space to receive external information. This is what a good doctor and a good scientist does. Both receive information without judgment, then work to decipher the data. Patients always tell you what they need, all the doctor has to do is ‘listen’. There is much wisdom to hear from simply listening with mindful attention to the mind-body dialogue.


One Comment

  1. Hello Berchman!

    It’s me – your new, friendly, neighbourhood Second Cup (on King & Strachen)acquaintance 😀 Thank you so much for listening to me and for helping me with my food allergy and eczema symptoms! So far so good. I have actually started to noticed a few minor differences – all positive I can assure you.
    I was just reading this post and I wanted to let you know that you are appreciated. You’re patient and thoughtful and thorough. I hope the best for you in your career and with the move out west. Please keep in touch! I’ll stop by the store this week or next week perhaps. Please don’t leave without saying goodbye!

    *(I hope you are enjoying the poetry book!)


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