Healing Hamilton

Assisting you on your path to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Healing or cure: Which to prefer?

What's the difference between  HEALING and CURING? 

According to Michael Lerner, Ph.D. and head of Commonweal Cancer Help Program  "Healing and curing are not synonymous.  Cure refers to complete biological resolution of a disease state, while healing refers to a revitalizing and regenerative process that can occur on emotional, spiritual, or physical levels - and sometimes on all three levels in concert."

So based on this definition, the energy arts of Reiki, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Sound Therapy and Shamballa are all healing systems.  

We usually hear about healing systems in the context of what is called the "holistic approach".   According to the merriam-webster online dictionary holistic means "relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts <holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body> <holistic ecology views humans and the environment as a single system>".   

So again, based on this definition Touch for Health, Reiki, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are all holistic healing systems.

When thinking about healing vs curing it's important to note that, while healing can include curing, neither necessarily encompasses the other:  You can be healed and not cured.  You can be cured and not healed.    In an example of the first scenario (healed, not cured) imagine a person with a terminal disease who lives beyond what is statistically expected, and finds joy, peace and satisfaction in their final months of life.  In the second scenario (cured, not healed) imagine a person who recovers from a life threatening disease and continues to live with depression, anxiety and pain.   As Mitchell Raynor, M.D. puts it in his book Sounds of Healing: "Our concept of healing should never be limited to physical cure."  

It's rather obvious that anyone's preference would be to have both healing and a cure.  So how do you improve your chances of attaining this goal?  First by seeking professional medical attention and following any treatment advice you're given.  Then find a complementary holistic healing modality that appeals to you - Touch for Health, Reiki, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are just a few of the many available.

The really great thing about the complementary healing systems is that you can use them any time.  You don't have to be in need of a cure to benefit from healing.  Do you know anyone who wouldn't want to be more relaxed, have increased energy and feelings of well being, or have less aches and pains?  Neither do I!


  1. Interesting insights. I've never looked at healing vs curing in this way, but it does make sense.

    You now have a new blog follower.

    Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.

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  2. Also here from A to Z, and I found this a very interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

    I used to think holism was just being prejudiced against holes, but blogs like yours are slowly showing me the light...

  3. Oh, great post! I've thought about that in passing, but never really have thought it out in such depth. Thanks for sharing. :)

    ♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

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  5. Mojo and Elizabeth - thanks for your comments. I'll drop by your blogs and check out your A-Z challenge.

  6. I have long understood the profound difference between healing and curing. I suppose that I would prefer to be cured, but the healing process in itself is so very important. But the healing process requires some intentionality or focus the part of the of the person who seeks the healing. It can be "hard work" in comparison to passivity of taking a pill or having a procedure done.

    1. Well said! We tend to have healing or curing done to us rather than being actively involved in the process.


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