After my first visit to San Juan Island, I felt immediately drawn to the life of this island, and decided to move my practice over from Seattle to Friday Harbor. There were several outstanding reasons that persuaded me: the strong sense of community I felt from people I saw in town and at the local farmer’s market; the creative spirit and independent thinking shown by folks who had chosen to move here from other parts; the number of thriving organic farms, and general support for healthy lifestyles; and of course, the beauty of the island itself, with its quiet aura, its invigorating winds and ocean breezes, its broad central valley and, from South Beach or Lime Kiln Point, magnificent outlooks over the strait of San Juan De Fueca where the resident orca pods maintain their mysterious and subtle existence. In brief, I had succumbed to “the island curse”.
I realized also that I have always been searching for a place like this in which to live and work. I was born on an island, albeit a slightly larger one: Great Britain. Growing up in a big industrial city in the north of England did not prevent me from being constantly aware of the ocean lapping around the nation’s perimeter, bringing forth sudden meteorological changes, gales, scudding clouds and silvery streaks of sunlight as if cast up by the enveloping seas. If there is a power inherent to islands (and many myths attest to this), it must have to do with the unbroken influence of water upon land masses. Somehow, this alters the psyche of the inhabitants, making them remember that the Earth should not really be called the green planet, but rather the blue one, as the vast majority of its surface is composed of water.
As are we. 75% to be precise. This understanding of water, and of our watery nature dictates the orientation of my healing practice, and serves as the basis of my medical philosophy. As Dr. Masaru Emoto, pioneer in water research has said,”Doctors should be philosophers.” I could not agree more strongly. Before undertaking the study of alternative medicine, I spent two years at the University of London, doing graduate studies in Renaissance art and philosophy. It was there that it first became clear to me that art and science should be intertwined and integrated, not set apart as they are in today’s culture. And that it is the separation of art and science into almost opposing principles that has led to a reduced quality of life, and to the impoverishment of modern medicine. Because despite the technological advances achieved within mainstream medicine, it has proved incapable of treating chronic illness or restoring balance to that delicate organism we call a human being, and which is composed mostly of water. And so my personal medical practice has evolved with a clear set of nine guiding principles:
- Always treat the whole person, which means tending to their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects and neglecting none of these.
- Always focus on bringing balance back to the individual in a way that is best suited for that particular individual and not necessarily for anyone else.
- Always consider the life background and life path of the individual patient, and guide them towards greater self awareness and self acceptance.
- Always work with heart and mind integrated in myself, with the aim of achieving the same in my patients.
- Always stay open-minded and seek patiently for creative solutions to all health problems, however serious and longstanding these might be, and even if the situation might appear hopeless.
- Always choose the most non-invasive strategy available at the time, so that the patient’s body can come into balance on its own. But know when it is advisable to opt for a more invasive strategy, such as drugs or surgery provided by an MD, if this is clearly in the patient’s best interest.
- Always be flexible and adaptable and induce the patient to trust in the innate healing power that is stimulated whenever we draw closer to a natural state.
- Always judge astutely according to signs and symptoms of each patient, but never judge any patient at a personal level.
- Always see medicine and healing as a two-way street. Just as the Earth can help heal us with plant medicines and other natural substances, so can we help heal the Earth in its current dilemmas by making better choices, and taking better care of ourselves on every level.
It all comes down to ecology. There needs to be ecology at every level: between the components of our our cells, at a microscopic level, and between ourselves and the greater whole (country, planet, cosmos) at macrocosmic levels. Both minute and vast aspects need to be attended to simultaneously if a patient is to be addressed in their fullness as a human being. I hope to bring this guiding philosophy to the island community in a way that helps people become, not just healthier, but happier, more aware and self-empowered. Medicine is not just about receiving a diagnosis, it is also about being as fully informed as possible so that we can make the best choices and decisions, and stick with these.
For many years I was a full-time artist and college professor before deciding to dedicate myself primarily to healing. I began to make the switch almost twenty years ago because a voice inside me rose up unbidden, murmuring with a strange intensity that nature had many, as yet undiscovered secrets that could help heal many modern health problems, and transform despair. I also felt it vital to bring human beings closer to an understanding of nature at a very deep level. It seemed to me that this was crucial for nature’s sake as much as for the sake of human beings. I could not separate out the interests of the two. I did not want to deal in drugs and pharmaceuticals so I chose to train in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine because these were steeped in cosmic philosophy and the spiritual connections between humans and the rest of nature, including animals, plants, rocks and even weather systems. The feeling I receive from San Juan Island is of a natural energy that is very much alive, flowing between different species, and between the different layers of what makes us human.
My studies in Renaissance art and philosophy, and later in Oriental medicine and Ayurveda enabled me to develop techniques for tapping into the mind-body dynamics of human beings with profound healing effects. I searched for non-invasive ways to stimulate the energy pathways in the body known as meridians, and also sought to engage those aspects of the human energy field, or aura, which are a fundamental part of Ayurveda. Out of this research, I was able to develop Vibropuncture ®, which I have since patented. Vibropuncture is an advanced synthesis of Oriental and Ayurvedic medicine, and is able to instigate healing in the patient at many levels, without ever touching the person’s body directly. I believe that these new techniques have helped many patients of mine in Seattle over the past ten years, and now I would like to offer the same services to the community residing on San Juan Island.
Because water is to fundamental to health and disease, and because our brains are actually formed of an even higher percentage of water than our bodies (90%), I have come to see that water in the body will behave just as it does in nature: it can flow beautifully and brightly, with a crystalline structure. Or it can become stagnant, murky, sluggish, dried out, inert, lifeless, polluted and deformed. And because our thoughts and emotions contribute as much to the water within us as what we eat and drink, we have some innate capacity to restore our physiological system by unearthing what lies buried in our hearts, and by re-directing our thoughts. On the physical level of medicine, I have aligned myself with the pioneering work of Dr. Garry F. Gordon MD, DO, who has been at the forefront of detox and anti-aging medicine for half a century, and who has developed his FIGHT system. Dr. Gordon’s FIGHT system recognizes that there are almost always powerful alternatives to pharmaceuticals using nutritional, herbal and detoxification procedures. FIGHT, which stands for Food, Infections, Genetics, Hormones and Toxins, teaches us that these all need to be addressed in a holistic, orchestrated way if we are realistically to regain our health, or simply sustain what we already have, and increase longevity.
In a nutshell, I want to bring a holistic, heart-centered, soul based practice to San Juan Island. It is a practice that works by increasing the circulation of all we really are (spirit, energy, thoughts and feeling) through the watery conduits of the body, discharging our burdens of toxins, blockages , and any feelings of defeat, hopelessness and despair.
In 1931, Sir George Newman wrote in the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, that there are four questions which, in some form, every patient asks of his doctor:
- What is wrong with me?
- Can you put me right?
- How did I get it?
- How can I avoid it in the future?
These four questions, simple as they are, remain timeless and universal. Somehow, it seems that they are no longer being answered in a satisfactory way for many patients today when they visit their doctor.
The answers are not always easy and straightforward. They take patience, inquiry, reflection and often as not, more time than many doctors are able or willing to spend. So the goal must be to rectify this as much as possible: which, for the patient, also means practicing preventive medicine and becoming their own inner healer. Vibropuncture ® has a way of reconnecting the individual to a greater sense of who they are, and so it can motivate the patient to grow more focused on their own healing journey, as on recognizing their unique place in the turbulent dance of life.