Holistic Writing and New age.

Dip into a book, copy down a few of it’s sentences amongst it’s paragraphs. It’s an ideal way for keeping your fountain pens flowing. You write a few sentences from a few passages onto a couple of sheets of paper with each pen to keep them alive. It’s also a great opportunity to check their performances whilst keeping your own knowledge base alive.

The Penguin Book of New Age and Holistic Writing has been a long term fave for reading bits from. Never hand written down passages from it before though. So, I wrote a few lines from the address given by Chief Seattle. Afterwards I flicked through some chapters. This book is one you do go back to and re-read passages you have affinities with. The ones that support inherent beliefs and further influence. Although. Not always adding to, but sometimes subtracting by bringing about small isolated changes to your overall beliefs and life’s view points. Quite controversial too in some other passages.

I do need to actually read it all. The passages are of the nature that you read one, put the book down and spend a day or more dipping in and out of thoughts regarding the various principles, philosophies and ideas presented that are all linked to the words ‘New Age and Holism’. Accept some parts immediately. Disregard other parts completely. Or disagree and then revisit, re-read and something inherent provides new found analysis that changes your mind.

It’s a book of challenges. A fair few instances of stepping out of the comfort zones. But fascinating in how people consider these various subjects linked to ‘New Age and Holistic Writing’. Intelligent people with competence linguistically to be able to describe their deep and profound beliefs really well.

It has a chapter on ‘Holistic Health and Healing’. As a health professional I considered, still consider, subjects holistically as a very simple synergy. The effects of illnesses on one’s biological, psychological, sociological well being. Also the impact of economic hardship or affluence. However, in some of these passages, there are phrases within ideas and ideals that pop out to greet me, say hello, proffer a part of the ideology and philosophy and then initially leave me extremely befuddled. Sometimes aghast! No full picture of meaning. So your interest is tweaked, you have to seek furthermore and then enter either a quagmire of strange extremes or a happy relaxed realisation that in this concept or philosophy there could be true self spiritual awakening. 

I nursed very many palliative patients over the years. This was after my two year stay in a cardiac/respiratory ward where acute symptoms within comorbid chronic conditions had to be addressed and managed in crises occasions. I then moved on to palliative care. Palliative, as in palliative care over years with worsening chronic conditions. But also in ‘towards end of life’ situations too, which involves similar considerations. Involved is the need to provide control and comfort with the awful realities of adverse illness symptoms. Pain, nausea, breathlessness, delirium, fatigue, constipation, etc.

As a Staff Nurse, therefore, I deemed it important to have as full an insight as possible into a holistic approach to healing and comforting principles. On a General Hospital ward? I found frustrations. No bandying about with proffering non-researched alternative and therefore ‘lower standard’ treatments. I agreed in the main. People in pain, for example, needed immediate and efficient pharmacological interventions. Pain source considerations to be considered. Pain cause? Neuropathy, constipation, muscular, tissue damage, psychosomatic, lack of mobility, arthritic, visceral, somatic, fibromyalgia, headache, etc. Adjective descriptions sought to describe types of pain. Stabbing, burning, throbbing, etc. . Using the McGill questionnaire to determine how to read the story presented and ultimately treat. Not simply mind over matter.  Holistic extension into mental issues concerning catastrophic thinking not fought with Mindfulness. But with compassion and simple talking. Social considerations regarding how the patients perceive family, friends and how they are being affected. A meeting up and, again, talking about situations.

In palliative care where patients’ themselves, and their families too, seek any straw to cling on to you? You have to watch what you say. And as a general principle, I never used to say it. I would respond if ideas were proffered. Generally with guidance to other reliable hospice or MacMillan nurse sources. I was not a hospice nurse, but was very aware and extremely supportive and in agreement of their ideals. Hospice care is very different from hospital care. Health and well being is very much an individualistic personal affair in a hospice environment. Reflexology, Reiki, Herbalism, Aromatherapy, Visualisation, Music therapy, Meditation, etc. are considered alongside empirical evidence based sciences. I consider it akin to the Expert Patient principle. A person knows either instinctively/inherently or through seeking out answers to what is going to work and succeed. Whatever the approach to helping them find greater benefits.

Palliative care is an ideal example where there are limited organisational considerations and applications in General Hospitals to accept provision for Complementary Therapies. That practice never actually changes. In giving Therapeutic choice, the general way is to use pharmacological medicine. As stated previously. I agreed with standard approaches. However. Some health professionals I had spoken to regarding other therapeutic values and choices to go alongside empirical medicine called it ‘Alternative’ and dismissed it’s efficacy. No evidence is the viewpoint. The clues are in the word use of ‘Complementary’. Not ‘Alternative’.

The overall feeling of this books other Holistic Writing and New Age themes? What I do love about this book is the William Bloom introduction itself and also at the start of each piece, the small explanation by this editor regarding what is about to follow. Sets up the follow up read very nicely. 

To wrap this up. Writing and using the fountain pens and inks? Well, it once again proffers opportunities for trains of thought such as just written. Simply writing down passages from books, which is no self analytical journal entry, still provides ongoing inner thoughts and enquiry. Lovely stuff. Also keeps your pens alive.


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