An Interview with Michael Roland
Can you explain the fundamentals of natural healing?
I think of natural healing in two ways. One way to think about it is that all healing is natural. Whether a person receives acupuncture, counseling or surgery, the actual healing that takes place does so within the person. It is a wonderful process that neither the scientists nor the mystics fully understand. The miracle of life and the miracle of healing are still far beyond our comprehension. As healers, surgeons and therapists we only set the stage for healing, we don't actually heal. Healing by definition is a natural process.
We call our office "Energy Oasis: a Clinic of Natural Healing" for a different reason. The second way to think of natural healing is in terms of natural treatment systems, like acupuncture, qigong, Chinese medicine, spiritual healing, etc. Because we understand that healing occurs within the patient, we focus our attention on encouraging the natural process of healing and removing the blockages to that function. Also, any substances that we might use, such as Chinese herbs, are very close to their natural state - rather than highly processed or chemically manufactured. We realize that drugs and surgery are necessary and we often work to facilitate the healing process by offering complimentary, natural treatment in addition to the allopathic therapies a patient might be receiving concurrently.
What kinds of therapies do you use in your practice?
At Energy Oasis we currently have two practitioners and another member may be soon added. I practice Traditional Chinese Medicine and craniosacral therapy. Brenda A. Haney uses a Brazilian form of spiritual healing and vibrational therapies.
Traditional Chinese Medicine encompasses a whole system of understanding of disease and health as well as many different treatment modalities. In the clinic I use medical qigong, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and aspects of a Chinese system of bodywork called tuina. Craniosacral therapy is a part of traditional American osteopathic medicine that is seamlessly integrated into my practice. I meld these different styles of treatment to facilitate the healing process in my patients and to remove stubborn blockages to the inherent natural healing process.
Spiritual healing has been part of the human experience since the dawn of civilization. Many people in the industrialized world have lost touch with this natural human experience. However, in some of the poorer countries spiritual healing and spiritual practices are part of everyday life. Brenda A Haney worked with the Federacao Brasileiro de Spiritismo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for over 10 years. The country has produced many spiritual healers. One of the most famous, John of God, treats over 1,000 per day in his private clinic in Abadiania, Goiana, Brazil. Brenda is able to clear spiritual blockages to healing, sometimes in only one or two treatment sessions. For the patient the range of experience can be from pleasant to life changing.
What maladies and illnesses do you treat?
We treat patients with a variety of illnesses and conditions. The short list would be headache, migraine, back pain, cancer, emotional problems or disorders, high blood pressure, facial pain, trigeminal or other neuralgias, GI problems, liver and kidney problems, heart disease, traumatic injuries, epilepsy and other neural problems, and stress. We also treat healthy people in order to help them maintain wellness. People with the above conditions have found help at our clinic and are current or recent patients. Over the years we have seen patients with many other conditions as well.
It is important to note that we don't cure diseases. We help people restore and maintain their health.
Why were you drawn to Traditional Chinese Medicine?
My first intention was to go to conventional medical school, but I knew that I was interested in helping people without the use of drugs or surgery. After much soul-searching, I started looking for something that would suit my hands-on approach and also be good solid clinical medicine.
Chinese medicine is a comprehensive system of diagnosis and treatment. It's a complete approach to medicine which has a broad range of treatment styles like acupuncture, qigong and medical qigong, tuina (Chinese manipulative therapy), diet, and Chinese herbs. The diagnostic system in Chinese medicine ties in our experience of nature to our experience of health problems. For example, a person who has lived on coastal Maine for many years and now has osteoarthritis may be diagnosed as having Painful Obstruction Syndrome with Wind Damp and Coldness. This would indicate a treatment process with acupuncture, herbs, and manipulative therapies to remove the obstruction, clear the wind and cold and drain dampness. Nature and medicine are very close to each other in this system.
What kind of work have you done with Andrew Weil?
I was asked to join Dr. Weil's Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1998, as Chinese medicine clinician for their outpatient clinic at the University Medical Center and as preceptor to the Fellows in Integrative Medicine. Since then I have also worked as consultant, editor, and content provider to the Associate Fellowship Program an online training program in Integrative Medicine.
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