Over the course of many years of study and practice, I have discovered the merits of paying attention to someone’s natural process of healing. Generally, people tend to get well and stay well safely and effectively when efforts to help them support and harmonize with their natural healing flow.

Too often, in the mad dash to relieve suffering, medication is prescribed before adequate consideration is given to what would be most helpful for healing. If long term resolution of suffering is the goal, will medication help it happen?

Psychiatric medication is often given to relieve painful emotional symptoms without knowing what may have caused the symptoms in the first place. It’s often given without knowing if experiencing those symptoms could be a necessary part of healing. Sometimes fear or despair need to be felt and worked through in order to be fully resolved. Taking a medication prematurely runs the risk of ruining an opportunity for long term resolution.

This does not mean that I am opposed to the use of medicine. Under the proper circumstances, medicine, whether herbal or pharmaceutical, can be a powerful tool to assist the process of healing.

Sometimes symptoms are so severe or a condition is so hard wired that healing becomes blocked. Severe symptoms can incapacitate healing by overwhelming one’s capacity to step back and gain perspective about what’s wrong and what to do about it. Medicine, when properly given, can reduce symptoms enough for healing to resume. If enough healing has happened, it may be possible to later taper and discontinue the medicine. One exception to this may be certain hereditary conditions that don’t respond easily to healing by non-medicinal means. In those circumstances, medication may be needed longer. Keeping excessively painful or troublesome symptoms at bay may then allow someone to address the other troubling dilemmas in their life.

Before making decision about psychiatric herbs or pharmaceuticals, it may be helpful to ask: Will this medicine assist my healing or get in its way? That simple question does not always have a simple answer. It may be necessary to reflect, research, and ask again.