Love is the medicine.
When you are basing your entire approach to another person on the connection between both of your hearts, the outcome is healing.
Prior to the summer, two of our Heart Based Medicine team, were fortunate enough to live this philosophy when they were ‘called’ to Basel, Switzerland, in May to treat 40 Ukrainian families. When Andrea Gardner, arrived with Fiona Cox, fellow therapist, it was immediately obvious this was going to be an unusual experience.
Read About Andrea & Fiona's Experience:
As we entered Youkidoc, the family clinic we were going to be working from for the whole week, we were greeted with a hug. Not the perfunctory, business-like shoulder-clasp that you might expect in a Swiss medical clinic, but a full, heart-to-heart ‘it’s really good to see you’ kind of hug.
Over the course of that week, we witnessed this welcome hundreds of times as new people arrived and were put at their ease. It was clear that everyone felt at home.
Our expectations of Swiss timekeeping were not disappointed. The appointments ran like clockwork, yet nothing felt rushed. The physicians and therapists who work at the clinic were easy-going and friendly, ready with a relaxed smile whatever their busy schedule might look like. Children were honoured guests and rainbow stacks of coloured pencils and sheaves of paper sat in neat piles, ready for a burst of spontaneous creativity.
‘What was the secret of remaining so open and calm in such a busy clinic?’ we pondered.
Being fully present in every moment was the answer that came back.
To sponsor a refugee from Ukraine for our upcoming September Intensives, or donate to the Ukraine Refugee Project click here:
Ukrainian families cushioned themselves on the generous sofa, sharing stories and entertaining each other’s children between appointments. This was a safe space – you could feel it in the air.
As we took each patient into their ‘Intensive Caring’ session it was clear there was trauma and worry. Worry about husbands, families, homes, meaningful careers they’d been forced to abandon, not knowing when or if they’d return. Worry about their prospects, how they and their kids would fit into this new country with its strange customs and a language they were doing their best to understand. But trauma and worry were not their only companions. Though shoulders were heavy, and eyes were sometimes downcast, there was also a fiery, upright spirit, an earthy strength amongst them.
These women were strong!
They didn’t want to be thought of as traumatized or weakened. They had come to us with the intention of feeling better, keen to restore peace to their hearts and bodies. It was exactly that spirit which aided their transformation. And it aligns with one of Heart Based Medicine’s heart-held hopes – that all patients and their caregivers will one day meet as equal co-creators on a shared healing journey.
Dr Jan Bonhoeffer, founder of Heart Based Medicine (and dispenser of hugs) made a point of observing some of our healing sessions. He summed up the results in a few words: ‘Today I saw six women enter your therapy room. And I saw six different women come out. They weren’t simply more relaxed; they were completely transformed in just one hour.’
Inside our therapy rooms, with the help of Google Translate, Fiona and Andrea heard stories of families divided, violence witnessed; long drives through the night to a place of refuge. ‘Is it safe to cry here?’ was a common question. Tears flowed, hugs were exchanged and lungful’s of swallowed fear were released on the treatment couch as the energy worked its healing balm through our hands. Few words were spoken but our eyes communicated volumes.
Word soon spread throughout the clinic and into the wider community, and continues to reach more people.
Requests continued to pour in from the Ukrainian families for more appointments. So, Andrea and Fiona returned in June!
For the whole month of June, these wonderful members of our Heart Based Medicine team offered Intensive Caring sessions to all nationalities from the Youkidoc clinic in Basel.
And very soon, we will be announcing some exciting and uplifting news for the people of Basel!