“MIDWIFE CRISIS” (3/3) IS yet another example of how the patriarchal and bureaucratic institution of medicine has created a monopoly over physical bodies.

I have spent the last two years (I am 22 now) in and out of doctors’ offices and hospitals, poked and prodded by needles until quite literally bruised and swollen, and doped up on drugs I can’t remember the names of. I lost a major organ, and five different “specialists” are working on determining what mystery disease blood tests say I have now. Thinking back on my week’s vacation in the Georgetown Intensive Care Unit, when my physical body was at its absolute worst—unable to move on its own, attached to unknown wires and hoses—my soul as well was at its worst. It hurt to think, to talk; laughter was a pipe dream. Western medicine fails to see this connection between the soul and body. Western medicine isolates the physical body—sticking it in a cold, sterile, green-tiled hospital room—in order to analyze, scrutinize, mutilate, investigate, test, and drug it, leaving the spiritual to psychologists.

Holistic healing, dating to the beginning of time and primarily practiced by women, is an alternative to modern medicine. It challenges the Western concept of “dis-ease” as a foreign attack on the body necessitating a defensive and offensive approach. Holistic healing works with the body, not against it.

Through herbs, gemstones, acupressure, homeopathy, aromatherapy, and other techniques, holistic healing works with not just the physical body, but with the emotional, mental, and spiritual as well. As a threat to the power, prestige, and moneymaking ability of patriarchal medicine, it is ridiculed, belittled, and even prohibited like midwifery in Maryland—not licensed by the patriarchy itself. With the separation of the physical and the spiritual and the prohibition of alternatives that recognize the connection, modern medicine fails to realize how it is harming the experience and spirituality, and ultimate health, of its own patients.

Dupont Circle