Doctors Know That They Don’t Know
They Repeatedly Told Me So
Following a brain tumour diagnosis eight years ago, I had a few questions for the medical professionals:
“How did the tumour form? What is its cause?”
“How can it be ‘kind of cancer’ in the morning, according to the doctor, and ‘kind of not cancer’ in the afternoon, according to the nurse?”
“What do you mean when you state in the written report that it’s a ‘benign malignancy’?”
“Why are you recommending I take a drug that you yourself have told me will be unlikely to have therapeutic benefit, but certain to have ill effects?”
“And why are you discouraging me from taking a natural tonic that you yourself state will likely have therapeutic benefit and no ill effects?”
The answer I received to all of these: “I don’t know.”
I greatly appreciate all my healthcare professionals–healers all–and their candor and honest confessions of ignorance.
On a recent Facebook post I shared about Wim Hof breathwork and exercises, a wise gentleman commented that I should be cautious about doing held-breath press-ups. This was due to the likelihood of my having impaired neurovascular function following brain surgery. And he is quite right. I’ve had to stop running anywhere close to my limits (the fun bit!) due to severe effects caused by my brain’s diminished vascular capacity.
What caused a chuckle, though, was the suggestion that I consult my doctor. In my experience, there is quite a lot that doctors don’t know, and the honest ones are upfront about this. I think it’s safe to say that no study has ever been conducted on 40-year-old men who have done lots of meditation, breathwork, yoga, and Qigong; have had a craniotomy; and are using some unorthodox Dutch guy’s training techniques. And even if such a study had been done, my doctor is working far too hard helping people to have had time to read it. So the advice to consult a doctor feels misguided.
My mind also doesn’t know the answer to questions posed above. However, I’ve found that my body does, so I gain useful data to the degree I listen to the body and remain sensitive and aware.
This is no idle contemplation. Following one’s intuition and disregarding medical advice when it conflicts with inner knowing is a common thread I’ve come across in accounts of spontaneous remissions and “miracle” healings.
I’ve found that “consult your doctor” often means “don’t blame it on me” or “I feel scared for you.” Perhaps more helpful advice is “consult your heart’s knowing.” Eight years into this journey with brain cancer has shown me the benefit of cultivating my intuitive capacity, which over time has given me ears to hear what I’ve needed to know. This is very helpful in the face of conflicting, often unproven, and typically standardized medical advice.
Ultimately, the only way to determine the effects of doing press-ups with my breath held is to try it. However, the body is telling me it’s not a risk that feels attractive at this point.
Time for some press-ups and breathwork, with my breath free and flowing.
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