From the Cadaver Lab to Holographic Medicine

Just about every January I find myself plotting out what continuing ed courses I’ll be taking in the coming months.  It’s a task I thoroughly enjoy and will spend hours weaving through the web, opening internet tab after tab of links to schools, online courses, programs and speakers from all fields of medicine, art, music and movement.  In these hours I fully immerse myself in dream world as I imagine how I want to unfold as a person in my own joy and wellness and how each opportunity could better hone my skills in the healing arts. 

As I follow this experience through I find myself ecstatically looking at a self- created continuing ed curriculum, composed of books to read, podcasts to listen to, classes to attend, and teachers and peers to reach out to.  This January I found myself brimming with joy as an email from Bastyr University popped up in my inbox announcing offerings this summer.  Top of the list was a cadaver lab.  I didn’t even think twice about it, that one was a must.  As excited as I was about signing up for this class I completely forgot about it in the hustle of all the changes this spring brought for me.  It wasn’t until the weekend before the class when I got the reminder that I lit up again thinking of the experience that await me.  Now I know what you’re thinking… “Cadavers Amber, really?”  But I just had a feeling it was something that would take me much deeper into my practice.

Morning of the lab I weaved my way across the lake to Kenmore.  Sun dancing through the gentle swaying trees, cotton weightlessly floating through the air- it was truly a beautiful June day.  Going to Bastyr is something I rarely have reason to do but always cherish when the occasion arises.  My path in medicine started with the health psyc program at Bastyr, which I changed out of to pursue what, I didn’t know at the time, would turn into an ever-deepening excitement for energy medicine.

The cadaver lab at Bastry is truly a sacred place.  Filled with light, plants and gratitude, the mindful approach of the students and staff is palpable.  We started and ended our days with blessings of gratitude and let our hands and eyes be guided by this profound respect shared by the group.   

We had a small class of 11, and while we were all sharing the same experience we each walked away with a different sense of aliveness and insight.  My insight occurred while looking at a nerve bundle tracking down the inner thigh.  At this point the teacher was pointing out the sensor neurons vs the motor neurons. She was showing how the signals from the tissues move from point A, you can say, to point B and how on a gross level this is the inner workings of body communication. I humored myself when the thought arose in me that linear mapping of the body didn’t make sense to me, but that holographic medicine was key.  This was not a new insight to me per se, as I practice holographic medicine, but it delighted me to be overlaying my broader knowledge of energy to the material workings of the physical body.

The world hologram comes from the Greek words “holos” meaning complete, or whole, and “gram” meaning message.  A hologram is the whole message.  Holography is the study of the three dimensional images created using light waves that interfere with each other, creating an image termed 'hologram'.  This image can be broken down into a number of pieces and each piece with still retain the complete image of the entire hologram. Holographic medicine in western medicine refers to the use of this special imaging for medical diagnosing, practice for students, etc. 

In Chinese Medicine, the principle of holograms is the foundation for energy medicine and is part and parcel of diagnosis and treatment.  Taking the pulses, examining chakras, tongue, face, feet, hands, abdomen, head, and ears are all ways to focus on one part of the whole, but through the lens of seeing that part as the whole.  Not only are parts of the body holograms (whole messages) but each acupuncture point (small chakra) is also a hologram.  What we consider to be parts, are really wholes.  This is why you can put a needle in one persons hand to help relieve their low back pain, but for another person with the same symptom needles are applied to their belly, head, or ankles.  The art of the medicine then becomes observing the hologram (whole message) and responding to that.

 Understanding this intricate and seamless relationship of parts and wholes we can understand why Spiritual Masters have all concluded to change the world you must change yourself. When we start experiencing ourselves as whole messages we find we each have a tremendous capacity to heal ourselves and experience life untethered.