“Love one another deeply from the heart” – 1 Peter 1:22

It is my belief that we human beings, especially those who have passed “middle age”, often reflect on the purpose of life and become concerned about our rating if we were to be objectively assessed by the Supreme Being regarding our stewardship here on earth in the holistic sense of body, mind and soul. Would we get a passing grade? Would we be deemed to have excelled?  Could we have done better? Those in the other part of the age spectrum may well ask the question: can we change now to ensure a high grade or is it too late?

Many of us may be guided in life by Abraham Maslow’s “Theory of Human Motivation”, where he explicitly defines self-actualization to be “the desire for self-fulfilment, namely the tendency for the individual to become actualised in what he is potentially…Maslow used the term self-actualization to describe a desire, not a driving force, that could lead to realising one’s capabilities.” His five step hierarchy is as follows: (1) Physiological needs (food, water, shelter, warmth); (2) Security needs (security, stability, freedom from fear); (3) Social needs (friends, family, spouse, lover); (4) Esteem Needs (achievement, mastery, recognition, respect); and (5) Self-actualizing needs (pursue inner talent, creativity, fulfilment).

In terms of the body, in the last two months I have been seen by my general practitioner and my internal medicine specialist as part of a regular preventive system and they are both pleased with my weight management and the performance of my body systems as manifested by my blood test results.  These in turn are nurtured, in the main, by strict nutrition, exercise and peace of mind regimes.  What I interpreted from their individual remarks was the common theme “keep on doing what you are doing, but be continually aware of the changing environment”.

In terms of the mind, I continue to feed it with local, regional and international stimuli and, of course, I am constantly reminded of the famous Latin quotation “mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body).

The food of the soul is spiritual nourishment and this I feed on in abundance. What better way to describe this than the refrain from the song “Love is the Answer” – “Light of the world, shine on me, Love is the answer, Shine on us all, Set us free, Love is the answer”. Indeed, in the language of Spiritual Response Therapy – we must pursue Light, Love and Life.

Spiritual Response Therapy (SRT) is a system of researching the subconscious mind and soul records to quickly find and release the discordant, limiting ideas and replace them with loving, supportive ideas and beliefs. SRT provides an exacting, powerful, virtually painless and accurate way of changing the landscape of our inner and outer lives. Thus, SRT enables us to live our lives more freely.

This brings me to a headline in the local press on Thursday February 28, 2013 as follows: “Doctors in Barbados call for legislation to deal with providers of alternative medicine”. The gist of the article was that the medical fraternity is calling for legislation to deal with so-called providers of alternative medicine. Doctors expressed their concerns at what they view to be disturbing numbers of unconventional medical practitioners “short-changing Barbadians”.

It was reported that the Chief Medical Officer said the Ministry of Health was establishing a National Quality Council that would look at the practice of those centres and institutions and that a document had been submitted to Government and discussions had been held with the Attorney General’s Office about legislation that would allow the council to regulate a practitioner.

These so called providers of alternative medicine have been around in the Caribbean for a long time and I cautiously assume that the reaction of the doctors, at this time, has resulted from the impact of increasing competition in a market during a recession. However, the use of emotive expressions like “short-changing Barbadians” insinuates motives of incompetency and sharp practice.

I researched the definition of Alternative Medicine: “it is any of a wide range of health care practices, products and therapies which, at least up to the end of the twentieth century, were typically not included in the degree courses of established medical schools teaching western medicine.”  I also researched the definition of Complementary Medicine: “it is alternative medicine used together with conventional medical treatment, in a belief, not necessarily proven by using scientific methods, that it increases the effectiveness, or complements, the treatment.”

Examples of Alternative medicine care are Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Massage, Spiritual retreats, Self- improvement, Reiki, Reflexology, Meditation and Spiritual renewal therapy. I have been exposed to most of these alternative medicine therapies with very pleasing results and certainly regard them as complementary to the established medical care.

My recommendation is that, in the case of this concern by the traditional medical fraternity, love is the answer and of course that legislation should be introduced to regulate all practitioners.

May I remind you that the Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants (CICMC) -Barbados Chapter will be hosting its inaugural, fund raising lecture and panel discussion under the theme “Strategies for accelerating growth in the Barbadian Economy” on Monday March 18, 2013 at 8:00pm at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. The public is invited to this sponsored lecture which will be streamed live on the Internet at “trident10.tv” and will be presented by Professor Andrew Downes. The panellists are Celeste Foster, Lalu Vaswani and The Honourable Robert Morris.