by     JOHN KAPP

Article for Journal of Holistic Healthcare
March 21st 2006

Abstract, summary
No, normally, doctors cannot heal themselves, because they prefer staying sick. The paradigms of orthodox medicine (reductionism, mechanism, materialism) are an addiction which give benefits (such as ego-trips of superiority) which outweigh its costs. To heal, they need to drop that addiction. De-hypnotism courses are available enabling them to cathart out their suppressed emotions and accept and love themselves. They would then know what holism really means, be better doctors and help their patients and the NHS to heal.

Author perspective
John Kapp has been an engineer / economist, elected representative for chartered engineers, yachtmaster instructor, local councillor, and is a campaigner for integration of complementary therapy into the NHS. He nursed his first wife through her cancer journey, and created a complementary health centre in her memory. He has applied to GP practices in Hove for Planet Janet to become an Alternative Provider of Medical Services (APMS) under Practice Based Commissioning and Payment By Results. They could then give their patients the choice of conventional and/or complementary therapy. Those that choose the latter (rather than say palliative chemotherapy) would save their practice money, enabling costs to be reduced.

The BHMA was founded over 20 years ago with the mission statement ‘physician heal thyself’. Prof David Peters was one of the founding fathers and is now its chairman. He asks: Can physicians heal themselves?.(1) This is the significant question for not only the BHMA but the whole NHS. Doctors’ raison-d’etre is supposed to be healing. The word ‘doctor’ comes from the latin ‘doctare’ to teach. How can patients be taught the secret of healing from doctors who haven’t learned it themselves? How can the nation be healed by a profession of doctors who haven’t healed themselves?

Prof Peters summarises the NHS recruitment and retention crisis well as: ‘declining medical morale worldwide… leading to more stress-related illness, impairment and staff wastage. He rightly states the collective cause, ‘catastrophically outdated medical model (reductionism) with its mind-body split… repression of feelings ….. technical interventions done to a mindless body…overvaluing what can be measured and undervaluing the lived experience of both doctor and patient’ He gives the collective prescription ‘A more holistic approach can transform the illusion of medical objectivity, and embrace both the science and art of healthcare, the power of beauty, love and self-care.’ Individuals do not have to wait for a paradigm shift, the ‘longed-for revolution’, but can do ‘simple mind-body interventions… under existing stress management programmes… to release unexpressed emotions’

This is a well-reasoned case for why and how doctors should heal themselves which looks as self-evident as mother’s milk and apple pie. The Alternative Health Service is already delivering complementary therapy, personal growth and holistic healing to those wise and rich enough to go for it. It is said to be the fastest growing service industry, despite playing uphill against the NHS.

However, orthodox medicine worldwide seems as deaf to the BHMA’s message as the catholic church is to birth control. There seems to be a pope in nearly every doctor who would rather believe in reductionism, live miserably and die prematurely, than allow himself or herself to believe in holism and heal. Why are doctors so irrational and resistant to their best interests, and those of society?

What is the problem with reductionism and mechanism?
Reductionism is the belief that things are the sum of their parts, and can be predicted and controlled if you understand the interaction of the parts. This belief is true for machines, so is appropriate for engineers and technicians. For example, to find out how a watch works, take it to bits and see how its cogs mesh. The technological revolution is based on this paradigm, and it has given society machines which have revolutionised the way we live, doing much of the work that previously used to be done by servants.

The problem comes when this paradigm is stretched from machines to people, when it is known as belief in ‘mechanism’. As machines serve the same function in doing the work of people, it seems logical that people must be the same as machines. This belief suits those in power who expect others to serve them, eg by tilling their land, fighting their wars. Western medicine extends this still further to believe that because people function externally as if they were machines, (like robotic tin men) their bodies must also work internally like machines. This is simply not true, and is a major cause of the problem, as Prof Peters says.

A human body is not at all like a tin man, but is more like a goldfish bowl. It is a bag (skin) containing 10 or more gallons of water in which around 100 trillion cells are swimming dynamically. It can respond appropriately to 100,000 external stimuli per second, and reacts to thoughts in its associated mind, and others’ minds. Billions of cells work together in co-ordination to produce the normal body functions of the organs. Cells only live for months before they die and are replaced. Each cell is intelligent, has its own memory and ‘internet’ connection. It is composed of trillions of molecules in an ordered structure more complicated than London.. Every molecule is positioned in each cell at the right place at the right time, all the time. (2) Some machine!

Bodies are not the sum of their parts, and are not predictable. You cannot tell from its parts whether a body is a president, a pauper or a corpse at the moment of death. The subtle energy which makes bodies live (called soul, chi, prana etc) seems to be like waves in an invisible ocean known as the quantum or zero point field. (3) This field carries information like a radio programme. Every cell has receivers which are tuned to this field. Dis-ease originates in the soul blocking subtle energy. Doctors do not accept this, having been trained to believe in materialism, another extension of reductionism.

What is the problem with materialism?
Materialism is the belief (conscious or unconscious) that matter is the only reality. Everything non-material, (lacking location in physical space) including thoughts and feelings are delusions. (4) There is nothing but matter, so there can be nothing above matter, so nothing is sacred.

If you are in a position of power, (say a doctor, priest, general, or politician) belief in materialism benefits you by allowing you to do whatever you like with impunity. You can exploit other people and things, and cause any amount of pain and suffering, because feelings do not exist, other than as delusions. You are not accountable, because there is nobody above you (eg a god) Everything is certain and predictable, because matter can be studied objectively, and science and medicine already knows everything worth knowing about it.

Dr Jeffrey Satinover stated another ‘benefit’ saying: ‘Modern materialism strips people of the need to feel responsible’ (5) In other words it lets them off the hook of having to look after themselves, (never mind heal). I would go further and suggest that doctors became doctors specifically to avoid looking after themselves, (let alone heal). Even more than others, they are unconsciously angry at their perceived inadequacy. They reject and hate themselves, and so punish themselves, perhaps having an unconscious death wish. Doctors became doctors to surround themselves with patients who are in an even worse state than they are, to whom they can feel superior, thereby justifying their neglect of themselves.

I know this from experience of my family, many of whom are doctors. My mother was a psychiatrist and used to joke that she had to surround herself with people madder than herself to stay sane. Her strategy worked for a time until she burnt out in her early 50’s, becoming an querulous invalid with Parkinson’s disease, and dying at 68 of cancer. She never healed herself, but she taught me to avoid her pitfall. Although she died 40 years ago, Prof Peters references show that her experience is still typical, par for the course of being a doctor.

What is the solution to these problems?
As Prof Peters rightly says, the solution is a paradigm shift to holism. He and the BHMA have been saying this for over 20 years; so why haven’t doctors and the NHS heeded it? We first have to answer.the title question. ‘can doctors heal themselves? If the answer is ‘yes’, they would have already done so, and there would be no problem. As there is a problem, the answer must be ‘No, doctors cannot heal themselves’. Why not? Because they are addicted to the old paradigm.

Everyone living in Britain has an interest in healing the NHS, because it is our health service and nothing is more important than good health. Doctors lead the NHS, so it cannot be healed unless and until they are healed. To facilitate this process, the BHMA needs to go further than just teaching the new paradigm. They need to unteach the old one. This means dropping the old paradigm from the syllabus in medical schools, and helping doctors to drop their addiction to it, applying the following understanding:

  • All of us (doctors included) create our own reality around our beliefs, and our energy follows our thoughts.
  • We are all addicted to things which hook us. Beliefs can be as addictive as drugs, anaesthetise us like a drug and sabotage our interests
  • Addiction is all in the mind, put there by our conditioning, which has hypnotised us into compulsive behaviour
  • Addicts are not influenced by reason, because unconsciously they prefer the benefits of staying addicted.
  • It is no use just wanting addicts to change; they first have to be accepted and understood why they are.
  • Addicts cannot drop their addiction until they have passed the nadir point and want to change
  • Addicts need a well designed programme of de-hypnotism from their beliefs to drop their addiction

The costs and benefits of dropping the addiction to the old paradigm
Holism is the belief or experience of body, mind, heart, soul and spirit. In the metaphor of the computer, your body is the hardware, your mind is the software, your soul is the operator, and the spirit is the internet, which you share. You (your soul) is neither your body nor your mind, but is beyond both. If you have meditated, you may have experienced what is beyond (love in your heart, joy in your soul and connection through the spirit). The latin ‘medici’ to heal, is the root of the words ‘medicine’ and ‘medication’, which heal your body, and ‘meditation’ which heals your soul.

Holism means making whole and holy. Healing means harmonisation of your parts which have fallen apart. Your dis-ease happened by conflicting ideas in your conditioning, which created anxieties in your mind and tensions in your body. They are like a crowd of voices which torment you, making life hell. Everyone suffers from these to some extent, but doctors more so, because they were indoctrinated with the conflicts of the old paradigm at medical school. They buy into it because it gives them an ego trip, a feeling of superiority over their patients who are ill, whereas they persuade themselves that they are well.

Deep down, doctors know that it is not true. Maintaining the façade means living a lie, taking energy, weighting and wearing them down. It usually leads eventually to disillusion, burnout and breakdown as described by Prof Peters. However, dropping it is not easy and takes courage because then they lose their ego-trip, superiority, pride and become humble. They have to admit to themselves that they are ill. Nothing is certain any more. This only happens at the nadir point, when they cannot maintain the façade any longer.

Then the penny drops and healing happens. They realise that they have been living an illusion. Their identity is lost, but they have gained freedom from their previous anxieties, the voices, the dis-ease. Their life, which was hell, is now heaven. They will then be better doctors, because they have learned the secret and can now teach it to their patients.

How can doctors heal?
By dropping their addiction to the old paradigm. As with any other addiction, the addict has to experience that dropping the addiction gives more pleasure (freedom from voices, dis-ease) than the addiction.did (the ego-trip of superiority) The experience of pleasure is a feeling.felt (metaphorically) in the heart. However, many people (particularly doctors) have so anaesthetised themselves that they can’t feel anything. Their hearts are closed. The first task, as Prof Peters rightly says, is to open up their hearts to love, without which no healing is possible. Instead of rejection and hate, they have to accept and love themselves.
remove the anxiety, noise and underlying suppressed anger. This is the cause of their dis-ease, and is why they anaesthetised themselves with the old paradigm and other limiting beliefs in the first place. All that has to be thrown out by catharsis, so that they can open up to silence through meditation. Few people have experienced the peace of silence since they were babies.

I have been researching and trying out courses to do these two tasks to de-hypnotise myself. The best I have yet found were developed by Osho (1931-1990) (6) who said: When meditation and growth awareness groups are done together then many things start happening very intensely and very fast. They are like two wings. Meditation makes you more and more silent and groups make you more and more loving.

There are centres doing Osho meditations and de-hypnotism courses regularly in most parts of the world. They are indicated for anyone, including doctors, because we all suffer from the same basic dis-ease. I am introducing a comprehensive programme of them at Planet Janet (7) and will be pleased to supply details on request.

When doctors have dropped their addiction and healed they will be converted to holism as a by-product. But they will not just have exchanged one belief for another, like changing religions. It will not be just an idea, spoken parrot fashion as lip-service, without knowing what it means, as it now is in the NHS. Holism to those who have healed themselves is an experience, a permanent knowing, which no doubt can shake.

1 Resilience in healthcare Journal of Holistic Healthcare, February 2006,
2 Mind Life and Body, by Prof Reginald Kapp, 1951, republished in
3 The Field by Lynne McTaggart
4 Science versus Materialism by Prof Reginald Kapp,1940, republished in
5 Film What the bleep do we know?
6 See, and ‘The Evidence Base for Osho Meditation’ 2005 by John Kapp 7 Planet Janet complementary health centre, 86, Church Rd Hove BN3 2EB 01273 738389 see and Osho Path programme

John Kapp 01273 417997

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