Thanks for your responses!
The last email I sent out asked the question, "what is healing?" and I got some really interesting responses that have made me think. The responses ranged from the philosophical to the practical, and everything in between.
Someone (who is a fellow acupuncturist) mentioned the idea that for healing to happen, there needs to be a sense of purpose. She gave a very beautiful example of how simple this can be: her sick grandmother, though confined to bed during her last days, could feel a sense of purpose and connection just by seeing the moon through her window.
Another idea that came up that I strongly resonate with is the notion that healing is essentially facilitation, or in other words, allowing the body's natural movement toward wholeness to happen, by helping the patient to get out of their own way. I think this example can be seen on a more macrocosmic level as well...if we, as a species, were to get out of the way (in other words, limit the harm that we're inflicting), the Earth could more easily move toward the healing that it needs.
I think this also applies to another response, which basically said that healing has primarily to do with love.
If we look at love as what's actually always happening, then we can notice when something (usually ourselves!) is getting in the way of that. In other words, when we have an intention to facilitate healing, in ourselves or others, and it appears that healing isn't taking place, we can ask, "what's getting in the way of love?"
Thanks again everyone! Hope to continue this discussion as it unfolds,
EJ Fry, L.Ac.