Ask Dr. Miller: What does it mean to ‘Heal the System’?

Deep Healing emphasizes the systemic nature of healing. If a man strikes his wife, opening a large cut in her head, a few stitches and a little time will result in the closing of that wound—and there’s been some healing, but not a complete healing. More would be necessary to heal the trauma to the woman’s emotion. And, what about the man? He is not healthy; he is ill, as indicated by his dysfunctional behavior, and he needs healing work. Neither can heal alone, and come to a healthy balance. And then, the healing of the relationship is another thing.

Another example—a man is bleeding from the mouth. Only a fool would imagine that stuffing cotton balls in his mouth and bandaging it would solve the problem. Instead, he goes to the hospital, where an x-ray shows that he is bleeding from an ulcer in his stomach. We have a tendency to think of the ulcer as the disease, and might attempt to cure it by surgically removing it.

On the other hand we might take a history from the man and find out that each day he takes a dozen aspirin and drinks a fifth of Vodka. Suddenly we see that the ulcer was but a symptom, and although the surgery cures the ulcer, healing has not taken place and he will likely be back within the year with another ulcer. His behavior is the source of the symptom, and it might be wise to treat his behavior, not just his stomach.

Then we might ask why he is consuming these highly irritating substances—and learn that he feels great guilt for having been disloyal in an important relationship, that he drinks to relieve his inner pain and takes aspirin to relieve his hangover. If our treatment aims to help him learn a better way to deal with his inner conflicts, our healing is even deeper, as we aim ever closer to the source of his problems, which clearly extend to many levels of his system, not just the upper GI bleeding.

On the external level there are those relationships that need healing—our primary relationships, family relationships, and our relationships in our community or work place. In addition to these relationships, deserving as they are to be healed and brought to high levels of performance, we also know that our individual health cannot be maximized in the absence of healthy relationships. In fact, experiments have shown that a person’s health or disease is directly related to the quality of his/her relationships!

Please send your questions to [email protected]!

In Peace,

Historians are fond of naming periods of time according to the most important inventions and tools of that era. So, we have the Age of Reason, the Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Age and we’re now in the Information Age.

When historian John Galbraith was asked how our era would be known in the future, he said that it would be known as the time “when the Buddha came to the West.”

If he is correct, then perhaps the ever-expanding interest in Buddhism and Buddhist thinking, highlighted by the current popularity of the Dalai Lama, is a sign of this.

This movement is, I believe, a part of a much larger movement that is flooding our Western culture with notions of empathy, forgiveness, compassion, egalitarianism, and love. They are burgeoning forth, spawning books, workshops, movies, TV shows, and websites.

Information on the healing power of these forms of Love has never been so available: personal, relational, and communal lives can be transformed. Even laboratory evidence shows we are happier, more productive, and can more easily ward off infectious disease.

We Are the Leaders We’ve Been Waiting For

In spite of this, however, we are engaged in an epic struggle – personally and collectively. Our planet is poised on the edge of an abyss. False leaders everywhere unwittingly conspire with a machine-dominated, information-processing environment to lead us headlong over the cliff, into a vast abyss of disintegration.

Environmental pollution, global warming, economic globalization, war, terrorism – Violence of all kinds create widespread despair, helplessness, and hopelessness.

Our Grand Narrative seems to have reached a critical chapter.  Soon we all will be able to see whether those forces of domination, greed, and insensitivity will push us over the edge into a global collapse – or if a critical mass of us will adopt the New Paradigm. If we do, we may be in time to strike a balance between creativity and destruction, between separation and unification.

The denouement of our story is not yet clear, but we are very near the tipping point. The potential to go either way is there.

The the good news is that we – the people of the earth – have the unprecedented access to the enlightenment of Love and new tools of global communication, (ranging from cell phones to the Internet and social networking,) to actually take part in writing our own script.

More and more of us are realizing that the change that needs to take place in the world around us, from our personal relationships to the actions of our nation, is exactly reflected by the change that needs to take place within ourselves.

Can you imagine that the peace, wellness and vitality we want to see in the world will emerge as we create it within? If enough of us can imagine that – and act on that – and develop the integrity to actually commit ourselves to the change we all say we want, we can definitely do it.

I can imagine it. People everywhere are feeling called to come into the present moment, release those aspects of the past that no longer serve, nurture inner wisdom and love, and awaken “the leader within.”

We are transforming our own lives and opening to the experience of shared values and meaning. Each of us is a neuron in the emerging global brain, and our networked communities form a basis from which collective intelligence and collective wisdom emerge to create a transformed world of peace, freedom and Love.

Now is the time each of us must choose. My vision is that we choose wisely. What can love lead you to imagine?

When the hand of utter stillness opens the heart, time ceases.

Then, love is possible.

At the physical level, light;

At the mental level, consciousness

At the emotional level, love;

At the spiritual level God.

What is love? Hard to say. Plato believed that Love is the pursuit of the whole. In Our Culture on the Couch , I stated: Although ‘love’ is an excruciatingly overused and abused word, there is a common factor involved whenever it is used. In every case, the active principle has something to do with togetherness, attraction, unity and unification, a joining together in some way – be it physical, emotional, philosophical, esthetic or otherwise.

This unification is obvious in the example of sexual loving, or in the case of the love between the mother and the infant, or the love of a worshipper for a Higher Power.

And in sports, (or war), we see the same phenomenon of unity that permits one team to win against all odds –athletes will often speak of the love they feel for their teammates. Whenever a certain quality of wholeness is maintained – whether it’s of a body, a relationship, or a racecar – it tends to give rise to enormous power, performance and survival potential.”

Love Is a Way of Being

You cannot “do” love. There is nothing that you can do that constitutes loving someone. There is no action that is of itself loving. Love is a way of being.

Indeed, it is simply being — being with another person, however they may be – with no judgments, prejudices, or agendas. Nothing to demonstrate, no one to impress. You love when there is total acceptance of another’s being – born of your acceptance of your own.

Love (capital “L”) refers to the attractive force in our universe. It is the inner power and knowing that guides the carbon atom to share electrons with its neighbors, rather than steal from them.  It is the attractive energy that sustains the integrity of the membrane of the lowly paramecium and thus, preserves the life within.

Love binds together the cells and organs, and enables them to harmonize their functioning to produce health of the whole. Love makes birds of a feather flock together, and it inspires wildebeests to travel hundreds of miles in the spring. Love is the magic bond between lovers, between brothers and sisters, between dear friends – it is the key to empathy, compassion, and community.

The Love/Violence Continuum

Love is one of a contrasting pair of forces that lie at opposite ends of a spectrum, the Love (capital L) – Violence (capital V) continuum. If perfect Love is at one end of this continuum, then pure Violence is at the other end.

In truth, few of us will ever get to know perfect Love, (though sometimes the love of a mother for her infant comes pretty darned close), and fortunately, we will probably never know pure Violence.

But who of us have failed to experience people at different positions on that spectrum?

It is crucial to understand that the qualities of Love and Violence are not to be seen as “opposites” – that is, they do not “oppose” each other. They are simply extremes of a continuum that every one of us is on right now.

To the degree that we see the world through eyes that look for wholes, harmony, balance, peace and connection, we are using the both-and paradigm/worldview. This paradigm seeks to find the “we” in every situation.

On the other hand, those who see the world completely from a black-white, me-you, us-them paradigm overwhelmingly  tend to see a winner and a loser, a right and a wrong in nearly every situation.

B ringing Love into Our World

How can I become an instrument of Love? Cultivate it within until you are overflowing – then let it flow into the lives of those who are open to receive it. Remember, as Ann Morrow Lindbergh told us:

never think of love as something you can give like an armload of flowers. Some people give love like that – they dump it down on top of you, a useless strong-scented burden.

You can’t give love; love is actually that force within that enables you to give other things.  “It is the motivating power.  It enables you to give strength and power and freedom and peace to another person.  It is not a result; it is a cause.  It is not a product; it produces.  It is a power, like money, or steam or electricity.” Love has value when you can give something else by means of it.”

The highest forms of inspiration come from people who are experiencing Love in some form. The inspiration of top music, writing, dance, art – you name it –involves the metaphoric breathing in of the spirit, the arising of the quality of wholeness and relatedness. In other words, Love.

Love is the essence of what I use in healing, and is what I teach in class, in therapy, in World Café meetings. I strive to make it the guiding light in my dealings with my colleagues and coworkers. Everything I teach is, in its purest form, simply another symbolic representation of love, a vehicle designed to awaken the power of love in others.

saputo book Carolyn Voss is the founder and Managing Director of Post Impressions. With a degree in Fine Arts, she is an award winning photojournalist and video editor. Among her awards are: Emmy Award, Telly Award, New York Film Festival Awards , Videographers Awards of Distinction, Cine Go lden Eagle Award, Aurora Award, Omni Intermedia Award and Pro Awards.

The trailer for was show n at the Cannes Film Festival in France. She brings to the team the ability to combine script and editing in a manner that brings emotion of the subject in a stunning final product. She is also a proficient effects artist, creating stunning 2D/3D effects and compositing. When she’s not in the studio, she’s out crawling around in the jungles or steaming down a river lookin g for the next story.

Carolyn shared with us some of the unbelievable stories of the men and women she has researched and interviewed. The interview was powerful and inspiring.  Listen to the podcast below!

You can also subscribe to Healing Times Radio Archives in iTunes!

Dr. Miller Interviews Dr. Saputo: Healing Times Radio REBROADCAST

Due to technical difficulties last week, Healing Times with Dr. Miller didn’t air at it’s regularly scheduled time but you still have a chance to hear Dr. Miller interviewing Dr. Len Saputo as the show is airing this Thursday at 11am!

January 14th, 2010 at 11 AM(PST) or

About Len Saputo, M.D.
Len Saputo, MD, a 1965 graduate of Duke University Medical School, is board certified in internal medicine and was in private practice in affiliation with John Muir Medical Center in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 30 years. After his awakening to the deep flaws in conventional medicine which culminated in the early 1990s, Saputo began a quest to develop a new approach to healing now known as integral-health medicine —the emergent medical care model that is integrative, holistic, person-centered, and preventive.

In order to further this mission, Dr. Saputo founded the Health Medicine Forum in 1994 and was its director until 2008. The Forum ( is a nonprofit educational foundation that has sponsored hundreds of public and professional events in the San Francisco Bay Area—including monthly presentations, workshops, and conferences—focused on integrative medicine, the nature of healing, and the politics of health care. In 2001, Saputo cofounded what is now called the Health Medicine Center , in Walnut Creek, California—one of the first clinics to bring the new model of integral-health medicine into practice. In the course of disseminating his unique vision for the new medicine, Saputo has given more than 100 presentations to hospitals, medical schools, universities, and community organizations.

Dr. Saputo is the coauthor of Boosting Immunity: Creating Wellness Naturally (New World Library, 2002); has edited six books, including Beating the Years and Boosting Your Digestive Health ; and has authored book chapters on numerous medical and health subjects. He has contributed dozens of articles on a wide range of topics in both mainstream and complementary and alternative medicine to such journals as California Pharmacist , Alternative Medicine , and Townsend Letter . He is also actively engaged in clinical research related to the use of near-infrared light therapy in pain management.

Active in public and professional education over the past decade, Dr. Saputo produces and hosts the Prescriptions for Health show on KEST-AM, aired in the San Francisco Bay Area every weekday morning, with his wife, Vicki, who is a registered nurse. Saputo has been a strong advocate of fitness and athletics all of his life. In 1996 and again in 2001, he won the International Tennis Federation’s Senior World Individual Championship in his age group and was ranked number one in the world in 1996 (in the 55-year-old division) by the ITF. With never-ending support from his wife, Saputo is committed to his life’s purpose of changing the health care system in America from a disease care model to a genuine health care model based on the principles of the new medicine, as well as broad-ranging reform of the manner in which care is financed and delivered.

Len Saputo ‘s contact info:

About Healing Times Radio

Healing Times Radio with Dr. Emmett Miller explores Mind/Body/Spirit health and how to reclaim our inherent personal wisdom integrating scientific knowledge and techniques of modern medicine, Dr. Millr’s mission is to help us heal ourselves so that we can, in turn, heal our planet.

A New Year’s Resolution Message

Thanksgiving Thoughts 2009

This has been an unusual Thanksgiving Day for me. I used to love Thanksgiving as do most kids, looking for the cranberry sauce, etc. And then there were those beautiful stories of the heartfelt bond that existed between the hungry Pilgrims and the Indians who welcomed them, supported them with gifts, and taught them which foods were edible and which poison, and sold them Manhattan Island for $24 in cheap trinkets. That’s what I was told as an impressionable child, and I admired the spirit of their friendship and their thanksgiving they experienced for passing on to them the lessons it had taken many generations to learn, lessons that it would be very difficult for average refugee from the inner cities of Europe to discover in this wilderness.

I can still see that picture of the Indian chief shaking hands with the head of the pilgrims while on both sides – white and red groups beamed on. For years this was a deep and moving symbol for it connected to something innocent, trusting, beautiful and loving that was part of the naïve nature of the child.

Perhaps this story had an especially telling effect on me. I have American Indians among my ancestors on both sides of my family, and to see representatives of both their side and that of my European forebears relating with such integrity and deep compassion was a great pleasure to me.

Spiritual Trauma

I can only describe it as a kind of “spiritual trauma” – the shock when I discovered the truth of how the innocence of the native peoples had been used against them, to steal their land and their livelihood by making treaties there was no intention of keeping. And on top of that, to discover the great Christopher Columbus – chopped off the hands of any of his Indian slaves who did not bring up enough gold from his mines. Buffy St. Marie summed it up well in “My Country ‘Tis Of Thy People You’re Dying” ( )

And how was I to digest the discovery of the kidnapping and enslavement of my African forefathers, or the almost endemic raping of children by Catholic Priests. Gradually I began to see how I had been misled in the very structure of the world around me, in spite of the danger to me.

Search for the Truth

I feel as if I have always wanted to know the truth in the same sense the scientist wants to know the truth. Who am I, why am I here, where are we going, and what am I to do? What is my Dharma.

I began to prefer the scientific approach early in my life, I idolized scientists, and thought their way of looking at things made a great deal of sense. The true scientist and the true mathematician is loyal to a certain very unprejudiced point of view. This makes their input very special in a world where it seems everyone is out to sell us something, whether it is government or religious dogma, advertising, or just a person with a bone to pick.

It is quite startling how much of the information we “consume” turns out to come from some biased group, be it religious, political, etc., and people are, to an enormous extent, induced to believe things without evidence. This is in stark contrast to the scientific way of approaching things – which is probably how you would want your neurosurgeon to approach things while performing surgery on you.)

The utter confusion we have been thrown into, even with those we should trust wholeheartedly, is well demonstrated by the recent Swine Flu Vaccine Affair. On one side are those who are panicked that they wont get their life-saving vaccination in time before the great Pandemic arrives, and those who are foaming-at-the-mouth militant that it is all a big hoax to rake in huge profits, while injecting heavy metals and untested virus material into our bodies.

How can we go about believing in anyone’s Health Reform Proposal?

But I digress.

So this Thanksgiving I am grateful that I have had the extraordinary opportunity to be awakened to all these truths, that though hard to swallow, they are important parts of the cure. Some of the appeal of my original Thanksgivings may have faded, but the teachings of the importance of gratitude have survived – and along the way I have become even more aware of the crucial need we have to share the hard-earned wisdom each of us has if we are to survive.

So even though Thanksgiving has lost some of its original appeal, I realize how incredibly valuable it is to stop and feel sincere a gratitude for the people in my life and for those special things I have in my life, and with not even having to ask who I’m grateful to, I can still feel the deep sense of gratitude.

I’m not a child anymore and I don’t think that the world owes me a living and I constantly look out at situations I see around me and on the news and realize that “There but for the grace of God go I,” (an experience that is even available to atheists). I realize that it was by fortune of birth that I grew up in a country with the level of freedom that we have, to a family with the extraordinary genetic hybrid mixture I was granted, to have been given the astounding education I’ve received, and I appreciate it. I am even grateful to the weeks I spent in detention at the principal’s office.

I am grateful for the ability to think logically and systemically that has guided my life. I am grateful for the fact, in spite of the challenges we face, we are surrounded by the answers that we need and are at the point that we can reach out and accept them –, grateful that there is a global information system capable of quickly spreading these wise truths throughout our culture.

I’m grateful to Gandhi for reminding us to “think globally and act locally,” and to all those individuals and organizations that are enabling communities to begin to come together around questions that matter. I am grateful to all those who are offering us a way out of our confusion that taps into the power of Love ( ).

I’m grateful to the Promise USA team for helping to create the possibility of a national network citizen conversations .

I feel gratitude for the many gifts of nature and the opportunity that I have to appreciate them.

I am grateful that we’ve developed our social and communication system to the point where we actually can make the choice to change the misguided world we live in – that for the first time we actually have the power to do something about it in that that power isn’t located entirely in the hands of someone located thousands of miles away, but in fact, it is in my hands and your hands!

We are in the midst of an epic struggle, and whether or not we pull out of our cultural death spiral, is not yet clear. I am grateful that we at least have a chance to awaken and that there is still time to turn things around.