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Maimonides On the Regimen of Health

A New Parallel Arabic-English Translation

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Gerrit Bos

Maimonides’ On the Regimen of Health was composed at an unknown date at the request of al-Malik al-Afḍal Nūr al-Dīn Alī, Saladin’s eldest son who complained of constipation, indigestion, and depression. The treatise enjoyed great popularity in Jewish circles, as it was translated three times into Hebrew as far as we know now, namely by Moses ben Samuel ibn Tibbon in the year 1244, by an anonymous translator, and by Zeraḥyah ben Isaac ben She’altiel Ḥen who was active as a translator in Rome between 1277 and 1291. The present edition by Gerrit Bos contains the original Arabic text, the medieval Hebrew translations and the Latin translations, the latter edited by Michael McVaugh.
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The Patient-Doctor Dynamics

Examining Current Trends in the Global Healthcare Sector

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Edited by Anna Karin Jytte Holmqvist

This book provides an insight into research conducted by participants attending The Patient: Examining Realities: 5th Global Conference, held in Oxford, England, 14-16 September, 2016. These attendees and subsequent volume contributors include medical professionals and healthcare providers employed by reputable academic institutions, and who take a both scientific and practical interest in the healthcare industry and its practices. The book also includes discourses by academics with a more theoretical interest in health and the complex doctor-patient relationship. Research presented herein is both steeped in cultural traditions and reflective of new trends in certain countries across the globe. Theories, practices and trends highlighted in the book are ultimately universal in that they concern all of us on a global level.
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Peter Bray

There has been surprisingly little research conducted concerning the relationship between controlled breathing and the emergence, release, and subsequent management of traumatic experiences. This chapter presents the author’s personal experience of Stanislav and Christina Grof’s Holotropic Breathwork.a This treatment is designed to safely and intentionally engage with, accentuate, and release traumatic experiences that have been stored in the body over time and located in other areas of the survivor’s consciousness, to bring relief and to focus the healing potential of the human organism. What follows is a brief contemporaneous account that conveys the writer’s experience of one session of breath work alongside the Grofs’ formulations and descriptions of the process.

This chapter will no doubt raise a number of questions, not least of which is whether trauma survivors, especially those whose responses have been hidden from consciousness, can be effectively served by simple practices that combine guided voluntary controlled breathing and relaxation, stimulating music, and artistic disclosure.

For reasons of safe practice, Holotropic Breathwork is a trademarked intervention.

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Susana Teixeira Magalhães

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, a story built of stories by different voices, focuses our attention on the work of memory and narrative, reminding us of the thought provoking book by Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, and allowing us to bring in Paul Ricoeur’s theory of the identity in Soi-Même comme un Autre, as well as The Wounded Storyteller by Arthur W. Frank. The intersubjective dimension of therapeutic relationships and the relevance of narrative knowledge in health care recognized by Narrative Medicine demand from the health professionals the development of the skills of a storyteller and those of a story listener/reader. The self that understands itself through the stories about itself, needs to commit to some life story. So, the question is: “of what story or stories do I find myself part of?” (Macintyre). The challenge we are facing these days is how to enact this narrative approach in the digital era. Is it possible to build a new therapeutic alliance in the digital era? We believe it is, so we have designed the platform Catching stories as a pathway for narrative and communication in health care. The Art of Memory is spatial and narrative medicine fosters this spatiality by making the caregiver, the patient, the family aware of their own place, where they can find space for the Other by emptying themselves. It is the place from where they can depart to demand for a meaningful story within and ahead of the boundaries of illness. Our platform is designed as a house with doors and windows that can be opened (according to ethical and legal norms) by patients, relatives, doctors and other caregivers in order to foster communication and to provide narrative input that can be developed when face-to-face encounter takes place.

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Emine Gorgul, Nilay Unsal Gulmez and Ayse Imre Ozgen

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Gabriela Salim Spagnol, Jéssica Elias Vicentini, Isilda Sueli Andreolli Mira de Assumpção, Li Hui Ling and Li Li Min

People with epilepsy often report being given insufficient information and support to manage their condition according to their wishes and needs. Our previous work based on the Demonstration Project on Epilepsy under auspices of who-ilae-ibe in Brazil has shown that psychosocial domains have been poorly addressed. In order to deal with these issues, we have developed a group dynamic approach at an Epilepsy Out-Patient Clinic called “Dialogue with Emotions,” which contains elements involving physical, psychological and social domains all tied to emotions. The study was approved by the local Ethics Committee. The session occurred before medical consultation time, weekly over a period of one year. The group session lasted one hour, with approximately ten participants per session. For research purposes, reports were recorded and qualitatively analysed. With regard to results, specific themes stood out in the recordings, such as shame of being seen during a seizure, stigma and prejudice in interpersonal relationships, lack of knowledge about the etiology and pathophysiology, how to proceed in first aids, medication compliance, surgery, safety of activities, practices to decrease exposure to seizure triggers, difficulties to keep a job, and memory deficits, among others. Patients could exchange information and advice others to learn about epilepsy and its management, providing sympathetic understanding. Healthcare professionals demystified and clarified misconceptions. Close friends and family were also engaged in sharing their experiences, providing support to deal with issues related to epilepsy. As a concluding remark, “Dialogue with Emotions” can be an alternate way for patients and families living with epilepsy to discuss and share their feelings. This is the first step in the process towards overcoming barriers and improving quality of life. In this setting, patients and caregivers are at same level as healthcare professionals, who empower and encourage patients to seek his/her own solution and understanding about epilepsy.

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Davina Marques

Based on the play by Wadji Mouawad (2003), Denis Villeneuve presented us, in 2010, with the homonymous Canadian/French film Incendies. I saw a translated version of the play in Brazil in 2015, and have recently read the translation to Portuguese. The plot leads us on a journey into the Middle East, which involves stories of hatred, wars, fights, and incredibly constant love. It is the story of a woman and her children. At one point in the narrative, we are struck by singing as a way to resist torture. Later, silence becomes an act of withstanding shock. A promise was broken and no words should be spoken. A will and three letters were written. At the end, these three letters will be read, and life will be partially reconstructed. I argue that singing, silencing and writing are strategies of healing in this work of art. In this paper I intend to explore a scene from the play (performance), from the text (the translated version of the play) and a sequence from the film. My objective is to highlight different aspects of healing for the character, while, at the same time, to bring forth the idea that art heals and we, the people who appreciate or get involved in it, like patients, also heal – from daily misfortunes, pains, abandonment, and problems. In this sense it heals. It makes us go back to our own selves.

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Edited by Jytte Holmqvist

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Susana Teixeira Magalhães

As Arendt puts it ‘without being bound to the fulfilment of promises, we would never be able to keep our identities; we would be condemned to wander helplessly and without direction in the darkness of each man’s lonely heart.a In the novel Never Let Me Go, by Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro, we are faced with the question of what it means to be human in a brave new world of clones and their makers, where the promise to be oneself can only be taken by the non-cloned human beings living in a society ruled by the myth of perfection interpreted as the myth of immortality. The problem with this myth is that death can only be deferred, not erased and the nature of utopia is to last while the gap between the ideal and reality is kept. Once this gap is overcome, utopia disappears. As Habermas warns in his book The Future of Human Nature, genetic manipulation is bound up with the identity and self-understanding of the species and the brave new world of Never Let Me Go makes the reader see what it means to change human condition. The plot underlines three important conditions of humanness: memory, empathy and the ability and willingness to tell one’s own story to the Other. This essay aims at understanding what cloning is, including ethical issues of biotechnology and the role of narrative in our quest for the heart of human nature.

Hannah Arendt. The Human Condition (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1958), 237.

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Gabriela Salim Spagnol, Li Hui Ling and Li Li Min

Patients with cancer often face emotional conflicts, which impact on the quality of life. A technique named Mandala of Emotions (ME), developed by one of us (lhl) and with roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been used to promote self-understanding and coping with emotions, with promising results. We report an experience with add-on Mandala of Emotions therapy in a 44-year-old woman diagnosed with breast neuroendocrine carcinoma. This is a single case study using description and report from the patient during her treatment for breast cancer. This experience encompasses a follow-up of two years. Mandala of Emotions applies five coloured (green, red, yellow, white and black) stones the size of a walnut, which are placed around the patient or on the patient’s body while laid down in supine. The session lasts around 15 minutes. The female patient initiated ME as a way to come to terms with her emotions and internal conflicts. She felt that ME has helped her understand her feelings and find a way to cope with them, particularly soon after chemotherapy when she experienced an overflow of emotions combined with physical frailty and mental vulnerability. During her treatment, she developed a drop in platelet level as a side effect of chemotherapy, which led to hospital admission and transfusion. Concomitantly, she started to feel panic and her physician felt that medication for panic attack was not an option due to the circumstances. She self-discharged from the hospital because of panic attack. At home, Dr. Ling applied ME to countermeasure the feeling of fear. The panic attack subsided in a week, and a couple of days later she regained her physical strength. In parallel, her platelet levels increased too. This single case illustrates the use of ME as add-on therapy for self-healing and resolution of internal conflicts.