Cure vs Heal

Is there a difference between healing and curing? I believe there is. We often use the words “healing” and “curing” interchangeably, but within the medical establishment, the words “to heal” rarely get used. We may talk about a healing fracture or a healing wound – but a healing person? Not so much. As doctors, we’re trained to cure people. When people aren’t cured, we feel like failures. But what if it’s not up to us who gets cured and who doesn’t? What if there’s some higher power at play that decides the outcome of your health?

To get to the root of how healing and curing are different, I went to the dictionary. The dictionary defines “to cure” as “the elimination of disease.” “To heal,” on the other hand, is “to become whole.” I think that’s the difference. To be healed is to return to wholeness, and when you’re returned to wholeness, the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms are more likely to be activated and cure is more likely.

It’s possible to be cured without being healed, and you can be healed without being cured. In a perfect world, both would happen. But life doesn’t come with guarantees. What I can guarantee is that, if you embark upon a self-healing journey and become whole, you will make your body and mind ripe for miracles.

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(lissa rankin)

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