While studying the history of medicine and practicing for over twenty years, Dr. Victoria Sweet discovered approaches to healing that today would be considered inefficient--but put into practice, are just the opposite. One such lesson was from 12th century abbess Hildegard of Bingen, who felt that "the body is more like a plant than a machine . . . the difference being that someone has to fix a broken machine but a plant can heal itself." The trick is to allow for and encourage the verititos or life force to work its magic--which sometimes involves removing obstacles to it, or personal attention from the doctor, which is seldom allowed today. In this TED talk, Dr. Sweet shares revelations from her research and practice, and invites us to think again about modern medicine and the best ways to heal.


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  • Patricia

    that it focused on the patient. it was an excellent talk and I agree that the administrators want us to all do more with less and the patient although, everyone says the patient are the most important. I do not see it.

  • AF

    Excellent talk. Several things to ponder. The question - what’s getting in the way of the body’s natural capacity to heal? Taking care of the basics: good food, sunlight, fresh air, deep sleep. Relationship and the relational nature of work in all kinds of settings. How the physical design of space can facilitate community, relationships and well-being.

  • Ann

    Her ability to see problems and apply solutions - making the complicated simpler and manageable without losing hope. And her ability to express her ideas with such articulate elegance. God’s Hotel is on my list. Thanks

  • L

    I was in Hildegard's abbey a month ago, part of following the path that circumspected her life near the Rhein. The nuns still sing her music daily at noon in the church, offer her herbal formulas which they grow there, and food and wine they make there, her books and prints of her artwork are in the shop. It is a vibrantly alive place with her spirit and guidance very much present. She is still guiding and helping people, still a spiritual beacon in the world.

  • Malcolm Nazareth

    The concept of veriditas, that the body has a natural greening or healing propensity inbuilt into it.

  • Harvey Chess

    A new champion/muse. Smiled because in my flailing days at Middlebury there were get-drunk fraternities , not TEDX. She brought tears to my eyes & heart, and I will watch this again & get her book. Recently visited with a doctor, and was asked how it went? My response was that he told me what I already knew, but I wanted to see if I could feel his affect (not so much). May her values and wisdom imprint healthcare from here on out as we become clearer on the lunacy of the way it is now.

  • Andrea

    Read her book, God's Hotel. Remarkable woman who truly has a "calling", not just a yearning to make money through medicine.

  • CR Gugerty

    I have docs who subscribe to Dr. Sweet's theory & it has made all the difference! I'm still battling Lyme Disease (5 years), but I haven't given up in large part because of them! I use to hear people say that they were "under the care of a doctor." I always said, "I have a doctor." Because of the docs I now have, I can truly say, "I am under the care" of my docs!

  • Patrick

    #intimacy -- anam cara

  • Martina Nicholson

    What inspired you about this video? Recognizing that our calling is also a calling to understand first, and be flexible in applying the treatments we think are best suited to the patients. To put a protocol in place is often to become too rigid. We have to stay alert, flexible, engaged in the individual doctor-patient relationship. Healing happens in communities where people feel loved, supported and cared about. Laguna Honda was a greenhouse for that kind of sunshine and nurturing. God's Hotel is a fabulous book, a template for how we can best live the doctor-patient relationships, and build hospitals with aviaries, greenhouses, sunny rooms to sit it, with plants, with flowers, with clear, clean air.

  • Denis Khan

    The secret is not caring ABOUT the patient, but caring FOR the patient. Dr. Peabody

  • sabine blanc-decarpentier

    To have free time to listen to our callings. Give space and time for relationships and healing.

  • Page 1

  • Read this interview with Dr. Sweet on the subject of slow medicine.
  • Learn about another unconventional provider of healthcare, the Aravind Eye Care System.
  • Ask yourself what is getting in the way of your own healing and try to remove it.

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