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There is a conversation across cultures about finding a better balance between the technical and the human. In medicine this expresses itself in the split languages of cure and care, of illness and wellness, of fixing and healing, of quantitative and qualitative,  of outer events and inner life. As these worlds meet, at times collide, it can be fragmenting.  The term integrative may have some value and could perhaps be defined as creating greater coherence within a person and/or their care (BMJ 2001) with one area of focus being fresh questions around healing responses: What is a healing response? - and it’s potentials and limits? Can we learn to support healing change and well being? Can we adapt to include enhancement of recovery and wellness along with illness care?   The enquiry is rooted  in learning from one-to-one work with patients to help their emergent change.  From there it has extended to group work in The WEL: Wellness Enhancement Learning. Phil Hanlon, Professor of Public Health, once asked me: “How can these transformative processes be scaled to the level of a nation?” and he has led teams exploring this in work like The Fifth Wave (and there is some good spin off discussions on http://www.healthyfuture.org.uk/).  Professor Hanlon also the Wellness and Culture Project which is a sister project to the Enhancing Human Healing’s research and teaching - asking what can be scaled up from this to system and culture level - see www.AFTERnow.co.uk.  The Healing Enquiry draws on the study of how individuals develop their own self-care and self-healing, and professional’s their therapeutic skills and abilities. More recently the Scottish Government is leading an ambitious redesign of health care to deal with the rising tide of long term conditions, and in collaboration with the patient-led Alliance is taking a lead in placing the type of explorations discussed on this site at the centre of their emerging vision and strategy - Action Plan for Long Term Conditions  and the later Quality Strategy called for a person-centred compassionate approach. In support of that goal I was  appointed as National  Clinical Lead for Integrative Care from 2008 to 2011. The team of the Healing Shift Enquiry and our many partners are now working towards realising this vision.

THE PROJECT: ENHANCING HUMAN HEALING