Sick and Seeking

E2 S2 | Bringing a Historical and Personal Lens to Medicine and Healing: Author and Professor Ed Cohen Discusses What Medicine Doesn’t Know in His Book Titled On Learning to Heal

November 03, 2023 Ed Cohen Season 2 Episode 2
Sick and Seeking
E2 S2 | Bringing a Historical and Personal Lens to Medicine and Healing: Author and Professor Ed Cohen Discusses What Medicine Doesn’t Know in His Book Titled On Learning to Heal
Show Notes

Sick and Seeking Episode 2 of Season 2 features author and professor Ed Cohen who shares all about his new book: On Learning to Heal - What Medicine Doesn’t Know

At thirteen, Ed Cohen was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease—a chronic, incurable condition that nearly killed him in his early twenties. At his diagnosis, his doctors told him that the best he could hope for would be periods of remission. Unfortunately, doctors never mentioned healing as a possibility.

In
On Learning to Heal, Cohen draws on fifty years of living with Crohn’s to consider how Western medicine’s turn from an “art of healing” toward a “science of medicine” deeply affects both medical practitioners and their patients. He demonstrates that although medicine can now offer many seemingly miraculous therapies, medicine is not and has never been the only way to enhance healing. Exploring his own path to healing, he argues that learning to heal requires us to desire and value healing as a vital possibility. With this book, Cohen advocates reviving healing’s role for all those whose lives are touched by illness.

Topics Discussed:

  • Ed’s Crohn's Disease diagnoses over 50 years ago at the age of 13 
  • His self-proclaimed “adolescence on steroids” when he was treated with high doses of prednisone 
  • His life-changing healing trances that spontaneously occurred while severely sick and recovering in hospital 
  • Ed’s 40 year quest to understand why medicine knows a lot about being sick, but not a lot about getting better and healing
  • How healing is our birthright, and in our culture we don’t give healing the respect that it’s due 
  • How we are made into an ‘anybody’ for medical purposes when really each disease is particular and specific to each person 
  • The idea that medicine is a fee-for-service enterprise, and it sells itself to us as being the best treatment by using diagnosis and prognosis
  • How medicine was first considered an art of healing, and one way this was practiced was through Asclepion Temple Healing 

“And then when I finally got out of the hospital, I had an exit interview with my surgeon and he said this thing that just seared itself into my brain. He said: You were the sickest person I've operated on in five years who's still alive and I have no idea how you got better so quickly.” - Ed Cohen

Connect with Ed: 


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