Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Complimentary /Complementary

Seems like a minor thing – the change of a single letter – but that one letter makes a bucket load of difference in the world of medicine. A comment made in this post brought to mind an email I received last month complimenting my novel:


“Thank you for this book. Even though it’s fiction, your story mirrors what I am currently experiencing with my husband as he battles cancer. I’m now looking at complimentary medicine as a source of hope to help ease my husband’s suffering from the radiation and chemo.”


Hers was a very cool email, and, happily, it’s in keeping with the majority of my mail. However, she got a bit tripped up on the spelling. Normally I wouldn’t care and would shrug it off as a typo. Problem is, I see this enough that I wanted to point out the difference.

Complimentary is “making nice,” as in, “Oh, how nice that you’re doing Reiki on your son before surgery,” or, “Reiki is a good source of relaxation and help promote healing.” No doubt; a compliment is lovely to hear – especially after suffering through a blistering medical seminar where I was accused of being there simply to sell books – but it can feel dismissive when dealing in the medical world. My advocacy goes much deeper, and my goals are much bolder.

The word Complementary, on the other hand, is supplemental and adds something that others lack. This is meat and potatoes fare, not whipped-cream-cherry-on-top platitudes. And this is my focus, my hope for the evolution of medicine.

Reiki, and other non-science-based healing options – geez, how’s that for PC – offer something that conventional medicine doesn’t, and it’s what I call the “Ahhh” Moment. It’s connecting soul to soul with a patient who’s scared out of their open-backed gowns and feeling an energy I’ll never understand flow freely and intelligently from my hands. Watching a patient’s eyes close and their face relax into a sleepy, sloppy grin is the closest thing to Nirvana I’ll ever get. Whatever awaits them in the OR, they now have something extra that no amount of medicine can offer – peace and balance.

I know, this ‘e’ and ‘i’ issue may seem picky to many, but I’m an author, an editor, and a Reiki master, so I like to be clear. However, if you want to compliment me on my new shoes, I will welcome any and all.


mark's tails said...

OMG I am one of those people to. How embarrassing, (and I should know better) I promise it won't happen again.

Lynn Price said...

Mark, it's okay. You're still loved.

Pamela Miles said...

how about if i just compliment you on your writing--does that walk?

Lynn Price said...

Yes, Pamela, it definitely walks. Many thanks.