Musgrove patients asked “how are you healing?” at exhibition - 27 April 2017

Musgrove patients asked “how are you healing?” at exhibition - 27 April 2017

“How are you healing?” That’s the question being posed to patients at Musgrove Park Hospital this summer.

An exhibition on healing is being held at the hospital to find out about people’s different experiences of the way they physically and mentally heal.

It will take place from Friday 28 April until Monday 7 August, showing people the materials gathered as part of University of Exeter research about healing.

The research, which was funded by The Institute of Integrative Health (TIIH), based in the United States, asked residents in south west England what healing meant to them. Their responses have been presented in a form of words and drawings that will be illustrated at the exhibition.

The exhibition was designed and produced by local social artist Deborah Weinreb, with the help of Musgrove Art for Life. 

  • The exhibition explores four themes:
  • The many ways in which we can be ‘broken’
  • The need for connections to others and to the world around us, and for love and care
  • Healing at the end of life journey and the possibility of a ‘good death’
  • Wholeness and oneness.

Ms Weinreb has drawn various aspects of the research together to illustrate these themes, showing some of the common thoughts and alliances that exist between people’s understanding of healing.

She said: “It has been a real privilege to immerse myself in this research and try to produce outcomes that can inspire others to explore these themes.”

Dr Sam Barrell, chief executive at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “We’re delighted to host this event, which speaks so strongly to what we are all about – healing.

“We are encouraging all our staff, patients and visitors to the hospital to come along to get an insight into how people relate to the many different forms of healing, and to share their own stories on this important subject that affects us all.”

Eva Hamilton, from Butleigh, near Glastonbury, said she was greatly helped in her day to day life by healing.

“The benefit of healing really has surpassed anything I’ve experienced on an emotional, mental, physical and spiritual level,” she said.

“I have bipolar disorder and have found healing to keep me balanced and stable throughout the day, which is really important in my day job as chief executive of a charity.”

Dr Sarah Goldingay of the University of Exeter said: “In today’s demanding world, we can be broken in so many ways.

“We are evolved for our “fight or flight” response to release panic hormones when we see a sabretooth tiger – but in the stresses of modern life, that same response can kick in over pressures at work.

“We need to understand how we can heal ourselves and how we can support others to heal, so more of us can return to happy and fulfilling lives as quickly as possible. This research helps us understand people’s relationships with healing as part of that work.”

Professor Paul Dieppe of the University of Exeter said: “Many of us become ‘broken’ in some way during our lives. Our exhibition explores what we can do when that happens. How can we find a new pathway to wholeness and travel our own ‘healing journey’? While we have the capacity to heal ourselves from some kinds of brokenness, often we need help and this often comes from connecting to something outside ourselves: from other people, or from nature, or arts or spiritual belief.

“Healing journeys are not just about us as isolated individuals, they can be about relationships, families, groups, outdoor spaces. Our exhibition and the research it stems from seek to explore the wide spectrum of healing stories.”

The research team consists of Professor Paul Dieppe, Dr Sarah Goldingay and Dr Emmylou Rahtz, of Exeter University, aided by many other colleagues in many countries, most notably Professor Sara Warber from Ann Arbor, USA.