Aesculapian snake pleas for unity

Oil on linen- 136 x 92 cm

The painting "Aesculapian snake changes staff" is a plea to conventional medicine to proceed with more openness, with more empathy and sincere interest in the holistic recovery of the patient himself. Complementary "alternative" healing approaches may deserve greater leeway.

The adder of the traditional symbol of the doctor, remains tightly entwined around the staff of classical medicine, but at the same time crawls up the birch tree (a tree symbolic of new beginnings) with interest. Birches are considered the first trees to begin growing again after a forest fire. The Aesculapian snake now keeps both healing approaches united. The unification of conventional medicine and alternative healing methods might also be an approach to address, for example, the major current problem of spreading antibiotic resistance. Many health problems could simply be avoided through better management! It is important to secure the firm place of orthodox medicine and not to expose the patient to the also great dangers of arbitrary and negligent alternative treatment. Modern orthodox medicine is probably the greatest achievement of mankind ever. It has required many great sacrifices that it has developed in such a way, and there are so enormously many healing possibilities. But it could be supplemented, made more all-encompassing. And in turn, alternative medicine could be made safer by conventional medicine. A clear win-win could result from a merger of the two.

2016, ©Fiona Hernuss

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