Whilst studying for a PhD in the early 2000s, I came across the interesting case of the American Dr Mona Lisa Schulz. I was studying, in-part, parapsychology and exploring the many happenings and perceptions interpreted as ‘supernatural’ or ‘paranormal’, but which have a perfectly natural and ‘scientific’ explanation. Probably around just 1% of all phenomena judged ‘paranormal’, defies a logical explanation premised upon current levels and standards of scientific understanding. Aeroplanes widely thought to have been kidnapped by UFOs have turned-up many decades later after snow thaws, or land subsidance, etc. Remote accidents (and tragedies) do not equate with other-worldly activates. Modern communication and technology (including the internet) has led to a plethora of dishonest schemes designed to induce a sense of false-hope or fake-belief that separates an individual from their hard-earned income. Fake mystics, psychics and clairvoyants abound in the world of commerce, and the produce they peddle is blind ‘faith’ and unsubstantiated ‘belief’ in a world (or realm) beyond the obvious, physical, material plane of existence. The laws of science possess the potential ability to explain ALL experiences no matter how unusual or mundane those experiences might be. Sometimes, things happen that are so unusual that science has not yet formulated a logical response.
Mona Lisa Schulz does not live on the fringes of society, or advocates an alternative view of the world as someone who ‘rejects’ science. On the contrary, as a fully qualified medical scientist, she might be described as firmly ensconced in the very academic community that many New Age thinkers actively reject. Mona Lisa Schulz earned her BA Degree from Brown University, her MD (Doctor of Medicine) Degree from the Boston University of Science and Medicine, and her PhD (USA) from its Department of Behavioural Neurosciences. Dr Schulz has also completed a residency programme in Psychiatry at Maine Medical Center. She also has an extensive research background in clinical medicine and brain research. Today, Dr Schulz is described as clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont School of Medicine and Maine Medical Center, Portland, as well as a practicing neuropsychiatrist and medical intuitive.
Whereas Dr Rupert Sheldrake (of Cambridge University) stated to me that he intended to ’prove’ Christianity scientifically correct (or material science ‘religiously’ wrong) – a position I reject – Mona Lisa Schulz seems to have the spiritual lineage of Abraham Hicks and Louise Hay (both of whom make extensive use of ‘self-affirmation’). Although this is interesting from a research perspective, and lays a spiritual-intuitive foundation, what I am interested in is ‘how’ – or ‘why’ – Mona Lisa Schulz thinks she can ‘diagnose’ physical illnesses by simply being in the presence of an individual (even at the other end of the telephone). Whereas Bruce Lipton charges large sums of money whilst perpetuating the idea that orthodox medical treatment is not required to treat physical illnesses, Dr Schulz (although definitely ‘charging’ for her services), nevertheless advocates that once she provides an ‘intuitive’ diagnosis, the individual concerned must a) have the diagnosis confirmed by another doctor in the orthodox manner, and b) have the illness or injury conventionally treated. This means that Mona Lisa Schulz does not participate in ‘faith’ healing. In her 1998 book entitled ‘Awakening Intuition’, Dr Schulz explains how she often participates in a dual diagnostic procedure whereby she a) materially assesses the patient, observing, listening and measuring to make an orthodox diagnosis, whilst b) clearing her mind of surface activity and ‘penetrating’ the body and mind of the patient and being able to see disorders that the patient is of yet unaware of. Although this procedure can be used to discern very severe illnesses that need immediate medical attention, in many cases the ‘reading’ identifies far less severe issues involving imbalanced emotions and negative thought processes which are worked through via discussion and self-affirmation practice, etc.
As Dr Schulz continues to work in the US (mainstream) medical profession, and given that she has not been ‘struck off’ for gross medical misconduct, the situation she represents is very interesting. Dr Schulz at once occupies a traditional academic position in a leading university, and is continuously writing and publishing high-quality (and peer-reviewed) research papers, whilst also practicing as a ‘medical intuitive’ who would otherwise be found on the fringes of the alternative and contemporary health movement. Her academic prominence assures that her belief in ‘medical intuition’ is tolerated by a reasonably ‘rarefied’ stratum of scholarly thinkers who would not normally be exposed to such a belief. Having read through her book, I can say that it is packed full of medical and psychological common sense, which seems to be hung on the hook of ‘medical intuition’ (almost by accident). I find this case interesting as Dr Schulz has not been kicked-out of academia, has not been exposed as a ‘fraud’, and has had a number of her intuitive diagnoses objectively confirmed as being medically correct (a fact I cannot explain). This is how she explains one of her early ‘intuitive’ diagnoses:
‘The one time I had duty in the ICU as an intern, I walked up to the nurses’ station where it seemed that every conceivable patient alarm and buzzer was going off – and, believe me, there are lots of monitors and alarms in an ICU. Calmly sitting in front of the brightly lit monitor board were three or four nurses, completely ignoring the clamour, One was happily eating pork fried rice, another was busy with chicken wings, and a couple of others were dipping into a box of Dunkins’ Donuts. I was astonished. Didn’t they know those buzzers could mean patients in crisis? Why weren’t they responding? In their place, having a slight case of posttraumatic stress disorder, I would have been dashing around the unit checking on every patient with a ringing buzzer. And of course, I would have been exhausted within ten minutes. (Page 20)
The paramedics had brought in an elderly lady who had collapsed at home in front of her clothes dryer. The attending had examined her, and she seemed all right. Her vital signs were stable. She appeared to have recovered from her fainting or dizziness, or whatever had caused her collapse, and she was resting quietly. He could discharge her, the attending said, but since there was no one at home to care for her or monitor her, he thought it best to keep her in the hospital overnight as a so-called social admit.
My job was to have her admitted and send her upstairs to the floor. I walked out into the corridor, where people were scurrying around on various errands, and headed for my patient. AsI approached her gurney, I began to get a vague, fuzzy, yet insistent feeling that seemed to cut through all the noise and commotion around me. I just had a sudden conviction, seeming to come out of nowhere, that contrary to the physical evidence, all was not right with this patient.
I wanted her to get an EKG. Don’t ask me why. Her chart indicated no history of heart trouble, and the examining physician hadn’t noted any signs of cardiac problems. The orderlies were getting ready to move her upstairs. On an impulse, I hid her chart to knock them off the track – a patient can’t go anywhere without the all-important chart. Then I hurried back to the attending.
“Um,” I began, clearing my throat, “I know you said there’s nothing wrong with this patient, but just in the interest of thoroughness, couldn’t we order an EKG? He looked at me. He gave me a slightly patronizing smile. I could just see him thinking: “Compulsive intern!” Everybody thought I was compulsive. Maybe that’s why he indulged me. Okay, he said, he’d order up an EKG, And off I took.
For some reason it seemed urgent to check medical records. I flew up two flights of stairs, my feet taking me there as if of their own accord, as if they knew something my brain didn’t. As it turned out, my feet were full of reason. In the medical records department, I found some previous charts for the elderly lady and pulled them. And there it was in black-and-white. The physical evidence for my hunch. The records revealed that the patient had a history of heart problems, even as, downstairs, a brand-new EKG was showing her to be in the middle of a full-blown heart attack.
This woman was rushed to the ICU. My gut feeling not only helped save this woman’s life, it also saved the attending physician from making a serious error and the hospital from losing a patient.’ (Pages 17-18)
Later (Page 31) Dr Schulz explains the dynamics of what happens when she intuitively ‘reads’ a person:
‘Now when I do a reading of a person, I first see myself standing in front o the person, checking the individual’s head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Then I step inside, into the oesophagus, and head south. I go for a ride, travelling through the various organ systems and visually examining their condition. This is a form of empathy, imagining yourself in another person’s shoes. If you have empathy, if your heart is open to receiving information, you’ll find you receive more or it.’
I present this data for your assessment. My personal view (as a British person), is that a comprehensive health system should be accessed free at the point of use (whilst funded through collective taxation). Health is important and should not be extended or withdrawn according to an individual’s ability to ‘pay’. We have had the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK since 1948 and many of us in the UK look upon the uncaring and brutal US system with a collective cultural horror! Furthermore, as a trained medical professional (physical-therapy) I know that ‘intuition’ often generates beneficial treatments, which – when writing up my consultation notes – is packaged as being a product of logical thought processes and correctly applied procedures! We never admit to ‘intuition’ even when it is present because it has no basis in material fact. Wishful thinking does not ‘cure’ injury or illness and it is wrong to suggest that it does. On the other hand, I also think that there is a suitable ‘doubt’ regarding the activities of Mona Lisa Schulz for the reasons explained above.
Schulz, Mona Lisa, Awakening Intuition – Using Your Mind-Body Network for Insight and Healing – Three Rivers Press, (1999)