We hear a patient’s perspective on healthcare from April Lynn James on this episode of the Perspectives on Healthcare Podcast with Rob Oliver. April Lynn joins the podcast from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Incidentally, I am originally from the Philadelphia area. I definitely miss the cheesesteaks!) April Lynn James presents a compelling argument for a holistic approach to healthcare.
Here are 3 things that stood out as April Lynn James gave us a patient’s perspective on healthcare:
• Her wake-up call to healthcare issues was watching her mother’s decline due to unnecessary medical interventions.
• Quality healthcare means more than just treating symptoms with medication. Let’s shift our focus from illness to wellness, embracing positive states of being, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity for holistic health.
• Are you healthy or just not sick? There’s a big difference between the two. True health is our natural state, and it’s time to shift the healthcare system from fear-based to love-based.
You can learn more about April Lynn James through the links below:
Here is the transcript of the interview of April Lynn James giving a patient’s perspective on healthcare:
Rob Oliver: Hello and welcome. What is your name, my friend?
April Lynn James: I am Dr. April Lynn James.
Rob Oliver: And Dr. April Lynn James. Where are you joining us from?
April Lynn James: I am joining you from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Rob Oliver: City of brotherly love. And the only place where you can actually buy a good cheese steak.
April Lynn James: This is true.
Rob Oliver: Excellent. All right, well, thanks for being here. And we’ll start right from the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your experiences in health care, please?
April Lynn James: Okay, so, hello, everyone. I’m Dr. April Lynn James. I like to say I’m the corporeal half of my company, April Plus Madison, which is an Alice in Wonderland inspired holistic wellness and expressive arts enterprise. My experiences with healthcare, well, you know, they’re from childhood on to this day. But most significantly, I think for my waking up to what goes on in the system was the experience I had watching my mother decline over 30 years. And this was not a natural thing. It didn’t have to happen either way. I put it that she was tricked into getting medical interventions that she didn’t need. This is what happened. This is shortly after she retired. I believe she was scheduled by her doctor for a stress test, and she did the protocol. You’re not supposed to eat the night before or the morning of. And then she went to this thing. She got there, and they weren’t ready for her. So she sat and waited. They offered her a cup of coffee. She said yes to this cup of coffee. Then they did the stress test, and then they acted like, oh, my God, we have to rush you to the hospital because, oh, my God. They basically, from that moment on, treated her as if she had some kind of real problem when they had caused it. And she didn’t stop to question anything. And so from that moment on, she was put onto drugs that she didn’t need. These drugs suppressed her blood pressure, suppressed her immune system. Her hair started to fall out. She would tell her doctor that she didn’t want this, and the doctor would tell her it would scare her into staying on the medication. And I watched her decline. Her body, her mental state, everything declined over 30 years. And that really woke me up to just like, oh, my God, that’s not right. Because there are natural ways to heal from anything. And no one tried those.
Rob Oliver: Okay, so talk to me about those natural ways to heal from things. Obviously, that’s something that is not generally prescribed by Western medicine. So talk to me about that. Can you tell me more about that, please?
April Lynn James: Yes. Well, the most natural way is to tune into the energy of one’s body, right? You start with yourself. Most people are trained to not pay attention to their body, not pay attention to their energy, and not pay attention to the most important connection, our connection to the divine. It’s our connection to the divine energy, the source, the positive, creative force of the universe that put everything together, including these physical bodies. That is missing from most discussions about health and wellness.
Rob Oliver: Okay, so what you’re saying and I’ve referenced this a couple of times now that we need to look at people from a complete perspective. And so to this point, we’ve talked about looking at them emotionally as well as physically as well as relationally. And you’re taking that and adding the next step in to say there needs to be an acknowledgment of the spiritual element as well. Is that correct?
April Lynn James: Yes. It is the highest relationship that we can have. It’s through connection to ourselves. If we go through ourselves and connect to the divine, then the divine connects to us. And there are authors like Louise Hay, actually, who talked about this, her work on affirmations, what are called affirmations that’s at its base about connecting to this positive force that created the universe. Affirmations. It’s not about trying to hypnotize yourself. Right. Trying to convince yourself of something that you aren’t. It’s actually awakening within your whole being, not just your physical, but your spiritual being, your soul. It’s awakening within you. The part of you that is just like the energy that created us and the energy that created us is positive. It’s always good and it always moves us towards health on all levels. And when you’re talking about relationships, that’s the other thing. Like when we’re talking about not only that spiritual relationship, but our relationship to others. When I think about my mother’s, that health, what happens in with her, they weren’t looking at the whole thing that might have been stressing her out at that time. She was taking care of her husband. So my father, he was going through a health crisis. She was taking care of her youngest sister, who was going through a health crisis. My older brother was going through major crises on his end, and he wasn’t even living with us at the time. So she was dealing with multiple challenges that weren’t being addressed.
Rob Oliver: Got it. Okay, so along your journey, have you met any healthcare heroes?
April Lynn James: I’ll have to say that the one time that I had therapy, I did have a healthcare hero, and that was my therapist who was I would say she was an unherapist because she acknowledged the importance of spirit and the one’s creative life. And I was able to share my spiritual journey with her during our time together. And she was a part of my healing process. She wasn’t the healing process, but one of the first things that she got me out of was sort of a codependency that had developed between myself, my mother, and my brother. Because one of the first things I was like, well, I guess I’m responsible for my brother’s health. And she’s like, no, you’re not. You’re not responsible for him. I’m like, oh, thank you. Someone acknowledges this.
Rob Oliver: That’s funny. I Good. Well, I’m glad your concept of an untherapist sounds delightful. So let me ask this, what does quality health care mean to you?
April Lynn James: Quality healthcare? Yeah. What does that mean to me? It means natural health care spirit. Our connection to the divine is the most natural thing. We come into this world connected, and then over time, we are educated out of that connection. We have to go back to that. Even Dr. Wayne Dyer talked about this, and Dr. Christian Northrop talks about it in her work. The connection to the divine is really all important. I’ll mention another name that many Americans probably haven’t heard of, Bruno Grening. He was considered a miracle doctor in the post World War Two Germany. And he was dragged into prominence in 1949 as thousands of people would come and line up outside of the places where he was working, inside houses where he was helping people, and people experienced help. And healing like biblical scale, like the lame could walk, the blind could see, those kinds of healing took place. And he always talked about the importance of nature getting back to nature and back to God. He said that nature is God and that God is the greatest physician. So we need a return to love in the deepest sense, love, which is that divine energy, and that’s what heals us.
Rob Oliver: So it’s interesting to hear you talk about the power of nature and the power of natural healing, because I had a guest on the Perspectives on Healthcare podcast who is a medical professional. And let’s say that so many times we try and treat we live in a society that wants to treat everything with medication. So when something goes wrong, I don’t want to change my lifestyle. I don’t want to alter what I eat or alter my behavior. I want a pill that fixes this and makes it all better. And he said people don’t often suffer from being under medicated. Nobody died from a Xanax deficiency, so to speak. That’s not dismissing the value of that medication for someone for whom it is appropriate. But we need to take a step back. And what I’m hearing you say is we need to look for other alternatives other than medication that can possibly help us in our healing process. Am I characterizing that properly?
April Lynn James: That’s correct, yeah. Because it shouldn’t be the first resort. Medications, pills and injection should never be the first resort for something for something that’s characterized as illness. Illness is actually just disorder in the body. It’s just someone being out of alignment with the divine, out of alignment with themselves. That’s a lot of mental or emotional disturbances. You’re just out of alignment here, and you don’t need a pill to fix that. There are other ways to do it. Sometimes if you decide you want that, then it’s available. But really, what we need to do is start with our natural capacity to heal.
Rob Oliver: Good. Okay. What do you wish that your medical providers understood about you?
April Lynn James: I wish they understood about me and about themselves, that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.
Rob Oliver: Tell me more about that, please.
April Lynn James: Yeah. Because we started out on the energetic level. Nothing came into existence without having been. I can characterize it as a thought in the mind of the divine. Even in the Bible, it says the word was the first thing. So we come from something into the physical. And then after we leave the physical, we go back into that non physical, but we can stay connected with it while we’re here and experience heaven on Earth instead of making life feel like a living hell… up to us.
Rob Oliver: Sure. So what is one thing that medical professionals can start doing today to improve the quality of health care? And maybe this is more of what you just touched on.
April Lynn James: Yeah. Focus on wellness instead of illness. Again, getting back to Louise Hay, talking about affirmations, whatever you focus upon grows. So if we’re seeing a proliferation of disease, maybe that’s because we’re focusing on the wrong thing. Maybe we need to focus on gratitude, forgiveness, that’s self forgiveness, and forgiveness of others that’s love. We need to focus on creativity, these positive States of being, positive ways of acting and being with one another. And that is a focus on wellness which would keep illness from occurring in the first place.
Rob Oliver: It’s interesting to hear you say that. I had a guest again, I had a guest on the podcast earlier as a medical professional, and he said there is a big difference between being healthy and being not sick.
April Lynn James: That’s right.
Rob Oliver: What’s your reaction to that?
April Lynn James: Yeah, that’s absolutely true, because the one being healthy, it’s our natural state of being, and that’s what our natural focus needs to be. Being not sick is coming from a fear based kind of thing. And that’s what our medical system actually, it’s a fear based system right now. What we have at the mainstream medical it’s about fear and not about love and not about holistic wellness, just settling into that natural holistic wellness.
Rob Oliver: Okay, listen, April, do you have a couple of minutes to hang around? Because my next guest is not here yet. So what I’d like to do is we’ll wrap up this podcast portion, and then you and I’d like to ask you a couple more questions. Would that be okay?
April Lynn James: Sure.
Rob Oliver: Wonderful. All right. So thank you very much for being here and for supporting this. And I respect your perspective on health care. You know what? This is perfect timing because my guest is here now, and hopefully as we talk, it’ll give us a minute to let her get acclimated and not so worried about where we’re going. And I will just say this. April, thanks again for being here. And again, I respect your perspective on healthcare.
April Lynn James: Thank you. Well, thank you for having me.
Rob Oliver: All right. We’ll see you later. Good to talk to you, my friend.
April Lynn James: Good to talk to you. Bye now.
Rob Oliver: Bye.
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Disclaimer: All opinions expressed by guests on the Perspectives on Healthcare Podcast are solely the opinion of the guest. They are not to be misconstrued as medical diagnoses or medical advice. Please consult with a licensed medical professional before attempting any of the treatments suggested.