Sister book to Burning Woman, Medicine Woman is a fearless journey through women’s chronic illness and a medical system which is often unable to bring healing. The personal journeys of dozens of chronically sick women bring to light the realities of suffering often hidden within bodies, minds, homes and medical establishments. Uncovering these narratives of sickness, Medicine Woman gives voice to the invisibility, shame, suffering, blame and victimisation often heaped upon chronically sick women, by a patriarchal medical system unable to offer healing.
Medicine Woman provides a powerful feminist critique of health and sickness and our current medical system’s inability to accurately recognise, diagnose, treat and cure chronic illness. Personal memoir of sickness alongside feminist critique of the history, development and interests of our dominant medical system provides a sensitive, poetic and powerful insight into the interplay of the Patriarchal and the Feminine as is played out through women’s embodied suffering through chronic illness.
Medicine Woman delves into the psyche of sickness, suffering and chronic illness and breathes into life the archetype of Medicine Woman; an archetype of feminine healing wisdom, not as the all powerful physician, but the wise woman who has grown, learnt and emerged from her own vulnerability and suffering. She who has come to know she exists in mind and soul as well as her physicality, she who learns and comes to embody compassion, wisdom, creativity, empathy and intuition. She breathes to life a healing which comes from within as well as without, a journey of empowerment, of co-operation and of saying ‘no’ as well as ‘yes’ in her interactions with the medical system.
Personal story and systemic critique brings together the notion of health and suffering; how can a person be well within a system which is sick? Drawing parallels between personal and systemic sickness, suffering and healing Lucy illustrates how structural, systemic sickness, suffering, exhaustion and overwhelm become our personal journeys of struggle with our bodies, minds, health and energy.
Essential, enlightening and comforting reading to all those who have, or are experiencing sickness and navigating a path of healing in a system which struggles to provide empathy, answers, healing or resolution. Medicine Questions and exercises encourage the reader to engage personally with the text, providing a path of deepening understanding of our own experiences of health, sickness and dealings with the medical establishment. For readers who enjoyed Burning Woman, her critique of patriarchal power structures and the messages of empowerment it awakened, Medicine Woman is the archetype of emergent feminine healing in a system of power, structure and control.