Dr. Gladys Taylor McGarey
Doctor of Living Medicine
How does one get to be known as The Mother of Holistic Medicine? For Dr. Gladys Taylor McGarey it began in 1920 when she was born under the auspices of the mighty Himalayas. In India, then perhaps the poorest country in the world, Gladys’ parents, medical missionaries, gave her boundaries, work, love and support. From her many siblings she may have learned the arts of self-reliance, tolerance and humor. Surely, it was India that gave her the serene gift of compassion.
By the time Gladys McGarey went on to higher education in her country of nationality, The United States, she was a determined and forthright young woman. In America to study western allopathic medicine, a path very few women of that time had dared to follow, in her heart and soul Gladys was already a doctor. She had, after all, helped her mother treat everything from lepers to elephants!
She received me with a hug, as if I was a longtime friend who had been missing in action. We talked about life and how it was treating me. Questions not asked by any doctors I had ever met. Dr. Gladys suggested that I read a couple of books. I read the books and soon began to understand what was happening in me. I still wasn’t quite sure. After all, I didn’t depart her office with a handful of prescription drugs! Again, I went to visit her; by that time I had read her book, The Physician Within. Greeted once more with this wonderful, warm hug, I felt very special.
We talked about the blood test results which revealed what she needed to continue the treatment. This woman was introducing me to my own physician: the one within. Like and angel, she was helping me and supporting me. I got better.
— Eveline Horelle Dailey
Dr. Gladys McGarey believes that practicing holistic medicine is not a method to kill disease, but a way to have body, mind and spirit heal themselves to create the absence of disease. In fact, Dr. McGarey is writing a book about Living Medicine: a method of living boldly and fully! A method of living courageously to meet the challenges of daily life with acceptance, humor and gratitude. A method of living without stress. Dr. Gladys often prescribes the ancient remedy for many ailments: Take a nap!
In April 2005, Dr. McGarey returned from a journey to practice her Living Medicine in India and Afghanistan. In her own words, she shares some of her experiences:
The work in northern India focused on work that my aunt, my parents, and my brother committed their lives to. This work involved four children’s homes which were created for the children of leper parents. There is a misconception in the world that leprosy has been controlled and, therefore, is no longer an issue. This is not factual. We found three active cases in the children. There is, of course, medication which can cure the disease and when treated it can be overcome. That being said, the stigma associated with leprosy is something that goes much deeper and is not as easy to cure.
The nearly 900 physical exams and nutritional assessments that we did in these homes produced information which will allow the work to continue and prayer- fully will give these children a chance at a full and complete life. The work needs to go on.
The work in Afghanistan, as in India, was very rewarding. My brother Carl Taylor, M.D., who is eighty-nine years old, has been working through Future Generations with an Afghani woman physician named Shukria Hassan. My privilege was to work with them in beginning to access why the maternal mortality rate in Afghanistan is higher than any place else in the world. In order to do this, we spent time in the villages. We created a maternity matrix which was a record for each woman we would be working with, identifying each one of her pregnancies, the course of the pregnancy, the delivery and postpartum and then the condition of the child at the present time. In order to complete this document, we felt that we needed to have a sample of mature women who had experience in life to spend time alone together with us and be able to tell their story. This meant bringing thirty women from ten different villages together to live together, eat together, sleep together and just share experiences. It gave us a chance to talk to them about hygiene, about anatomy and physiology, about what really happens during pregnancy and delivery, information with which they were unfamiliar. As a result, we learned things which even Dr. Shukria who has spent her whole life in Afghanistan was not aware of. The women were excited to share their stories with each other and with us. It was as if they had never really been heard.
These thirty women now have accepted the challenge to help teach the other women in their village and hopefully, help to improve the conditions under which they live. The word I’m getting back is that that is what they are doing.
Dr. Gladys McGarey needs your help to continue healing and empowering the citizens of the world with Living Medicine.
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