11th May 2011: Into the Vortex: when Western Medicine met Divine Healing by Zahra Patel

Photographer: James Nachtwey*
Photographer: James Nachtwey*

On Wednesday 11th May 2011 at 7.30 pm Zahra Patel gave a talk on Vortex Healing at the Bay Horse in the Northern Quarter

Name of Speaker:

Zahra Patel
Talk Brief:

  • My encounter with a Vortex healer in India
  • My rationale (as someone from a Western medical background) of the healing art
  • The healer’s rationale of her art
  • Whether the two perspectives can have a constructive conversation
  • What do you think?

A few lines about the history of my subject:
I met a Vortex healer in India last year who performed a healing on me after much scepticism on my part. I chose to relate this to a module in medicine in which we focused on harnessing multiple perspectives in a globalised world.  I’ve used the dialogue between myself and the healer to demonstrate how a conversation can be had between two apparently antagonistic perspectives.  I’d like to invite you to share your perspective on my narrative.
A few words about myself and my passion:
I’m a third year medical student and am very curious about the place of alternative therapy in the healing process. To me and many, it reveals the failure of Western medicine to address important aspects of health in the treatment process. These deficiencies in Western treatments can be an important trigger for reconstructing our ideas of health for the better.
I’ve been drawn to spiritual healing practice in particular, as I was incessantly confronted by it whilst in India. I sense a growth of interest in this arena – the spiritual healing courses available to doctors and nurses in the NHS are a good example of this. In my research, I’ve discovered attempts at incorporating spirituality within the definition of health and tenuous attempts at defining what the ‘spiritual’ is itself. I very much value evidence-based medicine, which is why allowing a space for these healing practices has felt, at times, somewhat erratic. In the end, I’d say that both practices would benefit from a good (pub) conversation.
Suggested websites where further information may be found:


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