In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions. When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence? -Gabrielle Roth
This quote highlights one of the fundamental differences between the Western medical model, and one that considers social and cultural factors important in well-being. The latter is relational; it explores the inextricable impact of family, society, institutions, and culture. It recognizes that non-suffering is associated with a sense of freedom--a freedom that is not conferred through the endless cycle of another pill, another doctor's opinion, another fight for patient-centered care that is characteristic of most veteran's healthcare options. Where there is no freedom, and personal agency is controlled strictly by biomedical authority, suffering becomes embodied in chronic dis-ease.
Sadly, most veterans have few or no other options for care, and this is especially troublesome for issues about sexuality and intimacy. As Warrior Intimacy Institute grows, we hope to change that as we forge our mission of providing more holistic resources and approaches for restoring and maintaining fulfilling sexual and intimate lives. In addition to resources about intimate relationships and sexual wellness, we will also focus on topics such as creating meaning through ritual, finding purpose and connection in the natural environment, and other "outside the box" topics that are often overlooked--but much needed--in sexuality and intimacy.