Suggestion or no suggestion this ‘Mills & Boon’-esque novel segment provokes your mental and emotional understanding of the balance of art and science. It also, without a doubt, deflowers my blog with a bang and includes the all vital ‘captivating erotisism’ aspect the western world is all too familiar with!
…With her foot propped on the baths edge she ran her soft oil smothered hands down her thigh allowing her newly cleansed skin to be enveloped in sensation…she knew he was watching…her every move tantalizing…but the suspense drove her equally as wild.
Science derives from the Latin scientia meaning knowledge, which enables you to understand the previously described physiological response to touch. Art, from the Latin artem meaning skill, shows how previous tactile experience enables you to mentally and emotionally relate to all heightened experiences. Without, prior knowledge new experiences gained have little meaning which is where the art of any craft is validated. Your response to the above comes through an equal balance of skills and knowledge, emotion and logic, art and science. However, this is not a discussion on arousal…
On a professional basis, the union of art and science is accounted for on these same response levels. Physically, visually and emotionally skills and knowledge are partnered and this is a concept many primary health care providers, and even some health care models, fail to acknowledge.
Linear taught knowledge can only account for half the real world application, the other half must come through physical experience. From my own discovery I have spent countless hours learning more yet knowing less and without hands on experience my taught knowledge has little real world applicatory benefit. My understanding did not truly take on meaning until I palpated my first abdomen. This first, like many other firsts, added little extra to my knowledge bank but through continued determination I no longer required visual stimulus to evaluate fetal positioning. My hands became my eyes, much like feelers on an insect, and I determined shapes within through skill and knowledge. Being able to communicate with ink is a skill in itself, but verbal communication combines perceived information with concrete understanding and in the real world is how practitioners convey thoughts.
Art and science are also linked through visual observation, in the literal sense. Professionals/people in general forget largely about the skill of observation and how subtle body cues and interactions are equally as important as those diagnosed though a test. This is one of the greatest skills a practitioner can have up their sleeve but at the same time it is one not easily taught. It requires perception and perception cannot be obtained without knowledge, but knowledge cannot be understood without perception. In other words the art of a craft cannot be fully understood without the science and vice versa, the key being vice versa. By observing subtle cues one can determine pain or joy. For example, we know when a person limps it suggests they are in pain (learnt knowledge) and through continued experience we can determine by the way they are limping exactly what is sore (perceptive understanding). In clinical I have come to understand that I do not require a piece of technology to tell me how far along the birth process a woman is, her body language and subtle cues relate directly to her progress.
Like physically or visually combining skills and knowledge people also have an innate emotional response to a situation. Empathy, the feeling or capacity for awareness and ability to emotionally relate to another is a bridge between skill and knowledge. Using empathy to communicate, means using art to convey science and through our own personal world view understanding, we are able to define professionalism. I revert back to my first clinical experience, having never physically or visually experienced birth I used my emotional understanding of pain to relate to the woman. This empathy enabled connection and through a balance of art and science kept professionalism. Had I not emotionally found a connection no matter how much skill or knowledge I previously obtained I would not have gained trust…one of the fundamental principles of professionalism (which in itself is a balance of relating, art, and understanding, science).
When this balance is disrupted and tipped to either extreme many professions lose focus on the holistic goal intended. The medical model is one of the health sector’s greatest examples of the art and science homeostatic imbalance. It prides itself on definitive diagnosis via technology; all science, no art. It discredits anyone who is has a connection to their body, who is so in tune they can TELL you what is wrong regardless of any test. The medical model also prides itself on being at the forefront of healthcare. Yet how can something with such an imbalance be considered the epitome of wellness! It promotes the destruction of art through scientific over powerment and a lack of partnership based communication. But, this isn’t an argument on the medical model either…
Back in the 1640’s, Descartes spoke of Cartesian dualism, or the mind body split, showing how the body was conceptualized as a machine. On the other hand, the mind was seen as something uncontrollable and if something could not be proven with technology it was deemed to be untrustworthy. Descartes was onto something here and the mind body split can be related to the art (mind) science (body) split and also to the medical model of practice. Thankfully today we have come to understand that the mind and body are an interlinked unit through which the nervous system, on both conscious and subconscious level, is the communicator. Technology and therefore science alone cannot fully explain this connection and it has been shown time and time again that a mentally/emotionally imbalanced mind directly relates to the physical body ailments and vice versa.
Balance is the key to existence and what is art without science. Physically, visually, and emotionally professions/professionals/ p-e-o-p-l-e need to find a way of communicating through connection. It doesn’t matter whether this is by using a slightly tantalizing segment, tactile perception, visual observation, empathy or just plain common sense; what matters is understanding skill has equal relevance to knowledge. When the partnership of art and science is acknowledged and accepted inter and intra professional communication will flourish.