Butterflies and Blazes
Transitions & Transitional Medicine
Journey of Hearts
A Healing Place in CyberSpaceTM
What is Transitional (Transformational) Medicine?
Transitional or Transformational Medicine is a term which describes and finally recognizes an area of medicine, long neglected. The fundamental, underlying concept is recognizing that the mind can and does play a significant role in both the healing and the illness processes. This type of medicine combines conventional, traditional medicine with elements of psychiatry, and alternative therapies.

The Butterfly and Transitional Medicine
The butterfly is a perfect symbol for this type of medicine. It starts life as a caterpillar, then turns into a cocoon, during which time there is a great period of transition and change.
Finally after this time of seclusion and transition, a time when the caterpillar is "coocooned" off away from the rest of the world, with the signals of spring and reawakening, the caterpillar emerges, transformed, forever changed into a beautiful butterfly.

Transitional Medicine and Psychoneuroimmunology
As compared to conventional medicine, which utilizes a mind-body approach, transitional medicine utilizes a mind-body-spirit approach to looking at how medicine is practiced, remembering to look at the impact that the mind is having on the process.
Transitional medicine can also be explained by the relatively new field of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI).  This term can be defined by it's component parts--psyche the mind component or study of psychology, neuro the neurotransmitters and connectors or study of neurology and immunology how the immune system is impacted, or the study of immunology. This area of medicine explores how the mind can and does impact the immune system, the endocrine system, the nervous system, the cardiovascular system. Sometimes the impact is positive (as with enhancing the immune system to combat diseases), other times (as with heart disease and stress) it is negative.

This Website and Transitions
Part of the mission of this website is to help people through the transition phase, to realize that the emotions they may be experiencing are not entirely unique or unusual, that other people have experienced similar news (or worse) and survived.  We hope to provide resources to help people through the transition process and become transformed, ultimately getting through the shock and the loss.
There may be times when the grief reaction to some bad news can be overwhelming to a point of resulting in an acute major depression. We have also provided information and quizzes to help determine if the reaction is an acute depression, and one that might benefit from medical or psychological intervention.

    In the depths  
    of winter, 

    I finally  
    learned that 
    within me 
    there lay 
    an  invincible summer. 

    Albert Camus
 The goal of the creators of this website is to help provide the resources to help people find their "invincible summer" source of strength in the midst of the winter of a grief or transitional process.

These coping resources are both internal and external sources, which aid in getting through the transitional period and the grief phase, the coocoon phase. The ultimate goal is to reach an integration phase, the transformed phase and emerge from the process, forever changed, as the butterfly. 

For a poem that describes the process of transformation, link to the site Transformation.

For more information on Transitional and Transformational Medicine and its role in the grief and healing process, link to site Transitional and Transformational medicine.

Last updated January 19, 1998
All material, unless otherwise specified, is copyrighted 1997-8 by Journey of Hearts A Healing Place in CyberSpace. We invite you to share the information on this site with others who may benefit, but ask that you share from the heart only and not for profit.