On our way out of Sacramento, we swung by to speak with Dr. Kelly Sutton at her office in Fair Oaks. Dr. Sutton is a family physician practicing anthroposophic medicine at Raphael Medicine + Therapies, where she shares her space with other therapists who broaden the scope of care available to patients. Therapies offered include Therapeutic Eurythmy with Cynthia Hoven, Spacial Dynamics with Olivia Huff, Therapeutic Speech with Helen Lubin, and Painting Therapy with Pamela Whitman.
The practice offers the following description of its approach to healing:
“The picture of the human being as having individuality (spiritual make-up), soul qualities (emotional make-up), and life forces, as well as the physical body we recognize, gives rise to healing from sources beyond physical substances. The unique therapeutic movement system, therapeutic eurythmy, brings into play the life forces for the sake of healing. Painting therapy supports strengthening of soul and its working in the physical organism. Rhythmical massage therapy enlivens the physical and life forces connection. Therapeutic speech, music therapy, therapeutic baths each heighten the full integration of aspects of the human organism in its path to healing.
While the path of the doctor is the path of substance, the path of the anthroposophic therapist is the use of archetypal movements and soul and spiritual capacities in the human being for healing.”
This kind of collaboration is so needed in our times! We had an interest in meeting Dr. Sutton based on the steady outreach that she seems to do in her community. For example, she offers a Second Saturday Series on the second Saturday of every month, which is a series of free public lectures on anthroposophic medicine. What a gift to the community! On the weekend we visited, she had just offered a morning on Arthritis and Diabetes.
Dr. Sutton was already a practicing doctor, interested in exploring a more holistic approach, when she enrolled her children in the Waldorf School. From there, she learned about anthroposophic medicine and felt called to this path, but there was at that time no training available in the United States. Around that time, Dr. Thomas Cowan needed someone to cover his practice for a year, and Dr. Sutton stepped in for him. She also had the opportunity to cover for and work with Dr. Christa Van Tellingen, who had a practice in Fair Oaks. Dr. Van Tellingen has remained a mentor to Dr. Sutton, and after she left her practice in Fair Oaks, Dr. Sutton stepped in to pick it up. We really appreciated this picture of helping to carry another’s work. So beautiful! These days, Dr. Sutton would love to have a younger doctor join her practice so that she, too, will have a successor when the time comes.
There are a number of older patients in the Sacramento community, Dr. Sutton shared. It is so important to ensure that the quality of care she is able to provide can continue after her eventual retirement. Indeed, Dr. Sutton’s background and experience are invaluable! Over the years, she has studied the use of botanicals in medicine, mentioning the Mederi Foundation, which combines botanical and nutritional therapies in working toward the transformation of healthcare. Dr. Sutton’s work is research based, truly in the spirit of initiative. Speaking of working with cancer patients, she shared that her work is to build health, not just kill cancer. What a crucial gesture for our times!
Dr. Sutton has a heart for the periphery, for the under-recognized. “Be open to people who are peripheral.” These words speak to the spirit of our journey, as we seek to meet those known and unknown in our movement; those who are like-minded and those who hold differing viewpoints. How are we creating space for the other? Are we truly listening? What do we have to learn and what can we offer in the spirit of true community?
Dr. Sutton recommended the Sophia Foundation as a group working with a truth-filled essence. Even Spacial Dynamics, she said, could be seen as peripheral in our movement. Considering the Society, Dr. Sutton feels that is important for it to recognize: “We have thoughts, but where is there life, love, community?” She asked if we knew of the Society’s split in 1935. We are aware of it. For Dr. Sutton and for many others, it is of great significance that Valentin Tomberg was let go from the Society. Many feel that he brought such beautiful heart forces for this work.
We really appreciate Dr. Sutton making time for us and holding the space for our conversation as we were running late in our travels. Also, we appreciate hearing about the work happening in a variety of groups. We had been offered a Spacial Dynamics practice of The Cross for our journey, which offers a beautiful blessing of the spaces we meet.
It is inspiring to know that such good medical outreach is going on in Sacramento. Coming up on August 10, Dr. Sutton will host Alice Stamm to present a public lecture on Therapeutic Eurythmy in “support of patients working” with cancer. To learn more about Dr. Sutton and her practice, see her site here: http://www.raphaelmedicine.com/