Principles of Holism

principles of holism
Dr Julian N Kenyon

The ‘Principles of Holism’ are admirably described by Dr. Julian N. Kenyon in his book ‘21st Century Medicine’. These, written below, show just how far orthodox Western medicine is presently from a philosophy of health that looks at the whole person.

1. Relatedness of all things is of major importance

2. The concept of balance as succinctly described by traditional Chinese medicine is an indicator of health

3. Disease is looked upon as an imbalance arising from a faulty relationship or relationships either inside or outside the patient. The key to cure is to look for and correct the relationship

4. A recognition of the importance of the environment in its material, psychological and social aspects

5. Any patient is a potentially self-healing system and can be aided on his way by means of therapies which are participatory rather than passive or suppressive

6. A devolution of power to the patient, with equal power sharing between doctor and patient

7. A preference for causally directed therapy as opposed to suppressive therapy

8. An acknowledgement of the spiritual nature of mankind and a recognition of the validity of subjective experience

9. A willingness to look at, to use and to assess all the natural therapies and an open-minded yet critical acceptance of the various theories of biological energy

10. Lastly, but most important of all, a recognition, probably for the first time in modern medicine, that the healer, the physician himself, should heal himself, as he has been the neglected part of the healing circuit for too long

In holistic terms you are the best person to be responsible overall for your health maintenance and treatment. Although your doctor may be a good first choice for diagnosis, only you can get deeply in touch with your condition for self healing. Only you know all the details and at some level your body actually knows what it needs. In our reductionist Western philosophy we have separated out ‘food’, ‘medicine’ and ‘health’ as different areas, mainly to serve the needs of consumer capitalism.

Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not finding that truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work”.
Albert Schweitzer

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…

Medicine Gone Bad

bad medicineIn pre-industrial societies disease was not seen as a ‘random assault from outside’ but as a deeply significant life event integral to the sufferer’s whole being – spiritual, moral, physical and life course – past, present and future.

In modern culture this whole aspect of treating disease is lost. Disease was interpreted as packed with moral, spiritual and religious messages as one of the many ways through which ‘God revealed his will to mankind’. Other philosophies of medicine such as Ayurvedic or Tibetan think similarly, in these, disease even has a karmic aspect.

Around the tenth century in Europe – after the so called ‘Dark Ages’ – women, the original stewards of the land (men did ‘animal husbandry’), were dispossessed of it by the new patriarchies of the Church and State. This male hierarchy hid the things they were most afraid of, namely the fact that it is women who hold the key to the processes and powers of life. They took them as their own, decreeing laws about how we should behave to impose control and inventing ‘original sin’ allied to the curse of Eve and the demonisation of women..

From the early Middle Ages there came a prolonged persecution of women involved in healing. Some sources estimate 5 – 9 million women were destroyed across Europe during this persecution although others claim this a gross exaggeration. Essentially the role of women as healers was discouraged as part of a shift to a patriarchy. This resulted in the destruction of indigenous folk medicine in Europe.

The roles of women in mothering and ‘home-making’ and its many associated skills are still regarded as worthless according to our primarily fiscal values based on GDP. One of the most important things for our future, bringing children into the world, is totally financially unsupported.

When a patriarchy took over, one of the things that happened was that ‘healing’ and ‘spirituality’ were separated out. This shift left our culture bereft of many means of self-healing as a personal journey. The world of spirit and physic were separated and became even more so during the great ‘Age of Reason’ that began with Descartes and continued with Newton and Darwin, the tail-end of which many are presently clinging to in desperation and a degree of applied self-interest. Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) was a central influence on the 17th century revolution that began modern science and philosophy. His ‘Method of Doubt’ was published in 1637:

“I resolved to reject as false everything in which I could imagine the least doubt, in order to see if there afterwards remained anything that was entirely indubitable”.

The philosophy of ‘Cartesian dualism’ became part of our science, where the mind and the body are seen as essentially separate. Misguidedly (it was not Descartes’s intention) this philosophy contributed to the mechanistic and rational philosophy of the universe adopted by our culture. Descartes was one of the first people to suggest that ‘phenomena could be understood by breaking them down into constituent parts and examining each minutely’. His view of the human body as a machine functioning within a mechanistic universe took prevalence within the Age of Reason.

“Consider the human body as a machine. My thought compares a sick man and an ill-made clock with my idea of a healthy man and a well made clock”.

This attention to analytical detail is still at the heart of our scientific research methodologies. Even during the time of Sir Isaac Newton the human body was viewed as an intricate biological machine. The Universe was an orderly, predictable but divine mechanism, a ‘grand clockwork’. Although hundreds of years have passed, Western scientific medicine still holds the same basic philosophy, but is more sophisticated in studying biological mechanisms at a molecular level. Our cultural values are more biased towards examining constituent parts as unrelated than ‘seeing a whole picture’.

The first Newtonian approaches were essentially surgical. The body was seen as if it were a complex plumbing system. If it went wrong the offending piece was removed or bypassed. These days instead of using knives, drugs are often used to do more or less the same things.

Humans though are far more than walking sacks of chemicals. The animating life-force central to other medical systems is an energy that is not addressed by modern scientific methodology and there are no medical models that explain what it is and what it does. It is misguided by the concept that all illnesses are cured by physically repairing or eliminating abnormal cells. This reveals a deep conflict between ‘Western’ and Eastern’ medical philosophies that has its roots in the division of science and religion.

Degenerative disease cannot be treated effectively under a philosophy of reductionism. Research has failed to find effective cures for modern diseases because it is looking in the wrong places with the wrong tools.

Modern disease needs to be understood as a ‘whole’ disease in relation to each individual’s experience and the culture of which they are part. It has multiple causes that vary with each patient. General ‘same cure for everybody’ pills are only produced in the interests of drug manufacturers and they occlude self-healing as an option.

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…

Patient Advocacy

patient advocacyHealth Services have identified that the needs of patients are central in 21st century medicine. ‘Patient advocacy’ is a term that describes this process that recognises the role of the patient in their own cure.

In alternative medicine, self-healing means first making a decision to take conscious control of a situation, maybe a ‘crisis’, and then making a shift in your emotions and vibrational orientation. Moving from a dis-eased state to a healing one, means leaving behind the old ways of thinking and the emotions that produced the need for the disease. If we use orthodox medicine to remove the ‘effects’ of the disease without changing the underlying patterns that caused it, the disease is likely to re-occur or ‘come out somewhere else’.

The ‘World Cancer Research Fund UK Expert Report: Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a global perspective’, suggests that as many as 100,000 cases of cancer could be prevented in the UK each year through healthy diet and lifestyle choices alone.

But we are creatures of habit and comfort and rarely change ourselves unless we have some incentive. With an established ‘nanny state’ in UK, combined with a lack of common education about health and ‘self-maintenance’, medicalisation is creeping into many aspects of life. Traditionally our doctors are respected and educated people who know more about our bodies than we do. If our body goes wrong it needs ‘medicine’ which is a highly specialised field.

Several factors are combining to make this ‘deference to authority’ concerning our bodies a dangerous choice. In other cultures where spirit and physic are still joined, such as China, people will actively try to increase their understanding of disease and seek out different treatments on different levels.

With chemical manufacturers producing many harmful rather than nutritional foods the onus has to be on us as individuals to make ‘healthy choices’ and read the labels at least. This would seem straightforward until we enter the world of dietary supplements. In the UK there are still many of these available (although legislation is changing this).

These supplements are not allowed to carry any information as to their use on their labels, which makes preventative self-medicating a problem for those who want to take responsibility for their own well being.

Although patient advocacy is an important move towards ‘self-healing’ it can only occur when the patient has real knowledge of the choices that are available.

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…

The Power of Immunity

immunity to diseaseThe diseases of old that so ravished our Western cultures are mostly cured. Western medicine has produced literally world saving vaccines and antibiotics. It has created drugs and surgical techniques that do amazing things. It has virtually eliminated all the serious communicable diseases  such as leprosy, plague, tuberculosis, tetanus, syphilis, rheumatic fever, pneumonia, meningitis, polio, septicaemia. There are very few women dying in childbirth compared to the past.

Western medicine has been, and is, a triumph in the face of these problems that worried us back then the way cancer and heart disease worry us today. Even the big medical problems of the 1930’s and 40’s and before have literally vanished in the First World.

But the age of infectious disease has given way to the age of chronic disorders. The major killers today are heart and vascular disease, chronic degenerative diseases and cancer, largely incurable and increasing in incidence. The fourth biggest killer is now rumoured to be medical treatment itself.

The strategies that worked so well for all but eliminating acute infectious diseases just don’t seem to work for chronic and degenerative conditions. Patients can be at best increasingly ‘patched up’ by orthodox treatments but at spiraling health care costs.

“The prevalence of asthma, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, immune deficiency syndrome, HIV and a host of other debilitating conditions is increasing. Conventional biomedicine – so strikingly successful in the treatment of overwhelming infections, surgical and medical emergencies and congenital defects, has been unable to stem the tide of these conditions”.
James Gordon M.D., Washington, D.C.

In brief, modern medical research is still using the techniques established to cure serious communicable diseases. They aren’t working well on modern degenerative diseases like cancer and heart disease, the two biggest killers in the western world.

All medical drugs are toxic and adding toxicity to an already failing immune system can do little more than hide or block a symptom that is likely to appear elsewhere if not cured. The causes of modern degenerative disease are complex and varied and need treating with similar scope at an holistic level, that is, tuned to the individual. There are vested interests at work in the medical treatment of disease – the big companies want expensive pills or treatments that will create profits for them – so many simple remedies, often cheap or freely available, go unresearched.

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…