The ancient Greek philosopher, Hippocrates (aka – father of modern medicine), taught his students that disease was NOT a punishment inflicted by the gods as was thought by the Greeks, rather it was the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits.
Hippocrates said, “first consider the nature of man: then consider his food, environment, customs and mode of life. We view the whole man. Not his disease.”
When I was diagnosed with Thyroid Disease none of the doctors viewed me in my entirety – they didn’t question my diet, lifestyle, or my relationship to nature. They only saw my disease and therefore could only see one small piece of the puzzle.
What you put your attention on grows and if all we see is disease, then that is what grows.
Had my doctors applied the Hippocratic model of healing they would have been able to clearly see I was out of balance on many levels.
My diet was crap, my lifestyle was chaotic, I had little connection to nature or the environment, and my relationship to my “self” was in disharmony. I was highly self-destructive, lacked spiritual awareness and understanding, and all of these factors contributed to my disease.
Modern medical practice is designed to detect disease first and then treat symptoms of that disease. It neglects environmental factors, nature, food, and living habits. This is a reversed model from what the great sages and ancient healers understood. Without a basic understanding of where and how the disease originated, true healing can’t begin.
Human beings are out of balance on many levels and don’t understand our connection to nature, the seasons, the environment, our food and living habits, and our self.
This is one of the main reasons millions of us are chronically suffering with so many preventable diseases such as cancer, arthritis, immune deficiencies, infertility, diabetes, digestive disorders (IBS, Crohn’s, Colitis, Candida), thyroid disease, adrenal fatigue, and other bodily dysfunctions.
Paracelsus, a German physician and alchemist, made groundbreaking advances in the field of homeopathic medicine. He said, “The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.”
My own healing journey began by opening my mind and attempting to understand myself, my disease, and my connection to nature and the environment on a deeper and more intimate level.
Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
So that’s where I began; I changed the quality of my diet and incorporated healing foods as my medicine. But that was only the beginning. I knew there was more to healing that I needed to understand.
The Buddha, said “to keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
With each passing season, as my body grew stronger and healthier, my mind became clearer as well.
Wise sages and healers throughout time have understood the inner workings of the body and were able to alter the progression of disease, returning the patient to a balanced condition. One of the ways they did this was by aligning the human being back to nature, and their connection to the environment.
They understood humans were connected to the universe and to nature as the provider.
Classic Ayurvedic teachings and Traditional Chinese medicine both advise that human beings are a part of the whole universe and are not separate from nature, but are part of nature.
Nature provides everything we need for survival, just as every other creature on the planet. But, we don’t follow the laws of nature.
We think we are smarter than nature. I believe, this is our main cause of disease… we are arrogant.
An Arabian proverb says, “arrogance diminishes wisdom.”
Ancient healers were connected to the belief system that man is a smaller version of the bigger universe. They applied the elements and cycles of nature to our human existence to help restore health, happiness and deeper connection to everything.
For us modern folks to heal our current health crises, we need to follow the wisdom of our ancestors.
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Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.
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