Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Greening of Medicine: Healing the Earth and Our Bodies

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The Greening of Medicine: Healing the Earth and Our Bodies
Sept 10, 2012 | Dr. Stephen Weiss

Sustainable living has become one of the most pertinent current issues in our everyday lives, on both a global and a personal scale.

Living sustainably not only requires respect and understanding for our place within the Earth’s natural balance, but a thorough consideration of the direct impact the Earth’s health has on our bodies.  Our bodies and the environment are not two separate entities: they are deeply connected, and what affects one will ultimately affect the other.

One of the tenets of holistic medicine is the treatment of the person as a whole: not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  It’s not enough to simply treat the symptoms of a problem; instead, holistic medicine delves further, to try and access the cause of the physical symptoms so that the problem at its roots can be eradicated.

In the same vein, it is important that we consider the healing of our environment holistically.  Simply cleaning the pollutants out of a water supply would only temporarily solve the existing problem – the source of the pollutants needs to be eliminated in order to prevent further contamination.  A clean environment alongside sustainable living practices creates a healthier world, which in turn makes for healthier people.

As a holistic medical doctor and homeopath, I specialize in classical homeopathy, a powerfully effective form of alternative medicine that harnesses the body’s natural healing abilities without the use of harsh drugs or chemicals.  In homeopathy, the goal is not the removal of symptoms, but the recognition and removal of their underlying cause.  For this reason, the correct homeopathic remedy is based on understanding the whole person rather than suppressing the symptoms of the disease.  This avoids the all too common cycle of over-medication so prevalent in Western medicine.

To quote Surami Vishnu Devananda from his book Meditation and Mantras, “Symptoms are like a flashing red light on the dashboard of a car indicating that something is wrong.  Eliminating the symptom is like taking a hammer and smashing the light.”  When symptoms are simply suppressed with drugs, this approach to healing becomes a vicious cycle where more medication is needed for new symptoms that arise from an untreated underlying cause.

In order to prescribe a remedy, I ask my patients detailed questions about every aspect of their health, from emotional tendencies to food preferences, and I then prescribe an individualized remedy that most closely fits the totality of their symptoms.  In this way, homeopathy is supremely holistic.

The healing power of homeopathy extends from nature itself: remedies are derived from animal, plant, and mineral sources.  Prescription or over-the-counter drugs that have passed their expiration date are typically disposed of by being flushed down the toilet or drain, but this can cause considerable pollution in wastewater, disrupting fragile ecosystems and causing unintentional human exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Since homeopathic remedies are naturally derived and require no processing aside from dilution in a solution of alcohol and water, they provide one of the safest forms of treatment for thousands of maladies.  And while conventional pharmaceutical research requires either animals or sick humans as test subjects, often inflicting harm in the process, homeopathic remedies are created through processes called provings, which document the symptoms the remedy causes in willing, healthy participants. (To read more about homeopathic provings, read my article “Love as Deep as the Ocean” on my website, www.holisticmedicineheals.com)

Homeopathy’s negative impact on the environment is so small as to be negligible: remedies require extremely tiny amounts of the original organic material that they are derived from.  For example, arnica, a popular and very effective homeopathic remedy that can be used orally or topically for soreness, bruising, or muscular trauma, is derived from the petals of the arnica Montana flower (more commonly known as mountain arnica or wolf’s bane). Very little of the original substance is sacrificed: a single flower can create massive amounts of remedy.

Homeopathy, as a form of energy medicine, is toxin-free and works to enhance the body’s natural healing capacity, leaving no harmful trace on either your body or the environment: a perfect example of sustainable medicine.

To live sustainably, we must keep in mind that our relationship with the environment is a symbiotic one; what harms one will inevitably harm the other.  To keep both ourselves and our earth thriving and healthy, it is important to take a step back to understand the balance in our linked systems that must be maintained.   When that balance is disrupted, whether through pollution, loss of resources, or maybe a particularly stressful day, a holistic approach to the problem will soon uncover the cause of the imbalance, and the healing process can begin.

Dr. Stephen Weiss has been successfully treating patients of all ages in his Holistic Integrative Medical Practice since 1993.  Patients deeply appreciate his genuine, heartfelt compassion and ability to seamlessly combine cutting-edge high tech medicine with numerous effective and safe alternative healing modalities. Please visit his new and improved website to learn a lot more: www.holisticmedicineheals.com.

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