The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them. Ecclesiasticus 38:4
Unlike conventional medicine, which regards the human being as a machine composed of disparate parts, holistic medicine aims to strengthen the vital or organizing force which permeates the mind/body complex, thus triggering into action the individual’s innate self-healing capacity. (Revisit Module 2 in the Introduction to Herbal Therapeutics.)
The term “holistic” is derived from the Greek holos, meaning whole. It was first used in 1926 by the South African statesman J.C. Smuts (1870 – 1950) to describe the tendency in nature to produce wholes from ordered groups of units.
The ‘vital or organizing force’ is also known as homeostasis (which we’ll discuss in Module 2), a process whereby organisms strive to maintain a steady internal state. The aim of holistic medicine is to strengthen the body’s internal healing system. Just as an impoverished soil weakens the growth of plants and encourages the development of disease and infestation, a poorly functioning healing system allows pathogens to take root and disorders to develop.
Since conventional medicine regards its practitioners as body technicians rather than healers, treatment is geared towards such things as destroying abnormal cells, removing diseased tissue, replacing dysfunctional parts – or perhaps kick-starting, slowing down or blocking the action of aberrant processes. No-one can argue that such measures can sometimes be vital.
Yet, it is also true that conventional medicine tends to weaken the body’s natural healing system by suppressing conditions without removing the cause. At the same time, chemical drugs can have side-effects which the body then has to deal with as well as the disease. This can lead to iatrogenic disease (doctor-induced), a problem which is far more widespread than is generally realised. (Evidence suggests that iatrogenic disease is the third leading cause of death in developed countries.)
Holistic medicine places a greater emphasis on the prevention of disease by supporting and strengthening the body’s natural healing system. Instead of regarding us as passive recipients of medical treatment, holistic medicine demands a great deal of time and commitment from ourselves. It has an unwavering belief in our own capacity to take steps to improve our health and possibly prevent the development of chronic illness.
Granted, this is not as easy as surrendering your body to the doctor and simply taking the medicine, nor can you expect an overnight cure. But the long-term results in terms of increased vitality and life enhancement are well worth the effort.
Holistic medicine recognizes that health is largely dependent upon the quality of the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Perhaps even more important, we need to nurture the spiritual aspect of self; for we are more than a body and a mind. The spiritual aspect is hard to define, but is an integral part of our relationship with ourselves and with other people, of our sense of purpose and meaning, and, indeed, of the health of our planet.
Promoting Health and Vitality
This course is devoted to outlining one of the most ancient and natural ways in which we may begin to create favourable conditions within every level of our being. Both on a macro and micro level. In so doing we will enhance the action of plant remedies – and, indeed, the efficacy of any other method of healing we may choose to employ. For without attention to creating the most favourable conditions within and without, the action of natural remedies is curtailed.
Unlike powerful drugs, which can generally override biochemical processes, the gentle-acting plant remedies we employ work in harmony with the mind/body complex, supporting its self-healing capacity. However, a body congested with sugar, cigarette smoke, junk food, and the debris of a generally unhealthy way of living responds less readily to natural remedies.
This is not the undermine the ultimate superiority of God as the ultimate healer, and/or the psycho-spiritual aspect of self – indeed, some people fail to respond to holistic medicine despite their doing everything ‘right’. Rather, it is to say that the physical aspect, being an interrelated part of the whole, needs to be nurtured by material as well as spiritual means.
The primary aim of the Herbal Therapeutics Specialization is to enable its participants to demonstrate the ability to evaluate, integrate, and apply appropriate information from various sources to formulate therapeutic treatment protocols and to evaluate their effectiveness.
By the end of the course you will be able to:
- List the organs and organ systems involved in detoxification.
- Describe the milieu interior in your own words.
- Describe the main functions of the liver and digestive system.
- Explain homeostasis and its importance to herbologists.
- Describe the three main principles of Nature Cure (Naturopathy).
- Check your Detox Potential.
- List the advantages of therapeutic fasting and the conditions that will benefit from it.
- Describe who should not attempt therapeutic fasting, and who needs to be cautious when attempting a detoxification protocol.
- List the detoxification levels and the primary and secondary detoxification helpers.
- Formulate your own master detoxification action plan (therapeutic detox protocol).
- Formulate a personal detoxification action plan based on your master plan.
It is recommended that you spend 12 – 16 hours on this course. And 3 – 7 days getting the first-hand experience doing a personal detoxification protocol. Avoid the temptation to rush through the material. Take your time to integrate your learning.
Module 1: Introduction and Certificate of Completion (COC) Requirements
Module 2: Anatomy and Physiology
Module 3: Formulating Detoxification Protocols
Module 4: Final Assignment
Let’s get started…