Many people think alternative medicine is quackery and those into alternative medicine are often seen with some scepticism as being different or weirdo’s by some people.
But this is probably because Alternative is a poor word used to describe what should mostly be equated to Holistic medicine, (that is those treatments that can show for replicable positive results).
Being from a family of both scientists and healers has provided me with perhaps a bit of a foot in both worlds. So I will try and demystify the tree hugger, bunny loving stereotype so well humoured by mass society that is often associated with healing and alternative medicine.
The fact that we all came from nature-it being our home till relatively recently means that we were all tree huggers in not too a distant time. It is also true that we have become greatly disconnected as a Western society from interacting from plants from about a thousand years ago or even less. With industrialization we became dislocated from our family homes by travelling to sites of production and also having our food produced and outsourced-symbolized I would say by sugar, that you can store and transport and eat with tea under the earth even, e.g., in mining. You could say that refined white sugar is the addictive staple of consumer society that drives many of its illnesses. There is nothing natural about refined sugar.
So much of what we consider normal today, if looked at in perspective, is deranged or maladaptive, considering we lived in close knit communities for thousands of years, grew our own food and used nature as our medicines. Now we spend 90% of our time away from our families, working in offices, growing lawns of grass not food, and taking drugs that don’t heal but suppress symptoms of illness.
The very notion of Alternative medicine is an odd one – that is erroneous I would argue. Western medicine is what is alternative-only being around for 800 years or so.
So plant based medicine is Original Medicine that we have been made to believe is primitive. I can say with great confidence that herbal medicine is not primitive at all but in fact more complex and sophisticated than Western isolate medicine (taking a single chemical out of a plant and putting it in a tablet or pill). We know that many plant chemicals work in synergy in one plant even creating unique healing affects. But this is hard to manage from a pharmaceutical perspective so it is those companies lack of being able to handle that complexity and also wanting to simplify and profit from one substance is why herbal medicine is not put through clinical trials.
So what is Healing and “Alternative” Medicine. Alternative medicine should really be called Holistic Medicine because it addresses many levels of a person. Traditional healers often address social or psychological ills while addressing physical symptoms at the same time. So a healer will ask “Why are you depressed…oh because you are fighting with your dad” they then give counselling and advise, and they can also in tandem give you a tonic plant medicine or a nutritional program to pick up your whole body functioning and mood. Do you see then that healers address many levels of a person from the root of the issue through to the symptoms. Western doctors may just give you an antidepressant without asking much about your life etc.
So Holistic Medicine is more all encompassing than Western Medicine in many cases.
While the power of western medicine is to save lives from infection, and for rare illnesses or diseases to provide specialist therapy or surgery it is very effective, yet by and large Western medicine often bypasses the holistic assessment and intervention, often due to its relationship to time (spending a short amount of time with each patient is standard)-that a holistic assessment requires more of.
I salute all the holistic- alternative medicine healers out there that dedicate so much time to a person in order to help them heal.
Healing is encouraging the bodies own ability to repair itself, so anything that encourages this, is healing, whether its a walk in nature to distress, wholesome food, massage, acupuncture, reiki, plant medicines that raise white blood cells or energy. Those things that RAISE FUNCTIONING IS MEDICINE. Many drugs do not do this.
So if someone hugs a tree means they are connecting to nature and the greater environment which is a sign of wellness. Many people are so stuck in themselves and their minds and ego that they FEAR ANY CONNECTION. This is a sign of illness being withdrawn from anyone and anything.
We need in this modern tech day and age to reconnect to Nature FOR HEALING -that was FOR MILLENIA our home and backyard: the trees, earth, fireplace, nature for medicines and community, to remember our human-ness. There is NOTHING alternative about this way of life – it is our MODERN DAY CONSUMER and artificial tech sickened society that is alternative and a threat to well-being. A balance between the organic technology (Nature) and artificial technology interface (“Smart?”Phones/Gaming/TV) is seriously needed today to prevent the robotization and dehumanization of human society
Let us understand that Alternative Medicine is a poor description of what is in fact Original Plant Based Medicine that we need to esteem and respect again and discover with all our scientific marvels; the Alchemy hidden in the Green Universe of Plants that can help us grow and flourish as a species.
Jean-Francois Sobiecki January 2018