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Now that the windows are open, I guess I need to explain to my neighbors—thankfully they are not close but might be out walking—that the unusual sounds emanating from my house are not a reason to call 911 or mental health professionals. No, they are the sounds of healing—chanting and toning long guttural ooos, deep, prolonged ahhs, higher pitched eees and the ethereal (or eerie) tones of quartz crystal and Tibetan singing bowls.
Herbal medicine employs many different types of plants ranging in strength from herbs, which can be taken with relative safety, to plants that may have toxicity and should be used only by trained professionals. In the United States herbal medicine usually refers to the use of plants that are indigenous to Europe and Northern America. There are, on the other hand, many different disciplines of herbal medicine including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which uses plants native to China and Asia and Ayurvedic herbal medicine, which uses plants native to India. Herbal Medicine is the oldest known form of medicine and has been around since the earliest writings of our ancestors in the treatment of the common maladies that our early relations regularly encountered. Every culture utilized some form of herbal medicine. In fact, medical doctors in the United States were trained in herbal medicine up until the early 1900’s. Herbology is the foundation that all our modern day pharmaceuticals are based upon. The difference being that through technology and refinement the medicinal compounds originally found in herbs have been carefully extracted and broken down, often synthesized to create advanced substances to treat illness in today’s modern world. In short the use of the term herbology is seen more as healing, balancing and harmonizing the body, where as modern medicine approaches its perspective as a cure using pharmacology as one of its main weapons.
Years ago, I was introduced to the phrase “blowing the stink off” and it stuck with me. At the time, it was in reference to the engine of a car – getting it out on the highway and opening it up so that the gunk and grime that had accumulated from its around-town usage could be cleaned out of the system. The idea was to do this periodically so that the engine would perform better, last longer and generally “run cleaner.” From experience, I will say the effect benefited both the car and the driver. Over time, the practice of “blowing the stink off” has become a regular ritual and has demonstrated its practical applications way beyond the scope of my car.
Dad died in August last year; my own father… a physician and internist, the one who inspired me to be a doctor. It is hard to believe that he is gone; from my sight, from our holiday meals, from our daily lives. What will the Holidays hold for my family and me? This year will be different.
But it was always Dad who said not to worry, that he would be fine. I remember when I was in 9th grade and called 911 after I found my father collapsed in his chair, slumped over his desk in the library where he read each night. He was in the hospital for 2 weeks; when he came home he was very weak. The only thing good that happened was my mother let me drive his car to school and back every day. I felt quite proud of myself, even somewhat “grown-up.”
There are many words of wisdom encouraging us to be better people: love one another, treat others, as we would like to be treated, imagine walking a mile in another’s shoes. Surely our being mindful of these ideas can lead us away from more destructive behavior. Yet I’ve often asked myself how we can fully grasp such concepts when we don’t innately know who we are and what we stand for. In his book, The Search for Authenticity, J.F.T. Bugental states, “the world of daily happenings is set in a larger world of human experience.”
Through a friend we connected with a wonderful event that I feel is headed towards its own version of the Maine Common Ground Fair. I asked Scott to write a piece about SolarFest to give our readers the opportunity to find a new and exciting place to play this summer with some really great people! Thanks Scott.
Much of the innovation and progress taking place today around sustainable energy, both in the US and elsewhere, is happening through small-scale, community involvement. Many visionaries believe that aggressive conservation — ultimately an individual effort — combined with small, sustainable power generation systems interconnected to our existing power grids, will play a critical role in downsizing humanity’s global carbon footprint.
In your reading of this article, kindly keep an open mind and be “open to the possibility” that some of the ideas mentioned may be useful to those helping and working with children who have Autism, their parents and caregivers. The information provided here is “in addition to and not instead of” current established medical protocols and practices for Autism.
The New York Times recently reported that between 1994-2003, the number of children diagnosed as having bipolar disorder has jumped 40 fold, from 20,000 to 800,000 per year. These kids are being treated with drugs that include anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, and stimulants. I know from my work with the ADD/ADHD population that during the same nine year period, there was over a 400% increase in kids age 2 to 4 years old being medicated, even though the Physicians Desk Reference does not recommend common ADD drugs like Ritalin for children under the age of eight. What’s going on?
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