Ancient Healing Methods Offer an Alternative Paradigm in Health
As long as life has existed on earth, so have issues associated with maintaining health and the remediation of disease. Today, when many of us get sick, our first course of action is to call the doctor and make an appointment. After the poking, prodding and potential battery of tests, we leave the doctor’s office with a little piece of paper with the prescription for some synthetic based medication written on it.
Our current practice of health care is based upon what is called allopathic medicine. The premise of allopathic medicine is the use of “opposites” to heal the body. Practitioners, instead of addressing the cause of a disease, deal with a health concern by suppressing its symptoms. If a patient is retaining water, they are given a diuretic to promote urination. Likewise, if the individual is suffering from a severe cough, a cough suppressant is administered.
Early in the 1800’s scientists learned how to extract the active constituents of herbal remedies. They also discovered how to create formulas that mimicked the efficacy of traditional natural remedies out of inorganic sources. These “drugs” unlike earlier natural preparations could be patented and sold for a profit. Not long after, allopathic western medicine got its foothold in society with the formation of the American Medical Association (AMA). Physicians, in conjunction with their pharmacological brothers began prescribing these newly created “prescription drugs” to their patients.
By 1904, members of these elite and increasingly powerful groups, like the tribunals of the inquisition, systematically began to attack physicians who incorporated traditional, non-evasive or drug free healing methods in their practice. These physicians were often defamed, being called frauds, charlatans and quacks or were put in jail for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, their lives were ruined.
Our perspective on traditional methods of healing has dramatically shifted from those held by people living in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Many view alternative health therapies with suspicion. Some have come to see them as evil or the work of the devil. Our hesitancy to embrace the traditional methods offered by today’s alternative health practitioners originated because for the last one hundred years we have only heard one voice when it comes to health care, the voice of the AMA. Through their marketing tactics, we have been brainwashed into believing that these methodologies have very little or no curative powers. Traditional alternative health methods, however, have been utilized for millennia. We each stand here in mute witness to their efficacy, because as a species we have survived.
Our knowledge of traditional healing methods comes into full view when we evaluate the medical know-how of the ancient Egyptians. The renown of Egyptian physicians was recognized all over the ancient world. Our understanding of why we get sick has evolved since antiquity. We no longer believe illness to be the work of evil spirits, yet these early medical specialists, like alternative health practitioners today, understood the necessity of cleansing the body to eliminate negative humors to restore health.
The ancient Egyptians regularly treated ailments with medicinal herbs. Image source .
The ancient Egyptians, unlike their modern western counterparts, recognized the importance of a healthy diet. In addition to the use of therapeutic foods, they had a vast understanding of medicinal herbs and incorporated techniques such as massage and color therapy into their healing practice. Papyrus texts indicate that they had remedies for illnesses of the bones, the teeth, for treating the blood, nausea, ulcers, the heart, lungs, urinary tract, inflammation of the joints and many more.
The foundation of health practices of early and indigenous cultures around the worked, although perhaps less refined than those of the ancient Egyptians, did follow a similar and consistent theme. Their goal was to heal the “whole” person and not just remediate disease. A group’s shaman or medicine man offers a similar set of services as the early physicians of Egypt. These healers like a contemporary medical intuitive, diagnose disease. They are reported to have the ability to look into the body of their patients and see their illnesses. Their assessments, not only evaluated their patient’s physical health, but their mental and emotional health as well.
In these cultures, herbal remedies featured prominently. Preparations such as herbal tonics, washes, massages and even aromatherapies were often recommended. Treatments such as sweating, as we see today in contemporary saunas were utilized. We now recognize the value of sweating. It helps cleanse the body of toxic elements and boosts the immune system. Hot baths were also employed. Bathing calms the nervous system and can help stimulate blood circulation. It can also help relieve common aches and pains of the body.