In our day-to-day communications with one another, language alone can convey vast amounts of information. What gives our interactions depth and dimension is the subtext of the subtler messages that accompany speech. Consider the significance of scratching one's head when trying to remember something. We are literally trying to access the thought we are searching for by physically connecting with the source - in this case the brain/mind. Compare this with the poignant gesture of placing one hand over the heart when making a promise or vow; the physical action of connecting the words to the heart adds depth and solemnity to the words, signalling that they come from the very core of the speaker. Who truly knows the ways of the heart? Poets? Mystics? Surgeons? In this reflective letter we will be addressing treatment protocols for illnesses related to this organ of such profound significance to us on both...Read More
In our last discussion we brought up the concepts of “magical thinking, placebo, acculturation, cosmology and the order of healing methods i.e. word, herb, knife.” Since then, there came screaming news headlines about how the drug, Prozac, has been shown to be no more effective than a placebo. What this means is that you really have to believe that Prozac works and then it still only works some of the time. This would not be so bad if there were no side effects. Most often, there are no side effects associated with placebos. If a drug has no more efficacy than a pill of ground almonds but has a side effect of suicide then the comparison to a placebo becomes ludicrous. The scientists, who reviewed the drug studies, concluded that even talk therapy was more effective than the drug. Hippocrates was right when he said “first the word, then the...Read More
When someone identifies himself or herself as a herbalist, what are they saying? What do you have to do to become a herbalist? What do you have to have to practice herbalism? What do you have to be to practice herbalism? What are the tools of the trade? What are the distinguishing marks between the laity and professionals? Many people have hobbies that use the equipment and jargon of the respective professionals. The hobbyists and professionals preface their descriptions of their work with explanations detailing, “work for pay” opposed to “work for joy.” Photography and astronomy are two professions that attract numerous hobbyists. Whilst amateur photographers can button hole you, trapping you with their picture books documenting every aspect of their lives and what they believe is interesting, astronomers tend to hide in the dark, late at night awaiting for the clouds to part so they may observe some faint...Read More
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