Harmonization for Health & Healing: Heart & Soul of American Indian Medicine & What Choctaw Doc is Focused On
When an American Indian (such as "yours truly") speaks of "medicine" it carries a meaning and certain connotations that differ from that held by contemporary non-Indian societies. Whether reared on a reservation or not most of us that retain knowledge of our ancestral ways to approach healing and the restoration of health. These typically consist of more than simply taking a remedy or undergoing a treatment. It involves moving from disharmony to harmony (More on this in a moment.) To us, there is no separation between religion/spirituality and medicine which means healing ceremonies and other measures that tap into the human faculty to believe and marshal his or her innate faculty for healing and restoration go hand-in-hand with herbal medicines and other remedies.
From our perspective all things in nature thrive when in dynamic balance or harmony. There is an interconnectedness and interdependence that favors (to put it in modern parlance) homeostasis (Dynamic equilibrium.) In this regard humankind is seen is viewed as interdependent with other living creatures and physical forces. These form relationships that inform and govern thinking and action. And to achieve and maintain a natural ("correct") relationship is to be in harmony. And when disharmony occurs, these relationships can be strained or even rupture. When this takes place twixt men and nature there are usually consequences including trade-offs and sometimes profoundly destructive events; likewise when disharmony occurs between people and even within people's own bodies.
Much of this likely is very familiar actually. Most of us recognize that our body's constituent biologic systems plus the various modules that make up our mental faculties forge relationships too. If these inner "relationships" are fairly harmonious we thrive; If they do not these disharmonies can be played out in our brains (mental woes) and/or bodies (Given the brain-immune system-other bodily system interfaces and interconnectedness it is not unusual to see disharmony in one impact others.)
This give & take dynamic (if you will) influences and governs not only our bodies, but our communities and societies, and even the biosphere as well. It is thread woven into the fabric of cybernetics, ecology including the Gaia Hypothesis, and many areas of science.
When an individual internal and/or external relationships fall out of harmony distress, discomfort, pain and even disease can result. When this happens the goal becomes one of identifying and (to the extent possible) restoring harmony. This harmonization process may involve removing an impediment or noxious influence, or manipulating, augmenting or assisting native healing and restorative processes. This intervention can involve mind-body practices including the use of placebos, ceremonies or practices that have an immunofacilitation effect, herbal medicines, and more. It sometimes involves something as simple as a walk in the woods communing with Nature and the Great Spirit (HaShem, God, the Great Mystery, the Almighty, the Cause of all Causes, et cetera.)
On this web site I will be introducing remedies and practices to help keep you, the reader or browser as-it-were, in harmony or to get you back in harmony if you are "out of kilter."
Dr. Anthony "Choctaw Doc" Payne
Healing Care 4 U: Lots of free information & ideas
My Personal Blog Site
Traditional (Native American) Indian Medicine Treatment of Chronic Illness: Development of an Integrated Program with Conventional American Medicine and Evaluation of Effectiveness
Systems Medicine: A Primer (Georgetown University)
"Neo-Darwinism, the Modern Synthesis, and Selfish Genes: are they of use in physiology?" The Journal of Physiology 2011, in press. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.201384
"The Clinical Applications of a Systems Approach" Ahn AC, Tewari M, Poon C-S, Phillips RS (2006) The Clinical Applications of a Systems Approach. PLoS Med 3(7): e209. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030209