Natural health is the term we use at Spanimax to describe all methods, medicine, and health systems which adhere to a 100% natural approach. This encompasses all steps taken for the prevention and treatment of disease with natural medicine and methodology.
The essentials of natural health are nutrition, fitness and all positive instinctive measures taken for good health in all its forms: Physical, mental, emotional and social. In the pursue of natural health we avoid synthetic medicine and use instead those provided by nature (mostly in the form of herbs and essential oils). Among treatment options we choose among a whole array of useful natural therapies which treat the real causes of disease instead of only the symptoms.
Modern western synthetic conservative medicine is called by its promoters "conventional medicine". The reason is obvious: it sounds respectable, absolute and ruling. Conventional means formed by agreement. But conventional has another meaning too which is a closer definition of conventional medicine. It is "lacking originality or individuality". This meaning fits synthetic conservative medicine perfectly.
The promoters of conventional medicine have come up with another definition when addressing natural health substances and methods. It is called CAM for Complementary and alternative medicine. As if nature needed to complement and become an alternative to human made things.
The natural health approach is not a passive one without our intervention. We humans belong to nature, so we are complementary and holistic in our own right.
Our constant technological advances can be put to good health use as we follow natural scientific principles. Many methods within modern western medicine can then become complementary and integrative to nature's way, which is how it should be. Some important areas are surgery, testing, diagnosis, functional medicine and rehabilitation, eventhough the specter in wich modern medicine can contribute to nature's way is very wide. Modern medicine must revolutionize itself, adopt personalized routines and a natural approach. This will make sure physicians can fulfill their useful role in society according to the Hippocratic Oath they swear to: "I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure."
Natural health makes use of many principles and understands wholeness. An important basic principle is Vitalism, the doctrine which proves there's a vital rule behind all functions in a living organism distinct from the laws of physics and biochemistry.
Vitalism has a long history in medical philosophies: most traditional healing practices posited that disease results from some imbalance in the vital energies that distinguish living from non-living matter. The therapies that continue to be most intimately associated with vitalism are biofield therapies (BT). Examples include therapeutic touch, Qigong, Reiki, external qi, chakra healing and SHEN therapy. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) recognizes biofield (energy based) therapies as part of its 5 year strategic plan.
In the Western tradition founded by Hippocrates (the father of naturopathic medicine), these vital forces were associated with the four temperaments and humours; Eastern traditions posited similar forces such as qi and prana. Hippocrates believed that an organism is not passive to injuries or disease, but rebalances itself to counteract them. The state of illness, therefore, is not a malady but an effort of the body to overcome a disturbed equilibrium. It is this capacity of organisms to correct imbalances that distinguishes them from non-living matter.
When studying the anatomy of the human body, Galen did not believe that living organisms could be explained by mindless interplay of atoms, he believed there was a vital force which powered the human body. The founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, promoted an immaterial, vitalistic view of disease: "...they are solely spirit-like (dynamic) derangements of the spirit-like power (the vital principle) that animates the human body."
Perhaps more than any other area of science, psychology has been rich in vitalist concepts, particularly through the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. The neuroscientist Roger Sperry, in his Nobel Prize lecture in 1981, described modern scientific concepts of the nature of consciousness and its relation to brain processing and emergent properties as follows: "The events of inner experience, as emergent properties of brain processes, become themselves explanatory causal constructs in their own right, interacting at their own level with their own laws and dynamics. The whole world of inner experience, long rejected by 20th century scientific materialism, thus becomes recognized and included within the domain of science."
According to traditional Chinese medicine, meridians are paths through which the life-energy known as "qi" flows. There are about 650 acupoints and 20 meridians connecting most of the points. These 20 meridians include the "twelve regular channels" or "twelve regular meridians", with each meridian corresponding to each organ; nourishing it and extending to an extremity. There are also "Eight Extraordinary Channels" or meridians, two of which have their own sets of points, and the remaining ones connecting points on other channels.
The twelve regular meridians are divided into Yin and Yang groups. The Yin meridians of the arm are: Lung, Heart, and Pericardium. The Yang meridians of the arm are: Large Intestine, Small Intestine, and Triple Warmer. The Yin Meridians of the leg are Spleen, Kidney, and Liver. The Yang meridians of the leg are Stomach, Bladder, and Gall Bladder. In Applied kinesiology (AK) which is used for diagnosis and determination of therapy, each muscle relates to a specific meridian and its associated body organ.
Acupoints are locations on the body that are the focus of acupuncture, acupressure, sonopuncture and laser acupuncture treatment. Several hundred acupuncture points are located along meridians (connected points across the anatomy which affect a specific organ or other part of the body). There are also numerous "extra points" not associated with a particular meridian.
The eight extraordinary meridians are of pivotal importance in the study of Qigong and T'ai chi ch'uan. These eight extra meridians are different to the standard twelve organ meridians in that they are considered to be storage vessels or reservoirs of energy and are not associated directly with the Zang Fu or internal organ
Other articles in this series
- Medicine: Definitions
- Medicine: Ancient writings
- Botanical medicine
- Some Effects of Disconnecting the Cerebral Hemispheres; Roger W. Sperry
- Standard Acupuncture Nomenclature; World Health Organization.
- The Liberation of Life: From the Cell to the Community; Charles Birch, John B. Cobb.
- The notion of nature in chemistry; Schummerr.
- Molecular vitalism; Kirschner, Gerhart, Mitchison.
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