Healing from a Tibb Perspective

Jun 3, 10:52 AM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

I am currently reading a book on Unani Tibb, the ancient traditional medicine of Persia. Tibb medicine is very much aligned with the traditional European approach to aromatherapy, dealing with the concept of treating an individual's terrain rather than addressing specific physical symptoms. This very old form of medicine, which is still practiced today, includes heavy amounts of dietary spices for their healing properties, and makes frequent use of aromatic inhalations.

I'd like to share a few quotes from the book, which are in alignment with my own feelings about healthcare. Be empowered. Listen to your body, use aromatherapy and other natural remedies to take care of the small stuff, and leave the big stuff to allopathic medicine.

"...Most people, through the indoctrinations of the media, have come to accept that it is the hospitals, medicines and doctors which cause healing, and that the patient is simply a passive participant in this process. Of course, such a viewpoint is erroneous, and it is dangerous, because the people have lost control over their own lives."

"The first most important point in considering treatments or therapies is that as many as 80% of all signs, symptoms, maladies and conditions are not signs of disease, but rather evidence of the body performing its own self-cleansing role. Dr Lewis Thomas, physician-philosopher and former head of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute in New York City, stated in an interview for the New Yorker that every honest physician will admit that 80% of his patients' ailments will get better by themselves... This means that physicians spend an undue part of their practice misprescribing for ailments, while at the same time being prevented from concentrating upon more serious cases that require more time than they are accustomed to giving. For the patient, this means that almost all responsibility for knowing about one's own body and health has been lost or abandoned."

" The knowledge of food, bodily processes, fevers, elimination, detoxification, and all of the related topics were once part of the common traditional knowledge of every people in the world. Even as recently as the 1930's, medical doctors shared this knowledge with people and assisted them to regain their own health. It is my contention that each individual has a right and a responsibility to maintain his or her own health... This is not the same as saying that every person should be his or her 'own physician'."

Chisti, Hakim G.M. The Traditional Healer's Handbook: A Classic Guide to the Medicine of Avicenna. 1991. Healing Arts Press: Rochester, Vermont.

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