Continuing on with The Fourfold Path to Healing, we will be covering individual diseases this week, beginning with infectious disease today. I love that in his introduction he calls it the: Art of Medicine (just like we say we’re practicing the art of strength). Emphasizing that disease must come first from some level of the soul, that it is poetic, and that medicine should be seen more as an art form than science. Sure drugs and vitamins or surgery to ‘fix’ us initially makes us feel better, but if we don’t take care of the soul’s needs the disease will come back. Each section or disease we will first evaluate the condition, then look at food, medicine (which I will actually not cover, if you want to know Cowan’s suggestions you’ll have to get the book), movement, and meditation. Since medicine is art and poetic (and seeing as I’m in to reading poetry lately, I thought I’d include it), he begins with a poem by Wallace Stevens:
Two things of opposite natures seem to depend
On one another, as a man depends
On a woman, day on night, the imagined
On the real. This is the origin of change.
Winter and spring, cold copulars, embrace
And forth the particulars of rapture come.
An infectious disease is in reality the body’s way of cleansing itself. Traditionally medicine looks at he instigator (like germs and viruses), without much consideration of tendering the soil and terrain. He goes into an explanation from Rudolf Steiner and sclerosis but what you need to know is that disease is when we become hardened or sclerotic (according to Steiner). We do this naturally as water in our tissues declines along with gradual calcification and elasticity loss in our muscles. This is the normal process for aging, however circumstances can make us premature early:
- synthetic vitamin D (accelerate calcification)
- exposure to violence, hatred, and cynicism (yep bet you didn’t see that one coming, but a ‘hardened soul’ can premature age you. Just think of those from worn torn countries or rough upbringings, who seem to be old beyond their years)
- hardened arteries leads to heart disease
- tissue calcification in joints leads to arthritis
- mineralization of a given organ are an underlying dynamic for cancers
- intellectual closed-mindedness and inflexibility can lead to imbalances (yep bet you didn’t see that one coming either)
How do our bodies, then respond to this sclerosis? Ah, our old friend inflammation, that identifies itself with:
Like we’ve pointed out before, inflammation is their as a corrective measure, to ease us back into balance. So infections are no more than a purification response. How do we respond to an infection:
- Food: lay off the sulfur foods (unfortunately that means meat and eggs), in favor for liquids only. Of course this is not juice, but opt for bone broths and coconut milk (remember its antimicrobial and more qualities that come from the lauric acid?). Beet kvass can provide iron, as well as friendly bacteria, so this makes a swell option too. Once you begin to show improvement, start adding in some cream of vegetable soups and a bit of cooked vegetables (keeping in mind to continue coconut intake, whether from milk or oil). Keep up cod liver consumption.
- Therapeutic: check out the book
- Movement: This I found interesting. Fever is a movement, an expansion of our body’s space. To honor this expansion, we should thus let it do its thing by resting in bed.
- Meditation: Cowan refers to this as a time for ‘an exhilarating challenge to your thinking process’. An opportunity to rest and detoxify
Pretty similar to what we’ve looked at before with inflammation, with the added bonus of taking into consideration movement and soul. Next up we’ll hit cancer.