I look forward every spring to harvesting and eating stinging nettles (Urtica dioica), an herbaceous wild plant native to Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. If you’ve ever encountered nettles and suffered their sting, you may be doubtful as to their edibility. Nettle leaves are armed with tiny needle-like hairs filled with irritating compounds, including formic acid (the same compound secreted by red ants). But a simple quick sauté neutralizes the irritants, allowing us to enjoy a tasty, nutritious vegetable with a flavor similar to spinach.
With the advent of a growing scientific field of study called nutrigenomics, the old adage “you are what you eat” is proving to be much more than folk wisdom. Nutrigenomics takes into consideration the relationship between diet and genetics, and identifies the beneficial or detrimental health effects of various dietary components. What researchers have discovered is that there is far more to dietary health than proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and that simply meeting the minimum daily requirements for vitamins and minerals isn’t enough for optimal health and disease prevention.
At the Mederi Centre for Natural Healing, the foundation of our healing approach is rooted in traditional medical philosophies and practices, infused by the latest modern scientific research. Over the past twenty-five years, I’ve combined these complimentary modalities into a unique healing protocol that I call the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS).
The main tools of the ETMS toolbox are botanical, nutritional, dietary, lifestyle, and pharmaceutical. The six general objectives of the ETMS tools are to:
- Enhance Vitality (The Vital Force)
- Increase Efficiency and Restore Harmony and Rhythm
- Increase Movement
- Correct Nutritional Deficiencies and Excesses
- Remove Toxins
- Target the Cancer (or other disease)
From the beginning of recorded history, music has played a significant role in our wellbeing. The ancients were well aware of the power of music: In Greek mythology, Apollo was revered as the god of both music and medicine, and the great philosopher Plato wrote, “Music is an art imbued with power to penetrate into the very depths of the soul.”
Music offers a direct way to tap into the innate knowledge that resides deep within our cells. It is through music that we experience and harmonize ourselves with the Divine, because music is capable of bridging heaven and earth, and our human mortal-self with our spiritual immortal-self. Simply put, music inspires us in a way that nothing else can. I am sure that everyone, at some point, has had the experience of music piercing through their being, effortlessly opening their heart and soul.
I often lecture in hospitals or to groups schooled in conventional medical thinking. Although they are intrigued by herbal medicine, one of the first questions they ask is, “How do you know that herbs really work?”
This is a valid question. It’s not enough to say, “Well, this herbal remedy worked for my grandparents, so it will work for me.” Although there may be validity in this way of thinking, it certainly won’t stand up to the scientific, research based approach of modern medicine. First, it’s important to understand that traditional medical systems, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda, or the tradition of American Eclectic Medicine, are based on complex, but practical medical assumptions and theories; they are organized systems, acquired from hundreds, if not thousands of years of development through direct experience with patients.
We live in a progressively fragmented world, and this fragmentation affects every aspect of our lives. Even natural medicine is not immune to the tendency to view cancer and other serious illnesses with a narrow focus, addressing only one type of treatment or concentrating on only one aspect of health (for example, diet, exercise, or chemical exposure). I believe this myopic view is the result of living lives that are chronically stressed, composed of frantic time schedules, fast food, and sedentary work. When we simply go through the motions of daily existence, life can begin to feel robotic, mundane, and meaningless. To live fully, we must wake up to the expansiveness and possibilities of this great gift of life. Sometimes, it takes a significant life crisis to awaken us.