yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hippocrates: Still Hip Today

With the recent passage of the health care reform bill, the topic of medicine is on many people's minds. We have heard the good, bad, and ugly about modern medicine and how it's managed. My Dad told me once that in his opinion, good health is balanced in three ways: One third by Western medicine, one third by Traditional (natural) medicine, and the remaining third by Ourselves.

Hippocrates, the "father of medicine," seemed to embody this three-fold approach in his teachings. A Greek philosopher and physician born in 460 B.C., Hippocrates based his practice and theories on physical and rational observations and rejected the views of his time that considered illness to be caused by superstitions and by possession of evil spirits and disfavor of the gods. He felt the body should be treated holistically, not just in individual parts. Much of his "prescription" was self-directed.

On his list of methods leading to, and maintaining, good health:

Good diet of fresh foods, in moderate amounts
Walking and moderate exercise
Fresh air
Proper Rest

Here is what Hippocrates said:

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”

“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.”

“To do nothing is also a good remedy.”

“Walking is a man's best medicine.”

“Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine."

So sensible, simple, logical! And amazing how far today's medical community has strayed. Hospitals like sealed boxes where patients go days and weeks without exposure to fresh air and sunshine; prescription drugs with powerful and toxic side-effects; doctors who specialize in only one body part as if it was disconnected to the rest of the body; no discussion of massage and other natural treatments; limited time to be heard by your doctor; little regard for the inter-relationship between disease and lifestyle; etc., etc.

A few times, I have mentioned to doctors what Hippocrates taught, and they look at me like I'm nuts. I think today's medical establishment would do well to reexamine what the father of medicine established as the basis for human health. I realize I have been following much of it for years and I feel really good. I'm still working on my inner life, but at least my body is in tip-top shape! I encourage all of my friends and family to resist processed foods, go for a walk or swim, get plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and lots of rest. In the end, one third of our good health resides within our control and TLC. That is very empowering, encouraging, and do-able. Please stay in touch and let me know your success in taking your health into your own hands.

1 comment:

  1. Western medicine places too much faith in science. It has devolved into the polar world of materialism vs. idealism. Audrey, I believe your faith in Hippocrates is the perfect answer to this age-old conflict. I interpret your observations as suggesting there is no conflict because we exist in both worlds. I couldn't agree more! Peace be with you my sister. Keep those thoughts coming.