Redefining Medicine in the Age of Awakening
With so much in flux it is easy to focus on what is going wrong and to blame external factors for our personal problems. Far too often we allow fear and an attitude of scarcity to shade our perception of the world. Healing Arts Rising is here to provide you with insights that can help you change your perception, thus transforming your life. We believe the first step is taking responsibility for our personal well being. The more we take responsibility, the less we fear our future health destiny. The decisions we make on a daily basis, how we think, how we feel, what we fuel our bodies with, are our reassurance that we are creating our own reality.
In this sense of personal empowerment we begin redefining medicine and embracing the fact that all healing is self healing. If the body’s beautiful and intricate system is out of balance, no food, exercise, knowledge, or energy work will bring healing if the individual does not have the desire to get better. However, nature’s many forms of medicine are a powerful tool that, if used properly, can help us bring what is out-of-balance in the mind/body back into a state of balance and well being. At its heart, real medicine should do no harm, working in tandem with the mind, body, and spirit and not against it.
We know that everything is made of energy. All energy is in-formed, meaning that all energy is encoded with information that directs its behavior. For example, heart cells are tiny bits of energy encoded with the information necessary to perform the functions needed to form the organ we call the heart. Everything we know of works this way. That means that on a quantum level everything is intelligent and informed, you might even say conscious. Thanks to science we are able to confirm this through study and objective analysis, but science cannot answer one very important question: where does this information come from?
It is undeniable that there are questions that we cannot answer through scientific methods. The essence of existence is not a question that can be properly explored through an objective medium such as science. In order to understand the origin of the information stored in every particle in the Universe we must be willing to subjectively explore the domain of Spirit. It’s the difference between looking at something and looking along it. As C.S. Lewis pointed out in Meditation in a Toolshed, “You get one experience of a thing when you look along it and another when you look at it.”
Spirit is the strongest medicine. It can heal the deepest reaches of the heart and soul and transform the mind. Once you allow yourself to delve inwards and see how you are connected to everything else in the Universe you can’t help but see that the power to heal what ails you comes from within, and the means to do it are all around you. You are supported by the Universe and there is an infinite supply of medicine within your reach right at this very moment.
Medicine is All Around You
“Energy Medicine is the body’s magic!” – Donna Eden
Energy Medicine focuses on bringing the body’s natural energy field (also called Ki, Chi, Prana or Universal Energy) into balance, which promotes overall well being of body, mind and Spirit. It treats the underlying source of the physical, mental and emotional symptoms of “dis-ease” (i.e. the disturbance of our natural state of “ease” and well being). Most energy healing practices are closely tied to working with the chakras, the body’s primary energy centers. Practices such as accupuncture, Reiki and Pranic healing access these points to promote healing in the physical body, as well as encouraging mental and emotional well being. If you can find an experienced, knowledgeable practitioner of these healing arts you can learn about your energetic anatomy and receive healing energy from them as well. It is important that you find a practitioner that you can trust and feel safe and comfortable with (just like choosing a doctor). Learning to use Energy Medicine begins with intention. Ask questions, search for the answers. You will be amazed by what you learn about your own body and you will begin to unravel the mysteries and miracles of your inner universe.
Types of Energy Medicine:
It helps to learn techniques to clear the mind of clutter. Meditation is one approach that can help us reset our brains so we may choose better feeling thoughts. Meditation can be done in many ways, so it helps to try a few different approaches to meditation to see what feels right to you. The important thing is to try and find a way to clear the mind of negative, self-destructive thoughts. Research indicates that meditation can greatly reduce the negative symptoms of stress in our lives, which promotes mental, emotional and physical healing. Spiritual traditions teach us that meditation can free us from the illusions of the material world and bring us to a state of inner alignment and deep peace.
The breath is the perfect symbol of the cycle of life and death. Through breath we are all connected, because the breath is our connection to Life. The word inspire means “immediate influence of God” and was traditionally used with the same meaning as inhaling or breathing in. When we are born we take our first breath, we become inspired, in other words, we breath in the influence of God. The etymology of the word expire comes from the Old French word expirer, meaning “breathe out, blow out, exhale.” Thus, on our death bed we expire, we release our Spirit from the body, we cease to exist in this form and return back into the totality of Oneness.
Breath Medicine means learning to access and honor the sacredness of each breath. Those who are familiar with Yoga or Meditation practices learn quickly that breath awareness is an essential part of cultivating chi and transforming dis-ease into wellness and peace of mind. Learn to sip each breath and savor it like a fine wine. Feel the power and beauty of your breath. It is the most accessible, vital and available form of medicine known to existence.
The body is the vehicle that allows the soul to experience life on Earth. If we wish to feel connected to Spirit and get the most from life we must honor this sacred vehicle through proper diet, regular exercise, and conscious movement. What is conscious movement? It is movement intended to strengthen, rejuvenate and balance the body. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to practice Movement Medicine. Any movement that brings healing into the body or restores our energy can be considered Movement Medicine.
If you feel you are in need of Movement Medicine spend some time researching these practices:Cycling, swimming, boxing, lifting weights, aerobics and any form of physical activity can be considered Movement Medicine if done consciously. The key is to be mindful about how your moving your body and giving it what it needs to grow without pushing too hard. Remember balance is the essence of mind-body wellness.
Art medicine can encompass many things and be used in many ways. It can be as simple as awareness of the colors and symbols you are exposed, or as involved as creating your own works of art. Treating art as medicine means investigating how your external environment impacts your internal experience. Art, like life, is an exploration.
It is easy to directly apply Art Medicine in your daily life. Take for example the Chinese art of Feng Shui, which uses spatial arrangement to direct the flow of energy in any given space. If that seems like too much to take on then simply start asking questions like: How do particular colors make me feel? What symbols do I find empowering? What colors, patterns or symbols am I averse to? What objects, pieces of art, colors and symbols do I notice in my surroundings? What do I take for granted or don’t notice in my surroundings?
Here are some resources to help you explore Art as medicine:
- Sacred geometry – the “geometry of consciousness”
- Tarot & Oracle cards – healing through archetypal symbolic imagery (you can get a reading from K, our resident mystic if you are curious about this form of healing)
- Feng Shui
- Animal Totems – every animal that crosses your path can teach you something valuable about your mind-body health
Music speaks a universal language that everyone can comprehend. Regardless of your age, race, religion or sex, music can speak to you and speak through you as the creative voice of Source.
Since the beginning of time, humans have used music to communicate with nature and with each other. We have used music in ritual to connect to God and in storytelling to pass on our mythos of Life. Shamanic cultures understand the healing properties of sound and use music as medicine. Neuroscientists have found that music, in it’s different forms, can activate our entire brain and create new neuron pathways, retrieve memories, imprint feelings and create lasting transformations in the human mind and body. Music is not only a creative way to express our essence; it is a powerful tool that can heal.
The Cherokee believed that for every dis-ease that humans encountered the Plant People, or Plant Spirits, would provide a cure. Modern science and research seems to indicate that they were right. The chemical compounds found in plants contain powerful healing abilities. As Plant Medicine regains its popularity in our modern world we will see a beautiful transformation in our society. We will once again honor and revere plant and animal life for all its bounty and all that it offers us. Using Plant Medicine entails forming a spiritual connection to the Plant world so that we may uncover the vast healing opportunities they can offer us.
Plant Medicine is available to you in many forms. You can ingest herbal remedies by infusions, teas, and tinctures. You can create salves and body creams from herbs. You can eat fresh herbs. You can meet with a dietitian or herbalist to help you determine which herbs will help your body heal most effectively. You can also keep a house plant or pick a favorite tree and form a relationship with it. Meditating with plants can be very healing as well!
The Earth generously provides us with all of our basic needs. She offers us food, shelter, water and air. She is our home. When we are in need of healing simply going outside can be a healing experience. Everything in nature is in a state of balance and harmony. In nature, there is no waste, everything has a purpose. When we spend time in nature we realize that we too have purpose and are an important part of this beautiful ecosystem. The more time we spend with the Earth the more our body helps us bring balance into our environment.
Research shows that nature has the power to heal. Spend some time reading about the many ways to get in touch with Earth Medicine, or simply go outside and learn for yourself.
Healing Through Nature – the Chopra Center explains ways to use Nature for healing
How Hospital Gardens Help Patients Heal – Scientific American article about the healing powers of gardens
How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies – Research behind how natural environments refocus our attention, lessening stress and hastening healing