I've been mostly MIA for a while. Still adjusting to the empty space on the other side of the bed, starting a new job, and trying some new things (http://www.mydoterra.com/esterology/
). The latter has me reading "Medical Aromatherapy" by Kurt Schnaubelt.
Published in 1999, I knew you might appreciate the great following passage (p.118-120):
"There are rumblings of a new appreciation of the forces of life. The wildly exaggerated projections of the mechanistic worldview are questioned from many different vantage points by contemporary writers. The dusty, mechanistic notion of the body is crumbling in its wake. The one-dimensional cause-and-effect models that modern medicine has exploited so effectively are no longer fit to describe reality even for those who choose to align their world-view to the trends of science. As the new discoveries invalidate science's old dogmas, new forms of submission are introduced. The connection between emotional well-being and immune status were known to people long before there was scientific proof. The arrogance of the old paradigm is expressed in belief that something cannot be taken as real unless it is scientifically proven. Only after science corroborates an age-old traditional treatment may the imbecile public accept it as reality and use it. It is the most blatant admission of hubris, that scientific proof amounts to the act of creation.
The admission that self-healing occurs is another challenge to the mechanistic model and economic projection of medicine, and reveals the very wise reactions of the body in crisis. The self-healing abilities of the body have been there all along but are now being brilliantly rediscovered in books such as Andrew Weil's 'Spontaneous Healing'. Because alternative therapies often force radical changes in thinking -- leading to the recognition of the emotional, moral and spiritual void at the root of civilization diseases -- they are more effective in treating them. Aromatherapy allows space to be intuitive and to reconnect with nature, because it is not possible to solve the crisis with the means that created it in the first place. The modern view of man on top of nature is obsolete. Living healthily and happily requires unison with the world around us.
The issue at hand is how to relate to science, which in many aspects has provided the basis of existence in Western societies despite instincts and rational thinking that favor more holistic healing modalities. The conditioning is only gradually removed from our minds. The answer is to utilize what science has given us but also to unlock the many powers to heal that are beyond the command of conventional medicine.
In Greek mythology, there are two opposing views: doctors who believe in outside intervention to cure disease (conventional approach) and healers (often laypeople) who believe in maintaining health through following the natural order of things (holistic approach). These two views are personified by Asklepios, the god of medicine (conventional system), and Hygieia, his daughter, goddess of health.
Our total reliance on chemical and surgical intervention and weaponry to kill germs is the modern manifestation of the Asklepian approach. It neglects the importance of keeping a body in balance. Sooner or later, relying on weaponry creates casualties. Today many conventional drugs are known to weaken immune response and lead to a wide range of undesirable effects. That drugs sometimes bring on exactly those that they are meant to cure is a bitter reality.
Conversely, the Hygieian approach focuses on strengthening health and building resistance. Given the choice, wouldn't everyone rather strengthen the body's own defense system and enjoy health rather than allow disease to appear only to treat it later (the conventional approach). In theory, yes. But the promises of modern medicine have blinded many into accepting its hubris as a sustainable reality. Often it is difficult to recognize the fallacies and to leave the perceived haven of modern medicine for modalities that subject us to uncomfortable admissions: we are mortal and we need to cooperate with nature instead of trying to master it. After negative experiences that reveal the hubris of techno-medicine we learn to appreciate the softer methods.
After contrasting the 'claims' of the pharmacological system with reality, the conclusion can only be that while medicine has brought valuable contributions to human welfare, its purported infalliblity is a hoax. Nonetheless, decades of conditioning with not just go away; it has become part of our makeup. Sometimes there are no perfect solutions, and doing the little that can be done is still a forceful way to outgrow the disenchantment wrought by the old system. What is required is curiosity and a softening of one's convictions. Aromatherapy can help. Renewal happens in more ways than expected when lavender is applied to a burn and, surprisingly, the next morning the skin is intact and the pain is gone. Shifts in thinking can also occur through the use of essential oils in winter, as people learn how to manage bronchitis or a case of the flu by keeping symptoms at a minimum and coming out of it stronger than before. (See page 230.) These experiences create powerful changes. Management of these conditions with natural means strengthens the immune system, and previously frequent conditions reappear less or disappear completely. This leads to taking more responsibility for the health of family members. Aromatherapy starts this dynamic process through its immediate connection with mind and emotion. The safest way to successful self-care and reclaimed responsibility consists of moderate yet deliberate steps. Initial possibilities include using relaxing and pleasantly soothing oils such as lavender or clary sage for de-stressing baths or massages. A great "entry-level" essential oil for natural medicine is tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), which is nontoxic and proven effective for the treatment of nonspecific bladder infections. Similarly, there are a number of essential oils the provide effective relief for herpes simplex lesions. Once set in motion, a new appreciation of the power of natural healing will continue to grow."