Friday, September 18, 2009

What’s the difference between bird flu and swine flu?

For bird flu you need tweetment, and for swine flu you need oinkment.

The news has been filled with dire predictions for the flu season. We’re all being encouraged to run out and get our inoculations. Before you do so, you may consider what I had previously written in the “Notes to Health and Nutrition Section”of this blog.

Many years ago I read a copy of a speech delivered by Rudolf Steiner to an audience in London in the 1920's. He spoke of how all our lives we've been encouraged to use an intermediary in all areas of our lives except in our economic life in which we all are actively engaged: we've had the church or organized religion for our spiritual needs; the medical profession for our health needs; government for our political and social constructions, etc.

The point was, I think upon reflection, that it would be only in our direct interaction with the economy that we would come to see the truth in how we have been controlled throughout history. As we realize the validity of this perspective, we must also begin to take back control and responsibility for all aspects of our lives.

I have spent a lot of time learning about alternative medicines and gravitating toward Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I found TCM to be most intuitive and easy to grasp with relatively little time expended in acquiring a working knowledge. It's all about balance.

I believe that traditional medicines, whether they be native American, African, Ayurvedic, Chinese, Tibetan, etc., are all remnants of a global system of health which has been lost through history after the cataclysms which wracked our planet some 5,000 years ago. These systems of health are predicated on prevention and a recognition of the importance of balance in our intellectual, spiritual, physical and emotional lives. I encourage you to explore these venues for health. I have included a number of my favorite books and other which i have found helpful to get you started on this journey back to wholeness.

Once one no longer looks to the “authorities” as being responsible for our health needs there are more common sensical, less expensive, and natural alternatives. I have been a big proponent of Dr. James Duke’s herb book The Green Pharmacy. (This is the best herb book I know of listing herb usage by maladies rather than alphabetically by herb—much easier to use.) He also hosts an excellent web site with a section devoted specifically to the Swine Flu Outbreak. Be sure to notice “The Response” section located on the right side beneath “The Challenge” section for links to other resources.

When I studied Chinese medicine, I learned that astragalus root is the best herb in Chinese herbology for boosting the immune system. I recommend purchasing the root from the bulk section of your local health food store, and adding a couple of inches of the sliced root to soups and rice, small bits to hot teas, or anything you simmer while cooking. The herb has a subtly sweet taste and doesn’t unnecessarily distort the flavorings of your dishes.

Learning how we may individually bring balance to our lives in all things; from the food we consume, to the people and situations we experience daily is a necessary step toward wholeness and reclaiming our own personal sovereignty. It also can be extremely personally satisfying and fun as well.

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