Mind/Body "Wholing" Precedes True Healing
Copyright 2017 by Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc.
By Bruce Berkowsky, N.M.D., M.H., H.M.C.
Learn more about Dr. Berkowsky's webinar-based
Spiritual PhytoEssencing Training Intensive
Bill Plotkin, Ph.D. in Wild Mind, writes: "Wholing [cultivation
of wholeness of being] is the foundation for true healing. Some degree of
personal wholing must precede any deep healing, not the other way around. We
must to some degree cultivate our wholeness before we can truly be healed.
Wholing comes first and is foundational. Once we get started in our wholing, we
can begin Self-healing; and Self-healing accelerates our capacity for wholing.
Wholing and healing reinforce each other."
Plotkin is referring to deep psychospiritual wholeness and healing, this
concept of wholing preceding healing is equally valid for the physical body. A
fundamental concept of traditional naturopathy is: Symptoms are local
effects of general states. In other words, symptoms such as asthma,
arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome or obesity are all localized expressions of
a disharmonious general state that involves all the systems of the body, as
well as mind and spirit, to varying degrees.
disharmonious operations of the mind/body organism, in general, precedes the
localization of a disease state. The functional and organic changes that ensue
after localization are the results of the disease, not the disease
itself. The actual disease-generating mechanism is an intricately constructed
state of disharmony within the systemic milieu of the mind/body organism.
Disturbance of the General State
life is dependent upon the presence of certain fundamental conditions,
including: proper diet; pure water; fresh air; sunlight; exercise;
accommodating climatic conditions; rest and sleep; emotional poise. Health
exists in direct proportion to the extent that these conditions are supplied or
human being has an intrinsic, organic relationship with said fundamental
elements, and disease is an outgrowth of a deficiency of one or more of them.
Thus, the restoration of health in the ill individual is effected via the
identical means of sustaining life and preserving health in the well person,
meaning: reestablishment in the ill person's life of said fundamental
factors in accordance with individualized biochemical and constitutional
the restoration of these prerequisite conditions for harmonious "wholeness",
surgery and drugs (even natural medicines such as herbs and homeopathy) can act
only superficially upon the local symptoms of an underlying disharmonious
general state. Hence, attempts at amelioration of localized symptoms without
simultaneous efforts to restore the integrity of the general state, will
eventually lead to manifestation of the systemic disharmony in some other, and
perhaps more threatening, form.
second traditional naturopathic principle further lends further clarity to this
discussion: Initially, in chronic diseases such as arthritis or diabetes,
many of the symptoms are variations of the body's efforts toward self-cure.
instance, inflammation (one of the basic defense mechanisms employed by
the immune system), night sweats (efforts toward removal of
disease-toxins via the skin), excessive urination (effort toward
reduction of fluid congestion and removal of disease-toxins) and fatigue
(an effort by the body to conserve vital force and essential nutrients needed
to resolve the disease), while discomforting and otherwise challenging,
nevertheless are, by design, bodily mechanisms of self-cure.
suppression of those symptoms associated with efforts toward self-cure (without
a concomitant effort to restore the integrity of the deranged general state
that has triggered these self-curative mechanisms) represent a misguided
attempt to "cure the cure." Certainly, in order to reduce suffering and avoid
complications such as infection, symptoms such as pain, discharge, weakness, etc.
must be therapeutically managed. However, direct treatment of symptoms must be
contextualized within a concurrent effort to restore and sustain a harmonious
As symptoms are localized expressions of derangement of the general state, the
most efficient way to respond to disease is to concentrate much of the
therapeutic response directly upon the general state. Resolution of a local
symptom must not be confused with resolution of the disease. The disease
belongs to the general state.
this regard, the great homeopath James Tyler Kent, M.D. (1849-1916), in his Lectures
on Homeopathic Philosophy, provides important insight: "It is the sole
duty of the physician to heal the sick. It is not his duty to heal the results
[symptoms] of the sickness, but the sickness itself...Prescribing
[exclusively] for the results of disease causes changes in the results of
disease, but not in the sickness [the disordered general mind/body state] except
to hurry its progress...Restoring health, and not the removing of symptoms, is
the first point. Restoring health has in view the establishment of order in a
sick human being; removing symptoms does not have in view the restoration of
health of the whole economy of a human being."
decades ago, the field of natural healing arts began to metamorphose. While the
use of many of the techniques and substances historically employed in the
various natural healing arts persisted, the theoretical basis for their
employment has largely transformed from a focus on the "wholism" (described
above) to the reductionism that leads to a narrow focus on localized symptoms
rather than a person's general state.
This shift has
occurred not because the eternal Laws of Nature have changed. Instead as conventional
medicine has established its cultural dominance, the operative theory of
natural medicine, whose origins trace back to the ancient physicians, has come
to be generally viewed as less valid than a medical science based upon high
technology and controlled, often flawed, research studies.
in this argument is that there is only one real science: standardized,
statistic-driven modern science. Accordingly, any science that does not conform
to those standards and methods is considered by modern science to be far less
exacting, and thus, a non-science. In other words, a science based upon
centuries of empirical knowledge (i.e., knowledge derived from extensive
practical experience) is considered obsolete by modern research and technology.
In turn, this paradigm shift from the empirical attainment of knowledge to the
statistical method has also shifted the philosophy of practice from
individualization (individualized care) to standardization (standard of care).
This, while there is certainly no such thing as a "standard body."
Figure A: Ancient diagram of the Stomach meridian
term empirical derives from empeiria, the Greek word for experience.
knowledge refers to understanding that is acquired through observation and
of medicine, such as traditional naturopathy, Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic
medicine, whose validity has been demonstrated countless times over the course
of thousands of years, is largely based on the practical experience of their
practitioners, rather than modern laboratory experimentation and research
studies that characterize their statistical method for the purpose of
developing "standardized" drugs to be sold to millions of people with, of
course, "non-standard" bodies.
For instance, the art
of acupuncture originated in China at least 4,000 years ago. In acupuncture
practice, needles are inserted into various acupuncture points situated along
meridians or channels. According
to Chinese medicine, "chi" (vital force) circulates through channels, or meridians,
throughout the body. The
major channels often follow the cardiovascular circulatory routes with a network of
progressively finer tributary branches permeating and supplying chi to all the cells of
the body. There are 12
major symmetrical, bilaterally paired meridians (i.e., 12 on the left and an identical set of 12 on
the right), 6 of which run along the arms and body, and 6 which run along the legs and body.
Have you ever wondered how the ancient Chinese
established the existence of these channels (see Figure A, above) and
subsequently mapped their routes empirically without the use of modern
One of the ways they did so was through close and
repeated observation of what is referred to as propagated sensations. In
other words, after the accurate insertion of a needle into an acupuncture
point, the person being needled (especially if he or she was particularly sensitive) would describe to
the practitioner the direction that the pain-sensation extended from the site
of insertion. For instance, the pain-sensation of a needle inserted into an
acupuncture point on the back of the hand might extend all the way up the arm
to the neck and head, revealing a specific chi pathway to the
practitioner. Thus, here is a healing art that has
demonstrated its efficacy over the course of four millennia, which is based
almost entirely upon empirical knowledge.
True Nature of Fever
Another example of the scientific legitimacy of empirical
knowledge involves the symptom of fever. The ancient Greek physician
Hippocrates (460 –370 BCE), considered to be one of the towering figures in the
history of medicine, is referred to as the "father of western medicine." That
is why all medical doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. However, Hippocrates is
more accurately identified as a traditional naturopath than an
early modern medical doctor. Hippocrates famously
stated: "Give me fever and I can cure any disease." He came to this
Fever is one of the primary physiological mechanisms,
which the body uses during disease (especially acute diseases such as the flu)
to detoxify and self-heal. Nineteenth century naturopath R.T. Trall, M.D, in
his Handbook Of Hygienic Practice (1864), wrote: "As fever is part of
disease and disease [particularly acute disease] is an effort toward
purification, fever must be one of the methods by which the system relieves
itself of morbid matter."
In other words, before the modern era, physicians empirically
deduced that fever was a manifestation of the body's inherent cleansing and
healing efforts. Therefore, while they employed measures to keep a fever within
constructive limits (e.g., hydrotherapies and herbal medicines), it was
otherwise allowed to run its natural course. This understanding is not limited
to the human species. Infected fish swim to warmer water to raise their body
temperature and thus destroy infectious microorganisms. Similarly, to combat
infection, lizards crawl into the sunshine to raise their body temperature.
Modern physicians are aware that fever is an instrument
of the body's inherent self-healing mechanism. Nevertheless, instead of using
it to the ill person's advantage, they suppress it with medications such as
aspirin, because fever, a symptom of a disease but not the disease itself, has
come to be viewed solely as an all down-side threat and discomfort – a
pathological, rather than a potentially curative physiological, process.
When fever and other acute manifestations such as
sneezing and coughing are reflexively suppressed with drugs, the toxic matter,
which the natural forces of the body are endeavoring to eliminate, is forced
back into the tissues where they may sow the seeds for the development of more
pernicious and intractable chronic disease somewhere down the line. Certainly,
uncontrolled fever can be very dangerous, even fatal. The ancients were well
aware of this. What they were espousing was a strategy to control a fever while
still permitting it to do its healing work, rather than complete suppression
that obstructs one of the body's most fundamental efforts toward self-cure.
Here, we see the practitioners of old providing timeless
knowledge about the true nature of health and disease, based upon
Connecting Therapeutics to the Laws of Nature
decades of resisting the idea that dietary habits play any role in the
development of diseases–forced by a mountain of irrefutable evidence and a
continuously growing informed public–modern medical science now endorses
the idea that lifestyle factors, such as poor diet and sedentary behavior, play
an important role in the etiology of most illnesses.
medical science still focuses primarily on suppression of the effects of
egregious lifestyle factors rather than upon their modification or elimination
of such factors. This not only allows the clandestine operations of these
disease-causing factors to continue, but also engenders the nearly universal
tendency to confuse symptom for disease. For instance, Type 2 diabetes, which
has become a scourge in the modern era, is a "symptom." The actual disease
which gives rise to it is most commonly neuroendocrine dysregulation fostered
by a combination of poor diet and associated nutritional deficiencies,
sedentary behavior, emotional stress and obesity.
modern scientific understanding and advances must be factored into the practice
of natural medicine, but that must be done in a way that does not disturb the
connection of a healing art to the laws of Nature. Indeed, those new
understandings and advances must be interpreted in a way that amplifies our
obedience to those laws rather than providing a means of containing the outward
effects of their ongoing violation.
Wholism vs. Reductionism
how did modern healthcare become so estranged from the natural world and the
Laws of Nature? One primary factor in this unfortunate detour is its forsaking
of wholism in favor of reductionism.
of the traditional natural healing arts were originally grounded within the
wholistic understanding that all phenomena within the natural world, and thus,
within the human organism, are thoroughly interactive and interdependent.
Therefore, Heaven and Earth, person and mind, and body and spirit, are all
indivisible. Extrapolating from the understanding of this inherent unity, human
physiology and pathology can only be understood within the context of their
indivisibility from mind and spirit as well as from the elements of the natural
Chinese medicine was based entirely on a wholistic paradigm. Accordingly, human
existence was seen as being the result of cosmic organizing principles that
permeate both the spiritual and material realms. Thus, no living organism, nor
the components of any living organism, are independently operative. All natural
phenomena exist in a complex fabric of relations, which are inherently
concept of perpetual inter-relation among all the components of the natural
world is expressed eloquently by Joseph Needham (1900-1995), a British
scientist famous for his research and writings about the history of Chinese
medicine. In Science and Civilization in China, Volume 2 (1956), Needham
describes one of the fundamental understandings of the ancient Chinese
practitioners: "Things [i.e., phenomena within the natural
universe] behave in particular ways because their position in the
ever-moving cyclical universe is such that they are endowed with intrinsic
natures which make that behavior inevitable for them. If they did not behave in
these particular ways they would lose their relational positions in the whole,
which made them what they are, and turn into something other than themselves.
They are thus parts in the existential dependence within the whole
world-organism. And they react upon one another not so much by mechanical
causation as by a kind of mysterious resonance."
contrast, reductionism: the mainspring of western medicine infers
that the best way to understand a phenomenon (e.g., blood circulation) is by
reducing it to its separate component parts. These parts are then studied in
isolation from the whole. In this reference, William James, M.D., the great 19th
century psychologist, physiologist and philosopher writes in The Principles
Of Psychology (1918): "[Modern] Scientific thought goes by
selective emphasis exclusively. We break the solid completeness of fact
into separate essences, conceive generally what only exists particularly and by
our classifications, separate the contiguous [naturally connected together
forming an unbroken sequence or an uninterrupted expanse] and leave nothing
in its natural neighborhood...However, reality exists as a plenum
[space entirely filled with matter]. All its parts are contemporaneous
[existing and active at the same time], each is as real as any other, and
each as essential for making the whole just what it is and nothing else."
modern science's rationale for reductionism is that the parts of the whole are
infinitely diverse and interactive and so defy linear rationale understanding.
Only when the parts of the whole are separated and viewed in isolation can
their properties be ascertained. Subsequently, a model is constructed wherein
all these determined properties of the separate parts are combined in a
practically useful way.
is no question that reductionism, if properly employed, has a role to play in
scientific understanding (e.g., intra-cellular functions). James observes: "The
order of nature as perceived at a first glance, presents at every instant a
chaos followed by another chaos." However, and this is crucial, James
qualifies his argument for reductionism by adding that in order to make an
assessment of all this derived data that reflects the true nature of a given
phenomenon: "The real world as it is given at this moment is the sum total
of all its beings and events now. Nothing else is the real order of the world."
deftly frames the issues regarding the study of the infinite complexity of all
the forces and phenomena of the natural universe that shape human existence in
general and human health and disease in particular. There is a need to study
components in isolation and not only medical science, but traditional natural
medicine as well, does just that. However, simply conducting these studies
within the bounds of rationale intellect, rather than within the context of the
Laws of Nature, leads to incomplete and distorted conclusions.
medicine demonstrates brilliance in its study of separated physiological
components. However, regarding health and disease, those components identified
through reductionism must subsequently be contextualized within the infinite
weave of the fabric of the natural universe that invariably constitutes their
when reductionist investigation merges its determinations with the laws of
Nature does it reflect reality. If not, their value is limited by their
isolation from the wholeness that characterizes the universe and the operations
of the human organism.
brings us back to John Needham's point that it is the
relational positions of individual components in the whole (which, of course,
make them what they are) and separation of them from the whole turns them into
something other than themselves. In other words, understanding the true
nature of the heart, liver, kidneys, an herb, an essential nutrient etc. is
completely dependent upon studying each of them within the context of the whole
– thus, mind/body/spirit and Heaven/Earth/human being. Straying from this, our
perception of them is distorted and we "turn them into something other than
Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus)
Note: The discussion that
follows regarding the properties of mastic and mastic oil is largely excerpted
Berkowsky's Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils.
herb (and essential oil) mastic (Pistacia lentiscus) provides a
good illustration of this divergence from wholism to reductionism. Mastic has
been prized since ancient times for the semi-transparent, off-white to yellow
natural resin it begins to exude when it is five to six years old.
resin is an opaque, crystalline, solid oleoresin that consists primarily of
triterpenes and contains between 1 to 3 % essential oil. Mastic resin and oil
have remarkable antibacterial and fungicidal properties. The December 1998
issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reported that mastic exerts an
antibacterial action against six pathogenic species, including staphylococcus.
It was also shown to be an anti-fungal agent that destroys Candida albicans.
the U.S. and Japan, a medicine made from mastic is used to treat stomach
pain and gastric ulcers. Regarding the latter, its effectiveness is due in part
to its ability to inhibit the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which has
been shown to play a role in the development of gastric ulcers. Mastic gum has
also been shown to be an effective treatment for duodenal ulcers.
All of this research-derived information about mastic
demonstrates the clinical usefulness of reductionist investigations. However,
if we restrict our view of mastic to its chemistry, we reduce the herb from a
"Thou" (an inspirited living organism) to an "It" (non-inspirited matter), and,
in so doing, we greatly limit its healing potential.
this limited chemistry view with the determination of the ancients that mastic
encourages clairvoyance, intuition and spiritual visions. In the traditional
medicine of Ancient Greece and the Arabs, mastic was prized because it both
exerted a direct physical effect upon disease symptoms and its scent encouraged
powerful positive visualizations among those at the patient's bedside that
invigorated the healing energy in the sickroom environment. In traditional
Moroccan medicine, a healer treating a sick child inhales the scent of mastic
and visualizes the plant's aura enveloping the child like a protective shield.
Of course, nothing like this will be observed in an
American hospital. Not because mastic exerts these actions only in Morocco, but
because western science has separated mind from body and views spirit as only
having theological relevance.
who has spent time in a hospital, as either a patient or visitor, is likely to
have been dismayed by how divorced that environment is from the natural world.
It is an impersonal place of disease-care based upon intellect-driven standards
and statistics, rather than of health-creation based upon ongoing connection
with the natural and spiritual worlds.
health is synonymous with wholeness of being. Disease is the consequence of
living in fragments, separated from nature and from spirit. At one time,
healing was viewed as being made whole again. It is illogical to assume that
the disconnected treatment of parts would have the potential to restore
wholeness. Now, the term "healthy" has come to be defined as a state wherein
drugs, surgical procedures, etc. effectively suppress symptoms of disease to
the degree that a person can continue to violate the laws of Nature with
impunity while the disease, like an underwater volcano, continues to
clandestinely build destructive pressure.
it is time to reverse the centuries-old paradigm shift from wholism to
reductionism. If not, there is no question that human society in general, and
human health in particular, will continue to trend toward depersonalization and
"dis-ease." Remember, wholing precedes true healing, not vice versa.
Written by Dr. Bruce Berkowsky, N.M.D., M.H., H.M.C.
Dr. Bruce Berkowsky, founder and teacher
of Spiritual PhytoEssencing,
is an internationally acclaimed traditional naturopath and master of deep soul-level healing work with
essential oils. If you would like to learn the rare, invaluable art of deep soul-level healing work with
essential oils, consider his upcoming, webinar-based
2015 Spiritual PhytoEssencing Training Intensive.
If you are interested in studying with
Dr. Berkowsky and would like a free recording
wherein he discusses the theoretical foundation of
e-mail your request for the recording link.
Dr. Berkowsky, a registered naturopath,
master herbalist and classical homeopath—is President of Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc.
He is the founder/teacher of both Spiritual PhytoEssencing and the Natural Health Science System
which he designed following many years of research and clinical practice, and includes herbology,
nutrition, homeopathy, aromatherapy, exercise, traditional nature-cure as well as East/West healing
teaches in-depth webinars and workshops to health-conscious, spiritually aware individuals.
Disclaimer: This publication is intended as an educational tool, and not as a prescription. Seek the advice of your health-care provider before discontinuing any medication and/or trying any new remedy or technique.