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What does it mean to "heal" and how do we know "how".  I believe that we humans fail to question enough.  As a nation we watch too much television, define ourselves by the job we hold, fret about lack - of health, money, love, posessions, and wonder why we don't feel better.  We're slaves to our market-driven economy. We have access to everything and there's an underlying belief that we "should" have it.

I cringe when watching t.v. every time a commercial airs. The worst are the ones for the latest pharmaceutical wonder-drug that's going to cure your ill, well... if it doesn't give you gas, bloating, cramps, heart palpitation or ... gulp... death but apparently there's pills for that too. 

I am convinced we can look back to nature and find the answers to sources of our ills instead of looking to a pill for a way to put off a symptom.

My intent for this page is to provide information and resource links for those who care to ask the questions and find some answers that may not have been thought of before.  When I was diagnosed with cancer for the second time I had the opportunity to use our medical system's protocol or search for something less traumatic.  Since being treated for my first cancer (Hodgkin's Disease) with scans, surgeries, and radiation - I now refer to as slash and burn - I had said many times "If I'd known then what I know now, I would have chosen differently".  So, when 15 years after that first diagnosis they said "we're sorry to inform you that you have breast cancer," I was faced with an opportunity to make a different choice.  Well, my research skills were put to the test as I spent 30 days doing the most intense studying of my life... my 8 years of college didn't even compare to it.  That was 5 years ago now and the research didn't stop after a month, but the decisions I made have created a joyful, healthful life.  They've also led me to question how I'd cared for my pets and find answers that have caused me to change almost everything.

Here is but a small example of WHY I chose to run from the doctors and what they were able or willing to offer me.

What does “effective” mean?
Whether a cancer treatment is
“effective” or not is a matter of
definition. The FDA defines an
"effective" chemotherapeutic
drug as one which achieves a
50% or more reduction in tumor
size for 28 days. Only 28 days! In
the vast majority of cases, there
is absolutely no correlation
between shrinking tumors for 28
days and the cure of the cancer
or extension of life..

- from "Questioning Chemotherapy"

The term homeopathy was coined by the Saxon physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843) and first published in 1796. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is based on the Law of Similars. The truth of this law has been verified experimentally and clinically for the last 200 years.

Homeopathy is derived from the Greek words hómoios (similar). It is a system of alternative medicine that treats like with like, using remedies that it is claimed would, in healthy individuals, produce similar symptoms to those it would treat in an ill patient.

Classical homeopathy originated in the 19th century with Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann as an alternative to the standard medical practices of the day, such as phlebotomy or bloodletting. Opening veins to bleed patients, force disease out of the body, and restore the humors to a proper balance was a popular medical practice until the late19th century.

Practitioners believe that the potency of a remedy can be increased by systematically diluting the dosage, along with succession or shaking, to a point where it is unlikely that even a molecule of the original ingredient is present.

Homeopathy is reported to be growing in popularity, growing in popularity in the United States faster than any other method of alternative healing, and as increasingly being endorsed by doctors.

Homeopathy is founded on the Law of Similars, first expressed by Hahnemann in the exhortation similia similibus curentur or let likes cure likes. The law of similars is based on Hahnemanns conclusion that a given constellation of symptoms ellicited by a given homeopathic remedy in a group of healthy individuals will cure an ill individual exhibiting a similar constellations of symptoms. Symptom patterns associated with various remedies are determined by provings, in which healthy volunteers are given remedies in homeopathic form, and the physical, mental and spiritual symptoms they develop are recorded and compiled by observers. Homeopathic practitioners rely on two types of reference in prescribing.

Homeopathic remedies are prepared by dilution of a substence with succussion, or shaking, between dilutions. The remedies in homeopathy are often so dilute that they are statistically unlikely to contain any molecules of the original substance. At first, Hahnemann tested substances commonly used as medicines in his time and poisions in homeopathic provings.

He recorded his findings in his Materia Medica Pura. Kents Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica lists 217 remedies, and new substances are being added continually to contemporary versions. Homeopathy uses many animal, plant, mineral, and chemical substances of natural or synthetic origin. Examples include Natrum muriaticum (sodium chloride or table salt), lachesis muta (the venom of the bushmaster snake), Opium, and Thyroidinum (thyroid hormone). Other homeopathic remedies, (isopathic remedies) involve dilutions of the agent or the product of the disease. Rabies nosode, for example, is made by potentizing the saliva of a rabid dog.

The natural therapy of Reikki is appreciated greatly for its absolute healing power. Ancient Tibet is the place of Reiki therapy coming to existence. It was Mikao Usui, a Japanese doctor, who brought second life to this ancient healing technique. Reikki description is far from being too complicated. The essence of Reikki therapy lied in the fact that according to its philosophy all kinds of illnesses can be cured by removing the energy blockages from the body. Such blockages are the major cause of appearance of various diseases.

A Reiki description is confined to drawing the energy of the universe upon the patient, which is done by the qualified Reikki practitioner. The energy collected goes through the patient's body and removes all the malevolent blockages. The hands of the practitioner, according to the Reikki description, are the carriers of the healing positive energy. What is remarkable about Reikki description is that fact that there is no manual therapy whatsoever involved. There is no need for additional massage, manipulation, and acupressure.

In this respect it won't be an overstatement to claim that Reiki therapy is spiritual healing. The indisputable significance of Reikki treatment was further proven by its extensive study by Western scientists. But still mention must be made of the fact that the conducted research has not brought to medical support of all of Reikki claims. However, what was experimentally proven was that the practitioner's hands' temperature was raised considerably after the Reikki session. Reikki description lists a number of disorders which can be cured with the help of Reikki therapy.

The Reiki treatment supporters believe it to be exclusively powerful in the healing of all kind of disorders, ranging from emotional and spiritual ones to physical ones. Among the most common disorders treated by Reikki therapy are the following: insomnia, headache and stress-caused disorders. Cancer, serious heart diseases can also be treated with the help of Reikki therapy. In case of depression one is likely to resort to the help of Reikki practitioner. Skin problems, chronic pain and low immunity can also call for the Reikki practitioner's help.

Reikki description would be incomplete without touching upon the very notion of Reiki. It is quite interesting that "rei" is the Japanese for ""universal" and "ki" stands for "energy". Initially a secret of Buddhist healers, Reikki therapy was brought second life to by the Japanese theologist, whose goal was to unveil the secret of Christ's healing powers. It is curios to note that Doctor Usui saw the Reiki principles in a dream. To perpetuate the memory of this Japanese doctor, Reikki healing is sometimes referred to as Usui natural healing system.

Reikki description explicitly states that this healing therapy is based on the belief that there is universal energy flowing through everything that is living. The essence of illnesses is the blockages, which stop the natural energy from flowing freely.

Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment based on the external use of essential aromatic plant oils to maintain and promote physical, physiological, and spiritual wellbeing. The essential oils may be used in massage, added to a warm bath, used to moisten a compress that is applied to the affected part of the body, added to a vaporizer for inhalation, or diffused throughout a room. 
The term aromatherapy ( aromatherapie in the original French) was coined in 1928 by a French chemist, René Maurice Gattefossé, to describe the therapeutic use of aromatic substances (essential oils) in wound healing. Gattefossé discovered the healing properties of essential plant oils accidentally; after burning his hand in a laboratory accident, he found that
lavender oil healed his burns in a very short time. He then experimented with plant oils in treating soldiers wounded in World War I, and found that there were several essential oils that speeded physical healing. As the practice of aromatherapy expanded, it came to incorporate a holistic emphasis on healing or invigorating all levels of a person's being. In the United States and Great Britain, the contemporary practice of aromatherapy is often associated with naturopathy and Western herbal medicine. In Great Britain, aromatherapy is one of the most frequently used forms of alternative medicine; in the United States, many hospital-affiliated centers for the study of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) offer aromatherapy as well as other alternative approaches. Aromatherapy has also been added to holistic nursing board examinations in the United States within the last few years.

Flower essences are a treatment procedure unlike any others. Whereas pharmaceutical drugs mask or alleviate negative physical symptoms, flower essences address the emotional imbalances which create disease.They operate on the principle that if a person has a problem she or he has, deep within, the virtue to counteract this problem. For example, a woman who lacks self-confidence has a blockage which prevents the natural feelings of self-confidence from surfacing. In taking the essence Larch she floods herself with the energy of self-confidence, thus washing away the blockage.

In general, people feel the effects of flower essences within two to six weeks. Because each individual is unique each essence will affect different people differently, and because the effects of flower essences are subtle people sometimes say that nothing seems to be happening.

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of medicine. It follows an integrated approach to the prevention and treatment of illness and tries to maintain or reestablish harmony between the mind, body, and forces of nature. It combines a number of approaches, such as changes in lifestyle, herbal remedies, exercise, and meditation, to strengthen and purify the body and mind and increase spiritual awareness.

A central idea in Ayurveda is that illness results when a person's physical, emotional, and spiritual forces are out of balance with each other and with the natural environment. Those who practice Ayurveda claim that certain combinations of methods, matched to a patient's unique physical and emotional needs and personal medical history, increase physical vitality, foster spiritual well-being, bring people into harmony with the world, and even prevent and cure disease.

According to Ayurvedic theory, all diseases and other health problems result from imbalances in the body's fundamental forces and disharmony with the natural environment. One of the primary goals of Ayurveda is to restore this balance and invigorate the body's biological and spiritual forces. Practitioners of Ayurveda use a combination of therapies to restore physical and spiritual harmony by balancing energy forces.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient and still very vital holistic system of health and healing, based on the notion of harmony and balance, and employing the ideas of moderation and prevention.

In theory and practice, traditional Chinese medicine is completely different from Western medicine, both in terms of considering how the human body works and how illness occurs and should be treated. As a part of a continuing system that has been in use for thousands of years, it is still employed to treat over one-quarter of the world's population. Since the earliest Chinese physicians were also philosophers, their ways of viewing the world and human beings' role in it affected their medicine. In TCM, both philosophically and medically, moderation in all things is advocated, as is living in harmony with nature and striving for balance in all things. Prevention is also a key goal of Chinese medicine, and much emphasis is placed on educating the patient to live responsibly. The

Other common techniques used in a TCM prescription are as follows:

Acupuncture is based on the notion that the body's vital energy force, chi, travels through known channels or "meridians." The acupuncturist inserts tiny, thin sterile needles at particular, selected points on the body to unblock or correct the flow of energy. These needles are hardly felt as they are inserted and are left in place for 15–20 minutes. Some patients report immediate improvement, others feel exhilarated, while some feel like sleeping. In some cases, patients say their condition worsens before it improves. No contemporary scientific explanation exists as to how or why acupuncture works.

Moxibustion is a variation sometimes employed. Moxibustion is the slow burning on or over the body of special herbal "cones." These are placed on specific acupoints and provide penetrating, relaxing heat.

Massage is often recommended, and a deep finger pressure technique known as

Diet is considered essential to good health, and what might be called "kitchen medicine" is just another aspect of herbalism. One example is a delicious dong quai black bean soup that is traditionally eaten by women in China after

Therapeutic exercises are sometimes prescribed as well. In both the exact and flowing movements of acupressure is often used to promote the proper flow of chi. childbirth and each menstrual cycle. t'ai chi, and the breathing techniques of Qi Dong exercise is considered essential to relieving stress and promoting the smooth flow of chi.                 

As a system of total healthcare, TCM is prepared to deal with any physical or mental problem, condition, or disease. However, unlike Western medicine at its best, TCM is not able to render the kind of emergency crisis intervention that saves lives during physical traumas. Nonetheless, it works best at achieving its goal of practicing preventive medicine. It has proven effective in treating many types of aches and pains and in helping people with depression and fatigue, as well as circulation and digestive problems. Overall, its emphasis on good diet and exercise, as well as on individual responsibility and moderation in all things, suggest that it is grounded in fundamentally sound principles.