In my nearly 5-decade career as a holistic family physician I’ve not found a more powerful holistic healing herb than cannabis.
Holistic medicine is defined (by the American Holistic Medical Association) as the art and science of healing that addresses care of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine combines conventional and complementary therapies to prevent and treat disease and to promote optimal health.
Among the multitude of complementary therapies, botanical or herbal medicine is frequently practiced by holistic physicians due to both its safety and efficacy. However, nearly every herb works almost exclusively on the body, while relieving physical symptoms. Cannabis, too, has proven to be remarkably effective for relieving a wide variety of physical symptoms, especially pain. But what I consider to be most unique about this remarkable herb are its mental, emotional, social, and spiritual healing properties.
Conventional, Allopathic, Western or “Modern” Medicine is based on the 17th century theories of Descartes and Isaac Newton. Regarded as the founder of modern medicine, Descartes saw the human being as a machine with two separate parts – body (soma) and mind (psyche). Newtonian physics, taught that we live in a material universe – all that exists is matter (invisible energy is ignored).
Conversely, Integrative Holistic Medicine, the new Modern Medicine, is founded on quantum physics and the work of Albert Einstein. Regarded as the most influential physicist of the 20th century, his theory of relativity (all motion must be defined relative to a frame of reference and that space and time are relative, rather than absolute concepts) was largely responsible for the development of atomic energy.
Arguably, Einstein’s most significant contribution was his belief that we live in an energy universe, and that underneath all matter, molecules, and atoms is invisible energy. This energy is such a powerful force that he asserts, “The field (i.e., the environment filled with intermingling energies) is the sole governing agency of the particle (matter).
The field includes everything from the core of your being to the outer reaches of the universe. It includes your thoughts and feelings, your diet and air quality, your relationships and faith in a higher power, as well as the energies radiating from the sun and the other planets in our solar system. All of these energies strongly affect your physical body, and how you are affected by a specific drug or herb. This helps to explain why patients with mild to moderate depression fare no better (sometimes worse) on anti-depressants than they do with a placebo (a substance with no intrinsic therapeutic properties). Their belief that it would help them feel better created a positive result.
Possibly the most compelling research regarding energy medicine was performed by a British physicist, C.W.F. McClare, who compared the effect of both energy signals (e.g., thoughts, emotion, prayer, hands-on healing,) and physical signals (e.g., drugs, hormones) on cells. He discovered that energy signals were 100 times more effective than physical signals!
Cannabis, and especially its most psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, radiates an energy capable of inspiring your mind and stimulating greater creativity; heightening your awareness of feelings and increasing emotional intelligence; opening your heart and deepening intimacy; and soothing your soul by deepening self-awareness and identifying your life purpose.
In subsequent blogs, I will discuss in more depth each of these holistic healing properties of cannabis.