First things first: food as medicine

Like most females who grew up in the ’50s, I was a good girl, Catholic, obedient, “smart,” and completely out of touch with my body. My body was an object in the room that I, that is, “my mind,” dragged along behind me. Not surprising then, that the locus of my transformation, when it finally came at 26, was my very own body. Had I not awakened to the power of making personal choices during a week-long hospitalization for generalized peritonitis; had I not finally been forced to listen to what my body was telling me, I would have died.

Live or die, said a resonant male voice, rising from deep inside, with a resounding, booming power, it’s your choice.

The voice terrified me.

In one fell swoop, I went from outer-directed to inner-directed.

Within 24 hours, my fever was gone, my belly flat, and my life force returned. One more case of “spontaneous remission” that doctors rarely stop to ponder.

Part of being conditioned into this culture is going along with the idea that someone else — your doctor, usually, at least in the area of sickness and health — owns your body. (In the ’50s, husbands were thought to own women’s bodies. Or, for me, the Catholic church. Now, in 2011, there is a retrogressive movement to put the reproductive power of women’s bodies back under the aegis of secular laws! What? What??!)

Actually, that’s not true anymore. Now what supposedly owns our bodies is the corporatized health-care/pharmaceutical industry. No longer gods, doctors themselves are functionaries, serving the will of the largest stockholders. Besides the ass-kicking war machine, making sure that we remain likely to get or stay stick has become a huge profit center. Plus, the sicker we are, the larger the truly Gross National Product!

Had I talked like this in public a few years ago, people would have thought me crazy. No longer. More and more of us are waking up to the idea that we must reclaim our lives in every area. That to do anything less, is simply, unsustainable.

I write this a few days after the sudden death from a falling tree branch of a local osteopathic “hands-on” healer whom I, and many others, greatly appreciated, for his kind, humble ways, his deep well of subtle skill and talent, and his understanding that the body ultimately heals itself, when guided by mind and spirit. Dr. Shoemaker was an original; a country doctor who did not make house calls. Instead, people came to his tiny homestead/office, way out in the woodlands of Brown county, traveling many miles on narrow winding roads to receive his ministrations and be in the hushed presence of his gentle, healing manner. I dedicate this post to the blessing of this unique man’s presence on our earth for 65 years.

The following video could have been called “Food as Medicine,” for that is what it is about. I’ve been following this real, authentic, back-to-nature kind of “integrative medicine” ever since I was 26 years old. Taking charge of my own health was, for me the number one priority, and still is. Without physical health as the basis for life, there is very little possibility of truly expressing one’s full nature into the world. Without physical health, emotional and mental and spiritual health are bound to diminish, leaving the world poorer for not having been gifted with your full presence.

As my dog Emma expressed her nature fully into the world, so it is the birthright of all beings to do so, unfolding their full, complete, authentic, unique forms in concert with all others. Just as mountains do, and rivers do, and trees do, and plants do, and insects do, and wild animals do, all species and elements benefit when interlaced and interdependent, growing and dying and birthing, individually and together, over and over, this one glorious, terrestrial symphony in concert with sun and stars.

Thanks to

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