"Illnesses hover constantly about us, their seeds blown by the wind, but they do not set in the terrain unless the terrain is ready to receive them".

.......... Claude Bernard

(19th Century Medical Researcher)

Pasteur (the father of microbiology) is reputed to have said on his deathbed :

"Bernard is right - the germ is nothing - the terrain is all".

"The terrain equates to the environment and this must include both our inner and outer worlds".

(Dr. Christine Page, MBBS, MRCGP,DCH, DRCOG, MFHom).

In most complementary medicines and therapies, there is an underlying belief in the mind, body, spirit connection and that many methods work with the principle of an energy or life force flowing through the body which in dis-ease has become blocked creating dis-harmony within the physical form. To release the block and allow the recreation of harmony is the main aim of most practitioners working within these healing arts.

"Unless we treat the whole (the mind, body and spirit) person, we cannot hope to achieve a "cure" ........... (Dr. Christine Page).

The early doctors understood the importance of the holistic approach. Hippocrates (420BC), the father of modern medicine, was trained as a priest healer. These healers were followers of Aesculapius, the Greek god of healing, whose symbol - the single snake around a rod - is still used by many medical institutions. The priest healers believed that total healing must include the mind, body and spirit.

In later life, Hippocrates transferred his allegiance from a holistic view to one which was more reductionist. He stated that he believed the cause of an illness existed purely within the soil of the disease, i.e. the physical body. Slowly, this theme was adopted by all those who cared for the sick, and disease was divided into that dealt with by the doctor, that by the priest and that by the psychiatrist. However, it is interesting to note that until recently every doctor had to take the Hippocratic oath (circa 420BC) which starts : "I swear by Apollo the physician, by Aesculapius, etc. etc. ....".

I believe that we all originate from the one Source which has many names - God, Light, The Creator, etc. This Source gives birth to many individual lights or souls and each one of us possesses a soul. The purpose of our life upon this Earth is to develop self-consciousness which means to know and accept ourselves as spiritual beings. As this awareness increases, we work towards a wholeness and such wholeness brings the ultimate goal - unity with the Creator. The soul's path on Earth provides many experiences which can lead to such growth. In this world of duality we learn to accept and love both our so-called negative aspects and positive aspects for they are all part of the whole.

In order that the soul can work within the Earth, it takes on three items of 'clothing' - the emotions, the logical mind and the physical body - these three together constitute the personality or ego. The soul (or Self) is still firmly linked with the Source of life via the spirit. Through this connection we are aware of ourselves not only as a personality but also as part of the Universal pattern of life. The soul is not an alien force which is trying to influence us beyond our will, but can be seen as a loving parent showing the way to an often fearful child. The soul needs the personality and they need to work together as friends.

One aspect of life which to some is seen as a gift and to others as a hindrance - is the presence of free will. Free will equates with choice - choice to accept the experience and choice to learn the lesson which it offers. For many, free will brings fear of failure and of making a mistake. In truth, there is no such thing as a mistake - nothing is wasted. The most negative events offer some learning for the soul, even if it is only not to follow that path again. Others become lost in the experience and fail to see that it is not the details of the situation which matter, but the opportunity for change which is offered.

And what does the soul want from life ? Despite the wide variation of cultures, religions and levels of wealth, there is always a common theme - "I want to be myself". The Self contains seven spiritual aspects :

(1) Self-knowledge.

(2) Self-responsibility.

(3) Self-expression.

(4) Self-love.

(5) Self-worth.

(6) Self-respect.

(7) Self-awareness.

Total Self-consciousness encapsulates all the seven aspects and is a harmonic existence created through unification of the many parts which constitute spiritual man.

For many of us the personality holds sway over the control of our daily life. As the influence shifts from the personality to the soul, this is registered as dis-harmony by the mind, for it is now receiving the two different vibrations - one being transmitted from the level of the soul and one from the level of the personality.

If the vibration of the soul is simply allowed to replace that of the personality then the shift occurs with minimal disruption to the life of the individual. However, if there is resistance to change, then initially this dis-harmony is felt within the mind leading to symptoms of strain, frustration, anger, depression, etc. If, despite these messages, no action is taken to change the vibration, then the dis-harmony can manifest as physical dis-ease.

Such a manifestation not only increases the awareness of the individual to the fact that there is dis-harmony present ("seeing is believing") but also in many cases acts as the vehicle for the change to take place. Dr. Christine Page, MBBS, MRCGP, DCH, DRCOG, MFHom believes this is the process which is occurring in at least 80% of mental and physical dis-ease today, which includes trauma. She is convinced that to relegate signs and symptoms purely to the means of naming a dis-ease is to ignore a vital clue given to us by the soul itself. If we can decode the message of the dis-ease, we can come to a greater understanding as to the area of soul growth being developed at that time. In this way, the caring professions would then be able to support the patient in a more constructive manner and the patient would be able to contribute actively to their healing process.

Modern medicine has a valuable contribution to health care especially in acute situations, and complementary practitioners must know when to refer to orthodox medicine in accordance with the threat posed by the condition to the life force of the patient. True care must include the activities of the mind and the soul. The physical body is purely a vehicle for the soul and the spirit. Treating one aspect in isolation from the others will lead to an incomplete cure although on a physical level the patient may appear to be healed. Healing can never restore anybody to their original form. Dis-ease by its very essence must bring about change in the individual and this point is often misunderstood and even avoided both by the patient and the practitioner.

Many people ask their doctors to "just make me physically better and then I can cope with the emotional problems", but this is completely the wrong way around. Yes, by relieving the pain and other acute symptoms, the patient is able to have the strength to move forward, but in many cases, until the emotional issues are resolved, dis-harmony will remain even though the signs of dis-ease can be suppressed by modern drugs.

Once true harmony has been achieved it can never be destroyed. It may be mislaid from time to time, but like riding a bicycle, we never forget the technique once it is learnt.

For true health and wholeness, time is irrelevant. Many people are in such a hurry to restore health, that they miss golden opportunities for soul growth. Because of this, the lesson is repeated unnecessarily, until the deeper message of dis-ease is understood. Others give up and accept their illness not in a positive fashion but with resignation. They 'suffer' the disease - the word amplifying their feelings.

It is not relevant what dis-ease is present, what type of personality you are, what astrological sign you were born under or what type of constitution is present. What is relevant is how you deal with the situations which come towards you and to use these experiences to enrich and expand soul consciousness.