Often in the healing arts them most simple and obvious cures lie right in front of us, exposed and waiting to be utilized. The purpose of this literature review is to examine the specific ailment of anxiety and review the traditional sources of knowledge that can specifically apply to the treatment of this condition. The use of the individual’s own psycho-spiritual faculties will be highlighted as the method in which these sources remedy the effects of anxiety and its sometimes debilitating symptoms.
The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon includes the many esoteric human tools such as mood, idea and spirit as important aspects of health and immunity from disease. This collection is the earliest and most important written work of traditional Chinese healing arts. The narrative of the story reveals the secrets of keeping a clear and sound mind and hence eliminating the anxious behavior that so often rises. Through simple dialogue, emphasis is placed on the ability to let the mental energies become focused and harmonized with the environment. Traditional terms Yin and Yang are also used as tools to help prevent anxiety by demonstrating the importance of incorporating polarizing thought patterns into a synergized body.
In other cases material medicines can be used to help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and the many burdens this state of mind forces on the backs of its sufferers. Culpepper’s Herbal reference book is another method of helping solve this problem. This traditional collection of knowledge lists many herbs that are useful for many different conditions. There are several that are well suited for the treatment of anxiety or nervousness. Chamomile is described as useful for “agues” which are synonymous for many of the symptoms of anxiety. Culpepper gives directions on preparing the chamomile flower to best consume the herb. The many herbs described to treat anxiety are also given with a proper time and place of the year to help align the astrological significances and strengths of the herb. For instance St. John’s Wort is best taken in the summer and should not be taken past August if it is expected to be effective in the treatment of anxiety, or many of the other ailments this herb provides.
The Bible, although much aligned in many circles, also provides adequate healing knowledge for the individual if taken in the proper context. The traditional knowledge contained in the Bible still provides much inspiration today in many different circles and discount its importance in the healing arts would be to dismiss century’s worth of discussion and knowledge that can contribute greatly to the larger context of global healing. Specifically, in Matthew 6:25-34, anxiety can be eliminated by letting go and having faith and confidence in oneself. The text suggests that comparing oneself to nature, where anxiety does not seem to exist, provides a means to eliminating the many stresses that contribute to an anxious condition. Christ consciousness used as a healing elixir has been proven throughout the ages and appears to display a useful model to incorporate the psycho-spiritual tools are minds are equipped with to deal with the world at large.
Another source of traditional knowledge that incorporates an Eastern view of philosophy and contains the power to treat sources of anxiety is the Tao Te Ching. This literary work is a collection of 81 stories or excerpts that explains in simple, yet poetic words the essences of life and the problems associated with living such a life. The entire subject matter of the book is finding peace of mind and eliminating the many symptoms of an anxious life. Although the book is nearly 2500 years old and has survive thousands of translations and stylistic alterations, the format, musical in nature, allows for its readers to identify with the simple and poignant stories and adapt them to their own nervous condition if need be. The Tao also allows the reader to maintain a healthy mental attitude by referring and meditating upon its messages at regular intervals.
The sources of knowledge from traditional sources are important to help understand the history and context in which naturopathy has evolved and unfolded. The varying sources discussed in this review all share a common thread by placing the importance of the individuals own interpretation of their mental condition and applying it in psycho-spiritual manner. More research needs to be uncovered to discover how self-realization, through the assistance of naturopathic means can help create a truly holistic healing method which addressed the many mental problems that are present in today’s world.
Culpeper: The Complete Herbal. Viewed at Bibliomania.com, 15 Nov 2013. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?q=Culpeper’s Herbal
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