One of the main problems with modern medicine isn’t just based on the fact that pharmaceutical drugs can often cause more problems than solutions, but rather, it’s a problem of philosophy which directly influences the way medicine is practiced. The overarching philosophical approach to modern medicine is based on the treatment of symptoms. It is a system of medicine that has its primary orientation around disease, rather than health.
This is one of the unique attributes of “alternative” medicine, especially herbalism. That while we can certainly work with symptoms and disease, we also have the power to approach our practice from the perspective of preventing disease through focusing on the enhancement of health.
This can be done through a variety of ways. Obviously attending to the 5 roots determinants of health (diet, hydration, sleep, exercise and purpose) are critically important when assessing someones overall lifestyle dynamics, but it can go much deeper than this.
Traditional systems of medicine are distinguished from modern medicine in the sense that they have an understanding of the unique constitution of the individual. Rather than treating disease and symptoms, they treat the whole person, and the constitution provides the lens to see the uniqueness of the individual. For example, you can have 3 people that have the same symptom, but for different underlying reasons based on their constitutional differences. This enables you to select the specific remedies that are matched to the whole person, rather than the symptom.
But a constitutional understanding of someone doesn’t just give you more insights into how to effectively treat their symptoms and disease more holistically, it enables you to see into the overarching patterns of their life, how they live it every day, and how they can strategically and consciously design their lifestyle to enhance the balance within their constitution. Everything from the foods they eat, thoughts they think, people they engage with, the work they do, etc. all effects the constitution, and it can either lead to imbalance or more balance, be depleting and rejuvenative.
While Ayurveda has 3 primary constitutions and Chinese Medicine has 5, in the western Medical Astrology tradition, there is an infinite varieties of constitutional patterns, based on the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 10 planetary bodies. The natal chart is the most specific map of the human constitution on a physical and psychological level, lending incredibly profound insights into how someone can not only adjust their lifestyle to promote a greater level of balance within themselves and their environment, but also what specific herbal remedies they can work with to prevent the seeds of disease from sprouting and growing.
Through the natal chart, you have the ability to see the specific disease predispositions, weakened organ systems, and patterns of excess and deficiency that point towards the remedies they can integrate into their lives to strengthen the constitution, damp down excesses, rejuvenate deficiencies, and promote their overall state of vibrant health and vitality.
And this moves beyond just the physical level.
Because each planet and sign in astrology holds physiological as well as psychological and spiritual reflections, it can show you the direct connection between the state of the body, mind and soul. This helps to guide your remedy selection, formulation, and overall recommendations for the person to achieve balance and harmony on all levels of being.
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