Integrated Healing: A Systems View of Life.

We teach Integrated Herbalism within Living Systems and the systems practice of healing including Western herbalism, Ayurveda, Process Oriented Healing, Shamanism, the Seasons, Bach flower remedies and more. Integrated Herbalism includes the four dimensions, biological cognitive, social, and ecological.

Integrated systems consist of networks within networks. The four dimensions are all important and they also interact with each other. For example, if the social dimension is stressed by an unhealthy relationship like excessive unkind criticism, then that will negatively impact the cognitive (psyche), which will impact the biological (soma). There is always a psychic somatic connection.

In the biological dimension we have two views, the biomedical and the integrative. The biomedical is based on the Cartesian model and looks at the mechanism of disease. Medical herbalists tend to focus on the biomedical model. For example, using Willow bark instead of Aspirin. This is fine for 25% of conditions that humans experience. In an integrative model we also include the biomedical model within the other four dimensions.

We teach and practice an integrated system that does not put so much pressure on my plants, the herbs. I treat my herbs as friends and allies. We also speak to their function in all four dimensions, not just the biological. Integrative healing also relies on holistic Traditional Systems like Ayurveda to help identify imbalances and to apply corrective measures in all four dimensions.

Humans are open non-linear systems that function far from equilibrium. We are also complex systems and often need complex solutions. We are open systems always in need of food, water and air and I believe relationship and purpose. Let us begin our studies with some herbs to consider knowing and see how all of this fits into a systems view of healing.