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Ideas for Topics
17 May 2012
1:42 pm
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Mark Jack
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Hi,

Sometimes ideas for cool subjects to explore pop up but time or expertise for the subject may be lacking. If this happens to you, you can post your ideas here to be taken up another time by yourself or others who may be inspired by your idea. I was keeping a list on my computer of ideas, but this may be easier and have the advantage of sparking ideas in others too.

17 May 2012
1:57 pm
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Mark Jack
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Integral Materia Medica

One idea I have been thinking about a bit is that of an Integral Materia Medica. I have been updating mine and am trying to shape it more along these lines. It is interesting how different herbals have different approaches, some very science focused, some looking more at typologies of plants, some looking a bit at the spiritual or emotional aspects, but none bringing all these together in a comprehensive yet practical, usable, form. When I have time I will explore this a bit more (and if anyone knows any herbals that are more integral please let me know!).

 

Integral Nutrition

A vast subject, but it might be really good to explore how integral our nutritional advice is that we give to patients. There is so much that could be gone into here, such as the energetics of food, effects on mood, types of food that are eaten, biological individuality of patients (and hence the types of food they could eat) such as blood types or nutritional typing, environmental impacts of the foods, etc, etc!  

2 June 2012
8:33 pm
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owenokie
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Both good topics to explore as subsets of Integral Herbalism.

 

Certainly Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Tibetan traditions have a rich materia medica that is often very integral in its approach (though based on a different physiological model) and some of the new materia medica’s are starting to correlate these traditions with the western scientific perspective. Often I found I have to integrate and synthesis between several different books to get a complete picture. 

 

Integral Nutrition would more or less fit under the same category. Though something the consider here is the larger picture of our food (how and where it is raised and grown-the lower R and L quadrants of nutrition). With the client at the center we can see their subjective relationship to food as well as the physiological effects and the cultural and social/ecological contexts. Start teasing out for example how a given food may alter their mood and phsyiology, and under what external conditions they may be drawn to such food (in the case of a craving possibly stress, or of certain social situations, and so forth). Just some quick thoughts.

 

Integral Psychology/Psychiatry are another important topic: the use of herbal medicine and nutrition in an integral way to bring about psychological/emotional healing and well-being. Often psychological symptoms are associated with physical and physiological symptoms that are more or less ignored in western approaches to “mental health” – the disembodied mind model which is so prevalent. This makes herbal medicine particularly important here. In Eastern traditions the various aspects of health are not separated into distinct categories with distinct treatments (and different practitioners). I think the Integral approach will be very effective in synthesizing the Eastern models of healing, with both the western understanding of neuroscience (psychoneuroendoimmunology) and of western approaches to psychology. Wilber’s book on Integral Psychology may prove to be a very useful resource.

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