Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Peasant therapy

There is an interesting story in my Rodale's Encyclopedia of Natural Home Remedies (1982) about an  alternative medicine sanatorium where supposedly some amazing cures of various diseases were made.

The treatment regimen, pragmatically tailored to the individual, included nutrition, detoxification, massage, counseling, spiritual exercises, and opportunities for hard physical labor outdoors. People were expected to work on their own healing, and to become functioning members of the micro-community during their stay. If they were unwilling to do so, they were asked to leave.

While many of the treatments were very high on the hippy-dippy scale--"cosmic folk medicine"--there were also some down-to-earth observations:

"We found that the people who will actually work on themselves are a small minority."

"We just knew that if people would work hard and live close to the land, they would have a good shot of getting over their problems, whether they were emotional, physical, social, or spiritual."

"...the only people who survive hardship are the peasants."

I believe that such an approach can solve some problems some of the time. But it did not entirely work well even for the couple that ran the place:  it turns out that they divorced right after the book was published. One died of stomach cancer, and the other died at age 66. I think it could have gone much better for them if they had had a better spiritual foundation.

No comments:

Post a Comment