Hippocrates Re-Visited: Into the Heart of Healing

May 13, 2018 | By More

Hippocrates, who was born in 460 B.C. on the Greek island of Kos, is generally considered to be the “Father of Western Medicine”.  In his time, he was also considered to be a human manifestation of the Greek god of healing, Asklepios.  During Hippocrates’ lifetime, there were about 400 asklepions or healing centres throughout Greece and he taught at a number of them. For example, he taught at the asklepions on the islands of Kos and Rhodes, at Delphi, and at Eleusis, which is near Athens.

I have visited and meditated at all four of these sites.

Hippocrates understood the great importance of retreating into natural surroundings as an integral part of healing.

He, like myself, and many of my Partners in Healing today, did not believe in the arbitrary boundaries between “body”, “mind”, “Spirit” and “environment”.  He, I, and many Partners in Healing, believe in the Psyche and the concept that everything is holographically inter-connected.  We generally follow the principles of “contextual healing”.  The word “Psycho” implies that something is wrong, whereas the word “Psyche” implies that we are imbedded in an energy field that we can adjust and tune  up when there is a discernible “perturbance in the Field”.

Hippocrates was imprisoned for 20 years because he challenged  the high priests of his day through the use of reason, scientific hypotheses, symptoms, case histories and prognosis. The highly controlling religious zealots of that time believed that disease was a punishment inflicted by the gods. They claimed that Hippocrates had caused his child to be stillborn because of evil ideas that he had conceived of.  During the time he spent in prison, he wrote the book, “Hippocratic Corpus”, which sets out the Hippocratic Oath for physicians.  By Hippocrates’ espoused standards, most modern day physicians would not be licensed to be a physician by Hippocrates himself.  He did not believe in a specific diagnosis.  The word “di-a-gnosis”, in Greek, means two people who do not know what they are doing.  He believed in “di-a-logue”, two Partners in Healing “logging in” with each other.

Hippocrates did not believe in surgery and the use of drugs except in extreme cases. He believed in “the healing power of nature”.  He extolled the virtues of foods such as honey, barley and yogurt.  Hippocrates taught us to ascertain when there is a perturbance in the Field and to figure out what is “right about” the existence of the perturbance.  The perturbance then becomes a messenger indicating that our Psyche needs to make an adjustment to become healed.

In ancient times, Rhodes, where Hippocrates grew up, was a centre for horse trading in the eastern Mediterranean.  It would have been the Detroit of its time but with real “horse power”.  The Greek word “hippos” means horse.  Back then physicians were not allowed to do autopsies, but Hippocrates had learned about physiology, anatomy, and the importance of observation by watching his veterinarian father working on sick or dead horses.

Interestingly, there is virtually no mention of “mental illness” in all the vast writings of Hippocrates!  For Hippocrates a perturbance could become almost visible if the physician was able to create a “safe container” with the perturbed person.  Essentially the Partner in Healing would enter into a SUPRA-conscious state similar to a hypnotic trance state.  The vagus nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system would then be activated by many relaxation techniques releasing theta brain waves into each partner’s Psyche.  In this theta state healing was optimized.  Unfortunately, Sigmund Freud, through the use of cocaine (SUPER-conscious), changed the concept of the Greek Psyche into the very destructive marketing concept of “the subconscious”.  The present day movie, “Dangerous Method”, aptly depicts how Freud promoted his belief in the subconscious, yet another of those evil little gremlins that is out to get all of us.

Richard M. Haney, M.Ed., Ph.D. (Counselling and Mediation) has been practicing Wholistic Counselling, Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Mediation for the past 25 years in Ottawa.  He can be reached at:  (613) 234-5678 or richard@ottawacounselling.com

Category: Articles, Counselling & Coaching

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