The Wisdom Within
It is almost on a daily basis that I am reminded how much we tend to think conventionally. We are so trained to think of disease and ailments as things to suppress, destroy, and eliminate at all costs when we would do much better to recognize these symptoms as evidence of underlying imbalances or underlying "dis-ease". The homeopathic way of viewing disease is to look at a symptom, such as a skin problem, as the body's way of speaking to us. The body is saying that there is a problem. The body is also trying to balance things out by itself the best way that it can. Our language in return is such that we think and say, "Better get rid of that eye discharge," or "How can I kill off this skin fungus?" or to a trainer, "How can you fix my misbehaving horse?" when our thoughts and words should be more like, "Why is there an eye discharge?" and "Why does my horse's skin get like this?" and "What is this horse with unacceptable behavior trying to say?" What is the body trying to say? Can we learn how to listen?
In this issue we feature language from the horse in For the Rider and Book Bits, featuring GaWaNi Pony Boy, who says we need to observe the horse and learn from the horse, and in Barn Buddies, featuring Christina Chambreau, DVM, regarding viral disease.
Good health is not just seen on the surface; it is throughout. A horse may appear healthy on the surface, while harboring deeper problems; the turmoil beneath may show in the form of digestive problems or bad behavior. We may give the horse medications to relieve the colic or dry up the diarrhea or drugs to quiet him, but if we do this we are suppressing these symptoms, and we are ignoring the clues to a problem. Through natural, complementary therapies we can acknowledge the body's attempts to communicate and we can learn to read the signs. We can work with the body and not against it, therefore helping it along toward wellness.
For instance, a horse with an ulcer is typically given medication or drugs to relieve or eliminate the ulcer and its symptoms. The ulcer may be the body trying to say, "I have an imbalance in my bacteria count" or "My acids are not in balance" or "I've had too much 'bute'". But when we treat just the ulcer, rather than looking at the situation as a whole or trying to find the origin of the problem, the imbalance does not go away; rather it shifts itself to another area, perhaps going more inward as we are suppressing this disease. Rather than treating the animal as a whole, and removing the obstacles to cure, we are interfering with cure. I believe that the body tries to maintain itself in a healthful state or move toward it all by itself, and at all times. That is the nature of the vital force, the life force.
But the way we sometimes take care of our animals and bombard them with preservatives in their daily feed (molasses) and regular chemical dewormings and regular indiscriminate vaccinating as well as pollution, structural stresses, and environmental hazards, they are constantly confronted with these obstacles, which block the road to them being able to cure themselves. They get stuck in an imbalance or disease state from which they can find no way out. The vital force is saying "Help, I have a problem here with this discharging eye", "Help, I have a problem with my digestion", "Help, I can't gain or lose weight", "Help, I have a problem here with this susceptibility to dust and mold and fungus" and "Help, my defenses are down and they can't get back up."
We need to assist the body to do what it naturally tries to do - maintain or achieve a state of health and balance. We can help it get better as a whole by first removing the real obstacles in its path toward cure and well-being. I say real obstacles, meaning obstacles to cure, and not necessarily removing the naturally occurring challengers such as mold, dust, bacteria and virus (see Barn Buddies), but rather the unnatural obstacles such as the chemical bombardments, so the animal can handle the natural challenges. If we can clear the way for cure to take its path, we can let the body do its own healing, with some assistance when needed from complementary medicine. Hard as it is, we really ought to trust nature. When given a real chance, the body will do right by itself; it has the wisdom to do it.