In 1975, I suffered a career ending knee injury that shattered my Olmypic hockey dream, and left me in contant chronic pain. As I prayed for a return to a pain free life, two teachers provided my path to healing: T. T. Liang, a 5th generation Master of Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan, and Harold Humes, a student of Norbert Weiner who introduced me to the use of massage therapy and breathing exercises. The foundation for the White Buffalo hour is built around what I learned from these two outstanding teachers.
Although my road to an undergraduate degree at Harvard was a long one, from 1975 until 1995, during this time I was able to take graduate level course work in neurobiology, psychology, religion, and history of science. My clinical work in the field proved that Tai Chi Chuan, massage therapy, and breathing exercises brought instant relief to many who suffered from a variety of psychiatric conditions. These techniques verified Norbert Weiner’s hypothsis in his 1951 book, “The Human Use of Human Being” that improving the signal to noise ratio in the Central Nervous System would promote healing of the mind, and was the key to understanding and treating psychiatric illness.
Ancient Chinese texts concerning the mind/body paradigm of medicine lost much of their meaning during the Han Dynasty who burned all the books and introduced “needles” in the form of acupuncture as a replacement for massage, “the laying on of hands”. Needles were used to stimulate the “chi”, the vital energy that sustained life to bring the body and mind back into harmony with nature. Before the Han Dynasty the concept of Chi was translated as “Spirit”. The original esssence of the Ancient Chinese mind/body paradigm was that “the laying on of hands would return the “spirit” to the body.
What happens to the nervous system when it returns to “homeostasis” and the signal to noise ratio approaches infinity? The ancient Taoists text state if one masters the techniques one becomes like a child again. Jesus states that “unless one becomes like a little child again, one can not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Is the similarity in the text, simultaneous discovery by different cultures or the transmission of knowledge with roots in Chinese Philosophy?
Ultimately medicine and religion are about philosophy, and who has the authority to control the message to the masses. William James believed that for a philosophy to be valid it must first be simple enough for the common man to understand it, and secondly it must recognize that man’s ultimate purpose is unity and international brotherhood. Can a medical model of enlightment provide the intellectual framework for freeing medicine from the chains of the Biological/Behavioral paradigm of man? What are the implicaiton for medical theory and religion as we try to repair the bridge set a fire with Darwin’s theory of evolution? Tune in to the White Buffalo hour and let your opinion be heard on these and other issues.
The White Buffalo w/ John Phillips
Wed, 30 Apr 2014 23:00:00 GMT