Adaptogens: Mother Nature's Answer to Modern Stress
Modern life, with all of its conveniences, has a dark side: in our efforts to create ease and comfort we have created an artificial environment filled with stressors that assault us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We are exposed every day to a sea of toxic chemicals in our air, food, and water; this is coupled with intense time pressures and information overload at home and at work. Excessive use of alcohol, nicotine, and recreational drugs, combined with the grow-ing use of prescription medications, adds to this load, further taxing our bodies to their limits. On a daily basis our bodies are presented with a heavy burden of foreign substances to metabolize and eliminate. Not surprisingly, fatigue, minor illnesses, and chronic emo-tional stress are epidemic in our country, and can all be traced back to chronic stress. Meanwhile, beneath the surface, deeper and more serious problems can arise.
There's no question that we have benefited from science and technology. But in the process we have lost our connection to Earth, to her natural rhythms, and most importantly to the ancient wisdom that for thousands of years has guided human beings in living in health and harmony with our internal and external environments. It has become increasingly apparent that the technological, science-based path taken by modern medicine should have evolved as a complement to traditional medicine rather than subduing and replacing it as it has. Wisdom and knowledge are very dif-ferent, yet they can and should coexist.
As a result of the increasing reliance on research-based information—dispensed through the media and the Internet, and taught as the only valid way of thinking at most medical educational institutions—I am concerned that the value of wisdom, which is acquired through traditional medicinal systems, through folk medicine, and from practicing the healing arts, will be lost. Without the balance provided by ancient wisdom, modern medicine is lost and can do more harm than good. We need to reconnect with the healing ways that all traditional peoples have used since the beginning of time and reintegrate creativity, herbs, music, prayer, and touch into our lives. To do so is a sacred practice, and to me this reflects heaven, which I believe is our ultimate objective in life—to reflect heaven and to manifest it here on earth.