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Vibrational Medicine, Allopathic Medicine, Flower Essence Use and Paradigms and Challenges in Healthcare

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Abstract

Modern medicine focuses on the hardware systems of the physical body (the hardware body) and has not accepted the concept of 'software being'. However, making this shift enables a larger view of health, illness and pathology, enabling additional approaches to help patients get better. Historical thinking actually supports this step in thinking - as long as narrow attitudes that block 'out of the box' thinking are put aside. An example of a specific therapy is given.
International Journal of Integrative Medicine
Vibrational Medicine, Allopathic
Medicine, Flower Essence Use and
Paradigms and Challenges in Healthcare
Review Article
Andrew Tresidder1,*
1 MBBS (Lond) MRCGP. General Practitioner, Springmead Surgery, Chard, UK
* Corresponding author E-mail: andrew.tresidder@tesco.net
Received 13 Feb 2013; Accepted 22 Jul 2013
© 2013 Tresidder; licensee InTech. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract Modern medicine focuses on the hardware
systems of the physical body (the hardware body) and
has not accepted the concept of ‘software being’.
However, making this shift enables a larger view of
health, illness and pathology, enabling additional
approaches to help patients get better. Historical thinking
actually supports this step in thinking – as long as narrow
attitudes that block ‘out of the box’ thinking are put aside.
An example of a specific therapy is given.
Keywords Vibrational Medicine, Allopathic Medicine,
Flower Essence Use
1. Introduction
Perhaps we should first remind ourselves of the
definition of ‘medicine’. The Concise Oxford Dictionary
defines it as the “art of restoring and preserving health,
especially by means of remedial substances and
regulation of diet etc., as opposed to surgery and
obstetrics” or a “substance, especially one taken
internally, used in this” [1].
‘Vibrational medicine’ is a term popularized in 1988 by
Richard Gerber’s text of that name [1] which surveys the
whole range of the subject. ‘Vibrational medicine’ refers
to an “evolving viewpoint of health and illness that takes
into account the many forms and frequencies of vibrating
energy that contribute to the “multi-dimensional” human
energy system” [2].
Energy Medicine is a title used by James Oschman in 2000
for a more compact text that adds valuable insights to
Gerber’s work [3]. A second work, Energy Medicine in
Therapeutics and Human Performance, provides many
deeper insights into the subject [4]. Gerber and Oschman
both look at the prevailing Newtonian paradigm in
biomedicine, the scientific advances especially in physics
that can inform the functioning of the human body and
electronic “circuitry” in the body. From this they develop
a rationale for a coherent structure of the body at an
invisible level and present a range of ways in which
science already uses Vibrational Medicine, such as in EEG
and ECG machines. They go on to discuss different
healing systems and tools such as homeopathy and
acupuncture, among others, that have developed over the
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Andrew Tresidder: Vibrational Medicine, Allopathic Medicine, Flower
Essence Use and Paradigms and Challenges in Healthcare
www.intechopen.com
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centuries, as well as looking at up-to-date applications
and newly developed techniques.
Gerber and Oschmann are both at pains to point out that
vibrational medicine and allopathic medicine are two
aspects of healing that complement each other. An
analogy might be that allopathic medicine has reached
great peaks of achievement in medicating and rebuilding
the damaged or diseased hardware of a computer.
Vibrational medicine takes account of this and also looks at
the function of the software programmes, especially paying
attention to the principles of retuning and re-harmonizing
an out-of-balance programme with a light touch. It may be
helpful to define ‘vibrational’ and ‘allopathic’ and to re-
examine the origin of the second term.
This article is simplistic and personal, written by a
general practitioner with an interest in complementary
medicine as well as orthodox medicine, and it will be
seen to have failings on both accounts. However, it is an
attempt to provide a coherent overview of an area likely
to be of important and perennial interest.
2. Vibrational Medicine
Vibrational Medicine has four components. Greatly
simplified, these are:
1. Firstly, “anatomical” insights into the energetic
nature of atoms and molecules within our bodies
and the ways in which they interact coherently and
harmoniously in cells [many authors detailed in 3,4].
2. Second are “physiological” theories in which flows of
energy within the body are observed, using modern
research: these theories appear to correlate with
ancient wisdom about the meridian system and the
chakra system [5], from Chinese and Indian traditions
respectively. These theories are not limited to the
physical body but include mind and spirit [2,3,4].
3. Third are the observation of patterns of disharmony,
leading to disease “pathology”, first manifest at an
invisible level. Disharmonies come both from within
and from without, including sources such as
electromagnetic fields and emotional traumas [2,3,4,6].
4. Fourth are systems of “therapeutics”, based on re-
harmonizing patterns of imbalance using the
phenomenon of entrainment. The coherence of water
molecules in the body and the crystal-like structures
of cells may be crucial in this process. The therapeutic
modalities include, but are not limited to,
acupuncture, healing, homeopathy, flower essences,
magnet therapy, bodywork and others [2,3,4,6,7,8].
None of the above statements replace traditional
medical science or therapies; rather, they augment
the system of healthcare by taking account of new
advances and insights from physics [2,3].
‘Allopathic medicine’ is a term coined in the 19th century
by doctors in the US opposed to the great sway that
homeopathy held at that time. The derivation of the term
merits examination because it was founded upon battle
lines drawn between two camps in competition for the
trade of patients.
Homeopathy is the “treatment of disease by medicines
(usually in minute doses) that in a healthy person would
produce symptoms like those of the disease” [1]. The
American Institute of Homeopathy was formed in 1844.
At the time, homeopathy was widely used in the US, both
by doctors and in the home, and only reached its peak of
popularity in the 1870s. At the turn of the 19th century,
there were more homeopathic hospitals in the US than
any other kind. Allopathy is the “curing of disease by
inducing an action of a different kind (to homeopathy)”
[1]. The American Medical Association (AMA) (of
doctors) was formed in 1847 to promote surgery and
(non-homeopathic) medicine, and specifically aimed to
overcome homeopathy in the US. A member of the AMA
could be struck off for consulting or even being married
to a homeopathic physician. Other therapies such as
electrotherapy - also popular - were not targeted in the
same way at that time – the Flexner report debunking
“non-scientific medicine” did not appear until 1910 [9].
Great thinkers from the arts have made certain relevant
comments.
George Bernard Shaw discussed medical theories in his
preface to The Doctor’s Dilemma of 1906, in which play he
makes fun of surgeons and the habit of removing the
appendix at any opportunity (and thereby gaining a large
fee for it). He wrote that “medical theories are so much a
matter of fashion, and the most fertile of them are
modified so rapidly by medical practice and biological
research, that the play is already outmoded.”
“The savage opposition which homeopathy encountered
from the medical profession was not scientific opposition;
for nobody seems to deny that some drugs act in the
alleged manner. It was opposed simply because doctors
and apothecaries lived by selling bottles, and boxes of
doctor’s stuff to be taken in spoonful’s or pellets as large
as peas; and people would not pay as much for drops and
globules no bigger than a pin’s head” [10].
The retired Surgeon-General of the US, C. Everett Koop,
reflected upon this state of affairs in 1996: “During the 19th
century American medicine was an eclectic pursuit where a
number of competing ideas and approaches thrived. Doctors
were able to draw on elements from different traditions in
attempting to make people well. Perhaps there is more to
this older model of American medicine then we in the 20th
century have been willing to examine” [11].
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Anatomy Vibrational: takes account of
electromagnetic effects of atoms,
molecules, body tissues and
organs. Understands that
structure is dynamic as well as
apparently static. Builds on
allopathic understanding.
Allopathic: concerned chiefly
with visible structure. Attempts to
understand structure from a
paradigm of static rather than
dynamic equilibrium (cables and
wires alone rather than electronic
circuit boards, with “wireless”
communication as well)
Physiology Vibrational: observes and
theorizes about energy flows
within the body at many levels.
Understands that invisible body
functioning and communication
may owe more to electronic
theory than just electrical theory.
Allopathic: agrees with gross
analysis such as ECG or EEG
measurements. Makes no
conceptual leap from gross
electrical disturbances to minute
potentials akin to electronics for
the majority of body functioning
Pathology Vibrational: imbalances in flow
and disharmonic patterns are the
basis of pathology. External
vibrational influences can be
important at many levels, from
ionizing radiation to more subtle
types, and also in minute doses.
Allopathic: pathology is only
related to physical structure and
function. Recognizes some
electromagnetic influences as
important (e.g., ionizing
radiation), but usually only if
gross physical pathology occurs.
Therapeutics Vibrational: accepts the need for
surgery and pharmacology, etc. It
also seeks to re-harmonize the
organism using the phenomena of
coherence and entrainment,
recognizing that function may
improve as a result.
Allopathic: confined mainly to
physical interventions, although
in psychological areas counselling
and analysis are widely used.
Does not accept the theory of re-
harmonizing, though many
practitioners will “entrain” their
patients’ thoughts and feelings
with positive attitudes on a daily
basis unconsciously.
Figure 1. Table of Differences and Similarities between Vibrational and Allopathic Medicine
3. Vitalism and Mechanism
A brief historical overview may be relevant. Watkins [12]
points out that during the evolution of scientific medicine
there has always been a tension between the followers of
vitalism and those of mechanism. An understanding of
these concepts is useful. Vitalism can be seen to be the
precursor of vibrational or energy medicine, whilst
mechanism fits in with the steady development of
allopathic (physical) medicine.
Vitalism postulates that there is a spiritual force that
pervades the universe and that an aspect of this vital
energy is what animates a physical body, making it alive
rather than dead. At death, the vital force ceases working
through the body: “He bowed his head and gave up his
spirit” [13]. Disharmonies can arise in the flow of this
vital force, which give rise to illness. Skilled healers,
priests, shamans and other tribal doctors in the early
history of vitalism would have been the ones to help
bring back harmony, often through touch. Aristotle, in
Western tradition, wrote of the four basic principles of
fire (hot-dry), air (hot-wet), earth (cold-dry) and water
(cold-wet). Chinese medical tradition is predicated upon
the flow of chi or energy through a body and the ways of
re-harmonizing this using acupuncture, herbs, and
qigong (mind-body adjustments) [14 (see also a critical
evaluation of research on qigong by Yan et al. in [15]). It
looks at such occurrences within the body as a microcosm
that echoes the greater macrocosm of the universe. The
universe, and therefore the state of the body, is subject to
and influenced by universal principles such as yin and
yang, the five elements and chi [14]. Chinese principles
assert that there is an invisible energy structure that
provides the blue print for physical form, such as that of
the body: “when the Chi of the Elements settles, things
acquire form” [16].
Mechanism emphasizes the physical causes of illness.
Hippocrates was an early advocate, and then Galen.
Later, scientific rationalism in the West developed,
influenced by Newtonian theories of cause and effect. The
universe was governed by determined laws, such as
gravity, and so could be thought of as a giant machine.
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Andrew Tresidder: Vibrational Medicine, Allopathic Medicine, Flower
Essence Use and Paradigms and Challenges in Healthcare
www.intechopen.com
The same analogy was applied to the body [12]. The
growth of reductionism furthered this cause, as steady
scientific progress revealed first the organs, then the
tissues and then the cells of the body, and outside
pathogenic agents such as bacteria were identified. Much
of the ‘science’ of modern medicine and biomedical
research is based upon reductionism and mechanism, as
opposed to the ‘art’ of healing people. The great flaws of
reductionism are, firstly that - of course - the sum of the
parts is greater than the whole and, second, that by
focussing primarily on structure and function, as a
consequence error can creep in.
This error is that although structure does dictate function,
this is only a partial truth – actually structure informs
function rather than dictating it. Conversely, function also
informs structure (the whole of Darwin’s evolution of the
species supports this) – and furthermore, there has to be a
‘plan’ that informs function. Physics would describe this
plan as a holographic blueprint but common sense tells
us that before we build something, we first have to have
an idea of structure and function, then solidify the idea
into a plan, and only then create the physical reality.
Furthermore, this physical reality may, like a computer,
have dynamic functions that cannot even be guessed at
from anatomical dissection.
The irony is that both vitalistic and mechanistic theories
are important in arriving at a coherent overview – and to
inform aspects of health, such as the World Health
Organisation definition of ‘health’ as being a harmony of
mind, body and social well-being [17]. Some would
expand this to harmony of mind, body and spirit.
4. Human Software Programs
The challenge for biomedical science is to fully integrate
Einstein, Bohm and Heisenberg’s - among others -
insights from physics, together with those of Jung and
Berne and their followers from psychology, and develop
a new understanding of simple ways to help people heal.
Here are just a few insights:
Einstein E=mc2 – that is, energy and matter are inextricably
linked.
Bohm The observer and the observed are intricately
entwined together, even across time and space.
Jung Consciousness is larger than our body.
There are universal archetypes that we can access
with our mind.
We all have a shadow of unresolved issues.
Berne The science of interpersonal energy transactions
(namely, ‘energy flows’).
For a fuller referenced discussion of the implications of
recent research in physics, biochemistry and other
research on health, life and biomedicine, see [18]. Chopra,
in numerous publications, has explored mind-body
medicine extensively [19].
Although Einstein and others have described the world
as a mass of energy vibrating at different rates, much
Western biomedical research has been focussed on the
anatomical model of static equilibrium, even down to
molecular levels. Thus, for example, how nerves conduct
impulses, the molecular formulae of neurotransmitters
and other hormones [20], and the structure of
mitochondria and arterial walls, are all known the
‘hardware’ of the body has been investigated in minute
detail.
However, ‘software programmes’ have not been
investigated, at least until recently. This is because our
human software our feelings and thoughts are
invisible states, impossible to define anatomically and
shifting rapidly from one phase to another. Newer
techniques such as dynamic PET scanners are starting
to illuminate the rapid manner in which
neurotransmitters ebb and flow in the body. However,
we are only just appreciating that perhaps thoughts
and feelings (represented by neurotransmitters and
nerve impulses) are actually a manifestation of a
lightning-fast software system that represents our
consciousness. Actually, it may truly be ‘lightning’
because we now know that under tension the
crystalline structures of living cells, with their high
electrical potentials, emit photons of light [21] and
pulses of energy [2,3,22]. This is directly analogous to
the software systems running on a computer and the
phenomenon of piezo-electricity (quartz crystals emit
energy when squeezed – upon which fact the whole
industry of computing is built).
Human software programs consist of a sequence of
rapidly changing frames of mind with accompanying
feelings, and a huge amount of subliminal autonomic
processes ticking over in the background [23]. These are
processed at both the conscious and unconscious levels,
with reference to present and past experiences, and also
to feelings, moods and temperaments.
4Int. j. integr. med., 2013, Vol. 1, 29:2013 www.intechopen.com
Such software programmes rely on a stable platform of
physiologically balanced hardware, with regular
rhythmic breathing that promotes cardiac coherence [12],
adequate refreshing sleep, appropriate nutrients, and so
on. However, at an invisible level, these software
programs can, like a musical instrument or an orchestra,
go out of balance or out of tune. Musical instruments
individually - or in a group - benefit from rebalancing or
‘tuning up’. Perhaps our thoughts and feelings, and our
invisible software, can do so too.
Psychologists now use techniques such as eye movement
desensitisation and deprogramming (EMDR) [24] and
emotional freedom therapy [25] to process emotional
trauma. Servan-Schreiber [26] provides a useful overview
of the subject in Healing without Freud or Prozac.
Nature provides patterns of harmony to the ear or the eye
that make us feel better just think of the calming and
uplifting effect of strolling around a beautiful garden,
watching the sea or the clouds, or listening to the rustle of
the wind in the trees. Everybody knows this instinctively!
Moreover, if you feel better, you heal better! Science has
observed this in the US research that showed that post-
operative stay was reduced for those who could see a tree
from their hospital bed [27].
5. Bach Flower Remedies – Tuning Forks from Nature?
Dr Edward Bach, the originator of Bach Flower Remedies,
has made certain key observations. The first, at a dinner
party, was that different people had different
temperaments. The second, using his own intuitive
faculties, was that certain flowers would catalyse a
resolution of specific patterns of emotional imbalance in
him. His third innovative thought was to prepare a stable
vibrational pattern from the relevant flowers using water
as a carrier, preserved with brandy [28,29,30]. This is
analogous to burning a compact disc, which after all is
merely a piece of plastic. However, CDs carry vibrational
imprints which, played in the right hardware with the
correct software, will produce music or pictures -
coherent patterns produced onscreen or in the air. In
effect, Dr Bach recognized the calming and healing power
of nature, identified imbalanced frames of mind in
himself, chose the specific tuning forks to retune and
resolve the imbalance, and developed a method of
capturing and passing the “vibes” to pass on and be used
[31,2,3,32].
Science is only now starting to investigate how coherent
patterns such as music can make us feel better, let alone
act as a catalyst to resolve stuck frames of mind – of
course, this is a highly speculative concept, but a concept
that is in tune with our daily experience of life. Another
experience that we all have is that of travel – a very mind-
expanding experience, yet there is precious little scientific
evidence on any benefit that it may bring to enrich life
even though, qualitatively, we can all speak on the
subject! At one level, Western biomedical investigation
has predominantly concentrated with magnificent
discoveries, including the life-saving treatments for
severe depression, infection and so on – on the hardware
that supports life rather than the software to help our
life’s experiences go well.
However, modern physics tells us that even our physical
body - which we perceive as solid - is “merely” a
coherent pattern of waveforms, a packet of “quantum
energy” as it were! Such waveforms can go out of tune,
out of balance, and benefit from re-harmonizing -
retuning - at a vibrational level to reform the coherent
pattern. The phenomenon of harmonic resonance, using
the principle of entrainment [33,34], allows this to
happen. In essence, a tuning fork provides a pure
coherent note to which aspects of imbalanced patterns
can retune and regain their coherence.
Just as a flock of geese in flight entrain to their leader, so
cells can pick up the tune from one another. Moreover, in
the same way that a flock of ten thousand starlings move
coherently as one in the sky, so it is axiomatic that the
body’s trillions of cells work in concert rather than
against each other – they work in cooperation rather than
competition – which begs the question: “How?”
Bach’s philosophy was to assist the body in healing itself
by retuning our temperaments, as it were. He felt that his
38 remedies merely aided this process, and chose
appropriate ones for individuals (up to five or six at a
time). For instance Impatiens might be used for a person
with a quick mind who is impatient and easily irritated
by others, especially if they are slower than himself.
Taking Impatiens over a period of days restores tolerance
and patience. Holly, on the other hand, helps resolve the
pattern of imbalance which manifests as jealousy, envy,
revenge, suspicion and greed, bringing a pattern of love.
Bach worked empirically and noted his findings in order
to codify his research and produce a system that he felt
was complete [31,35].
Today, Bach Flower Remedies and other flower essences
are used worldwide by millions of people in over 33
countries [36]. Prof. Julia Tsuei of Taiwan presented a
summary of over 4,000 cases at the 2006 Bach
International Conference. In India, Vohra [37] has
published 270 cases, while from Germany Scheffer [38,39]
provides some of the most authoritative guidance for
Bach users.
Twenty years ago in the UK, few had heard of them, let
alone the most well-known – the combination Rescue
5
Andrew Tresidder: Vibrational Medicine, Allopathic Medicine, Flower
Essence Use and Paradigms and Challenges in Healthcare
www.intechopen.com
Remedy – whereas now many have done so, and may
have used them irrespective of the absence of trial data.
Rescue Remedy and other combinations with the same
recipe, other Bach Flower Remedies, and combinations
made by other makers - both British and from abroad -
are now available in most pharmacies, some
supermarkets, and just about every health food store in
the UK. Many people keep Rescue or other emergency
combinations in their handbag or emergency cupboard.
Twenty years ago, few of us had our own computers or
mobile phones…
There seems to be a society-wide phenomenon of flower
essence usage, almost completely outside the influence of
the nursing and medical professions.
Using the analogy of music and travel, the whole area of
flower essences is being researched on a personal and
experiential basis by members of society. It is a challenge
for biomedical research as to whether to investigate the
insights achieved on a personal basis, a challenge that is
made more difficult by the following five paradigms.
These same paradigms apply to the whole of vibrational
medicine
6. Paradigm Problems:
6.1 The Paradigm of Insularity
In the medical, nursing, pharmacology and other schools,
a huge amount of knowledge has accumulated and we
can easily fall into the trap of thinking that this means we
have all the answers – and that other truths or thoughts
about the workings of the body, etc., must be incorrect,
especially when we achieve many successes, save lives,
and are sometimes put on a pedestal by a grateful society.
We may permit ourselves unwittingly to take on the role
of ‘rescuer’ from Karpman’s drama triangle of victim,
rescuer and persecutor, one which every health
professional and scientist should be aware of [40].
It is easy to forget that Western health traditions (and after
all, in the UK in 1945, 75% of GP prescriptions were herbal-
based) are very recent and that fashions change. It is also
easy to forget that Indian culture, with Ayurvedic
medicine, and Chinese culture, with acupuncture and
herbal medicine, have long-established traditions that have
developed and been validated over thousands of years
[14,41]. Moreover, tribal cultures of healing and other
techniques have transcended culture over thousands of
years, including touch. Brennan has written extensively
about healing through the human energy field [42].
‘Scio’ means “I know”, so science is the art of honest
enquiry into knowledge. Unfortunately, the scientific
community has just as much ego and prejudice as the rest
of the population, as witnessed by a friend who said,
“Andrew, if you showed me a hundred studies that
proved homeopathy works, I still wouldn’t believe it.”
Karpman’s ‘rescuer’ flipping into ‘persecutor’? Perhaps
we scientists and doctors are just as prone to prejudice
and being trapped within a paradigm as anyone else?
Shaw’s comments above are relevant to this.
It would be dangerous to become complacent about our
successes, for this can foster a subliminal paradigm of
“NIH” (not invented here), i.e., “we didn’t learn it, think
of it, so it can’t be true!”
6.2 The Paradigm of Competition rather than Cooperation
In life, we can cooperate or compete. At one level,
competition can involve “winning” at someone else’s
expense – rather than achieving what is best for everyone.
In effect, rather than accessing our own security and
energy source, we steal energy from other people to
bolster ourselves.
Western business culture is partly based on patent law
and profit at the bottom line. Whilst not denying that
rewards should come to those who deserve them, this can
skew ‘medical’ research – and certainly pharmaceutical
research - into finding molecules (altered from nature – if
not, they cannot be patented) that you can sell at a £1 a
day, or some such amount, preferably for a long-term
condition, with a patent for as many years as you can
stretch it. Intriguingly, some pharmaceutical companies
spend huge amounts on research and development, but
then go on to spend twice as much again on marketing.
Of course, homeopathic tablets that sell for three pence
each make little profit for anyone, and so are unlikely to
be researched with the same enthusiasm that a new
(patentable), possible block-buster life-saving molecule at
the cost of hundreds of pounds is likely to be.
Profit at the bottom line is not the only important
outcome for society – some now recognize the concept of
the four-fold bottom line of consumer well-being,
employee well-being and environmental well-being all
being important as well as traditional measures of profit.
The tragedy is that although the pharmaceutical industry
has done a fantastic job with many illnesses - especially
infections and others, such as the invention of ACE
inhibitors, antibiotics and many others – unfortunately,
the medical profession has occasionally allowed itself to
walk up the garden path just a little too far, believing that
because previous rabbits have come out of the hat,
perhaps everything that comes out the hat will be another
rabbit. This misconception partly stems from a society
enamoured by the physical. “Why?” we ask.
6Int. j. integr. med., 2013, Vol. 1, 29:2013 www.intechopen.com
6.3 The Paradigm of the Mind-Body Split
The mind-body split occurred in Western tradition
during the Renaissance. Scientists asked for the
permission of the authorities to examine the body
which was granted on condition that the authorities (the
medieval Church) kept the soul. The majority of Western
medical scientific tradition then developed with a
worldview that excluded the soul. The Newtonian physics
of cause and effect became pre-eminent. Tremendous
technological advances in the material world were based
on newly discovered laws of physics and chemistry.
Cultural advances depended on these technological
improvements in the visible physical world – and dazzled
our eyes to the point that we could forget the existence of
the soul, along with the rest of invisible reality.
Effectively, much of Western Medicine has looked
exhaustively at the hardware of the body, whilst ignoring
the software of the circuits of the consciousness (our
invisible thoughts and feelings) running on the hardware!
Moreover, it may mistake the effects of thoughts and
feelings (neurotransmitters and neural impulses) for the
causative factors. Pert has published extensively on this
[20].
However, even in Western tradition, some of our greatest
thinkers have considered the position; it was Leonardo da
Vinci who stated in 1499 that:
“By the law of the Almighty
The body is the work of the soul
Which fashions its outward appearance
By hammering it from within
Like a goldsmith embosses his material.”
More recently, Elmiger [43] has suggested that “life is
nothing but the unfolding of vital energy” and that the
challenge for the physician is to detect and remove the
barriers to this process that contribute to disease.
However, obsession with the physical can be a coping
strategy of displacement so as to avoid deeper issues of
spirituality and other uncomfortable paradigms, such as
those outlined by Da Vinci and Elmiger, among many
others.
The mind-body split seems predicated on the dominance
of the left (rational) brain over the right (intuitive)
faculties – why so?
6.4 The Paradigm of Intuition – Squashed!
Allowing the left-rational mind to dominate the right-
intuitive faculties can be dangerous. How often do we
wish we had listened to that quiet little voice that told us
to go this way rather than the other? Furthermore, do we
live our lives minute to minute according to protocols
and an evidence base, or according to our intuition or our
soul’s dictates? Ideally, logic and intuition should be in
balance together, working in harmony, so that the will
can be guided by intuition and wisdom. Intuition is
sometimes described as our “in-tune” station, and is the
faculty that is enabled by such unscientific phenomena as
the practice of listening during prayer.
A professor of medical ethics said: “Logic may inform,
but it is the Intuition that Guides.” He went on: “Logic
unguided can most elegantly lead you up a blind alley!”
Add to this the fact that much of our behaviour is
governed by our invisible thoughts and feelings, yet we
do not formally learn about the invisible physiology of
the emotions to use them on a daily basis.
Nonetheless, through our childhood and lives we learn to
conform and suppress our own inner knowing in order to
conform to our parents, society and others. Love is given
to us or withheld with the effect that we become
conditioned into thinking the way other people want us
to. We adopt self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and
cause needless suffering [44].
6.5 The Paradigm of Life as a Journey of Learning
“If we separate Illness from Health, Health from Life, and
Life from Living, we deceive ourselves, and conspire to
create the fiction of a reality which is not”. Anon.
“Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
Eliot, TS, The Rock [45].
Life is a journey of learning, and human beings are
natural learners [Bach 35 among others]
Perhaps, as physics tells us, the whole universe is
composed of vibrations dancing in and out of tune with
each other, and as Eastern traditions tell us,
consciousness underpins and pervades all matter
perhaps we are all aspects of consciousness experiencing
life in a human frame. Perhaps we do not live life, but
rather life lives through us?
What could be more interesting than to look at people,
see how they tick and what makes them tick better, and
see how to help them do this? [46]
To look at this area would be in line with the spirit of the
age for we now have an articulate, well-educated
7
Andrew Tresidder: Vibrational Medicine, Allopathic Medicine, Flower
Essence Use and Paradigms and Challenges in Healthcare
www.intechopen.com
population in the West, with ample scope for satisfying
our material needs, the lower rung of Maslow’s hierarchy
of human needs [47]. Much of the population in the UK
and in the US is interested in personal development, and
are using complementary approaches to health. So, now
might be the time to look at self-actualisation and how to
facilitate it to help people feel better in simple low-tech
ways. After all, if you feel better you heal better
scientifically proven – as well as ‘common sense’!
What supports and nurtures us to feel and heal better, to
learn, to reflect and to move forwards? How is it that
nature – a garden – flowers – a view – clouds in the sky –
the sea – music - can all uplift yet calm and centre us? What
is the nature of the calming, healing vibes hidden in nature
that can achieve this? How does music make us feel better?
These are exciting questions to ask for the field of health –
and perhaps, courageously even for the culture of
medicine. Other exciting questions might be: Does
attention to health on a population basis reduce the
incidence of illness? What if we teach everyone (to read)?
Does this have benefit for society? What if we teach
everyone (information technology)? What if we teach
everyone simple self-help health technology to retune their
own software? What if everyone learns to use the healing
power of nurture from nature, even if only to enhance our
own self-healing power – to harness the immense power of
‘placebo’ – in reality the action of the invisible force that
maintains Claude Bernard’s milieu interieurto feel better?
What if inexpensive flower essences (whose action as the
“Healing power of dew,” Paracelsus, the ‘father of
medicine’ described, and which Dr Edward Bach
elaborated in the 1930s) and homeopathy really work?
How do they work? What is the science behind their
mode of action? Interestingly, Cuba, isolated for many
years from affordable access to pharmaceutical agents,
has recently invested in training over a thousand health
professionals in flower essence therapy [48]. Admittedly,
there is little English language published peer reviewed
evidence on their action – one recent review notes that
few studies are published in English (but does not
comment on Tse from Korea or extensive South American
work, among others) [49] – but there are many millions of
users who believe they work for them worldwide, whilst
my library shelf has 96 different books on the subject.
Scientific investigation may be lagging behind
widespread personal use.
Searches for published evidence on the health benefits
and life benefits of travel have unfortunately failed to
reveal any peer-reviewed material.
Perhaps physics - which can now show us how words
and thoughts can influence patterns in water [50] at a
vibrational level - has answers that we in the biomedical
sciences have unfortunately ignored because we have
been focussed on a particular mind-set.
6.6 Paradigms added together = “The Narrow Now”
The Narrow Now: The trouble with Paradigms is that
they can limit us to a ‘narrow now’. Even worse, we will
fight tooth and nail to justify our own special narrow
now. A scientist, when challenged, like any other human
being sometimes starts to argue not from logic but from
gut feelings justified as logic. This response may result in
a rejection of evidence on the grounds that mechanism is
obscure. To accept evidence that challenges existing
paradigms may require considerable courage and ability
to think outside the box of conventional wisdom. There
are parallels with the story about the Philosopher Fish,
who asked the Student Fish “Consider the ocean which
surrounds us”. The Student replied “What Ocean?” – that
is to say, the student was as yet unable to conceptualise
the existence of paradigm problems, let alone transcend
them.
So, perhaps the way forwards is to be aware of all these
paradigms, and to try and transcend our own baggage
for paradigms can actually be “systemic baggage” as well
as useful ways of looking at the world.
The biggest paradigm shift for all will be to truly
recognize, as many now assert, that “Health is Harmony
of Mind, Body and Spirit” and for biomedicine, along
with society, to honestly embrace the invisible as well as
the visible and acknowledge invisible anatomy,
physiology, pathology and therapeutics. Honour and
acknowledge diversity, and learn from it! The alternative
is narrow-thinking that can lead to scientific
fundamentalism.
7. Conclusion
Vibrational or energy medicine builds on the strengths of
allopathic medicine and surgery in trying to do the best
for our patients. There is a sound rationale and body of
modern evidence that underpins an understanding of the
subject but which is not currently taught in medical or
nursing schools. Embracing new concepts, especially
across disciplines, is always a challenge, especially at a
time when much clinical and research practice appears to
be ever more specialized. Thus, concepts of “software”
that are uncritically accepted if relating to the computer
on our desks, can find great resistance in the biomedical
fields, largely because the information is new and
challenges tightly held and deeply cherished beliefs about
the way the world and human beings are constructed.
The irony is that we live our lives supported by material
technology predicated upon microelectronic circuits and
8Int. j. integr. med., 2013, Vol. 1, 29:2013 www.intechopen.com
fields, use text messaging, the World Wide Web and
cloud computing, but we find difficulty in accepting that
any of this might apply to our bodies or our beings.
If we concentrate only on allopathic approaches to
disease, and look only at the physical, we may miss the
point of health, life and living, and the British National
Health Service will end up an unaffordable disease
service – which is doomed to fail the unconscious and
unarticulated health (mind, body and spirit) needs of its
patients, despite ever more superb efforts by dedicated
and expert technicians.
The answer? Education, education, education, inquiry
and investigation at a personal level, to look at and
examine these paradigms and attitudes, to recognize that
we are each on a journey of learning in our lives, and to
learn how to transform these paradigms and our own
emotional and cultural baggage. Then, perhaps, we shall
find how energy/vibrational medicine can illuminate a
way forward for us.
After all, logically-applied evidence can most elegantly
lead us up a blind alley…
Oschman [3] states: “Progress slows for a variety of
reasons that can be attributed to “human nature”:
A tendency to ignore anomalies.
A tendency to ask the wrong questions.
A tendency to look for answers in the wrong
places.
A tendency to create disciplinary and political
boundaries.
A tendency to conceal information by creating
incomprehensible vocabularies.”
Perhaps it is time to look at these paradigms and
tendencies, to transcend them, and to find out interesting
truths that have until now eluded us.
Declared interests:
Andrew has been a GP since 1989 and has used flower
essences personally since 1992. He has been published as
below, and was the first Chair of the British Association
of Flower Essence Producers, and a former chair of the
British Flower and Vibrational Essence Association. He is
a member of the British Holistic Medical Association and
of the Scientific and Medical Network: he reviewed
Gerber (2000) for Network, their journal. A sometime
member of Somerset LMC and South Somerset PCT
Professional Executive Committee, he has taught on the
Exeter University Masters in Integrated Healthcare, and
has lectured in Britain, Holland and Japan. He has
particular interests in patient safety and physician health
as well as taking a holistic approach with his patients.
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Essence Use and Paradigms and Challenges in Healthcare
www.intechopen.com
[24] Shapiro F and Forrest M, Eye Movement Desensitisation
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10 Int. j. integr. med., 2013, Vol. 1, 29:2013 www.intechopen.com
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