Beware: This is NOT an article against conventional (Western) medicine. It is not an article that supports the anti-vaccination conspiracy theories. And we would never encourage someone not to pay a visit to the doctor.
Unfortunately, many new-age circles dealing with esoteric and spiritual topics may discard mainstream medicine altogether. But this is not only an absurdity. It is also a perilous trend that could cause the death of someone who uncritically adopts these theories.
The development of western medicine itself in the last century has been life-saving for millions of people. Just think about diseases such as tuberculosis or syphilis that are vanished today due to the contribution of modern medicine. Besides, we should not forget that Western Medicine has its roots to the rituals of the Ancient Deities of Healing and Alchemy. As Dr. Jenny Rampling pointed out:
Strict boundaries between alchemy and what we now call ‘chemistry’, ‘science’ or ‘medicine’ did not exist in early modern Europe.
Hence, there is much magic in modern medicine. And there is no reason to draw a distinction between mainstream and alternative medicine, because the one could complete the other.
The problem is consumerism, not medicine
The problematic point with modern medicine is not its findings and practices. These can save our lives in critical moments and that is what they do daily. Therefore, do not pay heed to extreme “opinions” that suggest you avoid the doctors. On the contrary, you should close your ears to these immediately.
The problem with modern medicine is the exaggerations. We tend not to consult the medicine but to consume it. A sad example of this phenomenon is the overuse of antibiotics which may lead to antibiotic-resistant hospital infections. This practically means that due to this misuse of antibiotics we may not be able any more to deal with certain diseases. Antibiotic resistance is indeed one of the world’s most pressing health problems.
The fact that may parents may even demand an antibiotic prescription for a simple cold. And the doctors may surrender to this wish of the parents. Yet, this is exactly the root of the problem. As this article points out:
Taking antibiotics for colds and other viral illnesses not only won’t work, but it can also have dangerous side effects — over time, this practice actually helps create bacteria that are harder to kill.
Frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics can cause bacteria or other microbes to change so antibiotics don’t work against them. This is called bacterial resistance or antibiotic resistance. Treating these resistant bacteria requires higher doses of medicine or stronger antibiotics. Because of antibiotic overuse, certain bacteria have become resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics available today.
Hygiene is good, but don’t be overprotecting
Having clean hands, taking frequent showers, brushing our teeth is part of the education that children should acquire from their parents. And hygiene will help them avoid the transmission of several diseases apart from being neat and smelling good!
The thin line here however has to do with the fact that some parents are overprotecting and keep their children away from whatever could be supposed to be a source of “dirt”, which actually means a source of various bacteria.
Still, early exposure to these bacteria is the best way for the children to build up a resistant organism. This are the findings that are presented in the work Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World. The authors, the microbiologists B. Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta not only suggest that contact to bacteria is crucial for the strengthening of the immune system. They also claim that the lack of exposure to microbes gives rise to diseases such as obesity, asthma and even autism!
Let them eat Dirt!
In this interview the authors explain their “hygiene hypothesis”:
Epidemiological evidence shows that kids who are growing up on a farm environment have way less chance of developing asthma. Of course, you cannot just pick up your things and become a farmer, but what this suggests is that living in an environment that is less clean is actually better. The same is true for owning a pet, specifically a dog. Let your baby safely play with dogs.
Studies have also shown that cleaning everything that goes in baby’s mouth increases their chances of asthma. The incidence of developing asthma is decreased if the pacifier is cleaned in the parent’s mouth. And all of this points to the fact that we are just living too clean, to a point that it is not beneficial. Hygiene is crucial to our health. We should not stop washing our hands, but we should do it at a time when it is effective at preventing disease spread — before we eat and after using the restroom. Any other time it is not necessary. So if your child is out in the backyard playing with dirt, you do not need to remove that dirt. There’s no benefit from doing so. There has to be a balance between preventing infection, which is still a real threat in society, but also promoting this microbial exposure that is healthy.
Nature is wise (and so are we)
As witches and mages, we feel once again justified! In our recent article Being a witch is healthy (and sexy!), we saw why contact to nature is beneficial for our well-being. Witchcraft is exactly the wisdom of being in harmony with nature and the reasons why it is so is again backed up by recent researches.
Therefore, go out and cast your spells and let your children touch the soil. Earth is holy and we know it!