By Hwaa Irfan
If you have been busy spending time reflecting, taking time out to see what you really need out of this crazy world, you might have come to realize that a while back, you went way off course. You dont know how it happened, but you just forgot yourself. You got caught up in that tidal rush towards achieving ‘things’, wanting ‘things’, getting that sense of security that puts you in control. Now you find yourself having to make a greater push than before, to maintain, what in fact is draining your life force. You keep trying, but something always happens to pull you back, and to be frank, its not in you to do it anymore.
What is happening in the world around you does not help either but that is becuase it has reached a momentum that in real terms can not be maintained becuase it goes against the natural order of things that keeps all life in balance.
Physis is an ancient Greek word that means ‘natural growth’; ‘physiotherapy,’ ‘physical’ are words that derives from the root word physis. All this time one has been losing momentum, is a natural reaction to going against one;s own nature instead of working with one’s own nature. Sometimes that becomes a little bit difficult to define, because we lost the true sense of ourselves along the way. Physis has other meanings medically speaking, but in terms of its original Greek meaning, physis means the natural energy for growth, change and development that resides in all living things.
One will find the use of the concept of physis today in specialized centers in Scotland, and in the modern day practice of the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, known as Tibb an Nabawi, and Unani Medicine in centers like the Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb in South Africa.
The most famous book written by Abu ‘Ali Al-Husayn Ibn ‘Abdallah Ibn Sina or Avicenna has he is known in the West is the immense encyclopedia of medicine, Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb (The Canon of Medicine). It surveyed the entire realm of medical knowledge available, at that time, from ancient and Islamic sources. It remained supreme for six centuries. Al-Qanun described 760 drugs and became the most authentic medical material of the era, and was translated into Latin by Gerard Cremona in the 12th century becoming the main textbook in European medical schools. During the last 30 years in the 15th century, it was reissued 16 times with 15 editions in Latin and one in Hebrew, and it was reissued more than 20 times during the 16th century. From the 12th century until the 17th century, Al-Qanun served as the chief guide for medical science in the West.
Working with the natural propensity for growth change, and development the basis of Unani Tibb, which is one of the traditional medicine systems in India. In Unani Tibb, the role physis plays is described as
- the body’s innate power for self-healing. The prime objective of Unani-Tibb therapy is to support Physis, initially by lifestyle changes; then by the rational use of natural and herbal medications; and finally by the rational application of specific therapies.
If we have been living the kind of lifestyle that goes against our natural propensity for growth, when we need to call on that which is naturally within us, we might find that imeptus, that growth, that paradigm shift we need to make is just not willing having been exhausted by our lifestyle choices. To learn more about what that means, listen to the following, but note, that the concept permeates all forms of natural therapies, or therapies that work with and not against the natural forces within the body. As such, the concepts have been applied within integrative medicine.
“Unani Tibb Medicine.” http://www.integrativemedicine.co.za/unani-tibb-medicine.html