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10 Principles of Traditional Jewish Medicine

Principle #1

Know Ha-Shem in all your ways, and He will straighten your paths.

This verse, Proverbs 3:6 teaches us to integrate G-d into our lives in whatever we do. The physician guides his patient to engage in healing activities that promote sound, restful sleep, sound digestion and elimination, and appropriate exercise, in order to sensitize the patient to involve G-d in his life. G-d will then remove any stumbling blocks that impede the patient’s relationship with Him.

Principle #2

Turn away from evil and do good

We learn from this verse, Psalm 34:15, to consider if how the patient is living his life is making him sick, and that before we initiate new therapies or new strategies, we must first stop his old destructive patterns.

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Principle #3

Healing MUST take place on four levels

The patient’s health needs to be assessed physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. On the physical level, he must be treated biochemically, biomechanically and bioenergetically.

Principle #4

Shvil HaZahav

Our therapeutic goal is to promote balance. If the patient is in a state of repletion, we need to sedate or reduce the excess. If the patient is in a state of vacuity, we need to supplement in order to fill the void. If he has been exposed to a pathogen, whether it is physical or otherwise, we must expel it. If he is blocked or in any way restricted, we need to open and unblock him.


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Principle #5

Hisbatlus and Hiskashrus

For the physician, there can be no room for ego or any agenda. Of course the successful physician must have knowledge and experience, but he must recognize that he is an agent of G-d, and only G-d is the healer of all flesh. Therefore, the physician's goal should be to connect himself with Ha-Shem as well as his patient, and listen well.

Principle #6

HaShem always creates the healing before  He creates the illness

The physician and patient must never give up, knowing that the A-lmighty has already prepared the patient’s healing. It is only knowledge that stands in the way of the physician's success: knowledge of what needs to be done therapeutically, and knowledge that G-d is the ultimate physician who has already prepared the cure.

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Principle #7

Shabbos

The Talmud tells us ( Shabbos 12B ):
“If one refrains from expressing pain on the Shabbos,then healing will quickly come.”


This statement expresses the awesome healing potential contained within the Shabbos--that complete immersion into the Shabbos will bring healing! Though technology enables us to accomplish our tasks more efficiently, freeing us to use our time better, we nonetheless multitask and become slaves to that which should be serving us. When we actively prepare ourselves before Shabbos, and we liberate ourselves that one day a week from weekday occupations, we effect a profound paradigm shift toward healing.  Shabbos frees us from those chains.

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Principle #8

Pain is a gift

We must differentiate between pain and suffering. The Talmud, (Brachos 5a) tells us that pain is really a wake-up call for us to introspect. Physiologically, pain is the expression of blockage. So, one of the physician’s goals is to facilitate the releasing of those blockages, to effect permanent lasting healing.

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Principle #9

Honesty

In order for a patient to get well, he must first acknowledge that he is sick. That acknowledgement must be to G-d, to his physician, and to himself. If he is not prepared to admit that he is out of balance, then he can never completely heal.

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Principle #10

Teshuva

There almost always was a time before the patient was sick. To get well, the physician enables the patient to retrace his steps back to that seminal event or decision which changed his life. The patient is made to understand that he is has the freedom of choice to decide differently as to how he will respond.

Copyright © 2009, Traditional Jewish Medicine and TCM