Having lived 25 years of my life in Iran (and the rest here in the U.S), I have gained an appreciation for the Iranian Traditional Medicine (AKA Persian Traditional Medicine) طب سنتی ایرانی. In this medicine, the primary goal is to identify the root cause of the problem or the illness and try to alleviate the cause. The symptoms should disappear when the cause is eliminated.
Imagine our body as a machine that should be running smoothly (if we take good care of it). When this machine starts making noises that it shouldn’t, what can we do to fix it? Look for the cause of the noise, right? Is it a missing screw, a part coming loose, a broken piece, or it might just need some oil and grease…when you find the cause and fix it, the noise will disappear. And if you take care of your machine in this manner, it will run smooth and strong for many years.
Now there is an easy and lazy way of fixing the noise too…just put a muffler on the part that makes the noise so you don’t hear it any more. Wallah! The noise is gone. What do you think will happen to the machine if you keep fixing every problem in this manner? You guessed it right! Pretty soon the machine will fall apart. The damage will get so serious that it can not be repaired anymore and you will have to just throw the machine away and get a new one. But the bad news is: we can’t get a new body when it gets to the “point of No-Repair”. So we can’t keep ignoring the symptoms of our ill body and hiding them with pills that don’t do us any good. I think western medicine is all based on hiding the symptoms. Pain pills, topical creams and ointments, allergy medicines, drugs for inflammation and so many other drugs prescribed by doctors are nothing but mufflers covering the noise of this precious machine (our body) without bothering to find out what is causing the noise.
I know that the responsibility of caring for this irreplaceable machine is only on me and no one else. No one including my doctors can get to know my body as well as I can. Everything I have learned so far about my body has been through the Iranian Traditional Medicine. It has served me, my family and most people I know who follow this method very well over the years. My grandmother on my dad’s side lived to be 107 years old…my dad is 86 years old now and he is not taking a single medication. He is in great shape and he is thinking of starting a new business. :-) (I am not kidding! We had to intervene and stop him.)
Like Ayurveda and Yunani medicine, Iranian Traditional Medicine believes that “Food is Medicine” and it also believes that “every disease starts in the gut”. This medicine is based on the concept of four humours (Khelt), four elements (Onsor), four temperaments ( Mizaj) and four “natures” or “qualities” (Tab’) as a healing method. We are all born with a unique temperament (Mizaj) which will stay with us throughout our life. The balance between the elements lead to health and their imbalance causes illnesses. Once we identify our “humours” and “temperaments”, and learn about the the “elements” and the “qualities” of everything we consume, we can easily identify food that are good for us and those that throw our body out of balance.
There is a simple formula to the concept of the 4’s…a person with a certain temperament possesses and exhibits certain behavioral and physical characteristics so it is easy to identify everyone’s temperament. In my next blog post I expand on this topic in detail so you can identify your temperament and learn more about the qualities of some food, fruits and vegetables that will be good for your specific temperament.
I would love to hear your thoughts and especially your success stories if you have been following this or any other traditional healing methods.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. These statements are only based on my personal experience and my interest and extensive research on “Iranian Traditional Medicine”.
Credit: Photo from Fritz Kahn the man machine collection.