Understanding Illness in Tibb
Hippocrates showed us that there is a definite pathway leading from health to disease. When laying the founding principles of Tibb he established a scientific basis for understanding the causes of illnesses and health, which is based on ’cause and effect’, We now know that the human body is equipped with a vast range of self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms, and that illnesses do not just happen – they result from definite cause or, more often, causes.
Tibb maintains that all illnesses arise from one of four distinct sources.
- The first two sources are linked to disharmony in our internal environment brought about by changes to the Lifestyle Factors. These changes influence the ideal qualitative composition which is required by our temperament in order to maintain good health.
- The third source is infection that takes place when there is an imbalance in the internal environment (homeostasis) which provides fertile ground for the microbe to grow.
- The fourth source is the unintended consequence of medication; namely, the side effects and adverse metabolic changes which frequently follow the use of conventional (allopathic) drugs.
1. A sudden change/excess in qualities from Lifestyle Factors
Sudden or excess qualitative changes often occur from poorly managed Lifestyle Factors. For example, from variations in weather conditions, overeating, enduring disturbed sleep patterns, or trauma, physical or mental.
These sudden changes result in symptoms which could arise immediately. If we go from a warm environment out into the cold without being warmly dressed, we will most likely experience symptoms of the common cold – runny nose, watery eyes, and shivering. Similarly if we do not get adequate sleep we may develop a headache or overeating can lead to indigestion. If these influencing factors are not restricted, then we are at risk of possibly developing more serious illnesses. However, if we counteract these negative factors, then our inner Physis is able to overcome this sudden change to our qualitative balance, and so restore our health.
2. Natural waste and toxin build up
Accumulation of natural waste gradually takes place mainly as the result of a faulty diet combined with poor elimination. In addition, our living environment is becoming increasingly contaminated by vast numbers of synthetic, new-to-nature chemicals from numerous industrial, agricultural and domestic sources. This results in a build of toxins affecting bodily functions, tissues and organs. This accumulation is detrimental to our Physis (our “inner doctor”), which gradually fails to restore our ideal qualitative balance. On top of this, our normal ageing process takes its toll on just about every activity in the body, including Physis. The ailments that arise from our inability to deal with this waste and toxin build-up are invariably chronic or recurring in nature, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and rheumatism.
3. Microbe infections
Tibb has a different viewpoint on infection than conventional medicine does. Without today’s advanced technology, Tibb physicians were unable to detect and identify actual disease-causing agents – viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc. However, they were well aware of the nature of infection or, as they termed it, putrefaction. They knew that there was something in the air or water which was causing specific ailments like tuberculosis, pneumonia and meningitis, and this could be transmitted person-to-person.
Tibb considers that any ailment due to infection which we succumb to can only happen when our inner healing power, or Physis, is weakened and is overwhelmed, or needs time to deal with a pathogen it is not familiar with.
Infective microbes will only thrive, multiply and infect our body when there is a change in the qualitative balance which provides a fertile and welcoming medium for them to survive, multiply and spread through the body. This explains why some people are susceptible to bacterial infection and others are resistant – there is a difference in the strength of their Physis to deal with the invading microbes.
4. Unwanted effects of conventional medication
Most of us use conventional drugs to deal effectively with common acute ailments like pain, headache, insomnia and bacterial infection. However, many of us will be affected by side effects in the short term, such as stomach upsets, dizziness and nausea, Over the longer term, adverse reactions, there may be an increased risk of developing diabetes type 2, asthma and hypertension.
These days, as patients we increasingly seek healthcare advice for ailments which have arisen purely from the long-term use of medication. The issue is often aggravated when we take other drugs to deal with the original side effects and adverse reactions. For example, when we take an ACE inhibitor to lower high blood pressure, we sometimes develop a chronic irritating cough. This side effect is often treated with theophylline – which itself brings on other side effects. Another example is when we take a water tablet, such as a thiazide or loop diuretic, for heart failure, oedema or raised blood pressure, we may develop gout. This is then treated with another drug – allopurinol –- which in turn brings on even more side effects.
The Tibb treatment protocol for each illness provides:
- A brief description of the illness.
- The most common signs and symptoms associated with the illness, and the possible complications that can occur.
- The Tibb view on the illness with respect to the qualities associated with it as well as the predisposition of people with different temperaments to the illness.
- The rationale behind the management and treatment of the illness, including lifestyle advice, herbal remedies and recommended Tibb medication, with emphasis on dietotherapy with respect to diet charts and recipes available on the website.
The information contained within this section should in no way be considered as a substitute to consultation with a healthcare professional. More specifically if you are on prescribed conventional (allopathic) medication for serious conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma do not discontinue this medication without consulting your practitioner.