“[My approach] does not conceive of the primal relation between the physiological and the psychic apparatus as one of mutual dependency but as one of functional identity with simultaneous antithesis …. The fact that the two mutually influence one another, however, is far less important for the comprehension of the psychophysical relation than everything which supports the view of their functional identity.”
While the modern west gropes its way toward an integral holism, we should recognize that there are already models of medicine/psychiatry in which body is mind and vice-versa. For thousands of years, Taoist Chinese Medicine, Buddhist Tibetan Medicine, and Ayurvedic Indian medicine have practiced – and continue to practice – an integral bodymind medicine in which “psychotherapeutic” events have direct bodily results, and medicinal formulas and practices have direct results on changing “mind” or “spirit”.
The most important aspect of this work though is the context in which this medicine is practiced. Rather than an ethics of symptom suppression, the clinical relationship is itself the transformative containing environment in which substances and other interventions provoke embracing, assimilating, and releasing of physical and psychic traumas consciously.
The reason there are no western psychiatric (or physiological) pharmaceuticals without side effects is because of the context in which they are used. An understanding of systems theory and the Arndt-Schulz law will demonstrate that every intervention made to the complex homeostatic human bodymind system will provoke various reactions, and Hans Reckeweg has proven that even aspirin and antibiotics impregnate toxic substances (like a kind of repressed trauma) which then continue to compromise the body’s immune system. Like a repetition compulsion these symptoms seek to return and be assimilated but we pummel them with more toxic drugs instead.
Freud stumbled on to this empirically (clinically) when he saw his patients’ symptoms return or become other worse symptoms with both medicine (pharmaceuticals) and psychotherapy (hypnosis). While he made it possible in the west to conceive of the power of mind over body, even more importantly, he reversed the politics of medicine to a listening transformative process rather than an active enforcement of the power of the physician to change the symptom or the patient in his own image (the image of the current logos).
Reich extended this work to develop a truly psychoanalytic, holistic bodymind medicine and ended up rediscovering many of the principals and practices of Oriental Medicine without knowing it (as well as the homeopathic, osteopathic, and naturopathic medical practices which were simultaneously being marginalized by political-economic mechanisms).
All of the pieces of the puzzle are now available to us if we would only begin to put them together. While I do in my practice, it remains difficult to help many given the institutional structures which maintain the current system. It is not enough to understand the importance of a psychological or spiritual precedence, one must develop a truly spiritual medicine, psychiatry, and science.
Reich “Discovery of the Orgone II: The Cancer Biopathy”