Some of our students attended and give their thoughts:
What I found interesting about the retreat was the historical aspect of medicine and how history is beginning to repeat itself in modern medicine. We learned about Hildegard von Bingen who was a saint in the German Rhineland back in the 1100s. Hildegard used various herbs such as spelt flower, chamomile, and pepper to aide in the treatment of sick people. She also realized health benefits of many foods including almonds as well as the importance of hydration. Although in our time we like to credit ourselves with discovering healthy facts such as these, people have known them for hundreds if not thousands of years. I find it interesting that they are making a comeback in modern medical practice and am excited to see how their use for treating diseases impacts the medical field.
~ David Zimcosky PA-S
After lunch, Dr. Chaudhary talked about the conference his wife and him went on to New Mexico to learn more about the use of botanicals in treating acute and chronic diseases. He talked about how informative the conference was and how now at the gift shop in Zharmony there will be botanicals offered as another treatment methods for the patients at S’eclairer. Furthermore, he talked about an ancient philosopher, physician and scientist Ibni Sina (Avicenna). We learned that he was a genius by the fact that he memorized the Quran by age 10 and was given full status of a qualified physician at the age of 18. Ibni Sina wrote around 450 works, 240 of those survived, most of them are about philosophy, but he wrote a lot about medicine as well. We also learned that his teaching, writing and knowledge he obtain in the 57 years he was alive are still used today throughout medicine. Dr. Chaudhary also talked about Islamic religion and about the way in which Arabic script is written.
Throughout this part of the retreat is was very interesting to learn about Ibni Sina and how someone who lived almost a thousand years ago is still shaping the way medicine is practiced today. It was also apparent that learning about the Islamic religion and scripture was something everyone deemed as very thought provoking. The patterns of Islamic faith, many noted, could be seen in the religions that those at the retreat practiced. It was also apparent, both from Dr. Chaudhary and the persons at the retreat that religion and spirituality is something that is very important in their everyday life.
The retreat ended with a dance lead by Dr. Zahida Chaudhary, which everyone seemed to enjoy. It was a nice break way to end the day that consisted of sitting and learning new ways of thinking about treatment, spirituality and medicine.
~ Erin Fitzpatrick
After attending the retreat, Ancient Wisdom The Soul of a Healthy Lifestyle, I have learned many new things in regards to living a mindful, natural and healthy lifestyle. One of the main topics of discussion was botanicals and their use in today’s world of medicine. An increasing number of people are seeking out alternative and more natural treatments for various health conditions. For this reason, botanicals have been extensively studied and researched in regards to treating specific ailments. Botanicals are simply plant based compounds possessing many healing properties. Patients are often seeking out botanical treatments as they no longer want to consume artificially made medications when natural alternatives are available. A few specific botanicals discussed were chamomile, sage, mint, cinnamon, dandelion, psyllium. After reviewing these among other botanicals, it became apparent how many different healing properties these substances possess. I found it to be enlightening and interesting that a natural plant has the same healing properties as the artificial medications I would normally consume. I feel it is important to be knowledgeable in this area of medicine as a provider so you are able to offer patients alternatives to traditional medicine. However, it is essential for people to remember to always consult a health care professional prior to initiating treatment with botanicals. As discussed at the retreat, not all botanicals are produced the same way. For this reason, it is important to first discuss these options with your provider to avoid any potential side effects or drug interactions. I feel that everyone who attended the retreat voiced their interest in botanical treatment and definitely gained knowledge in this subject area.
~ Lauren Aretz, PA Student