College of Medicine and Healing Arts – Life Balance and Healthy Living Course
A couple of weeks ago, I started a course via the College of Medicine and Healing Arts. The course was, Life Balance and Healthy Living. CoMHA is based in Leicester and the course was delivered by world renowned authority on Tibb Medicine, Hakim M. Salim Khan – https://www.linkedin.com/in/mohsinhealth). The Hakim’s talk at Zaytuna College can be found here.
What is Tibb Medicine?
‘Early in Islamic history, the sayings and actions of the Prophet (Peach be Upon Him) concerning medicine were assembled into authentic collections and remained distinct. This legacy is known as the discipline of Tibb an Nabawi ﷺ – the medicine of the Prophet, which illuminated and guided earlier Muslims in their search for optimal health. Later when Muslims came into contact with other traditions of medicine, such as Greek, Persian, Indian and Chinese tradition, there were synthesised into Traditional Medicine – Tibb.’
An Introduction to Islamic Medicine, Hakim M. Salim Khan M.D. (M.A.) M.H. F.G.N.I. D.O.
Tibb considers diet, lifestyle, emotions, interaction with the environment and even spiritual factors as essential to overall wellness and balance.
A person’s temperament is the combination of their physical characteristics and their mental, emotional and spiritual attributes. There are four temperaments in total. These are:
Sanguineous, Bilious, Phlegmatic or Melancholic.
Each has different characteristics and therefore each temperament has different needs with regards to the five factors mentioned above.
Why am i doing the course?
The reason i chose to do the course is because towards the end of last year, I experienced many health ailments. From simple things like eczema on my arms, banging headaches, exhaustion and sudden skin breakouts to more serious symptoms. It got to a stage where I was desperate to find out what was wrong. I have never been the type of person that goes to the doctors or takes medicines and I have always believed in a holistic approach. I strongly believe that what we eat can affect the mind, body and soul.
One of the reasons i believe that we have fallen off track so many times with our eating habits is because there is so much confusion around food and we really needed to learn about good nutrition. Having always had an interest in Prophetic Medicine, I felt that this course was ideal for me. The course covered Islamic/Prophetic Medicine, Naturopathy and Herbalism.
I have always had an issue with the over generalisation of information in the food industry. To make blanket statements about what is good for everyone seems ludricous to me. The other issue i have is that, I found that some research is specifically funded by the organisations who are selling a product, so it is in their best interests to tell us something is great for us when that may not necessarily be the case.
It is so easy to get swept into trends when you don’t really know what is right for you and that is exactly what I did. I was jumping from one trend to another haphazardly. Now that I am armed with at least some knowledge, we have made some quite significant changes. More on that soon!
The course was five days long and covered:
- The philosophy and foundation of Tibb
- Definition and subject matter of Tibb
- The Elements – An Energetic Paradigm
- Temperament – Introduction and definition (We also identified our own temperament)
- The Humours
- The Organs
- The Spirits
On day three we made our own Garam Masala and Curry Powder by grinding down whole dried spices such as cinnamon, coriander etc. (Not using a coffee grinder but a Pestle and Motor). This was one of the most important days for me. From my reaction to the task at hand, I finally identified my ‘temperament’ after being unsure for the first two days. The task itself took about 8 – 10 hours and we were exhausted by the end of it but i learnt some key lessons.
Patience and Persistence – When faced with what feels like a mammoth task, patience and persistence are key. Grinding down a huge quantity of whole dry spices to a fine ground powder by hand is not an easy task! Our ancestors were strong!
On day four, one half of the group were asked to continue with the grinding of the last of the spices whilst the other half made some of the other Tibb recipes included in the course booklets that were provided for us. I was so not ready for another day yet I got so much out of the second day. This reminded me of this Ayah from Surah Baqarah:
“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (AI-Baqarah, 2:216).
Attitude is everything – On day two of the spice grinding, i very quickly adjusted my attitude and told myself that we just had to pull together and get the job done. It made the task so much easier. A positive attitude is everything!
Breaking down larger tasks – I tend to take on huge tasks and tackle them all at once. This taught me to do tasks bit by bit. Rather then attempt to take all of a particular spice- for example the peppercorns in one go and try to break them down, we did a little at at a time and it made the job a whole lot easier.
Using the correct equipment for the task – We were provided with a range of pestle and motors and had to decide what the best tools were for the job. Different sizes and materials of pestle and motor was required for different spices and stages of grinding.
Different temperaments had different reactions to the spices – At the end of day one, the Hakim discussed how the spices could cause different reactions in different people. He mentioned that there were sometimes tears.. I couldn’t understand that. How could someone cry over spices? The following day through my own tears, i realised that this was indeed true! From the lessons, I also understood why I was reacting to a particular spice in the way i was. I won’t say which spice was my Kryptonite incase I start to receive anonymous parcels in the post! Hahaha!
Overall the course has been life changing for me. I enjoyed it immensely and got so much out of it. The group became very close, very quickly. That is to say there was a bond between us and I already miss my class mates.
Luckily for us, we had two CoMHA graduates with us on the course. They were invaluable members of the group especially during the spice grinding task. They helped to keep our spirits up!
The biggest challenge for me was sitting on the floor for all those hours. However i even understood the wisdom in that by the end. For the next course I may just take some WD40 for my back and knees because I was a creaky mess at the end of day one. It did get easier though! 🙂
You will be pleased to know that the College of Medicine and Healing Arts last week, made Life Balance and Healthy Living Course available online. Click here for further information and to enroll.
They have also made the same course available on-site in Marrakech, Morocco. More on that here. Registration is opening soon!!
For other countries (including future courses in UK) please check the website regularly.
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