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Traditional Medicine and Mental Health Conference in Peru


“It is the lack of meaning in life what generally leads to drug-addiction,” says Jacques Mabit, director of Centro Takiwasi in Tarapoto, Peru. And if society does not deal with this, he believes there is no point in continuing to develop health policies or eradication campaigns.

“It shows the basic dysfunctionality of Western culture: the absence of a spiritual dimension.”

“This is a culture that has destroyed the meaning of the sacred, and there is a tendency to control all aspects of society, without allowing room for freedom and creativity.”

Tarapoto the Centro Takiwasi’s headquarters is located in the region of San Martin, until recently one of the main areas of the production as well as consumption of crack cocaine. As a region in the upper Amazonian, at the same time, it possesses a rich bio-diversity. Numerous native medical practices can be found that remain very vibrant and dynamic. And might propose valuable alternative therapies so much more important today considering the contemporary great challenges in public health.

The high level of efficacy of traditional medicine in the treatment of addictive pathologies like dependencies on toxic substances has been scientifically proven. While conventional medicine offers oftentimes poor results in the treatment of these illnesses.

Despite the WHO recognizing the valuable contributions made by ancestral traditional medicines (TM) in the area of Mental Health, so far, little has been done to respond to the WHO’s recommendations. To promote discuss, develop and share ideas on the valuable contribution of TM in providing solutions to the pressing and growing contemporary problems in mental health a conference on the topic is organized in the city of Tarapoto, Province of St. Martin, in the Peruvian Upper Amazon from 7 to 10 June 2009.

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One Comment

  1. A corollary to this can be found in Evelyn Fox Keller's book A Feeling for the Organism, the story of Barbara McClintock's genetic research in which, "she sought a conceptual structure, supported and made real by the coherence of its inferences and its correlation with function". As conventional central dogmas of science repeatedly reached plateaus of accumulated knowledge, they time and again assumed an assurance that gave them the confidence to claim mastery of the meaning of life. What McClintock demonstrated was that knowledge and understanding are very different commodities.

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