One of the most interesting principles that keeps coming to the surface for me, during this year of study at NMSNT, is that the human body is, and perhaps all bodies are, holographic; holographic in the sense that each part contains information of the whole.
I first became aware of this concept a few years ago from my friend Barbara, who practices acupuncture. She administers auricular (ear) acupuncture sessions for people with PTSD. She explained to me how all of the organs and body parts have corresponding points on the ear, and that you can treat virtually all imbalances in the body on the ears alone.
Studying and practicing foot reflexology recently sold me completely on the concept, and now I find that I am treating every part of the body as the whole body. From the feet, to the hands, the ears, the face, all parts of the body contain information about the whole person. Observing the sternum a few months ago it became obvious to me that it was also a reflection of the spine, the little xiphoid process a perfect nod to the sacrum/coccyx, so I pay more attention to the sternum now with the intention of treating the spine.
In Ayurvedic diagnosis, as well as TCM, the tongue is also examined carefully, as it is thought to reveal exactly the state and condition of the internal organs. Observing the tongue and using a tongue scrapper in the morning has been a common practice in the east for millennia. A classmate of mine recently shared that since the tongue is connected to the internal organs via a connective tissue lining (I'm blanking on the name of this at the moment), which is suspended from the hyoid bone in the throat, scrapping the tongue really does "massage" the internal organs. More on tongue scrapping here.
I think that as we learn and experience more of our undeniable interconnectedness, it will be harder and harder to justify the type of symptom suppressive practices that are so commonly offered in mainstream health care. You can't do something to one part of the body without affecting the whole.
And maybe, as we start to realize the unity present within the diversity of our own bodies, the more eager we will be to embrace each other, and attend to the unified health of our planetary body.