By Penny H. Baron
The importance of the arts, beauty, and imagery in everyday life was acknowledged and utilized by ancient healers to bring the human body back into balance — body, mind, and spirit. For almost one thousand years, beginning around 500 BCE, "temple medicine" was the predominant form of healing throughout Europe, the Near East, and the Mediterranean. This fascinating history is outlined in the book Aesclepius: A Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies, by Professor Emma Edelstein.
If you were ill or troubled, physically or emotionally, part of your medicine was to journey for days to a temple where special diets, herbs, exercise, massage, rest, and consultations with priests would be part of your healing program. Along with these healthful practices, individuals enjoyed walks in beautiful gardens to observe statues created by famous Greek sculptors. Roaming minstrels provided music to lift the human spirit, and there were dramatic performances portraying the cycles and rhythms of human life. Even the images and symbols in dreams were considered important and interpreted by priests in the morning as guidance for an individual's healing regime. Personal written testimonials from this time period were etched in stone and later discovered in archeological ruins at ancient temples, giving us a glimpse into the temple medicine of two thousand years ago.
So what do these ancient discoveries have to do with our modern-day lives? Everything. Many recommendations by prominent physicians today practicing Integrative Medicine bear a striking resemblance to temple medicine. One well-known physician, Elliott Dacher, MD, has written the book Whole Healing: A Step-by-Step Program to Reclaim Your Power to Heal, which highlights the significance of certain healing practices, including both alternative and traditional forms of medicine. From an alternative or holistic perspective, time devoted to prayer, meditation, and walks in nature, along with the experience of poetry, music, dance, and art — all are part of a model in which the arts complement Western medicine. Engaging in both spiritual and creative practices, according to Dacher, allows individuals to develop a sense of inner peace, meaning, purpose, and coherence — qualities often lost when we become ill, yet so central to healing.
By Dakota Potenza,
Renovus Project Manager
Are you thinking renewable? Many people in our community are, whether they're motivated to stop their use of fracked gas, want to do right by the planet, or simply find solar to be a good investment. The landscape for renewable energy has never looked better. Going solar has become more economically viable than it was even five years ago. One might even say that it's a no brainer! The prices of solar products have come down while efficiency has gone up. There are an assortment of financing options to choose from, as well as tax credits and generous state incentives. The fact that solar panels, inverters, and thermal collectors come standard with 10- to 25-year warranties makes the investment even sweeter.
Renovus came to be out of necessity. Company founder, Art Weaver, wanted to put a solar system on his home near Spencer, NY. So he looked in the phone book (because that's what you did back then), and found not a single listing for solar installers! Not one to be easily dissuaded, Art set to figuring it out on his own. He ended up installing his own system, which turned out to be the first grid-tied system in NYSEG's territory. From that first system to the hundreds installed over the course of our decade in business, Renovus has come a long way — and so has the solar industry.
Over the past few years, the local demand for renewable energy systems has skyrocketed. We have experienced that growth firsthand. Renovus installed over 100 systems last year alone. Our sales increased 60 percent from 2011 to 2012 and then 40 percent again, from 2012 to 2013. This increased business has led to the growth of the company, and we have hired additional staff to bolster all levels of operation.
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Recently, a number of prominent food cooperatives from throughout New York state have issued statements clearly addressing the dangers posed to our communities and our co-ops by the unsafe and resource-intensive process of hydrofracturing ("hydrofracking") for natural gas. As an institution that is firmly against this practice, we are proud to stand alongside our fello...