âMost people involved in this holistic health genre work with medicine men and shamans, and understand that at the core of a lot of these symptoms, there are much deeper, ancient, and more spiritual roots,â said Polizzi in an interview with the Doctors Health Press editorial team.
He sent out a call for anyone with a severe illnessâsuch as diabetes, cancer, or gastrointestinal diseasesâand asked them if theyâd be willing to risk everything and come to the Amazon rainforest for 30 days to see if ancient holistic methods of healing could help them, when Western medicine couldnât.
Overnight, he had over 400 applicants. He eventually narrowed it down to eight people with very serious diseases:
- Neuroendocrine cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer
- Parkinsonâs disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Crohnâs disease
Each participant was given a unique protocol, including herbal regimens, by the local medicine man. The participants spent most of their days in seclusion in the jungle, other than their daily visits by the medicine man that was taking care of them.
âIn a typical day, you would wake up, eat breakfastâvery simple food, which is also part of the protocolâthe blander, the better it is when youâre trying to heal, because (the healers) feel that indulging your senses diminishes your bodyâs reserves. They want all that energy to be focused on healing instead,â said Polizzi. âThroughout the day, they would drink different teas prepared (to treat) different illnesses.â
The meal plans, teas, and herbal regimes were prescribed by the native medicine men living in the Amazon rainforests. âThey have knowledge that has been earned by thousands of years of study that we canât even come close to. A lot of that knowledge hasnât been catalogued by Western medicine,â he said. âOf the 60-70,000 known plants species in the Amazon right now, less than three percent have been studied by modern medicine.â
PLUS: Medicine of the Amazon Shamans
The healing process consisted of a few key components:
- Isolation: The participants spent the days in seclusion. There were no distractions, so that each person could focus on healing.
- Medicine from plants, trees, and herbs. A big component of healing in the Amazon involves using iowasca tea. âMost of these patients had physical ailments but the medicine men looked at every bit of their beingâsuch as the emotional and spiritual blockages that affect it, and they use iowasca to cleanse you,â he said.
- A simplified diet
- Sacred ceremonies
After one month in the Amazon rain forests, five people returned home with real results, satisfied with their improvement, two returned disappointed, and one person passed away there.
âThe goal is to bring these techniques back into the mainstream because theyâre really effective,â said Polizzi. âModern medicine is not effective at treating things like cancerâwe are in need of a serious reinvestigation of what else is out there.â
Unfortunately, itâs getting harder and harder to learn the ancient healing methods that have kept civilizations healthy for thousands of years because of the way Western researchers have treated these ancient medicine men. âItâs getting harder to access that knowledge because weâve mistreated the locals. They see weâre a pretty disruptive cultureâthey go in, destroy chunks of rainforest, drill for oils, and when they squeeze plant knowledge out of them, theyâre not always respected or compensated for it,â he said. âItâs the same tale told for hundreds of yearsâconquest, treat locals like savages, and take what you want instead of going in humbly.â
And it makes you realize the importance of preserving Amazonâs rainforestânot only from an environmental perspective, but from a perhaps selfish perspective too.
âWeâre destroying our own medicine supply cabinet. Weâre annihilating our potential for cures to the big ticket illnesses like AIDS, cancer, MS, Parkinsonâs, and Alzheimerâs,â he said. âAll these things weâre struggling against so hard but the very people who know how to treat these things are being disrespected and wiped off the face of the planet.â
Polizzi truly believes that the answers to todayâs most chronic and deadly illnesses are out thereâweâre just looking in the wrong places. While he may have gone on an extreme mission that many people wouldnât feel comfortable doing, the messageÂ is loud and clear: we must start learning from the people who have years and years of experience treating the illnesses that we canât treat.
âI respect modern medicine and science,â said Polizzi. âI grew up reading the New York Times, reading theÂ Encyclopaedia Britannicaâthat was a big thing in my house. I just think weâre at a point in history where we have to look at the deeper root of illness.â
âThere are cultures out there that have been around for thousands of years that have healing practices that are just as effective and maybe more effective than modern medicine. These are the cultures that have the healing secrets we need to know and respect.â