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#3 Revealed Secret of Health from the 12th Century

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Health Secrets From The 12th Century


Rabbi Mosche Ben Maimon was one of the most influential Jewish physicians and philosophers of the Persian Empire during the 12th century. Among his many notable contributions to the realm of medicine is a series of eight ancient “secrets” pertaining to the maintenance of overall health. His third point is as follows:

“Even with the utmost care and caution, it is impossible to avoid minor fluctuations in our physical functioning. One day, a person may find a change in his digestion or feel a mild headache or slight pain. Don’t be in a hurry to take medication. Nature will take care of most of these things without the need of taking medication. Follow your normal health regimen. If you try to treat these minor ailments, you will do the wrong thing or cause harm. But, if you do the right thing, although you may succeed in restoring normal balance, you have also taught your body to become lazy, and it will no longer function properly without outside assistance.”


The minor symptoms and ailments that nearly everyone experiences are the body’s natural response to external stimuli that threaten homeostasis or balance. Over time, repeated attempts to suppress these natural responses gradually weaken the body. Instead, we should respect the body’s natural healing capabilities as Rabbi Mosche Ben Maimon instructed.

The maturation process of a sapling as it develops into a full grown tree illustrates this concept. Though a mature tree stands firmly as it is deeply rooted into the earth, it has enough flexibility to bear the forces of the wind without being uprooted or broken. A healthy sapling bends when exposed to the wind, but once the wind subsides, the sapling returns to an upright position. Subsequently, the sapling innately strengthens its core as it continues to grow and prepare itself for the next storm. Each time the sapling experiences a storm and repeats this process, it grows stronger and taller eventually to the point at which it can withstand gale force winds.  

If the sapling were firmly tied to a stake, it would remain upright in a fierce wind. Eventually, the sapling would break or outgrow the stake and likely collapse with the next wind storm because the stake eliminated the sapling’s need to fortify its own structure. This is why landscapers do not firmly stake young trees after transplanting them. Instead, they allow the saplings to be influenced by the wind in an effort to mimic what the tree would experience in nature.


A common example of detrimentally treating minor symptoms is rushing to take Tylenol or Advil when experiencing a fever rather than letting the fever run its course. A fever is a natural reaction that our bodies use to activate the immune system in order to fight off infection. Taking an antipyretic not only blunts the immune system’s response, but also creates a more favorable terrain within the body for replicating viruses and bacteria, especially those that are temperature sensitive.


Another example is the overuse of antibiotics in western medicine. Antibiotics are not needed for most upper respiratory conditions because a healthy immune system has the ability to overcome microbial invasion. Post-illness, the immune system grows stronger in preparation for the next infection that will inevitably occur.    

The next time you feel a slight pain or discomfort, try following Rabbi Mosche Ben Maimon’s third recommendation: avoid taking medication right away. Allow your body to cycle through its natural response to maintain homeostasis. You can learn about Rabbi Mosche Ben Maimon’s first two health recommendations in earlier blogs, and stay tuned for those upcoming.  If you are interested in a natural and effective approach to your health, please call Renaissance Health Centre at 702-258-7860 to schedule an appointment today.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

Copyright © 2022 Terry Pfau D.O. H.M.D. All rights reserved.

Series Navigation<< #2 Revealed Secret of Health from the 12th Century, Part 2#4 Revealed Secret of Health from the 12th Century >>
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