Dr. Taams – Medical and Naturopathic Doctor

In life we communicate, wonder, attend, find inspiration and apply ourselves to our dreams, and ideas which gently swell like a divine well, into a mighty river, ending up as an endless ocean, adjoined by continents under the all surrounding sky. We discover the cosmos, from nothing at all to something everywhere, at infinitum.

As a result of my efforts to become intimately familiar with the system of medicine, as a young doctor practicing in Canada, I could not help but wonder what psychic forces lay beneath what I often observed to be the neurotic, unconscious behaviour of many specialists that were recognized, protected, and directed by their respective governing provincial bodies called the College(s) of Physicians and Surgeons. Nor could I imagine then how the system of medicine would affect my abilities to practice the art and science of my chosen calling.

In 1968 I undertook a four year study in the field of psychiatric medicine commencing at the University of Alberta Hospital, after which we moved to B.C. to enroll in the Post Graduate Program at the Health Sciences Centre Hospitals of the University of British Columbia.

The powers of observation by the members of this particular branch of medical science have been affected by some remarkable axioms. Although the name psychiatry derives from the Greek word, psyche, as the psyche is not observable it was deemed by its members to be non-existent.

The invention of the unconscious questioned the quality of the consciousness in my mind. Yet this concept did not seem of any particular interest to my contemporaries. They were involved in a precarious exercise to maintain the balance of Id, Ego, and Super- Ego that were perceived to be the result of unresolved conflicts, stemming from catastrophic childhood castration or separation anxieties. This so-called balance was achieved mainly by the use of enormous amounts of mind altering substances, called minor or major tranquillizers, and the use of uppers and downers.

I pondered, too, in the early days of my studies in psychiatry why it was freely admitted in the Diagnostic Manuals of Psychiatry that there was no cure for virtually any of the disorders described and classified in these manuals, and I made a start with the exploration of the word sickness and disorder. To which concept were these words applied?

Disorder and sickness in the system

The reason why Descartes thought the system to be dividable was the appearance of the universe as consisting of water, air, cold and hot, earth and fire, rock and mineral, plant, micro and macro-organism, the planets, the stars and nebulae. I then understood that this particular mechanistic philosophy had become the cornerstone of modern medicine. It denied the living cosmos, and in earnest, had replaced the living cosmos with the idea that man was a materialization, superior to creation itself, in fact was not subject to cosmic laws, which forgotten became obscure for the learned ones, called the unconscious by psychiatrists, the illusory by the scientist, the fantasy by the realist, the worthless by the materialist.

My first ventures in holistic medicine

In 1974 I decided to leave the field of Psychiatry, having learned the pitfalls of modern medicine. Seeing a more wholesome way of treatment, I ventured into the compatibility of nature’s gifts such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, naturopathy and homeopathy for the well-being of my patients, or partners in health as I prefer to call them.

Everything as we know it, is only true in its own frame of reference. When the ‘Gestalt’‘umwelt’ (or the totality of the surrounding condition), if that changes, things appears in a different light. What we see, in a general sense, are the effects, not the source.

We can reflect on, however, is the relationship between source and effect. We can come to see the causal relationship even in the reverse, where any effect indicates a point of generation. Any fine solution indicates a gross solution. The infinite small dose of a homeopathic remedy is an example of this. It is curative. Where a large dose creates the specific symptoms of pathology, a small dose creates the effect of alleviating or erasing the same symptoms of pathology.

In Homeopathic treatment, more is not better

The solution has an origination of its own: the point of inception, or generation point. Its effect travels from the fine to the gross. Hence the profound change in symptoms with the application of the right homeopathic remedy. Duplication near the generation point is more effective than duplication near the point of effect, since the effect is always more dense, thus more intent and energy are required to bring about an effect the further it is located from the source point.

Allopathic medicine deals with symptoms near the effect point. Naturopathic and Homeopathic medicine deals with the cause, or influences the origin of the symptoms near the generation point.

Ortho molecular medicine

The current state of agriculture leaves a lot to be desired. Crop rotation has long since ceased. The soil is lifeless, but maintained by measures of adding Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash. Trace minerals are depleted. The soil is corroded. Chemical warfare on insects has taken it toll too. Herbicides have added to the problem of toxicology. In addition to this, the processing of food deprives them of wholesome enzymes and nutrients. Ill health is the result; multiple deficiencies of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and toxic phenomena. The correction is relatively easy: The introduction of the right molecule in the right place. This is called orthomolecular medicine.

Further, Canadian medical doctor and proponent of Orthomolecular treatment, Dr. Abram Hoffer, for example, pioneered the use of Niacin in lowering blood cholesterol in the 1970′s. At that time this treatment modality was invalidated and suppressed by the system of medicine. However, it is now recognized as an valid treatment by the American Heart Foundation.

As early as the 1970′s I had initiated the use of orthomolecular medicine in British Columbia. As a result of my work in the field of Orthomolecular Medicine, The Academy of Orthomolecular Psychiatry in the USA recognized the “meritorious contributions” I had made in that field, and awarded me a life membership. In March of 1979 I commenced the practice’s first medically supervised retreat. The retreat proved to be extremely successful.

The realization of inter connectedness

A Church represents a symbol, which is universal. It depicts the space where the union takes place between Heaven and Earth. The structure of a church rises up into the sky. Usually a cross adorns the summit, a symbol of the high purpose that represents this “marriage.” The connectivity which mandates that each and everything – from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the largest mass imaginable are united – also dictates that every action results in change everywhere.

Every cause creates an effect. Responsibility in this frame of reference is defined as meaning to act in such a way that the influence of this movement will be beneficial to everything, and all that can be known and felt.

This principle of cause and effect finds reflection in the Hippocratic oath: ‘First do no harm‘. It is the meaning in this refrain which is an integral and driving force inherent in alternative medicine.

The application of the holistic medicine principle

In 1981, conventional medicine and I parted. Now able to explore life’s with a new start, my family and I decided to transform a 25 beautiful acres in Bridal Falls, B.C. into a unique environment; an environment that was conducive to wholesome integration of the body, mind and spirit.

Bridal Falls is located 125 km’s east of Vancouver, B.C. The acreage was – and still is – located at the base of the majestic Mount Cheam.

Traversed by the pristine waters of the Popkum and Anderson Creeks, this beautiful wilderness – with an increasing deviation from the horizontal plane – slopes gently upwards toward the verdant green pinnacle of the mountain. To the southwest the Mount Cheam trail snakes its way through the lushness of the forest allowing the curious to witness nature’s untouched beauty. At the base of the mountain, Maple trees, Hemlock, Douglas Firs, and Balsam Spruces surrounded three log cabins crafted by an unknown artisan from rough cedar logs. Inside the cabins, large and rustic fireplaces created from ancient boulders gathered from the bed of the creeks, added a comforting old world charm.

The property was unique, sequestered and peaceful. By virtue of its location between the mountains, it enjoyed its own micro climate. No strong winds prevailed, the summers remained pleasantly cool and the winters were usually mild.

Indeed the early spring of 1981 ushered in our new beginning.

As the spring of 1981 moved forward into early summer we had, by then, created a unique farm yard that also incorporated the three log cabins. A curving lane bordered by flowering Cherry trees, wound its way up a slight incline toward the base of mountain. At the top of the lane was the main building which had been transformed into an antique store. Like a precious gem, it was positioned, jewel-like, amidst a multi-hued garden setting of colourful Rhododendrons.

Below the museum, one of the other log cabins had been set-up as a Canadian museum with household artifacts reminiscence of a 19th Century settlers home, complete with old Canadian farm implements.

Farm yard animals (goats, chickens, sheep, pigs, horses, geese, ducks, even a Peacock) added an authenticity to the environment and they lived and roamed freely and happily over the property.

In June of the same year, we opened the acreage to the public for a small admittance fee of $2.00 which included pony, tractor, boat and miniature train rides, mini golf, a petting zoo and picnic grounds.

Meanwhile we continued to lovingly incorporate and re-create the past bringing it into the present and Taams’ Enchanted Farm became manifest – our new reality – to the joy of not only of the Taams family, but all who would eventually visit this transformed acreage.

The combination of the new holistic practice, and the Enchanted Farm proved to be a winning combination. People came to the farm to relax with their families. Clients of the health consultancy practice would often bring picnic baskets to the Farm, and the sounds of laughter and happiness reverberated in the air.

It became apparent that the environment we had created was having a very therapeutic effect on everyone, the Taams family, our clients and visitors, even the animals!

For two years life and business at the Enchanted Farm unfolded magnificently until on January 4th 1984 the whole province was devastated by extensive flooding. So, too, was the Enchanted Farm which was left a barren wasteland by flooding of the Anderson Creek situated on government land. By hiring private contractors we were able to save all of the major buildings.

Despite the flood, throughout it all, I continued with the health consultancy practice, albeit the beautiful the Enchanted Farm were was nothing more than special memories. We had experienced yet another end or a new beginning.

The integration of holistic medicine with Naturopathy and homeopathy

In September, 1983, I decided to take my expertise and knowledge as a medical doctor and pursue the goal of becoming a Naturopathic physician, and continued this until November of 1986.

While attending the Naturopathic College in Toronto, Ontario in Toronto an article in a the Vancouver Sun caught my wife’s attention entitled, “Confirmed: Chicken soup’s a kosher cure.” The article informed the reader about the marvelous qualities of chicken soup and how it was clinically effective in clearing stuffy noses and heads. The chicken soup was manufactured under the label of the Mayo Clinic for flu sufferers.

I felt compelled to react, I responded by writing to the “Sun” Newspaper, which was published as follows:

“Because of the claims which have been made on behalf of the chicken, I think that the chicken, like cayenne, ginseng, aloe vera, horse chestnut, pollen, royal jelly, propolis and an endless list of herbals, amino acids and so on, must now be referred to the Health Protection Branch for evaluation. After the initial study has been confirmed by at least one million dollars worth of subsequent studies and clinical trials, the chicken should be considered for drug status, like the rest of the aforementioned list. Chicken growers might want to apply for a Drug Identification Number (DIN) while studies are (I propose) undertaken and financed by the Association of Chicken Growers. Meanwhile, until the far reaching claims about the chicken have been confirmed, it would be reasonable to withdraw all chickens from the shelves of the supermarkets and grocery stores, just like the other products have been removed from the shelves of the health food outlets. Dr. R. A. Armstrong, Assistant Director and Chief of the Drug Evaluation Division of the Bureau of Non prescription Drugs has indicated to the Canadian Health Food Association the reason why these products should be scheduled. He feels because medicinal claims are being made for these substances, someone has to really prove the efficacy, backed up with clinical studies. Until such time, they will remain under the classification of “New Drugs” and must not be sold to the public. While there is still time, I suggest you stock up some chicken for a rainy day.”

This small epistle inspired the public to protest which evidenced in a large pro-alternative medicine rally in Vancouver. It made the news in a big way.

The enrollment at the Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine led to the degree: Naturopathic Doctor, in November of 1986 and in that same year I became licensed in British Columbia. Around this time I received the Golden Phoenix award, which is awarded annually by the Health Action Network Society for outstanding contribution to complementary medicine in British Columbia.

Public praise and recognition

The guiding principle rest on four criteria: The Golden Phoenix shall be awarded to an individual who: (a) has consistently promoted the public’s freedom of choice in relation to therapeutic systems and health care products; (b) has steadfastly applied holistic principles in the care and education of health seekers; © has vigorously defended the right of qualified practitioners of preventive medicine and natural therapeutics to practice without fear of reprisal or prosecution; and, (d) has consistently provided information to raise public awareness of issues related to health and health care in British Columbia.

It is reported in an article: “A desire to serve, Dr. Pieter Taams receives Golden Phoenix award:

“In his personal life, in his private practice, and in his public defence against allegations of the Medical College, Dr. Taams has exemplified the very ideals contained in our criteria for the Golden Phoenix award. From the first years of his medical career, Dr. Taams had become disillusioned by allopathic medicine’s mechanistic, often harmful approaches to the physically and mentally ill. Holding to the Hippocratic injunction “Above all do no harm,” he decided to incorporate the principles of orthomolecular medicine laid down by Nobel Laureate, Dr. Linus Pauling, into his own practice. In all likelihood, he could have carried on very successfully and without interference of the Medical College – if only he had limited his knowledge of orthomolecular medicine to his own patients. But Dr. Taams knew how urgently the public needed to know about safe and effective therapeutic alternatives today. In Sandra Craig’s memorable words, “He would not maintain a conspiracy of silence.” By steadfastly defending his personal right as a physician to treat the sick of this Province using non-invasive, natural therapeutics, Dr. Taams has defended the right of holistic practitioners in B.C. At the same time, he raise public consciousness of the threat to our health freedom as few others in this province have ever done. In the face of uncommon adversity, Dr. Taams has conducted himself with courage and dignity – and at a tremendous sacrifice to himself and his family. It is no wonder, then, that he had commended the gratitude and goodwill of his patients and the respect of his peers and the community at large.”.

What happened to Taams’ Enchanted Farm after the Taams moved to Mount Lehman in 1985?

Well, we rented all three building out.

Since 1986 I am dedicated exclusively to my family, and patients. We have established in this corner of the world an area not perturbed by the daily in and outflows of modern trash. The Mount Lehman property of 10 acres embodies the ideals we had stet out to achieve at the Taams’ Enchanted Farm. Our goal in medicine remains the same. We are honoured by the recognition that we make the difference.