Anatomy of Arbor Vitae

Health Protocol


I have been sick with a cold practically all autumn.  I have been very interested in the idea of food as medicine, so when Arbor Vitae  was holding their free student clinic I went for a checkup.

I told them my symptoms and they looked at my tongue and felt my pulses. This is something I am familiar with since I did acupuncture in order to get pregnant with my first child and believe strongly in the model of Chinese medicine and acupuncture in general well being and maintaining equilibrium.

In any case, a few days later I received an email back with my “Health Protocol.”  It was basically gave me a list of procedures to follow.  Drink  a gallon of oat bark and nettle infused water a day. Drink a cup of golden ashwagandha tea at night.

To me this was an interesting use of the word protocol. I always thought of protocol as a structure without content.  But this protocol was all about content. Why is that? I thought of my favorite us of the world protocol – C3PO and the protocol droid.

Why is C3PO a protocol droid? Because he knows how to communicate. And it is goal oriented communication. He is not communicating to pass the time, or for pleasure – but to get something done! For C3PO, communication is not just about knowing grammar but around knowing the words to use to communicate effectively. A protocol is at its core about interfaces and about goals.

This health protocol was about getting food to communicate with my body. It was about getting my body to do certain things (not get a cold/have more energy etc). The health protocol was a list of ways that food could communicate with my body to do certain things. Now I am going to go and make my tinctures.