By Deardra Shuler
Photo by Charles Rogers
We live in a toxic world, some of which plays out within our bodies, our atmosphere and in our minds. Most of us think it’s not “our” problem so leave it up to someone else to resolve. However, when looking across the American and worldwide landscape we see mirrored reflections of our society’s refusal to take responsibility for our actions, actions set in motion by our own collective mindset and behavior. Most people prefer to remain entrenched in their early schooling whether via their parents, educational systems, or news sources. Most simply march to the drum of their early forms of indoctrination without ever questioning, without ever seeking other options to explore. We have become a society of followers, inundated with constant rhetoric. We allow our minds to stagnate via the cesspool of poisonous scenarios trotted out for us through violence, anger, and fear. We are a society held hostage to our own muck and mire, constantly bombarded with programming which suggests we are helpless to prevent the chaos around us. Eventually, this sludge trickles down from the mind and manifest into our bodies in all forms of cancerous dis-ease, abnormal disease which we come to accept as the norm. In his play “The Healing Zone,” Carl Clay, the Executive Producer of the Black Spectrum Theatre, located in Roy Wilkins Park, in St. Albans, Queens, addresses our toxic society and asks what each of us are prepared to do about it.
“The Healing Zone” primarily focuses on the life of Doctor Suja (Fulton C. Hodges) who while serving under the auspices of Dr. Bates, a prestigious American doctor working in Africa (Todd Davis), discovers the indigenous people have better success at curing contagious illnesses, via use of their own native plants, than did Western Medicine despite all its drugs and scientific technology. Eager to learn more, Dr. Suja studies with a Bush woman (Marcha Tracey) who cures her daughter (Beryl Crosdale) through use of native remedies and rituals. Dr. Suja returns to the hospital with his newfound knowledge only to find that Dr. Bates is already aware of the native cure but allows his patients to die because he deems the native remedies have no place in serious scientific medicine. Disillusioned, Dr. Suja, forsakes his internship and sets off on a course of medical study that includes all the medicinal remedies of the indigenous people of the world. He studies Iridology and acupuncture in China, the Ayurvedic healing of India, the healing herbs, plants, and rituals of Africa and he studies the Koori healing method of the Australian aboriginals. He learns about Wholistic healing and its effects on the mind, body, and spirit. After studying these methods, Dr. Suja finds his biggest block is opening up people’s minds to alternative healing methods in his own country. He returns to America where he sets up an office in Harlem with his medical assistant Delma (Valarie Tekosky). Together they instruct people on the healing arts. Eventually, Dr. Suja and Dr. Bates meet again but only to clash over curing a cancer patient played by Monica Urselle Brit.
“The Healing Zone” directed by Betty Howard also includes cast members Omar M’Sai, Roy Coleman, Damani Young, Katrell Clay and Rommell Sermons.
“I wrote “The Healing Zone” because I discovered the benefits of proper diet and eliminating meat and dairy” explained producer Carl Clay. Meat and dairy products clog the system causing disease in the body. Did you know that some so called backward societies were working with placenta long before modern society knew of its use regarding stem cells? Native Americans even knew about suspended animation via their observation of the gaseous substance found in the caves of hibernating bears. Science is now considering aiding wounded soldiers on the battlefield via this substance,” explained the talented producer and writer. “Via my play, I sought to educate not rail against Western Medicine. Western medicine offers a lot and I encourage people to see their doctors. However, healthcare has become so costly fewer people can afford it. We pay more but are we truly being healed? These are questions we should begin to ask ourselves. Is there a better way? I encourage people to become responsible for their own forms of healing by becoming informed. Talk to your doctor, talk to alternative healing practitioners; be familiar with your bodies so you can make informed decisions. Do whatever necessary to make the best choices for a healthy life. Increase your options via discovering what works for you. There is room for both conventional and preventive medicine in today’s healthcare system,” remarked Clay.
It’s well known that the American Medical Society and the pharmaceutical companies are collaborators. Many doctors and hospitals acquire their grants and research funding from these pharmaceutical and medical supply companies. Therefore, these hospitals and doctors often dispense the drugs manufactured by these same companies. Our media outlets and television sets bombard us with ads and TV commercials informing us of a new drug, a new disease, an unheard of virus. Our heads are swimming with the amount of drugs that are being pushed on all ages within our society. Drugs to make you feel good, drugs to make you forget, drugs to calm your nerves, drugs to take away your depression, drugs to stop women’s periods. You name it, there’s a drug for it. And what do we know about these drugs? Many of these drugs have side effects that seem worse than the illness itself. The Healing Zone is a unique play because it addresses all these issues, offers alternatives, and is quite informative. It says perhaps there is an alternative to simply drugging it out of us or cutting it out. Has medicine become merely about big business rather than healing? Ultimately, it is up to each of us to go in search of that answer.
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