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Rachel’s Journey with Endobiogeny

The term “Endobiogeny” was originated by French Physician, Dr Christian Duraffourd, to distinguish a specific theory of “terrain” and integrative physiology originated by him and developed with Dr Jean-Claude Lapraz, and their now growing team of physicians.  

Drs. Christian Duraffourd, and Jean-Claude Lapraz, world-renowned pioneers in the field of clinical phytotherapy and aromatherapy,  have practiced and taught Endobiogeny in Europe for nearly 40 years.    Endobiogeny asserts that the patient and their terrain shall be placed at the center of clinical reflection, and that the use of medicinal plants is the result of that reflection, not its foundation.

In 2012, a rigorous Fellowship training in Endobiogeny, led by American physician and Endobiogenist, Dr Kamyar Hedayat, was offered for the first time in the United States. “Endobiogeny,” writes my professor and long-time mentor, Dr Hedayat,  “literally means ‘how life is managed by internal processes.’ It is, he continues, “a terrain theory that assesses how the internal (endo-) life (bio-) of the body is generated and sustained (-geny). It is a systems theory of biology that considers the endocrine system to be the true manager of the body.”

“A person is more than the sum of their genetics, metabolic pathways and symptoms,” writes Dr Hedayat.   “Endobiogeny looks at everything from physiology to psychology, mitochondria to mind, but integrates each part into the whole of who the person is, not only what the disease is. The key is in understanding the terrain, managed by the endocrine system. This is the foundation of Endobiogeny.  When you understand the person who has the disease, the treatment becomes simple and clear: this is personalization. This is Endobiogeny.”

I first encountered Dr Jean-Claude Lapraz’s teachings nearly 30 years ago at a conference organized by the late and beloved Anne Marie Buhler, a pioneering Swiss pharmacist who was instrumental in bringing aromatherapy to America.

I had read Dr Lapraz’s Cahiers (practical medical manuals on clinical herbalism and aromatherapy) and resonated deeply with the terrain theory therein, recognizing clinical truths and wisdoms that I was eager to carry into practice. Alas, unless one was to move to France, it was impossible at that time to study with Dr Lapraz.  Years later, through a patient whom I had referred to Dr Lapraz in Paris, I was led to contact Annemarie Buhler’s granddaughter, Annette Davis CN, herbalist, aromatherapist, educator, and President of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. Annette, I discovered, had been working in close collaboration with Dr Lapraz since 1989, and with her generous encouragement and expert case supervision, I finally began my longed for education in Endobiogeny.  

In 2012, I was invited to participate in the first American Fellowship in Endobiogeny, a rigorous training led by Dr Lapraz’s protégé, Dr Kamyar Hedayat, from which I graduated, becoming a Certified practitioner of Endobiogeny and a Fellow of the American Society of Endobiogenic Medicine and Integrative Physiology.