In my last article I mentioned that pharmaceuticals for the main part supress symptoms without treating underlying dysfunction. I am not saying they are never necessary – I am just of the radical belief that they should be used to comfort the patient while the underlying cause it addressed.
Unfortunately, the “treat-the-symptom” attitude is endemic in the general population as well as among the medical establishment. Some of my friends who are mainstream doctors tell me they have patients who come in demanding very specific medications, and when they are advised on the likelihood of damaging side effects, they pay no heed and are simply insistent of their right to the drug. When they come back with exactly the result predicted, they want another medication for the side effect. They take Bisoprolol for high blood pressure and that causes insomnia, which is treated with lorazepam which causes depression, and is then treated with citalopram; but citalopram causes dysmenorrhea, and that has to be treated with a combined pill which gives them a big headache, which they will no doubt treat with a bog-standard Ibuprofen that gives them GERD. Back to the doctor for a proton pump inhibitor! Well damn!Even when people go to alternative practitioners, they are usually looking for symptom relief because they are already very sick. They are not there to learn how their system works so they can maintain their health and prevent disease.
For instance, I experienced the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Morelia, Mexico. They put you in a pressurized chamber for an hour or so and you breathe pure oxygen. It is usually used in mainstream medicine to treat burn victims, people with gangrene, or wounds that won’t heal, because it helps your body regenerate skin, blood vessels and connective tissue. In the complimentary world it’s used as a detoxification protocol because we need oxygen to bond to our cellular wastes to remove them. It is seen as preventative medicine. I have done tons of alternative therapies and I can’t say most of them did much for me. I agree with mainstream doctors so far as that goes – just because something is alternative doesn’t mean it’s any good. But the hyperbaric oxygen chamber was epic! I went ten times over two weeks and the effects were tangible. I had more energy, better moods, clearer thinking, improved sleep and digestion. Unfortunately, the lady who ran the clinic had real trouble promoting it, because people would usually only come once they were already very badly sick. She just couldn’t convince enough people to care for their health before they got ill! In fact, she was curious to know what brought me there in the first place since it was so rare for someone to come along just for a bit of proactive biohacking!
Another problem we have is that many alternative practitioners now practice naturopathy the same way as mainstream doctors practice medicine, but instead of knocking out a symptom with a drug they just use a herb. They don’t understand disease etiology. They also think the symptom is the disease. That’s not how they’re meant to practice. They are meant to address the underlying cause of disease and treat the patient as a whole.
I repeat myself: Once you know health is found on a spectrum, you think of things differently. You try to prevent disease where possible and only treat it when necessary. You recognize symptoms as signals of underlying dysfunction in the body and treat the body as a whole. You support the digestive system, or the immune system, or the nervous system; you rehabilitate the liver and the kidneys; you reduce stress and tend to emotional disturbances; you rehydrate; you rid the body of elements that are harmful or might cause blockages to the piping system: the arteries, lungs, and digestive tract; you ensure the cells are receiving all of the proper nutritional elements that required by the body as building blocks to make healthy tissues. Once the underlying condition of the body improves at cellular level, you begin to regenerate. All outward manifestations of illness improve, and many symptoms will simply disappear. “You cannot heal selectively,” as Charlotte Gerson used to say, “If you truly heal – everything heals.”
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