One of my biggest complaints about “health writers” is that they write about health as if it were simply secret ingredients we’re all missing. You need to eat this—or take that—and your diseases will disappear. It makes it sound like most diseases are caused by deficiency of vital ingredients or from infections that can be killed with nutriceuticals. Most of the time, these articles urge you to buy these spectacular, missing ingredients.
I’m glad they’re promoting the idea that non-pharmaceutical therapies can produce health! Unfortunately, if you look carefully, you’ll see that the same idea is lurking behind both the pharmaceutical and the nutriceutical (nutrition + pharmaceutical = nutriceutical) approaches: Pills can heal you—you just need to find the right pill for you!
This is an inherently defective idea! As a naturopathic physician who believes in “Nature Cure,” I view disease from a very different perspective!
In natural therapy, we know that a properly functioning body is healthy and can deal with all problems it confronts. So, for instance, the ability to develop an infection can occur only when the “soil” of the body is unhealthy enough that the bacteria, fungi, or virus can grow. In other words, you can’t catch a disease—instead the disease takes advantage of you because there is already something wrong in your system.
Most of know that we “catch a cold or flu” when we’re overly tired, get chilled in a cold wind when we’re sweating, and/or when we’re eating badly, etc. In other words, we get sick when we’ve made our body weak enough to permit the infection to grow. Then we grow whatever infection we’re exposed to.
At a simple level, we say that a cold is “caused” by a virus. But not everybody exposed to the virus “catches” a cold. This is because the virus can infect only a body that is weak enough to allow the virus to thrive.So the quest for the flu shot of the season or the right combination of medications to control a cold is a silly endeavor. It makes much more sense to treat the cause of the condition instead of the symptoms! If we treat the cause, it will be much harder to ever be infected again.
As a naturopathic physician, I view the cold-infection as a reflection of the body’s weaknesses and treat the patient accordingly. The disease is the symptom and does not tell us the true cause of the condition. The process of treating the underlying problems (true disease causes) is the fundamental concept in Nature Cure. Following Nature Cure, we focus on:
- Biochemistry (correcting deficiencies, finding and treating allergies, bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses, toxic metals, pesticides, biochemical individuality, etc.)
- Toxicity (learning to avoid toxins and using detoxification protocols to remove fat- and water-soluble toxins)
- Environment (organic foods, sufficient sunlight, safe water, avoidance of chemicals, air pollution, electromagnetic fields, excessive noise, etc.)
- Physical structure—primarily NeuroCranial Restructuring!
- Subconscious beliefs, your mental and emotional states—namely meditation, goal-setting, and reflection.
With each person and his/her symptom complex, there is a different balance needed among these five forces. This creates many pathways that can be followed to become healthy. Each doctor finds his/her particular blend of therapies, emphasizing one or more of these forces to treat the patients who are attracted to him/her. But you must embrace all five forces to achieve a high level of health. Becoming expert in one or two of them will leave your body “lop-sided,” and you will not be healthy.
How do you do this? I will be writing about all five of these forces in future issues!
Dr. Dean Howell