|The Healing Highway
by Darrel Crain, Chiropractor
The importance of good nutrition for good health is not exactly news. Over 2,000 years ago Hippocrates advised, "Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food."
But not until 1757 did Scottish physician James Lind become the first person to demonstrate a direct link between a major illness and a specific nutrient. Using one of the first controlled medical experiments in history, Lind showed that sailors supplied with citrus fruits and sauerkraut were able to avoid the telltale signs of scurvy: bleeding gums, rough skin, muscle weakness, poor wound healing, anemia and death.
British navy Captain James Cook soon became the first ship commander to take Lind"s advice and require his sailors to eat quantities of citrus fruits and pickled vegetables during long voyages to prevent scurvy. This practice was successful and became policy throughout the British navy, earning Britons the nickname "limeys" (perhaps preferable to "lemonys" or "fruitys").
We now recognize scurvy as vitamin C deficiency disorder. Other diseases once considered incurable were also found to result from an underlying absence of specific nutrients. In this manner we discovered vitamins and wiped out deficiency diseases such as beriberi, pellagra and rickets, one by one, gone except where people do not receive adequate nutrition.
Two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, Ph.D. Pauling coined the term "orthomolecular" in 1968, meaning "right molecule." He described orthomolecular medicine as the practice of preventing and treating disease by giving the body optimal amounts of substances that are natural to the body, according to the Orthomolecular Society.
The orthomolecular view is well summed up in a question attributed to Emanuel Cheraskin, M.D., "Why is it so many of us are 40 going on 70, and so few 70 going on 40"" He believed the answer to that question is our neglect of the primary importance of nutrition, which he called an "educational deficiency" that could be corrected.
For some reason, doctors around the world who apply the principles of orthomolecular medicine have historically been marginalized, ridiculed and attacked for focusing primarily on nutrition to heal people from their health disorders.
The split between orthomolecluar and pharmaceutical based medicine is a fork in the road that only appeared in the past one hundred years. One path continues straight ahead, the Healing Highway. The other path is an exit from the Healing Highway that brings you onto Medicine Road.
The Healing Highway stretches far back to the distant reaches of time with traditions of safe, nontoxic, noninvasive and sustainable healing-based care that has developed over thousands of years. The hallmark of this road is low risk, conservative interventions that enhance innate healing power, based on the principle that the body heals itself.
Travelers and practitioners along Healing Highway ask the question, "How may I feed and detoxify the cells that make up the tissues that make up the organs that make up the human body and mind that run the immune system so there can be the best possible outcome."
Along the Healing Highway we can find not only orthomolecular medicine, but also many different forms of traditional medicine. The World Health Organization defines traditional medicine as, "Health practices, approaches, knowledge, and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques, and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being."
Meanwhile, along Medicine Road the question being asked is, "How may I fight and/or kill this disease in this body." Medicine Road leads directly to Big Pharma as the answer for all questions. The focus is to try and "cure" the disease using a patented chemical, or prescription drug, a chemical poison with a certain side effect that suppresses metabolic activity inside the body and so changes a clinical sign or symptom.
The doctor"s thankless task is to prescribe a dosage of the drug below a lethal dose that will still block the particular metabolic process, whether it is the production of histamines, level of cholesterol or rate of the heartbeat. Along medicine road are many crosses for the hundreds of thousands of people who die each year in the great drug experiments.
"Prescribing is so easy, understanding people so hard," observed Franz Kafka in 1917.
The practice of orthomolecular medicine has an amazing track record of safety and effectiveness. Its list of disciples includes several Nobel Prize laureates and major heavy hitters in the history of health research. The continued suppression of orthomolecluar medicine by mainstream medicine defies common sense and comes at a tremendous cost to our society.
In tiny, tiny amounts vitamins can prevent deadly diseases such as scurvy and pellagra, yet 1,000 times this dosage, and more, is still nontoxic. Clinicians around the world are successfully treating such disorders as mental illness, heart disease, autoimmune disease, and even cancer using the principle of supplying cells with specific cellular superfoods.
Ultimately there are three kinds of care: self care, health care and crisis care. Self care is the most important and yields enormous benefits for a small investment. Health care consists of utilizing the disciplines along the Healing Highway, including chiropractic and orthomolecular medicine. Unavoidably, there are some knuckleheads hitch-hiking along Healing Highway, but generally they are just a nuisance and not too harmful.
Crisis care is the Medicine Road, the exit to take for saving lives, but little along Medicine Road enhances the metabolic processes that make up life. We should all be thankful for Medicine Road when we need it, but the trip along the Healing Highway is safer and gets you to your destination in good health.
If humans are fed well, they will generally grow healthy. Dr. Cheraskin put it this way, "Man is a food-dependent creature. If you don't feed him, he will die. If you feed him improperly, part of him will die."
Dr. Darrel Crain is a Family Chiropractor and Natural Health Writer practicing in San Diego, California. He is the President of the CCA San Diego County District and can be reached at 619-445-0100