|The true healers of disease
By Darrel Crain, DC
The man known as the father of medicine is quoted as saying, "Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease." He also said, "It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has."
That was Hippocrates, who walked upon the planet four or five hundred years before another famous healer named Jesus showed up. Jesus is said to have talked about healing forces of divine love inside every one of us that miraculously make us healthy. This kind of talk was apparently not popular with certain leaders of that era. I guess some things never change.
In the intervening two thousand years, physicians pretty much forgot Hippocrates' advice about studying the person, replacing it with a fascination for disease. Disorders of every variety have been amply described, named, treated, defeated, rediscovered, renamed, and so on. The rationale behind it all is the notion that disease eradication is a noble and achievable goal that results in better health. Is this true? What would Hippocrates do?
If health is what we are after, perhaps we should build up our natural healing forces as a top priority. Battling disease in order to gain health is like flailing against the walls of a dark closet with a flashlight to defeat the darkness. Turn on the flashlight, the darkness disappears without a fight. Where to? It just vanishes. And what of so-called diseases in the body when health is powered up, do those vanish too? Yes, although some conspiracy theorists believe old diseases are loaded into black helicopters at midnight and flown to secret government laboratories in Maryland to be stored in freezers for possible future use.
Speaking of secrets, there is one secret about disease your doctor probably never told you. Perhaps because it was never properly explained in med school, or else it was buried by the memorization of a jillion symptoms and diseases. This is the secret: disease has only one cause. Just one. Wonder what it is? Abnormal cell function.
Understanding this basic principle can change your life by changing how you work to restore your health. Since disease is the abnormal function of cells, it follows that recovery is a process of restoring cells to their normal function. Healthy cells make healthy organs, healthy organs make healthy life systems, and this adds up to a healthy human body. Of course, innate coordination free of interference is needed to keep the miracle happening, as well as a healthy mindset and lifestyle to sustain it.
Dr. B.J. Palmer, called the developer of chiropractic, is said to have described this same principle of life in slightly different terms. He declared there are two diseases, "too much, and too little." This may be more familiar to you as the famous toxicity/deficiency (or purity/sufficiency) rule that predominates in many natural healing disciplines.
The medical world is coming around to recognize the importance of the toxicity/deficiency framework. The prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) polled its readers to name the greatest medical advance in the last 150 years. Did the advent of antibiotics win that honor? No. How about vaccines? No. Was it anesthesia, the discovery of DNA's structure, X rays, Viagra? No, none of these. According to the BMJ, the greatest medical advance in the last 150 years is better sanitation. This simply means clean water and sanitary sewage disposal.
The funny thing is, the other greatest single contribution to human health in the last 150 years in my view, improved nutrition, is also non-medical in nature. These two conditions, standards of sanitation and standards of nutrition, to this day are the primary factors that determine human health across the globe. Inexplicably, a delusional notion persists in the medical industry that the greatest advances in medicine in the last couple of centuries have, in fact, been medical in nature. But that is not to say medicine has not advanced at all.
Only one hundred years ago the final curtain was falling on the era of the traveling medicine show. The last Patent Medicines were being sold between acts of entertainment from the back of the last medicine show wagons at the edge of town. Professional medical men had spent years campaigning against the traveling minstrels, complaining that the homemade brews in those little bottles they sold were mostly alcohol and did little to help people, and in some cases made them worse.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was thus born to smash the Quackery Cartel and rid us of the public nuisance of snake oils, potions and false miracle cures. These efforts have apparently paid off, because the many snake oils, potions and false miracle cures available today are government regulated and are considerably more profitable. At least now when the wagons pull out of America's living rooms every night after selling patented medicines between entertainments on television, they don't leave horse droppings.
Yes, the era of modern medicalization appears to be in its twilight years. People today are seeking the kind of doctor described in ancient times, a doctor who finds out about the person in his or her office, not just the symptoms they bring with them. People are educating themselves and asking tough questions. Is this treatment nontoxic? Will it improve my health on a cellular level? The cool part is that more and more doctors are thinking the same way.
Benjamin Franklin wrote of such doctors, "He's the best physician that knows the worthlessness of the most medicines."
At last, regard for Hippocrates' wisdom has come full circle. After two and a half millennia, we finally realize that he had the last word when it comes to enjoying a healthy life, "If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health."
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