How We Get There
- Dis-ease – What is an ailment?
- Health – What is it Really?
- Ear aches, hearing loss
- Antiseptics – too many antibiotics
We would like to think that getting sick was due to something we recently ate. That is usually an easy out. We would like to think that getting sick comes on suddenly from a food we ate having developed a bacteria on it, or the catching of some 'bug' or 'virus' that floated over the oceans from foreign lands where hygiene is a challenge, and that it 'got' us. We 'caught' it.
That would be nice and simple. And blaming most illness' on bacteria and virus' is what the status quo is these days. The Allopathic profession and the pharmaceutical industry have capitalized on this view and actually promote it. (If you want to read the real history of medicine in the U.S. read Harris Couter's A Divided Legacy). The thought process goes something like this: if we have caught something, we need to kill it before it eats us up from the inside out, or before the virus multiplies and takes over all the cells in our body. But this is unlikely. I will explain.
When we are born, provided our mothers' were relatively healthy and the hygiene where we live is adequate, we have a plethora of defenses against the external environment. But our most important environment to maintain is the internal one. The nasal sinus cavities can abstract substances from our blood and store them in the sinus cavities, which allow us to blow them out at our convenience. Our lungs, where only two or so cell layers separate our blood from the air we breath, can abstract mucous from the blood and allow us to cough it up and out of our body. Our skin can form blemishes and fill them with puss from the blood, our middle ear can fill with puss from the blood and drain through the Eustachian tubes into the stomach where acids destroy the white blood cells in the puss, our bowels can empty with diarrhea, we can release the stomach's contents by throwing up, our glands can swell as they neutralize unwanted items in the blood, we can generate a fever and literally cook microbes…the body can do so much to clean house. We have all of this working when we are born. But parents usually think that the conditions I've mentioned above are sicknesses in of themselves and not the detoxifying effects of the deeper illness, the need to clean house. So, if we eliminate the detoxifying process by making the symptoms of detoxification disappear, how do we clean house?
Let's digress to the sinus cavities. I have explained this process to numerous Allopaths to no avail and still, 32 years into this profession and I cannot make heads or tails why they do not understand this simple reasoning. Here is the philosophy: When your five sinus cavities are empty and begin to fill, the common notion is that something bad gets up into the sinuses and begins to proliferate. Antibiotics are then administered to kill the proliferated material and the 'bug' that supposedly got up there, which is responsible for the proliferation of what will become nasal discharge. Assuming, that a bug is creating this mucous, where did the bug get all the material to make the stuff? "Well, it just makes it" is what I am usually told. Well, matter is neither created nor destroyed so it can't just 'make it' out of nowhere.
Assuming there is a bug, it must have gotten the material from the blood in the blood vessels which line the sinus cavities, from the non-red blood cell portion of the blood, the serum, the clear fluid. It cannot manifest out of thin air. If during a cold or flu you blow out several cups of fluid, you can be sure that fluid originated from what you drank, and then went into the blood and then was secreted by sinus cavity linings and eventually came out your nose!
But, it doesn't take a bug to do this. The body knows when there is too much mucous in the blood and it uses the sinus' to perform the function of house cleaning, detoxification. What a beautiful system! If you take Allopathics (pharmaceuticals, allo-meds, suppressive medicines) to prevent the cavities from making mucous and adding to the mucous that knows what else (unwanted substances yet to be identified by science), then you stop the process and the mucous and unwanted substances will stay in the blood. Not good. So then we get even sicker. But we think, after taking antihistamines and decongestants, that we are doing better as the nose is dried up, the sneezing has stopped, the tickle has gone away. I'm better!! Not really. One patient who was a bit crude once said, 'taking an antihistamine would be like putting a cork up your bottom side to stop diarrhea!' Of course, these days we treat diarrhea by chemically drying up the colon. Why would we want to arrest an occasional diarrhea?
Along the same lines do we want to reduce a fever with Tylenol? And do we want to prevent the expression of childhood dis-eases with vaccinations? Developing a natural immunity is far better than one that is artificially induced. (For more on vaccinations you can Youtube 'vaccinations danger of'.
Let's develop the definition of 'health' further now. When the sinuses can't filter the mucous out of the blood fast enough, the lungs begin to help out the sinuses. Sometimes just the tubes of the lungs, the bronchioles, will begin to extract substances from the blood and create bronchitis. Inflammation of the bronchioles. Don't let the word 'bronchitis' make you wince, get worried, or make you think you need to quickly nip it in the bud before you get really sick!! First of all you are NOT sick. You are cleaning, or as the macrobiotic people like to say, 'you are eliminating'. Elimination means that each time you cough up that of which the body is trying to rid itself, you are actually in better health than the moment before you eliminated. You are getting healthier with each cough. If we stop this process, all the unwanted products of elimination stay in the serum of the blood.
Most people think that an infection is traveling from their sinuses to their throat and then down to the lungs. Since these events are rarely infections, and if it's not an infection there is nothing that can travel, other than a symptom may clear in one spot, the sinus' for example, and then another symptom appears in the throat…symptoms then appear in the bronchioles and it has appeared to travel. Rather, instead of traveling, the body's attempt to rid itself of toxins has progressed to deeper and deeper means of accomplishing the task. When the sinuses can't do it all, the glands of the throat will lend a hand. When the glands of the throat run into trouble the bronchioles will begin to help as well. Instead of saying, "I'm sick, an infection in my sinus' has traveled into my throat and it is now making its way into my bronchioles, this could go to pneumonia, so I made an appointment to get an antibiotic" it would be more correct to say, "I became symptomatic in my sinus' and since the sinus' were unable to complete the detox my throat and bronchioles are lending a hand. I don't have an infection that is traveling downward but I'm uncomfortable so I've made an appointment with my non-allopathic practitioner to help this process along and to bring some comfort."
Of course, there are lung ailments that are life threatening. When the bottom of the lungs begin to fill with fluid we risk drowning in our own fluids, or when the throat becomes so swollen we can't take in air, this too is life threatening. If one has allowed their health to get to this point, and it usually occurs because all previous attempts to eliminate have been thwarted by suppression of symptoms, then the ability to detoxify gently and conveniently has been lost and the condition must be treated by suppression just to extend life. Often times Homeopathy works quite aggressively for these conditions but in the case whereby the homeopath gave the wrong remedy it is prudent to have Allopathic suppressive medicines available to 'save the life', so to speak. After this life saving measure has occurred and the patient stabilizes, Homeopathic medicines can be used to antidote the suppressive antibiotic, and reinitialize the eliminative process all over again. Most people don't want to do this. They say, 'let it be', 'let well enough alone', 'I'll deal with that later'. Respiratory conditions scare people.
Suppressing respiratory detoxifications early in life can lead to asthma, or if suppressed later in life, to adult asthma. When it becomes asthma it is, by definition, deeper in the body and harder to treat holistically (a better spelling is 'holistically' -- treating the whole person as one) but by no means impossible for Homeopathy.
There is a hierarchy to all of the above. First the sinuses try to cleanse the body, then the bronchioles, then the lungs themselves and lastly, if the body is prevented from using these methods of detoxing, asthma will be the remaining condition. Asthma is an indicator that the mucous ridding functions of the body have been blocked, locked up. The body will now have to find other ways of expressing its dis-ease. It will often look next to the skin creating psoriasis. It can work the other way around too…suppressed skin conditions like psoriasis can also revert to asthma. Often when asthma is successfully treated in Homeopathy an old previously suppressed psoriasis will show itself. We then treat the psoriasis correctly and it will no longer revert to asthma.
Another system of detox that can get blocked is the skin's ability to create blemishes. The wide use of antibiotics and cortisone to treat acne and rashes and other manifestations of the skin prevent the skin from being a vehicle for transmission of 'unwanteds' to the surface for expulsion. When the body can no longer form skin manifestations, those substances that once came to the surface to leave the body will have to find another way to 'express' themselves. And it won't be good. Hahnemann, the originator of Homeopathy said that his least favorite type of specialist was a dermatologist. Skin biopsies are done to determine the types of cells comprising the eruption and to give the condition a Latin name. All the names available tell you nothing of the cause of the eruption, the growth. But patients love to have a name applied to a condition, as if it means that at least somebody knows what it is. But nobody knows what it is without a study of suppression. What if a rash is a suppressed depression, then the rash is a depression! See? However, it is convenient for Homeopaths to see a dermatological patient after they have had a name applied to their condition, it makes it easier for us to look up the condition in the Repertory compendium, but we hope to see the patient before they have filled their prescription; which prescription will only suppress the condition.
Even the middle ear, which can form puss, is a venue for escape of puss from the body. In the old days, eardrums would perforate, the exudate (puss) would drain from the ear and the eardrum would heal up afterward. Today we are told this would cause hearing loss but studies published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) have shown that antibiotics are the major culprits of hearing loss. In studies done, those that did not allow the puss to drain down the Eustachian tube or perforate through the eardrum suffered more hearing loss from antibiotic use more than those who took no antibiotics.
In fact, another study showed that for many patients interviewed outside the doctors office after they had just had their ears looked at with an otoscope, and were then re-examined with an otoscope by another physician, found that 40% of those who were told there was some redness in the ear, and were prescribed antibiotics, did NOT have any redness at all. It appears patients want to have objective proof. In other words they want someone, the physician, to say, "Yes, I do see something there". This is what the medical profession calls 'objectifying the diagnoses. If the physician did NOT see redness and hence did not prescribe antibiotics, the patient or parent of the child would assume the problem had not been found by the doctor and that maybe they should get a second opinion. If the physician did not see redness but prescribed an antibiotic the patient would not fill the prescription, and leave disappointed. Saying that the cause of the problem was found objectifies the prescription. A Chiropractic physician can accomplish the same goal of objectification by saying that they found the subluxation or misalignment, on the x-ray…the x-ray becoming proof of the need for treatment. What could get a physician to lie, to stretch the truth about findings? The physician knows that the patient will not be satisfied until something is found. Yet, in the vast majority of cases, symptomatology is usually not visible on exam, x-ray or by blood tests. Homeopathy therefore relies on the symptoms told to the physician to make a determination of the correct Homeopathic remedy. A patient who insists on having objective evidence before taking any medicine will find wholistic care difficult to swallow!
What is health? Most healthy people, at any given time, have a few symptoms. Those symptoms are usually detoxifying ones and are actually keeping the body healthy. They are not symptoms representing sickness. Our environment creates many chemical challenges from water, air and food, that healthy people these days should have a few symptoms such as post nasal drip, to some extent, blemishes and other skin manifestations, occasional diarrhea, a cold or flu once or twice a year, a fever once a year, some sneezing and nose blowing, a light cough from time to time…all this can be considered good in modern times. (There are toxins such as heavy metals that require the aid of a Nutritionist to eliminate. Parasites would fall into the category of requiring professional attention as well.)
Health therefore is not the absence of symptoms. Health, in fact, includes the presence of some symptoms in order to detox.
Does good health mean that one never feels depression, sadness, anxiety or trepidation? Psychologists agree that a normal reaction to stressors in life is healthy.
Does good health mean a long life? I think spiritualists would agree that a good life is one where one has learned one's lessons, or where the reason for why one came to this life was accomplished. This is esoteric, but many would agree, nonetheless. Most of us desire a long life of quality rather than a short life of quality. But a long life with emotional turmoil and challenging physical health is never the goal. To be relatively symptom free, free from surgeries, to be emotionally sound and productive, having hobbies and interests as well as a love for something or someone is usually considered paramount.
A life where one has the freedom to choose, the freedom to enjoy many foods, many different types of people, many different cultures, many types of music and forms of art, to be able to have the courage to make change in where one lives, or in whom one lives with, in accepting friends as they are yet having the courage to confront them when you think it might help…all these contribute to a full life. We are not just responsible for the things we say but the things we should have said but didn't. One psychologist once said, when confronted by a patient who was concerned that no one at his funeral would say, "oh, what a nice guy Joe was, he never said a bad thing about anybody", responded with, "well, not everybody liked Gandhi!"
I prefer the definition of health to be one that includes mental and emotional freedom, lack of pain, emotional contentment, moral and ethical balance, vocational satisfaction, spiritual goals, good relationships and of course, to know the love of and to be able to love, an animal!
We will all find our own definition. The doctor will have a different definition than the patient. The patient's definition will also relate to the constitutional type of the patient...each type having a slightly different emphasis. Seldom will the Homeopathic prescriber apply their own definition to the patient but sometimes it must be done. For example, if a patient insists that it is perfectly natural to have adulterous sex in spite of their mate's objection to it, the Homeopath need not make a judgment but will instead restrict the remedy choice to those remedy types who feel adulterous sex is excusable. If the remedy is administered and months later the patient says that they now feel differently about their sexual behavior, can we assume that the remedy took something away from the patient and it should have been prescribed, or that the remedy brought balance? The question of what is healthy for this individual is a difficult one. Homeopaths have always assumed that changes that bring a change of less chaos in to a person's life are good changes. However, often chaos can be the modus operandi to achieving balance.
Fevers, Colds, Flues – Detox
What does a fever do? Nobody knows. I think it is safe to assume, as have all wholistic practitioners, that a fever kills something unwanted. Sorry for such simplistic terms but modern medicine doesn't even know what a cold is. We have already seen, in the above discussion, what modern medicine thinks of all the different ways the body cleanses itself. We are on our own in defining fevers, colds, flues and skin manifestations. Modern medicine always looks for an organism or a virus or a mechanical blockage whereas wholistic medicine looks at most health issues as being ones of malfunction. The system is malfunctioning. There is no organism, virus or mechanical blockage to blame. Most body functions are controlled by the nervous system. Millions upon millions of signals are firing constantly, keeping the innumerable functions working orderly. When there is no physical culprit such as an organism, virus, blockage or even a build up of toxic material, then the culprit is the nervous system and its misfiring. Misfiring can occur due to many causes. Toxic materials can cause a misfire, so can bacteria and viruses, but so can emotions. You've heard that 95% of the all health problems begin in the mind? Well, what we are really saying is that 95% of health problems begin with emotions and mental concepts.
As we look at how to treat colds, flues and fevers, the vast majority of the time we should not be looking for something to kill with antibiotics. Instead we want to foster the body's own ability to manage the process. It may well be that 95% of ailments originate from emotions. Fevers, colds and flues are not of emotional origin, instead they arise from a build up of over eating, lack of exercise, a sedate season like winter, too much imbibing, smoking, staying up late, too much school work, etc. Too much excess! Those are the causes. The triggers that allow the detox to begin are usually a cold front moving through, getting wet in the rain (for some just getting their feet wet is enough!), getting over heated from exercise, or being in too warm a room, receiving bad news, staying up too late, too much partying, over work and becoming over whelmed, or over fatigued, physically or mentally (as in taking a difficult test). These are triggers. We are lead to believe colds are airborne, that some virus is 'going around'. False. If you do a composite weather map of influenzas and cold fronts, they do not correlate. If colds and flues were airborne, wouldn't pediatricians, exposed to such 'germs' be sick constantly? Or do you think they develop immunity due to full time exposure? But the rest of us share the air we breathe in movie theatres, cafes, grocery stores and the like. We all share coins, touched by who knows who. And yet some of us rarely get colds.
Those who no longer ever get colds are the ones in trouble, for they can no longer take advantage of the nose and lungs properly in order to detox. Those who can no longer generate a fever are even worse off. They can no longer go deep within to overheat the unwanted microbes that can proliferate inside us (if that is what fevers do).
I am not saying the air is free of antigens, microbes and viruses but I am saying they cause very few genuine colds and flues. For the times we do inhale or ingest these culprits we must be able to fend them off with detoxifying symptoms and fevers. Note that it is very common to have a new patient experience a cold and or flu-like symptoms several months after initiating Homeopathic care. If they have not had a fever in over a year or so they may experience one, but often not with the first new cold but with the second or third cold/flu brought up by treatment.
This brings up an interesting point. Homeopathy is not for the fearful, it is for the brave, the courageous, those willing to take full responsibility for how healing really works. The fearful will drop away and go back to Allopathic pharmaceutical care. It is almost as if the entire modality of suppression with pharmaceuticals exists for the fearful. If you find you are taking offense to this, please consider putting those feelings on a back burner until you have read more. I will develop many more issues before it can all become clear and coalesce into a comprehensible truth.
Getting well through cold/flues/fevers is wonderful. The patient feels cleansed and refreshed as they used to feel when they were youthful; they feel revived and ready to tackle the world. This is the reward for having been courageous enough to wait out the symptoms. Homeopathic medicines can be used during the cold/flu/fever to palliate, to bring comfort, without stopping the process of detox. It is a real art to be able to treat colds. It actually takes 20 minutes to ask all the necessary questions to in order to treat a cold properly. Here is a list of the questions I ask, but only after the patient has finished telling me all their complaints in their own descriptive terms and in as much time as they need:
When did this begin?
What are your ears doing?
How is your digestion? Your appetite?
Are bowel patterns changed?
Were you partying?
Did you engage in a lot of sexual intimacy?
Did you stay up late?
Any swollen glands?
Any body chills?
Do you feel overheated?
How is your sleep?
Are your hands and feet cold?
Congestion of sinuses?
What is the color and texture of nasal discharge, coughed up sputum, feces?
Are you fatigued, sleepy or more restless and anxious?
What do you do to make yourself feel better?
Are symptoms relieved by any position? Do you prefer to lie down, sit?
Are you better outdoors? Do you open the windows?
Does warm bathing help? A hot compress? A cold compress?
If you apply pressure or rub the area does it relieve pain?
If you exercise do symptoms subside?
What was going on in your life at that time?
Were you traveling?
Were you over worked?
Did you get chilled from a cold front passing through?
Are you affected by changes of seasons?
(as a side note: we are taught in Homeopathy to not put words in the patients' mouths but the science of Non Violent Communication teaches, and has proven to me, that when you suggest a word that might describe the patient's symptom that isn't quite right the patient will almost always correct you.)
Fevers have remained a medical mystery as evidenced by the fact that Allopathy thinks they are dangerous and always lowers them with antipyretics such as Tylenol and aspirin. There are some who speculate that those who died in the Influenza of 1918, with it's 20 to 50 million dead, may not have faired well with aspirin. Aspirin had recently been discovered and the military was handing it out in abundance to reduce fevers. I've read statistics stating that those who took aspirin were more likely to die. There is also a story about the highest fever ever experienced by a person to remain alive after the fever. Supposedly he had a fever of 113 deg. for eight hours and suffered no permanent damage. Mendelson, an MD pediatrician, who wrote a forward to Panos' book Homeopathy at Home, stated that a child could tolerate a fever of 103.5 (normal body temperature is 98.6 F.) For three days in a row before antibiotics should be considered.
I have treated many fevers that were reduced in minutes with Homeopathic remedies. Belladonna is the most likely remedy when the face is red, they feel hot, restless, and it comes on suddenly.
So why does a remedy reduce a fever if the fever is a good thing? I think the body can overreact in its effort to resolve a condition during its autoimmune process. When a remedy reduces a fever, lessens a cough, or nasal discharge, it is bringing comfort to the patient. It will not stop the process or lengthen its overall time of cure just because it has lessened the severity of the symptoms. This is confirmed in general practice and is clinically observed.
When a person who has not had a fever in a long time finally gets one, I like to call it a 'fever party', yippy! a fever. We don't know but I imagine that being able to have fevers again could add many years to a persons life, not to mention they will have more vitality and a greater sense of well being once it has passed. Also, they can now develop another fever when needed. We have to stop and wonder whether the fact that, cancer has now become the leading cause of death in the U.S., is due in part to suppression of fevers in the population.