Alternative Healthcare for Traditional Healthcare Professionals
Desmond Allen, PhD, ND, RCP
Dr. Allen advises all readers to consult their physician before abandoning any pharmaceutical therapy or adding any natural remedy. He also encourages everyone to take responsibility for their own healthcare decisions, and to seek the opinion of an alternative healthcare professional.
Pre-edited version of a 2001 article published in Advance for Respiratory Therapy.
In spite of continuous research projects and a steady stream of new, more potent medications, we are still losing the battle against asthma. By some estimates, the mortality rate for pediatric asthma has increased 50% in less than a decade. Yet this is but a fraction of the health risks facing our nation. Cancer, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, allergies, attention deficit disorder, and heart disease have increased dramatically over the last several decades.
But I am convinced that it need not be this way. At issue, is the basic philosophical understanding of what is health, and how best is it attained? There are two fundamentally difference views. One held by allopathy, the other by alternative, holistic health disciplines. Although allopathy is now considered traditional medicine (at least in the Western world), it is not the oldest, or even the most logical.
The early works in physics, chemistry and pathology during the 1600s, paved the way for modern allopathy. But it wasn’t until the 1900s that it was launched into its present popularity. The AMA was establishment in 1846, largely to compete with homeopathy. A series of events transpired over the next several decades that galvanized modern Western medicine to both the pharmaceutical industry and allopathy.
The allopathic surgeons of the Civil War had begun to rely upon the newly established pharmaceutical companies–whose post Civil War prominence proved a demonstration in marketing genius. Traveling pharmaceutical sales representatives made the circuit, educating and informing local physicians on the latest synthetic miracle at their disposal. Substantial grants from the Rockefeller foundation to allopathic colleges in the early 1900s, prompted uniformity. To complete the coup d’etat, legislation was passed to outlaw other, non AMA approved, medical practitioners. Voila, an unprecedented monopoly on healthcare--largely controlled by the pharmaceutical industry–is created.
But the present dominance of Western allopathy and its billion dollar pharmaceutical industry, does not negate the effectiveness of alternative, less lucrative, methods which have proven effective for thousands of years.
Both philosophies agree on basic cytology; that cells are bathed in a nutritional extracellular environment. And each philosophy understands that potential invaders (bacteria, virus, etc), are ever present, lurking, seeking opportunity to strike. But here they, part company. Each having different answers to the fundamental questions of: How do these invaders strike? How best to defend against them? And, how best to repel them once they have invaded? Although it may sound trivial, the schism is deep, with diverse and far‑reaching implications.
The fundamental belief of allopathy is that the invader must be killed, inhibited or excised. After a definitive diagnosis, a cure is prescribed: a medication, radiation, surgery, etc. What evoked this cellular invasion is of little or no concern. The primary issue is to get rid of it.
Conversely, the holistic approach believes the invader took advantage of the cell's weakened defense. Weakened by an environment with an imbalanced or deficient supply of necessary minerals and nutrients. Barring exceptional circumstances, this philosophy believes that cells necessarily have the ability to defend against these invaders. But they must be supplied the proper ammunition to accomplish their task.
Another distinguishing feature of this philosophy is that it does not attempt to diagnose or treat a particular disease, which is the hallmark of allopathy. It views these symptoms as manifestations of a deeper problem. Therefore, rather than merely identifying and suppressing symptoms, holistic methods treat the whole patient and seek to correct the underlying cause of the symptomology. Thus, while allopathy would diagnose asthma, eczema and food allergies as three different diseases, and treat each with a different supply of synthetic substances; the naturopath might conclude that each symptom stems from a common deficiency or imbalance, and therefore seek to correct the underlying imbalance with a proper diet and organic herbal supplements if necessary.
Why are these diseases so prevalent and on the rise our Western society? I don't think we want to hear the answer. Two factors have greatly altered our Western lifestyle over the last several decades. One is our poor diet. Infants begin their lives eating processed formula and quickly progress to enormous quantities of other processed foods: hydrogenated vegetable oil–arguably a poison, refined sugars–empty calories depleting the body’s nutrients, and meats pumped full of countless chemicals. Long gone are natural foods such as a mother’s breast milk--known to impart necessary immunities, and raw fruits and vegetables and fresh meats--known to supply necessary nutrients.
In 1978, Dr. Ballentine reported that since World War II, the consumption of soft drinks had increased 80%, pastries 70%, and potato chips 85%, while the consumption of dairy products had decreased 21%, vegetables 23%, and fruits 25%. The average diet for most is about 60% to 70% hydrogenated or fried fats and processed sugar. This leaves little room for nutrients.
The second factor is the synthetic drugs that we seem not to be able to live without. We have consumed then since infancy, believing they will cure us, right up until we die. By the time we become members of the AARP, we might depend on three, six or even ten of them. Each prescribed for a different "disease” and each altering the bodies chemistry, inhibiting or preventing normal cellular function.
Although, they may temporarily relieve or mask symptoms, they do not cure. Often they merely set the stage for future trouble. Depending upon the particular imbalance created by our poor nutrition and synthetic substance consumption, our cells are left defenseless against the attack of various invaders. As the battle is lost at the cellular level, symptomology manifests.
While allopathic pharmacopoeia changes its list of drugs and diseases every few years (due to proven failure), the argument for proper nutrition has been virtually unchanged throughout recorded history. Holistic philosophy has thousands of years and volumes of recent case studies to support it. Indeed, it was the "holistic physician" Hippocrates who said, "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." This philosophy is still alive. Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling has concluded that most disease could be eliminated with proper nutrition.
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