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Philosophy of Healthcare


We are fearfully and wonderfully made.  God designed us to live in health; but when sin entered the world so too did disease and death.  As the years passed the consequences of sin multiplied and manís lifespan became shorter and shorter.  Manís continued and growing disobedience to God resulted in the worldwide flood that killed all human life but for Noah and his family.  The post-flood climate dramatically shortened manís lifespan.  Within a few generations life expectancy had dropped from many hundreds of years to a mere seventy years.  In addition, various illnesses, largely the result of poor nutrition, soon shortened many lives even further.

Although we can do nothing about the average seventy-year life span, the occasional genetic disorder, or even the inbred and compounded maladies inherited from our ancestors; by-in-large most of us can live relatively healthy lives by avoiding the many diseases that are primarily caused by poor nutrition.  As such, holistic healthcare ó as practiced by botanical medicine, naturopathy and homeopathy ó differs philosophically from modern western allopathic medicine.  Both allopathic and holistic philosophies agree on basic cytology: that cells are bathed in a nutritional extracellular environment and that potential invaders (bacterium, fungi, virus, carcinogens, etc.) are ever present, lurking, seeking opportunity to attack.  But here the two philosophies part company; with each having different answers to the fundamental questions of: How do these invaders strike?  How do we defend against them?  And how do we best repel them once they have invaded?  These differences may sound trivial but the schism runs deep with both philosophies arriving at extremely diverse philosophical and practical implications.

The fundamental theory of modern western medicine is one of intervention and heroics.  The invaders must be killed, inhibited or excised.  After a differential diagnosis an interventional cure is prescribed: surgery to excise damaged or harmful tissue; radiation and or chemotherapy to kill the unwanted growths; or a synthetic drug to inhibit or in some way alter the bodyís natural biochemical function.  What evoked this cellular invasion is generally of little or no concern.  The primary issue for allopathic medicine is to get rid of the invader; even by drastic measures if necessary.

Conversely, holistic philosophies focus on the reason these opportunistic invaders have gained root.  They believe the invaders have taken advantage of the cellís weakened defense system ó a defense generally weakened by an unbalanced or deficient supply of necessary micro-nutrients within the cellular environment.  Barring exceptional circumstances, this philosophy believes that cells necessarily have the ability to defend against these invaders; provided they are supplied the proper nutritional ammunition to accomplish the task.  Thus, it is the task of traditional, holistic healthcare practitioners to educate and encourage the population to eat correctly and to take nutritional supplements if necessary, so each cell will be supplied with the proper ammunition.


Desmond Allen, PhD, MDiv, ND