Source: Auto-Immune System Disorders
Definitions of Words are indicated with an asterisk *, and they are listed at the end of this article.
Healing Naturally – For well over a century, the Western world has consistently upheld a belief-system (or mind-set) that disease indiscriminately attacks humankind from outside of themselves, and that they live their lives as apparent victims of invisible germs against which they have little defense (except for the so-called magic of Western science and the mystique that surrounds the commercialized medical/pharmaceutical technology).
This pervasive cultural belief-system extends all the way back to the 17th century with the onset of a Cartesian/Newtonian mechanical and reductionistic* viewpoint of the human body, as well as humanity’s overall relationship with the universe. This reductionistic approach towards investigating and understanding the physical organism and its relationship to health and disease usually involves a further division of the body into as many parts as possible. Each of these body parts are then analyzed separately (under “medical specialization”) in the belief that a greater comprehension of the entire human anatomy will eventually occur. Many 19th and 20th century beliefs can be traced back directly to these 17th century assumptions about health and disease, such as:
- The human body is merely a biological machine.
- There is an “in here” inside the body and an “out there” outside the body that are separate and quite distinct from one another.
- Disease is a separate organism unto itself, or a foreign and hostile entity that is separate from a human being, and capable of entering and causing harm to a physical body.
- Illness is a calamity that strikes from outside of the body, and must be endured with the assistance of palliative* medications.
- Health is merely the absence of disease symptoms.
- As with disease, healing occurs independently of the mind, emotions and human consciousness.
- The level of health depends upon the quality of medicine.
- Health (or the healing process) occurs as a result of what someone (or something) does for us (or to us), rather than what we do for ourselves.
During the 1800’s, Western cultural science continued to perceive the human body as an accumulation of various parts that existed as primarily separate from the mind, emotions and spirit.
Along with this perception, Western civilization began to embrace a mind-set that has gradually evolved into practically a religious belief; namely, that Western science and its particular scientific method is a uniquely objective, dispassionate and direct insight into truth and reality.
It is important to note that “science” is not absolute, but merely a cultural form of knowingness, and therefore is relative to a civilization’s already existing cultural beliefs.
A particular culture’s science is merely a subjective, deeply-conditioned cultural attitude toward the world in general, which has gradually formed in the collective consciousness of that culture over an extended period of time.
In reality, many cultural sciences are vastly different (but equally valid) concepts of knowing and experiencing reality. Although each of these sciences evolved from a different cultural perception of reality, each of them are no less real (or unreal) than our own, for we ultimately live what we know.
If we believe the universe and ourselves to be mechanical and vulnerable to attack by micro-organisms, then our belief-systems will cause us to live mechanically and provide overwhelming power to these micro-organisms. According to Norman Cousins, the greatest force in the human body is its natural drive to continually heal itself.
However, this force is not independent of one’s belief-system, which can translate mental or emotional expectations into physiological change and outcome. For example, note the ability of the fifteen billion neurons in the human brain to convert our thoughts, hopes, ideas and attitudes into actual chemical substances that ultimately create our own individual reality.
Unfortunately, Western science still adheres to the belief that germs cause disease, and few of us question this so-called “fact” of life. The infamous “germ theory” as initially proposed by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch during the late 1800’s is over-simplified, inaccurate and tragically misleading when applied to one’s daily life experience.
Nevertheless, it continues to reign as the cornerstone and foundation of our culture’s common conceptual understanding of the cause and cure of human disease.
The overwhelming rapidity with which the germ theory of disease became accepted by the Western allopathic* medical profession was a spectacular historical phenomenon. Even though the current grouping of allopathic physicians no longer accept the belief that germs are the sole cause of disease, there has been very little public educational information to the contrary either promoted or sponsored by this influential group of health authorities, as well as equally little informed or insightful media coverage that would assist in further educating the lay population to believe otherwise.
This is not meant to demean the persistent and informed efforts of the allopathic general practitioners and family doctors who spend the bulk of their professional careers imploring their patients to alter their lifestyle habits in order to stop killing themselves with self-destructive diets, drinking and smoking.
The historic one-germ/one-disease theory that was initially proposed by Pasteur and Koch in 1881 basically postulated that each type of germ is solely responsible for invading an unsuspecting individual and producing a specific type of ailment.
In their historic “Doctrine of Specificity”, they indicated that “certain microscopic entities, whose appearance in space and time correlates well with other physical manifestations of illness, are causative of illness”. This Doctrine of Specificity was quickly refuted and disproven by a number of his contemporaries, most notably Claude Bernard and I. M. Setchenov.
In spite of the published research findings of Pasteur’s and Koch’s contemporaries that definitively demonstrated the profound limitations in their overall conclusion, Pasteur’s initial theory was dynamically reinforced by the actions of the then current university-trained allopathic physicians (at that time referred to as the “regular” doctors).
These so-called regular doctors were desperately seeking a nucleus around which to create some sort of “science” in order to develop a form of prominent healing profession, thereby setting themselves apart from the various other diverse systems of health care that were co-existent at that time.
Historically speaking, this development manifested at a time when the regular doctors’ heroic use of bleeding, leeches, and the administration of mercury and various other questionable chemical drugs was literally killing their patients.
Therefore, the initial postulates of Pasteur and his co-proponent Robert Koch unintentionally provided the “regulars” with an eagerly-adopted scientific nucleus.
In 1882, little notice was taken when Pasteur revised and re-stated his theory describing germs as a secondary (rather than primary) cause of disease, with the body’s debilitated terrain being considered the initial cause.
The linear events and politics of the misinterpretation and subsequent rise into prominence of his initial theory of disease and the succeeding medical practices thereof definitely illustrates how belief-systems based on certain assumptions (which are marketed as a science, though not necessarily based on irrefutable evidence) can affect and alter the collective consciousness of an entire culture.
The unsung work of Pasteur’s fellow contemporary research scientists is far more revelant and significant for the layperson of today. In rebuttal to Pasteur’s doctrine of specific etiology, they clearly demonstrated that:
- Disease micro-organisms seek out their own natural habitats; namely, diseased tissue.
- Germs vary their fermentative effect in conformity with the medium in which they find themselves.
- The host must be in a certain state of debility before germs can settle into bodily tissue or produce a state of disease.
- The disease process is largely dependent upon the terrain, or the underlying health of the body itself.
The scientific assumption that infectious diseases are caused by the transmission of bacteria and viruses has led to the widespread abuse of synthetic antibiotics. These products have caused irreparable harm to the health of individuals in all the industrialized nations throughout the world (and the United States in particular), even extending to delayed reactions such as Candida albicans and a tremendous increase in allergies.
A senseless urge to destroy these “enemy” micro-organisms is foremost even nowadays in the minds of many patients and physicians alike, even though there is more than sufficient awareness that it is not the presence (or lack thereof) of these microbes, but rather the present state of our defense mechanisms that ultimately determines the existence of infection.
In other words, it isn’t the causative agent that is the decisive factor, but rather the medium in which it is allowed to flourish. We have at last come to realize that our health greatly depends upon the reactive ability of our immune system.
Our cultural belief-system needs to dispel its exaggerated and misleading fear of germs and replace this conditioned response with a more positive attitude involving the proper nourishment and maintenance of a spontaneously disease-resistant condition of health and well-being.
Whether or not we ultimately succumb to the natural activities of microbes depends much more on the ecological state of our communities, our bodies and our diets than on the presence of bacteria and viruses. We breathe in (and swallow) many thousands of microbes every hour without any ill effects.
In fact, human beings in good health harbor many potentially pathogenic* microbes (such as diptheria, meningitis, Staphlococci bacilli and the polio virus), and sometimes disease symptoms are present without any specific “causative” germs. As Lewis Thomas clearly points out in his work, The Lives of a Cell:
“Most bacteria are totally preoccupied with browsing, altering the configurations of organic molecules so that they become usable for the energy-needs of other forms of life. In real life, even in our worst circumstances, we have always been a relatively minor interest of the vast microbial world.
Pathogenicity is not the rule. Indeed, it occurs so infrequently and involves such a relatively small number of species, considering the huge population of bacteria on the Earth, that it has a freakish aspect.
Disease usually results from inconclusive negotiations for symbiosis, an overstepping of the line by one side or the other, a biologic misinterpretation of borders.”
If the body’s underlying health has been significantly lowered and the bodily tissues have been adversely affected by micro-organisms, then the body will usually require assistance in order to decrease the number of bacteria through the activation of a healing crisis.
During this crisis (or healing response), an alteration in one’s nutritional patterns without the concurrent use of more concentrated medicinal preparations will often be insufficient to effect total healing. On the other hand, the timely usage of concentrated (herbal and vibrational) medicine is appropriate and often necessary.
Various herbal products (such as herbal teas, concentrated extracts or formulations, etc.) are active nutritional medicines that strongly activate, vitalize and support the body’s own natural healing capabilities, with the most concentrated and effective herbal agents being formulations of botanicals (crude plant extracts or tablets), flower essences (signatures) and pure essential oils (aromatherapy).
After the healing crisis has subsided, a change in one’s general nutritional habits and lifestyle is essential in order to assist in rebuilding and strengthening the body’s terrain, as well as to enhance its immune system.
Germs are companion species to all living beings on this planet, and are an essential and normal part of our internal and external environment by assisting us in maintaining a balanced and efficient biological economy.
When we allow our bodies to become saturated with accumulations of morbid or metabolic waste material, These germs begin to proliferate* around this matter and create a dynamic process in the body that is often referred to by non-medical practitioners as a cleansing or “healing crisis”.
This process is the end result of every bodily system working in concert with one another in order to eliminate, cleanse or purify, and regenerate any old, worn-out or diseased tissues in the body.
This “feeling worse before feeling better” syndrome is quite similar to that of a cleansing fast, with reactions that may include skin eruptions or rashes, nausea, dizziness, pain, cramps, headaches, stuffiness, sleepiness or unusual fatigue, diarrhea, boils, ear infections and a head or chest cold, or any other forms of therapeutic symptoms that the body may employ in order to loosen and eliminate toxins.
A normal healing crisis is only temporary, and may last up to as many as three to seven days during the initial cleanse. During this time, the body’s requirement for cleansing fluids (such as water, fruit juices or herbal teas) may increase significantly.
Healthy cells are extremely resistant to any microbial invasion or proliferation until the bodily tissue develops a disease-condition (along with weakened defense mechanisms), thereby allowing the infection to spread. Unfortunately, we have come to associate microbes with various disorders that manifest during these periods of proliferation, and we subsequently regard them as causes rather than symptoms.
reductionistic – the practice of simplifying a complex idea, issue, condition, or the like, esp. to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting it.
palliative – to relieve or lessen without curing.
allopathic – the method of treating disease by the use of agents that produce effects different from those of the disease treated (opposed to homeopathy), i.e. current medical treatment.
pathogenic – capable of producing disease.
proliferate – to increase in number or spread rapidly and often excessively.