Wondrous Water: What Kind & How Much Do You Need?

Read Part 1 & Part 2 of this series

bottleMost Americans have a highly acidic biological terrain – the result of numerous lifestyle factors but especially diet – and most are also chronically dehydrated. It’s a classic Catch-22 situation: lack of water impairs the body’s ability to neutralize acidity even as the acidity makes it harder for the body to absorb the water it needs.

The solution: alkalinze the body in the right way, honoring and working with it, supporting its ability to self-regulate as Natural Laws would have it do.

Believe it or not, there are times when we’d expect your insides to be acidic: when you’re sleeping. During the day, blood will register as alkaline, for the body is sequestering acid wastes into peripheral tissue stores. Keeping them out of circulation keeps you up and running. At night, even though you’re at rest, your body is at work, flushing the stored acids to be processed into urine. (That’s why your morning urine is so much darker.) If you were to have blood drawn for testing while you slept, it would prove to be quite acidic.

Unfortunately, too many fall into the ruts of orthodox thinking. They try to force alkalinity on their body by “treating” their acidity with buffering salts and other medicaments. They constantly check the pH of their saliva and urine – sometimes even the blood – anxious for an alkaline result. If not, damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead! They’ll try all the harder to create the illusion of good health they believe comes “naturally” when their test strips register as alkaline.

Real health will not manifest until they accept and act upon one simple fact: The body manages its acid-alkaline balance wisely and well when given the right food, drink and all around care.

The shift to a more alkaline, vegetable-based diet is one of the first honorable steps in restoring health via naturally alkalinizing the body’s internal environment. Drinking more water is another.

Water Is Water…Right? Wrong!

faucetYes, your municipal water company is charged with keeping your water to a legal standard considered “safe.” Yes, they test for a host of chemical toxins and bacterial pathogens. Yes, they “process” the water to make it drinkable. Yes, they ensure its pH is neutral.

All well and good, right? Here are a few other facts you should know before deciding whether tap water is “good enough” for you and your family:

  • Neutral pH water is great for the pipes that carry it to your home. It’s not so great for your body’s internal plumbing.
  • “Safe” levels of contaminants tell you only how much of a given toxin can be present without causing major health problems. Obviously, those measures are above the ideal for promoting optimal health.
  • Many of the chemicals used to make tap water “safe” are actually quite dangerous in their own right. Chlorine, for instance, radically increases oxidative damage in our bodies, while fluoride has been linked to a wide range of problems including thyroid, kidney and pineal gland issues, cancer and neurological (brain) impairment, especially in the very young.
  • Many toxic substances aren’t even checked for – for instance, biologically active drug residues, which multiple studies have confirmed as pollutants in our water supply. These include psychotropic drugs such as SSRIs (antidepressants) and benzodiazepines. Other toxins – PCB, nitrates and hundreds of other synthetic compounds – likewise routinely turn up in sometimes alarming amounts, courtesy of pesticides and fertilizers from agricultural run-off.
  • Remember what we noticed about water clustering? Tap water tends to cluster in larger groups of 18 to 24 molecules. Water with smaller clusters hydrate cells much more readily.

If you want to wash your car with tap water, be my guest; but as a physician, I hope you will not drink it without filtering it properly. Yes, tap water is better for you than no water at all, but there are better options.

The Filtering Option

This is a great option for many people – low cost and readily available at your local Costco, Target or other store. Both pitcher systems like Britta and sink-nozzle systems like PUR do a good job of eliminating most chemical toxins and biological contaminants. And they don’t filter out the beneficial minerals naturally present in the ground water sources of most tap water.

Unfortunately, if your city’s tap water is chemically treated to be pH neutral, this kind of filtering would do nothing to change that. The water would still be pH neutral.

Bottled Water: Convenient, But…

Some bottled water is little more than filtered tap water itself. Sometimes, it’s not even filtered at all. A good number of brands – some with pretty fancy and respected names – are much worse. I’ve personally tested scores of them using a well calibrated Metler Toledo pH meter, and I’ve been shocked by just how acidic some can be. It’s not much exaggeration to say that, sugar aside, they can be as bad as soda pop.

Regularly drinking acidic liquids just adds another burden to our already overtaxed buffering systems. They leach essential minerals from the body and, over the long haul, can decompensate the body to the point where disease takes hold.

Plastic bottles have their own hazards. The material breaks down over time, releasing plasticizers into the water and then into us – just as the spent bottles break down in landfills or elsewhere, further contaminating our environment. Most plasticizers are phthalates, which are bioaccumulative and have proven to raise risk for low birth weight, ADHD, type 2 diabetes, liver damage, testicular damage and breast cancer, among other conditions.

Of all the brands I have tested, only one has consistently tested as alkaline: Earth Water. If you’re going to drink bottled water, I’d venture to say this is the best you can get. It’s what my own family and I look for should we ever run out of our own water while out and about.

Distilled Water = Pure Water = Dead Water

And that’s the trouble with it. It’s just water, with nothing else in it – not even minerals. The only place on this planet where you’ll find such water occurring naturally is in glacial ice or steam. No animal gets the water it needs by eating glacial ice or breathing steam. No living thing consumes it.

This is why distilled water is often called “dead water.”

It’s great for ironing dress shirts and slacks because you get no mineral deposits that can stain clothing. But those naturally present minerals are something we need, and water is an important source. While there are some medical situations in which distilled water may be recommended for drinking – to take advantage of the water’s leaching effects – it should not be consumed on a regular basis.

Reverse Osmosis: One Advantage, Many Disadvantages

If you need to be absolutely sure to get all fluoride out of your water supply, a reverse osmosis system is just the thing for you. Unfortunately, the process – a positive pressure gradient against a semi-permeable membrane – strips everything else out of the water, as well. That process is the only thing that makes it different from distilled water. When all’s said and done, it’s just as dead.

Ionized, Alkaline, Clustered Water = Ideal Water

tyent01In my opinion, ionized, alkaline, clustered water is your best option. You can buy it at a health food store (preferably in opaque glass bottles) or get a water treatment system. These units are made by companies like Jupiter, Life and Engaic, but the ones I’ve been most impressed with are from www.TyentUSA.com, in terms of both quality and cost. (In fact, that’s precisely why I eventually became an authorized dealer for Tyent USA!)

Quality systems filter significantly better than pitcher or nozzle systems, processing the water through a lengthy course of carbon and multi-stage ceramic filters. They’re as effective as a nephron: 0.01 micron filtration. (Nephrons are those squiggly structures you may notice in some drawings of the kidneys – the organ’s basic structural and functional units.)

Once filtered, the water is then sent across multiple high voltage electrolysis plates, typically made of platinum. These split the water into two streams that exit from separate spigots. One stream is alkaline water for drinking, full of antioxidant ions. The other is acid with the oxidizing ions that make it great for topically treating infections, feeding plants, washing pesticide and bacterial residues off of produce, disinfecting countertops and a wide variety of other uses.

Such systems also shape the water into small, hexagonal clusters, which optimize its ability to carry water-soluble nutrients into the cells and water-soluble waste out of them. This alkaline water is readily absorbed, making it ideal for maintaining or regaining good health. Without a doubt, it is the most therapeutic water to facilitate cleansing, cellular repair and healing.

How Much Water Is Enough?

You’ve probably heard the “rule” of 8 glasses a day, but that’s quite a generalization. Depending on things like physical size and activity levels, some people need much more and others, far less.

Here’s what I tell my patients:

  • If you are well, drink half your body weight in ounces each day – for instance, 75 ounces of water daily (just under 4 ¾ pints) for a 150 pound person.
  • If you are ill, drink half your body weight in ounces plus 20% each day – for instance, 90 ounces of water daily for that same 150 pound person.

Now that may be a big leap in volume for you. If it is, don’t start drinking so much water right out of the gate. Instead, build up to it, gradually drinking a bit more each day until you reach your goal. (And, as ever, be safe: Consult your own physician before making this or any other kind of dietary adjustment.)

You say you seldom feel so thirsty? It’s true that as we get older, many people mistake thirst signals for hunger. Keep that in mind, and the next time you feel like reaching for a snack, have a drink of water first and then see how you feel.

Once you’re properly hydrated and your body becomes used to being such, you will hear your body telling you exactly when you need more of the stuff – either through restored healthy thirst signals or through the signals of fatigue, headaches, irritability and the like. Even then, you may seldom feel “thirsty.” But your body always is.

If you are interested in an alkaline water system for your home, contact our office.

Bottle image by Leo Newball, Jr. & faucet by fotoGB, via Flickr

Our Relationship with Wondrous Water

Read Part 1 of this series

If you watch the reality series Survivor, you know that “fire is life.” But in real reality, its opposite element matters a whole lot more. Every living plant and animal requires it. No water, no life.

The Human Condition Is…Watery

waterhumanAs we noted last time, water is the primary biological molecule. It’s how nutrients are moved throughout the body and how metabolic waste is eliminated. Water is an instrumental means for cells to communicate with each other and for information to be distributed.

Anywhere from 60 to 75% of your total body weight comes courtesy of water (on the higher side for men and younger people, on the lower for women and seniors). Forty percent of that water is outside your cells; the rest is inside. Three quarters of your muscle tissue is water, and though they say blood is thicker, it’s not by so much: 70 to 90% of your blood actually is water.

And your brain? Believe it or not, 9 out of 10 molecules in that most essential organ are water molecules. Astrocytes – the most abundant kind of brain cells – absorb water from blood vessels to regulate cerebral blood flow and maintain nervous system function. Cerebrospinal fluid, which is to the brain as lymph is to all the other organs of the body, is 99% water.

Physiological function depends on water, as well – for instance, the functional efficiency of the heme groups inside hemoglobin (the iron-rich stuff that makes your red blood cells red and actually bonds to oxygen).

Every protein in the body – and hence, every tissue – is surrounded by a layer of water just one or two molecules thick. This layer is basically a medium for the electromagnetic transfer of information throughout the body, separate from the nervous system, which signals through bioelectrical proton conduction. Hydration controls this process, so any changes in the proteins are accompanied by changes in their hydration structure.

Even the structure of DNA depends on the water molecules surrounding it. Water also governs important interactions between the DNA and the proteins that control transcription (copying genetic information from DNA into complementary RNA) and replication.

Because so much of our physiology and biochemistry is water-based, it only makes sense that most of the waste we produce is water soluble. And produce it, we do: up to 3 liters each day, about 1/3 of which is in urine. It’s the end product of the kidneys’ processing, purification and release of filtered blood fluids. It’s also a means of getting rid of acidic waste materials. The rest of our daily “waste water” is released through sweat (another half to full liter), feces (.5 liters) and breathing (.5 liters).

And this requires adequate hydration.

The Constant Challenge: Dehydration

un_pouringToo many of us fail to get even enough water each day to ensure basic health – one more factor in the surge of chronic illnesses plaguing us today. Unlike in poorer, less developed countries, this is certainly not for lack of access.

Here in the US, funny as it may sound, chronic dehydration is a lifestyle choice.

While some animals can survive by getting all their water through the food they eat, humans must also drink water. Many, though make the common mistake of equating any liquid – soda, juice, energy drinks and so on – with water. Nothing could be farther from the truth. These liquid alternatives deliver a lot more than just water: a whole lot of sugar, acids, artificial colors, flavors and other additives, all of which require even more water to process safely in the body!

Then there are the bad habits that keep the body from effectively absorbing the water it is given and thus also increase the need for more. These include lack of physical activity, insufficient rest and sleep, chronic stress, toxic exposures (pesticides, gasoline, flame retardants, et al), drug use (pharmaceutical and recreational, including tobacco and alcohol), and, unsurprisingly, diet.

The standard American diet is dominated by added sugars, simple carbs, starches and unhealthy fats. Mealtimes can often be erratic. Portion sizes are out of control. Meat plays much too large a role, its healthfulness undermined by overconsumption. (Consider: In a restaurant, it’s perfectly normal to order a half pound burger or 12 ounce steak. The recommended serving size for meats? Just 3 ounces.)

We pay the price, of course, for this kind of consumption. As a nation, we suffer the economic toll of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions – all due in part to the dehydration that fueled their onset and keep them going. The physical toll on individuals is driven by the damage that our personal choices – along with the environmental exposures we experience – do to our bodies’ biological terrain: the extracellular matrix (i.e., the “stuff” outside and between individual cells) that links and governs all our biological processes; the intracellular matrix (i.e., the “stuff” inside each cell); and (you guessed it!) water.

Another byproduct of the standard American diet is that it eventually makes the terrain highly acidic. The more acidic the terrain, the more free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other forces of oxidation build up. The more oxidation, the more rapidly cells age, creating problems that contribute to the development of what we classify as diseases.

It’s a vicious cycle. Not only does chronic dehydration contribute to acidity by impairing the body’s ability to get rid of it; that acidity makes it harder and harder for us to absorb and use the water we need.

“So I just need to alkalinize my body, right?”

Well, yes…and no. It all depends on how you go about doing it. And that is the subject of our next installment.

Pour image by garrellmillhouse, via Flickr

Wondrous Water: The Primary Biological Molecule

water_splashWater has always fascinated me – a truly remarkable molecule evincing God’s great genius in every respect. Yet here in the greatest country on Earth, it’s so easy to take for granted, even as life itself depends upon it. We’d do well to appreciate it better.

The more you know about water, the more you can understand your body’s need for this precious substance.

Water, Water Everywhere!

Chemically speaking, water goes by the name dihydrogen monoxide. Not very catchy, to be sure, but it does tell us exactly what the molecule is: 2 atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, or H2O (sometimes written HOH). It’s also a “polar” molecule, meaning one side of it is positively charged, one side is negatively charged.

Though water exists simultaneously on Earth as solid, liquid and gas, most of it is liquid, covering more than 2/3 of the planet’s surface. The vast majority – 96.6% – is in oceans, lakes and rivers. The rest is ice (1.75%), underground (1.7%) or contained within the atmosphere and living organisms.

Fresh water is very rare – just 4% of the total, almost 70% of which is ice. Only about 0.3% of all planetary water is actually water humans can survive on without further processing.

Interestingly, the electrolyte levels in sea water are quite similar to those in the water component of human blood:
 

Electrolyte

Salt Water

Human Blood

Magnesium

3.7%

4.8%

Sodium

30.6%

34.8%

Potassium

1.9%

1.1%

Calcium

2.1%

1.2%

Sulfide

7.7%

10.9%

Chloride

55.2%

40.1%

 

One Strange Molecule

At Earth’s surface pressure and average temperature, most molecules of comparable size to water (CO2 – carbon dioxide – for instance) exist as gasses. Not water. It’s liquid. And while most liquids become denser and sink when frozen solid, water does just the opposite. Despite this, it doesn’t freeze in the clouds, though temperatures there are well below freezing. It remains liquid.

water_structureThere are other ways in which water acts quite differently from other molecules. Its large heat capacity makes it well suited for thermo-regulation of the body. It is also naturally resistant to evaporation, which helps protect us from dehydration. The faster water is heated, the longer it will retain that heat after the fact; the slower it’s heated, the faster it will cool down.

Since the 1950s, chemists and physicists have observed how water’s weak hydrogen bonds allow its molecules stick to each other, resulting in molecular “clusters.” Dr. Mu Shik Jhon showed that these commonly consist of 5 or 6 molecules (called pentagonal and hexagonal, respectively), but some can be quite large. Martin Chaplin of London South Bank University discovered very advanced clustering, with as many as 280 water molecules bonded in a complex structure (20 interconnected 14-molecule tetrahedrals)!

Smaller clusters are to our benefit, as they can more readily cross cell membranes, easily and efficiently carrying nutrients and therapeutic materials into the cells – and waste matter out.

In 1991, physicists Giuliano Preparata and Emilio Del Giudice mathematically calculated a polarity clustering model for water. They found the clusters to be “coherent domains” existing in a “collective dynamic.”

Water Remembers

As we saw in the previous series on homeopathy, water can store and convey information. In this sense, we say it has memory. But how does water do this?

Research led by French physicist Alain Aspect in 1982 gave real world confirmation of a key concept in quantum mechanics – “ghostly action at a distance” – which served to show that molecules no longer present in water still exert very real influence.

Around the same time, physician Jacques Benveniste and his research assistant Elisabeth Davenas observed basophil (a kind of white blood cell) activity in water so diluted, few or no activating molecules remained. Ultimately, he concluded that what they had observed was memory, though other researchers criticized this. They couldn’t reproduce his work. To his dying day, Dr. Benveniste insisted they had simply missed a crucial step: creating a vortex in the water to impart the information. “Only then,” he said, “do you get the transmission of information.”

Mysterious? Not really. We encounter examples of water’s memory every day. Think of how boiling water will stay hot for quite a long time after you remove it from heat, or how ripples grow and persist after you’ve tossed a stone into a pond. In both cases, we may say that the water remembers both the stimulus and its effect – the memory of heat, the memory of impact. Throw a larger stone or one shaped differently; harder or softer or at a different angle: the ripple patterns will be unique.

They are, after all, conveying different information.

A Carrier of Mind

If water has a memory, can we say it has consciousness, as well?

In short, yes – like any other material thing. Think of the real and palpable difference between the wooden spoon Grandma always uses to lovingly mix dough for a fresh batch of cookies and the exact same kind of spoon you just bought at the store. The roses you receive from your romantic partner convey more than their vibrant color and beautiful aroma: they convey love.

What makes water so special is that its unique properties make it perfectly suited to convey the total intention – Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual – of the giver. Holy water – water blessed by God as a gift of grace – really is holy. Its properties are different from those it had before blessing. The very consciousness water is exposed to changes the water in such a way that it carries that consciousness long after the giver is gone.

Thus, when water is used for homeopathic remedies, it matters who made them and how and with what intention. Even the consciousness and intention of the physician prescribing them makes a tremendous difference in their healing properties!

Masaru Emoto’s work in the 1990s demonstrated this phenomena well enough. He photographed crystal formation in water exposed to various subtle energies – for instance, different forms of music (classical vs. acid rock), different words written on paper and attached to the beakers (harmony vs. hate) and different geographic settings (rural meadow vs. polluted industrial park). On the whole, beautiful, positive stimuli produced elegant crystal structures. Harsh, negative stimuli created profoundly distorted, asymmetrical ones.

This is how water acts outside us, but what about inside us? That is the topic for our next installment…

Water image by hhoyer, water symmetry image
by Arenamontanus, via Flickr

Homeopathy, Part 4:
A Return to Principles

Previously:
Part 1: Working with (and for) the Body, Not Against It
Part 2: Treating Disease vs. Stimulating Healing
Part 3: From Classical to Quantum

Through his life’s work on the Organon, Samuel Hahnemann laid out principles that have since become the foundation of homeopathy. To most homeopathic practitioners, they’re practically self-evident, but among the general public, they’re largely unfamiliar and often poorly understood. So let’s fix that by taking a look at a few of the most important ones and how they inform the concepts we’ve explored over the past few posts.

The Law of Similitude (Similars)
Hahnemann coined the word “homeopathy” by combining two Greek words: homoios (the same) and patheia (suffering). In simplest terms, it means “like cures like.”

While some offer vaccines as an example of how this principle has been used in allopathic medicine, on the whole, pharmaceuticals can’t work this way since they work by material force. Take a dose of the physical thing that made you sick, and you’ll just add to or intensify symptoms. Take a homeopathic remedy containing information from that substance, however, and the body can use it to trigger the appropriate healing response. If there’s no need for healing, the remedy will simply have no effect. The information is irrelevant.

The Appropriate Remedy
remediesObviously, we want to deliver only relevant information to a body in crisis. This is why a comprehensive health history is so crucial to successful treatment – one that covers all four aspects (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) of what we call, collectively, “the body.” After all, we direct treatment to the person, not a disease.

Thus, it is vital that we deeply understand who it is we’re helping. So we explore their past to see how they became who they are through the flow of time, how nature and nurture wrestled them into the present. (I spend 6 to 8 hours with each new patient, reviewing their case and history in full. See a list of areas we cover.)

A remedy may be chosen to address all the patient’s issues as a single whole or to address individual aspects. Either way, the remedy must match the complex picture of illness or dysfunction presented.

Dynamization (Potentization)
Energy makes life possible. Hahnemann called it the “Vital Force” (Vis Medicatrix Naturae). He believed that once you account for the effect of poor lifestyle choices – inadequate sleep, overwork, poor diet and such – any remaining health problems were signs of disturbance in the Vital Force. The former, he called “Apparent Diseases;” the latter, he considered constitutional disturbances to be treated homeopathically.

homeopathyTo create such a remedy, you first have to purify the material substance (stock) it’s to be based on – for instance, nux vomica (strychnine tree) for digestive problems – while simultaneously capturing and amplifying its informational signature in whatever medium has been chosen to deliver it to the patient (e.g., drops, tablets). This “reduction” is energetic, not physical, and is repeated sequentially to create the desired dilutions or potencies. This process is referred to as dynamization (or potentization).

A dynamization in which each step is done by a dilution factor of 100 is called a “Centecimal dilution” (“C dilution” for short). If the dilution factor is 10, it’s a Decimal (or “D”) dilution.

Let’s take a look at how this is done, as it really helps clarify what it means to treat illness with information.

Let’s imagine we want to make a remedy of poison ivy. (Remember: A homeopathic delivers information only, not physical substance. Thus, they can be made from nearly anything – even toxins.) How do we do it, Hahnemann-style?

 

  1. Add 1 drop of pure poison ivy extract to a beaker that contains 100 drops of fresh, steam-distilled water We’ve just diluted the extract by a factor of 100 and created a 1C dilution.
  2. Bang the bottom of the beaker on a book over and over again to impart kinetic energy into the solution. This energy causes individual molecules within the water to actually ring with each impact, sequentially imparting their energetic signature into the water. This is called “succussion.” (An interesting side note: Hahnemann was a devout Christian and insisted that the Holy Bible be used to impart the Holy Ghost into the remedy. Today, we know that any solid material that won’t break the beaker will do.) We now have a remedy of 1C potency.
  3. Take 1 drop from the beaker and add it to another 100 drops of pure, steam-distilled water. We’ve just diluted by another factor of 100.
  4. Repeat the succussion process. A single drop of this solution now contains a 2C dilution and potency – and just 1/10,000 of the original poison ivy extract. It likewise bears its energetic signature.
  5. One more dilution and succussion, and we have a 3C remedy that contains just 1/1,000,000 of the original extract – and, of course, its energetic signature.
  6. Yet another round results in a 4C remedy. Just 1/100,000,000 of the original extract remains. Its energetic signature, however, has strengthened considerably through each succussion.
  7. If you keep going all the way to a 9C potency, the degree of dilution will exceed Avogadro’s number (roughly 6.022 x 1023, the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon-12). This means that not even a single molecule of the original extract remains. There is no poison ivy – and hence, no toxin – in the remedy. But there is the poison ivy’s subtle field signature in pure water, which would only grow stronger with each additional dilution and succussion.

 

As we noted before, the more diluted and succussed, the higher the potency. Low potencies are most effective for resolving physical problems, while high potencies are best suited for resolving emotional, mental and even spiritual challenges. While low potency remedies typically need to be repeated more frequently than high ones, a well-chosen high-potency homeopathic may only be dosed a few times a year with remarkable benefit.

The Infinitesimally Small Dose
This is the principle you can easily get hung up on if you look at the world solely from a physical perspective: the fact that remedies become more powerful the more times they’re diluted and succussed. The material is reduced, of course, but the information is strengthened. And as we’ve seen, the information is where the action is.

This idea is often linked to the Arndt-Schulz Law, which essentially says that the effects of a drug or toxin depend on the dose. Small doses stimulate life processes, large doses kill, and those in between inhibit. And for the late 19th century (1888, to be exact), that’s a pretty good conclusion…if you’re talking about the physical effects of a physical concentration of a physical toxin or drug. In fact, that’s what the two men who came up with it – Rudolf Arndt and Hugo Paul Friedrich Schulz – had in mind, concerned with the advancement of pharmacology.

In this realm of the physical, there are plenty of exceptions to this law – toxins, say, with no life stimulating effects at any dose – which is why mainstream medicine tossed it aside. With respect to information, however, it proves sound.

Think about a dad watching his three year old daughter play with blocks. As any loving parent would, he wants to help his daughter develop her motor and cognitive skills to their utmost and help pave the way for a healthy and successful future. Which approach do you think would be more helpful:

  • Daddy gently encouraging her to explore the shapes, textures, colors and patterns of the blocks?
  • Daddy ordering the blocks in front of her, loudly declaring their properties then barking orders at her on how to build something with them?

You get the idea.

And so it is with us, healing through self-regulation guided by information gently delivered. The learning is the patient’s to do – just as it is the child’s. So we must respectfully encourage that process by providing the right information and right materials in the right honoring environment in the right combination and sequence. Only then may they accomplish what only they, in concert with The Divine, can.

Thus, the guidelines derived from Arndt-Schultz:

  1. Weak stimuli PROMOTE healing.
  2. Medium stimuli ACCELERATE healing.
  3. Strong stimuli INHIBIT healing.
  4. Excessive stimuli HALT healing.

Homeopathy: The Bottom Line

As I wrote in Part One of this series,

Of all the wonderful natural systems of medicine, homeopathic therapy is the one I most respect, appreciate and count on to facilitate the deepest and most profound feats of healing in my patients. This is because it stimulates the body (PEMS) to actually heal itself. It is the pinnacle of informational therapy: safe, powerful, honoring, predictable, efficient, pragmatic and, yes, scientific.

Over the years, time and again, I have seen properly administered homeopathic care produce results even beyond what is typically considered probable – or even possible – by highly skilled and well-intentioned conventional physicians. Living Medicine embraces and fully employs all of its advantages, much to the gratitude of patients whose health it has restored.

Mortar, pestle & books image by oonaghs_eye, via Flickr

Homeopathy, Part 3:
From Classical to Quantum

Previously:
Part 1: Working with (and for) the Body, Not Against It
Part 2: Treating Disease vs. Stimulating Healing

Picture this: A buddy of yours, a seasoned sailor, needs someone to fill in for a crew member who fell sick just before race day. Though no sailor yourself, you gladly pitch in – and soon become seasick, unused to the perpetual roll on the ever-changing waves. The sea is rough. Winds are high. You do your best to tough it out on deck, keeping to your duties. Suddenly, the heavy boom starts swinging toward you, threatening to knock you hard in the head and send you overboard if you don’t act fast.

Here’s the question: Would you rather your buddy shout out a quick warning to you to duck…or punch you hard in the gut to force you to duck?

HahnemannThat’s the difference between a secondary reactive therapy like homeopathy and an inductive one like drug therapy – a difference we explored in detail last time. Only through the former is the body able to effectively self-regulate and heal.

Credit for the foundations of homeopathic practice goes to the brilliant German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755 – 1843). What Einstein is to physics, Hahnemann is to medicine.

His groundbreaking treatise, The Organon of the Rational Art of Healing, was first published in 1810. The first English translation appeared nearly 40 years later (1849). Composed by Robert Ellis Dudgeon in the highly formal 19th century style, it can be a difficult read today.

Hahnemann himself produced six editions in all, the last being developed from his annotations on the fifth, updating and improving it. Writing to his intended publisher from Paris, where Hahnemann spent his last years, he declared this edition to be “the most perfect of all.” He did not, however, live to see it published. In fact, his followers deep in grief, the work was not published in German until 1921 – 78 years after the death of this great man.

It was, however, promptly translated into English by William Boericke (1849-1929), a famed homeopathic physician in his own right. It was called simply Organon of Medicine (Organon der Medizin).

James_Tyler_KentIronically, much of what today is called “Classical Homeopathy” (or “Unicist Homeopathy,” using just one remedy at a time, no compounds) actually derives from the fifth edition and James Tyler Kent’s reiterations of it in Lectures in Homeopathy (1919) and New Remedies, Clinical Cases, Lesser Writings, Aphorisms, & Precepts (1926). We must remember, though, that Kent (1849-1916) never had access to the sixth edition. It was published after his death.

Kent also gave us the Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica (1897), still in use today, and was the most influential American homeopath of his time. Consequently, most professional homeopaths you meet in our great nation today are “Unicists” and in fact practicing what’s sometimes called “Kentian Homeopathy” (as opposed to Hahnemannian Homeopathy).

The difference matters. The sixth edition contains substantial refinements of the old material in addition to wholly new information on remedy preparation, case management and other matters. For Hahnemann understood the medical science and clinical practice of homeopathy to be ever-evolving.

And so it has continued to be, with scientific studies consistently validating homeopathic principles over more than two centuries’ time. In fact, as our technology advances, we find more and more scientific proofs to what our homeopathic forefathers knew intuitively. One especially fine work that I highly recommend for those seeking a scientific understanding of homeopathy is George Vithoulkas’ Science of Homeopathy (1980).

This is not to say there is no value in the Unicist approach. Quite the contrary: There is tremendous value. I, myself, am trained as a Classical Unicist. I employ its practices and have the utmost respect for its teachings. With each patient, I aim to identify and use the Constitutional Similimum – the single remedy most ideal for their unique being (PEMS) – and I do.

But I also respect the pragmatic, scientific advancements made since Hahnemann’s day. Equally great men including Harold Saxton Burr, Reinhold Voll and Hans Heinrich Reckeweg have advanced Hahnemann’s cause through clarifying the relation of the material and energetic components of the body, the adaptive process of health and disease (homotoxicology) and the value of compound homeopathy to clear the body of toxins while optimizing vitality.

Such advances help clarify the homeopathic picture of every patient, setting the stage for Unicist Constitutional prescribing.

Next time: A return to principles

Homeopathy, Part 2:
Treating Disease vs. Stimulating Healing

We’ve taken a look at some of what homeopathy is. But to really appreciate and understand its contribution to healing, we also need to consider what it is not.

pillsIn the broadest sense, what it’s not is pharmacological medicine. Pharmacology uses drugs to “treat disease” by suppressing or changing symptoms. It is an inductive therapy, material and toxic, physically injurious and informationally confounding.

Inductive therapies are designed to force an effect upon the body. This is typically done by overwhelming its finely tuned physiologic systems with a chemically synthetic compound or biological analog, given at doses far greater than might naturally be present. The liver and kidneys heroically attempt to catabolize (break down) this toxic load before its effects – both the desired therapeutic effects and the unwanted ones most call “side effects” – kick in.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this process can damage the cells, organs, systems and extracellular matrix (mesenchyme) of a body. Pharmaceutical toxins are likewise deposited in the soft tissues, thus changing their nature and ability to function, physically and energetically.

At best, this “only” interferes with the body’s two main communication systems: the material (e.g., neurotransmitters, hormones, peptides) and the subtle organizing energy system (PEMS). At worst, it confounds it. Either way, the body’s ability to self-regulate and maintain health is compromised.

Under such circumstances, how could it even be expected to heal?

Homeopathy works by an entirely different mechanism. Above all, it does not “treat disease.” Rather, it provides timely and corrective information, energy and stimulus that encourages the body to heal itself. It doesn’t force a reaction of any kind – just as someone giving you information doesn’t force you to act in any particular way.

A homeopathic is just the messenger, so to speak. It is the body’s wise and intelligent Spirt (Soul/Anima) that determines what to do with the information. If the information doesn’t apply or is otherwise inappropriate, the body will choose not to react.

homeopathy_dropsThis is why we call homeopathy a secondary reactive therapy. Nothing is forced to happen when information is presented by a homeopathic therapy. Only after it’s been understood in the grand context of all that must be done to, at minimum, maintain its current state does the body put that information to use. Receiving it is the first reaction; deciding how to use it is the second.

Yes, there are some similarities between drug and homeopathic therapy. Both, for instance, can be given individually or in compounds combined from multiple medicines. Both use a similar array of delivery methods given at certain intervals: tablets, liquids, suppositories, creams, injectables and so on. (A physician treating a patient with homeopathy may also use more novel delivery systems, such as an SI card to be kept within an inch of the chest or upper back, or even a laser beamed at specific points of the body.)

But here, the similarities end. With a drug, the material substance used to deliver it is the therapy. With a homeopathic, the material component is merely a carrier of therapeutic information. The carrier is not the remedy itself – just as a book is not the information it contains. Both are physical delivery systems for information. Through paper, ink and glue, the book conveys its message; through water, SI card or other physical substance, the homeopathic conveys its own.

What that information does or becomes happens within the individual receiving it.

Next time: From Classical to Quantum, the evolution of homeopathy

Image by Destiny’s Agent, via Flickr

Homeopathy: Working with (and for) the Body, Not Against It

Homeopathic_medicineA few years ago, a demonstration in the UK briefly caught the media eye. Upset that a national pharmacy chain was selling homeopathic products alongside allopathic drugs, people planned to gather and each take a whole bottle of homeopathic pellets at once. Nothing would come of this mass “overdose,” they said, and would thus “prove” that such remedies were nothing more than “sugar pills.”

And nothing is just what happened – including the imagined “proof.” For it was not based on any understanding of the nature or mechanism of homeopathy. Instead, the group operated from some basic assumptions that drive conventional medicine:

  • The purpose of medicine is to override natural, physiological processes in order to create conditions that leave a person feeling better in some way or alter presumed markers for disease so they reflect what’s considered a “healthy norm.”
  • All medications work by the action of molecules and have purely physical effects.
  • The more molecules consumed, the greater the effect. Too many will make you very sick or kill you.

Isolated within the allopathic model – with its preference for toxic, pharmacologic drugs – each of these points is absolutely valid. But that model, as we’ve noted, is overly simplistic, reductionist and painfully out of date.

Nor is it as “proven” as its defenders often claim: Only 15-20% of medical interventions are supported by empirical proof, according to mainstream research. Or as the authors note in a Scientific American excerpt from Demand Better! Revive Our Broken Health Care System,

We could accurately say, “Half of what physicians do is wrong,” or “Less than 20 percent of what physicians do has solid research to support it.” Although these claims sound absurd, they are solidly supported by research that is largely agreed upon by experts.

When you consider all we know now about the energetic, psychosomatic and spiritual aspects of disease and healing; our more sophisticated view of the human body as a self-regulating system of systems governed by the exchange of information among cells; and the advances in technology that let us see ever more and better, homeopathy makes more sense than ever. For, above all, homeopathy is information-based medicine, uniquely suited to stimulating the body’s self-healing mechanisms.

It’s certainly not about molecules. You can test a homeopathic remedy again and again; molecularly, you’ll find only the carrier substance. Such a remedy isn’t made by putting any physical substance into water or other medium. Rather, the structure of the medium is changed and impressed with information to deliver to the subtle, organizing energetic fields that wisely and sentiently govern all life processes down to the cells and extracellular matrix (biological terrain). That structure is distinct, as many studies have shown – such as this 2004 paper by Roy, et al, or this 2007 paper by Rao, et al. As Martin F. Chaplin states in the abstract for his paper on “The Memory of Water,”

There is strong evidence concerning many ways in which the mechanism of this “memory” may come about. There are also mechanisms by which such solutions may possess effects on biological systems which substantially differ from plain water.

Though you hear talk about “dilutions” – specifically, the more diluted the remedy, the more powerful – this word thus turns out to be a little misleading. After all, there’s nothing to dilute. Again, what’s there is information, and that information is nothing along the lines of “stop that symptom from happening.”

The homeopathic’s purpose is to stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms.

This gets to the heart of the concept of “like cures like,” treating a condition with something that caused it (or similar substance). The immune, lymph and other systems know what to do to return the body to positive homeostasis. During illness, however, they may be overwhelmed or impaired. The homeopathic kicks things into a gear so the body can get to healing. Hence, symptoms may actually worsen for a short time – a sign that the body is functioning as it should, removing toxic burdens and restoring health.

Because this is done energetically and informationally, remedies don’t even need water to work. They can be administered by a Systems Information (SI) card, for instance, which patients carry with them. Their effect is the same.

Of all the wonderful natural systems of medicine, homeopathic therapy is the one I most respect, appreciate and count on to facilitate the deepest and most profound feats of healing in my patients. This is because it stimulates the body (PEMS) to actually heal itself. It is the pinnacle of informational therapy: safe, powerful, honoring, predictable, efficient, pragmatic and, yes, scientific.

To truly appreciate its power, let’s take a closer look at the nature of homeopathy and its mechanisms – an investigation we shall pick up with our next post (February 27).

The Cost of Misguided Medicine

saduceusIt’s a sad, familiar fact: The US spends more on medical care than any other nation, yet our life expectancy is shorter. More, as a new National Research Council report shows, “Americans are actually less healthy across their entire life spans than citizens of 16 other wealthy nations” [emphasis added] Nearly 75% of all “health care” spending goes toward just three chronic conditions, all preventable: cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, which alone account for 70% of deaths each year.

If medical spending is an investment, we must be among the most foolish investors who ever lived. Not only do we get no bang for our buck, but far too many people become sicker in the process – which, of course, prompts more treatment, keeping us in a vicious cycle.

A big part of the problem is that the medical system is broken and out-of-date. As Dr. Farshad Fani Marvasti and Dr. Randall S. Stafford note in the New England Journal of Medicine,

The organizational structure and function of our medical system is rooted in fundamental changes made at the beginning of the 20th century that emphasized an acute care approach and marginalized prevention and public health. Breakthroughs in laboratory sciences led by Koch and Pasteur provided powerful tools for mechanistically understanding and treating infectious diseases. Bolstered by philanthropy and the Flexner report, U.S. medicine became reliant on laboratory research. This strategy made sense 100 years ago, given the prominence of acute infectious diseases in a young population; it makes little sense now.

“Economic and technological factors,” they add, “dating from the early 20th century remain strong barriers to effective disease prevention.”

Yet prevention is, by far, the smarter investment. While eating clean, minimizing use of toxic products, getting regular exercise and quality sleep, avoiding drugs and the like are no guarantee of perpetual health – in a toxic world, many factors are beyond our direct control – they’re the best insurance you have against chronic illness. They also cost far less than after-the-fact treatment and ongoing illness “management.” (Think about that word for a moment. Diamonds may be forever, but a “managed” illness is just about as long!)

And truth be told, “health care” in the conventional sense isn’t what anyone wants. “Health care,” as Dr. David A. Asch and Dr. Kevin G. Volpp note in another NEJM commentary, is what “doctors and hospitals focus on producing…. [W]hat people really want is health. Health care is just a means to that end — and an increasingly expensive one.”

Earlier this month, Dr. Mark Sircus posted a fascinating article on just how expensive “expensive” can be. Fidelity Investments, he notes, has estimated that the “average 65-year-old couple” who retired last year

would need to have $240,000 in savings to pay for out-of-pocket health-care costs in retirement. And that’s $240,000 in today’s dollars, so a couple retiring in 10 years would need the inflated-adjusted equivalent in the year 2022. (In its 11 years of doing this study, Fidelity has found the rate of health-care inflation to average 6% per year; assuming that rate stayed constant, a 2022 retiree would need about $430,000 set aside.)

Considering what you get for such money, the picture’s no rosier. According to one of the many published studies he cites, the average cost of one year of life gained by lung cancer patients receiving conventional treatment between 1983 and 1997 was over $400,000. For metastatic cancer, the cost was nearly $1.2 million per year gained! Even taking a wait-and-see approach, he notes, can still cost over $10,000 per year for a cancer patient.

In most all cases, the focus is on symptoms, not what gave rise to them in the first place – an approach which, we’ve noted, means interfering with the body’s innate ability to heal. By supporting its natural self-regulating functions – working with the body, not against it – Living Medicine gives one both the means and opportunity to heal. It’s a relatively short-term investment with profound long-term benefits, as my patients will attest.

Meantime, conventional medicine has costs far beyond the financial. Consider these scenarios, for example:

  • The mother who can’t breastfeed her baby because of the toxic medications she’s on
  • The dad who can’t give his little girls horseback rides because the prednisone he takes for his ulcerative colitis raises the risk of spontaneous fracture
  • The child born with birth defects because the mother accidently touched the skin where her husband applies testosterone cream for the disease du jour, “Low T”
  • The emotional disconnect that occurs between a dad and his teenage daughter because of the Prozac he’s on
  • The accelerated aging and end-organ damage from methotrexate to “treat” rheumatoid arthritis, doubly robbing a woman of her ability to fully engage in family activities

One book I strongly encourage my patients and their families to read – especially those dealing with cancer – is Questioning Chemotherapy by Ralph Moss, PhD, which tallies all the costs of mainstream medicine’s “war on cancer”: the wasted money, the wasted lives, the terrible impact on quality of life. Yes, the financial costs are staggering, but the personal costs to those who innocently placed themselves under the care of “professionals” who harm them by “helping” them are devastating.

We can start to move beyond the status quo with a change in thinking. As Drs. Marvasti and Stafford write,

The cultural and social underpinnings of our system also inhibit optimal disease prevention. Faith in reductionism, which was infused into medicine in the 20th century, has empowered medical research to pursue only isolated problems and to yield targeted, immediately deployable solutions. Consequently, the model for treating acute infectious disease is being misapplied to the treatment of chronic disease. For example, cancer chemotherapy is modeled after antibiotic therapy, and coronary revascularization is modeled after abscess incision and débridement. Societal expectations of a “magic bullet” and a focus on symptom relief also reflect and reinforce the reductionist approach. These scientific and societal values emphasize discovering a “cure” for the major causes of death. With the advent of direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures, these cultural expectations of immediate, simplistic solutions have been bolstered by consumerism and fully exploited to generate demand for therapies that are marginally indicated and potentially unsafe. Our very culture thus devalues disease prevention.

Learning to value prevention is ultimately a matter of two things: nurturing a long-term vision of your health (and life) and setting your priorities so you can make wise choices. This means making a dynamic paradigm shift from disease-focused to health-focused medicine; from symptom-suppression to rejuvenation of cellular, organ and system health according to the PEMS model embodied by Living Medicine.

This goes beyond mere prevention, which “natural medicine” is often equated with. Indeed, we should be careful not to confuse the terms. Otherwise, it’s too easy to overlook that it can do far more than prevent disease.

In fact, it is only a sane, sound, scientifically competent, holistic system of medicine that can therapeutically reverse disease by facilitating self-regulated recovery of health – even from the most serious and recalcitrant types of disease and dysfunction. And that’s what Living Medicine is.

In this model, if problems arise, you are not a patient forever. You are a person whose health has been compromised and is now committed to caring more effectively for their body, giving it the support it needs to heal from what assaulted it. You are a person in the process of setting things right.

Image by Mr. Skinner, via Flickr

Clean Eating: The Right Stuff

SONY DSCLast time, we looked at why good nutrition alone isn’t enough to support healing from chronic disease. This doesn’t mean that diet doesn’t matter.

Clean eating may not be the complete path to prime health, but it’s the perfect place to start. After all, food is what makes everything else possible, building, fueling and repairing our bodies. Supplying your body with the best materials maximizes its functions and resources.

So let’s start with the basics: What does it mean exactly to practice “clean eating”? In simplest terms, clean eating is simply

 

  • Putting the proper materials in your body
    By this we mean the proper types and balanced quantities of nutrients to meet your body’s needs: proteins, carbohydrates, fats (especially the good ones like omega-3s), vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. It also means drinking enough water. Sadly, most of us don’t – even as we require water for all metabolic functions. (We’ll look at this in detail in a future post on the importance of hydration, so stay tuned!)
  • Keeping the wrong materials out of your body
    All foods are not created equal. In today’s world, we want to use foods that are free of genetic tampering and contaminants like pesticides that our bodies were not designed to deal with.

This isn’t a “diet” in the popular sense – a temporary change in eating in order to lose weight – but in the real sense of an everyday regimen. (The word comes from the Greek diatia, which means “way of life.”) The ideal regimen varies from person to person. Sure, we all need a certain amount of the basic nutrients, but how you get them – and how much you get of them – depends on a your unique biochemical and bioenergetic makeup.

For my patients, this means eating according to blood type. As Dr. Peter D’Adamo has shown, “Blood type, with its digestive and immune specificity, is a window on a person’s probable susceptibility to or power over disease.” It thus proves a good guide to specific food – as well as lifestyle – choices. You can learn much more about the principles here.

Rooted in our ancestral traditions, this way of eating is aligned with the increasingly popular paleo diet. Favoring traditional, whole foods, paleo eating shuns things like sugar, white flour, trans fats, fruit juice, soda and all manner of processed and other high glycemic foods. It features lean meats and fish, fresh vegetables, fruits and moderate amounts of nuts and seeds. Ideally, the meats will be from pastured instead of feedlot-raised livestock, and the fish, wild instead of farmed. (Why? Quality. Learn the differences here [meat] and here [fish].)

In all cases, the focus is on whole foods: foods in their natural state or as close to it as possible. It’s the antithesis of the commercially processed foods that dominate the modern American diet. By its very nature, industrial manufacture depletes food’s nutritional value (which is why so many products are “fortified” with nutrients lost during their making). And it usually means the addition of preservatives, dyes, flavorings and other chemicals that have no business being in your body.

decisionsYou were designed to eat food, not food products.

Of course, if you’re just starting to improve your eating, shifting to a more healthful diet can seem a pretty tall order! How to begin?

Learn where to find the best foods and how to prepare them.

Your best bet for finding quality foods is to buy at local farmer’s markets and natural/health food stores. Focus on avoiding GMOs and getting organics. (Why avoid GMOs? Let the Institute for Responsible Technology count the ways!) Ask questions – LOTS of them. The vendors are usually friendly and very enthusiastic about their goods! You’re likely to find that they love to share their knowledge and help you to make the best choices.

Still need convincing before heading out to a market? Check out these three reasons to shop at farmer’s markets.

Farmer’s markets often post flyers on community bulletin boards. But if you’re having trouble finding one, try localharvest.org. This site lists farmer’s markets nationwide and is updated regularly.

Here in the Northwest, there are a number of online guides, including

If you live elsewhere, just do a Google search for “farmers markets” (without the quotes) and your state/region name to find markets in your area.

Similarly, search can help you find a wide array of organic food stores. Or you can just give organicstorelocator.com a try.

To avoid GMOs, follow your labels. If there is no obvious organic sign, find the PLU stickers that are on each piece of fruit or vegetable these days. The sticker has a code number. If the number is four letters long and starts with a “3” or a “4” the produce was grown conventionally, with herbicides and pesticides.

If the code has 5 digits, it will begin with an 8 or a 9. A 9 means it was raised organically, so snag it. An 8 means you are looking at the fruits of genetic manipulation and likely chemical exposure, so run for the hills!

To learn more about locating non-GMO foods, visit nongmoshoppingguide.com.

Now you head home with a bag or two full of the kind of food your body is craving. But what are you going to do with it when you get there? Isn’t preparing healthy food harder and more time consuming? No way! In fact, it may even be easier.

In her brilliant book The American Way of Eating, Tracie McMillan notes that cost may be less of a factor in eating well than time and energy, convenience and skills. One recent study she cites found that when low-income adults were offered cooking classes and learned how to prepare healthier meals with fresh foods instead of pre-packaged meals (or resorting to fast food), 4 out of 5 altered their eating habits within weeks and improved their diet and nutrition.

If you’re concerned about your own kitchen skills, there are plenty of options. Consider taking a class, where you’ll find fun, support from fellow students and the luxury of having someone answer your questions. If you don’t know where to begin looking for one, try one hosted by your local Whole Foods Market or even an online course with 28 Days to Health.

More Resources for Clean Eating

Feel like you need a guided plan to get off the ground floor? Shape magazine has a 7-day challenge that may be the kind of help you’re looking for.

Images by Gisela Francisco & Horace S. Patoot, via Flickr

Can Nutrition Alone Cure Illness?

whole_foodGood nutrition is the foundation of health, and there’s nothing especially mysterious about it. It’s about eating the way your body was designed to be fed.

This means a diet based on whole foods, GMO-free and, ideally, organic. It means lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, rounded out with moderate protein, whole grains and healthy fats. It means little or no added sugars, and processed foods rarely or never.

But can healthful eating alone reverse the course of cancer, autoimmune disorders or other illness? A lot of people seem to think so, resting their belief on Hippocrates’ famous dictum, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Obviously, where nutritional deficiency is the cause of illness, nutritional therapy is the way to go. It can improve some conditions, as well – for instance, antioxidants for depression and anxiety.

Most modern chronic illness, however, is multifactoral. Poor food choices are just one of many challenges to the body’s greater defense systems, giving you less of what your body needs (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, healthy fats, fiber, etc.) and plenty of what it doesn’t (artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, residues of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.). We’re exposed to a vast array of toxins in the environment, in the products we buy, in conventional medical and dental treatments. We may not take enough of the exercise or sleep we need to effectively and efficiently perform all the metabolic tasks essential for life. Physio-emotional factors such as stress, anxiety and unresolved conflict and trauma take their toll, as does spiritual neglect.

When a person’s biological terrain and basic regulative system become overwhelmed by such challenges, the information sharing among the cells get disrupted and confused. When cellular communication is compromised, dysfunction and tissue damage ensue.

Do you know the old party game called Telephone, where one person whispers a message in someone’s ear, and they whisper it to the next person, and so on around a big circle? At the end, you learn how mangled the message has become in transit, and everyone has a good laugh.

Now just think of how messed up a message sent through millions of participants would become. Imagine the consequences if the message were not some trivial phrase but information about how to stay alive. Think of how error would compound upon error.

This is essentially what happens as one’s terrain gets more polluted and disordered. Ultimately, the body’s attempt to self-regulate and even make use of available resources – both materially and informationally – is compromised.

At this point, nutrition can only help so much. The body simply can’t assimilate enough of the nutrients it needs for normal functioning, let alone healing from illness or injury.

toxic_worldWe also need to face the fact that we live in a very different world than Hippocrates dwelt in. Artificial light and 24/7 global connectivity have disrupted our natural circadian rhythms. Our air, soil and water are poisoned with chemical residues. Our exposure to radiation and other electromagnetic pollution only grows along with our reliance on mobile, imaging and surveillance technologies.

Even if you make all the “right” choices – buying organic, using green cleaning products, avoiding home furnishings and décor containing VOCs – you’re still exposed to far more environmental hazards than Hippocrates would have been in his entire lifetime.

This environmental pollution affects the quality of food we eat, as well – and not just because of toxins absorbed from air, soil and water. The industrial farming practices that depend on pesticides and such also deplete the soil of nutrients. When you grow a single crop year after year in the same soil, using nitrogen-based fertilizers to try to restore what’s been lost, you lose even more nutrients. Although there’s still debate on the matter – and much research yet to be done – there is considerable evidence for conventional and organic foods having different nutritional profiles.*

Even so, eating “cleanly” is just not enough. It does reduce your toxic exposure. It likely provides some nutritional boost. But putting good fuel into a fouled up engine, so to speak, can only help so much. You simply can’t eat enough to get therapeutically sufficient levels of natural medicaments, especially once illness is manifest.

And, after all, it’s not the bricks that build the bridge; it’s the builders. Granted, our wondrously made bodies are infinitely more complex, but the analogy is apt.

  • The architect must conceive a sound and ideal design.
  • The draftsman must thoroughly and accurately convey the design in blueprints.
  • The contractor must fully understand the blueprints in order to organize and coordinate the right construction teams in the right sequence, using the appropriate materials.
  • The foreman of each team must orchestrate the procurement and use of materials, and direct specialized subsets of workers to fulfill their unique tasks.
  • Workers must use their craft-specific knowledge and tools to follow their foreman’s instructions.

brick_bridgeQuality control is essential at all stages. Good communication and understanding is key to success. Timing is critically important so each task follows sequentially to build a sound, durable and beautiful structure.

Now think of the bricks. As important and integral as they are, they have little influence on correcting any problems that may arise through the building process. Making sure you have the right number of good quality bricks is a part of it, but this alone won’t build, maintain or repair the bridge.

This is why we use a range of informational therapies in Living Medicine including homeopathic remedies and other supplements. They are foundationally essential for remodulating information and restoring damaged tissue. More often than not, this is just as important as spurring the body’s natural defenses (and thus, detox) and its ability to assimilate the nutrients it needs.

 

* A few representative studies from just the past several years:

Images by livingtheliminal, johnnypinball & lovestruck, via Flickr

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