How the Body Heals
Two allied and alarming health facts are that in the western world over 90% of illness is now chronic and that approximately 60% of the population have at least one chronic ailment. Just 100 years ago only 10% of all illness was chronic, so there has been a massive reversal in these statistics in a relatively short period of time.
The question is why?
The fact that you are reading this means that all of your ancestors - and we are talking millions of years here - survived at least until they reproduced. And all without the 'help' of 'modern' or allopathic medicine!
Many of our predecessors endured unimaginably harsh conditions without housing, heating, food storage or running water - all the things we take for granted now. They came through ice ages, floods, famines, droughts, infections, childbirth, severe winters, plagues, accidents, food shortages and attacks by wild animals all to deliver you the relative comfort and security of your current life.
The reason they managed to achieve this extraordinary feat is because of the simple fact that the body is brilliantly programmed to survive and to meet any and all health challenges efficiently.
The miraculous power of nature
Your body is a biological machine - albeit intimately influenced by spiritual and emotional issues, but at the end of the day it requires nutrients, sleep, rest, water, exercise and so forth to function well. It is made up of 100 trillion cells which it is replenishing at the astonishing rate of 200 million new cells a minute. In order to do this it needs to manufacture a variety of proteins and it does this in the following way.
Portions of the DNA held inside the cell nucleus 'unzip' and complementary sugars partner with the exposed surface to create small 'negative' copies of portions of the DNA known as messenger RNA (mRNA). The mRNA then exits the nucleus and the DNA 'rezips'. The mRNA then attaches to a cell organelle known as a ribosome which travels along the section of mRNA reading the sugar 'code' and bolting one of 20 amino acids (which are transported by carrier molecules) together in a long string which will become a protein. The protein is then folded into a complex 3 dimensional shape in another organelle before it is ready for use.
Think of the logistics.
The amino acids required all have to be gathered in readiness in the appropriate quantities required for the synthesis of the protein. This must happen in advance in some way that we don't currently understand for the following reason: the process of protein synthesis is as fast as a jet engine!
That in itself is mind boggling enough, but then you need to understand that this is simply one protein being made in one cell and the body is estimated to synthesise 100 trillion haemoglobin molecules alone every second!
Also, as biological machines we are part and parcel of something much bigger than us: nature!
We are all familiar with the daily cycles of sleeping and waking determined by the rotation of the planet and we all know the profound feeling of disconnection when we are out of synch with this cycle such as when we are jet lagged. Most women also accept that their menstrual cycles are ultimately determined by the moon since the majority menstruate at or about either full moon or new moon. Most too accept the annual cycles and the processes of ageing.
So, to cut to the chase. If there is one fundamental thing that is wrong with our current 21st century mindset I would say that it is this: we think we are smarter than, and separate from, nature. That somehow in our laboratories - with our knowledge we fancy is so sophisticated - we can do a better job of things than the systems that have been fashioned over billennia of evolution.
Here are just a few examples where our well intentioned, confident and short sighted interventions have created more problems than they solved - ultimately just changing the nature of the problem(s) we face.
In farming, we no longer rotate crops but use chemical fertilisers instead. These deprive the soil of the balance of trace minerals required and also kill the microorganisms that live on the roots of the plants (mycorrhiza) that make nutrients in the soil bioavailable to the plant. This one action may be responsible for many of the health problems we are witnessing as the foods we eat are now deficient in the trace minerals we need to function effectively.
Even something that should rightly have been a great gift to mankind - the discovery of, and ability to manufacture, antibiotics we somehow managed to abuse. We have used them for any and all ailments, much of the time as a precaution or for viral infections and now include prophylactic antibiotics in most animal feed. These actions have now created the monster of MRSA and other antibiotic resistant infections so that there is just one antibiotic standing between us and a complete inability to control tuberculosis, for example.
Even our introduction of species into different environments in order to control pests has often created more problems than it has solved. Cane toads, for example were introduced from Central and South America to control native species in Australia and other countries. However, due to their prolific breeding and the fact that both the toad and its tadpoles are poisonous to predator species, they have now become an uncontrollable pest completely altering the ecology in these countries.
We are told in healthcare that we can alter the genome to eradicate congenital illness. But we understand so little about the true nature and complex functions of the genome. So little in fact, that we currently assign the title ‘junk’ DNA to the 90% of the genetic coding that we don’t understand. Can we really be confident that we are not going to be creating more problems than we are likely to solve and that may not become apparent for generations?
In short we don't have a very good track record when we intervene with natural processes and yet we still always arrogantly assume we know best. Sadly, all other species on Earth have had to pay the price for our ill-founded confidence.
The naturopathic model of health and disease
The naturopathic model is that health starts with every cell getting everything that it needs to function and not being unduly affected by toxins. Illness is regarded as being caused either by deficiency or by toxicity - or a combination of the two.
And our exposure to toxins starts early - really early. Pregnant mothers are known to pass two-thirds of their toxin load on to their developing baby in the womb and then more in the breast milk after birth. Then we further assault the immune system of the baby and young child with vaccinations - a toxic cocktail of pathogens, toxins and heavy metals which are invariably contaminated with the animal organs on which the pathogenic organisms have been grown.
When our body is first besieged by toxins it attempts to deal with this situation by inducing detoxification reactions such as a fever, rash, diarrhoea or vomiting. If you involve your doctor at this stage they will prescribe pharmaceuticals to ruthlessly suppress these symptoms which they have been taught are signs of pathology or 'disease'. This approach inevitably results in toxins being driven deeper into the body. Toxins include those produced endogenously such as uric acid (from the breakdown of DNA), urea (from the breakdown of protein), oxalic acid and ammonia in addition to those acquired from the environment and foods.
As toxins are driven deeper within the body, the young child may develop asthma. Then hyperactivity or some other behavioural disorder as the brain is affected. Typically, the individual may then start to suffer from digestive problems or frequent headaches in their teens or twenties. The fatiguing illnesses such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases or multiple sclerosis may follow a decade or two later. A great many adults - if not actually sick (yet) – complain of feeling 'tired all the time' as the processes of energy production become more and more poisoned. Then comes the arthritis, the dementias, the cancer and heart disease of late middle or old age.
Periodically throughout the year, when the levels of toxins in the system become critical we may suffer from a spontaneous detoxification and we think of this as a ‘cold’ or ‘the flu’. These only have the appearance of being infective and even if you did ‘catch’ something from someone else in the office or on the train, this may have just tipped your body into a massive detoxification reaction. Viruses are found when cells are being dismantled (apoptosis) due to toxicity, bacteria clear up organic material and fungi clear up dead material and once the underlying toxicity has been dealt with, the associated microbes disappear.
In light of this understanding, I list my tips 3 tips for healing below.
Healing Tip 1: Respect nature
One of the first and most important tips in recovering your health or preventing the advent of chronic illness in yourself or your children is to trust that our bodies are smarter than we are and to allow the natural processes to run their course. I know modern life mitigates against this approach because we are all so busy all the time. We all have flights to catch, talks to deliver, meetings to attend and children to get off to school.
As a parent with a small child suffering from a rash or fever you are obviously deeply concerned and want to alleviate their suffering, but unless things get critical, hold tight and trust the process. When you realise the long term costs of suppressing such detoxification reactions, they don't seem like such a good exchange. Trust the wisdom of the body and take the short term pain for the long term gain.
Outlined below are several very good reasons for taking this approach.
One of the current theories about the dramatic rise in the incidence of cancer has to do with the body 'burning off' cancerous cells by inducing occasional fevers. Our pharmaceutical suppression of fevers throughout an entire lifetime may account for the fact that one in three of us will now contract some form of cancer.
The immune system has to work to learn and to become strong. You wouldn't expect someone to build muscles if you did everything for them, and the immune system is the same. The best form of protection from all illnesses is a robust immune system - let it learn the way nature intended.
Accept that this is nature's way of cleansing and maintaining the system in health and preventing the dreaded diseases of old age. There can be no cheating nature - thank goodness that so far we haven't found a cure for the common cold!
Our bodies are literally programmed to fight to the death and if you wait until you are chronically sick to wake up and smell the coffee as far as the true causes of health and disease are concerned, you are likely to have a fairly protracted and unpleasant battle on your hands. As the body recovers you will go through a series of 'illnesses' or symptoms in reverse order as your body 'throws off' the layers of toxins that have made it sick. This may mean that you find that your digestive or respiratory symptoms worsen temporarily until you get to the rash stage where your body is pushing toxins to the surface. Whilst there are probably lots of different ways to access this level of healing, you do have to honour the process that the body heals from deep within to the periphery. This is known as Hering's Law which states that during recovery symptoms get better in the reverse order of their appearance and from the head downwards and the centre outwards.
The current health terror is cancer and this disease enjoys its fearsome reputation because the underlying cause is not being recognised or treated. In fact, the allopathic 'treatment' is to further assault a body overwhelmed by toxins with highly potent chemicals that attempt to kill the tumour without killing the patient (chemotherapy) and to irradiate them (radiology). And so this disease has become the 'ogre' of diseases and yet it is the inevitable product of end stage toxicity.
Healing Tip 2: Make informed choices
You need to make informed choices about the toxins you permit into your body. There is a massive amount of evidence to support the idea that vaccinations are a big part of the toxicity problem. Obviously, the pharmaceutical companies are patently not ever going to stop their current business practices of their own accord which prove highly profitable and create lifelong dependency upon their pharmaceutical products. It has now reached the point where there are dozens of mandatory vaccinations in the US and every new vaccination developed - the latest being for the ‘disease’ of obesity - appears to be uncritically embraced and mandated. With other countries enthusiastically following where America leads.
Most people make unhealthful choices many times a day, but ultimately you reap what you sow and the vitality and health that you can promote by making healthy choices is a 24/7 event of feeling vital and energised whereas some of life's indulgences start to look like less of a 'treat' when you realise the consequences. There is no objective way of measuring life force or vitality, but this is something we can all relate to subjectively and is a key component of wellness. In health, you should have reserves of everything including energy. Trying to function with a flat battery and little or no reserves is no fun.
When I first started to change my mindset and to genuinely recover from my fatiguing illness, the scale on which we accept detrimental practices as 'normal' became overwhelming. For example, most people are digging their graves with their own knives and forks with the food choices they make every day. Puddings, desserts, cakes, biscuits, candies, sweets, cookies and chocolates are a normal part of many people's lives and yet they serve no nutritional function whatsoever, mostly being loaded with sugar, dairy products and wheat. I am not saying you can never eat these foods again, but they should be reserved as occasional indulgences rather than a regular dietary feature.
Whilst allopathic medicine regards everyone as being the same and will prescribe the same treatment for all diabetics or rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, for example, natural medicine regards us as all being unique. Actually, no one is better placed to understand the requirements of their particular body better than its owner and occupant. For this reason it is important to listen to your own body which will tell you what diet and exercise is best for you rather than having some prescribed standard imposed from without.
Healing Tip 3: Change your beliefs
Your thoughts and beliefs also play an important part in your health and this aspect is currently almost completely disregarded by allopathic medicine. The work of the biologist, Dr Bruce Lipton, tells us that there is a two-way exchange of information between all our 100 trillion cells and our brain. If you believe that you are destined to get the breast cancer that has affected other women in your family, then that belief may well create the situation you are most keen to avoid - the nocebo effect. The reverse is also true, and if you do everything you physically can to recover but fail to let go of toxic emotions or to change your beliefs about the outcomes, then recovery becomes unlikely.
I have puzzled over the contradictions posed by the UK prime minister during the Second World War, Sir Winston Churchill. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill died at a relatively young age 46 years of age. His son also named Randolph Churchill later died at 57 years of age of a heart attack. So this might not be encouraging news and yet in spite of smoking, drinking heavily, being massively overweight, taking no exercise and being under huge stress, Sir Winston himself died aged 90 on the seventieth anniversary of the demise of his father. The only factors that you can attribute this finding to are luck and will, but mostly an indomitable will I suspect.
When people recover from illnesses the allopathic world regards as 'terminal', this is nearly always as a result of taking full responsibility for their lives and sorting out some key and deep-seated emotional issues. What strikes me as extraordinary is that the medical profession take so little interest in these occurrences when you imagine that these patients might have discovered the key to healing for others. After all, if one human has managed to do something, such as running a 4 minute mile, we know it is possible for others to achieve.
The response I have heard most often cited is that since the allopathic world does not understand naturopathic medicine, patients who have been consulting an 'alternative' practitioner either don't share what they are doing with their doctor and even if they do the doctor is likely either to express no interest or to discourage any other form of treatment. Even if the evidence of recovery is undeniable many say that their doctor said something as inane as ‘Whatever you are doing, carry on doing it’.
We all have been programmed for our entire lifetime by Big Pharma to believe that we cannot heal without their products and if you believe that to be true - it will be. Not only is allopathic medicine not the answer, because it can never be the answer to issues of toxic emotions and a toxic environment, but it is actually creating the chronic illnesses that it then profits so effectively from.