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Dynamic Chiropractic – April 9, 2001, Vol. 19, Issue 08

The Truth about Health and Disease

By Nicholas Calvino, DC
Albert Einstein said that a problem couldn't be solved with the same thinking that caused the problem in the first place. Likewise, the answer to our problems of chronic disease cannot be solved without an emphasis on prevention. Bluntly, medical care is not health care. That doesn't mean medical care isn't valid, but conventional medicine has always put emphasis on crisis intervention; that is where it is most successful. Standard medicine is about doing battle with a disease, bringing in the big guns of surgery and drugs to seek and destroy. What physicians are far less successful at is telling you how to stay healthy or what to do about the multitude of ailments that do not strike as a sudden crisis, but sneak up and refuse to go away.

The body aspires to be healthy. It is a self-healing, self-regulating machine that needs little help in being healthy. Health is more than the absence of disease: it is a state of total emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. This is termed "wellness." Symptoms are valuable, but treatment should be aimed at the cause; tolle causam (Latin for "discover and treat the cause"). The underlying cause of disease should be treated, not just the effects (symptoms). Symptoms are viewed as a natural attempt for the body to heal, and therefore, shouldn't be suppressed, but rather their cause should be identified so that interferences to healing can be removed and the patient can be allowed to recover.

Chronic disease is not a natural phenomenon of aging! There is nothing normal about chronic disease, which should be the exception, rather than the rule as one ages! The wisdom of the body, innate intelligence, doesn't naturally guide physiological processes that result in these aberrations.

Science is always promising new discoveries to heal our modern ailments, however, many of these modern ailments are caused by science, which has yet to provide the answers that nature already contains. Your body was designed masterfully and is intended to be well, not sick, and genetics do not decide our fate. There are other factors, chiefly the environment, and the most influential environmental factor is diet. Research has shown that chronic disease is caused chiefly by environmental factors (75 percent) with some contribution from genetics (25 percent). Our genes interact with the environment to give rise to expression. The expression of our genes is polymorphic (having more than one expression) based on the environment to which they are subjected. Every cell in our body contains the genetic information of the whole body, yet depending on the environment and stimulus precursor cells are exposed to, some will differentiate into muscle cells, others nervous tissue, etc. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher stated: "Eight of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States are related to diet and alcohol consumption."

The media and medical science have taught us to be victimized by our genes. Genetic predisposition is only one of many factors that contribute to disease. Rather than hide in fear or intimidation, the power of natural foods and properly tailored nutritional supplements enable us to be personally accountable for our health. We must not assume the "victim" role when it comes to our genes. To do so would be suicide. Nature has an arsenal to allow us to wield powerful weapons to rage against cancer and other diseases. This has been the message of chiropractic for over 100 years.

Many chemicals found in fruits and vegetables contain disease-fighting substances (called "phytonutrients") that have been shown effective in preventing and treating cancer - and a host of other diseases. Dietary changes, high-potency supplementation and chiropractic care are the foundation for the nutritional approach to chronic disease and for the maintenance of health.

The Truth about Cancer: Why We Must Return to Natural Diet and Nutrition

Since 1971, according to official figures, over $1 trillion has been spent on conventional cancer research and treatment in the U.S. The current cost is at least $110 billion a year - over 10 percent of all U.S. medical expenditures - and two percent of the entire GNP. Despite, or perhaps because of, these unprecedented costs, the cancer establishment remains largely closed to most truly independent, innovative treatments. All this money, and still no cure! The reason: You can't cure symptoms. Cancer is a symptom of improper diet, lifestyle, and toxic exposure. There is more of a vested interest in keeping people sick than there is in keeping people well. Iif cancer disappeared, the greatest financial vacuum in our medical system would wither and die. In our inherent "wisdom," what we have created is a Frankenstein monster.

The single statistic that most clearly highlights the forces at play was noted by June Goodfield in her 1975 book The Siege of Cancer. More people make a living from conventional cancer research and treatment than die from the disease on an annual basis. Also, the average cancer patient spends in excess of $100,000 treating the disease via the conventional medical protocol.

There is a tremendous vested interest in maintaining the medical, scientific and economic status quo. Why is this? First, we've ignored the answers already under our noses. Second, we've tried to circumvent nature, rather than return to it. Science has this obsessive fascination with dissection; it takes something complete, isolates a part, and tries to present it as a whole. Never is this more evident than in our current approach to pharmaceuticals as a panacea. Although one third of pharmaceuticals are synthetic versions of herbs, they are isolated components that lack a full spectrum of protective plant-derived chemicals (termed "phytochemicals"). Furthermore, any approach that aims to suppress symptoms rather than to increase internal resistance by maximizing the innate potential by restoring harmony and balance is doomed to fail. Because chiropractic aims to restore balance, support the body and to treat the cause rather than the expression of disease, it has been very effective in maximizing health in a variety of conditions.

The focus on symptom suppression has lead us away from true health. We all feel it! Our health is being robbed from us and then marketed back to us in convenient medical boxes and pills; then, when our organs fail from lack of proper nutrition, we are told they need to be removed. Isn't this ironic? Or perhaps, is it evil? The pharmaceutical industry tells us we need this medicine for the "common" headache, and that medicine for "common" diarrhea, yet there is no such thing as a "common" illness! The body migrates naturally toward health. We should listen to our bodies and common sense, rather than those who stand to gain from our illnesses. This message that health comes from within, not from without, is championed by "holistic" and "functional medicine" practitioners such as chiropractors.

The words "cancer" and "politics" are inextricably intertwined. As Dr. Samuel Epstein, author of The Politics of Cancer noted, "The politics of cancer is more complex than the science of cancer." He also wrote, "If we are to effectively prevent cancer, we will have to change our diets and our smoking habits; we're also going to have to clean up our environment, change industrial processes, and do a number of things that will be difficult, expensive, time-consuming and intrusive." In addition, Dr. John Bailar U.S. Public Health Service Officer, added that "A change (to prevention) at NCI (National Cancer Institute) would mean a massive disruption in ideas and momentum in the research community and in the businesses that support that research community."

Despite advances in medical science, the U.S. still leads the world in rates of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. The incidences of these diseases have increased, although death from them is declining, indicative that heroic medicine and surgery are keeping people alive today that would have died yesterday. However, we've made few strides toward dealing with the true cause of modern disease and in combating chronic illness.

Here are some more simple truths about cancer:

  • There has never been a disease from which someone haven't recovered.
  • Spontaneous healing happens!
  • The body can heal itself!
  • Faith does heal!

It is never too late to restore proper nervous function to the body with the nutrients and environment it needs to maximize health. Most chronic diseases, such as cancer, are preventable. The chief causes of cancer are tobacco and inappropriate diets. The American Cancer Institute stated, "One third of cancer deaths each year are due to poor dietary practices." Some studies suggest that 90 percent of all human cancers are environmentally induced, 30 percent to 40 percent of these by diet.

That is why appropriate chiropractic care with a diet of whole foods and proper supplementation is so important. Science hasn't been able to recreate nature, partially because many scientists don't even use nature as a blueprint or consider the majesty of existence as being superior. Instead, they feel they can improve upon nature - the attitude being that nature is inferior and incomplete. It is this attitude that has robbed us of our vital resources, and poisoned and starved us in the name of progress. I already see the end of the road where that progress is taking us, and I don't see the utopia. I see death and destruction, unless we recognize the sovereignty of existence and the blueprints of evolution.

Let nature be your chemist! That is the simple philosophy of natural health care. "Science" claims superiority; however, in their arrogance and ignorance, scientists in general have set the stage for global annihilation. In fact, the many dietary changes during the past 10,000 years have outpaced our ability to genetically adapt to them. That the vast majority of our genes are ancient in origin means that nearly all of our biochemistry and physiology is fine-tuned to conditions of life that existed more than 10,000 years ago. Looked at in another way, 100,000 generations of people were hunter-gatherers (living on whole foods); 500 generations have depended on agriculture; only 10 generations have lived since the start of the industrial age; and only two generations have grown up with highly processed fast foods.

Technology, computers, fax machines, all the wonders of modern science - it's great. However, we shouldn't abandon what has genetically become commensurate with our survival. Put another way, our genes aren't dependent on technology for survival. However, we are dependent on proper nervous system functioning, optimal nutrition and a broad spectrum of phytonutrients found in whole foods.

Simple dietary changes equal profound changes in our health. For example, the combination of eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, moderately exercising, and eating one serving of soy per day can reduce your chance of getting cancer by 80 percent.

All of us are biologically unique! Dr. Roger Williams was one of the first to propose that there is more diversity in our chemical individuality than in the individuality of our outward features. Let's respect and embrace that in awe and wonder, rather than let medicine canalize us into biochemical molds that insult the genesis and diversity of existence. Typically, allopathic medicine doesn't embrace the individuality of the patient and the polymorphic expression of disease. Rather, it places the disease, rather than the person, at the center of its focus. Personal assessment and individually tailored treatment protocols underlie "functional medicine," the approach to maximizing health and minimizing disease, and the cornerstone of effective chiropractic care.

The Truth Suppressed

Dr. Ronald Lawrence, assistant clinical professor, UCLA School of Medicine, noted: "The big drug companies routinely provide medical schools with free equipment; computers; supplies; seminars; as well as large grants of money. In return for this support, the medical schools refuse to teach courses on natural medicine and nutritional therapy. This is tragic, because these kinds of safe, natural alternatives can help alleviate many types of health problems without dangerous side effects. As a result, most physicians only learn to treat symptoms without addressing underlying disease. Whenever doctors suggest some kind of pharmaceutical drug as the solution to medical problems, remember that they are only doing what they were taught in school: "Treat medical problems with drugs, and if that doesn't work, well, there's always surgery."

The answer to our health care crisis is to return to our natural resources; receive periodic chiropractic care; practice sound eating and lifestyle habits; and supplement with proper nutrition. This places more responsibility and urgency in protecting them. Don't be mislead into thinking that science can substitute or recreate nature. The technology may be there, but the paradigm is lacking. We shouldn't allow our lives to be subjected to test tubes and experimentation. Give me what is natural and pure. Natural health care has the answers to our chronic disease crisis - right now!

References

  1. Graham S, et al. J Nat Cancer Inst, 61:709-14, 1978.
  2. Wattenberg L, Lipkin M, Boone CW, Kelloff GJ, eds. Cancer Chemoprevention. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press; 1992.
  3. American Institute for Cancer Research, Taking a closer look at phytochemicals. 1997.
  4. Tadi PP. Diss Abstr Int (B), 52:4144, 1992.
  5. Chemical Biological Interactions, 1997, vol. 103.
  6. Journal of Endocrinology, 1995, vol. 147.
  7. Messina M, Barnes S. J Nat Cancer Inst, 83:541-46, 1991.
  8. The Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 1988. DHHS (PHS) publication 88-50210.
  9. Chowka PB. Cancer politics: the war goes on. Nutrition Science News, New Hope Communications, 1995-1997.
  10. World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington, DC: American Institute for Cancer Research, 1997.
  11. American Cancer Society, 1996 Advisory Committee on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer Prevention. Guidelines on diet, nutrition and cancer prevention: reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 1996:46:325-341.
  12. Prasad KN, Rama BN. Nutrition and cancer. In Bland J. ed. 1984-5 Yearbook of Nutritional Medicine. New Caanan CT: Keats 1985:179-211.
  13. Eaton SB, Shostak M, et al. The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living: 39. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.
  14. Jensen B, Anderson M. Empty Harvest : Understanding the Link Between Our Food, Our Immunity, and Our Planet, Avery Pub Group; ISBN: 089529558X p. 75 Horowitz, Lafferty. Time 1991; Nov 4:68-76.

Nicholas Ivan Calvino,DC
Pleasant Hill,CA
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