Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Process-part one

Just as my previous blog may not have been viewed as politically correct by some, perhaps many people, this article may be even more so.

Most of us have grown up considering ourselves as basically healthy and functional, and when we do get sick, we have been taught by our parents and society as a whole to view illness and disease as an assault which must be repelled, in order for us to continue to function normally. And the results had better be quick, because we have neither the time nor money to waste! If this entails taking medicines to suppress symptoms, then, of course, that's what we should do. If we are weakened and can't figure out what's wrong with ourselves, then we must go to the doctor, and have him identify what is attacking us, for there must be something wrong!: either a bacterial pathogen, a virus, some kind of a fungus, or maybe, even, G-d forbid, some kind of auto-immune disorder. If he can't figure out what's wrong, then maybe we're delusional, depressed or suffering from some other kind of psychological disorder, and he will probably refer us to a psychologist to help us "talk" about how bad we feel, or a psychiatrist to give us drugs to help us feel happy!

I tell you, though, with absolute certainty, that this "process" has engendered a society in which superficiality, quick fixes and anesthesia are endemic. We have an economy and a health care system that is bankrupt, and despite the fact that more and more money is being thrown at it, it gets worse and worse, more and more out of control, both the health care system, itself, and its victims, us. And unfortunately, millions and millions of people, yes the vast majority of society accepts the mantra, that the doctor knows best, that he has our best interests in mind, that I must vaccinate my children and myself to prevent diseases from attacking us, and if I do get sick and they are not able to cure me, then it must be my fault.

Well, I take a different approach, and view illness and disease, whether physical, emotional, mental or even spiritual, completely differently. In this multi-part article I would like to consider this other, different "process".

A first consideration, which not always, but often is ignored by Western biomedicine, and society as a whole, is the question of why?--What is the pathogenesis of the illness, what caused it to happen. This question of etiology, though perhaps of interest to the Western physician, is less relevant to him, than determining or putting a name on the disorder, a diagnosis, so as to determine how to attack it. But does it make sense to treat 10 people who have the same illness, but who all have had different relevant accompanying symptoms, have different constitutional body types, and have had different life experiences leading up to their illness--should they be treated the same? The Western biomedical answer, is generally yes.

My answer is emphatically, no, and the explanation to this answer is the antidote to the illnesses that Western medicine has been unable to cure, and the illnesses to society in general that I spoke of earlier.

As I have written before, the essential key to health is balance. Getting sound, peaceful, adequate unbroken sleep, and sleeping at the right time; eating the right amount and the right kinds of food, eating frequently enough, being in the right frame of mind while eating, viewing eating as a spiritual experience (and not a necessary evil), not multi-tasking while eating; having adequate exercise of the right kind, the right amount and at the right time of day; and being engaged in activities which one enjoys, which make one happy, which nurture a sense of well being, which foster a connectivity, to oneself, to one's loved ones, to society and to one's Maker: Breathing deeply in clean air, and slowly breathing out toxicity. These are the ways for one to establish and maintain health and balance. And the reverse of that, to allow oneself to become depleted, hungry, tired, or in pain, is to foster imbalance. Even worse, to force to body to continue to function when it is exhausted, is to exacerbate this imbalance. One should view the body like an investment bank account: In order for the account to grow, (ie. building up one's health), he needs to maintain some principle. But when he depletes the principle of his body, he compromises his balance and health. And even worse, if he taps into his overdraft (using adrenaline, stimulants or substances to block his pain), he pays very high interest to reverse the damage that he has done, paying back for a much longer time than the short term pleasure he experienced by tapping into his overdraft, which allowed him to keep going. Any thinking person would consider it madness to pay that price, yet, who doesn't do it? And ultimately, the price is chronic degenerative illness, and premature death. A very expensive price indeed.

The real problem, though, is that so many of us wake up when it's already very late, when we finally realize that our dis-ease is not a microbe, but is instead a severe imbalance. This realization is the first step on the way back to balance. But, again, it can be a long process, an expensive process, a painful process, a process that engenders loneliness and self-doubt as one hears friends, family, neighbors, religious leaders,and even spouses saying:"what are you doing? you're spending all this money, you're eating strange food, and you're just as tired and sick as you were before!" Yet the key is to look within. The wise person will daily talk to Ha-Shem out loud, and review what he has done that day and how it feels. Those who have the wisdom to do this will clearly recognize that they are getting better, much better! And they know, and they are correct in knowing, that the day will come if they are patient, when they will feel like a curtain has been lifted off from them, and they will feel strong, happy, balanced and whole, for maybe the first time in their lives! This is the process that I encourage my patients to take. In part two, I will begin to share this process with you.

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