Nourishing Partnership: Healing the Root Disease vs. Treating the Symptom
My name is Michael Gandy, L.Ac. I have been a student/practitioner of Chinese Medicine, Functional and German Biological Medicine for three decades. I work closely with Margaret Shockley, N.C., and author of Eating for Health and Pleasure program and former co-director of the Integral Urban House. We both spend all the time needed to listen to you and understand your concerns. Over three decades of practice and original research we have found and "road tested" powerful diagnostic tools that can quickly discover your underlying problem. We have a variety of treatment tools that draw upon established tradition and lineage as well as modern science. We customize our therapy to your particular needs.
Although it may seem obvious, it is important to emphasize that long-term health and prevention requires a willingness to take adult responsibility for your health. Finding a nourishing partnership with a healthcare provider is necessary, but is secondary to establishing a partnership with your own commitment to yourself to prevent disease and to take an active role in healing.This basic fact is sometimes a challenge as most of us struggle to keep up with busy fast-lives and demands of family and jobs. Just as you cannot eat or digest well at a fast-food joint, you can't find fulfillment always being on the run. Although sometimes we have to live that way, we encourage you to take a more mature long view.
Taking the tIme to reflect, relax, grow, sleep deeply, dream fully, laugh completely and connect intimately won't make you money directly--but is can make a good healthier life. You must be an active participant in your health. Because we know that most "magic bullets" just delay problems, just suppress the symptom don't cure the problem, we will not be able to help everyone. Except in emergencies, we are not willing to cut the head of the messenger, the symptom, and ignore the root problem. We are here to provide extraordinary help for the root problems for those people willing to give a reasonable amount of time and resources to keep themselves and their families in optimum health and to prevent most preventable illnesses. Our diagnostic techniques are very advanced. We can also usually help people already dealing with complex diseases and difficult symptoms who want to find optimum health.
Please call us today to discover what a new old whole-body approach can do to help you heal. We can often help you prevent new problems from developing in the future. We are successful in treating acute non-emergency problems as well as helping clients heal old painful and chronic conditions they thought they would have to live with for the rest of their lives.
If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.
Chinese, Functional & Nutritional Medicine Diagnosis & Treatment Options
The East West Healing Arts Center Is truly a place for a whole body, mind, and spirit approach to extraordinary healing. We integrate:
Modern sophisticated biofeedback-based acupuncture (needleless acupuncture available),
Traditional Chinese Medical herbology,
Nourishing Traditions style nutrition,
Food and airborne allergy testing and drugless treatment,
Functional Medicine and naturopathic models focusing on biochemistry and cellular communication,
Testing to find your ideal diet and supplements. Improving your tolerance to vitamins,
Loren Berry Bodywork for structural corrections of your body,
8 Mind-Body Mapping techniques to address energy-psychology issues.
Oregon Directions: Phone 541-535-4325, Fax 541-535-8535, located at 751 Holton Road outside of Talent, Oregon, midway between Medford and Ashland.
California Directions: Phone/Fax 510-531-4325, 4165 Fruitvale Ave. in Oakland, California close to the 580 and 13 freeways for easy access from Berkeley (6 min.), San Francisco (18 min.), and Livermore (25 min). Also adjacent to Oakland's Montclair District, near the Caldecott tunnel, so also convenient from Orinda (8 min) and Walnut Creek (18 min).
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Go to this link for a more detailed overview of our program
Health's No Accident, You have the Majority Vote in Prevention
Health is no accident. How you feel is, to a great extent, a reflection of your daily choices over a lifetime. Whether you feel robust, so-so, generally crummy, or you have an actual chronic illness, are outcomes that are influenced both positively and negatively by your life choices.
Despite what you might have gathered from the latest breathless news story, your genes do not typically determine your health. You have tremendous influence on your health. You have a majority vote in determining how you feel. You get a big say-so as to if your life and health is long, empowered and rich in qualities such as fulfillment, achievement, love, flexibility and community. You have real choices.
Our goal with our treatment plan is to do long deferred maintenance work and move your body back into the band of vibrant optimum health. When you are in the optimum health band, illnesses typically quickly resolve by themselves, and they heal even faster with a little natural help. One easy choice for optimum health is that you take the time to seek out and visit a health care provider trained in preventive health. See them when you are healthy on a periodic basis or when any acute illness has not resolved itself after a few days. Even better, call us for assistance at the beginning of a problem and we can either suggest home remedies over the phone, a treatment during an office visit, or a referral as needed.
We help you to keep making positive choices that are consistent with a goal to Live Longer and Live Stronger. Choices that will help you maintain health once you have it. Our whole-body expertise helps you get back optimal mind-body-spirit health and vitality.
Our commitment to our clients is to help them Live Longer and Live Stronger with robust capacity in all areas of their life. We invite you to call us and to find out if working with us today is right for you. Please contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.
What is Robust Health? A Brief Survey
If your answer to the following questions is "now" or "almost always" then we may need much less time to tackle deferred maintenance. Please continue what you are doing! The questions below are indicators of a state of optimum health. This is living longer and living stronger.
Do you typically feel strong, energetic (not hyper) and great? Not "Oh, OK" or "fine, just fine", but feel really GREAT!
Is your mind sharp, clear and ready for challenge?
Do you often feel passionate and creative?
Do you normally feel fulfilled, peaceful, satisfied and content?
Does your whole body have full function, strength, flexibility, grace and power?
If the answer to ANY of these is some version of "No", “Sort of”, “except for…” “Occasionally”, or "Seldom" then please stay with us and visit awhile on our website. We cover the basics of our approach and also get into great detail for those that want that as well. If you like what you are reading I invite you to consider that there are changes you can make that will make your answers some version of "right now" and "almost always". Call us at 541-535-4325 to speak with us directly. We have two clinics. Our rural clinic is in the southern Oregon region just outside of Ashland, Oregon. Our California clinic is in the Bay Area, in Oakland, California.
Health is not Absence of a Disease: The Early Warning Signs
Health is not a mere absence of a diagnosable disease.
But if you already have a chronic illness then it is very likely that there are specific treatments available to help you. It is also possible that there are prior lifestyle choices that have contributed to the development of your illness. We can help you identify these behaviors and change them. If you have a lifestyle which consistently includes problematic patterns in eating, sleeping, attitudes, smoking, excessive alcohol or drug use that is difficult for your unique set of genes, it will make healing from any illness more difficult. It will make staying in the optimum band of health impossible. Some genotypes can handle smoking daily and live to a hundred. Most other genotypes would falter far earlier under the assault of these toxins and develop emphysema or cancer. We can help you find the path that supports your unique genotype and leads toward your optimum expression in a great and healthy form, looks and feel (phenotype).
Often the first indication you are moving towards an organic disease is a subtle lack of functional capacity, your "zest is zapped". If you answered any of the above questions with a wistful "No, I haven't felt good recently" then, at the very least, your function is not optimal. You are stressed, either mentally or physically.
It is great to nip the stress process in the bud before functional reserves are used up. That's why we like working with whole families, so we can help kids avoid the myriad pitfalls of modern fast-food minimal-sleep fast-pace living.
Unfortunately, in the U.S. today, the average adult has long ago depleted their functional reserves and their organs are already operating near their maximum remaining capacity and yet still not keeping up with stress. Most people's bodies are overtaxed and they are deferring necessary maintenance just to try and keep pace with the hectic lives we lead and the toxins we are exposed to. This means that most people today have multiple organs with various levels of organic pathology.
Stress sends a 24 X 7 emergency message that puts off deep maintenance and repair indefinitely. If an airline skipped rebuilding their engines after a certain number of hours of use, you would cancel your tickets. In the same way your body needs regular R & R and rebuilding built into our schedules. The East West Healing Arts Center staff brings this expertise and structure to many people's lives.
The global toxic load within the body of most individuals is higher then those the same age just a generation ago. The inroads of sub-clinical organic disease are being manifested at younger and younger ages. This is seen in the burgeoning rates of childhood asthma, obesity, diabetes, early heart disease and sterility. Our research and experience indicates we are becoming less and less healthy as a nation. As individuals and as a nation, in terms of food policy, conventional medicine, and industrial pollution standards, we are sick and getting sicker. For the first time in over a century our children's generation's life expectancy is shorter than their parents.
The East West Healing Arts Center staff helps people buck this national dis-ease trend. We work with many parents and children to help families find the path that leads to maintaining strong function and optimal wellness. To choose to buck the unhealthy trend and to seek out your own optimum health band is to purposefully choose to Live Longer and Live Stronger. The really good news here is that when we get on the right path we, and especially kids, usually respond rapidly.
In the process of handling an increasing toxic load the body attempts a series of tactics to detoxify and recover the original healthy program most of us were born with. If this fails the body becomes stressed. If the stress continues the body develops organic pathology. We have discovered the energetic signs that usually identify which of six stages of organic pathology each organ or tissue type is in. This master test, called the Reckeweg Assessment, represents a major step forward in non-invasive energetic assessment of health and disease.
Contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us and we will help you find where your health status is right now.
1st Correct Organic Pathology: 2nd Optimum Function and Longevity
After organic pathology has been resolved we don't stop there. We say Health is:
- Joy among a diverse palette of feelings
This exuberant Health is your birthright. Living Long and Living Strong is your potential. If you have a hard time remembering when you had this kind of vibrancy of mind, body and spirit, then I welcome your call. We can assist you in claiming that vibrant birthright. Because the ability to heal is also your birthright. It is built-in to each cell and our consciousness, awaiting our awakening.
If we can help you please call us at 541-535-4325 or email us.
Sample of Diseases Treatable by Acupuncture Alone
(This does not Include problems treated by Nutrition and Chinese Herbal Medicine.)
Although some people still think acupuncture is "just for pain", because that is how it came to America's attention in the 1970's, it has a broad scope of practice.
|colds and flus
||ringing in the ear
||some eyesight problems
|high blood pressure
|MUSCULO-SKELETAL and NEUROLOGICAL
||GENITO-URINARY and REPRODUCTIVE
||infertility, both male and female
||pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
||pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
||irregular period or cramps
Many other problems could have been added to this list compiled by the World Health Organization. Research confirms our staff's experience in treating fibromyalgia, dental pain, nausea of digestion and morning sickness. We have seen acupuncture successfully applied in cases of lactation (milk) insufficiency, mastitis, herpes, childhood recurrent ear infections, sinus infections, many digestive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bruxism (grinding teeth), bladder infections, incontinence, apoplexy, dizziness and vertigo, facial paralysis, injury and sprain, joint pain and destabilization, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFIDS), Type II diabetes, hypoglycemia, and food and airbourne allergies.
Recently we have also had success in treating ADHD/ADD in both adults and children, acid reflux (GERD), Graves disease, Tourette's Syndromes, and sleep apnea.
If we included the list nutrition and herbs can improve it would grow long indeed. Prognosis is as much a matter of commitment and attitude as it is disease label.
Contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us to see if you have a problem we have experience with.
Live Longer Live Stronger: A Vision of Robust Health and Vivacious Living
There are many MYTHS about aging that DO need to be broken. Most people are aging prematurely and badly. Getting older DOES NOT mean a long night of waning health and potency in body and spirit.
Our goal is to help you naturally optimize energy, strength and full functionality into advanced old age. We can be like the story of the 100 year old “one hoss shay”, that on it's 101st birthday falls apart- all at once. This is called a “compression of morbidity”, delaying problems until it's your time to check out.
How long a person can live vigorously, if our bodies are treated in an optimal way is unknown. But we know it is longer than we are living now. We envision life not just by a longer quantity of years but a higher quality of life. A life filled with purpose and accomplishment and deeds that reflects your best is a life worth living longer.
Contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us and we will help you find the life worth living.
We contrast our approach with two others below.
Read Below for a More Detailed Discussion
Intelligent Life Design: Sloppy or Elegant Programming
You, your consciousness, unconscious, your body and spirit are all, at base, very intelligent. Assuming social equality and access to resources, each of these parts can help produce the exact life, health and wealth your actions and expectations set you up to receive.
If well directed, this intelligence offers the possibility of a healthy and fulfilling life, handling most of life's bumps with grace. But, if misdirected by bad "programming", the same intelligence can give you the exact lousy health that it has been misprogrammed to deliver. If you want a different outcome than the health and life you have now, then a different plan, a careful reprogramming, is needed.
That means change. Some of the necessary changes, in food, exercise, attitude may be a challenge for you. But expecting a different outcome while continuing to behave in the same way is Einstein's definition of insanity.
We treat our clients as competent adults. You can choose a healthy or an unhealthy status quo.
Many people, especially in the weight loss industry, make fortunes promising you an insane solution. They claim you can lose weight while eating the same junk food that got you fat and sick to begin with. They may also say forget about exercise but look like a muscle builder. Sure, right. Ocean front property in Arizona too! It sounds easy and tempting but beware, they know a sucker is born every minute. What is true is that looking good and building muscle is much easier if you are healthy and your energetics are balanced.
The weight loss industry knows the “placebo effect” is real and outperforms many drugs. The belief that we can look and feel better does create real positive changes. We think that positive belief is great. If combined with truly useful changes and useful treatments it is a powerful combination. We do expect you to make real changes at your own pace. We give you real and useful tools and expect you to behave differently during transitional periods. We also provide you accurate information to help you change. Most importantly we help you change the programming that says you don't deserve feeling better so you can believe you can.
Although some parts of our program will be a challenge we will NOT insist you live a monastic deprived life on water, sprouts and gruel.
On the contrary, we want you eating great tasting food, doing fun activities, getting periods of true rest, having friends, romance, along with a strong calling and passionate purpose. We want you savoring life like it was a tasty, complex and rich experience, not an over-simplified chemically manipulative fast food experience.
Your health IS a reflection of what you choose to be. As well as what your ancestors, choose to be and do. If your life, your hormone balance, your athletic, emotional, sexual and work life is not great then you need to allow your innate intelligence to shine forth in your dreams, your thoughts and the choices you make.
That doesn't mean you have to figure it all out on your own.
Contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us and we will help you find the steps right for you.
Unique Methods: Communication to Recover Body Intelligence
Some of the deepest work we do as practitioners at our clinics is to listen and evaluate your body and mind in a very unusual and precise way. We help you understand and listen to the ancient wise voice inside you. The voice that knows your strongest path. You can choose health, with purpose. You can Live Longer , yet also Live Stronger by listening to the deep wisdom your being possesses.
You have many wise voices within you. Each has its own language and knowing. On this web site we describe the complex web-like network structure of our body and mind. Our body and mind is a complex community of languages. It is the most complex structure in the known universe. Here we describe some of grammar of these languages and how we are able to use biofeedback responses from our dynamic communication system to decode the messages within.
There are languages of spirit, thought, feelings, biochemistry and belief. Modern physics, ancient Eastern metaphysics, and New Medicine all recognize that we are not just matter but also energy. Energy, in its many different patterns, represents many languages. Each energy is distinct, with its own language. We have many languages of biochemistry as well from basic pH, to enzymes, to genes. To understand more about these languages and this approach to medicine, treatment and diagnostics please visit our Orientation Page.
How do we change? Like all the computerized gizmos and fancy watches, we can enter into a programming mode and change the settings: the rules, the code. It is likely we have already unconsciously changed some of our settings for the worse during crisis periods. Research in psychoneuroimmunology has clearly shown this to be true. Unconscious emergency self-programming, like any rush job, usually leads to lousy programming patches.
Or we can consciously change our settings, our programming, for the better using a combination of ancient and modern technologies. We help you access programming modes in each of these languages of the body and mind so you can install new programming habits and behaviors from the genetic to organ to belief levels. Some systems are reprogrammed by nutrients, some by energy, some by thought, and some by structural change.
Body forms a vessel for Spirit. It is also true that Spirit informs Body. It is a peer-to-peer Network, not a top-down hierarchy (except for a few emergency systems, where unfortunately, many of us spend a lot of our time). In health, the most ancient bioelectric and biochemical languages in our bodies speak clearly of 4.5 billion years of evolved intelligence. More recently evolved systems, unique to primates in general and some to people specifically, such as the Belief and Interpersonal Systems, are much younger, and perhaps, more “buggy”. They are systems still in cultural and evolutionary development. But when healthy, they display a geometric beauty and vibrant symphony of coordinated intelligent response that enriches our lives.
When the symphony is discordant, geometry fractured, meaning distorted and intelligence lacking, we experience dis-ease. Energy medicine holds that these maladaptive responses are stereotyped biological emergency programs that are being run too often and have been distorted by unconscious mal-programming. The shape of the distortion is in turn given by unique, metaphorically consistent patterns that were badly self-programmed during particular types of stress. This emergency code, written “on-the-fly” during a crisis, is usually bad code. Bad code is unhealthy.
The result of the mix of emergency biological common pathways and our own unique restrictive life metaphors creates our particular filtered and hindered relationship with the world. Our own dis-ease can have common denominators with some other's dis-ease, yet reflects our own personal bad code.
Contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us and we will help you re-program for health, for living longer and living stronger.
Longevity vs. Anti-aging: Supplements, Hormones, Herbal Tonics
Anti-aging clinics are a specialized form of mainstream medicine that is more aggressive regarding supplement use and hormone replacement. They use supplements like drugs to suppress symptoms. They tend to share the same “throw drugs at the symptom” philosophy that is seen in mainstream medicine. They regard aging as the disease.”
Anti-aging clinics start with many of the same assumptions about aging that mainstream medicine does. Primarily, gradual decay with age is inevitable. They do not separate chronological age from dysfunction. In the anti-aging model aging IS the disease.
Thus anti-aging enthusiasts think dysfunction is inevitable with aging “unless the chemical proportions of youth are artificially maintained”. This is OK as far as it goes. How to maintain it becomes the rub. Do you enable the body to do it or do you attempt to force-feed the body massive amounts of hormones and supplements from the outside?
External supplementation, in moderation, is useful. But it is better to let the body handle most of the chemical balancing act, most of the hormone production, which it does very well once it is healthy and well-balanced itself.
There is an unstated but real fear of aging and an attempt to deny it in some parts of the Anti-aging movement. Denial of the reality of aging leads to bad psychology and bad medicine. Immortality may eventually be within reach, but we aren't there yet. Throwing huge amounts of hormones or supplements at you for the rest of your life is the norm in the "anti-aging" approach. We can learn from aging research without frantically chasing after youth in a pill.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years has recognized the challenges each age in our developmental phases faces and has developed tonics and techniques for aging that reduce or eliminate most of these dysfunctions. Mainstream Western medicine has no parallel to these tonic organ rejuvenating techniques. The so-called “preventative” or “lifestyle” drugs are not nearly as useful as these organ rejuvenating techniques.
Instead of the anti-aging clinic's constant life-long hormone replacement at the East West Healing Arts Center we may use sublingual, not topical, bio-identical hormones “tactically” for short durations to provide an opportunity for the body to resume normal output. Unless the body is incapable of producing the hormone because of surgery or disease. We use diet, acupuncture, herbs and supplements, not to directly supply hormones, but to improve the ability of the body itself to make needed amounts of key biochemicals and to better self-regulate.
The Live Longer Live Stronger paradigm is to respect and facilitate the innate intelligent self-healing capacity within us. Anti-aging enthusiasts unconsciously share the mainstream Western medical assumption that the body is stupid and just awaits a huge external pharmacy to take over and think for it. Although some people cannot make their own hormones and require life-long replacement, when used indiscriminately, the temporary improvement gained by flooding your body and mind with somebody else's ideal of youthful chemistry shuts down internal manufacture and self-regulation and eventually creates a more deranged and biologically "older" person than you were to begin with.
Contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us and we will help you find longevity through balance.
Brief History of Industrial Biomedicine: Money, Machines, Failures, Lifespan & Public Health
Biomedicine was born in the furnace of the Industrial Age, I call it "Industrial Medicine" because its view of the "bio" in biology is reductionistic and mechanistic, hallmarks of the Industrial Age, and because it has organized itself for mass production and marketing of a product. To understand Industrial Medicine's strengths and weaknesses it is important to understand that it developed during the Great Age of Machines and the Industrial Revolution as a reaction against the Greek nonsense of of the self-promoting fool Galen and the tyranny of ancient written authority over simple observation. Previous medieval medical scholarship looked fixedly backwards to an imagined Greco-Roman Golden Age. The Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution that succeeded it were a breath of fresh air and vast improvement over the moribund scholastic academic medicine.
But Industrial medicine had its own seeds of dogma and an economic investment in the status quo that have grown to filter out a great deal of science that does not follow its own assumptions. Biomedicine always tries to fix bodies like a plumber fixes pipes or a mechanic fixes machines. And the analogy isn't completely wrong, just not nearly completely right.
It is difficult for Industrial medicine to challenge the basic belief that humans are like the uniform machines that come off the assembly line of life. After all, this assumption has been successful in many ways and has led to rationalization and standardization of a formerly chaotic system. In the Mechanist's view the pieces that combine to create a human life are just uniform cogs in a great machine. Sometimes cogs need to be replaced. When you go to the Auto supply and get the correct part for the right make of car, you expect it will fit and fix the problem. Industrial medicine has the same expectation for the human body.
However, the very economic success of Mechanistic Industrial Medicine have made it a conservative monopoly with no economic incentive to undertake an expensive change in its modus operandi. Industrial medicine has become a self-referencing system with academic and economic advantages to an insular avoidance of analysis of its foundational assumptions.
Many other fruitful approaches to medicine could be developed with more modern understandings of humans as analogous to the mathematics of networks, computer programming, chaos and complexity theory, biophysical information and cybernetic biofeedback controls, cellular automata, non-rational actors, or self-organizing structures.
However, much more modest attempts by biomedicine to evolve have been severely punished when they conflicted with Industry's short-term self-interest. An indie documentary called the Tomato Effect describes, a personal and touching story, the clever way political/legal strategy the chemical industry used to one-by-one target MD's practicing the subspecialty called Environmental Medicine. The Industry punished these docs by creating a turf war with another Allergy specialty using a few hired doc-guns. If not for the huge personal cost to the doctors and patients, some of whom I know personally, this would be the entertaining stuff of high drama--Dallas Meets ER.
Unfortunately the influence of money extends into academia and peer reviewed research. 1/3 of JAMA articles carry disclaimers that the scientists had a financial tie to an Industry with vested interest in a particular result. This is the good news. Recent studies show that many conflicts of interest are never revealed. The Pharmaceutical industries habit of only publishing positive results makes a mockery of the precise statistical analysis within a given article. Direct advertising of drugs and the vast amount of money spent to buy doctor's prescription habits has made your health available to the highest bidder. The drug testing industry helps fund the FDA creating yet another revolving door giving us only the appearance of oversight and regulation. The problem is not with science per se, but with the expense of doing good science and the lousy way we fund it as well as the occasional immature and ethically weak researcher hard up for cash. It is a parallel case with the ever elusive campaign finance reform in politics. These efforts always fail because those that buy their politician want to be able to continue to do so.
The glaring problems in these mechanistic assumptions and a development of alternatives to the Industrial medical world view are presented later. For now, let's simply understand how Industrial medicine's world view and commercial approach came to be, and still remains, dominant. Has it contributed to our Living Longer and Living Stronger?
Industrial Medicine is not responding to the critiques of the foundational assumptions of Industrial medicine and the resulting problems in the practice of medicine. It still considers itself the standard by which all other medicines are just practice for.
Instead of responding to a declining market share of the medical dollar by some serious soul searching, it responds with cosmetic changes and a sophisticated marketing "counter-attack". The marketing departments of Industrial medicine are far more responsive to public attitudes than the conservative structural elements of Industrial medicine, which are notoriously resistant to change. Expensive marketing campaigns by Industrial medicine have co-opted much of the language of the alternative medical competition without changing much in their actual practice. Current marketing of BIg Medicine emphasizes "teams of caring practitioners" and "individualized care" in an attempt to portray its' industrial assembly line process as a warm fuzzy "kinder, gentler medicine". Many caring people in this industry who actually try follow this new message in the same old factory settings of institutionalized health care quickly either become desensitized or "burn out". Exceptions to this rule can be found on occasion. I applaud them. The best example is Mayo Clinic which was actually organized with these ideas as a Mission.
This billion dollar marketing face-lift is in direct response to alternative medicine's expansion into the marketplace. People have been voting with their feet in droves and this superficial marketing make-over can be traced to Eisenberg's startling studies showing that over half of Americans use "alternative" providers. The real criticism of Industrial medicine itself are largely ignored.
Modern biomedicine is in many ways a 17th century vision applied to a early 20th century mass industrial production engine with a high tech dashboard. Mass production is seen in many parts of the industry. It presumes that everyone is interchangeable and diagnosis identifies the same illness in everyone. In this case the same fix on the same cog can be applied en masse. This mechanistic approach works, to some degree, in epidemic infections, but not too well for more complex problems.
Industrial medicine has become an economic powerhouse by mass production of double-blinded research via an academic testing industry of prospective drugs to "fix" specific 140 Kg average uniform male/female homo sapiens machine. The "broken cog" in a given human is identified by the uniform rational taxonomy of diseases called the "diagnosis". The mass marketing of identical molecule uniform drugs is made via a network of sales representatives, which includes the doctor. Doctors gets the overwhelming majority of information about a drug from ads provided by the pharmaceutical company, not by independent peer-reviewed papers. Courting doctors with informational free vacations and free samples works. Nowadays marketing dollars are increasingly spent on direct mass marketing to the public. This once unthinkably unethical process is now allowed because an Industrial medicine lobby has paid for changes in legislation. Industrial medicine, like any trillion dollar industry, has considerable political muscle. They hire flocks of lobbyists exercising their rights to lobby for legislation economically favorable to their industry and against competition that might offer medically effective products to the public. We all know Money Talks in our political process. It should come as no surprise Industry favorable legislation is not necessarily, and not even very often, legislation favorable to you--the people. And finally, the industrial nature of modern medicine is seen in the mass production and distribution of the drugs themselves.
Industrial medicine is itself a small part of the total medical/ governmental regulation/ pharmaceutical Industry. Individual medical personnel are understandably reluctant to bite the hand that gives them the lions share of public research money, public health money, economic status, and legal standing.
The Machine Age analogy has its strengths and weaknesses. Industrial medicine's skill in acute trauma and infection must be acknowledged. If you are in a car wreck the ER has a lot to offer.
However, the corollary that other traditional medicines have nothing to offer in acute care is false. Future improvements to medicine based on developments of non-mechanical medicines offer the best possibility for True Regeneration, a method that will revolutionize trauma care. This development may come from research into the mechanisms of acupuncture. Please visit RosettaStoneInstitute.org
Some acute care answers are already available in alternative circles. Chinese Medicine and naturopathy already have good answers to the cure of the common cold.
Nonetheless, the impressive advent of penicillin placed Industrial Medicine's mechanistic worldview as the preeminent modern medicine in the middle 20th century. Mores the pity that human's edge in fighting infection, gained by appropriating fungus derived antibiotics for ourselves, has been thrown away by Industrial Medicine's economic decision to sell antibiotics to ranchers for a modest improvement in stock weight. Soil bacteria and common intestinal bacteria are now often resistant strains. Worse, they are becoming resistant to acid. Antibiotic resistance was also increased by profit-driven marketing aimed at doctors and patients that led to early and inappropriate overuse antibiotics in viral conditions where they are actually damaging.
The assumption is generally made by most people that the increased longevity of 20th century Americans is attributable to Industrial Medicine. Lets examine this.
The increase in longevity was already established BEFORE antibiotics were developed. So antibilotics cannot be responsible for longer lives on a statistical level, though sulfa drugs counter-balanced some of WWII's massive loss of life to disease, estimated to be twice the number killed in combat.
Lowered infant mortality is responsible for most of the improvement in longevity statistics. What decreased infant mortality?
Most people might assume that this is attributable to due modern hospital birthing procedures. And these procedures have saved some lives. But a darker side to the medicalization of birthing, a natural process, has overshadowed these individual success stories. Many births do not require high tech interventions. Many standard Industrial birthing practices create the very problems that other high-tech interventions must then recover from. Many aspects of hospital birthing are needlessly dangerous. This includes suction cup extractions, anti-gravity bed-based horizontal birthing, inappropriate unnecessary labor induction and analgesic drug use which is toxic to newborn livers and disruptive of the mother-child bonding process, cranial spinal trauma in delivery by the completely unnecessary sudden straightening of spines and spanking of newborns under bright lights under the ridiculous assumption that they can't feel pain, post-delivery separation of the newborn for easily delayed tests from mothers with interruption of immediate breast feeding instincts in mother and child, and cutting the umbilical cord too rapidly (which makes all the spanking nonsense necessary). All together these practices routinely damage many infants and sometimes create the exact complications they then congratulate themselves by stopping.
The likelihood of C-sections, and other dangerous surgical interventions without medical need become much more common in high tech birthing. Brain damage to newborns exposed to these procedures may be quite common. Evidence for this comes from an animal study that sacrificed newborn chimps given standard-of-care high tech birthing techniques, exactly as given to humans, in comparison to natural child (chimp) birthing. The hospital birthed newborn chimps, upon autopsy, showed a very high rate of brain lesions whereas none occurred during the normal chimp birth. Birthing babies on an industrial assembly-line timed by drugs to the convenience of the doctor or mother is fraught with problems. Modern hospital birth, now considered the norm, is not responsible for decreased infant mortality.
If not birthing, then perhaps vaccines can account for the reduction in infant mortality? The advent of vaccines post-dated this reduction in childhood mortality, so it is not vaccines, either. Unfortunately, the controversy regarding many of the vaccine's marginal efficacy and questionable safety has been suppressed and grossly underreported for fear that doctors and the public would not cooperated with low-cost vaccination programs. Although on balance vaccines may be a positive thing, certainly smallpox eradication was a huge success, the hidden dangers of vaccines especially as used in the U.S. has been vastly underrated and rigorously scientific critics, such as Dr. Wakefield in the U.K., have been made pariahs by their peers. This is because vaccines are one of the few cheap medical success stories biomedicine has.
The increase in longevity of first world peoples of the 20th century that is usually credited to Industrial Medicine's high profile medical interventions are, in fact, mostly attributable to better caloric nutrition to city residents and systemic public health, building codes, and public works leading to improvements in personal and group hygiene.
The fact is, the population density pressures that would have otherwise led to higher disease rates were mainly mitigated, not by Industrial Medicine's medicines, but by the unglamorous public health improvements in sewage, water treatment, building codes, and food and hygiene. Longevity is attributable to reductions of the numbers of hungry people living in unhygienic overcrowded conditions and standardization of clean running water and more frequent bathing and hand washing in food handlers.
Unfortunately, many of these improvements in longevity may be rolled back as our efforts have created evolutionary back-pressures on pathogenic germs that are increasingly becoming resistant not just to anti-biotics but also to chlorine and fluorine. Rapid air travel creates much greater mobility for microbes which greatly worsen the epidemiological problems of dispersal. Our centralized meat processing of antibiotic feedlot grain-fed dis-eased meat animals is a disaster waiting to happen. Moreover, our public policy of supporting empty calorie corn products is producing a population of obese malnutrition with attendant immune suppression.
Public works and health together was a wildly successful systems based solution for increased longevity. This increase in longevity was not an advancement made by drugs for individuals. Despite this illustrious history (or perhaps because it is history in a field that values new technological developments of old technology), public health has never been a well paid, or well-heeded, or well-regarded professional specialty. The token nod given to the systemic understanding of disease is seen in low status on the medical totem pole in terms of compensations and professional power given to the subspecialties of environmental health, epidemiology and public health. This is despite the fact that these disciplines are directly related to more statistical improvement in mortality than all the other glamour high paid specialties added together. These few underpaid doctors working in under-financed departments are the front line in confronting systemic toxic influences, such as pandemics, industrial toxins and tobacco. These systemic threats negatively affect entire classes of people and the environment.
The small statistical contribution to modern longevity by Industrial Medicine's actual medicine is limited to the lives saved by antibiotics, smallpox vaccine, insulin and a few other great inventions. These were major wins, but statistically not that important, and not the kind of innovation that can protect us from the increase in most chronic diseases.
In terms of cost-benefit, the systemic improvement of the self-healing capacity of humans is far more efficient than high tech interventions. It is ironic that spending on this proven cost-effective area is inadequate and is dwarfed by the money that goes into drug approaches with marginal success.
The overwhelming majority of Industrial Medicine interventions have not improved mortality, and often not even morbidity. The 4th through 7th leading cause of death in the US is related to adverse effects of correctly prescribed drugs.
The 10 million tonsils removed in the late 20th century, with a few exceptions, did nothing positive for health and arguably did a lot negative for the immune systems' of the kids. Thymus irradiation has been a huge disaster. The examples of a medical industry that applies technology before fully understanding the systemic repercussions, because they don't acknowledge they exist, are numerous. "Do no harm" seems a quaint notion from another era to an Industrial Medicine with heroic measures at their disposal. The premature deploying of medical technology exactly parallels the ever faster application of technology in general before a clear understanding emerges of the environmental effects it will have. This inexorable march under the banner of Progress has been the rule in the West since the Industrial Age. We the people are just Guinea Pigs participating in giant experiments on us all, without our consent. And no one has the job of stopping the experiment if the results start looking bad.
The decades that stretched between the known serious negatives of tobacco and the lukewarm medical and legal sanctions that finally emerged is a lethal case in point. Industrial medicine, as a conservative profession in a Progressive industry was, and still is, in bed with the other economically important industries. Individual doctors who buck this wink and nod cozy relationship are often targeted on trumped up charges of malpractice. Doctors who look for effective solutions outside of the industrial drug process are hounded by medical boards, not by their patients. They are not given Nobel prizes in Medicine, they are not elected to the presidency of the AMA. While the boys in the club that don't rock the political boat, even if they have horrible medical performance records, are shielded by a wall of professional silence. As in all industry, whistle-blowers are ostracized.
Historically, it is common for complacency to develop between two segments of the same ruling elite. As doctors were made an intrinsic part of the power structure the tradeoff was that they not to rock the boat of other powerful economic interests. Except for a few courageous and thoughtful doctors the message was received and is still largely followed. If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.
Chronic Disease, Aging, Drugs, Code of Silence, Corporatized Medicine
Mainstream medicine doesn't have much to offer beyond symptomatic relief in the treatment of many chronic diseases. The number and severity of chronic illnesses, if left uncorrected, even if symptoms are minimized, accumulates rapidly with age. Worse, many of the drugs used to reduce symptoms of the chronic diseases will exacerbate other problems. Until recently the conventional attitude of biomedicine to aging has been primarily to ignore the problem because there is nothing to be done.
In this mainstream medical paradigm being slow, sick, weak and tired, with growing lists of aches and pains and diminished physical and mental function is the inevitable reality of aging.
Carefully note that modern science does not support this fatalistic conclusion, but mainstream medicine assumes it to be correct. Science is a far larger universe than typical mainstream biomedical practice. There is far more health science research done than reaches typical mainstream medical practice which is based almost exclusively on drugs and surgery.
Those who depend on mainstream medicine tend to age into several chronic diseases for which several drugs are prescribed. They often need to take additional drugs to counter adverse effects of the original drugs. The previous attitude of ignoring aging in mainstream medicine has been replaced more recently with recognition that aging baby boomers are a big potential source of income generation. Hence the new big seller drugs are so-called lifestyle and aging related drugs.
At Live Longer Live Stronger we think making aging into an unlimited continuous income generating opportunity is not an ethical approach nor an approach designed to get to the root of the problem. Real prevention is not often found in a drug. Chronic diseases are seldom simple. A drug is always a very simple answer. Unfortunately, complex problems are seldom solved by simplistic answers. The individual doctors do their best, but they too have bought into the fatalistic vision of the inevitability of a slow decent into decrepitude with age.
Conventional biomedicine, invested completely in the biochemical medical model, gives drug companies the job of doing research. Not surprisingly, drug companies only research drug approaches. By definition drugs are single isolated chemicals. Thus medicine has relinquished their vision of health and aging to the drug company's vision of a single molecule for a single problem. The drug model is fine for some simple acute infections. However, it is woefully inadequate to address systemic problems such as complex chronic disease. Neither the FDA or drug corporations acknowledge that the drug approach is, in principle, inappropriate for the majority of complex diseases that Americans suffer from. Drug corporations have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, not to you. Currently, the profit motive and politics is at odds with your true health interest.
As discussed above, modern mainstream medicine (called Industrial Medicine here) has traditionally derived income patching up the individuals damaged by unhealthy products, lifestyles and activities. Historically, as an industry, they have tended to remain silent about the industries that introduce toxins into the environment. Meanwhile, society (in the form of taxes for Medicare and Medicaid) and individuals pay a huge health cost as well as dollar costs for illnesses generated by these industries. The tobacco industry is an obvious example of such long-term collusion that has been belatedly ended after millions of smokers and second-hand smokers have died. The components of the medicine that theoretically deal with these social threats: public health, epidemiology, environmental health, are comparatively poorly funded and have low status in the medical community.
Modern civilization is maintained by activities that create dangers that would not otherwise occur. This requires us to do a risk-benefit analysis of the industries that engage in these activities. Unfortunately, Industrial medicine, instead of acting as a watchdog in the interest of the health of the people, has, as a class, tended to be silent about potential or even known health risks. The decades of silence about asbestos, dental amalgam fillings, tobacco addiction or patent medicine opiate addiction are obvious examples.
Industrial Medicine, by not fulfilling its ethical role of "show me it is safe before you do it", as opposed to "lets treat the individuals who get sick after a technology has made us all Guinea pigs", has skewed the risk-benefit analysis. The risks have been minimized and the benefit overstated. The costs have been passed on to a degraded environment and gene pool--in other words passed on to generations of future suffering for short-term gratification and greed. Historically, this has meant poor worker protection and poor consumer protection. This has meant that the big picture, the damage whole populations suffer or the environment suffers, has been largely ignored by medicine. This is unfortunate because doctors had unprecedented prestige in our society and could have been a force for positive change.
Only through the 19th century Union movement, and Environmentalism in the 20th century, has political voice been given to entire populations of poisoned individuals. Industrial medicine, with the exception of a few courageous researchers, public health workers, and doctors who bucked the code of silence, has not counterbalanced the the economic drum extolling the benefits of progress with a realistic account of the risks.
The argument developed in this website is that the basic concepts that historically gave rise to Industrial medicine that make it very good in treating acute trauma and repairing simple mechanical damage, make it poor at treating diseases due to complex factors such as lifestyle, environment, nutrition, and energetic balance.
Mainstream medicine is damned by a lack of vision and a disconnect with modern science which is moving beyond a reductionistic and biochemistry-only approach to understanding healing. Modern science says humans are complex systems and networks. Emotions and nutrition do matter. Ultra-low-energy biophysics may create an information web larger than our nervous system and critical for healing. Research shows that chronic diseases are complex conditions not improved by Koch's century old reductionist single drug paradigm that was so useful in the area of acute infectious disease.
Nevertheless, pharmaceutical corporations single-mindedly continue to churn out one-drug one-chemical pathway target answers anyway. Even though they don't work well. Moreover, mainstream medicine attacks those who advocate more systemic approaches.
Modern medicine is not lacking intelligent and well-meaning practitioners. They certainly have vast resources those of us researching alternatives can only dream of. A lot of really bright doctors work really hard for their patients. But, as a class, Industrial medicine is in philosophical agreement with those they sometimes need to criticize. Biomedicine is damned by a culture of cozy complicity with these political and economic forces that then bestow upon mainstream medicine the perks of power, prestige and money. Doctors keep their privileged status as long as they behave like industry's pet medicine: as long as mainstream medicine's critiques are quiet enough to ignore and as long as they do not pit their power against the industrial order, i.e, fast food, industrial and residential chemical pollution, toxic body “care” products, amalgam fillings, ubiquitous electromagnetic pollution.
This adversarial relationship between those entrusted with the health of people and those generating wealth need not be a permanent condition. Amory Lovins, et al, in Natural Capitalism, describes a way of thinking to not only make more money with far fewer resources and less or no pollution but far less health impacts, which in turn, makes it even more economical.
But today mainstream medicine still fails to use their power to challenge overuse or inappropriate use of critical drugs. For example, antibiotics given routinely to cattle for a slight increase in growth rate, create drug resistant bacteria in the cows, then in the soil bacteria as manure is spread on soil, then ultimately in the helpful bacteria, then in the pathogenic bacteria humans must then battle. Now some super-resistant germs ignore all of our antibiotics.
Ironically, just as a few brave doctors finally took on Big Tobacco, the move to Big Corporate Managed Care took care of the problem of outspoken powerful doctors. Essentially, managed care and Big Pharma have stolen the vision and application of medicine away from doctors. Doctors are primarily cogs in the drug sales machine with the job of diagnosis and prescribing predetermined drugs (or procedures requiring biomedical devices).
Diagnostically, mainstream medicine's tools often fail to see a problem unless a laboratory test indicates a 'bona fide' disease exists. If they do apply imaging techniques or mass screening lab results to find the problems that they can detect, they sometimes end up creating fictitious diseases, such as pandemic hypercholesterolemia. Many of the interventions, like statin drugs, do more harm than good except to the industries' bottom lines.
For example, the low fat/low cholesterol fad, a gross oversimplification of complex physical processes, has made no improvement on overall mortality from arterial or heart disease. Many fats needed for arterial and heart health have been removed from the recommended diets. Mainstream medicine's approach to the tenuous connection of heart disease to cholesterol has also led to a huge increase in the use of statin drugs. However, these drugs destroy CoQ-10, a necessary enzyme for heart health, resulting in fatigue and heart attacks. Overall, heart disease is not improved with statin use, even though the overall lab numbers improve. Funny, this is not mentioned in the statin ads.
It turns out that oxidized lipoproteins and arterial inflammation are the proximate cause of heart disease. What causes this inflammation of the vessels? Pollutants and fast-food are two promoters of this oxidation.
With the exception of a rare genetic hypercholesterolemia, cholesterol is merely an incidental player in the cascade of post-inflammatory events leading to heart disease.
The ultimate cause, the inflammatory toxins or stresses that lead to heart disease, are not corrected by drugs. Prevention must address these fundamental causative sources. This might mean rocking the boat of some very powerful interests.
In a really cynical twist to this life and death story, the drug corporations have trumpeted that statins also have an anti-inflammatory effect. This marketing mirage is a by-product of the fact that statins also reduce CRP, a chemical marker for inflammation. However, research shows that CRP is produced by the body in the presence of inflammation. Statins do not reduce the underlying inflammatory response, just the marker chemical--CRP. The lab results look better, even if the real condition is not.
Mainstream medicine, in it's quest for identifying a taxonomy of disease is institutionally blind to the continuum of less than optimal function and sub-par health to a variety of sub-clinical organic pathologies. In this view when a person's lab test exceeds a certain number they just suddenly one day have a disease they didn't when the number was not quite exceeded. Then the drug of choice is dispensed indefinitely and that is the end of it. A new biochemically oriented form of medicine called Functional Medicine has a very sophisticated biochemical critique of mainstream industrial biomedicine (see www.functional medicine.org/).
Perhaps the most understandable but ultimately damning factor is mainstream medicine's lack of vision for their own patients. Both patient and doctor are true believers in a better life through chemistry, the stressful high powered fast life has enmeshed both sides of the equation so there is no possibility for change. Smoking, suicide and addictive drug use are higher among doctors and dentists than the already high levels endemic in the population. As a class, mainstream doctors and dentists have completely bought into mainstream materialistic consumer values and display an apathy towards the environment we swim in. Although exceptions occur, most mainstream doctors do not believe they or their patients can change, do not believe they can stop problem behaviors such as smoking and living fast, stressful lives on fast food.
To maintain jobs and income doctors spend on average 7.5 minutes with each patient. It is not surprising that doctors at most may make only passing mention of the habits that are hurting their patients. It takes time to inform and encourage people to change. They don't get paid for talking, just for diagnoses and procedures. They only have time to write a prescription and move on.
We don't get paid for talking with our clients either, but we happily do it. We take whatever time it takes with people who are willing to change.
To be fair to the docs, most people don't want to hear that they have to change a familiar pattern. Why pay to hear someone insist they change? So, to go with the flow of what's easy and profitable, most doctors have relinquished their traditional roles of models and educators.
Contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us if you want a systemic and empowered approach to health and longevity.
Please explore the website to learn more about the East West Healing Arts Center.