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Medical Politics Page'sTable of Contents
1) A New Medical Paradigm: Knowledge Based Energy Medicine
2) A New Medical Oath: Do No Harm to Humans or the Earth that Sustains Us All
3) Going Back So We Can Find a Better Way Forward
4) The Myth of Modern Longevity and Primitive Premature Death
5) Industrial Food: Shelf Life is More Important than Your Life or the Environment's Life
6) Industrial Medicines Failed Social Responsibility: Or How Greenbacks Trumped Guts
7) When We May Have Got It Right: Lessons Learned
A New Medical Paradigm: Knowledge Based Energy Medicine
A new medical paradigm is competing with Industrial Medicine. I call it Knowledge Based Energy Medicine (KBEM). KBEM takes advantage of the information stored in the ultra-low energy biophysics of the body.
Both Industrial medicine and KBEM share a deep interest in Science. Industrial Medicine has the mechanics of Newton and selects from a limited slice of the scientific pie. In contrast, the unique aspects of KBEM are rooted in the science and mathematics of self-organizing systems, complexity and chaos, game theory and ecology and traditional Chinese notions that everything is vibrating energetically, patterns hold information and systems behave knowledgeably. Anticipating fractals, Chinese medicine observed long ago "As Below, So Above" and vice versa. KBEM selects from a different menu of the wide purview of science.
Ideally, KBEM will not restricted its vision to discoveries that show an immediate financial benefit to an existing industrial/corporate state. Although, someday, if it achieves hegemony and a significant commercial industrial base, it will also be subject to these problems of success-- becoming the successor to the current medical paradigm.
KBEM is Life and Patient centered. If sees the uniqueness of the individual within the commonalities of our biology. It recognizes we are more than chemical machines and that our energetic dance of geometrical biochemistry. We are a complex energetic intelligence as well as a biochemical computer. Energetic medicine assumes that all life shares an ability to communicate it's internal status. It is both ethical and medically useful to learn how to listen properly.
This intelligence is attempting, as you read, to adapt to the Brave New Industrial world. But the many antithetical aspects humans have introduced into the environment, almost as if with the purpose of making humans weaker and accelerating pathogenic species rates of evolution, make adaptation difficult and often a source of a great deal of sickness of the body, heart and mind. With qualifications, the analogies that come to mind to describe KBEM is that of computers and networks vs. the industrial medicine's Machine Age symbol, clockworks. Both share Science and Technology in common, but KBEM challenges them to fulfill more then just economic expectations of the elite. Innovations need to be introduced in a human time frame so they can show safety and prove they are truly empowering to the wetware, the people. Not just biochemically enhancing but energetically and emotionally empowering. Technology must be judged in terms of whether it builds the richness of community over the long term. Or does it breaks community into isolated distracted and disempowered, and all to often sick fragmented individuals.
A New Medical Oath: Do No Harm to Humans or the Earth that Sustains Us All
The invisible hand of the market alone is not adequate safeguard to protect our health or environment. Governmental regulatory boards are needed but are corruptible. One check and balance on much of the activity of humans must be a medical community that sees the whole person, not just a machine that consumes and assembles. KBEM offers the ability and desire to download how our bodies react to a new technology or substance. We have access to feedback from not only humans but much of the animate world if we are willing to decode and value the intelligence embedded in the energetic physiology of Life. Industrial medicine that has been co-opted by the ruling elite into seeing only certain types of sicknesses and ignores the larger environmental context of those diseases. Thus, with a few exceptions, it has proved itself useless as a check and balance on a industrial/corporate hegemony. When regulatory watchdog agencies such as the FDA are staffed from the ranks of such a dysfunctional and disabled medical community and from representatives of corporate industry itself, the fox is watching the henhouse. Ironically, they don't even always know they are the fox, which makes it that much more insidious and effective.
A sea change from the permissive stance of Industrial medicine towards introduction of harmful industrial practices is needed. However, a non-adversarial relationship with capitol and industry is possible when industry adopts the kind of ecologically intelligent approach described by the Lovins and Hawkings in Natural Capitalism. This approach makes complete economic, environmental and medical sense. It outlines a path towards, reduction in the 90-95% waste found in almost every product, a radical improvement in energy and resource efficiency, the employment of industrial design from the point of view of biological mimicry.
As Jared Diamond documents in his book Collapse, the choices we make as a society at this watershed peak oil/global warming period can either hasten or avoid a massive collapse. A global collapse would kill billions of people and further degrade the environment and other life forms.
It is a medical, moral and economic imperative that we act with unprecedented Star formation-like focus to make these changes, now. The ecological full life-cycle impact, from component selection to composting or recycling, of every introduced product must be incorporated into the industrial design. This is how nature does it and we had best learn quickly. Medicine can be a partner in a healthy new industrial model, or continue to be an apologist. At least until the inevitable collapse.
Going Back So We Can Find a Better Way Forward
Subsistence cultures produce healthier humans, and the argument in Guns, Steel and Germs, also by Jared Diamond, suggests those nearly extinct cultures produced more intelligent humans, as well. Many of the tribes figured out the cultural technology to keep them healthy over tens of thousands of years. Some encountered there own cultural collapse.
When Weston Price, DDS, studied indigenous subsistence cultures across the world in the early 20th century, he found people with great bone structure, no osteoporosis, and no cavities, living vigorously into old age. Interestingly, as these peoples adopted the western industrial monoculture habits of processed foods each succeeding generation was less healthy. That is not to say that their health or longevity was ideal, but they were not creating successively weaker and more vulnerable children with every generation as we have been doing recently.
Price studied the dental arch as a case in point. After introduction of Western culture, especially food, with each generation the arch of the once healthy tribal people became narrower and was finally unable to accommodate all of our teeth. The dental bone structure of industrialized people are further down the path of degenerating function following the earlier industrial introduction of so-called food.
Pottenger (www. price-pottenger.org/) followed up these extensive and detailed observations by Price in a series of experiments on cats. Pottenger's cats showed the same rapid degeneration in health in general and in the dental arch in particular brought on by just 3 generations of lousy nutrition (the typical American diet). It is most sobering to consider that it took 20 generations of impeccable nutrition to undo 3 generations of crummy nutrition.
How many of us need to have "wisdom teeth" removed, or need orthodontia because there is not enough room in our mouth? The phenomenon, rarely seen in archeological digs and except in relationship to incestuous in-breeding among dynastic lines or small populations, is now a commonplace for all of us. We are creating a genetic sub-varient of humans that is dependent on periodontal surgery. If the collapse is not avoided by intelligent immediate foresight and action then our inheritors may not be viable enough to live to adulthood as they incur tooth abscesses. Perhaps the removal of our wisdom teeth has a chilling poetic-tragic logic.
Of course, deleterious changes are not limited to our oral-facial bone structure. That is simply an easily identifiable change that has occurred with chilling rapidity. One obvious additional degradation in our species that is likely attributed to our early stage of Industrial sophistication is a declining fertility rate. Other manifestations of negative changes (few are likely to be positive as we are not subject to evolutionary pressures unless the genetic and epigenetic changes are so drastic as to prevent reproductive success) will no doubt unfold and put additional pressures on a medical system that is already too expensive for many and is driving businesses away in our new, certainly short-lived, corporate version of globalism.
The Myth of Modern Longevity and Primitive Premature Death
Once again we return to the subject of the many myths around longevity and medicine. One author I came across years ago argued that our modern self-congratulatory belief that our longer life span in the 20th century was a result of industrial medicine is a myth that ignores some important considerations. It seems to be some good marketing and lucky timing that modern medicine was credited with increasing our cultures life span in the 20th century.
We know that dense large human populations living closely together with livestock are great ways to create new and nasty bugs (viruses, bacteria, mycobacterium, fungi, etc.). Public health and hygiene seems to be the real unsung heroes. Before basic hygienic public health procedures were instituted at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, infectious epidemics were common. Children, with immature immune systems were especially vulnerable. Long before western industrial medicine had any effective treatments, such as antibiotics, a massive decline in childhood deaths from such epidemics had already shifted the life span actuarial tables. Obviously a relatively few childhood deaths at age 1,2, or 3 quickly brings the average life span down for everybody. Moreover, urban child birthing practices were not as good as previous ages of midwifery based practices. Although the survival of healthy babies is a good thing, it is not a success for industrial medicine.
When you do not include these childbirth and childhood epidemic deaths (related to unhygienic and overcrowded living conditions, often with urban malnourishment thrown in) then the average life span is not much different than our own. In other words, after the impact of public health policies was put in place early in the last century, before western medicine's miracle drugs or vaunted surgical prowess arose, most of the gains in life span western societies gained were already scored.
Modern studies do not show that the practice of industrial biomedicine increases life span statistically, though it has gotten all the credit for the increase. Certainly on an individual basis, lives are saved. Emergent care in industrial medicine is a especial good. Given the large number of injuries from industrial and farm machinery, modern warfare, and vehicular injuries the industrial world produces this is a natural area of expertise. This area also fits in better with the philosophical assumptions of patients as machines with broken levers and cogs.
The problem for the defense of industrial medicine is that balanced against the individual successes in emergent care and antibiotics are many the people for whom the cure is worse than the disease. Most do not know that they have suffered from an iatrogenic disease. A huge number of people die from properly (not including improperly prescribed, mind you) prescribed pills. Depending on the way the numbers are crunched this alone is typically considered between the 4th and 7th worst cause of death in the U.S. One of the primary investigators at Harvard medical school conducting these morbidity studies suggests that if you include how industrial medicine acts as an apologist for industry and how its focus on the "anti-drugs", antibiotics, antacids, etc. is often just symptom reduction while ignoring strategies to deal with root cause, then the real numbers might put industrial biomedicine as the number ONE cause of death.
The elderly of the last century did not tend towards the degenerative diseases pandemic in our older population. People today may be living a long time, but they and their families are not always happy about it. They are living chronologically longer but often debilitated and mentally impaired.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's join the long list of degenerative diseases that were so rare as to be considered medical oddities just a century or 2 ago. When Virchow did his anatomical examinations that led him to believe heart disease was a predominately inflammatory illness of the circulatory system, no one much cared because doctors, back in his day, seldom saw a case of heart disease! Now it is the number 2 killer.
Industrial Food: Shelf Life is More Important than Your Life or the Environment's Life
What has changed? Certainly the mass makers of food are more interested in shelf life than in your life. New chemical toxins are introduced willy nilly into air and water and into food chains. The Mind-Body section discusses the disintegration of society and the implications for mental emotional stress. This section looks at the philosophical collusion between Industrial pollution, assembly line food production, and industrial medicine. Other factors could be included as well. The bottom line is that we need to learn how to stay in optimum health individually and to challenge the social practices that are stealing our birthright of health from us and our children.
The spin-off problems associated with industrial pollution and overpopulation are staggering and range from antibiotic resistance from overuse and using antibiotics as a livestock feed additive. Although, finally, individual practitioners of industrial medicine belatedly urge caution and have made real gains in reducing antibiotic prescriptions to those with viral illness, at the political-industrial level the AMA refuses to use its considerable influence to stop antibiotic overuse in agribusiness. This may be because the pharmaceutical companies, one of two core industries interwoven in industrial medicine, are making huge profits from the sale of antibiotics to add to livestock feed for a minimal increase in weight gain. Resistance to the antibiotics occurs quickly. This accelerated evolution of microbes works well for a planned obsolescence for their antibiotics. After all the patent that protects the pharmaceutical company's right to a drug lasts only a few years. Who cares if it is useless at the end of that period?
This observation leads to the next. Our non-organic food supply is chemically toxic and the feed-lot approach to meat not only exposes cows to hormones, antibiotics, and food mixed with chicken feces and offal, which includes brains, (to increase protein content and weight gain) which exposes cattle to mad cow's strangely folding proteins. By fattening up cows on grains, they were not biologically designed to eat (they were designed to eat grass) the meat and dairy products show shifts in oil content from normal healthy omega 3's to an anti-nutritive anti-food transfats. These grain-fed feed-lot cattle are also too high in omega 6 for their own health or ours when we consume the altered saturated fats and toxic transfats. A once healthy beef product has become linked to heart disease and cancer. A new Holstein hybrid is better at digesting grain, but is losing the ability to live on grass. There is no reason to believe it or its oils will be any healthier than non-hybids.
A similar degradation in dairy products is also seen. Look for grass fed beef for your table. The additional problems of homogenization and pasteurization, which are ostensibly about prevention but are really about shelf life, not your life, further degrade the dairy supply. If you can find a raw milk supplier with healthy grass fed cows and a hygienic dairy, then buy there. Goat milk is always low or no grain and can also be a good dairy source, assuming that you have not developed intolerance to casein and whey proteins while eating denatured versions after pasteurization. This is very common. We have a goat dairy and have had to desensitize our family to dairy from just the occasional exposure to industrial milk.
Industrial Medicines Failed Social Responsibility: Or How Greenbacks Trumped Guts
Industrial medicine, doctors with their special and respected position in society could be challenging these problems as real health concerns. Why aren't the medical departments up in arms about the lousy food, toxic environments and government subsidies of of unhealthy behaviors and products?
Given that the average doctor gets a total of 1 hour of nutrition, not one hour a week, one hour total in medical school, part of the answer is self-evident. Moreover, dietitians type nutrition is actually based on the assumption that processed industrial food is just great. It requires extra effort to try to recover at most hospitals when they feed patients empty calorie meals designed by dietitians. Fortunately, there is a trend for better nutritional education as opposed to industry based propaganda.
It would be great if these obvious concerns about the health problems in our food supply and in a toxic environment were areas of agreement. The science, for the most part, is clear. But the tobacco companies and sugar industry still trot out the same old empty confusing, "not enough is known to be sure" arguments used successfully in tobacco, asbestos and global warming disinformation. This strategy is designed to protect them from legal actions and to avoid an understandable public outcry if the truth were known. Beware of the plausible sounding arguments for "tort reform", although I hate to see lawyers making megabucks on misery too, they are one of the few forces containing outrageous and dangerous corporate practices, because, in the short-term, it makes/saves money. In the long-term they will lose everything. But if the economic incentives for corporations were structured for health and the environment we might see a very different world.
If these easy issues of removing toxins from the food, air and water could be agreed upon then we could get on to discussing that real big picture catastrophes that are eventually going to hit.
We could even move on to rethinking, from a health point of view, the larger directions the industrialized world is moving in. What is the next most pressing health concern after global warming, habitat degradation and massive species die-off? Well if we get that all under control we might move down the line of inevitable catastrophes that await us. What about establishing an asteroid watch and diversion option, a charting and removal contingency for the big one that will eventually share time-space coordinates of spaceship Earth? What about the microbe jumping that occurs as human overpopulation encroaches on other species that gives us emergent nasty bugs such as Ebola and Hanta viruses? With the removal of geographical and time barriers with ship and plane travel, the clock is ticking on the next contagion. What about the loss of biodiversity as the agricultural green revolution bulldozes the remaining forests? How many amazing herbs and substances will be lost from knowledge forever?
If these seem removed from the practice of medicine then this is exactly my point. It is removed from the concerns of industrial medicine which is the product of and in support of the industrial revolution's world view. They share a world view with those who have done much to increase the availability of material goods but at a huge cost. We need checks and balances of concern about people and the environment to evolve our industry to new more intelligent level.
In the emergent new paradigm, these are critical medical-ecological concerns. The headlong rush to development, to a rudderless market driven economic Progress, unchecked by wise elders, distress signs from the canaries in the mine, or a transparent democracy, is leading to very stupid choices being made be the dominant species. That would be us.
Industrial medicine shares complicity, if not blame, as the apologist for industry, for focusing on the individuals that have been damaged in this industrialization while ignoring the broad class effects on entire populations until they are in crisis. The tepid opposition to tobacco by modern industrial biomedicine until very late in the game is symptomatic that the profession has forgotten the basic rule in their Hippocratic oath: do no harm. By commission or omission, do no harm.
Humans often got it right in the pre-history phase lasting 1.5-2 million years. Price found the the aged in subsistence cultures were usually strong and mentally alert. The elders were respected and active parts of the greater culture that sustained the sacred knowledge that kept their cultures healthy and vital. Can we bring the joys of communication and education, global music and culture, and still treasure our sacred knowledge, the wisdom of 2 million years of trial and error?
When We May Have Got It Right: Lessons Learned
The elders that rise to the top of our society are all too often the same people who are economically invested in maintaining the unhealthy status quo. They are not all invidious and greedy people consciously poisoning our futures. Many are often bright, personable and caring people. But they are not returning obscene CEO salaries of millions and tens of millions of dollars with percs. The fact that most of our cultures elders, the power elite, allow the poisoning to continue with no protest or organization to remedy the situation is a sad commentary. They are older but no wiser.
Civilization, a recent experiment only about 10,000 years old, is clever, but when money or power become the raison d'etra of the kleptocracy that commands and directs, when our once active democratic citizenry becomes manipulable, dull, consumer sheep, then our species may not long survive the kleptocracy's cultural and health depredation for short-term personal gain. We will collapse and we will deserve our fate. Many Cassandra's have sounded the warning, many have failed to believe they needed to take clear action.
I believe we are not going to end up lemmings heading out to sea to a short-sighted oblivion, but wake-up, our feet are already in the surf.