So far we have taken a closer look into our body so that we can get a grasp of how this marvelous machine of ours works. We also have taken a look of what can happen when something goes wrong with it. As I have read some of the feedback this week, I’ve realized that many of you have already started to utilize your new-found understanding to help find ways to fix or prevent problems in your own body. Educating ourselves on how the body works is empowering, but we also need to realize that knowing how the body works and knowing exactly what is wrong doesn’t necessarily give us the information we need to know in order to fix it. If you were to jump off a roof, for example, and sensed that your leg bone had stressed and snapped when you landed, you may understand very well how the bone works and exactly what has gone wrong with it, but you still might not know how to fix it. Medical knowledge tells us that we need to clean up the wound, set the bone in place (with a splint, cast, etc.), then simply rest and wait until the body’s own healing process fixes it. Drinking plenty of fresh water, eating well, exercising wisely, as well as good sleep will most definitely lend to the success of the body’s repair process – time-tested sage advice.
It is always amazing to me how confusing and challenging it seems for us as humans to really get at the principles needed to fix our body when something goes wrong. Thankfully, hundreds of years of good science gradually are providing us with the tools to figure it all out. However, for almost all of us the science seems to be pretty confusing and challenging. Take heart! It is really not difficult or confusing to understand the simple and true principles of the science behind healing. We are all starting to realize that the body is a natural machine, made to respond to the biocompatible elements found around us in nature. We are finding that our bodies are designed to utilize these biocompatible elements to heal itself. The living cells in plants and animals are the perfect “pharmacies” to provide these elements. So why not use science to search for things that are biocompatible (safe) and also bioactive (effective) to fix our bodies?
In our search for solutions, consider this: Science is a simply a proven method for discovering truth. The basic principles of science tend to yield results. The scientific method is universal and well known: (1) Study current knowledge on a topic and then take a guess on how something that we don’t understand works (make a hypothesis), (2) Design an experiment to determine if your guess was right, and (3) Take what you have learned, document it and return to step #1. The nice thing about this process is that anyone can do it, and we can get better at it the more we practice. Science is certainly not limited to scientists. I recall that even as a small boy I experimented to find the recipe for making the best “baking soda slurries” to relieve my itchy hives. I was highly motivated to find the answer. I did so, even though I did not know the all the science behind why it worked. Scientists, to our credit, have developed great tools and knowledge bases to better determine experimental methods that prove out hypotheses. Scientists must also come up with their own vocabulary to describe the things they discover. This is why us scientists like to spend so much time in libraries and laboratories and why we might sound confusing to the layperson. But people don’t have to be scientists to understand the truths that are being revealed. We really should learn to talk to one another, scientists and laypeople alike, for more clarity and understanding on how to solve global problems.
As far as the science of healing goes, we are often motivated to find the best way to fix whatever is not working in our body. Just like in the broken leg example, often the best (and only) way to heal is simply providing the body the basic things it needs to fix itself and then just to wait for the body’s own built-in processes to do the job. In principle, healing really isn’t that complicated. Only if the body truly needs more assistance, then will further intervention be necessary. Please note: pain relievers, cough suppressants, cold medicines, and many other types of symptom relievers can substantially interfere with the natural healing process rather than help it out. These meds may lessen the symptoms, but many of them will only artificially make you “feel” like healing has happened, they can form strong dependencies and effectively harm you. It is evident from basic science that the most important tools the body needs to actually heal itself are a good safe environment, good hydration, good nutrition, exercise and sleep. Life has been doing this successfully for millions of years without medicine, as far as we know.
It is advantageous, once in a while, to use the knowledge we have gained through medical science to help our body fix a problem. It is also wise to carefully consider the efficacy of the methods that we use. The absolute best way is by first naturally assisting the body to exercise its own power to fix the problem and then to rely on invasive intervention only when it is the last alternative after the body has exhausted all of its available resources. The body is capable of doing incredible things when given the chance. In fact, if we think about it enough, we will realize that it really is up to the power of healing we have inside our own body to get us well. Medications and procedures can really only assist when needed. The big question is: How do we give our own body the best chance to fix the problem?
The current medical system in the “westernized” world makes things a bit more confusing and difficult to understand. Most of the system is focused on finding a comprehensive diagnosis to determine what exactly is wrong with our body (and to give it a name) and then to prescribe a standard treatment (if one exists) to fix the problem. One complication in this system is that there is usually an ever expanding list of standard treatments available and it is the sole responsibility of the doctors to decide which one of the all of them is the best for us. Doctors have limited knowledge; there are literally hundreds of years of accumulated knowledge available in the field, far too much for any one individual or group to digest. Another complication is that the most expensive treatments often provide the doctor with more lucrative financial returns and thus bias the decision.
When we are sick enough to go to a hospital, we desperately want to find a way to fix the problem. Despite all of the accumulated knowledge we have, there is relatively little information available to help guide us to find the best treatment for any individual case. Often we are obliged to be at the mercy and bias of medical professionals. It is very common that different doctors, hospitals, insurances, care systems, etc. have vastly varying treatment and pricing strategies for even the most common diagnoses. If you were to walk into a hospital with appendicitis, for example, there is no way to predict precisely what would be done to you and how many years it would take for you to pay off the bill. When the benefits and costs for each of the different treatment options are made to be competitive, so that the best treatment “wins”, then we will begin to see real progress. This evolution has already taken place in the information technology field, where the best gadget wins and has driven extensive advances in electronics.
I feel a bit uneasy about pointing out weaknesses in the medical system when most of the knowledge that I have learned so far, and shared with you in my blog, has come through extensive medical research financed by our present medical system. This accumulated knowledge is extremely valuable. When the health care system is realigned to offering us the best solutions available, we will see enormous advancements. I have personally worked with nanotechnologies that can detect and disable parasitic, bacterial and viral pathogens, nanoparticles that target cancer cells, cell signaling technologies that enhance cell signaling detection, repair and replacement, and nutritional technologies that naturally strengthen cellular processes. These technologies represent solutions that we have in our hands to help our bodies to fix themselves more efficiently. The benefits are extraordinary and help solve world-wide health problems. It is imperative that we educate the world on how our body works so we all can grasp the full potential of such promising technologies. May heaven help us.