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Modern Medicine vs Alternative Healing:





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Volume 1 No. 8




EDITORIAL

Modern Medicine v.
Alternative Healing:


Can This
Marriage
Be Saved?

In November's issue on healing, we spoke purely from an energetic, ''mind over matter'' perspective. This time, we focus on natural healing methods that make use of physical devices and substances.[1]

Our biggest challenge for this issue was the need to select a few from among the vast array of healing tools and remedies that exist today. Some, like acupuncture, have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. Others – such as color and light therapy – have made their greatest strides during the past century. And still others have not yet been time-tested, yet they bear mentioning because of the fantastic results they seem to produce.

Because our selection could not be inclusive, we have also added a listing of several other promising new healing tools and we will be updating both the list and our articles as time goes on.

All of these alternative approaches have one thing in common: They exist because modern medicine simply isn't working very well, and, in some cases, appears to be causing a great deal of harm. It is this failure of mainstream medicine, I believe, that has led to the current surge of interest in natural alternatives, not only in the United States but around the world. And I think it's important that we all work positively to support the natural healing trend, so that the ''official'' medical economic interest groups will not succeed in their campaign to take from us our freedom of choice in caring for our own bodies.

Choice versus Coercion

The whole subject of evaluating, investigating, and choosing one's own healing modality – as the entire field of natural healing suggests that we do – stands in stark contrast to the basic approach of modern medicine. There, the course of treatment is usually decided on by the doctor. Even where choices are offered, most mainstream doctors do not usually include alternative approaches in determining what is best for their patients.

The keyword here, again, is ''choice.'' Because there are so many new healing alternatives and tools, and because no one (and definitely not the Spirit of Ma'at) is in a position to evaluate what will work in any given situation, the decision as to which approach is the best for you remains where it has always belonged – in your hands.[2]

And yet the medical profession as a whole and the American Medical Association in particular are lobbying very hard to take away our freedom to use natural healing methods and medicines without a medical prescription.[3] Does this medical approach make sense? Obviously, it seems to make sense with respect to the financial health of doctors, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry. But is it going to result in better health care for the people?

The following statement, ironically enough, can be found at the American Medical Association's own website. It blatantly proves that the ridiculous attempt of the medical community to control natural medicines is purely from financial concerns and truly not from caring about potential risks to patients.

The House of Delegates reaffirmed its interest in FDA regulation of supplements and herbal remedies in response to continued physician concern about their potential risks to patients. ... Industry representitives took exception with such statements, citing data that while prescription drugs kill about 106,000 people each year, and injure another 2.1 million, only about 16 deaths annually have been linked to dietary supplements, according to a statement issued by the National Nutritional Foods Association.[4] [The emphasis is ours—Ed.]

The Demise of Modern Medicine

For the past century we have been encouraged to believe – and many still do believe – that today's M.D. knows more about healing than anyone who has ever walked the earth. Many of us think that a doctor's decision about our health – based as it is on hi-tech diagnostic equipment and scores of laboratory tests – is the most informed healing decision that has ever been available to human beings in the history of the world.

And yet it becomes increasingly evident that this worshipful view of modern medical practice is very far from the truth. After more than a hundred years of research, medical science has come up bankrupt when dealing with diseases like cancer, AIDS, Ebola, and many, many others. And as for the diseases which antibiotics once cured, many have simply developed more virulent strains which no longer can be reached by pharmaceutical drugs.

As a result, according to Alternative Medicine.com, in 1990...
Americans made about 425 million visits to providers of so-called unconventional medicine, exceeding the number of visits to all U.S. primary care physicians, and spending approximately $13.7 billion out of pocket.
And that was just the beginning.

A 1998 Journal of the American Medical Association article written by David Eisenberg, et al., of Harvard Medical School, told the medical community that one in three adults uses CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) therapies, such as chiropractic, herbs, homeopathy and acupuncture. The report also noted that out-of-pocket expenditures for CAM are estimated to be $27 billion annually.[5]

On average, Americans who use CAM services spend about $500 per year on out-of-pocket expenses and visit a CAM provider more than 10 times each year. Even more significant, there were 630 million visits to CAM providers in 1997, as compared to 430 million visits to primary-care physicians in the same year.[6]

Pharmaceutical Drugs and Nature's Pharmacopia

It's common knowledge now that the over-use of antibiotics was a double-edged sword that is now turning back upon us. As we mention above, it's been widely reported that where antibiotics are concerned, the gains seemingly made in the past were at the expense of encouraging stronger and more lethal strains of pathogens that now resist all attempts to stop them.

You would think that a doctor who has sworn "at least to do no harm" would rejoice at the discovery of natural and less harmful healing modalities, but nothing could be further from the true situation. Instead, for years, we have all watched as the medical community ridiculed and belittled various alternative methods of healing – not because they had proof that these methods didn't work, but simply because natural methods could not be controlled, and even if they could, there was no money in it.

The use of alternative herbal substances in place of antibiotics is a case in point. A single example will serve here:

In the Chinese pharmacopia, dandelion root is considered to be one of the most powerful substances on earth, cleansing the blood and the liver. Can you imagine how much money it would cost the medical profession if people actually started recovering from ''incurable'' liver diseases, rather than dying after years of allopathic treatment followed by days or weeks on life support? And if they achieve this recovery in part by drinking tea made from the weeds on their front lawn?
But now that the sick and dying are no longer funneling their life savings into allopathic medicine in the same numbers as before, hospitals and doctors are financially strained to the limits. And in response, as we have shown, they are lobbying to control alternative health care and the natural products themselves, trying to pass laws that would take Nature's herbs away from us and put them into the hands of doctors.

I hope nobody ever really proves that foods can cure disease. If they do, the FDA will start requiring a doctor's prescription for us to go grocery shopping. –Anon.

If it were possible, somebody, for financial gain, would be trying to regulate the very air we breathe. Only our awareness and understanding can create a more hopeful course for the future.

Modern Medicine Can Be Dangerous

Many people use alternative healing because they have actually become afraid to see a doctor or enter a hospital. And with good reason. For it is not only official medicine's inability to solve our health problems that is involved, but also the overwhelming statistics of ''accidental'' deaths from malpractice and incompetence.

According to Dr. J. Mercola, who wrote the book Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 250,000 Deaths Every Year (7/30/00), there are 250,000 iatrogenic (i.e. doctor-caused) deaths every year. He says it breaks down to:

  • 12,000 – unnecessary surgery
  • 7,000 – medication errors in hospitals
  • 20,000 – other errors in hospitals
  • 80,000 – infections in hospitals
  • 106,000 – non-error, negative effects of drugs.[7]

Two hundred and fifty thousand deaths in a single year by medical doctors is almost five times the number of combat deaths in the entire ten-year history of the Vietnam War.[8] In that same period of time, there were approximately two million five hundred thousand medical deaths in the United States alone, and no one talks about it. And this figure does not consider the people who were harmed, but did not die, which would be many times greater.

Not everyone uses all of Dr. Mercola statistics, especially the one on ''non-error'' negative effects from drugs (106,000). But these deaths are still the responsibility of the medical community, and so we have included them. Even without this statistic, however, iatrogenic death in hospitals is in excess of 100,000 per year.

For a definitive dose of reality on this subject, sweetened with a bit of humor, let's look at what Rep. Traficant said to the United States House of Representatives on July 26, 2000:
Mr. Speaker, accidental deaths caused by doctors and hospitals in America reached 120,000 per year. Meanwhile, gun deaths have dropped 35 percent. In fact, accidental gun deaths dropped to 1,500 last year.

Think about it. We have got hospitals slicing and dicing American people like Freddie Kruger, and Congress is passing more gun laws. Beam me up. There is something wrong in America when one is 80 times more likely to be killed by a doctor than Smith & Wesson. Think about it, 80 to 1. Maybe we need a gun in surgery.
And it's not only accidents and errors in the use of accepted treatments that are at issue here. For although it seems unbelievable to think that a doctor might prescribe an expensive and unnecessary course of treatment simply to make more money, the following example illustrates that this is just what's happening – and on a truly epidemic basis.

Staggering Increase in Caesarean Births

Before the use of prenatal ultrasound, Caesarean sections were used in fewer than two percent of all births. This figure varied from country to country, but it was very low and had always been low, ever since we began keeping records on these matters. Yet today in the United States that figure has risen to exceed 20 percent average, and in some US hospitals it exceeds 40 to 60 percent. In the August 29, 2000 Associated Press article ''Caesareans on the Rise,'' by Lauran Neergaard (see International Cesarean Awareness Network), Ms. Neergaard states: ''Now, with Caesareans inching back up to 22 percent of U.S. births, the nation's leading obstetricians' group is issuing new guidelines to reduce unnecessary C-sections and reserve the surgery for mothers and babies who truly need it.''

How did such a stupefying statistic ever become reality? It's simply because today a doctor can choose to interpret the so-called evidence of prenatal ultrasound to justify the operation. And although there is absolutely no conceivable medical reason for the wholesale replacement of natural birth with a surgical procedure, there are many reasons that have nothing to do with the health and safety of mother or child. First of all, since an operation is much more costly than a natural birth, the doctor and the hospital both make more money that way. And, unlike natural birth, delivery by C-section, when scheduled ahead of time, never gets the doctor out of bed in the middle of the night.

And so, in order to increase the financial gain and convenience of doctors and hospitals, a young woman facing childbirth for the first time has one chance in five (and sometimes much higher) that her baby will be ''ripped untimely'' from her womb.[9]

This is but one example of the way in which many modern physicians almost inconceivably abuse the legal powers they have already achieved. And these are the people who are trying to take away from us even more of our legal rights to choose our own health care treatment.

Can This Marriage Be Saved? Canada Shows the Way

Can we hope to create a good marriage between alternative and mainstream medicine? Could we perhaps make the best of both worlds? Even, perhaps, might we not create something new from both that will serve us better than either could do alone?

The Canadian government in Alberta has recently made an aggressive landmark decision to deal with this question. Through unprecedented legislatiaon, they have made it possible and practical for Canadian medical doctors to use alternative methods in conjunction with or instead of procedures validated by their own medical association. This new Canadian law protects doctors from legal prosecution by the government, insurance companies, or their own profession if they choose to use alternative modalities. The new law also allows alternative healers to continue practicing their professions as before.[10] Thus, the people of Canada now have more health-care choices than ever before.

From an article by Michael Downey, The Toronto Star, February 28, 1999, found at the Health Lobby website, "A number of North American jurisdictions – eight American states and Alberta – have enacted legislation protecting doctors who practice complementary medicine from charges by their licensing bodies. (Alternative and environmental medicine looks for environmental contributors to illness, using nutritional supplements to build up the body's immune system, while strongly emphasizing prevention of disease and patient involvement.)"

Contrast this to what is happening in Florida. The Florida legislature is trying to pass a bill that would make it illegal for any person other than a licensed M.D. to practice any form of alternative healing whatsoever.[11] This would mean that even hands-on healing, as practiced by many Christian churches, would be illegal. If this law goes into effect in Florida, it will create a virtual medical dictatorship in that state, solving no old problems and creating many new ones. The medical community will suffer even more than it has in the past, as people leave Florida to find the forms of healing they desire.

The eight American states that have followed the Canadian example will help to reinstill confidence in the American Medical Association. But the AMA seems to be going in the direction that Florida has chosen. If we allow this to happen – if we allow our health-care freedoms to be legislated away – I think that we will then see in this country a loss of confidence, not only in the medical profession but in government itself, that may be greater and more devastating than anything we have yet experienced.



Like the people of Canada, the people of the United States and the world are going to have to insist upon the right to choose whom they consult in health matters, and what treatments are used. Our bodies belong to us, and we all need the right to make decisions based upon our own beliefs.

We at the Spirit of Ma'at hope that our information will help you to make better decisions about health – your own, and that of those you love.[12]

In love and service,

Drunvalo

Sources:

  1. There is, of course, a crossover between energetic healing and the use of healing tools – some practitioners, for example, use guided imagery in conjunction with other, more physical modalities. We will discuss this aspect where it applies.
  2. Also remember, however, that many of the things we need most are found in the areas we tend to avoid – they are missing from our lives for just this reason. So if you decide to take your own body's well-being into your own hands, this ''avoidance factor'' deserves consideration.
  3. See, for example, ''AMA Pushes Federal Regulation of Dietary Supplements,'' Stephanie Stapleton, American Medical News July 1999, AMA website. See also ''Professional Discipline Actions in Selected States,'' Monica Miller, February 3, 1997, Health Lobby); ''You Don't Have to Be Sick,'' Burton Goldberg, Alternative Medicine.com.
  4. ''AMA Pushes Federal Regulation of Dietary Supplements'', Stapleton, cited above.
  5. ''Trends in Alternative Medicine Use in the United States, 1990-1997,'' Harvard website.
  6. From "More HMO's Covering Alternative Treatments and Complementary Care," Laura Daily, June 30, 1999, Medscape Article.
  7. See mercola.com.
  8. ''In Memory Plaque Project Honors Post-War Casualties,'' Nancy Nichols Jagelka, Pentagram staff writer, February 4, 2000 Pentagram article.
  9. ''Attendant, place and timing, and the use of obstetric interventions of U.S. births change over past decade,'' fact-sheet of the National Center for Health Statistics, December 2, 1999, National Center for Health Statistics website; ''Ob-gyn: Let women choose C-sections,'' Deborah L. Shelton, American Medical news staff, December 13, 1999 AMA website; the quote is from Shakespeare's Macbeth, where Macduff is said to have been ''from his mother's womb / untimely ripped.''
  10. ''Restoring the Status of an Icon: A Talk with Canada's Minister of Health,'' John K. Igelhart, May 1, 2000 Medscape website.
  11. House Bill 0591, Florida 2000 Legislature Official Website of FL Legislature.
  12. If you have special knowledge of other alternative healing tools than the ones in this issue, you might want to contact us about submitting an article of your own, as we will be adding more articles to this issue as time goes on.


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1 comment:

albina N muro said...

If it were possible, somebody, for financial gain, would be trying to regulate the very air we breathe. Only our awareness and understanding can create a more hopeful course for the future. σομπες pellet

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