Monthly Archives: August 2008

The Healing Process

08/18/08

I think it can be generally conceded that nature is the greatest healer of all. The body’s own homeostatic mechanisms control many functions, leading to natural healing; a healthy immune system is a significant part of that mechanism.

– then there is the placebo effect. If a patient can be psychologically induced to believe that something is proceeding that assists in the healing process, whether it is a pleasant sound, the flashing of bright lights or other external influences, a number of patients will obtain temporary relief which may even become permanent. Patients will improve for a few days or even weeks, allowing the body’s natural healing processes to continue to move forward. From this it can be safely assumed that a large percentage of all patients, no matter what the injury or the disease, will heal spontaneously without any therapy provided – including the placebo effect.

A number of pathologists in their studies have indicated that with all malignancies a spontaneous remission rate of somewhere between 2-5% is reported, again without any treatment whatsoever. Just imagine, cancer cured by the body’s own natural, protective mechanisms. It should also be understood that once chemotherapy or radiation is initiated, the immune system breaks down and is largely destroyed and in many cases this may be more detrimental than the disease itself.

In our society, pharmaceuticals unduly influence all therapeutic approaches. It has been documented by accredited scientific researchers that approximately 80% of all prescriptions written, do more harm than good, not to mention the deleterious unknown effects of the interaction between many medications. Whereas I cannot attest to the accuracy of this comment personally, I always tell patients that the fewer medications they are taking, the better the chance of maintaining good health and obtaining a speedy recovery from illness.

With due respect to the pharmaceutical industry, diabetics cannot survive without insulin, patients suffering from hypothyroidism require thyroxin in order to function normally and many medications are not only useful but essential.

In situations of acute pain, I condone the use of analgesics in sufficient doses until the acute phase has passed. Similarly, I recommend the use of antibiotics, again in adequate doses, if the offending organism can be identified and eradicated using this approach. This does not mean that when a patient has an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus, that this rule should be followed. Indeed, in these instances the use of antibiotics is contraindicated.

Cortisone, probably one of the best medications ever developed, has tremendous value in cases of acute trauma, deficiency states such as Addison’s disease and in the treatment of anaphylactic reactions. Its prolonged use is also justified in a number of chronic systemic illnesses. One must also recognize that after several weeks of use, continued ingestion of this drug can be counterproductive. It is important to understand that many medications are best avoided, particularly if one realizes that NSAIDs are the eighth largest cause of death in patients in the USA, a fact that speaks for itself.

The potential problems associated with the extensive use of the “statin” family of drugs as the best protection against coronary artery disease, almost universally prescribed to reverse atherosclerosis should give pause for reflection. The long-range adverse effects of these medications remain in question, despite the research presented to the medical profession by the pharmaceutical industry. Not only should the long-term effects be studied more thoroughly but also the potential adverse effects on the hepatic, renal and other organ systems.

The healthcare dollars diverted to the pharmaceutical therapy approach should definitely be re-evaluated in light of the hardcore negative evidence emerging from an increasing number of sources. We all need to be aware of the political factors, lobbying and the pursuit of material gain in our society and their role in this scenario. Disturbingly, a disproportionate degree of influence of this type of activity has crept into medical education, in the pharmaceutical industry’s quest for profit. No one to date has attempted to counter this trend.

The inhalation of a variety of medicines, particularly those prescribed by respirologists, should also be monitored and reassessed. It is my observation that these are being utilized too frequently, again with significant adverse effects. This puts the net benefit to patients under the microscope.

As previously stated, a healthy lifestyle, which can be considered preventative medicine is the best approach to the avoidance of health problems. This incorporates a balanced diet, thirty minutes of vigorous daily exercise in addition to the ingestion of certain minerals, vitamins and supplements on a regular basis, together with the complete avoidance of tobacco and alcohol ingestion in moderation. These tenets form the cornerstone for good health and longevity. Moreover, these measures instituted early in life and continued religiously represent a positive expenditure of energy, much like putting a few dollars into a bank account from the moment you earn remuneration in order to ensure your future economic health.

Diseases, nevertheless, will continue to occur whether conferred by genes, environmental influences and other factors not yet recognized. In many of these situations, Low Intensity Laser Therapy is rapidly establishing its value as the preferred therapeutic approach. Wide dissemination of these facts must be encouraged. All schools involved in the education of healthcare professionals should take note and researchers should increase the scope of their scientific studies. At the same time, clinicians must pursue a more aggressive course integrating this technology into their practice in an effort to help millions of patients immediately in a safe, effective manner and at a low cost.