Natural or Chemical?

I shared this link on my facebook wall.


I then included this quote from the article:

“Are we in danger of seeing boyhood itself as a disorder?”


The comments that followed were notable in that they came primarily from individuals who either work within the pharmaceutical business, or otherwise support it exclusively.


One of these comments was from a mother addressing her son; where she commented that though she had medicated her (now grown son), she was only following conventional wisdom of the day.


Personally, my parents too did things that they now look back on and wonder, ‘What was I thinking’.   And recently, this was part of a conversation I had with my father (who is 79); I told him, “You did what was best at the time, coupled with your own knowledge at the time.  Don’t fault yourself for that, because I certainly don’t.”


My father has long been physically aware (first as a kid, then in the military), so has been a lifelong commitment for him.   Today he is strong, healthy, and mentally alert.   He eats right, exercises daily, is not on medication, and continues to follow the latest natural health news.


And that is a field that one must constantly stay informed on, for it’s a rapidly changing area of knowledge.


But the topic here became – at its most basic – chemical versus natural means of healing.


Living as I do, and associating with those who share the natural lifestyle, I have seen the benefits of eating and drinking organic food and pure water, coupled with mindful awareness; and I have witnessed firsthand how this way of living has reversed even stage four cancer.  Does this mean a healthy lifestyle will work for everyone?  Sadly, ‘no’.  Does it mean chemicals work for everyone?  Again, the answer is ‘No’.


But why is that?


Well, the challenge here is that healing (like living) is not a singular event, but best approached holistically.   Chemical applications address the symptoms not the cause, and they do that on only one level.   The body is not a singular / stand alone entity that exists in a vacuum; the factors that contribute towards overall health can be as subtle as the shampoo one uses, or the products used to clean house.


Therein lies the challenge for many who look to alternative means of healing:  Upon first glance, the extent of changes that need be made is overwhelming.   The second thought is then ‘giving up’ what one has become accustomed to.


In truth, the ‘forfeiture’ that many focus on is simply a matter of returning to their natural state of being; for we have been sold on the idea that chemicals – from body soap to air freshener – are necessary to make our life somehow better or more convenient.   In truth, research often links such things as contributing factors to disease.   As such, ingesting a daily pill / chemical makes for a quick and easy fix.


Then there is the entire matter of self-responsibility to consider.   For many, relegating health care to someone outside of themselves is easy because then they don’t have to think about it.   (I cannot even begin to relate the number of individuals who I have met who won’t even get a medical checkup because they simply ‘don’t want to know’.)


Dr. Andrew Weil thinks a healthy balance can be had between the two worlds – and he is working towards creating the next generation of physicians who will work equally within both schools of thought.


Meanwhile, the majority of medical applications are solely chemical based, and rarely (if ever) considers diet as part of the healing equation.   This clearly is a gross imbalance.


But are all modern methods faulty?   No, certainly not.   Take ultrasound machines for example, which are a technology based on a natural concept; namely, sound healing.   And though not originally an imaging technique, the vibrational effects of healing frequencies has been known for centuries.   Another example is aspirin, which is derived from willow bark and spiraea; and though synthetically created in the laboratory, is based on natural principles.


The point I am conveying here is that technology is rooted in a natural source; that the idea was born via organic means.   As such, those who practice natural healing methodologies are not quick to discount non-natural means, just simply choose those that are closest to nature.


So choosing to adopt a natural lifestyle is not asceticism but recognizing that living close to the s/Source – in harmony with nature’s elegant design – is far more suitable / sustainable than the current emphasis on chemical dependence.   For myself, living a natural lifestyle means that I look first to nature, to what is natural, rather than what is artificial.


Over the years I have heard it said that: the diseases we see today did not exist many years ago; and secondly, that the toxins in our environment are recent so could not have been contributing factors to disease prior to their introduction.   These are valid points, yet highlight a lack of understanding regarding what constitutes natural healing methodologies.


Science cannot honestly say that disease today did not exist among ancient man simply because there either was no written record, or the disease has yet to be analyzed through bone samples, or the disease was known by a different name, using words descriptive of the time period.   The same can be said regarding environmental toxins, which are more prevalent today then in the past, and have shown to have a negative influence to the overall health of every human who comes into contact with them.


A good example here are mental disorders, for they are more easily recognizable from historic  writings, and may or may not have been brought about by environmental toxins.  Today the general idea is that, though genes may play a role in the development of mental disorders, there exist no reliable findings connecting specific genes to specific categories of mental disorder.   As such, applying a chemical medication becomes problematic.


Interestingly enough, mental disorders have reliably shown to be prompted by subjective distress or disability within an individual, but which is not a part of normal development or culture.   This means, situations internal to the individual.   However, without knowing the internal cause, only the symptom is being addressed, so this external approach is temporary at best, making it far removed from a longterm or overall solution.


Yet, this is the standard approach today, to apply a chemical to address the external symptoms; and though this can be said to help the ‘immediate problem’, it still fails to address the root of the matter.   And therein is one of the differences between traditional Western medicine and natural healing methodologies.


When comparing the two, another hot button issue is autism, or correctly, autism spectrum disorder (ASD).


As someone who teaches Yoga to autistic children, I not only am in immediate contact with them, but with their activist parents.   From them (and my own research) I have learned that the average of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has risen dramatically – up 57% from 2002 to 2006, for example.   Evenso, there is no agreement on either the cause or the increase; ideas run the gamut from environment to awareness of parents.   Considering that these are the two primary areas that scientists are looking at and attributing to ASD, it is worth noting that both – environment and awareness – are external and internal (objective and subjective, respectively) factors.   (A point that ties them in with the causes of mental disorders above.)


I cannot stress enough the meaning of ‘natural healing’ and ‘natural lifestyle’ choices, because, more often than not, when people hear this they tend to think, ‘denial’ of all modern approaches to health and healing.   This is simply not the case.


Many respectable physicians today – such as Dr. A. Weil, Dr. D. Ornish, Dr. M. Oz, Dr. M. Hyman, Dr. R. Snyderman, to name a few – all stress the importance of a holistic approach to healing.   And this is virtually identical to those of us who choose to live naturally and ‘close to the s/Source’.


Notably, each of the these doctors has received extensive traditional medical education, each has a well established practice, and each is at the cutting edge of the paradigm shift that is currently rushing through the medical industry across the planet.   Namely, they (and many others like them) agree that there is a glaring lack of open-mindedness on the part of individuals that have come up in the chemical-based approach to healing; specifically, that the treatment of disease must only be approached through scientifically proven means.   Additionally, all of these doctors (and many more) have commented on the almost religious belief of those in that chemical-based system that reacts very negatively to methodologies outside of that system.   Frankly I can agree with this position because I encounter it almost daily; namely, that there is an immediate skepticism and rejection of things outside that system that have not grown within that system.


If the reader feels that there is a pill solution to every ailment, then let me assure you that this idea is being challenged even from within the chemically based system.


I personally feel that all medicine should be integrated – which includes not off-handedly rejecting ideas outside of existing perimeters.   Currently, it is Western medicine that off-handedly rejects approaches to natural methodologies (not vice-versa), and this is unfortunate; for its patients are being kept in ignorance regarding proven approaches to health and healing.


At this juncture then I would like to introduce the definition of ‘holistic medicine’:

“A system of health care which fosters a cooperative relationship among all those involved, leading towards optimal attainment of the physical, mental emotional, social and spiritual aspects of health.   It emphasizes the need to look at the whole person, including analysis of physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual, and lifestyle values.   It encompasses all stated modalities of diagnosis and treatment including drugs and surgery if no safe alternative exists.  Holistic medicine focuses on education and responsibility for personal efforts to achieve balance and well being.”


In short: I choose to maintain health – on every level of being – via natural means.  If I were to seriously injure myself – break a bone for example – I would seek the aid of a medical practitioner who has been trained to set bones.   Because Western doctors receive 5-8 days of dietary training in their 8 years of medical school/practice, they are the least qualified to recommend (let alone be aware of) the importance of food to overall health.



And this fact goes to highlight how far removed modern medicine has become from its ‘father’, Hippocrates (literally, the “Father of Western Medicine”).  A man who is well known for advising, “Let your food be medicine and your medicine be food”; and a man whose name is invoked in every Western medical ethic today.



Within that oath is yet another cornerstone of natural healing.



Namaste and Peace Out!



Live Longevity

According to the published and soon-to-be published findings in The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution, by David Stipp, two powerful antioxidants that promote longevity are: Resveratrol and Rapamycin.


Resveratrol has been shown to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, hearing loss, strokes and osteoarthritis.


Resveratrol is found in large, naturally occurring quantities, in: red wine, dark chocolate, peanuts, cherries, grape juice and apples.


Rapamycin, though not directly related to slowing human aging, has been shown to postpone the many diseases associated with aging.  Such as heart disease, bone loss, neurodegenerative disease and cancer.


Rapamycin is found in coffee and caffeine (aspirin has a similar effect, but to a lesser degree).


Shanti and Metta!

Yogini Valarie Devi