Saturday, December 20, 2014

How Cesar Millan Cures Chronic Illness

The Center for Managing Chronic Disease says "Chronic Disease is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured." They are simply wrong. What they should have said is:

Chronic disease cannot be cured by medicines. 

How can we know? Let's take a walk with Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer.  If you've seen Cesar's popular television show, you will recognize the themes, but you might be surprised at some of the details.

Many people who have a chronic dog problem first contact Cesar by telephone. They talk to Cesar, and he listens. Cesar doesn't talk or listen to the dog.  There is no need.  Then Cesar comes to visit. Pay close attention.

When Cesar comes to visit. He doesn't visit the dog. In many cases, he hardly acknowledges the dog when he enters the house. Cesar greets the owner, talks and listens to the owners. He is aware of the dog, noticing the dog and dog behavior, but not attending to it. Sometimes, especially with a dog displaying a lot of symptoms, Cesar will make a point of establishing his dominance, by mock biting, but he does not speak to the dog in human language, nor by barking at the dog.

Cesar looks at and listens to the owner.  This is where he finds the cause of the disease.  The dog has all the symptoms, but the owner has the cause, and the cure.

Then Cesar creates a prescription for the dog owner.  Not a medicine.  Medicine cannot cure chronic illness. If we medicate the dog, it will be less of a dog and when the medication wears off, it will be less controllable. The prescription needed is action and activity. Action and activity for the dog. But the real, effective actions are the actions and activities for the owner.

The prescription can be unique for each owner, but the goals are clear - to make the dog a healthy dog, and the owner a healthy dog owner. Cesar doesn't medicate the dog, nor the owner, he health's them.

One of Cesar's first goals is to give the owner a sense of control.  When Cesar 'mock bites' the dog, he's not teaching the dog, as much as he is teaching the owner that the dog is a dog. Teaching the owner that the right actions can lead to healthy dog behavior. When the owner sees Cesar interact with the dog, they begin to recognize that the source of the problem is not the dog, it is the owner.

Then Cesar prescribes specific activities for the owner - with the dog of course, that are designed to make the dog, and the owner, and their relationship, healthier.  Cesar healths communities of dog and owners.

In most cases, the owner successfully carries out these activities, designed to change their habits with regards to the dog, and the chronic illness goes away. Unhealthy habits are replaced with healthy habits. In some cases, it takes two or more stages, due to complexity, or perhaps the owner has difficulty changing. Perhaps the prescription was too strong and a slower, more gradual change is required, or perhaps a different prescription. But there is never a prescription for the dog - only for the Alpha Dog, the person in control.

Does Cesar ever fail? Does he ever meet a chronic dog illness that he cannot health?  Yes, it does happen sometimes. Sometimes the specific community, the relationship between owner and dog, and perhaps other family members, cannot be healthed. Sometimes a dog has been so damaged by its relationship with people, that it cannot be healthed.  Sometimes, the owner cannot change. In these situations, for the health and safety of all parties in the community - separation is the only solution. But even in these cases, Cesar often healths the dog, in the absence of the owner, by feeding its 'dogness'.

But we're talking about chronic disease in people, remember?  What has this to do with chronic diseases in people? Chronic diseases cannot be cured. Many medical textbooks echo this statement, without recognizing the truth.  Chronic disease cannot be cured by medicine. But chronic disease, in many cases, can be healthed - if the damage has not gone too far.  And even when there is serious damage, healthing the situation can stop further progress of the disease.

There is no Cesar Millan for chronic disease in people.  There is no Cesar, who can ignore the dog, ignore the disease, and health the patient, or more to the point - teach the patient to health themselves. Medical doctors are not trained to separate symptoms of the body, the dog, from the patient, the source of chronic illness. They make the simple mistake of treating the dog, the body.

That's not the only problem. Our medical systems consistently make several errors when they encounter chronic illness:
 - assuming it cannot be cured
 - medicating the symptoms
 - not looking for individual causes
 - not recognizing, not studying cures

Assuming it cannot be cured. Some of the chronic diseases identified by Center for Managing Chronic Disease include: allergy, Alzheimer's, asthma, breast cancer, diabetes, epilepsy,glaucoma, heart disease, and obesity. The very name of the organization, "Center for Managing Chronic Disease" makes it clear - they are not about curing disease, they are not about healthing disease - they have given up on chronic disease. They have adopted the assumption that it cannot be cured, and say so directly. "Chronic Disease is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured." If you think you can, you can.  As soon as you decide you cannot - you cannot. The Center for Managing Chronic Disease cannot cure, because they've decided that they cannot cure.

Medicating the symptoms. What does the Center for Managing Chronic Disease recommend?  If you have a chronic disease, they suggest 'managing' it. Imagine if Cesar Millan came and saw your dog ripping your furniture to shreds and he said - buy cheap chairs made of steel, so the dog can't hurt it, and if he succeeds, you won't lose a lot of money. If you have to be away during the daytime, give your dog sleeping pills, so he won't be running around the house wrecking things. If you can't control the dog, buy a sturdy collar and a short leash. That's managing the disease.  It's simply the wrong solution for a chronic illness.

Not looking for individual causes. Our medical systems are not interested in the cause of an individual case of a chronic illness. Causes are studied, in statistical models, but not in real situations. Imagine that you called Cesar Millan and told him that your dog is barking all the time.  Cesar lists of a statistical summary of the main reasons why your dog is barking all the time - maybe the dog is hearing lots of loud noises.  Maybe the dog is nervous. Maybe another dog is barking.  Maybe the dog is lonely. Statistics show that each of these can contribute to a dog barking a lot.  Maybe it's a combination of several causes.  It's complicated. Then Cesar, if he was a medical doctor, would prescribe a medication.  A tranquilizer to calm the dog. Ear plugs for the dog and the owner. Doctor Cesar would not visit the home, observe the environment, the habits of the owner. Would not attempt to identify the individual causes. The prescription should address the causes, not the symptoms.

Not recognizing nor studying cures. Our medical systems claim to be scientific, but they have one serious scientific flaw.  Ignorance of cures. When modern medicine encounters a chronic illness, it assumes that a cure is not possible. It aims for 'remission of symptoms'. When a cure happens, it is not noticed. Cesar has many successes - so many that every week we have several new examples on television. But a doctor who claims a single cure is dismissed as 'anecdotal evidence'.  And a doctor who claimed as many 'cures' as Cesar gives us in a month - would probably be banned from practice. In the past, he would be a saint - today he would be a heretic. Medicine, our current system of modern medicine, does not count cures. Cures are ignored, dismissed, even abolished or banned.

And the result? Chronic diseases cannot be cured. The truth is a bit longer.

A chronic disease cannot be cured by medicine.  It must be healthed. 

to your health, tracy

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Introduction to Healthicine: Free on Kindle

What do we know about health and healthiness?
We study illness extensively, but who studies health? If you check your local bookstore or library for ‘health books’, you will find a long shelf of ‘sickness’ books.  In the indexes of these books, you might find ‘health care’ (sick care), ‘health insurance’ (sick insurance), and ‘health clinic’ (sick clinic), but seldom will you find actual references to or discussions of ‘health’.
Medicine is blind to health.
The Kindle e-book “Introduction to Healthicine: Theories of Health, Healthiness, Illness and Aging” will be available for free from December 8th to December 12th. If you don’t have access to Kindle, you can purchase the print version here.
Introduction to Healthicine is the second book in the Healthicine series, and contains a summary of the material in the original book: Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness, which is also available in Kindle ebook format, or in print.  You can purchase the print version here.
The book Introduction to Healthicine explores the concepts of health, healthiness and healthicine, through the hierarchy of healthicine, and relates those concepts to illness and aging. It is a book that challenges many of our medical paradigms, simply because it pursues healthiness instead of illness.
This free Kindle promotion will begin Monday, December 8th 2014, and last only five days.
to your health, tracy

Saturday, November 15, 2014

How to cure death

Can we cure death? I recently saw this question on Quora "Why can't we cure death?". As I thought about this, using a healthicine framework, I made some interesting discoveries about health, illness, death - and cures.

First, let's take a look at the definition of 'cure'. I am not a doctor, but I consulted some medical manuals. The MERCK Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, and Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, for the definition of cure, and learned that 'cure' is not defined in these medical resources.  The word cure is sometimes used - but not with consistency of meaning.

Webster's dictionary defines cure as

1. "something (such as a drug or medical treatment) that stops a disease and makes someone healthy again". That would be a medicine that cures.

2. "something that ends a problem or improves a bad situation". That could be a surgery, that cuts out off an infected leg, for example. The patient is not totally cured, but the infection is removed. It could also be used to describe a painkiller, or any medicine that treats symptoms of a disease - pain, coughing, sneezing, etc. However, it is generally agreed that we don't cure arthritis, nor the common cold with pain medicines - we only treat the symptoms. When we only treat symptoms - we do not cure - the illness continues.

3. "the act of making someone healthy again after an illness". This cure would apply to treatments like physiotherapy, which restores function after injuries sustained in a car accident, and medicines that assist healing after an illness causes injury. It could also apply to medicines that are already included in the first definition.

Next, we to look at diseases that can be cured. What diseases can we cure?

We can cure infections.  We often cure bacterial infections with antibiotics, virus infections with antiviral medicines, fungal infections with antifungal medicines, and we can cure parasitic infectoins like tapeworm, with poisons that kill the parasite. In each of these cases we cure the patient, by killing the offending organism.There is often danger that we will kill the patient, or give them a different illness.

We can cure dietary deficiency diseases - if the disease has progressed so far that serious damage has been done - that damage might not be reversible - but illnesses like scurvy, and even night blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency can often be completely cured - by addressing the deficiency. In some cases, anemia caused by iron deficiency for example, the deficiency can be due to inability to absorb a nutrient - but we can cure with nutrient injections, or specific nutrients that are more easily absorbed by our digestive system.

When we cure a dietary deficiency disease - we don't cure it with medicine, we cure it with health. We make the diet healthier - and the 'disease' fades away. The 'disease' is actually a case of 'unhealthiness', or a 'lack of health'. In extreme cases, like advanced scurvy, we can use Vitamin C supplements to provide a more concentrated, faster nutrient cure. This makes Vitamin C look like a medicine - even though it is simply a concentrated nutrient.  

Dietary deficiency diseases are cured by foods, not by medicines.

We can cure diseases caused by ongoing excess. Obesity, iron toxicity, arsenic and mercury poisoning can be the result of low level excessive consumption - over long periods of time. In each case the first step in the cure is to identify the excess - and remove it.  In some cases, the cure can be assisted by some action, like chelation, that removes the toxic chemical from the body.

Diseases of excess cannot be cured by medicine. They can only be cured by removing the offending excess. They are sometimes cured by intentional or unintentional dietary changes that replace the source of the excess, with healthier foods.

The diseases we can cure can be acute - when an excess of a toxin is severe and rapid, or when a deficiency happens relatively quickly, liked dehydration. They can also be chronic. Vitamin A is stored in the liver. A low level Vitamin A deficiency might not create symptoms for many years - until the liver's store is depleted. Because the patient is consuming some Vitamin A - just not enough, the associated diseases will progress slowly, but inexorably.  An excess of certain foods in the diet can slowly lead to obesity. Obesity then becomes a chronic disease, with chronic symptoms. Toxins, including excessive nutrients like iron and poisons like mercury, can slowly build up, creating the slow inexorable progression that describes a chronic illness.

How can we prevent the diseases caused by deficiency, and the diseases caused by excess? The best preventative - the only preventative - for these illnesses, is health. No medicine can prevent.  No magic herb, no placebo, no witch doctor mysticism, and no patent medicine can prevent these diseases. Only healthy actions, only health, can prevent these diseases.

Let's look at some other diseases that medicines cannot cure.

There are diseases that medicines cannot cure, but our bodies can heal.  "With proper medicine you can cure a cold in seven days, but if you leave it alone, it will go away in a week." Medicines can't cure the common cold. But our bodies can. The same applies the flu. There is no medicine to cure influenza, but the body usually cures it in a week or two. If it doesn't go away, maybe it is not a cold, or the flu - maybe it's more serious.

There are many chronic diseases that cannot be cured. They usually progress inexorably, and stay with us until we die. Arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, even cancers, and many more. There are no medicines to cure these diseases. They sometimes wax and wane, or even disappear - for short or long periods of time. But we have no medicines to cure them.We only have medicines for the symptoms, and treatments for consequences. Consequences of the illness - and often, the consequences of the medicines we take for the symptoms.

The next question is obvious. Could some of these incurable diseases actually be a result of nutritional deficiencies that we do not understand? Could some be caused by slow accumulation of toxic chemicals that we do not understand? Could some diseases that are so complex, that they are caused by combinations of deficiencies and excesses, over long periods of time?

If so, the disease will not be cured by medicines - only by health.

Maybe the only way to cure Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease - and many other diseases is 'health'. Some of these diseases, like cancer and arthritis, have many potential causes - and maybe only some individual cases can be cured with health. In some cases, there may be damage already caused - like blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency, that cannot be reversed - but at the very least, the progression of the disease might be stopped by healthy actions, where no medicine can work.

Maybe the 'health' cure explains why these diseases wax, and wane, and sometimes go into remission. Maybe they wax stronger as we increase specific unhealthy actions. Maybe they wane and fade as we increase specific healthy actions. And sometimes, maybe some of the changes that occur naturally, throughout our lives increase our health - in some way we do not understand - and the disease fades away or goes into remission. Maybe spontaneous remission is simply unintentional increased healthiness?

What about death? Can we cure death with health?

Death, from old age, occurs when our illnesses overtake our health. Many people die prematurely from the consequences of chronic illness. Sometimes, Alzheimer's and dementia patients sometimes leave this world, while their bodies carry on living for years.

If we can learn to improve our health, consistently we will live longer. Maybe we can't cure death yet, but we can cure many 'premature deaths', before they occur, with health.

Healthier people live longer lives.  People who live longer lives are seen to have been 'healthier'. It's a tautology, but a valid one. Will we, someday, be able to make people so healthy that they don't grow old and die? We clearly cannot do this with medicines - but we might be able to do it with healthicines: things that make us healthier.

Can we cure death? Maybe we can.  First, free ourselves from the idea that only 'medicines' cure disease. We need to learn more about health and healthiness. 

to your health,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How far is it from Medical Theory to Medical Practice

The distance between theory and practice in medicine is about 6 inches.  The length of the corporate ego, and the length of the almighty dollar. If a medicine has been tested, and proven to be effective, but can't make 'make money', it will never reach the market, It can never make the leap from medical theory to medical practice. In many cases, you won't even know it was discovered, or tested.

Medicine is not about science, not about health, not about healing, not about cures, it's all about the dollars.

Many medicines are illegal today; illegal to buy, illegal to sell, illegal to advertise. Some are even illegal to manufacture yourself. illegal to give away. The corporate marketers would have you believe "it's for your own protection". I don't need to be protected by corporate law, I need to be protected FROM corporate law.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beware the Quack Quack Quack my Son

With apologies to Lewis Carroll although, we don't know, he might approve.

Beware the quack quack quack my son,
the laws they spite, sciences they hatch.
Beware the hate hate bird, and shun
The frumious band who snatch.

Lewis Carroll advises us to 'beware the Jabberwock and the Bandersnatch', which of course are not defined. Was he writing nonsense, or was he telling us to beware of nonsense?

What is a quack?
What is a quack quack?
What is a quack quack quack?
Why do we need to beware them?

Is a quack someone who sells 'false medicine'. Not just that. Merriam-Webster defines a quack as "one who makes false claims of identity or expertise" - not just medicines.

Does a quack know they are a quack. They are claiming to have expertise they do not have. Do they really think they have the required expertise, or are they simply lying, perhaps to sell a dubious product, and moving quickly to the new customer?  It doesn't matter. Both the idiot and the liar fit the definition of a quack.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Placebo Paradoxes

When you research medicines, alternative medicines, even medical treatments that do not involve a physical substance, you will see reference to the "placebo effect". Statements like:

X is no better than a placebo.
Y is probably just a "placebo effect".
Treatment X is just a placebo.
Medicine X failed to beat a placebo in controlled clinical studies.

What is a placebo? What is a placebo effect? Are they real, fake, or something else? Is the placebo effect magic?  No, but placebo effects are a paradox. Merriam Webster defines placebo effect thus:

"improvement in the condition of a patient that occurs in response to treatment but cannot be considered due to the specific treatment used"

Placebo effect is a real effect in response to a treatment that cannot cause the effect.

A paradox.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Should Homeopathic Medicines be Banned?

You might also enjoy 10 Reasons to Love your Homeopath

Should homeopathic medicines be banned? I've seen this statement quite a few times in recent months. I just returned from a trip to England and Scotland, where there has been a lot of discussion of banning homeopathic medicines. The Daily Mail Reporter headlines "Homeopathy remedies should be labeled as placebos and banned on NHS", but added, "But some doctors said their patients seemed to benefit despite no clinical trial evidence that homeopathy worked."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pseudo-Pseudo Science in the Blogosphere

I recently read a post claiming to bust “10 pseudo-science theories”. However, like many posts claiming to be science based, claiming to be about science it is actually a ‘pseudo-pseudo-science’ post, presenting many ‘pseudo-pseudo-science’ theories. Many people commented on the post, most with simple statements like ‘great’ and others with minor complaints.

To be honest, when I first read the post, I thought – this makes some sense, but the author(s)? have made a few simple errors.  As I read the post over, and over, and over again, I found more holes, more nonsense, more ‘pseudo-pseudo-science’ with each re-read.

If you want to test your own sense of science, you can read the post here.  Of courses internet posts are always ‘subject to change’, so by the time you read this, the post might have changed. I often improve on my posts after they are published.

10 Pseudo-Science Theories We'd Like to See Retired Forever
If you have seen this post before, no matter what you thought, you might be very surprised by my conclusions - I have read the post at least 5 times.  I have taken the time to research many of the points, the words, the ideas and the sciences discussed therein.