In the many years that I have worked as an emergency physician, I have seen many patients with ailments for which there seemed to be no cure.
They were diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, or any other label which essentially means “we don’t know what is causing your symptoms”. All investigations in these patients show that they are invariably within what conventional medicine considers “normal limits”. They have been given treatment after treatment, surgery after surgery, by well meaning physicians and surgeons, in an attempt to cure them or alleviate their symptoms. But the relief did not come.
I have also seen many other patients who are sufferers of chronic and autoimmune diseases. Some of these conditions better understood than others. Again, well meaning physicians and surgeons, according to current medical understanding and practise, have focused on treating the symptoms rather than the cause. Treating the symptoms implies using medication that is not free from adverse effects, that is sometimes dangerous, at times harmful and occasionally causes the death of the sufferer. Without even meaning to make a comparison, we can look at witch doctors and be perplexed about their belief systems, their therapeutic means and their understanding of the ailment they are treating. They are well meaning and they want to cure the person they are treating: they just use a perspective that does not reflect the reality of cause and effect.
When I started my path into the world of alternative or complementary medicine, I finally understood where the problem lies and it involved changing the way I looked at the ill, changing mine and my patient’s perspective.
Symptoms cannot be taken in isolation, but as a part of a whole. Physical symptoms cannot be isolated from the mental and vice versa. For all is one and one is all, like the musketeers, like a dynamic ever changing force, working together to make us who we are. A smell can trigger a physical reaction. A feeling can create tears or a smile. A fright can cause your heart to skip a beat. It makes no sense to ignore how a sustained mental state can cause changes that can lead to a physical chronic disease, or how a sustained physical insult cannot have psychological repercussions. Is an autoimmune disease a way of our psyche harming us at a deeper level than a self harmer cuts his or her skin to relieve guilt? Is it caused by a cross reaction to an antigen so that our bodies start attacking parts of themselves that “look” like a virus, a bacteria, or a foreign protein? Or is it a combination of both? Or are there other factors that we are not considering, such as the flow of Qi through the meridians described by Chinese traditional medicine, or the energetic imbalance that the Bach Flowers essences restore; perhaps the nutrients that we are not getting from our food, or worse, the toxins we are consuming in our daily diet that can be cleansed by fasting? No neurologist knows with certainty what triggers multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease; no rheumatologist knows what starts the generalised immune attack on the joints we call rheumatoid arthritis; no gastroenterologist knows for sure what causes inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Therefore, the cause cannot be treated, but only the physical manifestations of these diseases. In most cases this is like covering a wet patch with plaster. Invariably, the damp finds its way out again.
The only certainty is that not everyone develops the same conditions given the same external circumstances, not even identical twins.
The understanding of why this does or does not happen is what conventional medicine should be aiming for, even if it means the start of a revolution in which we re-write the books of medicine.
Are you sick of being sick?
Do you suffer from one of these conditions? Do you need treatment for recurrent conditions that just don’t seem to go away? Are you in a good state of health and would like to keep it that way?
Break the cycle. Stop being sick. Start living. Or if you are healthy, continue to be that way.
Until then, stay well.
Dr Saul Diaz.