From Five Pills A Day To None – Guess What It Took

The other day, after asking me what I do, someone said “I believe in that” and told me about the example of her brother in law who had been diagnosed with all kinds of problems, including diabetes, and was taking five prescription pills a day.

Now, she says, he is in much better shape, has dropped two pants sizes and no longer needs any of those pills. His doctor is amazed, even confused, by the change.

What a change it is too.

I mean for one thing, drugs more block than cure, so in a way all the problems were still there, just blocked somehow, buried by the medication. Furthermore, while the medication was keeping one set of problems in check, you can be sure it was creating all kinds of new ones and the guy was headed for even worse trouble, and, by the way, all of this was probably costing plenty, not just for pills, but for the doctor visits and all the other stuff that goes along with being in such a state as to need all that medication.

Maybe most importantly, of course, not only does he no longer need all the medication, but I suspect he feels much better, in multiple ways, than he ever did when he was taking it.

Ok.  So what did it take to accomplish this?

Did it take months or years of extreme diet changes and working out? Did it take psychotherapy, years of meditation, or doing something radical like moving to a different state? Did it take some kind of bizarre surgery that involved removing a gland or something or cutting part of his brain or installing some kind of technology?

Nah.

It took working with a nutritionist to improve his diet and it took doing some regular exercise and it took less than two months.

While it may not work this quickly and easily for everyone, in this case that’s all it took to go from being a heavily medicated, out of shape time bomb to being a much healthier person using zero medication.

Imagine that.

Which brings up another question. What on earth goes on in medical school?

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Knowing Better and Still Not Doing It – “That’s the sickness.”

A week or two ago I called a friend, Diego, to see how things were going with his blood pressure. He had had really, really high blood pressure, so high that a doctor seemed concerned about even letting him walk out of the office. Diego also had come up with a pretty solid plan for solving the problem, one involving things like diet changes, weight loss, exercise and changing the way he handles life issues.

Hey. That sounded like a great idea for a story, maybe called “My Friend Diego Solves Insanely High Blood Pressure. Here’s How.”

So before writing it I wanted to confirm that he had gotten the job done.

“It is lower.”  He told me.

So it was fixed, solved, the pressure in some kind of normal or healthy range?

“No.”

I told him about my story idea and he told me that I could just wait, maybe give him another month and all would be well and I could write about it. He said he was psyched, that the idea of the story was even a good incentive for him to get on with it.

So I called him today to see how our little project was going.

The answer? No progress.

“That’s the sickness” he said. Then he noted the similarity to what his mother had done, when she had basically chosen to die rather than taking advantage of healing resources he had provided for her, and he suggested that instead of writing about his success I should write about his lack of it. “That’s the sickness.”

Not a bad idea. What he said is so right on, and what he has going on is so common. It’s a level of sickness, one in which a person knows basically how to solve a problem and for some reason, inertia, unconscious issues, or whatever, leaves the problem unsolved.

Me personally, I don’t get it. I mean, sure I get it. I understand psychology and habits and things like that. Still, I don’t get it.

For one thing, being sick can be a total drag. In Diego’s case, for instance, he has real reason to be concerned about the consequences of continuing to live with what is still rather high blood pressure.

For another, solving things can be so straightforward. Losing that eighty pounds of extra weight, for instance, seems simple. Just eat less than you burn.

So between one thing and another, staying sick, especially when one has at hand an actual plan for getting healthy, seems insane to me.

Solving back problems, lowering bad cholesterol, solving diabetes, solving cancer, resolving relationship issues, any kind of thing, a person can do it, if the person just gets through the knowing what to do level to the actually doing it level.

Sickness Addiction, Maybe the Worst Addiction of All

A few years ago, at the beginning of a summer, I started working with someone who had been diagnosed with als and was using a motorized wheelchair to get around for the most part. We put some serious energy into getting her healthier, and toward the end of the summer she told me she had good news for me. She had gotten up from that wheelchair and walked around for, get this, an hour straight. Oh how much better she felt.

That was pretty much the last I heard from her.

Huh? Wasn’t she pleased? You would think she would be excited to keep going and get even healthier.

While I was surprised at the time, I am no longer perplexed by things like this. I know the deal. Sickness addiction put her right back in that chair and is keeping her there.

What do I mean?

Check this out. It turns out that right about that time, a group of people in her community had come together to give her, yep give her, a house, renovated to accommodate a wheelchair. Wow. What if she no longer needed the wheelchair? How would that have all worked out?

She also has projects going on, some of which are closely related to her being sick. What if she were no longer sick? What would happen to her bucket list of things to do before she died? What would happen with all the other things that to some degree revolve around her being sick.

So she was stuck sick, and still is, as far as I am aware.

I have seen this type of thing countless times and it is a huge theme in healing and has been a huge surprise for me.

When I got into helping people heal, I figured some people would be skeptical and others, such as people with medical degrees, would feel threatened by it. I was not ready for how stuck people are being sick. That’s maybe the biggest obstacle to healing of all. Sickness is so deeply integrated into people’s lifestyles, into their images of themselves, into everything they have going on, that getting healthy is the last thing they are ready to do.

Being sick can catalyze improvement in people’s lives, such as improving relationships with family members or changing for the better what they find worth focusing on. People who are ill get involved in causes and do other things they never did when they were healthier. People who are sick even get called heroes, just because they stay positive in the face of it all. For these and other reasons, being sick can have a very powerful allure.

Yes they march for cures, and speak before congress, and donate to research, and volunteer for clinical trials, and travel far to get treatment not available locally. Yes, they and their families are truly devastated by the consequences of illness.

Still, when you get right down to it, what’s really keeping people sick, when in reality their are plenty of ways available for them to get healthy, is their own addiction to sickness and all that comes with it. Sure, using drugs can harm your body. Sure, smoking has its damaging effects. Sure, gambling can be horrible on your finances and blood pressure. Still, the addiction that does the most to make and keep people sick is addiction to sickness itself.

The War On Drugs, A Non Healing Approach That Disrespects The Citizens It Supposedly Protects

Back when I was in high school, a friend told me that marijuana is illegal because if it were not, everyone would sit around smoking it and everything would fall apart.

Let’s face it. The truth is that marijuana is available to pretty much anyone who wants some and everyone is not sitting around smoking it. So much for that premise of the so called war on drugs.

Making a new law is never really a healing approach anyway. Laws involve the use of force to repress the ills of society without really healing things.

Beyond that, the more I consider the war on drugs, the more I have realized that what it really is mostly is disrespectful. I mean what those who advocate for the war on drugs are really saying is that the people of the United States, professionals, parents, children, educators, you name it, are too pathetic to take care of themselves. Yup. Supposedly, if we let those big bad Mexicans, Colombians and whomever else bring drugs into this country, the poor, pathetic, weak minded Americans are gonna use those drugs, and so someone has to stop those drugs from being available in the first place.

It’s all so lame, it costs a bundle, it fills jails and it is so unnecessary and misguided.

How about just educating people. How about just actually taking time to raise children with enough sense to make healthy choices. How about instead of acting like a bunch of heroes for making small dents in the steady stream of drugs, if people must do anything, they spend their time encouraging people to step up and take care of themselves.

In a nation of people with common sense, with some decent education, in a nation with a healthy culture, the fields could be full of coca, poppies and marijuana, the streets could be paved with drugs, and there would not be any problems.

Getting Beyond the Genes and Disease Myth to Attain Wellness

(This piece is a version of one originally written as part of a post called “Inviting Controversy” on the blog, Making Connections.)

It’s going on all the time, talk about genes and the problems that they supposedly cause and how once a certain gene is discovered and somehow changed, a problem involving a disease may be solved.

The ethics and value of genetic testing are debated and people who carry certain genes live concerned that one day they will experience a particular disease. People who do actually experience disease often feel that they are at the mercy of something they can’t do much about beyond waiting and hoping for development of medical methods that will somehow stop their genes’ hurting them.

There’s just one thing.

Genes do not really cause disease.

Now I can just hear people saying something along the lines of, “Hey. I thought research shows that genes cause disease.”

Actually if you look carefully, you will find that that is not exactly the case.

What people researching genes and disease have found is that some people who carry certain genes sometimes experience certain forms of disease.

More significantly, while genes can be seen to be involved in the creation of problems, genes are not really the underlying cause of the problems. That difference, between being involved and being the cause, is a huge one.

To wrap your mind around this better, it may help you to consider that many different types of cells in a person’s body carry essentially the same genes. Liver cells carry the same genes as brain cells. Blood cells have the same DNA as skin cells. All these cells are different even though they carry the same genetic code. So, while genes are involved in the creation of all these various types of cells, clearly the presence of certain genes is not enough to determine what goes on.

You might point to this to demonstrate that genes cause disease. “Many of my relatives experienced the same form of disease through generation after generation.” Wait though. Do many of your relatives speak the same language? Have many of them in successive generations eaten with a fork? Are these things genetic too? The fact that something runs in a family does not have to mean that genes cause it.

So what does cause disease?

What underlies the creation of disease is the way people operate. Operate one way and you experience one form of disease. Operate another way and you experience another form. Operate another way and you experience better health, and this, ways of operating and living, is the key disease creating thing that gets passed down through generations, or not.

Yes, the upshot of all this is that, by, instead of continuing a family pattern of operating in ways that create disease, operating in ways that create health, anyone can experience wellness.

I’ll use myself as an example. On both sides of my family, people have experienced problems diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. Am I worried that I may experience that type of thing as well? Not really. I don’t operate as those people did. Another thing that runs in my family is hair loss. Am I losing my hair? Not any more. I changed the way I was operating and my hairline is now moving forward rather than backward. Allergies, solved. Prostate cancer, doubt it. Als, no chance. All these things that others in my family have experienced or are experiencing are not things I am experiencing or likely will.

There is plenty of information available on how disease is created and how to create wellness instead, including my work, the work of Gabor Mate, and the work of people involved in the field of functional medicine such as Dean Ornish. Also, by looking carefully and analytically, you can find the logic to these things yourself. So if you really want to experience wellness, rather than continue a family tradition of disease, my suggestion is that you get to work, learn how this all works and see just how healthy a life you can create.

Like Michael J. Fox, Stuck In A Box

A couple of years ago I contacted the Michael J. Fox Foundation to discuss helping him get healthy. Clearly the so called Parkinson’s disease he is experiencing could be solved using a holistic approach. So far nothing much has come of my contacting them, beyond my seeing advertising for the foundation and marveling at how this guy is surrounded by people who are working hard at doing things that for the most part will never get him healthy.

The story goes on though. The other day, in connection with what I am doing regarding so called als, I talked with someone involved in the als scene who himself has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. After talking with him, just for a kick I did an internet search to see what resources might be out there that would be useful in solving Parkinson’s.

Wow. Within maybe ten minutes, I had found not one, but three websites that have all kinds of information on solving Parkinson’s disease, methods that sound credible to me, a person who knows how these things work, and even ways to contact and get mentoring from people who have solved or are in the process of solving Parkinson’s disease.

So let me get this straight. Michael J. Fox with all his resources and a whole organization, not to mention the guy I had just talked with, are running around looking for a cure for something that plenty of people have already figured out how to solve.

Hmm. Now that sounds familiar.

For one thing, it sounds a whole lot like the als scene, where there is one group going around saying nobody survives and that we need to find a cure, and there is a whole other group of people who are solving the problem for themselves and getting healthier.

I also ran into the same thing in the diabetes scene, where, while on a message board a guy was bashing someone because that person had suggested that diabetes is solvable through lifestyle changes, elsewhere there are people talking about how they have solved their diabetes problems, both type one and type two.

Alzheimer’s, Hungtington’s, similar situations.

Which makes me wonder, maybe for every type of illness there are those lamenting the lack of a so called cure and looking high and low for a magic bullet, and at the same time there are plenty of others who are solving the problem.

So if you are having health problems, ask yourself which group you are going to choose to be in. Are you going to stay in a box, or are you going to take responsibility for your health, get creative about solving problems and attain wellness?

Unnaming the Named to Show Disease for What It Is

When a person has health problems, people often engage in an age old strategy of giving the problems a name, such as autism, or asthma, or diabetes. While it may make sense to give something a name, problems can arise if the name takes on a life of its own in people’s minds. When that happens, when the name given to a problem starts being perceived as somehow the problem itself, then a whole misconception is created and people, acting on the misconception, may start saying and doing all kinds of nutty things.

For instance, a person could be having nerve health problems or memory problems, all of which are just consequences of strategies used and choices made by the person and others around the person. After the problems are named, rather than seeing them as just nerve or memory problems, people often see them as something in a way caused by an entity, a thing that comes with a name, maybe Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease, or als.

Now the whole thing with a name thing can take off and people even talk of being attacked by the thing with the name, as in “als attacks the nervous system” which is not really right at all, as there isn’t really anything attacking the person. Things are just deteriorating as a result of choices being made.

So, to counter any of this going on in your own mind, look at what happens when we replace disease names with a simple back to reality phase like “the consequences of choices made by them and others around them.” Doing this quickly clears things up in a pretty interesting way.

For instance, instead of saying “For fifteen years, she fought lupus”, we would have “For fifteen years, she fought the consequences of choices made by her and others around her.” Has a whole new ring to it.

Instead of saying someone “endured the ravages of als” it could be much clearer to say “he endured the ravages of the consequences of choices made by him and others around him.”

Some strategies for handling problems don’t sound as good after a problem has be unnnamed.

For instance, while maybe it somehow sounds ok if someone is “taking morphine to deal with the pain of cancer”, “taking morphine to deal with the pain of the consequences of choices” sounds rather problematic.

Some ideas start to sound kind of funny.

“They are doing research to find a cure for autism,” becomes “They are doing research to find a cure for the consequences of people’s choices.”

“Scientists wonder if they can develop a vaccine to prevent people’s experiencing als,” becomes “Scientists wonder if they can develop a vaccine to prevent people’s experiencing the consequences of their choices.” Hmm. While vaccines may have some benefits, this sounds as if it would be quite an achievement.

Will genetic or stem cell research really turn out to be the path to finally “creating a world free of the consequences of choices”?

So whenever you hear one of these names, just remember it’s just a name and what is really going on is that somehow choices being made and strategies being used are adding up to what is being experienced. Then what’s going on and what needs to be done to change what’s going on remain clear.

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