Here is a comment that illustrates what is perhaps my biggest objection to conventional medicine. We took Griffon to see a new pediatrician today — one here in Mountain View, and one who Guy and I actually like very much. Something she said though, stuck with me. We had just told her we weren’t going to be vaccinating, and she told us about a few of the diseases for which she thought it was very important to vaccinate. One, she said (I think she was talking about HiB) used to be “one of the leading causes of ear infections.”
And the more I thought about that, the more I realized how that one statement really revealed an entire world view. For, in the conventional (allopathic) view, something like an ear infection is caused by a pathogen — in this case, the HiB bacteria. I am not going to deny that in the case of an ear infection where there is HiB present the HiB has a role to play in the infection. Indeed, it is probably what the ear is infected with.
But think about the words “caused by.” If it were true that the HiB bacteria “caused” ear infections, then wouldn’t everyone who was exposed to HiB get an ear infection? Clearly it takes more than that. A more holistic view would say that it takes some sort of weakness or vulnerability in a person’s immune system, or overall constitution, to allow an infection to take hold.
And this is where the two world views — holistic and …what? Allopathic, I guess — part ways. To the allopathic mind, a person’s own systems play a very limited role, if any, in health and disease. Disease is something that comes at you from the outside and must be defended against by tools also acquired from outside oneself.
Of course the irony here is that the bulk of these tools either act in direct opposition to what your own system is trying to do in order to stay healthy and safe, or harm the system itself in some way. Just to use a few simple examples: antihistamines and decongestants dry up a runny nose, which is one of your body’s first-line responses to outside pathogens. These drugs override the body’s response, and allow the pathogens in. Antibiotics kill off the intestinal flora that protect your body from invaders — making you even more susceptible to infection. Doctors know this, yet they prescribe antibiotics for even minor infections, as if there were no downside to taking them.
What doesn’t even seem to enter into the conventional doctors’ evaluation of disease and treatment is the role of the organism itself in healing and keeping itself well. To them, the cause of disease comes from outside the organism, and so must its cure. It never occurs to them that the broader “cause” of a person’s illnesses might have anything to do with the state of that person’s own constitution and immune system — the poor state of which might very well be the result of the cures themselves.