Vertical Ill Health, Prescription drugs and Primum non nocere

“Doctors are confronted daily with patients suffering from illnesses for which conventional medicine offers only superficial treatment of symptoms. The magic of antibiotics is vanishing as a host of resistant infections emerge. Diseases such as AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome have shown us clearly that our present treatments are simply not effective and hint at new health problems that may lie ahead. The metaphor of a modern plague may be appropriate. Growing numbers of people lack vitality and suffer from a host of complaints difficult to define. Most adults, and many children, today suffer from complaints including allergies, headaches, lack of energy, excessive fatigue, and various digestive and respiratory disorders, along with a variety of emotional states ranging from mild depression to mood swings and anxiety.
They are manifesting what Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., of Gig Harbor, Washington, calls a state of “vertical ill health.” “They are not sick enough to lie down (in which case they would become ‘horizontally ill’) and yet consider themselves ‘normal’ because most of the people they know are equally unhealthy,” explains Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O., of London, England. “They derive only limited benefit from the flood of tranquilizers, antidepressants, analgesics, and anti-inflammatory drugs[…]”
 
Excerpt From: Larry Trivieri. “Alternative Medicine.”
 
I’m reading this awesomely swell book lately.  As a naturopathic premedical student, I find it interesting to cycle between the safety and established concreteness of my Anatomy & Physiology textbook, to my alternative medicine texts, and then to the way out there psychotherapy of the audiobook, Advanced Energy Anatomy by Catherine Myss.  I really feel like its best to look at the whole spectrum of modalities to treat the body, mind and spirit.  Primum non nocere or “Do no harm” is the first principle of naturopathic medicine.  I had an interesting conversation yesterday with an admissions counselor for the National College of National Medicine about naturopathy’s relationship to allopathic medicine.  These ideas were sparked by an interview I saw from Paul Mittman, ND discussing naturopathic supplements to aid chemotherapy.  Yet, every bone in my body resists the idea that chemotherapy can be anything but toxic to the human body.  If the chemicals used spill on the ground they are treated as biohazards materials, yet it is normal and considered therapy if they are pumped into the body via IV.  The statistics on chemotherapy’s effectiveness show that cancer patients who choose no treatment at all have longer survival rates than those who follow doctors orders of receiving chemo.  
 
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Mittman’s view was one of using naturopathic medicine as being used complementary to allopathic.  But can naturopathic medicine stand alone?  The admissions counselor’s opinion was that in order to follow “Do no harm” if an allopathic treatment could temporarily resolve the painful symptoms of a patient while the root cause is sill being determined, then it must be recommended or they must be referred.  The judgment of the doctor becomes especially important here.  You may be doing harm not referring them to an allopathic treatment.  However, it must be seen as a temporary bandaid and not a lifelong crutch of dependency.  Whether or not I will prescribe drugs as a part of my practice is an important decision that will be made based on future knowledge and experience.  
 
Yes, the current state of medicine is corrupt and revolves around making money for expensive and invasive tests, pharmaceutical drugs and using treatments that have been proven useless.  Innovation is discouraged and allopathic doctors seem to live in constant fear of being seen as experimental by their peers.  Yet, MDs and NDs must cooperate because we must work within the system to change it.  While the intention of holistic health is pure, we cannot sugarcoat the reality we exist in or kid ourselves with idealistic values when the world exists in the state it does currently.  This applies to both medicine and politics.  Idealistic ideas must be translated into realistic action that will make a difference today.
 
 
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Radical self love is the best medicine.

I need feminism because I’m done holding back my anger because it isn’t pretty.  I need feminism because I’m done telling myself to shut up when other women need to hear my voice.  I need feminism because I’m afraid to leave the house if I’m bloated from PMS or have a bad skin day and my outlook on life shouldn’t be dictated by the way I look today.  I need feminism because fuck the fact that when a homeless man tells me “Smile, pretty girl” I am trained so obediently that my facial muscles react before my mind does.  I need feminism because I feel unsafe riding public transit and always have.  Today a man with apparent mental handicaps started talking to me on the bus.  Our conversation was going great and he was talking about how he gathered walnuts to feed the squirrels in the winter and something about that seemed so endearingly kind.  Then when we got to main street he started pointing out all the “hot blondes” on main street.  Then he kept staring at me and told me the reason he hadn’t talked to me at the bus stop was because my boyfriend was standing with me.  I began to feel unsafe so I pulled out a book and started reading.  I felt like a line had been crossed where instead of being a friend I had turned into an object to this otherwise gentle person.  It says something that even those whom we are instructed by society to give the benefit of the doubt to or pity, such as homeless men and men with mental handicaps can make women feel unsafe at the drop of a hat.

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Meeting People Online

Okcupid (Internet Noun) is a place where people with severe emotional problems and/or sexual/love addictions can interact and thus pay out certain dramas that correspond to their disfunctions.  It is a breeding paradise for low vibrations.
Good luck on okcupid.

I’ve met some very interesting people online.  There’s Steve who currently resides in a prison, who I remember sitting at the table of the Wilmington library fidgeting and drinking a Rockstar energy drink while showing me an album comprised completely of the bad photos that people throw away.  He found them dumpster diving.  Or, there’s Blake, whose Myspace page was ‘The Void,’ and instead of being a bunch of angled seflies and ‘surveys’ (Why did people take those anyway?) it was an archive of occult information and beautiful psychedelic paintings.  I didn’t even know what he looked like until I met him in person during a mewithoutYou show.  Beautiful blue eyes and instant connection.  Luckily for me, he is now my boyfriend.  But sometimes you fall in love with someone’s online persona and things in person become a bit hairy.  Once, I flew halfway across the country for a man who now would be unlikely to lift a finger for me.  He was utterly convinced of a mode of alternative healing called Ayurveda which I have since incorporated into my life.  Ayurveda, for those unaware, is an ancient method of healing revolving mainly around constitution types- Pitta (motivated but angry control freaks), Vata (skinny creative neurotics) and Kapha (lazy-but-lovable.  Santa?)  As well as the concept of agni (“digestive fire” or hutzpa if you will) and ama or “mucoid plaque” buildup, which according to Ayurveda, is the root of all disease.  And if you eat past 9 PM, you’re getting ama-ed up, and cancer will be in your life forecast.  Not really according to Ayurveda, but those were some of the rules this Milwaukee man lived by.  I believe now that he was very much a reaction to his past.  He woke up at 5 am to use the bathroom outside because a book told him to, yet he worked at a toilet factory which, even now, in my bitterness, I find poetically just.  He lived completely according to the Aghora trilogy, which if you are unfamiliar with, speaks in bizarre parables and helps to shed light on the path of enlightenment through Tantra.  Overcoming your fears through extremes until your are impenetrable to life.  Surrounding yourself by death until it no longer phases you.  Beautiful spiritual concepts, though whether or not the stories within these texts are to be taken literally is very up in the air.  To this day I am flabbergasted to the lengths this man went to convince himself and everyone around him that this was of living was the only one.  But for some reason, I loved him, in perhaps the way one loves a flesh eating bacteria that has gained them some pity and attention.  I put my copy of Aghora at the Left Hand of God down at the sink of the Milwaukee airport, in the women’s bathroom shortly after landing.  Here I nervously stared in the mirror, at my impeccably lovely outfit I had spent way too much time and money preparing.  I was about to meet this person for the first time, after exchanging emails and snail mail for months.  It was in this same bathroom that I met another girl with the same name as me who was also meeting a man she had met online (This was one of those scenarios where fate brings an instant friend into your life, perhaps to keep you from dying from an anxiety attack).  I can only hope that a bored soccer mom has found my Aghora book and discovered the wonders of meditating on corpses and eating your firstborn son for Shiva.