Do you have to be a health nut to be healthy?

By Darrel Crain, D.C.

Do you have to be a health nut to be healthy? “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing,” said Redd Foxx.

Good health is something most folks don’t even think about until they have lost it. If your good health, or that of someone you love, is gone, don’t give up. You have a pretty decent chance of healing yourself and getting your health back. But this does not mean all you have to do is take a bit of medicine to “cure” an illness or “fix” a health crisis.

Healing is an inside job that no one else can do for you. Building up your health requires a commitment of time, effort and a willingness to make changes in your life that will enhance your body’s ability to heal itself.

“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs,” according to Joan Welsh. Unless those pills are vitamins, of course.

The medical approach to health has come to dominate the field of primary health services in our country over the span of the last half-century or so. It goes like this. First, the doctor identifies and lists all the clinical signs and symptoms exhibited by the patient. Second, the resulting list is compared to named diseases and their lists of signs and symptoms. These are then matched up and the patient gets labeled with one or more diseases. Third, the doctor prescribes a treatment to cure the diagnosed disease. Almost universally, this consists of taking medication, due to the underlying philosophy of medicine. When you are ill, you take a pill.

Patient: “Can you help me, doc?”

Doctor: “Well, let’s try out this drug and see what happens.”

Patient: “Great! You mean we’re both going to take the drug?”

Doctor: “No, of course not! I mean we are trying out the drug on you!”

According to an anonymous bit of wisdom, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience – well, that comes from poor judgment.”

Our collective experience has taught us two important and indisputable facts, though for some reason these facts remain incomprehensible to organized medicine. First, chronic illness is the leading cause of death and disability. Second, poor nutrition is the primary cause of chronic illness.

“You have to have a medical degree to be brainwashed enough to believe that food does not have a major impact on physical and emotional health,” explained renowned French psychiatrist and international author David Servan-Schreiber in a recent interview with Ode magazine.

“When I prescribe essential fats to children with learning problems, they learn twice as fast. There isn’t a medicine on the market that can achieve that effect. It’s logical: Twenty percent of the brain is composed of essential fatty acids we cannot make ourselves. If you don’t eat them, you don’t have them. Not on the plate, not in the brain,” he said.

Dr. Servan-Schreiber offers another example, “It’s crazy that there is copious and convincing research indicating that physical exercise has the same or better effect on stress and anxiety as medication — without the side effects — and that virtually no doctors prescribe it.”

To be sure, I have not heard anyone make the naive suggestion that all disorders can be handled using nutrition and exercise in the complete absence of pharmaceutical interventions. Still, the few clinicians who use these and other “alternative” strategies experience enormously high rates of success using zero drugs. Why then, haven’t such simple remedies spread like wildfire?

The trouble is, medical doctors do not learn about them in school, nor do they learn of them through mainstream medical news. This is not surprising, because medical information sources are closely linked to and, funded by, pharmaceutical industry interests. The spectacular news that using simple nutrition-boosting protocols and exercise can produce profound benefits for patients’ health without the risk of drug dependency and adverse drug reactions poses a direct threat to the bottom lines of the drug companies.

According to Dr. Servan-Schreiber: “When historians look back and analyze the history of 20th Century medicine, I am convinced there will be two important turning points. The first is the discovery of antibiotics, and the second, the discovery that nutrition is the most important cause of illness…”

Hardly a week goes by without the publication of a new study that points to the vital roles played by good nutrition, moderate exercise and a positive mental outlook for achieving good health.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in June on a study showing that eating lots of fruits and vegetables resulted in a marked increase in bone density for people of all ages. A year earlier, the same journal reported that a modest increase in supplemental vitamin C (700 milligrams daily) lowered the risk of heart disease by 25 percent.

The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, in its May issue, reports that fast walking three times a week significantly lowered the blood pressures of those tested, even the ones taking blood pressure lowering drugs.

The day is perhaps not far off when the majority of doctors will understand that their job is not to treat diseases, but, rather, to help their patients learn how to experience the good health they were born to have.

Patient: “So doc, can you help me?”

Dr. Future: “Sure, here’s you prescription. For your osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems, ten servings of fruit and vegetables each day, and cut way back on animal proteins. For your high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insomnia and depression, brisk three-mile walks four times a week and twenty minutes of meditation every day. You’ll also need to pick up this list of vitamins and minerals, extra vitamin C and omega-3 fish oil capsules and start taking them every day too.”

Patient: “Whoa, doc! Can’t you just give me a pill or something I can take to cure me? This sounds like a whole lot of trouble!”

Dr. Future: “No Jimmy, there is no such thing as a cure, healing comes from inside you. All I can do is teach you how to heal yourself.”

I predict that the scientific landscape will soon change beyond recognition… the reign of ‘experts’ is over,” concluded Dr. Servan-Schrieber. We need only remember that the Titanic was built by experts, but the Ark was built by amateurs.

“It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician,” remarked Meryl Streep.

I just have one final question: if an apple a day can keep the doctor away, what does that say about seven or eight apples?

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© Darrel Crain, 2006 All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Opinions? Rants? Call Darrel Crain at 619-445-0100

Dr. Darrel Crain
Family Chiropractor
Natural Health Writer
President, CCA San Diego County District

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