By Darrel Crain, D.C.
It was in the midst of the infamous Spanish flu pandemic of 1917-19. People were dying right and left from secondary infections that overwhelmed their weakened immune systems. The medical men of the day had no antibiotics to pull out of their little black bags, so they reached for calomel, also known as mercurous chloride. Some historians have speculated that the use of this mercury-containing compound for the sick may have actually cost the lives of more than a few patients.
But there were two groups of doctors ‘giving no medicine’ who were in great demand because they were losing very few patients to the dreaded flu. In fact, the legendary ability of chiropractors and osteopaths to keep their patients alive during the epidemic is largely responsible for those disciplines gaining licensure in several states. Chiropractors were busy making sure their patients were well-adjusted, while osteopaths performed manipulations on patients, each method working with the spine to restore and enhance immune function in the body. Hippocrates himself, the father of medicine, spoke of this vital concept more than two thousand years earlier when he wrote, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.”
As you can imagine, the already wealthy and powerful medical establishment was not too happy with this kind of non-medical voodoo it could neither understand nor control. “Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship…” wrote Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, organized medicine has been busy over the last hundred years, deliberately and systematically working to destroy not just chiropractic, but also midwifery, naturopathy, herbalism and homeopathy.
This was thoroughly exposed during a fifteen-year legal battle waged by group of chiropractors, understandably fed up with being denounced as unscientific cultists, against the American Medical Association (AMA). Chiropractors prevailed when the Supreme Court upheld a guilty verdict in the mid 1990s against the AMA, but the organization was only slapped on the wrist with a fine of a few million dollars. Osteopathy was eventually seduced by medicine into its world of drugs, surgery and social acceptance. Chiropractic, on the other hand, is still regarded as the red-haired stepchild of the health field because of its stubborn refusal to get involved with drugs.
Medicine has apparently become the modern-day emperor who wears no clothes. I say this because it is considered thoroughly impolite to ask the following question: Can anyone explain to me why medical intervention needs to be a leading cause of premature and unnecessary death? Imagine several jumbo jets crashing every single day with no survivors, and you get an idea of the level of collateral damage caused daily by well-intentioned medical interventions. Where is the outcry? Where are the investigations, or the federal programs to reduce the death rate? Do you suppose I’d be invited to more parties if I didn’t ask such questions?
Never one to miss an opportunity to breach social etiquette, I will now reproduce my Seven Laws for Saving Lives, a set of rules to help people take back control of their health. These laws are my opinion, naturally, not to be construed as personal medical advice. I encourage everyone to seek a second, a third, even a fourth opinion from the qualified health professional of their choice when making decisions about health interventions. Doing so is not cowardice, it is a sign of wisdom. And for heaven’s sake, don’t limit yourself to consulting with health practitioners under contract with your medical insurance company.
The first law: Above all is respect for the right of every individual to medical freedom, individual choice, and informed consent.
The second law: Use watchful waiting unless faced with an emergency. Nature requires time to heal. Symptoms are evidence that healing is taking place. Suppressing symptoms interferes with natural healing processes and may promote chronic disease.
The third law: Engage the body’s powerful healing forces with natural healing methods as an alternative to prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and even surgery. The key to healing is often found in correcting a deficiency or toxicity in the body.
The fourth law: Check these ABCs before taking any drug, including any over-the-counter drug: a) a family history of adverse drug reactions; b) any health conditions that may be adversely affected by the drug; c) any herbs, supplements, or other drugs also being taken that may interact harmfully.
The fifth law: Seek the lowest recommended dose and the shortest possible duration of time if drugs are taken.
The sixth law: Trust in the body’s miraculous innate healing potential, and never lose hope, nor take away hope from others.
The seventh law: Live a lifestyle of wellness. Profound health benefits, as well as the prevention of chronic illness later in life are possible.
“Nature alone cures and what nursing has to do is put the patient in the best condition for Nature to act upon him,” wrote Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Government and industry leaders in the health field have an opportunity to heed this time-tested advice as they prepare for a potential flu pandemic.
“Good intentions are useless in the absence of common sense,” according to ancient Persian lore. Common sense would suggest that the best way to prepare for the health of our nation is to seek out those things that really helped people in past pandemics.
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Dr. Darrel Crain practices in Alpine, California
Copyright © 2006 Darrel Crain – All rights reserved.
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