Let’s talk about the concept of “disease process”.
Disease is defined as: “a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.”
Process is defined as: “a natural or involuntary series of changes”
Putting this together, when we look at the definition of “disease process,” we would say that it is “a series of natural or involuntary changes that caused a disorder of structure or function, which produces symptoms.”
One of the things that makes our treatment style unique is the fact that we treat the underlying cause of the problem. After we develop a diagnosis of the underlying cause (or disease process), we treat that to resolve the symptom(s). A term that could be used to explain in broad terms that underlying cause of a symptom would be the term disease process.
Let’s use an example of high blood pressure: We view high blood pressure as a symptom of an underlying disease process. A person has long-term emotional stress, which leads to a breakdown of liver function. The liver (known in Oriental medicine as intimately connected to stress in day-to-day living), may have a negative effect on the heart. This, in turn, leads to tension in the blood vessels, increasing the pressure (due to less elasticity) of the fluid in the inside of the blood vessel. Hence, high blood pressure.
Outlined above is obviously one of many potential causes of high blood pressure, however is relatively common and illustrates the fact that a disease process will often lead to a symptom. If a person treats the symptoms only, it will never fully resolve.
Nothing in this document is tended as a replacement for a medical doctor’s diagnosis or treatment.
Let’s look at the actual definition of the word symptom.
SYMPTOM: “a physical or emotional manifestation of an underlying disease process, indicating there is an imbalance.” We look at your symptoms as indicators that there is something wrong a deeper level.
Many people come to us with a particular condition that the doctors diagnosed as a disease. What we have found many times is that the diagnosis is merely a symptom OF a disease.
Example: a person comes in with a diagnosis of “migraines”.
Sounds perfectly straight forward, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately for the patient, the diagnosis given is usually a description of specific symptoms that are slightly unique for each person, but fall under the diagnostic category of “migraines.”
What we have found clinically is that the body has an imbalance which is the actual and TRUE disease process. The disease process is what is causing the migraines, which is when the symptoms of pain, visual disturbances, etc. appear.
It seems a major misstep in conventional Western medicine lies within a misunderstanding of the following word….SYMPTOM.
The ancient physicians of Chinese medicine figured out that the body is actually designed to live to 120 years old. Modern research has verified that the body is designed to live that long, but there definitely seems to be a problem: the average lifespan in America currently is 76 for men and 81 for women.
According to Chinese medical philosophy and modern scientific research, 60 years of age should be “mid life.”
Here’s what the ancients in China figured out: from birth onward a person should do these five things:
- Exercise and have a good mental outlook. A modern interpretation of this would mean going to the gym or participating in sports and having some kind of a spiritual practice, going to church, etc.
- Eating correctly for what your individual body requires and eating correctly in each season.
- Using acupuncture to restore circulation and enhance glandular/organ function.
- Using Chinese herbal medicine to restore circulation and enhance glandular/organ function.
- Using massage, physical therapy and or joint adjustments to enhance circulation structural function.
If you want to get on the national news for living past 100 years old, I would recommend starting these five things immediately.
Fears about nuclear radiation have certainly come to the forefront in the past months. Whether natural occurring or man-made, it’s a peculiar kind of threat in our modern times – we can’t see it, nor, for the most part, do we really understand it. The truth is, we live in a radioactive world. We receive radiation from the sun, from the earth, from the food we eat, from airplane travels, and from countless electronics in our day-to-day life.
Radon is the leading source of natural occurring radiation exposure, while the primary source of man-made radiation exposure comes from medical sources such as x-rays, radiation therapies and diagnostic nuclear medicine. There are various other sources that expose us to small amounts of radiation such as the radiofrequency waves from cell phones, Wi-Fi and microwave ovens, airport security and even our smoke detectors. While not all types and sources of radiation are the same, scientists agree their net effect increases your risk of health problems.
When we think of the damaging effects caused by exposure to radiation, we rarely consider the person’s nutritional or health status as a determining factor in the outcome. In other words, the healthier you are prior to exposure, the better the chances your body has of detoxifying or getting rid of the damaging radioactive material and the less chance you have of experiencing long term damage or illness as a result of that exposure.
Here are some healthy suggestions for lowering your chances of experiencing any long-term damage or illness from radiation exposure:
- Stay hydrated! Maintain fluid and electrolyte balance: take electro-mix by Alacer, homeopathic cell salts and/or Smartwater.
- Congee – Why? Simple and basic, congee is a sort of rice gruel or porridge that is eaten in China as well as many other Asian countries. Rice is boiled in lots of water or broth until the grains have grown many times their size and are still swimming in excess fluid. The grains may also be cooked down until they completely disintegrate and become the texture of creamy rice cereal. Made either way, congee is very nutritious and highly recommended for people suffering from fatigue, digestive problems and illness. It is easy to digest and contains nutrients in ready form to be absorbed and used, thereby enabling quick revitalization of the body. What better way to “break” the “fast” of the night and begin a new day of productive activity than to partake of a vitalizing bowl of steaming rice soup!
- Miso – Why? Restores immune, an excellent source of digestive enzymes, friendly bacteria, essential amino acids, vitamins (including vitamin B-12), easily assimilated protein (twice as much as meat or fish and 11 times more than milk) and minerals, miso is low in calories and fat. It breaks down and discharges cholesterol, neutralizes the effects of smoking and environmental pollution, alkalinizes the blood and prevents radiation sickness.
- Drink Astagalus Tea. Astragalus is an herb that is native to China, and known for its anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Astragalus contains antioxidants which help to support and protect the body’s immune system. Astragalus has been shown to speed recovery and extend life expectancy in people whose immune systems have been compromised by chemotherapy or radiation.
- Gan Mao Ling (literally “common cold pills,” available in our clinic) supports the health of the respiratory system, immune system, nervous system, sinuses, stomach and bowels, and the general well-being of the body. Clears heat and resolves toxins such as radiation.
- Eating lots of orange and dark green foods (sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, carrots, kale, collards, chard, and spinach, for example) can protect you from radiation-induced cancers.
- All cabbage family plants – including arugula, turnips, radishes, cauliflower, mustard greens, bok choy, brussel sprouts, kale, collards, and of course broccoli – protect your cells from the damaging effects of radiation.
You can learn more about radiation exposure and what steps you can take to protect yourself from the damaging effects of radiation by reading Clear Body, Clear Mind.
If you have any questions on this topic or anything else, don’t hesitate to call: 414-322-8888
Nothing in this document is intended as a substitute for your doctor’s diagnosis and/or treatment. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA.
When it comes to Eastern Medicine vs. Western Medicine, there is quite a different approach to needles. And, in a recent survey comparing the Eastern Acupuncture needle approach to the Western drug injection needle approach to neck pain, surprisingly it was Acupuncture that came out ahead.
SpineUniverse recently conducted a survey to determine the favored treatment for neck pain and to compare patient satisfaction with a variety of treatment methods. As this survey was conducted in the United States where Western medical treatment and drugs are often the favored treatment, one item of comparison stood out and caused surprise.
This portion of the study compared Acupuncture to injection therapy for neck pain. Of the 310 persons in the study, 43.6% of the patients were satisfied or very satisfied with Acupuncture. What surprised researchers was that only 41.3% said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their drug treatment.
While the percentage difference between those who preferred Acupuncture over injections is not large, the results were quite surprising to research personnel bases on two main factors: The first had to do with the fact that while vast amounts of money are invested in pharmacological research and injection medication, participants yet favored Acupuncture. The second factor had to do with the fact that many Westerners are still a bit wary of Acupuncture, but those who responded found it to be quite favorable.
On the other hand, the results may be paralleling the growing acceptance of Acupuncture by patients and the medical community. Many are finding that the traditional Chinese art of healing seems to make patients happy and reduce their pains. Once people realize that Acupuncture helps to contribute to the total health of the person and does so with needles that cause little or no discomfort, they are more amenable to giving it a try.
“Acupuncture is a safe treatment option for neck pain, and when done properly by a licensed acupuncturist, it can provide much needed pain relief,” said Laurie Morse, a licensed acupuncturist and Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine. “Many people worry about all the needles, but they’re actually much thinner (almost hair thin) than injection needles. Additionally, you can’t possibly have a reaction to medication because no medication is used in Acupuncture.”
Source: SpineUniverse. Press Release. “Neck Pain Patients Prefer Acupuncture to Injections.”March 2008. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/4/prweb838904.htm