Jan 5, 2012
The practice of medicine took an interesting turn in the United States roughly a century ago. The net result of that turn is that the majority of interventions are suppressive in nature. This is particularly true in the field of pediatric care.
Symptoms and illness are not always a bad thing. In fact, more often than not they are evidence that the body is doing what it has been programmed to do. Whether that design came as a result of eons of evolutionary magic or at the hand of Providence or perhaps a little of both, the complex systems which constrain to homeostasis are a marvel to behold.
The immune and nervous systems play a particularly important role in maintaining the balance we know as health. Childhood, from a health perspective, is the time during which a future adult’s body grows accustomed to the xenobiotics present in the natural and man-made environment. The immune and nervous systems develop, grow and mature through exposure, and many of the symptoms confused with illness are nothing more than the body working with the tools at its disposal to cleanse itself (nasal discharge, fever, etc.) and restore balance.
You may have heard a grandparent encourage to you let your children play in the dirt and not to worry too much about washing their hands afterward, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to show that such an approach does in fact promote health. But wait! Before you click off of my blog and wash your hands with anti-bacterial hand soap, read on. It gets better.
Your body is a remarkable collection of cells but, perhaps more importantly, an impressive assemblage of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and archaea. You may have thought of your body as being primarily cellular, but microbiologists will tell you that there are at least ten times as many bacteria than cells in your body.
It is estimated that there are 500 to 1,000 species of bacteria living in the human gut and approximately the same number living on human skin. This microbiota performs millions of functions in your body, including supporting your immune and nervous systems in their tireless and life-promoting work.
So here’s the rub. We now live in a society where parents are trained to run to the doctor or to the drug store as soon as symptoms appear in their children. Since the industrial revolution we’ve seen downtime as the nemesis of productive living, and as a result we’ve grown to favor hard-hitting, fast-acting suppressive interventions over letting the body restore balance through its inherent and intelligent design.
Unfortunately, bypassing the body’s systems for dealing with imbalances can produce unwanted side-effects. Give a child acetaminophin to reduce a fever, and the body, which was using the fever to burn off xenobiotics that it could not handle using less drastic measures, has to resort to another strategy to handle the invader. Plan B is never as elegant, efficient or safe as Plan A, and it is precisely on this basis that acute illness is transformed, over time, into chronic disease. The body in its almost infinite wisdom effectively buries the problem, as bees coat contaminants in the hive that they are unable to remove with propolis. Unfortunately, to do so is always a compromise that invariably leads to health complications later on.
Many of the symptoms we’ve have come to see as “bad” are really just evidence that the body is healthy and functioning as it should. Health does not mean the absence of symptoms, especially given the fact that we live in an increasingly toxic world. Don’t get me wrong, modern medicine has its place, but I have to wonder if we as a society have let it evolve into a system that favors disease management over health care.
My company, Energetix Corporation, is doing a lot of interesting work in relation to non-suppressive pediatrics and adult care. If you’d like to learn more, please call us (800.990.7085) for a referral to a health care practitioner near you who is trained in this type of approach.
Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Gregg Hake received a B.A. in Political Science and French from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. in International Business from Boston College. In an effort to speed his recovery from an injury suffered while playing soccer for the University of Michigan, Gregg delved into the world of complementary and alternative medicine. Inspired from his discoveries in the fields of nutrition, homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Gregg decided to devote his life to wellness. Gregg has founded a number of companies in the wellness field, beginning with an import/export company that dealt primarily with honeybee products. Ever-mindful of finding ways to improve the health and wellbeing of his fellows, Gregg has focused his efforts in the wellness, prevention and spa industries over the last two decades. As CEO of several innovative product and service companies, including Energetix Corporation, Anakiri, LLC, The Body Sanctuary, Inc. and The Spa on Green Street, Gregg is committed to building a team of fine people and a network of caring and successful health care practitioners. Gregg is eager to establish a legacy of excellence for his sons and their generation. Working closely with his wife, Melissa, to nurture their growing family and family of businesses, Gregg’s greatest pleasure is spending time with his two sons, Christopher and William. Gregg is also an avid aviator, equestrian, falconer and student of all things classical.