Restorative Medicine: The Missing Puzzle Piece in Healing
Especially for those suffering from Chronic Disease
The missing puzzle piece in healing states that there is a gap in the process of healing.
This statement could be interpreted that there is a gap due to a lack of knowledge related to healing and the healing process, and/or it could be interpreted that the correct/or necessary resources to heal are lacking, and/or it could be interpreted that the process of healing is not complete or not correctly designed.
In this scope, the missing puzzle piece in healing refers only to the lack of knowledge related to healing and the healing process of human beings. I specifically believe that by God’s design, human beings received a miraculously designed healing system and process. I also believe that all the necessary and correct resources are available to assist and facilitate a perfect and effective healing process in the human being.
The "human being" is deliberately used in the context of the above and the context of this article. I am deliberately not exclusively referring to the human body.
Human Being is by definition of the author a person in “being”. The person is seen within the context of his/her environment, a person with a purpose and meaning, a whole person with a spirit, a soul, a mind and a body. All these are integrated and cannot be seen as separate entities. It refers to a human being in “being“ in contrast to a human being purely in “doing” which could equate to a “human doing” and it refers to something much more and meaningful as a human body.
The reason is, that the missing puzzle piece is not related only to the human body. It has a reference to the holistic and systems thinking thought model of what healing entails. There will always be a missing puzzle related to health, wellness and wellbeing if one does not understand and appreciate the person or patient as a human being.
Most people are sick and tired of being sick and tired, but it does not have to be this way!
Awareness is increasing that Pharmaceutical Medicine often has severe side effects, whilst Alternative Medicine mostly does not have side effects. More and more research and understanding are showing that many people are suffering from especially chronic diseases that are brought on either through a poor and unhealthy lifestyle and/or medication that was supposed to treat one or other ache, pain or disease.
Western Medicine often causes these diseases through side effects, and it is becoming known that it is not effective in assisting patients to heal.
Human beings are designed to be healthy and well.
Human beings are designed to be "WellBeings".
WellBeing is by definition of the author; a human being that is well in spirit, well in soul, well in mind and a person who is also enjoying physical health. A person who is happy, experiences joy in life and who enjoys living life to his/her full potential, fulfilling his/her purpose in life and who is experiencing meaningfulness.
The question to be answered is - if that is true, why are the majority of the world’s population not well?
Interestingly, Thomas Edison once said (Trivieri & Anderson eds 2002: 4):
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease”.
Life has become the “Instant Age” (à la Dr. Illona E Wilken) where people started drinking instant coffee, eating instant foods such as takeaways, for example, McDonald’s. People instantly fly to another continent or city, instantly seeing and knowing what goes on anywhere in the world in real-time. Babies have to be born instantly through caesareans so that parents “can plan their lives”. Babies have to drink instant milk formulas and eat preserved and purified food. Food has become instant food, so they have to feed the cattle cement powder to weigh more, quicker. The chickens are fed and injected estrogens so that their chests can grow bigger, faster and fatter in “warehouses”, to be instantly ready for the supermarket shelves.
People have become accustomed to the marketing of the large pharmaceutical companies in the belief that one only has to "pop a pill" to relieve oneself of a headache instantly. We "pop a pill" to instantly have more energy or to stay awake longer to finish the work or that report. Or we "pop a pill" to build more stamina and muscle to instantly compete better in sports, and we drink a whiskey, beer or wine to instantly relax. And then we "pop a pill" to instantly fall asleep if we suffer from insomnia, etc.
With the above perspective, it is realistic to expect that people will become more and more drug-dependent, they will become more fatigued, more stressed (actually distressed) and they will become more ill and sicker.
More and more people (at a younger age) will suffer from signs and symptoms of disease and become ill. Many people have become despondent, as mentioned earlier, because they realise that Conventional Medicine (in this time and age!) cannot, for example, win the war against cancer, or HIV or chronic fatigue syndrome, or any other chronic disease.
It is true that due to medical research and medical advances, the average age of people is increasing (large percentages are not dying young of poor hygiene, bacteria, and viruses), but from this perspective, it is also obvious that they can grow older due to drugs and treatments that one by one kill the invaders. But, with that being said, the average health profile and the average status of wellness and wellbeing of the majority of people is deteriorating.
They do not have the ability to grow old gracefully with a quality of life like it was intended. They grow old, popping many pills to counter or hide the signs and the symptoms such as pain, fatigue, inflammation, etc.
Functional Medicine provides a great view on the importance of not only “killing or catching the invader”, but as the health practitioner, to rather understand the fundamental imbalances in the patient and to restore the imbalances in order to restore health and wellness.
The two diagrams below, depict how one disease could be caused by many possible imbalances and secondly, how one imbalance can cause many diseases or ill conditions:
Diagram 1: How many imbalances can cause one Disease, as depicted by Dr. Illona E Wilken
Diagram 2: How one imbalance can cause many diseases, as depicted by Dr. Illona E Wilken
The place for Restorative Medicine is where one or more imbalances are experienced and through repair and restoration of these imbalances, the patient’s body can start healing itself and the patient will start moving on the continuum towards wellness and wellbeing.
Balance is the keyword or concept in the philosophy of Naturopathy. When all the systems in the body are harmoniously balanced, synthesised and working in an integrated manner and we are in balance with our environment and other human beings, our defense mechanisms and our immune system can efficiently deal with most hazards presented by life such as pathogenic organisms, toxic substances, stress, emotional responses to negative, traumatic or bad triggers, etc.
Our body will naturally and on its own restore the balance if we are in equilibrium in the first place, which describes the essence of the missing puzzle piece in healing.
The basic philosophy of "Nature Cure" is to assist the body to restore its equilibrium so that it can heal itself successfully. For this reason, it is most important to the Naturopath to understand the patient in his/her environment and to treat the person as a unique being through drugless and natural treatments in order to restore his/her immune system and to balance the Yin and Yang or homeostasis.
Nature Cure believes that disease is an abnormal condition of the body. It means the body has lost is equilibrium or balance.
Naturopathy is based on a belief system of Vitalism. This means there is a belief that the body is “alive” and healthy if the special energy called "vital force" or "vital energy" is efficient in managing and controlling all bodily functions such as digestion, metabolism, reproduction, growth, healing, etc.
The Naturopath will find the least invasive methodology to restore the innate ability of the body to heal and the Naturopath will at all times take a holistic approach. The ideology of Naturopathy is to focus on naturally occurring substances such as fresh air, organic and fresh food, pure clean water, sunshine, and it focuses on natural regimes like bodily hygiene and bathing, natural exercise – especially in fresh air (outdoors), connecting with earth (walking barefoot in the garden), sunbathing, and prevention through a healthy diet, a balanced lifestyle, prevention through avoidance of drugs in any form or shape, avoidance of heavy metals, toxins and radiation and avoidance of toxic, dirty or contaminated and radiated environments or hormone-treated and genetically manipulated food. Preservatives, colourants, and additives are also avoided in foods.
The six values mostly honoured by Naturopathic Practitioners and Doctors are:
First, do no harm, provide the most effective health care available with the least risk to patients at all times (“primum non nocere”).
Treat the cause, not the symptom. Identify and remove the causes of illness, rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms (“Tolle Causum”).
Educate, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health (Doctor as Teacher). Naturopathic Physicians are first and foremost teachers who educate, motivate and empower patients to assume more personal responsibility for their own health by adopting a healthy lifestyle, diet and attitude.
Treat each person by considering all individual health factors and influences (Treat the Whole Person).
Prevention is better than cure. Emphasise the condition of health to promote wellbeing and to prevent diseases for the individual, each community and our world (Health Promotion is the Best Prevention).
Taking a view on chronic disease and specifically auto-immune diseases, the missing puzzle piece in health and healing makes so much more sense.
As we indulge in negative thoughts and hence speak negative words, our bodies will slowly, but surely wither away. The Light and the Spirit in our bodies will fade.
This statement is very important, especially if one considers the research and body of knowledge presented below:
Numerous research studies showed that in people who suffered an injury, the individuals with the most stem cells circulating in the bloodstream were the ones that showed the fastest recovery from the injury. The studies that were monitoring the individuals over a period of one year, showed that the individuals with the highest level of circulating stem cells in their blood were the healthiest of the study group. This is a very important factor in the context of health.
A different perspective is presented on the Mind Domain interface with disease, health, wellness and wellbeing. It is intriguing the way in which Terry Winchester starts his chapter on How to Turn your Life Around (Winchester 2004: 159):
"As we can see now, we have it all the wrong way. What we thought was real – the physical plane – turns out to be an illusion and what we thought was unreal – the imagination or mind turns out to be real."
This is such an apt description of what has been discussed so far.
The missing puzzle piece in healing and health lies in the reality of the intangible or what is perceived to be unreal and as referred to in Integrated Health as the Mind Domain and the Emotions Domain.
Prior to BioPhysics becoming known and more accepted, people never believed that for example, emotions could cause disease. Not many people gave credit to the power of thought in creating disease or negative reality.
Yet the Bible teaches us these Truths or Spiritual Laws, originating more than 2 000 years ago.
Proverbs 18:21 is so important, as it resembles the missing puzzle piece in healing and health and therefore it must be repeated once again (The Amplified Bible 1987: 931):
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]."
Similarly, Proverbs 17:22 needs to be repeated at this point as well, to emphasise the importance thereof (The Amplified Bible 1987: 929):
"A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."
Lipton (Lipton 2008: 114) quotes Mahatma Gandhi (italics and bold added for emphasis by me), and I will leave you with this thought:
Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny.