True Health Care is NOT Just Managing Disease
Another dangerous illusion in the health industry is found in the misuse of certain commonly used phrases. One of the most dangerous misuse of words are the phrases "health care" and "health insurance." I say this because it deceptively supports a false concept that keeps people from getting true health care. There is almost no true health care in America in orthodox medicine. What is called "health care" is actually "sickness care". When you go to a doctor with a problem, your intention is to regain your health. And most doctors would agree that this is the objective.
But what actually occurs in what has become traditional (allopathic) medicine, is that the pain and symptoms are merely managed or suppressed with drugs or surgery. This is not health care--it is disease care. And there is a place for disease care. It is not wrong. But it is a mistake to call disease care health care.
The same is true of health or life insurance. The premiums you pay insure neither your health nor your life. Health insurance does NOT insure your health--it simply provides money to pay the doctor for his treatments of your symptoms. In the case of life insurance, they pay money to your survivors, having done nothing to insure your life.
The astounding 17% of the gross national product of the United States that is spent on supposedly "health care" is really not spent on health care at all. It is spent on sickness care, mostly in the form of drugs and surgery. But this "disease care" system doesn't even address the real cause of disease--it primarily suppresses and manages just the symptoms of the problem instead of removing or preventing the problem.
Symptoms are NOT the Disease
Another dangerous illusion regards the confusion of symptoms with disease. Contrary to what most of us have been led to believe by money hungry advertisers and even our culture itself, symptoms such as pain, fever, inflammation, headaches, backaches, depression, high blood pressure or sugar, high cholesterol, etc. are not the illness or disease. But because we have confused and basically equated symptoms with illness and disease, we mistakenly think that treating and ridding ourselves of the symptoms with drugs and surgery is the same as ridding ourselves of the illness.
For example, if I have a sore throat, the sickness is not the sore throat. My throat is sore as the direct result of what my body is doing to combat the real problem that is invisible and painless. My throat is sore because my body has wisely increased the blood supply to those tissues to combat the virus or bacteria and to accelerate the healing. The increased blood supply presses against the nerves and creates the pain. The pain indicates two things: that there is a problem (which is good to know), and that my body is doing something constructive to heal itself (which also is good). So the soreness, though inconvenient, is actually a good thing, and is not the sickness itself.
The pain is not caused by the sickness--the pain is generated by the body itself as an immune response as a consequence of the healing process. The problem that the immune system is addressing is that there are too germs in that particular tissue.
But germs are not even the real root problem, because you already have the germs inside of you all the time anyway. The real problem is that the immune system was not able to keep the population of the germs down to a reasonable level, and as a result they got out of control. But why was the immune system too weak to prevent this? That is what the five strategies described in the rest of the book is about.
Who Turned Up the Temperature?
Let's look at another example. You get a fever. You may think that the sickness or problem is the fever. Based on that erroneous thinking, it makes sense to try to get rid of the fever, having confused it with the real problem that is invisible.
But where did the fever come from? Is it caused by the germs? Is it caused by some insidious disease? Is it a sign that you are losing the battle? Actually, it is just the opposite!
The fever is an ingenious strategy used by the body to give itself the advantage in the "battle". The fever is purposely generated by the body as an immune response for the purpose of weakening the germs and as a way to increase the blood supply to the needed area. So it was YOU (your immune system) who turned the temperature up, and it was a good and smart thing to do! It gives you a winning advantage!
Doctors who understand this will sometimes artificially induce a fever to aid the body in its recovery. This is why taking a hot bath or sitting in a hot sauna can really help the body recover faster. Some doctors even treat A.I.D.S. with artificially induced fevers. So suppressing a fever is actually working against the body's own healing efforts. The exception to this is if the fever gets out of control. It's like going faster in your car is good to a point, but it can become dangerous at a point too, especially if you are going down a hill and your brakes are not working well.