Monday, February 8, 2010

Holistic Medicine: Fact or Fiction BY Mitch Asinoff

2/9/10 Holistic Medicine: Fact or Fiction? by M. Asinoff

People are very health conscious today. They are joining gyms and learning how Holistic Medicine can help prevent and cure ailments such as Arthritis and breast cancer by helping your body heal it-self. It treats the cause, thereby eliminating the symptoms. Thirty years ago cholesterol's negative effects were unknown. Whereas today our deep concerns created a very lucrative market for many human and pet foods claiming to be healthy, all natural, light, diet, low/no fat, Salt and Cholesterol. You can’t enter a supermarket or restaurant without seeing those words. Health food store chains are opening everywhere and cashing-in-on-the-multi-billion-dollar-business. Fast food is joining the “party too.” Pharmacies are cashing in on it by selling vitamins and Holistic remedies. Iced tea and bottled water are-a huge and rapidly growing part of the soft drink market because they provide a natural, healthy alternative to soda and fruit drinks. Europeans have used Holistic medicine for centuries. And it is quickly catching on in the U.S. because it incorporates many therapies: Acupuncture, Herb logy, Homeopathy, iridology, mediation, nutrition, prayer, Reflexology, etc. A few insurance companies are recognizing alternative therapies because it often cost so little, especially compared to medications, which often have negative side-effects and a Generic, which may not even be real medicine.

"In 1992, congress mandated creation of the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM). The purpose as outlined in the Senate Bill, is 'to facilitate the evaluation of alternative medical treatment modalities' to determine their effectiveness and to help integrate them into the mainstream. An 18 member advisory council, comprising representatives from academic and alternative medicine guide it. It performs two roles in furthering research on alternative medicine: 1) Log and maintain ongoing interest in the many alternative medicine research projects funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Currently, 17 Public Health Service (PHS) agencies spend over $13 million on it. The National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute spend more researching alternative therapies than other health institutes; 2) Fund research…: to date, it funded 42 pilot studies, at about $30,000 each... As a partial result of this Bill, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) now has over 60,000 citations on alternative medicine.

"The large interest in it stems from a few sources. There are many articles, books, patient reports, etc., on mainstream and alternative medicine. Unfortunately, much of it suggests widespread frustration over the ineffective treatment of many diseases. And the lack of advancement, despite billions and decades spent waging war on cancer. Many disorders such as breast cancer are reaching epidemic proportions in the U.S. and causing great fear with no clear understanding of why. Some people link it to magnetic fields caused by power lines, and electric blankets). Sadly, this has led to many American women having mastectomies as prevention/ treatment in the past few decades.

"Chemotherapy's side effects are more intolerable to a public increasingly focused upon natural, more effective treatments. There is growing public distrust and dissatisfaction with establishment medicine and related institutions. The FDA is seen as a barrier, not a protector. And the pharmaceutical industry as primarily focused on profits, hindering access to promising products even for dying patients. Despite commercial efforts to display a contrary image, natural products are usually ignored for expensive, high-tech drugs.

"Patients often feel helpless and ignored. Many cannot understand why cancer treatments in the U.S. do not include non-toxic, complementary, techniques to manage pain, reduce stress and alleviate symptoms like other countries.

"Unfortunately, the U.S. is still about two years behind most European nations in establishing government offices for complementary medicine. And in offering its therapies to aid mainstream cancer care.

"Meanwhile, many people complain about insensitive, limited and hurried doctor visits ... Understandably, in our fast-paced world time is money. But people dislike being rushed, especially when it comes to their health.

"Many physicians often fail to make provisions or warn patients about chemotherapy's side effects. In many cases the cure is worse than disease. The operation was a success. But the patient died! Above all else, doctors should not harm. Naturopaths seem more caring and take the Holistic approach of looking at the whole person v. the reductionism attitude of just treating the disease."

Salads are big business in fast-food restaurants. They sell bottled water as a healthy alternative to soda and shakes. Wendy’s is switching it’s cooking oil to a lower fat one and Kentucky Fried Chicken endured bad publicity over it’s high fat content. “Caribbean’s are starting to get diseases like obesity because American fast foods like KFC are there.” (Mavis) Stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, General Nutrition Centers and Vitamin Shoppe are cashing in on the multi Billion Dollar health food business because people want to be healthy.

"A popular Holistic remedy is the 38 Bach Remedies. Dr. Ed Bach invented them in Britain, in the 1930's, 50 years before any major research on stress related disorders. He developed them from trees, plants, herbs and wild flowers as a natural alternative to medications, which often mask problems. After extensive testing with special waters they can positively balance and alleviate many mental and emotional disorders.

"They are totally safe, use small doses/do not interfere with medications. Even overdoses are harmless because they contain the essence of flower in a small percentage of alcohol to prevent spoilage. They are listed in the U.S. Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia."

My brother Howard is a Naturopathic Dr. and said, "Many ailments we think are hereditary are environmental: we drink the same water/eat the same foods. If some people make modifications/take vitamins they may not need medication as much. But drug companies oppose natural things like vitamins because only man-made things can be patented.

"It's hard to believe but some people don’t want to cure diseases such as Cancer because it raises billions annually. I recently read an article that said only about 1/2 a cent of every dollar raised goes to finding a cure." They spend millions on public relations and administration. Some organizations such as Muscular Dystrophy even own their TV studios. In many cases it is unclear if they are non-profit.

The same goes for drug companies who make profits. Yet some were caught sending the real drug to the F.D.A. as a sample for the generic, but a fake one to pharmacies. For God's sake! This is people's health and lives they're playing with just to raise profits!

Drugs such as AZT for AIDS are still prescribed, despite its ineffectiveness because the manufacturers want to recoup the money spent developing it. There is a special place in hell for these people!

Fortunately, "over 24 medical schools and hospitals have developed programs or departments to study alternative therapies." "Harvard University's Beth Israel Hospital collected $2 million, partially from an OAM research grant... toward their center. It was inaugurated at a 1995 conference, Alternative Medicine: Implications for Clinical Practice...on March 30-April 1, 1995." "A second major Harvard conference was held in December, 1995. This one on prayer's healing power.

In fact, "today at least 27 medical schools in the U.S. offer courses on alternative medicine, including Georgetown, Columbia, Harvard, Maryland and Wayne State University." "Many others provide occasional lectures or ongoing informal programs."

Lately, "insurance companies offering plans that reimburse alternative practitioners stirred great public interest. The Alterna Path pilot offers access to Acupuncturists and Naturopaths. And was quickly fully- subscribed when first offered on a pilot basis."

Furthermore, "The American Western Life Insurance Company offers a 'wellness plan' that uses Naturopaths, V. conventional doctors, as gatekeepers. The plan emphasizes Holistic remedies as first-line treatment and only uses allopathic (traditional) medicine when necessary."

While "other insurers reimburse for specific alternative procedures such as acupuncture, in their- standard plans. Six states now require health insurers to cover acupuncture. It is a good example of a former alternative therapy that is now widely accepted in mainstream medicine for pain management/substance abuses."

"A further sign of alternative medicine's acceptance is physicians' behavior. Over 60% of doctors in one survey referred their patients to alternative practitioners with primary care physicians most likely to..."

Surprisingly, "a 1984 study found that 51% of them were medical doctors." Interestingly, "alternative medicine is extremely popular with the public...although better educated people use it most. A national telephone survey found that 34% of Americans visited alternative practitioners in 1990, spending $13.7 billion...and made more visits to alternative practitioners, (425 million) V. primary care physicians, (388)."

In addition, "a study in Poland found that 25% of all Cancer patients use alternatives..." In the metropolitan area there are many alternative physicians such as Dean Adell, Howard Magaziner and the late, Bob Atkins, director of THE ATKINS' CENTER FOR COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE, in Manhattan. They host call-in radio shows. Sometimes their guests say things such as sugar enhances schizophrenia and that if some people monitor their carbohydrates, and, or take prescribed doses of niacin, they may reduce, or avoid medication.

I have a friend who is a pharmacist and nutritionist. So I called him. He said, "Two tablespoons of Apple Cidar Vinegar combined with a few drops of a natural sweetener and water taken before carbs helps them pass through undigested. And studies have been done in Europe on the effects of Mega-doses of B-Complex and Amino Acids on brain chemistry. In fact, a psychiatrist had a son with bi-polar disorder who was not helped with medicine, but was cured with nutritional therapy. And went -on to become a very successful psychiatrist too." (Peter) “You must read labels on supplements as well as food because some are made by drug companies and include non digest able ingredients such as Carnauba wax. So you’ll think that vitamins don’t work and you need prescriptions.” (Brian)

Atkins used the British term complementary so as not to alienate medical doctors. He often said things such as, "I had to discard most of what I learned & start over with nutrition. I was getting a 10% success rate on heart patients with traditional medicine, v. 90% with complementary by using Co-Enzyme Q-10 (also good for cholesterol, dental & eye problems) & Beta-Carotene" (anti-oxidant=cell protector). Since graduating Cornell Medical College he wrote four books on Holistic therapies, practiced cardiology & published a monthly newsletter.

Dr. Ron Hoffman directs THE HOFFMAN CENTER FOR HOLISTIC MEDICINE, in N.J. He hosts "Health Talk": a call-in radio show on WOR, weeknights at 8:00, treats many disorders holistically and publishes a monthly newsletter.

Despite controversy, many psychiatrists prescribe the anti-depressant, Prozac, the "wonder" drug of the 90's. It's become so widely prescribed for kids they make a peppermint flavor. But they won't use sensory therapies: aroma, color & sound, or nutritional remedies: L- Tryptofane: by-product in Turkey, milk & bananas. It was outlawed, even though many people used it successfully. This forced many psychiatrists to prescribe Prozac as an alternative. A few years later it was replaced with a synthetic equivalent requiring a prescription.


There is a debate over allowing doctors to prescribe Marijuana for patients suffering from the unpleasant effects of chemotherapy. The federal government threatened to prosecute doctors prescribing it. The T.H.C. (active ingredient in it) pill does not work because it cannot be easily- regulated by patients, and those suffering nausea cannot swallow or hold them down. Yet President Clinton admitted that he smoked, but said he didn't inhale. Several high -ranking officials in the Clinton White House admitted to regular use during their employment and junkies get free methadone from hospitals. This is absurd! If it weren't so outrageous it would be laughable and ironic! We should be asking ourselves questions such as why? And what's wrong with this picture?!

"To bring structure to the wide and fast changing world of alternative therapies, the Office of Alternative Medicine groups them into seven categories: 1) diet and nutrition, 2) mind-body techniques, 3) bio-electric magnetism, 4) alternative systems of medical practice (or traditional and folk remedies), 5) pharmacological and biologic treatments, 6) manual healing methods and 7) herbal medicine."

A major part of Holistic Medicine is nutrition. Many women today take prenatal vitamins. Recent studies link various birth defects and cancer prevention to Folic Acid deficiencies. So Orange Growers advertise that juice is a great source.

Similarly, new advertisements allude to studies claiming Selenium and Vitamin E, which is also good for the brain, heart and Prostate Gland, have anti-cancer properties. "...scientists in the University of Alabama and the National Institute of Diabetics, Digestive and Kidney Diseases are investigating the potential anti-cancer properties of genistien: a substance in soybeans. It may explain why Asian women have lower rates of various cancers than American. It's probably the Soy Green Tea they drink." “Asian people don’t get cancer because they don’t eat –dairy until they come to the US and begin eating it.” (Alfredo)

Furthermore, "a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that soy v. animal protein significantly lowers total cholesterol, low density lipoproteins (LDL), and triglycerides. Perhaps the lower fat intake associated with dietary soy products relates to decreased incidence of breast cancer, which may be elevated by fat intake."

However, a major cause of many health problems is ignorance. And "Americans negate intellectualism." (John) This stems from a few sources: 1) "I'm Filipino and America is the only one, of the many countries I lived in that has derogatory names for educated people. It began with book- worm, egg- head and nerd, now they say geek and dweeb. In Europe we have nicknames for educated people too: scholars! Americans glorify entertainers and athletes who are merely entertainers" (Bing); 2) Americans glorify criminals too: for years movies have been made about them. In the 1930's it was Bonnie and Clyde and Dillinger. Al Capone became so big they made two TV series, and a movie based in large part upon law enforcement’s efforts to capture him called "The Untouchables"; 3) "Another huge part of the problem is that it's easier to pop pills, or get surgery than bother eating right and exercising" (Pauline); and 4) "many people are unsatisfied without a prescription and pressure doctors for medication." (Howard) This is a major cause of the increasing amount of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

I interviewed my former dentist because he retired and began studying Holistic Medicine. He said, "Few people know that the intestines have about three pounds of bad and good bacteria which help digest food/stimulate the body's production of certain vitamins. Or, that- antibiotics temporarily kill off the good causing complications such as diarrhea. And few doctors tell people that acidophilus helps." (Nort) It is in plain yogurt and over-the-counter capsules. Or that "all the studies on nutrition can be very confusing. People assume they are objective, but should ask who funded it, eat whole, natural, foods like butter, milk and eggs in moderation because the body can't absorb nutrients from altered substabces like low fat dairy. People should also take some vitamins daily." (Howard) Although, "diet is very controversial, dairy is probably more harmful than good. We should eat vegetables, fish, and a lot of water, the- fresher, the- better." (Nort) Surprisingly, a well kept secret about foods claiming to be low or no fat is that the F.D.A. lets companies decide portion sizes. So products claiming to have less than 2% fat per serving often have much more because fat is measured in ridiculously small portions!

Similarly, the F.D.A. does not regulate bottled water either. If people knew this, they would compare the many different filters to find a quality one. But they do not want to be bothered. This stems attitude stems from a "disease." A major symptom is that "people today watch TV for about three seconds before changing the channel. If you don't get their attention by then chances are you never-will." (Eileen) Unfortunately, the "disease" is reaching epidemic proportions in the U.S. It also has a very unusual name: "The thinking dept.'s closed!!!" (Michael)

Hopefully people will change their attitudes and go to Naturopaths who use procedures such as Nutri Scan: a red blood cell is ruptured to analyze it for food/heavy metal aversions and vitamin/mineral deficiencies. In Brooklyn, LIBERTY lab does this and offers a free list of alternative doctors.

Many Naturopaths cure ailments such as migraine headaches and attention deficit disorder (cannot sit still long enough to learn). First they check lifestyle/diet for poor eating habits. Then they seek food aversions. They often prescribe herbal remedies. Unfortunately, some medical doctors often prescribe Ritalin for Attention Deficit Disorders, even though it may stunt growth.

Similarly, some people with clogged arteries have Angioplasty (a balloon) inserted in their arteries to reduce the blockage and a stent is implanted to keep them open. Others have open heart bypass surgery: mammary arteries are removed from your legs and attached to the clogged arteries to restore blood flow to the heart. Whereas, "Holistic doctors may use Chelation Therapy: a chemical is injected- into the bloodstream. This attracts/removes heavy metal deposits like plaque that build up in the arteries. And flushes- out the entire circulatory system. It is 50 times safer than the balloon, 300X safer than bypass surgery, and has been used since WW I to treat patients exposed to Mustard Gas." It is done via intravenously suppository and pills. In less severe cases they may prescribe various over-the-counter, nutritional remedies such as Lecithin, Vitamin E and Niacin to lower cholesterol.

Furthermore, for minor injuries "some Naturopaths use hydrotherapy: put hot water on an injury for 15 seconds, then repeat with cold. It makes blood vessels expand and contract like a pump and speeds up healing by increasing blood flow to the injured area." (Howard)

"For stress, herbal teas and certain vitamins and minerals can help. A daily dose of 100 milligrams of B-Complex (which also helps prevent heart attacks by blocking the enzyme that triggers them), 99 mg. of potassium and 800 mg. Magnesium (which must combined with Calcium and Zinc so the body can absorb it) are a natural relaxant and help lower blood pressure. This helps mellow you out and is especially good if you're emotional, excitable, or just stressed out." (Norton) “Breathing exercises cut stress too: inhale deeply through your nose, hold it a few seconds & slowly release via pursed, lips.” (Howard) Zinc lozenges are now sold in stores as a cold remedy “and are also good for hearing." (Peter) Zinc and Saw Palmetto can help shrink enlarged Prostate Glands. Combining zinc with Calcium and Magnesium may aid Osteoporosis. People should take garlic pills to cleanse the blood. But make sure you take coated ones like Kwai. Deodorized ones are useless because the nutrients are destroyed with the odor." (Peter) My friend and adopted uncle is a Chiropractor and nutritional councilor. He said, "You must also watch your sugar/carbohydrate intake (body breaks them down to same thing) because they use a lot of B-Vitamins is digestion." (Al)

Similarly, Glycosamine (mixed with various things help re-hydrate cartilage), various minerals, unflavored gelatin and refined Chicken cartilage give many Arthritis sufferers some relief by stimulating the body to re-grow it in the joints. A recent AMA study found it prevented deterioration. Sometimes they are combined with anti-inflammatory agents such as shark and bovine (cow) cartilages and Salmon Oil, (which is also good for the heart). Dairy aggravates Rumatoid Arthritis.
Cranberry juice helps prevent urinary tract infections by cleaning the plaque build-up off the walls.

However, a key element to good health is prevention. An ounce equals a pound of cure. "Oscillococcinum is most effective for treating colds/flu." (Nort) "To help avoid and treat colds and the flu, use Ecinatia and Golden Seal herbs and Vitamin C, which is multi-purpose.” (Peter) “Consuming Mushrooms and Green Tea daily can help prevent breast cancer." (Hoffman)

Holistic medicine may help diabetics too: "They should avoid artificial sweeteners because they are toxic to the central nervous system. Raw, uncooked honey should be used as a sweetener. If taken daily, Chromium Picolinate may help balance blood sugar and reduce the need for insulin." (Howard) "Stevia and Vanadium can be very effective too." (Norton)

"Sly vestry mind-body techniques such as prayer and meditation are part of Holistic medicine too." (Nort) "The notion that we can influence health with our minds resonates well in U.S. culture. It is extremely popular and moving into main stream medicine. Good documentation exists for the effectiveness of mediation, bio-meditation, biofeedback and yoga for stress reduction and to control particular physical reactions."

Bio-electric magnetic is a Holistic therapy too. "It's the study of living organisms and their interactions with electro-magnetic fields. It uses the low-frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Proponents claim the magnetic fields penetrate the body and heal damaged tissues, including cancers. Wolfgang Ludwig, Sc.D., Ph.D. and Director of The Institute of Biophysics in Horb, Germany, asserts that magnetic fields can cure many ailments..." "Magnets also stimulate circulation, thus accelerating healing and decreasing pain." (Nort) They are becoming available in department stores.

Likewise, "Herbal remedies are a typical part of traditional and folk healing processes too. They have a long history of use.... Although many claim anticancer effects, only a few are popular alternative therapies."

Unfortunately, "the FDA does not examine them for safety, or effectiveness, and few have been formally tested for side effects. Tragically, there were recent reports of severe liver and kidney damage from some...underscoring the fact that 'natural' products are not always harmless."

However, "herbs are usually better than drugs. Most are non-toxic and those that are have much less than toxin than drugs."(Nort) People must use caution and common sense with anything they take.

"Bovine cartilage is also being studied for anticancer properties. John Prudden, M.D., Ph.D. claims favorable results from a commercial product called Catrix: cartilage derived from cow trachea. In a 1985 issue of the Journal of Biological Response Modifiers, he reported response rates of 90% in 31 cancers treated with it." "It’s also useful for Arthritis and heart disease." (Nort)

On the other hand, "mainstream scientists think the molecules of active ingredients in the 'food supplement'... sold in health food stores are too large to be absorbed. They decompose into inert ingredients and are excreted." "Absorption is the main problem with supplements." (Nort)

"Most Cancer patients would be helped by supplements: Essine: a combination of anti-oxidants, cat claw, aloe, etc." (Nort) A somewhat unknown cancer therapy is "The Kelly treatment:" devised by a dentist in the early 1970's after he got Lymphoma. He assessed body fluids to correct nutritional deficiencies. Then he designed various diets for people with cancer based upon their needs: some lacked enzymes found in things such as meat and had to increase their intake.

"In most cases patients must ingest up to 150 various vitamin and mineral supplements and take at least one or two coffee enemas daily to expand the intestines so toxins can be flushed out of the body. He no longer practices, but his protégé, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez has an office in Manhattan." He advises his patients to “buy a lofah sponge or a soft bristle brush with a long wooden handle and brush your dry skin in downward strokes starting from the neck at least once a day. This eliminates dead skin cells and stimulates the immune system.” He does this because “skin is the most neglected organ.” (Brian)

Unfortunately, considerable pressure from the Food and Drug Administration and the American Medical Association successfully discourage many doctors from practicing Holistic Medicine for fear of losing their license. My new dentist said, "I cannot practice it because once I start I can't do anything else, I can't even go back to regular dentistry. I can even lose my license if I do.

"A major contributing factor to the problem is that most doctors can't see beyond their training." (Pierce) All they were taught in medical school is drugs and surgery. If something was not proven conclusively in a double blind study they won't say that it works. But if asked if they are any double blind studies about the harmful side effects of combining medications they must say no. Many do not want to see beyond for various reasons such as being ostracized. Understandably many fear persecution from the government and the A.M.A. "Although there is more actual evidence for natural supplements since many have been used for centuries, way longer than longer than any man-made drugs." (Nort)

Doctors have the moral obligation to inform people of all their options. And allow people to make an informed decision about their treatment. They should not arbitrarily select and exclude information, nor decide right from wrong. Unfortunately, "I found from first-hand observations many Medical Doctors don't know much about complimentary options." (Nort)

In 1989 I was hurt in a car accident and went to a Chiropractor. My attorney said that since they are not members of the A.M.A. I must see an Orthopedic too. So I went. He asked me if I was seeing other doctors. I told him I see a Chiropractor. He went ballistic and asked why. I said because it eases my pain. Then he yelled of course it does. If he sent his wife she'd feel better too. If I would have asked him what is wrong with relieving my pain until the nature and extent of my injury are determined he would have continued to argue. This dogmatic, sanctimonious, "witch doctor", mentality forced clinics such as Hoxy to move to Mexico.

In the 1980's this one- dimensional/sanctimonious/witch dr. mindset led to the A.M.A.'s Supreme Court conviction of conspiring to put Chiropractors out of business! Now that some Chiropractors refer patients to Orthopedics putting money in their pockets the competition diminished a little. This reduces the adversarial aspect of their relationship.

Thank God and a father for refusing to get caught up in the politics of medicine, or put doctors on a pedestal. He refused to accept the prognosis that nothing could be done to prevent his son, Lorenzo from dying. He is a physicist who developed a cure and was awarded an honorary medical degree. A movie was made about him and his family. Nick Nolte played him and Susan Sarandon his wife. It was entitled "LORENZO'S OIL."

Similarly, millions worldwide suffer from Epilepsy. Some must wear helmets to protect their heads when they fall during a seizure. "Catnip, Boritanium and Magnesium are very helpful." (Nort) Unfortunately, physicians still treat it by experimenting with one or more known drugs, very often only making people suffer more. If unsuccessful they try one or more various unknown drugs. If still unsuccessful they may remove the top of the skull and put in a sensor to detect exactly where the seizures were emanating from. Once that is determined they remove that part of the brain in hopes of curing it. Sound horrifying? It should! There’s a better way: The–Ketogenic-Diet. It has at least improved many people's condition and cured many others. But most physicians instantly dismissed as unproven, experimental and antidotal. And insist on continuing chemotherapy, despite no success. It is very hard and expensive for someone who is lucky enough to learn about it to even get a bed in the clinic. Plus they often need a plane equipped for medical transport and a doctor to travel with them to the clinic.

The Ketogenic Diet first has the patient fast for two days because it cleanses the system of toxins and relaxes the body. Then they must follow it very strictly for at least two years. After that they can usually phase in a normal diet. And live a normal life without any seizures.

WABC broadcast a TV movie about it in February 1997. Meryl Streep starred in the drama. It was loosely based on actual events and entitled First Do No Harm. At the end, they showed people who were cured and lived normal lives after a few years on the diet. One lady completed the treatment 62 years ago!

Despite proof such as that many patients and doctors still don’t buy into Holistic Medicine for a few reasons: 1) fear of the unknown, it is very powerful. The weaker the person the greater it preys upon them; 2) a varying combination of dogmatism, egotistical and stubbornness. Many people cannot/will not see that life is a skyscraper: the foundation must be truth/ reality because it will never- vanish! If you start off on the wrong foot you end up the same way. They'll often argue endlessly and rarely admit they don't know everything, or are wrong. You have a better chance of winning Lotto than getting someone like them to be honest, open-minded and humble; 3) intellectually laziness, some people instantly discredit things they know little or nothing about because they feel it is too hard to learn. Others are ignorant and do not realize that despite having the technology to put a man on the Moon, we do still not know how many things such as Aspirin work.

Few people know that it comes from a plant and Penicillin from bread mold. Another dentist said, "Most drugs are a man-made version of what nature does with herbs." (Evan) They rarely read magazines or books such as Prevention and Choices in Healing, by Michael Lerner, or Spontaneous Healing, by Andrew Wile.

Nor do they realize that treating the cause is like plugging a leaky tire so you will not have to keep re-inflating it. And that not all Holistic remedies work on everyone anymore than prescription medicines. Some people also compound and compensate ignorance with arrogance when saying things such as they don't know anything about it. But don't believe in it; it doesn't work. Some do not believe it is real. If they use a remedy that does not work, they use that as a basis to discredit it, but would not if it were allopathic western medicine! This is partially because "when someone dies of an ailment that was not cured by Holistic it gets negative attention. You hear things such as it only has a 10% success rate. But you don't hear that there's 0% success rate with western medicine. Yet when someone dies because allopathic medicine was unsuccessful it's expected. "(Howard)

Are They Really Doctors: U.S. Holistic Schools

Most people do not know much about their training. Surprisingly, there are only two U.S. schools: the National College for Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon and John Bastyr University, in Seattle, Washington.

Unfortunately, "U.S. society has nurtured a mind-set of Medical Doctors being the highest authority on health, longevity and weight control. And a mind- set that the high scholastic standards of conventional medical school will produce good doctors. But that's false. The power/wealth of pharmaceutical companies and the A.M.A. will probably keep Holistic Medicine from prevailing, or at least delay it many years. Hopefully it'll expand by becoming more a part of Allopathic (traditional), with Allopathic becoming more willing to use complimentary approaches." (Nort)

Furthermore, they study as much, or more of the same subjects as many traditional medical schools: "In Basic Sciences: Including Anatomy, Cell Biology, Histology, Neurosciences, Immunology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy, Biostatics, Epidemiology, Public Health, History, Philosophy, Ethics, and Research, they study as follows: National College 804, John Baystr 771, John Hopkins 988, Mayo 882, Yale 673, Stanford 807 and Oregon Health Sciences University 802. Other Basic and Clinical Sciences Including: Physiology, Pathology, Clinical &d Physical Diagnosis and Laboratory Medicine-864, 864, 801, 418, 609, 640 and 937.

Only National College and Baystr have Core Naturopathic Therapeutics: Homeopathy, Botanical Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Hydrotherapy and Naturopathic Manipulative Therapy-492 and 334, respectively. Clinical-Nutrition-144, 138, 17, Elective–Only and 14. Psychology-144, 158, 114, 89, 67, 63, and 88. Other Coursework: First Aid, Emergency Medicine, Exercise Therapy, Sports Medicine, Practice Management and Jurisprudence-90, 80, 23, Elective Only, Elective Only, Elective Only, and 24. Only National College and Baystr have Required Class Electives-312, and 176 respectively.

Total Class Hours: 2850, 2521, 1943, 1389, 1349, 1510, 1865. Third and Fourth Year Clerkships, *including lecture and clinical instruction in: Dermatology, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Radiology, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Neurology, Surgery*, Ophthalmology and clinical electives-1974, 1959, 1446, 2840, 2040, 1920 & 2916. Total Class + Clinical: 4824, 4480, 3389, 4229, 3389, 3430 and 4781 (*Clerkships vary among schools. They’re estimated to be 40-hours a week of mixed lecture and clinical training. **Naturopaths study only minor surgery)."

Unfortunately, despite this extensive education, "Naturopaths are only licensed in Connecticut (the only state requiring malpractice insurance), California, Oregon, Hawaii and Washington and cannot write prescriptions for certain man made drugs. They can practice in Florida, but new licenses have not been issued for the past few years." (Howard)

Despite all the controversy surrounding Holistic Medicine, many people can and do extend their life and cure ailments. However they must have a positive attitude. A sound mind is vital to a sound body. "I believe that Holistic will eventually prevail because like everything else medicine is becoming increasingly geared for profit. H.M.Os- are- becoming common place and Holistic remedies are very cost effective." (Howard) Ultimately business will overrule egos as the competition between doctors, decreases because they are being forced to form their H.M.O. in order to stay in practice. Hospitals are increasingly become privately owned, for profit corporations. Surprisingly, in N.Y.C., Mayor Guiliani was very quietly trying to sell Coney Island Hospital to a private chain, even though the state legislature ruled it illegal. Unfortunately, there has been very little media coverage on the subject. I suspect that this is just the beginning.

A major health hazard is smoking. It’s endured a lot of bad publicity. Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs. “If you smoke on certain medications you can get stroke.” (Peter) Yet a chemical company pleaded guilty to secretly genetically engineering tobacco plants to produce higher nicotine contents to “hook” more people.

That’s horrendous. Then I read an essay by William Styron, the 1968 Pulitzer Prize winner. He documents shocking information on the subject. It should be uploaded onto the-internet and required reading for all first grade students. Maybe if they learn early that smoking kills they won’t start. Maybe they will bring it home and scare some parents into quitting too.

I was stunned to learn that the "only thing more dangerous than smoking is a nuclear fallout." Then I read "the conclusion is inescapable and even spokesmen for the industry rarely seek to escape it: we are living in the midst of a major lung cancer epidemic. It hit men first and hardest, but women are affected too. And cannot be explained away by factors such- as improved- diagnosis. Plus there is little reason to believe that the worst is yet to come.

" based on an extensive study of smokers and nonsmokers among British Doctors, were the death rate from all causes was found to be doubled among heavy cigarette smokers in the group of men over 65, and quadrupled in the group 35-44.

"The death rates- among smokers are perhaps the least controversial of all the findings to date. Some may debate or try to diminish the numbers. But death is easily diagnosed.

"For those who want to quit, but think it is too late. Think again! A study by the American Cancer Society of microscopic lung tissue of ex-smokers show precancerous cells are dying, not flourishing V. reproducing -in smokers.

" regard to a carefully matched group composed in equal numbers of smokers, ex-smokers and nonsmokers 'Metaplastic cells with altered nuclei (i. e. precancerous cells) were found in 1.2% of the slides from the lungs of nonsmokers, V. 6% for ex-smokers. And - 93.2% - for - current - smokers.'"

The only thing more shocking than that is a commercial I saw on TV: cigarettes cause more premature deaths than AIDS, alcohol, cocaine, heroine, fire, car accidents and suicide combined.

I am appalled to think of how many people would still be alive if this were common knowledge! I’ll post on the internet so the world can see it. If even one person quits after reading this I will feel I did a good deed. I hope that every smoker who reads this quits.

The bottom line is we must take our health in our hands. And remember doctors' prognosis, are- not necessarily predictions. Doctors are human and sometimes make mistakes.

Questions about Holistic Medicine? E-mail Howard Asinoff, Naturopathic Doctor: & explore his web site:

Works Cited
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