A Mind Of Its Own: Wisdom Of The Body
Anthony, a student at our yoga center, is a gentle soul who sees the world through the eyes of a child. He is “developmentally disabled,” chronologically 22 years old, but eternally 3. He is cheerful and obedient, except on occasion when he flips “the bird” to other cars with a strange bemused smile on his face. His physical challenges include low muscle tone and gastric reflux in addition to high anxiety, and his medications have dramatically increased the quality of his life.
Recently, caregivers at Anthony’s day program reported a troublesome incident: Anthony was flushing his medications down the toilet. A few days later, on Christmas Eve, he began hemorrhaging internally, and almost died from massive blood loss due to side effects from his various medications. It was the miracle of Western medicine that saved his life, but it was also Western medicine that nearly killed him.
In the West, the decision to medicate is not made by consulting the wisdom of the body of the patient. We have left the patient’s body behind in pursuit of bigger and better computer models, scientific drug trials, statistics, and more concentrated aggressive medications. The cost of consulting only the left brain hemisphere of the clinician instead of the body of the patient kills the equivalent of the crashing of two fully loaded 747 aircraft every day of the year. (1)
Adverse drug reactions are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. It is far ahead of accidents, drunk driving, homicides, airline accidents, as well as all other disease with the sole exceptions of cancer and heart disease. (2) In an article entitled “Is US health really the best in the world?” (July, 2000), the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that as many as 106,000 deaths occur annually in US hospitals due to prescription drugs that are properly prescribed by physicians that use them as directed by the drug companies. The annual death toll from synthetic prescription drugs, both from the correctly prescribed and the incorrectly prescribed, amounts to approximately 231,000 deaths every year. (3) This number does not include additional deaths that occur outside the hospital, deaths due to non-prescription drugs, drug-alcohol interactions, or some deaths caused by gradual organ deterioration due to medication use over time.
According to http://www.Healingdaily.com, “Drug companies are the most powerful industry in the United States, exerting a major influence on the majority of studies published and nearly all of medical education. This influence is what causes doctors to use expensive symptomatic ‘patch-up’ drugs as solutions for people’s problems.” (4) This influence has also made the pharmaceutical industry the most lucrative in America. While drug companies claim that they need large earnings to conduct their research and development, an enormous portion of drug revenue is spent on marketing and courting physicians, not health care.
Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen reported on April 18, 2002 that, “Drug industry profits are so large they outstrip every other industry’s profits by far. The pharmaceutical industry topped all three of Fortune magazine’s measures of profitability for 2001. While the overall profits of Fortune 500 companies declined by 53 percent in 2001, the top 10 U.S. drug makers increased profits by 33 percent last year, from $28 billion to $37 billion. These drug companies had the greatest return on revenues, reporting a profit of 18.5 cents for every $1 of sales, which was 8 times higher than the median for all Fortune 500 industries, easily surpassing the next most profitable industry, which was commercial banking with a 13.5% return on revenue” (5) Marc Leduc of http://www.healingdaily.com notes, “Drug companies have been able to get away with their high prices because the vast majority of people do not pay for their medications anymore. It’s insurance companies that are picking up the tab.”
Test Before You Ingest
According to energy teachers Donna Eden and David Feinstein, authors of the book Energy Medicine (JP Tarcher, 1999), we can each learn to “test before we ingest.” Wife and husband team Donna and David teach individuals to use energy checking, and also hope that the medical community will embrace the practice. They explain that humans have the capability to determine whether or not to take a certain drug, herb or food. The human body can instantaneously assess the variables that affect a drug’s potency, giving feedback from the organs, brain and energetic immune system.
Generations ago, a woman encountering an unknown mushroom was not traveling with an Audubon field guide to visually classify plants. She didn’t rely on statistics and mental processing of the left brain hemisphere to select food, herbs, medicines or energy practices. Instead, a woman used the feedback and intelligence of her own physical body, and the intuition of the right brain hemisphere. Holding an unfamiliar food in her hand, her body would evaluate the vibrational quality of the food through the semi-permeable surface of the skin. Through deep focus and attention she would notice the quality of her saliva and the reaction of the gates of the digestive tract. She could recognize if her subtle energy became stronger or weaker through feedback from her meridian system, organs and aura. She did not choose her nutrition through a process of thinking and classification on the mental plane. She felt, on the physical plane, in consultation with her body. Rather than prescribing to others based on her own body’s feedback, wise women taught others how to develop and interpret the intuition of their own body. Those who did not have as finely tuned discrimination made poor choices and did not survive. Wise men and woman created the gene pool that endures in our DNA.
Over the past 30 years, this intuitive process has been refined into various systems of “energy testing” or “energy checking.” These modalities have 2 components. They use an established baseline to bring the mind-body system into balance, through clearing. And, they use feedback from the client’s energy system, through a combination of noticing and energy checking. Applied Kinesiology, Brain Gym, Applied Resonance Therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Transformational Kinesiology, Polarity, and Touch for Health are some of the approaches that utilize energy checking for goal setting and decision making.
“Clearing” is a technique for ensuring that the energy system is providing accurate information, and helps the client to understand their own energy disorganization patterns as well. For example, veterinary medicine observed that animals had a higher survival rate if they were properly hydrated and stabilized before surgery, causing the medical profession to re-examine its emergency surgery procedures. Hydration is a common component of clearing, because the brain, like a battery, needs water. Many Americans are under-hydrated, in part due to heavy consumption of coffee and soda. Energy checking can determine not only who needs more water, but also how much they need. Blanket recommendations that each person drink a certain amount of water are inaccurate.
Energy testing can be performed in a variety of ways, including muscle testing, and can be mastered by the lay person. Muscle testing consists of asking the body a question and checking to see if a muscle remains strong or weak against resistance.
This technique of checking can be synthesized with the best of Western medicine. For example, we now recognize that the potency of a drug is affected by the time of day it is administered. This realization came about when many patients in hospitals were dying after being awoken in the middle of the night to have a drug administered. Chinese medicine would tell us that this was not in right rhythm with the liver and heart. Arguably, theories, statistics and computer programs of drug interactions cannot accurately predict whether or not you should take a certain medication at a certain point in time, regardless of how many monkeys or mice or humans suffered through drug trials.
In addition, Western medicine does not recognize factors as subtle as whether or not the moon is in the same phase as the day the patient was born, or the zodiac sign of the patient, and whether Neptune is afflicted. Women in particular are vulnerable to variable results from medication due to the changes in hormone levels, hydration, and the electromagnetic field which accompany the menstrual cycle. Elevation and travel can affect the potency of some medicines. “Wise women healers of generations past taught others how to develop and interpret the intuition of their own body and created the gene pool that endures in our DNA. Those who did not have as finely tuned discrimination made poor choices and did not survive.”
Children and Vegetarians
In February 2004, the FDA held hearings concerning the growing practice of prescribing anti-depressants for adolescents. Testimony from parents who felt that the drugs saved their children’s lives was offset by the anguish of parents whose children comprise the downside of this intervention. The “side effect” is that these children have committed suicide. Statistics confirm that drug effects are more highly variable during developmental stages such as pregnancy, early childhood and puberty.
The ancients recognized that these variables influenced the energy system. Forms of folk medicine from other cultures, particularly Chinese five element theory and Indian Ayurveda, recognize that there are vulnerabilities that vary from one person to the next. One child might need to strengthen digestive chi, another child might need to calm the nerves, another to move the lymph, and another might be prone to large intestine-based headaches, which differ from gall bladder-based headaches. In the West, we combine these tendencies with medication, and call them “side effects.” With muscle checking, we can ask if the system is ready, willing and able to accept the intervention.
The question of whether or not to immunize children brings anguish to parents, and can be directly addressed through skilled energy checking. Particularly since immunizations have been combined or compounded, children have suffered seizures or other life long disabilities as a result of being subjected to an intervention which is either inappropriate for the child or given at the wrong time. “Surrogate testing” is the application of muscle checking used for babies and children.
We would like to think that the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous drug tests insure that only safe drugs will reach the marketplace. Seldane was the world’s top-selling antihistamine for a decade. It took the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) five years to recognize that Seldane was causing cardiac arrhythmias, blackouts, hospitalizations, and deaths, and another eight years to take it off the market. In actuality, drugs which are removed from the marketplace due to unwanted side effects and accidental deaths initially pass the approval process, which remains based on statistics that have no bearing on each individual’s unique circumstances.
Those who perish are outside the statistical bell curve. Ananda Bab, Founder of Samadhi Hermitage, is a vegetarian who almost died when his dentist prescribed the routine antibiotic Keflex. He explained his antibiotic reaction recently in the By Region Healers Newsletter, cautioning vegetarians that their medication metabolism differs from the dominant population. “What happens is that the antibiotics wipe out all the ‘good guys’ in the intestinal tract, leaving an ‘open door’ to Clostridium difficale, a normally innocuous bacteria lurking in the background of our intestinal fauna. Clostridium, when it gets a chance, populates and toxifies our intestine, also causing the lesions, which become perforations.” Vegetarians have cleaner colons and are more susceptible to antibiotic-associated colitis. Like our yoga student, Anthony, Ananda experienced dehydration with electrolyte imbalance, perforation of the intestinal walls, toxic megacolon, and internal bleeding. It can be followed by death.
The right to practice medicine and prescribe to others is controlled through legislation. The question remains: how do we know who, when and how much to medicate if we do not consult nature and the body itself? The opportunity for each individual to embrace easy to use, simple, safe techniques gleaned from the collective intelligence of the combined cultures of the world is unsurpassed at this moment in time.
Anthony was not able to communicate to his caregivers that he was ill when he almost died. He responded to his body’s intuition in the only way he knew. Although classified as mentally deficient and operating at a 3-year-old level of comprehension, his intelligence as he stood before the toilet and tossed his meds surpassed his doctor’s years of medical training and the capacity of the computer program which his pharmacist used to check for drug interactions.
46% of Americans are now taking prescription medications daily. (6) 43.6 million U.S. citizens lack any kind of medical and hospital coverage. (7) Health care and drug coverage is one of the most charged issues of the upcoming presidential campaign. Regardless of the outcome of the election, each American can dramatically increase their health coverage at no cost by embracing alternative and preventative medicine which employs energy checking.
We can begin by recognizing that symptoms are often the body’s way of trying to bring itself back into balance, and understand our own unique constitutional challenges. By embracing less invasive approaches such as massage, breathing, meditation, rest, good food, herbs, exercise, right relationships, and gratitude, we can often return to right rhythm with our bodies. Surgery and drugs have contributed tremendously to our quality of life, and will continue to be necessary in some cases, but we may be reaching the point of diminishing returns. When in doubt, we can ask the energy itself. We each have the opportunity to access such wisdom.
Note: This article should not be construed as medical treatment or advice, and is for historical reference and information only. Any person presently taking a prescription medication should consult with their health care professional before changing any regimen.
1-3. “Gangsters in Medicine” by Thomas Smith, Hahnemann Center for Heilkunst, Dec. 2003. http://www.heilkunst.com. Thomas Smith is a reluctant medical investigator having been forced into seeking a cure for his own diabetes because his doctor would not or could not cure it. He has published the results of his successful diabetes investigation in his special report entitled “Insulin: Our Silent Killer” written for the layman but also widely valued by the medical practitioner. This report may be purchased by sending $25.00 US to him at PO Box 7685 Loveland, Colorado 80537. He has also posted a great deal of useful information about this disease on his web page http://www.Healingmatters.com. He can be reached by telephone at 970-669-9176 or email at Valley@healingmatters.com
5. Public Citizen. April 18, 2002. (“Pharmaceutical Industry Ranks As Most Profitable Industry — Again”)
6. Bowman, L. 51% Of U.S. Adults Take 2 Pills or More a Day, Survey Reports (Scripps Howard News Service). San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan. 17, 2001:A8.
7. Self-Help, Newsletter of the G-Jo Institute, Volume 1 Number 11, 2004
Patricia Burke is the director of Earthsong Yoga in Marlboro MA, and a student of Transformational Kinesiology. She can be reached at 508-480-8884 or email email@example.com.