By Dr. (Shihan) Bolz
Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Master of Science Oriental Medicine
Master Martial Arts Instructor, 6th Degree Black Belt
Since ancient times, medicine has talked about the “evils” to watch out for. The evils back then and still now are those that occur in nature and medicine was aimed at teaching people how to avoid or counteract these evils. For example, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the six evils are often discussed: wind, excessive cold, summer heat, dampness, dryness and fire. The seven emotions involved with our health and to keep in balance and check were and still are: joy, anger, anxiety, pensiveness, grief, fear and fright. Besides these, we have some very large evils in our society that are influencing our health dramatically, and not for the good. These are: Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Big Ag Chemical corporations, such as Monsanto.
These three large evils must be dealt with and cleaned up and kept in check for all of nature to survive in harmony (i.e. normal healthy state).
At this time on this earth, many humans are in a state of excess also. They have taken into their bodies just too much, and are not getting rid of the old and built-up excess. Excess material things, excess chemicals produced and consumed, excess intake of food and drink, excess lifestyles of either too much activity or inactivity. We need to cut out the toxins in the system before balance can be obtained. Humans have created too many toxins for this earth to handle. The earth is trying desperately to keep up and cleanse itself, but there is a limit. The oceans are full, the air is full, the land is full, the soil underneath is becoming full. Therefore, we must cut down on the toxin that we are feeding the earth. In addition, we must cut down on the toxin we are feeding our livestock, our plants, our fish, our pets, our own individual human bodies. You get the point. Get rid of the junk so all of nature can cleanse and “breathe.”
We, as a nation, must drastically change our food supply and our eating habits to cut down on this toxin. Along with using only whole foods that are organically grown without excess chemical usage; we must cut down, and better yet, eliminate the consumption of processed sugar products and sodas; and the consumption of flesh-based foods; i.e. meats.
There is another enormous pollutant in our bodies; one that is getting “maxed” out and creating worse and worse health among humans and animals. That is the use of an excessive amount of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Medications and agricultural chemicals are the most extreme items of consumption in our modern world. In nature, such extremely single, isolated components are not used. We have created an unimaginable and unrealizable (by most people) evil monster with all these individualized chemicals. There is no doubt that all drugs have possible side effects of one form or another. Check your Physician’s Desk Reference for any drug, prescribed or not and there is not a single one of them without listed side effects. One drug taken internally is a foreign substance to the bodies of living organisms and systems. They, by default, since they are not something created by nature’s method, are an excess and burden for that system.
In addition, many people are taking more than one drug and there is the very possible interaction of these grossly imbalanced chemicals with potent effects. While many of the drugs appear to be helpful; most are merely masking or superficially controlling actions in the body. They are an artificial control in managing symptoms; they do not get the body to properly work itself again. Only nature heals. Drugs are meant to be taken short term to provide some relief while the body heals itself. They are not cures. While some drugs are indeed helping us; they are also killing us. The discovery and use of antibiotics have been a great life saver; but the extremely excessive use of them is becoming harmful to us and the environment. Nature is very powerful. Nature is smart. Nature controls and rules; not the humans. The human’s small minds had not foreseen the destructive consequences when they started creating gasoline, plastic, agricultural chemicals, and prescription drugs. Nature itself is highly adaptable and self-healing. Of course, the smaller life forms that we set out to destroy learn how to adapt to our simple chemicals meant to destroy them. Thus, we have antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. This is a blessing. This proves the power of nature! Good for those little creatures!
If you are interested in bringing yourself back into balance, in feeling exuberant and alive, healthy every day and at peace with yourself and others; you must first get rid of excess. one of the excesses especially overlooked is cutting down and/or eliminating the use of medications, prescribed or over-the-counter. They are extremely overused and many are really unnecessary. Many of us practicing Traditional Oriental Medicine have found that patients on heavy dosages and multiple types of medication have a much harder time healing than those who are on few medications. This is especially apparent in the case of patients trying to get rid of pain and who are on NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and corticosteroid-based drugs. Because acupuncture works by “waking up” natures healing power and stimulating the natural healing function of the body; less results from acupuncture seems to occur on those patients with regular use of these drugs. Many of the drugs “confuse” and even suppress or interrupt the natural healing.
So, before you go and run to the medicine cabinet or the drug store for that Tylenol the next time you get a headache; try toughing it out. Exercise, practice deep breathing, resting, or seeking alternative methods of natural health care. Extreme pain, however, should always be checked out by a healthcare professional. For example, if you are suddenly suffering from the “worst headache of your life” with extremely excruciating pain; this could be the sign of a stroke. So have it checked out. If nothing is found; try the natural methods of healing. Don’t get on the path of flipping from one medication to another, looking for the ultimate pain relief. Medication doesn’t cure; only nature does. Taking pain medication is only a symptomatic treatment that is holding up the healing process; it can be dangerous. Dangerous not only in long-term side effects, but in that you will keep working out or using your body when your body is injured and it is screaming for you to stop. That is what is done to race horses all the time. Cover up the pain, run them when they should be resting; for the sake of winning or for the sake of money or pride of the human owners. People do it to themselves as much as to their animals.
Before you pop those pills; stop and think. If you are already taking medications long term , think how you can cut down and eliminate. Ask your doctor for better ways than medication. Ask your health care practitioners to help you cut down and eliminate. Ask them how to change your diet, ask them for alternative natural methods. It IS possible. Medications are a very dangerous excess that has gotten out of hand and is playing a real role in the poor health of our people.
Look into how you can change your eating habits, work habits, play habits, exercise or lack thereof, habits. Why settle for the status quo? No, it isn’t health insurance that is a critical issue for this society, it is health. If people will wake up and change their diet and lifestyle, the health services system would not be in such a state and it would not be unaffordable. It is because of the severe health crisis, the quality of peoples lives, the sicknesses they create themselves; that the system can not keep up. There are so many sick people overusing the services that the system can no longer support it financially. Any new so-called healthcare system put in place will not solve ANY of our healthcare problems. Let’s wake up. If this is suppose to be an era of change, start with the most important: change your health!
Fight the three Big Evils with the three Big Goods: No medications (use natural health remedies), cut down on products that use big oil, such as plastic bags, oil-based paints, cosmetics, clothing, etc. Drive less and invest in a hybrid vehicle. It will save you so many gas miles that you will save money in the long run. Install solar in your home; definitely pays off even financially. Buy and eat the produce from local organic farms. When you buy at the supermarket, check the source of their organics. Cut 90% your use of packaged food. Cook your own food. Know what you get. Avoid GMO (genetically modified organisms) grown food. When you agree to eat GMOs, you are supporting Monsanto and the large agricultural chemical companies who are poisoning our land, our animals, and ourselves. Don’t use any chemicals on your lawn or plants and whatever you do, get rid of “Round-Up.” It is one of the highest likely carcinogens. Now that you are probably letting your lawn burn up, you for sure don’t need it. This drought is a blessing in many ways. It makes us stop to think about how we waste and what needless and non-sensible habits we have.
Remember the three “Big Goods” to combat the three “Big Evils:” natural medicine, natural non-petro based products, organic farming. Support these. It is affordable when you use the right amount and not excess. Where and how you spend your dollar can change the world.