a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.
Let’s talk a bit about disease management and health maintenance. Western medicine sees disease as the problem and looks for ways to manage or cure the symptoms.
Eastern medicine sees the disease itself as the symptom, and looks for the way to restore balance to the body. Eastern philosophy says that disease cannot exist in a balanced healthy body. Balance must be in the body, and also in the mind and spirit. All are connected, as we are all beings of energy.
What I found in my own search for healthy balanced bodies in my animal-kin and myself is that blending western and eastern approaches can be challenging, as western philosophy so often gets caught up in symptoms and treating symptoms. For western to to blend well with eastern, the practitioner must be able to see the body in it’s entirety, and look for root causes. Very few western drugs and therapies are actually designed to support health. The majority suppress symptoms.
Another key point of eastern medicine is that the body has an innate wisdom. The body is designed to live. All actions the body makes are part of this internal priority to stay alive, no matter the cost. Symptoms are the body taking action to stay alive and to restore balance and health.
For example, fevers. Fevers are treated as a symptom and lowered with drugs. Yet fevers are a very efficient means of making the body a poor home for certain infections, causing the infectious agent to die or go dormant.
Another example of western versus eastern management styles would be blood sugar and diabetes or insulin resistance. The body may be imbalanced because toxins have built up and created imbalance in the pituitary or liver. The body could be depleted of key minerals that are necessary for the correct function of the pituitary, liver, adrenals and/or pancreas. Yes, the symptoms of diabetes and insulin resistance can be managed with drugs or with a very carefully controlled diet. Or, the body can be supported to return to balance and health, and the symptom of mis-management of sugar will go away. I have personally watched many horses return to full glowing health when body balance is restored, with no further dis-ease management necessary. I am NOT claiming that I personally have “cured” insulin resistance or diabetes – I AM stating that I have observed animals and people both reach a place of balanced health where dis-ease management is no longer necessary.
This brings me to another thought about dis-ease management. Every day of our lives, we are either getting sicker or healthier, there is no neutral. As health and balance return, the body should need less and less support to stay healthy. To put this differently, as health and balance improve, fewer supplements will be necessary. Fewer symptoms will appear. Bodywork will be needed less often. Health challenges will occur more rarely, and with less severity. Healing from challenges will be faster. If a person or animal has been walking the same path of dis-ease management or even health improvement and the same level of support is still needed, perhaps it is time for a new path? The body actually has healing priorities, and a certain order to the healing process. In order from highest priority and addressed first to lowest priority and addressed last, the priorities are: Heart/brain/lungs Digestion Movement Reproduction Another way to describe this is that the body wants to live. If an organ or limb is optional for immediate survival it will be addressed later. The brain, heart and lungs are immediate. Organs of digestion and elimination are needed fairly quickly. Movement, especially in the extremities, is low in priority. Reproduction is low as well. When working on restoring balance and health, issues are usually addressed in this order: virus bacteria liver heart stomach and pancreas kidneys adrenals hormones and reproduction Healing also typically occurs from the inside to the outside, meaning internal before external. Healing also typically occurs from most recent symptom to oldest symptom. These are generalities, and not laws. The body knows best. This is an excellent research article on the order of healing from the homeopathic perspective. A final very important point is that if symptoms are treated with drugs and suppressed, the illness can be driven deeper into the body and made more serious. For example, skin conditions that are treated with topical steroids may actually be the body attempting to eliminate toxins through the skin. Suppressing that path of elimination may keep those toxins in the body doing damage. There is more to healing of course, getting into the energy fields around the body, the spirit, miasms carried from parent to child and more. This is just the tip of the iceburg. Overall, the message is that treating symptoms rather than digging for the root and restoring balance may actually harm more than it helps. The biggest most important rule of healing? FIRST DO NO HARM
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or American Veterinary Medical Association, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your veterinarian about any changes to your animal’s health program.