Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 2011- Occupy Health!

I was planning on writing more in detail about the Similimum- (like cures like) which is the foundation of Homeopathy- this month. But the OccupyWallStreet protests have captured me, as I know they have many others. I have found that the calls for economic justice merge with my own internal dialogue about wellness, and thus i have been "occupied" by health. 

Health has been part of the national conversation for years, and yet- like our economic crisis- it has circled around, simply moving the same pieces on the same board: large corporations charging exorbitant fees for drugs and insurance. Insurance and drugs are a net, but they are not a foundation. Indeed, the net has seemed to blind us to the fact that we *need* a foundation, and that it is ours to build. Keeping us suspended, we are in fear of falling.

 We are not powerless to effect this movement of taking back what is ours, and can do so immediately and realize almost instantaneous benefits.

We can OccupyHealth.    
meditating crowd

Slow Medicine
I want to be clear that i am not writing a diatribe against physicians and nurses and surgeons. I truly believe that those who see and treat patients day in and day out do so for their love of medicine and science, and a sincere desire to alleviate suffering. Unfortunately, these professions come with a controlling partner- the pharmaceutical companies. Many conventional practitioners have come to see -in their own time and practice- that drugs do not always help their patients in the manner they would expect, and they take steps on their own to expand their knowledge and practice; usually some alternative modality. There are many homeopaths who are physicians and nurse practitioners. Just watching that trend is pretty telling.
Like other alternative modalities- Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, to name a couple- Homeopathy deals with the whole being. There is a joke that goes like this:
A man sees a homeopath and says, "Doctor, do you have a remedy for my headache?" And the doctor says, "I have a remedy for you who has a headache."

When a person is treated as a whole, dis-ease makes sense. We are biologically programmed to maintain homeostasis- balance-, and we are spiritually striving for alignment with our highest selves. Physical or emotional trauma, abuse, poor diet, exposure to chemicals and radiation, family history: these things impinge on our innate quest for balance. The result? Symptoms.
Holistic medicine is Slow Medicine.
It's the medicine of observing, listening, shifting and supporting.
Commercial/Conventional Medicine is Fast Medicine. It's the medicine of winning the war, battling the body, and fighting with drugs and other interventions. 
Like credit vs. savings, when one relies on pharmaceutical drugs and over the counter drugs, it's like charging your health on credit. It does the trick in the short term, but in the end, you pay. You pay with a depleted immune system and a higher recurrence of future infections and chronic disease. We all pay. By making people reliant on that system- the net without a reliable foundation-  future profits are ensured.
Everyone can't stop their medications tomorrow, nor do I advocate that, but we can take the awareness of our own health back. We know our own bodies better than others. For some, it will be a longer road than others to get to that place where we can really know what's going on for us. That's slow medicine: leaning into the subtle changes, researching alternatives and sacrificing a quick fix for the building of our foundation. In doing so we gain our health back. That's no small thing.  
Food for thought: 
"Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself....People need to know that there are some checks and balances on this industry, so that its quest for profits doesn't push every other consideration aside. But there aren't such checks and balances."
"The Truth About Drug Companies" Marcia Angell (1)  

scrooge duck/moneyThis image was the graphic next to an article entitled, "Drug Channel Profits in the 2011 Fortune 500"  from

is there any need to read the article? But skimming the heavily technical jargon does reveal that, "... the 12 largest pharmaceutical manufacturers on the Fortune 500 list have revenues ranging from $67.8 billion (Pfizer) to $4.5 billion (Genzyme)."  (2)

 Of course, profits in themselves are not bad. It's the cost to individuals and society as a whole in the quest for profits that begs the question of intention. For example, the following from

"The Supreme Court decided last week that corporations' First Amendment rights take precedence over the privacy rights of consumers.
The case was Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., and the decision means that pharmaceutical companies will continue to have access to prescription data, which allows pharmaceutical representatives to carefully target their drug marketing efforts to doctors. We've
This decision is a big victory for pharmaceutical companies, as this type of aggressive marketing helps bring in hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Patients, on the other hand, lose in a big way due to such a precedent. The obvious blow to patient privacy is one thing, but it's also important to note that drug reps are promoting the newest-and most expensive-drugs. In doing so, they disregard patient health and they drive up drug prices." (3) 
How to Occupy 
A  friend who teaches childbirth education classes shared that her goal is to move her families one step beyond where they thought they could go. For example, if the family has chosen a hospital birth with an OB, she hopes by the end of the class they will consider bringing in a doula. For those with a doula, perhaps they might shift from OB to midwives. From birthing center midwives, to possible homebirth.

Only you will know what truly occupying your health might look like, but here are some ideas.  

1. I'm admittedly biased, but constitutional Homeopathic treatment is a pretty good start.  Remedies treat chronic issues, emotional ruts, "never well since," and support you to shift the barriers inhibiting you from living fully. The energetic nature of homeopathy means that it penetrates to the origin of disease- where the vital force is out of alignment. Consistent use of homeopathic remedies strengthens your vital force so you can move out of chronic ailments and be less susceptible to acute illnesses and injuries.

2. Widen your lens and consider the context of your ailments. Is this regular? What is the emotional context of your physical discomfort? What else was going on in your life when this started? Follow the thread to its source. Often by simply acknowleging where we have thrown up resistence (relationship issues, not speaking up, over-control, etc...) the energy begins to shift. Space is made, light comes in, and we can respond differently. 
3. Allow yourself discomfort. Commercial medicine banks on people having low tolerance for discomfort. Be it a headache or getting your period an at inconvenient time, Big Pharma is making billions of dollars selling us agents of total control.

4. Begin- or deepen- your education of the body's energy system- yoga, meditation, tai chi and other mindful physical practices bring an awareness to the body that is essential to understanding the confluence of ourselves as biological and spiritual beings.

5. Tweak your diet; bring in as much local, organic food as possible. Eating a diet that consists mostly of monocropped (and now, likely GMO sourced) food is insidious in its effects. Vary the grains, sweeteners, oils, etc... There is strength in diversity. 

6. Teach the children!! We are over our heads right now, and it's a long way out, but we don't need to stick the next generation in the hole with us.  
I know that this plea is a bit of preaching to the choir. Most of you reading already use homeopathy and/or other alternative modalities. I hope you recognize the power of your choices, both for yourselves and your families and community. My challenge is- push your concept of how this can be a part of your life one step further! 
to all in health- 
(2): (
I know this plea is a bit of preaching to the choir. Most of you reading already use homeopathy and  other modalities. I hope you recognize the power of your choices, both for yourself and your family, but also for our communities.  My challenge is- push your concept of how this can be a part of your life one step further.
I know this plea is a bit of preaching to the choir. Most of you reading already use homeopathy and  other modalities. I hope you recognize the power of your choices, both for yourself and your family, but also for our communities.  My challenge is- push your concept of how this can be a part of your life one step further.

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