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The Best Years in Life

Nature, Truth and Modern Medicine

by Tony Isaacs

Although forever changing, the truth of nature never changes and the nature of truth itself does not change.  The nature of mainstream medicine on the other hand changes constantly and what is considered the truth today as espoused by the demi-gods of mainsteam medicine often becomes the discredited quackery of the blood-letters of tomorrow.


Western society, science and medicine have a very long tradition of wrongly looking down their noses at other societies, other science and natural approaches to healing the entire body instead of treating symptoms.

For example, Chinese medicine has a history of over 6,000 years and it treats the patient by focusing on preventing disease in the first place by keeping the entire body healthy in every way, mind, vitality, energy, immune system, etc.  Modern medicine still looks down it’s nose at Chinese medicine, just as it does other natural forms of medicine and treatment, and just as I did before I learned better.   Of course, from the time western man met the Chinese until this very day, we have looked at their culture and their medicine as backwards.  It might be pointed out that when we first met the Chinese, we didn’t believe in frequent baths, were ridden with body lice, hung our butchered fowls out to “cure” and used leeches to bleed patients.  Yet we looked down at a people that bathed daily and kept meticulously clean, ate their meat fresh and had invented things like gunpowder centuries before we had a clue

Let’s take a look at western medicine’s “modern” medicine about the same time we met the Chinese and how it attempted to treat King Charles II in 1685:

“The king was bled to the extent of a pint from a vein in his right arm. Next, his shoulder was cut into and the incised area was sucked of an additional 8 oz of blood. An emetic and a purgative were administered, followed by a second purgative, followed by an enema containing antimone, sacred bitters, rock salt, mallow leaves, violets, beetroot, camomile flowers, fennel seeds, linseed, cinnamon, cardamom seed, saffron, cochineal and aloes. The king's scalp was shaved and a blister raised. A sneezing powder of hellebore was administered. A plaster of burgundy pitch and pigeon dung was applied to the feet. Medicaments included melon seeds, manna, slippery elm, black cherry water, lime flowers, lily of the valley, peony, lavender and dissolved pearls. As he grew worse, forty drops of extract of human skull were administered, followed by a rallying dose of Raleigh's antidote. Finally, bezoar stone was given.

"Curiously, his Majesty's strength seemed to wane after all these interventions and, as the end of his life seemed imminent, his doctors tried a last-ditch attempt by forcing more Raleigh's mixture, pearl julep and ammonia down the dying king's throat. Further treatment was rendered more difficult by the king's death."

We can be sure that the physicians gathered around the king's bed were all leaders in their particular field--royalty and presidents do not settle for anything less. But, as Proust observed, with hindsight we can now see the hideous error of their therapeutics. Today, the skull drops, the ammonia and the pigeon dung have long gone, but what will we say in a few years' time when we look back on the "highly respected" slash, radiate and poison cancer therapies of 2007?

Do you think history will judge us any more kindly?

sources: "Death by Doctoring"



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