Zoom Lens

Posted to Subscribers on 28 Dectember 2014


Dear Subscribers,

Hopefully some of you watched the two films I recommended yesterday. At the risk of sounding critical, I would like to talk about a few potentially controversial matters in the holistic health arena. There is no perfect place to start this subject so it is hard to know how exactly to set the stage. Let's start by zooming way, way out. Then, we see a planet in which there is an immense schism between what is called modern medicine and what we might, to use a somewhat generic term, call traditional medicine. Over the centuries, "modern" has, of course, changed: to use my own language, "fashions come and go in the medical world." To refer to a prestigious body of knowledge as a "fashion" may sound irreverent, but I have no doubt that 50 years from now, 20th century medicine will be regarded as unenlightened and perhaps also barbaric. However, it is almost 2015, not 2065, so what is obvious to me is not perhaps as evident to others. The is the price we pay for being ahead of our times, but if some people were not leading, there would not be any progress.

Now, keeping our macro lens in place for a few more sentences, let's look at the institutions of learning. Medical schools are enormously well-funded, admission is competitive, the curriculum is nightmarishly difficult, and stress levels are immense until death or retirement remove the super educated from the system. Well, we are using a big zoom and some details are missing, but this is the wide screen view. Now, when we look for the holistic schools, we find they are few, underfunded, and often not accredited . . . because they almost have to become allopathic in order to be accredited. If too popular, they are shut down or harassed into oblivion. In this chaotic world, an innovative person here and there still manages to find a treatment or cure for a disease that is dreaded, but that person is harassed, so if he or she survives, it is usually because the work was moved across the border.

Next, we can swap lenses and go to Tijuana or Juarez or perhaps Costa Rica or the Caribbean to see what we find in the clinics that have emerged. Instead of being like a modern hospital with countless specialists, they are generally propelled by the desire to express a single finding that is immensely important. To cut to the chase, we find clinics that are built predominantly around one therapy. For example, Harry Hoxsey eventually opened a clinic in Tijuana where the escharotic treatment was provided for patients. This basically consisted of an internal tonic and a paste. Down the street, patients might be taking laetrile or drinking carrot juice or getting the Issels vaccine or Ukrain or something else, like ozone therapy. There are roughly 50 of these hospitals in Tijuana and what happens is that patients sometimes go from one to the other and sooner or later, we might find that carrot juice is also being served in another clinic and another, but the bigger picture is not in focus. That picture is the path to wellness, and it is difficult to see unless one is at least partially detached from the promotional and clinical work that sustains the clinics.

I am not knocking any of this, just trying to explain the geography of medicine . . . through a tiny viewfinder on the camera. What is different about these clinics and ones based on traditional medicine is that the doctors who are schooled in a traditional way understand the actions of hundreds or perhaps a couple thousand herbs so they would able to fine tune treatment instead of relying on a one size fits all. Many, like Ayurveda, also have a diagnostic system that addresses causal factors, something overlooked in almost all systems that are based on action rather than understanding.

Now, let's return to juice and juicing. We saw Charlotte Gerson in the film. She is the daughter of the very famous Dr. Max Gerson, and she is doing well for someone in her 90s, but the Gerson treatment relies very heavily on carrots, one of countless vegetables that we could juice. Max Gerson was born in Germany. A few miles away in Austria, another pioneer, Rudolf Breuss, evolved a cancer treatment based on four vegetables, potatoes being optional except for liver cancer: 55% red beet root, 20% carrots, 20% celery root, 3% raw potato, 2% radishes. In addition to these, we have the grape cure, wheatgrass, and a slew of others. Then, decades and decades later, we have the China Study and countless other new kids on the block, and each one is holding a piece of the bigger picture, just a piece.

If I allow my Virgo free rein, I would say that when we look at the activities of the clinic in the film, we can see that it evolved more out of a fitness model than a medical model. Yes, the motivations to shift trajectories may have been medical, but the understanding of health is based largely on the success of an individual for whom the juicing worked. He then became the advocate for the method and opened a clinic, but his knowledge does not include a clear sense of the pharmacology of plant medicine or nutrition. Of course, if he remains innovative, the curriculum of the clinic will improve. However, I saw a gym with an imperfectly operated juice bar and people who needed to stay for months, not 28 days. Yes, I saw people whose health improved, but this was not a miracle, just something to be expected. In short, while his place is beautiful, you can buy a better juicer and better books on juicing and accomplish the same without supervision IF you are motivated. So the purpose of suggesting the film was to increase motivation, not recommend a trip to Portugal.

When I look at what we are trying now to start in Ecuador, I see that I am getting a very late start compared to others. I did not inherit a therapy from my father nor copy one from an infomercial. I built a system around the accounts of thousands of patients who explained their situations, treatments, and experiences and I explored and explored and explored. Now I am ready to bite the bullet. We found a suitable place. An American built it as a sort of paradise in which to unwind and shed stress. It's comfortable, the right size, and she wants two days notice when we are ready to start. We need to show her how she will be compensated so I am rattling the tin cup.

This said, I took vows in 1977 and one of them was not to ask for anything that is not freely offered. This is why I am not twisting arms or threatening to shut down if the response is lacking. I am explaining what I want to do and why, what is needed to make this happen, and hoping there are a few people out there with the means to help. We need $1.5 million. If it landed on our doorstep tomorrow, we could be operational by February. We will have a research wing, my department, a clinic wing, Dr. Indunil's department, and gardens, a kitchen, and soft therapies, not a place where we huff and puff and lift weights but rather nature walks, gentle martial arts, therapeutical movement, dance, music, and lots and lots of classes. If you want to join, think of your ticket now because the train is going to leave the station soon.


Blessings and love,


Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2014


Ayurvedic Herbs





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