Why I have questioned the response to the coronavirus from the beginning
"In the Western world, we are desperately obsessed with killing things off that we feel can threaten our livelihood. Whether it is germs, terrorists, or the next door neighbour, we seek to eliminate anything that doesn’t agree with us rather than trying to maintain a healthy balance between desired and undesirable circumstances." ~~ Derek Henry
I cut my foot on a run today. I enjoy a 1 1/2 mile run in the hills barefoot almost every day. I've been running barefoot my whole life, as I know it's healthy for me to be in direct contact with the soil. It's a form of natural acupressure on the feet. And once every great while it's a form of natural acupuncture, as happened today.
At the beginning of my run this afternoon, I came down on a small chip of wood with a very sharp point. Ouch!!! I checked the sole of my foot and it was bleeding. If it had been bleeding a lot (which thankfully has never happened), I would have carefully walked home and taken care of it. As it only bled a couple drops, I decided to continue my run and trust that my body could heal the small cut by itself.
I was not worried that dirt on the cut would cause problems, as I've gotten small cuts like this dozens of times over the years and it has never gotten infected when I continue running. I have no doubt this helps to strengthen my immune system. And to be clear, I don't recommend this to others unless you've already had a lot of experience in challenging your body this way.
I share this story because it relates beautifully to the purpose of this message and to the wonderful, thought-provoking essay I'd like to share below. From the beginning, something in my gut didn't feel right about the response to the growing number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus. The message almost always felt like it was packaged in an excessive level of fear.
The underlying message paraded in the media thundered like an incessant drumbeat: Be afraid. The virus is going to kill millions. It might kill you and your loved ones, too. Be afraid of getting close to others. Stay home to be safe. And beneath that sentiment was the message that we can't trust our own bodies when faced with something like this. We must place our trust in the experts and government health officials to do the right thing in the face of this huge threat.
So I was thrilled to find the awesome article below not long before my run today, as it beautifully clarified for me why I couldn't accept these subtle and not-so-subtle messages. And what a magical coincidence to find it on the same day as I cut my foot. The article challenges us to consider the way we view life and disease on a very fundamental level. So much wisdom here. And it was written long before this age of the coronavirus.
I invite you to read these thought-provoking words and see how they touch you. Here's the essay:
Is It The Germ Or The Terrain That Determines Our Health?
By Derek Henry
In the Western world, we are desperately obsessed with killing things off that we feel can threaten our livelihood. Whether it is germs, terrorists, or the next door neighbour, we seek to eliminate anything that doesn’t agree with us rather than trying to maintain a healthy balance between desired and undesirable circumstances.
When it comes to our health, the Western world has largely adopted the germ theory, meaning we need to identify and destroy anything we deem as a foreign invader, as it is directly responsible for causing disease. However, there is another theory called the terrain theory, which believes that it is not the “germ” that determines disease, but rather, the state of our internal health and its ability to maintain homeostasis in the face of unfriendly organisms.
Let’s look into each theory a bit further.
The germ – or microbial – theory of disease was popularized by Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895), the inventor of pasteurization. This theory states that there are external germs which invade the body and are the direct cause of a variety of separate, definable diseases. If you truly want to get well, you need to kill whatever germ made you sick, and do whatever possible to make sure that you never allow a microbe to enter your body in the first place.
With this theory comes Western medicine and its tools and technology that treats the symptoms of an unfriendly microbe rooting itself in the internal environment, through things such as drugs, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Taking it a step further, in order to try and avoid an infection in the first place, various vaccines have been introduced to attempt to keep the disease from invading our body in the first place.
The germ theory was partly shaped around Pasteur’s idea that the human body is sterile, meaning it is a blank slate devoid of any germs. With this notion in mind we could conclude that we have to combat germs in every way possible, and that preventative measures through things like nutrition are basically useless.
So, if you closely follow the germ theory, you need to be vigilant against various types of infections through prevention (like vaccinations), and destruction (antibiotics, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) of any external microbe that attempts to or succeeds in getting inside our body.
The terrain theory was initiated by Claude Bernard (1813 – 1878), and later built upon by Antoine Bechamp (1816-1908). They believed that the “terrain” or “internal environment” determined our state of health. When the body is functioning in homeostasis and immunity and detoxification are operating well, they claimed there was a healthy terrain which could handle various pathogenic microorganisms that are inevitably thrown its way.
In essence, they believed the quality of the terrain and the elements it faced determined an individual’s susceptibility to disease.
Bernard, Bechamp, and their successors, believed that disease occurs to a large extent as a result of changes that take place when metabolic processes become imbalanced. Germs then become symptoms that stimulate the occurrence of more symptoms, which eventually culminate into disease. A weak terrain is naturally more vulnerable to external threats, so it needs to be built up through nutrition, detoxification, and by maintaining a proper pH or acid/alkaline balance.
For this and other reasons Bechamp argued vehemently against vaccines, asserting that “the most serious disorders may be provoked by the injection of living organisms into the blood.” [Many] researchers have agreed with him.
So, if you closely follow the terrain theory, you may make yourself aware of various external microbes that could be harmful to our health and the means to a gentle, non-toxic removal of them, but your focus is on building and maintaining the integrity of your inner terrain, so that any external microbe that manages to enter your body does not morph into anything with serious implications to your health.
This means nutrition, detoxification, and mindset are key factors you consider important in disease prevention and elimination.
So when you are considering your health plan, strongly consider the results we are seeing in a germ theory dominated health care system. Then decide whether you want to take that road, or follow those who predominantly follow the terrain theory.
Final notes from Fred: Just to be clear, I'm not trying to convince anyone of the terrain theory, which I had never heard of before. I just offer this as food for thought and a different way of looking at health and disease that makes a lot of sense to me. Terrain theory sounds a lot like modern-day holistic medicine. And what may be best is to implement the best of both models.
Derek Henry, the author of this article, used nutrition, natural remedies, and a holistic lifestyle to naturally unravel 13 chronic disease conditions that conventional or alternative medical professionals couldn't help him resolve. As a result, he is now happier and healthier than he has ever been. I copied his article from this webpage of his website.
The coronavirus has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. It is very serious. Yet you've probably noticed that nearly 90% of those who have died had underlying health issues, as reported in this MSN article. Clearly, we need to protect these people with weakened immune systems. Yet we are also seeing that a large percentage of the people who get the virus show no symptoms at all – asymptomatic.
What if instead of allowing fear and separation to dominate these intense times, we use this crisis as an opportunity to take a closer look at the germ theory and open to the possibility that some amount of germs and viruses can be good for us as long as we keep our bodies in a healthy homeostasis?
What if while protecting those with compromised immune systems, we spotlight the importance of cultivating and maintaining a healthy immune system by not overly avoiding germs and viruses, as I did by allowing dirt into the wound on my run today?
I invite you to consider these matters seriously to see if there is any shift you might make to build a healthier body that lives in greater harmony with the surrounding environment.
I wish you all the very best in moving through these most intense and challenging times. And remember, we're all in this together.
Note: As my body and health are a top priority, I average over an hour a day engaging in one or more of the many activities that my body loves – running, swimming, yoga, dancing, bicycling, and much more. My friends will tell you I'm one of the healthiest 62 year olds they know. If you'd like to see a list of the many activities I do to maintain a healthy and happy body and soul, I describe them on this webpage. May you find ever greater health and happiness.
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