This tagline was one of the main ways that Apple distinguished itself from its main competitor, the juggernaut Microsoft. And it was when I first attended Chiropractic school that I learned that there was a different way of thinking about health.
I grew up I think like most people, going to the medical doctor when I had symptoms of a cold or ear infection, sore throat and asthma. I remember going to the medical doctor when I first started playing soccer as a young boy. I found out that I had “flat feet” and needed arch supports in my shoes. When I was about 15 years old, I got injured playing soccer to the point I had severe low back pain and I couldn’t walk properly. I visited my MD and he prescribed physio which at the time consisted of stretching and heat lamp treatments. After a while, I felt better. The next season when I started playing soccer again, I started to notice the same type of symptoms creeping back. A friend of mine suggested that I visit a chiropractor. My entire life up to that point, I hadn’t realized that there was an alternative way to the Allopathic model. I didn’t even know that Allopathic meant to treat or suppress symptoms.
My education in Chiropractic school enabled me to see that there are different lenses that we can use to look at anything, especially health. One of the things that makes care at the Happy Spine different is that we use a holistic lens to look through rather than an allopathic, “separate things into parts” lens. A holistic lens means you see the person as more than just a collection of symptoms. Therefore the prescribed treatment will be holistic in nature. Symptoms are viewed as messengers reflecting the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of the person as well as their relationship to their environment and the people in their lives.
The truth is that even in alternative modalities, there are plenty of practitioners who practice allopathically. Just because one is a naturopath or chiropractor, doesn’t mean they will address their health holistically. It is still possible to focus solely on symptoms and treat based on that. As you can see, holism is a very different way of looking at health and at life in general.
A good example of someone using an allopathic lens is if someone suffers from muscle cramps. An MD will most likely prescribe muscle relaxants. An acupuncturist will treat just to reduce the cramping. A nutritionist would try to identify the nutrient that you’re lacking such as Magnesium. A massage therapist would focus on the muscles that are cramping.
If you’re using an allopathic lens then you’re essentially looking to find the one cause of the symptom or problem. You won’t ask, what’s causing the lack of magnesium, or why is it on the left side and not the right side of the body. You won’t look to see if there’s anything underlying the apparent cause of the problem. Let’s say you have a window that all of a sudden doesn’t open or close easily. Do you need a new window? Does the frame need replacing? Maybe if you put some candle wax where the window slides, it will slide easier. Is it a problem with expansion from humidity? Using an allopathic lens is not wrong. It will provide an answer, just not a complete answer. And the underlying conditions will go unnoticed and unaddressed. Using an allopathic lens results in recurrent or chronic problems.
This is true whether you’re talking about the health of an individual or the health of a society.
Let’s take a look at C19 and the allopathic approach of our public health officials. Let’s see how this allopathic approach to treating and suppressing symptoms is working in action in our society.
Using an allopathic lens tells us that the virus is the enemy (cause) which is responsible for the disease C19. That’s the end of the story.
Consequently all the measures being taken by our health authorities are focused on fighting the virus. We are ordered to distance ourselves from people, even from our families. We are told to wear masks, disinfect surfaces and to wash our hands…All these measures are meant to prevent the spread of the virus and to kill it. This is the allopathic approach in action.
A holistic approach considers the virus but doesn’t see it as the cause of the disease. Instead it takes a close look at the health of the host. If the host is healthy, they won’t experience symptoms. Their immune system will do its job. And those with underlying health conditions may get sick and unfortunately some may die.
When you use a holistic lens, you open up your analysis and approach to many different facets that affect the health of the host: the health of the internal and external ecosystem (which is in itself immense in scope), the effects of electric radiation with wifi and 3G/4G/5G, the health of the host’s nervous system (fight/flight vs. Heal/Adapt), nutrition, hormonal balance, and the list goes on.
Using an allopathic lens is by nature narrowing in its focus and so you don’t consider how everything is connected. For example, you don’t consider that by keeping everyone apart, you limit the amount of natural immunity that can happen. We don’t need to wait for a vaccine to let our bodies develop an immunity to this or any other virus. From an article in the National Post, written by a group of infectious disease specialists: “Recent data suggests that the human body reacts no differently to this virus than to other respiratory viruses: it mounts immunity, and once achieved, the virus gets cleared and there is protection from future infection.”
The allopathic public health approach with the decision for the lockdown restricts perspective and leads to ongoing challenges. The chief medical adviser from the U.K., Prof. Chris Whitty often describes these as “the indirect costs of the pandemic. They include everything from poor access to healthcare for other conditions through to rises in mental illness, financial hardship and damage to education. There is an increase in suicides, cancers not detected because of stoppage in screenings, untreated heart attacks and strokes. The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.”
The allopathic approach is short-sighted and doesn’t consider the big picture. Keeping people at home where children are in some cases exposed to abuse is at the very least inconsiderate and will bear very grave consequences on both the lives of these children and on society.
From the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as experiencing or witnessing violence or abuse or living with a parent with mental illness or substance use disorder, have been shown to have a powerful influence on subsequent mental and physical health and life expectancy. Exposure to ACEs has been linked to more than 40 negative health conditions, including poor mental health, substance use disorder, adverse health behaviors, chronic physical disease, and shortened life span.1 A meta-analysis of 37 studies that examined 23 health outcomes found that individuals who reported more than 4 ACEs had higher odds of cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, and poor self-rated health (odds ratios ranging from 2 to 3); mental illness, alcohol use disorder, and risky sexual behavior (odds ratios ranging from 3 to 6); and drug use disorder and interpersonal or self-directed violence (odds ratios greater than 7).2 Early childhood adversity and high levels of “toxic stress” have been found to have widespread and longstanding effects on multiple systems, and have been associated with reduced immunity, high levels of inflammation, shortened telomeres, subsequent poor health outcomes, and premature mortality.3”
Our sole focus on the virus, the numbers of people who are infected and the numbers of people who have died, has completely blinded our public health authorities in considering the whole picture of health. Health is more than just the absence of a virus. Health, whether we like it or not, encompasses every aspect of our lives, from the micro to the macro, from the personal to the systemic. We now have an opportunity to see how the allopathic lens limits our ability to find lasting and effective solutions. Both the underlying conditions in the body and society are being ignored. Sadly this will lead to more recurrent and chronic individual and societal health problems.