Alternative Medicine – What is Scientific and Proven?

It’s time for conventional medical experts to prove the science behind their medicine by demonstrating successful, nontoxic, and affordable patient outcomes.

It’s time to revisit the scientific method to deal with the complexities of alternative treatments.

The U.S. government has belatedly confirmed a fact that millions of Americans have known personally for decades – acupuncture works. A 12-member panel of “experts” informed the National Institutes of Health (NIH), its sponsor, that acupuncture is “clearly effective” for treating certain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, pain following dental surgery, nausea during pregnancy, and nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.

The panel was less persuaded that acupuncture is appropriate as the sole treatment for headaches, asthma, addiction, menstrual cramps, and others.

The NIH panel said that, “there are a number of cases” where acupuncture works. Since the treatment has fewer side effects and is less invasive than conventional treatments, “it is time to take it seriously” and “expand its use into conventional medicine.”

These developments are naturally welcome, and the field of alternative medicine should, be pleased with this progressive step.

But underlying the NIH’s endorsement and qualified “legitimization” of acupuncture is a deeper issue that must come to light- the presupposition so ingrained in our society as to be almost invisible to all but the most discerning eyes.

The presupposition is that these “experts” of medicine are entitled and qualified to pass judgment on the scientific and therapeutic merits of alternative medicine modalities.

They are not.

The matter hinges on the definition and scope of the term “scientific.” The news is full of complaints by supposed medical experts that alternative medicine is not “scientific” and not “proven.” Yet we never hear these experts take a moment out from their vituperations to examine the tenets and assumptions of their cherished scientific method to see if they are valid.

Again, they are not.

Medical historian Harris L. Coulter, Ph.D., author of the landmark four-volume history of Western medicine called Divided Legacy, first alerted me to a crucial, though unrecognized, distinction. The question we should ask is whether conventional medicine is scientific. Dr. Coulter argues convincingly that it is not.

Over the last 2,500 years, Western medicine has been divided by a powerful schism between two opposed ways of looking at physiology, health, and healing, says Dr. Coulter. What we now call conventional medicine (or allopathy) was once known as Rationalist medicine; alternative medicine, in Dr. Coulter’s history, was called Empirical medicine. Rationalist medicine is based on reason and prevailing theory, while Empirical medicine is based on observed facts and real life experience – on what works.

Dr. Coulter makes some startling observations based on this distinction. Conventional medicine is alien, both in spirit and structure, to the scientific method of investigation, he says. Its concepts continually change with the latest breakthrough. Yesterday, it was germ theory; today, it’s genetics; tomorrow, who knows?

With each changing fashion in medical thought, conventional medicine has to toss away its now outmoded orthodoxy and impose the new one, until it gets changed again. This is medicine based on abstract theory; the facts of the body must be contorted to conform to these theories or dismissed as irrelevant.

Doctors of this persuasion accept a dogma on faith and impose it on their patients, until it’s proved wrong or dangerous by the next generation. They get carried away by abstract ideas and forget the living patients. As a result, the diagnosis is not directly connected to the remedy; the link is more a matter of guesswork than science. This approach, says Dr. Coulter, is “inherently imprecise, approximate, and unstable-it’s a dogma of authority, not science.” Even if an approach hardly works at all, it’s kept on the books because the theory says it’s good “science.”

On the other hand, practitioners of Empirical, or alternative medicine, do their homework: they study the individual patients; determine all the contributing causes; note all the symptoms; and observe the results of treatment.

Homeopathy and Chinese medicine are prime examples of this approach. Both modalities may be added to because physicians in these fields and other alternative practices constantly seek new information based on their clinical experience.

This is the meaning of empirical: it’s based on experience, then continually tested and refined – but not reinvented or discarded – through the doctor’s daily practice with actual patients. For this reason, homeopathic remedies don’t become outmoded; acupuncture treatment strategies don’t become irrelevant.

Alternative medicine is proven every day in the clinical experience of physicians and patients. It was proven ten years ago and will remain proven ten years from now. According to Dr. Coulter, alternative medicine is more scientific in the truest sense than Western, so-called scientific medicine.

Sadly, what we see far too often in conventional medicine is a drug or procedure “proven” as effective and accepted by the FDA and other authoritative bodies only to be revoked a few years later when it’s been proven to be toxic, malfunctioning, or deadly.

The conceit of conventional medicine and its “science” is that substances and procedures must pass the double-blind study to be proven effective. But is the double-blind method the most appropriate way to be scientific about alternative medicine? It is not.

The guidelines and boundaries of science must be revised to encompass the clinical subtlety and complexity revealed by alternative medicine. As a testing method, the double-blind study examines a single substance or procedure in isolated, controlled conditions and measures results against an inactive or empty procedure or substance (called a placebo) to be sure that no subjective factors get in the way. The approach is based on the assumption that single factors cause and reverse illness, and that these can be studied alone, out of context and in isolation.

The double-blind study, although taken without critical examination to be the gold standard of modern science, is actually misleading, even useless, when it is used to study alternative medicine. We know that no single factor causes anything nor is there a “magic bullet” capable of single-handedly reversing conditions. Multiple factors contribute to the emergence of an illness and multiple modalities must work together to produce healing.

Equally important is the understanding that this multiplicity of causes and cures takes place in individual patients, no two of whom are alike in psychology, family medical history, and biochemistry. Two men, both of whom are 35 and have similar flu symptoms, do not necessarily and automatically have the same health condition, nor should they receive the same treatment. They might, but you can’t count on it.

The double-blind method is incapable of accommodating this degree of medical complexity and variation, yet these are physiological facts of life. Any approach claiming to be scientific which has to exclude this much empirical, real-life data from its study is clearly not true science.

In a profound sense, the double-blind method cannot prove alternative medicine is effective because it is not scientific enough. It is not broad and subtle and complex enough to encompass the clinical realities of alternative medicine.

If you depend on the double-blind study to validate alternative medicine, you will end up doubly blind about the reality of medicine.

Listen carefully the next time you hear medical “experts” whining that

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You Can Heal Anything: You Are the New Medicine

The origin of healing systems

The division of medicine into traditional/conventional and alternative/complementary did not occur by accident. Mankind as a whole needed to experience both of them before it was ready for a system of medicine whose purpose would be of a higher nature than is currently available. The new medicine, although it is so unlike the conventional and alternative models, is being birthed by both of them

Other than the Lemurian and Atlantean approaches to healing, it is clear that the ‘medicine of nature’ has been the most influential in recorded history. Nobody created this form of medicine; it was simply there to be re-cognized or discovered by those who had direct access to the language of nature called Veda, which means knowledge or science. The first written records of nature’s medicine appeared about 6,000 years ago. They were channeled messages written down by Vedic sages in direct response to the first occurrences of illness on the planet. This system, which kept illness and suffering at bay for hundreds of years, became known as Ayurveda, or the ‘Science of Life’.

Although Ayurveda only survived the passage of time in India and some in areas of Brazil and China, it remains a universal form of medicine. Today it stands revived to some of its original form. It greatly contrasts with the western approach to modern medicine in that it seeks to address the underlying imbalance responsible for the symptoms of illness rather than trying to alleviate or remove the effects of the imbalance.

Outsmarting the violation of the laws of nature

Before Ayurveda became a textbook science of healing, people knew how to live in harmony with the laws of nature. As a result, sickness, pain and poverty weren’t part of life. But as time progressed, we began to replace some of the laws of nature with our own laws; in other words, we violated natural law. To try to address the consequences of this transgression from natural living, a system of healing (Ayurveda) was developed to treat the physical and mental effects resulting from the deviations from natural law. A new set of natural laws needed to be employed to undo the damage that was caused by the violation of the original laws of nature. When you dam a stream of water and it flows over its banks, the flooding caused by this action requires a different approach than just letting the stream flow in its own course. We needed to employ new laws and insights to help us deal with the damage once done. The first violations of the laws of nature on Earth created the need for a natural system of healing, one that would give us access to those secondary laws that would reduce the damage caused by violation of the primary laws. This system would show us how to release the obstruction that hinders the flow of the stream in its natural direction. Without anyone violating the primary laws of nature, such healing systems would otherwise be unnecessary.

Hippocrates was perhaps the most enlightened father of nature’s medicine in the more recent history of our species. He understood that the need for healing (applying secondary laws) resulted from the loss of alignment with one’s inner wisdom and intuition. The more humans distanced themselves from their own inner wisdom and the rules of the natural world, the harsher were the corrective measures needed to be taken by the force of nature. So, killer diseases such as the plague began to decimate the population, which then generated the urge for a new kind of medicine, which would combat disease-causing germs and stop each new one dead before it became an epidemic. This approach is what has become known as the conventional system of modern medicine. Of course, all of this was part of the master plan – to throw much of humanity into the other end of the spectrum of duality for the purposes of greater learning and growth in consciousness.

Breeding illness

Just like Ayurvedic medicine, modern medicine, too, was unable to prevent the escalation of disease on the planet. Modern medicine was so concerned with the effects or symptoms of disease that it lost sight of the reasons why people fell sick, most of which weren’t even physical causes. The discovery of the first antibiotic medicine (penicillin) caused euphoria among the medical circles and general population. Years later, the enthusiasm of developing an effective drug for almost every infectious disease became dampened by the fact that the side effects generated by the poisons contained in the drugs were so severe that they often outweighed their benefits. In fact, they actually contributed to the emergence of an entirely new class of diseases now known as chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, only 10 percent of all diseases fell into this category. The rest were acute problems, including fractures, infections, burns, etc. By around 1980, over 90 percent of all diseases had reached a chronic stage, meaning they couldn’t be cured by modern medicine. They also became known as the killer diseases of the modern era. Since our genes haven’t changed a bit over the past hundreds or thousands of years, genetic errors cannot be held responsible for such a sudden and dramatic escalation of diseases, especially when most of them occur only in the modernized world. What’s more, having defective genes doesn’t mean an affected person is going to get ill. Research on the blood disease thalassaemia, for example, has shown that patients who have exactly the same defect in the gene may be extremely sick, mildly ill, or completely healthy. This applies to most other ‘genetic’ illnesses, too. There may be just as many people with healthy genes who suffer from diabetes or asthma as there are those who have defective genes.

The symptom-oriented approach of modern medicine became synonymous with the revival of the old epidemics that so scared and scarred humanity less than a hundred years ago. The wide use of antibiotics and steroids have forced the targeted microbes, blamed for causing infectious disease, to resist the drugs’ action and mutate into what is termed ‘antibiotic resistant organisms’. The germs, following their natural survival instincts, are now outsmarting one drug after another, which means that there are now very few effective ‘treatments’ left for diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria. Millions more people each year are dying from these ‘new’ infectious diseases than ever before and the current trends suggest it will get worse. Unless medicine takes a complete u-turn in its approach, or healing is practiced in a different fashion, mankind will be greatly decimated once again.

It is highly unlikely, though, that modern medicine is going to save humanity from self-destruction. The side-effects of drugs and treatments are breeding so many different diseases and causing so many deaths every minute of the day that it is virtually impossible to even remotely win the battle against disease as long as people believe they depend on any form of medicine, even an alternative one. Since the current medical system is primarily controlled by financiers who have a vested interest in keeping it going and even expanding it further, it is not in the investors’ interest to find a real cure for the most common illnesses, for this would mean the end of medicine. Modern medicine is not designed to make people healthy; it is designed to make and keep people sick.

Many voices among doctors, patients and alternative practitioners denounce the exploitation of ‘innocent’ people. However, they have not yet realized that the same medical system that is misleading and enslaving mankind and robbing millions of people of their sense of sovereignty and self-empowerment is also instrumental in birthing a new medicine, one that will make everyone their own best healer. The government, health care agencies, medical associations, insurance carriers, and drug companies are unaware that they are key players in the cosmic game of transformation. They have helped a major portion of mankind to feel helpless and powerless against microbes and other disease-causing factors. The extreme denial of the infinite power of healing and rejuvenation that lies inherent in everyone is forcing the pendulum of time to swing back and allow the masses to gain complete and unrestricted access to this power within. Without the hazards of the old medicine, the new medicine could not come about.

The perfection of all this lies in the fact that no person can fall ill, regardless

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