By Gerry Wolke, Pharmacist.

" can get a good idea of what’s really involved when medical honchos go after this herb or that herb or this vitamin or that vitamin.

It’s called misdirection.

Look over here, where six people died.

Don’t look there, where 300,000 people died."

John Rappoport (

The world of a hospital is an impressive place. If you are given a pass to wander the halls and peek into doors you will see a cornucopia of technology. Among all the white smocks you will see machinery and devices of such hi-tech wonder that it is truly amazing that anyone actually dies or at least stays sick in such places. Looking at all those pulsing tubes, electrical waveforms on monitors, giant scanners, colorful pills, and gleaming vials, you can’t help but be impressed with what human ingenuity has accomplished and what lies ahead. Medical science and technology now has its focus on the very blueprints of life, the human genome.

There are certainly few other places that you could visit that would seem so awesomely technical in the service of ordinary human beings. It is applied science against disease. It is also horrendously expensive and getting more so every year. Americans spend more by far than anyone else on healthcare, about 1.5 trillion dollars a year and that will double in 10 years. We better darn well be getting some impressive results for all that expenditure.

Yet, we don’t. If you look around you, people aren’t very healthy. Whether it is the common but seemingly minor complaints like allergy, colds, and obesity, or the serious plagues of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, or even the chronic problems of depression, anxiety, arthritis or asthma, few people are well, really well. It makes you wonder what they have been doing with all that technology. They can’t even cure the common cold. Worse, many new, inexplicable diseases such as fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue and others have arisen that they don’t have a clue about. It’s as though the purpose of NASA was to somehow improve our walking ability. So we have an expensive, hi-tech, medical scientific establishment looking for hi-tech answers to common problems visited upon an increasingly unhealthy public. Nor are they finding many answers. Something is wrong, but what?

Much of that technology is for diagnostics. This is their way of trying to pigeonhole you into a definable category for treatment purposes. Diagnostics is the most impressive aspect of medicine. MRI’s, CAT scans, PET, radioisotopes, angiograms, lab analysis, and so on are science at its best, and most expensive. Since diagnostics determine treatment, it is vital to get diagnostics right. Of course, the correct diagnosis doesn’t cure you and despite it all, they often get the diagnosis wrong. Moreover, not being able to pigeonhole you causes no end of consternation in the white coat crowd. They are likely to label you a hypochondriac or just say, live with it. Not being able to diagnose means not being able to treat. This is, of course, a relic of the taxonomic method of understanding nature popular in the 19th century, where everything was classified and labeled. Even today, self-proclaimed skeptics and quackbusters refuse to accept anything that can’t be a priori classified in their system. Ironically, homeopathy, a rival healing art that was almost crushed by the medical establishment, flourished in the 19th century. For a homeopath, pigeonholing isn’t as important as understanding the patient’s peculiarities; the odder the symptoms, the better. Much of alternative medicine is like that. It looks for energy flows, blockages, toxins, nutrients, behavior, changes in pH or redox potential. Lifestyle is of supreme importance. How to classify you isn’t as important for healing purposes as understanding you.

Pathologist, Majid Ali, in his book Oxygen and Aging, writes that most diagnostic categories are entirely arbitrary. He once gave parts of a diseased colon to a number of specialists. He selected parts that fit the description of different bowel diseases and even though they were all from the same patient, each specialist rendered a different diagnosis. It seems that the first pathology they run into determines the diagnosis. He did the same with other diseases with the same results. Remember that the diagnosis determines the treatment. Is it any wonder so few people get better?

His point is that disease is about ecology, not taxonomy. In fact, a good term for alternative medicine is ecological medicine. The body/mind/spirit exists as an integrated whole, the parts of which work together like an ecosystem. We often find that intervening in an ecosystem seriously unbalances it. The introduction of a foreign plant or animal, for example, can devastate the natural balance of an entire continent. Ask the Australians about rabbits. Similarly, the ecosystem changing technologies of humans may yet bring a destruction upon us no one could have foreseen. Global warming, a planetary fever, is one such possibility, though controversial.

Society is another ecosystem in which politicians intervene continuously. The wisest of the economists (those in the Austrian school, for example) have stressed that laws are meant to provide a basic structure for the interactions of human economic and social activity. This is typically in the form of laws that define and protect property rights, the source of all others. Other laws are similarly meant to be universal and simple; laws against assault, fraud and theft, for example. Many economists (Milton Friedman, for example) have pointed out that constant political intervention leads to unintended consequences that require further interventions that have even more bad consequences, and so on until an impoverished despotism has arisen and the state is omnipotent.

Again, the human being is a walking, talking ecosystem. The contents of the bowels alone rival the most complex ecosystems on the planet. Modern medicine, though, is highly interventionist. Nor has it any respect or regard for that ecosystem. Modern medicine typically confesses that it does not know what causes a disease. The fact is that in order to cure a disease you typically have to restore the ecosystem to balance. It is a natural or manmade intervention in the system that caused the disease. Restoring balance is what we strive to do in nature and it is what we ought to do in law and medicine. That means attention ought to be given first to the causes of an ecological imbalance. Specific interventions are meant to be brief and specific, not an entire therapy. Notice, also, that the more disrupted a system is, the harder it is to restore order and balance. It is far easier to maintain order. In nature this is called conservation. In law this is called liberty. In medicine it is called prevention.

One result of this reliance upon technology and quantifiable numbers is the worship of tests. Doctors perform lots of tests: blood tests, urine tests, spinal taps, etc. If you have a body fluid, they want it. They send it to a lab and get some numbers. From those numbers they prescribe treatments. The problem is that you can treat a number and miss the point, as with the PSA test which doesn't always represent prostate cancer. You can also get a normal result and miss the pathology, as with a thyroid test. Doctors are happy when their therapy changes a number. In fact, they will often believe a number before they believe a patient.

Much if not most of conventional treatment is with drugs. Drugs are, as one scientist put it, “sublethal doses of toxic chemicals” synthesized by a drug laboratory. Ali calls it “blockade medicine” because almost all drugs work by blocking some natural receptor in the body. Drugs are discovered by looking at the effects of these chemicals on laboratory animals in a sort of screening process. If a chemical beneficially affects some sign or symptom and isn’t too toxic, it goes on to human testing. There, if it doesn’t kill too many subjects, it is relabeled a drug, or rather, medication, since drug has negative connotations these days. How much toxicity can be tolerated depends upon how serious the problem is. This is called “risk-benefit” analysis. Eventually, marketing makes the drug available everywhere. Drugs seldom cure anyone, either, though. Remember, that screening process wasn’t looking for a cure, just an effect. Getting an actual cure would be almost startling. Their new hope is genetic manipulation and nanotechnology. Want to make a bet about how much that will cost if it ever becomes practical?

So diagnostics and drugs don’t cure many people or even improve their health. They mostly just help people to live with their problem, but at a price. Aside from all the money, there is the issue of side effects. Many people quit their drugs because the side effects seriously interfere with their quality of life. Statistics tell us that one out of four people get objectionable side effects and 13% of those are serious.

In fact between drug toxicity and mistakes, Doctors may be the leading cause of death in the U.S.. Think about that. In Israel, when the doctors went on strike, the death rate went down. This is the same medical establishment that always tells you that taking some harmless herb might be bad for you. Bias is built into the system. They exaggerate the benefits of drugs while glossing over the toxicity while at the same time automatically dismissing natural alternatives while getting hysterical about the non-existent dangers. If they are so dangerous where are all the bodies?

How about surgery? Surgery can do wonders for anatomical abnormalities, injuries, and as a last resort, for some diseases. If all else fails, cut it out. Its record on cancer and heart disease are less than impressive, though. Surgery is expensive, painful and sometimes disfiguring. We are left with the dilemma that most people are unhealthy while the medical establishment continues to pour more money into hi-tech drugs, diagnostics and surgery. Its like the medical establishment is feverishly carving an intricate structure out of the tip of an iceberg while ignoring the mass beneath the surface. Cynics would say that there is no money in basic health, not like the latest hi-tech intervention, and that is why it is ignored.

A child who is born healthy with no genetic defects should be able to lead a healthy and productive life. The body is meant to cope with many kinds of insults such as injuries, germs, toxins, etc. and then return to normal. The body actually needs some challenges to tune-up. Kids in dirty environments seldom get asthma, as an example. This is called homeostasis. In other words, the body heals itself. In physics terms, complex systems are self-reinforcing and it takes a lot of abuse to unravel them. There are injuries, germs and toxins that can overcome the body’s ability to heal, but we generally successfully avoid those. Our enemies are much more subtle. They tend to be insidious and take years before they show up as a crisis requiring drugs or surgery, sometimes in an emergency room. Something happened between being born healthy and being a subject of crisis intervention. What was it?

Obesity, allergies, asthma, fatigue, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. usually don’t happen overnight and these are the primary problems afflicting western people in this age. Notice that conventional medicine pays only lip service to the precursors of these maladies. They tell you to get some exercise and a balanced diet. That is pretty much the extent of it. Worse, they can’t even agree among themselves about exercise and diet, and they are being shown to be increasingly wrong in their admonitions. Moreover, they are increasingly eschewing any options for health besides what the pharmaceutical companies tell them. If you’re sick you need a drug.

A balanced system is centered and stable. Shocks or insults to the system, especially if subtle and prolonged, can seriously imbalance it. An unhealthy person is imbalanced. Healing is just bringing balance back to the system.

People are actually quite multi-dimensional. In fact, the human ecosystem goes far beyond body biochemistry, something the medical establishment also ignores. People do exist as biochemistry, which is amenable to drugs and as a structure, which can be altered with surgery, but there is more. Humans are first spiritual. Then they are psychological/emotional. The medical establishment pays no attention to the first and is only now begrudgingly starting to pay attention to the second. Psychoneuroimmunology is the name they give to the interaction of thoughts and emotions on health. This is amazing. It is amazing that it has taken so long to think that thoughts and feelings have something to do with health. A simple experiment proves otherwise. Think of sex. Recall some especially gratifying experience. Now notice how your body changes, especially if you are a man. Or think of the worst thing you have ever experienced. Again, notice how your body changes. All those changes were the result of a thought. Now imagine that you have lots of thoughts and feeling hidden away all influencing your body. Depending upon your thoughts and feelings, you could be sabotaging your own health. For example, one of the best predictors of a heart attack is a person’s level of hostility.

People also have a subtle energy dimension, or at least many people believe they do. This is the realm of prana and chi, in the great healing systems of Asia. In the west, we have homeopathy that is said to work on what it calls the “vital force.” A newer means of harnessing it in the form of tachyon energy has been invented. Needless to say, conventional scientists say that this energy does not exist.

In actual order, humans are first spiritual, then they have a subtle energy field, then the spirit inhabits a body which forms the mind and emotions. The body is electromagnetic and also biochemical. Finally, it has structure and exists in a society. All levels of being influence health.

So far, medicine has little to say about most of these areas despite their importance to health. Nor do they have interventions for them. Drugs and surgery are pretty much it.

The effects of spirit are known from the well-documented power of prayer to speed up healing. It is also known from the effects of reincarnation, or what appears to be that. Hypnotic regression is a successful therapy for this.

The effects of subtle energies are known from homeopathy, healing touch, tachyon therapy, and other successful Eastern therapies.

With psychoneuroimmunology, medicine is starting to consider other sources of imbalance. Unfortunately, the answer is just the usual drugs, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, etc. One doctor, Dean Ornish, has put together a program of meditation that lowers stress in his cardiovascular patients with good effect. His is one of few therapies that do not use a drug.

Psycho-emotional healing can be achieved with the Emotional Freedom Technique. This system seems to work for just about anything and should accompany other therapeutic modalities.

Another level of healing is the electromagnetic. Yes, humans are electric and currents run through the body. It has been found that acupuncture points and meridians correspond to these very small currents. So far, the healing properties of light, heat and magnetism have largely also been ignored by conventional medicine. There are a few exceptions such as the use of UV light in babies with too much bilirubin, or heat pads for injuries. Radiation therapy is notorious in cancer. Magnetism has a following in alternative medical circles but except for diagnostics, none in the downtown hospitals.

At last we get to the biochemical level where conventional medicine gets to employ its drugs. However, it might be that drugs should be a last resort, not the first. When thinking of how best to treat a disease, it is usually better to think of how to prevent it. If it is too late to prevent, then think of how to restore the body’s ability to heal. The presumption is that as complex as the body/mind/spirit is, nature knows a lot better than we do how to get its house in order. Naturopaths have long known that a healthy lifestyle retards the chances of getting ill. Fresh air, sunshine, pure water, exercise and wholesome food are the stuff of healing. Naturopaths prefer herbs to drugs when necessary as they are more gentle, far less toxic and often do a better job. Many drugs started out as a cheap herb but the pharmaceutical industry strips what they consider the active principle out of it, modifies it to make it patentable, and then sells it at outrageous prices. Because drugs are so potentially toxic, the naturopath does not often believe that they build health. Rather, they challenge the body even more. Nor are they usually necessary to rebuild a body. No one has a minimum daily requirement for, say, albuterol.

Of course, on a continuum of health from perfect health to crisis extremis you are working your way in efficacy from the realm of alternative healing to conventional management. Alternative healing is at its best in prevention and chronic, degenerative, problems while conventional medicine is at its best in the emergency room.

Naturopathy, like homeopathy, is a vestige of a different era. The challenges we face today in health were never known in the 19th century. We eat fake foods and biochemically incompatible foods that not only have no nutritional value, but sabotage our own biochemistry. We no longer need to work hard to get exercise unless we seek it out. Our food, air and water are loaded with chemicals never seen before. We stay indoors much of the time and we are surrounded with an electromagnetic smog totally different than the geomagnetic harmonies our ancestors evolved with. The rigors of civilization stress us out. It is a testament to our bodies that they can take so much abuse and still function for a while.

Those lists of maladies that afflict modern people are a direct result of these modern lifestyles. Think of pioneers who went into the wilderness building their own homes and tilling the earth from sunrise to sunset. Think of the strength and vigor that went into that. Think about the men on the Lewis and Clark Expedition who traveled for two years on foot, building forts when they needed to, constructing boats on the spot, and taking off again, meeting every rigorous challenge. How many people today could do that? Yes, many died young but from poor sanitation, plagues and accidents. Heart disease and cancer were anomalies until recently.

It would not be possible nor desirable to turn back the clock and forgo the benefits of our technological civilization. The challenge is to use the technology we have to bring us back as closely as possible to our primeval and genetic heritage and perhaps even improve upon some of them. Conventional medicine surely has its place, especially in emergencies. But medicine needs to combine the natural wisdom of our bodies with the technology that improves upon it.

Generally, health is like a seesaw. On one side you have things that build health such as proper nutrition, sunshine, fresh air, pure water, and exercise. On the other side you have things that destroy health such as a sedentary lifestyle, stress, the wrong foods, nutrient deficiencies, and the plethora of toxins in our environment. Normally, the body keeps them in balance. It draws from its nutritional resources to rid the body of toxins and to keep things efficient. Disease occurs when the body’s ability to prevent or restore damage can no longer cope. A healers job is to help the body to health by shoring up the healthy side of the see-saw and getting rid of those health destroyers. As naturopathic physician Hazel Parcells said, “Cleanse the body, give it the right building materials, and nature will heal and build.” The older one becomes, the more necessary this is. The ability of an older body to put its own house in order is much less than a young person’s. It may also be more necessary today than ever to supplement the body with nutrients and herbs as we no longer live in a non-polluted world.

What causes illness? Some of the key factors are:

· Unrelenting Stress. Our ancestors had stress but it was not continual. It did not burn out adrenal glands from overuse nor continually depress the immune system. .

· Lack of good Structured Water. Most people don’t drink enough water and what they do drink lacks structure. As homeopaths know, water is a substance that can store energy imprints, especially subtle energies. Structured water, as found in healing springs, has healing properties tap water does not.

· Lack of Vitamins and Minerals, Enzymes and Phytochemicals. A burger and fries will not keep you healthy. We eat nutritionally depleted food and the vitamin supplement most of us get from the store hardly makes up for it. . Taking vitamins and minerals can give significant amounts of isolates used in tests while taking green foods enables the body to use the vitamins along with their necessary co-factors. They also may include nutrients not identified yet.

· Essential fatty acid imbalance and deficiencies. Less well known than vitamin deficiencies are fatty acid deficiency and imbalance. We are meant to consume a ratio of roughly at most 4:1 Omega-6 vs Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Our usual ratio is around 20:1. Consider that Omega-6’s promote inflammation, cancer and a host of other problems while Omega-3’s do the opposite. Even worse, baked goods and hydrogenated oils contain trans fatty acids that are the wrong shape for the body to use. .

· Lack of probiotics, including soil based organisms. Most people’s intestines contain hundreds of kinds of beneficial bacteria but poor diet, antibiotics and other stressors allow bad bacteria to predominate. Leaky gut syndrome allows the bowel to change the blood that challenges the liver. So it goes. Death begins in the colon, they say. Our ancestors who ate roots from the ground also got a supply of soil based organisms which it turns out have a great deal to do with health.

· Lack of fiber. Our ancestors ate much more fiber than we do and that fiber swept our bodies clean of toxins and kept the intestines in shape. Today’s food is over refined and lacking in fiber.

· Environmental pollution. Our bodies are bombarded with thousands of synthetic chemicals unknown even a few years ago. Few have been tested for long-term safety. The liver has to work hard to get rid of them and increasingly can’t do the job. Some chemicals mimic hormones and wreak havoc with the body. Others are carcinogenic.

· Lack of exercise. Many studies have shown benefits from exercise in virtually all areas of life from mood to cardiovascular health. Obesity sets you up for lots of problems and exercise helps fight obesity. Few people get any exercise.

· Stealth infections. It is increasingly known that nature has obscure pathogens that either cause or contribute to many diseases. Even diseases previously not thought to be infection related, such as heart disease, are now thought to be linked. These pathogens hide in the body and are hard to detect. There are two other important aspects of infection. Mycotoxins, released from mold and fungus, can bring on problems ranging from cancer to MS. The evidence is there but is just ignored. Go toI Know the Cause! for more information. Also, it is widely believed that illness is directly related to changes in biological terrain which gives rise to the stealth pathogens mentioned above. Those with the equipment to see the pathogens (not conventional medicine) believe that the infections can arise from within under certain circumstances, and give rise to many illnesses. The dirtier the blood, the greater the illness. See Majid Ali below.

· Inadequate rest. Americans like to drive themselves hard, but nature has rhythms that can’t be ignored. We don’t sleep enough and that leads to problems.

· Bad diet. Humans had a kind of diet we evolved with which we have recently abandoned. Most people wouldn’t feed their dog cat food much less bird food but we stuff anything in our mouth whether we are genetically designed for it or not. It is increasingly obvious that the current diet of high carbohydrates and low protein and fats, is dangerous. Grains, a source of mycotoxins, are especially undesirable.

. Lack of enzymes. Enzymes are found in raw food and perform a plethora of vital functions in the body. When we eat enzyme depleted food (and we eat lots of it) the body pays the consequences.

. Inadequate glyconutrients such as Essential Monosaccharides may be at the root of the disease process. This is an emerging area of research with exciting possibilities.

All of these work together in a network and the more of these you have, the worse your health is likely to be. For example, a recurring infection may be due to immune suppression brought on by heavy metal toxicity. The heavy metals toxicity may be brought on by a bad diet and/or the inability of the liver to detoxify.

If your health is bad pay attention to the keys listed above. In general, whatever is wrong with your health, you need to get the basics in order. There are, of course, exceptions but if you want to get better, no matter what other therapies you try, you have to attend to the ecological basics.

Here are some other things that should be checked off:

1. Get an experienced natural health practitioner. This will save you money in the long run as well as your time and possibly your life. Trial and error is inefficient. A good alternative practitioner can help with the others on this list.
2. Check for food intolerances. As much as 90% of the population suffers from food intolerances. The result is feeling tired and fatigued much of the time, having trouble losing weight, being bothered with indigestion, bowel irregularities, and bloating, having migraines, joint pains, and frequent infections.
3. Oxidative stress is a destructive tool used by many illnesses to wreck your body. You can check your level with the Free Radical Test Kit. Oxidative stress is often a result of bad biological terrain. See 4.
4. Check your biological terrain. This is another bugaboo to the government but alternative practitioners have long known that changes in the chemistry of the body are associated with various illnesses. Alternative practitioners have long known this. For example, Majid Ali writes persuasively that oxidosis brought about by poor biological terrain, especially in the bowels, blood and liver, is the major source of disease. Poor biological terrain is also responsible for infections that arise from within the body, another bugaboo to conventional medicine.
5. If you are older, check your hormones. Aging is a subject unto itself but lack of hormones is common in older people. Various hormone tests are available such as the Male Profile Test or the Female Profile Test.
6. Check your basal temperature. If the temperature is below 97.8 F you may have thyroid problems regardless of what the thyroid tests say. Alternative doctors say that their patients usually respond to small doses of thyroid hormone.
7. A wealth of nutraceuticals are available to help. Again, the further your health has deteriorated, the more targeted and interventionist your therapy needs to be. The basics of health should not be neglected, though. In more serious cases, alternative practitioners become what are sometimes called “green allopaths.” They will use herbs and nutrients pharmacologically. Unlike conventional medicine, they will look for substances that complement and empower the body. For example, if your immune system is dysfunctional (and much of illness is due to this) conventional medicine has little to offer. Prednisone or other immune suppressants are pretty much the extent of it. Lately, various immune fractions called cytokines have been marketed but they cause bad side-effects and aren’t very effective. In conventional medicine’s view, most problems are due to an overactive immune system. Even badly behaving immune systems such as found in autoimmune disorders are treated with immune suppressants. AIDS is one of the few conditions where a lack of an effective immune response is considered. In contrast, alternative medicine sees a poorly behaving immune system behind many problems from too many colds to cancer, both of which get little consideration from the white coats in that regard. In alternative medicine there are many immune boosters and modulators that are highly effective and they are all designed by mother nature. They are meant to correct a badly behaving immune system, not just suppress it.

The structural level of being is also largely ignored by conventional medicine except for physical therapy and surgery. Various massage therapies and chiropractic can help immensely. They can even free energy blockages that can cause or contribute to disease. Some physical interventions even apparently work on subtle energies with amazing effect. Among these are Bioset and Jaffe-Mellor.

People usually visit an alternative practitioner (which they do more often these days than conventional practitioners) because of dissatisfaction with their therapy. A story we hear almost every day and one which almost all alternative practitioners hear goes generically something like this: “I felt bad and went to different doctors. They all told me it was in my head or gave me things that made me feel worse. I gave up hope. Then I found this healer who understood. Now I feel great.”

When you get sick your first thought is to go to a doctor. You should since you’re scared and you want help. The place to start is with all that hi-tech equipment in the hands of the M.D. or D.O. in the white coat. He or she can at least give you an idea of what you’re up against, and perhaps some reassurance. The point is, if necessary, don’t stop there. Keep seeking. Find a healer with an ecological or alternative approach. It might sound crazy but it might work. It’s your health and your life. As a health professional with a foot in both camps, I get far more inspirational stories from the alternative side than the conventional one.

The medical establishment, and its enforcers in government, don’t like this advice. Their position is that only they have the “proven” methods. The idea that innovation and clinical experimentation could come from some place besides them is anathema. It is not unlike Libertarian writer Jerome Tuccille’s description about the difference between a political liberal and conservative. He says that if a rat bites a child in the ghetto the liberal will be outraged and open to anything regardless of means to end the problem. The conservative will be more outraged if the solution violates any of his principles.

The medical establishment seems less concerned that you might die than that you go to a “quack” for help. 150 years or so ago, Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweiss showed that if physicians washed their hands before going from a cadaver to performing a child birth, there was a good chance that childbed fever wouldn’t kill the mother. Naturally, he was reviled and persecuted despite the empirical evidence staring the establishment in the face. His fault was not that he came up with an unorthodox idea that was right (lots of people come up with ones that are wrong,) but that the establishment refused to look at it and persecuted him instead. This still happens. See The Burzynski Saga for another case.

The reason that freedom is valuable is that progress requires experimentation. This includes health progress whether it is therapeutic protocols in general or your own particular case. Nature knows this and evolution experiments with myriad life forms, most of which don’t make it in the long run. Something better always comes along. .

History has shown that when those in power have the ability to limit experimentation and innovation, they will always do so to protect their own interests. They will invariably cite lots of good reasons for doing so. They will talk about quacks and deception. They will talk about saving the public from harm. They will invoke the argument of authority, that only they are able to judge for you. They will do every vicious thing they can to stamp out their competition. But they are wrong as historically, they have always been.

Dr. Mercola likens conventional medicine to a disease and says it is dying as we know it because..."The disease is caused by conflict of interest, tainted research, greed for big bucks, pretentious doctors and scientists, lying, cheating, invasion by the morally bankrupt marketing automatons of the drug industry, derelict politicians and federal and state regulators - all seasoned with huge doses of self-importance and foul odor."

The irony for the repressive "for your own good" establishment is that there has never been greater access to information and especially health information. The days when a wagon rolled into some frontier town and some dubious “doctor” peddled his worthless nostrums to simple rural folk, are over. The wild west today is the internet and you can get all the ads for penis enlargers and cure-alls your inbox can handle. You can also take responsibility for your health and just as easily investigate whether a penis can be enlarged or whether HGH is the answer to every conceivable aging problem with that very same internet. In other words, our founding fathers were right. Free speech works. You should not fear an ad for a bogus penis enlarger nearly as much as you should fear an overbearing nanny state.

So the next time you get a pass to wander around a hospital and marvel at all the technology there take some time to ask some questions like: “What sort of things do you cure here?” or “What would you do if you had cancer?”

See also Alternative Medicine Pt.1 - Conventional vs Alternative Medicine.