| Wow! Being a parent is tough . So much to think about—so much to know. My daughter has been sick for two weeks now with a cold, and it has turned into a pretty nasty ear infection. Talk about having your convictions challenged.
What I mean is that we all have a perspective on health—that is, we all have our own way of thinking about health and illness. Some people really trust conventional medical wisdom—you know, doctor knows best—while others are just the opposite; they abhor western medicine and will do anything to avoid it. I think that my wife and I fall somewhere in the middle. In some cases, we lean a little more to one side, and in others, well, we lean the opposite way. But when it's your child that's sick, does it ever make that line thinner.
My general philosophy on health is that the human body has an incredible ability to heal itself. We are self-healing, self-regulating organisms. We have this magnificent power—an Innate Intelligence—inherent in all our cells and tissues. In other words, the body knows exactly what to do and when to do it, as well as the way in which it should be done. We, of course, need to give the body the right raw materials, as well as care for and condition it regularly. But do the right things and your body's expression of Innate Intelligence should flow smoothly.
This isn't a new concept and it isn't controversial. Chiropractors have been teaching it for well over a century. Medical science recognizes it too; they just have a different way of describing it—they call it genetics—however, the paradigms that separate these two professions determine how each group understands this fact, and in turn, how each views and approaches human health. (Please read this profound and penetrating article on the subject by U.C. Berkeley research scientist, Bruce Lipton.)
Western medicine sees genetics as relatively intelligent , with a significant capacity for error. As a result, the practice of medicine focuses on helping the body along, if possible, or correcting the errors, if necessary. Chiropractic philosophy, on the other hand, sees Innate Intelligence as highly powerful, in need of occasional maintenance only, of its delicate pathways through the removal of obstacles that at times disrupt its flow. Chiropractic philosophy does not deny genetics. It's just that something controls DNA. Medical science says, “We don't know what that something is,” and chiropractic philosophy says, “That something is Innate Intelligence.”
If we all have an intelligence running our bodies, no matter what we call it, isn't that something we are born with? Aren't children expressing this same intelligence, even if to a different degree? In my belief system the answer is yes . That same power that we as adults have is also inherent in children. Obviously it presents to a different degree in adults and children, since children have newly forming immune systems and the immune cells need time to develop. But also young immune systems need to be exposed to foreign invaders so that they may remain current and provide future immunity.
When people get sick they experience various signs and symptoms. These differ from illness to illness, but let's take the obvious example, like a cold. When you have a cold you might experience a runny nose, heavy mucous production, congestion, coughing, sneezing, and headache. You might also run a fever. I know, on the surface, it sucks; but in reality it's the body's external expression of what's going on internally—a bit of ass kicking on a few microorganisms. When you are exposed to bugs, germs and the like, or in scientist speak—microorganisms (bacteria or viruses)—your body responds by closing off its entrances. You'll cough to prevent further entry of bugs through your oral cavity or lungs. Mucous production in the nose and sinuses captures bugs in the nasal passages, ties them up in a sticky goo, and expels them by dripping out your nose or down your throat to their acidic grave in the stomach. Your throat swells up preventing excessive entry into the gastric system, and your tonsils (for those still owning a pair) swell up with loads of immune cells to continue the slaughter. You sneeze expelling even more germs. All the while your immuno-infantry goes to work seeking out more microorganisms to kill (thank your cytotoxic T cells ), heavily producing antibodies (thank your B-cells ), and carrying out intelligence operations by “recognizing” invaders and imprinting that memory into their data banks for future recognition (thank your memory T cells and memory B cells ). And here comes the best part: While your cellular soldiers are doing their work, the body's internal thermostat turns up the temperature in the form of a fever, because most microorganisms are temperature labile, that is, they can't take the heat. In high temperatures, these organisms die. Woohoo!
The immune response is just one of many amazing processes carried out by the human body—and it's all possible because of Innate Intelligence. As I've said before, it takes time to develop, with each new exposure leading to a greater depth of recognition and protection. Vaccinations are based on the immune response, so is homeopathy. But just as with a computer's virus scan program, the system becomes more powerful with each new update, or in the case of the human immune system, with each new exposure. So with this mind, doesn't it make sense that we need to be exposed to bugs or microorganism throughout our lifetime to keep the system up-to-date? And this can't be any more true than it is for children. Children absolutely must get sick to condition their relatively young army of immune cells. It can't be any other way.
So why do we as parents freak out when our children get sick? Well, as I pointed out before: When it's your child that's sick, all logic and reasoning go out the window. It really challenges your belief system.
“Oh my God, what if they die. That cough sounds horrible and they're screaming (sob)!”
I know, I just went through it for the first time. It's scary. But the reality is they're going to be OK. Yes, it's true—sometimes a fever can get too high. That's a virulent bug and the body is working overtime to defeat it. You've got to monitor your child's temperature, and keep your finger on the phone dial just in case you've got to call your pediatrician. My wife and I have experienced that one too, and it also should pass. All in all, the human body is incredible at adapting to any given situation. Think about our evolution for a minute. Don't you think the human lineage had to encounter and fight its way through many a competitor to survive on this planet? We've developed quite an efficient and sturdy composition to make it in this world.
So the next time you're placed in a challenging situation with regard to your health or your child's, don't let wisdom fly out the window. Stay certain in your convictions: Health is yours. You have an Innate Intelligence guiding your every move, and so does your baby. All that sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, and fever is your body doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing, in its perfectly organized way. If your baby needs help for their comfort, then by all means do it. Just know that medications don't heal the body, only the body can do that. But meds can give your baby—and you—a much needed break. And never forget that each bout of illness is yet another exposure, strengthening the system, and adding more protection to an amazing self-healing, self-regulating organism called the human body.
- October 2, 2007
The Six Keys to Optimal Health by Dr. Nicolas Campos
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The Six Keys to Optimal Health by Dr. Nicolas Campos
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