Do you ever wonder what herbs, homeopathic medicines, nutritional supplements do for your health?
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Dis-ease, the antithesis of health was the basis of much of my early medical education. Over the many years of clinical practice I have observed not only the antecedents of disease, but also those that maintain health and promote healing.
As a family physician practicing integrative medicine, I have noted the powerful impact of stress, environmental toxicants, such as PCBs, dioxin, heavy metals like mercury from silver amalgams, intestinal candida and parasites, have on the overall health of many of my patients. I have seen chronic cases of migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, allergies, fatigue, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, PMS improve and many times resolve completely when those factors that impede the body’s own inherent healing mechanisms are treated with an integrative medical approach.
I have often stated to my patients that I care for, medical students, residents and colleagues that I teach, ‘you can not throw the baby out with the bath water’- when addressing any health problem. If a patient’s disease clearly requires medication or surgery to use those tools judiciously while at the same time look to supporting the patients own unique healing process with Mother Nature’s Materia Medica, i.e. herbs, nutrients, homeopathy, etc.
Acupuncture has existed for over 3000 years and Homeopathic Medicine predates contemporary pharmacology by over 130 years.
While the principles of just these two healing systems are involved, I have developed an integrative medical approach that incorporates contemporary medial thought with these centuries old healing systems.
Health is a Dynamic Process
Health is a dynamic process. The body is always in a state of biologic flux of anabolism and catabolismbuilding up or repairing that which it needs and then tearing down that which it does not need. Disease results when these processes don’t work in proper balance with one another. As I mentioned earlier, factors such as stress, environmental toxins, infections and trauma contribute to this imbalance, as does ones genetic makeup, i.e. family history of diabetes, cancer, etc. It has been a common misconception in modern medicine to ignore these processes. The body rarely moves directly and smoothly from a state of disease to one of health. Time and experience has shown this to be a fact. Sometimes a person’s symptoms may worsen or new symptoms may arise for a short time then resolve. Contemporary medicine has always sought for the ‘magic bullet’ – “to stop disease dead in its tracks”. Often times with negative consequences on the overall ecology of one’s health.
Homeopathy, Herbs, Nutritional Supplements, Osteopathic Medicine, Acupuncture, Reiki, psychotherapy, medication, surgery. How do they work? How do they all fit into helping the healing process? Well, the answer is not simple! But I will share with you my approach and hopefully you’ll come away with a little more insight into the amazing, wonderful and often mysterious healing process latent in all of us.
I liken the body to computer network system. Basically ‘hardware and software’. The software tells the hardware what to do. If the hardware is broken, i.e. modem then no matter if your software is working the modem won’t place the connection to the internet. Conversely, if the software is corrupted, i.e. missing a few bundle bits even if the hardware is intact, then it won’t get the message to connect to the internet either!
So within the body the ‘software’ could be likened to the massive communication network of neurotransmitters, hormones, immunoglobulins, micro and macronutritients within and about the connective tissue matrix supporting the proper functioning of individual cells. These then make up the organs, or as I put it the ‘hardware’ of the body. In truth, structure and function are reciprocal as this was the earliest tenet of Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., the founder of osteopathic medicine, and echoed by even ancient acupuncture texts.
Homotoxiocology: the Bridge between Homeopathy and Contemporary Medicine
Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg, M.D. was a German internist and homeopath. He was a medical pioneer in seeing the healing process as a dynamic flux between health and disease. His observations can be summarized as follows; “the body is always attempting to fight/detoxify toxins, i.e. infections, heavy metals, cellular metabolic waste products and excrete these substances from the body. If the body failed in doing so, the end result would be disease. Furthermore, the manifestation of disease actually follows specific biologic processes that are characteristic of unique disruptions in the defense and detoxification processes involved”. Over the years he made thousands of observations of all major diseases known to modern medicine. To treat disease at its various levels of biologic dysfunction, Dr Reckeweg created unique combinations of single homeopathic remedies. In keeping with traditional homeopathic medicine, the action of these remedies further exemplified classic homeopathic philosophy in that; disease clears from deeper tissues to more superficial tissues, from the most recent symptoms to the earliest and from the top of the body to the feet. An example in conventional medicine might be that a person develops eczema is treated with medications to suppress the skin condition. Then later develops asthma. These are then treated with another set of medications and the patient later develops a duodenal ulcer. In contrast, if a patient is being treated homotoxicologically for asthma and develops eczema then this is seen as an improvement as the disease ‘moves’ out from deeper organs towards the skin. Dr. Reckeweg, used the term ‘regressive vicaration’ and “progressive vicaration” to imply disease regression in the former versus disease progression in the latter. Such regressive vicaration is supported with specific homeopathic medicine, nutritional and herbal supplements as the patient returns to health.
The Zeiger Healing Hypothesis
Combination homeopathic medicines, comprised of at least two or more single homeopathic medicines, work with the bodies software helping to reestablish the proper flow of critical information to cells. The cells are then able to do the work they were designed to do. However, if the cell needed more Vitamin B6, magnesium or folic acid and the available supplies were low – well that’s where nutritional and or herbal supplements come in! These macro and micronutrients provide the building block materials, i.e. hardware, that the body needs. Herbal remedies also have a direct phytopharmacological effect – directing communication between cells , nourishing them as well as acting on pathogenic organisms like fungi, parasites etc., but at a much higher concentration than the lower dilutions of homeopathic remedies. Acupuncture and possibly even Reiki may also have a profound effect on directing the information traffic within the intracellular connective tissue matrix that feeds and supports the cells which in turn comprise the organs of the body. Osteopathic manipulation is an additional and often crucial component of realigning a dysfunctional neuromusculoskeletal network and improving vascular flow within artery, vein and lymph which completes the re-integration of the health of the individual.
In conclusion, “Health is more than the absence of disease” — Fonterosa!
To life and good health,
David Zeiger, D.O.
Dr. David Zeiger is board certified family
physician in private practice. He specializes
in Integrative Medicine treating
chronic/acute illness like IBS, Allergies,
Women’s/Men’s health issues, Thyroid-
Adrenal Syndrome, Hypertension, CFIDS/
Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Diabetes, and Neuromuscular
He uses acupuncture, functional nutritional
medicine, osteopathic manipulation, homeopathy,
Chinese herbal medicine, neural therapy
and ligament regeneration injection therapy.
Contact: David J. Zeiger, D.O., health-
Works-Integrative Medical Clinic, 2731 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614;
Phone: 312-255-9444; fax: 312-255-9446
E-mail: zeigerd @ healthworksimc.com
The above is intended for educational
purposes only and is not intended to replace
proper medical diagnosis or treatment.