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Dr. Jeffrey McCombs

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The 1% Solution: A Story of Modern Medicine

Posted: 10/21/08 06:25 PM ET

In today's world and ever changing environment, we are quickly discovering that personal responsibility for our health and finances is the best way to secure a safe and sound future. The recent changes in the financial markets have demonstrated that we cannot hand over our future to others and think that they will act, or know how to act in our best interest.

As someone who spends a great deal of time researching and reading up on the latest discoveries that science has to offer, combined with 25 years of clinical experience, I estimate that we know about 1% of what goes on in the human body. That's correct, "1%." That may be a startling revelation, but I believe that it's a generous number and a good starting point.

Take the human digestive tract, for example. The human body has 10 trillion cells in it and the digestive tract has 10 times that amount, or 100 trillion bacterial cells. Science states that the vast majority of what takes place in the digestive tract is unknown. That alone means that we know very little about the largest percentage of our internal makeup. If we even knew everything about the 10 trillion cells that make up the human body, that would be 10%, but we are far from knowing much about those cells, also.

We live in a world where modern technology is unable to reveal to us the intricate and complicated mechanisms that allow the body to do what it does. The cellular functions remain hidden to us for the most part. Most of what is practiced is based on cadaver medicine and what we've learned from dissecting the dead. MRI's, CT scans, X-Rays, blood tests and everything else that we use to arrive at a diagnosis is still very crude in the overall picture. By the time something shows up via these assessment tools, we are already far along the path of degeneration and disease.

The concept of "practicing" medicine is humorous and the source of many jokes. We "practice" based on what is unknown and "doctor" people based on what is known. In the TV series House, MD, a doctor and his team of physicians continually end up misdiagnosing and mistreating with the wrong drugs, which lead to further complications, until they finally end up with the correct diagnosis and treatment right before the patient would otherwise die. A happy ending! In the United States alone, however, these mistreatments and adverse effects from drugs lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people every year. The number of unnecessary surgeries is in the millions. These numbers exclude clinics, nursing homes, extended care, and assisted care facilities which could easily double or triple those statistics.

This is not a put down on the medical profession, as anyone who "practices" as a doctor knows that what they are being asked to do on a daily basis is somewhat of a miraculous task. You can also ask anyone who has spent time in hospitals with loved ones or friends, that the example as illustrated by House, MD, is a very accurate portrayal.

Is there an answer then when we know so little about what we are dealing with? If we wait until we have a problem, then there isn't a good answer other than what we've seen already and know from the information presented above. The only answer that I know of is to be on the proactive end and take personal responsibility for our own health. The answer lies with us.

We must take care of our bodies through whole foods, clean air and water, exercise, detoxification, uplifting thoughts, positive emotions, meditation and prayer, service to others, and continually taking steps to improve our health in each and every moment. Our homes should be a refuge and a place for our bodies to heal and renew. I believe that we need to start with ourselves, before we can effectively deal with the larger issues of how to bring change to the world. Only then will we have the reference point for what health truly is.

To lead a healthy life, is to lead a life out of the ordinary. It is an extra-ordinary life!

 

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