“The purest suffering bears… the purest understanding.” – St. John of the Cross
As a holistic natural doctor, I am frequently asked the question, “Doctor, why do I have these symptoms?” Indeed, we have all struggled with various kinds of infirmities over the course of our lives, some of them short lived and some lasting for years. Health is defined as “soundness of body and mind” and “a condition of optimal wellbeing” not merely the absence of disease or abnormality. We are all on a journey during our time here on planet earth and we are all subject to the same challenges toward optimizing our state of health.
The purpose of why a body gets symptoms is to alert that something is wrong and drifted from the normal homeostatic setpoint. What is homeostasis? It is the established point of equilibrium, or balance, within an organism. For example, if you stub your big toe, you get the zing of pain because you traumatized the cells of the big toe and they sound the alarm to let you know they have moved outside of the normal happy setpoint of homeostasis. Another example would be if you go for a walk but realize you cannot walk very far because you are too tired. It means your cells are unable to generate the appropriate amount of energy that is required to go for the walk. Their energy output homeostatic setpoint is too low to handle what they are being asked to do and the symptom of fatigue is the result.
As a faithful Christian believer, I come from a background that all human life if sacred and made in the image and likeness of God. From my education in chiropractic philosophy, I also know that the power that made the body heals the body. The body was designed to be well from the very beginning and the innate wisdom within each of us has is powerful at accomplishing this task given the right tools.
When symptoms arise, they are clues to solving the underlying problem. Just as any detective needs to look carefully and objectively at the clues in a mystery, so must the physician examine the clues closely to determine the appropriate solution to the health condition. Symptoms can be both good and bad. On the good side, the body is trying to heal from a problem and is employing built-in self-cleansing tools to get the job done. On the bad side, symptoms can be awful depending on the severity- pain, swelling, redness, and heat are all hallmarks of inflammation, and some of them never seem to go away.
If you can believe it there are people who are born and cannot feel physical pain, known as congenital analgesia. Doesn’t that sound wonderful to never feel pain? Not so fast. Every one of these individuals always has a shorter lifespan. Most die in their teens and twenties. If you lack the ability to feel pain, how would you know that you just fractured your ankle and you need to stay off of it? Pain is a very helpful signal to tell a person to take it easy and let that body part heal. If the smoke detector fails to work, how would you know there was a fire in the house? Symptoms show how your body is working hard to return to homeostasis!
In our current medical environment, there is a symptom that is frequently seen in a very bad light and commonly handled in an inappropriate manner: a FEVER. What is a fever? It is when a pathogen (e.g. foreign microorganism) invades the body and starts upsetting the normal homeostatic processes. In an effort to cleanse itself, the innate wisdom of the body will increase the temperature temporarily because a high temperature is a very positive thing to eliminate the problematic microorganism. When the threat is gone, the temperature returns to normal again. It really is that simple. Fevers are absolutely critical to defeating certain types of health issues and should not be forcibly stopped with pharmaceuticals. Many parents have asked me if the brain will suffer damage if the temp gets too high. My reply is simple: No. The highest fever ever recorded was from a man in 1980 who suffered a heat stroke. How hot did he get? 115.7 degrees Fahrenheit! He survived without brain damage. As I said before, the innate wisdom knows exactly what to do and how to do it.
Let me give you a real-life example I witnessed regarding the power of a fever. A little boy who had just turned two years old decided it was a good idea to go and eat feces directly out of their cat’s litter box. (Yeah… not his brightest moment.) As would be expected, he became very ill. Within a short time, his fever had reached a whopping 106.7 degrees! He was catatonic, breathing rapidly, and very flushed in the color of his face. When I was made aware of what was happening, his mother was on the verge of panic because she had never seen any of her children this acutely sick before.
Please put yourself in the doctor’s shoes for a moment. What would be the right thing to do in that situation? Should I reach immediately for the phone and call 911? Get the children’s Tylenol? Put him in an ice bath? Many of these options are considered “standard of care” according to the book.
Let me tell you exactly what I did.
First, I quickly ascertained that his body was in the throes of battle against a tough foreign species of bacteria. Second, he got suited up in his thick pajamas with the fuzzy feet and a stocking hat was placed on his head. Third, I asked his mother to heat up some chicken broth which I had him drink every quarter hour. And finally, a few drops of Tea Tree (melaleuca) oil was rubbed on his back every half hour. All food was withheld. The old adage rings true: starve a cold (no food), feed a fever (warm fluids).
It took about 6 hours of this battle raging but in the evening he at last emerged victorious. His fever broke in the classic beads of sweat across the forehead, he took off the layers of clothing, his appetite returned, and he asked for something to eat. Success! The immune system was permitted to completely handle the problem from start to finish with the proper support and I did not hinder it by introducing pharmaceuticals. Readers hear me when I say this is how you develop the Ferrari of immunity.
I know it may sound odd, but challenge equals opportunity, and suffering truly makes you grow. God loves us too much to leave us where we are- He wants us to become the best version of ourselves.
Every day at our office the staff and I work hard to help others realize their full potential by increasing their health. My vision is to see every single patient feel great and become the best version of themselves. Our success is measured only by the level of success and happiness of our patients.
Years ago, I had a young lady for a patient who had just gotten engaged. She had this problem where she would randomly faint. She told me, “I just want to stand at the altar on my wedding day and not faint.” We determined the root cause was the vitality of her adrenal glands were too low. She followed my program, restored the vitality of her adrenals, and succeeded. She is now happily married!
I had another patient who could not attend school or join the military because her migraines were too debilitating. We had to handle 27 root causes of the migraines and it took 3½ years of work, but we did it! She is now an active member of the military serving our country.
Do you have life goals that a stubborn health issue prevents you from reaching? Please contact our office. We can sit down and come up with a solid health restoration program that can solve your chronic lack of health. I am here to help!
Daniel McDonald, DC