Not long ago I experienced some chest pain while I was exercising at the gym. It wasn’t very intense and didn’t last long, but as a precaution I stopped at the emergency room on my way home. While I was being escorted to the examining room the nurse turned to me and held out a pill. Without explanation, she placed the pill in my hand and told me to swallow it. I ask what it was and she told me it was morphine. I explained to the nurse I was in recovery and couldn’t take that sort of thing to which she responded that I must. I protested and she became rather indignant and forceful. She told me in no uncertain terms that I had to take this pill because it was their policy without exemption. I continued to refuse and I’m sure you can see where this was headed. The exchange was heated and seemed like it went on for hours, but in reality it lasted for about five minutes.
I really didn’t think too much about my ER experience until a few months later when my son, who is also in recovery, had a freak accident and sprained his big toe. It didn’t appear too serious, but he went to an emergency room – different from the one I visited – just the same. Sure enough, they had the same policy. When my son refused the oxycodone offered by the attending nurse, she also got into a huff as she reiterated hospital policy with no exceptions. As he was leaving the ER, a nurse – fully cognizant that my son is in recovery – handed him thirty oxycodone pills to take home for pain management. I was in utter disbelief. When did it become hospital policy to give an addict in recovery thirty of the most addictive prescription painkillers on the planet for a sprained toe?
I would say that these experiences were not so much of an eye opener as they were a confirmation of just how much of a pill society we’ve become. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m very pro pharmaceutical. The industry has developed many life saving drugs and other remedies that contribute to a better quality of life for you and me. However I do feel as though the industry has strayed from the sentiments and endowment of Jonas Salk. I often wonder how we arrived here and why we don’t look at holistic medicine as the first option.
I feel so strongly about holistic medicine that I started the National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies. NIFHAS is a non-profit organization comprised of the world’s leading authorities on addiction and holistic medicine. Dr. Kenneth Blum – discoverer of the addiction/alcohol gene – is our Chief Science Officer. Our mission is to develop scientifically proven and evidenced based holistic addiction treatment modalities to which we have been successful in many areas. We also provide an educational program for qualified individuals interested in learning holistic medicine.
Perhaps our most important work is proving the efficacy of holistic medicine. Many holistic therapies have been around for hundreds even thousands of years. They’ve stood the test of time but few people today realize just how effective holistic medicine really is. Our responsibility, as we perceive it, is to provide the public with empirical data resulting from scientific research and studies on holistic therapies so that they can make an intelligent informed healthcare decision.
Many times we’ll partner with other institutions with similar interests and goals like the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Other times we conduct the studies unilaterally. To date we’ve contributed to over sixty five papers that have been published in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals. These evidenced-based modalities have been scientifically proven to be an effective therapy and an alternative to the pill society we’ve become.
I have an advantage over most people when it comes to holistic medicine. When I was young I got involved in Karate. It was my first exposure to eastern and alternative medicine; something I’ve practiced my entire life. Anyone who has been involved in Karate, even at an entry level, will tell you that endurance and ability to cope with pain associated with training can be your biggest opponent. Like any athletic endeavor, you’re asking your body to do things it’s never done before and for extended periods of time. This is where I discovered the importance of amino acids.
Aminos, as they are commonly referred to, are the building blocks of the body and mind. There are twenty-two amino acids with eight of them considered essential because they cannot be produced by the body, but rather must be sourced from food and/or supplements. I considered amino acids as my secret weapon when I was training for National Karate Tournaments; but it wasn’t until I began counseling addicts that I fully realized their benefits.
Amino acids affect nearly everything in your body from your metabolism to cognitive functions. Deficiencies in amino acids can contribute to chronic illnesses, anxiety, depression, alertness, attention span, learning, memory and general mood. They play such an important role in keeping the body healthy while balancing brain chemistry that I began formulating my own brand of amino acid supplements from the finest raw materials with addiction in mind.
Nutra Clarity has become very popular among addicts in rehab and recovery as well as health minded individuals. The results have been overwhelming. People taking Nutra Clarity claim they feel an overall lift both mentally and physically. If you’d like more information on amino acid supplements please my website:http://www.NutraClarity.com
So when was the last time your doctor asked you how your amino acid levels were doing? Exactly. If you think you may have an amino acid imbalance or a vitamin deficiency, check with a holistic doctor. Many have the capability to test you right in their office.
However, I don’t fault the doctors for not checking you for vitamin and amino acid deficiencies. The vast majority of doctors are doing the best they can within the parameters of a system they’re forced to work in. And the system is unfortunately emblematic to the challenges we face in healthcare in America today. Healthcare is our number one gross domestic product with nearly twenty cents out of every dollar spent by you and me going to it. A behemoth of this size can dictate policy and procedures from the boardroom without the specifics of what is being discovered in the examining room. Doctors’ intuition seems to have been replaced by directives from shareholders. People with more intimate knowledge of the decisions being made behind the scenes have referred to our system as a one size fits all “Assembly Line Healthcare System.”
This is one of the bigger reasons why I always recommend trying holistic first. Often the ailments you experience can be resolved quickly, efficiently and cost effectively with simple solutions with holistic medicine. Your ailment could be treated with non-toxic remedies as apposed to the toxic pills manufactured in laboratories. It could be as simple as adding something to your diet or taking a walk at the beginning or end of your day. There is only one way to find out and you always have the second option of AMA prescribed medicine.
Innovation is very rarely the trademark of big business. Their tendency is to do the same thing over and over again in the most profitable way possible. I don’t fault them, it’s what businesses do. However, this is another strong reason to take a look at holistic medicine first. During my career I’ve been involved in a variety of studies. I’ve contributed to over sixty-five papers published in peer reviewed medical and scientific journals. What I have found is that truly innovative therapies are coming from outside of the mainstream healthcare industry.
A great example of this is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. HBOT is an infant compared to other holistic medicines, yet its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. Dr. Paul G. Harch has led the surge here in the U.S. He has appeared before Congress to testify on the enormous evidenced-based and scientifically proven health benefits of HBOT. But progress in implementing the therapy into the mainstream of medicine has been slow. This is particularly unsettling when Japan brags that no one is more than thirty minutes from a hyperbaric chamber.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is the medical use of oxygen at a level higher than atmospheric pressure. Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process.
Alcohol and drug abuse damage the brain in a way similar to that of carbon monoxide poisoning. Although there are currently 15 conditions treatable with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy that are approved by the FDA, addiction treatment is not one of them. However HBOT has proven effective in rejuvenating damaged brain cells in people who have experienced other forms of brain trauma. I observed addicts using HBOT that gained cognitive function with just a few treatments. They say that HBOT improves their ability to process information while they experience more clarity.
Chronic pain seems to be ubiquitous these days. Too often people suffering from chronic pain are given a prescription for pain killers without looking into alternative options. It’s a quick and easy solution. However, the down side for the person suffering is that these pain killers are extremely toxic and addictive.
There are better holistic medicine options for pain management that are getting tremendous results without poisoning your body with the harsh toxins from pain killers and risk of addiction.
One option that is gaining in popularity is acupuncture. Granted, acupuncture does not fold neatly into our familiar western medicine consciousness, but it has been scientifically proven effective. This is a two-thousand year old science that has withstood the test of time. According to the U.S.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) there are promising findings in studies of acupuncture efficacy in alleviating many kinds of pain, such as chronic lowback pain. Acupuncture is definitely worth your while to at least check out.
Post World War II was a definitive time in American medicine. The momentum created by the needs of war led to so many advancements in medicine that doctors and researchers were exuberant with confidence in finding cures for a myriad of diseases in their very near future. But something changed in the years that followed. Somewhere along the line someone discovered it was more profitable to treat the symptoms than the causes. Jonas Salk was a carry over from the pre WW II era and the last of his breed. At the time of his discovery in 1955, Polio was the most frightening public health problem in America. People were dying at an alarming rate. The disease struck fear into the hearts of every single parent.
Jonas Salk never patented his polio vaccine. People called this act Salk’s gift to the world. In his now famous interview, Salk was asked by legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow who owned the patent on the vaccine. Salk responded with the most quoted statement of his illustrious career: “Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Would you patent the sun?” Inferring that he had moral issues with creating a barrier between his vaccine and the throngs of people who needed it to survive. The Salk vaccine saved millions of lives.
Are lines being crossed? I suppose it would depend on which side of the line you’re standing.
John Giordano DHL, MAC is an addiction counselor and Chaplain of the North Miami Police Department. For the latest development in cutting-edge treatment check out his website: http://www.holisticaddictioninfo.com