A Brief History of Medicine
In Harris Coulter’s 3000 page 3000 year history of medicine in the West “Divided Legacy” he describes the common priniciple running through it of a dialectic between “empiricist” and “rationalist” medicine. Empiricist could also be called vitalist or spiritualist in that in every case the physician with humility believes there is something larger going on in illness that he cannot master – whether this is the mathematical infinite, the cosmos, or god. Empiricist medicine includes those approaches that intuitively develop hypotheses and test them out clinically, learn from the results, and remain open to the truth. Rationalism attempts to formulate complete answers, to master the truth with human knowledge and fit the anomalous experiences of individual patients into those fundamentalist beliefs.
From the time of the pre-Socratic and Hippocratic physicians to the early Roman Galenic period (app. 500 bc – 500 ad) empiricism diminished while rationalism grew. The next 1000 years of the dark ages was of course dominated by extreme rationalist fundamentalism until Paracelcus restored vitalist empiricism to serious practice and study – although there were always empiricist naturopaths underground attacked as witches. This tradition has been growing ever since – reaching a high point through the 1800s with Hahnemann’s development of homeopathic medicine, and the development of structural-energetic methods of osteopathic medicine and chiropractic medicine – based on traditional Oriental medicine. Simultaneously, the scientific technology has reinforced the fundamentalist rationalism of the biochemical mechanical paradigm.
The 20th century saw the application of political-economic control structures made up of the guild controlling AMA and high-profit pharmaceutical and HMO corporations to maintain a monopoly on a profit-producing, rationalist-mind assuaging medical industrial complex expelling empiricism to the margins. Simultaneously what is left of the “free” market has allowed some truth and freedom to emerge so that patients now spend more out of pocket on holistic “alternative” empirical medicine then on orthodox medicine, but this schism remains to the detriment of all.
Osteopathic medicine was absorbed into the allopathic model in America, losing its essence – accept for the rebirth of craniosacral therapy through Upledger. Chiropractic medicine survived only by becoming a minor specialty and shedding its holistic empiricism. Naturopathic medicine is becoming a recognized approach only by becoming increasingly allopathic and rationalist. Even Oriental medicine which has remained a holistic vitalist empiricism throughout half the world for millenia is at this moment threatened. While Oriental and Western allopathic medical schools and hospitals coexist side by side in the East, the seduction of Western rationalism and profit is strong.
Homeopathic medicine which had its own hospitals and medical schools, had more proven success treating epidemic diseases than allopathic medicine throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and developed most of the medicinals which allopathy has adulterated in the laboratory for its coercive formulas was nearly completely erased – still now transmitted only through apprenticeship, autodidacticism, and small seminars.
As a result of my previous and ongoing philosophical, poetic, psychoanalytic, and spiritual practice, coming from the point of view of the infinite unknown as it unfolds through the spirit, psyche, mind, and body integrally and continuously, I have studied and empirically practiced the best of what exists of holistic vitalist medicine from traditional Taoist Chinese, Ayurvedic Indian, and Buddhist Tibetan forms of Oriental medicine up to the modern forms of homeopathic, naturopathic, energetic, and psychosomatic medicine, and I have come to the conclusion that the greatest difficulty in helping patients heal is the structural institutions and media which maintain the belief systems and practices of a medicine that continues to hurt people more than it helps. Allopathic medicine has been proven to kill more people yearly than any other disease (garynull.com). Is this ignorance or destructive sadism? Sometimes it is hard to tell one from the other. The unconscious death drive relieves us of the burden of cocreative survival and existence in the plurality of worlds within worlds of the multiverse. The simultaneous fear and relief that we are only this material body and its accidental epiphenomenon of neural consciousness and that we will thus cease to exist when it dies supports a cynical, defensive, nihilistic, abusive approach to life that permeates our healthcare system with as much or more grave consequences than our ecology or government, yet few recognize it. Activists cry out for more heath care coverage without being aware that the treatment they are receiving contributes to their ignorance, illness, debilitation, and control. Paradoxically those without health coverage are better off as they do not have the money to have unnecessary toxic procedures and pharmaceuticals applied to them for the sake of fear and profit.
Reckeweg and some European homeopathic physcians demonstrated the homeotherapeutic healing modality and the dangers of allopathic suppression biochemically in the laboratory as well as clinically. Bacteria is often part of the healing process. Bacteria colonize various areas of the body – especially the digestive tract – with important health purposes. When there is a disturbance of a certain terrain of the body there is also a change in bacteria. Often bacteria help to digest toxins along with the facilitation of the excretion and inflammation phases of the immune system healing process. They showed how antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, aspirin, and other common allopathic drugs interrupt the natural healing process, kill beneficial bacteria, block enzymes, suppress excretion which expels toxins, suppress inflammation which burns up viruses and other toxins. In this case the original toxins – including natural and chemical allergens from food and environment and the body’s own waste products – remain in the body and have to be walled off in the deposition phase. For example suppressing diarrhea and colitis with antibiotics and other allopathic pharmaceuticals can actually produce an abscess. Furthermore, the toxins remaining in the body as a result of suppressing rather than supporting the natural homeotherapeutic process of healing, and the new toxins from the pharmaceuticals create mutant proteins, wild peptides and other antigens which circulate the tissues and enter the cells altering the genetic expression, causing progressive auto-immune reactions. They can even enter the cells and alter genes. Perhaps this is the basis of Hahnemann’s discover of the basic miasms or disease tendencies which he saw passed on from generation to generation in the human species.