2008-05-16 / Editorial/Opinion

It's My Turn

By Bonnie Kane

Bonnie Kane studied at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teachers' College, NYC. She is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Specializing in the areas of chronic illness,(including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer), weight management, mood swings, food choices and healthy cooking, she teaches that many conditions can be avoided and most all of them improved by making informed dietary and lifestyle decisions. Her practice, with both Rockaway Park and Greenpoint locations, is dedicated to em-powering people to take charge of their health and well being.

I was deeply moved by your April 11, 2008 article, entitled "Fighting Cancer by Changing Your Lifestyle", by Rachel Vasilets. She reviews a book by Bob Melli, which discusses his independent research on finding a blood test for early cancer detection that could have saved his beloved wife, had they known about it, and that conventional medicine is plagued with corruption and inefficiencies that prevent us from receiving the best care.

When you first hear about something like this, it sounds incredible. It is simply too much to believe that there are existing tests and cures that are not being used in standard medical care; that the doctor on our health plan, or in our clinic, is not looking at every possible alternative in his/her seven minutes with the pa-tient; that additives exist in our foods that cause illness; that there are sim-pler dietary alternatives for many ail-ments than expensive prescription drugs which often just maintain the condition, but do not heal it; that unnecessary tests and surgeries are often performed to jack up the insur-ance bill; that the government agen-cies entrusted with the safety of our drugs and our food supply are often swayed by corporate interests and not really looking after the public-s'interest. It is simply too much to believe!

And that is how I felt, until the day that my father, age 77, was sent home by "the specialists" to die. They said there was no more that could be done for his congestive heart failure, psoriasis, breathing difficulties, and ever decreasing mobility.

My family and I had heard about "reversing" heart disease and "alternative" medicine. Like most people, we didn't know what was a scam and what was true. Now, this was the ONLY avenue of hope.

My brother and I, combed the internet, finding long lists of supple-ments and food alternatives for heart disease that we had our Dad try, in addition to his prescription drugs. There was some improvement.

The information found suggested that many diseases had at their core, an imbalance of nutrients (including air, water and exercise), hormones, vitamins, and minerals. Laboratory testing would reveal these imbalances, which could potentially be improved through diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes. Addressing the body's nutrient needs in combination with more traditional treatment could yield spectacular results.

We then found an internist with a holistic approach near my Dad. After a series of blood, urine and saliva tests, the doctor put together a cus-tomized program of vitamin, mineral and hormonal supplements designed to address the deficiencies found in my father's system, adding to what my brother and I were already doing. It is now 2.5 years later, and my Dad is steadily improving, having re-gained his proper weight, more of his mobility, and a life that was almost lost forever. We are planning his 80th birthday party, and his psoriasis is finally starting to heal after 40 years.

Nothing weird was done here. These tests could have been done by the HMO doctors, except they are not encouraged or required to look in this "other" direction. The current state of medicine for profit, involving not just the doctors, but the pharmaceu-tical and insurance companies, cre-ates a factory like system - where the economics of processing patients per hour or selling a new drug, becomes more important than taking the time needed or looking into all available methods for healing. The visionary healthcare professionals who increase their knowledge and change their practice to focus on primary preven-tion and rectifying underlying imbal-ances, instead of just prescribing drugs for symptoms, do so out of their desire to heal and at their own ex-pense.

People die and suffer chronic illnesses needlessly, when adjustments to their eating style, or testing for nutrient or hormonal deficiencies would have improved or extended their lives. Our medical system is sick. It will take new thinking and coopera-tion to heal it and thus heal our-selves.

There are many voices in alternative medicine in the USA and around the world, calling for reforms, pub-lishing their findings, and establish-ing innovative medical and therapeu-tic practices. It's not just a bunch of crazy delinquents, but respected researchers, doctors and educated practitioners who can see that for many people, the current mode of medicine is just not working. This experience moved me to get educated as a holis-tic health practitioner and join those voices.

We need to pay attention, and to take greater responsibility upon ourselves for our own food and lifestyle choices which are our first line of defense against disease, and quite often the path to healing.

When faced with a chronic or catastrophic illness, do not give up! The show isn't over until it's over. The information is out there, we need to give it creedence.

"We get the medicine that matches our beliefs" - Paul Pitchford, "Healing with Whole Foods"

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