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There is a difference between someone who is unhealthy and someone who is sick. Part of that difference is the viewpoint, from which we look. When we look from a medical viewpoint - we tend to find illness. When we look from a healthicine view point - we are more able to see and understand healthiness and unhealthiness
Medicine is defined, by Wikipedia, as 'the science and art of healing'.
The body heals. Medicine is the science and art of preventing, diagnosing and treating illness. If the illness is treated properly - the body heals. Medicine turns to the next problem.
In many cases, when you visit a doctor, you are given a prescription and told "try this, and let me know how it works". There is little art, no science with regards to healing. Take the drugs and hope your body heals.
Healthicine is the art and science of healthiness. After you leave the doctor's office, after you take the prescription, even if you are 'healthy' according to the doctor (eg. not sick). You can still benefit from the art and science of healthiness.
This diagram shows the relationship between medicine and healthicine.
Medicine is to the left of the red line of diagnosis. Once an illness is diagnosed, medical techniques are used in an attempt to treat the 'illness'. These techniques are not always the most appropriate.
Some illnesses strike from external sources - bacteria, bullets, toxins and viruses.
Many illnesses are the result of declining healthiness. In many of these cases, a medicine - conventional or alternative, is not the best solution, often it is not even appropriate.
Healthicine is the entire study of healthiness, from perfect health to illness and death. Medicine is a small subset of healthicine. The healthicine view invites is to expand our viewpoint.
For example, medicine suggests that breast cancer is about cellular heath and tissue health. Medicine looks with surgical precision. Medicine might look beyond those two areas - to find potential cause. Is breast cancer caused by genetics? Or is it caused by toxins? Or, is it, as sometimes suggested by alternative medical practitioners, caused by an acidic imbalance? A healthicine approach asks what unhealthiness contributes to breast cancers. A healthiness approach encourages early detection - not so that we can administer toxic chemotherapy, radiation and radical surgery - but so we can learn how to heal breast cancer before it becomes serious, using healthicines, not medicines. We know that breast cancers can take years to develop to the level of detectability. But do we have any idea what to do if we can find a breast cancer three years earlier? No - because we seldom take the healthicine viewpoint.
GreenMedInfo lists 185 research papers about healthy, non-medical substances that can be used to alleviate some of the effects of chemotherapy. We need research into health and healthicines that eliminate or minimize the need for chemotherapy.
Most of the time, you are not sick. Most of the time, medicine is not required. But you can always be healthier. Sometimes, when you are sick, it is because your health has deteriorated to the point where an illness is diagnosed. At that point a healthy decision is needed. Is it more appropriate to act to improve healthiness, or to give some medicines, or both? Our current medical paradigm prescribes medicines far too often - and suggests healthicines far too infrequently.
Diagnosis is an artificial constraint designed to protect the interests of doctors; marketed as if it is to protect the interests of patients.
It is clear that if your unhealthiness is to the right of the diagnostic threshold - you don't need medicines, you need healthicines. In many cases, when your health is to the left of the diagnostic threshold - healthicines are still the most effective approach. But healthicines are seldom suggested for illness, just medicines.
Many fields of medicine, and many drug manufacturers, work to move the 'diagnostic threshold' to the right, so that drugs can be prescribed earlier. Attempts to 'find cancer earlier' are a common example. Diabetes is another. Moving the diagnostic threshold is presented as a 'preventative technique', but it often leads to an increase in 'false positive' diagnoses. It also leads to the prescription of drugs, when healthicines are required.
Proponents of moving the diagnostic threshold to the right argue that it 'decreases risk'. However, they are only looking at one side of the risk equation. There is always risk of non-treatment, and risk of wrong treatment. Moving the diagnostic threshold may increase the risk of the wrong treatment. Is there ever a proposal to move the diagnostic threshold to the left? Healthicine is about balance - and studying healthicine requires asking questions from both sides. Does the diagnostic threshold need to be moved? Does it need to be moved to the right (for a specific condition) or does it need to be moved to the left (for that specific condition).
We need to examine the diagnostic threshold more scientifically. If an illness is really an unhealthiness - maybe the diagnostic threshold should move to the left for that illness. And we need to examine treatment alternatives more scientifically. No matter where the diagnostic threshold resides, we need to study all of the alternatives, and continually test the most effective ones - not just the 'latest new drug'.
Today, we use drugs to treat diagnosed illness. We need to use healthicines to improve our healthiness. To reverse unhealthiness.
We need scientific studies of the differences between illness and unhealthiness. We need to choose the best alternative for every illness and unhealthiness, and keep improving our choices.
We need the freedom to choose - and the ability to study and document choices and results. We need free access to information about ingredients in all foods, health products and medicines to facilitate personal and clinical research.
Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthiness,