A paradigm is a set of beliefs by which one conducts his or her life. The Wholistic Paradigm has a set of beliefs as does the Medical (or allopathic) Paradigm. One of these paradigms believes the body has the ability to heal itself while the other believes that the body does not. One understands that human physiology requires certain nutrients, enzymes, bacteria, and lifestyle support while the other functions under the tenet that if it’s broken there’s nothing you can do about it; after all we are just human.
The difference between these two paradigms is one that has been raging since the 1950’s here in the United States. The Hippocratic Oath, a pledge spoken by all graduates of medical schools, up until 1964 stated, “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.” After 1964 it was altered to remove these words. But what took its place? The global health care industry has been infiltrated by pharmaceutical companies, and not always to our benefit. Where food once had a place in health care, it no longer does in the Medical Paradigm. In the book The Pharmaceutical Myth by Gerald Roliz CNC, he poses the question: “Is our health care failing us? Supported by the fact that we spend the most per capita on health care of the top 25 developed countries in the world, and yet score 24th in healthy life expectancy, I would say yes.” Simply put, that means that with our current health care system (which is primarily a “sick care system” with very little preventative care) we spend the most and have little to show for it as far as healthy life expectancy goes.
The Hippocratic Oath… stated, “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.” After 1964 it was altered to remove these words.
“First, do no harm. After that, go nuts.”
This is where many speak up and say that we do live a long life here in the US, but have you noticed how many long-term care facilities are being built? This says to me that soon we will have a whole lot of seniors unable to care for themselves. They have purchased long term health care insurance, betting against themselves in a way, to insure they won’t be a burden on their families when they can no longer take care of themselves. This is not being reflected in life expectancy statistics. Living longer is not winning unless it is living longer in a healthy way. With this in mind we have to ask ourselves, is the current Medical Paradigm working for the majority of those who have degenerative diseases, inflammatory conditions, and lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver and obesity? I think not. Despite the paradigm shift of medical doctors away from healthy eating (pushed by the pharmaceutical companies that just want to sell you more drugs), it is my belief that food has been making a grassroots comeback into health care. More and more people are looking for alternatives to pharmaceuticals and finding them in food, herbs, supplements, and lifestyle modification.
The shift is happening towards a Holistic Paradigm that believes that if we give the body the right fuel, tools, and support, that it can heal itself and maintain health. We must incorporate healthy eating habits at an early age and build our belief that we are responsible for our health. This paradigm is built on the understanding that the body can and does repair itself if given the proper nutrients and that when interference is removed the nervous system can control and coordinate the billions of cells in a very systematic way (also known as epigenetics). You’ve probably heard the term genetics before, it means that it is possible although not guaranteed that you could inherit something from your ancestors, maybe blue eyes, or baldness. Epigenetics is a relatively new term involving the environmental factors that influence our genes. Let’s say you have a family inclination towards blood sugar imbalance, does that mean that regardless of what you do that you too will have blood sugar imbalance? Certainly not!! Recent research has shown that epigenetics plays about an 80% role in our health while genetics only has a 20% influence. That is so exciting! We are in charge of our own healthy life expectancy! While it is exciting, it is also quite scary when you think about all the choices we are given: Fries or veggies? Beer or water? Exercise or couch potato? So many decisions, all of which contribute to the epigenetic expression of our genes.
In conclusion, we have choices. Whether we like it or not, the decisions we make affect our health. And probably the biggest choice you will make is; “What paradigm do I follow and what type of health care practitioner is going to get me to my health goals.” It’s my dream that one day nutrition and dietetics will be reintroduced into the Hippocratic Oath and taught again in medical school. Until that day comes, we must look for healthcare outside the mainstream. It becomes more apparent every day that the Medical Paradigm is missing key beliefs to support healthy living and longevity. What good is living to 90 years old if you don’t get to enjoy life after the age of 70? The current Medical Paradigm is not addressing this issue, but Holistic Healthcare does. I’ve made it my life’s work to support healthy living and teach my patients, and the community, that health is possible! I’m here to give you the information you need to make better, healthy choices for yourself and your family. Choose wisely!
Dr. Virginia S. Irby D.C., DABCO, ACN
Cascade Chiropractic & Nutrition
2371 Iron Point Rd. Ste. 130
Folsom, CA 95630