The Sickness model is killing us

The best way to describe modern medicine is: a decades-old failing protocol, hanging by a thread and looking for more science to justify it. Modern medicine has focused too much on the economics of health care and has lost sight of what the real goal is—to prevent and reverse illness. The goal is to get people healthy.

Modern medicine focuses on drug or surgical interventions, which frequently represent only a band-aid for symptoms. For example, cholesterol medication lowers cholesterol really well, but it does not reduce the risk of a heart attack more than 1%, and it causes serious health conditions in around 10% of people who take it. The medical profession has, by and large, discouraged patients from participating in their own healing yet, as individuals, we know a lot more about our bodies than any medical professional does. As individuals we need to take responsibility for improving our health.

Modern medicine has disempowered us. We have been led to believe that experts know more about our bodies than we do and that drugs will fix everything. Interestingly, in studies about this phenomenon, the fewer the specialists, the lower the mortality and suffering. When specialists go on strike there are fewer deaths! The information from a 10- or 12-minute consult is nothing compared to what you know about your body. The doctor, however, has made up his (typically, specialists are males) mind before you are even half way through the interview. And he already knows what treatment he will offer you. How can a doctor make an assessment about you without knowing you, without insight into your hopes, dreams, and the circumstances of your life?

We are taught from a young age that doctors know more about health than we do. This is simply wrong. Your average GP does two to five hours on nutrition in the course of his or her entire degree and virtually none on lifestyle and environmental factors. This is despite the fact that we now know that the chronic illness we suffer from is a diet and lifestyle illness. GPs are experts in identifying, measuring and monitoring disease, but not health. They become experts in surgery and dispensing pharmaceuticals but know very little about health—unless they study more after their degree, which is what some GPs are now doing because they know the other stuff isn’t working.

The promotion of drug-dependent treatment by multinational pharmaceutical companies and the medical systems has done nothing to stem the pain and suffering caused by chronic illness. All the medical institutions have failed miserably to turn around chronic illness, despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent each year. As a result, our population is over-medicated, our health system is financially strained, and no one is healthier. The real tragedy is that most illness is totally preventable. The promotion of drugs as the cure is the real global epidemic.

Despite this, many people would rather believe the lies and misinformation of doctors and pharmaceutical companies than accept the truth. I have met thousands of people who have been promised healing and after surgery, drugs and other medical intervention, are physically and emotionally destroyed. In modern medicine, every intervention has serious potential consequences. One sad story was that of a young lady having her vagus nerve (also called the pneumogastric nerve, essential for healthy gut function) severed because she had gastric problems. As a result, her stomach never emptied again until she saw a health professional who helped her with some stomach acid supplements and digestive enzymes. The solution was so simple and yet the doctors damaged her body. She went on to become a sustainable health practitioner.