These are the guiding principles we follow when treating patients. Please take the time to read them to gain an understanding of the thought process we use in assessing and treating chronic illness.
- The body, if given the ideal internal/cellular/energetic environment conducive to healing, can heal any disease that is created within the body.
- All true healing is ultimately self-healing. Any improvements in health that come from being treated at NNM (Neighborhood Natural Medicine) are due to the patient’s own self-healing response being triggered. At NNM we do not focus on treating the disease, but on doing whatever is needed to awaken the natural self-healing mechanism inside the patient.
- When this self-healing/self-repair mechanism is awakened, even after decades of being severely ill, we have seen patients make miraculous recoveries.
- The reason why this happens, and this is a critically important point here, is that the body is designed to always move towards health…if given the appropriate stimulation and kept free from disease causing factors.
- With extremely rare exceptions, this self-healing response can be achieved using strictly natural, drug-free methods that have been provided by Nature and available to mankind for thousands of years.
- These natural healing methods include: food-based vitamins and herbs, acupuncture, energy work, homeopathy (vibrational medicine), naturopathic medicine and detoxification. These are the seven principle healing techniques used at NNM.
So the basic premise we follow is that the body is not only capable of healing itself, but has a natural, built-in instinct to move towards health if given the appropriate stimulation and environment.
We believe that the body is intelligent by design.
While this principle is not new, many in the healthcare field do not agree upon it. Many people believe that the body is stupid by design, and is not capable of proper functioning without the use of pharmaceutical drugs.
Please don’t get us wrong, we believe that everything has its proper place, including pharmaceutical drugs when they are needed. But it seems that in our culture almost everyone above 40 years of age (and that number drops lower with each year) is expected to be on some type of drug or else their body will not be capable of function. If you look around you’ll notice that this insane belief is slowly being conditioned into our belief system as a society.
Even more disturbing to us is the movement to push medications onto our children. Yes some of these medications are necessary…but a vast majority are not, and many of these cases can be remedied using natural means.
Now that we’ve established the guiding principle behind our style of medicine – that the body will naturally move from a state of illness towards health if given the appropriate internal environment – two questions then arise:
- What are the causes of disease?
- What constitutes the ideal internal environment conducive to self-healing?
These two questions are presented together because the answer to the first one leads to the answer of the second one. The causes of disease must be removed in order for the ideal healing environment to take place.
After many years of searching, studying, meditating, and treating thousands of chronically ill patients at our clinic, we have narrowed down the causes of illness to only three factors.
You are probably shocked to hear that we only believe in three causes of illness, since there are now several thousand diagnosis codes in existence. Every year we hear of a dozen new diseases that have been “discovered” by modern medicine, many with long names that sound really scary and hard to pronounce. Heck, in the eye alone there are over 200 different possible vision disorders! How is it then possible for us to view only three causes of illness?
First of all, if you really look into the names of a lot of these diagnosis codes you will find that the name of the disease tells you nothing about the CAUSE of the illness. It only gives you a description of the SYMPTOMS that the patient is feeling.
Take for example the diagnosis of “fibromyalgia”. If you look at the components of the word “fibromyalgia” you will find “fibro” which means “fiber”, “my” which means “muscle”, and “algia” which means “pain”. So the word “fibromyalgia” means nothing but “muscle fiber pain”. This diagnosis does nothing but describe what the patient is already aware of…that their muscles hurt. It does absolutely NOTHING to tell you what is CAUSING the problem and thus how to treat it.
Please take a look at many of the other medical diagnosis terms that exist…including the one that you have personally. Does your diagnosis term tell you anything about WHY you are not feeling good? Or is it simply just a fancy way of describing the suffering that you already feel? Most importantly, does this diagnosis term give you any clue as to how to naturally HEAL from this condition, or have you been told that it is INCURABLE and that you need to “learn to live with it”?
If you believe what they tell you, that what you have is HOPELESS or INCURABLE, then that will be your reality. Our clinic is not the place for you and you will be better served elsewhere, because we strongly believe that as long as there is still breath within the body, the opportunity to fully and completely recover your health is ALWAYS there. And no, this is not wishful “new-age” thinking on our part, it is a FACT that we have proven thousands of times within the walls of our clinic.
When you read these diagnosis terms, what you are looking at is not the cause of the disease, but the descriptive term of a MANIFESTATION of ill health. The manifestations of disease are infinite, but the causes are extremely few. Let me say that again:
The manifestations of disease are infinite, but the causes are extremely few. Treat the cause of the disease and the manifestation will dissolve.
I get very passionate about this topic. When I see the deteriorating state of our health as a society, and the lack of information about natural solutions, I get upset because I know in my heart that it does not have to be this way. Most of this suffering is completely unnecessary…and that’s the most tragic part of all.
Let’s get back on topic. Here are the three causes of disease:
The First Cause: Toxins
I like to refer to this as “stuff that’s in the body that shouldn’t be there”. In this case I’m referring to things such as heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, etc.), carcinogenic chemicals (petroleum solvents, pesticides, plastics, etc.), allergic substances, endogenous cellular waste that comes from your own body and isn’t being eliminated properly, and others.
We live in a polluted society. It is becoming harder and harder to find clean water, food, and air and this has taken a progressively more severe toll on our health as a society. The effect of industrial pollution and toxicity has taken a global level, as there is now no place on Earth that is untouched by pollution. Even the breast milk of Eskimo women in isolated parts of the Arctic is filled with plastics and petroleum solvents created thousands of miles away.
The way this works is that pollution and waste created in one part of the world is taken up into the atmosphere in a water-soluble form and re-deposited onto the earth as rain. This is how pollution in Hong Kong gets dropped onto the streets of Chicago, and depleted uranium used in the Middle East gets dropped onto New York.
Because of this, a true healing program is not complete if it does not address the issue of detoxification and cleansing of the body’s tissues. In addition to cleansing the body of noxious substances through herbs, nutrients, homeopathics, and acupuncture, attention must be placed on the eliminative organs of the body such as the liver, kidneys, and bowels…all of which are under unprecedented amount of stress in this modern era.
The Second Cause: Nutrient Deficiencies
I like to refer to this as “stuff that’s not in the body that should be there”. In this case, I’m referring to the vital nutrients that your body needs for optimal functioning such as: essential fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and so on.
However this topic is more complicated than simply popping a handful of vitamin pills and eating salad once in a while. First of all, the food that we eat today is not the same food that our ancestors ate 100 years ago before the advent of commercial farming and genetically modified crops.
Due to mineral depletion of the soil, rampant pesticide use, growth hormone and antibiotic injections for livestock, the use of preservatives that prolong shelf-life at the expense of enzyme content, etc., it has become extremely difficult to eat a diet that has all the nutrients your body needs. A recent study by Rutgers University revealed that in order to get the same nutritional value from one ear of corn in grown in 1949 would require that you eat 19 ears of corn from today’s supermarket.
So even if you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins it is still difficult to obtain the necessary nutrients due to the fact that most of our food is calorie dense and nutrient sparse.
I feel that this is one of the major reasons for the obesity epidemic in this country. Your body looks at the meal that you just ate and although there are plenty of calories, there are so few macro and micronutrients in the food that your body tells you to keep eating because it hasn’t received the substances that it wants.
A second problem not so often addressed in nutritional therapy is that of malabsorption. Many people, including obese people, suffer from malnutrition. This may seem hard to believe since they appear to look as if they eat too much food. But a big part of the reason why they overeat is because their bodies are not efficient at assimilating the vital nutrients from the food (vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.) that they keep overeating with much of the surplus being turned into fat.
It is for this reason that nutritional therapy must address the issue of digestion and malabsorption. In clinical practice we find many patients who are taking shopping bags full of vitamin supplements who still feel ill. We often find that these patients do not have the digestive and hepatic (liver related) capacity to process and absorb these supplements. Simply correcting digestive ability allows these patients to begin processing nutrients and returning to a state of health.
A third problem is that most of today’s vitamin supplements are ineffective at restoring true health. The main reason for this is that most supplements are made from synthetic chemical extracts and not from whole foods. Your body was designed to extract essential nutrients from FOOD, not chemical extracts. It is for this reason that we do not practice vitamin therapy in mega doses using synthetic chemicals. All of the nutritional and herbal supplements that we use are derived from natural, whole foods, in a form that the body can recognize and use.
To this end, an effective program that corrects nutrient deficiencies must be:
- Capable of addressing digestion and malabsorption
- Focused on delivering nutrients in a natural, whole food (or herb) base that is non-toxic and recognizable by the body.
- Focused on helping the patient make dietary and lifestyle choices that aid in their recovery.
- Individualized and tailored to the patients’ unique health status. This means no mindless “cookbook” recommendations like taking vitamin D for osteoporosis or selenium for prostate health. Such practices, which are not tailored to the individual and focus on merely treating a disease label, have never worked and never will.
The Third Cause: Dysregulation of the body’s communication pathways
Ok, while the first two causes of illness (toxins and nutrient deficiencies) are relatively easy to understand, this third and final one can seem a bit complicated (but unfortunately is also the most important) so bear with me as I try to explain it from several angles.
To understand how important communication grids are to human health, I’d like you to first imagine how a large city such as New York functions.
For NYC to function the way it does it relies on proper communication lines. Phone lines, e-mail, Internet, etc. are all ways of relaying information from one individual to another. It’s also a way for groups to communicate with each other such as the police department to the hospital emergency room to the fire department, etc.
If for some reason the phone lines and e-mail and radio stopped working…the city would fall into chaos. But let’s say the phone lines still worked but the signals started being transmitted incorrectly, like dialing the police department but the signal gets accidently redirected to the local pizzeria. This situation would be just as bad wouldn’t it?
Without proper and accurate information delivery the city would fall apart.
And communication grids are also seen in the streets and roadways of NYC, on which trucks deliver food and supplies, commuters go from home to work, and emergency help travels to where it is needed.
If all of a sudden it became impossible to drive on the streets in NYC, chaos would ensue. And just as bad would be to have the street signs and traffic lights disappear so that people did not know where exactly they were going or how to proceed in an orderly fashion. There would be complete chaos and anarchy.
Without proper and accurate delivery of goods, substances, and people the city would fall apart.
Now think about your body and the way it functions. You first have different SYSTEMS in the body such as your endocrine system, central nervous system, circulatory system, immune system, etc. Within each of these systems are different ORGANS that make up the system. An example would be the endocrine system that contains the thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, pituitary, and so on. And within each of these organs you have individual CELLS that make up the organ.
It’s the same as a city where you have different systems such as the police department or the educational system. Within each of these systems are specialized units such as the traffic department or high school respectively. And in each of these specialized units are individual CELLS, which represent the various people and employees that work with these units.
You see, your body relies on communication grids for proper functioning the same way that a city such as New York does. But here’s something you might want to keep in mind, while NYC has a population of about 20 million people, your body contains anywhere from 10 to 50 TRILLION cells depending on the source you read.
And it gets even more complicated because within each cell there is an estimate of approximately 100,000 biological reactions happening per second. So if we take the conservative estimate of 10 trillion cells in the human body, there are 10 trillion people living in the city known as YOU, each doing 100,000 different things each second (you do the math on multiplying 100,000 by 10 trillion), that all have to coordinate with each other in an extremely accurate and precise way or else you drop dead on the spot.
And it doesn’t stop there. Modern research shows that each cell in the body contains communication pathways that reach ALL other cells in the body. So the cells in your left big toe communicate with the cells in your heart and liver, and vice versa. It’s like a guy in NYC calling a guy in Tokyo to coordinate a business. This vast communication ability is also needed for proper health. By the way, this also explains how placing an acupuncture needle in the hand can have an immediate effect on remote areas of the body such as the heart, thyroid, and adrenals. It is an effect of the long-range communication capability in each cell of your body.
If the communication grids in your body become dysfunctional or inaccurate, you fall into a state of ill health as the city known as YOUR BODY is unable to regulate the countless number of intricate processes that happen each second of your life. You see, the assumption is that if the phone lines, power supply, and transportation pathways in a city are kept open and functional, the individual people within the city (namely, your cells) will work together in a harmonious fashion to bring productivity and efficiency to the city.
I hope you understand the analogy I’m trying to make, and how important intercellular communication is within your body, and how it is a primary factor in almost every state of chronic illness that we see at the clinic.
Without proper cell communication, you become ill as the infinite number of processes in the body turn into a mess and “stuff doesn’t get done the way it’s supposed to”. Additionally, and this is an extremely important point here, healing cannot happen if the cells are communicating with each other in a disorganized and inaccurate fashion. This is the basis for all autoimmune conditions, a form of internal cell confusion that ultimately leads to self-destruction. It is a form of not being able to recognize itself within the context of its greater environment. I would argue that at the final end stages…ALL forms of disease are autoimmune at their core nature. What you are ultimately seeing with end stage illness is the built in self-destruct mechanism of the body, activated in a pre-mature fashion, returning you to the Earth.
Putting Biological Communication Grids Into Practical Terms
Your body has several major communication pathways. The nervous system communicates electrical impulses, the circulatory system transports blood (and thus nutrients and oxygen), the lymphatic system transports lymph and immune components and so on. As an acupuncturist I feel that the nervous system is the “master” communication system that dictates the functioning of the other systems. This is how restoring the function of peripheral nerves on the surface of the skin (where the acupuncture points are) can have an effect on the hormonal, immune, and circulatory health of the patient.
But for clinical work and treating patients, the model of trying to analyze and regulate the different systems (including the nervous system) becomes too complicated and impractical. An easier way of looking at the communication grids is to assess the function of the substances that are being transmitted within the communication grids and there are two major categories:
Neurotransmitters and Hormones
On a purely physical level, neurotransmitters and hormones are the “currency” of your body’s communication grids. They represent the signals that get transmitted between cells, organs, and systems in order for “stuff to get done”. We have found a way to measure and improve the functionality of these communication units using digital samples of body tissue, reflex testing, and acupuncture.
But even with that in mind, it is still really complicated considering that there are several HUNDREDS of neurotransmitters and hormones, and each year we find out about the existence of more and more. It also must be kept in mind that hormones and neurotransmitters are each interdependent upon one another. A problem with one will have a ripple effect on the hundreds of others…this makes analyzing according to hormones/neurotransmitters really difficult, even for western medicine.
So if cell communication is so vitally important, yet too complicated to assess using conventional methods, how do you make this concept practical when it comes to treating chronically ill patients?
The answer to this question lies in the meridians of acupuncture. You know, it took me a long time to understand what the meridian system really was, and how it can be used in a practical way.
Years of study, thoughtful debate, and clinical experience has revealed to us that the 14 major acupuncture meridians of the body represent a functional, MACRO view of the body’s communication grids that can be used for the assessment and treatment of chronic illness.
I say that the meridians are “functional” in nature because they are not used as an interpretation of a specific physiological process such as cell division, blood flow, energy production, etc. Each meridian represents a function that is composed of many different bodily processes that each have to coordinate into one functional unit. An example is liver function. Within liver function you have blood flow, cell division, energy production, etc., but instead of focusing on each individual process why not just focus on the concept of “total liver function” as a whole? To me, this is what an acupuncture meridian is: a functional and practical representation of a countless number of physiological processes.
In a similar vein, I say that the meridians represent a MACRO view of cellular communication because in order for a specific meridian to flow correctly at the right level of strength/amplitude, the infinite number of biochemical processes related to that meridian must all be in correct order, function, and communication. This is vastly opposite to the cumbersome and frustrating approach of trying to micro-manage the different chemical components of the body.
In our clinic, we use a unique method of acupuncture meridian assessment to determine the functionality of the various communication pathways of the body. We have developed a way to measure the functionality of the meridians so that we can track patient progress as they move from sickness towards health. We use this method of assessment to figure out what nutrients they are deficient in, what toxins need to be cleaned out, and how to perform the best acupuncture treatment for that individual.
So in a nutshell, our treatment philosophy is to restore homeostasis and the capacity for self-healing to the body. We do this through three approaches:
- Detoxify the body of harmful substances (chemicals, metals, cellular waste, etc.)
- Support the body with the nutrients that it needs to repair itself but are lacking
- Correct the communication grids within the body so that proper physiological function can take place. The body is naturally programmed to heal itself. If this communication grid is corrected, disease will not occur and only health will remain
Questions and Answers:
So are you saying that almost any disease or chronic illness can be corrected using the above model?
What about severe psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression?
Good question, those disorders are NOT appropriate for care at NNM. Severe psychiatric disorders such as the above require care under a professional psychologist/psychiatrist. In cases such as these the patient should ask their psychologist/psychiatrist if care at NNM would be appropriate for them, and even then we will only treat them as a supportive therapy for the treatment that they receive from a professional mental health counselor.
What about mild to moderate psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety?
Yes, those are appropriate for treatment at NNM and we have helped many patients with depression, anxiety, and panic disorder. The bottom line is that when you restore harmony to the body, the mind will often follow. We have found that the healing process of the mind and spirit functions in a similar way to the healing of the physical body. One will influence the other. Another thing to remember is that the acupuncture meridians represent not only physiological communication, but psychological communication as well. In our experience, correcting energy flows within the patient has allowed them to self-heal from many debilitating psychological states.
What about injuries and chronic pain?
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is off and needs to be addressed. Often in chronic pain there is a dysfunction in the afferent and efferent nerve pathways associated with the area of pain. This is where acupuncture shines as a treatment modality and has proven to be extremely effective at correcting aberrant nerve impulses. Chronic pain can also be related to a general decline in overall health, which our model of treatment is well suited for.
What about infectious diseases such as Lyme disease?
Please see the drop down tab on our homepage entitled ‘Lyme Disease and Infectious Illness,’ it will explain our thoughts on the issue.