My well-being includes my physical health. Which people do I relate to as authorities on the subject of promoting health?
If you are interested in promoting your own health, then I invite you to take a few moments to consider how my perception of who has the most authority (credibility) in regard to health has changed over time. You may find that you can quickly reach the same conclusions as I have, saving years or decades from your learning process.
When I was very young, I knew very little about health, so lots of people knew more than I did. My sister was four years older than me, so she was an expert (relative to me). Also, at school, there was a nurse who knew more than me. In fact, almost all adults knew more than me. Indeed, at a very young age, almost all humans knew more than I did about health.
As time went on, I learned as much about health as any average child, but still any licensed specialist in the health care field would know much more than I did. Once, I got bit by a tick and my mom called a neighbor (who was a licensed nurse) to come assist us in “the right way” of removing the tick (without the head of the tick staying attached to me). The nurse came for a quick visit and her method worked great. She showed us her method, explained why it was her favorite method, and so then we learned how to do it ourselves if we ever had the same issue.
Eventually, I saw advertisements about which toothpastes are most recommended by dentists in the US. I also found old advertisements about which cigarettes are the favorites of MDs in the US. I could imagine that in other countries, there were TV ads about how “9 out of 10 doctors in Russia” prefer a particular brand of vodka (or a particular grocery store or type of soda or fast food chain).
One afternoon as a teenager, I sat eating french fries in a fast food restaraunt called Wendy’s and looked on the tables at old print advertisments from the 19th century. They said things like “DuPont’s snake oil is the only brand that contains at least 5% snake oil by volume!” Here is one that can quickly derail your appetite: “9 out of 10 doctors recommend using Johnson’s leeches over any other brand.”
By my 20s, I was directly presented with the idea that even though some method is popular among some group of specialists within a particular field, some other method might still be more effective. Innovations get started by one or a few people, then eventually may spread to many more, then eventually may get very popular, then some new innovation can make that “innovative” method obsolete.
The particular information that I was presented at that time was a general comparison of the results produced by MDs and the results produced by veterinarians. Because vets had to attract business from people who were not willing to pay huge amounts for the interventions (like ranchers who just wanted their livestock to make it to market), the vets studied lots of inexpensive nutritional supplements.
At vet clinics, there were no insurance companies offering to pay for $100,000 treatments. Also, there were apparently no veterinarians making $500,000 a year selling expensive interventions (like cosmetic surgery for Hollywood stars).
So, the information that I was presented also made references to issues like the actual health of veterinarians as a whole relative to MDs as a whole. Vets were more healthy than the average population and MDs were less healthy than the average population.
What?!?! Could MDs on the average be less healthy than the population as a whole? How could that be? After all, they could afford expensive treatments as well as inexpensive ones, right?
Years later, I learned of many stories about MDs who had encountered serious health problems and were disappointed by the lack of competence in mainstream medicine to promote an improvement in their health. There was the Brain Surgeon Jack Kruse who was over 300 pounds (among many other issues). There was Terry Wahls, MD, who was crippled by Mutliple Sclerosis. There was Jerry Tennant, MD (one of the developers of Lasik eye surgery) who got very ill and was bedridden.
All of them recovered remarkably. None of them used the popular methods that had been taught to them in medical school. Generally, the methods that they used were not even well-documented yet in clinical research trials. They were experimenting (and innovating).
In the case of Dr. Terry Wahls, she used methods that many other people had used, but those other people were not MDs. She learned from non-professionals, then created clinical trials (which I believe she funded out of her own pocket).
Her commitment was to test whether those methods (nutrition-based) would consistently reverse advanced cases of Multiple Sclerosis. Eventually, with less political resistance than she expected, she got her research accepted for publication in a mainstream medical journal.
However, the rest of the field did not respond with great receptivity. A simple, inexpensive method of reversing even severe cases of MS might have sounded very bad for business.
For example, I recovered the ability to walk for a cost of about $5. In early 2007, I had a series of health issues and sought the help of many people, included licensed health care practitioners. A friend of mine asked me how I was doing (as was normal for her to do) and I gave her a longer answer than she might have expected.
She said “that sounds like the insulation around your nerves is not working. The myelin sheaths around nerves are very important. I know someone else who had lost the ability to walk like you and they recovered through a simple dietary addition.”
The intervention that she suggested to me had been widely used for many thousands of years. In fact, only in recent decades had that common dietary practice lost popularity.
My friend was a “motivated non-professional” (motivated by health issues of her own), as in the kind of people that helped to bring awareness to Terry Wahls, MD. Terry Wahls went from having no special motivation to understand MS (which was not her own medical speciality) to being crippled and completely disappointed in the mainstream treatments promoted to her by MDs.
She was motivated to look for the results that she valued. She was open to unfamiliar methods. She was committed to health. (Maybe she even went so far as to talk with some mere veterinarians….)
In the case of Jack Kruse, MD, one thing that intrigued him was the hormone that triggered hibernation in many mammals. Why did animals like bears get so fat prior to winter, then go for months without eating… or even urinating?
After months of no exercise at all, bears wake up from hibernation lean and fit. How could Dr. Kruse use that same hormonal mechanism to lose the extra 150 pounds he was carrying around? He had not been taught about this issue in school. He just pondered, figured it out and lost the weight.
By the way, note that he was not just curious. He was very motivated. He was so heavy that his obesity contributed to him injuring his knee so severely that he could not walk or even stand.
After he recovered, he reproduced his results within his family, then eventually started to share those methods with patients (in order to prevent the need for brain surgery in some cases and also to dramatically reduce post-operative recovery time in case after case). Note that the hormone mechanism does not only promote a healthy weight, but also promotes a very deep sleep (in fact, in the direction of hibernation) and thus also very rapid healing.
In the case of Jerry Tennant, MD, he got very interested in how all biochemical processes are controlled by electromagnetic charge (AKA voltage, pH, acidity, alkalinity). His experiments and research included establishing reliable, inexpensive ways to stop producing the effect called cancer (as in 100% of the time).
I could go on with other examples of MDs who got sick then recovered through innovative methods. Stephen Sinatra, MD, (a cardiologist) is another doctor that I consider an authority on health (simply because of the actual results that he produces). However, in his case, his own health was not as big a motivator for exploration of unfamiliar methods… as the health (lack of health) of his son.
On to another issue, if I owned a health insurance company, would I be interested in publicizing inexpensive, favorable results? I would want to protect my profits, right? I would want health care to be confusing and expensive, right? I would want people to need to pay huge amounts every month (out of paranoia that they will experience a catastrophic health crisis).
The idea of treatments that are inexpensive, simple, and effective might be something that I would preceive as a threat to my profits. Are there many thousands of years of evidence? So what?!?! I’m just not interested!
I would want health care to be restrictively expensive. I would want it tightly regulated to protect my profit margins. I would want it to be very hard for someone outside of my network to compete with me. I would want licensing regulations to promote a monopoly on the kinds of methods that I can easily exclude others from using.
I would want it to be extremely expensive to operate in the health care field. I would want it to be very expensive to enter the field or get a medical degree. I would want to make health in to a government-regulated commodity so that I can protect my profits.
Promoting the health of the general population is simply not a priority. It would even be bad for profits.
I would want loyal customers who are willing to pay huge amounts for relatively cheap products. For instance, if we can manufacture a bottle of pills for 40 cents and sell it for two hundred dollars, that sounds like a nice profit margin, right?
However, I do not just want hundreds of people using those pills. I would want millions or billions of people addicted to those drugs. I want them to start using them as early as possible and as frequently as possible. I want them to dismiss any treatment methods that threaten my profits.
I might hire PR firms and lobbyists and lawyers to promote my commercial interests. I might invest hundreds of dollars- no even thousands of dollars in to protecting my multi-million dollar annual cash flows. I might even get interested in public school curriculums and influencing the behaviors that are being pushed on school children.
Would I consider MDs that are motivated to promote health (like Terry Wahls and Jack Kruse and Jerry Tennant and Stephen Sinatra) to be enemies that I would target for defamation (or worse)? Who would be my allies (if I owned millions of dollars of stock of an insurance company)?
People who protect my profit margins would be my allies- whether they were MDs or not. People who are threats to my profit margins would be my targets- whether they are MDs or not.
Of course, as the owner of an insurance company, I might be interested in other things besides my profits. I might be interested in my health or the health of my family.
In that case, if motivated enough to produce a breakthrough in health, I would be happy to pay whatever it costs to fly to Mexico or Australia (etc) to hire someone who specializes in methods that actually work well and have no detriemntal side effects. For instance, if one my grandkids develops regressive autism, then of course lots of MDs in the US will call it incurable (since they personally really do not know how to cure it).
However, why would I think of them as having any monopoly on crediblity in matters of health? In many cases, they assert their own lack of competence in regard to a medical issue by calling it incurable.
They are just high-regulated officers within a network of vested interests, right? They are typically excellent technicians (like surgeons or pilots), but the credibility of a researcher is in their results, not their licensure, right?
For profit, I promote to the population a religious worship of the sacred MDs. For health, I look for credible authorities on matters of promoting health. How do I assess them? One by one, I assess them by actual results.