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Complementary Health Approaches for GDD and Everything Else. A new term for something we should all be doing. And the 9 Commandments for Health.

Complementary Health Approaches (CHAs) is a term that was new to me before reading an article on it in the JAMA, describing its changing use over the last decades for pain management. I had hoped it would also describe which approaches that they described showed the most benefit.... no such luck, they just described that they were being used much more commonly than 1 and 2 decades earlier. Among others, they described meditation, yoga, and acupuncture. Meditation showed the greatest increase, which is no surprise since it is the easiest and cheapest thing to do. I would have liked to know if the increasing use of acupuncture also showed high effectiveness of this approach in pain management, since it is a relatively invasive and expensive tool. No luck...

So we are left with what I recommend everyone do: understand that you are the steward of your own health. GDD sufferers represent perhaps no group more attuned to the fact that by giving up this stewardship to doctors, is what put them in the quagmire of GDD. What surprises me in many sufferers is they still want to return to the trough of formal; western medicine. It may be important to remind the reader at this point that I am a member of the product of formal Western medicine, termed allopathic medicine, so I am not speaking up against it in its totality. But just temper its pursuit with wisdom sense approaches.

These are them, the nine commandments of health maintenance:

  1. hygiene and sanitation may be the most important advances in health preservation in the modern age, commencing around 1850. Understandings that the ancient Romans practiced from around 100 BC (BCE) - 300 AD (CE). Cultures like the Japanese have practiced perhaps for millenia without interruption, etc.

  2. healthy natural foods provides the nutrients that your body on its own accord processes into important chemicals it needs for good health

  3. moderate exercise and maintenance of joint mobility. I have espoused Tai Chi and yoga... but you can do this in a Zen fashion... which is you decide what to do and how to move your arms and legs, it doesn't need to be formal instruction.

  4. socialization. Generally this refers to interactions with other humans. This is an important way to maintain cognitive health and stave off dementia. Maybe the most important in addition to diet. If there is no human around to socialize with, a dog is a good substitute, atleast the dog also shows unconditional love.

  5. pay attention to family health history. This will guide you to what you actually will need formal western medicine to maintain health. Family history of high blood pressure, cancer and other malignancies. Know what has happened in your genetic past to predict what there is a good chance that you will experience.

  6. everything in moderation. Ignoring this issue is why we are in such a terrible state with overuse of antibiotics, with the consequences of antibiotic resistant organisms, weird parasites, but also the destruction of our native intestinal tract flora (microbiome) that has developed and protected us for over 1 million years, and within a few decades we have greatly destroyed it in many people. Overuse of opiate drugs. 100s of thousands of lives lost annually.

  7. Stay away from too many people in closed spaces. This is especially important in pandemics and epidemics. We learned this again with COVID, but this has been the case throughout all human history with various plagues. The most strikingly named the Black Death in the middle ages in Europe. The dose received of an infective organism may be the critical determinant between developing immunity (small dose) and death (large dose). This may be the single most important process for managing/surviving pandemics.

  8. Look for disease if there is a high probability you will have that disease. This relates back to point 5. This also relates to exposures such as Asbestos.

  9. Treat conditions if the condition is problematic (death is the ultimate problem) and treatment has a high probability of working. Insulin for Type 1 Diabetes may be the poster-child for this. I include GDD and effective chelator treatment in this category.

These above 9 points should form the core basis of all health care training for all types of health care professionals. Virtually sole attention to unfettered unwise reliance on points 8 and 9 is why in the US our health care is the most expensive in the world and rates at best #16 in effectiveness.

Richard Semelka, MD


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