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Quackery or the Cutting-Edge?

Innovation or Fraud?


 Some day, health care without megavitamin therapy 
 will be seen as we today see childbirth without sanitation,
 or surgery without anesthetic.

 Health alternatives may be unfamiliar and initially sound farfetched, but they all have one common characteristic: they work.

 Unorthodox medicine, unpopular research, and drugless healing has always come in for criticism by allopathic, or drug-and-surgery doctors. There's nothing wrong with disagreement in health professions because this keeps practitioners aware that there are varied approaches to wellness, not just their own. The problem comes when one school of treatment comes into political power and strongly biases the very laws of the land against alternative schools of treatment. The American Medical Association has had this very opportunity. Although the A.M.A. now represents fewer than half of the physicians in the United States, it remains the strongest lobby in Washington, and a very influential "union."

 Columbus and Copernicus and Einstein and health-nuts all have had to struggle a bit to demonstrate the truth of their theories in practice.  Fortunately, they have all done so with great success, and history will bear them out. Law sometimes is the last aspect of a country's rising consciousness to show revision. For this reason, we must all "lobby" and call for freedom of health.

 Most states have a generous, really generous amount of laws, and if you read your state's Medical Practice Act, you may be amazed at the very strong restriction of any non-medical approach to healing. The Medical Practice Act in New York will be found under "Education" in the Consolidated Laws Service, section 6501, and is twenty-five pages in length. The Act is full of case notes and records of convictions of those who "practiced medicine without a license" including a beautician "who treated and prescribed for blemishes on the face of a patron" (p. 211, note 8).

 "Quackery" is supposed to be harmful, and the law to protect us from charlatans. Not everyone knows that the real English meaning of a "charlatan" is just an unregistered health, not a health criminal.  If the law is supposed to help us, how can we explain in one case that "the fact that the treatments were in some instances beneficial is wholly immaterial" (p.211, note 4.5) to the trial of an unlicensed practitioner in New York?  How?  Because the issue is not health, but business. A state’s medical practice act protects the exclusiveness of the allopathic medical doctor from competition, by rendering an outsider's practice illegal.  Public health has little to do with it.

 The reason? Because so-called "quackery" happens to work. But you have to make your mind up about that yourself. Don't let the medical politicians make your mind up for you, try as they may. Deciding, choosing and verifying in your own life which health methods are truly life supporting should be restricted by no law, doctor, nor attitude. This is why we need freedom of health. Please write your lawmakers and tell them your views. It has been said that no king with his scepter wields more power than an informed citizen holding a pen.

 Years ago, my mother (who had been a teacher) told me that education had two goals. The first, she said, was that any education should make you want to learn more. For this reason, the referential reading suggested at this website is especially important, for in seeking it out you will gain so much more really helpful information than you perhaps ever imagined possible.

 The second goal of education, Mom said, was to teach each person how to budget their time.  When I was a kid, with too much time on my hands in the summer, and bored out of my gourd in school all winter, I did not appreciate this. Now, decades later, I see what she was on to.  We all have the same 24 hours in each day, and most of us (and even the busiest of people) have time for TV or certain other pursuits. Taking a bit of that time to learn to get well and stay well is the most certain of all investments. Consider this: if you are pressed for time, but spend some fraction of an hour each day improving your health, you will probably live longer. If you live longer, then you will have more time in the end.

 A third goal of education drizzled into my mind in college. Some instructors said, and a few actually meant, that education should teach you to think. When we just "go to the doctor," we are suspending most thought and asking to be commanded. Like a toddler putting up his arms to have you take off his shirt, we surrender our self-reliance for some quick service. We also get to complain if the treatment wasn't good enough for us.

 I once heard a person complaining that firefighters had tracked mud and water into her house en route to a small smolder in the basement clothes dryer. A firefighter responded, "Look, lady, when you call the fire department, your house is ours." When you call the doctor, you give up control of your very body. To keep control, we have to keep thinking. And reading, and learning. 

Copyright 2005, 2003 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition.  Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise.  Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician.  Consult your doctor before making any health decision. 

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