On December 13th, 1799. George Washington summoned his doctor after coming down with a sore throat. His doctor bled him four times, injected him with poisonous mercury, gave him more mercury by mouth, then blistered his mouth with a compound of vinegar and dead bugs. After enduring this tortuous treatment for a single day, the father of our country begged his doctor to leave him alone and let him die in peace, which he did at 10 p.m. on December 14th. – From Wellness Today By David Branigan Today we look upon that treatment as barbaric but at the time it was cutting edge allopathic medicine. In the next century we will look at chemotherapy and AZT treatments in immuno-compromised patients as equally insane. But right now the pharmaceutically-funded medical industry continues to profit off the poisoning of cancer and AIDS patients, yet mainstream media refuses to question the orthodox medical dogma. We in the Western or corporate society accept "the truth" with few questions. We are told that milk, cheese, red meat and wheat are good for us when many of us are allergic to them. But we eat them regardless because that is what we know. We are told that in our modern, Western world if we get sick that medicine and technology will find a cure. But when our bodies fall into disease their answer is drugs. It is not my place to bash modern medicine or to join an Amish colony of New Agers. Many of the best and brightest go into medicine to heal the sick, which is an ideal worthy of Christ. The problem is not the practitioners but the big lie of allopathic dogma which is intertwined with the big lie of the Western world's rampant consumerism. The best case scenario is natural medicine and allopathic medicine embracing and complementing each other, just like the Yin and Yang of that meaninglessly hip symbol. As it stands, corporate medicine continues to promote false profit-driven premises and these lies in the name of profit are killing us softly because of our blind faith in their song. On the alternative front, previously we touched briefly on the ancient Indian Ayurvedic theory advocated by Deepak Chopra complete with the three doshas and the ramifications of imbalance within them. We took our first treatment at the All Season's Spa with Colleen Wight and started down the road to wellness. This week it's round two at the spa, this time in the hands of Karen Cruikshank, a Shiatsu therapist who uses natural theory and Eastern philosophy to treat her client's body, mind and soul. Now, one might think this is a bit much to attribute to a masseuse, but naturalists can read the body and the cosmos using the Oriental maxim As Above, So Below. You see neither fit into the reductionist theories of empirical science, but in the cosmos and the natural body everything fits and interconnects perfectly. As Albert Einstein put it: "Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the Laws of the Universe, a spirit vastly superior to that of man." So here we go with the 21st century schizoid boy packing his 220 pound toxic carcass into the naturalist's den for research, advice and healing. I may be fit now but with the lifestyle I've been leading it's just a matter of time before my body starts to deteriorate to the degree where real doctors start to take interest and the taxpayers start to pay for my early indifference. KC: "I can see by reading your ear that your kidney's are overworked. How are you feeling?" DB: "Generally just OK, my knee has been bothering me since last weekend when I played over 40 innings of ball in the field, but my energy level and mental clarity has been a little sluggish for some time now." KC: "Well your kidney and knee are connected in acupuncture theory. If your kidney is overworked by too many toxins then that imbalance may manifest in problems with your right knee. Do you eat a lot of red meat?" DB: "I share the disgust with the cannibalistic practice of eating dead flesh but I've grown up with steaks and burgers on the barbecue, as has my wife. Although we've talked about switching over to a vegan or vegan with white meat diet, every week the red meats march home from the grocery. It's ingrained." KC: "The reason I ask is that your neck is thickening and your face is retaining water. My teacher in Japan told me that if you eat a predominantly red meat diet then eventually you will take on the appearance of a cow. In your case you can really see the meat accumulation. Your kidney is working too hard because of a build up of uric acid while the lower intestine is having trouble because meat is the toughest food to break down. "Two questions. Do you chew your food well, and do you drink much alcohol?" DB: "No and yes. I've spent the past 10 years in the bar business where drinking and second hand smoke are part of the lifestyle. I made a conscious choice to get out of the DJ booth after I was married two months ago because I've already failed one family due to lifestyle and I have no intention of doing that again. As far as chewing my food, I tend to eat fairly quickly." KC: "A Chinese Tai Chi master told me that the most underrated activity in daily life is the chewing of our food. You should chew each bite of food 50 times so the digestive acids start breaking down the food in the mouth instead of overtaxing the digestive tracts. People don't realize how much energy digestion takes out of you." DB: "So how do we go about turning my imbalance around?" KC: "Well I can work on the kidney and bladder meridians with some acupressure points. The massage should relax the body while the Shiatsu will help to flush some of those toxins out. If I have time I will manipulate your knee. I don't believe that there is any serious damage, it's more a matter of one part of the system breaking down because of imbalance in your lifestyle. I can get you started but if you really want better health it's up to you to change and in my opinion that transition should take time. Radical change is hard to absorb. "I find with most of my clients and students over the years that if you make the changes a little at a time it's more effective. Rather than deprive yourself, add. Add a strengthening, rejuvenating food to the diet because deprivation sets off a lot of emotional triggers, which I'm not about. If you add things for balance you strengthen the body. In your case it would be ezouki beans because they are potent Yang energy which helps the kidneys to contract and push out all those toxins that you are holding within your body. "Another good one for you is Daikon, which looks like a big white carrot. Daikon breaks down old meat, old medical drugs, even alcohol. You'll often see it shaved up in a little white mountain on your sushi plate because it balances off eating the flesh of the fish." DB: "What can I do besides altering my diet and lifestyle?" KC: "The adrenal glands tend to get burnt out living the lifestyle you have over the past decade One way you can start reactivating some of these kidney-related areas is to take a Ginger Root compress to your kidneys. Just boil Ginger Root in a pot and then take a cloth with the boiled Ginger bits and apply it directly to your kidneys. The Ginger acts as a magnet for the toxins and you will literally see and definitely feel the toxins being drawn out. This will relax and detoxify the kidneys, which in turn allows them to offer something back to the body in regards to the healing process." The massage that followed physically decompressed my body. After going down the right side meridians with Shiatsu acupressure my body lay like a half deflated Michelin man. By the time the rest of the body had been worked over the feeling was one of rebirth and revitalization. I felt so good in fact that I went out two days later and partied up a storm, which brought my new-found vibrancy to a crashing halt. This served as a reminder that in natural medicine you are responsible for your own health and that regardless of the efficacy of the practitioner, if treatment is not backed up by changes in lifestyle it is just two steps forward before dropping back into the untamed arms of Whistler.