Read an Excerpt
Perspective (First Chapter)
Before a friend’s daughter left for college, my friend had a talk with her. The boy she was dating did not have a job, was not in school and had no plans for the future. The other day, he received a letter from her:
This letter may be hard to take, so please sit down and have a cup of coffee while you read it.
I know you don’t like Bob, but if you would get to know him you’ll like him as much as I do. I certainly hope so because I’ve decided to move in with Bob. It means I’ll be further from the college, but that’s something else I want to tell you I’m going to drop out of school and get a job to support us. I know how much you value education, but you also taught me to think for myself. And right now, that’s what I think is best.
Anyway, both Bob and I hope you’ll take the time to get to know him because we’ve decided to get married. He’s really great and I’m sure you’ll like him when you get to know him.
And the best news of all? I’m pregnant! So, I’m sure you’ll agree our getting married is the best thing to do.
Your daughter, Amy
At the bottom of the page was “Please turn over.” I wondered what could possibly be next and quickly turned the page.
I’m sorry to have put you through all that. I’m not pregnant and we’re not getting married. I’m certainly not dropping out of school for Bob; I broke off with him a couple days ago. You were right, he was a jerk.
However, I did get a D in chemistry and wanted to put it in perspective before I told you.
The story is not true, but it does make an important point: perspective is very important.
Much has been said, published and broadcast about America’s health care system, the medical advances we have made and that it is the best health care system in the world. I would like to give you a different perspective.
Current Health Care Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since the War on Cancer began in 1971, the cancer rate in America more than doubled to 2001. This was in spite of the National Cancer Institute’s annual funding increasing thirty times from $150 million in 1971 to $4.6 billion in 2005. “40.77% of men and women born today will be diagnosed with cancer at some time during their lifetime!”
One person in three suffers from some form of heart or circulatory system disease, including high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. One out of every three people dies from these conditions. That is more than 2,400 deaths each day, an average of one death every 37 seconds.
“The United States saw a 136 percent increase in the number of people with diabetes between 1980 and 2007.”
The number of adults who are extremely obese and thus likely to have serious health problems increased 600% from 1961 to 2006 according to the CDC. The extremely obese have more than twice the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes than normal weight Americans.
Cost of Health Care:
Although America spent 36 times as much money as Cuba on health care in 1997 according to the World Health Organization ($3724 vs. $109), an American male was only expected to live one month longer than a Cuban male. Worse, a Cuban male could expect to remain healthy for one month longer at the end of his life than an American male. Even worse, the World Health Organization ranked Cuba’s health level 36th in the world, while America’s ranked 72nd out of 144. By the way, who spent more than any other country in the world for health care? America.
These statistics clearly demonstrate there is something modern medicine does not know about these diseases that is important for their prevention. Why is this?
Ideas in Conflict
Modern medicine is built on the concept of symptoms and disease. The modern medical doctor observes symptoms, runs diagnostic tests and compares results to symptoms of known diseases. Then, he prescribes the currently accepted treatment to cure that disease and the patient hopefully gets wellmeaning the patient no longer has those symptoms. This method works well for infections, measles, etc. But heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer are another matter and a very serious matter because together they were the cause of death for more than half of all the Americans who died in 2006 according to the CDC.
However, the medical disease concept is not the only concept of healing. There are others: chiropractic, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. Alternative models of healing use the fact that the human body will heal itself if given the chance and the patient is taught how to do that. For example, when you cut yourself, the wound heals provided you keep it clean and protected from being reopened again.
Diagnosis is not as important to these other schools of healing because it is recognized that if you give your body enough nutrition and exercise, detoxify it as needed and eliminate negative mental influences and stress, the body will heal itself. This was the foundation of modern medicine as developed by Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. However, medicine has not always stayed true to its roots.
Support for Alternative Medicine
Although modern medicine may disapprove, severe calorie reduction is the only method proven to extend life uniformly. This has been proven in numerous scientific experiments since 1935. In that year, Dr. Clive McCay at Cornell University reported that rodents fed on a 30% reduced calorie diet increased their life span by 40%that would be almost 30 more years for a human!
In addition to increased longevity, most age-related diseases, such as kidney degeneration or tumors, were also reduced. A later study published by the National Institutes of Health found monkeys on a 30% reduced calorie diet lived 15 years longer. And like the rodents, the monkeys avoided much of the usual diseases of old age.
Stephen R. Spindler, Ph.D. has proven that calorie restriction partially restored liver function in mice and reduced inflammation.
Allan Cott, M.D. wrote the 1975 bestselling book, Fasting The Ultimate Diet. He quotes the New England Journal of Medicine, “Fasting is a valid experience. It can benefit any otherwise healthy person whose calories now have the upper hand in his/her life” His book cites 329 references on fasting; 158 are scientific or medical journals. In his 1977 book, Fasting as a Way of Life, Cott includes an entire chapter on the resistance shown by many in modern medicine who have not actually any first or second hand experience.
Dr. Cott, a psychiatrist, got interested in fasting when he learned that the Russian psychiatrist Dr. Yuri Nikolayev had successfully treated 7,000 neurotic, psychotic and schizophrenic patients with fasting alone after they had not been helped by drugs or other means.
Your health is your responsibility. Learn what works for your body. Consult with health care experts, do your own research, but you choose what to believe and act on.