Since starting my practice in 1981 I have been fascinated by how different health care disciplines look at health and disease. Once I took a six week classical homeopathic course with practitioners from every different discipline.
It was interesting to see how each discipline perceived the cause of different illnesses. Take duodenal ulcers for instance. The psychiatrists opined the effect of stress and family. Doctors said bacteria were at fault. Chiropractors discussed neurological factors. Each gave successful case histories.
The same can be said of diet. It is amazing how diets as different as raw food vegans, macrobiotics, WAP, and Atkins could all get good results. But if you look for common ground, all the above eliminate sugar, junk food, fake fats, excito-toxins and emphasize whole foods. Proponents of each one will argue the merits of their beliefs, but I sense something different is at play.
In my opinion the body is nothing short of a bundle of miracles. Always attempting to heal itself if given half a chance.
You may be wondering, if that is true, what’s wrong with my body that I have this particular ache or symptom. Why is my body not healing itself?
All of us have a homeostatic self healing mechanism constantly at work. If you get a cold, if you cut yourself, if you have indigestion, usually within a short time, your body heals itself without any intervention at all.
What stops the body from performing perfectly at all times are stressors. These stressors can be summed up as different categories:
- Chemical (nutritional deficiency included here)
The homeostatic mechanism is constantly doing its best to adapt to these stressors in the best way possible. Usually most challenges can be handled. If the stressors are greater than the homeostatic mechanism can handle, then symptoms develop.
These symptoms are guidelines to the challenge and should not be just covered up with drugs. If these symptoms and challenges are not appropriately dealt with these symptoms become dysfunctions. If these dysfunctions are not appropriately dealt with they will turn into dis-ease.
Many naturopathic practitioners believe that when we suppress symptoms we drive the disease deeper. An example is covering eczema of pediatric patients with cortisone creams which has a high tendency to drive the disease process more into the lungs and commonly the patient will have respiratory diseases later in life.
It’s important to understand these different categories of stressors. Many practitioners and patients have only been schooled in one type of stressor. Most commonly we define stress as a mental emotional stressor. The kind we feel when we have a financial concern, or a relationship issue, or a time constraint.
The other category of stressors is chemical. This can come from nutrient insufficiency (Vitamin D, essential fatty acids, minerals etc) or toxicity (byproducts of foreign pathogens such as bacteria, yeasts, molds, and viruses).
Nature magazine recently reported there are ten times the amount of bacterial cells in our body as human cells. Approximately 3-5 lbs of bacteria in the gut alone!
If these are healthy bacteria they make countless nutrients such as B vitamins etc. Dr Yanick PhD has researched and published how seven appropriate strains of organisms can create over 400 beneficial strains of microorganisms each creating vitamins within us. However if there is dysbiosis or altered microorganisms in the gut, we get byproducts that give us symptoms of fatigue, headaches and joint aches, bloating etc.
Another common chemical stressor is environmental chemical stressors such as fluoride in water, chlorine in swimming pools, pesticides on our food, Genetically modified organisms, etc. Medications are another chemical stressor that will create nutrient deficiencies. The fourth leading cause of death in the United States is side effects from properly prescribed medications.
Another common chemical stressor is food sensitivities. These are not the life threatening allergic response that we know some people have such as to peanuts or shellfish which are called atopic and generally last for life.
Food sensitivities are usually IGG mediated and can change over time. These are most common in the protein components of food such as gluten in grains, casein in dairy products, and the protein in egg whites.
There are many different types of testing to determine these allergies and labs are improving all the time.
Traditional blood tests for gluten are usually based on alpha-gliadin which is only one of 18 proteins in wheat and frequently gives false negatives. Labs such as Cyrex and Enterolabs use much more advanced testing methods and are much more accurate. However, many patients can’t afford these tests and many will do very well with a health coach trained in the elimination and provocation method of detecting allergic reactions.
We will discuss structural stressors in a follow up column. The point here is that if you are having persistent health challenges that are not responding, maybe you are looking at the wrong approach. Maybe there are silent stressors in categories you are not aware of.
I will use headaches as an example as frequently this is a problem that can be caused from any or all of the different categories of stress (structural, chemical, mental-emotional or electromagnetic). Many people are passionate about their nutritional practices and will put much effort solely into this approach but their headaches persist.
Many times when they see a practitioner who is trained in reducing structural stressors (chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist), they will get much better response. If they choose to add deep breathing and relaxation response the improvement may be even greater.
The goal is reduce stressors of all categories enough that the body’s self healing homeostatic mechanism can work again and restore optimal health. A goal of mine is to empower patients so that they are in charge of their health and take ownership of it. Their health professionals can all help and all have wonderful tools. Once the patient really understands their own body’s self healing ability that is when the magic really happens.
Dr. Frank, I would be interested in your opinion on a neurology issue. What natural healing would you suggested for a combination of dysautomnia, reflexive sympathetic dystrophy and hypermobility, plus other autonomic malfunctions stemming from the first. My 17yo daughter suffers from all the above and we would love more natural solutions but none have presented themselves. We, greatfully have avoided spinal blocks but it is dificult.
Mark Frank D.C.
See if you can find a local chiropractic neurologist. Each issue has to be evaluated to see what effect on the brain and peripheral nerves these problems are having. RSD can be very challenging. HIstory and exam are important and unfortunately can’t generalize on such challenging topics Nutrition always plays a role as B12 and folate status is important.Minerals are critical to deal with bone loss and K2 and D3 are huge
Hi Dr. Frank,
I have been dealing with severe endometriosis for more than 15 years now. In Sept 2011, Enterolab results revealed that I have a gluten intolerance, possibly Celiac. I cut out all gluten. Last January I had major surgery to remove 3 large endometriomas (one was the size of a small football), that had caused much pain and displaced my uterus. In March of this year I discovered the WAPF and we cut out processed foods, and started drinking raw milk and taking FCLO. I feel better generally, and have seen good results, but last week I found out that the endometriosis has been busy growing, and I already have a 2″ mass. Fertility is a major concern, as we have suffered with infertility now for more than 9 years. The monthly pain is so intense that I have begun taking narcotic pain relievers. What should I do? Who should I see?
Mark Frank D.C.
MY staff says you will be doing a phone consult and we will speak more of estrogen dominance.Also thyroid evaluations are important. Send all labs and my staff is sending you some paper work. Once we know more about you we can make specific suggestions. If you see any doctors in the meantime please ask to have thyroid antibodies(TPO,TGB) and D3 done in labwork. Critically important
Love this! Looking for a new doctor– may have to consider paying a visit to him.
Excellent article, thank you so much! I agree 100% with this: “In my opinion the body is nothing short of a bundle of miracles. Always attempting to heal itself if given half a chance.” Well said! I’m looking forward to the follow up article, and I sure wish I lived closer to Dr. Frank!
This short article was profoundly enlightening for me. I’ve been dealing with hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s and adrenal fatigue for almost 2 years. It helped me make sense of why hopping to different holistic practitioners has been beneficial. I start with one, they help me, I improve, improvement stops before I’m back to normal. After reading this article, I realized that each practitioner used a different approach, and that I just might be (finally) chipping away at the remaining stressor. Here’s hoping!
Mark Frank D.C.
Please read”Why I still have thyroid symptoms even though my lab tests are normal”
by Datis Kharrizian D.C.
Note auto-immune patients should not consume supplemental iodine and must eliminate gluten 100%
I live just 30 miles from Dr. Frank but had never heard of him until I read this blog article. I have had a series of health problems which culminated in a trip to the ER one week ago today. So many medical specialists and so many prescription drugs over the past couple of years — especially in the last few months — and yet my health continued to spiral down. I felt hopeless. This morning I called Dr. Frank’s office, and they got me in right away. Although my medical history is extensive and complicated, Dr. Frank took his time and went through it thoroughly. I could not have been more satisfied with my experience at the Frank Clinic. After just one visit with Dr. Frank my spirits have been lifted and I feel hopeful again. I’ll be seeing him again next week to formulate a plan to recover my health. Thanks, Dr. Frank and thanks, Sarah!
Thanks for the excellent article. I hope to read more by Dr. Frank. Does he have a blog of his own?
Two questions –
Sarah – I would be very interested to hear more about how you treated your children with whooping cough? Perhaps in another blog post..?
Also – If you don’t have access to a Dr as well versed as Dr. Mark, what other resources do you recommend? I would love to get my hands on a good book of wholistic treatment for children.
My children and I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Mark and his family 25 years ago. At the time, both Christian and Alexandra were hindered by constant nasal and ear infections. Dr. Mark diagnosed them as being lactose allergic and recommended restricting their dairy intake and prescribed homeopathic remedies; which immediately alleviated their physical suffering and tremendously strengthened their immune systems.
25 years later the ONLY wholistic healer that I implicitly trust, Dr. Mark continues to elevate my vital source energy via Neuro Cranial Restructuring and his gentle and other-worldly intuitive chiropractic adjustments.
Celebrating my 61st spin around the Sun today, I wholeheartedly thank Dr. Mark for being the very best male friend a man could be blessed with and a major reason that I have lived so happily and healthy in my Temple of the Holy Spirit.
Was enjoying w great anticipation continued weightloss …….than it all came to a screeching hault…had another outbreak and found out none of it was what I thought, they lied. They knew all along what it was. There is no cure…I have found someone in Georgia that may be able to help…..let Laurie know that is why I quit coming ……Just thought it strange you guys ended up on my newsfeed so I thought God did it …see yall if I ever get better!