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It’s not a drug. It’s all natural.

Listening to talk radio today and heard an advertisement for a supplement that “takes care of all my aches and pains”.  The paid spokesman went on and on about how great it is and he has his wife taking it daily too.  It’s all natural. It’s not a drug. 

That pitch, “all natural”, “non drug”, isn’t all it sounds like.  Many of the drugs are derived from the natural source, split into components and delivered in a measured dose.

White willow bark for instance.  It’s a natural pain killer.  Yes, the bark of this tree contains salicylates (salicylic acid = aspirin) which just like aspirin.  Use enough and you will stop your clotting just like aspirin does and have bleeding ulcers, hemorrhagic stroke etc…   Natural is true.  Safe, not so much.

Red Yeast Rice is also natural.  It contains the same chemical that the drug lovastatin uses to artificially lower cholesterol…. and dissolve your brain and damage muscle tissue and increase your risk of death from all causes, but I digress.  The “natural” label doesn’t confer any special safety on the product.

Marijuana or CBD is probably the most popular and talked about recently.  There are lots of examples.   But, here’s the pitch cut and pasted directly from the website in the advertisement I heard.  The name of the product isn’t important.  The idea behind using it is.

“Our Story

Pain is a key reason why people go to a doctor. X was designed to help your body reduce pain associated with aging, exercise, and everyday living. Physicians at a well-known clinic in the Pacific Northwest were asked by their patients to create a 100% drug-free supplement to help their bodies lower or eliminate pain. As a result of much research, four ingredients were combined together in one amazing product that we now call X.

Our Product

X is a powerful and unique combination of botanical ingredients and fish oil. It was formulated by physicians and is now trusted by many thousands to provide ongoing relief from their pain…back, neck, shoulder, hip and knee pain, including general muscle aches and pains.”

This thinking, “ongoing relief from the pain….” isn’t consistent with health.  It is what I call a drug approach, even though it’s not a drug.  It’s using a chemical to treat a symptom, pain in this case, rather than correct the cause.

Pain is there to signal your brain to quit doing what you’re doing to prevent further damage.  Would you take a supplement that allowed you to avoid feeling heat so you could grab a pan out of the oven with no hot pad or oven mitt?  It would still burn your skin, you just couldn’t feel it.  Does that seem reasonable?

Why then, does it seem reasonable to take supplements, let alone medications, that cover of the symptoms of damage occurring?  This doesn’t make drugs wrong.  It makes how some use them cause more problems.

Using medications or supplements to control a symptom so you’re not miserable and can sleep can be a good thing…. while you work on the actual problem.  But, taking supplements or medications daily to control a symptom is an indication that the problem’s cause hasn’t been addressed.

Finding and correcting the cause of the problem is how people actually heal.  Supplements don’t do that.  Medications don’t do that. Doctors don’t do that.  Only the power that made you can do that.

The interference to your body running properly needs to be identified and corrected.  It could be a steady diet of Pop Tarts.  Not usually.  People with health problems usually have already started on a path to correcting their diets.  The reason that doesn’t always work is because the control system in the body loses it’s connections due to physical trauma.  “Trauma” isn’t always falling out of a building or a car accident.  Repetitive micro-trauma (factory work) and postural distortions due to work demands also cause this.

Somebody’s got to get to the cause of the problem.  Taking supplement X isn’t going to solve it.  It will help to add things like fish oil, resveratrol, probiotics and other things your body can use to heal.   But, they aren’t the “treatment”.

Start with the understanding that your body knows what it’s doing.  It’s not making a mistake. This is a fundamental difference in approach we use.  Our culture, pushed by Pharm and the medical industry, has sold an idea that is flawed.  The idea that you take this for that, and go to work is why our friends and family are getting sicker.  It’s why our country spends more than double any other country on the planet on drugs and surgery.  It’s why our kids born today will not live as long as we will.  It’s why we are sick.

The lifestyle of eating live and organic, keeping your nerves working properly, getting oxygen to all the cells in your body, resting well and having great relationships, is what will keep you healthy, running fast, jumping high and living life to the fullest for as long as possible.

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