By Gary M. Verigin, DDS, CTN
Nearly all of the patients we see first come to our office because they’ve read online about certain dental materials and procedures that may be contributing to their medical symptoms or diagnosed conditions.
Here are some of the most common issues that lead them to our door:
The National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms defines biomedicine as
a system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called allopathic medicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and Western medicine.
Doctors have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours, blood, sweat, and tears in learning, studying, and practicing their various specialties. I am convinced that each truly and dearly wants to help their patients heal.
Yet the medicine they rely on too often lands them short of their goal.
For instance, it’s a well-known fact that not all drugs are safe or effective. But the problem goes deeper. Larry Dossey has noted that much conventional medicine has never been evaluated by its own professed “gold standard,” the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. More recent research has confirmed this. Sanjaya Kumar and David B. Nash put the matter bluntly in their 2011 book Demand Better!:
We could accurately say, “Half of what physicians do is wrong,” or “Less than 20 percent of what physicians do has solid research to support it.” Although these claims sound absurd, they are solidly supported by research that is largely agreed upon by experts. Yet these claims are rarely discussed publicly. It would be political suicide for our public leaders to admit these truths and risk being branded as reactionary or radical. Most Americans wouldn’t believe them anyway. Dozens of stakeholders are continuously jockeying to promote their vested interests, making it difficult for anyone to summarize a complex and nuanced body of research in a way that cuts through the partisan fog and satisfies everyone’s agendas. That, too, is part of the problem.
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The plain fact is that many clinical decisions made by physicians appear to be arbitrary, uncertain and variable. Reams of research point to the same finding: physicians looking at the same thing will disagree with each other, or even with themselves, from 10 percent to 50 percent of the time during virtually every aspect of the medical-care process—from taking a medical history to doing a physical examination, reading a laboratory test, performing a pathological diagnosis and recommending a treatment. Physician judgment is highly variable.
Of course, none of those treatments are risk-free.
The Nutrition Institute of America funded an independent review of “government-approved” medicine that was published in 2006. Professors Gary Null and Dorothy Smith, along with doctors Carolyn Dean, Martin Feldman and Debora Rasio titled the report “Death by Medicine.”
The researchers found that America’s leading cause of death isn’t heart disease or cancer: its conventional medicine. They found that the iatrogenic death rate in the US (death caused by doctors and/or medical treatments) is 783,936 a year. That’s 84,059 more deaths than those caused by heart disease in 2001 and 230,865 more deaths than those caused by cancer.
Over a decade, the scientists predict that iatrogenic deaths will total about 7.8 million, “more than all the casualties from all the wars fought by the US throughout its entire history,” a death rate equivalent to that caused by six jumbo jets falling out of the sky every day.
They also believe the numbers are actually much higher because most iatrogenic deaths aren’t reported as such: only 5 to 20% of iatrogenic deaths are reported for fear of lawsuits and because codes for reporting deaths due to drug side effects and other medical errors don’t even exist in many cases. The number of deaths due to conventional medicine may be 20 times higher than the numbers depicted here. [emphasis in the original]
The dominant paradigm in orthodox medicine has focused on the suppression of symptoms. If a patient has symptoms of inflammation, they’re prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug. If they have symptoms of depression or anxiety, they are given antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds.
Symptoms are thus mistaken for disease itself. In reality, they’re the natural consequence of the disease process. Meanwhile, all those drugs merely generate more illness. Instead of teaching patients a better way of living, doctors give drugs that suppress one constellation of symptoms and create another. This, of course, gets labeled as a different disease.
What has actually happened: The acute illness has been driven deeper.
Treating Clients, Not Patients
Read the Wikipedia entry on naturopathy, and you get a highly biased definition, full of allegations of “quackery.” The authors incorrectly and unfairly contrast naturopathic medicine with “evidence-based medicine” – a move you can only make by disregarding huge portions of the scientific literature.
Yet as Christine Fleetwood, ND, RPh, notes in an excellent recent article in the Townsend Letter (Feb/Mar 2017), “both conventional medicine and the public are catching on” to the virtues of naturopathic medicine.
The Mayo Clinic Staff says: Complementary and alternative medicine has never been more popular. Nearly 40 percent of adults report using complementary and alternative medicine, also called CAM for short. Doctors embracing, too, often combining them with mainstream medical therapies-spawning the term integrative medicine.
Fleetwood goes on to eloquently elaborate that this paradigm is constantly changing as treatments undergo further testing. It encompasses the best of orthodox medicine, as well as mind-body medicine, energy medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy and more, melding the modern with ancient healing systems.
Well now I really like the company Naturopathy has been placed. We’re with “ancient practices” – 3000 year old Ayurvedic medicine and possibly older Chinese medicine-both of which are heavily steeped in philosophy. The practitioner must understand the philosophy behind the medicine in order to implement the medicine. Conventional medicine on the other hand – despite being the dominant paradigm – has no philosophical backing or belief system.
Whether you call it CAM or integrative or functional or biological medicine, the approach is the same: You don’t address the disease; you address the underlying causes of disease. In doing so, both the individual seeking help and the practitioner engage in a team-oriented partnership.
This is why the individual is often referred to as a client rather than a patient. A patient is passive, wanting the practitioner to tell them what to do. The client is active, turning to the practitioner for information, advice, and treatment.
Where a conventional medical appointment might last 10 minutes tops (the current average is around 8 minutes), a consultation with a biologically-based practitioner can last hours. The practitioner needs plenty of time to truly listen to a client’s concerns and respond to their questions in an open learning environment. The value they place on caring, helping relationships that promote a positive, caring atmosphere helps clients define their personal health and lifestyle objectives.
Putting the client at the center, practitioners can discuss the interrelationships of the client’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being – not to mention the interactions of lifestyle, genetics, and environmental influences and how these can influence long-term health and complex, chronic diseases.
But there’s another form of biological therapy that differs significantly from the other modalities mentioned above. My approach is called Bioregulatory Dental Medicine. And to grasp its basics, we’ll need to first take a journey through the basic principles of bodily regulation toward a steady state known as homeostasis.
And that’s a journey we will begin in the next installment of this series…
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Originally from Gary M. Verigin, DDS, inc.