3rd May 07:36
The Six Foundations of Healing (aspirin stress diet acupuncture down)
The Six Foundations of Healing
By, Daniel H. Chong, ND
Illness, acute or chronic, is a multi-faceted event. Even a simple
cold needs more than one condition in place in order for it to occur.
You must do more than simply come into contact with a virus. If
contact with a cold virus was all you needed to do to catch one,
everyone would have colds all the time, as cold viruses are ubiquitous
in our environment. In addition to viral exposure, your bodily terrain
must be a place that a virus is able to overrun, meaning a place that
is worn out from stress or fatigue; a place that does not have the
level of nutrients available to it from a good whole foods diet to be
able to fight off a virus; a place that simply can no longer resist
The same conditions and often more must be met for chronic disease to
develop, but they must be in place for much longer. If this is true of
the nature of disease, why would healing be any different? If numerous
conditions must be met in order for acute or chronic illness to occur
in your body, why wouldn’t numerous conditions need to be met in
order to heal?
Six Fundamental Areas
There are six fundamental areas I believe must be addressed in order
to heal from a chronic condition. I call them the six foundations of
healing. These areas are nutrition, detoxification, structure,
genetics, thoughts & emotions, and spiritual health. Sometimes only
one or two of these areas may be involved, but more often than not,
they all affect the illness on some level or another. If these areas
are not investigated and subsequently treated, if necessary, the
illness will likely linger.
A typical conventional medical approach addresses none of these areas,
but instead focuses on identifying and suppressing symptoms, often
with powerful drugs or surgery. Both of these treatments can be
dangerous and may potentially add to the level of stress the body is
under. This can, in turn, compound the original problem at some point
later on. The only healing that occurs in cases where extensive drugs
or surgery are used tends to happen in spite of these treatments, not
because of them.
If you have read anything on mercola.com, you are likely aware of the
importance of nutrition to attaining, or maintaining, health. You are
also likely aware that by nutrition I don’t mean multivitamins,
soy isoflavones or whatever the next miracle supplement may turn out
to be. I mean food. Whole food. The type of food you are likely to
find on the outer rim of a typical grocery store, rather than in the
middle aisles--the type of food that will spoil in a week if you
don’t eat it.
However, you may not be aware that nutrition not only involves
healthy, whole, organic food, but much, much more. Nutrition involves
everything in this world that nourishes your body. The most obvious
form of nourishment is food, but pure water, air, sunlight and
auditory and visual stimuli all fall under this category as well.
Anything that comes in contact with one of your five senses is
‘feeding’ your body.
Pure water and air are hard to come by these days, but doing your best
still counts. Get a water filter and an air filter if you need one.
Open your windows. Try and take a trip into nature, away from the
toxic, city air most of us breathe everyday. At least take five or 10
minutes out of everyday to stop what you’re doing and JUST
breath, deeply and evenly. You’ll be surprised at how much
better this makes you feel.
Unfortunately, for many or us sunlight may be a difficult thing to
come by this time of year, and I don’t recommend artificial
tanning booths either. However, sunlight is extremely important to you
as a human being, and we should all try our best to get a little of it
as often as possible. Spending some time outdoors everyday, regardless
of whether or not you can see the sun through the clouds, is helpful,
as some sunlight still gets through. Dr. Mercola’s articles on
Vitamin D are a must-read for everyone in this respect, and talk in
depth about the positive affects that sunlight has on all of us.
If you are in a place where sunlight is not very available, you should
also consider including good sources of vitamin D, such as cod liver
oil and high-quality organic eggs, and raw cream, kefir, yogurt,
butter and cheese from organically raised, grass-fed and finished cows
and goats, in your diet.
Like food, auditory and visual stimuli are types of nourishment that
can also come in many different forms, and by no means are they all
good for you. For example, watching the news every night might not be
the best thing for your health. The stories told, and images shown,
are rarely positive and often times leave us feeling horrible about
the world we live in. This is certainly a form of stress and is not
very conducive to healing. If you are a nightly news watcher, consider
decreasing your normal viewing, and maybe even cutting it out all
If you must watch television, pick a sitcom. Laughter never hurt
anyone. However, television watching of any kind is really a poor
choice for visual and auditory stimuli. A great option for positive
auditory stimuli is the Holosync method mentioned on this Web site. It
can provide numerous benefits to your mental and physical health.
The best choice for good auditory and visual stimuli is nature. An
earlier article on this site mentioned that studies actually show
exposure to scenes of nature, real or in pictures, can actually have a
positive effect on your health and ability to perform daily
activities. So again, I encourage everyone to take a day, a week, even
just half an hour a week, to step outside, go to a park, to the ocean,
or to the mountains, and just look around. Oh, and while you’re
there, PLEASE REMEMBER TO BREATHE!!
The final of our five senses is smell. Your sense of smell often times
gets overlooked, but is extremely important nonetheless. Positive
olfactory stimuli can again come in many forms, but the most important
and easiest to come by is good-smelling food. There is something very
special about walking into your home and smelling the wonderful aroma
of a good quality home-cooked meal cooking in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, with the growing popularity of microwaved meals and
fast food, this is something that less and less people are
experiencing these days.
Years ago cooking used to be an all-day event. There was always a pot
of soup brewing on the stove, and usually something cooking in the
oven. Cooking used to be a common human pastime, but in these days of
double income households and working overtime, the art and pleasure of
cooking are quickly becoming things of the past. This situation can be
turned into an entire article in and of itself, but for the purpose of
this article, I will simply say that we should all start or restart
the hobby of cooking, if not for the smell of it, then for the taste!
**For a wealth of information on the lost art of traditional cooking
please see the wonderful book Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon,
president of the Weston A. Price foundation.
Most of us are aware that we live in a very toxic world these days.
For example, Dr. Mercola writes at length about the horrible state of
seafood these days, and how most of us would do well to simply avoid
the majority of this type of food altogether. Not only is this a sad
thing for the poor animals that can’t escape their saltwater
homes, as well as for those of us who enjoy good seafood, but also it
speaks to the urgency of the entire situation. The ocean takes up the
majority of space on our entire planet. If it is almost universally
toxic, what else is left?
With the state of toxicity in our environment at an all-time high, it
has become increasingly important for all of us to be sure that our
bodies are as capable as possible at dealing with all of the chemicals
we come in contact with. The better our bodies are able to process and
eliminate the various toxins we ac***ulate, the better our bodies will
function, and the stronger and more resistant to disease we will be.
In situations where one’s health has already been compromised,
any treatment, regardless of what type it is, will be more effective
if the body is ‘cleaned out’ first, using one or more
forms of detoxification.
One of my teachers liked to compare this idea to putting a new coat of
paint on your house. When it comes time to do so, do you just buy some
paint and start slathering it on there? Of course not! First you have
to scrap off the old stuff, and clean off all of the dirt. Doing so
will help to ensure that the new paint will stick better and last
longer, or in essence, that it will work better. If you are
chronically ill, and you want to heal up and become shiny and new
again, you also need to clean out the gunk that has collected in your
body first! After all, most of this gunk is what has likely
contributed to your problem in the first place. Doing so will help any
subsequent treatment you undergo to work better, and ensure that its
effects are long lasting.
Fortunately for us, even though our environment is as toxic as it is,
there are a huge number of detoxification options available to us.
Everything from detox books, to detox clinics, to detox teas are out
there waiting to be used, and many of these options can be quite
helpful. I consider some treatments to be essential in my practice.
The treatments I typically recommend to my patients are the castor oil
pack and constitutional hydrotherapy treatments, one- to three-week
cleansing programs using one of a variety of cleansing kits available
at most health food stores and naturopathic clinics, and homeopathic
drainage, which is a powerful treatment used to affect detoxification
on the deepest of levels in your body.
Exercise, yoga postures, water drinking, deep breathing exercises, and
dry skin brushing are additional detoxifying measures you can actually
incorporate into your daily life to not only help treat chronic
disease, but to help prevent it as well.
Finally, some detoxification treatments can be as helpful in acute
disease as they are in chronic disease. In many cases, an acute
illness is actually just a way for your own body to detoxify itself.
The symptoms of a cold may just be your body’s method of choice
for eliminating certain toxins that it has ac***ulated. At the very
least, they are there to eliminate the virus, which has settled in
during favorable conditions.
Taking suppressive medications like antihistamines, aspirin, and even
some herbal medication during a cold is really only hindering your
body’s efforts. Instead you should choose treatments like
hydrotherapy, homeopathy, and herbal medicines, which support your
immune system rather than suppress symptoms. These treatments do
nothing more than assist your body in what it is already trying to do.
Classical naturopathic medicine employs this approach to treatment,
although some naturopaths these days are simply suppressing symptoms
using natural treatments instead of drugs. Classical naturopathic
medicine is really just a highly specialized way to assist your
body’s own healing efforts, much of which is based on its
ability to detoxify.
By, Daniel H. Chong, ND
Misalignment in your body’s physical structure, or blockages in
the energy flow that normally courses freely through your body, can
often slow down the healing process. Aside from typically causing
pain, these problems can decrease blood flow, nervous stimulation and
the flow of ‘chi,’ or healing energy, to an affected area.
All three of these things are needed for a rapid and complete healing
In fact, classical chiropractic medicine bases most of its treatments
on this single theory. In many cases that I see, I always try to take
the time to investigate whether or not a structural problem is
contributing negatively to the overall situation. I use naturopathic
spinal manipulation, Bowen therapy (a treatment very similar to NST
used by Dr. Mercola), and trigger point injection therapy in my
practice to help relieve any misalignment or blockages I find in my
patients, and I find that it helps immensely in many acute and chronic
Other methods practiced by naturopathic physicians and other
like-minded practitioners to get your body’s structure realigned
include massage therapy, acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation,
chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, physical therapy, yoga and
exercise, to name just a few. If the flow of blood and/or energy is
impeded, recovery from disease or injury of any kind will be slower
and less complete. Because of this, one’s structural integrity
should always be investigated and treated, if necessary, when treating
To a certain extent, our genetics cannot be changed. We are who we
are, and if we are born with the predisposition to a certain illness,
there may be nothing that we can do to change that. However, as most
of you who have read anything about genetic engineering now know, the
idea that we cannot change our genes is turning out to be less and
less true with each passing day. In fact, some in that industry
believe there is a genetic basis to every disease, and with enough
time and money we should be able to discover these things and cure any
I’m a little less optimistic and choose instead to believe that
every creature on this earth is born into the body that nature had
intended, and that we should not try and alter that. Time and time
again we have seen, and continue to see, that when we try to change or
improve upon nature, sooner or later it comes back to bite us in the
behind. The wonderful thing about nature and our incredible bodies is
that we are all designed to be healthy. As Dr. Mercola and others like
him continue to show, the majority of chronically ill people do not
need to change their genes for the better, they need to change their
lives for the better. If they can do that they will find that optimal
health is soon to follow.
This is because we as human beings, and as part of this universe, have
been designed to be healthy. People get sick either because of what
they are doing to themselves, or because of what someone or something
else is doing to them. The symptoms they get are a result of their
bodies’ best efforts to return to a state of health. This is
obvious in a simple condition, such as a cold.
The symptoms of the cold are the cure. A fever, if it occurs, is there
for a reason--to kill the bugs! The nasal discharge is there to
provide a means of excretion for the toxins that ac***ulate in your
body during the illness, as well many toxins that were there
beforehand. If you suppress these events with fever-reducing
medications or antihistamines you are suppressing your body’s
effort to return to health.
In more complicated illnesses, like Crohn’s disease or cancer,
the answers are usually still there, they are just harder to see.
However, both of these diseases, and many more like them, are in fact
being caused by something that the person is doing and/or is exposed
to, and if these things are changed health will return.
The point to all of this is that genetics and heredity do play a part
in illness. When someone is sick, their genetic make-up and family
history should always be considered. When potential ‘weak’
areas are discovered, they should be supported as best as possible.
This support can come in many forms. Hydrotherapy and herbal medicine
both provide excellent options for supporting or tonifying different,
potentially weak areas of the body. In homeopathic theory, general
traits or predisposing conditions are referred to as
‘miasms.’ These miasms, in turn, influence the types of
symptoms you get when your body comes under stress. Certain remedies
can be used to support you and your particular miasm and, in turn,
lessen your chance of getting sick in that area.
We may not be able to change who we are, and we shouldn’t try
to. What we should do instead is to try to make the most of what we
Thoughts & Emotions
One of the most important factors in the prevention of or recovery
from illness is the state of one’s mind. Mental/emotional stress
in all of its many forms is a common denominator in the cause and
prolongation of chronic illness. If your life is overly stressful and,
more importantly, you don’t take steps to help relieve the
burden that stress places on your body, you will inevitably get sick.
If you are already sick it will be that much more difficult to recover
if your stress levels are not dealt with properly. On the same token,
when we look around us we see time and time again that the healthiest
people, and those with the greatest longevity, are the ones with the
best attitudes in life. Someone once asked one of the oldest living
human beings on the planet, a 114-year-old man, what his secret to
longevity was. His response was simply, “If it starts to rain, I
let it.” Nothing could sum it up better than that.
We all must learn to relax, let go, and just be. Unfortunately, the
hard part is learning how to do this. It is also important to realize
that the methods you choose to accomplish these feats may be totally
different than the next person. Some people may choose to pray or
meditate, some people may choose exercise, still others may choose
drag racing! The point is that it doesn’t really matter what you
do. However, to be truly healthy we all must find a way to diminish
the effects that the daily stresses we experience have on our minds
and bodies. We all must choose something.
of the mind’: EFT and the Holosync Method. I strongly recommend
looking at these two methods as possible avenues to stress reduction
in your life. Like Dr. Mercola, I am also a very big believer in the
positive effects of exercise not only on your body, but your mind as
well. In fact I don’t believe it is possible to be healthy
without exercising regularly.
The most important point to emphasize in this discussion is that
stress reduction techniques come in many, many different forms. While
your chosen technique may be different from the next person, the
similarity lies in what happens to your body when you do what you do
to relieve stress, or what happens when you don’t. If you
don’t know where to begin, start by smiling. Better yet, rent a
funny movie and laugh out loud. When you’re done with that, find
something, or someone, to love. It doesn’t really matter who or
what that is, as long you love it with all your heart.
As with most things involving healthy living, there are many available
options for stress reduction and the pursuit of positive mental
health. You really only need to choose one, but do choose something.
We must not forget that as human beings, we have the capacity to
become sick for no reason other than because of what we think. At the
same time, we must try and remember that we also have the ability to
change our minds.
The most fundamental level of your being is your spirit. At the same
time, your spirit is the most important thing to consider when trying
to prevent or recover from chronic illness. The nourishment of your
spirit is as fundamental to health and well-being as breathing.
Fortunately, although many of us are unaware of it, nourishing your
spirit is also one of the easiest health-promoting practices to
As it is with stress reduction and mental/emotional health, there are
many ways to support your spirit, and they can be so simple. Is it a
simple thing to take a walk in the park? Is it a simple thing to watch
the sun go down? Is it a simple thing to call your mother, father,
sister, brother, or old friend and say hello? For most of us, these
things are very simple. So simple, in fact, that we often forget to do
them, or at least to appreciate them. Would you remember more often if
you knew that these are the sorts of things that truly nourish your
There are, of course, more involved ways of nourishing your spirit,
and probably one of the hardest ones is the cultivation of a positive
mental attitude. This is something that, for most of us who try, takes
daily effort and reminders. However, everyday that you go through with
a positive attitude will not only make those days easier and your
spirit lighter, but they will help you recover from the ones when you
feel like hating the whole world.
Finally, developing a spiritual practice of some sort is a vitally
important one. I encourage many of my patients to start, or restart, a
spiritual practice of their choice in their daily lives. There are
many to choose from, and whether you go to church and pray, sit on a
pillow in a quiet room and contemplate your place in the universe, or
hike in the mountains and just look around, doing something along
these lines is very, very good for you. Think about it for a while and
give something a try. You won’t regret it.
Reading through the ideas in this article may be overwhelming to you,
and trying to put some or all of them into practice may seem downright
impossible. That’s OK. You’re human. You’re entitled
to feel a little overwhelmed once in a while. All I ask of you is that
you try, because as a human you must remember one thing: You’re
also entitled to your health.
Dr. Daniel Chong is a licensed naturopathic
physician practicing in Portland, OR. His practice focuses on chronic
disease and pain management.
In his practice, he strives to integrate the
treatment and healing philosophies of classical naturopathic medicine,
Dr. Joseph Mercola, and Dr.
Weston A. Price. He may be contacted at:
Chiropractic and Naturopathic Physicians
12195 SW Allen Blvd.
Beaverton, OR 97005
Beeson Chiropractic Center
7215 SE 13th Ave.
Portland, OR 97202