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Reform the American healthcare system by acknowledging the uniqueness of individual health

Saturday, July 23, 2011 by: Paula Rothstein
Tags: health care, reform, health news

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(NewsTarget) The Greek philosopher, Socrates, famously said, "Know thyself." These two words could be the starting point on a road rarely traveled in the American healthcare system - replacing collective application of science with one that embraces the uniqueness of individual health.

If we have learned anything from the body of knowledge collected at the cost of trillions of dollars spent on research of disease and development of drugs, real success will never fully occur as a result of symptom management. The underlying disease in most cases will still exist. Yet if we listen more intently to the true pioneers in integrative and functional medicine, who embrace a holistic model of health care, better health will come as a result of each individual choosing to make his or her health a priority. In other words, collective success will occur as a result of encouraging and empowering the individual to make better choices.

The Importance of "Biochemical Individuality"

The concept of "Biochemical Individuality" was first researched and published in 1956 by Dr. Roger Williams. In what we now recognize as a major understatement, Dr. Williams wrote, "While the same physical mechanisms and the same metabolic processes are operating in all human bodies, the structures are sufficiently diverse [that] the sum total of all the reactions taking place in one individual's body may be very different from those taking place in the body of another individual of the same age, sex, and body size."

This theory influenced many, who embrace a holistic approach to health, but its principle still remains generally ignored by mainstream medicine. Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition located in New York City, coined the phrase "bio-individuality" in an effort to better describe the right sort of focus for sustainable health and wellness. Rosenthal states that each person is created as a unique individual. The reason why no one diet is successful, or one approach to treatment of disease assured, is because the response will vary from individual to individual. Rather than embracing a series of "one size fits all" fad diets, it is best to build your own nutritional theory based on what works best for you and then stay true to it.

According to chemist Raymond Francis, an internationally recognized leader in the field of optimal health maintenance, we can actually end the epidemic of chronic and degenerative diseases with the knowledge we already possess today. In his book, The Roadmap to Ultimate Health, Francis attempts to remove the mystery surrounding disease by explaining it in the simplest terms. Ultimately, there is only one disease, and that is the malfunctioning of cells. Of this one disease there are only two causes:

1. Deficiency - cells lack something needed to function normally; and
2. Toxicity - the interference of normal cell function due to the presence of a toxic substance

American medicine has complicated health to such a degree as to intimidate individuals into a drug-based model of health care. It strips the individual of power because disease appears unpredictable and only manageable by popping a pill. Yet achieving optimal health can be as simple as understanding that what you put into your body can either hurt or help you.

If you remain baffled by the complexity of nutrition, consider the words of best selling author, Michael Pollan: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." And figure out what works best for your unique body. In short, "Know thyself."



About the author

Paula Rothstein is a freelance writer and certified holistic health coach active in the area of natural health and health freedom advocacy. As a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she has gained insight into the political nature of food, the failings of a drug-dependent healthcare system, and the uniqueness of individual health. For more information, please visit: http://www.medicinefreeliving.com.

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