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"Through the millennia, humanity has more or less consciously known that all diseases
ultimately have a psychic origin and it became a "scientific" asset firmly anchored
in the inheritance of universal knowledge; it is only modern medicine that has turned our
animated beings into a bag full of chemical formulas."
Ryke Geerd Hamer. M.D.
Let's Start With The Medical Model
This section contains more extensive background information for those interested in the conceptual
framework behind a holistic model of health and wellness. I believe this information is thought
provoking and underscores the intrinsic connection between psychology and wellness on both
a physical and spiritual/emotional level.
Much of our society's current approach to health care is often described as "the medical model".
This term has become synonymous with medication, surgery or interventions intended to treat symptoms.
A major foundation for this model was created by the work of Louis Pasteur, a French physician who is
credited with showing the relationship between illness and a specific germ. For Pasteur, the illness was
caused by this bacteria or virus and could be cured by killing the microbe in question.
This approach fit well into another development that occurred in the beginning of the 20th
century which was the development of a large scale pharmaceutical industry. Few people
realize that the pharmaceutical industry has close ties to another economic force in the
modern world which is the petrochemical industry. The alliance between these two
economic and political giants has been enormously influential in the struggle to define
what medical practice is and how healing occurs.
In the first 30 years of the 20th century medical schools still offered instruction using a range
of natural healing techniques. Some of these (the use of therapeutic light to burns for example)
were extremely effective but gradually fell into disrepute under an aggressive campaign by
proponents of the drug model. At this point in time our society is encouraged to view drugs
as the answer to an astounding range of life problems. Approaches that do not rely on
medication, such as natural healing and holistic healthcare, are viewed with suspicion and even ridiculed.
Our current medical model suffers from many limitations however. The reliance
on antibiotics has produced disease resistant strains that increasingly do not
respond to drug therapy. A whole new class of immune system disorders have
emerged that are both mysterious with regards to cause and resistant to existing
treatment. Most disturbingly, the incidence of serious disease has increased in the last
100 years and medical technology has not kept pace. Cancer rates have skyrocketed
from the turn of the 20th century and there is strong suspicion that the increased incidence of
disorders like autism are linked to the use of vaccines, antibiotics and environmental toxicity.
Students of medical history are surprised to discover another side to the story of Louis Pasteur and
the medical model. Pasteur work was actively challenged by several of his contemporaries. One of
these, Antoine Bechamp, asserted that micro organisms were present in the body all the time and
named them Microzymes. When conditions in the body (stress, decreases in immune system function,
decrease in oxygen levels, increase in acidity) moved in an unhealthy direction these organisms mutated
and became disease producing entities. Another researcher Gunther Enderlein, documented these micro
organisms carefully and coined the term Pleomorphic meaning the organisms had many different forms
that followed a progression from healthy to unhealthy. Biographers of Pasteur have stated that he
falsified research data in his battle with these critics and on his death bed recanted by saying "BeCamp is right,
the germ is nothing, the terrain is everything".
Part of the impasse in gaining acceptance for these ideas has come from the technical limitations
of the microscopes in use. Our allopathic model of medicine is based on the examination of
samples that have been stained for microscopic examination. The process of staining the
sample kills the organism so the pleomorphic changes are not observed. In 1931 another
giant in the history of alternative healing approaches, Royal Raymond Rife, developed an
optical microscope that allowed him to achieve up to 60,000 magnification power on living
samples. Rife would study these for days at a time and documented these pleomorphic changes.
Rife also identified two virus that were associated with cancer and developed technology to kill
these without harming the rest of the body. His technology was tremendously successful but was
eventually suppressed when he refused to turn over all rights to the American Medical Association.
Another physician Bernard, stated that a crucial factor in disease was a lowering of the body's
vital energy which could be caused by stressful patterns of living. In Bernard's view human
beings had a reverse of vital energy that was important in maintaining healthy functioning.
According to Bernard when this energy diminished disease began to take hold.
This finding fits perfectly with the work of Dr. Otto Warberg a two time Nobel Prize
Winning biochemist. Warberg stated that A Cancer is caused by the lack of oxygen
and the fermentation of sugars." He repeatedly demonstrated that by depriving
tissues of oxygen (35% less than normal), he could induce cancer in tissues almost at
will. Warberg won a second Nobel prize for his work with measuring electrical
potential across the cell membrane. The cell membrane potential is an electrical
voltage shift produced by the cell to open and close pores on it's surface. This allows
cells to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste products. Warberg showed that cancer
cells had a cell membrane potential between 15 and 30 microvolts while healthy cells have
a membrane potential of around 70 microvolts. This finding directly supports Bernard's
position that the vital energy within the body is essential to good health. Devices like the
Papimi work to restoring a healthy cell membrane potential and has been associated with
instances of remarkable improvement in serious diseases.
Another remarkable example of the role of "vital energy" in healing was reported by Bart
Flick MD who specializes in the use of silver material to increase the electrical conductivity
(flow of vital energy) across wound sites. Dr. Flick has used this approach to actually
regenerated portions of severed fingers in adult humans where such a process was thought
to be impossible. Once the flow of energy had been restored with a silver bandage the cells
at the wound site modified themselves and became basal stem cells that were capable of
growing a new fingertip. (We currently use a mask and cap made of this material to enhance
the effect of relaxation based treatments in our center.)
The debate over these positions continues but it is likely the outcome of will likely
include some mixture of Pasteur's, BeComp's and Bernard's positions. The implication
for those working with health issues is clear. There are very important and promising
approaches to health and wellness that have been over looked for because of
economic or political factors . An active and responsible approach to wellness must be
willing to explore independent directions and address a more comprehensive view of
Okay, But Is Any Of This Relevant To The Practice of Psychology?
I believe it is in a number of ways. Let's begin with the question of "vital energy" and the role
of intention in our daily lives.
We all recognize that motivation and attitude are an important part of achieving success. Athletes
who visualize themselves successfully achieving their goals are much more likely to succeed
than those who rely simply on physical training. But not as many people realize that
motivation and a sense of optimism in approaching life is central to the effective function
of their immune systems, and may play a role in dramatic recovery from "impossible" health problems.
In her book "Molecules of Emotion" researcher Candice Pert observes that in studying how
individual cells within the immune system approached diseases they responded as if they were individual
brains operating with motivation and purpose. When an individual is hopeless or depressed the immune
system deactivates, when a strong sense of purpose is present each cell becomes activities and shows
remarkable intelligence in meeting challenges. This research explains why hypnosis and Biofeedback
applications like Alpha Theta training can be so helpful with cancer. By increasing motivation, optimism
and a sense of competence in meeting the challenge of attacking a tumor these therapies can be effective
is assisting with a fundamental healing process.
Bruce H. Lipton Ph.D. is a medical researcher who has done extensive research on the
question of gene expression in the human system. Dr. Lipton advocates a radical position
that states our perception of reality sets forces in motion that actually rewrites our genetic
" ..the cell is a self powered microprocessor. Simply stated, the cell is an organic computer.
The operation of the cell can be easily understood by noting its homology to the computer: the
"CPU" (information processing mechanism) is the cell membrane, the keyboard
(data entry) are the membrane receptors, the disk (memory) is the nucleus, the screen (data output)
is the physical state of the cell. Receptor/effector IMP complexes, the units of "perception,"
are equivalent to computational bits"
When a perception unit recognizes an environmental signal, it will activate a cell function.
Though there are hundreds of behavioral functions expressed by a cell, all behaviors can be
classified as either growth or protection responses. Cells move toward growth signals and
away from life threatening stimuli (protection response). Since a cell can not move forward
and backward at the same time, a cell can not be in growth and protection at the same time.
At the cellular level, growth and protection are mutually exclusive behaviors. This is true for
human cells as well. If our tissues and organs perceive a need for protection, they will compromise
their growth behavior. Chronic protection leads to a disruption of the tissue and its function.
What happens if a cell experiences a stressful environment but does not have a gene program (behavior)
to deal with the stress? .... if an organism "perceives a stress that is actually not there,
the misperception can actually change the genes to accommodate the "belief."
"Perceptions" lie between the environment and cell expression. If our perceptions are
accurate, the resulting behavior will be life enhancing. If we operate from "misperceptions,"
our behavior will be inappropriate and will jeopardize our vitality by compromising our health."
Dr. Lipton's complete article, "The Biology of Belief" is available at his website www.brucelipton.com.
What are the limits of healing associated with combining focused healing energies and a deep inner
motivation? A startling example of just how deeply the body can respond to healing energies was
recorded by Dr. Melinda Connor of the integrated medicine program at the University of Arizona
at Tucson. (http://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/research/fellows.html ) In a recent conference
on energy and healing held at Penn State University (http://www.personal.psu.edu/~tms9/Symp.html)
Dr. Conner presented a case history where she used remote healing techniques to stimulate
regeneration of spinal cord tissue and function in a paraplegic. Pre and Post Cat Scans
were presented that document the transformation of Spinal Cord tissue from blackened
and inactive to viable and functional following daily energy treatments. A key element in
this healing approach was the clear determination of the client whose intention to walk again
provided a clear focus for recuperative energies. It is believed this is the first documented
case in history of regeneration of spinal cord tissue and function in an adult human.
There is evidence to suggest that instances of spontaneous or miraculous healing involve moments
when the body is able to tap into some deep reservoir of healthy information about itself in order to
return to a state of well being. Researchers in the area of Krilian photography for example report
that surrounding every organism is an energetic body that reflects that being in it's intact and
functioning shape. If a leaf is severed and removed the energetic signature of the intact leaf remains.
Perhaps when Dr. Flick wrapped an amputated finger in sliver the cells at the wound site were
encouraged to tap into the template for a intact finger that resides within the DNA. Once the
conditions were right they were free to follow the instructions in this template and regrow the
severed portion of the finger.
Many of the approaches used at our center seek to stimulate this return to healthy function by
increasing oxygenation, raising the body's energy level, releasing emotional trauma and focusing
a sense of positive outlook towards recovery. A powerful theoretical and diagnostic model has
been developed by German doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer that provides a clear and documented
framework for exactly how psychological shock is translated into physical illness. The following
is a brief summary from a web site devoted to Dr. Hamer's work.
"Twenty years ago, Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German doctor with his own practice in Rome, Italy,
received a call in the middle of the night. His 17 year old son had been shot while on holiday in the
Mediterranean. Three months later, Dirk died and shortly after, Dr. Hamer, who had been healthy
all his life, but who was utterly devastated by this catastrophe, found he had testicular cancer. Rather
suspicious about this coincidence, he set about doing research on the personal histories of cancer
patients to see whether they had suffered some shock, distress or trauma before their illness.
In time, after extensive research of thousands of patients, Dr. Hamer was finally able to conclude that
disease is only brought about by a shock for which we are totally unprepared. This last point is very
important. If we can in any way be prepared for the shocking event, we will not become ill. In fact,
Dr. Hamer does not like to say "cancer". Rather, it is a special biological response to
an unusual situation, and when the "shock" situation is resolved, the body sets about
returning to normality."
The following link provides further information about Dr. Hamer's work.
Dr. Hamer's model fits exactly with the conceptual framework behind the Strannik which measures
subtle changes in the brains relationship between both emotional and physical conditions through
a careful perceptual evaluation. Further developments in this field advance the possibility that we
can identify and intervene very specifically in the psychological/emotional field of the client to
produce deep and significant change in an expanded range of physical conditions.
I believe that the real promise of psychology as a profession is in how it ultimately contributes
to understanding the connection between mind and body in all it's intricacies. Whether it is
stimulating spinal cord regeneration with intense desire to walk again, or mobilizing the
immune system with images of sharks attacking cancer cells the activity of our deepest
intention and emotional energy is vital to the process of healing.