Why Big Pharma is unsustainable

The conventional view, upon which modern medicine is based, is that the body is a collection of dumb atoms which somehow come together to form molecules (chemicals) which combine to form living cells.

Cell 2Cells gather together to make a body which is governed by genes, nerves and hormones. When we are ill, the body’s biochemistry is out of balance  and must be restored using chemicals or by modifying genes. It’s a bit like adding salt to our food by trial and error hoping we get the taste right.

However, the biochemical explanation of the body has significant limitations. It doesn’t explain the shape and form of the body or how healing happens. It has a poor record in treating chronic disease. It does not explain our individuality, thoughts, intentions, memory or intelligence. Nor does it explain belief, the placebo effect or consciousness. Indeed, despite several centuries of ‘scientific’ medicine, most of the dynamic processes in our body are not totally understood. That’s because it’s beyond them! Only a holistic field-based approach can explain the interconnected nature of life processes – human, animal and plant-based.

A field is an area in which a given force exerts an influence, a well known example being is the field around a magnet. Fields involve a vibration of energy and information transfer. They offer convincing explanations of how consciousness influences the body at cellular level and how a multitude of patterns and simultaneous movements impact on the body’s physiology, biochemistry and mental and emotional functioning.

It has long been recognised that the body is shaped by hundreds of subtle energy fields – including the auric field, the chakras, morphological fields (which allow exchanges between like-minded species and transfer information from one generation to another), thought fields, electrical and light fields.

Biofield

All matter – including the human body – is formed from energy at a low rate of vibration controlled by information fields. These are as necessary to the functioning of the body as energy.

In future, correcting dysfunctional energy and information flows will be central to the science of health and healing. Doctors will understand that the root cause of disease and ill health, whether physical or emotional, is disruptions or distortions to the body’s information fields.

Consciousness and the ‘healing intelligence’ of the body are glaringly absent from the current orthodox medical model, but they are the future. Big Pharma beware! Within a couple of generations you and your drug-based approach to everything are going to find yourselves old hat! And you probably know it!

Copyright David Lawrence Preston, 25.3.18

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The Voice

WRITER INTERVIEW IN THE VOICE MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2015

Adam Dickson puts some questions to author David Lawrence Preston

How did you start out as a writer?
I started by writing papers for academic journals. I had several dozen published. One was a case study on Aldi in 1990 (before they came to the UK) that won me an award for European Business Case Study of the Year.

In 1993 I started collaborating with a holistic health practitioner to put together a course in living we called the Dynamic Living Programme which was purchased in 27 countries around the world. We also published three books together – Creating Confidence and Awaken Your Inner Power (Element Books) and Decide to Win (Cassell) on sports psychology.

Our partnership was terminated in 1997, and since then I have published four more – on Confidence Building, Life/Self Coaching and Spirituality. The latest – 201 Things About Christianity You Probably Don’t Know (But Ought To) – examines the Christian religion from a historical/factual point of view.

I also produce a regular blog – blog.davidlawrencepreston.co.uk – covering my interests in health, spirituality and personal development.

How did you become an author for Hay House?
I approached them with my latest book. They referred me to their imprint, Balboa. Balboa embraced it enthusiastically.

Your most recent book has a controversial theme – can you tell us about that?
Ever since I was a child dragged to Sunday school every Sunday I have questioned the validity of many of the Christian teachings. The New Testament (Old, too) is full of contradictions and untruths and much – while acceptable to earlier generations – simply doesn’t make sense in terms of our modern scientific understandings.

Front cover 201 things

What are your writing aims for the future?
My next book will present a 21st Century version of progressive Christianity – compatible with scientific discovery – in which the old myths are discarded and deeper truths about the nature of the infinite and spirituality are discussed.

I also write on health and, in particular, energy medicine and the biofield. Some of my material finds its way onto my health and energy website, www.davidlawrencepreston.co.uk.

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Conf book cover

Life Coach book cover

365 Spirituality book

21st Century Healing – The Biofield

The human biofield is a structured set of holographic patterns of information. Without it we would not exist. It surrounds and entwines the body, integrating our physical, chemical, mental and emotional natures with our intelligence and consciousness. Today it can be observed, measured and influenced to bring about previously unimaginable healings.

The biofield is dynamic in nature, constantly acting and reacting to internal changes and changes in the environment. Our state of health and wellbeing are totally dependent on a harmonious biofield. All illness and psychological disturbances begin here.

Biofield

The conventional, ‘medical’ view of the body is of a group of atoms which somehow combine to form molecules, cells, bones, tissue and organs. Atoms are dumb objects which come together by chance. The regulation and control of the body is governed by genes, nerves and hormones. When we get ill it is because the body’s chemistry is out of kilter and requires adjustment using pharmaceuticals or by modifying genes.

However a purely chemical view of the body has proved severely limited in treating chronic disease, explaining the placebo effect, memory, thought, intelligence and individuality. It doesn’t even explain the shape and form of the body, what controls our 70-100 trillion cells, or how healing happens. Above all, from a scientific point of view, it does not explain consciousness. The biofield potentially does.

The future of medicine must take account of quantum processes, information transfers and energy flows. One day we will look back on today’s drug-based approach as primitive as blood–letting and leeches!

©David Lawrence Preston, 26.8.2017

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A Bioenergetic Recipe for Healthy Eating

Good nutrition is obviously vital for sustaining health, preventing disease and maintaining a positive mental and emotional state, but it cannot be viewed solely in terms of its physical and chemical composition. Food and drink has energetic and informational aspects in addition to the physical; we must get not only the right biochemical components from our food, but also vital energy.

In the modern world, few grow and harvest their own food. Much of the food sold in supermarkets is chemically adulterated and nutritionally lacking compared with the foods of yesteryear, but at least we can make wiser choices to maximise the vital energy in our diet.

Living organisms – including us – are sustained by a vital force or ‘life force’ that cannot be explained in terms of traditional physics and chemistry. To eat and drink healthily, we must know:

  1. What vital energy comes with what foodstuffs? And
  2. What foods are appropriate for you, to provide the vital energy you need, taking account of your body type and lifestyle, etc.

Cooking Methods

The way food is prepared and cooked has a huge bearing on the vital energy it delivers to the body.

There’s nothing wrong with cooking – it is often necessary to make food digestible and destroy harmful enzymes. But we should aim to cook the same way as the body cooks:

  • Lightly sautéing and steaming.
  • No deep frying, which adds loads of fat and reduces the vital energy.
  • Avoid microwaving and refrigeration if possible; they appear to destroy vital energy.
  • If you eat out, look out for the healthier options. Fast foods have little vitality. Restaurant meals in general are prepared under pressure, and may lack vitality.

A Healthy Diet

There are only a handful of rules for a bio-energetically healthy diet. One of these is to choose food that not only contains beneficial macro- and micro-nutrients, but also contains substances (mostly enzymes) for the absorption of these nutrients and the elimination of waste. These substances are found primarily in fruit and vegetables. So:

  • Choose ‘living foods’ (fresh, raw fruit and vegetables, juices etc.) rather than ‘dead’ foods (almost everything else) as much as possible.
  • Choose organic food whenever possible, preferably grown locally and freshly harvested. Growing your own food increases its vital energy.
  • Meat should be raised naturally, grazing in the open air, to avoid the phenomenon of ‘angry meat’ which comes from stressed/unhappy animals.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Many people are functionally dehydrated. Individuals need to ingest healthy fluids equal to their body weight in kilograms divided by 30, in litres. Hence a 75 Kg person needs 2.5 litres of water, fruit juice, herbal or fruit tea etc. per day.
  • Sprouting beans multiplies the nutritional value several fold and is especially good for vegetarians.
  • Consider not only the health impact of one’s nourishment system, but also their environmental and social effects.
  • Make the largest component of your diet fresh vegetables with fruit. Choose fruit and vegetables of different colours; the secondary phytonutrients responsible for the colour are mostly highly effective antioxidants or contribute to lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of disease.
  • Omnivores should choose the lighter sources of protein like fish and lean lamb, chicken and turkey.
  • Vegetarians should make sure they get sufficient high quality protein by including beans, lentils, quinoa and other sources in their diets.
  • Reduce saturated fatty acids. This should be a priority. Replace them with Omega 3, 6 and 9 alternatives such as in avocados, nut butter and seed oils.
  • Sugar addicts should reduce their consumption to an occasional ‘treat’ and replace sweets with fresh fruit and yogurts.
  • Avoid chemically preserved foods and foods with artificial additives (colourings, emulsifiers, sweeteners etc.) as much as possible.
  • Maximise your intake of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules used by the body to stop damage to the cells by free radical molecules[1]. Deep green vegetables, broccoli, red grapes, tomatoes, whole grains, all kinds of berries (especially blueberries), tea, seeds and sweet potatoes all contain high levels of antioxidants.
  • Don’t depend too much on supplements. Supplements are energetically lacking since vital energy comes from the whole food, not just a part. For example, you can take the vitamin C out of an orange, but all the other energetic components are lacking.
  • Prepare food with a harmonious, relaxed attitude. Eat slowly, bless your food and take your time!

Juicing

Juicing deserves special mention because it can have a very positive effect on health. Just one pint of juice a day can have a wondrous effect. Juicing offers up to five times the amount of enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients in ten minutes than you would have during a normal day of eating, without five times the calories. They can also speed up recovery from illness.

  • Juice large amounts of greens, like lettuce, watercress and spinach.
  • Fruit, beetroots and carrots generally have too much sugar, so only use them in smaller quantities (no more than ¼ to ½ the total juice content). Choose green apples rather than the sweeter varieties.
  • Give your body a wide variety of everything the earth has to offer. You have plenty to choose from – kiwi fruit, celery, carrots, parsley, watermelon and so on.

Elimination

It is important to keep the bowels clean. Waste products become toxic after a while, so keep to a routine and move the bowels regularly. A healthy diet (plenty of salads, fibre, wholegrain) assists this process.

Enjoy your food

Think about what you’re actually eating and drinking. The idea that we can pop a vitamin pill to make up for all our bad eating habits is a fallacy, so correct what you’re eating before spending lots of money on nutritional products.

Create your own form of individual nutrition, based, of course, on a sound basic knowledge of the physical, chemical, energetic and informational properties of nutrients.

If you’re not sure what you’re eating, keep a nutrition diary for seven days. At the end of the week, ask yourself what proportion of your intake is accounted for by fats, carbohydrates and proteins? What proportion is fresh fruit and vegetables? Confectionery? Wholegrains? Anti-oxidant rich foods? Etc?

And relax! You don’t need to give up all your favourite foods or make eating a chore!

© David Lawrence Preston, 18.5.2019

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[1] Free radicals are reactive molecules in the body that damage cells and contribute to disease and the effects of ageing.

How Deep Relaxation Can Transform Your Life

There is a zone of relaxation where the mind is at its most powerful, intuitive and creative. This is the ‘Alpha State’, where the two halves of the brain are in balance. Being able to reach this restful, deeply relaxed state is a life enhancing skill, because the mind works best when you’re cool and calm. And it’s easily learned.

Deep relaxation is a state of calmness which allows the mind to idle and drift. It is a profound state of calmness in which all physical and mental tension is released.

Regular deep relaxation brings about a state of enhanced harmony in your daily life. Benefits include:

Greater peace of mind and mental calm

Improved health, greater vitality

More economical and productive use of energy

Protection against stress and stress related disease

Enhanced intuitive and creative abilities

More rapid healing and pain relief

Improved digestion and lower blood pressure

More refreshing and satisfying sleep

Better concentration

Improved ability to handle important occasions

With daily practice, deep relaxation also improves relationships. It’s easier to get on with others when you are relaxed and it’s easier to get on with yourself too). It also enhances self-awareness and self-esteem.

Young children have no problem relaxing, but it seems that most of us lose this ability as we mature. We become more tense, and tension may disrupt our social and working lives, sexual activity, digestion, sleep and brain-body coordination. It can also result in a variety of fears and phobias.

Deep relaxation can help relieve all these problems. Many people with chronic health problems benefit enormously. For instance, Alain suffered from severe stomach cramps and a nauseous feeling for years. Doctors had no idea what was causing it, but within two weeks of learning and practising deep relaxation twice-daily the pains were much reduced, and after six weeks, they’d gone altogether.

Calm

Practical Ways To Relax

Try this:

Sit up straight in a chair with your back and neck supported. Place both feet on the floor, legs uncrossed, hands resting comfortably in your lap. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Hold it for a moment and let it out slowly.

Take another deep breath. Hold it for a few moments, then slowly exhale. Allow yourself to be completely relaxed and comfortable.

Once more, take a deep breath. Hold it for a moment and slowly let it out. Relax.

Now simply sit in silence, breathing slowly, for five minutes without moving any part of your body. Concentrate on being quiet, still, peaceful and relaxed. Then open your eyes.

Always start by finding a time and place where you will not be disturbed. Don’t attempt it if you  need to pay attention to what you’re doing.

If you want to have music quietly in the background choose something slow and calming, such as gentle classical music or specially composed relaxation music. You’ll find it seems much louder once you’re relaxed.

A relaxation session comprises four stages – induction, deepening, autosuggestion/imagery, and termination. Don’t rush your relaxation sessions, and don’t worry about whether you are succeeding or not; this is counter-productive.

Induction

Start by picking a spot on a wall or ceiling and focusing your gaze on it. When your eyes start to tire, count five deep breaths backwards. When you get to one, your eyes will be closed.

Next, focus on your breathing: allow yourself to relax a little more on each out-breath. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to the breath.

Then select one of the following:

  • Sigh breath: take a very deep breath. Release it suddenly, sounding a prolonged ‘aaah’ as you do so. Allow a wave of relaxation to sweep down your body. This is excellent for relaxing very quickly.
  • Three deep breaths: take a very deep breath. Fill your chest and lungs completely (but not so as it becomes uncomfortable). Hold for a count of four, then slowly release. Do this three times. Think the word ‘calm’ or ‘relax’ as you exhale. Increase the count to six, eight or ten as you become more practised.
  • Imagine a cloud of peace and calmness filling your body as you breathe in. When you breathe out, imagine it taking with it all stress and tension. If you like, imagine the cloud having a soothing colour of your choice.

Deepening the relaxation

Next, take your attention to different parts of the body/groups of muscles in turn and consciously relax them. (This is called ‘progressive’ relaxation.)

Relax your toes and feet

Relax your calves and ankles

Relax your knees and thighs

Relax your buttocks

Relax your stomach muscles and solar plexus

Relax your back and spine

Relax your chest

Relax your neck and shoulders

Relax your upper arms

Relax your lower arms and wrists

Relax your hands and fingers

Relax your eyes and face

Now try one or two of the following techniques. Everyone has their own style of relaxation, so choose those which work best for you:

  • Rag doll: Imagine your body as a rag doll, limp and floppy, muscles soft, loose and without tension.
  • Count down: Slowly count down from ten or twenty to one on each out breath. Imagine yourself descending a flight of steps, a lift or escalator one level at a time, letting go a little more with each step or level.
  • Affirmation: When you are deeply relaxed, slowly repeat the following affirmation:  ‘I relax easily, quickly and deeply. Each time I relax, I go deeper and deeper. I am at peace.’
  • Relaxing place: imagine that you are somewhere tranquil such as a garden, beach or special sanctuary. Images and sounds of water can be very soothing. So can imagining the feeling on the warm sun on your face and body.

Once relaxed, create visual images, sounds and feelings and repeat the affirmations that will help you to get what you want from the session.

Triggers

You can easily create a trigger or ‘anchor’ to help you to relax at will. This is how:

When in deep state, gently put the thumb and fingers of your dominant hand together and whisper the word ‘Alpha’. Then silently affirm, ’Whenever I put my thumb and fingers together and say ‘Alpha’, I will instantly and easily relax deeply.’

Within a few days, with practice, whenever you close your eyes, put your thumb and fingers together and whisper ‘Alpha’, you will feel yourself easily drifting down into relaxation.

My mentor became so proficient at this he was able to go deep into Alpha in seconds while leaning on a traffic barrier in London’s Piccadilly Circus. If it can work there, it can work anywhere!

Termination

To finish, first affirm that beneficial changes have taken place in the unconscious as a result of the session and affirm that you are using your deepest inner resources to bring about the changes in thinking, attitudes and behaviour that you desire.

Then, if you are relaxing during the day, count slowly from one to five and open your eyes. Wiggle your hands, shrug your shoulders and move your feet. Tell yourself you’re fully alert, and when you are ready, resume your normal activities.

Alternatively, if it’s last thing at night and you wish to go to sleep, simply drift off (telling yourself that you will wake refreshed and re-energised in the morning).

Conclusion

Relaxation has many proven benefits – studies carried out by leading doctors and psychologists show that this is not in doubt. It is a skill easily acquired through practice. If you find it hard to begin with, don’t worry, just persist. Most of the early problems you encounter will soon disappear, and you’ll quickly find you feel better, happier, more content and more peaceful.

©David Lawrence Preston, 23.10.2018

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A Good Night’s Sleep

Everyone knows what a struggle the day can be if they haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Our energy and performance levels suffer, and so do our stress levels and our mood. Yet we can’t ‘make’ ourselves go to sleep and more than we can make ourselves remember things.

More than a third of adults have problems sleeping. If you’re one of them, you don’t have to suffer. There are many things you can do to help yourself without resorting to drastic and potentially risky measures like sleeping pills:

  1. First of all, try to maintain regular bed times and wake times, including weekends.
  2. Eat early – at least two hours before you go to bed. It takes this long to digest a meal. Late eating can cause indigestion, which disturbs sleep. A regular waking time in the morning strengthens the circadian function and helps with getting to sleep at night.
  3. Drinking close to bedtime can also disturb your sleep, so avoid drinking within two hours of bedtime and don’t drink stimulants (such as tea and coffee) after 6pm. An early evening drink such as chamomile tea can be helpful. Avoid alcohol – it may help you fall asleep but will dehydrate you, causing you to wake early with a dry mouth and throat.
  4. Exercise regularly, but don’t do anything strenuous within three hours of bedtime. Late afternoon is the best time. Regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep and helps you sleep more deeply, but exercising close to bedtime makes falling asleep more difficult. It makes you more alert and raises body temperature (a cooler body temperature facilitates sleep).
  5. A very pleasant way to drift off to sleep is to practise physical and mental relaxation. Use a relaxation CD or DVD if it helps. Practise during the day so that when you need it the skill is easily used.
  6. Deep, rhythmic breathing helps enormously if you want to get to sleep. Combine it with visualising a peaceful scene.
  7. Clear your mind. An active mind interferes with sleep. If your mind is over active as bedtime approaches, write down whatever you are thinking about. Listing things you have to do tomorrow helps prevent worrying. Keep work-related things out of the bedroom – these may trigger anxious thoughts.
  8. Nightly rituals can send a strong message to the unconscious that it is time for sleep, for example, a warm bath, listening to soothing music or reading something calming in bed.
  9. Remember, we all need different amounts of sleep. Try out a few things, find what works for you, and don’t worry if you’re not sleeping as much as other family members. They may need more than you.

Ironically, the thing that prevents people sleeping the most is worrying that they won’t be able to sleep, so practise relaxation, and if you fancy it take up meditation.

Many people have overcome sleeping problems using the above techniques.

©David Lawrence Preston, 10.5.2019

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A Bioenergetic View of Nutrition

Nutrition is one of the most important topics for maintaining good health, preventing disease and maintaining a positive mental and emotional state. But few conventional doctors are trained beyond the basics in nutrition and most understate its importance. My doctor told me less than a day of his seven years’ at medical school was devoted to the subject!

Conventional Western medicine looks at nutrition largely in terms of its physical and chemical composition. It takes account, for instance, of the metabolism of macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micro-nutrients like vitamins and trace minerals. But the Science of Bio-energetics takes a broader perspective. It recognises that food and drink has energetic and informational aspects too, and that people must get not only the right biochemical elements from their food, but also vital energy.

Nutrition must be considered not only from a biological and chemical point of view, but also as a provider of energy such as light and information.

Nutrition from a Biological and Chemical Perspective

Conventional medicine considers food in three main groups – proteins, fats and carbohydrates – plus vitamins, essential minerals and so on.

Carbohydrates are made of sugars and starch. But simple sugars provide only ‘empty’ calories. They have high calorific value but do not contain any vitamins or minerals. Starch is made up of more complex sugars and provides the main energy reservoir of grains, roots, bulbs and seeds.

Fats are energy providers; they have twice the biological calorific value of carbohydrates or proteins and store huge amounts of energy. If there is a deficiency of carbohydrates, fats and proteins are converted into energy. Vegetable fats are primarily composed of mono- and poly-saturated fatty acids. Animal fats are primarily made of unsaturated fatty acids and have a more solid form. Fats (fat pads) pads protect organs from injuries and serve as temperature insulation; they facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins; and are flavour carriers for fat-soluble flavours and aromas.

Proteins are made of amino acids. There are essential and non-essential amino acids. The essential ones cannot be synthesised by the body and must be supplied through food. Unlike carbohydrates and fats, proteins cannot be stored in the body and must be provided on a daily basis. Their best-known function is to build up muscles, but they also serve to store certain minerals, maintain the body’s shape, regulate enzymes and hormones, maintain immune defence and transmit nerve impulses.

Vitamins are crucial to body function and support the healing process, but cannot be synthesised by the body. There are fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K ) and water-soluble vitamins (the rest). Fat-soluble vitamins can only be taken up with fat, which means that we can gulp down lots of fat-soluble vitamins but without fat they cannot be absorbed.

Essential minerals include calcium, potassium and magnesium and trace minerals such as copper, iron, zinc, selenium and iron.

Revitalise

Bioenergetic Nutrition

Subtle energies play a significant role in nutrition. Every cell has innate intelligence so the body knows instinctively what is good for it and what is not. It recognises and welcomes healthy sources of nutrition that meet its needs.

The body also knows what is not healthy and tries to eliminate it, sometimes drastically (i.e. sickness or diarrhoea). Unfortunately many people bombard their digestive systems unhealthy nutrition – sugary drinks, excessive fat, food that has had the goodness processed out of it or is cooked to extinction – until the body is overwhelmed and at the last resort packs up altogether.

Living organisms are sustained by a vital force or ‘life force’ that cannot be explained in terms of traditional physics and chemistry. It (or its lack) is responsible for much that happens in health and disease.

To eat and drink healthily, you must know:

  1. What vital energy comes with what foodstuffs?
  2. Bearing in mind that people are different, what foods are appropriate for you, to provide the vital energy you need? How do you take account of your body type and lifestyle, etc.?

A significant part of your energy comes from food, but food is more than just a source of thermal or chemical energy – because the magnetic, gravitational and light energy of your nutrients are the basis of all of the building and repairing molecules that become your body.

Individual differences

The ancient healers were aware of the need to take account of different body types. For example, the Chinese identified yin (cold) and yang (hot) types. Hot body types need cold food (e.g. vegetables and salads) and cold body types hot food (e.g. meat, onions and spices).

Ayurveda works with three elemental energies or humors: vata (air & space – ‘wind‘), pitta (fire & water – ‘bile‘) and kapha (water & earth – ’phlegm‘). When these three are in balance, the body is healthy; if not, it is diseased. Everyone has a unique combination of vata, pita and kapha. One ingenious way of assuring a balanced diet in Ayurvedic Medicine is to include some of each of the six tastes – salt, sweet, astringent, bitter, pungent and sour – in the diet every day.

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Biophotons in Food

Recent discoveries about the bio-photons that radiate light from the cells of plants and animals reveal a great deal about the health of the body and the food we eat.

In the 1970s, Dr Fritz-Albert Popp showed that living systems depend on light. They exist inside a coherent photon field, and biophotons are responsible for cellular communication and regulating biological functions. He later developed a device to detect biophotons from plant and animal cells which is now being used to determine the quality of food.

Popp also found that healthy people emit light rhythmically and in a balanced way. For example, cancer patients lack these rhythms; multiple sclerosis sufferers exhibit too much light. He concluded that health was a delicate balance between chaos and order. Too much coherence causes the system to collapse. (Consider an army which staggers its steps when marching across a bridge. If all footsteps fell at the same time, the bridge could collapse.)

Some conclusions

Nutrition is crucial in health and healing. It’s also a popular subject in the media – they give out loads of healthy eating messages, many of which are confusing and contradictory.  Healthy eating is big business – large companies promote a variety of eating regimes which achieve mass popularity, only to be discarded when the next fad comes along.

Doctors advocate a ‘balanced diet’ in general, but don’t always give nutrition the attention it deserves, nor grasp the differences between individual patients from a nutritional point of view. Holistic healers have known for centuries that nutrition is important. Dietary therapy is a vital plank of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the Ayurvedic practitioners of India developed a sophisticated approach based on individual body types and the characteristics and tastes of foods.

Mainstream science has a problem with ‘vital energy’ because it can’t be seen, smelt, heard or tasted. Hence it is often ignored. But the best bio-energetic practitioners understand what vital energy comes with which foodstuffs, and how it can be best preserved though the storage and cooking process.

In general, the fresher and more natural the food, the fewer additives and the less processing, transporting, storage and cooking, the higher its bio-energetic value. This is what we should all be aiming for.

©David Lawrence Preston, 15.1.2019

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F.M.Alexander – the orator with no voice

Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor who had made a good living from poetry recitals in the 1890s until he encountered a career-threatening problem: he developed breathing problems and chronic laryngitis, and lost his voice! He went from doctor to doctor, but none could find any physical cause nor any cure.

Since no-one seemed able to help him, he resolved to help himself. He studied anatomy books and surrounded himself with mirrors, carefully observing himself. He discovered that the way he had been been trained to carry his body and project his voice was the very cause of the problem. He was tensing his body as he prepared to speak, dropping his head backwards and pressing his neck into the spine. This constricted the air passages and inhibited his voice box. He noticed that others with voice and breathing problems often did the same.

Alexander was a man with little regard for others’ opinions unless supported by scientific evidence and proven by results. So he experimented on himself. He discovered that eliminating muscle tension in the neck prevents the head from compressing the spine, so the spine is free to lengthen. This frees the windpipe and allows the voice to function properly. Within weeks of starting to apply this to himself, the problems were gone and he was able to resume his profession.

Others began to seek his help, so he applied what he learned and developed a hands-on healing method that allowed all the body’s natural processes to work, thus stimulating its capacity for self-healing.

As his research progressed, he made further discoveries. He noticed that he mind could play tricks on him so he developed methods to increase mindfulness. In essence, the Alexander Technique, as it became known, focuses on attention, thoughts, posture and movement. It centres on:

  • Self-awareness: identifying harmful habits that restrict breathing or result in poor posture.
  • Inhibition: pausing for a moment before acting to interrupt and prevent destructive patterns.
  • Choice: knowing that we have the freedom to choose new responses (i.e. not to follow habitual, conditioned reactions).
  • Primary control (neck, head, spine): positioning the head, neck and spine so that the head is up and slightly forward, allowing the spine to lengthen, releasing tension from the neck and throat.
  • Directions: Oral suggestions, self-administered, which send conscious instructions to parts of the body which he had struggled to control before.
  • Using gravity as a healer; positioning and balancing the body so that gravity can do its work. One example is the semi-supine position: lying on your back with your knees in the air, head resting on several books, arms relaxed at the side. This releases muscle tension and brings the body back into alignment.
  • The whispered ‘ah’: To remove unnecessary effort from using the voice.

Alexander practitioners are known as teachers (not therapists). They explain and demonstrate the technique, and use hands-on methods to bring about change in their clients.

Alexander is best known for his work on movement and posture but he also believed that the mind and body were as one. When we take good care of the body, we fell better mentally, emotionally – and spiritually – too. Many physical problems are caused by our behaviour; people behave according to their way of thinking, so to cure some physical problems means changing our thinking. This is a conscious process which takes effort and determination.

The benefits of the Alexander Technique have been well documented especially for chronic back pain, but in the eyes of the medical establishment he remains a quack. Surgery, they say, backed by drugs, is quicker, cheaper and more permanent, and more in tune with our modern lifestyles. But at what cost? Those of us who believe in natural healing methods must not remain silent!

©David Lawrence Preston, 1.11.2018

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Healing power is in the mind of the patient – the work of Dr P.P. Quimby

I’ve been to many healers in my time, and it seems to me that the techniques they employ say a great deal about the practitioner’s beliefs about what constitutes a human being. This – explicitly or implicitly – is what guides their healing methods. If you think a human body is simply a physical, mechanical thing, as many doctors used to do, you treat it accordingly. If you see it as intelligent, responsive, self-regulating, then your approach is entirely different.

Dr Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a real groundbreaker of healing, was in no doubt. He saw humans as mind, body and spirit, and showed that our healing power comes primarily from within. Nowadays, few people have heard of him and yet his influence is reflected in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and well known writers such as Louise Hay, Dr Wayne Dyer, Dr Bernie Segal, Byron Katie, and many others.

Quimby

Quimby was born on February 16, 1802. A clock-maker by trade, he lived most of his life in Belfast, Maine. New England. Although others called him ‘Doctor’ he had little formal education and no medical training, but he had a practical, enquiring mind and unparalleled determination.

As a young man, he contracted tuberculosis. Doctors couldn’t help, so he decided to help himself. Someone suggested horse-riding as the fresh air would do him good, but he was too weak to ride, so he borrowed a horse and cart. One day the horse refused to pull the cart up a hill, so Quimby got down and walked with the horse. When they got to the top, it suddenly started trotting. As Quimby couldn’t get back on the cart he ran down the hill with the horse, which, strictly speaking, he shouldn’t have been able to due to his illness.

Back home, he realised he was breathing freely. The pain had gone (it never returned) – he had experienced a spontaneous healing. In that moment he dedicated himself to understanding what brought this about. He reasoned that there must be something within that can make us well, of which we’re not normally aware.

First he studied the work of the hypnotist Anton Mesmer, who had quite a reputation in Europe. By 1840, Quimby was an expert hypnotist. He worked with a young man called Lucius who, under hypnosis, could apparently diagnose patients’ illnesses and suggest a cure. Later, Quimby realized that Lucius was tuning in to what the patient believed he had, not what he actually had.  So after his early experiments, he gave up hypnotism and instead focussed on curing disease through the mind, getting his patients to see causes for themselves.His approach was evidence-based and rigorously scientific. He trusted no opinions, only knowledge.

He studied the healing methods described in the New Testament. Quimby did not regard the gospel healings as miracles, but as scientific applications of truth as represented by Universal Law.

Ironically he was vehemently anti-religion. He believed that the Church had irresponsibly abandoned any interest in healing and that his purpose was to resurrect it. He studied the New Testament because he wanted to understand and correct the negative thinking of his patients – especially those who believed that ill health was a punishment for some unpardonable sin.

His healing methods were highly unusual. He sat with his patients until he had a mental impression of the problem and its cause. Often he felt every symptom of the disease in his own body. Then he silently challenged the cause in his own mind, addressing his comments to the spirit within which, he argued, could never be sick. Sometimes barely a word was spoken as Quimby’s thoughts somehow impacted on the patient.

He described the cause of disease in his own words:

‘The trouble is in the mind, for the body is only the house for the mind to dwell in. if your mind has been deceived by some invisible enemy into a belief, you have put it into the form of a disease, with or without your knowledge. By my theory or truth I come in contact with your enemy and restore you to health and happiness.

‘This I do partly mentally and partly by talking till I correct the wrong impressions and establish the truth, and the truth is the cure. . . . A sick man is like a criminal cast into prison for disobeying some law that man has set up. I plead his case, and if I get the verdict, the criminal is set at liberty. If I fail, I lose the case. His own judgment is his judge, his feelings are his evidence. If my explanation is satisfactory to the judge, you will give me the verdict. This ends the trial, and the patient is released.’

His son George (who acted as his secretary) described his father’s method of cure as follows (I paraphrase slightly):

‘A patient comes to see Dr Quimby. He renders himself absent to everything but the impression of the person’s feelings. These are quickly imprinted on him. This mental picture contains the disease as it appears to the patient. Being confident that it is the shadow of a false idea, he is not afraid of it. Then his feelings in regard to health and strength are imprinted on the receptive plate of the patient. The patient sees the disease in a new light, gains confidence. This change is imprinted on the doctor again and he sees the change and continues. The shadow grows dim and finally disappears, the light takes its place, and there is nothing left of the disease.’

Quimby knew that one mind can influence another, and believed that most disease is due to false reasoning. To remove disease permanently, it is necessary to know the error in thinking which caused it. ‘The explanation,’ he said, ‘is the cure’.  Half a century before Freud, he explained that many of the harmful beliefs are located in the unconscious mind and must be brought into consciousness before they can be dealt with.

Quimby healed thousands of people of a wide range of illnesses, most of whom had not responded to conventional treatment. In the end, it was his very success that killed him. He died of over-work and self-neglect on January 16, 1866, having seen over 10,000 patients in his last seven years.

PPQ

Quimby left behind detailed journals, and some of his clients devoted their lives to spreading awareness of his methods. Rev Warren Felt Evans wrote the definitive contemporary account in his book, ‘The Mental Cure’ (1869), but it was not until 1989 that Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: The Complete Writings were published, edited by Dr Ervin Seale, who devoted most of his working life to the task.

Nowadays we have scientific proof that our thoughts and emotions affect our physical health. Placebos illustrate the effectiveness of suggestion as a powerful healer and CBT and NLP have proved their worth in many situations. Perhaps it is also time for Quimby to receive his due credit. If his ideas and methods were investigated anew, who knows how many people could benefit?

© Feeling Good All The Time, 8.10.2018

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The Secrets of Healing

The secrets of healing have long been known but it’s taken science a long time to catch up.

There’s an old story about a group of eminent scientists climbing the mountain of knowledge. They scramble up to the top of a steep slope, only to see an even higher peak in the distance. They climb the next peak, only to see yet another beyond that. They climb that and….. guess what? There’s yet another. Finally, exhausted, they pull themselves over the final rock, only to be greeted by a group of healers and metaphysicians who had been sitting there for centuries!

This analogy was not lost on Einstein. ‘Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place,’ he wrote. ‘It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.’

Every year, while most scientists continue to circle the base of the mountain, some climb a little higher. Enormous advances have been made in the last couple of decades, some of which has yet to reach the general public.

Healing and Consciousness

The healing methods applied in societies throughout history have always been closely related to the consciousness of those societies and its individuals. They have depended on how they saw the nature of the human body and its relationship with the environment in which we live. At some point in history, humans woke up to the fact that they could do something to heal themselves when they were injured or ill, and not merely alleviate discomfort. Previously, like the animals, they would have crawled into a cave or clearing and waited until they felt better before leaving it – or died.

Then at some stage those early humans realised that even death could be postponed by applying certain healing methods. They discovered that certain plants could help and that healing ceremonies and rituals could speed up the process. The earliest healers were shamans; evidence of shamanic healing goes back over fifty thousand years. Shamans studied the relationship between humans and their natural environment. They tried to harness the laws of nature to initiate health and bring about healing.

Around two and a half thousand years ago, healing became more scientific. The Greeks, worshippers of the healthy body and surely one of the most progressive and cultured of all ancient societies, began using a more systematic approach based on observation and reason. They used animal and human dissections to improve their understanding of how the body functions. By New Testament times, Greek doctors already had a good idea of the functions of the main organs and had mapped the circulatory system.

As early Christendom sank into a deep mistrust and contempt for the physical body, the next great era of anatomical research in the West took place when Muslim doctors added to earlier knowledge and explained the workings of the muscles and digestive system. I say ‘in the West’ because on the other side of the world, the Chinese were already far ahead in their healing techniques.

In the Middle Ages and beyond, Western medicine remained largely in the grip of the Greek physician often referred to as the ‘Father of Medicine’, Hippocrates, and his followers. This led to some strange practices. Hippocrates believed that there were four types of fluid in the body, which needed to be in perfect balance if health were to be maintained. So, for example, if you had a fever, you had too much blood and would be subject to leeches and other purging methods to reduce blood levels. The patient would often be so weak afterwards it would take weeks to recover. Bizarre? Yes, but won’t some of our 21st Century medical practices seem equally bizarre in the future?

In the past three hundred years, great strides have been made in the medical field – yet almost every great pioneer in most fields of medicine was ridiculed by the ‘experts’ of their day. Some of the great pioneers were accused of ‘humbug!’ and called ‘quacks’ by their contemporaries.

Today, in the early years of the 21st Century, global medicine is in the group of one particular school of thought, a view of the body perpetrated by those who see humans mainly as thinking machines ruled by our biochemistry. I say ‘global’ because even societies, like China and India, with rich healing traditions of their own, are succumbing to the power of the pharmaceutical mega-businesses that straddle the planet. But the medical/pharmaceutical establishment will one day give way as a new holistic paradigm is rising. They are so worried that they spend huge sums specifically to discredit holistic medicine, discouraging the public from ‘wasting’ their hard-earned money on ‘unproven’ healing systems and techniques. Anything outside the realms of chemicalised, mechanized, industrialised medicine is roundly condemned.

Medical history is like a parade of innovators who were far ahead of their time and dismissed as cranks in their day. Some lived long ago; some are still alive today. To appreciate them requires the willingness to critically all our beliefs about healing. We must forget what we’ve been told about what can be healed, what can’t be healed, who can heal, who can’t heal and how healing takes place.

The healing methods employed in any society say a great deal about its beliefs about what humans are and how we relate to the universe. All too often we go round in circles as we head up the mountain of knowledge. As T.S. Elliot pointed out:

‘We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.’

©David Lawrence Preston, 4.5.2019

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