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  • We are the 100%

    We are the cells of the body that shat on the world. It is not the mind’s fault for letting the sphincter open because the rectum said it was full. It’s not the rectum’s fault for filling when the upper gut got hasty. It’s not the upper gut’s fault for getting hasty when the mouth swallowed unpleasantries, it’s not the mouth’s… and on and on. We are all responsible. We are one sick Global Body.

    World Sick

    Poor world doesn't like being shat on.

    Some people are still in denial about the sickness. When our body is sick for long enough, we begin to believe that sickness is a part of life. It’s normal. There’s nothing to fix. Discomfort? Numbness? Anxiety? These just happen. Nothing you can do.

    Some people have reached the point where the sickness has made life unbearable. They have to do something about it because the alternative is unacceptable. They cannot carry on. The symptoms are just too awful. These people may still remember what healthy was like.

    The symptoms of our sickness manifest in our culture: behavior patterns, institutions, beliefs, and systems. From where I’m sitting (Probably the ball sac region. Yes, our Body is a man.) our culture is symptomatic of disease in the following ways:

    • Healthcare and prosperity are supplanted by sick care and war profiteering.
    • Aspiring thought leaders master the arts of manipulation not the arts of reason.
    • Emotions are milked for influence on massive group-think scales.
    • Rationality is losing a bitter feud with instant gratification, laziness, and faith.
    • The strong manipulate the weak while creating such a cluster-fuck that no one knows who is which.
    • Food is poison, medicine is quackery, and experts who we rely on to know the difference get paid not to.
    • Ignorance is taught and embraced.
    • Education is valued less than sports and soldiering.
    • Scrutiny is veiled acquiescence.
    • Truth seekers are marginalized as annoying conspiracy theorists.
    • The few who question are much too few.
    • Those who do threaten those who trade.
    • Systems that fail are enshrined while systems that succeed are crushed.
    • Spirituality is replaced by religion.
    • Control is woven into our education through fear, monotony, and camaraderie.
    • Freedom is defined as allegiance to the system.
    • Terrorism is invented because we ran out of enemies.
    • Wealth is created through scale not value.
    • Politics is pointing a finger to another side of the circle.
    • Distraction is profitable and enjoyable.
    • Consuming is encouraged and addictive.
    • Beauty is branded and bought.

    Since these are all symptoms, addressing any one does what cold medicine does for a cold: gets you high so you can go on ignoring your body while it fights the sickness alone. If you really wanted to help your body get well, you would eat more of the things your body needs to fight the virus and avoid anything that might distract it from doing so. In other words, aid the body don’t just suppress the symptoms. It still amazes me how few people I know understand and/or believe this.

    Most people today think about sickness like this, “well, we see here that this mechanism is breaking down. Maybe if we take a drug that alters the mechanism or adds a new one, we’ll be stronger and healthier.” This is a reductionist approach: drilling down to one mechanism of the body, studying how it works, learning how to manipulate it, and then unleashing that change to the entire body. It’s arrogant, reckless, and ineffective. We usually end up creating more problems than we had to begin with. But don’t worry, there’s a drug for that… and there’s a drug for that… This is sickcare.

    A much smaller but growing group of people think about sickness like this, “well, why is this person’s immune system not helping them? Other people have effectively fought this sort of illness. Why can’t this person?” This is a holistic approach: study all the things that go into and out of our bodies, study all the mechanisms between these inputs and outputs, and figure out how to modify the inputs to support the mechanisms so the outputs look more like a healthy person’s. It respects that our body is an incredibly complex parallel matrix of mechanisms, and that we can’t introduce a new mechanism and know the consequences. The best we can do is try to get out of the way of the body’s natural mechanisms. Give them support, keep them away from harm. This is healthcare.

    Now apply these same two opposing perspectives on health to the Global Body.

    We’ve taken lots of drugs. We’ve added new mechanisms and changed old ones. We’ve done this for so long that we can’t remember what life was like naturally. What was our Body when we were healthy? What were our natural mechanisms, evolved over hundreds of thousands of years, that we have nearly destroyed and forgotten?

    The mechanisms of the Global Body can be divided into two groups: intracellular and extracellular. Or what the individual does internally, and how that individually interacts with other individuals.

    This is individual health–health for the mind, body, and soul. Everything we do is affected by our internal health. People don’t create terrible systems intentionally. People ARE terrible and they create their BEST. Unless you are healthy first, nothing you do will help heal the Global Body. Start here.

    There’s so much to study about this topic it can make your head spin. Every week a new theory comes out about health. But our bodies haven’t really changed all that much in thousands of years. So, to keep it simple, I stick with the 5 point strategy for health. Do these five things daily, and you’ll be healthy:

    1. Sleep well
    2. Eat well
    3. Exercise/stretch well
    4. Meditate well
    5. Avoid/purge toxins

    If you get this strategy nailed, your tactics will become obvious over time… and chances are they will be entirely different for you than any one else. And you can write a book about it and make millions. ;)

    This is how we treat each other. What signals are we transmitting back and forth? What are our belief systems? How do we educate? How do we value? How do we incentivize? How do we collaborate?

    Again this is a topic of endless debate. Separating the quick-fixes from the evolved mechanisms here is difficult because society has changed so rapidly in recent history. So, I use two simple questions to distinguish them:

    1. Is this signal coming from love?
    2. Or is this signal coming from fear?

    If you can’t tell the difference, focus more on Intracellular health. If you can tell the difference, acting only in case 1 and not reacting to case 2 will do wonders to heal the Global Body. Love is the nutrition, fear is the poison.

    That’s it. That’s the only way the Global Body can achieve health. There is no magic pill that will get us out of this one. This will require a lot of work, deep introspection, and serious will power.

    100% of us are responsible for the health of the Global Body. A much smaller percentage has achieved health on the Intracellular level. And an even smaller percentage consistently distinguishes nutrition from poison on the Extracellular level. Most of us seem to be on the fast track to becoming a cancer cell and/or inflicting cancer on another.

    So as we tear the world down for failing us, keep in mind that we built it. And unless we reprogram ourselves, one person at a time, we are just going to build another monster on top of the rubble.

    Web conversations and mainstream medicine

    The company I work for, Metametrix Clinical Laboratory, is on the leading edge of research in etiologically-focused medicine. We develop tests that help identify the root cause of chronic illnesses, an area of medicine known as functional medicine. This approach to patient care, while not widely accepted or endorsed in large part by the mainstream medical establishment (or their drug company financiers), is fundamentally obvious and intuitive when taken at face value. Consider this analogy: when your car engine light comes on, do you try and figure out why the light is on and fix the problem, or do you simply try and turn the light off- ignoring the cause? It is deeply depressing to me that many people do not view most drugs as such: a mechanism for turning off the warning signs.

    Why do such few people know about functional medicine? Why is our industry only a very small niche of the largest industry in the world: health care? Why don’t more medical establishments teach and promote the constantly developing science that supports etiological medicine? Why are we killing ourselves with over prescribed drugs and ignorance of nutritional and environmental influences?

    Health care is divided into two categories: disease management, and disease causality. Disease management focuses on applying a canned ‘diagnosis’ and prescribing a treatment that mitigates the signs and symptoms of the disease. Whereas disease causality focuses on identifying the underlying cause of the disease and applying treatment at that level. Symptom-relief vs. Disease-relief.

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of medicine focuses on disease management. Why? Well, disease causality is infinitely more difficult to identify, it’s not a very good business model- consumers overwhelmingly prefer fast-food medicine, and… people just don’t know about the alternatives.

    But truth will prevail. A paradigm shift is on the horizon- supported by the scientific community, growing numbers of doctors and clinicians fed up with the fast-food medicine, and the alarmingly high rate of chronically ill patients discovering that the fast-food approach to medicine is not only inadequate but has actually contributed to their deteriorating health.

    Read one doctor’s take on this Transition in Clinical Medicine.

    All of us at Metametrix feel the often overwhelming potential that exists in this new paradigm of medicine. We’re nervous and excited and hopeful. The research we are a part of can not only save peoples lives but can vastly improve the quality of life on this planet. As we strive to fully understand the extraordinary complexity of the body and perfect our methods of measuring the body’s metabolic, genetic, and cellular function, we continually move towards complete solutions to disease. This is the future of medical science and health care.

    Right now mainstream medicine is stuck on the idea that we can artificially make super humans- just take this drug and you won’t need your mitochondria to function all that well. Just take some amphetamines and you’ll be able to concentrate unnaturally well. Problems with sleep? Here’s some downers, you’ll sleep like a log.

    Why not concentrate our efforts on helping the body function the way it has evolved to function, instead of making it function the way that’s convenient for us right now? Sure we have done remarkable things and saved many lives with advances in drugs. But drugs should be relegated to the domain of emergency care. Use them if you have to, but don’t delude yourselves that there’s a drug fix for every problem.

    However, for certain powerful interests that is a very hard pill to swallow. Drug companies want you to think that they’ve got all the answers. For any problem, just ask your doctor about pill xyz and you’ll be back to ‘normal.’ It’s sick, really. These people are killing us, and they know it. Where large sums of money are involved, ethics fly right out the window. They come up with half-baked studies that ‘prove’ thesafety and effectiveness of a drug then bribe, coerce, or cajole the powers that could prevent the product’s launch. And when they finally have a stamp of approval from the FDA, they choke one-way media with adverts so thoroughly that you can’t watch and not agree.

    But there is hope. The world is changing in more ways than one. The rise of the Internet and the explosive growth of the web offer new possibilities for truth to prevail. As the old marketing principles born in the era of industrialization slowly fade to irrelevance, the new media of the collective web is supplanting it at a rapid pace. We now live in a world where an idea can spread like wildfire, even if the idea hurts powerful financial interests. Practically every human can have a voice- and any voice will carry just as far as we need it to. Humanity yearns for truth and growth and survival, and the more we learn to give humanity a voice the more we will see what our society truly needs.

    As individuals we understand our limits- we cannot be experts at everything, so we rely on others for help. This fundamental characteristic of humanity is largely responsible for our species survival. And as our numbers grew we invented ways of disseminating to the masses the information from the experts. We discovered print media, radio, and tv. And we continued to thrive and grow into ‘developed’ nations of individuals. But the only way this growth was possible was through a top-down hierarchy, where a few powerful individuals decided what the majority needed to know. This is still largely how we operate.

    But the web is starting to change all of that. The web is a decentralized network of individuals. There is no one power that decides what is important and what is not. We all do. We no longer have to sit passively and accept what the establishment deems important enough to occupy a time-slice on tv, or a section on the front page of the newspaper. We actively seek our sources of information- we search. And by choosing our sources, we impact their visibility, and effectively delineate useful information from garbage. There has never been a medium of communication and information dissemination that rewards quality, relevance, and importance as much as the web does.

    This is why I believe the web is our strongest ally in this battle against fast-food medicine. Here we have a voice, and here all the voices of the hopeless chronically ill, discouraged doctors, and forward thinking practitioners can come together and converse. And maybe we’ll discover that the paradigm shift is well underway.

    Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.