From The Editor

Fear of CAVM (Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine)

The AVMA wants guidelines for complementary medicine. Because the conventional powers-that-be want guidelines for it. Therefore we the people want guidelines. But do we the people wish to protect ourselves from complementary medicine? No, we wish to protect ourselves from not being able to use complementary medicine.

It's a strange and sad scenario, and hopefully our letters will bring about positive results. It seems to me that the people who are most concerned about 'quackery' are not victims of complementary therapies; they are competitors of it; the people who want scientific proof are not the users of complementary medicine, they are the reprovers of it.

Sure, it would be nice for a holistic practitioner to be able to scientifically prove to potential clients that what they do works and why. Perhaps then even the nay-sayers would benefit from more holistic living. But scientific proof isn't necessary when what a practitioner does proves itself. It has been said that all truth goes through 3 stages - first it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed, then it becomes self-evident.

Complementary people seem to see no urgency about having regulation and scientific verification or proof of effects, safety, etc. Why? Proof of the benefits of what they do has been experienced and/or seen, so why bother to have it scientifically proven in a laboratory? There is no urgency to prove scientifically that it works; it just does, in a gentle and complementary way, and they're thankful for it. Holistic practitioners are not worried about regulation because they don't fear what they do. (What they ARE afraid of is being prevented from using complementary therapies.)

Are conventional people, in contrast, afraid of conventional medicine? Do they live in fear of what they do? There must be an element of fear because they 'need' that scientific proof, for everything, even the harmless therapies. I fear conventional medicine because conventional medicine is down to such a 'science' that one decimal out of place can kill someone. This happened recently to my friend's horse; a mild tranquilizer administered properly by the veterinarian killed the horse. Examination (scientific proof) of the contents of the vial revealed it was highly toxic because it had 8-10 times the strength it was supposed to have.

Just a decimal out of place somewhere, perhaps; a minor mistake; it was just a horse. 'Ooops. We'll do a recall and everything will be ok.' This particular drug is also used in humans. Had this been the death of a human, would it have been publicized? Probably not. The attitude of the pharmaceutical companies is, 'it happens all the time' and 'not every batch can be checked every step of the way in production or product would never get out the door'. No wonder conventional people are so on edge and so untrusting. They live in fear of medicine, no matter what kind. They know no better way. Why do they get so excited about not having scientific proof of safety and efficacy? Perhaps because they have seen so much harm come from drugs and conventional medicine. How could they possibly view it any other way?

Where was that scientific proof when it was needed to insure that the contents in the toxic batch were correct? Pharmaceutical medicines can be pretty much guaranteed to do what they are made to do, whether we want them to or not. If a body tries to rebel, it can't do much to save itself. The medicine does what it is meant to do, no matter what, no matter where, in the body or in the laboratory. Perhaps what conventionals have seen is that the effects of conventional drugs are scary and hazardous, so why wouldn't all medicine be that way? Because they know how harmful their medicine can be, do they assume all medicine is that deadly? If so I can understand their fears. Sure, it can be a little scary to not know why something complementary works, but much more than that I fear the known things about conventional medicine, such as the scientifically proven and documented side effects of drugs, and the statistics of deaths and disease from drugs.

Another thing that is perhaps scary to the conventionals is the body's way of fixing itself. Vomit, abscesses, diarrhea, skin discharges, emotional releases and other bodily functions seem to be evil stuff to them, and something to be stopped. Complementary folk recognize these as the body's attempts to right a wrong or balance an imbalance, and therefore support the body in its attempts.

Complementary medicine, helping the body to heal itself, is a thing of beauty and harmony. Conventional medicine is a different story altogether, one of coercion and manipulation. I will certainly agree that in times of emergency some conventional life-saving techniques are unsurpassed, and that surgeries to replace severed limbs and such are truly a wonder. Accidents and serious injuries do happen every day. But rather than use this for everyday medicine, I believe we would be better off if we focus on good health and illness prevention through proper lifestyle and nutrition.
Good health is the key to preventing and combating illness, and eating right and living right are the keys to good health. It is scandalous that we have been faced with the hazards of processed, irradiated, genetically altered, and otherwise damaged and adulterated foods, especially when there is no way of knowing when we are consuming it. Nothing is pure anymore, but at least by buying organic and supporting CSA's we can be assured of getting as close to pure as possible. How can we heal completely when the environment is sick? We can't.

Naturally there will always be challenges to our health and wellness, and that is nature's way of keeping a species strong. We don't need or want extra man-made challenges. A species can survive on what is provided by the earth, as we have seen from past millennia without pharmaceuticals and GMO's.

With holistic medicine, supportive nutrition, and a lifestyle with true respect for nature, we can all live without fear and do much better for our world and everything on it, and hopefully all work together in bringing back a healthier environment. Nature can help us only as long as we preserve nature.