I read an interesting article before I wrote this column that called into question whether drugs is the only solution for helping people to heal. The author postulated that the Big Pharma companies which comprise 10 of the top 500 wealthiest companies in America are using drugs to prevent people and health care from exploring alternative healing methods or holistic approaches to medicine. The article points out that drug companies spend more marketing their magic pills than they do in research and development. In addition, they call attention to the fact that the top 10 drug companies make more collectively than all of the other 490 companies with whom they share the Forbes 500.

You read that correctly. Ten pharmaceutical companies make more than 490 companies spread across all other industries. That's incredible to me.

I'm not a hermit and I believe that everyone needs to make their own decisions, but I try to avoid taking any more medicine than I'm required to take and even those drugs, a blood pressure and thyroid pill make me uneasy sometimes. There are some things I avoid. I will not take flu shots. Many people swear by them, yet I know many people who also are sick with something every winter after having a flu shot. They are happy it is not the flu or as severe as it, but they are still ill.

Here are my reasons for not taking one and they are strictly my point of view. First, in the 42 years I've been here, I can recall two occasions when I had the flu. Once in 1993 and once around 1979 or 1980. It's not that I avoid people. In fact most of the time, I'm around lots of people well and sick, but I think logically I do not catch the flu as often simply because I have not allowed the germs to be injected in my body to build immunity to them. I will avoid doing this as long as I possibly can, and I'm not recommending this to anyone else, but this is simply why I do not get the shots.

The second reason is that the flu shot is not a guarantee to avoid the flu. In fact in light of recent non-pandemics over the past few years, flu shots to me seem more a revenue cash cow for pharmaceutical companies instead of the necessity they claim them to be. Why? It should be understood that the flu shot is an immunization against a few strains of flu that some scientists or researchers guess will be spreading to the United States each winter. If they guess correctly the flu shot works. If they guess wrong, then not only are you exposed to more varieties of flu, but you can still catch the one that will make you sick as well.

Do not misunderstand me. The flu can be deadly to young people and the elderly or immune compromised persons. They should be immunized and take those precautions. It's normally healthy people whose urge to get a flu shot every year I would like to stop and question whether it is always necessary. I just think that we need to stop and ask ourselves if what we are told by the media and by drug companies is necessarily always the case.

In a related vein, I remember in school being taught that if the solution to a health issue wasn't western medicine than it was quackery as medicine is based in science. This article also mentioned that if medicine was such a science than why does the placebo effect appear to work in far more cases and with far more illnesses than one would expect?

The Chinese have practiced medicine for thousands of years and even to the present many of their doctors believe that we should be healed as a whole person and not treat the symptoms. They believe that they need to treat the energy blockages in our body the prevent the flow of energy and cause disease. In a way it makes sense simply because our bodies in essence are a physical manifestation of energy. Deep down at the atomic level we are energy and all matter is energy as well.

In addition to that, I have read articles about the true power of natural vitamins and minerals and how they can keep us healthy and improve the quality of life and our longevity. Most doctors won't consider this approach but what I read was logical. In essence, the authors propose that our bodies are made of cells which are constantly regenerating and dying over the course of our life. If I recall correctly, our bodies are completely new every six months.

The aging process and disease comes from the imperfection of replication. Cells begin to malfunction and they create disease. The malfunction either occurs due to damage but much more common, the malfunctioning occurs due to the lack of materials needed to properly reproduce. In our case, the vitamins and minerals we need for survival. The author points to our lack of healthy diet especially compared to other countries as a major cause for this imbalance. Perhaps, we all need to return to the basics again. It might just save our lives.

What do you think?

Til next time …