Do you beleive in germ theory? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 07-16-2010, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why or why not?

I'm facing a major health problem and need to figure out which way I want to go. Hit it hard with major drugs that will be rough on my body or work in other ways to help my body get healthy and deal with it that way.

I honestly don't know what to do and am looking for some ideas from open minded people. So if you have looked at both sides and decided germ theory is right or wrong, why?

Thanks

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#2 of 25 Old 07-16-2010, 10:25 PM
 
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Yes, I believe in germ theory. There's a whole lot of research behind it. Not "believing" in it is like insisting the earth is flat in spite of a lot of evidence to contrary.

But I also believe there are many other factors that influence wellness and sickness.

I'd do both.
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#3 of 25 Old 07-16-2010, 10:34 PM
 
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My opinion is still out on that one. I do feel that pathogens are a causitive factor in disease, however, I also believe that the individuals immune strength is also a major causitive factor. The germ theory does not take the individual into consideration. But, I have to disagree with something Bellingham said. It's a THEORY which by definition means it is not fact. The earth is round by conclusive evidence. (semantics, I know!)
Now, I do agree with her in that whether or not the germ theory is right, if I have a major medical condition, I'm going to attack it from every angle possible....Including medicine, supplements, acupuncture and chiropractic, massage, meditation, or whatever else I can think of.
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#4 of 25 Old 07-16-2010, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Germ Theory isn't proven fact it is just accepted as fact by most western Dr's. Like the earth being flat was accepted as fact for a very long time. No matter how many smart people beleived it, it still wasn't true.

I'm personally on the fence about germ theory and am having to now make a choice. I would like to hear some arguments for one side or the other from people how have seriously considered both sides, not condescending retoric about why the question shouldn't be asked.

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#5 of 25 Old 07-16-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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Yes, I believe in germ theory. I work in a microbiology lab at a hospital. Bacteria and viri causes illness. I also believe over use of anti-biotics can wipe out your good bacteria and cause problems.

Can you give more information on your illness and what you are looking for?

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#6 of 25 Old 07-16-2010, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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aturnbg- have you ever considered that it isn't true? Have you looked into it truly or have you accepted it as fact.

We all know that what happens in a pitre dish isn't always what happens in a body. We also know that not everyone exposed to a disease will get ill from it. Why not? If the Germ theory is true then everyone exposed will get ill, right? Also why do homeopathics work? (and I have had them work amazingly well and quickly in my own body) In fact I had bells pasly 2 weeks ago. Took the right homeopathic and went to bed. The next morning it was nearly gone. I forgot and drank some coffee (coffee antidotes homeopathic remedies) Within a few sips the numbness was back in my face. I took the remedy again later that day and again the palsy faded away. If it was caused by a viral infection of my facial nerve why did that work?

And then there is the aspect of it that has no respect for the beneficial bacteria and parasited in and on our body. Not exactly germ theory but hand in hand. The idea of killing the bad bugs at any cost is the goal and road to health.

I started another thread about my specific illness. I want this to be about germ theory. I'm trying to sort it all out. (I too took it for granted for most of my life and only have begun to question it in the past few years.)

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#7 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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Yes, I believe in germ theory. I know - it's just a theory, but lots of scientific things are "just theories." Gravity is just a theory. Atomic particles are just a theory. We use these theories because they help us to accurately predict events. In the case of germ theory, it also helps that we can see microorganisms under a microscope.

Germ theory does not require that everyone exposed to a germ will become ill in order to be true. Some people will be immune (because of heredity, prior exposure, superior nutrition, or dumb luck). Germ theory does not require that all microorganisms make us ill. Germ theory also does not require that all illness arise from microorganisms. Some illness results from injury, heredity, nutritional or metabolic deficiencies, cellular mutation, exposure to toxic substances, or from other causes.

Whether or not homeopathics work has NOTHING to do with whether or not microorganisms can make us ill. The Bell's Palsy example is particularly irrelevant because true Bell's Palsy is not caused by viruses or other microorganisms, but by nerve inflammations. The conventional medical treatment for BP is corticosteroids to resolve inflammation. Most cases of Bell's Palsy resolve within 10 days, including many untreated cases. Further, you may have seen the results you did because of a simple placebo effect.
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#8 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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But what caused the inflamation of my facial nerve? Everything I read blamed a virus or (less likely) bacteria. I would have said placebo effect too but the fact that drinking the coffee and bringing it back was what reminded me that coffee was a no-no (and confirmed it for me, one practitioner I am seeing said it doesn't so I was skeptical). I also took a steriod and kinda figured the steriod had worked till I drank the coffee.

So do you get sick because you are exposed to a germ or because your body isn't healthy enough to fight it off? Getting well, does that require killing the germ or getting the body back into balance?

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#9 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 01:15 AM
 
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I don't think that "believing in germ theory" is really counter to any of the things you mentioned in your OP. Do certain pathogens cause certain illnesses in certain cases? Yes. Is our immune system sometimes able to deal with those pathogens on its own? Yes. It is sometimes able to deal with those pathogens with the help of homeopathic remedies? Yes. Is it sometimes unable to deal with those pathogens? Yes. This is where antibiotics and Western medicine come in.

You don't get malaria, for example, without being exposed to malaria pathogen. Same is true for HIV, Strep throat, a retrovirus, the Plague. That part is... well, if not incontrovertible, pretty darn close. Yes, it's true that some people's bodies respond differently to different pathogens, and that different things we do/don't do may influence that. In that sense, I STRONGLY agree with you. But none of those facts stand in contast to "germ theory."

I, for example, seem to be fairly resistant to many nasty gastrointestinal bugs, but more suceptible than most to Strep throat. Why? I have my own personal guesses, some of which probably fall into line with what you're saying/thinking, but none of them deny the fact that, without "germs" (bacteria and viruses), these specific illnesses wouldn't be issues.

As to the beneficial bacteria... nothing I've read denies they exist. Now, how Western medicine DEALS with the knowledge of pathogens and their role in creating illness may (does in many cases) completely ignore the issues caused by carpet-bombing with antibiotict. Group B strep in childbirth is a good example of this. So yes, you have a valid point there. But... that's not germ theory. It's what we do with the knowledge derived from germ theory.

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#10 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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But what caused the inflamation of my facial nerve?
Bell's Palsy is an idiopathic condition. "Idiopathic" is fancy words for "we have no idea what's going on." We don't always know why things happen.

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I would have said placebo effect too but the fact that drinking the coffee and bringing it back was what reminded me that coffee was a no-no
This is pretty classic placebo effect you're describing.

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So do you get sick because you are exposed to a germ or because your body isn't healthy enough to fight it off? Getting well, does that require killing the germ or getting the body back into balance?
It depends on the illness (not all illnesses are caused by microorganisms, illnesses do not all operate the same way, some illnesses have more lasting effects than others, and none of your suggestions are mutually exclusive.)
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#11 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good point about not getting malaria w/o being exposed to that pathogen. But do you get sick because of that pathogen or because of your body? Is the answer to kill the pathogen or strengthen the body?

In my OP I was assuming germ theory meant that diseases are necessarilly caused by exposure to a pathogen and the way to avoid those diseases is to avoid exposure to the pathogen or kill it off in some way. I have done a bit more looking since I posted that and see that it has a narrower def than I though it had (and than is commonly used).

Not sure what to call it now. The idea that it is the germ that is the primary cause of illness and must be slain or that the body not being in balance is the primary cause of illness and must be healed and no matter what it comes in contact with it was going to be ill in one way or another. I think that most have one of those that they fall back on as their primary belief. That is what I am trying to discuss.

And now I'm going to bed but I hope to hear more ideas tomorrow. (stupid muddled brain is part of what I'm dealing with and that makes it hard to figure out what to do!)

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#12 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So if I felt better overnight from taking a steroid that would be the medicine working but felling better from a homeopathic is the placebo effect. Can't all singular instances of medication "working" be dismissed as placebo effect with that reasoning?

Isn't inflamation caused by something even if you don't know what?

I understand that all illnesses aren't caused by a germ (nice short word to convey my meaning). The one I'm facing however supposedly is. I'm trying to figure out if I am sick because my body is out of balance and I need to correct that or if it is a germ that needs to be attacked with drugs. I've encountered lots of strong arguments for both sides so now I'm trying to figure out what is reasonable. I certainly have learned enough to know that smart people can be wrong, even lots of smart people together.

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Bell's Palsy is an idiopathic condition. "Idiopathic" is fancy words for "we have no idea what's going on." We don't always know why things happen.



This is pretty classic placebo effect you're describing.



It depends on the illness (not all illnesses are caused by microorganisms, illnesses do not all operate the same way, some illnesses have more lasting effects than others, and none of your suggestions are mutually exclusive.)

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#13 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 02:09 AM
 
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Such great responses here! I believe 100 percent in germ theory...and the fact that there are many factors that prevent/cause disease. Like...it turns out that adequate vitamin D protects us from the flu. The flu virus causes illness. That is how that organism survives. Adequate vitamin D helps our body fight/resist that organism. The fact that vitamin D status determines who gets the flu, doesn't mean that flu virus doesn't cause the flu...

A lot of my family members and I are extremely resistant to bacterial infections. There are a bunch of us who have never had strep throat or an ear infection ever. My son had a severely compromised immune system (we had to quarantine him for a year) and went 2.5 years without an infection (well, once he was out of the NICU) even though he was partly formula fed and I along with many of my family members were formula fed. I have had many freak viruses, one of which (hand, foot mouth disease I believe) sent me to the hospital for IV fluids and morphine when I was 17. I have gotten hit hard with the flu many times. Purely anecdotal and worthless, but I really believe my body fights bacteria easily and viruses not so well. Doesn't mean bacteria don't cause disease.

There is so much modern medicine does not know/understand/integrate regarding health and healing. That in no way negates what IS known. My son almost died of sepsis in the NICU...they gave him the indicated broad-spectrum antibiotic along with all the drugs to keep his kidneys working, etc. He got worse until the cultures came back and showed he was infected with a bacteria that does not respond to the first-line antibiotic. Once he got on the appropriate antibiotic he turned around and recovered. A lot of babies like him get the appropriate antibiotic right away and still succumb. The NICU docs don't know why, but they certainly know that there is more to life and death in the NICU than identifying the "germ" and applying the specific "germ killer"

I am struggling with this very issue. I am plagued by a very resistant thrush/nipple yeast situation. I have tried the more "natural" methods (no sugar candida diet, high doses of GSE, clay, probiotics) with a lot of success, but not enough relief....but I just started Diflucan today. It's terribly hard on the liver and I would like to avoid it I am not willing to live in pain if modern medicine could possibly help. But I battled the yeast for two years before giving in to meds. If the Diflucan works I may be really bummed that I lived like this for so long...

"Good Calories, Bad Calories" has something interesting to say about scurvy...we all know that scurvy is caused by too little vitamin C. A diet very high in carbohydrates and low in other nutrients increases the body's need for vitamin C, therefore causing the deficiency. So, it was determined that increasing vitamin C "cured" the scurvy. A diet higher in fats and proteins would have done the same thing, but was never considered or discovered because another, simpler, "cure" was found first. The author explains how this was one way in which modern medicine went down it's current path. Way too complicated for me to explain well, and not directly related to your question, but sooo fascinating! Modern medicine isn't all wrong, just incomplete...

It isn't and either/or thing. Antibiotics are way overused, we are wise to use them only if absolutely needed. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this
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#14 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 02:24 AM
 
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How much time have you spent trying to "balance" your body to help fight this germ? What are the risks (according to modern/Western medicine) of waiting to treat this illness? What are the risks of conventional treatment? Is it truly either/or? Have you gotten worse by trying only the body balancing method?

What is the success rate of the medical treatment? Is this common illness?
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#15 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 02:29 AM
 
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So if I felt better overnight from taking a steroid that would be the medicine working but felling better from a homeopathic is the placebo effect. Can't all singular instances of medication "working" be dismissed as placebo effect with that reasoning?

Isn't inflamation caused by something even if you don't know what?

I understand that all illnesses aren't caused by a germ (nice short word to convey my meaning). The one I'm facing however supposedly is. I'm trying to figure out if I am sick because my body is out of balance and I need to correct that or if it is a germ that needs to be attacked with drugs. I've encountered lots of strong arguments for both sides so now I'm trying to figure out what is reasonable. I certainly have learned enough to know that smart people can be wrong, even lots of smart people together.
Yes, all singular incidences of medication working could potentially be dismissed as placebo effect. I don't think that would be accurate, but you could do it. You could also have smeared yourself with plain old vaseline, believing it to be a steroid cream (or believing some very unusual things about vaseline), and experienced the benefits of the steroid. Or the steroid cream could be the instrument of the placebo effect.

And yes, inflammation is always caused by *something*. I have never claimed otherwise, I have simply pointed out that the cause was unknown.

I think that you are oversimplifying and asking the wrong question. For example, I don't think you need to figure out whether you're sick because you're body is out of balance or because there's a germ that needs to be attacked by drugs. You're sick. You're body is out of balance. And if appropriate testing indicates that your disease is germ-caused, then you also should consider attacking the germ. Both things can be true, both approaches can be valuable, you do not have to choose between them.
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#16 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 09:38 AM
 
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But do you get sick because of that pathogen or because of your body? Is the answer to kill the pathogen or strengthen the body?
Sometimes one... sometimes the other... sometimes both... and sometimes neither work. Western medicine sits on one end of the spectrum. I'm probably somewhere in the middle. There are some things that are bodies can deal with if left to their own devices, and there are some that are just too much. And again, there is middle ground. There was a TAO thread a while back titled "how many times would you have died?" or something like that. The question was, basically, before the advent of modern medicine, how many times would you have died. I (and if I remember correctly, a lot of other people) couldn't say for sure, because we had all contracted illnesses (in my case, Scarlet Fever), that aren't 100% lethal, but given the right circumstances, can kill a person or leave them with serious after-effects.

So... I don't know. And I think a lot of health professionals don't really know, either, hence them erring on the side of "nuke it with antibiotics."

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#17 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I'm trying to figure out if I am sick because my body is out of balance and I need to correct that or if it is a germ that needs to be attacked with drugs.
Reminds me of the kale in my garden. Some of it is infested with aphids. I know that this means the plant is weak, either genetically, or because it is not getting what it needs (sun, water, nutrients, etc).

I will definitely give it what it needs to the degree that I can figure that out. But the infestation is so great that even if its environment suddenly became perfect, it would still struggle to clear the infestation.

So I think you should do both.

If it was my body, in reality it comes down to how much pain I'm willing to tolerate, truly. If there's not much pain, I'd give "natural" methods more time to work. If I'm really uncomfortable, I'm going to go at it from all sides, lol. Probably not the most scientific way to figure out what to do.
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#18 of 25 Old 07-17-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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the answer (for me) lies somewhere in between. I believe that the stronger and more well equipped we are the less we are affected by pathogens.

I believe in pathogens. They do, of course, exist. This is why when people get things like chicken pox, measles, mumps etc. they are easily identifiable. Your body doesn't just "go out of balance" it follows the picture of the disease.

I don't believe that being exposed to those pathogens automatically means we'll get sick. I don't keep my kids away from sick kids, or fret if they're present because I don't believe that just because they're exposed they'll come down with it.

For what you are experiencing there is a bacteria. It's present (assuming you have a positive test result-not that that makes it so, but you get what I'm saying) and is creating damage in your body. Your body is either suffering from it or it's not. If it is, my course of action would depend on whether it was an acute situation, or an acute manifestation of a chronic situation.

You can bolster your reserves and give your body the tools to overcome it. You can go in and fight it. You can do a combination of the two. There are several factors here so its not a black and white answer, unfortunately and no one single path. Sorry to have not shed any light on the subject!
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#19 of 25 Old 07-18-2010, 04:50 AM
 
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The one I'm facing however supposedly is. I'm trying to figure out if I am sick because my body is out of balance and I need to correct that or if it is a germ that needs to be attacked with drugs.
the shamans in native american culture esp. in navajo and medical doctors have joined hands and attended classes together. and they treat together. modern medicine to treat the immediate symptoms. traditional medicine to cure. a lot of modern medicine (i am talking generally here as i dont know about your condition) really only treats the symptoms and doesnt provide cure.

it isnt a question of either or. it is a question of mutually acting together.

it is also a question of going deep within yourself and finding out the answer yourself.

reading and research is not going to help you there. the true answer can only be found inside you.

me - myself i am not going to throw away thousands of years old tradition for something we have known about for just the last few hundred years, neither as i going to throw away the new just coz its new.

ultimately the most powerful healer is your brain. belief is it - the reason why placebos work so well.

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#20 of 25 Old 07-19-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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But what caused the inflamation of my facial nerve? Everything I read blamed a virus or (less likely) bacteria. I would have said placebo effect too but the fact that drinking the coffee and bringing it back was what reminded me that coffee was a no-no (and confirmed it for me, one practitioner I am seeing said it doesn't so I was skeptical). I also took a steriod and kinda figured the steriod had worked till I drank the coffee.

So do you get sick because you are exposed to a germ or because your body isn't healthy enough to fight it off? Getting well, does that require killing the germ or getting the body back into balance?
My son's Bell's Palsy was caused by Lyme. Within 24 hours of his first dose of IV antibiotics, he was able to blink again, and by the time we saw the neurologist for a double-check on him later that week, the neurologist was hard-pressed to see the original symptoms, which were severe.

But while we went with a hard-core course of medical treatment, I also gave him B-vitamins and some Chinese herbs that a friend of mine who is an alternative practitioner brought over. I made sure he got enough sleep and good food and vitamins to help his body fight off the bugs and be strong enough to resist them when he stopped the antibiotics. We did multiple types of probiotics during and after the IV treatments to protect and rebuild his gut bacteria.

Why did my son get sick? He was exposed to germs. Why doesn't everyone bitten by a Lyme tick get sick? Some ticks don't backwash enough germs. Other people can fight it off. My family has a long history of allergies and immune issues (no, don't tell me it's vaccines -- I have family records of generations of people who lived unvaccinated lives drinking raw milk on family farms and still had asthma, "hay fever," "rose fever" and other allergies). His antibody screen showed an interesting partial response. Clearly, there is a genetic factor at work, and I like to think that the fact that he's otherwise a very healthy kid probably helped him fight it off as fast as he did.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#21 of 25 Old 07-21-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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The constant and significant illness of yourself and children is very worrying I agree. You seem open to alternatives though and I wonder if you would look at something a little more 'out there' like rebirthing for any or all of you? It seems crazy but may be a way to start again in effect?
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#22 of 25 Old 07-21-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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I don't believe in Germ Theory. I believe in Cellular Theory/Pleomorphic Theory, based on Bechamp's research. Pasteur admitted on his deathbed that his Germ Theory was wrong: "Bernard acail raison; le terrain c’est tout, le germe c’est rien.” Bacteria and viruses tend to be “environment-specific” meaning its the condition of the body (low resistance, weak immune system, etc.) that will allow the bacteria or virus to develop illness in the person. The illness will only happen when there is that weak bodily imbalance that actually causes the germ or bacteria to take over the body. Bacteria and viruses alone do not cause disease. Hume wrote a book called Bechamp or Pasteur? which explains this. Lots of good information that explains this here too: http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/antib...ntibiotic-Age/

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#23 of 25 Old 07-21-2010, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for all the responces.

bits and bobs- we have done some rebirthing type work and seen some improvement with it but it clearly wasn't the whole picture for us. (traumatic birth for #1)

It isn't a condition that is cut and dried. That is part of my problem. If I felt confident that the medicine would cure the disease in nearly every case and not cause additional issues the decision would be easier. That isn't the case. It cures some, makes some worse, and does nothing much for others. The medicine has it's own ramifications as far as long term health goes as well.

I have been trying to balance my body for a long time but just recently did this new dx come to light. Also perhaps I have not been extreme enough in my approach. Perhaps I'm not able to be extreme enough. All things I am wrestling with.

Off to read MyLilPwny's link

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#24 of 25 Old 07-21-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MyLilPwny View Post
I don't believe in Germ Theory. I believe in Cellular Theory/Pleomorphic Theory, based on Bechamp's research. Pasteur admitted on his deathbed that his Germ Theory was wrong: "Bernard acail raison; le terrain c’est tout, le germe c’est rien.”
Whereupon time ceased. I'm always puzzled as to why this canard gets trotted out in the first place. Even if it were true (when anyone bothers to provide a citation, it's usually fourth-hand by way of Marie Nonclercq, who is claimed to have found it in De Claude Bernard a d'Arsonval by Léon Delhoume, but which passage never seems to properly turn up; the biography by René Vallery-Radot, who was more likely than any of the foregoing to have been there, omits this shocking revelation), what difference would it make?
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#25 of 25 Old 07-21-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
Yes, I believe in germ theory. I know - it's just a theory, but lots of scientific things are "just theories." Gravity is just a theory. Atomic particles are just a theory. We use these theories because they help us to accurately predict events. In the case of germ theory, it also helps that we can see microorganisms under a microscope.

Germ theory does not require that everyone exposed to a germ will become ill in order to be true. Some people will be immune (because of heredity, prior exposure, superior nutrition, or dumb luck). Germ theory does not require that all microorganisms make us ill. Germ theory also does not require that all illness arise from microorganisms. Some illness results from injury, heredity, nutritional or metabolic deficiencies, cellular mutation, exposure to toxic substances, or from other causes.

Whether or not homeopathics work has NOTHING to do with whether or not microorganisms can make us ill. The Bell's Palsy example is particularly irrelevant because true Bell's Palsy is not caused by viruses or other microorganisms, but by nerve inflammations. The conventional medical treatment for BP is corticosteroids to resolve inflammation. Most cases of Bell's Palsy resolve within 10 days, including many untreated cases. Further, you may have seen the results you did because of a simple placebo effect.
Well put and concise. Thank you. This is my opinion as well.
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