The following is the very reason for the existence of this blog.  I encountered the subject in my practice some time ago.  It appears as fiction or as a possible manifestation of a mental illness, but it indeed happened and is real in the sense that it occurred in the real world as we physically experience it, not in the realm of the imaginary.  I have not come across any similar cases except for some similarity to the arising Morgellon’s disease, Restless leg syndrome, or ringworm infections.  The common diagnosis by mainstream medicine seems to be “delusional parasitosis”.

The subject had travelled to Brazil where after living there for some time ate some meat after which he became ill.  He had immediate diarrhea and his leg began to twitch quite a bit.  Eventually he was a diagnosed with a bacterial infection which was cured through the use of various pharmaceutical drugs (many), but the twitching continued and spread throughout his body into the various muscle groups.  They continued to worsen over the course of years till they were present everywhere in his body.  No obvious etiology was found and tests for neurological diseases also turned up negative.  After 5 years they became somewhat infrequent but digestive problems continued.  Six years after the incident the subject was running and after running for a mile or so, felt as if something was moving in the back of his head.  His hands would also go numb from time to time.  The subject also noticed a strange white like sand substance that was present in his pores the seemed similar to sand, which caused scarring on his face.  With the previous mention of such problems the subject looked up alternative medicine on the internet and read about liver cleanses involving lemon juice and olive oil and Epsom salt.

That night he mixed them together and drank the mixture.  Upon doing this he lay down and felt things moving in him which progressed from small movements to crawling sensations all over his body.  It was if, as he explains it, “there were bugs crawling all over my skin”, but nothing was present on the surface.  Upon rising the next day, the process continued and worsened still.  He also began to experience a tightness in his cranium.  It felt as though his cranial plates (the skull is made up of various “plates”) were actually noticeably moving and rearranging themselves.  At times the movement would stop and he would begin to feel pain in his head and see auras around lights which would subside quickly and sometimes with a jerk,  as if a blockage had developed and released.  Eventually the tightness continued to the point he began to have a pressure headache that made his head feel as if it was being constantly bound and pulled down with a cord or rope.  He also began to have the rather intense feeling of sand moving through the bottom of his feet in a type of swirling vortex on both soles.  This all progressed to the point where the patient became convinced worms were crawling in him and could not sleep until he overcame this remaining awake for 78 hours straight one time.

The patient began adjusting to the sensations which have stayed with him for the past4 years.  He has had intermittent ring worm which appears and disappears on his inner thigh from time to time.  This occurs despite his use of topical anti-fungals.  He has also noticed small raised bumps on the bottoms and sides of his feet which itch, also developing athletes foot.  Sections of the bottoms of his feet also became rough, dry, and cracked.  After undergoing acupuncture with the use of herbs he noticed some improvement in this, but had to discontinue due to the cost.  Eventually he began noticing the greatest improvement after taking a homeopathic remedy for 3 months.  The small red raised bumps would become brown crack open and disappear revealing new skin.  The itchiness began to go away.  The ring worm got worse before it got better.  The crawling sensation still continues and he continues his use of the homeopathic remedy to see if it also has an effect.

Perhaps one of the interesting aspects of this case is his observations in metaphysics and alternative medicine to himself.  Reading about enlightenment among the yogis you can find references to Kundulini and something moving up the base of the spine and coming out of the sutures of the skill (I would not recommend moving your own chi around or forcing kundalini or anything else as the risk of going insane is documented).  Also while in the library one day, reading about acupuncture for the first time, he noticed the crawling sensation and “flow” of things actually moved in accordance with acupuncture points.

I theorize (as is explained elsewhere in this blog) the emergence of these diseases is the physical sensation of parasites (very small), fungus, and yeasts, in the lymphatic system of the individual.  The compression of the cranial plates is the response of the body in an attempt to remove the pathogens.  Compression of the cranial plates may facilitate this, which is why lying down with putting your head down may be a good idea, and also why sleeping may aid you in your immunity.

This viewpoint will be scoffed at by a person trained in the classical sciences with no other exposure because of the emphasis on the importance of individual chemicals and their singular arise.  An alternative viewpoint and more expansive view is simple actions yeild many and multiple effects (chemicals).  Exercise is an example.

The simple motions involved in movement and repetitive motion yield multiple chemicals.  The general public is often taught that good feeling you have is because of endorphins, as if the only reason you feel good is because of the single action of a single chemical.  Your body is constantly abuzz and the simplest of action keeps it that way with thousands and thousands of chemical interactions.  So what do I propose?  Wholism rather than reductionism.

Of course my theories here are generalities and simplicities, but they are meant to be.

Ok.  Maybe someday, eons, and eons, hence, when search engines actually work like they should, this page will be archived and of use to somebody out there.  Go google bot, go.

Mainstream science generally sees homeopathy as quackery, however there have been some studies which suggest otherwise.  Herbs are recognized to have obvious healing properties on the body, but they are and will be continually downplayed in our society as long as companies use them to derive and patent pharmaceutical drugs.

My personal experience with homeopathy is it is at least qualitatively scientifically observable to have a healing effect based on my own observations.  The remedies are usually pretty cheap, easy to take, and do not have bad tastes, although I wonder why they include sugar in the pill unless it is to act as a binder.

Herbs, on the other hand, can cost some money, can be difficult to find, and some do have unpleasant tastes (which according to herbal treatment programs especially the asian variety, may actually be part of the therapeutic effect).

Now to enter the theoretical realm.  Homeopaths speculate the remedies correct the energetic disharmony in the body.  Likewise some people theorize herbs act in several ways, energetic realm being one of them.  Herbs, on the other hand, may be more beneficial in some instances because they often contain a nutrient value for the body which is important when the body is sick and may help to prevent exacerbation of symptoms.

In western medicine the ideas of reductionism are often applied. In short, reductionism is a philosophy saying the whole (of anything) can be understood by breaking it up into little parts and analyzing the parts. This explains the emphasis in western medicine on pharmacology, biochemistry, and physiology. They will determine what is malfunctioning in the body by breaking it up, looking at the small scale of things and attempting to find the error. It also manifests in the treatment. Drugs have been designed which focus on the following exact chemical steps, nothing more, nothing less.

In alternative medicine sometimes the same approach is used. In both cases it is often used as a patch to the true problem. It might eliminate, or alleviate a symptom, but the disease remains. It’s interesting to note, sometimes the symptoms manifest in another way if the original symptom is repressed. I think, the ideas of reductionism, and practice of it, hold some value in the right situation, but the opposite of reductionism, holism (sometimes also known as a “systems” approach), recieves too little attention and application in our society. There is immense power to be found in holism, it’s unfortunate it is so underutilized in our society. The ancient chinese, thousands of years ago, based their medical system on holism and only within the last 20 years has the western world begun to understand the power of the chinese method of healing.

Below I have outlined a theoretical approach to healing any medical (and maybe evn psychological) condition using western herbal methods based in holism. I don’t lay claim to the originality of everything here, it’s probably been said in different ways by different people at different times through history (in fact I know it has), but it’s simply the result of my own experiences, and there is knowhere near the attention paid to the process of it as should be.

The jist of the approach lies in the idea the body contains the means necessary to heal itself, but sometimes needs some help to do it’s job. In the camps of alternative medicine, which practice with this method (chinese medicine, classical osteopathy, etc.), blockages in a system cause disease (circulatory, digestive, lymphatic, etc.). By removing the blockage with the use of herbs and or physical manipulation, the systems of the body can go about healing the body. In my opinion it is the most powerful method of healing ANY sickness (where health was present in past state). It is probably most effective with the chronic and degenerative disease which modern medicine struggles so hard with (MS. Lou Gherigs, Ataxia, Fibromyalgia, IBS, IBD, psychological).

With this method it is not necessary to know the exact cause of the symptom (as mainstream medicine does), because you focus on aiding the systems of the body for elimination of disease. Central to this is the liver, for cleansing the body of disease, and the intestine for elimination. One herbalist who I know follows the methodology I have described is Dr. Schulze.

The Program Summary

1. Establish nutrition, eliminate the habits that might have gotten you there (smoking, alcohol, drugs etc.).

2. Treat the digestive tract with herbs meant to heal it.

3. Treat the liver/gallbladder with bitter herbs to move the lymphatic system, clear blockages, and kill pathogens.

4. Simultaneously treat the body’s structural problems. This includes any necessary massage, acupuncture, rehabilitation, and exercise.

5. Use herbs to aide circulation.

6. Aide the mental environment. Eliminate negativity. Laugh. Consider visualizing as a tool. Find outlets for yourself. If you are defeated mentally, you’re already losing.

When it comes to health, one of the most common questions people have is “Should I take a multi-vitamin (or supplements in general)?”. In sequence, “Which one?” would be another common question.

As far as the question of multi vitamins goes, there are basically 3 camps, those who believe a multi-vitamin can fill the holes in our modern diet, those who think multi-vitamins (and supplements) can (and should) be used for bettering ourselves to be more than we ever were before, and those who believe multi-vitamins and supplements are a waste of money, and nutrition should be obtained through food.

In addressing the first camp, it appears from several studies and information provided by the USDA our food is becoming less nutritious, meaning, for all the food you eat, you are getting less return in nutrients for your effort. If people ate like they should (come on we all know they don’t) they still may not be getting all the nutrients they should, or could. One way to overcome this may be in eating organic foods. Although I’m not aware of a whole lot of research done on the nutritious nature of organic foods, I think the general consensus is…organic food contains more vitamins/minerals per food item. It also contains less (yes..I said less, not zero) pesticides than non organic food.

The second camp consists of people generally interested in living longer lives attributed with super powers. Seriously, super powers (at least super from where we are now). Imagine going days without sleep and feeling little effects from it. Imagine having total memory recall, or looking like you are 25 when you are actually 50. Ray Kurzweil and fellow singulatarians fall in this group, in their hope for eternal life.

The third camp holds multi-vitamins are little absorbed, and may even be damaging to the human body, perhaps even our posterity. There are studies which suggest vitamins are little absorbed, while others suggest vitamins are absorbed. It’s apparent the human body does absorb something using simple self observation. Many times after taking mega-vitmins people feel a “burst” of energy immediately after taking a supplement, and sometimes it can border on strange, as the person might feel like they need to run laps and become hyperactive. Usually this is attributed to the vitamin b12, but that is not the only one.

And now for my own opinion. As I have mentioned under different topics, ideally, I think it would be best to obtain nutrients through food, unfortunately I do believe food is becoming less nutritious. For this reason, it may be a good idea to use a multi-vitamin.  The problem with this line of thinking is it becomes complacent to the fact, our food is becoming increasingly less nutritious to sustain a thriving biochemistry.

A popular guide to multi-vitamins is “the comparative guide to nutritional supplements“. The last edition was published in 2004, so expect a new edition soon. As it stands, it is a little outdated. The top multi-vitamin recommended by them is by USANA. Others included in the list are by source naturals. USANA is probably a pretty good multi-vitamin as far as multi-vitamins go, but personally I think the 1000 mg of folic acid they recommend to be higher than it should be. 1000 mg is the max amount folic acid for one day to be safely taken. Also, in accordance with my own theoretical framework of classifying supplements they use what I call secondary supplements (such as alpha lipoic acid). It’s still relatively unknown what this sort of thing can do to the body long term, while straight vitamin/mineral combinations are pretty explored.

For this reason I think the ideal multi-vitamin is one which is based on pure vitamin/mineral combinations not including herbs/ or secondary supplements. I’d also steer clear of supplements with activated forms of vitamins..such as methylcobalamin (although that is probably the most explored activated vitamin), because we don’t know very well how each body converts vitamins into different forms.
In the future I’ll probably look into some possible multivitamins that might be good according to my model.

The first thing to realize about doctors and illness is the lack of nutritional education. Doctors receive very little training about nutrition. Most illness is the cumulative result of bad nutrition causing problems in the systems of the body. Drug companies would like us all to forget that fact, but it’s true. Nutrition is so important it is possible to predict what type of cancer you can get by vitamin deficiencies found in your blood.

If an illness is present (physical or psychological) the first step in healing should be nutrition. Your body has all the methods necessary to repair itself, if it does not have the correct raw materials it cannot even begin to get better in a natural way.

Simultaneous to this you should be discontinuing any life habits which might have contributed to getting you here in the first place. That seems like a pretty obvious thing to say, but it’s so obvious our society has totally disregarded it. Commercials abound for antacids which mask symptoms and allow you to continue eating things which agitate your stomach. Pain relievers abound which allow you to mask pain and continue in an activity. I just saw a commercial of a girl boxing saying “I take such and such pain pill before I go to the gym so I can keep boxing”. In some people there are some structural problems from surgeries, car accidents, etc., where a pill might be the only thing to help, but for the most part we overlook something important.

These are all symptoms of problems in your body. Sometimes, more than physical problems, they are behavioral problems. When you disregard symptoms of your body and continue in that path, you are setting yourself up for a hard fall.

Some simple rules to start.

1. No sugar in processed form (no soda, sweets, processed juices)

2. No trans-fats

3. Eat varied colours of fruits / vegetables. Replace more canned food, with fresh fruits and vegetables.

A good rule of thumb is..if it is advertised as having half the calories, half the fat, or half the sugar….it’s probably one of the worst things you can eat for your health because most likely it’s artificial.

It’s pretty apparent eating more healthy requires more money, which is part of the reason why many people are ill in the first place. If everybody could afford the meal they would like to have and nix the top ramen the whole world would be better off. That’s just the way it is right now..your health is the best investment you can make, so organize it that way.

The other investment required for your health, not alway’s so apparent, is time. It takes time to fix healthy meals, treat yourself right, and take care of business. Chances are, you put in time, you’re likely to get time back in return.

Before attempting any process of healing a chronic condition, nutrition should be established if possible. Some problems will rectify once proper nutrition is established. It is well known that many drugs increase the need for certain vitamins, sometimes interfering with vitamin absorption. Less well known is the increased need for certain vitamins due to the use of certain herbs and supplements. Why doctors consistently overlook this is beyond me. How a person cosiders themself a “healer” and has no grasp of the necessity for proper nutrition astounds me. In healing your body with the aide of drugs, supplements, herbs, you are basically going to war. Your supply lines (nutrition) must give you the things you need to conduct that war (I only use that as an analogy..I actually don’t like people discussing their illness as a fight)

I plan on writing about eating healthy in the cheapest possible way in the future, but that is yet to come.

A good website to teach a thing or two about nutrition is at www.whfoods.com

Enzymes are fascinating. They facilitate many reactions in the body which could not normally occur. Enzymes are excreted throughout the digestive process of your body. The most important excretion of enzymes for digestion occur in the pancreas and liver. Without the enzymes your body cannot transform the food into the building blocks for your body.

To understand enzymes you need to know about pH. pH is simply a measure of acidity. pH changes various times in your body, and these changes in acidity are necessary to activate the enzymes. The stomach is a very acidic environment, while the intestine is more basic because your liver actually puts out bile to neutralize your stomach acid. Some enzymes only work in the stomach for this reason, while others only work in the intestine. Once the acidity changes they no longer work.

Enzyme supplements can be classified into two types, vegetarian and animal based. Animal based enzymes are usually from pig pancreas called pancreatin. They are activated at a ph in your small intestine. They are usually considered a little stronger than there vegetarian counterparts unless it is vegetarian pancreatin, in which case the vegetarian pancreatin can actually be stronger because it works at a wide ranging pH. On the cheap end of the scale there is pancreatin made by NOW foods (only GMP certified). These require about 20 minutes waiting time before a meal for them to be effective in digesting food. On the more expensive end is Wobenzyme. Wobenzyme was one of the first commercial brands of enzymes and most clinical trials which have been done have used wobenzymes.

On the vegetarian side, some of the better I am aware of are from Garden of Life, the omegazyme, or, digest gold, from enzymedica. Vegetarian pancreatin is harder to come by. I should mention I’m not sure what purity tests have been done with these companies supplements.

If a person encounters digestive difficulties they will be lucky if a person actually mentions to them the possibility of enzyme supplementation. It can often have a dramatic effect on the health of a person, mental and physical. Enzymes can also be used to make a person heal faster from injuries, surgeries, and burns. In Europe enzymes are sometimes used in the treatment of cancer and arthritis.

After all I’ve said you might think I’m in favour of enzyme supplementation, however there are a few things to consider. In the case of their use in cancer, injury, and several other problems they might be beneficial for a time. If enzymes are taken for something other than digestion they are usually taken between meals. If they are taken for digestion they are taken with meals. In the case of their use in digestion it’s important to realize, as you supplement your body with enzymes, your body will decrease the flow of it’s own enzymes to digest food. Many digestion problems come from a stagnant liver caused by many different things. By supplementing with enzymes you will decrease the flow of bile from your liver, which is responsible for cleaning things out of your system. This may actually increase your problems in digestion if you go off your enzymes, or cause an increase in disease symptoms. The flow of bile is essential for clearing your system, so it might be better a person undertake the use of herbs to aide the liver or/and do a liver flush t0 clean things out of the liver.

This leads me to my last point. If a person is sick and undertakes the use of supplements, and/or enzymes it may interrupt or decrease the progression of disease. Why is this maybe a bad thing? Well it’s not, although you should be aware the way medicine works. When you go to a doctor and complain of problems, but do not physically present with symptoms of the problems, most doctors will not take you serious. The doctor has a differential diagnosis, which is a list of symptoms with diagnosis based on these symptoms.

If a person complained of gastrointestinal problems, but was taking enzymes, they probably won’t lose any weight. One of the first things a doctor would look for in seeing a patient with gastrointestinal problems is loss of weight. He might still do tests based upon your requests, but he might not be taking you serious if there is no loss of weight. It all comes down to you taking responsibility for your health. It’s your health, not your doctors, if you don’t do something about it, assume nobody will.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria. They are generally regarded as safe, but it is important to realize it is not known what effect some of the more uncommon bacteria might have on the human body. Probiotics are sold in stores in capsules, liquids, yogurt, and kefir. I think the best way to get probiotics is through a food product. The reason for this is the bacteria create short chain fatty acids and b-vitamins in fermentation. By eating yogurt, kefir, or miso you are getting the probiotics plus the healthy by products of fermentation. Short chain fatty acids moisturize your skin, and b vitamins are used in a host of body proceses.

Recently a study was done with autistic children. Some of the children received a probiotic, while others received a placebo. The study collapsed because it was so apparent the children were receiving something beneficial the parents refused to take the children off the probiotic.  To read more on the study go here.

Probiotics are important because they help to maintain a “healthy” balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria and yeasts. They may be especially beneficial in dealing with candida and yeast infections.

It is apparent and verified time after time is many supplements contain harmful adulterants, such as lead. Other times the ingredients do not match exactly as advertised, perhaps causing more health problems. Other times a chemical is used which is similar to the one occurring in food, but not the same, requiring requiring extra processing (by the liver) to convert it. This presents a burden on the liver and evidence of raised liver enzymes can be seen (a sign of possible liver damage occurring) Supplements can be grown on a host of various media, some quite surprising and disturbing. Many supplements don’t break apart in an acceptable amount of time, making for bad absorption and a waste of money.

The body amazes in its complexity. It manages to compensate for too much or too little of a substance in a food, quite efficiently. Once you enter the world of supplements though, the body scrambles to keep up. Too much pure zinc, and the body goes low in copper, too much b12 and b6 and folate levels can be affected, too much calcium, and you start to lose magnesium. Where the nutrients in food make for gentle absorption, supplements make for wild swings. Also, when people are sick, sometimes, it can be more difficult for them to absorb the supplements.

Currently, I’m of the opinion supplements can be used for helping illness. I question whether we should though. It might help the individual, here, and now, but what is the effect to our posterity.I don’t know of any science that is being undertaken to analyze this, but, what happens when the method whereby we have obtained nutrients for millenia suddenly changes. Personally I’d like to see some effort put into this for supplements, perhaps more importantly though should be the effect of drugs on humanity and our posterity.

In some cases, however good nutrition is, supplementation might be necessary (as in later stages of nutritional deficiencies). It only makes sense to establish good nutrition first, then move onto supplements if necessary. It is beneficial to know about certain terminology when you buy supplements. Unlike drugs, there is very little regulation on supplements, as they are more or less (usually less) regulated as food items.

One of the most important groups involved in the purity of supplements is USP. USP is a nonprofit group which establishes standards for supplement quality. Ideally a supplement manufacturer should adhere to the standards they have set, but truthfully they are few and far between that do. Most supplements you can buy in major chains such as Walmart, Costco, etc. are made by a company adhering to these standards. Unfortunately, some might argue their formulations are also the weakest in term of actually having an effect on health because they probably prefer to the more time tested formulations, meaning, they only supply the bare minimum of nutrients to survive.

Another thing to look for is GMP certification. GMP (good manufacturing practices) means the factory has been inspected and met certain guidelines. It does not mean the supplement itself has been tested for purity. To my knowledge there is a food grade GMP, and also a pharmaceutical grade GMP. The pharmaceutical grade GMP allows for the production of drugs, also meaning supplement produced there are likely put together by a more professional company.

Consumer Labs is a third party company that tests supplements for various things such as content and adulterants. I actually have a subscription, but, to be honest, I was somewhat disappointed. For all the supplements on the market, the selection they tested was fairly small in comparison. Usually the selections were from the major brands sold in big chains.

In summary, ideally, a supplement should be made by a company ascribing to USP specifications, GMP certified, with independent third party testing. Unfortunately all these things cut into a producers profits, so don’t expect to find a company which easily fulfills these, or doesn’t offer them without the price tag. Maybe in the future I’ll modify this to add some companies which fulfill these requirements.

The liver filters your blood and lymph. It stores several vitamins, and is one of the only organs we have which can fully regenerate if it is injured. Everything entering your body that should not be there gets filtered by your liver, including gases you breath.

I think most of the disorders of the liver can be clumped into disorders of the liver caused by pathogens in the blood, and disorders caused by pathogens in the lymphatic system. Viruses and toxins might be the main cause of damage to the liver by the blood (hepatitis), while fungus and parasites might be the main source of damage from the lymphatic system (biliary cirrhosis). Many of these disorders can be aided by the use of bitter herbs, which stimulate the release of bile in the liver.

When you eat the liver puts out bile. The bile is concentrated in the gallbladder, by removing the water present. About 3-4 hours after eating the gallbladder excretes the bile for digestion, except when you eat a liquid fat (olive oil). Liquid fats require an immediate excretion of bile. This is the reasoning behind many of the different liver flushes. In determining digestive problems there is value in this knowledge. The key is in the type of food you eat, in relation to time. Keeping a food journal with a record of your meals, and the time after eating when digestive disturbances occur, can be somewhat revealing.

Many people in Alternative medicine believe in doing liver cleanses. They usually involve combinations of olive oil, citrus juice, and epsom salt. Many people claim to see gallstones in their bowel movements later on. Traditional medicine claims what people are really seeing is a form of soap caused by a saponification reaction. Nevertheless, there are many, many people which claim this has helped them, so I think soapstone or gallstone it’s worth investigation.  I do not, however believe the internal use of epsom salt as healthy besides the fact that it is very common, my own opinion.  A common problem in doing these cleanses is the feeling of nausea. Adding some ginger is a possible aide to this problem.

The danger in doing liver flushes lies in the possibility of gallstones. If a person does have gallstones and they are too large to pass through the bile duct, it can block the bile duct and cause a number of problems which can be life threatening. I have read people claiming apple juice can soften up gallstones, and there are also a few herbs which are supposed to help with the gallstones.

The Asian herbal practices do not support such types of cleanses, it appears to be more of a western alternative practice.

I think one alternative practitioner who has some interesting and beneficial ideas relating to the liver is Dr. Sandra Cabot otherwise known as the liver doctor. I think her emphasis on the liver is a little lacking for other problems, but the liver is very important.

Diet is often under-recognized in liver disorders. Protein is essential for rebuilding the body, but an excess can strain the liver. In our society there is a big emphasis on protein drinks, shakes, bars, and the like. In nature I doubt you often encounter just protein. Usually there are a combination of vitamins you get when you eat meat, or vegetables. Many of these vitamins can be stored and used by the liver. What happens when you continuously eat protein with the lack of the vitamins which you might normally encounter when eating meat? I’d imagine this is a strain on your body, and the exact thing you don’t want when you are fighting illness.

I think the one of the worst things you can do if you have liver problems is swim in a pool full of chemicals. The skin is a membrane, and many of the chemicals are agitating to the human body. Exercise is good, and the low impact of swimming is good, but the chemicals rank it as one of the worst exercises to do on a road back to health with severe chronic health problems in my opinion.

Summary:

I think by using methods to increase the flow of the lymphatic system along with herbs which might have action against parasites, fungus, and bacteria, many diseases can be permanently cured, including infections, MS, Lou Gherigs, and many others, although this is purely theoretical. With this method it is not necessary to know the exact cause and reason to the disease but place the disease in the proper system of the body and treat the system. This is not meant to diagnose any condition and should not replace the advice of your doctor.

The long stuff :

The body contains 2 venous systems, one for carrying blood, and one for carrying lymph. The lymphatic system circulates the lymph in the body, fighting infection, and drawing fluid out of cell membranes. In my opinion, little is scientifically understood about the lymphatic system.

It is known the skull is made up of different skull bones which are slightly flexible, but few ask why? Why are they slightly flexible? Osteopathy was founded when William Sutherland fell asleep on a tree branch with a headache. When he awoke his headache was gone. He later discovered rhythms in the movement of the plates in the human skull which coincided with breathing.

If you pay attention, you can actually feel the movement of the cranium plates when you, or another breathes. For an experiment place your hands on your own head (or anothers) and breath deeply quickly and hold it, then breath out quickly. You should be able to feel the expansion of your cranial plates ever so slightly. Only within the last 10 years has science imaged the movement of cranial plates.

The circulatory system has an obvious pump for it (the heart of course). Likewise the other venous system should have a pump to move fluid. It just so happens, your breathing can move the lymphatic system. Several scientific studies have shown exercise to increase you immunity to sickness. It just seems to reason the primary system responsible for your immune system is directly affected by exercise. The harder you breath, the more lymph circulates. Does that mean deep breathing exercises such as meditation might have an effect on your immunity and lymphatic system? It only stands to reason.

Other ways to increase the flow of the lymphatic system are with herbs. The general rule seems to be bitter herbs stimulate the liver (the spleen filters lymph) to release bile which in turn speeds up the flow of the lymphatic system. Traditionally, the most famous herbs for increasing the flow of bile (and I theorize the speeding up the lymphatic system) are milk thistle and dandelion. However, numerous teas and drinks probably accomplish the same thing. Green Tea and coffee are the first that come to me right now.

Several scientific studies suggest things like chocolate and coffee do not cause acne. Acne is thought to mostly be a surface level problem caused by bacteria, however I know some people notice a correlation between foods they eat at different times and acne. I believe most serious acne is usually caused by things internal. Acne appearing caused by foods is probably more likely the lymphatic system no longer stagnant and finally moving out pathogens. In other words, if you continued with the same food or drink it would probably get better and actually be beneficial.

For many diseases of neurological manifestation some scientists propose many different causes, almost none of which are confirmed. One interesting theory I have about the lymphatic system is it’s relation to the nervous system. Present in many diseases of neurological manifestation (MS, Loug Gherigs) are things which a common person would call twitches or muscle spasms (sometimes called fasciculations in medical literature). Many “healthy” people have felt these when their eye twitches sometimes. I think it’s likely this is the way the lymphatic system helps to move things along when pathogens are present.

It’s more than likely in my opinion the chi which Asian cultures refer to is actually related to the lymphatic system. Acupuncture uses certain points to reduce pain. Patients in Asia sometimes use acupuncture as an anesthetic in surgery. This is possible because of the relation of the lymphatic system and nervous system which science has not yet realized. I believe the idea of “referred pain” will also be found to be related to the lymphatic system, just as many people symptoms of disease get worse when they go to lay down and go to sleep (the pressure on the skull increases lymph flow).

The question remains what is the purpose of the acupuncture needles? What do they do with the lymphatic system? An analogy might be an inflatable raft. If you connect a pump to an raft and begin to blow air into it, you can increase the pressure in any other point of the raft by smashing down any one point of the raft. By cutting off for a time the flow of lymph (or rerouting) you can increase the pressure of the lymph flowing through other points, and clear blockages. The blockages can occur on a very small scale (human hair width). The Asian arts such as Tai Chi or Qi Qong are beneficial because the lymphatic system will probably be found to operate on a semi-gated system which can be opened and closed by movement.

Probable ways to manipulate the flow of the lymphatic system:

1. Breathing (exercise)

2. Liquids

3. Acupuncture, acupressure, massage.

4. Sleep (lying down). Compression of the cranial plates causes a strong flow in other areas. This is a possible reason why lack of sleep has been attributed to decreased immunity.

5. Eating. Eating requires an excretion of bile which makes the lymphatic system flow.

6. Herbs.