ELIMINATION A B
BODY/MIND & SPIRIT
Criteria of a healthy health care
The five" criteria: a health care close to the people, for the people and of the people, focusing on optimal promotion of health, rather than exclusively treating disease, largely natural without any harmful side-effects, a joy for everybody who works in it and at such low costs, that everybody, including the poorest, can optimally benefit from it.
What is wrong
A health care alienated from the people and in the hands of monopoly: scientific, medical, technological, financial and political.
Nowadays alternative, complimentary and holistic ways of medicine are booming. The number of consultations in the Netherlands alone, runs into millions a year. At the time of writing 37% of all Americans prefer to take herbal remedies rather than allopathic prescription drugs. The courses - e.g. offered in natural medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture - are manifold, for doctors, therapists and lay people alike. Many magazines are publishing articles about a healthy lifestyle, phytotherapeutics, wholesome cooking and self-treatment of simple disorders, in almost all their editions continuously. Even universities are doing research in the effectiveness of alternative techniques and methods. Most insurance companies offer a limited number of alternative methods in their package. Health food stores and drugstores, selling wholesome food and natural remedies are doing good business.
However, despite this development, public health care is still dominated by regular medicine. The choices of the people - for how long though - are made on an individual basis. It may not reflect the real situation anymore. Maybe very soon a major structural adjustment has to be made. Isnt it e.g. an increasingly disturbing factor, that people, who are truly seeking health, are still forced to pay their monthly premiums for a system, they dont want anymore? Those people have to add their monthly costs for a healthy lifestyle and of their consultations to alternative practitioners to it. Which is a punishment, rather than an encouragement. Regular medicine after all, doesnt promote health, but usually waits until the disease has become chronic, in such a way, that the patient fits in their pre-fixed diagnostic schemes. These schemes being nothing more, than the entrances to pharmacological, technological and surgical treating of symptoms. The definition of health by the WHO, as the well-being physically, spiritually and socially", therefore does not relate to reality. In practice, there seems to be only one principle: health as the absence of symptoms.
The problem is simple" and can be drawn back to one single cause. It is because of the fact, that about 150 years ago - the beginning of technological, cellular medicine, a very young branch indeed - the decision was made to treating symptoms, rather than promoting health. And this is how it still is. The so-called health care", is not a care for health, but a system of treating, read suppressing of symptoms. It is one of the main medical errors of today. A system based on treating symptoms, is focused on disease, rather than health. Disease is its main interest. The income of the doctor after all reflects his daily number of patients. The hospital wants all its beds permanently occupied. The laboratory aims at a maximum number of tests everyday. Medical technology industry is interested in expanding its market and its sales. The pharmaceutical industry and pharmacists also spend all their efforts in selling their - allopathic symptom-suppressing - medicines. The insurance companies want to invest optimally through the premiums of the common people. The politicians and bureaucrats wield power. The scientific researchers are protecting their - often irrelevant - research and all other health care workers are (rightly) primarily worried about their jobs. Everyone, each in his own way, is primarily concerned with the system, all are benefiting from disease. What has become clear though is, that the system is not in the interest of those, for which it was meant.
It has been enough though. What we now want is a health, rather than a disease-oriented society. People who understand the relationship between the soil and healthy nutrition, the functioning of their own body-mind, those who want to learn, taking the responsibility for their well-being in their own hands, will now stand up. People who are joyful and confident in the future, who put things into practice, because they know they are good, beneficial and fulfilling, for themselves, their children, friends and neighbors. People who radiate, spontaneously encouraging others. People who are willing to change their life-style, in spite of a dominating life-denying social and cultural environment. Who dont go along with the cynicism of the time. People who agree to the five" criteria of an ideal" health care, e.g. a health care close to the people, for the people and of the people; focusing on optimal promotion of health in its broadest sense, rather than exclusively treating disease; largely natural without any harmful side-effects; a joy for everybody who works in it and at such low costs, that everybody, including the poorest, can optimally benefit from it.
It is said, that the former director of the WHO, Robert Muller, considered the various ways of traditional medicine in the world to be able to prevent, improve and cure around 70% of all civilization" related diseases. This is confirmed by the experience of countless doctors and researchers in many countries. The already quoted Dr. Bernard Levin, specialist of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, U.S.A. - saying that 65-85% of all cancers may be prevented by lifestyle changes - is just one of them. Like in my 31 years of practice, most these doctors are taking health as the starting point, the way and the aim towards which they are working. With health as the central issue, everything changes at the spot. The bodymind appears to be a self-managing system, aimed at survival. We appear to be an integrated whole, in which everything is interconnected. Crucial for its survival, is both an optimizing of functions and the integration in the natural, social and cultural context. Symptoms are not an expression of abnormality", but rather the visible part of the strategic natural healing power of the body. Instead of isolating them, the solution to almost all problems is found, by putting them in their meaningful context.
Based on the principles and practice of the flow system, a totally new and powerful vision of the New Health Care has been developed. It consists of three concentric layers or echelons. The inner largest circle belongs to self care. It is the foundation. Since health can only be achieved by a healthy lifestyle - which no doctor can do for you - and moreover 60% of all disorders can be improved by it, self care should be the basis of the New Health Care. It includes everything an individual can do to optimize his own health. Together with other approaches - think of Chinese barefoot doctors techniques, practical bodymind therapy etc. - the flow system may serve as a context, a reference and practical guide. Self care should be part of everybodys experience. It can be taught to children at a very early age. In the community, it can become the model for self-reliance and mutual help. It includes all health strategies, which can be executed on the most basic level, like health promotion, education, prevention and therapy. Our model has both been tested in developed, as well as in developing countries, among the rich, as well as the very poor. In both cases it was received with enthusiasm. We have therefore decided to start the education of basic health practitioners, members of the community, who after a short training in the flow system, will be able to initiate, develop and optimize self care as the foundation of the New Health Care world-wide.
If self care proves not to be sufficient, if problems appear to be too complicated, difficult or dangerous, then a patient will be sent" to the second concentric layer, that of holistic medicine. The term "alternative medicine" should better be skipped, for holistic medicine has a tradition of its own - in fact used to be the mainstream of medicine - for 2000 years in which it successfully treated those diseases which nowadays are causing most trouble. It includes all methods and techniques, which are promoting the natural healing power. It seems only too logical, that whenever the self-healing power of the patient - his own immune-system - is still intact and can become activated, that this should be the next system of choice. The second echelon then, is exclusively executed by professionals, those who up till now work as alternative, complementary and holistic" doctors, psychologists, therapists, nutritionists, teachers and physiotherapists. They may use an extended" flow system therapy, added by all biological methods and techniques available, as there are homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, orthomolecular, phytotherapy, chiropraxy, neural therapy, physiotherapy etc. In most cases, improvement of health, cure and an optimal vitality will be achieved. This echelon - holistic medicine - may include 30% of the total services of the New Health Care. If however, this appears not to be sufficient, the technological (regular) medicine serves as a last resort. As a complementary (...) and emergency - terminal" - approach, it has all possibilities at its disposal, to repair or compensate (excessive) damage, make life bearable for those in great pain, to treat rare chronic diseases, rehabilitate, to give pharmacological, technological and surgical solutions where others fail, and save a patients life. Something in which regular medicine is specialized and which cannot be done by others. Its volume occupying the last 10% of the total health care package. Re-arranging health care in this way, the benefits will become visible very soon. All the things necessary for putting it into action are available rightnow. So lets face the challenge!
Current health care is a good example of a deteriorated flow system. Instead of our input - the insurance premium - to be an investment in our own health (output), it is rather a subsidy for the existing medical system (accumulation). The irony now is, that the more we pay, the sicker we become. The premiums go up all the time, while no real cure is achieved. Hence, without re-considering the money flow, we wont be able to bring about the necessary change. Lets first have a closer look at the health benefits of the existing system. You go to your doctor with some minor complaints, headache for instance. After a short examination he gives you a painkiller. Health benefit? Zero. Or you visit him with a common infectious disease, bronchitis for instance. He gives you anti-biotics. Health benefit? Zero. Or you visit him with the symptoms of a chronic disease, hypertension for instance. He will give you medication, usually an anti-hypertensive drug. Health benefit? Zero. In none of these cases your health has been improved, in no way whatsoever. Since the treatment of common complaints, infectious and chronic diseases constitute the largest bulk of medical services, the overall health benefit of the existing health care system is.....zero. This - shocking - evidence has thus led to the following conclusion. Since 60% of the health care lies in our own hands, so the corresponding amount of money. Of every euro or dollar we spend, 60 cents should go to self care. Thirty cents go to the holistic medicine, while the remaining 10 cents will be spent for emergencies. The 60% will go to the local democratically chosen self care district council. The premiums we pay for the biological medicine - the 30% - will be put on our own bank-account though. It will be our own investment in health. Since we cannot withdraw this money - it has to support us in times, in which we could possibly need it - the interest will be ours though. Hence, the healthier we live, the more financial benefits, a rare example of healthy accumulation (...). Through this, it will be possible to finance self care and the holistic medicine ourselves. So, if there are high personal health related costs, exceeding the normal costs of living, we will be entitled to withdraw this money. The role of the insurance company, an organization which is run by the people and exclusively working in their interest, will merely a facilitating one, receiving itself only the costs of their services and administration. Through now having self care and the holistic medicine as buffers" - sieving 90% of all the cases out - the money spent for regular treatment, will have diminished in a dramatic way. While nowadays our entire money is spent for terminal" care, only an overall of 10% will be left. In individual cases though, the financial consequences of an accident, a terminal disease or rehabilitation can be still quite high. However, because they have become much more rare, the above mentioned 10% of our total spending for technological medicine, is still realistic, provided people are committed to self care and holistic medicine. Large scale education has to fill in the gap here. The premium, necessary for covering these last-mentioned risks are thought to become part of the existing accident insurances. If desirable, a part of the old age insurance could be used as well, since most of the emergencies are related to it.
Ironically, neo-liberal society is eager to integrate "alternative medicine" in its medical framework. The reason is that promotion of a healthy lifestyle very well fits in its "fit for production" concept. Many multinationals have their own fitness centers in which "lifestyle" plays an important role. Here health has to serve the interests of the company - of profit-making - rather than the interests of the individual. The governments are supporting this questionable undertaking. In official reports, the tendency is that health care has to be "in the interest of the economic activities of society". "Fit for production" rather than "fit for life". It raises a moral issue to everybody working with (holistic) medicine. Do I want to co-operate with patching people up for the rat race? It is an example of how good things become corrupted, once the starting point of a society is wrong. My position therefore is, that taking care of individual health is not enough. A new slogan has to be introduced: "a healthy mind in a healthy body in a healthy society". Our New Health Care is only a start. It has to be followed by curing the entire culture (...). Self care is a corner stone. Hence, our proposal to everybody to do the Personal Health Plan as a first step. This has to be followed by co-operation with anybody, who did the same thing, preferably those in the same neighborhood. Ways of mutual help may be set up. Sooner or later, a study group will be initiated, to start studying the flow system in a more consistent and organized way. Special flow system trainers" will start educating members of the community as basic health practitioners". The organization of community self care will be structured according to the street, the neighborhood and the district. The development in layers is important, because of the feedback between them. Every new step therefore should only be taken, after the previous foundations appear to be solid enough. This strategy aims at becoming part of regional development, with far-reaching self-reliance, de-centralization and democratization at its base. The self-reliance of the individual to be taken as the starting point. What the individual can - chooses to - do, he should do. What is beyond his possibilities, is done by the family. What the family cannot carry out, will be done by the street. The street delegates certain duties to the neighborhood, which in turn is falling back on the district, the commune and the region. Subsequently, a close and solid co-operation with the holistic medicine and technological medicine will be established. Educational programs will be initiated, both on primary school, high school and university levels. Extensive propaganda with all available means, e.g. videos, computer programs, papers, magazines and TV will be developed. International organizations will be asked to support the initiatives. Needless to say, that implementation of the New Health Care will bring about astronomical reductions in costs, to such an extent, that no health minister will ever again suffer from sleepless nights anymore.
Finally: the poignant situation of millions of people, who dont have the means, to even provide in their most basic needs. After having read this book, it will be clear to everyone, that the flow system could play an important role here. Isnt it a system for optimizing basic functions after all, cheap, comprehensible, simple and effective? It not only gives a clear insight in what is needed and possible on basic levels, but it also corresponds to ideas of people of other cultures. Unlike the imposed Western models - cultural, social, economic, religious, medical - the flow system is very similar to models of Traditional Medicine all over the world, e.g. Indigenous, Ayurvedic, Chinese, Arabic and European. Hence, the flow system fits very well in local situations, without imposing something alien from outside. On the contrary, once incorporated, it will support the peoples strive for cultural, social and economic self-reliance and self-determination. The need for the quality of life" isnt a Western privilege after all. Poor people of the slums have a very clear idea of optimizing their situation. Many of them remember the past, in which they had a life of prosperity, co-operation and happiness. Their deepest desire is to restore their cultural, religious, social, economic and ecological integrity. For this purpose, I have initiated the VitalThirdWorld Plan. It includes both The Flow System (OVC) in action" and The New Health Care, with the possibility of adjusting to local situations. The basic idea is to promote the VTWP as an educational model, wherever it is needed. In my lectures for people of the slums (favela, Brazil), I was surprised about the reception of the flow system. Very simple" people could easily understand the logic, they accepted it with great enthusiasm as their" model, very suitable for peoples health" as they saw it. They had a great sense of the possibilities of self care and natural ways of healing! My lectures were only a part of an entire course, in which they learned about nutrition, self-help techniques, medicinal herbs, personal hygiene and the environment. Hence, everybody should have unlimited access to the VTWP. The VTWP includes a basic package of provisions, necessary not only for survival, but for improving ones health as well. For instance, the poor have the right to equal access to organic wholesome food. According to the VTWP, the minimal health requirements for the poor, is enough clear water and land on which people can grow their own staplefoods, like potatoes, rice, manioc, tapioca and pumpkin, their cereals like corn, millet, buckwheat and quinoa, their fresh vegetables, their beans and soybeans. Every local community should strive for organic quality with the help of green legumes, compost and effective micro-organisms (EM), the latter to be put at their disposal by the distributing organization. Cultures for local breeding were said to be freely available for people in poor countries. Soy can completely cover the need for protein, is cheap and can easily be grown on all kinds of soils, in all kinds of climates. The community could process the soy-beans into their various products, like sprouts, oil and tofu4 . Fish and algae ponds could provide additional precious proteins and vitamins (spirulina). Means should be found to process vegetable oil - sunflower, corn - locally. Cold oil pressing was typically a cheap technique in many communities, before industry took over. Considering the superior quality of cold-pressed oils, these techniques should therefore become re-introduced. The other source is butter, derived from cattle. Once nutrition is guaranteed, people may start thinking of optimizing the other basic functions of the flow system. Apart from local herbs, suitable for improving digestion, fighting parasites, elimination through kidneys (diuretics) and skin (sweating), the most important things will be green clay for detox, guasha for detox and immune-stimulation, plus several other cheap practices described in the previous chapters, like massages and breathing techniques for instance. Ways of integrated farming and related rural industries, could become vital steps towards re-integrating the rural community, according to the values of each culture. By restoring the wholeness of the local culture" healthy children, adults, elderly, families and communities will be the result. The flow system could greatly contribute to this. Everybody is therefore invited, including the WHO, to promote the VitalThirdWorldPlan world-wide, through education and practical application, to the benefit of those who are most in need.
Our offer to the WHO: to examine the possibilities of the VTWP
Last but not least
Every effort has to be made to further development of health, all initiatives are therefore to be supported. However, efforts will prove to be in vain, if not referred to a scientific, practical and effective health promoting medical model. Only if people are given a useful instrument, with which they can have a positive feedback, in such a way that they feel recognized, encouraged, motivated and empowered, only then there will be a way out of the current stagnation. Personal experience and a meaningful context have to go hand in hand, so that people will find (regain) the strength to take their health - as they see it - in their own hands". A peoples health movement is what is needed. The VTWP is giving people such a model. Nobody will deny the validity of input-processing and output on the various levels.
The second most important thing is a socio-political structure, in which a healthy lifestyle and self care are able to develop themselves. In this respect, the Flow System and The New Health Care appear to be two sides of the same coin. The first represents personal effort - the dynamics - while the second provides the facilitating structure. Taking your health in your own hands, simply means greater self-determination and vice versa. It wont work without a corresponding medical model, which serves as an instrument. Medicine itself has to become liberating first! Moreover, a model of progressive integration of society at its most basic levels, like the New Health Care, is a conditio sine qua non" for the health of the individual, the family and the community. Both - the Flow System and the New Health Care - go hand in hand, they work the other way round. Together, they may contribute to:
Health promotion and health
education, from primary school to university
five principles of the Charter for Health Promotion of the WHO, as adopted in
Ottawa in 1986: to built a healthy public policy, to create supportive environments,
to develop personal skills, to strengthen community action and to
reorient health services.
The VTWP's flexibility makes it possible to adjust to every local culture and community. Its structure shows unity in diversity". Wherever you come, you will recognize the common factor, while enjoying the local difference. Recognition and learning from each other go hand in hand. Details, some therapies, diets or exercises may be changed, but its inner dynamics will prove to be universal". By giving it the local color, it may serve the spiritual, cultural and social identity of various peoples world-wide. Flow system connects the past with the future. It is an advanced scientific model, which simultaneously supports traditional views on health. Rather than the uprooted flight forward", it is promoting integration. Change" in this respect means restoring the wholeness of life". It will free people from the old paradigm, in which health" is just instrumental, a part of western progress" - read dominance - and therefore alienating and destructive. Instead, life-affirming progress is where the VTWP is all about, integrating tradition with the real benefits of modernization. What is needed world-wide, is a development" which stimulates the integrity and the self-determination of peoples: spiritually, culturally, socially and economically. It is therefore the wish of the writer, that people from different cultures may sit together, to discuss in what way the flow system and this manuscript could be useful to them. The aim is to start a series of cheap editions, translated in various languages, to be used in different cultures and countries. In this respect, I am very much indebted to the people of Curitiba, Brazil, for their enthusiastic reception of this book.