A Place for Healing

Healing Bodies….Empowering Lives


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The Cause of All Disease Part I

Thou sendest to man Thy messenger, the disease, which announces the approach of danger and bids him prepare to overcome them.”

– Maimonedes

 

When I ask the question, “What is the Cause of All Disease?”, I usually receive one of two answers: either “GERMS!” or “S T R E S S ! ! !”  When we look at our hectic American society, and all of its stress-related illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis, it is not difficult to understand why people would rationalize that stress was the causeand answer in this way.  When we witness the association between bacteria, viruses, and other germs, and disease and illness, it comes to reason that they are the cause…and answer in this way.

Everyday our newspapers and latest medical research studies report that stress and germs are the cause of most diseases in our world.  On a daily basis, we see countless advertisements on TV and in the paper about medications to fight germs and relieve stress.

With all this “evidence” before us, and all the research that documents it, it would appear that stress and germs are, in fact, the cause of all disease.  Yet, as we learned in chapters two and three, this is an illusion.  In truth, stress and germs are not the cause of all disease, but instead, the cause of all HealthIt is not the germ or stress that causes disease, but our body or mind’s inability to respond appropriately to it.

Placing germs within the broader concept of stress, let us define this thing called STRESS.  According to Webster, stress is a “physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental change.”     In other words, stress is any change in our outside environment that causes a change in our internal environment, whether this change be of a physical, emotional, or chemical nature.

For example,  imagine you are walking down the street.  As you step off the curb, your foot slips on a wet tile and your foot twists under your leg.  Because of how you turn your leg, and the current level of flexibility (or adaptability) of your leg, you strain a tendon in your ankle.  This is an example of a physical stress.  Now, did the stress cause the injury?  The answer is no.  Your inability to adapt appropriately to that specific movement caused the injury.  If your tendon was more flexible (or adaptable) and you were able to move more appropriately, the same slip would not have caused an injury.

Other examples of physical stress might be something traumatic like a football injury, an automobile collision, or a ski accident.  It may be something subtle like carrying your purse on the same shoulder every day or sitting in front of a computer for hours on end.

Now you may notice that all of these examples are of a somewhat “negative” nature, whereas the definition of stress makes no distinction of positive or negative.  A stress is any change in our outside environment that creates a change in our inside environment.  Therefore, other forms of physical stress might be a tickle or a hug.  It could be taking a warm bath or receiving a soothing massage.  These are also changes in the outside environment that can create profound changes on the inside.  These are all stresses.

Stresses are not always of a physical nature.  There are also chemical and emotional stresses.  Examples of chemical stress are food, water, smoke, toxins, vitamins, herbs, alcohol, sugar, medications, recreational drugs, germs, etc.  Many of these may be considered negative stresses, others as positive stresses.

Examples of emotional stress are divorce, hysterical comedy, bankruptcy, receiving a reward, family death, and getting married.  Again some may appear negative, some positive.

All these things, and anything else we may experience, are changes in the outside environment that create a change on the inside environment.  They are all stresses. There are no positive or negative stresses.  The effect these stresses have on our body and mind are not determined by the stress itself, but by our response toit.

Understanding this, do stresses and germs cause disease?  Of course not.  The cause of ALL disease is not stress, but our body and minds’ inability to perceive, adapt, or recover appropriately in response to the stress.  This is the cause of ALL disease.  Does the streptococcus bacteria cause strep throat?  No.  Our immune system’s inability to respond appropriately to the bacteria is the cause of strep throat.  If I took a strep culture of 100 individuals’ throats, all would have a positive finding of strep, yet most of them, if not all, would not have the disease.  Does smoking cause lung cancer?  No.  Our body’s inability to respond appropriately to the smoke causes lung cancer, or else all smokers would contract lung cancer.  Does stepping off a curb wrong cause a twisted ankle? No.  The body’s inability to respond appropriately to the situation is the cause of the twisted ankle.

So, what is the cause of all disease?  Not stress, but our body’s inability to respond appropriately to the stress.  In other words, a loss of our body or mind’s Response Ability.  As you may have realized, this entire book is based on this principle.  All health is the result of our body and mind’s remarkable abilities – Response Abilities – to experience the outside environment and respond to it through our personal expression.  The more efficient and effective we are at this, the healthier we are.

In the next entry, I’d like to tell a story that illustrates all seven Response Abilities, how they may be compromised, how their loss causes disease and illness and how they heal.  This story will demonstrate the presence of and the loss of the body and mind’s Response Ability.

 

An excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com

 


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Response Ability #7: Contentment

What makes the bee leave the flower?  The nectar is so good and life-giving, why would it ever leave?  Contentment.  Why do lions rest after the hunt, leaving a half-eaten carcass for the hyenas?  Contentment.  Why do we balance our working life with vacation and play?  Contentment.  Satisfaction.  Joy.  Peace.

Studies have shown that mice will eat continuously until their stomachs rupture and they die, if the hormone of satiation, or being full, is inhibited.   Have you ever eaten a big meal on Thanksgiving?  How do you feel afterwards, with your hands across your belly on the couch?  Full?  Yes.  But also, content.

It is this feeling of contentment that lets us know that a process is complete.  For without this ability, one would never stop what they started and exhaustion, and eventually death, would result.

It is for this reason and this reason only…to experience contentment…that we do anything.  It is present throughout nature and is what drives life forward.  If we did not have this ability, we would not eat, drink, or do anything for that matter.  It is the reason for living.  Whether that reason is merely to survive, to procreate and continue our species, or to live to our fullest potential and make a dramatic difference in the lives of others, it is the resultant experience of contentment that drives us to act upon our intentions.

Why would we take one step on this Clear Path to Healing if it was not to savor a fuller experience of contentment?  Whether your desire is to break free from the prison of pain and suffering or to experience your optimum health potential and fuller expression of life, it is this longing for a feeling of contentment that drives us.

It is contentment that sets the parameters of balance in our biochemistry.  It is contentment that causes our body to adapt to change and recover from the adaptation once the change is gone.  It is contentment that stimulates evolution and growth and drives us to act physically upon our mental intention and to create harmonious relationships with others.  It is this Response Ability of Contentment that drives and completes the other six Response Abilities, for the word Contentment means “to hold together.”  It provides the fuel that urges us to approach this Clear Path to Healing.  It gives us the courage to take the first step, provides the persistence, confidence, and ardor to continue on the path, and rewards us with the satisfaction, gratitude, and delight it provides.

 

Now that we have examined what it means to be healthy, a new question emerges:  Why do we get sick?  What causes us to lose our ability to respond appropriately to changes in the environment.  In the next entry, we will begin to explore The Cause of ALL Disease.

 

An excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com

 

 


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Response Ability #6: Harmonious Interaction

A bee enters the stream of the wind, and rides it across a beautiful field of flowers.  As the gust of wind fades, the bee flies down towards the ground and lands on the petal of a beautiful daffodil.  It walks across the petal to the center of the flower and sips of its delicious nectar.  As it drinks from this natural fountain, he rubs against the flower’s stamen and pollen falls upon his back.  As he takes his last sip, he takes off once again and rides another breeze to another part of the field and lands upon another daffodil.  As he once again enters the flower to partake of the nectar, the pollen on his back falls upon the stigma of this other flower and a new life is born.  This process is called pollination and is the mechanism by which many plants reproduce.

We live in an interactive universe.  Nothing works independently.  Often the Earth is called a “web of life” for all living things are interdependent.  Without plants, bees would not have nectar to survive.  Without bees, plants could not reproduce. Without plants, all animal life would perish for our atmosphere would lack vital oxygen.  It is an endless cycle of interdependence,  mutually beneficial interaction.

In the jungles of South America, there lies a cave.  Within this cave, lives two creatures – a unique species of worm and a unique species of bat.  No where else in the world will you find these two species except in this cave.  What makes these two animals so special is their unique relationship.  Since the bat never leaves the cave and the only form of life is this worm, the worm is the only source of food for the bat.  What is interesting, however, is that it is the excrement of the bat that provides the sustenance for the worm.  The worm feeds the bat.  The bat feeds the worm.  The cycle goes on and on.  This is called a symbiosis,  two animals mutually benefiting from the existence of each other…a beautiful example of harmonious interaction.

All healthy bodies, whether a human body, a corporate body, or the body of the universe, must be capable of interacting harmoniously with others.  It is the harmonious interaction of the individual cells of our body that sustains life.  It is the harmonious interaction of co-workers that produces a thriving business.  It is through the harmonious interaction of citizens that produces a healthy society.

It is only through disharmony, separation, and alienation that disease is experienced.  If we look at our body, we see that all disease, especially cancerous, infectious, and autoimmune diseases, are caused by some form of disharmonious interaction between cells of the body, or cells of the body and some outside agent.  If there was harmonious relationships between all the cells of the body, there would be no cancer or autoimmune disease.  Conversely, if there was harmonious interaction between the body and the virus, bacteria, or other visiting entity within the body, there would be no infection.

If we look at our world community, you will also find that all crimes, wars, and other social disease are likewise caused by disharmonious relationships amongst the members of our global body.

If we can begin to create more harmonious interactions within ourselves, accept responsibility consciously, and allow that harmony to spread into our relationships, this harmony would blanket the world in a sea of joy and all disease would be eradicated on this planet. Once and for all, we would experience total health and enjoy the fullest appreciation of life and each other.

It is only through this process of healing ourselves that we may heal the world, and it is only by acting upon our deepest desires and intentions that we may fully appreciate and develop to its fullest potential, the final and most important Response Ability – the ability of Contentment.

 

We will explore this Response Ability in our next entry.

 

An excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com

 

 


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Response Ability #5: Expression

Often when the wind blows across the land, they carry with them seeds.  What is a seed? A seed is nothing more than an intention.  Look inside an acorn.  Do you find a little oak tree?  No.  What you find within an acorn is dust.  Yet, within that dust is the information and intention that, if in the right conditions, will produce the mighty oak.  In other words, what separates an acorn from a stone, is that the acorn has the ability to express physically a non-physical, or intelligent  intention.

In any body, organization, or situation, the ability to express physically a mental or emotional intention is necessary for it to be considered healthy.

If we look at the previous four Response Abilities, they are, in most cases, unconscious responses.  The processes of perception, adaptation, recovery, and evolution are in most cases automatic, subconscious processes of which most people are unaware.  By making a conscious effort to improve our health and increase our awareness through the exercises and tools I will share in the next three chapters, we can become more perceptive to the subtle and sublime, becoming more aware of, and even participatory, in these four Response Abilities.

The fifth Response Ability of expression is a more conscious process by which we express physically a mental intention.  The simplest example of this would be to wiggle your finger.  You create the desire in your mind to move your finger, you transform that desire into an intention, and you physically move your finger.  Other examples would be to run from danger, eat food when hungry, and pursue your inner urge to find a mate.

Once we embark upon this Clear Path to Healing, we may begin to experience the increased awareness of more subtle perceptions, and begin to control and manifest previously, otherwise unconscious activities.  As we learn, grow, and evolve through our life experience, we begin to act with conscious intention, rather than allowing ourselves to work on autopilot and unconscious direction.  For a simple example, we could allow ourselves to reach extreme levels of thirst, ingesting water only once our primal instinct kicks in and, in the behavior of a wild beast, run for the nearest stream or puddle and lap visciously at the succulent liquid.  Or, we may consciously decide to regularly drink 8 glasses of water each day, whether we are thirsty or not.  We could wait till we experience heart disease or diabetes before we give up our hot dogs, French fries and cigarettes, or we can choose to eat more fruit and vegetables on a daily basis now, preventing the crisis from occurring.

On a more subtle level, people have been known to slow their heart rate, control organ function, and adjust their own biochemistry through focused biofeedback and intense periods of meditation.  Whereas this ability has a wide range of possibilities, in order for us to achieve our optimum healing potential, this ability must be working at its optimum.  In order for us to act in such a manner as to maintain our health and achieve higher levels of healing and wellness, we must be capable of acting physically upon a mental intention.  If we do not, we move nowhere in life, existing merely as dreamers.   If we instead take our dreams and act upon them, we can experience Heaven on Earth and begin to create our own Garden of Eden, as we live and breath on this planet…in this lifetime.

We will explore the next Response Ability, Harmonious Interaction, in the next entry.

An excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com

 


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Response Ability #4: Evolution

Often when the winds of change blow, they can change the landscape of our environment.  Sand and soil may be pushed into hills, and over time, mountains.  Rivers may be redirected, and lakes may, over time, form.  Whereas the wind has stopped blowing, its effects may create a lasting impression.  In these cases, we have two choices: we may grow or we may decay.  Living, healthy things, such as trees, animals, and people, grow and evolve.  Inert, non-living things, such as stones and sticks, decay.  Wash running water over a seed and watch what happens…it grows.  Wash running water over a stone and what happens?  It erodes.

Growth and Evolution is a continual process of change by which a seemingly lower and simpler state or condition is transformed into a higher, more complex state.  A healthy body or any other organization always allows for change to cause growth and evolution.  On the other hand, an unhealthy body decays and eventually ceases to exist.

Evolution and growth is nothing more than a long-term adaptive response.  An example of this would be the experience of muscle building as a result of weight training.  The act of lifting heavy weights over and over is actually perceived by the body as a danger or crisis.  These heavy weights place stress on the muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints.  In order to protect itself, the body builds more muscle tissue in order to prepare itself for future experiences of such stress.  If we continue to work out regularly, frequently increasing the weight as we get stronger, this process will continue indefinitely.

What differs in this situation from the previously mentioned adaptive response, is that now the body is stronger, more effective, and more efficient, even after the stress is gone.  Recognizing this, theoretically, the body says, “I am stronger, more effective, and more efficient as a result of this adaptation…this one’s a keeper.”

Another example of this would be that of sun-tanning.  The darkening of the skin as a result of laying in the sun is a healthy response of the body producing more melanin in the skin.  Melanin is a pigmented protein that protects the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation.  The tanning of the skin is caused not by the sun’s rays, but by an adaptation produced by the body in response to the exposure of ultraviolet light.  If the exposure to sunlight is continuous and frequent, like muscle building, this adaptation will become permanent.

Whereas the Response Ability of Adaptation is necessary to protect us from sudden changes that may be damaging or even deadly, the Response Ability of Evolution, whereas not as urgent, is necessary for the long-term survival of our species, and life in general, on our planet.  Through this ability we can learn from our experiences and become stronger, wiser, and more effective as a species.  This process is perpetual and is responsible for our human family moving from the primitive existence as an ape to the spiritual and intellectual wonder we are today.  In this infinite arena we call our universe, we are yet at the beginning of our evolutionary experience.  The sky’s the limit, and what we are capable of becoming is but a tiny glimmer in our imaginations and wonder.

We will explore the next Response Ability, Expression, in the next entry.

An excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com

 


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Response Ability #3: Recovery

The wind blows.  The reed bends into the wind.  Yet, what happens when the wind stops blowing?  The reed returns to its original position, standing strong, pointing up towards the sun.  It recovers.  If the wind was stronger than the reed’s ability to adapt and recover appropriately, the reed may break and remain in its bent position.  In order for the reed to maintain its health, it must be able to recover from the adaptation once the wind stops blowing.

So too must we recover from any adaptation we experience due to change, once the conditions return to normal.  Many of our adaptations are temporary changes to best survive the “passing storm.”  Using the fight or flight response as an example, once the danger passes, the blood pressure, pulse rate, and adrenaline levels must return to a resting state.  The digestive system must proceed with its vital activity and our dilated pupils must once again return to normal size.  In other words, the body must recover from the event.

Other factors of the body, such as temperature, pressure, and a multitude of chemical reactions, are in a continuous, never-ending balancing act.  For example, insulin is the hormone that controls the glucose, or blood sugar, level in our blood.  Ultimately, it is glucose that provides fuel for the body, especially the brain.  When we eat something that contains sugar or starch, insulin is released by the pancreas into the blood stream to remove any excess sugar from the blood and store it for later use.   Once the sugar level is within optimum levels, the insulin level in the blood is reduced.  If there is not enough sugar in the blood, a counter-hormone called glucagon is released that draws sugar from reserves and releases it into the blood stream to provide energy for the body.  This see-saw effect of insulin and glucagon is just one example of millions of such balancing acts that occur in the body.

What would happen, however, if once the blood sugar level reached its optimum level, the pancreas continued to release insulin.   By this lack of recovery, more sugar would be removed from the blood than was necessary producing a “condition” called hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. What if after an intense physical or emotional crisis, the necessary increase in blood pressure and adrenaline never returned to states of rest?  This lack of recovery would result in anxiety and hypertension or high blood pressure.   What if during a state of repair, the mechanism that holds the normal rate of cell division and reproduction in check, failed to do its job?  This lack of recovery would result in cancer.  As you can see, many of our long-term chronic illnesses are nothing more than a normal response to change, or adaptation, that never recovered once the change had passed.

When looking at the diseases, conditions, and illness that have been diagnosed by mankind, you will find that ALL of them are caused by either a failure to perceive change in the inner or outer environment, a failure to effectively adapt to the change, or a failure to recover once the change had passed.  This may be an overnight process or it can take many years, decades or even an entire lifetime.  All the circumstances, experiences and events that effect the body, mind and nervous system, may contribute to increased dysfunction and disease, if we do not respond appropriately to the experience.  This Cause of ALL Disease will be discussed at length in the next chapter.

When looking at any disease process, rarely is it caused by one thing.  There are often many physical, emotional, and mental factors that influence the body and contribute to our health and our disease.  On this Clear Path to Healing, we address health on all levels, to assist the body and mind to regain, improve, and develop its ability to perceive, adapt, and recover to change – its Response Ability.

This process of recovery is an effective mechanism to return the body back to its previous state before the adaptation took place, once a given change is no longer present in the environment.  What happens, however, if the environmental conditions do not return to normal and the change does not go away?  What if the wind continues to blow?  What if a new environment is created in which the adaptation must become permanent in order to survive?  In that case, recovery is not necessary, but evolution is.  We will explore this response ability in the next entry.

An excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com

 


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Response Ability #2: Adaptation

Ancient Chinese wisdom says that when the wind blows strong, the mighty oak which stands firm, will topple, yet the flowing reeds will live to see another day.  Likewise, when we experience change, we must “go with the flow.” “Ride the tide.”  We must adapt.  For if we stand firm, resisting the change, like the mighty oak, we will fall.  If instead, we bend like the gentle reed, we will live to see another day…and become stronger and wiser in the process.

Our bodies have a remarkable ability to adapt to change, that, is to change itself internally to best survive a change on the outside, receiving the fullest benefit from the experience.  Left on its own, the human body would survive through tremendous trial and tribulation because of its wonderful adaptive mechanism.  Infants who usually would be considered unfit to care for themselves, have been found lost in the woods or trapped in a well, alive and thriving after days, and even weeks, without food and water.  Whereas these conditions may not be optimum for the health and well-being of a child, their resilience and adaptability is demonstrated in such situations.

The most primitive and best known example of our adaptive mechanism is the fight or flight response.  This unconscious animal response occurs when the human animal is placed in danger.  The body automatically prepares itself for one of two adaptive responses: to either confront the danger or run away.  Whereas our civilization has eliminated much of our need for this response, it still stands, and protects us in times of physical challenge or emotional contention.

When such a situation arises, a number of internal adaptations occur.  Our adrenal glands release adrenaline into our blood stream giving us a burst of energy.  Our digestive system slows or stops completely to reserve energy resources.  Our eyes dilate, pupils open wide, so that we can see further, more, and in less light.  Our blood pressure and pulse rate increase sending more blood and oxygen to all the cells of our body, especially the muscles.  All these responses are created in order to prepare us for action and increase our chances of survival in a challenging situation.

Whereas in the past our adaptive mechanism was responsible in determining whether we live or die in a given situation, and may even perform the same function today, due to our development of civilization, society and culture, these important responses to change may hold a more subtle, yet profound, function:  To allow us to get the most out of any given situation, especially in the areas of healing, growth, and further evolution of our species.

If we are able to adapt to a change in the environment in such a way as to become  stronger, smarter, or more sensitive, we can become more advanced as a species and achieve higher levels of awareness, accomplishment, and healing.

In order for us to reach our highest levels of health and healing, we must ensure that our bodies and minds are capable of effective and efficient adaptation to change in the environment.  By becoming more sensitive and more perceptive, we are more prepared and forewarned so that we can make such changes.   If this Response Ability to adapt or change ourselves in relationship to the outside environment is not functioning optimally, the perception is futile.  For if we perceive a possible danger and are unable to respond to it, what use is the perception?  It is like a starving man looking across a great cavern at an apple tree…in eyeshot, but out of reach.  Unless we can adapt effectively to the changes that we have perceived, the perception holds no purpose and serves only to frustrate.

Understanding the important function of perception and adaptation, in the next entry we will look at the next Response Ability…the ability to recover.

An excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com