Saturday, December 20, 2014

How Cesar Millan Cures Chronic Illness

The Center for Managing Chronic Disease says "Chronic Disease is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured." They are simply wrong. What they should have said is:

Chronic disease cannot be cured by medicines. 

How can we know? Let's take a walk with Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer.  If you've seen Cesar's popular television show, you will recognize the themes, but you might be surprised at some of the details.

Many people who have a chronic dog problem first contact Cesar by telephone. They talk to Cesar, and he listens. Cesar doesn't talk or listen to the dog.  There is no need.  Then Cesar comes to visit. Pay close attention.

When Cesar comes to visit. He doesn't visit the dog. In many cases, he hardly acknowledges the dog when he enters the house. Cesar greets the owner, talks and listens to the owners. He is aware of the dog, noticing the dog and dog behavior, but not attending to it. Sometimes, especially with a dog displaying a lot of symptoms, Cesar will make a point of establishing his dominance, by mock biting, but he does not speak to the dog in human language, nor by barking at the dog.

Cesar looks at and listens to the owner.  This is where he finds the cause of the disease.  The dog has all the symptoms, but the owner has the cause, and the cure.

Then Cesar creates a prescription for the dog owner.  Not a medicine.  Medicine cannot cure chronic illness. If we medicate the dog, it will be less of a dog and when the medication wears off, it will be less controllable. The prescription needed is action and activity. Action and activity for the dog. But the real, effective actions are the actions and activities for the owner.

The prescription can be unique for each owner, but the goals are clear - to make the dog a healthy dog, and the owner a healthy dog owner. Cesar doesn't medicate the dog, nor the owner, he health's them.

One of Cesar's first goals is to give the owner a sense of control.  When Cesar 'mock bites' the dog, he's not teaching the dog, as much as he is teaching the owner that the dog is a dog. Teaching the owner that the right actions can lead to healthy dog behavior. When the owner sees Cesar interact with the dog, they begin to recognize that the source of the problem is not the dog, it is the owner.

Then Cesar prescribes specific activities for the owner - with the dog of course, that are designed to make the dog, and the owner, and their relationship, healthier.  Cesar healths communities of dog and owners.

In most cases, the owner successfully carries out these activities, designed to change their habits with regards to the dog, and the chronic illness goes away. Unhealthy habits are replaced with healthy habits. In some cases, it takes two or more stages, due to complexity, or perhaps the owner has difficulty changing. Perhaps the prescription was too strong and a slower, more gradual change is required, or perhaps a different prescription. But there is never a prescription for the dog - only for the Alpha Dog, the person in control.

Does Cesar ever fail? Does he ever meet a chronic dog illness that he cannot health?  Yes, it does happen sometimes. Sometimes the specific community, the relationship between owner and dog, and perhaps other family members, cannot be healthed. Sometimes a dog has been so damaged by its relationship with people, that it cannot be healthed.  Sometimes, the owner cannot change. In these situations, for the health and safety of all parties in the community - separation is the only solution. But even in these cases, Cesar often healths the dog, in the absence of the owner, by feeding its 'dogness'.

But we're talking about chronic disease in people, remember?  What has this to do with chronic diseases in people? Chronic diseases cannot be cured. Many medical textbooks echo this statement, without recognizing the truth.  Chronic disease cannot be cured by medicine. But chronic disease, in many cases, can be healthed - if the damage has not gone too far.  And even when there is serious damage, healthing the situation can stop further progress of the disease.

There is no Cesar Millan for chronic disease in people.  There is no Cesar, who can ignore the dog, ignore the disease, and health the patient, or more to the point - teach the patient to health themselves. Medical doctors are not trained to separate symptoms of the body, the dog, from the patient, the source of chronic illness. They make the simple mistake of treating the dog, the body.

That's not the only problem. Our medical systems consistently make several errors when they encounter chronic illness:
 - assuming it cannot be cured
 - medicating the symptoms
 - not looking for individual causes
 - not recognizing, not studying cures

Assuming it cannot be cured. Some of the chronic diseases identified by Center for Managing Chronic Disease include: allergy, Alzheimer's, asthma, breast cancer, diabetes, epilepsy,glaucoma, heart disease, and obesity. The very name of the organization, "Center for Managing Chronic Disease" makes it clear - they are not about curing disease, they are not about healthing disease - they have given up on chronic disease. They have adopted the assumption that it cannot be cured, and say so directly. "Chronic Disease is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured." If you think you can, you can.  As soon as you decide you cannot - you cannot. The Center for Managing Chronic Disease cannot cure, because they've decided that they cannot cure.

Medicating the symptoms. What does the Center for Managing Chronic Disease recommend?  If you have a chronic disease, they suggest 'managing' it. Imagine if Cesar Millan came and saw your dog ripping your furniture to shreds and he said - buy cheap chairs made of steel, so the dog can't hurt it, and if he succeeds, you won't lose a lot of money. If you have to be away during the daytime, give your dog sleeping pills, so he won't be running around the house wrecking things. If you can't control the dog, buy a sturdy collar and a short leash. That's managing the disease.  It's simply the wrong solution for a chronic illness.

Not looking for individual causes. Our medical systems are not interested in the cause of an individual case of a chronic illness. Causes are studied, in statistical models, but not in real situations. Imagine that you called Cesar Millan and told him that your dog is barking all the time.  Cesar lists of a statistical summary of the main reasons why your dog is barking all the time - maybe the dog is hearing lots of loud noises.  Maybe the dog is nervous. Maybe another dog is barking.  Maybe the dog is lonely. Statistics show that each of these can contribute to a dog barking a lot.  Maybe it's a combination of several causes.  It's complicated. Then Cesar, if he was a medical doctor, would prescribe a medication.  A tranquilizer to calm the dog. Ear plugs for the dog and the owner. Doctor Cesar would not visit the home, observe the environment, the habits of the owner. Would not attempt to identify the individual causes. The prescription should address the causes, not the symptoms.

Not recognizing nor studying cures. Our medical systems claim to be scientific, but they have one serious scientific flaw.  Ignorance of cures. When modern medicine encounters a chronic illness, it assumes that a cure is not possible. It aims for 'remission of symptoms'. When a cure happens, it is not noticed. Cesar has many successes - so many that every week we have several new examples on television. But a doctor who claims a single cure is dismissed as 'anecdotal evidence'.  And a doctor who claimed as many 'cures' as Cesar gives us in a month - would probably be banned from practice. In the past, he would be a saint - today he would be a heretic. Medicine, our current system of modern medicine, does not count cures. Cures are ignored, dismissed, even abolished or banned.

And the result? Chronic diseases cannot be cured. The truth is a bit longer.

A chronic disease cannot be cured by medicine.  It must be healthed. 

to your health, tracy
Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: