If you are not aware, I am in nursing school, along with a number of other activities to keep me busy. As my blog title page mentions, this is a blog about health and wellness and astrology and the Buddha-Dharma. Well, I think I am trying to integrate myself into the mainstream side of wellness by becoming a nurse. And one of the hurdles to become a nurse is to take the Pharmacology class and learn (and memorize) hundreds of facts and numbers and onset times, etc about many different types of medications (drugs).
My only issue with this, as you may have read in a previous post, is that I disagree with the way the Pharmacology book just stops instead of mentioning new (cutting edge, brand new, ahead of the curve) research which indicates that some non-pharmacologic techniques work just as well as the medication route. If not better.
For instance, according to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (a massive study involving over 30,000 participants over many years), early childhood trauma is almost guaranteed to cause inflammatory diseases later in life. This is a fact. In certain circles of bodywork and trauma resolution practitioners, this is well known. And most pharmacologic methods do not cure the underlying disease (they do not cure the cause), but rather they treat the symptoms. See asthma for examples of this. How about we find a non-pharmacologic way to treat the underlying trauma and resolve the cause of this inflammatory suffering? Do you have any idea how much this would save the American public?
Even the CDC is on board with the validity of the ACE study! It is legit!
So about those non-pharmacologic methods to resolve inflammatory disease (which may be caused by unresolved early childhood trauma)? Well guess what? There are modalities which treat just that! See Somatic Experiencing for one. Look at birth process work for another. See pre- and perinatal psychology for explanations of how the trauma gets laid down. Read about the Vagus nerve and how it regulates the Parasympathetic nervous system. And if you assist someone to learn and absorb and embrace tools to resource their nervous systems, they will be more relaxed, more resilient and more adaptable. They will move toward healing.
Somatic Experiencing website:
A fantastic teacher of pre- and perinatal psychology, Myrna Martin:
Another incredible teacher of trauma resolution, Kathy Kaine: (working with the Vagus system)
One of my teachers here in Charlottesville, Janet Evergreen:
My point here is that allopathic, typical pharmacology books do not discuss any of these modalities or even possibilities. It is not well-known enough. Body-psychotherapy is not well known outside of California or certain alternative enclaves around the U.S. (Charlottesville, VA, Asheville, NC, Austin, TX, Burlington, VT, etc). But trust me when I say that it is possible (with many caveats) to resolve early childhood trauma and that by doing so, our health typically improves. It is not always comfortable (to say the least!) and it is very difficult to get started down this particular, provocative, accelerated path of healing. But it is possible.
Unfortunately, most people want the silver bullet. They want the pill that heals them. Well folks. It ain’t gonna happen. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect to get different results, no matter what you are taking! (this is actually one definition of insanity) We have to change our minds along with changing our bodies.
With all of this said however, I was pleasantly surprised to note in myself a change of heart toward Pharmacology. In studying the Chemotherapy drugs, I noticed a change of mind in myself.
In the past, without knowing the mechanisms of action, without knowing much about cancer, without knowing anything about pharmacology, I thought chemotherapy was all about poisoning the cancer cells. Choking out the toxic cells and lethal tissues. And of course in doing so, it would also poison the person on those toxic drugs.
Well guess what I am learning? There is a method to the madness and in theory, chemotherapy drugs (when used properly and with up-to-date research) can destroy cancer cells faster than non-malignant healthy cells. It is this theory which leads to some cures through Chemotherapy. Good grief! This is different than I was expecting.
See, I have some underlying distrust of doctors from my own birth (I was thought to be contagious upon being born and promptly stuffed in an incubator for 18 – 24 hours). Those assholes. The mark on my back which the doctors had never seen before was the mark of the native american people. So yes, my birth trauma was / and probably is still influencing my relationship to doctors and the Western medical paradigm. But after learning a little tiny bit more, I am no longer completely against Chemo drugs. Wow! Sure, I might consider other therapies first (at least learn about what they are doing in Germany for cancer!). But here in the U.S. chemotherapy might not be a death sentence and in fact there is a chance it will lead to a cure! Even if that journey is like traveling through Hell and back…
What a change of heart?! Okay, so yes I am still skeptical about Pharmacology. Any industry that is fueled by profits, even if doctors take the Hippocratic oath, is bound to become corrupt. And guess what? The pharmaceutical industry does not pull their punches. Their bottom line probably matters most. But fortunately the FDA has regulations in place to limit their corruption and to strictly review new drugs coming onto the market. Yay!
So what am I saying? I am saying that pharmacotherapy has its merits. However, I would also recommend looking at alternative therapies when / where possible. Get second opinions. Look at those websites above! It is obvious that the ACE study and its ramifications will become a part of mainstream medicine – whether it is in 10 years or 20 years, people are going to come around. There is reason to be happy. The info is out there, you just have to know who to ask or where to look.
And there are even websites dedicated to tracking pharmaceutical donations to doctors(!):
https://www.propublica.org (see the Dollars for Docs tab on top)
So have hope. Know that change is coming and that if is possible for you to unwind your own birth / early developmental trauma and that that can lead to better health! Hooray!
And it is even possible for me to begin to trust the Western pharmacotherapy-based medical paradigm. Whoa?! That is quite the step to take. I’m not quite there yet. But I am willing to give it a shot. 🙂
Thanks for reading!