Don’t Attack Your Body’s Symptoms as the Illness Itself

January 26, 2014 Trisha Han HighlightsSelf-Help Topics

When we catch a cold, we may sneeze; when we drink too much alcohol, we may vomit; when we eat unclean food, we may have diarrhea. Sneezing is the body’s way of expelling the germs and wind-cold that have accumulated–after showing the classic symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, sweating), the cold eventually will pass. Vomiting helps prevent harmful accumulation of alcohol in the bloodstream, relieving your stomach of burden and allowing it to perform its normal functions. Diarrhea occurs when the body needs to flush out any toxins that are introduced, as well as any harmful bacteria that may grow in the digestive tract.

These symptoms are all part of the body’s ability to heal and protect itself. The problem is, modern medicine tries to eliminate disease largely by stifling the symptoms. We tend to forget that these symptoms are the body’s way of helping us heal in the first place.  Instead of tackling the root cause of the disease, we often generate a temporary illusion of health by covering up our symptoms with countless drugs.  Consequently, we put a lot of unnecessary strain on our bodies.

Symptoms like fever, cough, hives, throat soreness, nosebleeds, and inflammation are all immune responses produced by the body in retaliation against disease. When fighting illness, the body tends to sacrifice parts for the sake of the whole.  The body’s primary goal is to protect its vital organs; the skin, muscles, joints, and orifices are lower priority, and thus serve as temporary sites for the disease to concentrate and develop before the body can eliminate it.  These lower priority locations in the body tend to be where the symptoms arise.  Sometimes, symptoms can be especially intense, causing severe discomfort and pain. But we must keep in mind the body’s good intentions, so that we don’t seek any intensive therapies that may permanently damage it.

With so much advanced technology at our disposal, modern medicine could have a resounding impact on our health and our everyday lives, if only we were headed in the right direction and equipped with the proper mindset.  Rather than inhibiting the body’s natural symptoms, medicines should promote and expedite their progression. If there was a device that could induce sneezing, people would get well faster (see earlier article). The purpose of coughing is to expel contaminated mucus; rather than suppressing the cough, it is a good idea to induce coughs with expectorants. Diarrhea expels dampness and contamination from the body–under normal circumstances, directly inhibiting diarrhea is not a wise approach; instead, one should ensure that the body is still receiving essential nutrients, but allow the diarrhea to take its natural course with minimal intervention.    Fever produces many desirable results–it cleanses the body of excess coldness, dampness, blood stagnation, and toxins–but it is unfortunately the target of many drugs on the market.

Given the technology at our fingertips, inventing tools and therapies that aid our body’s natural responses rather than discouraging them is not a difficult undertaking.  But before we can accomplish this, we must change our current perception, which treats symptoms as if they are the disease itself.  Doing so may lead to severe repercussions in the long run, because if the body’s natural responses are suppressed, eventually they will retaliate–not only against the disease, but possibly even against itself.  If we do not revise our mindset, we will constantly be at war with ourselves, rather than in harmony with our bodies.


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