IGNORED, REJECTED, RIDICULED.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860), Philosopher.
In the known history of medicine and medical science, one invariable is glaringly obvious. Those who seek to present newly-discovered truth to an established coterie of medical “experts” will be faced with the veracity of Schopenhauer’s observation.
These examples shown below are just a few of the many who have discovered and presented new ways to be well, help those who are unwell, and philosophies of medicine and medical practice. Without exception, they were ignored, ridiculed, opposed (often vehemently and/or violently) before their truth was accepted and adopted by the medical establishment.
Even those who seek to work closely and cooperatively with the medical establishment to merge traditional medicine or a “new truth” with established practice face the same lack of interaction, rejection, ridicule and/or fierce opposition until or unless a member of the medical fraternity makes a “discovery” that mimics the truth that has, hitherto, been rejected.
Hippocrates of Cos (460 – 370 BC).
Hippocrates is often considered the “father of modern medicine”. He proposed that practitioners should “First, do no harm” and that we should “let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food”.
Over the centuries since Hippocrates, those who have worked to practice by his principles have usually been pilloried, rejected, burned or drowned as “witches”, tortured, imprisoned and killed as “heretics” and, in our modern world, sidelined as “alternative therapists”.
While western medical practitioners used to swear the Hippocratic oath before beginning practice, this has been modified so that, once again, Hippocrates principles have become less important than medical (not health) imperatives and the dictates of pharmaceutically-driven medical education. This is just one oath of practice from one university:
“I shall do by my patients as I would be done by; shall obtain consultation whenever I or they desire; shall include them to the extent they wish in all important decisions; and shall minimize suffering whenever a cure cannot be obtained, understanding that a dignified death is an important goal in everyone's life.”
In my childhood, family doctors (now called general practitioners) would visit my home, chat about food, exercise, see what books I was reading, make sure the home was habitable and really get to know me. They rarely prescribed medicine unless there was a severe infection or a serious illness that demanded treatment. Drugs were few on the ground back then but, as pharmaceuticals became available (including some life-saving drugs), prescribing became a first action instead of a last resort, and home visits disappeared in favour of multi-practitioner clinics. This, of course, protected the health of doctors somewhat and improved their income but, in my opinion, has been detrimental to patient care.
James Parkinson (1755 – 1824)
Dr Parkinson is renowned for describing “The Shaking Palsy” in an essay written in 1817. In that essay, he advised that patients should be treated for gut and bowel dysfunction as a mainstay of treatment for this disorder.
This advice was ignored until just a few years ago when interest has surfaced in gut microbiome and constipation. Interestingly, this interest seems to coincide with the emergence of patented probiotic strains claimed to be disease modifying.
Meanwhile, those who have promoted gut and bowel treatments for people showing symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders have been branded as quacks, charlatans and crooks.
Ignatz Semmelweis (1818 – 1865)
Dr Semmelweis proposed that doctors should wash their hands thoroughly after leaving the
morgue and before delivering babies, and after each delivery before moving on to the next mother.
He was ridiculed by his peers and remonstrated firmly with them. He was then incarcerated in a Mental Asylum where he died from infection. Thirty years later, his principles of hygiene were adopted as “self-evident” saving the lives of millions of mothers and babies.
Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895)
Scientists and doctors of his time scoffed at the idea that microscopic creatures caused disease and that disease could be “cured” by killing these creatures.
His ideas were held to ridicule and largely ignored for 30 years.
These days, we are much more aware of the nature of bacteria, both healthy and pathogenic.
How many people died from infection because Louis Pasteur was ignored and ridiculed?
Antoine Béchamp (1816 – 1908)
Very few have heard of Antoine Béchamp and yet he proposed a source of illness that was ignored by his rivals, and still is by many so-called authorities today.
Béchamp proposed that bacteria and viruses made us ill when the “terrain” (our internal health) was disrupted or dysregulated. This has been shown to be true in thousands of studies over many years.
Yet, even today, many medical scientists and practitioners insist that disease (as identified by symptoms) is caused only by external influences (bacteria, viruses, injury, poisons) and the “terrain” is unimportant.
Béchamp is still ridiculed and ignored today, being compared very unfavourably with Pasteur. Yet, if we accept Pasteur’s theories as being true, we must also accept Béchamp’s as we see time and again that those with compromised nutrition, gut microbiome and immune status are at much higher risk of infection than those who are well nourished with active immune systems.
But there is little profit in people maintaining good health.
Thomas Ambrose Bowen (1916 – 1982)
Tom Bowen was a self-taught hands-on bodywork practitioner who discovered procedures of very light, cross-tissue movements that could restore balance and health for many with disabling musculoskeletal dysfunction and, in many cases, ddebilitating chronic disorders. Tom was refused formal qualifications or recognition but taught six “boys” who have carried on his work.
For many years, Tom was an underpaid and unrecognised outcast from any formal medical or allied-health body and remained so until his death in 1982.
His work is now taught around the world and recognition by conservative, western medical professionals is very slowly growing.
Arvid Carlsson (dopamine) (1923 – 2018)
In 1957, Dr Carlsson showed that dopamine is a neurotransmitter rather than just a precursor to noradrenaline/norepinephrine as was the prevailing view of medical science at that time.
His views were vigorously opposed until he was able to show benefits for those with apparent
dopamine deficiencies (such as those with Parkinson’s), and also worked on dopamine excess in those with Schizophrenia.
Despite early opposition, Dr Carlsson was awarded the Nobel Prize in the years 2000 for his work on dopamine.
It is interesting to note that Dr. Carlsson opposed fluoridation of water as it is “a violation of modern pharmacological principles”, and succeeded (with other scientists) in refusing fluoridation in Sweden where dental caries rates were similar to those in fluoridated countries.
John Coleman (1943 - )
I was diagnosed with advanced Parkinson’s disease in 1995. My neurologist offered me medication for the temporary relief of symptoms with no hope of restoring my health.
I chose to avoid pharmaceutical medicine as long as possible and, with a lot of hard work, became symptom-free by mid-1998.
Since graduating as a naturopath (also at the end of 1998) I have continued to research literature, studies and reports on Parkinson’s, work with those diagnosed, and self-fund small scale research in my own clinic.
Despite patients becoming symptom-free and reporting to their neurologists and doctors, and me offering my medical history and living body for examination by any qualified person who wished to follow-up, the only response from doctors and scientists was silence, vehement denial that I ever had Parkinson’s, or defamatory comments about my character. Sometimes all from the same person.
In 2019, a cardiologist I was consulting for mild hypertension, preluded his other remarks by saying “You never had Parkinson’s!” He would not enter into discussion saying that, as PD is progressive and degenerative and I am now well, I could not have PD so that was the end of the matter.
Some years before that I was presenting my story to an international Parkinson’s Conference. Just telling what happened to me. No claims or trying to sell treatments. Many doctors walked out during my presentation and those who stayed chose not to ask questions.
I am still abused and defamed by conservative doctors and even some ultra-conservative practitioners in the field of “original medicine” (incorrectly called complementary and alternative medicine) and, I am sad to say, some who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s and who would rather believe they can’t get well than embark on a health adventure – difficult, tiring, but exciting.
I am fascinated that some significant conservative research has validated my work but, of course, does not acknowledge those who have gone before.
Ian Gawler (1950 - )
Ian Gawler, a vet by profession, was diagnosed with osteogenic carcinoma in 1975 and had his right leg amputated through the hip. He was offered a 5% chance of survival after 5 years.
Through the ensuing years, up to 1984, Ian continued to have “adventures” with his health including secondary cancers and TB. His story is summarised here - https://iangawler.com/about-drs-ian-and-ruth-gawler/#history.
Many conservative medical practitioners and scientists refute his story and attempt to discredit him by stating (without evidence) that he did not have cancer and, if he did, only his medical treatment saved him. I have been told this by doctors about Ian in an attempt to persuade me that only western medical treatment could help me during my various adventures.
Ian’s work, retreat and books continue to received vehement opposition from many in the conservative western medical profession, but also continue to help thousands of people diagnosed with cancer, MS and similar disorders.
Dr Terry Wahls (1955 - )
Dr Wahls found a way to recover from advanced and debilitating Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
While her work is supported by few progressive doctors and scientists, and she has a research position at the University of Iowa, her research and success are largely ignored or opposed by the medical establishment.
Having attended a number if conferences on treating MS conducted by MS Societies, I know that her work is never mentioned and MS patients are left with few options other than quite destructive pharmaceutical support unless they choose to do their own research of available literature.
So many thousands of patients suffer more that necessary because Dr Wahls work is ignored and rejected.
At 11 years old, I developed acne as is common among those reaching puberty.
My acne spread and became more serious until I was afflicted with suppurating pimples and sores on my face, neck, shoulders and upper back that were painful and left blood stains on my shirts.
Doctors I consulted told me I would “grow out of it”. One tried an antibiotic with no success.
After 10 years, I was tired of “grow out of it” and an old friend directed me to Hainsworth Cock, a homeopath, dietician, osteopath and naturopath.
Mr Cock quickly diagnosed a chronic staphylococcus infection, changed my food choices and provided some gentle-but-effective naturopathic treatments. My “acne” was healed in six months.
I saw Mr Cock many times over the next 35 years with my children, parents and friends and got to know him quite well. I learned that his patients included doctors, scientists, political figures and celebrities, as well as thousands of people like me who just needed help that western medicine could not provide. Mr Cock also trained a number of doctors who went on to become well-known Integrative Doctors.
Yet, who has heard of Hainsworth Cock? Where is the recognition of the thousands he helped, the doctors he trained and the knowledge he introduced into the Australian healthcare landscape?
Hainsworth Cock has been ignored, his knowledge lost, and many left wondering who can help them.
Western medicine is based on the premise that symptoms can be classified into diseases and, if we suppress those symptoms, we have “cured” the disease.
“Health” research is almost entirely aimed at discovering treatment targets and developing potentially profitable treatments to suppress or alter those targets.
Meanwhile, those who seek to support unwell people in their efforts to regain ebullient health are ignored, rejected, ridiculed and, in some cases, “removed”.
If we truly seek good health, we can accept the benefits that come from appropriate use of western medicine, but need to search diligently for those who bring old and new knowledge that can help us reach a state of wholeness and wellness.
John Coleman ND FMANPA
My other blogs on a wide range of health topics are available for free from here: https://www.rethinkingparkinsons.com/blog-1