One consideration that came out of the COVID-19 Pandemic is that it is wise to be invested in protective behavior. By this I mean to exercise our innate defense system such that it is available and at-the-ready to defend us against any adversarial condition. It is easy for us to become accustomed to intervention medicine…outside protection that can be used to address situations that might otherwise be addressed quite handily by our own defense system. By using one’s own functioning system, it becomes more and more effective in its job.
It has become quite common to opt for antibiotics at the slightest suggestion of an infection. This not only disrupts other systems in the body due to its non-specificity, it also disallows our own defense system from being exercised, and further disallows our own defense system from creating antibodies to establish immunity. It is well documented that many well-meaning vaccines have not imparted as specific and as successful of an immunity as is the case with the simple straight forward exposure to the infectious agent.
The analogy I would like to use for this phenomenon is forest management. When the governing agencies used to do everything in their power to prevent forest fires by stopping all flames big or small before any natural “pruning” occurred and a fire did get away from those ever-watchful agencies, all Hell broke loose with thousands of acres in jeopardy.
Another example is the Spartans vs the Athenians. Spartans lived a “Spartan” existence, meaning a life with minimal conveniences. This is not to say that conveniences are not appreciated. Nor, is the quick fix of an antibiotic not appreciated at times. It simply points out that when the going got tough, the Spartans were tough enough to put up a formidable fight…most famously at Thermopylae against the infinitely larger (300 vs 300 thousand!) invading Persian forces that the Athenians had been losing ground with.
Intervention medicine is extremely valuable when an individual becomes overwhelmed and unable to handle a situation on their own. It simply has become too convenient to use as a quick fix and is leaving many of us vulnerable to becoming dependent on it. When a situation such as this Pandemic (with a capital P) hits, it’s the vulnerable that are most at risk. Even if intervention is the only way to survive it, there is a critical time period when a person needs to fight and hang on until outside help is available.
I encourage all of us to keep our defenses up by incorporating healthy lifestyles that bolster our innate immune systems so that they are at-the-ready for what-may-come.
Dr. Miles practices Naturopathic Medicine alongside other holistic practitioners at the Catalina Clinic of Integrative Medicine in Catalina, Arizona. Visit www.catalinaclinic.com.