The immune system is one of the most complex systems in the human body, and the study of the immune system (immunology) is one of the most dynamic fields of study involving the human body.
The immune system is composed of the lymphatic vessels and organs (thymus gland, spleen, adrenals, lymph nodes, tonsils and adenoids), white blood cells (lymphocytes, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, etc.), specialized cells residing in various tissues (macrophages, mast cells, etc.) and specialized serum factors (including interferon, interleukin II and complement).
The immune system's primary function involves the protection of the body against various diseases, infections or the development of cancer by functioning as an internal defense mechanism. This activity on the part of the immune system guarantees that the organism is not continuously overwhelmed by an excessive accumulation of harmful microorganisms or pathogens (disease-bearing agents) such as bacteria, fungi or viruses. The immune system responds in an identical manner to all forms of disease, regardless of its location in the body or its cause.
Microorganisms enter the body continuously by way of the ears, eyes, mouth and nose, as well as through the food we consume, the water we ingest, and the air that we breathe. Some of these take up permanent residence without doing any harm. However, whenever certain states (such as an over-acid condition or an improper acid/alkaline balance) develop that allow for invading or threatening microorganisms to reproduce or multiply within the body, a chain reaction (known as the immune response) involving a specialized group of cells (known collectively as the white blood cells) begins to occur. Then the various cell types and unique chemical substances of the immune response mechanism act to isolate the problem quickly and thereby prevent it from spreading any further.
There are two basic defense mechanism responses; namely, the specific and the non-specific.
This immune system response is able to produce a specific antibody against a particular invader, especially since the protein molecules on the surface of the viruses are as unique as fingerprints. In the case of a repeated infection or illness, it is by virtue of this system's "memory" that the intruder is immediately recognized and quickly rendered harmless (which is why human beings usually experience certain childhood diseases only once). Immunizations also function by way of this same mechanism. By introducing a weakened form of a specific bacteria or virus into the body, a specific antibody is produced that protects against further "invasions" of that particular infection or illness. However, the specific immune system response is somewhat slow, and in the case of a primary infection, it will not reach its full effectiveness until somewhere between five and fourteen days have elapsed.
If the body is invaded by germs that produce an outbreak of disease within a very short period of time (as is the case with colds and influenzal infections), then the initial symptoms begin to manifest within eighteen to forty-eight hours after the onset of infection. It is crucial that the organism is able to wage an intense campaign of defense against these invaders, and only the non-specific immune system response is capable of accomplishing this feat. Its primary agents are specialized white blood cells (known as macrophages) that maintain a constant vigilance or protective force that continuously attacks pathological germs (pathogens) and swallows them up before they become a more significant threat. The more quickly these invaders are eliminated, then the less likely is there any danger that the symptoms of disease or illness will appear. It is important to note that most viruses that produce head colds or influenza will continually alter their appearance (i.e., their surface structure). Hence, they do not usually provoke a specific immune system response, and therefore require more constant vigilence by the non-specific immune system.
Inflammation and fever are also considered to be a part of the immune system. Inflammation is created by a histamine reaction --- the same thing that causes allergy symptoms to manifest. Histamine produces an expansion of the blood vessels at the site of the problem in order to increase the flow of warm blood to that particular area. The dilation of the blood vessels makes them more permeable so that blood plasma (essentially, blood that does not contain either red or white cells) can seep through and transport another defense substance known as "complement", which is vitally important to the proper functioning of the antibodies. Fever improves the body's defenses by promoting the activity of germ-fighting cells, and also enhances the overall effectiveness of interferon.
The various components of the immune system are described as follows:
The thymus is the major gland in our immune system. It is composed of two soft, pinkish-grey lobes (primarily of lymphoid structure) lying like a bib just below the thyroid gland, and situated in the upper part of the chest cavity above the heart region. The thymus is responsible for many functions of the immune system, including the production of T-lymphocytes (or T-cells). This is a type of white blood cell that is responsible for cell-mediated immunity, which refers to immune mechanisms that are not controlled or mediated by antibodies. Cell-mediated immunity is extremely important for providing greater resistance to infection or infectious diseases caused by mold-like bacteria, yeast (including Candida albicans), fungi, parasites and viruses (including Herpes simplex and Epstein-Barr). Cell-mediated immunity is also critical in protecting an organism against the development of cancer and various allergies.
The thymus gland releases several polypeptide hormones (such as thymosin, thymopoeitin and serum thymic factor) which regulate many immune functions. The prevention of thymic involution (or shrinkage), the use of nutrients that act as co-factors for the thymic hormones, and the stimulation of thymus gland activity are all necessary in order to insure optimal thymus gland activity, thymic hormone levels and cell-mediated immunity.
The lymphatic system plays an active role in the immune response by forming some of the white blood cells that manufacture antibodies in order to suppress the growth and activity of harmful bacteria and viruses. The lymphatic system provides a vehicle for those elements of the immune system that circulate throughout the body and monitor its internal environment, as well as maintain the stability of the bodily functions. Therefore, the lymphatic system provides greater accessibility to the entire physical body. In addition to protecting the body against disease and infection, the lymphatic system supplies nutriment to every cell in the body.
Approximately one-sixth of the entire physical body consists of the space between the cells. This space is collectively referred to as the interstitium, and the fluid contained within this space is known as the interstitial fluid. This fluid flows into the lymphatic vessels and becomes the lymph.
Lymphatic vessels usually run parallel to the arteries and veins, draining metabolic waste products from tissues and transporting the lymph to the lymph nodes (which are lymphatic vessels with filters) that interact with white blood cells in order to incapacitate certain disease-carriers or disease-bearing agents (pathogens). The lymph is then filtered in the lymph nodes by large cells called macrophages, which phagocytize (engulf and destroy) various foreign particles or substances (including bacteria and cellular debris). The lymph nodes also contain B-lymphocytes, which are those white blood cells that are capable of initiating antibody production in response to the presence of viruses, bacteria, yeast and various other microorganisims. Each group of lymph nodes protects a particular part of the body. For example, there are nodes located on the neck (to protect the head region), at the top of the thighs (to protect the legs and genitals), etc. The activity of the lymph nodes is greatly stimulated during an infection or infectious condition, and the subsequent accumulation of cells and bacteria may cause the lymph nodes to become enlarged. This is usually experienced as swelling and possible tenderness in the neck, armpits and groin region, and may also lead to the formation of pimples, boils, sore throat, ear infection, herpes, etc. This is merely an indication that the body is healing itself.
This organ is the largest mass of lymphatic tissue in the physical body. In addition to producing lymphocytes while engulfing and destroying bacteria and cellular debris, the spleen is responsible for destroying any worn-out red blood cells and platelets. The spleen also serves as a blood reservoir. During times of increased demand (such as hemorrhage), the spleen can release its stored blood and thereby prevent the occurrence of shock.
Although not considered to be a lymphatic organ, the liver produces the majority of lymph in the body. In addition to this, the integrity of the lymphatic system is highly dependent upon special types of macrophage (Kupffer cells) that exist in the liver. Kupffer cells are responsible for filtering bacteria, yeast (such as Candida albicans), and toxic foreign compounds that are absorbed by the gastro-intestinal tract. When functioning properly, these cells have been shown to engulf and destroy a single bacteria in less than 1/100th of a second. Those factors which enhance Kupffer cell and macrophage activity are discussed below.
The adrenal glands also play an important role in the immune response by secreting various hormones that act as a catalyst for activating certain necessary processes within the immune system.
These cells are transported by the bloodstream, but are found in large numbers in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus and tissue fluids. It is the white blood cells that have the overall responsibility of defending the body against disease, as well as disposing of bacteria and cellular debris. They are outnumbered 500:1 by the red blood cells, whose sole function is the transport of oxygen.
White blood cells are classified into two major groups; namely, granular and non-granular.
These cells are formed from the same basic cell of the bone marrow (called a "stem cell"), and are characterized by the presence of granules within the cytoplasm and lobed nuclei. Some of these stem cells are transformed into T-cells in the thymus gland, while B-cell conversion usually occurs in the bone marrow. The three types of granular white blood cells are called neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils.
These cells actively phagocytise (engulf and destroy) harmful bacteria, yeasts, fungi, tumor cells and dead particulate matter. Neutrophils are particularly important for the prevention of bacterial infection.
These cells are directly involved in allergic conditions by secreting histamine and various other compounds that are designed to decompose any antigen-antibody complexes, as well as activate increased allergic mechanisms.
These cells possess no granules, and their nuclei are spherical rather than lobed. The two types of non-granular white blood cells are known as the lymphocytes and the monocytes.
There are several types of lymphocytes, namely, T-cells, B-cells, NK (natural killer) cells, etc. The term "T-cells" stands for thymus-derived lymphocytes. These cells orchestrate many functions in the immune system, and are the major components of cell-mediated immunity. There are different kinds of T-cells, including helper T-cells (which assist in the various functions of the other white blood cells), suppressor T-cells (which inhibit and control all white blood cell functions), and cytotoxic T-cells (which attack and destroy any foreign tissue, cancer cells or virus-infected cellular tissue).
B-cells are responsible for initiating the formation of antibodies, which are large protein molecules that bind themselves to foreign molecules (antigens) on harmful bacteria, viruses, tumor cells and various other microorganisms. After the antibody binds itself to the antigen, it develops a sequence of events that ultimately destroys the infectious organism or tumor cell. These antibodies are the immune system's most effective killers. Once the antibody is established, it can clone itself whenever it is required to defend itself from that particular antigen again. Approximately 14 days are required in order for the body to prepare the proper antibodies. By this time, most of the existing problems have been removed by the various other immune responses. However, those antibodies that had been previously formed will continue to maintain a state of health in the body. Furthermore, those antibodies that were formed during a particular illness will remain available in order to prevent the body from becoming vulnerable or susceptible to that same ailment whenever it becomes exposed to it again.
Natural killer (NK) cells are so-named because of their ability to destroy cells that have become cancerous or infected with harmful viruses. They are the body's first line of defense against the development of cancer.
These large white blood cells are responsible for cleaning up and removing any cellular debris after an infection, and are also responsible for triggering many immune responses.
As stated earlier, the lymph is filtered by specialized cells known as macrophages. These large cells are actually monocytes that have taken up residence in specific tissues, such as the liver, spleen and lymph nodes. Macrophages are especially equipped to digest the antigen (foreign substance) by removing the ribonucleic acids (RNA), which are then utilized by the B-cells to produce antibodies. Macrophages are essential in protecting the body against invasion by harmful microorganisms (as well as against any further damage to the lymphatic system) by phagocytising (or engulfing) various foreign particles (including bacteria and cellular debris).
These cells consist of basophils that have situated themselves primarily along the blood vessels, and are also responsible for releasing histamine and various other compounds that are directly involved in allergic reactions.
During the late nineteenth century, a Russian bacteriologist and colleague of Louis Pasteur discovered that circulating white cells actually protect the human body from bacterial invasion. This was the advent of humankind's understanding of the purpose of the immune system, and these white blood cells were considered to be the body's first line of defense for many years afterwards until a substance known as interferon was discovered in 1957 by a British virologist and his Swiss colleague.
Interferon is now recognized as the first line of defense, and is one of a number of special chemical factors (interferon, interleukin II, complement, etc.) that enhances the immune system. These compounds are produced by various white blood cells (e.g., interferon is produced primarily by T-cells, interleukins are produced by macrophages and T-cells, and complement fractions are manufactured in the liver and spleen). These special chemical factors are extremely important in activating the white blood cells to destroy both cancer cells and viruses.
Interferon is a protein that is produced by cells which have been subjected to viral attack. These infected cells release interferon into the system in order for it to make contact with the surrounding healthy cells, thereby making them less susceptible to the virus. This virus is then unable to utilize those cells in order to reproduce (replicate) itself, while the healthy cell remains fully capable of carrying on its normal functions. The overall effects of interferon are not long-lasting, but it does adequately defend the healthy cells long enough for the various other immune responses to take effect.
Several of these chemical mediators of our immune system are currently being investigated for the treatment of cancer, AIDS, and various other conditions or imbalances involving the immune system.
A normal, healthy, well-nourished individual usually manifests a strong and natural immunity to germs. The most sophisticated defense system against disease consists of personal hygiene (both internal and external), coupled with regular exercise and a strongly functioning immune system. Every human body is biologically equipped to function as a whole and independent organism, and is quite capable of resisting any "invasion" of its bodily tissues by foreign or harmful microorganisms.
The immune system has opened up a completely new perspective on defenses against disease, and immunology has provided viable explanations for a great number of previously unrelated conditions. The immune system includes every defense mechanism in the body, but it is more accurate to limit this system to two general types of biochemical reactions that result in an immune response to "attacks" from foreign or invading substances (or what are commonly referred to as "infections"). These two types of biochemical reactions usually interact with two different kinds of "delivery" systems in the body, namely, the blood and the lymphatic. Immune response is therefore classified as either of the antibody type (immunoglobulins) occurring in the bloodstream (humoral), or of the cellular type (lymphocytes) that takes place in the lymphatic system. When antibodies are not produced in sufficient quantities (or when lymphocytes are inadequate), then certain distinct forms of disease (or infections) may overwhelm the physical body. Only five different types of immunoglobulins have been identified (Immunoglobulin (Ig) G, M, A, E and D), and any deficiencies in these may result from inherited conditions or may be transient (with the latter most often occurring in the fourth to twelfth week of life). Lymphocytes are occasionally inadequate because of deficiencies in the thymus gland, where they are originally produced. Furthermore, deficiencies in either antibodies or lymphocytes may be acquired, as in the currently prevalent Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (A.I.D.S.).
There are many reasons for the increasing prevalence of immune system imbalances. A lowered or weakened immune system generally leads to colds, infections, viruses, influenzas, allergies, asthmas, eczemas or persistent headaches, and may occur as a result of any combination of negative factors that tend to impede the body's attempts to eliminate that which is harmful to its overall health and well-being (as well as to place an additional burden or strain on the immune system itself). When the normal chemistry of the body is thrown out of balance by these factors (which are basically in our control), then various forms of dormant germs or bacteria are revived. These microorganisms, in turn, replicate (reproduce) into highly toxic accumulations, and the entire organism marshals its healing forces in an effort to confront the emergency and make the proper adjustments. Such an effort is expressed in various symptomatic responses of the body's self-healing process, including fever, disturbed breathing, an accelerated circulation (swelling and inflammation), intensified bowel movements (diarrhea), lymphatic glandular swelling, pain (which indicates the presence of irritants), skin eruptions and/or catarrhal discharge (in order to expel excessive accumulations of mucus and toxins).
Those negative factors that result in these defensive reactions include:
1. Exposure to electromagnetic and environmental pollutants, in cluding inorganic fertilizer or pesticide residues, food additives, toxic metals (such as lead, aluminum, cadmium, or mercury amalgam dental fillings), carbon monoxide, radiation, polluted air and water, etc.
2. Widespread use of synthetic drug medications, steroids, hormones, birth control pills, vaccinations or inoculations, tobacco and alcohol, anti-perspirants (or any other suppressive creams, lotions and ointments containing harsh chemicals), etc.
3. Nutritional deficiencies, routine "pig-outs", coffee, refined white sugar, inherited genetic traits, underactive thyroid, etc.
4. Modern urban ("fast lane") living habits and sedentary lifestyles.
5. Stressful influences, mental/emotional imbalances, overwork, negative thought-patterns, suppressed feelings, etc.
6. Recurrent sexually-transmitted diseases.
7. Extremely poor living conditions (such as widespread famine or the introduction of infectious agents with which humankind has not previously been exposed to).
In addition to the above, the widespread use of illicit drugs is one of the leading factors in a lowered or weakened immune system. For example, the active ingredient in marijuana (THC) alters the normal immune response. This causes the white blood cells to become anywhere from 35 to 40 percent less effective, thereby weakening the entire immune defense mechanisms.
Furthermore, any thymus gland imbalance will directly affect the immune, circulatory, glandular and nervous systems. This gland releases several hormones (such as thymosin, thymopoeitin and serum thymic factor) that regulate many immune functions. Low levels of these hormones in the blood are usually associated with depressed immunity and an increased susceptibility to infection. Thymic hormone levels typically become extremely low in the elderly, in AIDS patients, and whenever an individual is exposed to undue stress. The attainment of optimal thymus gland activity (along with proper thymic hormone levels and cell-mediated immunity) is usually dependent upon the prevention of thymic involution (or shrinkage), as well as the use of nutrients that act as co-factors for the thymic hormones and the proper stimulation of thymus gland activity.
The thymus gland displays its maximum development immediately after birth, and begins to deteriorate during the onset of puberty. During the aging process, this gland undergoes a process of shrinkage (or involution). The reason for this activity is that the thymus gland is extremely susceptible to free radical and oxidative damage caused by stressful living habits, faulty nutrition or poor diet, environmental pollutants (such as radiation and ELF waves), infection and chronic illness.
For well over a century, the Western world has consistently upheld a belief-system (or mind-set) that disease indiscriminately attacks humankind from outside of themselves, and that they live their lives as apparent victims of invisible germs against which they have little defense (except for the so-called magic of Western science and the mystique that surrounds the commercialized medical/pharmaceutical technology).
This pervasive cultural belief-system extends all the way back to the 17th century with the onset of a Cartesian/Newtonian mechanical and reductionistic viewpoint of the human body, as well as humanity's overall relationship with the universe. This reductionistic approach towards investigating and understanding the physical organism and its relationship to health and disease usually involves a further division of the body into as many parts as possible. Each of these body parts are then analyzed separately (under "medical specialization") in the belief that a greater comprehension of the entire human anatomy will eventually occur. Many 19th and 20th century beliefs can be traced back directly to these 17th century assumptions about health and disease, such as:
1. The human body is merely a biological machine.
2. There is an "in here" inside the body and an "out there" outside the body that are separate and quite distinct from one another.
3. Disease is a separate organism unto itself, or a foreign and hostile entity that is separate from a human being, and capable of entering and causing harm to a physical body.
4. Illness is a calamity that strikes from outside of the body, and must be endured with the assistance of palliative medications.
5. Health is merely the absence of disease symptoms.
6. As with disease, healing occurs independently of the mind, emotions and human consciousness.
7. The level of health depends upon the quality of medicine.
8. Health (or the healing process) occurs as a result of what someone (or something) does for us (or to us), rather than what we do for ourselves.
During the 1800's, Western cultural science continued to perceive the human body as an accumulation of various parts that existed as primarily separate from the mind, emotions and spirit. Along with this perception, Western civilization began to embrace a mind-set that has gradually evolved into practically a religious belief; namely, that Western science and its particular scientific method is a uniquely objective, dispassionate and direct insight into truth and reality.
It is important to note that "science" is not absolute, but merely a cultural form of knowingness, and therefore is relative to a civilization's already existing cultural beliefs. A particular culture's science is merely a subjective, deeply-conditioned cultural attitude toward the world in general, which has gradually formed in the collective consciousness of that culture over an extended period of time.
In reality, many cultural sciences are vastly different (but equally valid) concepts of knowing and experiencing reality. Although each of these sciences evolved from a different cultural perception of reality, each of them are no less real (or unreal) than our own, for we ultimately live what we know. If we believe the universe and ourselves to be mechanical and vulnerable to attack by microorganisms, then our belief-systems will cause us to live mechanically and provide overwhelming power to these microorganisms. According to Norman Cousins, the greatest force in the human body is its natural drive to continually heal itself. However, this force is not independent of one's belief-system, which can translate mental or emotional expectations into physiological change and outcome. For example, note the ability of the fifteen billion neurons in the human brain to convert our thoughts, hopes, ideas and attitudes into actual chemical substances that ultimately create our own individual reality.
Unfortunately, Western science still adheres to the belief that germs cause disease, and few of us question this so-called "fact" of life. The infamous "germ theory" as initially proposed by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch during the late 1800's is over-simplified, inaccurate and tragically misleading when applied to one's daily life experience. Nevertheless, it continues to reign as the cornerstone and foundation of our culture's common conceptual understanding of the cause and cure of human disease.
The overwhelming rapidity with which the germ theory of disease became accepted by the Western allopathic medical profession was a spectacular historical phenomenon. Even though the current grouping of allopathic physicians no longer accept the belief that germs are the sole cause of disease, there has been very little public educational information to the contrary either promoted or sponsored by this influential group of health authorities, as well as equally little informed or insightful media coverage that would assist in further educating the lay population to believe otherwise. This is not meant to demean the persistent and informed efforts of the allopathic general practitioners and family doctors who spend the bulk of their professional careers imploring their patients to alter their lifestyle habits in order to stop killing themselves with self-destructive diets, drinking and smoking.
The historic one-germ/one-disease theory that was initially proposed by Pasteur and Koch in 1881 basically postulated that each type of germ is solely responsible for invading an unsuspecting individual and producing a specific type of ailment. In their historic "Doctrine of Specificity", they indicated that "certain microscopic entities, whose appearance in space and time correlates well with other physical manifestations of illness, are causative of illness". This Doctrine of Specificity was quickly refuted and disproven by a number of his contemporaries, most notably Claude Bernard and I. M. Setchenov.
In spite of the published research findings of Pasteur's and Koch's contemporaries that definitively demonstrated the profound limitations in their overall conclusion, Pasteur's initial theory was dynamically reinforced by the actions of the then current university-trained allopathic physicians (at that time referred to as the "regular" doctors). These so-called regular doctors were desperately seeking a nucleus around which to create some sort of "science" in order to develop a form of prominent healing profession, thereby setting themselves apart from the various other diverse systems of health care that were co-existent at that time. Historically speaking, this development manifested at a time when the regular doctors' heroic use of bleeding, leeches, and the administration of mercury and various other questionable chemical drugs was literally killing their patients. Therefore, the initial postulates of Pasteur and his co-proponent Robert Koch unintentionally provided the "regulars" with an eagerly-adopted scientific nucleus.
In 1882, little notice was taken when Pasteur revised and re-stated his theory describing germs as a secondary (rather than primary) cause of disease, with the body's debilitated terrain being considered the initial cause. The linear events and politics of the misinterpretation and subsequent rise into prominence of his initial theory of disease and the succeeding medical practices thereof definitely illustrates how belief-systems based on certain assumptions (which are marketed as a science, though not necessarily based on irrefutable evidence) can affect and alter the collective consciousness of an entire culture.
The unsung work of Pasteur's fellow contemporary research scientists is far more revelant and significant for the layperson of today. In rebuttal to Pasteur's doctrine of specific etiology, they clearly demonstrated that:
1. Disease microorganisms seek out their own natural habitats; namely, diseased tissue.
2. Germs vary their fermentative effect in conformity with the medium in which they find themselves.
3. The host must be in a certain state of debility before germs can settle into bodily tissue or produce a state of disease.
4. The disease process is largely dependent upon the terrain, or the underlying health of the body itself.
The scientific assumption that infectious diseases are caused by the transmission of bacteria and viruses has led to the widespread abuse of synthetic antibiotics. These products have caused irreparable harm to the health of individuals in all the industrialized nations throughout the world (and the United States in particular), even extending to delayed reactions such as Candida albicans and a tremendous increase in allergies. A senseless urge to destroy these "enemy" microorganisms is foremost even nowadays in the minds of many patients and physicians alike, even though there is more than sufficient awareness that it is not the presence (or lack thereof) of these microbes, but rather the present state of our defense mechanisms that ultimately determines the existence of infection. In other words, it isn't the causative agent that is the decisive factor, but rather the medium in which it is allowed to flourish. We have at last come to realize that our health greatly depends upon the reactive ability of our immune system.
Our cultural belief-system needs to dispel its exaggerated and misleading fear of germs and replace this conditioned response with a more positive attitude involving the proper nourishment and maintenance of a spontaneously disease-resistant condition of health and well-being. Whether or not we ultimately succumb to the natural activities of microbes depends much more on the ecological state of our communities, our bodies and our diets than on the presence of bacteria and viruses. We breathe in (and swallow) many thousands of microbes every hour without any ill effects. In fact, human beings in good health harbor many potentially pathogenic microbes (such as diptheria, meningitis, Staphlococci bacilli and the polio virus), and sometimes disease symptoms are present without any specific "causative" germs. As Lewis Thomas clearly points out in his work, The Lives of a Cell:
"Most bacteria are totally preoccupied
with browsing, altering the configurations of organic molecules
so that they become usable for the energy-needs of other forms of
life. In real life, even in our worst
circumstances, we have always been a relatively minor interest of the vast microbial world. Pathogenicity is not the rule. Indeed, it occurs so infrequently and involves such a relatively small number of species, considering the huge population of bacteria on the Earth, that it has a freakish aspect. Disease usually results from inconclusive negotiations for symbiosis, an overstepping of the line by one side or the other, a biologic misinterpretation of borders."
If the body's underlying health has been significantly lowered and the bodily tissues have been adversely affected by microorganisms, then the body will usually require assistance in order to decrease the number of bacteria through the activation of a healing crisis. During this crisis (or healing response), an alteration in one's nutritional patterns without the concurrent use of more concentrated medicinal preparations will often be insufficient to effect total healing. On the other hand, the timely usage of concentrated (herbal and vibrational) medicine is appropriate and often necessary. Various herbal products (such as herbal teas, concentrated extracts or formulations, etc.) are active nutritional medicines that strongly activate, vitalize and support the body's own natural healing capabilities, with the most concentrated and effective herbal agents being formulations of botanicals (crude plant extracts or tablets), flower essences (signatures) and pure essential oils (aromatherapy). After the healing crisis has subsided, a change in one's general nutritional habits and lifestyle is essential in order to assist in rebuilding and strengthening the body's terrain, as well as to enhance its immune system.
Germs are companion species to all living beings on this planet, and are an essential and normal part of our internal and external environment by assisting us in maintaining a balanced and efficient biological economy. When we allow our bodies to become saturated with accumulations of morbid or metabolic waste material, these germs begin to proliferate around this matter and create a dynamic process in the body that is often referred to by non-medical practitioners as a cleansing or "healing crisis". This process is the end result of every bodily system working in concert with one another in order to eliminate, cleanse or purify, and regenerate any old, worn-out or diseased tissues in the body. This "feeling worse before feeling better" syndrome is quite similar to that of a cleansing fast, with reactions that may include skin eruptions or rashes, nausea, dizziness, pain, cramps, headaches, stuffiness, sleepiness or unusual fatigue, diarrhea, boils, ear infections and a head or chest cold, or any other forms of therapeutic symptoms that the body may employ in order to loosen and eliminate toxins. A normal healing crisis is only temporary, and may last up to as many as three to seven days during the initial cleanse. During this time, the body's requirement for cleansing fluids (such as water, fruit juices or herbal teas) may increase significantly. Healthy cells are extremely resistant to any microbial invasion or proliferation until the bodily tissue develops a disease-condition (along with weakened defense mechanisms), thereby allowing the infection to spread. Unfortunately, we have come to associate microbes with various disorders that manifest during these periods of proliferation, and we subsequently regard them as causes rather than symptoms.