Tag Archives: fibromyalgia

Trapped in an unhealthy system of healing

We seem to be trapped in an unhealthy system of healing. We are so set on modern Western medicine having all the answers that we don’t see what else is out there. Alternative and traditional healing methods are being kept away from the public under the pretense of science, but with time there is coming overwhelming evidence that there are often far better treatments out there. But even with evidence the best treatments are often being opposed because they don’t fit in to our way of thinking.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that we have a patient that is suffering from severe chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia. And let us say that we have four treatments which might help.
A. Painkillers.
B. Massage.
C. Cannabis oil.
D. Ayurveda.

Painkillers are a wonder of modern medicine and I think we should be truly thankful that we have them. When they work they are a great relief, but there are several very serious drawbacks to them. One is that they don’t always work, especially when it comes to more complicated conditions that modern medicine yet doesn’t seem to fully understand, such as fibromyalgia. While modern painkillers might be effective, they are far from 100 percent so. Another one is that these modern medicines come with a long list of side effects which are often worse than the ailment that they were first used to treat. Yet another one is that these medicines are addictive and possible to overdose and die from. People die every year from either unintentionally overdosing or mixing medicines which aren’t compatible, but also from intentional overdosing when committing suicide.

Some drawbacks are much less in alternative therapies, or altogether non-existent. Massage for example has much fewer side effects and counter indications, and I still haven’t heard of anyone killing themselves by overdosing massage. Hands on physical therapy is often effective for treating fibromyalgia, but the availability within the system of the modern Swedish health service is at best patchy. Many doctors will outright refuse to refer you to such treatment or even take your condition seriously. I have met a practitioner within the health care system that will give such treatment, but who will disguise it as something else in the paper work. And I have met others that are true miracle workers with their hands, but are written off as quacks by the health care system and thus excluded.

When the legal options are exhausted a few courageous people take matters into their own hands and try therapies and medicines which are illegal. Just yesterday I published a text by Andreas Thörn, a man who broke his neck and was paralyzed at the age of 15. He has suffered since and after having gone through the entire stock of modern medicines, except Methadone, he chose to try Cannabis. It turned out that it worked wonders for him, in a way that modern medicine hasn’t been able to for the last 20 years. Another person that I have featured here is Jens Waldmann who overcome his severe depression with the help of Cannabis. The doctors wanted to give him Bensodiazepin instead, fully aware that he had abused that medicine before and that it would not solve the underlying problem. Coming back to the subject of chronic pain Cannabis and Cannabis oil are well known for their ability to relieve pain, even such pain that painkillers won’t touch. In my experience smoking Cannabis is addictive, but definitely much less so than for example opiate painkillers. It might also have counter indications, but is less toxic than most medicines. It is actually physically impossible to die from a Cannabis overdose.

Ayurveda is a different thing all together. Food is the basic medicine in Ayurveda, since most (if not all) of our imbalances are a result of or can be alleviated with food. When you eat right you heal and stay healthy. It is a way of healing which requires dedication, but which also teaches you a great deal about yourself and how you can function better. Lifestyle changes are often fantastic medicine.

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Going back to what I was first saying – there seems to be an unhealthy emphasis on one way of healing. When modern medicine doesn’t do the trick, we are left hanging with no help. And even then we are openly discouraged to seek other healing methods.

There is no one system which works for all. No one truth that holds true for all. The painkillers might work for some of the patients, but what kind of healing system seeks to heal some of the patients while leaving others stranded? By bringing in alternative and traditional therapy we could be healing close to everyone. We just need to find out what works for them.

Of course there will be areas where Western medicine will still keep its dominance, simply because it is superior. One such area is acute physical trauma. But there will also be areas where Western medicine will be obliterated, simply because it is inferior. An area where Western medicine would probably quickly lose credibility is mental health, since it has a great lack of knowledge about people’s inner workings. Why else would the system be mass drugging us with such medicines like anti-depressants, even though they don’t do much more than put a lid on things and lower our motivation to heal?

For the sake of the people who need to heal is time to get rid of this dominance that Western medicine has had, but to do so we will also have to overcome our white egos, our bullying tendencies and the paternalism that has come with it.

Photo: Lost in Field by Rudolf Getel on Flickr

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Stories of illegal healing

Yesterday I randomly searched YouTube for people’s stories about how they have healed and grown using illegal substances. Despite deep stigma and threats of reprisals these stories are not hard to find.

All these people are someone’s child. They are siblings, parents, friends, colleagues. You probably know several people who have similar stories, even if you haven’t heard them. Each story is about someone’s life, and every life is a universe in itself.

Listen to their stories. If you still think that these substances should be illegal, stigmatized and users hunted by the judicial system – please, explain your reasoning to me. Tell me why Ruth shouldn’t have been given Ibogaine for her crack and heroin addiction, why Rachel who was sexually abused at age four should not have been given MDMA-assisted therapy, why Alex’s parents should not give autistic Alex cannabis and why Deepak Chopra, one of today’s great spiritual inspirators, should not have taken LSD.

Tell me why people should respect the law more than they value their own recovery.

Iboga / Ibogaine

Howard Lotsof accidentally discovers Ibogaines ability to abruptly break heroin addiction.

Ruth Zupan solves a crack and heroin addiction with Ibogaine …

Patrick solve intractable PTSD with Iboga …

Psychedelic mushrooms / Psilocybin

1 grams of psychedelic mushrooms solves Stickys long and complex depression, and his social anxiety.

Annie got terminal cancer and with it very much worry and anxiety, which psychedelic mushrooms solved.

He became one with the universe …

LSD

My own story where I solve a 13-year long alcohol addiction on my first dose of LSD…
http://wilby.nu/my-first-lsd-trip/

The famous philosopher and writer Alan Watts about his encounter with LSD and what he could not deny was a true spiritual experience…

Deepak Chopra’s first spiritual experience was with LSD…

MDMA

As an adult Rachel Hope solves intractable PTSD that she has had since she was sexually abused as a young child…

Bob Walker solves 50-year old intractable war trauma with MDMA…

Cannabis

After receiving a joint from her son Belinda Hethcox treats fibromyalgia with cannabis…

David suffers from Parkinson’s, but has a decent life and is able to feel pride thanks to cannabis.

Autistic Alex injured himself seriously but was helped by cannabis.

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If you have any favourite stories, please feel welcome to post the links in the comment section.

Photo: Don’t cry my love by Axel Naud on Flickr

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A better tomorrow with drugs

Today’s repressive drug laws are at a dead end. The war on drugs harms society and citizens in a multitude of ways, of which I listed some in yesterdays blog post. Ironically it also prevents effective treatments for such things as addiction. But where can we go from here? Let’s imagine that all substances are legal. How can we organize the community to limit the damage and help addicts?

Legalizing all drugs would of course not mean that you could buy them next to the sweets at your local supermarket. And everything doesn’t just fall into place because they come under government control. There would probably need to be a combination of solutions, some of which already exist and others that don’t. Here are some possible parts to such a system.

State control.

hug me by jo marshall on Flickr
hug me by jo marshall on Flickr

In the current situation the entire drug trade is a black economy that is largely controlled by criminal organizations. If all substances were legalized they would become part of the regular economy, where it becomes possible to set up rules for manufacturing and quality control products. The substances would be provided with a table of content, just like any other commodity. The goods may additionally be provided with other labels, such as organic and fair trade.

Those working in the trade would have the same rights as other workers, would have the support of existing labor laws, would have the right to organize themselves into unions and would become tax payers.

Sales could take place within established models, such as the state control (pharmacies/tobacco sales) or as a state monopoly (in Sweden all alcohol is sold by the state run Systembolaget). Age limits could be imposed on substances and they could also be differentiated, so that one would have to be older to purchase some of the more potent compounds.

Taxing substances.

When drugs come under government control it is possible to steer people away from more harmful substances by levying heavier taxes on them. It’s would be easy to see which substances are economically costly for society and adjust the taxes accordingly.

Possibility to withdraw the right to use certain substances.

People should be able to lose their right to use certain substances if they commit crimes or harm themselves or others when they use them. I think it is strange that those who repeatedly get into fights drunk, drive intoxicated or get wasted on the verge of dying, still have the right to buy as much liquor as they can pay for.

When one shows that they aren’t able to handle a certain substance, it should be possible to revoke that person’s right to do so, in the same manner that one can lose ones driving license or license to practice medicine.

The possibility to exclude oneself from certain substances.

40+30 Tutorial by bark on Flickr
40+30 Tutorial by bark on Flickr

Many people are very aware of which substances they should not take. For example I know many who say they have no problem drinking beer, but go berserk if they drink hard liquor. It’s the same with all substances. What is pure bliss for one, can be hell for another. What one is able to take a couple of times a year without developing a craving for, another becomes addicted to after just a few doses.

But then again, many people know perfectly well what substances are dangerous for them. It could be made easy for them to take responsibility with the choice to voluntarily waive the right to use certain substances. They could also be able to set limits for themselves, by specifying how much of a substance they may purchase during a certain time period.

Many addicts will arrive at the point where they want to break free from their habit. During a certain period the window of change is open. The problem is often that they relapse because the substance will continue to be available to them. If they can exclude themselves from the right to buy certain substances, such as if an alcoholic does not allow him/herself to buy liquor, it would effectively help in the recovery process.

Licenses to handle certain substances.

With some particularly heavy drugs such as heroin, it would be possible to introduce a license allowing an educated person to handle the substance. For most substances it would probably be enough with basic education in school and a little everyday common sense, but with substances that carry serious consequences, it is important to be sure that those who use them have proper knowledge about risks and safety. The education for such a license may contain things like responsible management, how to use in a safe manner to prevent spread of infection, and how to deal with accidental overdoses. Such a license may be revoked if the person is irresponsible and for example sells substances to other people or uses them in an unsafe manner.

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In addition to the distribution itself – what can we do to get control of the situation regarding different substances?

Universal education in dealing with drugs and addiction.

I often wonder how drug education in schools can be allowed to be so absolutely worthless. The “education” is basically designed solely to scare people not to try anything. As a teenager I was an exchange student in the United States and the school that I went to worked in exactly the same way when it came to sex education. There was no information about STDs, contraception or sex. The whole message was only “you should not have sex until you get married”, and it was really crammed down the teenagers throats. It is a dangerous kind of indoctrination that creates ignorant and bigoted citizens, while increasing the actual risks.

Instead we should have a proper drug education, which includes such themes as:
∙ What is an altered state of mind and how you can you work with it?
∙ How to use drugs safely.
∙ What to do if you or someone else feels bad under the influence.
∙ How to manage an overdose.
∙ How to identify and get rid of substance abuse.

Use tax revenues for addiction treatment and prevention.

Libby hugging Tomoko by Loren Kerns on Flickr
Libby hugging Tomoko by Loren Kerns on Flickr

A legalization would generate tax revenue that I think primarily should go to addiction treatment and prevention. Even more money is now being spent on hunting, harassing and punishing people.

If we add a substantial part of those resources to create good addiction treatment, we will soon have the best addiction treatment the world has ever seen. Health care should be accessible and able to quickly help addicts who express a desire to receive care. Addiction is a disease and addicts should be treated as patients, not criminals.

There will always be addicts, but it is my firm belief that the addiction is to be found in the person – not in substance. People flee into abuse because they are fleeing from themselves, from the traumas they try to forget or from situations that are unbearable. Good prevention work builds on this understanding and aims to help people face themselves, help them process past trauma and to make their lives bearable. It helps them to stop fleeing and encourages them to take responsibility for their own lives. Much of today’s preventive work lacks this basic understanding.

Make substances available for scientific research, therapists, health care workers and healers.

There are many substances that are currently incorrectly classified as drugs with no medical value. This applies above all to psychedelics that are proven to be extremely effective in curing such things as addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress, empathy disorders and death anxiety. There are lots of stories about absolutely miraculous healing taking place with these substances, and they are at the same time very safe when used correctly.

Another substance that is being discussed greatly right now is cannabis and not only in its mind-altering form, but also as tinctures without the mind-altering properties. It is used with good results for such things as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, depression and end of life care. There seems to be some evidence that it also has cancer fighting properties.

These substances need to be made available to those who need the help and for the professionals who are working on this – from therapists, to regular health care workers, and also in alternative treatments. Today there are plenty of alternative therapists and traditional healers such as shamans, who have the knowledge and who have been passing it on for thousands of years. Here are exciting cross over’s to be made, when traditional methods of healing meet western medicine. Such work is already taking place. To fully take advantage of this scientific research needs to get started as soon as possible.

Making up for abuse committed by the state.

While the intention has probably been good, many people have been abused and badly treated under the current legislation. The current drug laws have stigmatized people, forced them into alienation, punished them, led people into a criminal lifestyle, actively withheld health care for sick addicts and has also led to many unnecessary deaths.

There is a need for redress and reconciliation. The very least the government should do is to apologize for the abuse that occurred under the current legislation.

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This blog post has been inspired by, among other things:
∙ A challenge from a friend who is a politician to show how legalization could work.
∙ The TEDx talk by James Leitzel that does just that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_Px4nYbJoQ
∙ Organisations and initiatives such as Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (http://www.maps.org/) and Transform (http://www.tdpf.org.uk/).

Main photo: Love by Nicola Romagna on Flickr

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