Isn’t Health just the Absence of Illness?


“Illness is just the absence of health.”.

Nope. It’s a common mistake, often repeated without much thought.

Is a donut the ‘absence of a hole’? Nope. A hole is the absence of a donut, but a donut is not the absence of a hole.

Is light the ‘absence of darkness? Nope. Darkness is the absence of light, but light is not the absence of darkness.

Health is whole. Health is wide and deep. Health is honest and true.” – The Healthicine Creed.

We try to trick illness, but you can’t trick health.

Illness is a hole in your health. When you are ill, something is missing from your health.

Illness indicates absence of healthiness, but health is not absence of illness.

Health is not ‘the absence of holes’. It is the presence of healthiness.

to your health, tracy

The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

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How Cures Work: Toward A Science of Cures

thebestcureishealthowlModern medicine is mystified by cures. There is no useful medical nor scientific definition of cure or cured. Medical texts avoid the word cure, preferring ‘treatments’. Treatments don’t promise, don’t need to cure. Many current medical dictionaries simply do not contain the word cure – unbelievable, but true. What are cues? How do cures work? What is the science behind cures?

It’s not difficult to understand cures, when we make an effort. To understand cures, we need to simplify. First, we need to simplify illness. Only an illness can be cured.


Medicine diagnoses and treats diseases.  The concept of disease is extremely complicated, ranging from a simple injury like a bruise or cut – to the complexities of a stage 4 cancer, and everything in-between.  This complexity makes general study of ‘cure’ very challenging. First we need to simplify, so we can study simple diseases – understand simple cures. Then we can use what we learn, to develop complexity, building on those simple concepts.

Before we begin, we need to address an important question. What about ‘diseases’ that cannot be cured?

Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” — Reinhold Niebuhr


If it can’t be cured, it is not an illness. I might be described as a disability, a deficit, a handicap, or even a natural feature, but not an illness. We need wisdom to separate disability from illness.  Illness can be cured. A disability might be a disease, it might be treatable, but it cannot be cured. On the other hand, it is important to believe that we can cure any medical condition.  Belief is the first step. Faith does not make cures happen, but it makes them possible.

The word disability has considerable stigma. This is unfortunate.  There is no gentle way to describe a disability, a handicap, or a deficiency. A disability, like a missing arm or leg is not a disease to be ‘cured’. We can sometimes cure, a disability, with surgery and healing. It might make sense to call cleft-lip an illness – that can be cured with surgery and healing. Perhaps, someday, we will learn to regrow missing fingers, then arms and organs – to convert those disabilities to a illnesses, which can be cured. The line between disease and disability is sometimes flexible.


An illness is what the patient has – a disease is what the doctor diagnoses.  This is a standard medical quote, useful and true. The illness comes first. An illness must exist before it can be diagnosed – even if the patient is unaware. Illness might exist for a long time before it is diagnosed, sometimes, it cannot be diagnosed.

Every illness is an individual case. Only an individual case can be cured. Every illness has the potential to be cured, by definition. We can only cure specific, individual cases of a disease – an illness, what the patient has.

A disease is a general concept, describing a class of illnesses, used by doctors to plan a general treatment for an illness. A disease cannot be ‘cured’. Only an illness can be cured.


What is the simplest illness? The simplest illness has a single cause: a binary illness.  A binary illness is the junction of a single cause and a set of consequences. Even the simplest illness can have many consequences.

It is possible, of course, to be exposed to many potential cause of illness, without becoming ill.  It is also possible to have many signs and symptoms of a specific illness, without suffering that illness.  An binary illness exists when a cause and a set of symptoms are linked.

Chains of Cause

When we look closely at cause, even the cause of a simple illness, we can always find a chain of causes. When we identify a cause of an illness, we can always ask “what is the cause of the cause“? When we find the cause of the cause, we can ask again “what is the cause of the cause of the cause“. Sometimes, we might first identify a middle-cause – and later find the cause that results from that middle-cause. Every illness has a ‘chain’ of causes.  A binary illness has a single chain of causes.

Is the Cause Present and Active?

Sometimes the cause is present.  The common cold is an illness with a cause that is present and active. A broken arm is a common illness where the cause is gone. These two types of cause require different types of cures.

binaryillness-causegoneWhen the cause is gone – the cure is healing.

Healing is present before, during and after every illness. Healing cures are seldom perfect, often leaving damage that cannot be healed, cannot be cured. A broken arm can be healed, but the cure is seldom perfect. Healing is a cure.

Even when the cause is gone, it is important to identify the cause, to analyze chains of causes – to prevent future illnesses. Prevention is also a cure. It can cure illnesses before they occur.

When the cause is present, the cure is to address the cause, or the link between the cause and the signs and symptoms.

binaryillness-curesThere are two types of cures for a binary illness when the cause is present.

First, a binary illness has a chain of causes. Successfully breaking the chain will cure the illness.

There is second path to cure – improving the health of the patient. When we improve the health of the patient it sometimes breaks the link between cause and the signs and symptoms, and thus cures the illness.

A bacterial infection is a binary illness that might be cured by addressing the cause – using an antibiotic that kills the infecting bacteria.

Many illnesses, like scurvy, obesity, and even starvation are cured by improving the health of the patient. When the health of the patient is improved – the illness fades and is cured. Healing takes time, and is seldom perfect, but the causal cure is complete. We might view these illnesses as caused by ‘not doing something‘. Starvation is caused by not consuming sufficient food. Scurvy is caused by not consuming a diet with sufficient Vitamin C.  And obesity? We can view it as caused by not exercising sufficient constraint. Foods and nutrients don’t cause illness – the unhealthy use, or non-use, of foods can lead to an illness.

The illness is cured by health, by raising healthiness such that it breaks the link between the cause and the symptoms.

There are no ‘substances’, no medicines, that can cure. Even an antibiotic does not cure by itself, it must be prescribed, and taken as prescribed. If it is not taken, or not taken as subscribed, it cannot cure.

Cure Symptoms? 

binaryillness-cure-symptomsIt is not possible to cure the symptoms of an illness. Many medical treatments attempt to address an illness by treating symptoms. This is a valuable technique to provide relief for the patient – and it sometimes allows the body time to heal and cure the illness. However, addressing symptoms, without paying attention to cause, can often facilitate a simple illness’s growth making it chronic.

Cures Improve Healthiness

The best cures are actions that improve the healthiness of the patient. A patient with scurvy might be treated with tablets of Vitamin C. These improve the patient’s symptoms, and appear to address the cause.  However, they make the patient dependent on the medicine, and do not address the fundamental issue, the diet of the patient. Changing the diet of the patient is the best cure.

Treating an infection with an antibiotic does little to improve the health of the patient, and sometimes actually damages the healthy bacteria in the patient’s body. It is a technique used on the assumption that curing the illness is more critical than improving the health of the patient.

Side Effects and Iatrogenic Effects

It seems every medicine has a long list of side effects, and the longer you take the medicine, the mores severe the side effects. Does every cure have side effects?  Actually, no. Some cures, like antibiotics, have negative side effects – because they work by killing bacteria and can kill healthy bacteria as well.

Cures that work by raising healthiness don’t have side effects, they have health effects. If you have scurvy, or obesity, and you health your diet – you might feel strange effects, but these are the health effects of the cure.

Why do most medicines have side effects?  Because most medicines make no attempt to cure. Most medicines treat symptoms. The cause is not addressed – not even identified. When we address symptoms – the cause keeps pushing the patient – and new symptoms appear.  Side effects are often proof that the medicine cannot cure.

A fundamental principle of medicine is to avoid action.  Wait and see. Why? Iatrogenic effects are negative effects caused by medicines, or by medical actions.  There is always danger when using a medicine, or a medical treatment – especially a medical treatment that cannot cure. Only doctors are allowed to diagnose, treat, and recommend treatments, because treatments can be dangerous.

The best way to avoid side effects and iatrogenic effects is to treat illness with healthiness. Most illnesses are not critical. Most illnesses can be prevented, treated and cured effectively with healthiness. Instead of ‘wait and see’, we should act to improve health.

Healthiness often Cures

The common cold is incurable, in current medical theory. But the common cold is cured easily by health.  People who are healthier cure their colds faster, and get fewer colds as well.  People who are less healthy get more colds, and they last longer. Health is the best treatment, health is the best cure – in non-critical situations. There are many illnesses that can only be healthed – and few that can be cured by medicines, because medicines – conventional or alternative, seldom address cause.


There are three kinds of cures:
– healing
– address the cause
– prevention, prevent the cause

Treating symptoms does not cure.

Every illness can be cured.  Every illness has the potential to be cured.  When we give up, we are declaring the presence of a disability, not an illness.

Every active illness has an active cause, and can be cured by addressing the cause.   Treating symptoms does not address the cause, and cannot cure.

Illnesses with Multiple Causes

What about illnesses with multiple causes, how can they be cured?  You might find the answer using the concepts in this post.  Or you can check the next post – which will answer that question.

to your health, tracy




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Chronic Healthiness

symptomsIllness starts with the symptoms. We notice the symptoms first. Something feels strange. Our bodies, our minds, our spirits – even our communities are always alert to possible danger. “Am I sick?“, we ask ourselves. Or is it normal? Life is complex. Are our feelings sensing danger? Or is everything A OK? We can only wait and see. Do they fade, or persist, or grow?

Our bodies are on constant alert to our internal status, and our mind is always monitoring our physical feelings. Are they symptoms of illness? Symptoms can be a sign of vibrant health. Spring fever. Young love. Growth. Success. They feel strange because they are infrequent or new. Sometimes, symptoms occur in clusters – when something new happens. But medicine views symptoms as perceptions of illness. When symptoms are severe, or lasting, or growing, we consult a doctor.

signsA doctor listens as we talk about our symptoms, for a few moments, and then proceeds to examine signs. Symptoms are the things we feel.  Signs are things the doctor can see.  There are thousands of signs that can be measured independent of our senses.  If there is a possibility of danger, our vital signs are measured: respiration, pulse, temperature, and blood pressure.  Each of these can be measured independently – even when we are near death.  Pain, the fifth vital sign is measured by asking: “How much pain is there, on a scale of 1 to 10?” Signs are measured with numbers, not with feelings. Signs are measured by someone else, someone independent, perhaps even a machine. We might measure some signs ourselves, but the doctor or nurse will measure again, just to be sure.

diagnosisDiagnosis begins with signs and symptoms. “Diagnostic Criteria” are published symptoms and signs used by a physician to determine a diagnosis. Sometimes, it stops there especially for chronic diseases. Many diseases have diagnostic criteria consisting entirely of symptoms and signs, with no test for cause. This serious error leads directly to a failure to cure.

Diagnosis is the grouping of some signs and symptoms that indicate a specific disease. There are always many symptoms, many signs, and signs are on a scale. Diagnosis is an art. Typically, only a few signs and symptoms contribute to the diagnosis, although many might contribute to other ‘not diagnosed’ diseases.

Chronic Disease

A chronic disease is diagnosed if the illness persists for some time, and no cause can be identified. Chronic diseases are often defined as ‘incurable’.  However, it is not possible to prove that any illness is incurable. When the cause is identified, and addressed, the illness can be cured.  If there is no cause to be addressed – it’s not an active disease, it’s a handicap, or perhaps simply a physical attribute.

Chronic diseases proceed directly from diagnosis to treatment, not cure. Treatments for chronic disease consist of symptomicines. Symptoms are treated, there is no attempt to search for, much less address a cause, except perhaps in vague general guidelines, often given as “how to learn to live with your disease“. Painkillers, more painkillers, more powerful painkillers, more sophisticated painkillers. Treatments are designed to push symptoms below the threshold of annoyance, and if possible, below the threshold of diagnosis, without addressing any cause. The cause is often still present, pushing against the medicine.  We shouldn’t wonder why most medicines have effects that burst thru the seams, side effects that get worse and worse the longer we take the medicine?


illnessEvery illness has a cause.  For many illnesses, like the common cold, which are quickly and easily cured by health, knowing the present cause is not so important. Our health can effectively deal with the cause, we need only give it time.  The more health we have – the faster the cure. The less health we have, the longer it takes. The less health we have, the more frequent colds. The cure for the common cold is healthiness, there is no ‘medical cure’, no external cure, that can work so fast and effectively.

Causes of illness, even causes of chronic illness, are everywhere. We are surrounded by causes of illness, without suffering any symptoms, without becoming ill, just as we can have many signs and symptoms without being ill. We can inhale smoke, or consume poisons like alcohol, without illness, even for enjoyment, for the thrill they give our nervous system. This is normal and can even have healthy effects.

Our bodies, minds, spirits, and communities; our health – use cause and effect as a basic tool of life. The first living cell is defined not by the dead physical chemical components, but by its use of cause and effect to manage its life, to use its external environment to grow and reproduce. Cause and effect are the causes, and the consequences of life. Events happen, but only life causes events to happen, and judges events as having positive or negative effects. Life is goal directed, and cause and effect are defined based on life’s goals.

An illness only exists when a cause has a significant negative effect, significant negative consequences. Every illness has a cause. The treatment of every illness improves when we know and address a cause. Cures are only effective, only true cures, when they address the cause. Preventative actions are effective when they address future causes.

There are three types of causes. First, there is the absent cause.  A broken arm, a gunshot wound, even a broken heart, can only be cured by healing. The cause is gone, but understanding it can be useful to develop preventative behaviors and actions. Second, are illnesses where the cause is present and active – like the bacterial infection. In these cases, the cure is to address the cause, which will allow healing to complete the cure process.

The third type of causes are chronic causes. Chronic causes are continually, chronically, repeated.

Chronic Causes

Chronic illnesses have chronic causes. Chronic illnesses wax and wane, grow and shrink, attack and fade away, as time passes. Our bodies are always working to heal damage that results from illness, from causes. If the cause moves away, or lessens, healing gains ground and health recovers. When the cause returns more damage occurs.

Sometimes, the lag between cause and symptoms, and between damage and healing can be very long, making it very difficult to be certain of the cause. Often, both the cause and the healing are active, creating a see-saw of symptoms and relief that can last days, weeks, months or even years. The cause can only be proven by the cure.


An illness only exists when cause and negative consequences are linked. When a cause is severe enough to result in  negative and serious, or dangerous consequences.

A disease, on the other hand, can only exist when an illness is common enough to have a diagnostic criteria, and severe enough in a specific instance to be diagnosed. It is important to distinguish between illness and disease. An illness is what the patient has. An illness must be present, and may have been present for a very long time, before a disease is diagnosed. It is possible to have an illness without a diagnosis, without a disease.  A disease is what the doctor diagnoses, correctly or incorrectly.  Diagnosis is an art – sometimes art produces garbage.

A simple illness, like a hangover, has a simple cause – drinking too much alcohol, in too short a time. Even such a simple illness can have a long chain of ’causes’ that might be used for prevention. We can always ask “what is the cause of the cause“. Maybe we shouldn’t have gone to the party. Maybe the drinks were made too strong.  Maybe not enough water was consumed. Maybe if the party had ended earlier, we wouldn’t have a hangover. These are sometimes just excuses, not useful causes.  They are only useful causes when we actually use them to prevent or cure the illness.

multiple-illnessMost simple illnesses, like a hangover, are cured by health and by time. Our liver filters out the toxic alcohol. Our bodies will naturally seek water, to treat the dehydration.  Our brains seek quiet rest, to facilitate physical recovery. Healthier bodies, minds, spirits, and communities cure hangovers faster. Less healthy bodies, minds, spirits and communities cure slowly, and are more likely to spiral downwards, perhaps even attempting to cure with “the hair of the dog”, creating a chronic illness.

It is, of course, possible to have many illnesses at one time.  Someone might have a a cold, and ingrown toenail, and hangover, all at the same time.  Each illness has a unique cause. Some might have overlapping signs and symptoms.

Multiple Illnesses

It’s also possible to have multiple illnesses with similar symptoms – with different causes. We might have a headache from a hangover, and fall down and get another headache from a bump on the head. The hangover headache will be cured in a few hours – the headaches from the fall might take longer.

Is anyone ever diagnosed with two illnesses at once, with the same symptoms? It’s a very rare occurrence (the diagnosis, not the event). The technique of diagnosis is specifically designed to find a single illness. That’s a strength of diagnosis and a weakness.

What if someone has two colds and a flu? The common cold can be caused by hundreds of different viruses.  The flu is caused by different viruses.  It is possible, perhaps even frequent, to be infected by a cold virus, and a flu virus at the same time. There are two causes – and two illnesses. The symptoms are similar, but not identical. It might be that having the flu makes colds more or less likely, or that having a cold makes the flu more or less likely – as far as I know this has not been studied.

Multiple Illness – One Disease

It is possible, for example, to have a bacterial infection that consists of several different types of bacteria, at the same site, at the same time, causing the same symptoms. The entire disease is a single infection. Several illness are present, caused by several different bacteria strains on the same site. Every illness can be cured. A single bacterial infection illness can be cured with a dose of an effective antibiotic.

A multiple illness, consisting of several bacterial infections is diagnosed as a single disease, infection.  When treated with antibacterial medicine, it might appear to go into remission, because one type of bacteria, one of the bacterial illnesses, has been addressed. Then the disease appears to re-emerge when the second type of bacteria takes over.  A second, different antibacterial medicine might be necessary to cure the second illness.

The disease model sees a single disease – infection, and two treatments resulting in a cures. The illness model sees two illnesses, each with independent cures, addressing independent causes.


Every active illness has an active cause. Every active illness has a cure. To cure is to address the cause, to break the link between cause and symptoms. There are two basic techniques to cure an illness

curesIf the cause is the excess or deficiency of something – a nutrient, a toxic chemical, an excess of exercise, a deficiency of exercise, an excess or deficiency of mental stress, an excess or deficiency of spirits and feelings, even an excess or deficiency of community involvement – one cure is to address the excess, or the deficiency.

The other cure is to strengthen, to health the body, mind, spirits, or the community, such that it is able to handle the excess or deficiency, without illness. Healthier bodies get sick less often, and improving healthiness is an important cure for many illnesses. We might view every true cure as an improvement in healthiness.

These cures work when the cause is active. When the cause is no longer active – healing is the only cure. Often, complete healing is not possible, and what is left is a disability, not an illness.

Diseases with Multiple Causes

But… There are many diseases with more than one cause, aren’t there? Remember that many diseases – most especially chronic diseases, are diagnosed without any reference to cause. This fosters an illusion that there is no cause to be addressed, or that there are many causes.

There are two ways for a disease to have multiple causes.

Like illness, every disease can have a chain of causes. Finding a chain is simple once we identify a single cause. We simply ask “what is the cause of this cause?“, and then ask “What is the cause of the cause that caused this cause“, and so on… If it is a true chain, then breaking any link will cure the disease. In some cases, the key cause may have several ’cause causes’. He has a hangover because he drank too much. He drank too much because the booze was free, because there was no food, because he was lonely… In these cases, a preventative – a future cure – might be found in addressing specific causes of causes.

Sometimes a disease has independent causes, not linked in a chain. These indicate the presence of multiple illnesses.

Half a Disease

Is anyone ever been diagnosed with ‘half a disease’? Diagnostic techniques deliver Yes/No decisions.  Although a disease might be diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe, there is no diagnostic concept of ‘half of a disease’.

When a disease has exactly two independent causes, where each of the causes is sufficient to cause the symptoms, then addressing one cause will cure ‘half’ of the disease. When a disease is half-cured, what is left?  The half that is left is still the disease.

An illness or a disease is a hole in your health.  It is not a thing you can touch, like an apple, that – when you eat one half, half remains. A disease is like a hole in the ground. When you fill half of it – you still have a hole. But filling the first half is a necessary step to filling the hole.

Curing half a disease is often a necessary first step to cure a whole disease, even if diseases aren’t be measured in halves.  A half a disease is a single illness, when a patient has two illnesses with one disease name.  It is also possible, perhaps commonplace, to have 1/3 of a disease – a disease that consists of three illnesses with similar symptoms. A disease of this type might appear very difficult, even impossible to cure, because each illness cure only partially cures the disease, leading the patient and the doctor to give up. The disease might easily be labeled ‘chronic’ and ‘incurable’.

Chronic Illness

A chronic illness has a chronic cause. Every illness has a single cause. Every chronic illness has a single, chronic cause. Every illness is cured by addressing the cause. Every chronic illness is cured by addressing the chronic cause.

Nutrient deficiencies are chronic illnesses. Starvation is a chronic illness, with a chronic cause. We don’t often think of starvation as an illness, but of course it is, and for it to continue, it must be chronic.

Scurvy is a chronic illness, caused by a chronic deficiency of Vitamin C in the diet. We can treat scurvy with a medicine – capsules of synthetic or purified Vitamin C, but doing so simply extends the chronic nature of the illness.  It does not address the dietary cause, and can not cure the illness, even though it might speed up healing.  The patient will need to take medication, Vitamin C tablets, for the rest of their life, or until the diet changes, perhaps due to some other circumstances, and the illness is mysteriously ‘cured’. There will be side effects, because a diet that does not contain sufficient Vitamin C is also deficient in other nutrients.  These effects, of the chronic treatment, can be more mysterious, taking longer to appear. The patient might also suffer gastric problems, because the medicine tablets are acidic.

Scurvy is a chronic illness – cured with a healthy diet. Every illness can be cured. Every chronic illness can be cured. Why are chronic illnesses defined as ‘incurable’ in our current medical paradigm? Because we give up too easily. Part of the problem is that symptomicines are so easy to buy, to produce, and so effective in the short term, that they giving the illusion of health.

Perhaps most chronic diseases are actually multiple chronic illnesses, each with single chronic causes. If disease the cause is simple, single, – we might easily find it ourselves, perhaps even without the assistance of a doctor.

Anyone with a chronic disease has lots of time to try different cure actions. We sometimes hear claims that someone cured their chronic disease. Sometimes we cure our disease with health, even chronic diseases. People who cure their chronic diseases are generally ignored, even shunned. In many cases, what actually caused the cure is anybody’s guess. Cures are seldom investigated. Even most clinical studies, measure symptoms and ignore cures, because cured is not part of the study definitions.

Take note: diseases are never cured by placebos. They are cured by healthy actions. Placebo effect is a label given my medical practitioners when they do not understand what happened, and are not interested in investigating. If the disease is gone, what’s to investigate? There are lots of sick patients to be attended to.

Because a chronic disease can consist of several chronic illnesses – it is possible to cure one or more of the illnesses without even being aware of it.  As with the multiple infection illness – the first cure seems to provide relief, but then fails to ‘cure the disease’. Cure of the disease, is visible only when all of the component illnesses are cured.

Unfortunately, our medical systems do not make effective study of nor use of cures.  Chronic diseases are ‘treated’, often without reference to cause. They are intentionally “not cured“, using symptomicines, medicines that address symptoms not cause, medicines that make no claim to cure. As a result, a simple chronic illness can easily grow, over time, to a complex chronic disease, consisting of multiple chronic illnesses. This can even happen before any disease is diagnosed.

Modern medicine can easily fail to cure chronic diseases, because chronic illnesses causes are part of the life, of the habits of the patient.  These cannot be ‘cured’ with medicines. Alcoholism and obesity have, in theory, simple causes.  But these theoretical causes are not sufficient to cure.

Cures must address the cause that is necessary and sufficient to cure. Not the cause that is necessary and sufficient to cause the illness. Not any cause that is only sufficient to blame.

If we want to cure these diseases, perhaps if we want to cure any chronic disease, it helps to ask some different, difficult questions.  They begin with “what is the cause?” and “what are the causes of the cause?..“.  But it is also important to ask “How is the patient benefiting from the cause?“, and “How is the patient benefiting from the cause of the cause?” And sometimes its important to ask “how might the patient be benefiting from the illness?

These questions are difficult to ask, and can be more difficult to answer.  It takes time and persistence to consider them fully in individual cases. They help us to recognize that we often deliberately choose the causes of our illness, or the causes of those causes. Sometimes we deliberately choose the illness.

Chronic Healthiness

The opposite of a chronic disease is often called a self-limiting disease. A chronic disease is one that lasts a long time.  A self-limiting disease is one that lasts a short time, and is quickly cured by our health – like the common cold or hangover. Our medical systems search for disease, and for chronic disease.

We need to search for chronic healthiness. Chronic comes from the Greek word ‘kronos’, meaning time. We need to search for health that lasts a long time. How can we find it?

Symptomicines, medicines that address symptoms but not cause, provide temporary, self-limiting illusion of healthiness. The illness reasserts itself in time, because the cause was not addressed.

To find chronic healthiness, we need to search for causes, we need to search for cures that address causes. Many chronic illnesses are caused by chronic habits – that need to be replaced with healthy habits.

Healthy habits lead to chronic healthiness.

to your health, tracy

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Learning to Die with Your Disease

owls-in-pepper-tree-learntodieHave you heard the latest ‘medical wisdom’? It’s become a mantra for chronic diseases, from arthritis, to diabetes, to depression to dementia.  “Learn to live with your disease.” But it’s a lie.  What is really being said is “Accept the fact that you are going to die with your disease.

Learn to die with your disease. There are no cures for chronic disease.

Modern medicine has abandoned cures. There are lots of reasons cures are problematic, but it’s not what you think.

It’s easy to imagine conspiracy theories about drug manufacturers.  They want to sell us drugs, not cures, because drugs that cure don’t sell much – they work themselves out of business cure. The best selling drugs are those that don’t cure. But it’s not so simple.

The truth can only be found in opposites. What’s the opposite of ‘learn to live (die) with your disease’?  Cure your disease. But modern medicine has a few simple problems. Most medicines don’t cure any disease. Most diseases simply cannot be cured by medicines. Not only that, ‘cured’ is simply not defined for most illnesses – especially those that are easily and often cured by health, like the common cold, measles, and influenza.

So, most medicines can’t cure, and most diseases can’t be cured by medicines, what’s to be done? Promote “learn to live (die) with your disease’. Bonus: When patients learn to live (die) with their diseases – there’s a steady cash flow for sick care.  The medical market is booming. And the proof is easy to find. There are organizations raising funds to help you ‘learn to live with’ every disease. Lots of money is being raised. But no one is looking for cures: “Living with Diabetes”. “There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed.”  Learn to live (die) with your diabetes.

Obesity.orgThe Obesity Society is committed to improving the lives of those with obesity” Learn to live (die) with your obesity.

Heart.orgWe provide science-based treatment guidelines to healthcare professionals to help them provide quality care to their patients.” so they can Learn to live (die) with their heart disease.

Arthritis.orgLiving with Arthritis” Learn to live (die) with your arthritis.

What would happen if there was a cure for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and more?  These organizations would be out of business.  But as long as we accept and promote ‘Learn to live (die) with your disease.’ Donations, and business are booming. “Mission: The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem.” But farther down the web-pages, we see: “When a headline from a major, respected news organization shouts ‘Cure,’ all of us need to stop  and take a breath.” Translation: There is no cure, cure is not defined for cancer, if someone claims a cure, stop and take a deep breath. But we are working to help you: Learn to live (die) with your disease.

I could go on… I often do.  Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, chronic migraines, lung disease, Chron’s, asthma, allergies, and more. Learn to live (die) with your disease.

You might ask if there is a, and what is there mission.  Actually, there is a, and a sells car insurance. is a rock band. is a religious organization dedicated to ‘Healing the sick (children) and proclaiming the kingdom of God‘. There is no medical or scientific organization that studies the science of cures. Learn to live with it.

Take note: Sometimes people actually cure their disease. It’s not hard to find people who have cured their obesity, their arthritis, their Parkinson’s, even their cancer.  But they can’t prove their disease is cured – because ‘cured’ is not defined for these diseases. It is not possible to prove a cure, only to wait and see, only to ‘Learn to live with” the fact that your disease might not be cured.

What happens to people who cure their disease? They disappear. They are simply ignored. Every single cure is a single case, a single event, an anecdote. There is no disease to be attended.  Nothing to see here. Move along, move along, we’ve got work to be done. There are lots of sick people in need of medicines.

Disease organizations raise a lot of money. But if there are no cures, what can they do with the money raised?  Invest in cures? Not likely. Medicines simply can’t cure most diseases. Most diseases are cured by health, not by medicine. Cures are hard. We can’t put health in a bottle and sell it.  What’s to be done? Invest in new medicines that don’t cure. Make them newer, better, faster, stronger. No. They don’t cure, but they “don’t cure” better than the old medicines that don’t cure.

You might give up and accept the fact that you must ‘learn to live (die) with your medicine’, but that doesn’t actually work either. Every medicine that doesn’t cure actually creates a new side illness. They’re not called illnesses, though, they’re called ‘side effects’.  A side (illness) effect is simply an illness caused by a medicine. There are always ‘newer’ medicines that don’t cure.  Just when you get comfortable with one medicine, along comes another one that “doesn’t cure” even better. And it has fewer documented side (illnesses) effects, because it’s new.

Maybe you should try an ‘alternative medicine’. Sorry. The medical establishment is often telling the truth, just not the whole truth, when they claim “alternative medicines don’t cure“, the truth is a bit longer sentence. “Most medicines don’t cure, and most alternative medicines don’t cure either.”

Alternative medicines might “not cure” better than conventional medicines, because their side (illnesses) effects are less dangerous. But if a disease can’t be cured by a medicine, it can’t be cured by an alternative medicine.

If we want to cure a chronic disease, we need healthicines, not medicines. Chronic diseases are caused by chronic, unhealthy habits. They can only be cured by healthy habits. A healthicine is not a thing you can manufacture and test in clinical studies and put in a bottle. It is the practice of healthing.  The practice of making yourself healthier. It is the only cure for many diseases – and the only cure for all chronic diseases.

But today, there are no healthicines. When a healthicine cures a chronic illness, the cure is not noticed. There is no market for healthicines. There isn’t even an approval process for healthicines, only for medicines.

to your health, tracy

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What if Mass Murders are Suicides?

Did you see the news about yesterday’s suicide? No, you didn’t. News agencies seldom report suicides. offers guidelines to news agencies on how to report suicides because, “the way suicides are reported in the media can either CAUSE suicides or PREVENT suicide.”

Suicide-Mass-MurderBut what if mass murders are suicides? Many acts of suicide include acts of murder as well. There is considerable evidence that most mass murders are actually successful murder suicides. According to the psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger, Èmurder and suicide are interchangeable acts – suicide sometimes forestalling murder, and vice versa.“.

When someone commits a murder, followed by a suicide, is it a murder, or a suicide?  How should it be reported? How should it be researched? When someone commits a mass murder and then forces the police to kill them, is it a murder, or a suicide? gives about 50 recommendations on how to report suicides, including this: “DO NOT say “committed suicide” say “died by suicide.” But,’s recommendations for suicide do not mention murder.

We hear a lot about mass murders, but not a lot about suicides.  News agencies avoid reporting suicide.  But if it’s a murder – it’s big news. Even if it’s clearly a suicide, you will hear reporters asking silly questions like “what was the motive” (for the murder), even if it’s clear that the motive was suicide. According to Wired researchers Tricia Wang and Xiao Mina, more than half of multiple murders commit suicide immediately after the killing. Suicide frequencies rise as the number of murder victims rises. James Alan Fox, writing for Crime and Punishment noted that “Mass murderers do not typically see themselves as criminal, but instead as the victim of injustice.

It also makes some sense to view most murders as a form of suicide. Most murder victims are family members. Most murderers are killing ‘a part of themselves’ or their family, that they cannot escape. Hoping that through murder – they can escape. There are clear parallels to suicides, where the victim is trying to escape their life, themselves. Many murderers, not just mass murderers, see themselves as victims.

According to, “The number one cause for suicide is untreated depression.” (my emphasis).  I don’t believe it. It might be valid to state that no-one would commit suicide unless they are depressed, but the claim of ‘untreated depression’ does not make sense. I don’t think many people commit suicide ‘as soon as they become depressed’. Once depression is diagnosed, it becomes ‘treated depression’. It seems more likely that the number one cause of suicide is failure to successfully treat depression effectively.

When we look at murder suicides, mass murder suicides, one very common factor is ‘treated depression’, not ‘untreated depression’.

Maybe the solution to the mass murder problem is simply to recognize that most, perhaps all mass murders are not murders first, they are suicides first. Not every suicide is a murder suicide – not even 1 percent. But most mass murders are suicide mass murders.

If we want to begin to understand, to deal with, and to prevent mass murders, we must begin by recognizing that they are suicides. We need to talk about them, and report on them, as if they were suicides.

We should call them suicide murders, not murder suicides.

to your health, tracy



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