A Medical Definition of Cure

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve discovered there is no scientific, medical definition of cure. Well, I’ve finally resolved that issue, after much research and many sleepless nights, I’ve created what I believe is a useful, complete definition medical of cure, that can be applied to any illness.

Creating A Medical Definition of Cure

Before we define ‘cure’, we need to define what we are curing. Are there diseases that cannot be cured? How can we know? Are there diseases that can be cured? How can we know?

Actually, it is not possible to cure ‘a disease’. A disease is a general concept, not a specific case. A cure can only occur in a specific case of a disease.

Every single cure is a single incident, a single case, a single unique story. Every cure is an anecdote.

Does every single case of disease have the potential to be cured, to be proven to be cured? Actually no.  The definition of ‘disease’ is quite broad, and the ICD10, the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases and Related Medical Conditions, makes little distinction between disabilities and diseases. Sometimes even medical tests are given a ‘disease’ code, for statistical purposes. The goal of the International Disease Classification system is to be inclusive of anything any doctor in any country might call a disease – not to distinguish which might be cured. We don’t expect to ‘cure’ a disability – so when a disability is given a disease name, that disease is incurable. Of course many diseases that are usually curable, like a bacterial infection, might not be curable in a specific case, where the infection has advanced too far, or the patients health is too weak.

In healthicine, our goal is to cure every illness. Every type of illness. Every case of an illness. Not just to cure every illness, but to define cured for every illness, and create useful medical tests for ‘cured’ for every illness. How might this done?

First, let’s define illness. In healthicine, an illness is first defined thus:

A Healthicine Illness

– a single case in a single patient
– has a single active cause (we will expand this requirement)
– can be cured by addressing the cause

An illness is something that “can be cured”. A disability is something that cannot be cured. Every illness, every type of illness, has the potential to be cured.  If it does not have the potential to be cured, it is not an illness.

Illness: Cured by Addressing the Cause

A healthicine illness is an illness that has a single cause.  It is cured when the cause is addressed. It seems so simple.  Does it work in practice?

Yes. It works for every illness that we currently know how to cure.

A bacterial or fungus infection is cured by killing the infecting agent.  Most bacterial infections are cured when our own healthiness attacks and addresses the infecting bacteria. Sometimes, we must resort to more active treatments, like alternative or conventional medicines, or even surgery – like amputation. When the cause has been addressed, a cure has occurred.

This definition of cured “the illness is cured when the cause has been successfully addressed” even works for illnesses we know how to cure, but modern medicine appears to not know how to cure.  Modern medical texts do not document a cure for scurvy. Instead, they recommend a ‘treatment’, without using the word ‘cure’. And they don’t actually agree on the treatment. Imagine if different engineering firms used  different standards for building Bridges? But this definition of cure works for scurvy. Scurvy is caused by a diet poor in Vitamin C. It is cured when the patient changes to a diet with sufficient of Vitamin C. Cures of course, take time, and we might help them along, but if the patient’s diet does not change, no medicine can ‘cure’ scurvy. Even a ‘medicine’ of Vitamin C can’t cure scurvy, because the patient becomes dependent on the medicine.

This definition of cured works for every known nutritional illness, from Vitamin A deficiency, to Zinc deficiency, as long as the illness is detected in time. It also works for consumption of any toxic chemical, as long as the illness is detected in time.

What if the illness is not detected and cured in time? First, injury, and if the injury is not stopped or cannot be healed, it leads to disability. Disability, of course, cannot be cured, but we’ll discuss that later.

What if a disease has more than one cause? In healthicine, an illness is the intersection of a single cause (or train of causes) and the consequences – the signs, symptoms, and damage caused. If a disease has more than one cause – it is a compound illness, where each single illness has a single cause.  It can only be cured by curing each illness, one at a time, by addressing each of the individual causes.

Note: This post is part of a work in progress to define ‘cure’.  The current, up to date definition of a healthicine cure can be found here.

Injury or Damage: Cured By Healing

Sometimes an illness causes injury or damage. Of course injuries and damage are not just caused by illness, they can be caused by external factors like predators, accidents, and also by  internal factors like stressing the body too much. An injury is not an illness, although it might be a consequence of an illness.

Can we cure an injury?

Yes. There are two ways to cure an injury, depending on the type of injury.

  1. If the injury is being caused by an illness, or by an active internal or external force, then the ongoing injury is an illness, which must be addressed by curing the illness, by addressing the cause.
  2. When the cause of the injury is gone,  injuries are cured by healing.

Note: Healing is active before, during, and after the injury.

Modern medicine generally ignores the concept of healing cures, although healing is in many dictionary definitions of ‘cure’. Healing comes from healthiness, not from any medicine that can be bought or sold. No doctor can ‘heal’ a patient.

The common cold, for example, cannot be cured by any medicine, but it is normally usually cured by health and healing. Health is the best cure for many illnesses.

However, healing cures are seldom perfect. When a healing cure is less than perfect, the result can be a blockage, or even a disability.


A blockage is something that limits or blocks freedoms and healthy actions. We’re all familiar with injuries, maybe not so familiar with ‘blockages’. The general term is not used much in current medical practice, although blockages are often encountered, treated, and often cured.

To understand the concept of blockage, we need to understand that healthiness is not about ‘balance’, not about ‘balancing’, it is about using balances – balance and imbalance – to move forward in life. A blockage is an inability to make effective use of the healthy balances of life.

We walk by falling out of balance and recovering in a new position. If we are not able to stand, not able to lean off balance, unable to step forward, or unable to recover our balance in the new position, we have a blockage that limits out mobility. A blockage might occur in many different aspects of health, in our bodies – when we don’t have the strength to walk; in our mind – when we don’t believe we can walk without falling; in our spirits – when we give up trying to walk; even in our communities – which might convince us, or even force us to not walk.

Blockages often come from imperfect healing. When an injury heals, it often leaves a scar, or worse, which might be inflexible, limiting healthy movements.

Blockages are often a healthy reaction to a injury. If you fall and bruise your hand, as I recently did, it bruises and swells up. The bruise and swelling block internal bleeding. They also limit mobility, giving the hand time to rest and heal. However, as healing progresses, it becomes necessary to free up the movements, to remove the blockage, which might have, over time, progressed to a physical and a mental and even a spirit blockage. Sometimes, I don’t ‘feel like’ (spirit healthiness) moving my hand, even though I know that flexibility exercises are necessary to cure the blockage.

Yes. Blockages can be cured. Not every blockage can be cured. Some blockages are disabilities, that cannot be cured. How can we know the difference? In many cases, we can only know by trying. And by trying again and again. Curing blockages takes time, and energy, and persistence. Sometimes it might take so much effort that we need to ask ‘is it worth the effort’ (in a specific case).

Once we understand the concept of curing blockages, we gain some insight into physical therapies in hospitals, which help patients with disabilities, by clearing as many blockages – physical, mental, spiritual, and in our communities as well. Many physical therapy treatments, like osteopathy and chiropractic treatments, can actually bring about cures. Mental and spiritual blockages can also be cured by advice, by talking and listening, by counselling and psychotherapy. Physical, and even mental, spiritual, and even community blockages can also be cured by stretching exercises and techniques like yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and similar techniques that stretch out abilities, extending them past our current limitations. Of course in many cases, these techniques don’t ‘cure’ a blockage illness, because we don’t perceive the presence of an illness. However, it’s not hard to find examples of illness cured by techniques that address blockage.

We also need to be aware that these techniques can also be used as symptomicines, addressing the symptoms of an illness, without any attempt to cure. Massage, for example, might help us feel better, without addressing the root of the blockage, and the ‘problem’ which was relieved simply returns over time. If the massage therapist can find and address the root of the blockage, the problem can be cured.

In our current medical systems, ‘cure’ is not recognized for blockages. There is also no medical test for a blockage cured, even when it occurs. Every cure is a story, involving a single patient, with a unique problem. Every true cure is an anecdote. For this reason, clinical studies seldom document cures, except for illnesses caused by parasites.

Cleft lip is a blockage cured by surgery, by addressing the improper growth, and helping it to repair. At present, there is no medical test for ‘cleft lip cured’, other than the word of the surgeon and attending physicians.  If they say it’s cured, it’s cured.  If they say the cure is a failure, it was not cured.  If they disagree – we’re not certain.

Four Types of Cures

In summary, this gives us three types of cures:

  1.  addressing the cause of an illness
  2. healing damage caused by injury or illness
  3. releasing blockages caused by illness, injury or healing

There is another type of cure, important, but much less concrete. Each of the above cures occurs in specific cases, in very specific ways. The final the of cure is more general: prevention.

Preventative Cures

Sometimes, we take actions to prevent illness, injury, or blockages, before they occur. We have engineering standards for staircases, to prevent falls and to prevent failures. We design streets and walkways to prevent accidents and injuries. We wash our hands and brush out teeth to prevent infections.

Preventative cures cure illnesses before the can occur, by addressing causes before they arise, before they cause illness, injury, or blockage.

However, it is important to understand that every preventative cure is a blockage. Preventative cures are deliberate limitations on our activities. As such, we need to continually examine our preventative actions, our preventative cures, with regards to freedoms, potential for other injuries, and more. Preventative cures are hypothetical, statistical, not actual cases of patients cured of an illness.Preventative cures can easily be taken too far.  Hand washing too much can cause illness. Blocking a street completely avoids all traffic accidents, but impedes the flow of traffic, making it less of a street.

Can we cure Every Illness?

No.  Of course we cannot cure every case of every illness, but we can cure every type of illness.  If we cannot hope to cure it, it’s a disability, not an illness.

If we think we cannot, we will have no trouble proving ourselves right.

When we think we can, we find ways to do it.  When we think we can, we might fail, but we can try and try again, until we succeed.

To your health, tracy
Founder: Healthicine



About Tracy Kolenchuk

Founder of Healthicine.org. Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine
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