As Ivan and I educate ourselves on the ways of the body and cellular function, I continue to be completely wowed by the intricacies of all the systems which are in place to keep up healthy. In January we had the blessing of hearing Dr. Mark Hyman speak at the TLC conference we attended. He has been working with Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Oz to bring The Daniel Plan to Saddleback Church and beyond. His teaching about nutrition and health is clear, easy to grasp and very motivational.

Yesterday while we were relaxing at home, we came across Dr. Hyman’s presentation on our public television channel and watched him outline the root cause of so many of the maladies which have become commonplace in our society. There were some things he said on the program yesterday which he had also said in January, but listening to him now, from the vantage point of knowing Ivan has cancer, these things made a bigger impact on me.

He quoted Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules and In Defense of Food, who said, “If it was grown on a plant and not made in a plant, then you can keep it in your kitchen.”  Then he said, “Get your medicine in the kitchen, not the pharmacy.” He made a play on words: FARMacy vs. PHARMacy…cute! His point reminded me of something I was taught as a chiropractic assistant over 25 years ago­­—”The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” This was said by Thomas Edison in 1902.

How wonderful it is to see more and more doctors like Dr. Hyman really doing this—the future Thomas Edison spoke of is here! Our bodies have an amazing capacity to take in natural sources of healing energy to correct imbalances in the system. When did we become so dependent upon drugs and surgery as the ONLY way to treat symptoms of these imbalances? Why is the natural approach to doing this called “alternative” medicine? Isn’t the use of drugs really the alternative medicine?

Here is my position, if there are natural things which can be done, I want to do them first. There is a place for medication and I am no Tom Cruise, insisting on NO medication at all, but the first line of defense for me is what I am eating and how I am resting, exercising, meditating, loving and laughing.

I am grateful that Ivan and I are on the same page about this. And I am grateful that his diagnosis was made so early that there isn’t a sense of needing to rush to do the most drastic measure—radiation and surgery. There is time to let the body processes do their work. I am also extremely grateful that is urologist sent us home two weeks ago with a book on nutrition for people with prostate cancer. That was his first recommendation, not an aside or an acquiescence that our integrative medicine team would not hurt, but probably wouldn’t help (I’ve heard that before, too). I’m grateful he is encouraging Ivan to do all these things and take another look at where his cancer is in 3 months and then again in 6 months.

I’m grateful that the future is now and that there are more and more medical doctors doing what Thomas Edison predicted would be done over 100 years ago.

Have you had positive experiences with doctors who are encouraging your interest in causes of imbalances in your health, rather than simply giving you a pill to alleviate the symptoms of those imbalances? I’d love to hear your story.