The Terrain-Centered Paradigm, Part 1
Posted on Monday, September 9th, 2013
Which Comes First, the Pathogenic Microbe or the Disordered Terrain?
By Gary M. Verigin, DDS, CTN
Originally posted in Biosis #33 (May 2011)
What tomorrow’s children are to be
will be determined by what today’s parents-to-be
choose to be. – S. Colleen Graham
Your life starts to take shape long before you’re born, influenced by things like your parents’ choices (diet, drug use and so on) and genetic heritage. But genetics don’t dictate your fate so much as predispose you. They’re like a loaded gun, harmless until triggered. So someone with an “Alzheimer’s gene,” say, may never develop the disease – unless something triggers the gene. Whatever that something is, it depends on one thing: a disordered biological terrain.
Modern chronic illness is multifactoral, which is one reason why conventional medicine seldom treats it effectively. Its approach is Newtonian, linear: one symptom, one cause. But the human body is more complex and dynamic than that: a system of systems, connected and unified by the terrain.
A good concept for grasping this truer paradigm is Gestalt – a concept I was first introduced to during my junior year at the University of California. A German word meaning “form” or “shape,” Gestalt expresses a concept of wholeness: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, just as a human being is more than just a collection of cells or organs.
As a triple major undergraduate – chemistry, biology and psychology – I found this concept invaluable. It gave me a way to bring together concepts from these different fields and understand their relationships, enriching my understanding. Likewise, as a dentist and lifelong student, I’ve studied and synthesized research from many disciplines on my quest to understand deeply the relationships between oral and systemic health. Today, the “parts” forming the “sum” of my practice include
- Pischinger’s concept of the Basic Regulative System.
- Reckeweg’s superb synthesis of homotoxicology, which leads to a new treatment strategy known as Physiological Regulating Medicine (PRM).
- Classical homeopathy as developed by Hahnemann.
- Enderlein’s Milieu Therapy and concept of isopathy (i.e., “like cures like”).
- Matrix imaging according to Voll and Kramer, using acupuncture points to measure the bioelectric status of the terrain, monitor response to treatment and identify interference fields and foci in the jaw that even the best digital x-ray equipment can’t detect.
- Morrell’s impressive work in bioresonance and Chinese Five Element theory as related to acupuncture meridian dynamics.
- Vincent’s theory and instrumentation that lets us measure and understand the biocelluar environment.
The last is most important for the sheer clarity it provides in diagnosing and treating the root causes of disease and dysfunction. Otherwise, it’s like driving at night without headlights. The aim of biological dental medicine is to turn on the lights while taking a candid, careful and thorough evaluation of each person who comes to you for help.
When someone is suffering from a variety of strange and seemingly unrelated symptoms, establishment physicians often tell them that there’s no particular cause, that it’s all in their head or just something they must live with – an illness to be “managed” for the rest of their life.
We cannot attempt to cure one part of the body without treating the others.
We cannot attempt to cure the body if we forget the Soul. – Plato
I recently met with an intelligent gentleman who had contacted us for an evaluation. He had developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and felt sure it was related to the removal of two infected wisdom teeth. The surgery had been difficult, and the healing process, long and painful. Two weeks later, the symptoms of RA emerged in his left shoulder and arm. At first, he coped by favoring his right side, but it was soon affected, too.
“I asked my dentist about it,” he said, “and my oral surgeon and my physician. They all said, ‘No correlation.'” He added that each had looked at him strangely, as though he had asked some completely bizarre question or was just “pulling their chain.”
His dental x-rays didn’t show any problems within the bony areas around the recent extraction sites, nor those from which his other wisdom teeth had been pulled a couple decades earlier. Seeing no sign of cavitations, I questioned further, as Reckeweg used to do with his patients. I asked what kind of work he had done early in life and if he’d had any illnesses back then.
It turned out that he had worked with dynamite (nitroglycerine) for a company that blasted rock quarries. He remembered that on very hot and humid days, the toxins would sweat through his gloves onto his hands, even when he handled the sticks with greatest care. He then recalled that this was when he had actually experienced his first RA symptoms – the same ones he was now having more than a year after dental surgery, including swelling and edema in his joints. He added that several coworkers had also been diagnosed with RA.
In some ways, RA is a bit enigmatic. As WebMD explains, “Symptoms can come and go, and each person with RA is affected differently. Some people have long periods of remission. Their rheumatoid arthritis is inactive, and they have few or no symptoms during this time.” Such was the case with this gentleman – symptom-free for years until those last tooth extractions.
Here’s where the terrain-centered paradigm can give us some insight to the situation. To grasp it, a little history is in order…
To be continued on Wednesday
Image by kool_skatkat, via Flickr