By Gary M. Verigin, DDS, CTN
Last December, I was in consultation with a patient who was trying to understand the concept of how a body gets so polluted that serious illness results. A 50ish woman, she was trying to grasp why we needed to improve the health of her biological terrain first, before removing her mercury amalgam fillings, root canals, and cavitations.
After about 20 minutes of my showing her pictures and explaining things like regulation and homeostasis, her eyes suddenly got big. So did her smile. She said, “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain!”  We both laughed.
If you’re not familiar with the classic musical My Fair Lady, that line comes right after the “ah-ha!” moment – when flower girl Eliza first speaks “proper” English without her usual Cockney accent.
There in my office, the patient’s “ah-ha!” was understanding the terrain – a concept she discovered that she could connect to her life in a very real way.
Back when she was in junior high, she told me, she had received an expensive Christmas gift from her parents: an aquarium that she dearly wanted. A few days later, they went to the fish store to choose her new pets. She selected some tropical, saltwater fish because she liked their vivid colors.
Two employees helped them find the equipment they’d need for keeping these particular fish and strongly recommended they buy a book on raising them. Her excitement swelled even more back at home when she introduced her new fish to the tank.
But a couple weeks later, she noticed two of them floating on top of the water. Why? What could the problem be? She went crying to her mother, saying that they should take the fish back to the store or to a vet who treats sick fish.
The problem, she learned, wasn’t with the fish. The fish suffered because the environment was wrong. Their death was a response to an improper environment. The equipment , the set-up , the condition of the water , the daily treatment  – all these must be running near optimum for such fish to survive.
If conditions are wrong, no “fish doctor” will be able to help.
Mainstream Medicine’s Science Fictions
Any biological dentist worthy of the name should thoroughly understand the extracellular matrix and ground system regulation – the internal environment of the human body and its dynamics.
Simply, every function and process in the living body involves the matrix in one way or another. Every cell in your body is nourished through the matrix, and all waste products of cellular metabolism pass through it. The matrix is also where all immune responses and tissue repair processes take place.
Current Western thought holds that mainstream medical views are based on centuries of experience and scientific knowledge, resulting in in the best possible understanding of health. But the actual history of Western medicine is one riddled with animosity and jealousy between conflicting paradigms, beliefs, and opinions. Its knowledge base has been influenced by more than just hard science. Historical circumstances, events, opinions, and, yes, a lust for profits have also played a role, often resulting in disastrous health epidemics.
Ego and politics can also take over. For instance, credit for the germ theory of disease typically goes to Louis Pasteur. Yet the theory itself predates him by centuries. In fact, it was first proposed in the mid-1500s. Yet Pasteur, a skillful politician and chemist, was given the credit in the 1850s when he stated, “Le microbe c’est tout” – “The microbe is everything.”
Being held up as father of the germ theory of disease was Pasteur’s own popular fiction.
It was French physiologist Claude Bernard who first declared Pasteur’s big mistake. Called “one of the greatest of all men of science” by Harvard historian I.B. Cohen, Bernard was one of the first to suggest the use of blind experiments to ensure objectivity.
He also proposed that the microbe is not everything. “Le microbe c’est rien,” he wrote, “le terrain c’est tout” – “The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything.” By “terrain,” he meant the milieu intérieur, the body’s internal environment. The body’s attempts to self-regulate this environment (maintain homeostasis) generate the symptoms that doctors then classify into diseases.
Yet Western medicine continues to act as if the germ theory were gospel, despite all evidence to the contrary. The condition of the biological terrain is completely disregarded. Most people consider their bodies to be hopeless victims at the full mercy of germs. Illness is believed to come only from the outside in – never as a product of a body’s foiled attempts to self-regulate.
Might this be the reason why mainstream medicine has been able to find neither the cause nor cure for even one major chronic disease in the 20th or 21st century?
The Microbe with a Thousand Faces (or at Least More than One)
Another wrong and limiting dogma is the concept of monomorphism articulated by the 19th century German biologist Ferdinand Julius Cohn. Monomorphism simply means that an organism only ever exists in a single form. The theory was supported by Pasteur, as well as Rudolf Virchow (who theorized that all disease starts in the cells) and Robert Koch (the founder of modern bacteriology).
But in the decades just after his death, pleomorphism – the fact that bacteria can (and do) change shape dramatically or exist in a number of forms – was shown to be a reality. Suffice it to say, it was a controversial claim.
One of the first scientists doing work in this area was Pierre Jacques Antoine Béchamp, a chemist, biologist, and contemporary of Pasteur. Béchamp didn’t believe that bacteria could invade a healthy host and create disease on their own. Rather, he theorized that tiny molecular elements – microzymes, he called them – lived autonomously in the cells and body fluids of all living entities. He further theorized that these microzymes both build and recycle bacteria in response to host and environmental factors.
The work of German zoologist Günther Enderlein lent support to this theory. Using the new technology of darkfield microscopy, Enderlein showed that microbes don’t exist in just one form through their lifetimes but are constantly changing in response to changes in their environment. When the body’s internal environment is polluted – with both external toxins and metabolic waste – microbes transform from simple bacteria to complex fungi and viruses. These add to the pollution. The more compromised the environment, the more severe the illness.
What Béchamp was calling microzymes were not independent elements. Rather, they were microbes in various stages of transformation – pleomorphic forms.
If the matrix is in a healthy, uncompromised state, the microzymes will be of a harmonious valence and morphological form. They’re beneficial. They contribute to the overall health of the individual. If the matrix is in an “unphysiological” state, however, the health of the individual will become disturbed. The form, valence, and function of the microzymes become increasingly hostile to the human body.
The complex evolutionary forms of unfriendly bacteria, yeast, fungus, mold, and parasites that may evolve from an unfriendly terrain generate toxic wastes and homotoxins that produce a wide array of unwanted symptoms. For this reason, we call them symptomatic microforms.
But because of pleomorphism, they can also devolve, returning to their harmless microzyme state. This ability is a controlling mechanism of the terrain. When it’s in a state of biochemical balance, the microzymes are friendly, involving themselves with building a physiological ground substance.
A compromised terrain simply can’t be restored by the controlling mechanism if the microzymes are in an unphysiological, unfriendly state. Otherwise, you see the development of bacteria, yeasts, fungi, molds, and parasites that further disintegrate the ground substance. Tissues are destroyed. Organs and systems are destroyed.
Your body naturally has within itself all the controlling mechanisms and potential necessary to produce unfriendly microforms and all the symptoms that initiate. The unfriendly microforms simply evolve in our bodies because of an unfriendly, unphysiological compromised terrain.
This is why any true healing can only begin with improving the state of the terrain.
Over the past few years, advances in genetic technology have opened a window into the amazingly populous and powerful world of microbial life in and on the human body. Scientists now say that we’re not just human. There are countless other creatures living on and inside you, governing your health and happiness.
This science is challenging the very idea of what it means to be human.
“We tend to think that we are exclusively a product of our own cells, upwards of 10 trillion of them,” wrote Richard Conniff in a 2013 Smithsonian article  on the microbiome. “But the microbes we harbor in our tissues and matrix add another 100 trillion cells into the mix.”
The creature we admire in the mirror every morning is thus about 10 percent human by cell count. By weight, the picture looks prettier: Altogether an average adult’s commensal microbes weigh about three pounds, roughly as much as the human brain. And while our 21,000 or so human genes help make us who we are, our resident microbes possess another 8 million or so genes many of which collaborate behind the scenes handling food, tinkering with the immune system, turning genes on and off, and otherwise helping us function.
More than 10,000 different species live in our bodies. There are an estimated 1000 alone that might live in your mouth. Another 150 species may live behind your ear, and 440 may live on the insides of your forearm, several thousand in your intestines. And talk about diversity! According to a 2010 study, even your left and right hands may have just 17% of their bacterial species in common.
What does this mean for us?
Think of Béchamp. Only recently has modern science admitted to the microbiome the same way Béchamp theorized 165 years ago.
Recent studies have linked changes in the microbiome to some of the most pressing medical problems of our time, including obesity, allergies, bowel disorders, and even psychiatric problems such as autism, schizophrenia, and depression.
Are these health concerns caused by the microbiome or merely occur as a consequence of those conditions? Are diseases caused by having the wrong parents who gave you faulty genes, or is it epigenetics (genetic changes caused by environmental triggers)?
Science continues to show that in both cases, it’s the latter. The terrain is everything.
Microbial human by Charls Tsevis , via Flickr