A few weeks ago, I met up with a group of alternative practitioners for dinner. As we went through introductions, I heard everyone’s story of miraculous life-altering cures from products based in seaweed to supplements to aromatherapy, and praise for the efforts to make our world a more natural place.
When it came time to talk about my history as a massage therapist, I carefully included that I was a patient advocate and speaker for diabetes. I was conscious to talk about my love of medicine and integrated approaches to helping beat the odds of developing complications from diabetes. A chiropractor pointed her finger at me and said, “But you don’t get it. You are not healthy at all. You have 'dis-ease' and until you understand what that means, you will always have diabetes.”
This is a growing problem and it is one that is fostered by a lack of education in microbiology, medicine and the difference between the definitions of to heal and to cure.
The difference between healing and curing is simple: To cure means to eliminate all evidence of disease, while “to heal” literally means to make whole. A Wiki definition states: “healing involves the repair of living tissue, organs and the biological system as a whole and resumption of normal functioning.”
Everyone with diabetes has seen the ads for the miracle cure for diabetes. Sometimes, it’s the news reporting on a study involving mice that were cured of diabetes, and some are ads and testimonials given for supplements that have cured diabetes. But, science has not eliminated the genetic side of type 1 or type 2, therefore we do not have a cure for diabetes.
What people fail to understand is that getting off medication is not a cure for type 2. It is simply getting off medication, because you have found a management plan that works for you. A perfect example of this effect is David Mendosa’s journey with low carb eating and exercise. It changed his life and to many of his fans, this may appear as a cure, but it is not. What it represents is healing, because we haven’t changed the genetics of what causes type 2 and eliminated it.
Type1 will have no luck going insulin free, but we often hear about research that is attempting to prolong the honeymoon phase. The honeymoon phase is when newly diagnosed type 1 patients experience the need for very little injected insulin. Over time, the body begins to deal with the long-term effects of diabetes and the need for injected insulin rises. The question is can we mimic that kind of escape from diabetes demands and, more importantly, optimize the rest of our health?
What people fail to understand is that getting off medication is not a cure for type 2.It is simply getting off medication, because you have found a management plan that works for you.
I’ve personally experienced that kind of escape from diabetes demands, while I was at a yoga center about 29 years ago. There, we embraced a vegan diet and we had zero access to refined sugar or caffeine. There was daily meditation and yoga in the wee hours of the morning, and the rest of my day was spent in the classroom learning massage. Every night before bed, I had a personal ritual of sauna and a shower and to bed by 9pm. It was heaven for my diabetes My insulin needs plummeted to about 4-6 units daily, and some days were basal insulin only.
What I learned from that experience was that I had a lot of control over my health, through the choices that I make. Health starts from the cells and filters out to the skin. How we nurture and nourish ourselves is reflected in our energy, mood and overall health, and for me that is as important as a cure.
Healing is as potent a medicine as a cure can be.