Blog 2013-11-16

A while back, when visiting a friend in Spain, we popped into the local supermarket and I noticed her donning a clear plastic glove whilst picking her fruit and veg so I asked her why. It was a rule of the shop, she said, no doubt to avoid people passing on germs to others!! I had to smile as the area of Spain where she lives is heavily agricultural, with an emphasis on pesticides!! I would have thought that a few germs were nothing compared to the level of harmful pesticides in every mouthful!!

This got me to thinking how paranoid we have become about germs. You only have to watch adverts for cleaning products to see that germs are viewed as the enemy, the reason why we become ill, something to be avoided or eradicated. The truth is, however, that they can do us little harm if our personal “environment” is healthy. Just think about when a cold is doing the rounds. Not everyone “catches” it. So, why is that? When you see flies buzzing around some dung, we cannot blame the flies for making it. They are there simply to clear it up.

Nowadays, our medical thinking is very much based on the “germ theory of disease” which was proposed by a French chemist, Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895). What it suggests is that we are innocent bystanders, and when “attacked” by germs can become ill. It’s pretty much a mindset of “it’s nothing to do with me”.

A contemporary of his, also a French chemist, Antoine Bechamp (1816-1908), thought otherwise. In fact Pasteur, on his death bed, renounced his germ theory, but by then it was well embedded into Western thinking, and remains today as one of the foundations of our medical system.

What Bechamp believed was that we manifest disease. If our internal environment is really poor, he said that we could literally “grow” disease. Not a pleasant thought. If, on the other hand, we tended our internal environment, as we would a well-loved garden, then we could literally grow and maintain health. Sound good? The only drawback (if you can see it as such) to accepting Bechamp’s theory is that we can no longer simply blame exterior things for our illness, but instead have to take personal responsibility for our health.

I believe in a combination. There are germs, but if our internal environment is robust, we shouldn’t succumb to a lot of these things, at least not as frequently or as severely.

The conventional view of disease is very much on being a war against external forces, and is probably one of the reasons why nutrition (which helps to build a healthy internal environment) does not play a part in medical thinking.

Tending our environment, like a garden of beautiful flowers, should be a joy. Eating healthily to nurture our bodies, thinking positively, nurturing loving relationships and friendships, and trying to neutralise our stress all help to grow our personal environment.

So, what would you prefer? Would you rather sit in fear of this germ and that germ, then probably “catch” it anyway? Fear puts a stress on our internal environment and makes us more susceptible to becoming ill. Better by far to tend your internal garden and stay healthy. J

So next time a pesky cold is doing the rounds and you catch it, use it as a gentle reminder that perhaps you haven’t been tending your internal garden as well as you should and start to look after yourself a little better.

Watch out for my next blog for a few tips ………