Why Lifeforce Concepts Are So Important In Managing HIV AIDS

Lifeforce – a rather nebulous concept, yet a crucial component to any genuinely holistic HIV AIDS strategy. Just controlling the HIV virus with powerful drugs is not enough. You also need a healthy body and immune system, fueled by this life energy.

However, you may be thinking: how could such a tenuous concept as Life Force possibly have any significant role to play in better managing HIV AIDS? This is the question we'll explore in the following article. For many of you, the word Lifeforce may have no meaning at all. For others, it probably suggests a far too 'New Agey' concept to apply to something as serious as HIV treatment.

Lifeforce Is Also Known By Many Other Names

Nevertheless, the way natural therapists distinguish their approach to health versus illness, is fundamentally determined by the concept of Lifeforce - also known as Chi, Beneficial Chi, Chinese Life Force, Bio energy, Orgone, Kundalini or Prana.

This concept results in a significantly different way of understanding health issues, compared to how orthodox medicine perceives illness. But most importantly, this alternative perspective does provide for a noteworthy difference in treatment outcomes.

Natural therapy is not just about using a different style of medications. It is in fact a system of healing using a totally different worldview or philosophy, called the 'Vitalistic Theory of Disease', compared to the 'Germ Theory of Disease', which medicine uses as their philosophical platform.

Need For A Slight Detour Before Exploring Lifeforce Further

To make more sense of this long list of unusual terminology, it's necessary to initially take an important detour from any direct discussion about HIV AIDS treatments. We'll be making a brief journey, therefore, into exploring these opposing core philosophies which underpin both orthodox as well as natural therapies.

Although the following discussion is but a very simplified and basic version of what drives medical reality, and hence its decisions, it will nevertheless give some insight into why these two forms of treatment – the orthodox and the natural – so often seem to be poles apart.

Modern medicine is very good at knowing how to interfere with the mechanisms of disease, rather than how to effectively deal with the origin of disease. Although this approach does seem to 'fix' the problem - in that symptoms are removed - nevertheless, in most cases such an approach is also very shallow, and inevitably gets nowhere near the true source of the problems. Let's see if we can better clarify this statement.

Germ Theory Of Disease

The usual medical view of illness, loosely called the 'Germ Theory of Disease', can be put into a sort of 'equation', where the orthodox medical system sees much of ill-health as being driven by the following 'components':

Body + Bug (or Malfunctioning Body Part) --> Disease

To bring such an 'equation' back to balance – or health – we then find that modern medicine instigates interventions so as to change this sequence of 'components' in the following manner:

Body + Bug (or Malfunctioning Body Part) + Surgery/Chemo/Drugs --> 'Health'

Symptom Suppression Is Not The Same As Healing

However, in many ways this outcome of 'health' is conditional, and a bit of an illusion. Indeed, symptoms may have been eliminated, but far too often they have only been suppressed. For instance, stop the drugs – for migraine, arthritis, headaches, eczema, asthma, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. etc. – and more likely than not the symptoms will return.

True, this is not always the case - for instance, after using antibiotics for an infection. However, when the classic medical approach is applied to most of the chronic health conditions of our modern era, then you'll find that stopping those drugs will usually result in a relapse of the original symptoms.

Not only that, but when using such a medical, drug-orientated approach, another equally predictable consequence is the occurrence of side-effects. However, this is less likely to occur if using Lifeforce concepts when planning treatment protocols.

Side-effects Have Become A 'Blind-Spot' In Orthodox Medical Treatments

Side-effects have become such a common and almost integral aspect to how orthodox medicine operates, that in a sense, their incidence has become 'normalized'. Because of this, we seem to have become blind to them.

Nevertheless, side-effects remain a significant driving factor for both morbidity and mortality. Hence, it becomes important that such an inevitable occurrence of side-effects is taken into account, and requires incorporation into this 'equation' in the following manner:

Body + Bug (or Malfunctioning Body Part) + Surgery/Chemo/Drugs --> 'Health' + Side-Effects

Don't Let Technological Wizardry Sidetrack You

Such a medical approach to illness, although appearing to use very complex and sophisticated techniques, machinery or medications, is unfortunately also rather simplistic or superficial in getting to the true source of the problem. One crucial point that is often over-looked by medicine, in their approach to treating ill-health situations is that: absence of symptoms does not automatically guarantee an experience of true health.

Nevertheless, to be fair, the point could also be raised that living without your crippling arthritic pains, or now minimizing the risk of a heart-attack or stroke, because your blood pressure is stabilized, for instance, should surely be seen as a positive outcome? Indeed; but let's not kid ourselves that having no pain, or having a blood pressure that is 'normal' is now the same as having genuinely achieved a resolution to what was driving those symptoms in the first place.

Factors Affecting Lifeforce

Let's take a look at those factors which we as natural therapists believe have a powerful impact on this subtle Lifeforce, Prana or Chi. For instance, from a more natural perspective, that arthritic pain – or any other symptoms from other illnesses too! - are often the result of having lived in a less than constructive manner, thus negatively impacting Lifeforce; for example:

• On nutritional levels (frequent or full-time eating of take-aways, pizzas, hamburgers, cakes and sweets, frozen, pre-cooked meals – already cooked to death... but just needing a quick re-heat, etc.)

• Lifestyle issues (abuse of alcohol, coffee, recreational drugs, cigarettes, etc.)

• Toxic exposure - the unavoidable poisons encountered in our:

      - Homes and offices - (carpet out-gassing, lacquers, sealants, room deodorizers, anti-cockroach/ants/flies/mosquito sprays or other surface chemicals, toxic cleaning agents, etc.)

      - Outdoor environments - (general air pollution, chemicals used in our gardens, golf courses, bowling greens, etc.)

      - From our foods - (pesticide residues in our foods & drinks, let alone preservatives, colorings, gelling agents, humectants, flavorings, fluoride and chlorine in our water - the latter two known to negatively affect our thyroid gland function, as they compete with iodine, etc.)

      - Medically - (the massive amounts of chemical drugs a large majority of Western people are routinely prescribed; diagnostic procedures (CT Scans/X-rays/Dyes – the latter being definitely chemical and often radioactive), dental amalgams (these leach mercury, a particularly lethal substance even in small doses), and so much more.

• Then there is the issue of past history of infections – and their treatments - (for example, STI's and the heavy amounts of antibiotics needed to cure them, resulting in ecologic havoc to our gut flora, in turn resulting in such problems as fungal infections [Candida], or other bad bugs taking over, in turn weakening or suppressing our immune function... )

• Many of the above factors, by weakening Lifeforce will also result in a destabilized immune system. Such vulnerable immunity can subsequently cause us to fall prey to many colds and flus each year, or other infections, but each time inevitably leading to a further vicious cycle of more prescriptions for antibiotics; in turn causing more gut ecology mayhem... and so the vicious cycle continues.

• Excessive and prolonged stress – science is increasingly vindicating that ongoing stress is a major factor underlying a wide range of ill-health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more.

• Chronic insomnia is occurring in epidemic proportions nowadays, again due to many of the above noted negative factors impacting our modern lives, and here too science is vindicating the catastrophic effects of a cumulative sleep debt.

• And finally, there is the genetic, or what natural therapists used to call the 'constitutional strength' of each person, which plays an important role in determining to what extent a disease will manifest in any specific person.

However, we must also now recognize the crucial role of epigenetics as a far more significant factor determining disease. (for a further discussion of epigenetics, please click on this link.)

These Underlying Forces Are Driving Ill-Health By Weakening Lifeforce

With just a bit of rational thinking, it's possible to see that these are but a few of the factors which can drive our many chronic diseases, including the 'biggies' such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Such health issues don't 'just arise from nowhere'!

A basic Law of Physics is that for every action there is a reaction. Reverse that concept, and it becomes equally obvious that for every reaction (consequence) there had to be an instigating action. What needs to be understood is that this occurs equally within the health arena of life; not just Physics. It's truly not all that hard to figure out!

Eventually, The Chickens Do Come Home To Roost

However, medicine has for decades allowed us to believe that we can eat what we like; drink what we like; party as hard as we like; skimp on sleep; engage in exciting, but ultimately stressful lifestyles – all to our heart's content... and when we inevitably fall ill, then 'no problems... medicine will have a magic pill to sort it all out for you.'

And the 'best' part of such an approach is that all you have to do is simply swallow the pills! But this a far cry from engaging in a genuinely holistic medicine approach to dealing with the causes of one's ill-health.

Medicine rarely deals with what may be causing the problem in the first place – such as our lifestyles; our stresses; our toxic exposures – especially the more chronic, daily ones. Just swallow your 'magic pills', and all will be well.

Indeed... for a while, but inevitably such symptom-suppression, without also dealing with what is causing the symptoms in the first place, will predictably result in a failure of that form of treatment.

Replacement Therapy – Not The Same as Fixing the Source of The Problem

However, when the first line of attack to managing symptoms fails, then within the medical mindset, that's no problem either, because we've now become so clever, that we can:

• Cut out those nasty, worn-out joints and replace them with artificial ones - when the analgesic medicine is no longer enough

• We can bypass those clogged arteries, or insert stents - when the drugs no longer control the angina

• If the repeated doses of antibiotics eventually fail to control chronically infected tonsils - then simply chop them out

• If the anti-inflammatories for controlling your ulcerative colitis or Crohn's Disease no longer work, again - simply cut out the offending lengths of bowel

• If your uterus keeps playing up – that too can be easily lopped out, and while we're at it, why not the ovaries too if you're post-menopausal

• And if we've really hit the 'jackpot' and developed cancer, then medicine can cut out those awful tumors – or blast them (and our immune systems!) to kingdom-come with unbelievably potent chemical cocktails or radiation – but again, those cancers didn't just pop into our reality for no reason. (If you'd like to explore these ideas in greater depth, just click on this link here).

Nowhere along this journey does medicine adequately deal with the more fundamental causes driving us to such forms of ill-health, by weakening Lifeforce. Yes, doctors do nowadays suggest people don't smoke anymore; get some exercise; cut back on their fats and sugars – but only in a minimal way compared to what they actually need to be told.

Even when doctors do tell their patients to change their diet, the usual statement is to simply eat a 'healthy diet'. But how often is that fleshed out in more definitive terms?

Nevertheless, Orthodox Medicine Does Have Much To Offer

By the same token, let's be absolutely clear that the above discussion is in no way meant to suggest that what modern medicine has to offer is not valid or should somehow be ignored or avoided. Not in the slightest! These orthodox approaches absolutely do have their place.

Antibiotics can and do save millions of lives each year. Trauma and acute medical crisis are best dealt with by the marvels of modern medicine. Thank goodness we do have powerful analgesics and anesthetics (think back to days of amputation or other surgeries without any such medical advances!)

As natural therapists within the complementary and alternative medicine community, we applaud and welcome such advances in science and medicine. These realities are not being disputed, and this needs to be made crystal clear in any discussion such as we're having here.

Genuine Wholism Must Include Both Sides

In fact, it needs to be understood – especially by some natural therapists! – that to practice from a genuinely holistic platform... requires the inclusion of orthodoxy too! It needs to be about complementarity; not competition.

There is much about what modern medicine does provide which is truly life-saving and wonderful. However, far too often such treatment approaches – for all the 'magic' they do seem to offer – are nevertheless only a relatively shallow approach to truly dealing with peoples' ill-health, in the sense of returning them, not just to an absence of symptoms, but back to full, vibrant, jump-out-of-your-skin style vigor and wellness.

Despite the removal of a person's symptoms, far too often they're still not feeling vibrantly healthy either – or filled with what the French call 'joie de vivre'. Just look at how many people walk around each day, tired, listless or depressed – even if their blood pressure is now 'under control'; or their migraines are less severe, or occurring less often; or the use of strong analgesics and/or anti-inflammatories have suppressed a person's arthritic aches.

Let's Look At The Natural Therapists' Vitalistic or Lifeforce Concepts

As Natural therapists we tend to view health and disease from quite a different perspective, called the 'Vitalistic Theory of Disease' – in contrast to the more medical 'Germ Theory of Disease'. It also needs to be stated that as natural therapists we accept that not all disease is caused simply by 'bugs'.

However, in the name of making a complex topic around Lifeforce a bit easier to understand, I'm taking the liberty of making some sweeping statements here. Nevertheless, by the end of this article, you'll hopefully understand the essence of what differentiates a natural therapeutic approach to healing, compared to how modern medicine tries to deal with ill-health.

Thank Goodness For The Availability Of Modern HIV AIDS Drugs

As natural therapists we don't deny that there are bugs, and that that there are times we definitely need antibiotics simply to stay alive. And in the case of HIV AIDS, we can all be immensely grateful that modern science has come up with the large range of anti-HIV drugs now available – at least for those in affluent Westernized countries.

Many people suffering with this infection would have died a long time ago, if it weren't for their access to these powerful drugs. But 'powerful' is a key word here, because, just as in present day cancer treatment with chemotherapy, these potent anti-HIV drugs inevitably come with a long list of often serious – and at times lethal – side-effects.

For those living with HIV AIDS, they may be alive due to taking these strong drugs, but may also now be living with a range of toxic consequences from those same drugs, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, liver damage, kidney damage... and the list goes on.

It's All About A Cost:Benefit Analysis

It's a bit of a trade-off when one chooses such drugs. They certainly can give extra quantity of life, but then one often has to trade this off against the high likelihood of getting at least some side-effects, in turn having a negative impact on the quality of that same life.

And this is where the holistic healing, naturopathic approach fits in. Viewing ill-health via the concept of Lifeforce, Chi or Prana, allows for a bioenergy perspective through which to not only deal with the symptoms of various diseases, but also allows for more focus on identifying and eradicating the root causes driving those symptoms.

But What Exactly Is Lifeforce?

At present, science and medicine sees Lifeforce as a rather nebulous concept, since it's not something that can be measured directly by the more accepted scientific means – although this is changing! Like the wind, (here, we're talking about the concept of the movement of air; not air itself!) we can't put a kilogram of Lifeforce in a jar, which you could then taste, touch or weigh.

And in today's science, still mired in an obsolete, Newtonian perspective of reality, (which should have been surpassed by Quantum Physics over 80 years ago!), this lack of being able to taste, touch or weigh something, instantly produces problems and the more likely response that what is being discussed is not real – (for a more in-depth discussion of Newtonian vs Quantum Physics, and how this applies to health matters click on this link here.)

Yet, in regard to the example of wind, no-one would deny that wind exists, and that it can have a very powerful – if not devastating! – effect on us humans and our environment.

Strong Lifeforce And Good Vitality Go Hand-In-Hand

So too with the concept of Lifeforce. It's that extra dimension within our bodies which determines how alive or vital we feel. Do we feel 'full of beans'; able to easily complete a day's activities with gusto, or do we drag ourselves around all day, tired, dull, listless, depressed, and with everything being such an effort? Indeed, without this bio energy component to our system we would be nothing but a corpse.

This is the extra dimension to the whole perspective of health and ill-health which natural therapy brings to the table. Hence, from our perspective, when our Lifeforce is high, we're less likely to get ill with infections or other health 'breakdowns'.

Earlier, we represented the medical model of health and disease in an 'equational' format. Let's do the same with the way holistic healing would represent the role of Lifeforce in determining which outcome a person might experience in their lives – wellness or sickness.

The 'Vitalistic' Or Lifeforce Approach To Explaining Health and Ill-health

Here, we still use the basics of the previous 'equation', but with some crucial differences, i.e.:

Body + Bug (or Malfunctioning Body Part) + LIFEFORCE STATUS --> either Health or Disease

In other words, we may have bugs in our system, or have body parts which are not as functional as they should be, but whether they become a problem - to the point of being able to create actual illness - is in fact determined by this Lifeforce status.

If the level of Chi, Prana, Life Energy, Bioenergy – or whatever you wish to call this difficult-to-define reality - is robust and high, then the body will be able to keep those bugs under control, or those weakened areas from producing symptoms.

Some Scientific Examples Of How Lifeforce Affects Health

Let's bring some scientific reality into the picture here. It's a well known, scientific fact that people can exist in complete health with living, active TB bacteria inside them. It is an equally well known scientific fact, that if a person with such a live 'infection' of TB inside them now undergoes starvation, or any other severe form of stress, then those previously quiescent TB bugs can suddenly become quite active, resulting in a full-blown TB infection, with all the awful symptoms of this disease.

However, that person may have been living a completely normal and 'healthy' life for years – with those very much alive TB bugs on-board! – without them causing any active disease. Science acknowledges the reality of such cases - as long as that person's immune system remains strong and functional.

So, the pivotal factor in deciding whether active TB occurs or not, is determined not just by whether you 'have a bug on board', but rather by how functional and strong your immune system is, and hence capable of containing those TB bugs in a dormant format! Keep in mind that this scenario extends itself to many other bugs we may come in contact with.

From a naturopathic perspective, we're simply acknowledging that such a reality is not just some 'lucky fluke', but is dictated by a range of factors, as already touched on above – i.e. stress, toxin exposure, lifestyle, diet, and more, all affecting Lifeforce.

Lifeforce Is Not Just About Containing 'Bugs'

Let's take another 'non-bug' example to drum this point home. In osteoarthritis, a person may have joints which are completely worn out. In other words, their joints no longer have any cushioning cartilage, and the two bone surfaces may be grinding against each other. This can be easily established via a simple X-ray.

Yet, it does happen that people with this situation nevertheless experience no pain whatsoever. Yes, this can and does happen – albeit not all that often! However, when one explores such seemingly anomalous cases, inevitably you find that they are looking after their Lifeforce by eating right; living right; minimizing their exposures to toxins; getting adequate sleep, etc. etc.

In other words, such people – from a Lifeforce or 'Vitalistic Theory of Disease' perspective - are a classic example of how these apparently innocuous and extraneous lifestyle and environmental factors can have a potent impact on Lifeforce, and hence whether symptoms present themselves or not.

Yet, the reverse can happen where someone with minimal cartilage erosion, and no bone-on-bone crunching, is in excruciating pain. And when one explores their situation you just as inevitably find they may be eating a lot of acidifying foods, like excessive amounts of meat, sugar, several liters of soft-drinks daily compared to water; excessive coffee and tea intake... you get the idea.

Herpes As A Final Example

Let's finalize with one more medical, scientific example of how we perceive Lifeforce to work. Many people may become infected with herpes; initially become quite ill with it, and manifest numerous bouts of sores. Yet, if they're lucky enough to have a strong immune system, then it is precisely this immune system – not necessarily any drugs! – which allows them to overcome and keep those herpes viruses in a state of ongoing dormancy.

But let that same person deplete their Lifeforce by being exposed to a range of stressors – late nights; losing their job; too many parties over Christmas time, etc. – and suddenly that virus comes back with a vengeance. During the quiescent phase, it's not as if the herpes somehow magically disappeared altogether from that person's body.

At present, such a total disappearance of herpes virus (and equally so for the HIV virus) is simply not a scientific reality. However, it was the status, viability, or functionality of their immune system which determined an outbreak - or not.

Natural Therapists Are Only Extrapolating What Medicine Already Knows About – But Doesn't Apply

This is all we as natural therapists, coming from a more holistic healing perspective, are trying to point out: that there is something within us which determines - to a much great extent than medicine presently credits – whether we remain healthy or become ill.

And that 'something' is what we have traditionally called 'Lifeforce'! It's actually as simple as that.

By careful observations over the centuries, generations of natural practitioners have been able to identify those factors which determine whether this Lifeforce works optimally, or becomes depleted and dysfunctional. That's 'it' in a nutshell!

What You Wouldn't Do To Your Car... Yet Do To Your Body On A Daily Basis!

How about we use another metaphor to really drive home the point about how various things we do can affect Lifeforce. Let's suppose you've just inherited a really wonderful, strong car – a Porsche, for example. Now, let's assume that you are either very careless, or have simply never been taught that there are certain things you just do not do to any car, let alone a Porsche!

For instance, what do you think would happen if you decided that because motor mower fuel (aka: poor diet) was so much cheaper, you'd therefore use that to run your new Porsche instead of normal quality petrol? Afterall, motor mower fuel is a 'fuel' just as petrol is; why quibble between the two, when one of them is simply easier to get and much cheaper?! Mmmm... not really a good idea though!

Flogging A Car Is Not Really The Ideal Way To Treat It

However, it gets worse, as you now decide that you want to take this beautiful city car out onto the roughest country roads and dirt-tracks you can find.

Here, you drive your Porsche with the intention of hitting as many pot-holes and bumpy patches on those roads or tracks as you can find. Indeed, you decide to go off-road altogether, and race helter-skelter directly through the rough bushland; through muddy creeks; all the while revving the guts out of your Porsche. Sounds a bit like what many Westerners tend to do to their bodies, by living a rough lifestyle - all of which has negative impacts on our Lifeforce.

Then, you decide to simply not worry about checking whether you've got enough water in the radiator. In fact, when you finally get reminded by a little red, blinking light on your dashboard that your radiator water is dangerously low, and since you have several large bottles of sugary soft-drink with you, you now decide to put that into the radiator – instead of water.

Liquid Is Liquid... Isn't It?

Afteral, both are 'liquid' aren't they? So why make a fuss about differentiating whether you use water or anything else that may be liquid – and more handy? Perhaps this line of reasoning sounds familiar to the argument many people use in order to avoid drinking water, instead of all their coffee, soft-drinks, alcohol and other supposed 'water substitutes'? Lack of adequate hydration with good quality water can be a major Lifeforce factor determining a person's health status!

By the same token, you now also don't worry anymore whether some dirt or grit happens to get into your fuel tank (aka: cigarettes, recreational or medical drugs, and a whole list of other toxic exposures we face each day in 'normal' life).

We Too Need A Regular 'Grease-And-Oil-Change' To Keep Our Lifeforce Strong

And finally, just to finish this metaphor with a bit of a flourish, you decide that ensuring this beautiful, strong Porsche has frequent services and overhauls is actually a 'waste of time and money'; so you by-pass these too. Sounds a bit like us humans ignoring the need for adequate rest; avoiding stress, doing routine detoxing protocols, and more. Just as cars need a good, regular 'grease-and-oil-change, so too do our bodies require frequent monitoring, plus 'repair and maintenance services'.

This analogy of what we might do to a car correlates directly to what we too often do to our body. The only difference is that – strangely enough! – no one would dispute that doing the above things to a car would eventually cause a massive breakdown in that machine – never mind how strong it was built. No surprises there!

So, why then, are we so astonished when we do analogous things to our bodies, with the end result of them breaking down into disease or ill-health, yet expecting them to somehow, magically survive all this frank abuse?

It's More Than Bugs Or Weak Body Parts Which Determine Health Or Ill-health

Hence, what we as natural therapists believe is, that yes, bugs or weaknesses do exist in our bodies, and they can be the cause of much illness, if not death. However, it becomes important to also honor all the known factors affecting Lifeforce, such as:

• Diet

• Stress

• Emotional upheavals

• Abusing things like coffee

• Cigarettes, recreational drugs

• As well as acknowledging the role of our inherent constitutional strength

• Plus past history of diseases, operations and other traumas

... in order to better understand how these can all determine how strong or devitalized our Lifeforce ultimately becomes.

Ancient Healers May Not Have Had The Technology, Nevertheless...

Centuries of clinical experience, especially by Chinese and Ayurvedic practitioners - and even if they didn't have the technological know-how we possess today - did vindicate that such factors do have a direct, positive or negative impact on the functionality of our Lifeforce.

In turn, such an alternate worldview leads to a crucially different conclusion as to what determines our health or ill-health. Namely, it provides for a very powerful handle on how to better manage our ill-health conditions - as well as how to remain well, once the acute phase of treatment is over.

This alternative perspective on health also provides for a potent 'choice-point', around which we can generally choose to stay in good health. Or, we can choose to allow ourselves to fall into ill-health, via neglect and ignorance about one of the most precious gifts we as humans can ever have – namely good health.

At least, this ability to make more constructive choices around factors impacting on our Lifeforce, does exist to a far greater extent than modern medicine gives us credit for.

We Need More 'Response-Ability' In Our Modern Lives

As individuals, whether we then act on this empowering option depends, firstly, on our level of awareness that a Lifeforce even exists, let alone that a long list of factors are known to have either negative or positive impacts on that Lifeforce. It also depends on whether we, as individuals, are willing to accept responsibility for our actions in life, and their consequences; similar to the car metaphor used above.

Unfortunately, too often the present, Western, medical approach is one of turning a blind eye to a lot of unconstructive choices we make on daily levels. Instead, most doctors are content to simply handle the ensuing problems by doling out 'magic pills' from a bottomless pit. In this scenario, Lifeforce concepts are totally absent.

By the same token, it needs to be clearly understood that asking people to be more responsible for their health, is not the same as saying they are to blame for their ill-health. Blame and guilt are two very destructive emotions, and that is not where most natural therapists come from. Taking responsibility for, and getting actively involved in one's health, however, can instead be seen as a step of re-empowerment for that person.

Things are changing though – at least in some nooks of medicine. Dr. Margaret Ngu, President of the Australian Integrative Medicine Association, has been quoted as saying: As a doctor I have come to understand that illness and body symptoms also relate to relationships, work and environmental issues... you cannot get to the root of the cause (of such symptoms) in a 10 minute consultation. Touché!

Lifeforce Is Like A See-Saw

So, this concept of LifeForce provides us with a very potent kind of 'see-saw', or fulcrum-point, which determines whether we tilt in the direction of health and wellness, or whether we fall into disease or ill-health. Remaining aware of all those factors we explored earlier, allows us to determine whether that 'see-saw' subsequently swings towards health or ill-health.

Hence, to maintain a high level of LifeForce, and thus to increase our chances of remaining healthy – despite coming in contact with many bugs – we need to engage in a positive manner with all these factors we know from clinical experience to have an effect on this crucial Bio Energy, or Prana.

This would involve:

• Eating a good diet

• Cutting down – or sometimes preferably cutting out! – such things as coffee, tea, alcohol, cigarettes, soft-drinks, take-aways, fast-foods, etc.

• Making sure we truly deal with our emotional stresses; go for counseling; talk them through with a friend, who is willing and able to truly 'hear' us.

• Ensuring you get adequate, good quality sleep – at least 7-8 hours each night!

• Deciding to do regular exercise as well as detoxing programs – but best done with at least some knowledge as to how to do so safely and effectively

• Choosing to take daily herbal or vitamin supplements to counter-balance what stress, toxins and poor dietary choices are robbing from us

• Becoming more knowledgeable about the many medicinal herbal remedies, as well as homeopathic medicine (to name but two) which do exist with a known, researched validity of increasing Lifeforce, by:

      - improving immune function

      - stabilizing neurological function

      - supporting a depleted adrenal system due to all the excessive stresses in our lives

      - helping the body rid itself of the many poisons it comes into contact with daily... and more.

It Needs To Be About Complementation – Not Competition!

One crucial point that needs to be well understood is that all the various choices to enhance our fundamental Lifeforce will in most cases not interfere with, or negate any medical choices we may still find ourselves having to make.

Please understand that in most cases, it is not an 'either: or' scenario. Mostly, it's about realizing that so many of these Lifeforce enhancing options are not meant as an alternative to medical decisions; rather it's about instigating truly complementary choices.

It all boils down to also accepting that we are ultimately far more responsible for our health – or lack thereof – than we’re usually willing to accept. This is an important point that bears repeating. The problem is that when people hear this comment, they too often interpret such statements as now being blamed for their lack of health.

It’s a subtle distinction, but the aim is not to blame people for their health issues, but rather offer them the knowledge through which to empower themselves to become more able to make constructive choices in regard to their health. True - sometimes this is not possible; however, mostly it is.

Bringing The Discussion Directly Back To HIV AIDS

Finally, let's bring all this discussion back to the health issue in question here – HIV AIDS. This is a serious illness, and many people have – and are – still dying of this infection, even in the West - and despite the ever increasing number of highly potent medical drugs now available. However, what is not discussed often enough is the reality that people infected with this virus can remain well and healthy for long periods of time – sometimes decades! – by applying the sort of principles discussed above.

Far too often, newly diagnosed people with the AIDS virus are encouraged to start AIDS treatment, or HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy) sooner rather than later; despite still having a strong immune system; with a healthy CD4 count; as well as strong CD8 levels, and despite being basically well.

A Better 'Cost:Benefit' Analysis Could Save A Lot Of Side-Effects

However, studies, as well as clinical experience have shown that, generally speaking, many people contracting HIV are able to remain well, without any drug intervention, for 8-15 years and more, before their immune status starts to decline. This is an important, scientific fact that is too often glossed over by medicine, in their drive to get those infected with HIV onto the powerful 'cocktail' of drugs – sooner rather than later.

Yet, the reality is that if they'd been left alone, they could have had an average of 8-15 years of good health, (especially with even a little bit of healthy lifestyle management!) before needing to confront the possibility of side-effects from those same 'drug cocktails'.

Unfortunately, once people start HAART, there is a real possibility of encountering complications from such a potent HIV drug treatment within a few years of starting; sometimes even within months of starting. By the same token, this reality doesn't now mean that those with this viral infection should not ever choose HAART; far from it!

Many Advantages To Safely Postponing HIV Meds

However, what is being suggested is to look at HIV AIDS care from a different perspective. By using Lifeforce principles, such an approach does offer a strong and viable possibility of maintaining good levels of health over extended periods of time. The advantages of such an alternate approach include:

• minimizing the need to endure possible side-effects from these potent, but often harmful HIV drugs, any earlier than absolutely necessary

• a minimization of the huge economic ramifications on any society presently subsidizing the prescription of such expensive AIDS medication

• less chances of drug resistance forming due to the inevitable treatment-lapses by people infected with HIV using HAART – a significant and serious consequence of such lapses

• equally, these alternate approaches to HIV treatment also ensure a much higher level of general health, due to a better managing of all the various factors known to harm health – as discussed above.

Again, It's Not About Ignoring The HIV Meds, And Hoping For The Best

Let's say it again: there definitely is a role for using the more orthodox HIV meds. This point is not being disputed, and thank goodness so many people in the West, living with HIV now do have access to such AIDS medications. However, wouldn't it make sense to also avoid all the known negative consequences of such treatment choices for as long as possible, especially when this can be done safely and responsibly?

This does not mean those with this viral infection should then simply ignore the medical HIV drugs; get on with life as best as possible, and hope for the best. Not at all.

If a person living with HIV chooses to make the decision of postponing the use of HAART, then they also need to become very proactive in their life-enhancing choices – as discussed above – plus ensure they undergo regularly medical monitoring.

It's Not About Blindly 'Jumping Off A Cliff'

It becomes crucially important to guarantee that the choices they are making are also providing the desired outcomes – good health. Many sophisticated blood tests are now available with which to ensure such results are being achieved.

For as long as these blood test show that their immune system is strong and functional; that their HIV viral load is within acceptable levels, and that they are also feeling well, then one could argue – scientifically – that there is no need to start using these powerful drugs.

It needs to be remembered that although such HIV medications can reduce the body's viral load to 'undetectable', these same drugs do absolutely nothing – directly – for keeping the body healthy in a more general sense. In fact, and as already discussed, they inevitably cause damage to many body organs and glands.

Why Start The More Dangerous HIV Treatments Any Earlier Than Necessary?

So, the question needs to be asked again: if over 30 years of experience has now proven that many people can remain perfectly healthy and functional, without the use of such potent and damaging HIV drugs, why would they want to start these any earlier than necessary? Particularly, as such side-effects are known to occur within months to just a few years of using them?

Hence, such alternative approaches, as explored in this article, and based on the knowledge and use of Lifeforce principles, offers a way of obtaining a much better win:win situation.

There's A Strong Need To Better Weigh Up The Pros & Cons

In other words, by:

• taking action, and changing those factors which are known to have a negative impact on immunity, as well as overall wellness

• and by ensuring regular medical checks and blood tests are done to monitor their ongoing situation…

...Then these actions can result in a situation of maximizing health, while also avoiding any potential side-effects from these powerful HIV meds - until absolutely necessary.

As natural therapists, we're definitely not claiming or insinuating that we have a cure for AIDS. However, what is being said is that based on over 3 decades of clinical experience by many natural therapists, both here in Australia as well as elsewhere, a more complementary approach to HIV AIDS, based on Lifeforce principles does have much to recommend it.

Living And Thriving Via Lifeforce Concepts

By working on increasing their Lifeforce – on a truly holistic level, which includes the emotional and Metaphysical levels - allows many people to not just survive, but indeed thrive - despite living with HIV. (If you’d like to explore a powerful book which covers a vast range of Mind:Body issues, then click on this link here.

By using the concepts of Lifeforce, along with the judicious and complementary use of orthodoxy's antiretroviral treatment options – when needed – then such an approach can truly empower a person living with an HIV AIDS infection towards higher levels of real health.

The success natural therapists have had in this arena over the last 30 years can be directly attributed to the recognition of how these many lifestyle and environmental factors can be manipulated to enhance health.

It May Not Work For Everyone, But It Does For Most

It does not mean that all people using this Lifeforce approach have found it to work for them. But in the great majority of cases, clinical experience proves that quality of life has been greatly enhanced, while for many they were able to safely delay the instigation of HAART by numerous years; sometimes decades.

That's an awful lot of side-effects missed out on, as well as expense to bear – individually, or collectively by society. Surely, in today's climate of many Western, medical welfare systems facing bankruptcy, such a more judicious use of these expensive medications at least warrants further investigation?

The Importance Of Starting Complementary Approaches From The Moment Of Diagnosis

By the same token, the most important point to really press home is the necessity of early intervention – from the moment a person does their HIV testing, and knows they have become infected with HIV AIDS. Like current thinking in orthodox medicine, natural therapists have, and continue to stress the importance of starting early – however, in this case, via a pro-active use of Lifeforce principles, rather than a too-early use of HIV medications.

It's also important to stress again the need for individuals to recognize they have a responsibility for their own health – to a far greater degree than currently considered via orthodox medicine. This means making an effort to eat more healthily; to stop smoking; to decrease or avoid those lifestyle factors known to have a negative impact on health, as well as to actively take a range of supplements known to enhance immune function and general health.

The Need For Commitment & Effort - As In All Things In Life!

All of which does, admittedly, take time, effort, and hence commitment. Not everyone chooses to make such changes, but for those who do, the rewards can be immense.

Using a natural therapeutic approach can be quite confronting for some people, because here they are being asked to get actively involved in their own health management, rather than looking for 'magical, quick-fix solutions'. Engaging with such an holistic approach, therefore, also requires a serious look at what you may be doing to cause or aggravate dysfunction within your body.

It also necessitates a better comprehension of the naturopathic processes involved - and then to start making more constructive choices, based on such better understanding. For many, this is too challenging; certainly in comparison to simply popping a pill which is supposed to 'do it all for you'.

In HIV AIDS – As With Any Disease! – Both Sides Of Medicine Are Needed

Nevertheless, it can't be said often enough how important it is to realize that both sides of medicine have something to offer. Natural therapy, from my perspective, is not an 'alternative'. It does however, present a potent complementary approach, and has very much to proffer towards establishing true health.

Sometimes people living with HIV AIDS have tried to ignore the earlier warning signals that their system was crashing. In other cases, people have decided to 'bop-till-they-drop', to the point where the body's Lifeforce is now so depleted, that there is nothing much left to work with, via the Vitalistic, Bioenergy healing perspective.

In such cases, it is vital that they immediately start the more chemicalized drug approach to treating AIDS, just to stay alive – as well as complement such a choice with the judicious use of a range of more natural healing options, through which to help repair the damage done. So, even here there is room for the two sides to work together, because many herbs and vitamins do exist which are known to minimize the side-effects of these harsher drugs.

Both Sides Need To Drop Their Preconceptions & Work Together

Perhaps it is high time - and perhaps HIV is the perfect setting within which both sides of medicine, the natural and the orthodox - could choose to set aside their entrenched preconceptions of each other, as well as their fragile egos! At least long enough to hopefully learn something from one another, while mutually helping their patients.

Natural therapy certainly has no desire – let alone any capacity! – to 'take over from medicine'. However, we as natural therapists do believe we have something valuable to offer, known to be effective from hundreds of years of clinical experience, and validated over the last 3 decades of specific use within the HIV AIDS arena.

The ones to benefit most from such a more complementary approach to health issues would surely be the patient? And isn't the patient the very reason for the existence of us as practitioners in the first place?

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