Concepts of Illness

As recently as the mid-1800s, people had no realistic ideas about the origins of illness. Then, following the work of Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch and others, the “germ theory” of medicine was accepted, based on the idea that a specific germ causes the same disease in all patients under all conditions. However, a respected contemporary of Pasteur’s, the physician Jacques Antoine Bechamp, felt the germ theory was oversimplified and argued that diseases were the result of multiple factors unique to each individual’s internal status and external environment. The debate continues to the present day. The multicausal view is well articulated by Hans Seyle MD in his book “The Stress of Life”.

These days, we live a hectic, fast-paced life. A vast array of technical appliances, incredibly fast means of transport and communication and any amount of fast, processed foods and chemical products make our everyday lives so much easier. The technology we have today could barely have been imagined 50 or 60 years ago. As much as we enjoy all this, some of us are paying a price for it.

There are an endless number of factors or ‘stressors’ that may affect people’s health today; chemical additives and colors in our food and drinking water, environmental toxins, radiation and EMFs, toxic metals, pesticides and chemicals, plastics, the use of medicines in livestock, and the list goes on.