As I observe the ways the ways of modern life, it’s obvious to me that we are living in a “quick-fix” world. Technology has lured us into a lifestyle of instant gratification—and we have come to expect swift solutions to every problem that arises. In daily life, the expectation of immediate gratification frequently leads to disappointment and frustration. For those facing cancer or other chronic disease, the quest for a quick fix is often devastating.
I regularly see in the press the promise of a simple solution for cancer or other chronic disease. The Internet is especially problematic because it spreads vast amounts of misinformation, which unfortunately, many people believe is factual. As a long-time practitioner who has worked with hundreds of people with life-threatening illnesses (I have dedicated my life to helping those with cancer) I can tell you that there is no quick fix. I wish there were. Illness makes people vulnerable, and regrettably, there are those who would lead you to believe that a simple solution exists for cancer or other serious illness. The truth is that the initiation and progression of cancer involves a variety of complex contributing factors. These factors involve not only the cancer, but also the individual who is the host for the cancer. It’s unrealistic to think that any one “magic bullet,” whether conventional or alternative in nature, can eradicate cancer or any other significant illness.
Unfortunately, most quick fixes don’t work because 1) the disease isn’t fed by a single cause—it is fed by a conspiracy of causes; 2) the therapy/treatment chosen is ineffective; or 3) the therapy/treatment is effective at eradicating the cancer, but in the end doesn’t contribute to quality of life or longevity. In my opinion and experience, quality of life is much more significant than the apparent eradication of disease. Along with an enhanced quality of life, I consider growth of the inner spirit and relationship with God and all of humanity to be a measure of successful healing.
I believe we need to stop looking for short-term solutions to cancer, which are driven by fear or misguided beliefs. I understand that people want solutions to life-threatening illness, but the answers are not found by choosing treatments based on word of mouth and unfounded information. I could boast about the many miraculous successes I have had with cancer, but I cannot tell you what specific treatment was responsible—nor is this my objective. What I do know is that what is successful for one person doesn’t automatically translate to success with another. Cancer is a humbling disease.
Anyone that promises a “cure” through adopting a radical diet or this week’s miracle remedy (currently, it’s cannabis) is making false promises. However—and this is important—the allopathic doctor who discourages patients from any therapies other than conventional chemotherapy and radiation is just as unhelpful as the radical alternative practitioner or institution that promotes IV vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide infusions or wheatgrass implants. I believe both of those stances are radically shortsighted, and definitely not in the best interest of the patient. For example, the first thing an allopathic doctor (and often, the patient) wants is to remove the cancer by cutting it out. They don’t recognize that cancer is systemic, and often spreads as a result of aggressive localized treatments.
Confronting cancer requires combining multiple influences into a comprehensive strategy that is broken down into short, medium and long-term objectives, with a protocol that is reflective of this approach. Instead of focusing on a single root cause and attempting to find a magic bullet solution, it is essential to address all of the root causes. Working with cancer patients in our modern world, this is difficult for most people to grasp. A comprehensive healing approach is complex, and requires looking with many lenses and even different perspectives—not solely relying on any one of these, but combining them and implementing a multi-layered protocol that encompasses botanical medicine, nutritional medicine, conventional medicine, dietary medicine, and life-style medicine.
ETMS does a thorough investigation of all three areas, the “Host,” the “Microenvironment,” and the “Cancer Phenotype,” which I have named “Sherlock’s corner” for Sherlock Homes, who said, ““I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.”
The ETMS practitioner then applies “Critical Thinking,” which is: Actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. It is a unique synthesis of Art/Creativity, Science/Rationale, Experiential Knowing, and Natural and Supernatural Healing coexisting together. Only then do we implement our plan using the five ETMS “Toolboxes,” which are “Botanical,” “Nutritional,” “Dietary,” “Life-style,” and ETMS guided (as opposed to the standard-of-care) “Pharmaceutical” medicines.
It’s important to understand that this approach is ever evolving—each time I meet with a patient, I refine and adapt their program to best meet their current needs. As a result, over several years of working with an individual, I find that it’s not possible to pinpoint the herb, drug, diet, or any other single thing that is responsible for why the person has lived much longer and with a better quality of life than anyone expected. This is the challenge of the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS)—but also why it so effective. In the ETMS approach, we seek only what is truly best for the individual, with no preexisting bias or agenda, including the elusive search for a “cure.” The foundation of the ETMS is to seek the Truth in all situations, and to do so with humility and love.
Medicine cannot and will not go forward without also going backwards. This applies to all of medicine, including herbal medicine. We must honor the wisdom of traditional herbal medicine, and at the same time, intelligently apply the discoveries of contemporary science and medical care. Even within herbal medicine, we must understand the place of “modern” forms of herbs (such as super concentrated and isolated compounds) and use these appropriately with traditional forms of herbs, such as crude herbs and whole plant extracts. In this way, advanced discoveries providing new insights and uses on botanicals and their active compounds can coexist harmoniously with the traditional understanding and use of botanicals.