Narrative of Health

The prevailing concept of allopathic medicine, and the dominant narrative of our culture in general is that germs are the cause of disease.  Yet if you were to go back only a little over one hundred years this concept was only just taking shape, and the opposing viewpoint was that the “terrain” of the body determined whether someone were to show the symptoms of disease; that is, if your body was not operating properly it promoted an environment of illness.

An analogy I heard to describe this second form of thinking was that if we were to see a pool of stagnant water on the ground surrounded with mosquitos we wouldn’t conclude that the mosquitos caused the stagnant water; rather, the stagnant water provides an ideal place for mosquitos to breed.  The same can be said for systems of the body.

Despite the fact that modern medicine chose one direction over the other, the debate was never resolved.  With the creation of antibiotics like penicillin, and the immediate results observed, a lucrative new kind of medicine began to take shape, and with it a narrative for what health is: mechanistic, impersonal, measurements, sterile, chemical, operant, the lack of illness, just luck, genetically predisposed, Science.

Perhaps this is just me, but it seems as though, subliminally, a predominant meme of “health” is that it is external, something received, though with different words—a blessing.

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