Integrative Medicine News
Orthomolecular Medicine: A Scientific Modality for Natural Healing
Submitted by: Catherine R. Farrell MS, PhD, ROHP, DAAIM
July 15, 2011
Orthomolecular medicine, as conceptualized by two time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, aims to restore the optimum environment of the body by correcting imbalances or deficiencies based on individual biochemistry, and using substances natural to the body such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements and fatty acids. The key concept in orthomolecular medicine is that genetic factors affect not only the physical characteristics of individuals, but also their biochemical makeup. Biochemical pathways of the body have significant genetic variability and diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, schizophrenia, and depression are associated with specific biochemical abnormalities which are causal or contributing factors to those illnesses.
Orthomolecular medicine describes the practice of preventing and treating disease by providing the body with optimal amounts of substances which are natural to the body. It seeks to understand the bio-chemical individuality of a person, the current state of their immune system and the natural substances that will enhance and restore the vitality of their body. Traditional testing and symptom assessment can diagnose many conditions, and protocols developed within both traditional and complimentary medicine can alleviate many of the symptoms. This one-size fits all approach has been the driving force of 20th century medicine. It works well for avoiding the disasters of acute symptoms, but often falls short of correcting the underlying conditions. For example, modern drugs can lower blood pressure and avoid cardiac and renal failure, but they do not address the slow deterioration of the endothelial cells that keep the blood vessels flexible and help to maintain normal pressure. Orthomolecular medicine, through an understanding of the molecular chemistry of the body, and advanced state of the art testing, can determine, on an individual basis, what a body is lacking. With this understanding the proper amounts of natural substances, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements, and fatty acids can be used to help the immune system repair and restore the body to health. In cases where the disease process has caused irreversible damage, orthomolecular medicine can not only be used to halt or slow the progression of disease it can also be used to ameliorate debilitating symptoms without the additional side affects that may be caused by prescription drugs. The science of orthomolecular medicine also addresses toxic conditions that prevent the immune system from functioning, and uses the proper doses of natural substances to aid the body in detoxifying and eliminating these harmful substances.
The basics of good health start at the cellular level. Health is cells, tissues, and organs without residual wastes. Health is self-maintaining and self-regulating through appropriate food and drink, balance between movement and rest, restoration through sleeping and waking, regeneration through respiration, evacuation and excretion, proper relationship with nature and the environment, love of self, others and life force intelligence.
We are born to live healthy for a long time but most will die prematurely of disease caused by poor lifestyle habits and toxic accumulations. Toxins interfere with health by preventing the normal bodily functions of assimilation, circulation and elimination. Aging is the premature depletion of matter through corrosion of cell and tissues, caused by acidic toxins. We can always improve upon our current level of health and our longevity and our quality of life through appropriate diet, nutritional supplements, lifestyle modification, exercise, detoxification, and drainage.
Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (ROHP) is the designation given by The International Organization of Nutritional Consultants (IONC) to a qualified healthcare professional who specializes in maintaining or restoring biochemistry and physiology in the body for optimum health and well-being. Only practitioners who meet IONC standards may use the designation as a Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (ROHP).
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