Germs: Friend or Foe?

According to Louis Pasteur’s widely accepted germ theory many illnesses are carried by these micro-organisms and we must protect ourselves and our children from them. FOE. Conversely, the human bowel could not function without digestive bacteria. FRIEND. Well, which is it? Friend or Foe?

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Let us re-visit the germ theory. If we are at the mercy of these little foes called bacteria and viruses in our environment, then why aren’t we all affected? Have you ever wondered why a group of people exposed to an equal measure of the same germs, respond differently? Take the recent swine flu for instance, why did some die, some got sick and got better, and others were unaffected? If we were truly at the mercy of this virus, wouldn’t we all be dead? This may sound a little extreme, but why are some affected and others untouched? Is it bad luck? Is it sheer chance? Or are there other factors at play here?

Germs are scientifically classified as opportunistic species. This means that they can only “attack” if and only if, given the opportunity. The opportunity meaning, of course, a weak host, or person with a weakened immune system. If your immune system is weak you have now become a target, you are now an opportunity. This can easily be seen in the increased susceptibility of the elderly, the very young, or in extreme cases such as people with AIDS. For example, an Aids patient can simply die from the common cold due to the decreased function of the immune system. So are germs really the culprit? Are we victims of germs? Or are we victims of a weakened immune system?

This raises some serious controversy, does it not? Could the Germ Theory be incomplete? In reality, we are responsible for keeping our immune system strong. In so doing, these germs have little, if any opportunity to attack. So the question remains, how do we strengthen our immune system? Eat well, exercise regularly, limit stress, and decrease our toxic loads. That’s how! Does this give a 100% guarantee that we will never get sick? Absolutely not, but chances are greater of speedy recovery, less severity, and less frequency of illness. If your immunity is strong, your body will be able to fight viruses and bacteria with greater ease, well before symptoms manifest. In fact, with a stronger immune system you may even be oblivious to the fact that your body is eliminating a virus, bacteria, or toxin. Good health is your greatest defence against any illness or disease. Ah yes, the father of the germ theory himself, Louis Pasteur, condemned his own theory when he said, “The seed (germ) is nothing, the soil (body)” is everything. That is a quote worthy of recognition!

The truth is that bacteria and viruses are everywhere, and have always been an essential part of nature. They exist everywhere, from the surface of our skin, to the picture frame on the wall, and largely go unnoticed. Will you be the host for these opportunistic species? I know I won’t.

Germs: Friend or foe? The choice is yours.
Dr. Ryan Pope is a Kanata chiropractor at The Wellness Group, a multidisciplinary health facility in Ontario, Canada. He currently practices chiropractic in Kanata full time with a focus on educating and empowering his practice members to harness the innate intelligence of the body to heal itself through the chiropractic lifestyle.

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