The Doctor Speaks - Viral Illness

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By: Philip Incao, M.D.
What is your best advice for a viral illness that is still running its course after four months? I think this virus was a flare-up or reactivation from seven years ago when I had a bad case of viral hepatitis. I have had a lot of realizations about myself ... and do want to make some changes. What can I do about inflammation ... a stinging hurting sensation?

Your question states that you consider your illness to be caused by a virus but you also hint at “realizations” that perhaps your lifestyle and habits have contributed to your hepatitis, chronic fatigue and other symptoms.

The original meaning of the word virus was “a poison produced in the body by an illness.” Formerly, it was believed that illnesses produced viruses; now we believe that viruses produce illnesses. Rudolf Steiner taught that imbalances in our lifestyle activities or in our inner life of feelings create a fertile soil in us in which viruses or bacteria can propagate, just as imbalances in a garden’s soil might promote the growth of undesirable weeds.

We have all experienced that when we sleep too little or too much or eat too little or too much or when the inner or outer stresses in our lives have been unmanageable for too long, we are likely to come down with an illness, viral or otherwise.

Probably the most common illness- promoting imbalance or stress in our lives today is that we are swept along by the accelerating machine-like hectic pace of modern urban and suburban life and we hardly have time to breathe out or to reflect. Illness can then be a blessing because it allows us to pause and to re-evaluate our goals and purpose in life.

It is important to understand that the longer we are out of harmony in our activities or feelings or the healthy rhythm of our life, the more we will accumulate inner toxins which in turn are the fertile soil for viruses and bacteria to proliferate. This accumulation of subtle inner poisons can go on for hours, months or years without any symptoms or awareness on our part. When an inflammation like hepatitis begins, it means that the immune system has now been triggered into responding to the build-up of toxins in us.

The onset of the illness does not mean that the virus is starting to attack us. Rather, it means that the immune system is starting to attack, digest and eliminate the inner poisons from our cells, thus creating inflammation. Viruses are released from these cells in this process of inflammation and detoxification of our body by our immune system. In your case this immune system detoxification process has been going on in slow motion for over four months. This means that the healing-detoxification process is sluggish, either because the immune system is weakened or because the body is resisting too strongly the immune system’s efforts to cleanse and heal it. Natural medicine has three time-honored methods to assist the immune system in its healing process. They are (relatively speaking) fasting, purging and sweating.

In addition, herbal, homeopathic or anthroposophic remedies can help to facilitate the healing-detoxification activity. Perhaps the greatest facilitators of healing are just those “realizations” that you mention, but only if you have the will to act on them and make the changes of which you speak! Rudolf Steiner said that a true healing, as opposed to merely a suppression of symptoms, is always accompanied by a change in consciousness. Good luck on your healing journey!

Please send your question for Dr. Incao to, or write to LILIPOH, PO Box 628, Phoenixville, PA 19460.

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