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Hippocrates Must Have Played Basketball 7 March 2011

Gold Coast, Australia

Triple threat is an athletic term. In football it means someone who is a skillful runner, passer and kicker. In basketball terms it is a stance where the player can at any time either shoot, pass or drive to the basket. Me, I always liked to drive to the basket because that was my comfort zone. Later I learnt that the real juice in life comes from moving outside ones comfort zone. But that’s another story from what at times seems like another life. Anyway, the point of this story meandering like a country stream is that it’s good to be prepared. To have a 3-point strategy with different options, depending on the situation that presents itself. Preparation and the ability to respond quickly with different strategies is the key for success on the basketball court. It is also the key to success in health and will be the formula for success in the upcoming challenges the world faces. In terms of health, let’s start off by looking at the most famous doctor of all time.

Hippocrates of Kos is widely acknowledged as the “Father of Medicine”. He advocated strengthening the patient through food and exercise so the body could heal itself. He suggested it was better to know and strengthen the body and then let the disease take care of itself. His treatments always began with the triple strategy of diet, rest and exercise and medication was only added if these did not work.

He was most famously credited with stopping the great plague that occurred in Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Animals and people were crowded together and there was a shortage of fresh food. Plague began to kill thousands. Drugs were useless. Hippocrates was called to Athens and he noticed that the only people who were not sick were blacksmiths who were around fire all day and drank water that had been boiled. Again he came up with a 3-point strategy- light fires in homes, burn corpses and boil drinking water. The plague soon ended.

So to be prepared we have to know the challenges we are facing. We have to be smart. Hippocrates carefully observed the blacksmith. Let’s observe the events of this last week that are starting to change the world we live in:

  • China is so disturbed by the inflation being created by the US Federal Reserve that they are looking to abandon the $US and position the yuan as the next reserve currency. China now allows trades to be settled in yuan instead of the US dollar. No one wants to hold large amounts of $US anymore. Dollars that are becoming worth less and less every day. If the $US loses its position as the global reserve currency, the consequences to the US economy will be profound.
  • The US now has a $13.6 trillion national debt, $6.3 trillion in private bank debt and $61.3 trillion in unfunded obligations to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That means the US government has total obligations of over $81 trillion or nearly 6 times their GDP. The National Inflation Association (NIA) believes that the United States “for all intents and purposes is bankrupt” and “the largest financial crisis in history is ahead of us as a direct result of the US government unwilling to accept a much needed recession”.
  • Paul Roberts reports that the money in US Trust funds put aside for Social Security payments has already been spent.
  • Protests are scheduled for Saudi Arabia this month. Mia Yamani in the Guardian writes “No kingdom is an island, particularly when it sits in a sea of revolution.” Civil war continues to escalate in Libya. Protests are starting in China over increases in food prices. Many of the new Chinese buildings are empty, demonstrating over capacity of the economy.
  • Analysts report that it is not only high food prices that cause protests in the Middle East but because “Arab people sense the demise of the Anglo Empire. They sense the end of the US and UK support.”
  • Most European countries are on the verge of economic collapse. They will likely default on debt if oil prices continue to increase.
  • Bill Bonner of the Daily Reckoning reports that the US Federal Reserve spends $4 billion more/DAY than they collect in tax. They print $3 billion/day to make ends meet.
  • The move off the land by the people into the cities due to destruction of farmland and topsoil means that many people have lost the ability to provide food for themselves.
  • Civilisation cannot function without oil and food. Both are increasing steadily in price and becoming out of reach for billions of people. Demand continues to increase. Last year the Chinese demand for oil increased by nearly 1 million barrels/day. There are about 3 billion people who live on the equivalent of $2/day. They cannot cope with a 30% increase in food prices. Food prices have increased for 8 consecutive months. Corn has doubled in 6 months, wheat and cotton have doubled in 12 months, soy up by 50% and sugar is the most expensive it has been in 30 years. The US Government has warned that the world faces a protracted bout of high food prices. These countries have seen their once arable, fertile lands destroyed by over-farming of grains and are now reliant on the import of grains controlled by large overseas corporations. They have lost the ability to produce their own food and are now dependent on food imports, prices of which continue to increase due to inflation caused by other countries printing (or more like creating on a computer screen with the press of a keyboard) more money out of nowhere.
  • The water problem may be even worse than food. Demand for fresh water is doubling every 21 years. Estimates suggest that 1/3 of humanity will face severe water shortages by 2025. 75% of India’s surface water is now contaminated by human and agricultural waste. In Northern China, the water table is dropping 1 meter/year. In Australia and the US, producing oil and gas by fracking (where explosives are pumped under the ground to explode rock in order to release oil and gas) is reportedly polluting underground water systems (1). Many of the explosives used have not been tested for toxic residues.
  • Research came out this week showing factory-farmed animals consume 4x as many antibiotics as people in the US. Despite this, pigs in feedlots routinely carry MRSA. The FDA admitted that meat on shop shelves is routinely infected by pathogens resistant to multiple antibiotics. Research also showed that 90% of the cockroaches and flies accumulating on the factory farms carried antibiotic resistant Enteroccci. This provides an easy vector for spread to humans.

So before I discuss solutions, let’s have a quick look at the circle of life at the Rancho Del Reishi. The citrus, aloe vera and bananas have been planted. The pomegranate, avocado and mango are scheduled for planting this weekend. Fresh eggs are starting to arrive and they are a completely different food to store brought eggs. The limes are in season and the fresh tang they give to my vegetable juice is exquisite. Unfortunately I lost more chickens to dogs during the week. I wasn’t adequately prepared. I only had one strategy and didn’t respond well enough during adversity. I let them down. I have now moved them to a different area where the fencing is better and they can roam freely with no risk. It made me think of the female taxi driver I met last week. She told me that she did not understand men. Her ex-partner was threatening her with physical violence because she wasn’t doing what he wanted her to do. “I’m going to have to organise an AVO” she sighed. To me that’s a reflection of the confusion the world is in. “You don’t understand because that’s not what a man would do” I humbly suggested. “A man’s role is to protect and serve, at all costs”. That’s what we do. That’s what we are here for. That’s what we had to do in the past. It’s what we have to do in the future. A masculine energy is about heroic courage, duty and loyalty. We need to return to that. It took my chickens and a taxi ride to remind me. Sometimes inspiration comes in the most surprising places. Always look out for it.

So now lets look at some solutions.

  • Liquidate- sell off extravagant items that you don’t need while there is still a market for it. The fossil fuel guzzling car may not be absolutely necessary.
  • I was interviewed for an hour this week for research on environmental toxins by a researcher at the University of Queensland. Having interviewed many of the world leaders in the field, the researcher quizzically whispered, “Strangely, you are the only one who has given these answers to my questions.”
    “What policies do you think the government should institute to protect us against environmental toxins?”
    “None” I replied, “the answers can no longer come from government policy. The answers must come from the people at an individual level.” I was trying to sound smart and eloquent at the same time but the gifted Persian poet, Rumi said it much better “I can’t pretend to be a lion able to conquer the enemy, to master myself would be enough.” Doctors will stop handing out drug prescriptions for symptoms when we as patients say “thank you for your gift but I’d prefer it if you looked for the underlying cause of my illness.” Supermarkets will stop stocking pesticide-ridden produce and bacteria laden meat when we collectively say “thanks for your effort but until you stock something organic, I’d rather buy from my local farmers market, sample from my back yard and swap with my neighbours.” Large corporations will stop adding chemicals to our food, cleaning products and skin care when we collectively say “yes that does smell lovely, yes that fluorescent yellow colour is appealing to the eye and yes I know that you have done research showing that the rat did not die a slow tortuous death over the 3 day test period, but….I wonder how you know it will be safe for me to slowly accumulate those chemicals in my body over the next 30 years. In fact, I think you probably don’t know at all so I might use something from nature instead that I know has been used for several million years without a problem. Have a nice day.”
  • Only buy fresh meat from farmers humanely raising organic, grass fed animals. Refuse to ever buy or consume anything factory farmed. The best place to buy is from your local farmers markets where you can usually chat to the farmer about their animals. Gerald Celente writes “Not long ago, buying local and organic was seen as an affectation of the elite: now its becoming a matter of self-defense.” He continues, “Growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs is becoming a necessity, not just a hobby”.
  • Ensure you are on Emerson’s triple threat of supplements:
    1. Fermented cod liver oil
    2. Colostrum from organic grass fed cows
    3. As many medicinal mushrooms as you can get hold of. Reishi as the absolute minimum
    They provide us the best possible immune boosting, hormone balancing and detoxification strategies. Have some stocked up incase they become hard to get. The medicinal mushrooms also provide protection against environmental radiation exposure.
  • Consider starting your own small garden. The easiest way is to use raised beds above the soil. These produce a larger and healthier yield with less work because the soil quality can be better controlled. Compost or soil is laid on sheets of cardboard and then layers of soil, mulch and compost are added. Look at starting a community garden. Roof top gardens are even starting to appear on sky scrappers in major cities including New York. That’s sensational.
  • Only drink natural spring water, not in plastic bottles. Make sure you have a rainwater tank and use that water on the garden and for showering and washing with. Fluoride and chlorine in tap water are absorbed through the skin.
  • Use solar power as much as possible.
  • Shop for local produce and wild foods. Marc Sircus from the International Medical Veritas Association writes “There is little doubt we are being forced back to a more local existence where we and the people around us will have to look after ourselves and survive the anarchy coming from the collapse of paper and digital wealth everywhere in the world at once.”
  • Remember what Gerald Celente of the Trends Journal suggests- “Those who want to have the best chance of surviving the difficult times ahead must get in shape physically, emotionally and spiritually.” The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 200,000 people in Queensland have to wait 5 years for surgery. It’s time to take responsibility for our own health. Find the cause.
  • Be prepared- have some food, medical supplies, supplements, torches and water stored for an emergency.
  • The Chinese have reduced their purchasing of US debt dramatically. The Chinese people are saving at a huge rate. They aren’t saving money though, they are saving hard assets. There’s a clue there.

The final thought for this week? A prized picture of me playing basketball many years ago fell and smashed in the weekend. I took it into the picture framing shop to be repaired. I browsed around as I waited. Two pictures caught my eye. Look for inspiration everywhere I reminded myself. The first was a picture of the Buddha with the quote “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly”. I think it is excellent advice. I think that he is not saying don’t be prepared. I think he is saying be smart, be prepared, then live your life every day as if it’s your last. Don’t dwell on the problems. Dwell on solutions and then enjoy every day in the knowledge that you are well prepared for any eventuality. Be a triple threat.

The second was a picture of 5 Chinese characters. Peace, Love, Luck, Friendship and Dreams. What more can one ask for? I wish for the world prolonged peace, I wish for each of us the love of someone who exhausts the words “you are beautiful” and “I love you”, the luck that comes from being wisely prepared, friendships that are strong enough to bridge any challenge and the dreams that only come from going to sleep in a comfortable bed under the soft flickering light of a beeswax candle.

As always,

Livin on a prayer,

Dr Greg Emerson.

1. http://www.gasland.com.au/2010/10/smh-australian-mining-companies-fracking-with-highly-toxic-chemicals-near-watercourses/

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Dr Emerson was recently interviewed on ‘Know the Cause’, the most popular health television programme in the US.

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