‘An advanced industrial society is sick-making because it disables people from coping with their environment and, when they break down, it substitutes a “clinical” prosthesis for the broken relationships.’
‘People would rebel against such an environment if medicine did not explain their biological disorientation as a defect in their health, rather than as a defect in the way of life which is imposed on them or which they impose on themselves.’
What follows are links to further reading that represents the cutting edge of an intelligent approach to illness in contrast to the insanity Illich is describing in this quote. I highly suggest Illich-inspired scholar Peter Wilberg’s work for the philosophical underpinnings of what he calls “existenital medicine”
General Health Websites:
-Mercola’s website has become the main public health resource for a whole culture waking up to the horrors of mainstream medicine. He has been a little too into the low-carb thing but he is coming around to a more balanced approach lately. For more in depth and more accurate dietary advice look at the links below. Though the sheer volume of good info and the platform he offers for so many others in the health field is such a necessity in our current health care environment.
-The Weston A. Price Foundation are a great bunch of researchers, thinkers and organizers. This site is full of good information and such deeply thought essays on nutrition. They are refreshingly philosophical and political compared to the more science worshiping paleo-crowd.
Chris Kresser has organized the science of health into a very good model with many pithy articles on all health subjects. He is always ahead of the field, though a bit more hesitant than Mercola or the Weston Price people to come down on more philosophical subjects where the data isn’t clear cut, like vaccines, GMOS etc. He is getting too popular and successful to risk being too alternative or polemical against the mainstream like Mercola and the Weston A. Price Foundation. The Functional Medicine paradigm, of which he is a top player, is one more example of systems/complexity thinking in the sciences, and like in other fields, it is a sign of the mainstream emerging out of reductive models and fragmented research and into integrated practice. This article, a beginner’s guide to reading research is particularly helpful in understanding and interpreting studies: http://chriskresser.com/a-beginners-guide-to-scientific-research/
-Still the best over-all diet. This diet is the best place to start adressing health problems. It is a great general template from which one can tweak for individual needs. The book itself is still probably the best book on nutrition and supplementation. It has made guiding people with supplementation a much easier task in my work.
Jack Kruse is an eccentric and arrogant but incredibly brilliant health educator; his blog integrates biophysics and biochemistry to show the details of how it all fits together. Not light reading by any means, but if you want to get to and understand the deeper levels of health, Jack is the man.
For books on Herbalism, I highly suggest Peter Holmes’ Energetics of Western Herbs. Western Herbalism is quite frankly in its infancy compared to the energetic sophistication of Chinese Herbalism. There are people making progress in a “planetary herbalism”, but I think for us to reach the sophistication of the Chinese system, a better grasp of energetics is a must. For a simple but very good guide I also suggest: Sharol Tilgner’s “Herbal Medicine:From the Heart of the Earth”