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Germ Theory vs Terrain Theory

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

What if everything we think we know about medicine is not the full truth?

If there are unspoken key elements about how our body's internal system functions and how it responds to disruption of its internal and external environment, wouldn't you want to know?

Our bodies are the home to trillions of microorganisms (microbiome) all symbiotically responsible for keeping us healthy. Understanding how the microbiome behaves in different environments is imperative to our health.

Ensuring they are living in their ideal habitat (our terrain) is essential, as it is for all living beings to survive and thrive.

If the condition of our internal environment determines how these "germs" respond, then it only makes sense that ensuring a healthy terrain is the key to ensuring our microorganisms don't cause problems to our bodies and health.

"The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything. We do not "catch" diseases, we build them. You must always treat the patient, not the infection" - Antoine Bechamp

The debate of these two theories has been ongoing since the late 1850's, and although for well over a century we have based the current Western medical paradigm on "Germ Theory", there are still many that argue its validity. In my opinion, there is always more than one way of looking at something. It is always worth dissecting all sides to ultimately get to a truth that can often lie somewhere in the middle. Germ Theory, has been the accepted scientific consensus for disease for about 130 years. This concept was re-activated with the work of Louis Pasteur, and was continued by Robert Koch a few decades after.

By the 1890's, this theory solidified and led to the inevitable conclusion that microorganisms and 'viruses' are the most common cause of disease.

This concept basically states that these miniscule organisms enter the body and invade humans, animals and other living hosts, replicating and becoming infectious. An infection refers to this 'germ invasion' process, and the reaction of the host's tissues to them and the toxins they produce.

This implies that the host plays a limited role in whether or not they succumb to illness. That it is these microbes that enter, take hold and multiply, leaving the host a potential victim of its own health.

Other microbiologists of the time, however, voiced their concerns over whether this theory truly painted the whole picture. This brings us to the forever argued "Terrain Theory". Alongside Louis Pasteur, were two microbiologists presenting a different concept. Antoine Bechamp and Claude Bernard were convinced that it was not as simple as germs causing illness.

They stated that the microbiome (the colony of microorganisms within the body) was beneficial for health, and that the microbes lived harmoniously interacting with cells as long as the host's body; the terrain, was healthy. They found that while germs play a role in illness, they can only become pathogenic when their environment becomes compromised. That the infectious nature of microbes is a result of a diseased body, not the cause of disease.

"Germs seek their natural habitat - diseased tissue- rather than being the cause of diseased tissue" - Claude Bernard

When the body's internal environment is not well maintained, this can lead to a change in the way microorganisms behave. However, when the biological, emotional and spiritual needs of the host are met, the integrity of their immune system remains in tact.

When lifestyle, diet, mindset, emotional well-being and environment are as they are intended to be, microbes live peacefully causing no harm. Their research showed that by ensuring the health of the body's overall terrain, hosts are in fact in control of whether microorganisms can make them ill. Something that interestingly contradicts our current theory, yet something incredibly important to know when it comes to choosing the right approach to treat infection.

The role and importance of the microbiome and it's environment for health is well known in medicine today, however why is treating the terrain not the first call of action when it comes to infections?

We still function according to Germ Theory, where killing off the bodies "germ" load with drugs or vaccines is the only option presented.

What about optimizing our own greatest natural defense system; the immune system? The role of our immune system has always been to protect us from pathogens, whether internal or external, and does so on a regular basis or we wouldn't all still be here!

Understanding and applying what is needed to support the immune system should always be the first step.

So, what does our immune system need?

Well, the same thing everything else needs; the ideal habitat and lifestyle.

For humans, that is sufficient exposure to nature and its elements, nutritious food, clean water and air, physical activity, restful sleep, minimal exposure to toxins, self-love, inner peace and no stress, connection to others and to self, and having a positive mindset.

When we are ill with anything, we must recognize we play the most fundamental role in why we become ill. The way we are eating, thinking and living are the first places to look. Stress makes our bodies a breeding ground for pathogenic replication as it significantly lowers our immune system function. What we are exposed to environmentally also plays a big role.

If our microbiome is misbehaving and we are having symptoms of infection, we need to seriously start looking at what about our diets, lifestyles, mental and emotional states, and environments is not in line with the law's of nature and our physiology.

What is going on internally to cause our microbes to change the way they function in the body? They don't want to cause harm, they are forced to try and survive in poor conditions because their 'home' has become compromised.

Wouldn't the most rational thing to do be to begin cleaning the home, so the microorganisms can go back to functioning as they should and not damage our bodies?

My philosophy in life is that we should always continue evolving. We never stop learning and it is beneficial to always remain open-minded. It isn't about what we already think we know, it's about being open to learning new information in case what we think we know isn't actually the truth.

That is how all advancements in history happen. There is always room for marginal error and for many, the entire basis of our current medical structure has been based on an "incomplete" hypothesis.

What do you think?

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