fever-reducing medications. The “use it or lose it” adage
applies well here.
Why do you think it is that children have more
fevers, and higher fevers, than adults?
Children often get fevers when they are stressed. Also,
childhood is the time of most rapid growth and dramatic change, and a child will remodel and renew his
body many times as he grows. Every remodeling job
requires some demolition, a breaking down of old cells
and tissues that results in toxic waste and debris, which
the body normally cleans up as it rebuilds new cells and
tissues. This demolition, cleansing and rebuilding is
silently going on in us all the time through our immune
system, but moreso in growing children. Every so often
this ongoing remodeling of the immune system shifts
into high gear, either because we are unknowingly taking a bigger developmental step than usual, or because
we’ve become toxic from too much stress.
This inward shifting into high gear of our immune
system has an unwelcome outer result—it makes us sick
with inflammation, fever and discharge of mucus. Thus,
we come down with a cold, flu, vomiting, diarrhea, strep
throat, etc. In this way the immune system expels from
the body mucus, pus, germs and other toxic waste and
debris that have been nourishing the germs.
The crucial fact is that the symptoms of the illness are
also the healing of the illness. That is because the symptoms are caused by inflammation, and inflammation
is what our immune system does in order to detoxify
and heal us. There is tremendous confusion in modern
thinking, by both doctors and consumers, on the healing
function of acute inflammation, as opposed to chronic
When we diminish symptoms with Tylenol, ibuprofen, decongestants or antibiotics, at the same time we
diminish the healing, cleansing, expulsive power of our
innate immune systems.
It follows that repeated use of such drugs cools down
the acute, hot inflammatory response of our innate immune system, thus increasing our tendency to allergies,
asthma and other cool, chronic inflammations.
is a “healing crisis.” A healing crisis is an intense action
of the immune system to cleanse and detoxify the body.
It is a strong effort by the human spirit to remodel the
body so it can be a more suitable dwelling.
Wow, that’s a different and beautiful way to look
at a process that every parent goes through many
times during their child’s youth.
Yes, and this process continues throughout our adult
lives. It’s a process of development and growth on all
levels of our humanness. It’s amazing what a different
parental attitude toward a fever can do for a child’s healing process. Children seem to intuitively know this is
something they need. Children usually don’t have severe
aches and pains with their fevers that adults suffer, because children’s bodies are less dense and hardened than
adult bodies, and offer less resistance to the fever surge
of warmth flowing through them. A 5-year old boy I
knew said to his worried mom during his fever, “Don’t
worry, Mom, I’m just growing.”
But that doesn’t mean they should be running
around outside, right?
Oh no, definitely not. This is a time when children should
rest, and it’s extremely important for them to stay warm.
My general rule of thumb is to dress them warmly enough
so that their cheeks are rosy, and their hands and feet
are warm, but there is no sweat or perspiration. The
body needs to be hot to burn out the illness. If the body is
harboring toxicity, then a discharging fever with a runny
nose, vomiting or diarrhea, for example, could be just the
housecleaning that the body needs. The discharge is a
sign that the fever and inflammation produced by the immune system are “digesting” toxic waste and debris and
releasing them from the body. Most people are actually
healthier after they’ve had a fever.
So do germs cause us to become ill?
Well, we all live in balance with trillions of germs in our
bodies from soon after birth throughout life, including
some nasty bugs, and we only get ill when other factors
and stressors disturb this balance. Germs usually act
more like scavengers than predators. At a deeper level
germs don’t really cause illnesses, but they certainly
feed on them, and they intensify them by triggering our
immune system to create inflammation—e.g., fever, pain,
redness and swelling. Every inflammation, in children or
adults, every cold, sore throat, earache, fever and rash,
So much for the germ theory!
In its time, the germ theory was a great revelation. The
discovery that bacteria could influence the course of
illness helped us create a whole new level of public and
private hygiene, which has given our immune systems
much less work to do in some respects. But the germ
theory is very limited. There was an article in Scientific
American way back in 1955, titled, “Second Thoughts on
the Germ Theory,” about the observation that everyone
harbors disease germs, but not everyone is sick. The
conclusion was that whether or not we get sick depends
on the condition of the host—your body—more than it
does on the germs.
So we’ve known for a long time that while germs feed
on disease and weakness, they seldom directly cause
it. That’s why I prefer the word “inflammation” to the
misunderstood and misleading word “infection,” which