John Miller








The word 'health' means 'to be whole'. We are dis-at-ease when we experience a lack of wholeness, a lack of everything working well. In the last 50 years, the meaning of the word 'disease' has changed. It has come to mean 'illness caused by random misfortune' rather than dysfunction of a body system to which one can attribute a cause.


Here in Australia, our governments support the bad luck theory of illness in the way they allocate the public health budget, currently somewhere in excess of $60B per year, and by the way they focus attention on the treatment of symptoms, not cures. This is why there are 2m people on hypertension tablets; why the average punter quaffs 100 paracetamol tablets each year; why there are 1m diabetics out of an adult population of 15m, why there are over 200 million visits to the medical profession: why there is an exponential growth in pharmaceutical prescriptions.


When reading on through the Manifesto, keep in mind Ivan Illich's claim in 1976 that


'The true miracle of modern (junk) medicine is diabolical. It consists in making not only individuals but whole populations survive in inhumanely low levels of personal health.'


No one every got fitter or healthier in a surgery, pharmacy or hospital.


You become fitter and healthier by what you habitually do each day to look after your body.


Most of the things that happen to us happen through under-use, over-use or mis-use, leading to dysfunctions of one or more major body systems, particularly the nervous, the immune, cardio-vascular, digestive and musculo-skeletal systems.


Most of the things that happen to us are not diseases, they're body system dysfunctions.  When we use the word 'disease' we're usually using the word to describe something that invaded out body out of the blue. Most of the infectious diseases have been wiped out by better living standards and immunization.


On the other hand, cancer and arteriosclerosis have, in the last 100 years taken over the place formerly held by tuberculosis. They are not diseases, they're dysfunctions - cancer of the immune and elimination systems, probably due to a toxic environment - and arteriosclerosis, due to poor digestion absorption and elimination.


Calling a dysfunction a 'syndrome' is usually medical industry speak for 'I don't know what's caused this dysfunction'. In this context, prescribing a junk pharmaceutical to mask the symptom sounds quite bizarre.


Calling an illness a body system dysfunction is more likely to lead to a search for the cause and the understanding that by doing something, you can restore the wholeness.


At root our body system dysfunctions begin with our habits, attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviours. To change our health status we need to change out thinking.


The dysfunctions are also associated with an increasingly toxic environment. There are now something like 4000 food additives that weren't there 1000 years ago. We pump toxic degreasers on our heads and wipe aluminium salts under our arms. We take in the host of poisons in the form of paracetamol, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, insecticides, herbicides, artificial hormones, prescription medicines. Then there are the flavourings, colourings, emulsifiers, surfactants ...


The dysfunctions are not just associated with the things we have too much of. Some of it is related to the thing we have too little of - a diet lacking in essential vitamins, minerals, fats ...


If you don't have a strong immune system, a fully functioning elimination system, an adequate diet, a regular and systematic aerobic strength and flexibility training program and an ability to manage the stress of your life you're leaving yourself wide open to all manner of body system dysfunctions.


Whilst poverty and poor health appear to go hand in hand, it is a distorted philosophy which goes on to finger poverty as the cause of poor health, particularly in a country that has a universal education system and an economic safety net. If, as the saying goes, success has many fathers, poverty and poor health are both bastards!


Contrary to the opinion of allopathic medical apologists, it is not the heroic diseases that are the major poor health issues in this country; on the contrary. In actual fact it is the every day body system dysfunctions; headaches, sore shoulders and crook backs, insomnia, lack of energy, feeling miserable, obesity, colds, elevated blood pressure, asthma, rashes, ... that people have to put up with on a daily basis. I call these dys-eases background noise.


For some people the noise is deafening! You can make a choice,  to quieten it down with a tablet or healthy living.


And contrary to symptomatic medical opinion the health of Australians is not getting better. Until the national public and private health bill starts going down, you can be certain that health is getting worse.


Whilst some statistics show that people are living longer now than they did 100 years ago, others show that people who reach 60 years of age now, have about the same life-expectancy as those who lived then. Once you take out infant and child mortality and death during childbirth, the statistics tell a different story. Longevity has not improved greatly.


If it appears that we are healthier as a society now than 100 years ago it can be more appropriately attributable to an improvement in the delivery of clean water, the removal of sewerage from homes world wide, and believe it or not, the use of glass in houses to let light in, than it can to the introduction of pharmaceuticals.


The infectious diseases (tuberculosis, typhoid, diphtheria, scarlet and rheumatic fever) were, by and large cleared up by improvements in public health and not by drugs. Tuberculosis which was the number 1 public enemy in 1900 was well and truly in decline in the Western world public prior to the development of antibiotics.


Symptomatic medical treatment, regardless of whether it is evidenced based or not is a hoax, as is any long term medical intervention which does not produce a complete recovery by stimulating the body's own recuperative powers.


There is very little evidence that junk pharmaceuticals which mask the symptom without treating the cause of the dysfunction are the right treatment. That prescription is healthy living, rarely prescribed and less rarely taken.


As an example; whilst  there is plenty of evidence that blood pressure tablets lower blood pressure, the high blood pressure wasn't caused by a lack of Ace-inhibitor in the first place. The tablet is the wrong treatment to restore the body to good health.


Of course symptomatic medicine has a rightful place in helping you to deal with immediate life-threatening dysfunction. Someone presenting with blood pressure of 220/120 needs something immediately to stop them blowing the roof off the top of their head. However once the threat has been reduced, you have to work on fixing the dysfunction yourself.


Being dysfunctions, the things that go wrong with the body systems all have causes, usually more than one cause.


To search for a cause rather than many causes leads to an inadequate treatment plan. Most of the common dysfunctions are eminently fixable, providing the lifestyle of the dysfunctional person is one which has key body systems working in synch. Of course the most frequent treatments for the common dysfunctions are palliative and therapeutic. For instance the usual treatment for a crook back is an anti-inflammatory and a rub down. At worst the treatment leads on to mutilation and a disk is shaved off a little. Treatment no doubt, but not designed to restore the body to the state of wholeness.


Some causes are visible. Some are hidden. Search for the hidden causes.


A lot of the treatment of body system dysfunction doesn't effect a cure and ends up leading to more treatment, (which doesn't lead to a cure!) What it does lead to is greater and greater dependence on the junk medical system.


Staying fit and healthy is an investment. Symptomatic medical treatment is a cost. Spending a little time, effort, thought and money on one's fitness leads, sooner or later to a reward. It's called good health and it comes with vitality, energy and a good night's sleep.


The body is an ecosystem - all major body systems are connected. The most widely acknowledged connection is between the mind and other body systems - the psycho-somatic connection. What is less frequently acknowledged is the connection between other body systems and the mind  - what goes on in the head will affect the body, and vice versa, whether for better or worse - and the connection of other body systems with each other; e.g. the bowel with the brain, the liver with the heart ...


Of course the Chinese have known for millennia that pain in one body part may be a symptom of dysfunction in another; so the cause of headaches may be a dysfunctional bowel, pancreas or liver. Western symptomatic medicine just treats the headache with a does of aspirin; or it thinks it's cool to lower cholesterol levels with a statin, regardless of what the cause of the high cholesterol might have been in the first place. It's a cheap trick.


As a rule people become distressed and dysfunctional because of their inability to successfully deal with circumstances. Their stress is not due to the circumstances themselves.


There are two great conversations going on in most minds that have to be dealt with if we're to live as normal, healthy human beings. The first one is the internal conversation; 'I'm worthless, useless and hopeless.'  The second one is the belief that perhaps other people also think we're worthless, useless and hopeless.


Until people can acknowledge the cause(s) it is unlikely the treatment will be successful.


A useful way to determine the cause and to prescribe the treatment for a body system dysfunction is to take the route that starts from the head down, the inside out and back through the past. For instance it would be bizarre to prescribe a crème to rub on the outside of the body for a cause that lay on the inside and yet this is what's going on daily in surgeries across the length and breadth of the Western world.


Narrowly focused, uni-modal observation may not pick out all the possible causes and may not suggest the most appropriate range of treatments.


It is most frequently the case that the cause(s) of dysfunction will not be at the site where the effect is manifest. The headache is symptomatic of an dysfunctional bowel. The rash is due to acute stress. The piles are due to what goes in at the front end of the system, not what comes out at the back end...


In particular, when it comes to musculo-skeletal dysfunction it is a brave diagnosis that locates the cause of the dysfunction at the site of the pain.


If you're looking for final causes you can probably look no further than laziness, ignorance, stupidity and attachment to fixed ways of being.


Subtle manifestations of dysfunction precede gross ones. Big problems could have been solved when they were small. (Lao-tzu)


We have the ability to predict whether small problems will turn into large ones. When appropriately stimulated, the body has wonderful, innate recuperative powers.


An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure. Are you awake and listening to what your body is telling you?


The Lifestyle Prescription® stands head and shoulders above all other prescriptions for keeping yourself fit and healthy. Lack of regular, vigorous physical activity, a junk diet and an inability to manage the stress of life costs the Australian community in excess of $100B each year.


Trying to stay healthy without keeping yourself fit is a tough assignment. I never met anyone who kept themselves fit (or healthy)  by ambling around the block for ten minutes.


Keeping fit and healthy, and restoring yourself to the fit and healthy state requires an investment in time, effort, money and thought. Nothing was ever achieved without enthusiasm or persistence. (Many people gave up just as they were about to reach their goal!)


Regular, vigorous aerobic physical activity contributes to the efficient functioning of all the major body systems, particularly the immune, autonomic nervous and elimination systems.


It does aerobic exercise a grave disservice to attribute as its major function an improvement in heart health. Heart health comes at the end of a long chain of improved system function. Trying to substitute a tablet for vigorous aerobic physical activity is one of the great tragedies of symptomatic medicine.


Bones do what muscles tell them to do. Specific physical exercises which strengthen, loosen and give balance to muscle development, contribute to better skeletal function.


Talk to people who have had the dysfunction and find out what they did to restore themselves to good health. Read books and search the internet for ideas which broaden your understanding of the cause and treatment of your dys-ease. Hippocrates said that the physician who has had the dysfunction speaks with much more authority!


When considering rehabilitation modalities, never overlook the wisdom of the ancients. never overlook the remedies which have been around for thousands of years and those which have worked for other people.


Respect the fact that your illness may be nature's way of telling you something; to rest, slow down, to eat differently, to exercise regularly, to meditate, to make changes in your life ...


To affect a complete recovery, make sure the treatment fixes the cause(s) and doesn't just mask the symptoms.


A successful rehabilitation program will be speeded up by the use of a range of modalities applied in a regular, systematic and intensive way.


It's a big ask expecting your body to get better by having someone do something to you. Sooner or later you have to do something to yourself. This applies equally to vigorous aerobic activity for the major body systems and to strengthening, loosening and postural alignment exercises for the musculo-skeletal system.


Like poor workmen, the tendency is for people to blame their tools (and their jobs), rather than themselves for the cause of their dys-ease and dysfunction.


You are responsible for your own thoughts, feelings and actions.


You are responsible for your own rehabilitation. The US Surgeon general hit the nail on the head in 1979 when he said 'You, the individual can do more for your own health and well being that any doctor, any hospital, and drug, any exotic medical advice'.


The right to health, sickness, accident, workers compensation and early retirement benefits is attended by the responsibility to keep yourself fit and healthy to the best of your ability.


When appropriately stimulated, the body has wonderful, innate recuperative powers. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure. Are you awake and listening to what your body is telling you.


Don't bet on medical research coming to your aid when you get crook. The increase in poor health and body system dysfunctions has grown in direct proportion to the money spent on medical research. Most of it disappears down black holes in the sheltered workshops for the academically gifted.


A word on spirituality. The first law of spirituality is to find and then nurture the great spirit within you. Do that and you'll live a long and happy life.


This is a work in progress. If you can help me to add to the manifesto go to the contact page and send me an email.


John Miller