continued Nowhere is Meltzer's distrust of traditional medicine more apparent than in his description of a typical allergy patient. "I want to be clear that it isn't one of these things where people are victims of being exposed to a mold. That's not my take on the situation. My impression of what's happening after being in practice this many years is that you have to take a look at a person's immune system and their chemical balance in general -- the areas that most doctors don't deal with. The traditional doctor, with all due respect to their work, doesn't deal with a person's metabolism, their body chemistries, and their immune systems. They just don't. Let's say a patient comes in and has a problem with dust and tests positive for dust; the allergist will most likely set up a set of shots or a desensitization program to help deal with that particular problem." It's the particularity of treatment that especially irks Meltzer. "If you are going to look at how to deal with this mold situation, to look at it without looking at the person's immune system, in my opinion you would be missing the boat in terms of the reality of what's going on here. Yes, if you have a compromised immune system and your lymphatic system is clogged and you're sensitive to mold, you're going to have a heck of a reaction to it. But, if your immune system is competitive and your lymphatic system is clean, mold probably won't have much of an impact on you. That's why I'm not going to take a patient out of their home and move them someplace else, because there's going to be exposure to a variety of environmental toxins, because...we don't live in a world where we are free of environmental toxins; that's just not what's going on. There's air pollution, water pollution, and food pollution, no matter where you go. Mold is a problem, particularly in homes where there is a lot of carpeting and air movement is limited."
Meltzer continually returns to the theme of the immune system being more important than the environment. "You can get an acute allergic reaction to a variety of environmental toxins. If you have ten people walk into a room and ten of those people get a violent reaction to the mold, that would be on the level of something like tear gas, where everybody's being infected. But that's not my experience with patients. It's possible, but it would have to be a pretty toxic mold. If someone reads this, I don't want them to get the idea that there's a plague out there, and this plague is so powerful that there's no way to withstand it. There are some toxic molds, and the more toxic it is, the less forgiving your immune system is going to be. Even during the plague, not everybody got the plague. But with the majority of people having these reactions who came in to see me, I would evaluate them and determine from my perspective that they probably had some excessive amount of toxins or free radicals in a negative way in their body, their lymphatic system was probably stagnant, and their immune system was not as competitive as it needed to be. Is it possible that a person who is perfectly healthy with a good immune system could be exposed to a toxic mold and have symptoms? Yes. But people with a tendency to be allergenic, which means that their glandular system and immune systems are not in the best place, they would tend to have more lingering effects from that.
"The medical community doesn't seem to hook up a person's symptoms with their lifestyle. For example, they ask, 'What are your symptoms?' It'll be dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, what have you -- then you'll go through your medical routine. They deal with the physical body, but they don't go into a person's emotional history and their stress and nutritional history. It's a disconnected process. When a traditional doctor talks about preventive medicine, they're not talking about primary preventive medicine. Primary preventive medicine is giving people a program."
At this point, Meltzer pulls out a copy of his book Ten Rules of High-Performance Living. "It's very specific." He rattles off the steps. "Simplify your life, lighten up your life, take charge of your life, here's what you'd eat, here's what you'd want to do for exercise, challenging you to define your spirituality, challenging you to define your passions in life, challenging you to find what's real for you and makes you happy. That's primary prevention. Secondary prevention is doing breast screenings, breast mammograms, pap smears, chest X-rays -- you're testing and screening. You're not doing anything at the primary level to prevent what you're going to find in a screening. Tertiary prevention is vaccinations and immunizations and things like that. Sure, regular doctors do secondary and tertiary and prevention, but they don't do primary preventive medicine. Primary preventive medicine is like being a lifestyle coach. You want to help people balance their life, get fulfillment in their relationships, in their work, get their immune system worked up to a place where they can prevent disease. It's not medical assistance based on a crisis and symptoms, where you come in for a problem and here's what you take for it. 'Here's the medication and here are your surgical alternatives.' They don't deal with the person. They deal with people's parts and their ailments. In preventive medicine you give people tools to change their life around. In traditional medicine, you just show up. You get X-rays and injections, but you don't really have to do anything. In preventive medicine, people have to take responsibility for their lives. That's not part of medical school, and medical doctors as a whole aren't that way to begin with. Their lifestyles are highly out of balance. You can't expect conventionally trained doctoring people to teach people how to be balanced when they themselves are not balanced. It's not a realistic process."