Healing without Antibiotics

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The moment of prayer captured in this photograph is somatically and emotionally utterly sincere. I was Day 4 of healing a gum abscess near a back molar after my systemic dentist cleaned the abscess out and ozonated the area. In two more days, I would return to my dentist for my one-week follow-up visit, and we would both see the results of my healing—and the consequences of my choice not to take the antibiotics my dentist had prescribed.

Like hundreds of millions of Americans, I have had far too many antibiotics in my life to ever take them lightly. The risk of the infection in my gum spreading to my tooth and killing my tooth was terrifying. But the memory of a TV ad for adult diapers flashed in my mind as I read the list of side effects for the antibiotic I was holding in my hand: the risk of chronic diarrhea for years after taking Clindamycin didn't sound charming at all, and even dreaded antibiotic-resistant C. difficile infection of the intestines that has landed many a patient wasting away in a hospital bed was listed as a serious side-effect in the patient information guide. Oh, and lest I forget, vaginal fungal overgrowth was also on the list. The dysbiosis that follows antibiotics, or loss of beneficial bacteria throughout the body, is the ruin of many people’s systemic health and natural immunity. Antibiotics can save your life, but the CDC has been screaming warnings for decades that Americans overuse antibiotics.

I can only wonder how many people suffering from C. difficile infections or other chronic gut disorders started their journey with antibiotics prescribed by a dentist? The problem is one of separation in our mental thinking. Our mouth isn't separate from our body, is it? Once you accept the mouthbody connection, your view of dentistry will change forever into a specialty of medicine in general. And you will naturally gravitate toward the kind of dentistry that is best for your whole person—meaning minimally invasive, biomimetic, holistic and mercury-free. And as a result of those values, it relies on dental ozone therapy in a variety of applications for microbial sterilization to diminish the use of antibiotics. If your dentist doesn’t use dental ozone, you may need to find a different dentist.

Honestly, without my dentist rinsing the cleaned out abscess with ozonated water, followed by ozone gas in the area, I wouldn’t have expected good results afterwards without antibiotics. Even though she had prescribed antibiotics as a safety measure, she hadn’t just relied on them to heal my gum infection. Hence why I travelled in a dental emergency in one hour of traffic all the way from the westside of LA in Santa Monica to downtown LA to go to the Dental Healing office of Dr. Chester Yokoyama and Dr. Nicole Sazgar, because I knew they practice systemic, mercury-free, biological dentistry and use dental ozone. I was lucky that Dr. Sazgar was able to see me right away.

If you want more information on the mouthbody connection and why you should choose systemic biological dentistry, download my ebook Mouthbody Care at TheHealist.com to get your questions answered before you sit in a dentist’s chair.

Luckily, two days after this pic, I went back to Dr. Sazgar to hear my gum was healing amazingly! I happily shared that I didn’t take the antibiotic she prescribed. Instead I took Beta 1,3D Glucan (a natural immune regulator made from yeast) and, for about $100, purchased an Enaly home ozone generator online to make ozonated water to irrigate and swish with at home. As I said, ozone is a potent natural antimicrobial agent made from oxygen using photolysis to make O3 that kills pathogenic anaerobic bacteria, viruses, fungus and protozoa, while feeding oxygen to aerobic beneficial bacteria. Ozone is used by the LA Municipal Water Treatment Authority to clean our drinking water, and it works in your mouth too.

I also used manual massage and yoga stretches to physically move oxygenated blood carrying immune factors into that area in my jaw and to keep the lymph in the area draining in order to help move stale lymph with dead and dying pathogenic bacteria moving out from my jaw to get filtered by my liver and kidneys and then eliminated from my body via my colon and bladder. Staying hydrated during healing to flush the area was important, and medicinal teas and tonics were a constant for me, along with sauerkraut juice, kombucha and fresh pressed vegetable juices. I also slathered myself every day in magnesium spray and transdermal Vitamin D with K. And I sat in the sun like a cat as much as I could with my shirt off. My healing actually felt good, it was pleasurable, and emotionally I really owned that I was healing. I surrendered to the need to heal, rather than continuing to run around doing the things I was doing that obviously left me less than well in the first place.

I was elated with the results obviously. But the choice to forego antibiotics was tumultuous. I felt I made that choice over and over at least a dozen times. One day, I would look at the area of gum and think praise the Lord! I’m healing wonderfully without antibiotics! And then the next day, or even hours later, I would look at the area and think, my God! some horrible periodontal bacteria is lurking in that area in my gum and was any minute about to colonize the adjacent tooth. The area was swollen and inflamed after the mini dental surgery the dentist had performed to clean out the infected area, so it was hard to tell anything at first—especially staring obsessively at my own mouth in the mirror with a flashlight. Enough of that and you can start to see things, especially if you are, at heart, a hysteric, like I am. 

The emotional and spiritual experience of healing without antibiotics was stormy on the way to triumph. It felt like a constant tide swell of fears and worries, suddenly washed away by a larger swell of hope and faith grounded in knowing-how to bolster natural immunity and use natural antimicrobials, only to succumb later to another swell of fear and worry that my body, my immune system, wouldn’t be able to beat the infection on its own, and that I needed the antibiotics. And then I would hold the antibiotics in my hand. And then look up the side-effects again online, and then put the antibiotics down again. I must have done that a dozen times during that week of my healing crisis. Was self-care enough? Or do we need technology? Do we need pharmaceutical treatments? That was the fundamental question I was staring in the face every day during that long week before I returned to my dentist to have her exclaim “this looks amazing!” And tell me I was a model patient for getting my own ozone generator so I could irrigate the area with ozonated water several times a day at home.

I realized later that much of my suffering during my healing crisis was psychic tripping. The reality was that I successfully cleared the abscess entirely without antibiotics. I had faith that my body could heal on its own with natural non-invasive remedies. But I also took action based on that belief that actually helped me heal.

Here’s everything I did in a nutshell. First, I chose a systemic, holistic dentist who could provide a critical mini-surgery and dental ozone therapy, and I followed that at home with xylitol swishing 5x a day, food grade hydrogen peroxide in a 3% solution with distilled water every morning, and the Enaly home ozone generator I purchased online to make ozonated water for irrigation several times a day, as well as oil pulling with essential oils helichrysum and myrrh. And I also took 5 caps of Beta 1,3D Glucan every morning on an empty stomach for immune support (the dose is calculated by body weight), as well as high doses of daily Vitamin C and Vitamin D with K, and oleic fatty acids (found in olive oil) to help my liver make the macrophage activating factor (GcMAF) markers for my immune system to tag and attack the pathogenic bacteria causing my problem. Throw into the stew two sessions of IV ozone therapy for its oxygenating, detoxifying and antimicrobial effects, and my immune system triumphed. Thank divine Mother Nature!

During the time of my healing crisis, I had several deep sessions of emotional processing about myself and my relationship with my teeth and dentists. I have a long history of dental trauma that began when I was a child, and peaked in my 30s when an old-school dentist drilled a mercury amalgam filling without any safety protection whatsoever, leaving me mercury poisoned, so it is a topic I know well. There were plenty of somatic memories that needed to come to the surface to get purged with all the toxic waste my body needed to get out. Like pus, toxic emotions stored in body memories need to get released to heal too. Because they’re all connected. I also stopped everything in my life and rested. I surrendered to my need to restore. And I was blessed to have Ameena Meer, an energy healer friend, come over to lay on hands and move some psychic energy, take a walk on the beach, and meditate with me.

A choice like this, to forego a doctor’s or dentist’s prescription for antibiotics, can only be made individually. No one can make that choice for you. It is the ultimate test of informed consent and taking personal responsibility for one’s longterm health and wellbeing. Each of us has to make that choice if we fall ill and are given a prescription. And we have to make the choice knowing that the CDC has consistently warned against the overuse of antibiotics.

The crisis of antibiotic-resistant bacteria we have cultured by overusing antibiotics has only made the personal choice to decline antibiotics more critical. Overusing antibiotics is part of the reason we are experiencing an epidemic of chronic gut disorders—from leaky gut to malabsorption to irritable bowel to inflammatory bowel disease to ulcerative colitis to Crohn’s to autoimmune diseases and colon cancer. It’s not the only reason, because there are environmental co-factors like herbicides, pesticides and dietary factors like sugar and contaminated dairy, peanuts, wheat and soy. But overuse of antibiotics is one big factor.

Two years before my healing crisis with the gum abscess (that I believe I got from sharing food and drink with my friend who walked around for years with an infected root canal—but that’s another blog post), I had declined antibiotics after an arthroscopic knee surgery to remove some torn cartilage. I went through the same psychological and emotional turmoil over that decision then. But ultimately, my belief that I could heal from within with natural medicine, healthy food, and common sense was stronger than my fear that I would not heal without the pill of technology we have put so much false faith in. Luckily, I had the same good healing outcome without antibiotics then.

Let me also add, before I end this blog, that if I had taken the antibiotics prescribed for me by my dentist or doctor, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. My wife was prepared to donate a poop every morning for 5 days, followed by a donation once a week for 5 weeks, for fecal microbiota transplant therapy (FMT) post-antibiotics in order to replenish the beneficial gut bacteria that the antibiotics would have killed off. If that strikes you as crazy thinking, just remember once you choose the red door that opens into the world of natural healing, resources for healing abound. There are always choices, more than you might ever imagine if you take the blue door and stay within the conventional health care system. The most important thing is to accept that you ultimately have personal responsibility to make informed decisions about your systemic health, and that you are the one who will live with the consequences of your decisions.

And so, in the image of me that accompanies this blog post, I am opening my heart chakra, not only because I want to open the lymphatic system in my neck for drainage, but also to clean my energy field of noise, and clear my mind of distraction and negativity. In this picture, I am healing, and to heal anything, we start by opening the heart chakra, praying for divine guidance through a healing crisis, and surrendering to the laws of nature that have resulted in our illness, and that can result in our return to wellbeing— if we can get back in alignment with them. The choice to do so can only be made in faith, not fear. Because healing actually starts with faith in the belief that we are the greatest factor in our own healing, and that real healing comes from within.