Early Warning: Prevention is the Best Medicine

Early Warning: Prevention is the Best Medicine

Much of our time as health practitioners, natural or otherwise, tends to be spent reacting to symptoms that point to well-ingrained health problems. That is understandable, and perhaps even necessary in many ways, but in fact the symptoms themselves are often evidence that the body is slipping into compensation mode, putting together ways to adapt to significant problems. Because of this, battling symptoms can be more complicated than it initially looks, and conditions can easily go from bad to worse.


When we think about it, by far our greatest leverage in the healing process occurs when we can discern the pre-symptomatic indications of stress, toxicity or other evolving conditions. Certainly we must always start with what is presented to us, but dealing with problems at an early stage has many advantages. First of all, the body hasn’t had a chance to become acclimatized to the problem, so adjustments can be easier. Obviously the adjustments themselves will be less severe. And finally, the interventions involved can be more in the nature of re-balancing than a more drastic or invasive change in the body’s function.

Let’s step back a bit from the common round of working to overcome symptoms. Even if our best intentions are to get around to the causative elements eventually, we can see that our skills are far better utilized when we can assess preventively. And when I say “preventively” I don’t mean just in terms of keeping nutritional and metabolic balances intact, but in terms of correcting for more specific imbalances or blockages before they turn into well-established symptomatology.

Tools for Early Warning:

What tools are available to us in this regard? There are many and varied ways to access the body’s communication modalities and the body surely does communicate! There is no lack of communication, but there is a need to understand the language or languages, the body speaks, because our bodies do speak profusely in a variety of languages. What are some of these? Symptoms themselves, of course, should communicate to us in various ways, but I’m thinking at present of pre-symptomatic indications.


Chemistry is one way the body speaks volumes. Blood tests can be read, for instance, in many ways beyond the usual interpretations, giving plenty of insight into developing patterns. The same is true of examination of other body components such as urine and saliva, hair or stool samples. They’re saying a lot if we know how to read!


Electrical activity in the body speaks constantly and loudly, about just about everything! Recent research into Heart Rate Variability, for example, has shown us that there is a lot more to read from those electrical pulsations associated with heart rhythm than anyone had previously imagined. We can see the operational condition of the autonomic nervous system in great detail, with many predictive elements to note. Blockages and switched responses can be discerned too, all of which can have both short and long-term significance to the trained eye.

Lessons from Ancient Technology:

The body communicates electrically in many ways. Acupuncturists know, for instance, that the acupuncture meridians are electrical superhighways where, occasionally, traffic jams and other problems can occur. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners also listen and feel for the subtleties of pulse variation on many levels.

Recent Technology:

In the past half century we have seen the development of many physics-based technologies that seek to engage the body in electrical communication. Bio Meridian Assessment: this is electro-acupuncture according to Voll (EAV), measuring galvanic skin resistance on acupuncture points, often to assess pre-symptomatic indications of stress in the meridian systems and all they are connected to. Resonance-based biofeedback systems have been developed that don’t even require the rather specific probing of points used in EAV work to produce their energetic assessments. Other Russian-developed systems measure variations in the electrical output of the brain stem to produce mapping of the body in terms of potential problem areas. Plenty of other technologies exist, including bio-magnetic treatment systems and bio photon measurement machines.

Nutrition Response Testing:

This is a remarkable form of muscle testing to accurately assess the body.

Who Speaks, and Who Listens?

When we consider all these technological possibilities it can be a bit overwhelming. But to simplify things, we are concerned to learn the language of the body so that we can communicate, not just when a person is being sidelined with symptoms but well before those symptoms appear. In the end, learning the language is important, but the one who speaks the language is the real key! As advanced practitioners we need to speak and understand at least one or more of the many languages the body speaks.

Our health care system has become, perhaps more and more of late, a reactive process, assessing symptoms without necessarily seeing the matrix of their historical cause, or even thinking it matters much. Any of us in any specialty can become caught up in that limited approach. But at the core of a true practitioner is the matter of insightful listening, finding appropriate ways to tune in to the individual body’s many languages, understanding its wisdom, its priorities and needs and providing accordingly.

A New Era:

Never in the history of healing have there been so many opportunities to expand understanding, to broaden perspective and technique and to humanize the process of healing at a whole new level. We can be extraordinarily unique health professionals, positioning ourselves ahead of the symptomatic roundabout and multiplying effectiveness while minimizing collateral damage. This, to me, is the challenge and the opportunity of our new era in health care.



Elke Kniss, PA, CCN
The Spring, Center for Natural Medicine 

1700 South Lamar Blvd. Suite 301

Austin, Texas 78704

(512) 445 – 7373

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