My Journey on the Road to Holistic Health
Raised on a Clean Life
I still have an assignment I wrote in third grade about
what I wanted to be when I grew up and why. It was a toss-up between becoming a Chiropractor or a Dentist. Since we were young children, these practitioners that my parents took me and my older brother and sister to were so nice and I thought it was a clean job. This was in comparison to my father, a plumbing contractor, who always had dirt on his hands.
We were rarely sick, and I have very few memories of the family doctor or taking medicine as a child. I just knew that we always ate great-tasting fruits and vegetables from my Italian grandfather’s garden and enjoyed lots of olive oil and garlic. We played outside until it was dark, always got a good night’s sleep, and had parents who loved each other. Life was good; that is until I was a teenager.
Coming of Age with the All-American Diet
In Middle School, just when girls were becoming important to me, the 15-cent hamburger became popular. My healthy eating was replaced with greasy French fries, burgers, and milkshakes. I developed a hideous case of acne, a rather unfortunate consequence. Not suggesting to go back to the healthier diet I grew up with, the family doctor prescribed antibiotics, chemical creams, and drug filled pastes. Nothing worked. It was a terribly stressful time leaving me with lifelong physical and emotional scars.
Add Pesticides, Chemicals and Meds to the Mix
At age 19, I thought I was having a heart attack. On a beautiful summer day after work from my summer job at a busy printing factory, I headed for my parent’s country club to play a round of golf. The grass was so green and soft that I took my shoes off to play barefoot, a truly feel-good experience. That is until my entire body went numb and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. With tremendous agitation, I left my clubs on the green and managed to drive the five miles home. Running into the house crying to my parents that I was sick and needed help right away, they rushed me over to the family doctor. He said I was having an anxiety attack and prescribed Valium. No one put together that the golf course was just treated with pesticides and chemical fertilizer and that I was exposed to a large dose of toluene and benzene at the printing shop – all potent neurotoxins. When the next day brought no relief of symptoms, the doctor prescribed a much stronger drug, Phenobarbital.
La La Land
For over a year I experienced feelings of being out of touch with reality and detachment. It never occurred to me that the drug caused my dissociation. The doctor wouldn’t give me anything that could possibly impair me, right? Never knowing about how the drug would affect me or what side effects could be, I just went on thinking that I was going to be like this the rest of my life. I took the Phenobarb religiously while also dealing with the challenges of being a sophomore student in college in the late sixties. I don’t remember the turning point that had me wean off the medication, but I began to feel normal again, never really understanding what happened to me. I could concentrate on my studies and Dental school was in my future.
Why Would I Doubt What I'm Taught?
What I learned in Dental School was, of course, traditional. We were taught to routinely use materials for patients such as mercury-containing amalgams, fluoride, and creosote, despite being known poisons. There was no reason to believe that any of what we were taught was not right. You could have your own opinion, but if you questioned, you were either ignored by the instructors or told that the products were safe, period. No studies produced, just blind faith in the curriculum, vendors of the products sold in school and our dental organizations.
On the plus side, we were well-trained for our technical skills. We were great oral carpenters. But little attention was paid to the connection of dental procedures and materials to overall systemic health, an issue I would encounter later when my wife and partner in business turned my head around and set it spinning.
Eyes Convincingly Opened
Much later my wife, also a dentist and partner in business, shed light and set my head spinning. Andrea was a nurse before she became a dentist and always thought in terms of the whole body. But coming from conventional health training as well, she did not consider how chemicals could be anything but good for us. That is until an environmental medical doctor lectured in a dental continuing education course about the toxic ingredients in personal care items and household cleaners. I thought she was nuts when she came home and read labels of everything in our kitchen and bathroom cabinets and proceeded to throw everything out. She then bought a book that gave the ingredients in products and foods and shopping was never the same.
As someone who is naturally smart and curious, she then researched what was in amalgam. While there was no internet at the time, she found books, tapes, and courses. Make no mistake, I had no interest in studying any of that crap. Three months she worked on me until I finally gave in and listened to the tape series from a scientist who was mercury poisoned. I didn’t want to believe what I heard. It was inconvenient - but WOW - did my eyes open!
The Challenging Path of Being Different
The reality was, that through our mercury removal, our exposure to mercury increased and we experienced all kinds of symptoms and suspected that we could be mercury toxic. Conventional doctors were not trained to recognize, diagnose or treat chronic heavy metal toxicity (except for lead poisoning) and could only prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms. It was too uncertain for us to follow that path with no end in sight. Fortunately, we met with alternative medicine physicians and other natural health practitioners who could help us in mercury detox. We found out that it was not a quick fix but rather a lifelong endeavor.
With the deep scars to our own health and professional lives, we closed our holistic dental practice after 25 years of serving the dental needs of medically compromised patients.
Good Health to All of Us
We did recover and continue to detox and educate ourselves. We pass on our experiences and information about safe mercury removal, body detoxification, immune strengthening, natural and alternative therapies, and how to use insurance to help pay for the services. I personally thank you for your willingness to learn more about these things. Knowledge is power. We wish you robust health and happiness.
Dr. Vincent DiLorenzo