Inflammation: The Beginning Stage of all Disease

This a three-part article. Click on the link below to read more.

Inflammation Chart.jpgIn the past few years we've heard a lot of talk and read numerous books about the relationship between inflammation and chronic disease. We now know, for example, that inflammation is at the root of heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, arthritis, and deteriorating mental ability in aging.

This may be big news for some, but not for me.  The idea that inflammation is at the root of all disease was something I learned in 1983 when I went to work for Dr. C. Samuel West at the International Academy of Lymphology. During the 10 months that I worked with Dr. West, he convinced me that inflammation was the first stage of the disease process, although he didn't call it inflammation.

Dr. West and the “Gospel” of Lymphology

Dr. West was an interesting character. If any of you are familiar with Bach Flower essences, Dr. West was the perfect example of a Blue Vervain person, fanatically devoted to a cause to the point of being intrusive with other people. In fact, he was really an evangelical minister, except that instead of preaching the gospel, he was devoted to spreading the “good news” about lymphology.

By the way, I'm not exaggerating about how Dr. West promoted his message. On one occasion Carl Robinson and I accompanied him to the Bay Area for some meetings, and at one of the meetings he actually had a couple of people in the back of the room saying “Amen Brother” and “Praise the Lord!” When we went to church he actually stood up to bear testimony about the “trapped blood protein” research being the answer to ending mankind's suffering. Carl and I were trying to sink under the pew, as if we didn't know the guy.

According to Dr. West, trapped blood proteins are the cause of all disease.  His book, The Golden Seven Plus One (which has numbered chapters and paragraphs because he actually considered it a form of scripture), was devoted to the idea of eliminating all disease and bringing peace to the world. Technically speaking, Dr. West was talking about trapped plasma proteins, but he felt the word plasma was too technical for lay people to understand.

From Dr. West I learned about cutting edge research on the lymphatic system. I learned how the lymphatic system was necessary to maintain a healthy “negative sub-atmospheric pressure condition” between the cells. He called it the “dry state,” again because he avoided anything that sounded technical. This healthy state of the cells involves just enough fluid around the cells to fill the spaces between them without creating any fluid pressure. The pressure is maintained inside the blood stream (rather than around the cells) by means of the plasma (or blood) proteins—albumin, globulin and fibrinogen. They create something called osmotic pressure.

Almost ten years later, I had an artist create the following illustration which I've been using ever since to illustrate the “happy” cells in the dry state. The illustration shows how the water molecules “stick” to the plasma proteins, which hold them in the circulatory system.


Dr. West used Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology as a reference and gave us all a copy. In studying Guyton, I noted that he says inflammation starts with a movement of fluid and protein into the tissue spaces, followed by a “clotting” of fluids in the tissue spaces. This, of course, leads to swelling, one of the four classic signs of inflammation.

When I read this, I realized that Dr. West's “trapped blood proteins” were really the beginning stages of inflammation, and I asked him why he didn't call it inflammation. You guessed it! He also thought that was too technical. However, I didn't, so after leaving Dr. West's employment (primarily because he ran out of money to pay me), I quit saying “trapped blood proteins are the cause of disease and death at the cell level” and started saying “inflammation is the beginning stage of all disease.”

To illustrate the “inflamed state,” I also had this illustration created, which showed the “unhappy” cells when fluid and protein leave the blood stream because the capillary pores have dilated. It shows the proteins flooding into the tissue spaces building up fluid and making the cells sick. Anyone who has studied with me for any length of time has seen these illustrations. They're included here for new people, to help them visualize what I'm talking about.


I learned a lot of great stuff from Dr. West. I learned how to reverse minor injuries and relieve pain using lymph-moving techniques like pressure, massage, light, rapid stroking, the energy ball and deep breathing. It also helped me to develop an understanding of the many herbs that work to heal injuries and relieve pain.  These are all taught in my Fundamentals of Natural Healing course.

Over the years, I've watched as mainstream medicine has announced its discovery that inflammation is involved in this or that disease. Now, it is well established that inflammation is at the root of many chronic and degenerative diseases. Dr. West's assertion that “trapped blood proteins” are involved in the “process of disease and death at the cellular level” is gradually being vindicated, and I hope someday he'll get the recognition he deserves for his discoveries.

In all this mainstream “hoopla” about inflammation and disease, however, there are some very simple “keys” (which Dr. West taught me) that are missing from every book and article I've reviewed.  So, let me present my own perspective on the subject of inflammation based on the foundation of practical understanding that dear Dr. West provided me.  Bless his beautiful “blue vervain” soul.

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