The term ‘orthomolecular’ was first used by Linus Pauling (double-Nobel laureate) in a paper he wrote in the journal Science in 1968. The key idea in orthomolecular medicine is that genetic factors affect not only specific physical characteristics of the individual, but also impact on the whole of their biochemical story, including the brain and its associated functions. The term orthomolecular literally means identifying the ‘right’ (ortho) molecule to address those biological imbalances and by making the right biochemical corrections, the body is assisted in facilitating its own healing. This discipline has, over the last 40+ years, built a reputation for dealing with both mental and physical illnesses, such as: atherosclerosis, cancer, schizophrenia, various mood disorders, autoimmune diseases and clinical depression.
Orthomolecular medicine originally evolved in the context of treating and preventing psychiatric diseases, which is why some still refer to it as orthomolecular psychiatry. As stated, the primary goal of orthomolecular therapy is to provide the ‘optimal’ molecular environment for the brain and other tissues. To this end, diet, nutrition and the focused and sometimes intense use of supplementation are the essential tools employed to restore biological balance and health. So, by carefully altering the intake of nutrients such as vitamins (and their metabolites), minerals, trace elements, EFAs, macronutrients, as well as other naturally occurring metabolically active substances, a patient can sometimes enjoy a level of recovery where other medical interventions had failed.
Those who are familiar with The Reach Approach will be well aware that our model is one that’s based on collaboration rather than competition. As extensively discussed in The Story of Health, we believe a one-pronged approach to personal health and well-being has led to us chasing our tails in the pursuit of identifying the best outcomes and finding sustainable solutions.
What is unique about what we do, is that we are not championing a particular perspective or point of view. We believe synergy is the answer and that the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts. So it’s not about nature vs nurture, it’s about both. It’s not about science vs spirituality, it’s about both. It’s not about allopathy vs alternative medicine, it’s about both. In fact, the more you read though our site and familiarize yourself with our message, research and resources, the more you see we believe in the ‘marriage’ of what may appear opposites. We believe in bringing the best of the past to sit alongside the best of the present. We believe in an approach where biology and psychology sit at the same table with spirituality. We believe in the ‘marriage of’…
Those who seek only dietary solutions for biological problems may well find some short term satisfaction in that but the evidence is overwhelming, should we take a closer look, that where there is a biological issue, there will also be some emotional and psychological one too. And so treating one without the other provides us with no sustainable solution. Equally, individuals who have emotional and psychological issues but seek only to treat those, may well find that they break away from their anxiety, depression or whatever it is they find self-defeating, but without understanding how the biological processes are also impacting on their emotional and psychological welfare, they are unlikely to become truly liberated from that position.
Plato was right when he said you cannot fix the mind without fixing the body and you cannot fix the body without fixing the mind. But the most critical part of what he said is that you must first cure the soul. In other words, you cannot fix the ‘whole’ by fixing only a ‘part’. So although we believe orthomolecular medicine has a place in terms of healing and well-being, we certainly do not believe that it can do the job by itself.
We hope you enjoy the many offerings of this section as it grows.