From Mark Ford, editor, Creating Wealth: The most important thing I’ve ever learned about staying healthy came to me late in life.

It wasn’t a formula or a therapy. It wasn’t even advice in the formal sense of the word. The most profound lesson I’ve ever learned came to me after years and years of reading about the human body and how it works.

It came to me after consulting with some of the best doctors in the business, including Dr. Robert Atkins and, more recently, Dr. Al Sears.

My realization was at once striking and obvious. And I never looked at health or medicine the same way again.

What was my big realization?

The human body is designed to renew and perfect itself. It does this every second of every day, so long as we are living. If we don’t damage it too much and let it do what it wants to do, we can be healthy.

This is a very different idea than the one I had for most of my life. My old perspective, which I got from reading newspapers and watching television, was that the body starts out perfect, but over time, it breaks down and eventually falls apart.

I used to think of the body as a machine—like a car that needed maintenance. And doctors were the mechanics that could keep us running and fix our parts when they went bad.

But now I know that the mechanical metaphor is misleading. It is the reason we are willing—even eager—to run to a doctor when something feels wrong. But I’ve come to understand that doctors play only a very small role in healing. More than 90% of it is done naturally, by our own bodies—with or without the intervention of doctors and the medicines they prescribe.

If you bruise your elbow or cut your finger, what happens? In a few days, the bruise or cut heals. You don’t have to take a pill to get better. Your body takes care of itself. Damaged skin is replaced by new skin. And the new skin is healthy. It is perfect.

The same is true when you break a bone. Once it’s put back into position, the bone will heal itself. And when it does, the brand-new bone is stronger than the bone it replaced.

As I said, the body wants to renew itself—and will do so, as long as it is allowed.

Your body’s drive to heal and renew itself continues constantly. People in their 80s and older can grow new skin, bones, and muscle. They can defeat colds and the flu. They can even defeat the deadliest diseases.

I am not suggesting that we are designed to live forever. In fact, we are designed to die. But I do think we can live a very long and healthy life—into our mid- to late-80s—if we give the body the natural nutrition it needs to heal itself.

If you read enough about how the body works, it’s hard to come to any other conclusion. Yet this idea—that the body has the natural ability to perfect itself—is anathema to the medical and drug industries.

They survive on the idea that the body is a machine—that it breaks down and needs mechanical intervention to be repaired. Intervention that is, for the most part, one of the world’s greatest con games.

The business of medicine is very large and very powerful. How big is it? I have access to financial analysts that most people don’t have. I asked one of them to tally up its true size, including hospital billings, pharmaceutical sales, outpatient clinics, and so on. The number he gave me was even higher than I suspected: $4.5 trillion per year, about half of it contributed by the U.S.

Does it surprise you, then, to hear me suggest that all this money has resulted in a business whose primary goal is to make you think that you are sick?

And that’s not the end of it. The medical industry is in collusion with the food industry—the manufacturers of the “fuel” our bodies consume.

So much of what we are told to eat by doctors and by our government is based on the results of studies financed by the food industry itself—including the big companies that tout the advantages of all sorts of unnatural foods that continue to stress our natural bodies.

There is a great book on this subject written by Dr. Nortin M. Hadler. Dr. Hadler is a professor of medicine and microbiology/immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an attending rheumatologist at the University of North Carolina Hospitals.

In the book, Dr. Hadler looks at many of the most popular and most widely practiced modern medical cures. I’m talking about angioplasties, bypass surgeries, mastectomies, statin drugs, chemotherapy, and so on.

He analyzed the scientific studies that originally supported the widespread use of these therapies. He also reviewed all the significant studies that have been done on them ever since. And do you know what he found? He found that there was absolutely no proof that these therapies worked! In many cases, they were actually worse than doing nothing, and they all had serious side effects.

Dr. Hadler calls this the “medicalization” of an overtreated society. He argues that the medical industry is an artificial social construct, where health conditions are turned into diseases for financial gain.

“I am convinced the major stumbling block to rational health care is the social construction of health,” he says. “Americans think their medicine is the ‘best,’ if only they could afford it. This is the catwalk for displaying the medical emperor’s new clothes.”

I will give you more details on this travesty of science in a minute. But let’s get back to my main point, which is the body’s amazing potential to heal itself.

Imagine if your body could:

  • Regenerate new cartilage if you had arthritis…

  • Restore your clogged arteries to full health…

  • Produce teenage-level strength in your bones at any age.

Well, your body can. It can do all of those things, and many more. But the medical establishment doesn’t want you to know that—because if you do, they will lose revenue.

I asked my financial analyst to find out how much money is spent on surgeries to cure lower-back pain each year. He told me it’s approximately $50 billion per year. Well, guess what? Those operations don’t do any good. Your body can and will cure you of your back pain if you don’t let doctors put you in danger by cutting into your spine.

I suffered from lower-back pain for more than 15 years. I spent loads of money going to the very best and most expensive orthopedists. They took X-rays and found problems with my discs and prescribed drugs and recommended surgery. I took the drugs, but wisely demurred on the surgery. Then, about five years ago, I read a book by Dr. John Sarno that convinced me that 99% of lower-back pain has nothing to do with busted discs. His proof is irrefutable.

Dr. Sarno didn’t offer me a guaranteed cure for back pain. But something he said in his book triggered a thought about the body’s natural healing. I pursued that idea, working with yoga therapists and a Pilates instructor, and cured my 15-year back problem in six weeks. That was five years ago.

Two or three times since then, I’ve felt my back start to go out, and I’ve been able to correct it within 48 hours without going to a doctor or spending a nickel.

Your body can get rid of any chronic or persistent pain you feel by naturally healing your tendons and ligaments, not by masking the pain. It can do the same with clogged arteries, digestive problems, diabetes, and even cancer.

Did you know that cancer cells are always present in the body? That they are present—in the millions—even when you are young? It’s true. The reason most of us never succumb to cancer—and, by the way, most of us never do—is because our bodies have billions of anti-cancer molecules swarming around in the bloodstream, killing cancer cells all the time. People get cancer when their immune systems weaken and they stop being able to overpower the cancer cells that have gone haywire.

In all the years the medical industry has been fighting cancer, it has made very little progress. Yet, natural therapies can—and do—work.

Let me give you one example…

A doctor located in Mexico has developed a breakthrough cancer treatment. This cutting-edge therapy:

  • Is 10,000 times more effective than standard chemotherapy…

  • Doesn’t cause nausea, hair loss, or excessive weight loss…

  • Uses heat to draw cancer cells out of hiding and into the open, where they’re easily eliminated.

The technique is called hyperthermia. It is natural. It is safe. And it has been practiced for thousands of years. In fact, its origins go back as far as ancient Egypt. And make no mistake about it… this cure may be natural, but it is based on science—on the fact that cancer cells are weaker than healthy cells and, thus, much more sensitive to heat.

As a consultant to health publishers, I have privileged access to medical studies done all over the world. I don’t read the actual studies myself. (I doubt that I would be able to fully understand them.) But I consult with a half-dozen health experts and dozens of doctors, Ph.D.s, and researchers who not only read them but also do clinical work.

There are many physicians around the world who have rejected the “medicalization” of health and are looking to find natural cures. What they are finding is that for every questionable and expensive drug or surgical procedure, there are two or three completely natural solutions that work just as well or better—but without the sometimes-dangerous side effects.

Here are some examples. Did you know that…

  • You can improve your prostate health through simple changes in diet?

  • Eliminating starchy foods can fight diabetes?

  • A low-carb diet may combat heart disease?

  • Drinking red wine can actually reverse the signs of aging?

The best of these natural cures work the same way—by naturally stimulating the body to do what it is designed to do: regenerate itself, minute by minute, on a cellular level. And that is why so many of these natural cures begin to take effect in a matter of days… sometimes hours. The body wants to heal itself!