Book Review: The Healing Power of Fever

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Author: Christopher Vasey, N.D.
Publisher: Healing Arts Press
Book Publication: 2012

In The Healing Power of Fever – Your Body’s Natural Defense Against Disease, author and naturopath Christopher Vasey lays out, in easy to understand language and a compelling manner, the full meaning of this intriguing concept. He explains what a fever is – and is not. Simply put, a fever is the sign of a fully functioning and healthy immune system; and is not, as popular belief still holds, a symptom to be treated.

In The Healing Power of Fever Vasey explains why a fever occurs, how to best monitor it, and how to properly support the body over the course of a fever. He details the three different stages of fever and how to manage them through the use of medicinal herbs, hydrotherapy, and diet. Most interesting, we learn the reason why, and how to, create an artificial fever as a method of detoxification and rejuvenation. Well acquainted with the body and its natural, non-invasive tools of defense against disease, Vasey divides the book into two main sections: ‘Understanding Fever’ and ‘Controlling Fever’. We learn the true physiological causes of fever, and this lays the groundwork for us to grasp some of the revolutionary ideas he presents regarding the role of ‘fever as friend, not foe’.

Having done so, Vasey cautions that fever, friend though it may be, is not without its dangers; to that end, the author provides guidelines to help determine when a fever has gone on for too long, or is too high, and how to reduce it and help the body recover. Whether the onset of fever is due to an infection (germ or bacteria), or poison (external or internal toxins), Vasey still insists it must be seen as friendly, until and unless the fever runs either too high or too long. When the body is called to defend itself against an infection or poison, fever is the protective warrior. The rise in body temperature is the result of the intensified functioning of various organ systems heating up the body in their defense response. Any attempt to shut down or eliminate a fever amounts to countering the body’s natural defense strategies. Put another way, we’re opposing nature’s own healing efforts.

As laid out in this book, the methods for assessing the various stages and manifestations of fever, how to maintain a fever to achieve true healing, and how to control a fever when it becomes too fierce, are all natural and based on a common sense approach.

Fascinating to read is the chapter in which Vasey goes into detail describing the rationale behind, and the methods used to create, an artificial fever. Using either hyperthermal baths or sustained exercise, an artificial fever can be induced as a means of “treating the body in advance”. He explains how a fever is used as a preventive tool to renew the cellular terrain of the body before the toxins stagnating there can trigger any kind of illness. This surely may prove a useful tool for our stressed out 21st century bodies, weakened by regular exposure to pollutants and toxins.

Vasey cautions that the book is not intended as a substitute for your health care professional; stronger measures are often called for in the case of fevers that conceal dangerous infections brought on by overeating and stress. However, cases that truly require drug treatment based on antibiotics and antipyretics (such as ibuprofen and aspirin) are extremely uncommon; overwhelmingly a fever is best left to do what nature intended – to break down and eliminate toxic substances and germs. Furthermore, by doing so, the body’s biological terrain is cleansed, rendering it unfavourable for the germs’ continued survival or multiplication.

The Healing Power of Fever represents an extremely detailed examination of the subject, complete with suggestions for intestinal cleansing through the use of natural aids, such as castor oil and alder buckthorn, a ‘Patient Chart’, and all the information a caregiver might need in order to: a) properly care for someone experiencing fever, and: b) to determine when a fever displays symptoms that do require a doctor’s attention. I say the prospect of fewer visits to (and long lines at) the doctor’s office or emergency room could well be motivation enough to read this groundbreaking book.

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