​​​​Invisible Illness: 

What are Conventional

Diagnostic Tests Missing?

By Dr. Donald Liebell

​   You feel just plain lousy.  You’ve been submitted to every kind of physical examination and test your doctors can administer.  You’ve been referred to specialists.  You’ve given blood and urine.  You’ve had x-rays, MRI, CT-scans, nerve tests… but EVERYTHING comes up “normal.”  Next you’re hearing about a trip to the psychiatrist.  The cruel reality is that mainstream medicine functions primarily when there is visible damage, or observable and measurable phenomena.  In order to receive an “official” medical diagnosis, one must exhibit signs, symptoms, and findings.  However, it is often the case that these present themselves only when substantial damage has taken place.  Discovering illness before it takes physical form is essentially not within the realm of conventional medicine.  Doctors proclaiming you’ve got a “clean bill of health” as a result of the “standard” tests can often leave you in the lurch—scratching your head in disbelief, as your mysterious misery persists without any resolution.  In other words, you’ve got to be visibly sick enough to be considered sick!  

    In the field of energy medicine, we understand that we can gain further insight into human health by observing the subtle electromagnetic energies of the body, when chemical and physical medical evaluation comes up empty.  Practices like mine exist because we help people for whom “conventional” approaches have failed.  For over 20 years, it has been clear that thinking “outside the box,” and taking stunningly unconventional approaches, has been the secret to my patients’ success.

    It is my view that our medical system has selective attention.  By this I mean that doctors and medical researchers will only see what they’re expecting to see, and what they’re looking for… and little else.  Nobel prize-winning researchers, Drs. Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris refer to this as perceptual blindness—the failure to notice something significant and obvious.  To illustrate this point, take one minute to watch their video below.  Please, don’t read ahead until you watch the video; you’ll ruin it for yourself, trust me!

    Why have I referenced this ingenious 1999 experiment?  Because “invisible gorillas” are rampantly lurking about in our bodies… but they are rarely seen, because doctors are too busy looking for other things—using only the “standard” methods of evaluation.  Doctors expect to find things only through conventional evaluation, and thus they may not learn valuable information that could be ferreted out by other means.  Drs. Simon and Chabris assert that experts are actually more prone to inattentional blindness than beginners.  Experts typically have specific expectations based upon experience, so they think they know what to expect to find in certain situations.   They become blind to the unexpected, even if it is staring them right in the face.

    Conventionally-trained Western medical doctors simply do not look for everything the human body can possibly reveal; they only search for the things that are within their skill set and training.  The same can be said for Eastern medicine too.  The fact is both Eastern and Western medical philosophies and practices both have great things to offer, but both factions are also guilty of missing invisible gorillas.  This is why the concept of integrative medicine is so important.  People typically seek my care because conventional medicine has failed them.  In many cases, Eastern medical approaches have failed as well.  My job is to find what others have not found… to look for things others don’t look for… and to treat the patient in a manner that has not been tried before. I look for invisible gorillas in the form of subclinical illness.

  What does this mean?

    A subclinical illness flies below the radar.  It goes undetected because there are no clinical findings that fall within the realm of the contemporary accepted medical standards.
  Of course many health problems begin in the subclinical form, and they progress enough to rise to the surface, enabling official clinical diagnosis.  Subclinical infections are extremely common.  We all can silently carry viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other parasitic life forms, but we exist unaware of any recognizable illness that corresponds with them.  They can spread throughout human populations without much consideration from the medical community.  If no specific signs and symptoms that fit the criteria for any particular diagnosis are detected, they are ignored, if ever considered at all.  

    In my opinion, the published statistics for various health conditions are highly questionable, since only those individuals who’ve exhibited symptoms, and were subsequently examined have been counted!
The famous Typhoid Mary exemplifies this point perfectly.  In 1907, Mary Mallon, a cook from Ireland, did not think it was necessary to wash her hands.  She was an apparently healthy carrier of the bacterium, Salmonella typhi.  She had a subclinical infection, which she spread to dozens Americans as Typhoid fever.  Typhoid Mary did not clinically have Typhoid fever—but she was indeed infected.  We now known that there are dozens and dozens of subclinical infections.  One may be harboring various parasites in one’s body, without any symptoms associated with them at all.  

The truth is that people ARE suffering symptoms… but doctors are not making any clinical connection to infectious and parasitic microorganisms!  It is my opinion that the great bulk of common aches, pains, and more serious illnesses are indeed caused by these germs… but “modern medicine” has lost its focus.  The “gorilla” is in the room, but nobody is paying any attention to it beyond antibiotics, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and psychiatric medicine.  It seems that the obsession lies with inventing new syndromes and fancy-named conditions… and highly lucrative drug treatments to match them.  

   What happened to seeking out the causes of disease?  

   Has real scientific medicine been long replaced with developing and marketing drugs that maintain illness?  University libraries are teeming with published papers from medical journals that acknowledge all kinds of microorganisms as cause factors for every conceivable common symptom and condition from which people suffer.  I have a large collection of these academic papers, which reveal stunning information that apparently the public has scarcely been told.  For example, have you ever been told that the bacterial infection, Lyme disease can cause arthritis, as well as nearly any psychiatric condition?  Did you know that more than 60 million Americans carry the parasite, Toxoplasma, which has been linked to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder?  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), very few people have symptoms “because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.”  And how about Epstein-Barr virus—the herpes virus associated with mononucleosis… did you know that it has also been strongly associated with several types of cancer?  The CDC says the “virus occurs worldwide, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives.”  

    These examples seem so matter-of-fact, like it’s no big deal, when you read the CDC’s descriptions on their website.  They are among the many neglected subclinical infections… for which there are no drugs to treat… so they are rarely considered.  The term, subclinical infection itself seems to create some confusion.  Some professionals apparently interpret it to mean that the patient does not actually have a problem, or at least it is not significant enough—simply because conventional diagnostic tests do not reveal substantial measurable changes in either structure and/or function.  Others seem to view subclinical as “early stage” illness or injury.  However, the case of “Typhoid Mary” clearly demonstrates that one can be infected by a dangerous parasite without developing the associated medically diagnosable disease.  

    The American Heritage dictionary defines subclinical as “not manifesting characteristic clinical symptoms.”  However, what is commonly not considered is that people suffer throughout their lives with problems considered “too mild” to be diagnosed or classified as one medical condition or another.  Blood tests values fall within accepted “healthy” range, or no gross pathology is visible.  Essentially, people suffer the effects of various subclinical illnesses indefinitely.  What this translates to in everyday life is that people have all kinds of common symptoms for which no cause is ever ascertained.   It is my assertion that a frightening proportion of people live lives of misery because of subclinical illness, particularly chronic infection.  It appears that mainstream medicine’s alternative to effective and extensive testing for infectious causes is simply to do nothing… and just prescribe drugs.   So much for modern technology!  

   A Reasonable Assumption
    When patients enter my clinic, they fill out a comprehensive medical case history form.  My assumption is often that the various symptoms reported are at least in part, caused by subclinical infection, chemical toxicity, structural problems, and other factors that have not shown up through conventional testing done prior to become my patient.  The difference is that I will be using auricular medicine bio-energetic testing methods to find suggestions of subclinical causes.  I will not be able to submit my findings with a digital image, or any officially endorsed diagnostic technology.  My observations during this evaluation lead to choosing homeopathic immune system support products.

  Perhaps a few decades from now, energetic findings will be construed as medical evidence.  For now, my patients are more-than-happy to accept the phenomenal results, with the understanding that we are “looking for the invisible gorilla” that the conventional medical community not only doesn’t want to look for, but chooses to remain blind to its existence.  It is my privilege, and my patients’ joy to have the means of getting well in a truly natural manner, regardless of the conventional medical system’s denial of the mere existence of many of their problems.       


                                                                                                                    Dr. Donald Liebell 

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The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions

Natural & holistic, whole-person, wellness-based Healthcare - Drug-Free & Non-Surgical Pain Relief


​Donald K. Liebell, DC, BCAO

477 Viking Drive Suite 170

Virginia Beach VA 23452 
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