Zoltan P. Rona, MD, MSc
After 22 years of general medical practice and over 2,000 letters from readers requesting advice, I have observed some general principles that determine whether or not an individual is capable of controlling his or her heal.
Questioning authority is good for your sanity as well as your health.
Prescription drugs are often unnecessary and even harmful in treating a long list of chronic ailments including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, arthritis and immune system problems, especially chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In fact, studies published in 1999 indicated that prescription drugs, even when taken as directed, are the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in North America!
Fortunately there are well-documented, safe and effective natural alternatives to most drugs. Health experts believe that maybe only 10 per cent of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs are really necessary.
While your mainstream medical practitioner probably won’t tell you about the harmful effects of vaccines, the information is readily available from many different sources.
Beware of needless surgery, especially for the heart, uterus, ovaries, gall bladder, bowel and joints. Fibroid tumors of the uterus, kidney stones, fibrocystic breast disease and even prostate cancer may not require surgery. Not all conventional surgical procedures are cast in stone. After all, it was only a decade or so ago that radical mastectomy for breast cancer was abandoned for the simple lumpectomy. Also, Dr Dean Ornish demonstrated in the 1990s that a combination of a diet low in animal fats, exercise and meditation could reverse coronary artery disease and prevent bypass surgery in a high percentage of cases.
North Americans, especially medically socialized Canadians, are the most operated-upon individuals on the planet. While I am by no means saying that surgery is always a bad thing, get a second or even a third opinion.
Question Conventional Dentistry
A few years ago, only a handful of Canadian dentists dared to question dental orthodoxy on the subject of mercury dental fillings. This has changed radically and will be one of the great battles in the new millennium.
It is becoming increasingly evident that mercury from dental amalgams escapes as a vapor into the circulation, leading to neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and other suboptimal immune system disorders. More and more dentists are seeing the light on this issue as well as the dangers of fluoride and root canal surgery. If at all possible, find yourself a dentist with a more biological orientation.
Medical school still teaches doctors to focus on disease rather than wellness and to be interveners rather than teachers or equal partners with their patients. This negative and paternalistic attitude encourages ignorance and dependence on both doctors and the socialized disease care system. Such a system views natural life events like pregnancy and menopause as diseases requiring prescription drugs. This attitude, thankfully, is changing.
The latter half of the 20th century has witnessed the emergence of a new paradigm. Responsibility for health maintenance is shifting on to the individual instead of the doctor. Health care practitioners are only now beginning to see their roles as something other than "doing something to the patient."
The human body is capable of healing itself from virtually any illness, provided the right nutrients are present whether these be vitamins, minerals, light, water, a positive mental attitude or spiritual nourishment. Learn to depend on this.
Learning Self Care
Since grade school, high school and colleges offer no training in nutrition, preventative health care and other aspects of self-healing (although I expect this will change in the new millennium as well), one has to become an avid student outside the mainstream. My favorite patients and letters from readers are those that demonstrate a serious attempt to research and understand their health situation.
The more an individual knows about health matters, the greater the healing potential becomes. Psychologists, psycho-neuro-immunologists and other holistic healers too numerous to list have proven the immense value of visualization and positive thinking in treating diseases such as cancer and heart disease. One visualizes tumor cells being gobbled up by the white cells and guess what? The cancer is better controlled!
Knowing what coenzyme Q10 and hawthorn does for high blood pressure and visualizing how these remedies work will produce more positive results in blood pressure control than the biochemical effects of these substances on their own. In other words, the more you know about the therapy and how it works, the better the results.
Take courses on natural health care from the alive Academy of Natural Health or another school of natural healing. Take a natural cooking course. Get your personal copy of the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing (published by alive books) and make a habit of reading a bit of it every day. Get on the Internet and do research on your own before spending thousands of dollars on visits to health care providers. Learn, learn and learn some more by reading magazines like this one.
Don’t wait for your doctor to give his or her blessing before you take antioxidant vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. I don’t recommend that you approach prevention or various "anti-aging" tactics blindly but one should not take health maintenance lightly.
Research as best you can and take the initiative in controlling your health. Consult a health care practitioner if you have various health challenges but don’t be sheepish. Direct action builds confidence. Confidence boosts energy, endurance, stamina and your immunity. Happy millennium!