Self Help

We don't rely entirely on the conventional medical system to take care of our health. Therefore, it requires some guessing and experimentation on our part when we encounter times when we don't feel quite right. And as we listen more attentively to our bodies we notice when some "fine tuning" is appropriate. There is a wealth of information available on the internet as we note on our health page, but it's always best to double check everything, even from the most reliable sources. After living this way for many years we've discovered a few things worth sharing. Naturally we don't say these techniques are suitable for anyone else, but these are some of our observations.
"Your body has the ability to completely heal itself. It just needs your assistance." Richard Schulze
Trigger Points
Most people suffer from trigger point pain and myofascial pain, which are really muscle knots. We read about this problem several years ago and finally purchase the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. After just a few applications we were believers! It's impossible to overstate the importance of what this can mean if you have any aches and pains at all. While we highly recommend the workbook, there is a good web site to check out before getting any book: Save Yourself from Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome! (they will offer to sell their book after a good introduction; we did not get this book). This might replace the workbook if you also viewed a few of the videos available to refine the techniques. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook is the number one health book we have ever owned and we use the techniques every day!
Ear Infection
A very easy way to cure and prevent ear infections is so easy it seems too good to be true, but we have found through the years that it works very well. It uses the normal hydrogen peroxide that you buy in drug stores for around 50¢ a bottle.

Pour a bottle cap full of hydrogen peroxide, tip your head (over the sink is best) and put about 1/2 cap of it in your ear. It will make a bubbling sound; let it work for a minute or two then tilt your head and let it run out. Repeat on the other side.

This will prevent most colds and the flu from ever getting started and can also stop the symptoms. Dr. Mercola also recommends this approach in his article "Hydrogen Peroxide For Colds and Flu".
Sinus Problems
We spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying the woods around the house. In the past this has occasionally produced some sinus-related problems. Jack has been using a neti pot that came in a SinuCleanse kit to wash his nasal passages. Originally he used the packages that came in the kit, but has now gone to simply mixing a small amount of sea salt with warm water and running that mixture through the nasal passages. The results have been very good and now every time any congestion is noticed a cleanse is performed. Usually one time a day will do the job. This is also effective for cold symptoms.
Water and Salt
The summer of 2007 was a hot one and during July here in North Alabama we had a period of high humidity, which really added to the discomfort. Nonetheless, we continued our normal exercises and made sure to consume extra water. Despite this our energy levels dropped and Barbara experienced extreme fatigue. Checking her blood pressure showed it to be slightly elevated, but not of significance. The next morning in my daily email was a health message with an article about the importance of salt and we made the connection: we were getting enough water, but not enough salt! Barbara had long been cooking with little salt and used almost none in her daily diet. And to top things off we had a lot of tomatoes and had been using them as the base for our morning vegetable drink instead of the commercial juice, which has salt added. It was enough to push us into a salt deficient state. We immediately added 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt to a 16 ounce glass of water and drank the entire amount. Within an hour the improvement was evident. Jack has settled on drinking two, 16 ounce glasses a day, each with 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt, about one hour prior to eating. Other water without salt is consumed as thirst dictates. The results are noticeable. Barbara has resumed using salt in moderation and drinking a glass of salt water when the heat conditions dictate.

Some sites with more information:
Jack's Vision
I'd been wearing reading glasses since the mid-1980's and once I started using the computer in 1995 I required glasses to read the monitor. In the summer of 2004 we started taking cod liver oil for overall health reasons. Within a couple of months a persistent knee pain disappeared, but the most obvious improvement was in night vision. This was first noticed in March 2005 during a trip to Florida. We don't drive much at night, but in this case we were making a one hour drive from Bradenton to Brandon late in the evening. Shortly after getting on the Interstate, I noticed how well I could see the signs and how much further in the distance they could be read. This noticeable night vision improvement continues to this day.

In August of 2005 I felt that my computer glasses were causing problems. I tried reading the computer screen without glasses and found that it was considerably easier and quite clear. Naturally, the next test was reading a book in the evening, which also went well as long as the print was not very small. After also doing daily eye strengthening exercises (mostly the Bates Method), I now use no glasses at all! Some fine print and reading in low light still is a problem, but it sure is nice without glasses. The presbyopia reduction chart I use can be downloaded as a pdf file at
Caffine Experiment
Barbara decided to give up drinking coffee and see if it made any difference in overall health. She had withdrawal symptoms for about 6 days with day 4 being the worst, but then she felt normal. Within the next month she lost 5 pounds and her blood pressure dropped significantly to 116/67! She additionally noticed a decrease in some dizziness that was experienced before. Other than that, there were no other noticeable changes. She has returned to drinking about 1/2 cup per day and an occasional cup when eating elsewhere, all without any adverse effects.

Jack also decided in July 2007 to do a test and see if he would benefit from no caffeine. Blood pressure, pulse, and weight were recorded for 8 days before giving up coffee and then for 11 days without coffee. No withdrawal effects were noted, but no great improvements were seen either. Sleep patterns remained the same and energy levels were unaffected. Blood pressure average before the test was 111/75 with a pulse of 39 and a weight of 158; the 11 day test period averages were 104/70 and 38 with no weight change. So, while there was a slight drop in blood pressure it wasn't considered significant enough to be considered a benefit. Therefore, Jack has returned to drinking several cups of coffee each day.
Vaccination Warning!
If you or anyone you know is planning to get the flu shot, don't do it until you read FLU SHOT DANGERS FAR OUTWEIGH BENEFITS on National Health Federation. This evil is presented every year along with all the fear-based headlines that make people think death awaits all who ignore the shot. If that article isn't enough to dissuade you then check out Flu Deaths Outrageously Exaggerated, or go to The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) for other information that presents a true picture.

We never get the shots and the last time Jack had the flu was in 1977 when the Air Force made him take the "safe" flu shot.

A comprehensive article covering the myths regarding vaccinations for yourself and all the family: "Dispelling Vaccination Myths".
Vaccine Truth is a must-read site for anyone with children. Parents do have the right to refuse vaccinations in all states. Vaccination Liberation addresses this also.
Much of the information we read and hear regarding dental care is confusing and counter-productive. There is a lot written about how fluoride is actually bad for your teeth and overall health, but it's still added to the water supply, promoted in tooth paste, and applied by dentists. Mercury in fillings has been a problem for years, yet the problem is widely ignored. Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen has an article that addresses the problems: 2006 Biggest Health Threat to the United States - US Dentistry. Once again, if you want good dental health some personal action is required.

We've adopted the following approach:
  • Brush the teeth with baking soda (we've used bar soap in the past and it is also acceptable). This keeps most plaque from forming and leaves the teeth feeling very clean with no coating. Brushing after every meal is optimum.
  • Floss teeth often; once a day is a good idea.
  • Visit the dentist only for an emergency, which has not happened for years. Regular flossing and brushing keeps our teeth fine.
  • Avoid fluoride as much as possible. We "solarize" our drinking water to dissipate the fluoride and chlorine, but a good water filter is even better.
Dr. Gerard F. Judd, Ph.D., Chemistry and Fluoride Researcher, has written a book on the subject, but he also has a good article online, Good Teeth From Birth To Death.
Dangerous Ingredients In Skin Moisturizers
  • PETROLAUM (mineral oil jelly): A petroleum derivative that clogs skin from taking in oxygen and releasing toxins.
  • METHYL PROPYL BUYTL and ETHYL PARABEN: Used as preservative to extend products' shelf life and may cause allergic reactions and rashes. Contains highly toxic carcinogenic formaldehyde-releasing ingredients.
  • SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES: Can contain hundreds of chemicals, usually only identify chemicals as "fragrance". Synthetic fragrances cause headaches, dizziness, rashes, coughing, vomiting, skin irritations, etc.
  • PROPYLENE GLYCOL: Derived from petroleum. It is so dangerous that the EPA requires workers to wear protective wear when working with it. The National Toxicology Program classifies Propylene Glycol as a skin and eye irritant, possible carcinogen and known to cause liver and kidney damage.
  • SODUIM LAURYL (LAURETH) SULFATE (SLS or SLES): Holds oil and water together and acts as a detergent causing your products to foam. One of SLS's original uses was as an industrial garage floor cleaner. Now used in personal-care products added to everything from shampoos, toothpastes, bubble baths and lotions. SLS absorbs easily and causes skin irritations, itchiness, cracking, dandruff and infections.
  • PEG (Polyethylene Glycol): PEG's are used to dissolve oil and grease, and to thicken products. They are used in many personal care products as well as in oven cleaner. They are also potentially cancer causing and strip the skin of its natural moisture factor.
  • TALC (Magnesium Silicate): a natural mineral found and lung irritant, and is widely used in makeup and body powders. Talc has been linked to ovarian and lung cancer. It is NOT biodegradable.
  • DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine): three are hormone-disrupting chemicals and form cancer-causing agents. They are easily absorbed by the skin, and research indicates a strong link to liver and kidney cancer.
  • FORMALDEHYDE: Widely used in cosmetics as a germicide, preservative and fungicide. Formaldehyde is very often in cosmetics and not listed as an ingredient. It's suspected as a powerful carcinogenic and mutagenic, damaging and inhibiting the repair of DNA.
  • ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL: petroleum derived, and is used in antifreeze and shellac. It penetrates the skin easily and is thought to destroy intestinal flora, leaving your body's major organs open to parasites, and thus to cancers.
  • ARTIFICIAL COLORS: Generally referred to on labels as "FD and C" Many are suspected of causing cancer.