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Food for Thought: Become Your Own Best Doctor

by Dr. Dave Schemberger

There are times when we all need a good doctor to fix some problem like a broken arm or a serious infection, but the best doctor to guarantee optimum health and long life is in our own hands and minds. Over the past hundred years, we have surrendered our responsibility for good health to an elite group of medical professionals. I will admit these professionals have made some great advances, but many of us now live in fear that without a doctor, a hospital, or an insurance policy we are sure to succumb to some dreadful disease. Nothing could be further from the truth. Traditional thinking – and now medical science – shows that most diseases plaguing us today are of our own making and can be prevented or cured by simple changes in lifestyle: what we eat and how we treat our bodies. The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” has renewed validity today, and people are starting to think about it. Modern diseases that affect both young and old such as cancer, arthritis, obesity, asthma, and attention deficit syndrome can be prevented, and to a great extent cured, by changes in our habits. There is no longer any need to spend massive amounts of money and resources on becoming healthy. A classic example is coronary artery disease — heart attacks, a major killer in the United States — currently treated with bypass and other invasive surgeries at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars per operation. Leading cardiologists like Dean Ornish, M.D. (Reversing Heart Disease) have shown that 90% of all coronary artery disease can be prevented or cured through diet and exercise – a remedy available to anyone at essentially no cost. But hospitals and surgeons continue to cut, because they are deeply invested in the old way of thinking that says, “treat it after it starts rather than prevent it before it happens.” Historically, medical knowledge was held secret from the general public. However, today, current health information is available to almost everyone. Reliable sources include health food stores, the internet, newspapers, and books or magazines. It is our responsibility to sort the good from the bad and apply what we learn to protect our health. Most medical doctors are trained in high science and drug therapy. They get little training on how to be healthy. As a medical doctor myself, I am sorry to say that medicine has become big business, and big business finds little money in telling people how to take care of themselves. Yet it is the simplest thing in the world to do. So I am telling you, become your own best doctor, your own best insurance policy. You can give up the fear about disease; you can change unhealthy habits into healthy ones. You can cleanse your blood, you can build your immune system, you can exercise your muscles, reduce your stress, detoxify your liver and invigorate your digestion. You can avoid serious illness. You can fine-tune your health in your own home, in your own kitchen. The artful science behind nutritional and holistic health is now well understood, and the methods are within almost everyone’s grasp. You can live to a great old age with dignity and vibrancy. The human body is exquisitely designed for health and survival. Learn to take care of it and it will serve you well. Remember, healthy people don’t get sick.

Dr. Dave is a retired physician who lives in Riverwest. He is an organic food gardener and trains people in the practice of self-health and longevity. He recommends Be Your Own Doctor by Ann Wigmore and Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch, M.D. Both are available at Outpost Natural Foods.