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Frequently Asked Questions



Doctor Yourself?  Do you honestly think you can become your own doctor? 

Very often, yes. This is neither impossible nor illegal, and is more and more essential all the time. Healing is too big a topic for any one person to know it all. While that statement includes me and you, it also includes your doctor. But it is not impossible to learn more than your doctor knows, particularly in key areas. You can go to any book or paper in print, read it, apply it, and draw practical conclusions from it.  What you will read is just what any physician reads.  In fact, you may discover material that your doctor never saw, or did see and never investigated.  With a good bibliography, an inquiring mind, and gradual experience, there is no reason why you cannot gain considerable competence in treating yourself and your immediate family in many instances. Remember that in doing your research you will also learn when you really do need a physician.

How can you say this?  Aren't doctors the ones for this duty; isn't it their special province to be the formally educated authorities on health? 

Commonly, yes: but a doctor's authority in America often exceeds his or her knowledge.  Whole bodies of knowledge in healing  are ignored because they are unorthodox and non-medical. A doctor's education seems exhaustive, yet MDs study so much of drugs and surgery, and so little of nutrition, fasting, herbal remedies, spinal manipulation, massage, vitamin and mineral therapy, homeopathy, and more that we realize their qualifications are only partial. This takes nothing away from their dedication as individuals, but being individuals they are prone to following certain theories over other theories, particular practices over other alternatives, and holding opinions as well as facts.  This is true with any person, certainly, but it is our responsibility to cover all possible ground in our efforts to cure and prevent illness.  If we learn more than the doctor in areas of value to our health, it is our duty to apply this knowledge to the betterment of ourselves and our family.  We need total health more than medically approved health. Our wellness should not be limited to our doctor's experience, but enhanced by our own experience.

Isn’t the science of modern medicine is too much for a layperson to learn?

Medicine is aptly described as an art, not a science. To this end, four different doctors may have up to four different diagnoses or prescriptions. "Who will decide when doctors disagree" is an epigram that calls the question.  Indeed, whose judgment is final for your health and life?  Why not have you decide? This seems an awesome responsibility, yet we do it every day. Any mother or father, adult or child constantly makes the most immediate health decisions as the occasion arises.  The cut, the cold, the fever, the ache: all these and the serious emergencies too are in our hands first. Even if help is called for, who decides until the doctor arrives? The persons present.  The Red Cross would like all of us to be educated and trained to capably "hold the fort" until medical reinforcements arrive. This is good, but so incomplete. When medical technology takes over, too many of us breathe a sigh of relief.

What can I do to take charge of my own healthcare?

This is the pivotal question:  It is not necessary for us to turn over the responsibility for our wellness to another.  The pioneers in this country couldn't, and evidence is mounting that we, today, shouldn't.  In 2004, a major paper entitled Death by Medicine statistically demonstrated that medical care kills about one million Americans each year, making it the number one cause of death in the USA. Click here to read the entire paper Unfortunately, this is by no means a recent revelation. A reading of Medical Nemesis by Ivan Illich (NY: Bantam, 1977, and I understand there was a revised edition in the 1980s) provides similar meticulous substantiation  (one sentence actually contains seven footnotes) that medical care is harmful to health, and even at best is statistically valueless. So thorough was Illich's dissection of orthodox medicine that the British Medical Association began a self-investigation based on his findings. Examples: the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota once admitted that their diagnosis rate was only about 50% correct. Twenty per cent or more of laboratory tests are inaccurate. One out of five patients today is in the hospital because incorrect treatment by a physician put him or her there. This is called the "iatrogenic" or doctor-caused illness. Malpractice suits are numerous enough that one may reasonably conclude that there is certainly no guarantee of proper health care by contracting it out. Can we do better? Quite possibly. No person knows your body better than you. The world's most sophisticated and sensitive diagnostic apparatus is your own body's feelings. We also can take more time and interest and give more attention to our personal health than a hired professional can. We have learned to go get medical help, not to give it.  We have learned to relay our body's needs to another, not to provide them ourselves. This can be turned around again.

Easy to say; hard to do.  What if we do it ourselves, and do it wrong?

Much of the fear of doing something wrong vanishes when we are knowledgeable about what we are doing. There is no fence around health information. to keep us from learning it.  Likewise, there is no law preventing us from applying our acquired knowledge in practice to benefit ourselves and our immediate family. The key is to gain the knowledge by wanting to learn, by wanting the responsibility for our own health, and doing something to learn to do it ourselves. Let no fear, nor any culturally-implied uniqueness of the doctor's profession keep you from wellness self-reliance.

Are you a physician?  Who are you to talk?

I am most certainly not a physician. I am a natural therapeutics consultant. My clients all have their own attending physicians. I do not in any way take the place of your doctor(s), nor do I diagnose, treat or prescribe. I am an educator, trying to provide people with as much specific, detailed and practical alternative health information as possible. What I offer is based on 30 years’ experience. You can read more about me elsewhere on this website if you choose. Or, you can click “home” or “back” and get out of here with your values unaltered.

What do I need this website, or for that matter, do I need you for?  Surely doctors today have far more open minds about alternative health methods?

Medical doctors are called medical doctors for a reason. They go to medical schools and they learn medicine and practice medicine. Now substitute the word “Nutrition” for the words “Medicine” and “Medical” in the sentences above and see how impossible it sounds. So most medical personnel remain largely unfamiliar with non-medical treatments, and tend to dismiss them without knowing about what they're dismissing. This is a great loss to the doctor as well as to the public. 

Are you selling something?

Yes. I offer my books for sale.

Aren’t you selling vitamins or herbs or some multi-level marketing thing?

No.  I have no financial connection with any manufacturer, sales organization, or distributor. I’ve had an incredible number of offers to do so over the past decades, but no, I won’t do it. If I sold juicers or supplements, I think most people would (correctly) see that as a conflict of interest. 

How do I know you aren’t just a crank or some wacko posting all of this just to mislead people?

Let the methods mentioned here stand on their own merits; don't take my word for it. I do choose to share useful information that I've gathered together and tried out. What you do with this information is up to you, just as how you apply your education to your life is up to you. You can either click out of here, or read my references.

A lot of the media, professional organizations, politicians, and physicians aren’t going to concur with your ideas here, are they?

Nope, especially since I believe that alternative healing methods are much more than just temporary or half measures. I am not going to give you yet another "use drugs wisely" or "help your doctor help you" speech. That stops short of true wellness self-reliance because it always defers final say to the doctor, and trust medical, conventional treatments for the "real illnesses." That will not be the case here. I believe that your doctor works for you, not the other way around.  Your physician is your contractor, and it’s your jobsite. Following the government's health advice, the American Medical Association, the American Dietetic Association, the syndicated doctor's advice columns in the newspaper, or television commercials for patent remedies will not be recommended, either. Rather, I offer some unusual substantiation, references, research summaries, obscure clinical material, unpopular preventive or therapeutic measures, little known or under-used facts and approaches to do-it-yourself health. My presentation is incomplete, of course, because there is so much to know.  Hopefully, this will be a starting point, sort of a "health homesteader's handbook."

You have listed some serious illnesses on the index page.  Do you really believe that natural healing can go that far?

Yes.  Natural therapies aren't just another way to fight disease but are often a superior way to eliminate disease. This website focuses as much as possible on the “real” diseases. Natural healing gets down to the real basics such as your diet and everyday lifestyle... the things that really cause our illnesses, and are really difficult to change. Nature cure is so simple yet all-embracing that it is best carried out by the patient daily life.  No one can follow you around to see that you eat right, exercise and live happily.  While it is true that in Europe, people have always gone to nature-cure spas or clinics for care, and do see "biological" or naturopathic physicians for advice, it is a distinguishing feature of natural therapies that they are straightforward enough and reliable enough to safely do on your own, at home.  Medicine has to be dispensed by a pharmacist, surgery by surgeons, drugs by prescription. Drug and surgery treatment is not by nature safe, for in one case a chemical or poison is added to the body, and in the other an organ or part of the body is removed.  Numerous side effects of medicines are known, and one needs only to look through a copy of the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) to verify this. Bear in mind that this 2,500 page volume only describes the known cautions, side effects and contra-indications for drugs listed; it says nothing for what is not yet known about them.  (Any pharmacy has a copy or two of the PDR and most will let you thumb through it at the drug counter. It is published annually by the Medical Economics Company., OradellNew Jersey 07649 and costs about $80.)

Certainly more people have more confidence in hospitals, MDs and pharmacists than in nature-cures, don’t they?

Probably, but it is changing fast. Over half of all Americans will see an alternative practitioner this year. Still, why do we so mistrust home remedies, supplements, rest, water treatments, juice-fasting and diet revision when they have so very few harmful side effects? Often because we haven't seen the evidence that they work, or because they lack official recognition and the prestige that comes with a treatment being expensive and complicated. The evidence exists that natural therapies work, in fact work better than allopathic (drug) methods. I cite such evidence, ask you to email me if you can help me cite it better, and provide bibliography that will enable you to cite still more. 

If nature-cure is so effective, why have my doctors not prescribed it for me?

It's unreasonable to expect medical doctors and pharmaceutical companies to tell you how to avoid their services by trying the alternatives.  You are not going to get a Republican politician to tell you to vote Democratic, and you can’t get chow mein in a French restaurant.  Hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies all share a common Achilles’ heel: they all profit from disease. I wish this were not the case, but follow the money and consider the results.

What is the legality of all this?

It is not illegal to treat yourself or your immediate family. We do have the right to freedom of the press, which means I can print information, and you can read it.  If you choose to treat yourself and your family, that is within your rights also, and is necessarily your sole decision based on what you know to be best. Self care means accepting some risk, and accepting much responsibility.  It is not for all people or all cases. It has been highly effective for my family. My kids made it all the way into college without ever having even one dose of any antibiotic.

Copyright 2007 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul. Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )


Andrew W. Saul


AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition.  Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise.  Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician.  Consult your doctor before making any health decision. 

Neither the author nor the webmaster has authorized the use of their names or the use of any material contained within in connection with the sale, promotion or advertising of any product or apparatus. Single-copy reproduction for individual, non-commercial use is permitted providing no alterations of content are made, and credit is given.



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