"From the foldings of its robe, the spirit brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment. 'This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all beware this boy.'" (Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol")
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 5, No. 10 for July, 2005)
"Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."
Copyright 2005 by Andrew W. Saul of http://www.doctoryourself.com , which welcomes over 1.5 million visitors annually. Commercial use of the website or the contents of this Newsletter is strictly prohibited.
IN THIS ISSUE:
1) MEDLINE vs. J. ORTHOMOLECULAR MEDICINE: LATEST NEWS
2) HOW YOU CAN HELP BRING ABOUT POSITIVE CHANGE
3) FREE ONLINE HEALTH RESOURCES
4) VITAMIN C FIGHTS MALARIA
6) REVIEWS: DOCTOR YOURSELF
7) LUNG PROBLEMS
8) CANCER, CHEMO AND VITAMIN C
8a.) Notes on Vitamin C Saturation for Sick Bodies
9) HOW TO SEARCH
10) UNSTRESS YOUR LIFE: THE BAR-ROOM FIGHT
MEDLINE BIAS: A REVIEW AND UPDATE
With Medline ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi ), you can access abstracts of millions of medical papers, online, instantly and at no charge. Over half a million individual citations are added each year. The public loves Medline; nearly two million people use it every day. Medline is like a "Google" search engine for medical publications. This excellent, free service is brought to you by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Library of Medicine. In other words, by tax dollars. Generally it is money well spent, until you go searching for megavitamin therapy research papers. Then you will find that you can't find all of them. That is because of selective indexing.
While most medical journals are listed and accessible, the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, now read in nearly 40 countries, is not. ( http://www.orthomed.org/jom/jomlist.htm ) What are the consequences of such exclusion? In a nutshell, it prevents the public from using their computers to learn about all of the scientific research and clinical reports demonstrating the effectiveness of megavitamin (orthomolecular) therapy. It also greatly hampers professionals from seeing pro-vitamin studies. Have you ever wondered why so many doctors simply do not know about vitamin therapy? Well, wonder no longer. LET'S LOOK AT THE SCORE
Exactly how is the decision made as to which studies people may or may not see?
I have in front of me the actual judging scoresheets for the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine's previous appraisals by the National Library of Medicine's Medline "Literature Selection Technical Review Committee." The Journal was previously reviewed in 1989, 1993, 2000 and again in 2002. Medline uses a point scale of zero to 5, with five being the highest recommendation for indexing, and zero being the lowest.
On February 2, 1989, the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine received a 0.0 rating.
On March 4, 1993, the Journal again received a 0.0 score. This, by the way, was after JOM had published no fewer than six papers by Linus Pauling.
One cannot escape the significance of these 1989 and 1993 National Library of Medicine reviews that found ABSOLUTELY NO VALUE WHATSOEVER to the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. After all, "0.0" is not merely a low mark. "0.0" represents an absolute dearth of merit. And "zero point zero" states it so flatly as to leave no room for alternate interpretations.
On June 8, 2000, JOM received a 1.5 rating. Out of five, not nearly high enough to qualify for indexing.
By then, the Journal had been published for 30 consecutive years.
The review of June 6, 2002 brought JOM a rating of 1. Out of five.
THE OCTOBER 2004 REVIEW
We now have the results of NLM's latest (October 2004) review of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.
In this most recent evaluation, Medline's review committee specifically indicated that the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine had "little importance to researchers"; "little importance to educators"; "little importance to students" and "no importance to administrators"; "no importance to policy makers"; and "no importance to allied health professionals."
JOM, therefore, received a "2" out of five, the best score yet.
In a letter dated 11 January 2005 from Medline executive editor Sheldon Kotzin, whose full title is Chief, Bibliographic Services Division, National Library of Medicine, Mr. Kotzin states:
"The Committee recently met and reviewed a number of journal titles including the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. The indexing priority assigned to the journal by the Committee was not high enough for the title to be indexed by the Library at this time."
Interestingly, Mr. Kotzin's very next sentence was,
"Please CANCEL any complimentary subscription being sent to my office." The emphasis was his own. In one email to a Doctor Yourself Newsletter reader, Mr. Kotzin wrote: "No one would argue against a well-informed user; however, human and budgetary resources will not allow us to index every one of the 22,000 journals to which we subscribe."
Taking the sum of all evidence, I believe that statement is neither fair nor accurate.
On-line indexing and availability are all the more important now that, after 125 years of publication, the NLM's Index Medicus is no longer available in print. Electronic, on-line Medline has taken over.
And 38 years of nutrition research is missing from it.
Perhaps all this is not surprising. Medline has steadfastly refused to index the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine for almost four decades. Let it now be said: The emperor has no clothes. The National Library of Medicine/Medline is biased.
(Excerpted with permission from Saul AW. Medline bias. [Editorial] J Orthomolecular Med. 2005, 20:1, p 10-16.)
HOW YOU CAN HELP BRING ABOUT POSITIVE CHANGE
by Richard Putman http://alternative-health-answers.info/meet-Rich.html
Chances are when you’ve read some compelling information in The Doctor Yourself Newsletter, you’ve thought, “Some people in a position to DO something should know about this.” In this article I’ll describe how you can have such an impact. Because I live in the USA, that will be the orientation of my suggestions. But there are likely similar options available in some other countries.
FEDERAL ROAD BLOCKS
Often what is blocking the adoption of safer, cheaper, holistic approaches to health are federal policies and/or regulations. There is a convenient way for you to contact people who represent you in Washington DC. Visit http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/ If the first thing you see is an overlay ad, just click the X box in the upper right corner to close the ad. Because I’ve been registered for so long, I don’t recall at which point visitors are asked to register. Registering makes your future visits super efficient. I’ve been registered for years and have experienced NO adverse experiences (such as spam) as a result.
Type in your zip code and click GO. On the next page, click on “Compose Your Own Message”. This takes you to a page that has check boxes for you to indicate who you want your letter to go to and whether you want to send your message by e-mail or letter. E-mail is free; physical letters will cost you something, but will also stand out from the crowd of e-mails: your choice.
The page that you’re now on is the page you should bookmark. You’ll want to rename it to make easy to remember what it’s about. [Right click the bookmark; select rename.] Note that this page is for your state only. I use this page often. Next, choose a subject that summarizes what you’re writing about. Ideally, it should be in the form of a clear-cut benefit. Example: How to slash health care costs. When it comes to the text of your letter, the FIRST thing to remember is that these people in Washington receive thousands of incoming letters, so be considerate of their time and be brief. First, write a very short personal introduction about why you think the subject is important. Then if it’s an article that you’re writing about, and the article is reasonably short, you could send the whole article. If the article is long, you might copy one or two key paragraphs from the article and provide a link to the complete article, so that the recipient can read it all if he/she wishes. It’s important to remember to give credit to the sources you include in your letter.
"The Truth about the Drug Companies" by Marcia Angell, M.D., was recently reviewed in the Doctor Yourself Newsletter (http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v5n8.txt ). I sent this review to my U.S. representative and the two U.S. senators, with a subject something like “An Answer to Rising Health Care Costs” and this preface:
"There's a lot of moaning and wringing of hands about the continually rising cost of "health care," a major portion of which is the cost of prescription drugs. Some ANSWERS to this dilemma are laid out in a book by the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, as described in the review below, written by Dr. Andrew W. Saul of http://www.doctoryourself.com. The revelations in the book could form the basis for much needed reform spearheaded by any courageous federal legislator who realizes that, for the sake of integrity, things need to CHANGE."
Before selecting the SEND button, you’ll be offered some related send options, each of which is described. You can read them and make your own choices.
The chances are very good that you’ll get a generic “Thank you for writing” response from each person you send your letter to. But the important thing is that you stood up and you were heard. If we all do the same, the world will change . . . for the better.
FREE ONLINE HEALTH RESOURCES:
IF YOU MISSED THE "DOCTOR YOURSELF" RADIO PROGRAM:
You can hear my June 13 interview, all 57 minutes of it, by going to http://voice.voiceamerica.com/cms.php?CMSLink=ez/index.php/plain/content/search?SearchText=saul , and there clicking the "Natural Healing that Works" interview. It is free of charge.
If you'd like me to be a "regular" on Voice America, you can so suggest at http://www.voice.voiceamerica.com/va_contact.htm .
EXCELLENT DIETING DOCUMENTARY ONLINE
"Nobody ever got rich marketing self-control," says the PBS' Frontline program "Diet Wars", April, 2004. Well said indeed! Watch the full program for free at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/diet ).
WHERE ARE THE BODIES?
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA POSTS VITAMIN SAFETY TESTIMONY
It's all at http://www.parl.gc.ca/infocomdoc/38/1/HESA/Meetings/Evidence/HESAEV41-E.HTM#Int-1277635
FREE PRESS RELEASE SERVICE
For a free subscription to all OMNS (Orthomolecular Medicine News Service) press releases, please go to directly to http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html .
To get your local newspapers and newscasters on the list to receive OMNS, please send me an email with **their email addresses** to doctoryourself.com/contact.html .
FAR BE IT FOR ME TO CRITICIZE McDONALD'S… Because others have done it so well already! http://billboardliberation.com/ronald.html
CONFIRMATION: YES, VITAMIN C FIGHTS MALARIA
On March 5, 2003, the Doctor Yourself Newsletter ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v3n8.txt ) suggested a novel approach for treating malaria, a disease that kills over two million people annually, mostly children: have all malaria patients take megadoses of vitamin C.
I am very pleased to report that recent research has now validated this hypothesis.
"Falciparum malaria infection is associated with significant destruction of erythrocytes. This leads to the release of toxic metabolic products, including oxidant compounds. We measured the serum concentration of the antioxidant, ascorbic acid, in 129 patients presenting with acute falciparum malaria infection and in 65 healthy individuals. . . (A)scorbic acid plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of acute falciparum malaria in adults. Infected children also need to be given supplemental doses of ascorbate in view of the weakness of their immune system." (Hassan GI, Gregory U, Maryam H. Serum ascorbic acid concentration in patients with acute Falciparum malaria infection: possible significance. Braz J Infect Dis. 2004 Oct;8(5):378-381. Epub 2005 Mar 17. ) Though not affiliated with the above authors, we have actually been field-testing this idea for over ten years. In the early 1990's, I presented the megadose-vitamin-C concept to some of the missionary Sisters of St. Joseph based in Rochester, NY. The result was published in the Jan. 5, 2003 DY News http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v3n4.txt :
"Vitamin C is now part of the daily lives of the Myky tribe in Brazil’s Goias rainforests, thanks to the efforts of Sister Suzie Wills, SSJ and a number of other Sisters of St. Joseph. Suzie has been very effective in getting native people eating not only citrus fruits and berries, but also taking C powder and tablets on a regular basis. She reports healthier children and babies, and that infant mortality has dramatically decreased. Sister Suzie is now at Olinda, near Recife, Brazil, but is soon expected to be headed to back to Goiania."
I love this job!
D. N. writes: "Your advice on mononucleosis (http://www.doctoryourself.com/mono.html ) proved to be useful when my five year old contracted it last week (proved by a blood test). His fever spiked 104.3 overnight and his glands swelled like chipmunk cheeks. A visit to the pediatrician came with a warning that he'd likely be down for a week or more. Three days of megadose C and he was tearing around with the neighbor kids and back to his usual smart-alecky self.
"I knew what the answer would be when I asked the M.D. about treatments for mono, but I just smiled quietly to myself and suppressed a laugh when Dr. There's-Nothing-You-Can-Do-For-A-Virus answered with a flippant "rest, fluids, kiddie Tylenol" as I knew he would. What matters is that I know, and the kids know what to do when the viral train rolls through. Reach for the "C", and go off your feed except for fruit and juice."
(DY Comment: Thank you for your letter. This is just how it worked for my kids, too. Simple, safe, successful self-reliance. What a concept!)
HEALTH CARE INSTEAD OF DISEASE CARE
An Amazon.com review of Doctor Yourself: Natural Healing that Works, by Robert McClain (Cleveland, OH) "Doctor Yourself" is titled and based on a simple premise: every person is responsible for their own health care. When a person abdicates that responsibility, they often place themselves in the hands of the "disease care" industry, a monolithic and profit-driven enterprise where getting well isn't the bottom line.
Through lively anecdote, personal history and accounts of patient education and treatment, Dr. Andrew Saul (not an M.D., by way of disclosure) takes the reader down a path most M.D.'s never dare to tread. Without a hint of pretension or medical braggadocio, the reader shares Dr. Saul's encounters with individuals as they seek relief from common maladies feeding the trillion dollar medical monsters of the Western world; arthritis, cancer, schizophrenia, depression, obesity, allergies, heart disease and many more.
We're also introduced to a "Who's Who" of unjustly ignored medical pioneers like Abram Hoffer, Robert F. Cathcart, Wilfrid and Evan Shute, Linus Pauling and Frederick Klenner. These unconventional M.D.'s and researchers ignored the scorn and censure of their peers in order to treat patients with nutrition and lifestyle change rather than dogmatic, pharmaphilic (drug loving) therapies that most often do not cure, but merely attenuate a sufferer's condition.
Doctor Yourself is a page turner, written in a friendly, conversational style that takes you inside the interactions between healer and client, unafraid to detail the skepticism and even fear shown by patients when alternative medical advice runs counter to the normal drug, cut and radiate school of thought. In addition, Dr. Saul lists specific protocols for the use of nutrients as therapy; the reader is never left on their own to experiment or wonder at the possible safety of a potential cure.
It is clear that Dr. Saul has profound respect for the science and art of medicine, but far less for physicians and their patients who willfully remain blind to the value of nutrition, for hospitals that "serve green jello and white bread to cancer patients", to drug companies who relentlessly market to a gullible, insured public.
Based on what I've learned from this book, from Dr. Saul's website and from the many reference materials provided by both sources, I've been fortunate to cure sciatica that hobbled me for three months, and rid myself of hay fever to boot. My wife, an allergy sufferer of 30 years, hasn't touched prescription meds in two seasons. My two boys are healthier because of the changes the family made in diet, supplementation and exercise. Does that make readers of this book "health nuts"? Dr. Saul would ask, "Who wants to be a disease nut"?
Single or married, young, middle-aged or older... any person who lives in a human body will find inspiration and education in the pages of Doctor Yourself. You will find yourself turning to it again and again as a reference and "owners manual" for the body you're using.
DOCTOR YOURSELF: Comments by Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine student Amandha Vollmer www.AmandhasTidbits.blogspot.com
"I love Andrew Saul's book ‘Doctor Yourself”! The man is pretty freakin' groovy too. He and his book are wonderful and super clever as well as funny and witty. This is a great book for laypersons and doctors alike. I would recommend this to patients and I am working to get them in our CCNM book store. A fantastic website and tool to find out much info about your health: www.doctoryourself.com ."
(Editor's Note: I have waited all my life to be described as freakin' groovy. Now my wish is fulfilled.)
TO ORDER an autographed copy of DOCTOR YOURSELF: http://www.doctoryourself.com/order.html . Book sales provide the sole funding for this free Newsletter and the free DoctorYourself.com website.
by Robert Sarver, Doctor Yourself Staff Volunteer in Knoxville, TN
Doctors often lump together asthma, COPD, emphysema, bronchitis and similar problems and the treatment is often the same. I've had some asthma problems all my life and from bits and pieces learned here and there have found the following supplements have provided major relief from my asthma.
1. I take 3000 mg of vitamin C four times a day. Vitamin C helps moisten the lungs. http://www.doctoryourself.com/asthma.html
2. I take 500 mg of magnesium (as magnesium oxide) once a day. Magnesium relaxes the bronchial tubes. There is some additional magnesium in the multivitamin/multi-mineral I take each day. ( http://www.mgwater.com/asthprev.shtml and http://www.mgwater.com/asthma.shtml are references.)
3. I take 500 mg of acetyl l-carnitine (an amino acid derivative) immediately upon rising in the morning and then wait 45 minutes before eating. I take another 500 mg of acetyl l-carnitine about mid-morning. Acetyl l-carnitine works best when taken at least two hours after eating and then nothing to eat for 45 minutes after taking it. Acetyl l-carnitine helps break loose congestion in the lungs so that it is coughed up. This clears the lungs of congestion. ( http://www.diagnose-me.com/treat/T79010.html and http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-046a.shtml are references. )
The above supplements are safe, inexpensive and effective. They are all available in most large discount stores.
THE “C” WORD
by Jim Burnett, Doctor Yourself Staff Volunteer in Mission, Texas
"It was a dark and stormy night." Not really; it was about 9 AM on a bright, sunny Friday, morning (March 24, 2005) and my doctor had just told me that I had leukemia. My mother, bless her soul, would have said, “Oh, my land! You have the ‘C’ word!” She was scared to death that she would get the “C word” and the doctor wouldn’t tell her she had it.
Thankfully, according to the doctor it was the type of leukemia that was slow growing. The report said, "Moderate involvement by B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma.” With proper treatment and a little luck I should live for another five to 15 years. The 15-year number would put me at 90 years old. I liked that number the best. The doctor wanted to start a series of eight treatments using Rituximab (Retuxin) as soon as possible. I agreed and started the treatments that morning. I was taken to a bright, open, clean room where there were 12 “stalls” all facing, in a semi-circle, toward an area where the nurses had supplies and where the treatments were formulated. Every stall had a person sitting there with an IV. An IV was put into the back of my right hand. I sat in a recliner type chair while the IV slowly dripped the formula into my vein.
It took a little over three hours for that first treatment as about every 15 minutes a nurse would ask me how I felt and if I was having any reactions. Every time I said, “No” he would increase the speed of the drops. Finally the first treatment was finished with no adverse reactions on my part at all. By 6 PM that day, I was busy going through the Doctoryourself web site. After much research on the Internet, visits to the library and a health food store, I become more aware of what I had, and a little less apprehensive. Not much less, but a little. Linus Pauling recommended megadoses of Vitamin C, so I started out with 14,500 mg/day in 3 or 4 divided doses. I knew I had to work up to my saturation level that would occur when my body reached the maximum dosage it could handle. The saturation point is when you begin to have diarrhea. Vitamin C is water-soluble so when your body gets more than it can use, it dumps the extra amount into your bowels. I worked my way up to 25 grams a day. Nothing was happening. I went up to 30 grams and then 40 grams and I started getting a little concerned but I figured Dr. Pauling knew what he was talking about. When I hit 63 grams and still nothing was happening I really began to get anxious. Finally at 74 grams (74,000 mg)I reached my saturation point in a big way! During all this time I was taking my weekly cancer treatment on Friday morning. The treatment (and the vitamin C) must have started to work as my saturation point began to lower. At the end of the 4th treatment (I was half way there) my blood test showed a significant change for the good and I was down to 50 grams of vitamin C per day.
It was Friday May 20, 2005, another warm and sunny day here in the Rio Grande Valley of deep South Texas. I was called in so they could take a blood sample. It wasn’t too long when the doctor came by with a handful of papers including my file. He sat down and smiled at me (a good sign). Plus, he is a friendly doctor. Pulling out my latest blood report, he said, “All the blood tests are normal. The leukemia is gone, in remission.” (Praise the Lord!) “However," he added, "As I said before, this kind of cancer can come back so we will take more tests in October. At that time we will also check a very small spot that showed up in the last body scan. It is located in the upper lobe of the right lung. It is so small that it would be classified as ‘unspecific.’ We will have to keep an eye on that spot and on the leukemia, but for right now you are in good shape. I’ll see you in October.”
I am still taking vitamin C in quantities of about 47 grams a day with no side effects. I may push that a little just to see if I am at my saturation point. Using that much vitamin C caused me to switch early on to ascorbic acid powder or crystals. My local health food store had it in one pound bottles but, at the amount I was taking, the bottle didn’t last too long; so I went on the Internet. Using a search engine, I typed in “Ascorbic Acid” (without the quotes) and found places where I could buy powdered ascorbic acid cheaply in quantity. I feel much better now and look forward to many more years of healthy living.
Observing the amount of vitamin C a body can hold before loose stools occur is a simple but remarkably reliable indicator of how sick that body is. It is common for a person to hold much less vitamin C as their health improves; that is a marker of progress. ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/cancer_2.html and http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html ).
Dr. Hilary Roberts writes ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n19.txt ): "An individual can find their vitamin C burn-rate using Dr. Robert Cathcart’s bowel tolerance measure ( http://www.orthomed.com ). To be in dynamic flow, one would need doses totaling half or more of the person’s normal bowel tolerance level. These should be divided into four or more daily doses, since vitamin C is excreted quickly. It is important to remember that the bowel tolerance level is variable and would change quickly if the person contracted an illness."
Additional note: Please remember that the Doctor Yourself Newsletter does NOT provide readers with personal recommendations, nor with contact information for vitamin product suppliers.
“WHAT IS THAT SEARCH BOX FOR, ANYWAY?” by Christine Gundersen, Doctor Yourself Staff Volunteer in Denver, PA
Have you ever typed a word into the Search box at the www.doctoryourself.com website, only to see the results come up and think, “no way can I wade through all that”? Or have you noticed it and thought, hmm, but never tried it?
For those of you who have noticed it or have tried it, you might also have noticed that it has changed its look in recent weeks. But what you might not know is how much more powerful that little search feature has become since being integrated with Google.
This integration allows us to take advantage of Google’s sophisticated and powerful search tool while giving you the choice to either search just the doctoryourself.com website, or the entire web, (internet) for any health question your heart desires. Now that’s mind boggling!
If you want to learn how to take advantage of this, please follow along with me. EXPLORING THE SEARCH BOX
First of all, at the top of the box you will see a note indicating that any advertisements you come across while using the search feature originate with Google’s search engine, not DoctorYourself’s. The doctoryourself.com website has never accepted advertising or promotional fees in any way, shape or form. That policy has not changed. You can trust that there is no hidden agenda at DY.
Now on to the Search feature itself:
Under the word Google (in all those pretty colors), you will see a space for typing. We’ll call that the ENTRY BOX. Directly under the entry box you will see a green rectangular box labeled ‘Google Search’. We’ll call that the SEARCH BUTTON. And directly under that button you will see two choices with little round “things” next to them. For our purposes we will call those RADIO BUTTONS. You will notice that one has a black dot in it. Try clicking with your mouse inside the circle that doesn’t have a black dot and see what happens. Sure enough, the dot disappears from one radio button and appears in the other. (If you are old enough and think about the buttons on the radio in your first car, you can probably guess how they got their name.)
PUTTING IT TO WORK
Just for fun, type the word FROG in the entry box.
Skip over the entry button for now and look at the two choices below it. You can choose to search only www.doctoryourself.com for frog or you can choose to search the entire web for frog.
For this example leave the default www.doctoryourself.com radio button selected. When you complete the next step the results you get will be exclusively from www.doctoryourself.com.
At this point you have a choice, you can either click on the search button with your mouse or you can simply “hit” (softly please) the Enter key on your keyboard. Do one of those now.
Surprise, surprise! There are frogs at doctoryourself.com! If you look at the brief descriptions you will see that one takes you to a past newsletter where is noted the similarity between our anatomy and that of a frog in a discussion about Gandhi’s formula for health. The other result would take us to an article on the site where the nervous system of a frog was freed up by immersion in 10% nitric acid.
Now let’s try the other search location. Go back to the www.doctoryourself.com home page and make this change: Type the word FROG in the entry box (if it’s not still there). This time, click the radio button next to WEB. Then click the search button (or hit the enter key).
WOW! There are just a FEW more frogs out there in cyberspace than there were on the doctoryourself.com website! (Even a few cute pictures, too.)
While you have this “results” page displayed, take a look near the top of the page where you will see the word Google (again in those pretty colors). Next to it you will see an entry box with the word frog in it.
If you look directly under the entry box you will see that the two choices for search locations are also displayed here as: "Search WWW" and "Search www.doctoryourself.com"
In the previous example we returned to the search box on the DY website to change search locations but we could have changed search locations right here on the results page instead. Both methods yield the same results.
If an example as silly as this yields results of worth, just imagine what typing something like anemia, lupus, diabetes or arthritis could yield. Go ahead and try it, but be sure you set aside a good block of time to read the vast amount of information you will discover on just the DoctorYourself web site.
If you think about it, you can see how searching only on doctoryourself.com and then searching the entire Internet for the same word or term could be a great cross-reference tool when researching a particular topic. We’ll talk more about that in future installments.
And that concludes the first installment of our Search Series. Stay tuned for the next one, when we learn how to fine-tune a search using the "Advanced Search" features. In the meantime, play with the search function: you just might be surprised to find a lot of your questions already have answers lurking ‘out there’ on www.doctoryourself.com!
UNSTRESS YOUR LIFE, Part Four, by John Mosher, PhD Biology Professor Emeritus, State University of New York
THE BAR-ROOM FIGHT
I used to startle my students by saying, “Do you know why I never get into barroom fights? Well, the reason is very simple, it is because I don’t go into barrooms.” The point I was making with this comment is, if you don’t go there, it cannot happen!
A lot of a person’s suffering comes from going to a place, either physically or mentally, that causes suffering to them. A goodly amount of our suffering or stressful discomfort amounts to choices we make and perhaps creative solutions we do not make. So the obvious lesson to be learned and acted upon is to make choices which are most likely to reduce the stress and promote well being. That is, make choices when possible to avoid stressful situations.
Many times we do not have a choice. For example if your job is stressful and you like the job or are unable to change jobs then another strategy must be used. When one is unable to change the physical circumstances then ones perception must be altered. In her classic book, Eleanor H. Porter has the heroine, Pollyanna, doing this all the time. The technique Pollyanna uses to view what might be an unpleasant or stressful situation in a positive way is sometimes called “The Glad Game.” Pollyanna plays the “Glad Game” by viewing all situations in a positive way. She tries to find what she can be glad about in the situation. By seeing the positive aspects of a situation you may turn that situation from an unpleasant or stressful one into a challenge or some kind of learning experience. For example I think there is general agreement that the emotion of anger is quite stressful. I was talking with a woman one day and she made the comment that when things did not go as she hoped she got angry. I thought to myself: she must be angry quite a lot. It does not seem like a very creative way to approach the problems inherent in life. I said to her, “You mean you would get angry if you went to use your car and found a tire was flat?” “Yes, that would really make me mad: one more thing to contend with!” she responded. Then I said, “Well, after you were upset and put your nervous system through all the stress of being angry what would you have to do?” “I guess I would have to get the tire repaired or replaced,” she said. I then suggested to her that she might like to try a new approach for getting her tire fixed which leaves out the anger. I said, “Why not try a three step approach?”
1. OBSERVE the flat tire. 2. ACCEPT the fact that it needs to be repaired or replaced. 3. ACT and get the tire replaced or repaired.
By accepting the situation as it is, it leaves one free to do what is necessary to remedy that particular situation. By using the approach of accepting the situation, stress and anger is eliminated. Of course such a situation may be inconvenient and cause expense, but that is how it is. So we work with how it is. The next time I saw this woman she told me that she had had some car trouble and was starting to feel the anger, when she remembered our previous conversation. By reminding herself that it was not necessary to get angry, she accepted the situation without anger and just got the car repaired. This type of perceptual change in ones view of an undesirable circumstance may eliminate a lot of stress. It is also more efficient to go right to acceptance and then problem solving, leaving out the emotional reaction.
In the case of a mental or emotional situation such as the loss of a job or the break-up of a relationship the same approach may apply. Like the barroom fight, if you don’t go there it cannot happen. So in the case of an emotional situation, the mind tends to go there and to obsess about the situation.
The powerful feelings of rejection are very hard on one’s self image, especially if one’s self image depends on externals such as always having the approval of others. The loss of a job or the loss of a relationship again are just life situations, in many ways not unlike the flat tire, except they involve more of the mind-created identity called ego and the thinking mind. If you allow your attention to go to this place, the place of attachment, fear, and regret, certainly you will suffer. However, if you recognize your feelings, without dwelling on them or denying them, you are positioned for a new step.
The new step is to accept the situation as it is and then move your attention within, that is, within the body in general. Do not allow your attention to go to the thinking mind. Be present in the moment of feeling your internal life energy. By going to the place of your body’s life energy, you are not obsessing about your life situation. By staying in the place of your life which is right here, right now, you are not replaying in your mind the "would have been, could have been, should have been" scenario. Instead, what you are doing is accepting the situation. You are staying conscious by recognizing and accepting the situation and realizing that no amount of obsessing thoughts or regrets will help. What WILL help is moving on to the present, the right here, right now, the only place you are really alive. As painful as the occurrence may have been, it does not help you to go over it except to consider what you learned from the experience. If you lost your job because you were consistently late for work then learn you must be punctual. If you lost your relationship because you were not dependable, then realize the importance of keeping your word. In general, after you have looked over the situation and gleaned the teaching, accept it and get on with your life by staying in the present. Deal with the here and now and do not go to the place of the obsessing mind. I am not suggesting denial. You do not deny. You recognize your feelings, then accept the situation, then do what is appropriate. It is always good to keep your consciousness in the present. The reality of life is that all you ever really have is the "now," the present. There is a Native American saying which illustrates this: “Yesterday is ashes, tomorrow is wood, only today does the fire burn brightly."
Please take the lesson of avoiding barroom fights by not being there. Physically you can make choices to avoid stressful places. Mentally you can avoid stressful places by accepting the situation, taking appropriate measures and staying present. By practicing the relaxation exercises described in the three previous installments (search doctoryourself.com for "Unstress Your Life"), you are practicing being present.
Be mindful of going within. Going within can simply mean putting your attention on your natural breathing rhythm. Practice this: at every opportunity go within be mindful. Be aware of your breath; be aware of the energy in your body; feel the awareness of being. Be sure you are breathing diaphragmatically. Stay mindful of the life force within.
(Counselor and professor of biology John I. Mosher, PhD, is the author of several articles at the DoctorYourself.com website, all easily searchable.)
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