"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 5, No. 14 for November, 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) BIRD FLU: WHAT TO DO?
2) VITAMIN C MYTH-BUSTERS
A. VITAMIN C SAFETY
B. CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE DECREASED BY VITAMIN C
C. VITAMIN C DOES NOT CAUSE KIDNEY STONES
D. VITAMIN C PREVENTS AND CURES RECTAL POLYPS
E. MEGAVITAMIN NEWS FOR FREE
4) DENTIST YOURSELF
6) SCHIZOPHRENIA AND PSYCHOSIS
7) Happy 88th Birthday, Abram Hoffer!
8) UNSTRESS YOUR LIFE, Part 6
POLLY WANT A FLU SHOT?
by Andrew W. Saul
My daughter's parakeet is in grave danger.
Need you ask why? Because the Bird Flu is coming!
With all this terrifying talk about bird flu, I have a lingering question: Has anyone thought about protecting the birds? Living near Lake Ontario, I regularly feed entirely too many seagulls. They come inland as well. Just this weekend, I fed a characteristically ravenous flock of them at an interstate highway parking lot. The gulls encircled me like a Hitchcock movie. Another time, I was ungraciously harassed by a renegade herd of emus that I was, perhaps unwisely, attempting to feed. I had to climb up onto some boulders to get out of range.
Nice ol' birds; they just wanted a nosh.
Too bad they are all going to die. And soon, too.
Yes, every one of them. There will not be a gull (or at the lake, a bouy) left standing. Surely, now, if bird flu is truly dangerous, the birds are at terrible risk. All of them. No more starlings. No more pigeons. Goodbye, Mr. Hawk. Goodbye, Mrs. Robin. No more Woody; no more "Beep-Beeps"; Donald is doomed.
And then there's all the gorgeous song birds, all those tiny little dickie birds, like the ones I've held in my hand while they were being banded: they are all dead meat.
What's that you say? That I'm exaggerating? That all the world's bird species are NOT condemned to get Bird Flu? Then I say, Ask yourself how that can be.
After all, no shots means no chance. Or at least that is the gist of our pharmaphilic government's and media's clanging presentations to the public.
Truth be told, this is nothing new. They've tried this before with the colossal Swine Flu panic some thirty years ago. Remember?
The U.S. Government cannot say without qualification that flu shots are either safe or essential.
Here is what the government of the United States said about the infamous Swine Flu vaccine, in a 1976 mass-distributed FDA Consumer Memo on the subject:
"Some minor side effects - tenderness in the arm, low fever, tiredness - will occur in less than 4% of (vaccinated) adults. Serious reactions from flu vaccines are very rare."
So much for blanket claims of safety, for many persons well remember the very numerous and very serious side effects of Swine Flu vaccine that forced the federal immunization program to a halt.
As far as being essential, in the same memo the FDA said this of the same vaccine:
"Question: What can be done to prevent an epidemic? Answer: The only preventive action we can take is to develop a vaccine to immunize the public against the virus. This will prevent the virus from spreading."
This was seen to be totally false; after all; the public immunization program was abruptly halted and still there was no epidemic of Swine Flu. If vaccination were the only defense, literally tens of millions of Americans should have been struck down with the Swine Flu, for a large percentage of the population of the U.S. was not vaccinated.
Surely there are other factors involved in prevention of illness or epidemic. But try telling that to allopathically-oriented health commissioners and doctors. You'd think that monks and nuns who work with the sick would have to get their patients' diseases... but they seldom do. Did the elderly and diminutive Mother Theresa die from leprosy? From AIDS?
If germs or viruses are all around us, why aren't we all dead, or at least deathly ill? And how come crows and vultures regularly eat diseased and decaying road kill, pressing their faces into a maggoty mess, and then fly happily away?
And, as my friends and I used to so energetically search railroad underpasses for sick and injured pigeons to take to our treehouse and nurse back to health, well, I now wonder how we survived at all.
But as for you, you non-bird you, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the medical media say that without a shot, you are a sitting duck for bird flu. It seems to me, by logical extension, that without vaccinations for all birds, all birds are goners. Ducks included, sitting or otherwise. Without flu shots for birds, there will be no birds. Silent spring.
Birds are seemingly such frail little creatures. Their permanently feverish bodies are already around 104 degrees Fahrenheit every day. A bird with a real fever must be one hot little number indeed. Yet, every year, tiny little chickadees spend entire frigid winters in my backyard. Gale force subzero winds and our typical eight to ten feet of snowfall do not stop them. And they do not have vaccinations. Not a one. They don't even have heated socks. How on earth do they do it?
So: Shall I have my daughter's little green budgie vaccinated? All the more reason, really, since the parakeet is also at risk from all the human flu strains. Yes, Virginia, all those zillions of Human Flu viruses are out there, just waiting to kill your 'keet. And you with it.
Influenza is a serious disease, and historically, has been the Reaper's scythe. About 10 million soldiers were killed in World War I, charging machine guns and getting mowed down month after month. There were nearly a million casualties at the Somme and another million at Verdun. A terrible slaughter went on for four years. Yet, in just the two years following the war, over 20 million people died from influenza. That is more than twice as many deaths from the flu in one-half the time it took the machine guns. There is no way to make light of that.
On the other hand, there is ample reason to now, finally, end our wishful belief that flu shots stop the flu, because generally they don't, not even in the elderly, their target audience.
NBC and the Associated Press (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9438511/) reported on Sept 22, 2005 that
"A new analysis of 40 years of research provides more evidence that flu shots are not as effective in the elderly as commonly believed. But health officials said older people should still be vaccinated. . . The findings are similar to those of a study done by U.S. National Institutes of Health that found flu shots for the elderly in the United States had not saved lives."
And then they add: "Flu shots may be required in all nursing homes. Federal officials urging flu shots for all this year."
Will Rogers sure was right: with stuff like this in the papers, who needs a comedy writer? Congress writes farce so very well, and the news obligingly tosses it straight into to our living rooms.
But wait: there's more!
An interesting if not downright revealing article at medicinenet.com (1) says, in part: "According to a study appearing in the Sept. 22 online issue of The Lancet, vaccines against influenza are only "modestly effective" in people in long-term care facilities and even less effective for elderly people still living in the community. . . "The vaccine doesn't work very well at all," said study author Dr. Tom Jefferson, an epidemiologist with the Cochrane Vaccines Field in Rome. "Vaccines are being used as an ideological weapon. What you see every year as the flu is caused by 200 or 300 different agents with a vaccine against two of them. That is simply nonsense." Dr. Marc Siegel, author of "False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear," agreed. "We have set up a situation where a fear is created, and then we try to create the treatment for this fear. The public gets the idea that the flu is going to kill them and the vaccine will save them. Neither is true," he said."
For the record, both these critics are medical doctors.
With our century's worth of accumulated scientific hindsight, we must today ask this: Was a lack of vaccinations really the cause of those flu deaths, or was it really wartime stress, and especially war-induced malnutrition, that set the stage in 1918? And now, once again, we have an alarming and rather similar scenario: between nutrient-poor processed convenience foods, McNothing meals and TV news scare stories, we have the basic ingredients for an epidemic.
But we now also have a simple, safe and effective answer. First, the nutrition solution: eat a good, healthy, whole foods natural diet, and take lots and lots of vitamin C. And second: relax! De-stress your life, take it easy, and cheer up. It has been very well said that you are of much more value than any number of birds. You are factory-equipped with a kick-ass mammalian immune system that is a true marvel of nature. To maximize your resistance to any viral disease, including any strain of flu, I think you would do well to stop eating processed junk food, and load up on ascorbate.
You too can be chipper and chirping away, ignoring swine flu hype, SARS scares, bird flu panics, or any other viral bogeymen being used to scare you into a coerced relationship with a flu shot.
Reference: 1. Gardner A. Flu vaccine only mildly effective in elderly. HealthDay Reporter, Sept 21, 2005. http://www.medicinenet.com
MEDICAL DOCTOR CONFIRMS: VITAMIN C CURES BIRD FLU
The best presentation I have ever seen on just how vitamin C megadoses prevent and cure avian influenza is posted for free reading at the website of Robert F. Cathcart, M.D.: http://orthomed.com/bird.htm
These online articles may also be of interest:
Flu vaccines are largely ineffective: http://www.jrussellshealth.com/fluvacc.html
Bird Flu Background and Relation to Vitamin C:http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2005/10/08/avian_influenza_are_you_prepared.htm Bird Flu Dangers Greatly Exaggerated:http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2005/10/19/bird_flu_in_perspective_public_fears_exaggerated.htm
VITAMIN C MYTH-BUSTERS
Is some clown still trying to tell you that vitamin C is somehow dangerous? Or that you shouldn't take more than 200 mg/day? There is an excellent summary article you will want to read at http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/misc/ascorbate-lies.htm
And here's some more really good news for all you health nuts who every day try so valiantly to convince friend, foe and family to take their vitamins:
NEW VITAMIN C SAFETY STUDY "Ascorbic Acid is a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) substance . . . Mice given Ascorbic Acid subcutaneous and intravenous daily doses (500 to 1000 mg/kg bw) for 7 days had no changes in appetite, weight gain, and general behavior; and histological examination of various organs showed no changes. Ascorbic Acid was a photoprotectant when applied to mice and pig skin before exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. . . . Pregnant mice and rats were given daily oral doses of Ascorbic Acid up to 1000 mg/kg bw with no indications of adult-toxic, teratogenic, or fetotoxic effects. Ascorbic Acid and Sodium Ascorbate were not genotoxic in several bacterial and mammalian test systems, consistent with the antioxidant properties of these chemicals. . . These data coupled with an absence of reports in the clinical literature of Ascorbic Acid sensitization strongly support the safety of these ingredients." (PMID: 16154915)
(Elmore AR. Final report of the safety assessment of L-Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate as used in cosmetics. Int J Toxicol. 2005;24 Suppl 2:51-111.)
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE DECREASED BY VITAMIN C
"(T)here was a 27% decreased prevalence of coronary heart disease and a 26% decreased prevalence of stroke among those in the highest serum vitamin C category. In the NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study, it was found that the highest intakes of vitamin C had a 25% to 50% reduction in cardiovascular mortality." (Simon, JA et al. Serum ascorbic acid and cardiovascular disease prevalence in U.S. adults. Epidemiology, 1998;9:316-321.)
VITAMIN C DOES NOT CAUSE KIDNEY STONES
"The relation between the intake of vitamins B6 and C and the risk of symptomatic kidney stones were prospectively studied in a cohort of 85,557 women with no history of kidney stones. . . Large doses of vitamin B6 may reduce the risk of kidney stone formation in women. Routine restriction of vitamin C to prevent stone formation appears unwarranted."
(Curhan, G. C., Willett, W. C., Speizer, F. E., Stampfer, M. J. Intake of vitamins B6 and C and the risk of kidney stones in women. J Am Soc Nephrol 10:4:840-845, Apr 1999.)
VITAMIN C PREVENTS AND CURES RECTAL POLYPS
Jerome J. DeCosse, M.D., Ph.D., Mark B. Adams, M.D., Joseph F. Kuzma, M.D., Paul LoGerfo, M.D., and Robert E. Condon, M.D. Effect of ascorbic acid on rectal polyps of patients with familial polyposis. Surgery, November, 1975, Vol. 78, No. 5, pp. 608-612. http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/197x/decosse-jj-surgery-1975-v78-n5-p608.htm
MEGAVITAMIN NEWS FOR FREE
The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS) regularly issues vitamins-cure-disease press releases. If you would like to receive this wire-service style newsfeed without charge, please go to http://www.orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html .
VITAMIN C CURES PNEUMONIA
(Editor's note: I know this to be true. When I got run down enough to get viral pneumonia, I took 2,000 mg of vitamin C every 6 minutes. It lowered my fever 3 degrees in 3 hours, and stopped a cough that codeine could not. Read on an marvel at how this is possible.)
by Margaret Whittaker, Doctor Yourself volunteer, Diploma in Herbal Studies
Pneumonia is a serious infection of the lungs that can be caused by any number of different infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. It is typically preceded by an upper respiratory infection such as a cold, influenza or measles. Factors that increase the risk of pneumonia include being either under one year or over sixty years of age, a weakened immune system, malnutrition, and exposure to chemical irritants.
Infants can contract pneumonia due to a Clamydia trachomatis infection transferred to the child during birth. Childhood pneumonia can also be caused by the same bacteria that causes whooping cough. Young children with compromised immune systems are very vulnerable to the potentially life-threatening effects of this illness.
Most cases of pneumonia do not require antibiotics because they are due to viral infection. The natural approach to pneumonia involves two primary goals: a) Enhancement of the immune system b) Stimulation of normal processes that promote the expectoration of mucus
Particularly helpful in enhancing the immune system is high dosage vitamin C therapy. In the early 1900's, many controlled studies demonstrated the efficacy of large doses of vitamin C, but only when started on the first or second day of infection. If administered later, vitamin C tended only to lessen the severity of the disease. Researchers also demonstrated, long ago, that in cases of pneumonia, white cells took up large amounts of vitamin C in an attempt to have the necessary ammunition they need to fight infection. (F Bicknell and F Prescott, The vitamins in medicine. Minneapolis: Lee Foundation, 1953).
The value of vitamin C supplementation in patients with pneumonia was demonstrated clearly in a more recent double-blind study involving 57 elderly patients who were admitted to St Luke's Hospital in Huddersfield, for acute pneumonia. (C Hunt et al "The Clinical Effects of Vitamin C Supplementation in Hospitalised Patients with Acute Respiratory Infections," 1994) The patients were either given 200mg of vitamin C per day or a placebo. Patients were assessed by clinical and laboratory methods. Patients who received the modest dosage of vitamin C demonstrated substantially increased vitamin C levels in all tissues, even in the presence of an acute respiratory infection. Using a clinical scoring system, results indicated that patients who received the vitamin C fared significantly better than those who took the placebo. These results indicate that even small doses of vitamin C in a hospital setting can produce significant clinical improvement.
Many herbs have also been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral and immunostimulatory effects. Echinacea is widely used to boost the immune system, treat colds and flu, fight infections, help speed wound healing and reduce inflammation. Its immune stimulating properties are due to polysaccharides and phytosterols. It helps to activate white-blood-cell macrophages that are directly involved in the destruction of bacteria, viruses and other infectious agents. Echinacea also increases production of interferon.
Botanical expectorants are very useful in treating pneumonia because they help decrease the viscosity and aid in the expulsion of mucous from the respiratory tract. They also have antibacterial and antiviral activity. Some of the most popular are horehound, elecampagne and licorice.
(Editor's note: An internet search will bring up more on these alternatives. For my suggestions on how to determine if internet health information is reliable, please first look at http://www.doctoryourself.com/healthquestions.html )
FROM "DOCTOR YOURSELF" TO "DENTIST YOURSELF":
10 ways in which nutrients and simple techniques have been shown to improve the health of our mouths.
by Michael Jolliffe, Doctor Yourself volunteer
1) Vitamin C: Taken orally in gram doses or applied topically as calcium or magnesium ascorbate. A 2001 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry showed that for treatment of cats a gel of zinc ascorbate was "most effective in decreasing bacterial growth, plaque formation, and gingivitis when applied following a professional teeth cleaning procedure" . Not only that, it also cleared up cat halitosis. It seems that we should visit the vet if we need reliable, non-toxic treatment for our teeth and gums. 2) Vitamin E: Like vitamin C, vitamin E can be applied topically by piercing a 400 IU capsule and applying it evenly along the gum line to reduce inflammation. 3) B-complex vitamins: A study recently published in the Journal of Periodontology found that patients supplementing 50mg of each of the B-vitamins daily, with 400mcg of folic acid, experienced statistically significant oral wound healing in comparison to those taking placebo . 4) Coenzyme Q10: As long ago as 1973, Drs. Folkers and Matsumura completed a double-blind study, published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, using CoQ10 for periodontal (gum) disease. They reported that it was superior to the then treatment of choice . A Dr. EG Wilkinson reported in the late 70s that at dosages of 50 to 75 mg per day coenzyme Q10 often "halted the deterioration of the gums with healing sometimes occurring within days" . 5) Flavonoids: Abundant in fruits, flavonoids have been shown to work with vitamin C in reducing gum disease . Another reason for an apple a day. 6) Magnesium: It's vital to eat sources of calcium AND magnesium. In December 1963 the Journal of the Southern California Dental Association published an study in which the consumption of a high-calcium, low magnesium diet lead to an average of 3.64 dental caries compared to only 1.16 from a diet containing high-magnesium whole-wheat flour . Don't make the mistake of eating the one without the other. There is lots of magnesium in almonds, brown rice, quinoa and dark-green vegetables and good multivitamin/minerals. 7) Throw away mouthwashes containing harmful ingredients: for example propylene glycol (anti-freeze), sodium lauryl sulfate (industrial strength detergent) and alcohol. A study published by the National Cancer Institute showed that women who regularly used mouthwash with an alcohol content of 25 percent or higher were nearly twice as likely to develop oral cancer as those who didn't . Instead use a mouthwash containing protective ingredients such as grapefruit seed extract, vitamin C, tea tree oil or green tea extracts. 8) The same can be said for toothpastes containing saccharin, fluoride, and synthetic colour pigments (commonly derived from coal tar). 9) Tongue scraping: It sounds more painful than it is, but even the Journal of the American Dental Association has advised that "scientific evidence has validated the need to practice habitual and thorough tongue brushing" . Medical texts dating back hundreds of years describe the cleaning of the tongue as part of people's daily hygiene routine to remove accumulated impurities. From personal experience the first few scrapes aren't pleasant, and may leave a bad taste and a sore tongue, but persevere and the feeling of freshness is well worthwhile. 10) Keep the calcium in your teeth: A review in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry recorded that "high sodium, protein, alcohol, and caffeine intakes caused increased urinary losses and negative calcium balance" .
 Clarke DE. Clinical and microbiological effects of oral zinc ascorbate gel in cats. J Vet Dent. 2001 Dec;18(4):177-83.  Neiva RF, Al-Shammari K, Nociti FH Jr, Soehren S, Wang HL. Effects of vitamin-B complex supplementation on periodontal wound healing. J Periodontol. 2005 Jul;76(7):1084-91.  Matsumura T, Saji S, Nakamura R, Folkers K. Evidence for enhanced treatment of periodontal disease by therapy with coenzyme Q. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1973 Apr;43(4):537-48.  Wilkinson, E.G., Arnold R.M. Folkers, K. Bioenergetics in Clinical Medicine. VI. Adjunctive Treatment of Periodontal Disease with Coenzyme Q10. Res. Commun. Chem. Pathol. Pharmacol. 1976 4:715-9.  El-Ashiry GM, Ringsdorf WM, Cheraskin E. Local and systemic influences in periodontal disease. II. Effect of prophylaxis and natural versus synthetic vitamin C upon gingivitis. J Periodontol 1964;35:250–9.  http://www.mgwater.com/rod10.shtml  Blot WJ, Winn DM, Fraumeni JF Jr. Oral cancer and mouthwash. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1983 Feb;70(2):251-3.  Christen AG, Swanson BZ Jr. Oral hygiene: a history of tongue scraping and brushing. J Am Dent Assoc. 1978 Feb;96(2):215-9.  Faine, M.P. Dietary factors related to preservation of oral and skeletal bone mass in women. Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry 1995;73:65-72.
(Editor's note: Before you write, may I state that No, I do not know how to fill cavities naturally, nor do I know how to avoid a necessary root canal. "Dentist Yourself" is not about never seeing your dentist; it is about not needing any work done when you get there.)
Solving the Mystery of ADHD Naturally, by Linda Santini
Battle Creek, MI: Acorn Publishing, 2004. http://www.acornpublishing.com
Paperback, 228 pages plus bibliography and index. ISBN 097289697X
Reviewed and copyright 2005 by Andrew W. Saul
"What's he done this time?" How many times have I heard a parent say this after I've commandeered the school phone to call home about their child's behavior. Author Linda Santini, herself a teacher, has been on both ends of such a conversation. While it is no picnic to teach a class populated with ADHD kids, life is infinitely harder for Mom and Dad, the long-suffering people Dr. Abram Hoffer calls "battered parents." And with good reason.
Most if not all ADHD kids are stimulation addicts. They are little adrenaline junkies, craving the very rush that poisons their cranium. Adrenaline is the catecholamine neurotransmitter of sturm and drang, of storm and stress. Over stimulation can mean overproduction of adrenaline. Excess adrenaline is oxidized into adrenochrome, an LSD-like bad trip hallucinogen that, to use a 1960's phrase, flips you out. Commonly, such adrenochrome-whacked kids also crave dietary overstimulation, particularly colored and sugared junk food, which further assaults their brain. All the time, day after day.
If you have an ADHD child, Santini's new book, Solving the Mystery of ADHD Naturally, will instantly resonate with you. "That's him!" you will say. I know, because I did. The book perfectly describes a boy I helped to raise for eight years. As a preadolescent, he was having worse than usual behavioral problems at school and at home. Interestingly enough, the child had been taking physician-prescribed little bits of niacin, though totaling less than 150 mg/day. Not a bad beginning, since the RDA for kids is under 20 mg/day. But it wasn't enough to be effective, and the lad was slated for the Ritalin-for-lunch bunch. But pharmacy was no answer, for when tried, drugs generally made him worse: more angry and still more confrontational, bordering on paranoid.
The boy did not want to take much niacin because he so strongly objected to the flush. Knowing that the dose had to be increased far over 150 mg/day for any hope of success, his Mom finally tried giving him 500 mg niacinamide three times daily (1,500 mg total). There was noticeable improvement. At 3,000 mg/day, the youngster was doing even better, but developed nausea from the niacinamide, and the dosage was cut way, way back. In time, the boy had a violent psychotic episode severe enough that his parents had to hold him down while the now 13-year-old lad screamed death threats at them.
After that, to increase the B-3 dose without nausea, the now highly-motivated mother went to plain niacin, flushes and all. With about 500 mg every two hours, the boy was a new person. He was the most cheerful, cooperative, affectionate youngster imaginable. Adding vitamin C and B-6 to his regimen helped even more. His school performance soared, and the teachers loved him. When his liver function tests read high, the niacin dose was again reduced, but not by so much this time. At age 15, his maintenance dose is about 3,000 mg/day. This is exactly in line with what Dr. Abram Hoffer has repeatedly demonstrated effective for over 50 years.
Behavior is at least as much biochemical as anything else. Unresponsive, uneducated physicians routinely overlook the nutrition connection. That's fine for them; they see the child as a patient for only minutes. Parents cannot escape: they go home at the end of the day to a child that may be hostile, antsy, and out of control. Behavior modification and counseling, while laudable ideas, all too often fail because ADHD kids are unreceptive to behavior counseling because the behavior itself is biochemical. As you cannot implant happy thoughts in a victim of arsenic or cyanide poisoning, so you cannot adequately counsel kids with adrenochrome coursing through their bodies.
Linda Santini, an experienced counselor, knows this well, and she communicates it even better. Solving the Mystery of ADHD Naturally is especially well written. The author has a clear and engaging writing style. Her facts are straight and her anecdotes are well paced, to the point, and vivid. The book is well organized and well indexed. The first portion of the book spotlights the problems, as intensely witnessed by the author and her family, while part two accentuates the solution. The combined result is an excellent, easy to follow presentation of orthomolecular (megavitamin) medicine which should required reading for all health professionals.
As actress Margot Kidder says, "You can fix your brain. You can fix your brain with nutrition." I highly recommend Solving the Mystery of ADHD Naturally, a book that shows you how, and offers a way out for you and your ADHD child.
(end of review)
SCHIZOPHRENIA AND PSYCHOSIS
Recovery from the Hell of Schizophrenia by Carlene Hope. Introduction by Abram Hoffer, M.D.
Morrisville, NC: Lulu Press http://books.lulu.com/content/63707 , 2005. Paperback, 187 pages plus bibliography. ISBN 1-4116-2706-7. Reviewed and copyright 2005 by Andrew W. Saul
"When you are sick of sickness, you are no longer sick," says a Chinese proverb. This is all the more true if you have found a way out of the illness. For the family locked in a 24-hour a day struggle with a child's schizophrenia, Recovery from the Hell of Schizophrenia will be both very familiar, and very encouraging reading.
The book is composed of four sections. Part One is an extensive autobiographical prologue. While granting that it sets the stage, to me the strength of the book begins on page 46, as the author's son first exhibits symptoms of mental illness. Part Two is the story of the disease's progression, failed pharmaceutical attempts to contain it, and eventual success with orthomolecular megavitamin therapy. While the narrative is from a mother's vantage point, Part Two concludes with a question and answer session with the patient, and Part Three is entirely devoted to the father's perspective. Part Four is a digest of quotes and passages from seminal orthomolecular writings, introducing the work of Abram Hoffer, Carl C. Pfeiffer, and others.
The author holds little back, describing her experiences with nearly cathartic intensity. But even better, she thoughtfully and repeatedly points the reader to available nutritional solutions. Lists of specific nutrients and doses are provided. She also includes her son's medication reduction diary, and is upfront about the fact that although drugs alone were far from curative (and the side effects debilitating), some medication did prove helpful when taken in concert her son's nutritional program. I like the way the author itemizes and dates specific behavior improvements. Most readers would likely agree that the book would benefit from an index.
Any science teacher who has taught metrics will not be surprised to see that the book contains a repeated unit of measurement error. On pages 97, 128 and 132, the recommended selenium dose is stated as 100 "mgs" (milligrams) twice daily when it should be 100 mcg (micrograms). This is not a nit-pick, since the difference is a factor of 1,000. 200 micrograms of selenium/day is beneficial and completely safe. 200 milligrams/day (200,000 mcg) would be neither. All other nutrient doses are stated accurately.
The overriding value of this book is its simple, sometimes impassioned, but always unmistakable testimony: vitamin therapy works. Having lived this, the author describes her previously hospitalized but now recovered son: "You would never know by looking at him today that he has ever suffered from this disease. Our son is driving. He cooks for himself. He prepares his vitamin packets and takes them on schedule. He no longer sleeps and lives on the couch. He handles his checkbook flawlessly." And, perhaps the most moving maternal comment of all: "He never asks me why I brought him into this world anymore."
So another Chinese proverb comes to mind: "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Results say everything. Recovery from the Hell of Schizophrenia is an uncomplicated presentation of simple, safe, and effective niacin-based nutrition therapy, aptly described by the author as "Hoffer's Key." This is the right book for any family that has never known they had a nutritional option, that never had the chance to try it and change their lives with orthomolecular medicine. (end of review)
HAPPY 88TH BIRTHDAY, DR. ABRAM HOFFER!
On November 11, 2005, the dean of megavitamin therapy celebrates his 88th b-day. Dr. Hoffer did the very first double-blind, placebo controlled experiments in the history of psychiatry, way back in the early 1950's. He is the originator and still the world leader in megadose niacin therapy for mental illness. He has saved countless lives, has had an enormous influence in the field of natural medicine, and, on a personal note, has been a wonderful mentor to me.
If you'd like to send an appreciative greeting to this world-renowned physician, you can mail your birthday card to: Abram Hoffer, M.D., PhD., 2727 Quadra, Suite 3 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8 4E5.
UNSTRESS YOUR LIFE, Part Six
by John Mosher, PhD Biology Professor Emeritus, State University of New York
IRRITANT, OR PEARL?
There are perceptions and outlooks on life's situations which can turn what appears to be an uncomfortable, undesirable or stressful situation into one of gain. An example of this would be the pearl. The beautiful, desirable pearl has a beginning that, to the oyster, may seem like an unpleasant situation. A grain of sand getting inside the oyster's shell is an irritant. This ongoing irritation causes the oyster to form a smooth protective coat around the irritating sand. This coat eventually becomes the pearl. If the oyster can do it, why can't we? Why can't we take the obvious, the irritant, the stressful situation and reverse it to produce a pearl of great wisdom or at least a positive situation?
Reacting to a stress with frustration and anger just produces more stress. But if you take the situation, reverse the obvious, and keep your awareness, you may bring compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, and understanding to the situation. Therefore, instead of taking the low-road response of adding more anger or chaos to the situation, you have reversed it by bringing calmness and peace to the situation. A simple example of how this idea might be brought into an ordinary frustrating situation is one of misplaced keys. You may be in a great hurry and discover you cannot find your car keys. One obvious response would be to get upset and blame others and storm around shouting and raging. This behavior does not find your keys and may actually be so distracting that it hinders you from systematically looking for your keys. It may even cloud your perception and keep you from remembering where you may have put them. This behavior or irritation will be repeated endlessly until you observe that this behavior does not solve the problem of misplacing your keys. When the light of realization finally goes on, your internal observer, the Knower, might say, "This will always happen until you make a change." The change to be made is simple, just develop the habit of always leaving your keys in the same place. This simple change solves the problem.
From the irritating, inconvenient situation came the motivation to change. I believe much of the irritation, pain and suffering in our life situation is really to function as a stimulus to get our attention, to wake-up and change! Perhaps to take the obvious and reverse it or transform it into a positive life supporting situation is the ultimate challenge.
The pearls of wisdom, such as the recognition of beauty, love and happiness, can arise from a seemingly demanding, unpleasant situation. With discipline, some creative thinking, and practice we can create "pearls" out of what may seem to be distressing and undesirable.
HOW TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
A major part of stress reduction is learning to be mindful. That means to be aware and conscious of your thoughts and what you are doing. For example, let's say you are standing in line at the cashier of a grocery store and having negative and impatient thoughts. First, realize that you are having these thoughts. When you do, immediately make the choice to observe the thoughts, be aware of them and let them go. Replace the space with positive thoughts. You might think "I wish all the people in line and in the store happiness, good health and success." Actually send thoughts of love and appreciation to them and especially the cashier who is working so fast to reduce the size of the line. Put yourself in her or his place and send them kind thoughts. So by practicing or cultivating positive states of mind you are putting uplifting intentions into the surroundings. Practice the technique of being present and consciously replacing negative thoughts and feelings with ones of compassion, selflessness, tolerance, kindness, forgiveness, gratitude and appreciation. This is a good start to reducing much stress. Remind yourself that there is no written rule that says things have to be the way you think they should be. Take a life situation as it is and bring as much love and compassion into it as you can.
Over and over again, research results point out that a positive attitude toward life, a sense of humor and laughter strengthens the immune system and even seems to extend ones life. Be present and think positively!
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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