Updated: Nov 5, 2020
While doing a talk this week on getting healthy, I realised that I haven't written anything yet which will take you through your health journey from the point of where you are at today - waking up, becoming aware, realising you have had enough but do not know where to start. There is a lot of information here and elsewhere, which helps you with specific health issues - but what about ground zero?
So, here it is. Each piece of advice will have an appropriate link and take you to a new page so you don't lose your place here; you can take notes or you can copy and paste into your own health file.
- AWARENESS that you need to make the change. Let's get started.
I would like to start at the beginning. When I began in medicine I was taught that it was all about administering something synthesized or surgical to remove symptoms and mistakenly believed this was what gave us health.
Over the years I realised absence of a diagnosis or obvious symptoms did not mean absence of disease or indicate good health. I began looking into diet and lifestyle as I realised it was no coincidence that those rare people who practiced certain lifestyles and ate a certain way were actually vitally healthy and were not weird after all. We were taught these alternatives were some form of witchcraft and not only dangerous but did not work; that modern medicine HAD to be invented because before this, everyone was sick and dying.
Nothing Could be Further From The Truth
Like so many before me, I saw the relationship between BAD diet, bad habits, exposure to toxins, chemicals and various stressors – and compromised health. I also realised that really good health seems focused only in a few formative years of our lives if we are lucky, when kids were shiny and fit and vibrant. Then you grew up and by 30, facing health struggles, weight issues and even chronic or terminal health issues. Yet very quickly, people were getting sicker and ageing a lot earlier as years passed. Health seemed to be a distant memory that took up a tiny fraction of our lives, but even this eventually would be experienced by a fortunate few.
During my nursing years I noticed that while we saved lives, not all medicine was good - the links between what we gave and side effects, ill health , even death were screaming at me. So I began to study the basic 4 aspects of health which were somehow missing from western medicine –
diet and nutrition – namely how much we ate (we eat too much in the west), what we ate, how we ate and what we classed as food. Much later on I found out that the entire system of much of what I had even learned in college was not quite correct; the food pyramid and 5 food groups were bogus, benefitting only those industries which paid for the so-called studies - and that good health depends on body pH and non toxic cleanliness both inside and outside of the body. I was shocked early on to find out that some of the world's poorest people eat the healthiest diets.
soil, plants, air and water – science has proven this is the foundation of food and in turn health at a cellular level but somehow along the way even this truth has been poisoned – and good, natural food had been replaced with pseudo food consisting of a few basic ingredient combinations, ie meat, dairy, wheat products, sugar in all its forms and processed or packaged foods which are now so full of chemicals and manipulation that little, if any, nutrients remain. This was all shaped by geography, industry, circumstance such as war and poverty, and media; which in turn, rather than be separated from what constitutues health, became the new normal, and with it, a new education. So I learned all I could about organic farming and gardening, including biodynamic and permaculture methods which can be done by anyone, anywhere. The sick fact is, our soils and water are so deficient in nutrients that food no longer contains enough to sustain us and bring about vital health. Today, everyone should have at least a basic nutrient supplementation, whether it is in a smoothie or capsule, a tonic or a superfood blend.
natural medicines – these include foods and superfoods, herbs, minerals, nutrients and energy – which can be both preventative and healing. So much knowledge has been lost in favour of so-called new discoveries and interestingly, a lot of my own knowledge has been verified in old books and old wive's tales; actual case studies as oposed to the mental scholarship of today's 'evidence based medicine' which has nothing to do with actual physical evidence. Yes, I studied formal courses but over time much of it was thrown away in favour of what I saw working in practice and my own life, in real time.
physical therapies – I learned early on that we practitioners could learn one relevant field and be very good at it or we could try to learn as many as interested us and do none of them – or our patients – justice. So I learned acupuncture and cupping, and left the other bodywork therapies to practitioners who focused on them. I did study such things as reflexology and massage but decided to leave those to others who actually enjoyed them. Physical therapies can include anything that your medical experts and media alike will usually say do not work, and advise against using them. Chiropractic, Osteopathy, various manipulative therapies, hydrotherapy, pilates, yoga, Alexander technique, Rolfing, Qigong, Moxibustion - just a handful of the many, many therapies available to you IF you are keen or desperate enough to try anything (as most people will say to excuse crossing the shadow line into taking care of your own health) which will restore and build vibrant health. These therapies actually keep far more people alive and healthy than modern medicine has ever done, but there is little money to be made so they do not get the same funding or airtime.
Natural health does not need to cost the earth, but lack of it can cost your life. Today, everything you need to know is available online, much of it for free. My own website, while it offers a paid consulting service (1) , also offers free health advice in the blog articles (2) covering everything from basic coughs and colds to chronic disease. Youtube is full of incredible natural health experts and renegade doctors who are happy to share knowledge for free. Making simple changes to your home, diet, habits and lifestyle can and will save your life and that of your family. Home health dispensaries have been my focus for much of my career. If you do not have one set up, you are basically waiting for ill health to come, and you are taking your chances every day.
So, what causes ill health?
We all hear about CONGENITAL, genetic, inherited disease. Did you know much of that is man made? Over generations, our cells, organs, even our DNA is damaged by diet, toxic environment, bad habits, memories, stress & most importantly, modern medications which in turn give rise to the next generation being born with so-called disease, weaknesses & health issues, or just being weaker & more susceptible to what they are then exposed to.
Food and DIET (3) - Did you know that eating certain foods can cause anxiety, inflammation, stress, depression, pain and poor immunity? DIET plays a massive role in your overall health.
For some, it may be alcohol or non-organic wheat flour; for others it may be meat and dairy. On that note, and ethics aside, where do you think those fear hormones and adrenalin go when that animal is hurt or killed before you eat it? Most do not want to hear about it but I have seen even terminal disease turned around by removing all foods derived from suffering. Today we hear all about anxiety and depression (4) but again, I have seen those symptoms reversed without medication, just by changing diet.
Toxins and medicines - Then we get to ENVIRONMENTAL toxins in and out of the home. Today, we are exposed to thousands of different man made chemicals a day, in our furniture, our food, our workplace, even before we open a spray can or anything labelled poison. The world was once organic and today you have to actually make the effort to make anything organic.
In a normal day, the average person is exposed to thousands of man made poisons thanks to hair, skin, nail, body and even dental products (5). And these include neurological poisons like nerve gases in perfumes and this includes even so-called organic, natural and baby products.
What can you have in your home to make a difference?
The first thing I tell people is to READ LABELS. It is such an easy piece of advice – not so easy to implement. It takes hours to do the shopping, choose cleaning products, buy personal care – most stuff on supermarket shelves is rubbish; it's no good just to grab and buy, not if you want health. There are apps today that help you choose non toxic.
To ignore that one piece of advice is to ignore your life itself. No one else is going to take care of your health. Your doctor takes care of your sick symptoms, that is all. Covering them up or even removing them is not magically going to make you healthy. Get toxic chemicals out of your bathroom. Replace them with natural, organic, pure options even if it is fresh water and soap alone. ALL matter is chemistry - but toxic chemicals have no place in a healthy life.
Open your FRIDGE. What is in there? 80% should be fresh food, or at least made from fresh food. Is it full of plastic packaging or wrapping? Did you know, like furniture, these wrappings out-gas (6)? That means the poisonous chemicals in the wrapping and sprays used to clean and sterilise are just that – poisons – and they are touching your food. Do you wash your fresh food? Even using bicarb or apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide in a sink of water can remove most of the pesticides and other poisons sprayed on your food by default.
What's in your pantry? Is it all packets? Sugar? Processed? Aluminium? BPA/pthalate laden plastic? Each of the above spells stomach poisons and cancer. A pantry should be very basic. A cardboard box or basket each for stable foods like potatoes, pumpkins and onions which preferably still have the dirt on them which will only be lightly washed off and not peeled before use – did you know dirt is the only true source of the bacteria that is needed in order to make vitamin B12? (7) All other sources are second hand and not really beneficial at all to you or the animals it came from. And B12 is needed by EVERY cell in the human body for normal function. If you are unwell and lack energy, chances are your body cannot store it. Yet an entire life supply of B12 could fit onto a pinhead.
Pantry staples - Collect glass jars or buy them from op shops. Fill them with -
beans and seeds
healthy flours and other dried foods
maple syrup or organic coconut sugar – or organic raw sugar at a push
organic flours simply because your stomach (8) (and in turn your nervous system) cannot handle non organic flours
healthy herbs and spices
healthy salts such as Himalayan salt, sea salt, Celtic salt and black salt (which gives an egg flavour to anything)
peppers - black, white, green, red, native
spices such as paprika and turmeric and dried herbs
seeds – sesame, poppy, flax or linseed, caraway, sunflower, alfalfa, pumpkin etc
nuts – almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil, macadamias and so on – soak them to activate and blend into milk or make cheese sauces or add to cakes and muffins
oils - olive, grapeseed, sunflower, macadamia, avocado and so on offer omegas largely missing from most western diets and responsible for skin, hair and nerve health
vinegars such as apple cider vinegar and other fermented vinegars will help keep the body pH correct and fight bad pathogens
What can you GROW at home to improve your health? If you can, start GARDENING, even if it is window pots or balcony pots. You will need to improve your soil because most Aussie soil is deficient in minerals, elements, nutrients and beneficial bacteria. Organic gardeners actually have to add these things to our soil to even grow anything healthy.
Fresh food from the supermarket is better than nothing but absolutely nothing beats home grown organic produce for taste and nutrient value.
HERBS – I could do an entire talk on the benefits of kitchen herbs. Did you know parsley fixes bad breath, takes the smell out of garlic foods, and removes fluid buildup in your body? Garlic kills bad bacteria. Rosemary helps clear the mind, calms you and helps with period pain. Ginger helps with joint pain and period pain, nausea and abdominal pain. Mint also helps with breath, alkalising the digestive system and is cooling. Sage helps balance hormones and keeps you calm. Every herb has multiple uses and sadly most of this has been forgotten thanks to bad press and ignorance on the part of medical experts. Herbs were the foundation of all medicine, even back to Biblical times, yet pharmaceutical companies have worked hard to teach us that the only way we should have herbs is if them are synthetic. The truth is, herbs and spices not only help flavour your food but build your health like nothing else. Many years ago at the beginning of my natural health career, I did a talk with a group of CWA ladies on the benefits of kitchen herbs. I walked into a very hostile group of angry women who did not believe this young whippersnapper could tell them something they believed they knew more about. I was pretty nervous and had a feeling that thanks to some of the most impressive gardens in my hometown, these ladies surely knew more than me. Within the first few minutes arms unfolded and they began to take notes and lean forward, actually listening. Once finished it took me another hour to get out of the hall, as one by one they came forward – each had a lovely cottage garden but other than garlic and mint, no one knew a thing about how to actually use these beneficial plants for their health. And each of them had lightbulb moments as they remembered things their parents or even grandparents used to do for health purposes – safely and very effectively.
Fermenting, INFUSING and Sprouting (9) – one of the most important things you could do at home. All you need are a couple of jars, seeds, beans, culture and water. And for ferments, salt and organic sugar. Something most people do not realise is that ALL seeds, grains, beans and nuts should be soaked or sprouted before use – this includes for flour. Certain compounds inside are not activated until this is done so we not only miss out on the nutrients but some foods remain antifoods, even inflammatory, until this is done. To sprout seeds, nuts, grains and beans, all you need to do is put a spoon of them in a jar, cover with water, leave to soak for a few hours, cover with some fine material or a chux cloth and an elastic band. Drain, leave in a light area - not direct sunlight, and repeat rinse & drain once or twice a day. Do not allow to dry out or become too soggy. Within a few days you will have sprouts and if you leave them in the fridge, they will continue to grow as the plants look for light. These can be added to any salad and you have supernutrients you would not believe.
With fermenting, try to get a scoby or kefir culture, a kvass culture or start your own by making sauerkraut or kimchi. All of this is found on youtube. Fermenting provides probiotics and helps build your immune system like nothing else. By weight, we are around 90% pathogens and symbiotic parasites – sounds awful but is fact. Antibiotics kill a lot of that off so our bodies start to decay and degrade. That means inflammation and poor health.
To make an infusion, simply steep herbs in hot water or oils to make a decoction for your personal use. Again, the internet is full of recipes and ideas.
What about fresh air & breathing? This sounds odd, right? But most of us do not get fresh air. How long since you sat down the beach or out in the forest and deliberately breathed really slowly and deep? This action alone can save your life. Oxygen is the life source, is in water, air, soil and a major component of our bodies. Yet to get it, we are breathing in every other airborne poison possible. The beach and forest create ozone and this is the strongest version of oxygen you can get.
By habit, we breathe shallowly and at best, too many times a minute – most people breathe 20 – 30 times – because we are constantly in need of oxygen. This means our oxygen sats are low constantly.
I'd like you to take the time now to try a little experiment.
Sit up straight or stand. For the next minute, breath slowly and deeply. You should only really breathe around 5 to 8 times a minute. See how long it is until you become dizzy. Set a timer or look at your phone or computer time. When it reaches a full minute, go. Breathe as slowly and deeply as you can, filling your lungs, hold, then slowly release. Keep going until the minute is over.
Did you perhaps get dizzy? That's because your poor brain is oxygen starved. You may even notice your heartbeat increased or you felt nervous. That's all the extra oxygen now cleaning your blood and shaking you up. Make it a habit a few times a day to do this for as long as you can. In no time you will be doing this out of habit.
On the matter of habits, what do you drink?
Coffee? Tea? Cordial? Sugary fizzy drink? Milk? Did you know, the only drink you should have is water? All drinks are made up of water but that water is so hard to extract that we rarely get the benefits. Your kidneys will not be thanking you, nor will your skin. Or your brain. Did you know that in order for you to actually feel thirsty, your body is dehydrated? That is because, as a survival mechanism, your brain is the last organ to be starved of water. That means all your organs are already struggling.
All other liquids should be seen as a form of medicine - fresh JUICES (not bottled), smoothies, herbal teas etc.
For every other type of drink you have, you should have at least a glass of water. Tap water is junk and full of thousands of chemicals (10) which are not only permissible but our government water body has something called 'accepted levels' – including chemotherapy and other drugs such as anaesthetic, industrial solvents and toxic acids. A cheapie water filter is better than nothing - even an affordable 8 stage filter which not only removes most poisons but remineralises (11). There are also optimum water filtration systems such as reverse osmosis and distillation. Get into the habit of having a small glass and jug on the bench. Once an hour have a small glass of water. If you want a hot drink have a herbal tea. On top of getting your water fix, you are getting health benefits. Make sure you add bicarb water and slippery elm to your daily drinks to regulate pH and also stop abdominal pain/IBS while lining your mucous membranes to protect them from the usual daily assault.
Kinetics. Do you exercise? We all need to exercise – even if we are in a wheelchair. If you do not exercise, your cells will be constantly starved of oxygen and the other chain reaction of chemicals that prevent your body from seizing up and decaying at a greater rate than need be – ie inflammation, pain, sickness and premature ageing. Breathing and stretching forms the basis exercise, with the moving of blood and renewing cells. Most of us can walk. Some of the world's fittest people do not even have specialised equipment. Again, youtube is full of videos with experts showing how to get fit without equipment. I love gym equipment but by far, my favourite is small handweights and sandfilled legweights. Start by walking a little, then a lot adding the weights. You can even put a few cans of beans in a backpack to add weight as you walk. Keep an eye your posture as this has a vital effect on your health.
LEARN what therapies you can do at home. Even small children. It is vital for every home to have a dispensary simply because (and I say this as a former nurse who worked in ER and theatre) most issues presenting at ER or doctors' waiting rooms are easily treatable at home; you have just been taught to depend far more than need be. The medical system is a disease system. It focuses on disease and the measures they feel are needed to remove the pain and visible symptoms, but do nothing for your health.
It is also vital for you to learn first aid (12). If you cannot get to a class, learn it online or from a first aid book. 30 years ago, every home had a kit, everyone knew the basics because it was taught even at school. Today, the mental image is totally different; people call the ambulance for anything - demand it in fact, simply because they do not know how to deal with everyday issues.
Do you know how to dress a cut?
Splint a fracture?
What to do if someone faints?
Or has a seizure?
Get someone breathing again?
Start a heart?
Stop someone bleeding to death?
Once upon a time this was taught at school, even in swimming lessons, at girl guides & scouts. Today, in an emergency, people stand around with their phones, already planning how to share on social media, forgetting that life.
Along with what has already been mentioned, there are such things as essential oils, herbal tinctures and ointments and MYRIAD THERAPIES. All effective, all safe. Have you heard of cupping (13)? You can buy cupping sets for as little as $20 and take care of healing and pain right at home. I taught my kids pretty much as soon as they could hold a cup and the twins were cupping each other by the age of 3.
Detoxing is vital for getting healthy.
Breathing, water & exercise kickstart detox.
Nurturing your body and health with every safe effective therapy available to you, is the only way to ensure vital health.
Do you know how to do massage? It's so easy. Out of habit, we instinctually put our hand to a painful area. When we have a headache we habitually hold the back of our neck or forehead or temples. Yet we have lost the ability to massage, which improves circulation, realigns our meridians if we massage in the direction of our longbones, if we gently massage we stimulate our lymphatics. We can use hot or cold packs (14), hot water or cold water to relieve pain and move blood and inlammation.
There is actually no limit to what you can do at home. I have been working on a home medicine kit (botikin) (15) which is designed to be easy enough for anyone to use safely. Registeryour interest and you will be notified once it is available for sale in Australia (and hopefully eventually overseas).
There is such a thing called pain cream. It is herbal or homeopathic based and works better than most analgesics, without side effects. Epsom salts hot baths or footbaths remove acids and inflammation. Saunas not only provide a gentle skin exfoliation but release a massive build up of toxins from within the body. A gentle spa will help massage your lymphatics.
Have you heard of Oil pulling? It's the process where you take a teaspoon or so of coconut oil and swish it around your mouth to pull out everything from bacteria to acids to toxins to even parasites. It becomes so toxic you cannot swallow it, but spit it out and wash your mouth out – it is so beneficial it can even build up the enamel on your teeth and fix mouth ulcers and loose teeth.
Dry body brushing & exfoliation are one of the best at home therapies you can do for your health. Your skin is your body's largest organ and just under the surface is not only blood vessels but the most ignored system in the body – the lymphatic system. We believe the digestive system is the septic system of the body but that is not true. The digestive system is actually where red blood cells are meant to be made – the bone marrow only does this when the stomach and intestines are destroyed beyond repair.
PLUMBING... Nutrient assimilation should happen in the digestive system. Today, it rarely does as it is so inflamed, & our diets so appalling, it just washes away. Lymphatics are the true septic system. Imagine sewers under a city. They need to be well built, have large pipes opening into small ducts, all waste is flushed into that system & it washes away with a clean water supply. Any blockage festers into odour, overgrowth of moulds & fungus – in turn, parasites & vermin build up disease results.
Our own sewer systems – our lymphatics – are the same. Interestingly, the most overlooked system in modern medical quackery. Tiny vessels or pipes lead into ducts and larger pipes. If you have swollen glands, infection or cellulite, it means your lymphatics are blocked, not enough water is flushed through & each duct has become clogged and overgrowth of unwanted moulds, fungus, infection and parasites results. So body brushing, exfoliation, hot Epsom salts baths and footbaths, massage – especially lymphatic drainage type massage of the skin layers are all vital.
Acupressure – another video I would like to put up is about treating the body with acupressure. At college we had a running joke, that one day no medicine cabinets would have drugs but every home would have a box of acupuncture needles. Over time I realised that this was not necessary – that our fingertips or the end of a pencil was all we needed. There is a little trick I used to try with any patient willing to have a go. I'd take their BP at the beginning to show it was up. Then I would show them an acupressure point to massage – clockwise to release the energy - while I was taking notes and filling in their forms and charts. At the end I would take the BP again. It was ALWAYS substantially lower. And not because time had passed – many of these patients were stressed and red faced meaning their BP was high and usually needed medication to control. I'd advise them to do the same technique 3 times a day, 3 minutes a day and come back in a fortnight. Without fail, their blood pressure had been permanently lowered.
I have lost count of the number of times I have quietly applied the main heart point during a suspected heart attack or stroke. Some cases were really bad and as a former nurse I knew they would often have ended up comatose. Not a single case was failed. Some stood up and walked away. One day we had a stroke happen before use in church after a service. She was near comatose, unable to open her eyes, move her arms or legs - or speak. While we waited for the ambulance I pretended to hold her hand while I massaged the heart 7 point on her wrist and talked to her. By the time the ambulance arrived, she was sitting up and talking clearly. She was discharged from hospital a few hours later, after a thorough examination.
WHAT TO AVOID?
Just as with label reading, we need to question EVERYTHING to do with health. Regardless of whether you are exposed to, inject, or ingest it, you must question it. What are the side effects? Media and medical experts alike will tell you that the benefits outweigh the risks - did you know that term was coined to con people into dangerous treatments which had the ability to kill? Many natural therapies cannot be registered simply because they cannot kill. The 'value' of a natural health modality or remedy is based upon its ability to cause harm and at what level. Think about that. And choose wisely. Every single day, search for the truth - get an understanding of just what is available - BEFORE agreeing to anything even remotely able to create harm.
It's not just vaccines you should be avoiding. A WHOLISTIC effort is the only way to ensure ongoing vital health, slowing down ageing and fighting disease. AVOIDANCE of what we know is bad, is as vital as exposing ourselves to what is good. Radiation, x-rays, EMFs, towers, microwaves are just a small part of what is bombarding our cells every minute of every day, but there are ways to avoid them (16).
The good news is that youtube has a lot of videos on different topics such as acupuncture point indications. You can also Google the relevant points which you can massage – anticlockwise to strengthen or tone up, and clockwise to release. How to make remedies at home. There are even cheap professional level courses for herbs and other therapies online today.
START AT GROUND ZERO.
You can slowly build up your medicine cabinet by buying supplements, herbal tonics, lotions, creams and tinctures from discount suppliers. Start in the clearance section – you can even go to bargain bins in health shops, supermarkets and pharmacies. Just because you don't need it at that time does not mean you wont need it. So right now, you don't have a cold but that echinacea or cold and flu remedy will be needed come cold and flu season. Grab a few bandages.
My staple sterilisation agents are hydrogen peroxide, lavender oil, iodine and eucalyptus oil. My favourite healing creams are pawpaw, calendula and hyp