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How and When to Be Your Own Doctor by Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon

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Created by: Steve Solomon ssolomon@soilandhealth.org

How and When to Be Your Own Doctor

by Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon

Steve Solomon, June, 1997.

Table of Contents

Forward by Steve Solomon
Chapter One: How I Became a Hygienist
Chapter Two: The Nature and Cause of Disease
Chapter Three: Fasting
Chapter Four: Colon Cleansing
Chapter Five: Diet and Nutrition
Chapter Six: Vitamins and Other Food Supplements
Chapter Seven: The Analysis of Disease States--Helping the Body


_Tis a gift to be simple
Tis a gift to be free,
Tis a gift to come down
Where we ought to be.
And when we find ourselves
In a place just right,
It will be in the valley
Of love and delight._

Old Shaker Hymn

Favorite of Dr. Isabelle Moser

I was a physically tough, happy-go-lucky fellow until I reached my
late thirties. Then I began to experience more and more off days
when I did not feel quite right. I thought I possessed an iron
constitution. Although I grew a big food garden and ate mostly
"vegetablitarian" I thought I could eat anything with impunity. I
had been fond of drinking beer with my friends while nibbling on
salty snacks or heavy foods late into the night. And until my health
began to weaken I could still get up the next morning after several
homebrewed beers, feeling good, and would put in a solid day's work.

When my health began to slip I went looking for a cure. Up to that
time the only use I'd had for doctors was to fix a few traumatic
injuries. The only preventative health care I concerned myself with
was to take a multivitamin pill during those rare spells when I felt
a bit run down and to eat lots of vegetables. So I'd not learned
much about alternative health care.

Naturally, my first stop was a local general practitioner/MD. He
gave me his usual half-hour get-acquainted checkout and opined that
there almost certainly was nothing wrong with me. I suspect I had
the good fortune to encounter an honest doctor, because he also said
if it were my wish he could send me around for numerous tests but
most likely these would not reveal anything either. More than
likely, all that was wrong was that I was approaching 40; with the
onset of middle age I would naturally have more aches and pains.
'Take some aspirin and get used to it,' was his advice. 'It'll only
get worse.'

Not satisfied with his dismal prognosis I asked an energetic old guy
I knew named Paul, an '80-something homesteader who was renowned for
his organic garden and his good health. Paul referred me to his
doctor, Isabelle Moser, who at that time was running the Great Oaks
School of Health, a residential and out-patient spa nearby at
Creswell, Oregon.

Dr. Moser had very different methods of analysis than the medicos,
was warmly personal and seemed very safe to talk to. She looked me
over, did some strange magical thing she called muscle testing and
concluded that I still had a very strong constitution. If I would
eliminate certain "bad" foods from my diet, eliminate some generally
healthful foods that, unfortunately, I was allergic to, if I would
reduce my alcohol intake greatly and take some food supplements,
then gradually my symptoms would abate. With the persistent
application of a little self-discipline over several months, maybe
six months, I could feel really well again almost all the time and
would probably continue that way for many years to come. This was
good news, though the need to apply personal responsibility toward
the solution of my problem seemed a little sobering.

But I could also see that Dr. Moser was obviously not telling me
something. So I gently pressed her for the rest. A little shyly,
reluctantly, as though she were used to being rebuffed for making
such suggestions, Isabelle asked me if I had ever heard of fasting?
"Yes," I said. "I had. Once when I was about twenty and staying at a
farm in Missouri, during a bad flu I actually did fast, mainly
because I was too sick to take anything but water for nearly one

"Why do you ask?" I demanded.

"If you would fast, you will start feeling really good as soon as
the fast is over." she said.

"Fast? How long?"

"Some have fasted for a month or even longer," she said. Then she
observed my crestfallen expression and added, "Even a couple of
weeks would make an enormous difference."

It just so happened that I was in between set-up stages for a new
mail-order business I was starting and right then I did have a
couple of weeks when I was virtually free of responsibility. I could
also face the idea of not eating for a couple of weeks. "Okay!" I
said somewhat impulsively. "I could fast for two weeks. If I start
right now maybe even three weeks, depending on how my schedule works

So in short order I was given several small books about fasting to
read at home and was mentally preparing myself for several weeks of
severe privation, my only sustenance to be water and herb tea
without sweetener. And then came the clinker.

"Have you ever heard of colonics?" she asked sweetly.

"Yes. Weird practice, akin to anal sex or something?"

"Not at all," she responded. "Colonics are essential during fasting
or you will have spells when you'll feel terrible. Only colonics
make water fasting comfortable and safe."

Then followed some explanation about bowel cleansing (and another
little book to take home) and soon I was agreeing to get my body
over to her place for a colonic every two or three days during the
fasting period, the first colonic scheduled for the next afternoon.
I'll spare you a detailed description of my first fast with
colonics; you'll read about others shortly. In the end I withstood
the boredom of water fasting for 17 days. During the fast I had
about 7 colonics. I ended up feeling great, much trimmer, with an
enormous rebirth of energy. And when I resumed eating it turned out
to be slightly easier to control my dietary habits and appetites.

Thus began my practice of an annual health-building water fast. Once
a year, at whatever season it seemed propitious, I'd set aside a
couple of weeks to heal my body. While fasting I'd slowly drive
myself over to Great Oaks School for colonics every other day. By
the end of my third annual fast in 1981, Isabelle and I had become
great friends. About this same time Isabelle's relationship with her
first husband, Douglas Moser, had disintegrated. Some months later,
Isabelle and I became partners. And then we married.

My regular fasts continued through 1984, by which time I had
recovered my fundamental organic vigor and had retrained my dietary
habits. About 1983 Isabelle and I also began using Life Extension
megavitamins as a therapy against the aging process. Feeling so much
better I began to find the incredibly boring weeks of prophylactic
fasting too difficult to motivate myself to do, and I stopped. Since
that time I fast only when acutely ill. Generally less than one week
on water handles any non-optimum health condition I've had since
'84. I am only 54 years old as I write these words, so I hope it
will be many, many years before I find myself in the position where
I have to fast for an extended period to deal with a serious or
life-threatening condition.

I am a kind of person the Spanish call _autodidactico,_ meaning that
I prefer to teach myself. I had already learned the fine art of
self-employment and general small-business practice that way, as
well as radio and electronic theory, typography and graphic design,
the garden seed business, horticulture, and agronomy. When Isabelle
moved in with me she also brought most of Great Oak's extensive
library, including very hard to obtain copies of the works of the
early hygienic doctors. Naturally I studied her books intensely.

Isabelle also brought her medical practice into our house. At first
it was only a few loyal local clients who continued to consult with
her on an out-patient basis, but after a few years, the demands for
residential care from people who were seriously and sometimes
life-threateningly sick grew irresistibly, and I found myself
sharing our family house with a parade of really sick people. True,
I was not their doctor, but because her residential clients became
temporary parts of our family, I helped support and encourage our
residents through their fasting process. I'm a natural teacher (and
how-to-do-it writer), so I found myself explaining many aspects of
hygienic medicine to Isabelle's clients, while having a first-hand
opportunity to observe for myself the healing process at work. Thus
it was that I became the doctor's assistant and came to practice
second-hand hygienic medicine.

In 1994, when Isabelle had reached the age of 54, she began to think
about passing on her life's accumulation of healing wisdom by
writing a book. She had no experience at writing for the popular
market, her only major writing being a Ph.D. dissertation. I on the
other hand had published seven books about vegetable gardening. And
I grasped the essentials of her wisdom as well as any
non-practitioner could. So we took a summer off and rented a house
in rural Costa Rica, where I helped Isabelle put down her thoughts
on a cheap word-processing typewriter. When we returned to the
States, I fired-up my "big-mac" and composed this manuscript into a
rough book format that was given to some of her clients to get what
is trendily called these days, "feedback."

But before we could completely finish her book, Isabelle became
dangerously ill and after a long, painful struggle with abdominal
cancer, she died. After I resurfaced from the worst of my grief and
loss, I decided to finish her book. Fortunately, the manuscript
needed little more than polishing. I am telling the reader these
things because many ghost-written books end up having little direct
connection with the originator of the thoughts. Not so in this case.
And unlike many ghost writers, I had a long and loving
apprenticeship with the author. At every step of our colaboration on
this book I have made every effort to communicate Isabelle's
viewpoints in the way she would speak, not my own. Dr. Isabelle
Moser was for many years my dearest friend. I have worked on this
book to help her pass her understanding on.

Many people consider death to be a complete invalidation of a
healing arts practitioner. I don't. Coping with her own dicey health
had been a major motivator for Isabelle's interest in healing
others. She will tell you more about it in the chapters to come.
Isabelle had been fending off cancer since its first blow up when
she was 26 years old. I view that 30 plus years of defeating Death
as a great success rather than consider her ultimate defeat as a

Isabelle Moser was born in 1940 and died in 1996. I think the
greatest accomplishment of her 56 years was to meld virtually all
available knowledge about health and healing into a workable and
most importantly, a simple model that allowed her to have amazing
success. Her "system" is simple enough that even a generally
well-educated non-medico like me can grasp it. And use it without
consulting a doctor every time a symptom appears.

Finally, I should mention that over the years since this book was
written I have discovered contains some significant errors of
anatomical or psysiological detail. Most of these happened because
the book was written "off the top of Isabelle's head," without any
reference materials at hand, not even an anatomy text. I have not
fixed these goofs as I am not even qualified to find them all. Thus,
when the reader reads such as 'the pancreas secreates enzymes into
the stomach,' (actually and correctly, the duodenum) I hope they
will understand and not invalidate the entire book.

Chapter One

How I Became a Hygienist

From The Hygienic Dictionary

Doctors. [1] In the matter of disease and healing, the people have
been treated as serfs. The doctor is a dictator who knows it all,
and the people are stupid, dumb, driven cattle, fit for nothing
except to be herded together, bucked and gagged when necessary to
force medical opinion down their throats or under their skins. I
found that professional dignity was more often pomposity, sordid
bigotry and gilded ignorance. The average physician is a
fear-monger, if he is anything. He goes about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may scare to death. _Dr. John. H. Tilden, Impaired
Health: Its Cause and Cure, Vol. 1, 1921._ [2] Today we are not only
in the Nuclear Age but also the Antibiotic Age. Unhappily, too, this
is the Dark Age of Medicine--an age in which many of my colleagues,
when confronted with a patient, consult a volume which rivals the
Manhattan telephone directory in size. This book contains the names
of thousands upon thousands of drugs used to alleviate the
distressing symptoms of a host of diseased states of the body. The
doctor then decides which pink or purple or baby-blue pill to
prescribe for the patient. This is not, in my opinion, the practice
of medicine. Far too many of these new "miracle" drugs are
introduced with fanfare and then reveled as lethal in character, to
be silently discarded for newer and more powerful drugs. _Dr. Henry
Bieler: Food is Your Best Medicine; 1965._

I have two reasons for writing this book. One, to help educate the
general public about the virtues of natural medicine. The second, to
encourage the next generation of natural healers. Especially the
second because it is not easy to become a natural hygienist; there
is no school or college or licensing board.

Most AMA-affiliated physicians follow predictable career paths,
straight well-marked roads, climbing through apprenticeships in
established institutions to high financial rewards and social
status. Practitioners of natural medicine are not awarded equally
high status, rarely do we become wealthy, and often, naturopaths
arrive at their profession rather late in life after following the
tangled web of their own inner light. So I think it is worth a few
pages to explain how I came to practice a dangerous profession and
why I have accepted the daily risks of police prosecution and civil
liability without possibility of insurance.

Sometimes it seems to me that I began this lifetime powerfully
predisposed to heal others. So, just for childhood warm-ups I was
born into a family that would be much in need of my help. As I've
always disliked an easy win, to make rendering that help even more
difficult, I decided to be the youngest child, with two older

A pair of big, capable brothers might have guided and shielded me.
But my life did not work out that way. The younger of my two
brothers, three years ahead of me, was born with many health
problems. He was weak, small, always ill, and in need of protection
from other children, who are generally rough and cruel. My father
abandoned our family shortly after I was born; it fell to my mother
to work to help support us. Before I was adolescent my older brother
left home to pursue a career in the Canadian Air Force.

Though I was the youngest, I was by far the healthiest.
Consequently, I had to pretty much raise myself while my single
mother struggled to earn a living in rural western Canada. This
circumstance probably reinforced my constitutional predilection for
independent thought and action. Early on I started to protect my
"little" brother, making sure the local bullies didn't take
advantage of him. I learned to fight big boys and win. I also helped
him acquire simple skills, ones that most kids grasp without
difficulty, such as swimming, bike riding, tree climbing, etc.

And though not yet adolescent, I had to function as a responsible
adult in our household. Stressed by anger over her situation and the
difficulties of earning our living as a country school teacher
(usually in remote one-room schools), my mother's health
deteriorated rapidly. As she steadily lost energy and became less
able to take care of the home, I took over more and more of the
cleaning, cooking, and learned how to manage her--a person who feels
terrible but must work to survive.

During school hours my mother was able to present a positive
attitude, and was truly a gifted teacher. However, she had a
personality quirk. She obstinately preferred to help the most able
students become even more able, but she had little desire to help
those with marginal mentalities. This predilection got her into no
end of trouble with local school boards; inevitably it seemed the
District Chairman would have a stupid, badly-behaved child that my
mother refused to cater to. Several times we had to move in the
middle of the school year when she was dismissed without notice for
"insubordination." This would inevitably happen on the frigid
Canadian Prairies during mid-winter.

At night, exhausted by the day's efforts, my mother's positiveness
dissipated and she allowed her mind to drift into negative thoughts,
complaining endlessly about my irresponsible father and about how
much she disliked him for treating her so badly. These emotions and
their irresponsible expression were very difficult for me to deal
with as a child, but it taught me to work on diverting someone's
negative thoughts, and to avoid getting dragged into them myself,
skills I had to use continually much later on when I began to manage
mentally and physically ill clients on a residential basis.

My own personal health problems had their genesis long before my own
birth. Our diet was awful, with very little fresh fruit or
vegetables. We normally had canned, evaporated milk, though there
were a few rare times when raw milk and free-range fertile farm eggs
were available from neighbors. Most of my foods were heavily salted
or sugared, and we ate a great deal of fat in the form of lard. My
mother had little money but she had no idea that some of the most
nutritious foods are also the least expensive.

It is no surprise to me that considering her nutrient-poor,
fat-laden diet and stressful life, my mother eventually developed
severe gall bladder problems. Her degeneration caused progressively
more and more severe pain until she had a cholecystectomy. The
gallbladder's profound deterioration had damaged her liver as well,
seeming to her surgeon to require the removal of half her liver.
After this surgical insult she had to stop working and never
regained her health. Fortunately, by this time all her children were

I had still more to overcome. My eldest brother had a nervous
breakdown while working on the DEW Line (he was posted on the Arctic
Circle watching radar screens for a possible incoming attack from
Russia). I believe his collapse actually began with our childhood
nutrition. While in the Arctic all his foods came from cans. He also
was working long hours in extremely cramped quarters with no leave
for months in a row, never going outside because of the cold, or
having the benefit of natural daylight.

When he was still in the acute stage of his illness (I was still a
teenager myself) I went to the hospital where my bother was being
held, and talked the attending psychiatrist into immediately
discharging him into my care. The physician also agreed to refrain
from giving him electroshock therapy, a commonly used treatment for
mental conditions in Canadian hospitals at that time. Somehow I knew
the treatment they were using was wrong.

I brought my brother home still on heavy doses of thorazine. The
side effects of this drug were so severe he could barely exist:
blurred vision, clenched jaw, trembling hands, and restless feet
that could not be kept still. These are common problems with the
older generation of psycho tropic medications, generally controlled
to some extent with still other drugs like cogentin (which he was
taking too).

My brother steadily reduced his tranquilizers until he was able to
think and do a few things. On his own he started taking a lot of B
vitamins and eating whole grains. I do not know exactly why he did
this, but I believe he was following his intuition. (I personally
did not know enough to suggest a natural approach at that time.) In
any case after three months on vitamins and an improved diet he no
long needed any medication, and was delighted to be free of their
side effects. He remained somewhat emotionally fragile for a few
more months but he soon returned to work, and has had no mental
trouble from that time to this day. This was the beginning of my
interest in mental illness, and my first exposure to the limitations
of 'modern' psychiatry.

I always preferred self-discipline to being directed by others. So I
took every advantage of having a teacher for a mother and studied at
home instead of being bored silly in a classroom. In Canada of that
era you didn't have to go to high school to enter university, you
only had to pass the written government entrance exams. At age 16,
never having spent a single day in high school, I passed the
university entrance exams with a grade of 97 percent. At that point
in my life I really wanted to go to medical school and become a
doctor, but I didn't have the financial backing to embark on such a
long and costly course of study, so I settled on a four year nursing
course at the University of Alberta, with all my expenses paid in
exchange for work at the university teaching hospital.

At the start of my nurses training I was intensely curious about
everything in the hospital: birth, death, surgery, illness, etc. I
found most births to be joyful, at least when everything came out
all right. Most people died very alone in the hospital, terrified if
they were conscious, and all seemed totally unprepared for death,
emotionally or spiritually. None of the hospital staff wanted to be
with a dying person except me; most hospital staff were unable to
confront death any more bravely than those who were dying. So I made
it a point of being at the death bed. The doctors and nurses found
it extremely unpleasant to have to deal with the preparation of the
dead body for the morgue; this chore usually fell to me also. I did
not mind dead bodies. They certainly did not mind me!

I had the most difficulty accepting surgery. There were times when
surgery was clearly a life saving intervention, particularly when
the person had incurred a traumatic injury, but there were many
other cases when, though the knife was the treatment of choice, the
results were disastrous.

Whenever I think of surgery, my recollections always go to a man
with cancer of the larynx. At that time the University of Alberta
had the most respected surgeons and cancer specialists in the
country. To treat cancer they invariably did surgery, plus radiation
and chemotherapy to eradicate all traces of cancerous tissue in the
body, but they seemed to forget there also was a human being
residing in that very same cancerous body. This particularly
unfortunate man came into our hospital as a whole human being,
though sick with cancer. He could still speak, eat, swallow, and
looked normal. But after surgery he had no larynx, nor esophagus,
nor tongue, and no lower jaw.

The head surgeon, who, by the way, was considered to be a virtual
god amongst gods, came back from the operating room smiling from ear
to ear, announcing proudly that he had 'got all the cancer'. But
when I saw the result I thought he'd done a butcher's job. The
victim couldn't speak at all, nor eat except through a tube, and he
looked grotesque. Worst, he had lost all will to live. I thought the
man would have been much better off to keep his body parts as long
as he could, and die a whole person able to speak, eating if he felt
like it, being with friends and family without inspiring a gasp of

I was sure there must be better ways of dealing with degenerative
conditions such as cancer, but I had no idea what they might be or
how to find out. There was no literature on medical alternatives in
the university library, and no one in the medical school ever hinted
at the possibility except when the doctors took jabs at
chiropractors. Since no one else viewed the situation as I did I
started to think I might be in the wrong profession.

It also bothered me that patients were not respected, were not
people; they were considered a "case" or a "condition." I was
frequently reprimanded for wasting time talking to patients, trying
to get acquainted. The only place in the hospital where human
contact was acceptable was the psychiatric ward. So I enjoyed the
rotation to psychiatry for that reason, and decided that I would
like to make psychiatry or psychology my specialty.

By the time I finished nursing school, it was clear that the
hospital was not for me. I especially didn't like its rigid
hierarchical system, where all bowed down to the doctors. The very
first week in school we were taught that when entering a elevator,
make sure that the doctor entered first, then the intern, then the
charge nurse. Followed by, in declining order of status: graduate
nurses, third year nurses, second year nurses, first year nurses,
then nursing aids, then orderlies, then ward clerks, and only then,
the cleaning staff. No matter what the doctor said, the nurse was
supposed to do it immediately without question--a very military sort
of organization.

Nursing school wasn't all bad. I learned how to take care of all
kinds of people with every variety of illness. I demonstrated for
myself that simple nursing care could support a struggling body
through its natural healing process. But the doctor-gods tended to
belittle and denigrate nurses. No wonder--so much of nursing care
consists of unpleasant chores like bed baths, giving enemas and
dealing with other bodily functions.

I also studied the state-of-the-art science concerning every
conceivable medical condition, its symptoms, and treatment. At the
university hospital nurses were required to take the same pre-med
courses as the doctors--including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry,
and pharmacology. Consequently, I think it is essential for holistic
healers to first ground themselves in the basic sciences of the
body's physiological systems. There is also much valuable data in
standard medical texts about the digestion, assimilation, and
elimination. To really understand illness, the alternative
practitioner must be fully aware of the proper functioning of the
cardiovascular/pulmonary system, the autonomic and voluntary nervous
system, the endocrine system, plus the mechanics and detailed
nomenclature of the skeleton, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Also
it is helpful to know the conventional medical models for treating
various disorders, because they do appear to work well for some
people, and should not be totally invalidated simply on the basis of
one's philosophical or religious viewpoints.

Many otherwise well-meaning holistic practitioners, lacking an
honest grounding in science, sometimes express their understanding
of the human body in non-scientific, metaphysical terms that can
seem absurd to the well-instructed. I am not denying here that there
is a spiritual aspect to health and illness; I believe there are
energy flows in and around the body that can effect physiological
functioning. I am only suggesting that to discuss illness without
hard science is like calling oneself a abstract artist because the
painter has no ability to even do a simple, accurate
representational drawing of a human figure.

Though hospital life had already become distasteful to me I was
young and poor when I graduated. So after nursing school I buckled
down and worked just long enough to save enough money to obtain a
masters degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of British
Columbia. Then I started working at Riverview Hospital in Vancouver,
B.C., doing diagnostic testing, and group therapy, mostly with
psychotic people. At Riverview I had a three-year-long opportunity
to observe the results of conventional psychiatric treatment.

The first thing I noticed was the 'revolving door' phenomena. That
is, people go out, and then they're back in, over and over again,
demonstrating that standard treatment--drugs, electroshock and group
therapy--had been ineffective. Worse, the treatments given at
Riverside were dangerous, often with long term side effects that
were more damaging than the disease being treated. It felt like
nursing school all over again; in the core of my being I somehow
knew there was a better way, a more effective way of helping people
to regain their mental health. Feeling like an outsider, I started
investigating the hospital's nooks and crannies. Much to my
surprise, in a back ward, one not open to the public, I noticed a
number of people with bright purple skins.

I asked the staff about this and every one of the psychiatrists
denied these patients existed. This outright and widely-agreed-upon
lie really raised my curiosity. Finally after pouring through the
journals in the hospital library I found an article describing
psycho tropic-drug-induced disruptions of melanin (the dark skin
pigment). Thorazine, a commonly used psychiatric drug, when taken in
high doses over a long period of time would do this. Excess melanin
eventually was deposited in vital organs such as the heart and the
liver, causing death.

I found it especially upsetting to see patients receive electroshock
treatments. These violent, physician-induced traumas did seem to
disrupt dysfunctional thought patterns such as an impulse to commit
suicide, but afterwards the victim couldn't remember huge parts of
their life or even recall who they were. Like many other dangerous
medical treatments, electroshock can save life but it can also take
life away by obliterating identity.

According the Hippocratic Oath, the first criteria of a treatment is
that it should do no harm. Once again I found myself trapped in a
system that made me feel severe protest. Yet none of these
specialists or university professors, or academic libraries had any
information about alternatives. Worse, none of these mind-doctor-gods
were even looking for better treatments.

Though unpleasant and profoundly disappointing, my experience as a
mental hospital psychologist was, like being in nursing school, also
very valuable. Not only did I learn how to diagnose, and evaluate
the severity of mental illness and assess the dangerousness of the
mentally ill, I learned to understand them, to feel comfortable with
them, and found that I was never afraid of them. Fearlessness is a
huge advantage. The mentally ill seem to have a heightened ability
to spot fear in others. If they sense that you are afraid they
frequently enjoy terrorizing you. When psychotic people know you
feel comfortable with them, and probably understand a great deal of
what they are experiencing, when they know that you can and intend
to control them, they experience a huge sense of relief. I could
always get mentally ill people to tell me what was really going on
in their heads when no one else could get them to communicate.

A few years later I married an American and became the Mental Health
Coordinator for Whatcom County, the northwestern corner of
Washington State. I handled all the legal proceedings in the county
for mentally ill people. After treatment in the state mental
hospital I supervised their reentry into the community, and
attempted to provide some follow up. This work further confirmed my
conclusions that in most cases the mentally ill weren't helped by
conventional treatment. Most of them rapidly became social problems
after discharge. It seemed the mental hospital's only ethically
defensible function was incarceration--providing temporary relief
for the family and community from the mentally ill person's

I did see a few people recover in the mental health system.
Inevitably these were young, and had not yet become
institutionalized, a term describing someone who comes to like being
in the hospital because confinement feels safe. Hospitalization can
mean three square meals and a bed. It frequently means an
opportunity to have a sex life (many female inmates are highly
promiscuous). Many psychotics are also criminal; the hospital seems
far better to them than jail. Many chronically mentally ill are also
experts at manipulating the system. When homeless, they deliberately
get hospitalized for some outrageous deed just before winter. They
then "recover" when the fine weather of spring returns.

After a year as Mental Health Co-ordinator, I had enough of the
"system" and decided that it was as good a time as any to return to
school for a Ph.D., this time at University. of Oregon where I
studied clinical and counseling psychology and gerontology. While in
graduate school I became pregnant and had my first child. Not
surprisingly, this experience profoundly changed my consciousness. I
realized that it had perhaps been all right for me to be somewhat
irresponsible about my own nutrition and health, but that it was not
okay to inflict poor nutrition on my unborn child. At that time I
was addicted to salty, deep-fat fried corn chips and a diet pop. I
thought I had to have these so-called foods every day. I tended to
eat for taste, in other words, what I liked, not necessarily what
would give me the best nutrition. I was also eating a lot of what
most people would consider healthy food: meat, cheese, milk, whole
grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.

My constitution had seemed strong and vital enough through my
twenties to allow this level of dietary irresponsibility. During my
early 20s I had even recovered from a breast cancer by sheer will
power. (I will discuss this later.) So before my pregnancy I had not
questioned my eating habits.

As my body changed and adapted itself to it's new purpose I began
visiting the libraries and voraciously read everything obtainable
under the topic of nutrition--all the texts, current magazines,
nutritional journals, and health newsletters. My childhood habit of
self-directed study paid off. I discovered alternative health
magazines like Let's Live, Prevention, Organic Gardening, and Best
Ways, and promptly obtained every back issue since they were first
published. Along the way I ran into articles by Linus Pauling on
vitamin C, and sent away for all of his books, one of these was
co-authored with David Hawkins, called The Orthomolecular Approach
to Mental Disorders.

This book had a profound effect on me. I instantly recognized that
it was Truth with a capital "T", although the orthomolecular
approach was clearly in opposition to the established medical model
and contradicted everything I had ever learned as a student or
professional. Here at last was the exciting alternative approach to
treating mental disorders I had so long sought. I filed this
information away, waiting for an opportunity to use it. And I began
to study all the references in The Orthomolecular Approach to Mental
Disorders dealing with correcting the perceptual functioning of
psychotic people using natural substances.

In the course of delving through libraries and book stores, I also
came across the Mokelumne Hill Publishing Company (now defunct).
This obscure publisher reprinted many unusual and generally crudely
reproduced out-of-print books about raw foods diets, hygienic
medicine, fruitarianism, fasting, breathairianism, plus some works
discussing spiritual aspects of living that were far more esoteric
than I had ever thought existed. I decided that weird or not, I
might as well find out everything potentially useful. So I spent a
lot of money ordering their books. Some of Mokelumne Hill's material
really expanded my thoughts. Though much of it seemed totally
outrageous, in every book there usually was one line, one paragraph,
or if I was lucky one whole chapter that rang true for me.

Recognizing capital "T" Truth when one sees it is one of the most
important abilities a person can have. Unfortunately, every aspect
of our mass educational system attempts to invalidate this skill.
Students are repeatedly told that derivation from recognized
authority and/or the scientific method are the only valid means to
assess the validity of data. But there is another parallel method to
determine the truth or falsehood of information: Knowing. We Know by
the simple method of looking at something and recognizing its
correctness. It is a spiritual ability. I believe we all have it.
But in my case, I never lost the ability to Know because I almost
never attended school.

Thus it is that I am absolutely certain How and When to Be Your Own
Doctor will be recognized as Truth by some of my readers and
rejected as unscientific, unsubstantiated, or anecdotal information
by others. I accept this limitation on my ability to teach. If what
you read in the following pages seems True for you, great! If it
doesn't, there is little or nothing I could do to further convince.

I return now to the time of my first pregnancy. In the face of all
these new Truths I was discovering concerning health and nutrition,
I made immediate changes in my diet. I severely reduced my animal
protein intake and limited cooked food in general. I began taking
vitamin and mineral supplements. I also choose a highly atypical
Ph.D. dissertation topic, "The Orthomolecular Treatment of Mental
Disorders." This fifty cent word, orthomolecular, basically means
readjusting the body chemistry by providing unusually large amounts
of specific nutrient substances normally found in the human body
(vitamins and minerals). Orthomolecular therapy for mental disorders
is supported by good diet, by removal of allergy-producing
substances, by control of hypoglycemia, plus counseling, and
provision of a therapeutic environment.

My proposed dissertation topic met with nothing but opposition. The
professors on my doctoral committee had never heard of the word
orthomolecular, and all of them were certain it wasn't an accepted,
traditional area of research. Research in academia is supposed to be
based on the works of a previous researchers who arrived at
hypothesis based on data obtained by strictly following scientific
methodology. "Scientific" data requires control groups, matched
populations, statistical analysis, etc. In my case there was no
previous work my dissertation committee would accept, because the
available data did not originate from a medical school or psychology
department they recognized.

Due to a lot of determination and perseverance I finally did succeed
in getting my thesis accepted, and triumphed over my doctoral
committee. And I graduated with a dual Ph.D. in both counseling
psychology and gerontology. My ambition was to establish the
orthomolecular approach on the west coast. At that time I knew of
only two clinics in the world actively using nutritional therapy.
One was in New York and the other, was a Russian experimental
fasting program for schizophrenics. Doctors Hoffer and Osmond had
used orthomolecular therapy in a Canadian mental hospital as early
as 1950, but they had both gone on to other things.

The newly graduated Dr. Isabelle Moser, Ph.D. was at this point
actually an unemployed mother, renting an old, end-of-the-road,
far-in-the-country farmhouse; by then I had two small daughters. I
strongly preferred to take care of my own children instead of
turning them over to a baby sitter. My location and my children made
it difficult for me to work any place but at home. So naturally, I
made my family home into a hospital for psychotic individuals. I
started out with one resident patient at a time, using no
psychiatric drugs. I had very good results and learned a tremendous
amount with each client, because each one was different and each was
my first of each type.

With any psychotic residing in your home it is foolhardy to become
inattentive even for one hour, including what are normally
considered sleeping hours. I have found the most profoundly ill
mentally ill person still to be very crafty and aware even though
they may appear to be unconscious or nonresponsive. Psychotics are
also generally very intuitive, using faculties most of us use very
little or not at all. For example one of my first patients,
Christine, believed that I was trying to electrocute her. Though she
would not talk, she repeatedly drew pictures depicting this. She
had, quite logically within her own reality, decided to kill me with
a butcher knife in self-defense before I succeeded in killing her. I
had to disarm Christine several times, hide all the household
knives, change my sleeping spot frequently, and generally stay
sufficiently awake at night to respond to slight, creaky sounds that
could indicate the approach of stealthily placed small bare feet.

With orthomolecular treatment Christine improved but also became
more difficult to live with as she got better. For example, when she
came out of catatonic-like immobility, she became extremely
promiscuous, and was determined to sleep with my husband. In fact
she kept crawling into bed with him with no clothes on. Either we
had to forcefully remove her or the bed would be handed over to
her--without a resident man. Christine then decided (logically) that
I was an obstacle to her sex life, and once more set out to kill me.
This stage also passed, eventually and Christine got tolerably well.

Christine's healing process is quite typical and demonstrates why
orthomolecular treatment is not popular. As a psychotic genuinely
improves, their aberrated behavior often becomes more aggressive
initially and thus, harder to control. It seems far more convenient
for all concerned to suppress psychotic behavior with stupefying
drugs. A drugged person can be controlled when they're in a sort of
perpetual sedation but then, they never get genuinely well, either.

Another early patient, Elizabeth, gave me a particularly valuable
lesson, one that changed the direction of my career away from curing
insanity and toward regular medicine. Elizabeth was a catatonic
schizophrenic who did not speak or move, except for some waxy
posturing. She had to be fed, dressed and pottied. Elizabeth was a
pretty little brunette who got through a couple of years of college
and then spent several years in a state mental hospital. She had
recently run away from a hospital, and had been found wandering
aimlessly or standing rigidly, apparently staring fixedly at
nothing. The emergency mental health facility in a small city nearby
called me up and asked if I would take her. I said I would, and
drove into town to pick her up. I found Elizabeth in someone's back
yard staring at a bush. It took me three hours to persuade her to
get in my car, but that effort turned out to be the easiest part of
the next months.

Elizabeth would do nothing for herself, including going to the
bathroom. I managed to get some nutrition into her, and change her
clothes, but that was about all I could do. Eventually she wore me
down; I drifted off for an hour's nap instead of watching her all
night. Elizabeth slipped away in the autumn darkness and vanished.
Needless to say, when daylight came I desperately searched the
buildings, the yard, gardens, woods, and even the nearby river. I
called in a missing person report and the police looked as well. We
stopped searching after a week because there just wasn't any place
else to look. Then, into my kitchen, right in front of our round
eyes and gaping mouths, walked a smiling, pleasant, talkative young
woman who was quite sane.

She said, "Hello I'm Elizabeth! I'm sorry I was such a hassle last
week, and thank you for trying to take care of me so well. I was too
sick to know any better." She said she had gone out our back door
the week before and crawled under a pile of fallen leaves on the
ground in our back yard with a black tarp over them. We had looked
under the tarp at least fifty times during the days past, but never
thought to look under the leaves as well.

This amazing occurrence made my head go bong to say the least; it
was obvious that Elizabeth had not been 'schizophrenic' because of
her genetics, nor because of stress, nor malnutrition, nor
hypoglycemia, nor because of any of the causes of mental illness I
had previously learned to identify and rectify, but because of food
allergies. Elizabeth was spontaneously cured because she'd had
nothing to eat for a week. The composting pile of leaves hiding her
had produced enough heat to keep her warm at night and the heap
contained sufficient moisture to keep her from getting too
dehydrated. She looked wonderful, with clear shiny blue eyes, clear
skin with good color, though she was slightly slimmer than when I
had last seen her.

I then administered Coca's Pulse Test (see the Appendix) and quickly
discovered Elizabeth was wildly intolerant to wheat and dairy
products. Following the well known health gurus of that time like
Adelle Davis, I had self-righteously been feeding her home-made
whole wheat bread from hand-ground Organic wheat, and home-made
cultured yogurt from our own organically-fed goats. But by doing
this I had only maintained her insanity. Elizabeth was an
intelligent young woman, and once she understood what was causing
her problems, she had no trouble completely eliminating certain
foods from her diet. She shuddered at the thought that had she not
come to my place and discovered the problem, she would probably have
died on the back ward of some institution for the chronically
mentally ill.

As for me, I will always be grateful to her for opening my eyes and
mind a little wider. Elizabeth's case showed me why Russian
schizophrenics put on a 30 day water fast had such a high recovery
rate. I also remembered all the esoteric books I had read extolling
the benefits of fasting. I also remembered two occasions during my
own youth when I had eaten little or nothing for approximately a
month each without realizing that I was "fasting." And doing this
had done me nothing but good.

Once when I was thirteen my mother sent my "little" brother and I to
a residential fundamentalist bible school. I did not want to go
there, although my brother did; he had decided he wanted to be a
evangelical minister. I hated bible school because I was allowed
absolutely no independence of action. We were required to attend
church services three times a day during the week, and five services
on Sunday. As I became more and more unhappy, I ate less and less;
in short order I wasn't eating at all. The school administration
became concerned after I had dropped about 30 pounds in two months,
notified my mother and sent me home. I returned to at-home
schooling. I also resumed eating.

I fasted one other time for about a month when I was 21. It happened
because I had nothing to do while visiting my mother before
returning to University except help with housework and prepare
meals. The food available in the backwoods of central B.C. didn't
appeal to me because it was mostly canned vegetables, canned milk,
canned moose meat and bear meat stews with lots of gravy and greasy
potatoes. I decided to pass on it altogether. I remember rather
enjoying that time as a fine rest and I left feeling very good ready
to take on the world full force ahead. At that time I didn't know
there was such a thing as fasting, it just happened that way.

After Elizabeth went on her way, I decided to experimentally fast
myself. I consumed only water for two weeks. But I must have had
counter intentions to this fast because I found myself frequently
having dreams about sugared plums, and egg omelets, etc. And I
didn't end up feeling much better after this fast was over (although
I didn't feel any worse either), because I foolishly broke the fast
with one of my dream omelets. And I knew better! Every book I'd ever
read on fasting stated how important it is to break a fast
gradually, eating only easy-to-digest foods for days or weeks before
resuming one's regular diet.

From this experiment I painfully learned how important it is to
break a fast properly. Those eggs just didn't feel right, like I had
an indigestible stone in my belly. I felt very tired after the
omelet, not energized one bit by the food. I immediately cut back my
intake to raw fruits and vegetables while the eggs cleared out of my
system. After a few days on raw food I felt okay, but I never did
regain the shine I had achieved just before I resumed eating.

This is one of the many fine things about fasting, it allows you to
get in much better communication with your own body, so that you can
hear it when it objects to something you're putting in it or doing
to it. It is not easy to acquire this degree of sensitivity to your
body unless you remove all food for a sufficiently long period; this
allows the body to get a word in edgewise that we are willing and
able to listen to. Even when we do hear the body protesting, we
frequently decide to turn a deaf ear, at least until the body starts
producing severe pain or some other symptom that we can't ignore.

Within a few years after Elizabeth's cure I had handily repaired
quite a few mentally ill people in a harmless way no one had heard
of; many new people were knocking at my door wanting to be admitted
to my drug free, home-based treatment program. So many in fact that
my ability to accommodate them was overwhelmed. I decided that it
was necessary to move to a larger facility and we bought an old,
somewhat run-down estate that I called Great Oaks School of Health
because of the magnificent oak trees growing in the front yard.

At Great Oaks initially I continued working with psychotics,
employing fasting as a tool, especially in those cases with obvious
food allergies as identified by Coca's Pulse Test, because it only
takes five days for a fasting body to eliminate all traces of an
allergic food substance and return to normal functioning. If the
person was so severely hypoglycemic that they were unable to
tolerate a water fast, an elimination diet (to be described in
detail later) was employed, while stringently avoiding all foods
usually found to be allergy producing.

I also decided that if I was going to employ fasting as my primary
medicine, it was important for me to have a more intense personal
experience with it, because in the process of reviewing the
literature on fasting I saw that there were many different
approaches, each one staunchly defended by highly partisan
advocates. For example, the capital "N" Natural, capital "H"
Hygienists, such a Herbert Shelton, aggressively assert that only a
pure water fast can be called a fast. Sheltonites contend that juice
fasting as advocated by Paavo Airola, for example, is not a fast but
rather a modified diet without the benefits of real fasting. Colon
cleansing was another area of profound disagreement among the
authorities. Shelton strongly insisted that enemas and colonics
should not be employed; the juice advocates tend to strongly
recommend intestinal cleansing.

To be able to intelligently take a position in this maze of conflict
I decided to first try every system on myself. It seems to me that
if I can be said to really own anything in this life it is my own
body, and I have the absolute right to experiment with it as long as
I'm not irresponsible about important things such as care of my
kids. I also feel strongly that it was unethical to ask anyone to do
anything that I was not willing or able to do myself. Just imagine
what would happen if all medical doctors applied this principal in
their practice of medicine, if all surgeons did it too!

I set out to do a complete and fully rigorous water fast according
to the Natural Hygiene model--only pure water and bed rest (with no
colon cleansing) until hunger returns, something the hygienists all
assured me would happen when the body had completed its
detoxification process. The only aspect of a hygienic fast I could
not fulfill properly was the bed rest part; unfortunately I was in
sole charge of a busy holistic treatment center (and two little
girls); there were things I had to do, though I did my chores and
duties at a very slow pace with many rest periods.

I water fasted for 42 days dropping from 135 pounds to 85 pounds on
a 5' 7" frame. At the end I looked like a Nazi concentration camp
victim. I tended to hide when people came to the door, because the
sight of all my bones scared them to death. Despite my assurances
visitors assumed I was trying to commit suicide. In any case I
persevered, watching my body change, observing my emotions, my
mental functioning, and my spiritual awareness. I thought, if Moses
could fast for 42 days so can I, even though the average length of a
full water fast to skeletal weight for a person that is not
overweight is more in the order of 30 days. I broke the fast with
small amounts of carrot juice diluted 50/50 with water and stayed on
that regimen for two more weeks.

After I resumed eating solid food it took six weeks to regain enough
strength to be able to run the same distance in the same time I had
before fasting, and it took me about six months to regain my
previous weight. My eyes and skin had become exceptionally clear,
and some damaged areas of my body such as my twice-broken shoulder
had undergone considerable healing. I ate far smaller meals after
the fast, but food was so much more efficiently absorbed that I got
a lot more miles to the gallon from what I did eat. I also became
more aware when my body did not want me to eat something. After the
fast, if I ignored my body's protest and persisted, it would
immediately create some unpleasant sensation that quickly persuaded
me to curb my appetite.

I later experimented with other approaches to fasting, with juice
fasts, with colon cleansing, and began to establish my own eclectic
approach to fasting and detoxification, using different types of
programs for different conditions and adjusting for psychological
tolerances. I'll have a lot more to say about fasting.

After my own rigorous fasting experience I felt capable of
supervising extended fasts on very ill or very overweight people.
Great Oaks was gradually shifting from being a place that mentally
ill people came to regain their sanity to being a spa where anyone
who wanted to improve their health could come for a few days, some
weeks or even a few months. It had been my observation from the
beginning that the mentally ill people in my program also improved
remarkably in physical health; it was obvious that my method was
good for anyone. Even people with good health could feel better.

By this time I'd also had enough of psychotic people anyway, and
longed for sane, responsible company.

So people started to come to Great Oaks School of Health to rest up
from a demanding job, to drop some excess weight, and generally to
eliminate the adverse effects of destructive living and eating
habits. I also began to get cancer patients, ranging from those who
had just been diagnosed and did not wish to go the AMA-approved
medical route of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, to those with
well-advanced cancer who had been sent home to die after receiving
all of the above treatments and were now ready to give alternative
therapies a try since they expected to die anyway. I also had a few
people who were beyond help because their vital organs had been so
badly damaged that they knew they were dying, and they wanted to die
in peace without medical intervention, in a supportive hospice cared
for by people who could confront death.

Great Oaks School was intentionally named a "school" of health
partially to deflect the attentions of the AMA. It is, after all,
entirely legal to teach about how to maintain health, about how to
prevent illness, and how to go about making yourself well once you
were sick. Education could not be called "practicing medicine
without a license." Great Oaks was also structured as a school
because I wanted to both learn and teach. Toward this end we started
putting out a holistic health newsletter and offering classes and
seminars to the public on various aspects of holistic health. From
the early 1970s through the early 1980s I invited a succession of
holistic specialists to reside at GOSH, or to teach at Great Oaks
while living elsewhere. These teachers not only provided a service
to the community, but they all became my teachers as well. I
apprenticed myself to each one in turn.

There came and went a steady parade of alternative practitioners of
the healing arts and assorted forms of metapsychology:
acupuncturists, acupressurists, reflexologists, polarity therapists,
massage therapists, postural integrationists, Rolfers, Feldenkries
therapists, neurolinguistic programmers, biokinesiologists,
iridologists, psychic healers, laying on of handsers, past life
readers, crystal therapists, toning therapists in the person of
Patricia Sun, color therapy with lamps and different colored lenses
a la Stanley Bourroughs, Bach Flower therapists, aroma therapists,
herbalists, homeopaths, Tai Chi classes, yoga classes, Arica
classes, Guergieff and Ouspensky fourth-way study groups, EST
workshops, Zen Meditation classes. Refugee Lamas from Tibet gave
lectures on The Book of the Dead and led meditation and chanting
sessions, and we held communication classes using Scientology
techniques. There were anatomy and physiology classes, classes on
nutrition and the orthomolecular approach to treating mental
disorders (given by me of course); there were chiropractors teaching
adjustment techniques, even first aid classes. And we even had a few
medical doctors of the alternative ilk who were interested in life
style changes as an approach to maintaining health.

Classes were also offered on colon health including herbs, clays,
enemas, and colonics. So many of my client at Great Oaks were
demanding colonics in conjunction with their cleansing programs,
that I took time out to go to Indio, Calif. to take a course in
colon therapy from a chiropractor, and purchase a state of the art
colonic machine featuring all the gauges, electric water solenoids
and stainless steel knobs one could ask for.

During this period almost all alternative therapists and their
specialties were very interesting to me, but I found that most of
the approaches they advocated did not suit my personality. For
example, I think that acupuncture is a very useful tool, but I
personally did not want to use needles. Similarly I thought that
Rolfing was a very effective tool but I did not enjoy administering
that much pain, although a significant number of the clients really
wanted pain. Some of the techniques appealed to me in the beginning,
and I used them frequently with good results but over time I decided
to abandon them, mostly because of a desire to simplify and lighten
up my bag of tricks.

Because of my enthusiasm and successes Great Oaks kept on growing.
Originally the estate served as both the offices of the Holt
Adoption Agency and the Holt family mansion. The Holt family had
consisted of Harry and Bertha Holt, six of their biological
children, and eight adopted Korean orphans. For this reason the ten
thousand square foot two story house had large common rooms, and
lots and lots of bedrooms. It was ideal for housing spa clients and
my own family. The adjoining Holt Adoption Agency office building
was also very large with a multitude of rooms. It became living
space for those helpers and hangers-on we came to refer to as
"community members." My first husband added even more to the
physical plant constructing a large, rustic gym and workshop.

Many "alternative" people visited and then begged to stay on with
room and board provided in exchange for their work. A few of these
people made a significant contribution such as cooking, child care,
gardening, tending the ever-ravenous wood-fired boiler we used to
keep the huge concrete mansion heated, or doing general cleaning.
But the majority of the 'work exchangers' did not really understand
what work really was, or didn't have sufficient ethical presence to
uphold the principle of fair exchange, which is basically giving
something of equal value for getting something of value and, perhaps
more importantly, giving in exchange what is needed and asked for.

I also found that community members, once in residence, were very
difficult to dislodge. My healing services were supporting far too
much dead wood. This was basically my own fault, my own poor

Still, I learned a great deal from all of this waste. First of all
it is not a genuine service to another human being to give them
something for nothing. If a fair exchange is expected and received,
positive ethical behavior is strengthened, allowing the individual
to maintain their self-respect. I also came to realize what an
important factor conducting one's life ethically is in the
individual healing process. Those patients who were out exchange in
their relationships with others in one or more areas of their life
frequently did not get well until they changed these behaviors.

Toward the end of 1982, after providing a decade of services to a
great many clients, many of these in critical condition, I reached
to point where I was physically, mentally, and spiritually drained.
I needed a vacation desperately but no one, including my first
husband, could run Great Oaks in my absence much less cover the
heavy mortgage. So I decided to sell it. This decision stunned the
community members and shocked the clientele who had become dependent
on my services. I also got a divorce at this time. In fact I went
through quite a dramatic life change in many areas--true to pattern,
a classic mid-life crisis. All I kept from these years was my two
daughters, my life experiences, and far too many books from the
enormous Great Oaks library.

These changes were however, necessary for my survival. Any person
who works with, yes, lives on a day-to-day basis with sick people
and who is constantly giving or outflowing must take time out to
refill their vessel so that they can give again. Failure to do this
can result in a serious loss of health, or death. Most healers are
empathic people who feel other peoples' pains and stresses and
sometimes have difficulty determining exactly what is their own
personal 'baggage' and what belongs to the clients. This is
especially difficult when the therapy involves a lot of 'hands on'

After leaving Great Oaks it took me a couple of years to rest up
enough to want to resume practicing again. This time, instead of
creating a substantial institution, Steve, my second husband and my
best friend, built a tiny office next to our family home. I had a
guest room that I would use for occasional residential patients.
Usually these were people I had known from Great Oaks days or were
people I particularly liked and wanted to help through a life

At the time I am writing this book over ten years have passed since
I sold Great Oaks. I continue to have an active outpatient practice,
preferring to protect the privacy of my home and family life since I
was remarried by limiting inpatients to a special few who required
more intensive care, and then, only one at a time, and then, with
long spells without a resident.

Chapter Two

The Nature and Cause of Disease

From The Hygienic Dictionary

Toxemia. [1] "Toxemia is the basic cause of all so-called diseases.
In the process of tissue-building (metabolism), there is
cell-building (anabolism) and cell destruction (catabolism). The
broken-down tissue is toxic. In the healthy body (when nerve energy
is normal), this toxic material is eliminated from the blood as fast
as it is evolved. But when nerve energy is dissipated from any cause
(such as physical or mental excitement or bad habits) the body
becomes weakened or enervated. When the body is enervated,
elimination is checked. This, in turn, results in a retention of
toxins in the blood--the condition which we speak of as toxemia.
This state produces a crisis which is nothing more than heroic or
extraordinary efforts by the body to eliminate waste or toxin from
the blood. It is this crisis which we term disease. Such
accumulation of toxin when once established, will continue until
nerve energy has been restored to normal by removing the cause.
So-called disease is nature's effort to eliminate toxin from the
blood. All so-called diseases are crises of toxemia." _John H.
Tilden, M.D., Toxemia Explained._ [2] Toxins are divided into two
groups; namely exogenous, those formed in the alimentary canal from
fermentation and decomposition following imperfect or faulty
digestion. If the fermentation is of vegetables or fruit, the toxins
are irritating, stimulating and enervating, but not so dangerous or
destructive to organic life as putrefaction, which is a fermentation
set up in nitrogenous matter--protein-bearing foods, but
particularly animal foods. Endogenous toxins are autogenerated. They
are the waste products of metabolism. _Dr. John. H. Tilden, Impaired
Health: Its Cause and Cure, 1921._

Suppose a fast-growing city is having traffic jams. "We don't like
it!" protest the voters. "Why are these problems happening?" asks
the city council, trying to look like they are doing something about

Experts then proffer answers. "Because there are too many cars,"
says the Get A Horse Society. The auto makers suggest it is because
there are uncoordinated traffic lights and because almost all the
businesses send their employees home at the same time. Easy to fix!
And no reason whatsoever to limit the number of cars. The asphalt
industry suggests it is because the size and amount of roads is

What do we do then? Tax cars severely until few can afford them?
Legislate opening and closing hours of businesses to stagger to'ing
and fro'ing? Hire a smarter municipal highway engineer to
synchronize the traffic lights? Build larger and more efficient
streets? Demand that auto companies make cars smaller so more can
fit the existing roads? Tax gasoline prohibitively, pass out and
give away free bicycles in virtually unlimited quantities while
simultaneously building mass rail systems? What? Which?

When we settle on a solution we have simultaneously chosen what we
consider the real, underlying cause of the problem. If our chosen
reason was the real reason. then our solution results in a real
cure. If we picked wrongly, our attempt at solution may result in no
cure, or create a worse situation than we had before.

The American Medical Association style of medicine (a philosophy I
will henceforth call allopathic) has a model that explains the
causes of illness. It suggests that anyone who is sick is a victim.
Either they were attacked by a "bad" organism--virus, bacteria,
yeast, pollen, cancer cell, etc.--or they have a "bad" organ--liver,
kidney, gall bladder, even brain. Or, the victim may also have been
cursed by bad genes. In any case, the cause of the disease is not
the person and the person is neither responsible for creating their
own complaint nor is the victim capable of making it go away. This
institutionalized irresponsibility seems useful for both parties to
the illness, doctor and patient. The patient is not required to do
anything about their complaint except pay (a lot) and obediently
follow the instructions of the doctor, submitting unquestioningly to
their drugs and surgeries. The physician then acquires a role of
being considered vital to the survival of others and thus obtains
great status, prestige, authority, and financial remuneration.

Perhaps because the sick person is seen to have been victimized, and
it is logically impossible to consider a victimizer as anything but
something evil, the physician's cure is often violent,
confrontational. Powerful poisons are used to rejigger body
chemistry or to arrest the multiplication of disease bacteria or to
suppress symptoms; if it is possible to sustain life without them,
"bad," poorly-functioning organs are cut out.

I've had a lot of trouble with the medical profession. Over the
years doctors have made attempts to put me in jail and keep me in
fear. But they never stopped me. When I've had a client die there
has been an almost inevitable coroner's investigation, complete with
detectives and the sheriff. Fortunately, I practice in rural Oregon,
where the local people have a deeply-held belief in individual
liberty and where the authorities know they would have had a very
hard time finding a jury to convict me. Had I chosen to practice
with a high profile and had I located Great Oaks School of Health in
a major market area where the physicians were able to charge top
dollar, I probably would have spent years behind bars as did other
heroes of my profession such as Linda Hazzard and Royal Lee.

So I have acquired an uncomplimentary attitude about medical
doctors, a viewpoint I am going to share with you ungently, despite
the fact that doing so will alienate some of my readers. But I do so
because most Americans are entirely enthralled by doctors, and this
doctor-god worship kills a lot of them.

However, before I get started on the medicos, let me state that one
area exists where I do have fundamental admiration for allopathic
medicine. This is its handling of trauma. I agree that a body can
become the genuine victim of fast moving bullets. It can be
innocently cut, smashed, burned, crushed and broken. Trauma are not
diseases and modern medicine has become quite skilled at putting
traumatized bodies back together. Genetic abnormality may be another
undesirable physical condition that is beyond the purview of natural
medicine. However, the expression of contra-survival genetics can
often be controlled by nutrition. And the expression of poor
genetics often results from poor nutrition, and thus is similar to a
degenerative disease condition, and thus is well within the scope of
natural medicine.

Today's suffering American public is firmly in the AMA's grip.
People have been effectively prevented from learning much about
medical alternatives, have been virtually brainwashed by clever
media management that portrays other medical models as dangerous
and/or ineffective. Legislation influenced by the allopathic
doctors' union, the American Medical Association, severely limits or
prohibits the practice of holistic health. People are repeatedly
directed by those with authority to an allopathic doctor whenever
they have a health problem, question or confusion. Other types of
healers are considered to be at best harmless as long as they
confine themselves to minor complaints; at worst, when naturopaths,
hygienists, or homeopaths seek to treat serious disease conditions
they are called quacks, accused of unlicensed practice of medicine
and if they persist or develop a broad, successful, high-profile and
(this is the very worst) profitable practice, they are frequently

Even licensed MDs are crushed by the authorities if they offer
non-standard treatments. So when anyone seeks an alternative health
approach it is usually because their complaint has already failed to
vanish after consulting a whole series of allopathic doctors. This
highly unfortunate kind of sufferer not only has a degenerative
condition to rectify, they may have been further damaged by harsh
medical treatments and additionally, they have a considerable amount
of brainwashing to overcome.

The AMA has succeeded at making their influence over information and
media so pervasive that most people do not even realize that the
doctors' union is the source of their medical outlook. Whenever an
American complains of some malady, a concerned and honestly caring
friend will demand to know have they yet consulted a medical doctor.
Failure to do so on one's own behalf is considered highly
irresponsible. Concerned relatives of seriously ill adults who
decline standard medical therapy may, with a great show of
self-righteousness, have the sick person judged mentally incompetent
so that treatment can be forced upon them. When a parent fails to
seek standard medical treatment for their child, the adult may well
be found guilty of criminal negligence, raising the interesting
issue of who "owns" the child, the parents or the State.

It is perfectly acceptable to die while under conventional medical
care. Happens all the time, in fact. But holistic alternatives are
represented as stupidly risky, especially for serious conditions
such as cancer. People with cancer see no choice but to do
chemotherapy, radiation, and radical surgery because this is the
current allopathic medical approach. On some level people may know
that these remedies are highly dangerous but they have been told by
their attending oncologist that violent therapies are their only
hope of survival, however poor that may be. If a cancer victim
doesn't proceed immediately with such treatment their official
prognosis becomes worse by the hour. Such scare tactics are common
amongst the medical profession, and they leave the recipient so
terrified that they meekly and obediently give up all
self-determinism, sign the liability waiver, and submit, no
questions asked. Many then die after suffering intensely from the
therapy, long before the so-called disease could have actually
caused their demise. I will later offer alternative and frequently
successful (but not guaranteed) approaches to treating cancer that
do not require the earliest-possible detection, surgery or poisons.

If holistic practitioners were to apply painful treatments like
allopaths use, ones with such poor statistical outcomes like
allopaths use, there would most certainly be witch hunts and all
such irresponsible, greedy quacks would be safely imprisoned. I find
it highly ironic that for at least the past twenty five hundred
years the basic principle of good medicine has been that the
treatment must first do no harm. This is such an obvious truism that
even the AMA doctors pledge to do the same thing when they take the
Hippocratic Oath. Yet virtually every action taken by the allopath
is a conscious compromise between the potential harm of the therapy
and its potential benefit.

In absolute contrast, if a person dies while on a natural hygiene
program, they died because their end was inevitable no matter what
therapy was attempted. Almost certainly receiving hygienic therapy
contributed to making their last days far more comfortable and
relatively freer of pain without using opiates. I have personally
taken on clients sent home to die after they had suffered everything
the doctors could do to them, told they had only a few days, weeks,
or months to live. Some of these clients survived as a result of
hygienic programs even at that late date. And some didn't. The
amazing thing was that any of them survived at all, because the best
time to begin a hygienic program is as early in the degenerative
process as possible, not after the body has been drastically
weakened by invasive and toxic treatments. Later on, I'll tell you
about some of these cases.

Something I consider especially ironic is that when the patient of a
medical doctor dies, it is inevitably thought that the blessed
doctor did all that could be done; rarely is any blame laid. If the
physician was especially careless or stupid, their fault can only
result in a civil suit, covered by malpractice insurance. But let a
holistic practitioner treat a sick person and have that person
follow any of their suggestions or take any natural remedies and
have that person die or worsen and it instantly becomes the natural
doctor's fault. Great blame is placed and the practitioner faces
inquests, grand juries, manslaughter charges, jail time and civil
suits that can't be insured against.

Allopathic medicine rarely makes a connection between the real
causes of a degenerative or infectious disease and its cure. The
causes are usually considered mysterious: we don't know why the
pancreas is acting up, etc. The sick are sympathized with as victims
who did nothing to contribute to their condition. The cure is a
highly technical battle against the illness, whose weapons are
defined in Latin and far beyond the understanding of a layperson.

Hygienic medicine presents an opposite view. To the naturopath,
illness is not a perplexing and mysterious occurrence over which you
have no control or understanding. The causes of disease are clear
and simple, the sick person is rarely a victim of circumstance and
the cure is obvious and within the competence of a moderately
intelligent sick person themselves to understand and help
administer. In natural medicine, disease is a part of living that
you are responsible for, and quite capable of handling.

Asserting that the sick are pitiable victims is financially
beneficial to doctors. It makes medical intervention seem a vital
necessity for every ache and pain. It makes the sick become
dependent. I'm not implying that most doctors knowingly are
conniving extortionists. Actually most medical doctors are genuinely
well-intentioned. I've also noticed that most medical doctors are at
heart very timid individuals who consider that possession of a MD
degree and license proves that they are very important, proves them
to be highly intelligent, even makes them fully qualified to
pontificate on many subjects not related to medicine at all.

Doctors obtain an enormous sense of self-importance at medical
school, where they proudly endured the high pressure weeding out of
any free spirit unwilling to grind away into the night for seven or
more years. Anyone incapable of absorbing and regurgitating huge
amounts of rote information; anyone with a disrespectful or
irreverent attitude toward the senior doctor-gods who arrogantly
serve as med school professors, anyone like this was eliminated with
especial rapidity. When the thoroughly submissive, homogenized
survivors are finally licensed, they assume the status of junior

But becoming an official medical deity doesn't permit one to create
their own methods. No no, the AMA's professional oversight and
control system makes continued possession of the license to practice
(and the high income that usually comes with it) entirely dependent
on continued conformity to what is defined by the AMA as "correct
practice." Any doctor who innovates beyond strict limits or uses
non-standard treatments is in real danger of losing their livelihood
and status.

Not only are licensed graduates of AMA-sanctioned medical schools
kept on a very tight leash, doctors of other persuasions who use
other methods to heal the sick or help them heal themselves are
persecuted and prosecuted. Extension of the AMA's control through
regulatory law and police power is justified in the name of
preventing quackery and making sure the ignorant and gullible public
receives only scientifically proven effective medical care.

Those on the other side of the fence view the AMA's oppression as an
effective way to make sure the public has no real choices but to use
union doctors, pay their high fees and suffer greatly by
misunderstanding of the true cause of disease and its proper cure.
If there are any actual villains responsible for this suppressive
tragedy some of them are to be found in the inner core of the AMA,
officials who may perhaps fully and consciously comprehend the
suppressive system they promulgate.

Hygienists usually inform the patient quite clearly and directly
that the practitioner has no ability to heal them or cure their
condition and that no doctor of any type actually is able to heal.
Only the body can heal itself, something it is eager and usually
very able to do if only given the chance. One pithy old saying among
hygienists goes, "if the body can't heal itself, nothing can heal
it." The primary job of the hygienic practitioner is to reeducate
the patient by conducting them through their first natural healing
process. If this is done well the sick person learns how to get out
of their own body's way and permit its native healing power to
manifest. Unless later the victim of severe traumatic injury, never
again will that person need obscenely expensive medical procedures.
Hygienists rarely make six figure incomes from regular, repeat

This aspect of hygienic medicine makes it different than almost all
the others, even most other holistic methods. Hygiene is the only
system that does not interpose the assumed healing power of a doctor
between the patient and wellness. When I was younger and less
experienced I thought that the main reason traditional medical
practice did not stress the body's own healing power and represented
the doctor as a necessary intervention was for profit. But after
practicing for over twenty years I now understand that the last
thing most people want to hear is that their own habits, especially
their eating patterns and food choices, are responsible for their
disease and that their cure is to only be accomplished through
dietary reform, which means unremittingly applied self-discipline.

One of the hardest things to ask of a person is to change a habit.
The reason that AMA doctors have most of the patients is they're
giving the patients exactly what they want, which is to be allowed
to continue in their unconscious irresponsibility.

The Cause Of Disease

Ever since natural medicine arose in opposition to the violence of
so-called scientific medicine, every book on the subject of hygiene,
once it gets past its obligatory introductions and warm ups, must
address The Cause of Disease. This is a required step because we see
the cause of disease and its consequent cure in a very different
manner than the allopath. Instead of many causes, we see one basic
reason why. Instead of many unrelated cures, we have basically one
approach to fix all ills that can be fixed.

A beautiful fifty cent word that means a system for explaining
something is paradigm, pronounced para-dime. I am fond of this word
because it admits the possibility of many differing yet equally true
explanations for the same reality. Of all available paradigms,
Natural Hygiene suits me best and has been the one I've used for
most of my career.

The Natural Hygienist's paradigm for the cause of both degenerative
and infectious disease is called the Theory of Toxemia, or

Before explaining this theory it will help many readers if I digress
a brief moment about the nature and validity of alternative
paradigms. Not too many decades ago, scientists thought that reality
was a singular, real, perpetual--that Natural Law existed much as a
tree or a rock existed. In physics, for example, the mechanics of
Newton were considered capital "T" True, the only possible paradigm.
Any other view, not being True, was False. There was capital "N"
natural capital "L" law.

More recently, great uncertainty has entered science; it has become
indisputable that a theory or explanation of reality is only true
only to the degree it seems to work; conflicting or various
explanations can all work, all can be "true." At least, this
uncertainty has overtaken the hard, physical sciences. It has not
yet done so with medicine. The AMA is convinced (or is working hard
to convince everyone else) that its paradigm, the allopathic
approach, is Truth, is scientific, and therefore, anything else is
Falsehood, is irresponsibility, is a crime against the sick.

But the actual worth or truth of any paradigm is found not in its
"reality," but in its utility. Does an explanation or theory allow a
person to manipulate experience and create a desired outcome. To the
extent a paradigm does that, it can be considered valuable. Judged
by this standard, the Theory of Toxemia must be far truer than the
hodgepodge of psuedoscience taught in medical schools. Keep that in
mind the next time some officious medical doctor disdainfully
informs you that Theory of Toxemia was disproven in 1927 by Doctors
Jeckel and Hyde.

Why People Get Sick

This is the Theory of Toxemia. A healthy body struggles continually
to purify itself of poisons that are inevitably produced while going
about its business of digesting food, moving about, and repairing
itself. The body is a marvelous creation, a carbon, oxygen
combustion machine, constantly burning fuel, disposing of the waste
products of combustion, and constantly rebuilding tissue by
replacing worn out, dead cells with new, fresh ones. Every seven
years virtually every cell in the body is replaced, some types of
cells having a faster turnover rate than others, which means that
over a seven year period several hundred pounds of dead cells must
be digested (autolyzed) and eliminated. All by itself this would be
a lot of waste disposal for the body to handle. Added to that waste
load are numerous mild poisons created during proper digestion. And
added to that can be an enormous burden of waste products created as
the body's attempts to digest the indigestible, or those tasty items
I've heard called "fun food." Add to that burden the ruinous effects
of just plain overeating.

The waste products of digestion, of indigestion, of cellular
breakdown and the general metabolism are all poisonous to one degree
or another. Another word for this is toxic. If these toxins were
allowed to remain and accumulate in the body, it would poison itself
and die in agony. So the body has a processing system to eliminate
toxins. And when that system does break down the body does die in
agony, as from liver or kidney failure.

The organs of detoxification remove things from the body's system,
but these two vital organs should not be confused with what
hygienists call the secondary organs of elimination, such as the
large intestine, lungs, bladder and the skin, because none of these
other eliminatory organs are supposed to purify the body of toxins.
But when the body is faced with toxemia, the secondary organs of
elimination are frequently pressed into this duty and the
consequences are the symptoms we call illness.

The lungs are supposed to eliminate only carbon dioxide gas; not
self-generated toxic substances. The large intestine is supposed to
pass only insoluble food solids (and some nasty stuff dumped into
the small intestine by the liver). Skin eliminates in the form of
sweat (which contains mineral salts) to cool the body, but the skin
is not supposed to move toxins outside the system. But when toxins
are flowed out through secondary organs of elimination these areas
become inflamed, irritated, weakened. The results can be skin
irritations, sinusitis or a whole host of other "itises" depending
on the area involved, bacterial or viral infections, asthma. When
excess toxemia is deposited instead of eliminated, the results can
be arthritis if toxins are stored in joints, rheumatism if in muscle
tissues, cysts and benign tumors. And if toxins weaken the body's
immune response, cancer.

The liver and the kidneys, the two heroic organs of detoxification,
are the most important ones; these jointly act as filters to purify
the blood. Hygienists pay a lot of attention to these organs, the
liver especially.

In an ideal world, the liver and kidneys would keep up with their
job for 80 years or more before even beginning to tire. In this
ideal world, the food would of course, be very nutritious and free
of pesticide residues, the air and water would be pure, people would
not denature their food and turn it into junk. In this perfect world
everyone would get moderate exercise into old age, and live
virtually without stress. In this utopian vision, the average
healthy productive life span would approach a century, entirely
without using food supplements or vitamins. In this world doctors
would have next to no work other than repairing traumatic injuries,
because everyone would be healthy. But this is not the way it is.

In our less-than-ideal world virtually everything we eat is
denatured, processed, fried, salted, sweetened, preserved; thus more
stress is placed on the liver and kidneys than nature designed them
to handle. Except for a few highly fortunate individuals blessed
with an incredible genetic endowment that permits them to live to
age 99 on moose meat, well-larded white flour biscuits, coffee with
evaporated milk and sugar, brandy and cigarettes (we've all heard of
someone like this), most peoples' liver and kidneys begin to break
down prematurely. Thus doctoring has become a financially rewarding

Most people overburden their organs of elimination by eating
whatever they feel like eating whenever they feel like it. Or, they
irresponsibly eat whatever is served to them by a mother, wife,
institution or cook because doing so is easy or expected. Eating is
a very habitual and unconscious activity; frequently we continue to
eat as adults whatever our mother fed us as a child. I consider it
unsurprising that when people develop the very same disease
conditions as their parents. they wrongly assume the cause is
genetic inheritance, when actually it was just because they were
putting their feet under the same table as their parents.

Toxemia also comes about from following the wrongheaded
recommendations of allopathic-inspired nutritional texts and
licensed dietitians. For example, people believe they should eat one
food from each of the four so-called basic food groups at each meal,
thinking they are doing the right thing for their health by having
four colors of food on every plate, when they really aren't. What
they have actually done is force their bodies to attempt the
digestion of indigestible food combinations, and the resulting
indigestion creates massive doses of toxins. I'll have a lot more to
say about that later when I discuss the art of food combining.

Table 1: The Actual Food Groups

Starches Proteins Fats Sugars Watery Vegetables
bread meats butter honey zucchini
potatoes eggs oils fruit green beans
noodles fish lard sugar tomatoes
manioc/yuca most nuts nuts molassas peppers
baked goods dry beans avocado malt syrup eggplant
grains nut butters maple syrup radish
winter squash split peas dried fruit rutabaga
parsnips lentils melons turnips
sweet potatoes soybeans carrot juice Brussels sprouts
yams tofu beet juice celery
taro root tempeh cauliflower
plantains wheat grass juice broccoli
beets "green" drinks okra
spirulina lettuce
algae endive
yeast cabbage
dairy carrots

Standard dietitians divide our foods into four basic food groups
and recommend the ridiculous practice of mixing them at every meal.
This guarantees indigestion and lots of business for the medical
profession. This chart illustrates the actual food groups. It is
usually a poor practice to mix different foods from one group with
those from another.

The Digestive Process

After we have eaten our four-color meal--often we do this in a
hurry, without much chewing, under a lot of stress, or in the
presence of negative emotions--we give no thought to what becomes of
our food once it has been swallowed. We have been led to assume that
anything put in the mouth automatically gets digested flawlessly, is
efficiently absorbed into the body where it nourishes our cells,
with the waste products being eliminated completely by the large
intestine. This vision of efficiency may exist in the best cases but
for most there is many a slip between the table and the toilet. Most
bodies are not optimally efficient at performing all the required
functions, especially after years of poor living habits, stress,
fatigue, and aging. To the Natural Hygienist, most disease begins
and ends with our food; most of our healing efforts are focused on
improving the process of digestion.

Digestion means chemically changing the foods we eat into substances
that can pass into the blood stream and circulate through the body
where nutrition is used for bodily functions. Our bodies use
nutritional substances for fuel, for repair and rebuilding, and to
conduct an incredibly complex biochemistry. Scientists are still
busily engaged in trying to understand the chemical mysteries of our
bodies. But as bewildering as the chemistry of life is, the
chemistry of digestion itself is actually a relatively simple
process, and one doctors have had a fairly good understanding of for
many decades.

Though relatively straightforward, a lot can and does go wrong with
digestion. The body breaks down foods with a series of different
enzymes that are mixed with food at various points as it passes from
mouth to stomach to small intestine. An enzyme is a large, complex
molecule that has the ability to chemically change other large,
complex molecules without being changed itself. Digestive enzymes
perform relatively simple functions--breaking large molecules into
smaller parts that can dissolve in water.

Digestion starts in the mouth when food is mixed with ptyalin, an
enzyme secreted by the salivary glands. Pylatin converts insoluble
starches into simple sugars. If the digestion of starchy foods is
impaired, the body is less able to extract the energy contained in
our foods, while far worse from the point of view of the genesis of
diseases, undigested starches pass through the stomach and into the
gut where they ferment and thereby create an additional toxic burden
for the liver to process. And fermenting starches also create gas.

As we chew our food it gets mixed with saliva; as we continue to
chew the starches in the food are converted into sugar. There is a
very simple experiment you can conduct to prove to yourself how this
works. Get a plain piece of bread, no jam, no butter, plain, and
without swallowing it or allowing much of it to pass down the
throat, begin to chew it until it seems to literally dissolve.
Pylatin works fast in our mouths so you may be surprised at how
sweet the taste gets. As important as chewing is, I have only run
into about one client in a hundred that actually makes an effort to
consciously chew their food.

Horace Fletcher, whose name has become synonymous with the
importance of chewing food well (Fletcherizing), ran an experiment
on a military population in Canada. He required half his
experimental group to chew thoroughly, and the other half to gulp
things down as usual. His study reports significant improvement in
the overall health and performance of the group that persistently
chewed. Fletcher's report recommended that every mouthful be chewed
50 times for half a minute before being swallowed. Try it, you might
be very surprised at what a beneficial effect such a simple change
in your approach to eating can make. Not only will you have less
intestinal gas, if overweight you will probably find yourself
getting smaller because your blood sugar will elevate quicker as you
are eating and thus your sense of hunger will go away sooner. If you
are very thin and have difficulty gaining weight you may find that
the pounds go on easier because chewing well makes your body more
capable of actually assimilating the calories you are consuming.

A logical conclusion from this data is that anything that would
prevent or reduce chewing would be unhealthful. For example, food
eaten when too hot tends to be gulped down. The same tends to happen
when food is seasoned with fresh Jalapeno or habaneo peppers.
People with poor teeth should blend or mash starchy foods and then
gum them thoroughly to mix them with saliva. Keep in mind that even
so-called protein foods such as beans often contain large quantities
of starches and the starch portion of protein foods is also digested
in the mouth.

Once the food is in the stomach, it is mixed with hydrochloric acid,
secreted by the stomach itself, and pepsin, an enzyme. Together
these break proteins down into water-soluble amino acids. To
accomplish this the stomach muscles agitate the food continuously,
somewhat like a washing machine. This extended churning forms a kind
of ball in the stomach called a bolis.

Many things can and frequently do go wrong at this stage of the
digestive process. First, the stomach's very acid environment
inactivates pylatin, so any starch not converted to sugar in the
mouth does not get properly processed thereafter. And the most
dangerous misdigetion comes from the sad fact that cooked proteins
are relatively indigestible no matter how strong the constitution,
no matter how concentrated the stomach acid or how many enzymes
present. It is quite understandable to me that people do not wish to
accept this fact. After all, cooked proteins are so delicious,
especially cooked red meats and the harder, more flavorful fishes.

To appreciate this, consider how those enzymes that digest proteins
work. A protein molecule is a large, complex string of amino acids,
each linked to the next in a specific order. Suppose there are only
six amino acids: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. So a particular (imaginary)
protein could be structured: 1, 4, 4, 6, 2, 3, 5, 4, 2, 3, 6, 1, 1,
2, 3, etc. Thus you should see that by combining a limited number of
amino acids there can be a virtually infinite number of proteins.

But proteins are rarely water soluble. As I said a few paragraphs
back, digestion consists of rendering insoluble foods into
water-soluble substances so they can pass into the blood stream and
be used by the body's chemistry. To make them soluble, enzymes break
down the proteins, separating the individual amino acids one from
the other, because amino acids are soluble. Enzymes that digest
proteins work as though they are mirror images of a particular amino
acid. They fit against a particular amino acid like a key fits into
a lock. Then they break the bonds holding that amino acid to others
in the protein chain, and then, what I find so miraculous about this
process, the enzyme is capable of finding yet another amino acid to
free, and then yet another.

So with sufficient churning in an acid environment, with enough time
(a few hours), and enough enzymes, all the recently eaten proteins
are decomposed into amino acids and these amino acids pass into the
blood where the body recombines them into structures it wants to
make. And we have health. But when protein chains are heated, the
protein structures are altered into physical shapes that the enzymes
can't "latch" on to. The perfect example of this is when an egg is
fried. The eggwhite is albumen, a kind of protein. When it is
heated, it shrivels up and gets hard. While raw and liquid, it is
easily digestable. When cooked, largely indigestable.

Stress also inhibits the churning action in the stomach so that
otherwise digestible foods may not be mixed efficiently with
digestive enzymes. For all these reasons, undigested proteins may
pass into the gut.

Along with undigested starches. When starches convert best to sugars
under the alkaline conditions found in the mouth. Once they pass
into the acid stomach starch digestion is not as efficient. If
starches reach the small intestine they are fermented by yeasts. The
products of starch fermentation are only mildly toxic. The gases
produced by yeast fermentations usually don't smell particularly
bad; bodies that regularly contain starch fermentation usually don't
smell particularly bad either. In otherwise healthy people it can
take many years of exposure to starch fermentation toxins to produce
a life-threatening disease.

But undigested proteins aren't fermented by yeasts, they putrefy in
the gut (are attacked by anaerobic bacteria). Many of the waste
products of anaerobic putrefaction are highly toxic and evil
smelling; when these toxins are absorbed through the small or large
intestines they are very irritating to the mucous membranes,
frequently contributing to or causing cancer of the colon. Protein
putrefaction may even cause psychotic symptoms in some individuals.
Meat eaters often have a very unpleasant body odor even when they
are not releasing intestinal gasses.

Adding a heavy toxic burden from misdigested foods to the normal
toxic load a body already has to handle creates a myriad of
unpleasant symptoms, and greatly shortens life. But misdigestion
also carries with it a double whammy; fermenting and/or putrefying
foods immediately interfere with the functioning of another vital
organ--the large intestine--and cause constipation.

Most people don't know what the word constipation really means. Not
being able to move one's bowels is only the most elementary type of
constipation. A more accurate definition of constipation is "the
retention of waste products in the large intestine beyond the time
that is conducive to health." Properly digested food is not sticky
and exits the large intestine quickly. But improperly digested food
(or indigestible food) gradually coats the large intestine, making
an ever-thicker lining that interferes with the intestine's
functioning. Far worse, this coating steadily putrefies, creating
additional highly-potent toxins. Lining the colon with undigested
food can be compared to the mineral deposits filling in the inside
of an old water pipe, gradually choking off the flow. In the colon,
this deposit can become rock-hard, just like water pipe scale.

Since the large intestine is also an organ that removes moisture and
water-soluble minerals from the food and moves them into the blood
stream, when the large intestine is lined with putrefying undigested
food waste, the toxins of this putrefaction are also steadily moved
into the bloodstream and place an even greater burden on the liver
and kidneys, accelerating their breakdown, accelerating the aging
process and contributing to a lot of interesting and unpleasant
symptoms that keep doctors busy and financially solvent. I'll have
quite a bit more to say about colon cleansing later.

The Progress Of Disease: Irritation, Enervation, Toxemia

Disease routinely lies at the end of a three-part chain that goes:
irritation or sub-clinical malnutrition, enervation, toxemia.
Irritations are something the person does to themselves or something
that happens around them. Stresses, in other words.

Mental stressors include strong negative emotional states such as
anger, fear, resentment, hopelessness, etc. Behind most diseases it
is common to find a problematic mind churning in profound confusion,
one generated by a character that avoids responsibility. There may
also be job stress or ongoing hostile relationships, often within
the family.

Indigestible foods and misdigestion are also stressful irritations,
as are mild recreational poisons such as "soft" drugs, tobacco and
alcohol. Opiates are somewhat more toxifying, primarily because they
paralyze the gut and induce profound constipation. Stimulants like
cocaine and amphetamines are the most damaging recreational drugs;
these are highly toxic and rapidly shorten life.

Repeated irritations and/or malnutrition eventually produce
enervation. The old-time hygienists defined enervation as a lack of
or decline in an unmeasurable phenomena, "nerve energy." They viewed
the functioning of vital organs as being controlled by or driven by
nerve force, sometimes called life force or elan vital.
Whatever this vital force actually is, it can be observed and
subjectively measured by comparing one person with another. Some
people are full of it and literally sparkle with overflowing energy.
Beings like this make everyone around them feel good because they
somehow momentarily give energy to those endowed with less. Others
possess very little and dully plod through life.

As vital force drops, the overall efficiency of all the body's
organs correspondingly decline. The pancreas creates less digestive
enzymes; the thymus secretes less of its vital hormones that
mobilize the immune system; the pituitary makes less growth hormone
so the overall repair and rebuilding of cells and tissues slows
correspondingly; and so forth. It does not really matter if there is
or is not something called nerve energy that can or cannot be
measured in a laboratory. Vital force is observable to many people.
However, it is measurable by laboratory test that after repeated
irritation the overall functioning of the essential organs and
glands does deteriorate.

Enervation may develop so gradually that it progresses below the
level of awareness of the person, or times of increased enervation
can be experienced as a complaint--as a lack of energy, as
tiredness, as difficulties digesting, as a new inability to handle a
previously-tolerated insult like alcohol.

Long-term consumption of poor-quality food causes enervation. The
body is a carbon/oxygen engine designed to run efficiently only on
highly nutritious food and this aspect of human genetic programming
cannot be changed significantly by adaptation. Given enough
generations a human gene pool can adapt to extracting its nutrition
from a different group of foods. For example, a group of isolated
Fijians currently enjoying long healthy lives eating a diet of
seafoods and tropical root crops could suddenly be moved to the
highlands of Switzerland and forced to eat the local fare or starve.
But most of the Fijians would not have systems adept at making those
enzymes necessary to digest cows milk. So the transplanted Fijians
would experience many generations of poorer health and shorter life
spans until their genes had been selected for adaptation to the new
dietary. Ultimately their descendants could become uniformly healthy
on rye bread and dairy products just like the highland Swiss were.

However, modern industrial farming and processing of foodstuffs
significantly contributes to mass, widespread enervation in two
ways. Humans will probably adjust to the first; the second will, I'm
sure, prove insurmountable. First, industrially processed foods are
a recent invention and our bodies have not yet adapted to digesting
them. In a few more generations humans might be able to accomplish
that and public health could improve on factory food. In the
meanwhile, the health of humans has declined. Industrially farmed
foods have also been lowered in nutritional content compared to what
food could be. I gravely doubt if any biological organism can ever
adapt to an overall dietary that contains significantly lowered
levels of nutrition. I will explain this more fully in the chapter
on diet.

Secondary Eliminations Are Disease

However the exact form the chain from irritation or malnutrition to
enervation progresses, the ultimate result is an increased level of
toxemia, placing an eliminatory burden on the liver and kidneys in
excess of their ability. Eventually these organs begin to weaken.
Decline of liver and/or kidney function threatens the stability and
purity of blood chemistry. Rather than risk complete incapacitation
or death from self-poisoning, the overloaded, toxic body, guided by
its genetic predisposition and the nature of the toxins (what was
eaten, in what state of stress), cleverly channels surplus toxins
into its first line of defense--alternative or secondary elimination

Most non-life-threatening yet highly annoying disease conditions
originate as secondary eliminations. For example, the skin was
designed to sweat, elimination of fluids. Toxemia is often pushed
out the sweat glands and is recognized as an unpleasant body odor. A
healthy, non-toxic body smells sweet and pleasant (like a newborn
baby's body) even after exercise when it has been sweating heavily.
Other skin-like organs such as the sinus tissues, were designed to
secrete small amounts of mucus for lubrication. The lungs eliminate
used air and the tissues are lubricated with mucus-like secretions
too. These secretions are types of eliminations, but are not
intended for the elimination of toxins. When toxins are discharged
in mucus through tissues not designed to handle them, the tissues
themselves become irritated, inflamed, weakened and thus much more
subject to bacterial or viral infection. Despite this danger, not
eliminating surplus toxins carries with it the greater penalty of
serious disability or death. Because of this liability, the body, in
its wisdom, initially chooses secondary elimination routes as far
from vital tissues and organs as possible. Almost inevitably the
skin or skin-like mucus membranes such as the sinuses, or lung
tissues become the first line of defense.

Thus the average person's disease history begins with colds, flu,
sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic cough, asthma, rashes, acne, eczema,
psoriasis. If these secondary eliminations are suppressed with drugs
(either from the medical doctor or with over the counter remedies),
if the eating or lifestyle habits that created the toxemia are not
changed, or if the toxic load increases beyond the limits of this
technique, the body then begins to store toxins in fat or muscle
tissues or the joint cavities, overburdens the kidneys, creates
cysts, fibroids, and benign tumors to store those toxins. If toxic
overload continues over a longer time the body will eventually have
to permit damages to vital tissues, and life-threatening conditions

Hygienic doctors always stress that disease is remedial effort.
Illness comes from the body's best attempt to lighten its toxic load
without immediately threatening its survival. The body always does
the very best it can to remedy toxemia given its circumstances, and

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