How Obamacare Will Impact Integrative Healthcare

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I have to admit that I was taking a wait-and-see attitude, but this recent NPR post really gave me hope.

It seems that in beginning to make some much-needed changes to the way we Americans receive our healthcare (including making care available to millions who have, for way too long now, gone uninsured and cut off from the system), those shaping the new system have had the foresight to realize that integrative healthcare is GOOD healthcare.  And, in recognizing this, provisions have been made to make sure that “Alternative” (how I hate that term) methods of treatment will be both available and covered in the new scheme of things.

Because this information is both much-needed and somewhat hard to come by, I am posting the whole thing here.  Those who want to read the original, however, should simply click here and trail off to the NPR site.

Here’s the National Public Radio/PBS Newshour report:

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How The Health Reform Law Will Impact Alternative Medicine Access

July 29, 2013

The Affordable Care Act says that insurance companies “shall not discriminate” against any state-licensed health provider, which could lead to better coverage of chiropractic, homeopathic and naturopathic care. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Jane Guiltinan said the husbands are usually the stubborn ones.

When her regular patients, often married women, bring their spouses to the Bastyr Center for Natural Health to try her approach to care, the men are often skeptical of the treatment plan — a mix of herbal remedies, lifestyle changes and sometimes, conventional medicine.

After 31 years of practice, Guiltinan, a naturopathic physician, said it is not uncommon for health providers without the usual nurse or doctor background to confront patients’ doubts. “I think it’s a matter of education and cultural change,” she said.

As for the husbands — they often come around, Guiltinan said, but only after they see that her treatments solve their problems.

Complementary and alternative medicine — a term that encompasses meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic care and homeopathic treatment, among other things — has become increasingly popular. About four in 10 adults (and one in nine children) in the U.S. are using some form of alternative medicine, according to the National Institutes of Health.

And with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the field could make even more headway in the mainstream health care system. That is, unless the fine print — in state legislation and insurance plans — falls short because of unclear language and insufficient oversight.

One clause of the health law in particular — Section 2706 — is widely discussed in the alternative medicine community because it requires that insurance companies “shall not discriminate” against any health provider with a state-recognized license. That means a licensed chiropractor treating a patient for back pain, for instance, must be reimbursed the same as medical doctors. In addition, nods to alternative medicine are threaded through other parts of the law in sections on wellness, prevention and research.

“It’s time that our health care system takes an integrative approach … whether conventional or alternative,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who authored the anti-discrimination provision, in an e-mail. “Patients want good outcomes with good value, and complementary and alternative therapies can provide both.”

The federal government has, in recent years, tapped providers like Guiltinan, who is also the dean at the Bastyr University College of Naturopathic Medicine, to help advise the federal government and implement legislation that could affect the way they are paid and their disciplines are incorporated into the health care continuum. In 2012, Guiltinan, based in Kenmore, Wash., was appointed to the advisory council of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Proving that alternative medicine has real, measurable benefits has been key to increasing its role in the system, said John Weeks, editor of the Integrator Blog, an online publication for the alternative medicine community. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, created by the health law, is funding studies on alternative medicine treatments to determine their effectiveness.

Weeks said both lawmakers and the general public will soon have access to that research, including the amount of money saved by integrating other forms of medicine into the current health system.

But the challenges of introducing alternative care don’t stop with science.

Because under the health care law each state defines its essential benefits plan — what is covered by insurance — somewhat differently, the language concerning alternative medicine has to be very specific in terms of who gets paid and for what kinds of treatment, said Deborah Senn, the former insurance commissioner in Washington and an advocate for alternative medicine coverage.

She pointed out that California excluded coverage for chiropractic care in its essential benefits plan, requiring patients to pay out of pocket for their treatment. Senn thinks the move was most likely an oversight and an unfavorable one for the profession. Four other states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Utah — ruled the same way in the past year.

“That’s just an outright violation of the law,” she said, referring to the ACA clause.

Colorado and Oregon are in the process of changing that ruling to allow chiropractic care to be covered, according to researchers at Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care.

Some states, like Washington, are ahead of the rest of the country in embracing alternative practitioners. The Bastyr University system, where Guiltinan works, treats 35,000 patients a year with naturopathic medicine. Sixty percent of the patients billed insurance companies for coverage.

Guiltinan said a change in the system is not only a boon for alternative medicine doctors, but helps families of all income levels access care normally limited to out-of-pocket payment. That’s why some alternative medicine aficianados like Rohit Kumar are hoping the law will increase the ability of his family — and the larger community – to obtain this kind of care.

Kumar, a 26-year-old business owner in Los Angeles, said his parents and brothers have always used herbs and certain foods when they get sick, and regularly see a local naturopath and herbalist. He’s only used antibiotics once, he says, when he caught dengue fever on a trip to India.

While the Kumar family pays for any treatments they need with cash — the only payment both alternative providers accept — they also pay for a high-deductible health plan every month to cover emergencies, like when his brother recently broke his arm falling off a bike.

Paying for a conventional health care plan and maintaining their philosophy of wellness is not cheap.

“We pay a ridiculous amount of money every month,” Kumar said of the high-deductible insurance. “And none of it goes toward any type of medicine we believe in.”

Even so, he said the family will continue to practice a lifestyle that values wellness achieved without a prescription — a philosophy that Guiltinan also adopted in her practice.

As a young medical technician in a San Francisco hospital, she decided that the traditional medical system was geared more toward managing diseases and symptoms rather than prevention. Naturopathic medicine, on the other hand, seemed to fit her idea of how a doctor could address the root cause of illness.

“The body has an innate ability for healing, but we get in its way,” Guiltinan said. “Health is more than the absence of disease.”

Acute Treatments: The Basics

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Recently, I was contacted by “Revista Homeopatica de la Salud.” based in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, a new Spanish-language publication that invited me to send in an article.  I was happy to comply.Since I don’t speak much Spanish, I wrote the article in English and they kindly translated it for me.  For those, who, like me, will require a translation back into English before reading it, I am posting the original copy in English here.  It is a very basic look at how homeopathic remedies can be used most effectively in the acute sphere.  Take a look:

 

Notes on Acute Uses of Homeopathic Remedies

 

I am always surprised when, within the homeopathic community, acute prescribing is seen as something less, something simpler than constitutional or miasmic treatments. Something that belongs in the hands of students only.

In this one aspect of medical practice and philosophy, it seems to me that the allopaths are actually more correct in their thinking.  After all, is the Emergency Room in any hospital seen as a lesser place than the rest of the wards?  And are ER doctors thought of as those who lack the skills to practice any other form of medicine?

Where the allopaths celebrate the skills that make for effective emergency medicine, even build television shows around them, we homeopaths tend to think that any student who has leaned enough to think of Arnica Montana when their child bumps his head has the skills needed to practice that which may be called “acute homeopathy.”

This, of course, is far from the truth.  In fact, in many cases acute treatments require that the practitioner, amateur or professional make decisions rapidly, basing them on case taking by their own senses.  The demands of medical emergencies often require that the homeopathic practitioner be able to assess the situation at hand nearly instantly and without the ability to have the patient fill out a multi-page intake form or even to have the patient give rational answers to questions.  Therefore, the homeopath must be able to fall back on his or her own knowledge of materia medica, which they have to understand well enough to recognize the physical differences, in terms of physical, emotional and mental symptoms, among the many potential remedies for a given case.

Without the luxury of being able to snuggle up with a nice cup of tea, a repertory and any number of materia medicas and slowly, methodically taking a case apart, looking at the present symptoms in light of past circumstances and family history, the homeopath who finds himself or herself looking at the results of physical trauma and/or emotional shock will need to have a broad understanding of homeopathy to fall back on.  And those who practice acute homeopathy therefore need to be recognized and honored for the skills that they call into play each and every day, even if the emergencies tended to are of the household variety and quickly set right with the use of an appropriate remedy.

With this all in mind, let us consider what it takes to use the homeopathic pharmacy effectively and safely in the practice of acute homeopathy:

 

Preparation:  In other words, if you have waited for an actual emergency to occur to run and get your home guide or your repertory, it is for all intents and purposes too late.  If you wish to be a good enough student of homeopathy to handle common household emergencies, like colds & flu, cuts and scrapes, toothaches, fever, measles and mumps need to work well in advance.  It is important that, before you ever touch a remedy that you study that remedy and its uses, know what potencies it works best in, what antidotes the remedy and what remedies precede and follow it well.  You also need to be able to assess the nature of the emergency, whether it is appropriate for you to be treating it at all, of if you should be contacting a medical professional or calling for an ambulance.  You need to be well aware of what makes an acute situation acute and what the difference between an acute homeopathic treatment and a constitutional treatment is.  And you need to know that even in acute treatments, homeopathic medicine NEVER allows you to think in terms of reaching for Arnica with every bump and bruise.  We can never take a remedy selection for granted in homeopathic treatments—we can never equate any remedy with any symptom, however strong the desire is to do so.

All students of homeopathy, before they ever touch a remedy, need to learn how a case is taken and, just as important, how it is managed.  When to give and when NOT to give a remedy.  When to begin treatment and when treatment should end.  These are all just as important to the acute case as they are to the constitutional.

Understanding the Goal and Nature of Acute Treatments:  Here we have a stark contrast between constitutional and acute prescribing.  And here, the acute treatment can be clearly seen as the simpler task.  Where acute treatments seldom give us the opportunity to repertorize at our leisure, they do present a simpler challenge in terms of ultimate goal of treatment.

When we treat a patient constitutionally, we are treating the whole of that patient, every cell in his body, and all levels of being, body, mind and spirit, all at once. Therefore, it is the goal of the constitutional treatment to not only relieve the patient of the symptoms that trouble him, but to also leave the patient fundamentally in a better, stronger and freer state of health than he enjoyed before undergoing treatment. We seek a fundamental shift for the better for the whole of the patient’s being.

In the acute treatment, we have a humbler goal: we seek to restore status quo. An assumption we make in the acute treatment is that, before the recent shift in the patient’s health (before he fell of the playground or began to feel a scratchy throat), the patient enjoyed “good” health. Therefore, what is sought in this form of treatment is not a fundamental shift. Instead, it is more like a simple tap, a slight push to help the patient’s own system heal itself from the condition at hand—a condition that, by the very definition of “acute” is self-limiting. Its onset leads to a specific result. Thus, we seek to only allow the patient to go on his way, feeling as he did before the onset of symptoms. A simpler thing than the constitutional shift perhaps, but often a profound, even highly dramatic shift in and of itself.

I have often seen an almost operatic shift with an acute treatment. The baby who was nearly hysterical with teething pains is quite suddenly sleeping soundly enough that the parent tiptoes into their room again and again to me sure that this now-quiet child is still sleeping peacefully.

I have also seen, time and again, that acute circumstances often require the use of more remedies and more different potencies of remedies in bringing the case to a happy conclusion than will a constitutional treatment—even one lasting months or years.

When we treat homeopathically, we always use the shifts in the patient’s symptoms as our guide for when to give a dose of a given remedy and when to hold back, when to change remedies and when to stay tight, and when to raise the potency or lower it or leave it as it is.  Because the shifts in the acute case then to happen more quickly, the changes in remedy and potency follow.  Often, in long-term constitutional cases, in which the symptoms have been in place for months or years, the changes are slow.  In acute cases, the changes can be quick and dramatic.

A word about “Aggravations.”  Some students of homeopathic medicine expect, when giving any remedy, that they will see an aggravation—a temporary worsening of the patient’s symptoms before improvement begins.  And aggravations are common. And yet, they need not occur.

What is important is that CHANGE happens.  When the appropriate remedy—the remedy that is, in action, most similar to the symptoms the patient is experiencing—is given, there will be a shift in the patient’s symptom picture.  Sometimes it will worsen before it improves. But sometimes improvement will itself be the change.  That baby who was crying from teething, with a bright, hot cheek and an angry disposition, will simply fall into a peaceful, gentle sleep as the remedy works.  In short, never seek an aggravation, never give a remedy in hopes of worsening the symptom picture, ALWAYS seek a change in the symptoms, knowing that that change is your proof that the remedy is working.

Kits, Home Guides, Combination Remedies and Acute Homeopathy:  Acute homeopathic treatments are still homeopathic, which means that even these need to follow the same principles that any other homeopathic treatments do.  Often, when dealing with acute conditions, we try to simplify the treatment by eliminating some of the principles that would always be upheld under constitutional circumstances.

In other words, the remedies given in acute treatments MUST still adhere to the Three Laws of Cure.  They must:

–Always be selected upon the basis of matching the remedy to the patient in the totality of his symptoms.  In homeopathic treatments, chronic or acute, we always uphold the principle of like curing like.

–Always be used singly.  Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy, is very clear on the need to always use one medicine at a time. This is done because every medicine creates myriad shifts in the human system.  Therefore, the use of more than one remedy at a time makes it quite impossible to know which medicine is doing what.  The case becomes muddled and may ultimately be spoiled and the patient left uncured.  Combinational remedies may be popular, but they are not and can never be considered homeopathic medicine.

–Always be based on the principle of giving the remedy in the lowest effective potency in the fewest number of effective doses.  We never wish to over-treat or to continue treating after the need has passed.  More cases are ruined by over-treating than by under-treating, so beware.

The student who studies the materia medica, who comes to recognize the need for specific remedies when faced with particular behaviors and symptoms, who also learns to use a repertory quickly and effectively and who learns and upholds basic homeopathic philosophy can do a great deal of good in this world.  He or she will act as a blessing in the family, the community and in the world.  The world has an eternal need for healers and healing.  With work, with time, with dedication, you can most certainly help fill that need.

 

Looking Into Your Natural Medicine Cabinet

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It seems like everyone I know is publishing a book these days.  Which is great.  We can never have too many good books on health and healing, since, it seems to me, that that is the most important topic we could spend our time exploring.

The new book in question right now is Your Natural Medicine Cabinet, but Burke Lennihan.  It has a publication date of September 1, 2012, but it is available for purchase today.

What sets this book apart from others on similar topics is that, while this book is certainly homeopathy-centric, it is not limited just to homeopathic remedies.  Other therapies related to homeopathy, notably Bach Remedies and cell salts, are also considered, as are supplements and herbal remedies.

In other words, Your Natural Medicine Cabinet takes a more general, naturopathic approach to family health care.

 


The book is well written, well researched and very well organized.  Everything is according to diagnosis, with conditions listed alphabetically and treatments outlined for each condition.

So it should be very useful for many common household emergencies.  With one proviso:  you should never wait until the emergency to read the book.  Spend time with it when you get it. Absorb it, consider it.  Then, when the emergency comes and your husband has a toothache in the middle of the night, or you baby has a fever at 2:00 a.m., you will be much more centered and focussed in your reaction and much more helpful to your loved one.

One question, though.  Should I be bitter than, in listing her favorite books on homeopathy, Dana Ullman and Miranda Castro get the lion’s share, with Amy Lansky and Judyth Reichenber-Ullman also on the page, but none of my books are mentioned?  Surely not.  No.  Certainly not.

Homeopathy Under Threat: What YOU Can Do

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I got the following email today from the British organization  H:MC21, an organization dedicated to keeping homeopathic medicine available throughout the world in the 21st century:

 

 

“A number of Medicines Acts are being consoidated and simplified. However, if the proposals go into force as they stand:

“You would no longer able to get homeopathic medicines by phone or online
To get any unlicensed homeopathic medicine a face-to-face consultation would be required at a registered pharmacy. Unlicensed medicines number in the thousands and make up the majority of homeopathic prescriptions, while there are only 50 licenced homeopathic medicines. This will also mean you cannot legally buy unlicensed homeopathic medicines online or over the phone as you currently do.

“Homeopaths would not be able to dispense or prescribe medicines.
“Homeopathic practitioners would not be able to dispense unlicensed homeopathic medicines to their patients. This arises because homeopaths are not recognised by this law as being supplementary prescribers and it will be illegal for homeopathic pharmacies to supply them with the essential (unlicensed) medicines required for their patients.

“Patients would have to get homeopathic medicines personally at a handful of licenced homeopathic pharmacies in Britain
Hundreds of thousands of people who currently have prescriptions filled for unlicensed homeopathic medicines will be unable to obtain their urgent medicines. The estimated 6 million users of homeopathy in Britain cannot be expected to be supplied medicines face-to-face by less than five licenced premises.

“Stop this from happening by writing to your MP.”

You can identify the name of your MP here.

You can find out who sits on what committees by going here.

“It is critical that you include your name and address (with postcode) and that you personalise your letter with your own views and experiences.

“Notes about letters to MPs

“Keep the letter short (a page or less), and emphasise any points which are relevant to the particular MP.

“It is not necessary or recommended to include all the text suggested here.

“I’m deeply concerned a draft proposal set out by the MHRA as part of its consolidation and review of the Medicines Act 1968 could have a significant impact on my ability as a patient to access homeopathic medicines in the UK.
In its current form section 10 of the proposal would only allow unlicensed homeopathic medicines to be bought directly from a pharmacist face-to-face, in effect outlawing the purchase of these medicines over the telephone or via online ordering. This would mean I would be deprived of the medicines that I have found to be so beneficial to my health.
There are only five homeopathic pharmacies in the UK, so most homeopathic medicines are ordered from these specialist pharmacies either by phone or via the Internet. Therefore the enforcement of section 10 in its current form will have serious consequences for the six million people in the UK who choose to use this form of complementary medicine.
If not revised the proposal would also have serious consequences for more than 2,000 homeopathic practitioners, many of whom would find it impossible to treat patients like myself because they can no longer obtain the appropriate homeopathic medicine.
I understand that a central plank of government health policy is to increase patient choice. Section 10 will eliminate choice for people like me who want to be treated with homeopathy.
I would like to call on your support in getting the Health Minister to revise slightly the proposed language of the revised Medicines Act to ensure that I have continued access to a full range of homeopathic medicines and my right to choose homeopathic treatment is maintained”
“Other activity:
“H:MC21 is working on getting other activity off the ground, and more news will be sent out soon.

There is also a petition at AVAAZ.

And here are complete details on the act itself.

“This information is also available on the H:MC21 website.

“All the best from the H:MC21 team.”

 

 

 

Now, what completely galls me is that those who oppose homeopathy seem to be dead set on taking away the freedom of choice that those of us who find value in homeopathy wish to make.  What right have they?  It violates every basic freedom and right–what indeed could be more basic than an individual’s right to choose what form of medical treatment he chooses for his OWN BODY?–that each individual lucky enough to live in a democratic society enjoys.

Wake up Britain!  Pay attention.  This potential destruction of a basic right to choose is far more important than you can possibly know.  If homeopathy is taken away today in response to the very loud (and very wrong) voices of the few, what right will be taken next?  If you can’t enjoy the freedom to choose the medicine that you wish, just how free are you to make ANY decision?

 

Don’t just sit there and let this freedom be taken away.  Speak up.  Make a noise.  Get mad.  And get very very loud when you get mad.  Post this article on your own blog.  Tweet about it.  Let the world know that you care, whether you are British or not.  This is not a British issue.  This is a basic human right that is being seized.  We should all have something to say about it!

 

Juicy Juicy

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I guess that it should not surprise me that I haven’t written as much about my experiences on the month-long journey of the juice fast as I’d intended to. The days have caught up with me. I’m surprised to look at the calendar and see only one more day left of fasting. I was on the phone with my naturopath two days ago, checking in with her, and going over some of the foods that I will be using as I start my raw diet for the next ninety days.

While I have done juice fasts before (I have habitually done juice fasts in the high heat of August every year, fasting as briefly as three days or for as long as the entire month, depending upon the year, my schedule and the way my body feels), I have never attempted a raw diet—vegetarian, yes, raw, no—before and needed some guidance.

I was pleased to hear from her that perfection is not required in a raw diet, that only about 80% of the foods need to be strictly raw and that I was allowed, for instance, brown rice (which I love) and baked tofu (ditto) while on the diet. I feel that with these allowances, and with the occasional baked sweet potato, I’ll be able to make the diet work, especially with the help of books like Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet and Ani’s Raw Food Essentials by Ani Phyo to help offer food plans, great recipes and, perhaps most important, composed shopping lists for staple foods.

But I digress: the juice fast.

The who/what/when/where/how of it. The thing in life that I have found easiest and hardest, both at the same time.

The first thing you need to know about juice fasts is that you are not really fasting at all. You are flooding your body with every nutrient it needs, in a form in which it need not be digested, only absorbed directly so that every ounce of the goodness is easily used by your body. You will be amazed by the lack of waste. Your body will use everything you give it if your juice is well-composed. And the energy (and a great deal of energy it is) that your body usually uses for digestion is instead used to heal that which needs healing.

Thus, after a juice fast, I have been told by a dental assistant that I had the healthiest gums she’d ever seen. I have had my blood tested before and after juice fasts to prove that the process of fasting has a dynamic influence over everything, from high blood pressure to cholesterol to blood sugar.

Everything comes into balance; the body heals itself. This is the blessing of the juice fast.

Along with the complete detoxification that also takes place. Using only pure organic juice allows the body to flush out all that it is holding in. The bowels detoxify. (I leave that process to your imagination. I will only say that that part of the fast—the first ten days or so—is unpleasant.) The body breaks down fat that is has hurriedly stored, in which it places excess sugars, uric acid, etc. (Also no fun, but the way you feel after it has been broken down and the toxins flushed away is well worth it.)

The process of detox can be harsh; the person fasting may need to use probiotics to support this phase and may also need to use a source of protein (I use brown rice protein powder) to supplement the juice in order to keep strength up. Once the detox phase passes (you can see it pass by watching your tongue, which will at first be thickly coated and later a clean pink as the toxins leave your system), the fast becomes pleasant.

I have never experienced actual hunger while on the fast. Because I make sure that I have plenty of juice at all times. I make sure I am satisfied; so what I miss is not actually eating but chewing. There is something in the act of chewing that is pleasurable. Believe me, you miss it when it’s gone.

To give you some general information about juice fasts, it’s important, right up front, to point out that they should always be undertaken with the agreement of and supervision of your health care professional. Like anything else that dynamically impacts health, they should never be done in secret. (It always amazes me how many Americans feel that their health care professional should be able to help them, even though they keep secrets form them, go to other doctors to get other pills that they want that they never mention to their primary care doctor. They abuse the trust that exists between themselves and their doctors and then get angry when that doctor can’t help them to get well.)

Once you’ve set up the terms of the fast (and, as I’ve said, they can be as brief as three days or as long as thirty—after thirty days, the body may begin to digest muscle as well as fat, and we don’t want that, so thirty days is the absolute limit, even though I tend to feel, after three weeks in, as if I could fast endlessly, which is when my naturopath steps in and tells me to stop), you begin to prepare yourself for it.

First, you need a proper juicer. There are many on the market. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that Breville makes the best juicers. They are expensive, but they have strong motors that last a long time, sharp blades and, best of all, wide mouths that all whole apples to pass into the machine without needing to be chopped. You can do the research for yourself; there are many fine juicers on the market. But one tip: don’t bother with those under a hundred dollars. They never work right and break immediately under constant use (and during the fast they will be used constantly).

Find the juicer that is right for you and order it. While you are waiting for it to arrive, begin to prepare yourself for the fast. You can’t just start fasting, you must allow your body to slowly prepare itself.

You do this by dropping specific foods over the days. Stop meat first, then the rest of animal proteins (dairy, eggs and the like), then stop with any processed foods, like catsup, and then stop with the carbs, like rice or wheat, and then slowly winnow down off vegetables and fruit alike until you are ready to let go completely. I take a week to do this. (On the other end of the fast, you have to do the exact same thing and add foods in slowly, slowly to allow your body to adjust.)

Then, juicer in hand, you begin. Over the years, I have always used a full array of fruits and vegetables when I’ve fasted. I would make “meal” juices of vegetables and “snack” juices out of fruit.

This time, I decided to do a much stricter fast. One that involved only green vegetables. So I was juicing kale, Swiss chard, cucumber, zucchini, celery, cabbage, parsley, watercress, and the like. For fun, I occasionally threw in carrots (too much sugar for this fast, so I limited them), tomatoes, and radishes.

What I have found is that the juice fast that involves fruit juices in easier and more fun, with its balance of sweet and savory juice, but the fast like the one I am on now, the fast involving green vegetables only is deeper and far more powerful. I’ve lost more weight on this fast than I have on any other. It also has cut through bloating, and given me a deeper sense of detoxification as well. I recommend it, although it is a more difficult fast.

In fact, as I look over the last paragraph, I see that I (subconsciously?) omitted broccoli from the list of things I juiced. Perhaps because I’ve found broccoli juice to be the single worst taste I’ve ever had on my tongue. And yet, broccoli is such a powerfully healing food, it is needed to be included in the juice. (By all means, mix some coconut water—you can find raw coconut water if you are a stickler—and some green tea into the juice to cut it and give it a sweeter, more pleasant flavor.)

I make three juices a day and I make about 30 to 40 fluid ounces at a time. This is a lot of juice, several glasses per juicing. But in this way, as I’ve said, I never experience hunger.

It is important that you drink the juice within fifteen or twenty minutes of juicing for best benefit, but, as we live in an imperfect world in which we tend to be running around all the time, it is possible to keep juice for a few hours. It won’t be as good as it would have been in the first few minutes, but what can you do? Just keep it in a closed, opaque container, like a water bottle. Don’t let the air get to it, or the juice will oxidize like an apple that has had its skin removed. Nothing will kill the benefit of the juice faster than contact with air. And make sure the container is opaque to keep it away from sunlight as well. Finally, keep it cold. Either in a hamper, like you’d use on a picnic—I know people who keep these in their trunks to protect their juice during the workday—or the refrigerator.

Finally, there is one other aspect of the juice fast that I want to mention: time.

You will find that, during the fast, you have so much more of it. You don’t take hours a day to prepare food. You don’t take more hours to eat it. When on the fast, I find that I have more time for myself and my thoughts than at any other time. And this is great, because I also find that, during the fast, while my body heals, my mind and spirit do also. In taking the time to slow down, to rest (and you do have to rest as much as possible as you simply will not have all the energy that you regularly do and because rest is key to the healing process), issues that have been as or more toxic to the body than sugar, flour, etc, will also be washed away. The fast brings a mental and spiritual clarity as well as physical.

As I said in the beginning of this post, I was talking to my naturopath the other day to help set up the plan for the days ahead when I step away from fasting (which is, strangely akin to going away to a health spa, even if you are at home in your own bed, kitchen, etc) and return to eating.

What I haven’t shared as yet is what I said to her. I told her that, since beginning my fast, I’ve been sleeping deeply, drinking in sleep. I’ve awakened energized, where I usually awaken to find myself still exhausted. I’ve lost weight—about twenty-five pounds so far. All bloat is gone. My feet have bones showing. My chin has reappeared and the shape of my face has changed from round to the oblong thing that is was twenty years ago. My skin is clearer and the texture of it has changed. My energy is up—in the last week or so of the fast, it always amazes me how much energy that I have in spite of not having had a solid meal in weeks.

My naturopath said to me, “You sound so good.” She sounded very pleased. Then I thanked her for her help and said that she had quite literally given me my life back. The arthritic pains that trouble me constantly have fades. My joints are fluid. My feet don’t hurt. I now have dropped two pants sizes and one shoe size. I’ve even dropped as ring size. Best of all, I look and feel younger, rejuvenated.

“The only thing that worries me,” I said to my doctor, “Is where I will be in five years. Will I be able to keep this up?”

“As long as you know me you will,” she answered.

I found this very comforting.

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From Elephants and Mice, more information on the Swiss Government report: Seems the Skeptics Have an Information Gap

Maybe It’s “Something in the Water?”

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Another friend has written a book.

Sue Lanzon, a noted British homeopath, has just finished work on her book, Something in the Water and I was lucky enough to get to read the manuscript.

Something in the Water is funny, charming, intelligent and will challenge your every idea of health and healing, as you read about specific cases and their cures.  Those of you who are students of homeopathy already will learn a great deal from this text.  Newcomers be warned, this is not a primer on homeopathy–nor should it be.  Instead, it is an advanced work, one that encapsulates Sue’s many years of studying and working in the field of homeopathy.  We’re lucky to have this book available and I hope that you will take a look.

Here’s the link to Sue Lanzon’s Facebook page dedicated to Something in the Water.

 

 

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