something especially compelling about medical heretics. It was nearly 30
years ago that my life was forever changed, when Professor John Mosher at the
State University of New York asked me to read a particular book (now out of
print) by an English physician named Aubrey T. Westlake, M.D. The book
was The Pattern of Health, and for me it changed everything. Dr.
Westlake wrote of his long and unsatisfying experience as a medical practitioner.
He said that during his professional life, his work with patients had mostly
been that of "bailing out leaking boats." I followed Dr.
Westlake's narrative with increasing fascination as he described his search
for real healing. He ended up WAY outside of conventional medicine. Yet
Dr. Westlake, a fully qualified doctor of medicine, saw his patients really get
better when he used unorthodox, “holistic” treatments. I
could not simply disregard him;
The really subversive
thing about reading books is that each good one leads to many others.
So it was with me. If there wasn't yet a medical blacklist or
"Index" listing all health heresy in print, I think I came
reasonably close to creating one during college and graduate school. I
read and Who is Your Doctor and Why, by Alonzo J. Shadman, M.D.
I read Linus Pauling, Abram Hoffer, Wilfrid and Evan Shute, Paavo Airola,
Ewan Cameron, Robert Mendelssohn, Roger J. Williams and the work of many
other respected scientists. This eventually persuaded me that natural
healing was not only valid but was generally superior to conventional
It certainly was not for money, because medical doctors who recant pharmacology tend to make a lot less money than those who stay and play the drug-and-cut game. And it certainly was not for job security, for insurance companies and state medical boards have a deep dislike for nutritional “quacks.” Holistic doctors have a way of losing their licenses. I have met many who have.
The only motivation I could come up with for such a move was because it helped patients get better. And this is consistent with what the dissenting doctors all say. Perhaps they are telling the truth: there is a better way to run the health-care railroad.
Did I say health-care? Well, there’s a national misnomer for you, and one that Dr. Walt Stoll’s Saving Yourself from the Disease-Care Crisis immediately corrects in its very title.
Saving Yourself is a powerful presentation of common-sense medicine, by a medical doctor who has seen both sides, and writes: “I practiced strictly conventional medicine for many years. I have taught conventional medicine (at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine.) I personally had to cut my income by four-fifths in order to practice holistic medicine.” (p 9, 10, 109.)
And why did he do it? Because it was a better way to help people get better. Saving Yourself provides a dozen chapters that specifically address many common conditions that are seen as difficult to cure medically but that respond well to drugless treatment. These include colds and flu; allergies; adult and children’s behavior disorders; atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease; Crohn’s disease, IBS and ulcerative colitis; endocrine conditions; fungal overgrowth; hiatus hernia; and arthritis. In a future edition, I would like to see this excellent section expanded to cover even more diseases.
The authority with which Dr. Stoll writes is effortless, based on his decades of clinical observation of what consistently works with real patients. Saving Yourself is much like having the doctor’s good sound advice, and his very pleasant bedside manner to boot, right on your bookshelf. I like this book. I like its no-nonsense attitude, the plentiful references to the scientific literature, and the practical how-to sections. These include instruction on how and why to avoid eating refined carbohydrates (p 147-8), how to choose a doctor (p 120-127), and what amounts to a lesson in “do it yourself triage” to determine when medical attention IS necessary (p 127-135). I also like how Dr. Stoll takes the time to personally recommend valuable natural health books by other authors all throughout the text, and in a fine Bibliography as well.
As a radically non-medical kind of guy, I do dissent with some of the views offered in Saving Yourself. I think sutures can usually be avoided with butterfly bandages, and I think Loperamide is not the ideal remedy for diarrhea. And while hypodermic administration is critically discussed in Saving Yourself, there is no mention of vaccination, pro or con. And I think his recommendation of 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily is too low.
However, Dr Stoll’s emphasis on effective cost-efficient health care, self-education, exercise and stress reduction receive my unqualified praise. So do these right-on, uncompromising statements:
“The food industry profits from the (false) idea that food processing is not injurious to the nation’s health. The medical/pharmaceutical complex profits from illness; the sicker people are, the more money medical professionals make. The disease insurance companies profit from illness.” (p 114)
Dr. Stoll refuses to call them “health insurance” companies. And with this, I totally agree.
Dr. Stoll believes that our present disease-care system “will crumble of its own weight. It is too bad that the whole country has to wait for that to happen.” (p 116)
Well, maybe not. Especially if more people start reading really good books like Saving Yourself from the Disease-Care Crisis.
Saving Yourself from
the Disease-Care Crisis
Review copyright 2002 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul.
Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )
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