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- How and When to Be Your Own Doctor - 2/55 -


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 failure.

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 brothers.

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 independent.

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


How and When to Be Your Own Doctor - 2/55

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