I have been a fan of Andrew Saul's website for a few years. I even got to sit next to him at a luncheon. He's like a rock star to me. I like his website motto: If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This especially includes your health care.
For those of you who don't know it, his website, doctoryourself.com is a treasure trove of health advice from the vitamin perspective. Plus, it's interesting. He has added some Frequently Asked Questions, which are in themselves very interesting. Here's just a sample of the FAQs from what is billed as the "World's Largest HEALTH HOMESTEADING Website." I like that, too!
Doctor Yourself? Do you honestly think you can become your own doctor?
Very often, yes. This is neither impossible nor illegal, and is more and more essential all the time. Healing is too big a topic for any one person to know it all. While that statement includes me and you, it also includes your doctor. But it is not impossible to learn more than your doctor knows, particularly in key areas. You can go to any book or paper in print, read it, apply it, and draw practical conclusions from it. What you will read is just what any physician reads. In fact, you may discover material that your doctor never saw, or did see and never investigated. With a good bibliography, an inquiring mind, and gradual experience, there is no reason why you cannot gain considerable competence in treating yourself and your immediate family in many instances. Remember that in doing your research you will also learn when you really do need a physician.
How can you say this? Aren't doctors the ones for this duty; isn't it their special province to be the formally educated authorities on health?
Commonly, yes: but a doctor's authority in America often exceeds his or her knowledge. Whole bodies of knowledge in healing are ignored because they are unorthodox and non-medical. A doctor's education seems exhaustive, yet MDs study so much of drugs and surgery, and so little of nutrition, fasting, herbal remedies, spinal manipulation, massage, vitamin and mineral therapy, homeopathy, and more that we realize their qualifications are only partial. This takes nothing away from their dedication as individuals, but being individuals they are prone to following certain theories over other theories, particular practices over other alternatives, and holding opinions as well as facts. This is true with any person, certainly, but it is our responsibility to cover all possible ground in our efforts to cure and prevent illness. If we learn more than the doctor in areas of value to our health, it is our duty to apply this knowledge to the betterment of ourselves and our family. We need total health more than medically approved health. Our wellness should not be limited to our doctor's experience, but enhanced by our own experience.
A lot of the media, professional organizations, politicians, and physicians aren’t going to concur with your ideas here, are they?
Nope, especially since I believe that alternative healing methods are much more than just temporary or half measures. I am not going to give you yet another "use drugs wisely" or "help your doctor help you" speech. That stops short of true wellness self-reliance because it always defers final say to the doctor, and trust medical, conventional treatments for the "real illnesses." That will not be the case here. I believe that your doctor works for you, not the other way around. Your physician is your contractor, and it’s your jobsite. Following the government's health advice, the American Medical Association, the American Dietetic Association, the syndicated doctor's advice columns in the newspaper, or television commercials for patent remedies will not be recommended, either. Rather, I offer some unusual substantiation, references, research summaries, obscure clinical material, unpopular preventive or therapeutic measures, little known or under-used facts and approaches to do-it-yourself health. My presentation is incomplete, of course, because there is so much to know. Hopefully, this will be a starting point, sort of a "health homesteader's handbook."