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June 2003 Book Review
The Natural Healing Annual 1987
Edited by Mark Bricklin
Executive Editor, Prevention Magazine
Written by the Staff of Rodale Press
Copyright 1987 Rodale Press, Inc.
Note: Supplements and Common Sense
Some of the reports in this book give accounts of the professional
use of nutritional supplements. While food supplements are in
general quite safe, some can be harmful if taken in very large
amounts. Be especially careful not to take more than these
Vitamin A 20,000 I.U.
Vitamin B-6 50 mg.
Vitamin D 400 I.U.
Selenium 100 meg.
Notice: The information and ideas in this book are meant to
supplement the care and guidance of your physician, not to
replace it. The editor cautions you not to attempt diagnosis
or embark upon self-treatment of serious illness without
competent professional assistance. An increasing number
of physicians are ready to cooperate with clients who want
to improve their diet and lifestyle; if you are under professional
care or taking medication, we suggest discussing this
possibility with your doctor.
1987: A Year for Regeneration
A friend of mine in California went to his doctor and was told
his blood pressure was creeping up. Usually around 130 over
90, it had, in the space of a year, bubbled up to 144 over 94.
"Lose some weight," the doctor said. "You're about 25 pounds
over what you should be, and that could be the problem right
But my friend had always been 25 pounds overweight, and his
paunch had never been blamed for anything other than spoiling
"Is this old age?" he asked me. "Does old age start at 42?"
That's a good question. I was thinking about it just last night
when I saw Paul McCartney in a video and noticed that his hair
was turning gray.
Three days ago I spoke to my friend Dick again. It had been
just about 10 months since he told me about his blood pressure.
"So how's it doing?" I asked.
"How's what doing?"
"The blood pressure."
"Oh, that. No problem. Down to about 124 over 84. In the morning,
it's about 118 over 80, then goes higher. Peaks when I get home after
driving on the freeway and then starts going down again."
"How do you know all that?"
"Oh, I bought one of those home pressure units. The digital kind.
"Well, how did you get your pressure down?"
"Honestly, I'm not sure. I did just about everything. Lost weight,
for one thing. Dropped from 190 to 169. No desserts, only two
drinks a day, no pizza for late-night snacks. And exercise, too."
"Started with jogging. Killed myself on these hills out here. So I
tried swimming but I got tired of it and started walking the hills
instead. Two-and-a-half miles a day, in 40 minutes."
Dick went on and on, about his exercise, the calcium pills he was
taking, the fruit he ate and the meditation tapes he listened to for
15 minutes before walking each day. That's why he said he really
didn't know what had lowered his pressure. All he knew was that
it was lower than it had been for ten years, and that he felt
His mother, he added, had said to him "and think of all the money
for drugs you saved!" To which he'd answered, "Mom, if you knew
how much I just paid for a new wardrobe, you'd get sick!"
Although Dick didn't have a specific name for what he'd done to
chisel down his body and blood pressure, here at Prevention, we
do. We call it Regeneration.
At 42, Dick was in no way wallowing in old age. Rather, he'd
forgotten to keep in touch with his youth. Eventually, it began to
sort of.....wander off, and the first sign of "old age" came to fill the
vacancy. Dick's all-around program of good habits literally
regenerated his youth and his health.
Regeneration. The simplest way to think of it is as self-
improvement. Improvement of the self, by the self. Calling on
your own resources, biological, psychological and spiritual,
to restore vigor and purpose that seem to be flagging. And
sometimes, you come up with rewards that seem to be brand-
new territory. A feeling of zest for life, for instance, that you
haven't enjoyed since you-can't-remember-when.
Besides all those new health habits, Dick did something else
that can be called regeneration: He went to his doctor regularly
for checkups. Now, not all medical care can be called regenerative
in a meaningful way. Taking pills to calm your nerves may be
necessary, but it doesn't restore anything. It merely mollifies and
masks. Kind of like putting a bucket under the leak in the roof.
Disaster is prevented but the problem remains. It may even
get worse if you're content to put out more and more buckets--or
take more and more tranquilizers.
Medical care that gives you an early warning of trouble can be
regenerative, though, if you and your doctor use that information
to begin rebuilding health.
I'd even call certain kinds of surgery regenerative. Implanting an
artificial hip, for instance, can open the door to a whole world of
healthful activity that would otherwise be impossible to the victim
of an accident or severe arthritis. Surgery that restores vision is
another good example. A not-so-good example? Coronary
bypass might qualify, because it doesn't halt the progress of
arterial disease, and it's effects don't last very long. It can
reduce angina pain, certainly, and so may be necessary--even
wise. But it can't be the whole answer, only part of an answer
that includes major lifestyle improvement--regeneration, in other
Your 1987 Natural Healing Annual is packed with information you
can use to help move your own regeneration program ahead.
The emphasis is on what you can do for yourself, now. But the
medical aspect is here, too. No longer is there a big, dark
canyon between prevention and natural healing on one side,
and medical services on the other. Regeneration has bridged
that gap. An important part of prevention is proper medical
checkups, while progressive doctors are more and more
prescribing natural healing techniques for body and mind.
Still, regeneration remains something you must ultimately
do for yourself. No one can eat for you, not even the world's
greatest nutritionist. No one can exercise for you, not even
the greatest coach. No one can sleep for you, or smile for
you. Nor can anyone go to the doctor for you, ask questions
for you, take medication for you....or be optimistic for you.
Or, for that matter, read this book for you.
That's why all health care is ultimately self-care.
Executive Editor Prevention Magazine
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