"One grandmother is worth two M.D.s." Robert Mendelsohn, M.D.
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER Vol 2, No 14, May 24, 2002
"Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."
Written by Andrew Saul, PhD. of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free
online library of over 350 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000
ALTERNATIVE HEALTH vs. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Big Difference
Complimentary Medicine, or Alternative Medicine sure sounds good. It sounds
like progressive, real health-care reform. "Alt Med" seems like an ideal
marriage of the best of the old and the new, the scientific and the
holistic, the technological and the natural, the doctor and the patient.
But for those of us who favor wellness self-reliance, it is a far cry from
Alternative HEALTH. Alternative Health is different, first in the obvious
way: the word medicine is not there. That means the medical and
pharmaceutical professions are cut out. And since they don't want that, this
is why they are willing to accept some of the "natural" stuff as long as
they maintain control the writing of prescriptions and the filling of
But they will not support you when you go off on your own, to your own
garden or to your local health food store or to your own library or Internet
If you've ever met a plumber or electrician or appliance repairman or auto
mechanic who said, "Here: let me show YOU how to do this" then you have been
singularly fortunate. Rare as this experience may be, it is infinitely
rarer for a health professional to teach you exactly how to dispense with
their services. An underlying assumption implicit in fee-for-service medical
care is that you CAN'T do what the doctor does, dummy, and you are a fool
for thinking you can.
Decades ago I once was stranded out-of-state with all my car's radiator
fluid bleeding out around me, staining the parking lot nicely green. It was
Sunday, I could not find a mechanic who would come to the car, and I had no
money for a tow or, for that matter, for an overnight stay to wait for the
job to be eventually attended to. So I pleaded with, and ultimately
convinced a gas station attendant to loan me a few tools and drop a hint
about how to replace coolant hoses. Might sound like small potatoes to you,
but I was a 19 year old egghead and up until then had never worked under a
car in my life. The prospect actually frightened me.
But I learned that desperation and elbow grease will loosen even the frayed
plumbing of a big old Ford. I replaced the hose. (The large-diameter one, at
the very bottom. What a mess.) I filled the radiator; I returned the tools;
I drove away.
By golly, it worked.
Not long ago I discovered that you can call some appliance factories and,
for a fee, they will walk you thorough the repair over the phone. Outback
Australian children have been taught by radio for decades. I am convinced
that doctors could do this with us, by radio for free or by phone for a fee.
I've been saying for years how much I'd like to see neighbor hood health
( http://doctoryourself.com/motherearth.html )
Car self-repair, appliance self-repair and health self-repair require a
common attitude: "This is learnable, this is doable, and I can learn to do
Then consider the financial aspects of all this: what if we were determined
to pretty much do without doctors? Alt Med Assumption: Certainly we can't.
Alt Health assumption: Maybe we can. The difference? The health homesteader
takes back control. No longer a patient, the health homesteader gains
knowledge, experience and self-reliance, in that order.
Now don't go off saying that this is silly, breathlessly citing crisis care
as requiring physicians. It is granted that there are times when we
absolutely do indeed require a professional. But we can act to greatly
reduce the frequency of those times, far beyond what we've been told.
The word "Doctor" is derived form the Latin word for "teacher." If your
physician is a good health coach, great. If he is not, then you absolutely
need to doctor (teach) yourself.
Here is a quick way to evaluate your doctor's alternative HEALTH potential.
Ask her if she agrees with this statement:
"There is a natural substitute for nearly every drug. I do not want to use
nutrition and vitamin supplements along with drugs. I want to use them
INSTEAD of drugs."
If your doctor is intolerant of such a position, or simply not up to speed,
you can help fill the void with the following information.