Chapter 9

 Your Health

Table of Contents 

New Age Health Dummies

While attending new age religious services and classes I noticed that many people I saw had what looked like skin cancer. Little black spots on their face or necks. Hey, this stuff can kill you.

If you run around and think positive thoughts, neglecting health checkups, you are taking a huge risk. What is sadly funny is that people worry about the wrong things.  There are people who will not drink from a plastic container, will not use a cell phone, drink water all the time yet will not see a good doctor. David Ropeik (2002) wrote a book called Risk! where he contrasts high risk from the low risk.  

For example, what is really risky are cars (injury), cigarettes (cancer), beer (liver disease), sunburns (cancer), unhealthy food (diabetes), lack of exercise (heart), tension (heart), ladders (accidents), and taking part in meladrama (murder), to name just a few things and the problems they cause.

Bad Doctors

Yes, there are plenty of bad doctors.  Some doctors are too orthodox and do not think. Some doctors are really dummies and pretend to have medical skills they do not have.  These doctors are quacks and they kill people.  I know one guy who wanted to put hydrogen peroxide into my veins.

More importantly, you could be your own quack. Neglecting health kills.  If you wait until to you feel sick before going to a doctor you could risk killing yourself.  Positive thinking plus going to the doctor is the key.  

Asymptomatic Disease

If you think you are healthy and feel fine, you could have any number of these asymptomatic diseases:

  •     Alkaptonuria
  •     Aortic valve stenosis
  •     Atrial fibrillation
  •     Balanitis xerotica obliterans
  •     Benign lymphoepithelial lesion
  •     Cardiac shunt
  •     Carotid artery dissection
  •     Carotid bruit
  •     Cavernous hemangioma
  •     Chloromas (Myeloid sarcoma)
  •     Chronic myelogenous leukemia
  •     Coeliac disease
  •     Coronary Artery Disease
  •     Diabetic retinopathy
  •     Essential Fructosuria
  •     Folliculosebaceous cystic hamartoma
  •     Glioblastoma multiforme (occasionally)
  •     Glucocorticoid remediable aldosteronism
  •     Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
  •     Hereditary elliptocytosis
  •     Heterophoria
  •     Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  •     Histidinemia
  •     Hyperaldosteronism
  •     hyperlipidaemia
  •     Hyperprolinemia type I
  •     Hypothyroidism
  •     Hypertension
  •     Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
  •     Iridodialysis (when small)
  •     Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (female carriers)
  •     Levo-Transposition of the great arteries
  •     Meckel's diverticulum
  •     Microvenular hemangioma
  •     Mitral valve prolapse
  •     Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis
  •     Myelolipoma
  •     Optic disc pit
  •     Osteoporosis
  •     Pes cavus
  •     Polyorchidism
  •     Pre-eclampsia
  •     Prehypertension
  •     Protrusio acetabuli
  •     Pulmonary contusion
  •     Renal tubular acidosis
  •     Spermatocele
  •     Sphenoid wing meningioma
  •     Spider angioma
  •     Splenic infarction (though not typically)
  •     Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  •     Tonsillolith
  •     Type II diabetes
  •     Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia
  •     Wilson's disease

In general, exercise. annual checkups, no smoking, no drinking, eating healthy, defensive driving and loving yourself and others are keys to a long healthy life. Be sure to see your doctor before taking any medical advise from any web page including this one.

The Placebo Effect

Fake pills and fake procedures, even fake surgery, actually work. The placebo effect has been verified.  It is measurable, observable, and actually felt by patients.  Real medication or invasive treatment is not always needed.  The placebo effect has no side effects, except people do not like to be tricked.

H. K. Beecher conducted 15 clinical trials and found that 35% of 1,082 patients were satisfactorily relieved by a placebo alone ("The Powerful Placebo," 1955).  Additional studies have shown that placebos are effective in 50 or 60 percent for patients with problems such as pain, depression, some heart ailments, gastric ulcers and other stomach complaints.

Some researches believe that many of the new psychotropic drugs that are designed to certain brain disorders may not be any better than placebos.

Many of the pills sold in health food stores and the alternative medicine may greatly depend on the placebo effect.  For example, putting hydrogen peroxide directly into the veins is a big placebo effect for sure.  Homeopathic drugs are based on extreme dilution of poisonous and disease causing substances and do nothing except they are very good placebos. 


Overindulging in sweets and processed foods put stress on the body.  Americans consume about 120 pounds of sugar per person annually, a huge amount compared to pre-industrial times when we only took in about seven pounds a year.

The symptoms of low blood sugar may be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild hypoglycemia can cause nausea, a jittery or nervous feeling, cold and clammy skin, and a rapid heartbeat. Moderate hypoglycemia can make you feel irritable, anxious, or confused.  Other symptoms include blurred vision, feel unsteady, and have difficulty walking. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, and coma and may be fatal. Some medications may mask symptoms of low blood sugar, including beta-blockers, which are often used to treat heart conditions and high blood pressure.  Anyone who thinks they might have hypoglycemia should see their doctor.

Low blood sugar can effect the brain and cause headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, poor coordination, confusion, weakness or fainting, tingling sensations in the lips or hands, confused speech, abnormal behavior, convulsions, loss of consciousness, and coma. Symptoms related to epinephrine and norepinephrine including sweating, tremors (feeling shaky), rapid heartbeat, anxiety, and hunger.

Here is how it works. Your body breaks down carbohydrates, including those in vegetables, fruits, breads and grains, into simpler sugars. As these carbohydrates pour into the blood in the form of glucose. The pancreas reacts and secretes the hormone-like substance insulin. Often too much insulin is produced and the blood sugar drops too low. Then the pancreas releases glucagon, which stimulates the release of glucose into the blood to bring blood sugar levels back up.  

If this does not work, you get super hungry and eat massive amount of carbohydrates and sugar. When the insulin gets low, fats that provide energy in your body are not released and you crave more carbohydrates.  You feel like lying down in a corner and telling the world to go away.  

If anything bothers you in this state, you react with stress. The adrenal glands respond by producing adrenaline and dumps it into the bloodstream. This causes anxiety, trembling and panic attacks: frequent signs of a hypoglycemic reaction. Many with low blood sugar crave food so strongly that they do not want to wait for food to cool, and end up burning their lips.

The reaction to stress can make people want the comfort of something to eat, and the result can be excessive weight. Excessive weight itself can cause stress and all these things reinforce each other.

How to Feel Great

A lot of people do not know how it feels to be really healthy.  You are do alive with lots of energy. You are happy and life is fun.  You are not tired all the time.

So it is very important to take care of the body. Each thing we do must be done in conjunction with other steps. It is like a chain.  If you do all of them you should feel really good.

  • Sleep about 7 to 8 hours.  Go to be early enough so you do not need an alarm clock
  • Wash hands often. Shower at least once a day.
  • Do Hatha Yoga every day.
  • Walk, ride a bike, or use a gym for minimum of 30 minutes every day.
  • Lift weights at least four times a week
  • Eat properly.
  • Abstain from smoking, drugs and alcohol.
  • Have only protective sex, or sex with one partner you know is healthy
  • Enjoy nature, take hikes in a park or woods.
  • Do spiritual treatments on yourself and those who ask.
  • Drive defensively


The USDA Food Pyramid is a pretty good guide to eating.

Good Bacteria

Good bacteria are essential for our health.  We have more germs in our gut than we have cells in our body.  Yogurt (not frozen) and other probiotics keep the gut in good supply of the proper bacteria. Look for yogurts with many different active cultures.  For example, Lifeway Kefir has 10 different active cultures.

Extreme Health

At the other extreme is to be obsessed with health. The body is important, but it is not your god. The trick is to be healthy enough to make the body disappear from our notice most of the time, so we can concentrate on what needs to be done.

There are billions of bacteria all over you right now. This is normal.  But before touching the eyes, mouth or food with the hands, it is essential to wash them.  Rub hard, with plenty of pressure. Wash hands before cooking, after cleaning cat litter, or using the bathroom, working in the yard, or handling uncooked meat.   

There are usually more germs in the kitchen than in the bathroom. Using original Pine-Sol or Clorox disinfectant around kitchen and bath. The newer Pine-Sols may be much weaker in killing germs. Wear protective gloves.  Your keyboard is one of most dirtiest places in your home or office.

If a health inspector visited your kitchen, would it pass? Use a thermometer and measure your refrigerator and freezers. Check expiration dates. In general, throw food away if kept more three days.


There are several forms of yoga.  There is Raja Yoga (meditation), Karma Yoga (action), Jnana Yoga (knowledge), Bhakti Yoga (worship)  and Hatha Yoga (body postures) .  

Every morning perform the following Hatha Yoga exercises:   

Warning:  It is important to be supervised by an instructor. Also read a book on this. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.  If it hurts, stop! Be gentle. You could hurt yourself. All yoga is not good. Integral Yoga Institute lists these yoga postures:

  1. Soorya Namaskaram Sun worship -Stand, bend back, bend over, touch floor with hands, come down on hands, lay on stomach, bend up, repeat three to ten times.

  2. Bhujangasana Cobra pose -Lay on stomach, bend up, pushing up with hands. Up to two times.

  3. Arddha Salabasana Half Locust pose -Lay on hands and stomach, lift each leg. Up to two times, each leg.

  4. Nauasana Boat pose -Lay on stomach, lift legs and arms. Up to two times.

  5. Janusirshasana Head to Knee pose -Sit cross legged. Straighten one leg at a time. Bend over and touch fingers to toes. Once for each leg. Caution: Do not bend knee with toe pointing away from body as places abnormal stretch on the rear bent leg.

  6. Paschimotanasana Forward Bending Pose -Sit with legs straight. Bend over and touch fingers to toes.

  7. Sarvangasana Shoulder stand -Lay on back. Raise legs to 45 degrees. Repeat raising legs to 90 degrees.  Stay in raised position for up to five minutes. Caution: Check with you doctor before performing. If you have a blood clot, it might be dangerous.

  8. Matsyasana Fish pose -Lay on back. Lift chest, with arms at side. Do once.

  9. Arddha Matsyendrasana Half Spinal Twist -Sit, with right leg straight, and left crossed over right leg. Place right arm to the right of the right leg, between right leg and left leg.  Reverse pose.  Once each way.

  10. Yoga Mudra Yoga Seal -Sit cross legged, with arms behind back. Up to 30 seconds.

  11. Yoga Nidra Deep relaxation -Sit cross legged, with arms placed behind back, fingers locked together. Bend over to floor.


Note: The Full Locus Pose (Salabasana) and Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) are not listed as they may cause injury.


Smart Eating

Eating feels so good. But too much food is poisonous.

We all know that we need to eat properly.  There are 1.5 million heart attacks every year in the United States.  Two people die every second from heart disease. About half of these people died suddenly.  

Eating the right foods (those with less fat sugar and salt), chewing every mouthful, and being emotionally together produces the best effects.


Eat little or none this stuff:

High-fructose corn syrup
luncheon meats
shrimp olives

egg yolks
1%, 2% and whole milk
whole milk, sugared ice cream
half and half
sour cream
whipped cream
heavy cheeses

fried meat
fruits in heavy syrup
coconut oil
palm oil
sugared cereals
potato chips
prepared lunch meats.


Eat this stuff!

Include color in your diet.

lots of filtered water
fresh (not frozen) yogurt -frozen yogurt is dead!
veggie burgers
lima beans
chick peas
egg whites
egg substitutes
small amounts of lean meat


lots of filtered water
fresh yogurt (frozen yogurt is dead!)
veggie burgers
lima beans
chick peas
brown rice


whey protein powder
rice milk (low sugar)
soy milk (low sugar)
nonfat milk*
nonfat ice cream
most vegetables
fresh fruits
safflower oil
corn oil
olive oil
whole wheat bread
Rye Crisp

*Note: small amounts              only


Long term use of herbs can be harmful.  Take the minimum of any herb or medicine. Check with your health provider first.  These are some items you might consider as you get older:

Multivitamin with 100% daily values Don't take too high amounts.

Do not take medicine or herbs over a long period of time without good reason.  Read detailed label.  Check with a good doctor.

Milk substitutes such as Rice Milk. Calcium Citrate, can helps retain bone density.  However these items may cause constipation as well.  Prunes can help prevent constipation.


Some people might want to try Bilberry (caution lowers blood pressure) and Lutein to help their eyes.

Stomach-acid reducing medications taken over a long period of time can upset the bacteria in the gut and cause Vitamin K and B12 not to be absorbed.  Lack of vitamin K can cause bleeding.


This is just a guide. People have different tastes and requirements.  Check with you doctor before changing your diet.  You need some fat and salt.

The Connection Between Health and the Soul

The body, the temple of the soul, must be treated as our most important possession. Without health, other goals become increasingly impossible. We can spend all our time and all our money trying to get well or avoid getting sick.

By spending twenty minutes a day exercising and doing yoga, monitoring food intake, and having some purpose and a little love, we can be high all the time.  In fact, we can be super high and in super health.

He who does violence to the peaceful and harmless soon encounters one of ten things - He may experience cruel pain, disaster, physical injury, severe illness, or insanity, or else trouble with the authorities, grave accusation, bereavement, or loss of property, or else destruction of his house by fire, and .. the death of his body...-- Buddhist Texts, Dhammapada, #137, p. 11    

Looking after one's health is done with two intentions.  Man may take good care of his body for the purpose of satisfying his personal wishes. Or, he may look after his health with the good intention of serving humanity and of living long enough to perform his duty towards mankind. The latter is most commendable.  --Abdu'l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol VII, No. 18, p 23.

As this physical frame is the throne of the inner temple, whatever occurs to the former is felt by the latter. In reality that which takes delight in joy or is saddened by pain is the inner temple of the body, not the body itself. Since this physical body is the throne whereon the inner temple is established, God hath ordained that the body be preserved to the extent possible, so that nothing that causeth repugnance may be experienced. The inner temple beholdeth its physical frame, which is its throne. Thus, if the latter is accorded respect, it is as if the former is the recipient. The converse is likewise true. -- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 95  

Although ill health is one of the unavoidable conditions of man, truly it is hard to bear. The bounty of good health is the greatest of all gifts. -- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'lBaha, #132, p. 151  

Excellent Food Magazine

Nutrition Action Magazine
CSPI/Nutrition Action Health
P.O. Box 96611
Washington, D.C. 20077-7216.

This magazine is middle of the road.  It is not a far out health food magazine, nor based on the medical establishment.  It says it does not know everything.  It says sometimes there is not enough evidence to reach a conclusion.  Refreshing.  It points out which processed foods have the most salt and fat.

Updated March 23, 2013

Copyright ©  2010 George Norwood
Revision 15