Health care costs and availability were already major problems for many millions of people in the United States. And that was in the good old days before the economy collapsed.
Now it's worse. So anything you can do to look after your own health—and that of your family members—is vital. Of course it was always a good idea to look after your own health, and to treat minor problems in a healthy natural manner, but now it's imperative. In many cases, if you don't do it, it won't get done. And if you don't do it now, it can turn into something that you can't deal with.
If you still have access to standard, mainstream medical health care, congratulations. Make the most of it. But for those of you who don't, or who prefer to supplement, or replace, mainstream modalities with alternative methods, you'll find many ideas here.
Millions of Americans use natural and alternative methods of healing. Not all of the methods work, at least not for everyone. And there no doubt exists quacks, and frauds, and pseudo-science treatments. But so what? What we'll talk about here are inexpensive or free methods of self-healing. We'll try to pick ones that are safe, but remember that any treatment, even natural herbs, can have negative effects with some people or in excess (whatever that means) quantities.
A number of popular, and apparently successful, forms of healing are done by trained practitioners. Many of these probably will cost you money, unless you run into some particularly caring and compassionate practitioners who don't need the money. But remember also that you have skills, services and things that you might be able to offer in trade. Trade is, and will remain, a major factor in the new reality.
Most of the self-health ideas provided here involve low-cost, readily available items. Some require specialized, though relatively inexpensive, equipment. We are unable to know what might or might not be available in your area, but we've done what we can to suggest a wide range of options.
We have not included a large number of alternative methods such as acupuncture, reiki and others, because those require specialized training. We do not encourage novices to stick needles in themselves. If you have access to alternative healing practitioners, great. Use them if they're available and you can afford them. For the rest of us, we provide techniques that you can do on your own or with a few instructions. For example, you may initially not be an aromatherapy expert, but you can at least start working with basic principles and techniques on your own.
Some of the methods given here may provoke great passions. Some people will think highly of some of the suggestions, and consider other techniques to be outrageous quackery. If you see a health technique you don't like, please don't let us know. We don't care. If you don't like it, don't use it. Somebody else might find it useful.
Because, like cockroaches after a nuclear war, lawyers still exist in this new reality, we must provide the usual cover-your-ass statement declaring that we are not prescribing any form of medical treatment or advice, that we are merely providing information for educational and research purposes, and that you should always check with your physician before embarking on any health treatment program, even one performed solely by yourself.
Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator
See where your present lifestyle might get you
Where There Is No Dentist
A community dental care manual designed to help people care for their teeth and gums. [book]
Where There Is No Doctor
A community health care manual. Vital information on diagnosing and treating common medical problems and diseases, giving special emphasis to prevention. Includes sections detailing effective examination techniques, home cures, correct usage of medicines and their precautions, nutrition, caring for children, ailments of older individuals and first aid. Translated into more than 90 languages. [book]
You're unlikely to be able to do much about the air in your community, but you can do something about the air in your body. Breathing properly is something few of us do, although it's essential to good health.
"What?", you say. "I know how to breathe." Well, yes. But most of us do shallow breathing using only the top of our lungs, never using our full lung capacity. For optimum air and oxygen intake, as well as taking in the energy referred to as "prana" or "chi", we should breathe deeply from the bottom of our lungs.
See also our Air page.
Deep Slow Easy Breathing Exercise
Instructions for a short, simple and effective breathing exercise
Yoga Breathing Exercises
Breathing with sounds
Apple Cider Vinegar
A popular and inexpensive home remedy for a variety of health problems.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Making and using it.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Information and comments from people who have used it as a tonic and remedy
Natural Healing with Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar as a remedy, for hygiene, and in the kitchen [book]
Flowers and herbs don't just smell good. They smell healthy. And are.
Aromatherapy - An A-Z
Essential oils, formulas and recipes [book]
Aromatherapy Global Online Research Archives (AGORA)
An international group of volunteers dedicated to providing noncommercial aromatherapy education
Lots of articles from a recognized expert
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
Dedicated to enhancing public awareness of the benefits of true aromatherapy
Top 10 Essential Oils
World of Aromatherapy, A
Guide to essential oils
Bach Flower Remedies
A natural system of healing and stress management created in the 1930s by English physician Edward Bach. The safe, non-toxic liquids are formulated from 38 flowering plants and trees.
Bach Flower Education
Authorized courses in the U.S. and Canada
Bach Foundation Registered Practitioners
Worldwide list of practitioners
Dr. Edward Bach Centre
Official Bach site. Information on each of the 38 remedies and Rescue Remedy, plus a FAQ.
Bates Eye Exercises
Exercises for improving your eyesight without lenses or surgery.
Bates Association for Vision Education
Association of Bates Method teachers
A website with extensive information on the use of the Bates method
Perfect Sight Without Glasses
The original book by Dr. William Bates, published in 1920, and available online free in its entirety.
Vision sites on the Web
Links to Bates practitioners and other methods of vision enhancement
Using silver for health is not new. It goes back centuries. More recently, pioneers in their covered wagons crossing the American continent in the 1800s would put a silver dollar in the water barrel to keep the water pure. Colloidal silver carries on the tradition. Some call it quackery, others swear by it as an anti-bacterial and anti-viral technique. Look into it yourself.
Yahoo discussion group
Colloidal Silver - A Closer Look
Good overview on colloidal silver and making it at home
Worldwide association of miners, refiners, fabricators and manufacturers
Silver - Nature's Water Purifier
Benefits of colloidal silver
You don't need to be given any suggestions. If you're already exercising regularly, you know what to do. If you're not, you still know what to do but just aren't doing it. You're not suffering from lack of information.
Herbs are nature's medicine. They're everywhere. More than likely, you have some in your backyard or neighborhood. If not, you can grow your own—even in your kitchen—or buy them inexpensively.
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs
Of Eastern and Central North America [book]
American Botanical Council
Herbal news and information
Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West
Includes full color photographs of every plant in the book [book]
Frontier Natural Products
Online source of organic herbs
Green Pharmacy, The
Compendium Of natural remedies from the world's foremost authority on healing herbs [book]
Growing and Using Herbs
For health and food - from GardenGuides.com
All-encompassing website with a huge amount of information
Herbs for Health
Magazine with lots of online articles and information
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants
in wild (and not so wild) places [book]
Making Cayenne Tincture
Instructions for making an herbal tincture. Use same method for other herbs.
Mountain Rose Herbs
Bulk organic herbs and spices, essential oils, tea, containers and other items for health and cooking
Natural Herbs Guide
Herbs, remedies, medicines and supplements
Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine
How to remedy and prevent disease with herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Stalking the Healthful Herbs, by Euell Gibbons
By Euell Gibbons, author of Stalking the Wild Asparagus [book]
A few all-purpose, anti-bacterial, anti-viral remedies should be of use. These recipes are claimed to fit that need.
Legend has it that a group of four thieves looted jewelry and other valuables from countless victims (some of whom they dispatched themselves) of the Great Plague in Europe, and that they never got the bubonic plague themselves due to a secret compound that they rubbed on their bodies. This site gives four different recipes for this legendary preventative medicine
Master Tonic - A Natural Antibiotic
Here's another all-purpose treatment. It's Dr. Richard Schulze's adaption of Dr. John Christopher's original anti-plague tonic
Elderberry extract is alleged to be an extremely effective remedy for Influenza. It contains a similar healing compound (Anthrocyanin) that is found in red wine grapes and is also beneficial for hypertension and several other common conditions of modern living.
Commercial site of the manufacturer of Sambucol, a popular herbal medicine for influenza symptoms.
Make Your Own Herbal Tinctures
Make your own from any fresh herb
Everybody knows its uses for putting on a cut or for cleaning things in the house, but there is much more.
Health and cleaning
Many Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide
Healing with peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide in the Ears
For Flu or Colds
Hydrogen Peroxide: Medical Miracle
The use and benefits of hydrogen peroxide [book]
If you don't get a good night's sleep, nothing goes right. Try these ideas.
30 Simple Tips to Help You Get to Sleep
Actually, the sun is not out to get us. Sunlight is good, and essential for our health.
Light: Medicine of the Future
How we can use it to heal ourselves. [book]
Instructions for giving and receiving erotic massage. It's more than just healthy
Gives detailed massage instruction. Focus is sexual but the techniques themselves are actually standard.
Learn the Art of Self Massage
Effective, simple techniques for home or office
Instructions from Student Affairs at the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Qigong Self Massage
Chinese method of self-massage
Good instructions covering almost the entire body
See our Meditation and Relaxation page
See also our Drugs and Food pages.
Paul Stamets' ultimate mushroom website. A family-owned, environmentally friendly company specializing in using gourmet and medicinal mushrooms to improve the health of the planet and its people.
Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms
From the founder of fungi.com [book]
An exploration of tradition, healing and culture [book]
Mushroom Cultivator, The
A practical guide to growing mushrooms at home [book]
How mushrooms can help save the world. New methods for growing mushrooms, generating mycelium, and implanting mushroom colonies into the environment. Includes chapters on nutrition, medicinal properties, log and stump culture and natural culture, using easy to use and low-tech techniques. [book]
Real Magic Mushrooms, The
Article on Paul Stamets
Qigong is an ancient Chinese art of healing and revitalizing the body.
A variation in spelling. Frequently asked questions.
An introduction to Chinese medicine
Techniques from various schools of Qigong
Jade Body Gong
Reflexology / Acupressure
Reflexology is a form of acupressure in which healing is done by pressing and stimulating specific zones of the hands and feet. Corresponding parts of the body are energized by this pressure.
Good article's from the author of Acupressure's Potent Points
Foot Reflexology Maps
Online interactive maps of the reflexology zones on the feet. Also downloadable foot and hand charts.
Home of Reflexology
Association of Reflexologists
How to Apply Pressure to Points When Doing Shiatsu
Shiatsu is Japanese acupuncture
Reflexology Massage Instructions
Charts and instructions for doing reflexology
What is Reflexology?
Frequently asked questions
Relaxation See our Meditation and Relaxation page.
See our Sanitation page.
Perhaps it's time to let go of our paranoia about being attacked by sunlight, and start to recognize how healthy the source of all life energy is.
Why the sun can be good for your health
Sick? Well? Sunbathing Helps You and Everyone
More thoughts on the benefits of sunbathing
Solar Healing Center
Official site for Hira Ratan Manek, the guru (literally) of sungazing
Yahoo discussion group
See also our Water page
Website of the author of "Your Body's Many Cries for Water"
The Wonders of Water
Various health problems caused by insufficient water
Your Body's Many Cries for Water
You are not sick; you are thirsty. [book]
Yoga is a body of ancient Indian spiritual practices. The branch of yoga most people are aware of is Hatha Yoga, which is designed to purify and strengthen the body, improving it as a vehicle for meditation. One of the many benefits of yoga is that you don't have to buy anything to do it.
Alternative Medicine Man
Yoga sequences for specific ailments
Complete instructions for more than 100 yoga postures
The classic magazine with a huge amount of online information
Comprehensive information on a wide variety of yoga disciplines.
General Holistic Websites
Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Home Remedy Haven
Wellness Directory of Minnesota