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"...the best-selling author of Spontaneous Healing describes the array of changes that people can make in their lives to reduce stress, strengthen their immune system, and avoid illness."
Andrew Weil: I am delighted to be here. I look forward to talking with all of you.
Andrew Weil: Absolutely. But it has to be done by sympathetic authorities. I have long suggested that the FDA set up a division of natural therapeutics to regulate herbs, vitamins, and minerals. The quality of supplements leaves much to be desired. This is a big problem that scares many doctors off from recommending natural treatments.
Andrew Weil: The FDA continues to have its head in the sand in this area.
Andrew Weil: All for it. There are several groups that lobby the FDA.
Andrew Weil: I'm afraid that having a brand would hurt my relations with doctors. My main work is changing medicine. I don't want to do anything that hurts that.
Andrew Weil: Yes. I let in a little NPR news over the weekend. But I haven't read any newspapers and I don't own a TV. And yet I consider myself informed.
Andrew Weil: My main prescription would be for the media to drop some of this and let Clinton get on with his job.
Andrew Weil: Good question! I think there's a big body of research indicating mechanisms for mind-body interactions, including the role of neuropeptides. I don't think identification of these mechanisms is inconsistent with belief in a nonphysical aspect.
Andrew Weil: In my book HEALTH AND HEALING, I go into detail about the placebo response, making a distinction between sugar pills and active placebos. Whenever we give treatment, there is a placebo response in addition to the medicine's effect. The art of medicine is to maximize that effect. As long as doctor and patient genuinely believe in the efficacy of a treatment, that response will be preserved.
Andrew Weil: I did not read it. But I am familiar with the literature. I discuss it in SPONTANEOUS HEALING. I feel all back and neck pain should be assumed to have a strong psychological component until proven otherwise. Mind-body treatment can be helpful.
Andrew Weil: It certainly is! I think its major indication is for people with established heart disease. As a general recommendation, I find it restrictive. You might get the same results with a palatable level of fat in the diet, as long as the fats are healthy ones.
Andrew Weil: I think magnet therapy is interesting and unresearched. Some recent research supports the positive use of magnets in muscular/skeletal pain. I recommend this therapy to people with foot pain, neck pain, and other problems. I look forward to seeing more research.
Andrew Weil: This is an area where consumers must beware. You must go by reliable information. Buy established brands that can give you information on processes.
Andrew Weil: I would try magnet therapy. And acupuncture.
Andrew Weil: The first step of taking greater responsibility for health is knowing your limits of competence. I've seen many people get the help they need from the Internet. But if you have serious symptoms, I think it is always wise to consult with a health professional.
Andrew Weil: Absolutely! They are generally deficient in the American diet. Everyone should think about where they are getting these acids. We should eat salmon, sardines, walnuts, or flax seeds.
Andrew Weil: I myself just take the basic antioxidant formula -- four pills -- plus one B-complex and CoQ10. That's not a mouthful of pills.
Andrew Weil: Herbs should not be taken just because they're there. Echinacea is for colds. Ginkgo is for blood circulation. Palmetto for enlarged prostates. I'd save them for when they're needed.
Andrew Weil: In some women, that amount of wine might raise the risk of breast cancer. But I do not oppose moderate regular intake of alcohol.
Andrew Weil: I certainly would. I have written about "disconnection syndrome" in my books. I think this problem has increased in America in recent times. It is a significant root of illness.
Andrew Weil: I think the trick is to show them that healthy food and fun food are not opposite. Experiment until you find recipes they like that are healthy. You might start with the recipes in 8 WEEKS TO OPTIMUM HEALTH. I designed them to be both healthful and delicious.
Andrew Weil: One possibility: Try to direct those cravings into healthier food, like fruit, natural preserves, dried fruit, sorbet, and so forth.
Andrew Weil: Fruits and all products made from fruits that don't have added sugar.
Andrew Weil: Definitely! In fact younger people have higher healing potential than older people. Mind-body methods often work very well with children.
Andrew Weil: I talk about dying in a healed state. I think it's possible to complete the business of life and feel at physical and mental peace even though the body is dying. I just reviewed the case of a woman dying of lung cancer who exemplified this for me.
Andrew Weil: Yes. I would try traditional Chinese medicine. I'd try dietary manipulation -- cutting out milk. And osteopathic manipulation. You'll find more on this in NATURAL HEALTH, NATURAL MEDICINE, and on my web site.
Andrew Weil: Get a good air filtration system for the home. Try freeze-dried stinging nettles in capsules as symptomatic treatment.
Andrew Weil: Try supplements of malic acid, as well as the herb Boswellia. Also, work to improve sleep patterns.
Andrew Weil: You want a practitioner of cranial therapy. Contact the Cranial Academy in Indianapolis. Ask how much time the practitioner devotes to cranial osteopathy. And there is no substitute for a good recommendation from people you trust.
Andrew Weil: I think they are safe if truly needed.
Andrew Weil: Learn to breathe better. You'll find information on this subject in all my books. That seems like a good one to close on.
Andrew Weil: A pleasure. I enjoyed.