Do any of these statements resonate with you?
- “I'm spending a lot of time and money on office visits, tests, and treatments, and I'm not getting any better.”
- “I want to be treated like a person, not just a diagnosis or an insurance policy number.”
- “Based on my family health history, I'm worried about my future. I wish there was a way to overcome my bad genetics.”
- “I want to eat better and be healthier, but I don't know how to do it.”
If so, I want to share some really good news with you.
Before I do, let me quickly tell you who I am and why you might want to listen to me.
My name is Howard Jacobson. I write, speak, teach, coach, and consult on health and wellness. I've collaborated with some of the most courageous and brilliant minds in the research and medical fields: T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, Garth Davis, MD, author of the upcoming Proteinaholic, and Pam Popper, author of Solving America's Healthcare Crisis, among others.
I have degrees in health studies and public health, and I spent 15 years in the business trenches learning the marketing secrets of the world’s most ethical and sleaziest industries.
Now I help people make informed decisions about treatment options and take control of their health destiny.
The saddest phrase I hear in my work is “If I had only known then what I know now.”
I hear it when people discover facts too late, after they've made decisions based on incorrect, incomplete, or misleading data:
- the drug they’ve been taking for years has damaged them permanently, and they would have gotten much better results from lifestyle changes.
- the screening test that “revealed” their disease has a 73% false positive rate.
- the surgery they were pressured into doesn't reduce pain, and in fact makes full recovery less likely.
Let's Banish the “If I Had Only Knowns”
I’ve made it my mission to give people accurate health information in time, so they can avoid needless pain and suffering. So they can live full, vibrant, long, and joyful lives. So they can be in control of their health destinies.
Sign up here
Through my decades of work in health, marketing, and research, I’ve discovered some surprising and upsetting things:
Some of what we think of as medical truth is more like marketing.
From articles in prestigious medical journals to headlines in daily newspapers to viral online blog posts, money often influences how treatments are presented, favoring the most lucrative options rather than the most effective.
Sometimes drugs are unnecessary, or useful only as a short-term strategy.
Every drug has side effects. In many cases, the benefits of the drug doesn't outweigh the risks.
When a drug does have benefit, there’s often a lifestyle change that provides a bigger, faster, more profound benefit minus the negative side effects.
Even though medical science is complicated, ordinary people are perfectly capable of making their own decisions about treatment options.
You know what else is complicated? Cars. But just because you don't know how a carburetor works doesn't mean you aren't capable of choosing a make and model on your own.
And most important of all:
We can get better. Really better. Sometimes even completely better.
Through evidence-based care and aggressive lifestyle improvement, real wellness is not only possible, it’s our birthright. We don’t have to settle for an inevitable decline, suppressing our symptoms with drugs until we finally drop dead.
Instead, we can often eliminate root causes of disease. We can be well and happy.
I’m Not Talking about “Alternative Medicine”
Most “alternative,” “complementary,” and “holistic” healing is less harmful than modern medicine, it’s true, but that doesn’t mean it’s any more effective much of the time. Most supplements fall somewhere in the useless / harmful continuum, just like the prescription meds.
Many “naturopathic” treatments are completely unproven.
And too often, “alternative practitioners” are unaware of the lack of credible evidence for their treatments.
What Does Real Wellness Care Look Like?
Real Wellness Care has four characteristics:
Wellness Care is Evidence-based
As they said in the X-Files, “The Truth is Out There.”
You’ll be amazed at how much we do know about how to prevent, arrest, and reverse disease. There are tons of well-designed and well-conducted studies.
We know the best ways to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and other abnormal test data. And it rarely includes long-term use of drugs.
We know how to eat, move, and live to significantly reduce (and in some cases totally eliminate) the risk of cancer, heart-attack, diabetes, and stroke. And how to stop and reverse heart disease and the progression of diabetes.
We know how to eliminate symptoms of Crohn’s, colitis, and irritable bowel.
We know how to reverse erectile dysfunction.
We know how to make people better. We’re just not doing it, as a society, because wellness isn’t as profitable as long-term disease management.
The best evidence in the world is useless if your practitioner isn’t listening to you. Diagnosis is an art, and depends on paying attention. Not just to your lab results, but to your entire medical history. And to your personal story: Your experiences. Your emotions. Your sensations.
Most of us can’t afford to pay a medical professional to give you that kind of time. Many doctors and nurses are so time-crunched by insurance companies and billing requirements that they’re pressured to get you out the door, prescription in hand, within ten minutes. At that rate, it's impossible to engage you in real conversation, pay attention, and form a thoughtful diagnosis.
Real wellness care applies best practices in a customized, personalized, and caring way.
Hippocrates, known as the “father of medicine,” is famous for two things: the Hippocratic Oath, and a healing philosophy.
The Hippocratic Oath, recited by all doctors as a creed of practice, can be boiled down to four words: “First, do no harm.”
In other words, don’t make things worse. Don’t use dangerous drugs and procedures unless you’ve exhausted every safe alternative.
The healing philosophy goes like this: “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
That is, what we eat has a more profound impact on our health than any other factor. Probably more than all the other factors combined, in most cases.
Back to the car metaphor. If you fueled your diesel vehicle with regular unleaded, it won’t matter how many times you tune up your engine or change the oil or repaint the body. Bad fuel, bad performance, damaged vehicle.
Finally, real wellness care isn’t about me or anyone else telling you what to do. You’re a grownup, and you should be trusted to make your own decisions.
When you receive accurate and full disclosure, you can call the shots with confidence.
We even have a name for this: Informed Consent.
It’s supposed to mean that health professionals inform you of the risks and benefits of all the options, and you consent to the option that seems the best to you.
Instead, we’ve bastardized Informed Consent to this: The doctor informs you what’s going to happen, and you meekly consent.
Just as you wouldn’t tolerate this abdication of personal responsibility when buying a car or a house or a lawnmower, you shouldn't give up your autonomy when it comes to the most important thing of all: your health.
Welcome to PlantYourself.com and Wellness Forum Health
The good news is, Wellness Care already exists. And you’ve found it.
My colleagues and I work with people who are tired of being mistreated by the medical establishment.
And with people who want to avoid needless pain and suffering in the future.
People who want to plant themselves firmly, in control of their own health destinies.
If that’s you, then your next step is to register for an upcoming Wellness Webinar.
You'll become informed about the latest and best scientific information about diet and health, so you can make the most informed decisions for yourself and your family.
You'll automatically get subscribed to the Wellness Weekly, a short and sweet newsletter with health tips, recipes, quick videos, and information about upcoming events.
You'll also start receiving valuable health updates from Wellness Forum Health, including engaging and brief video summaries of the latest research and an “Ask Doctor Pam” Q&A column.
I ask for your zip code so you can get notified if I’m holding an event or giving a talk in your neck of the woods.
If you live in the Triangle region of North Carolina, you can attend a free dinner workshop in addition to the Wellness Webinar. Delicious gourmet food, and an interactive discussion about diet, lifestyle, and healthcare.
Ready? Here's that handy signup form again:
Feel free to browse the rest of this site. If you like audio, be sure to subscribe to the Plant Yourself Podcast.
If you have questions, contact me directly at hj AT plantyourself DOT com.
Be well, my friend!