Healthcare in the 21st Century

Quickly Fix It-Quickly Lose It

by Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP

Part I:

In this era of incredible technology and scientific advancement beyond our wildest dreams, we still cannot cure cancer or some of the everyday diseases such as arthritis or asthma. Maybe we are looking for these cures in the wrong place!

Our current healthcare system relies extensively upon the use and abuse of pharmaceuticals. There is a pill for every ill and a drug for every ache and pain. Being a multi-billion dollar industry, drug companies have not invested interest in seeing people taking care and taking charge of their own health. We have become the “Quick Fix Society.” Have a headache? Take AdvilTM or TylenolTM. Acid indigestion? Take NexiumTM. Sinus congestion? Take SinutabTM. Muscle strain? Take muscle-relaxers-and so the list goes on and on…

The question that has to be asked to get us out of this quick-fix cycle is: How do we really heal?

Within the process of living, we automatically heal. The healing system is always one step ahead, determined to restore balance. All we have to do is become aware of our own internal healing capabilities. Your system will repair itself whenever it becomes damaged.

We also have internal systems of rejuvenating our bodies. If we become fatigued from fighting a cold or have gone through chemotherapy, for example, our physical bodies will correct the problem.

Nerves will regenerate, poor vision is often corrected given the proper stimulation, and a broken bone will mend itself.

Andrew Weil, in his book Spontaneous Healing, cites several basic activities of the healing system:

  • Healing is an inherent capacity of life
  • The system operates continuously and is always on call
  • The system is diagnostic and will recognize damage
  • Damaged structure will be removed and replaced with normal structure
  • The system will direct moment-to-moment corrections that maintain normal structure and function.

If we accept the premise that healing is an inherent capacity of life, then we need to go one step further in our understanding of this process. Healing comes from “within,” it is not a force outside of the body. Some call this Life Force; others say that is the human energy system within every cell that allows the body to heal itself.

James Oschman, in his book Energy Medicine, says in a few decades scientists have gone from a conviction that there is no such thing as an energy field around the human body to an absolute certainty that it exists. Moreover, he states, science is explaining the role of energy fields in health and disease.

Andrew Weil, believes that “Health, according to the energy model, is the harmonious flow of life energy, while imbalances in their flow (due to unhealthy habits) result in illness.” He points out that conventional medicine has long used machines-such as x-rays, lasers, and EKGs-that record various forms of energy to diagnose or treat disease.

When we look at how we heal, we quickly understand that we have internal systems that communicate with each other and send messages when something is wrong on board the ship. The crew goes into repair mode and all of the systems go on alert to stop the ship from sinking. This alert system is based on a radar mechanism that sends out beams of energy like a tower that transmits signals. Einstein said it very well-matter is energy and energy steps down into form. Therefore, we really do heal through an energy-based system.

It would seem that the quick-fix syndrome would only have a band-aid effect, treating merely the symptoms and never getting to the actual cause of the problem, which lies in the balance of energy systems in the body. Therefore, looking for cures outside the body can only affect us adversely and in some cases can harm us more than help. Medical errors, adverse drug reactions, dangerous drug interactions, botched surgeries and misdiagnosed diseases are currently leading causes of deaths in our world today.

There Are Options:

  • The first is to recognize and trust the healing process of the body
  • Second is understanding that healing involves a unique system of energy and keeping that energy in balance.
  • Third is knowing that there are non-invasive, energy-based and holistic therapies that help the body heal from within.

Details on Polarity Therapy as an option for non-invasive and effective therapy will be discussed in Part II in next month’s newsletter.

Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP, is the Director of the Ohio Institute of Energetic Studies (Cleveland and Columbus Polarity Schools), which is a state registered school for Polarity Therapy training and Energy Science studies.

Healthy Tidbits

Decrease Your Risk of a Stroke
High levels of homocysteine are the culprit. Make sure you ask your doctor to test your homocysteine level when you have your next blood test.

Homocysteine is a natural amino acid metabolite of methionine. High levels of homocysteine, an essential amino acid, can cause hardening of the arties and related stroke problems.

Help is on the way…

B6-300 mg per day before breakfast
B12-sublingual is best, 3 mcg per day
Folic acid-2mg/day

These 3 vitamins convert homocysteine into harmless cystathionne which then can be removed from the blood.

According to a report from the New England Journal of Medicine, low levels of these 3 vitamins and high levels of homocysteine are associated with increasing strokes, especially among the elderly.

Don’t wait-get on B6, folic acid and B12.

And why not?

Review: Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP

Start a Media Diet

The June 2007 issue of Body and Soul magazine suggests that when you take a break from technology to reconnect with yourself and your surroundings, it helps to create balance in an otherwise hectic life.

The article states that according to the US Census Bureau, we spend a total of 65 days per year watching TV, 41 days listening to talk on the radio, a week surfing the internet for a total of nearly five months out of one year!

So this summer as you take steps to revamp your eating and fitness habits, consider taking up a media diet, too. First figure out how much time you spend each week staring at screens and listening to chatter and TV and radio. Then try and spend the same amount of time doing exactly the opposite. Go for a swim, take a walk, meditate, or just sit on a park bench and look at the clouds. Unplug a little each day. Eat lunch outside instead of wolfing it down while answering your email.

No matter how you do it, don’t worry about losing touch with what’s going on while you’re not in touch. The world and all its chaos will still be there when you return.

Reference: Christina Ross, BA, BS, RPP

Old Remedies That Work

  • Honey relieves a sore throat
  • Use olive oil for splitting nail: soak your nails in water then coat with olive oil
  • Eat spicy foods for congestion
  • Fennel tea for soothing a baby’s colic: boil fennel seeds in water, strain, dilute and give to baby. Oil in fennel removes gas.
  • Dab peppermint oil on your temples for a headache. It is a natural analgesic/stimulates then relaxes the nerves.

Reference: American Health, 3/92

Sprouts for Health

Sunflower…excerpts from Sprouts the Miracle Food by Steve Meyerowitz

Sunflower sprouts rich in trace minerals and nutrients…
phosphorous and calcium, excellent for bones and teeth, fat and carbohydrate digestion, muscle and tissue tone and the nervous system; Iron, for healthy red blood corpuscles; Copper, necessary in minute quantities for the utilization of iron; Iodine, mostly found in sea vegetables; Potassium, predominant in brain tissue and necessary for proper functioning of the nervous system; Magnesium, for muscle tissue, brain and lungs. The seed contains as much as 30% protein and is a good source of niacin, the skin vitamin. It contains 92 USP units of Vitamin d, rarely found in vegetables.

Hippocrates Health Institute re. Sunflower baby greens…
Sunflower greens contain a full spectrum of amino acids (building blocks of all protein) and supply vitamin D without the dairy. These baby greens contain an abundance of the sun’s energy and chlorophyll, and are considered “a complete food.”

Value of Various Sprouts

  • Alfalfa – blood builder
  • Broccoli – anti-cancer
  • Buckwheat and Lettuce – anti-plaque
  • Mung beans – hair and nail builders
  • Onion – cancer retarder & mucus cutter
  • Pea shoots – kidney & prostate strengthener
  • Sunflower – rich in trace minerals/nutrients
  • Spicy mix – clover, alfalfa, radish are for circulatory strengthener

Reference: Ann Wigemore

10 Tiny Things You Can Do To Help Our Planet Every Time You Grocery Shop

  1. BRING YOUR OWN BAGS: Forget the “paper or plastic”
  2. BUY ITEMS IN BULK: Saves excess packaging!
  3. BUY ORGANIC FOODS: means cleaner soil and a healthier you!
  4. BUY FAIRLY TRADED FOODS: workers all around the world earn a living wage!
  5. BUY LESS PACKAGING: Pass up individually wrapped
  6. BUY LOCAL FOODS: Buying locally grown food takes less energy and fuel to get to your table.
  7. WALK OR USE MASS TRANSIT: Better for your health– riding the bus saves more energy.
  8. BUY WHOLE FOODS: Less processing means less waste, and this is better for the environment.
  9. SHOP IN ONE PLACE: When we drive all around town to get our things, we use lots of extra gasoline.
  10. BUY ONLY WHAT YOU CAN USE: And use what you buy (especially produce)…avoid stocking up based on sales.

Reference: Bexley Natural Market, 508 N. Cassady Ave, Bexley, Ohio 43209.

Red-Hot News
According to the Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, recent lab tests showed that the chili-pepper-derived compound capsaicin can kill cancer cells by attacking their energy source-without hurting healthy cells nearby. While it’s too soon to recommend capsaicin as an adjunct cancer remedy, it’s known to be effective for other conditions: Cayenne’s anti-inflammatory action can ease arthritis, and its concentrations of vitamins help support immune function, says herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, founder of United Plan Saver. Use capsaicin-based creams for joints aches. For immune support, take two 450 mg cayenne capsules with meals twice daily, and sprinkle several grains on food. After using pepper-based products, immediately wash your hands to avoid irritation.

Reference: Christina Ross, BA, BS, RPP

Mind, Body, Spirit

Let’s Meditate

This section of our newsletter “Mind, Body, Spirit” will focus on a meditation or visualization per month. It is intended to give the reader a choice of meditation techniques to help with stress reduction and disease prevention. Please try these meditations daily to see how they work for you. Always start with some controlled breathing. Please remember how healing it is to meditate.

July Meditation: Meditation Into Being

How To Do It

Sit in easy pose with the spine straight. Relax the right arm. Take the left hand facing the heart center about 6 inches from the chest. (A): As you say “I AM”, bring the hand 4 inches in front of the chest. On a second “I AM”, take the hand 12 inches out from the chest. Inhale and draw the hand to the original 6 inch position. Continue this cycle for 11 minutes and gradually build the time to 31 minutes. Move your hand in 4 inches, then out 12 inches, then back to the original position 6 inches (no words on moving back to the original position).


The mantra “I AM, I AM,” relates to the finite identity of the first I AM with the inifinite identity of the second I AM. If you just say in your mind “I AM,” immediately the mind asks “what?” If you say only one I AM, you will try to answer, “I am what?” This produces some finite identity and does not expand the mind beyond the limited self. But if you immediately say a second I AM, the thought becomes I AM WHAT I AM, and to be what you are is the essence of truth and the nature of reality. As you repeat the mantra, think of the first I AM as I AM, a personal reference. The second I AM is I AM one of the identity of “I,” and the other is the existence of the being “AM.” Each time the hand moves, extend yourself beyond the body’s physical limits.


This meditation expands your mind beyond your limited self.
1st I AM: personal reference
2nd I AM: extend beyond yourself

Reference: Survival kit, Meditations and Exercise for Stress and Pressure of the Times by Yogi Bhajan, complied by S.S. Vekram Kaur Khalsa, edited by Mary Jo Ruggieri, (Hari Kaur)

Essential Herbs

Ask Charoula

Question:  I am having a reoccurring headache that spreads from the back of my head and up to around my eyes. My whole head throbs. What would be the cause of this and what could I do about it?

Answer:  You may be suffering from either vascular or tension headaches.

Vascular headaches are caused by too much blood rushing to the head and expanding the blood vessels, producing the throbbing. This is usually the result of a diet high in acids and coldness, including cold drinks. Cold food and drinks constrict stomach tissue and then blood will move from the digestive process where it is needed for proper digestion to the head.

What to do for a vascular headache:

Alkalinize your diet with cooked green veggies and salads.

Try drawing a hot footbath with a bit of dry mustard or ginger; this should do the trick, by drawing blood to the feet away from the head. Be sure to rub some oil on the feet before the bath so they won’t burn from the hot mustard.

A tea of Dandelion greens and root, combined with Nettles, and Burdock root is very effective for this type of headache. Simmer the roots for half an hour, one tablespoon of roots in two cups of water, and then pour over a tablespoon of nettles and Dandelion greens. Let sit for twenty minutes, strain and drink throughout the day.

If your scalp feels sore and you also sense some tension in your neck area, your headache might be of the tension headache variety. This is caused by tension in the neck and shoulder muscles, and is the direct result of emotional or any kind of stress.

What to do for a tension headache:

Manage your stress with Yoga stretching and polarity bodywork.

Apply alternating heat and cold compresses on the neck and forehead.

Do deep breathing every half hour.

In either case, all analgesic, anti-spasmodic, relaxant and stimulant herbs can be of help. These would include Valerian, Skullcap, Black Cohosh, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, or Lavender. A tincture containing some or all of these herbs is preferable to a tea.

If your headaches are persistent, feverfew, taken over a long time at the rate of 3 to 4 cups of infusion a day, will inhibit chemicals which inflame cell membranes resulting in pain. Feverfew is a specific herb for migraines, but also works well other types of headaches.

Hope some of this helps!

– Charoula, Herbalist


Health Quotes Of The Day

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
– Antonio De Saint-Exupéry

Elemental Foods: The Fire Element

Spicy Red and Black Bean Tortilla Pie

This dish is fun and easy to prepare! The protein values of the corn and beans complement each other, and are also boosted by the turkey (if used] and cheese. Masa flour, ormasa harina, is finely-ground cornmeal soaked in limewater used to make corn tortillas. Here, it helps to thicken and set the bean mixture during cooking. Tortilla Pie is even better the next day.

3 cups or 2 (15-ounce) cans your favorite vegetarian or natural turkey chili
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, well-drained
1/2 cup masa flour or corn flour
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon each ground cumin and dried oregano
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
16 ounces (2 cups) salsa
1 package (12) whole-grain yellow corn (or whole wheat tortillas)
1/2 to 1 cup Cheddar-type soy or regular cheese grated
1 cup green bell pepper, diced 1/4-inch
1 medium tomato, diced 1/2-inch
1 tablespoons red onion, minced
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1-2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Combine chili, black beans, flour and seasonings in a bowl; stir to blend well. Arrange six of the tortillas in casserole, overlapping to evenly cover bottom. Spread 1 cup of the salsa evenly over tortillas, then spoon the chili and black bean mix onto the tortillas, spreading to cover the tortillas evenly. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese over the chili mix, and then layer the remaining tortillas on top. Spoon remaining salsa over the tortillas, add bell pepper, cover with lid or foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Note: The pie may be cooled and refrigerated for later use at this point. When ready to use, cover with foil and reheat until hot, then proceed.

Remove cover and add tomato, onion and olives to cover top,-sprinkle on remaining cheese, return to oven and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting into 6 to 8 pieces. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

6 servings

Feed Your Soul by George Fowler & Jeff Lehr; Fireside, 1994.


New News on Health Freedom

Take Action

Please support Health Freedom in Ohio. It is about the right to choose the healthcare you want to use and also the practitioner you choose to see. PROTECT YOUR HEALTH FREEDOM

Visit the Ohio Health Freedom Coalition Web Page for information on what you can do to protect your health freedom.



Heidi’s Fact Finders
Searching for information or researching a topic should engage healthy curiosity and learning, not invoke fear and anxiety. This article outlines some good practices for success in health research with the intent to inform, engage and empower you in your searches.

How to Research Health Issues

Today, more than ever, it is important to be proactive, informed and empowered where our health is concerned. Are we aware of our information consumption habits? If we are careful about the foods we eat, our environmental impact and the programming and media we allow into our lives, we also need to consider information in light of how it impacts our mind, spirit and ultimately body. Despite these challenges and the exponential growth of information sources it is possible to find reliable, quality health information. I like to think of the key as being open, yet mindful during any information quest.

Be mindful of your situation and the energy surrounding the search:

    • Are you researching for a friend or yourself?
    • Is a life-changing diagnosis involved?
    • Are you looking for highly specific information or just browsing?
    • Are you calm or upset?
    • Clarify your objectives.

During the search:

    • Look for patterns and consistency.
    • There are no absolutes. Experts and authors can be very diverse in their approaches and opinions – even medical reference books can contain errors.
    • Mentally step back during the search process to acknowledge how you are responding to the information you find.

Search Engine vs. Database: What’s the difference and does it matter?

Search Engines

A search engine is a type of computer program like Google (usually web based) that searches documents for specified keywords and then returns a list of the documents. Each search engine is different and has its own unique method for retrieving information, incorporating advertising and handling privacy concerns.

    • Search engines work well when you want to find easily recognizable or very specific information such as a product, address or company information, map or image.
    • Items retrieved may include advertisements, which are difficult to distinguish from the other entries.
    • Despite the popular misconception that information on the internet is and always should be free, the old saying “you get what you pay for” still holds true. The “payment” might come in the form of the amount of personal information we are willing to share or the amount of advertising we will endure.
    • Don’t stick with just one search engine. Try some of the visual search engines such as Ujiko (type into your browser), which provide results by subject categories and color code them for easy browsing.
    • For a list of medical and health specific search engines go to:

Databases are an organized and professionally selected collection of information (large electronic filing system) that are also usually web based, but paid for through a subscription or made available by an organization, government entity or library.

    • Databases include powerful search interfaces, which allow users to enter, organize, and select what they want from the database.
    • Databases allow for complex searches and generally use specific terms to enhance consistent retrieval of information.
    • They provide reliable and current information regarding health studies, clinical trials, drug interactions, treatment options and information on specific medical conditions.
    • Powerful databases include EBSCO, CINAHL, MEDLINE and PsychINFO. There’s even one for alternative medicine called AltHealthWatch.

These databases and comparable versions are generally available at your local library or medical center and can often be accessed from home if you have a library card. College libraries are usually also generous in providing research assistance. Ask any reference librarian!

Other Web Based Resources

Simply type the URL starting with http:// into your internet browser window.

Favorite Print Resources

    • Alternative Medicine: the definitive guide by the Burton Goldberg Group – outlines many complementary therapies by subject/symptom and provides excellent listings of resources for additional information.
    • Encyclopedia of Associations – Find qualified practitioners by locating the appropriate professional association. Includes website addresses.
    • Worldcat – Before you go to the bookstore, go to This is the world’s largest library network (based in Ohio by the way). Search by title, author or subject, enter your zip code and receive a list of libraries near you that have the item.

Can I Trust this Source?

Look for:

    • Depth, quality, uniqueness and usefulness of content.
    • Is the information current and updated frequently?
    • Authority of producer – who makes the information available and why?
    • Ease of use.
    • Efficiency – do graphics load quickly; is the site easy to navigate; are required plug-ins available.
    • Customer service – is contact information available; are e-mail addresses available; are authority and legality clearly stated?
    • Read the privacy statement (usually on the front page toward the bottom) Know if and how your searches and profile will be saved or used by any third parties.

Where do I go from here?

Gathering information empowers individuals to be responsible participants in their health care.

    • Use the information you find to look for patterns, lead you to a greater level of self-awareness and as tool to engage your health care providers in conversation.
    • When it comes to medical conditions and treatments there are as many options and opinions out there as the oceans are vast. Digest what you read and reflect on it critically.
    • Let your body be your guide and follow your intuition.

Don’t hesitate to send me your health research questions and I will cover them in upcoming issues of this newsletter. Next month we’ll be looking at food labeling and what’s really behind the terms “all natural” and “organic” at your local supermarket. Did you know Kashi is owned by Kelloggs?

Heidi Beke-Harrigan is an APP in progress and an academic librarian specializing in nursing, counseling and consumer health research. She teaches workshops, conducts research and provides individualized coaching. She can be reached at or


Disclaimer: The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat illness or prescribe any type of medication or treatment. For medical needs, consult your Medical Doctor, Dietitian, or Mental Health Practitioner.