In my over twenty-seven years of treating thousands of patients, I have developed an eclectic approach to healing chronic illness with diet, nutrition and herbal therapy. My practice has primarily been with chronic, difficult to treat conditions especially the many forms of chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue.
Over the years, I have found that there are many factors that contribute to chronic fatigue and the many problems associated with it and I have found that rigidly adhering to any particular system whether it is a dietary practice or Chinese Medicine, results in less than optimal healing.
I began my studies of diet, nutrition and herbal therapy as a teenager. I explored many dietary practices and theories during this time and actually applied them in my own diet in many cases. As the manager of a natural foods co-op, I observed very early on that there were people who were doing well on a variety of diets. I saw that there was no one perfect diet for everyone.
As my studies continued, I also understood that there are certain elements and factors which must be taken into account for each person to determine the best form of nutrition or diet for them. These include such issues as food sensitivities, gluten allergies, digestive needs, glucose intolerance, ability to digest fats and digestive impairments such as those due to candida albicans or parasites.
Over the years, I began to experience and observe the limits of dietary intervention. As important and fundamental as good diet is, it is not enough to reverse certain chronic illnesses and weaknesses. I found that without addressing these types of imbalances precisely, it was very difficult to succeed in healing chronic illness.
Chinese Herbal Therapy, Nutritional Balancing, metal detoxification, diet and nutrition, combined with lifestyle counseling addressed nearly all the factors creating and continuing chronic illness. Each program is specifically tailored to the patient and not all of these elements are required for healing chronic illness in everyone.
Once I experienced the power of Chinese Herbal Therapy, I was so impressed at the effects of Chinese herbal formulas as compared to the simpler use of herbal therapy I had worked with before, that I began studying Chinese Medicine and herbal therapy in 1978 under the direction of Master Ni Hua Ching in Los Angeles.
In 1979, I began studies at S.A.M.R.A. University, the first acupuncture college in California, which had only been open for six months. I took two and a half years off from my studies to have my son, Alex Tuggle, who is also an acupuncturist. I graduated in 1985 with a Distinguished Student Award and was licensed by the Medical Board of California Acupuncture Committee in 1986.
Chinese Herbal Therapy is the most highly developed form of herbal medicine in the world. Many other systems of herbal therapy have much to contribute but the theoretical foundations and the system of diagnosis and treatment which makes up Chinese Herbal Therapy allows for treatment of an extremely wide range of conditions from short-term, and milder problems to so-called incurable conditions. When healing chronic illness, the power of Chinese Herbal Therapy can make a real difference.
The system allows for the use of all kinds of herbs not just Chinese herbs. It is not limited to the developments of the past, although it benefits greatly from the very long history of its development. While Chinese Herbal Therapy cannot do everything, often it is difficult to obtain certain results without it. It is especially helpful in reducing and eliminating the need for medications and their side effects.
In my continuing search for ways to help my most difficult and chronic patients succeed in healing chronic illness, I learned of the work of Dr. Paul Eck, who developed a powerful method of nutritional therapy called Nutritional Balancing. Dr. Eck was a biochemist and naturapath who studied the nutritional status of many thousands of people for over 30 years utilizing the diagnostic method of hair tissue mineral analysis.
Hair tissue mineral analysis measures the mineral content of the hair. As hair is a soft tissue of the body, the mineral content of the hair reflects the functions of the body at the cellular level of the soft tissues where all metabolic activity occurs. Blood tests are useful and very important in acute conditions but they often fail to reveal chronic conditions until they are very advanced. This is because the body keeps the blood values as close to normal as possible even at the expense of the body tissues.
Blood is a transportation medium designed to pick up and drop off the many substances the body needs. The ability to pick up and drop off is controlled by the specific levels maintained in the blood. Blood values must be maintained in very narrow ranges or severe, even life threatening symptoms may result. Therefore, the body will sacrifice the soft tissues if need be to maintain those values. Hair tissue mineral analysis can reveal the imbalances which have developed at the cellular, soft tissue level.
Using this information, Dr. Eck developed a highly sophisticated nutritional therapy designed to reverse the toxic and degenerative developments in the body due to all types of stress. After many years of experience with this method of nutritional therapy, I can say it is the most powerful and effective method I have seen. It is the best way to address problems of toxic metals which are very often an important factor in chronic fatigue and chronic illness in general.
Chelation and other forms of detoxification from heavy metals can only remove metals that are available in a free form. In many cases, these metals such as aluminum, mercury, nickle, cadmium and lead are tightly bound and sequestered in the body tissues. The body is actually making use of these toxic metals as substitutes for minerals which are deficient or bio-unavailable in the body.
The preferred minerals are the optimal minerals needed for each enzyme function in the body. If a preferred mineral is not present, due to deficiency, bio-unavailability, or any other reason, it is replaced with a less optimal mineral in the enzyme binding site. The result is lowered efficiency and often breakdown of that enzyme function.
This is an adaptive mechanism that allows us to survive in the face of deficiencies or metal toxicity. Replacing less-preferred minerals is a central concept in Nutritional Balancing and in healing chronic illness. As the balancing and replacement process proceeds, the body releases nutrients and toxic metals that were acting as replacements for the optimal minerals.
Until the nutritional status of the body has shifted to a degree that supplies these minerals in a usable form to the tissues, the body will not release the toxic metals. Nutritional Balancing is a method that systematically re-balances the body chemistry to allow the tissues to release these toxic metals and replace them with the proper nutrients to allow full cellular functioning and energy production.
The toxic metals will not appear on a hair test until the body is able to release them so an initial test with little or no toxic metals showing does not mean they are not there. They do tend to cause characteristic shifts and deviations which can be seen in the other mineral levels.
As the personalized nutritional program is followed, re-testing is essential to monitor these developments and modify the program accordingly. It is fairly common for a person to need a completely different nutritional program within six to nine months of beginning Nutritional Balancing.
Nutritional Balancing is also the best way to improve copper toxicity. Although copper is an essential nutrient, due to long term adrenal stress as well as other factors, such as hormonal imbalances or high copper diets, it is the essential nutrient most likely to build up to toxic levels in the body. It is a very common factor in chronic fatigue and many other chronic diseases including mental illness and drug addictions.
The balancing process is achieved by providing the specific nutrients needed to balance the oxidation rate and support the energy production pathway in the cells. These nutrients are determined by the results of a properly performed hair tissue mineral analysis. As cellular energy is restored and nutritional deficiencies and bio-unavailabilities improved, healing naturally proceeds. The body knows exactly what to do with the new energy being produced.
Detoxification, die-off, re-tracing, healing crisis -- these are all terms for similar phenomenon which are an important part of the healing process. Natural healing is based on encouraging the body to rebuild body functions and cleanse itself of toxic substances or infections and is not always a matter of feeling better. When healing chronic illness, feeling better is often fairly low on the list of priorities because feeling better takes some of the still very limited energy available to the body.
When the body is working to rebuild the very foundation from which human energy flows, diverting some of that precious energy just to make us feel better may not be a prudent use of the energy. As the body heals through diet, nutritional balancing and herbal therapy, little by little symptoms become more comfortable and fade away over time. But in the earlier stages of the healing process, at times there can be flare ups of symptoms.
Symptoms will be relieved, very quickly in many cases with herbal therapy, but the goal is to heal and rebuild the body to real health and strength. Symptoms may or may not be relieved in the order we would like. The body has its own priorities in healing chronic illness and will address conditions that it considers the most important first, whether that condition bothers us or not. Also all forms of natural healing often, although not always, involve what is called a healing crisis.
A healing crisis is a period in the healing process when we actually feel worse than before. This can be due to a number of factors. Often when the healing process is stimulated in the body with herbal therapy, dietary changes or a nutritional program, the energies of the body are directed inward to the organs and tissues where this work is occurring. Healing is work for the body and requires energy to do it. This can make us fatigued, just as when we are fighting an infection.
Many of us over-expend our energy and force it to the surface with stimulants such as coffee and sugar. We may feel better when we do this, but it is exhausting us and laying the ground work for chronic illness. Natural therapies reverse this process, sending the energies deeper into the body to promote healing. But we will not have as much energy to spend as we may be accustomed to spending. Resting as much as possible is the cure for this problem and it will pass as the body becomes stronger and has more real energy available.
In the Nutritional Balancing process, often the first reason for symptoms to worsen or reoccur is the detoxification of heavy metals. Nutritional Balancing is able to powerfully support our own ability to release heavy metals from the tissues where they may have been building up for many years due to impaired metabolism.
During the first three to nine months of the nutritional protocol and retesting process, it is very common to release metals such as copper, aluminum, mercury, manganese, cadmium and lead. As these toxic substances are released from tissue storage, and move through the blood to be excreted through the liver and kidneys, they are capable of causing some of the symptoms typical of acute exposure to the metal.
In addition, for many chronically ill people, some degree of liver detoxification impairment is part of their problems and can even be due to the very metal being cleared, especially in the case of copper toxicity.
Slowing down the Nutritional Balancing program by reducing the number of times per day the protocol is taken in order to slow down the release of the metal is the simplest approach to reducing the detox symptoms. However, this can interfere with the other benefits of the program if the dosage reduction continues for many months.
There are a few products that can improve the detox process to the degree that a more normal level of supplement usage can be maintained during the detox process and allow for faster progress overall in rebuilding body energy.
Copper elimination often aggravates the same chronic problems the copper has been causing including skin problems, irritable bowel, digestive disturbances, headaches, neuralgia, hormonal imbalances, constipation and insomnia.
The best product for improving copper detox symptoms is Extended Health Liver Support. This was developed for use during various methods of chelation and it really does help the liver to handle the higher influx of metal to be cleansed from the system.
For other metals such as aluminum, mercury, cadmium, lead and others, the Results RNA Advanced Cellular Zeolite can relieve all kinds of detox symtoms fast. If sleep is disturbed, higher doses of 10 to 20 sprays at bedtime often greatly improves sleep.
Nutritional Balancing is a highly sophisticated nutritional system that rebuilds our own ability to chelate and excrete heavy metal. It balances body chemistry to allow the cells to release metals that are sequestered deep in the tissues and are not available to be removed by externally administered chelating agents.
Using a Nutritional Balancing approach also prevents the significant loss of essential minerals from the body that is typical of intravenous and oral chelation in spite of the mineral supplements that are usually given.
However, the release of metal at times can be quite high so formulas such as Liver Support can bolster the ability of the liver to excrete metal into the bile, through the gall bladder into the intestinal tract and then out through the bowels. All of these organs must be active enough to complete the process of full elimination of the metal.
The best general chelating product that can improve urinary output of
metals such as lead, aluminum, copper and mercury without pulling out
large amounts of calcium, magnesium and zinc, is the Results RNA Advanced Cellular Zeolite.
This zeolite is absolutely pure and suspended in 100% pure H2O. It is
nano sized which means that very small doses are highly effective due
to the greatly increased surface area of the zeolite crystals. It is absolutely the most effective zeolite product in my experience.
Because the zeolite has a cage-like shape, once the positively charged molecules of mercury, lead, copper and other substances such as free radicals and toxic chemicals bond to the zeolite, they are neutralized and no longer capable of interacting with the body to cause symptoms. For some, the detox symptoms will be gone within five to ten minutes. This is true for other detox symptoms including the after effects of alcohol.
The zeolite leaves the body with 5 to 7 hours along with the toxic substance that has bonded to it. Due to the low dosage required when using pure nano sized zeolite, the digestive side effects that sometimes occur with micron sized products does not occur with Advanced Cellular Zeolite. Zeolite, like all chelating substances can only pick up metals that have been released from the tissues in a free form. This product must be purchased from a licensed health care provider.
Various forms of Chinese herbal therapy are very helpful in the early stages of healing to help control symptoms and reduce the need for medication. There are many excellent formulas to help with menstrual and menopausal symptoms, gall bladder discomfort, breathing problems and coughing, digestive weaknesses and pain of many types.
The herbal tonics when used properly are an excellent method of speeding up the rebuilding process, increasing energy and reducing the effects of aging. For very targeted therapy of specific problems, it is often more effective than other methods. It combines well with Nutritional Balancing although many people find the nutritional program to be all they need.
The well known and commonly available Chinese herbal formula called Yin Chiao, or Yin Qiao is very helpful in relieving detox and die-off symptoms as well as general discomfort ranging from sore throats, insect bites, ear aches, and non-chronic headaches to poison oak and neuralgia, especially trigeminal neuralgia. Taken right away and frequently during the onset of a cold, it can stop it or make it much milder. If it comes on anyway, Yin Chiao is very helpful with the symptoms and reduces fever.
It is especially helpful in candida detoxification and can be used quite freely to control the flu-like symptoms typical of candida die off. It can be taken every hour at first until symptoms begin to subside. Then take it whenever the symptoms re-occur.
The main contraindication is loose bowels when taking high doses, but this is temporary. After a while, as the candida clears the system, it will not cause such severe reactions as there will not be as much candida in the system dying off all at once. The liver will be able to take care of the toxins released and no particular symptoms will occur.
The digestive discomfort that occurs with all kinds of detox and die off situations is very often helped by the Chinese herbal formula known as Curing Pill. The Health Concerns brand called Quiet Digestion is particularly effective. Quiet Digestion is excellent for cramping, bloating, gas, generally poor digestion, nausea, diarrhea and when combined with Yin Chiao, is very good for the stomach flu.
It will control irritable bowel episodes if it is taken 3 pills each hour and the person lies down until the symptoms pass. Usually three doses will do it. Copper toxicity causes many irritable bowel type symptoms including bloating, cramping, and abdominal tenderness. Quiet Digestion taken regularly will minimize the flare up of this problem while the copper is being eliminated.
If the digestive symptoms are due to metal toxicity or metal detox, the Results RNA Advanced Cellular Zeolite can improve them very quickly. It is often helpful when it has become very difficult to eat due to pain.
Dr. Ohira's Probiotic 12 Plus is the best probiotic formula to rebuild the beneficial intestinal flora. In my experience, any good quality probiotic supplement will help clear out candida and improve digestion, but Dr. Ohira's is the most powerful and effective.
The 12 strains of bacteria are grown together at room temperature for 3 to 5 years. This makes them extremely hardy at body temperatures and assures that they will work together in the intestines instead of competing with each other. For acute digestive flare ups, the pills can be chewed. Take one every hour until the episode passes.
The re-tracing process or healing crisis occurs when the body reactivates an old, incompletely healed condition from the past in order to complete the healing process. Old injuries, infections or even chronic problems such as asthma can flare up for a time as the body works to completely heal the problem. Improvements in diet, herbal therapy and nutritional balancing all have the ability to stimulate healing in this way.
In Nutritional Balancing, the body works through its defensive mineral patterns in the reverse order that they arrived. As the body re-visits an old pattern from years ago, you may experience old symptoms, memories, and old feelings as you re-visit that old state of balance that occurred at the time.
Normally, the condition is milder and much shorter-lived than the original. Chinese herbal therapy is very helpful in promoting a faster and more comfortable resolution of the various symptoms the re-tracing process has reactivated.
Ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own health. We create it or destroy it both through our own actions and our actions as a society. While we cannot control everything that could make us ill, we can control enough to make a difference. Often a huge difference. Natural therapy requires taking that responsibility and using the power that comes with it to heal the whole person, not just to relieve an annoying symptom.
The goals of the patient will determine whether natural healing is right for them. If the goal is full health recovery and elimination of the need for symptomatic treatments, then an integrated program of natural therapy can bring that about.
Since we are rebuilding the body, it will take time. The majority of chronic fatigue patients and other chronically ill patients achieve major improvement within two years. There is often significant improvement with diet, nutritional balancing and herbal therapy during the first year but it usually takes at least another year to make the improvement strong enough to be permanent.
If the goals of the patient include improving the effects of aging and prevention of disease, then an ongoing supportive nutritional balancing program can be effective in achieving that. Especially when taking nutritional supplements, monitoring their effects and modifying the program in response to life changes using hair tissue mineral analysis is strongly recommended. Taking vitamins and minerals randomly or based on average requirements can cause imbalances in the body chemistry.
For many people, illness is a wake up call. It is a signal that they must change the way they live. It is often the beginning of a new, better life and a life-long journey of understanding and growth. Working with the body can initiate healing on all levels as there is no real separation between body and mind.
Healing is the renewal of growth and development which may have been stunted or stopped due to all types of damaging and exhausting elements in our environment or way of life. As we remove those damaging elements, the body naturally takes up where it left off.
The body always responds to an improvement in environment and nutrition with healing and growth. The power of the body to heal is apparently limitless when we provide for its needs. Determining what those needs are is the tricky part for some of us, but it can be done. Step by step.
For more information on Dr. Eck's system of Nutritional Balancing,
see the many articles available at the web site for Analytical Research
Labs, the lab founded by Dr. Eck.
Analytical Research Labs (opens window)