It’s expensive to be poor. That means that truly poor people seldom feel that they have the means to take good, preventive care of things, their cars, their homes, their bodies. Then, when the results of that inattention show up, it’s often as a problem that’s expensive to fix, requiring much more money and effort than all the maintenance would have.
When it comes to your health, you simply can’t afford to take that attitude. If your car falls apart, it’s possible to get a replacement. But when your body goes, there’s no second chance. That’s why I’ve offered solutions that anyone can fit into their budget, no matter how tight.
1. Immune support with sunshine. Routine exposure to sunlight helps your body generate vitamin D in your skin. It really doesn’t require that much exposure to reap the benefits; one 20-minute full-body exposure to the summer sun will result in putting 20,000 IU into the body within 48 hours. However, if you’re dark-skinned, older, obese, a vegetarian, or using sunscreen, sun block, or cholesterol-lowering drugs, you’ll probably get far less than 20,000 IU. And during the wintertime, you’ll need to add a vitamin D3 supplement (see Solution #18, below). Your cost: Free
2. Arthritis relief with PVC pipe. Every cell in your body has both a positive and a negative charge. An imbalance leads to malfunction and varying degrees of disease. Overactivity in an area, as occurs with inflammation, creates a positive electrical charge. You can create a negative charge by rubbing a piece of fuzzy material (found in craft stores, or as scraps) briskly along a short length of PVC pipe (available in hardware stores, or as free scrap from a friendly plumber). To treat an arthritic joint, move the charged PVC pipe slowly back and forth over the area, keeping it about a half-inch to an inch or so from the surface of the skin. After three or four passes, recharge the pipe by rubbing it against the material again. (If you happen to touch the pipe to your skin or other object in the process, you won’t get a shock, but you will need to recharge it again at that time.) Keep repeating the process until you feel relief. Most people begin to feel a noticeable improvement within five to seven minutes. Your cost: Free
3. Depression relief with exercise. The quickest and easiest way to relieve the symptoms of depression is through daily exercise. Numerous studies have documented the boost in serotonin levels from increased activity. The production of the compound continues for several days after the activity. Exercise is truly the “poor man’s antidepressant.” You don’t need to go overboard; just 20 minutes of vigorous movement a day will lift your mood, along with all the other benefits you get from regular activity. Your cost: Free
4. Stroke recovery with music therapy. In a Finnish study, stroke patients who listened to music of their choice for an hour a day fared significantly better than those who listened to audio books or had no audio stimulation at all. The music group had better verbal skills and attention focus, and reduced depression and confusion. Listening to music was especially helpful for those who had more severe strokes that prevented more active therapy. Listen to music on the radio, from your personal collection, or from the public library. Your cost: Free
5. Nausea relief with acupressure. Acupressure will help you relieve even the most stubborn cases of nausea, including morning sickness, motion sickness, and nausea caused by chemotherapy. Just put moderate pressure for about five minutes on the acupuncture point known as P6. Feel for the radius bone at the outside of your wrist (the thumb side); the point is located just inside the radius bone, and about two inches below the crease in either wrist. (To see the precise location, search images on the Internet for “acupuncture, P6.”) Nausea relief comes quickly, and you can repeat the procedure whenever you feel the need. Your cost: Free
6. Edema relief with lymphatic massage. Edema, or swelling of tissues, is often caused by an accumulation of lymphatic fluid, part of your body’s “waste-disposal” system that helps get rid of cellular debris and metabolic byproducts. And because lymphatic fluid isn’t circulated through your body by a pump the way blood is, it occasionally needs some help to stay moving. Lymphatic vessels are generally close to the skin, so lymphatic massage can get the lymphatic fluid moving and reduce edema fast. Begin on the affected limb close to your heart (in your armpit or groin). Using two fingers, massage very gently in small circles for a moment. Then move about four inches along the limb, and repeat. Continue until you’ve reached the wrist or ankle. You’ll notice results within just a couple days. Your cost: Free
7. Blood pressure reduction with proper breathing. Shallow breathing leads directly to higher blood pressure. Proper breathing produces normal, healthy changes in heart rate: higher as you inhale and lower as you exhale. The changes in heart rate create a natural rise and fall in blood pressure, making your arteries better able to respond to changes in circumstances. Inhale through your nose, allowing your diaphragm to rise, almost as if you’re breathing into your abdomen rather than into your chest. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Soon this will become your normal breathing pattern. Your cost: Free
8. Insomnia cure with light. You’ve heard the advice that you’ll sleep better when your sleeping space is completely dark at night. But you also need to be exposed to bright light during the day, to keep your internal day-night clock set properly. Even if you have to spend all day indoors, open the curtains or shades to let some sunlight in. Your cost: Free
9. Weight management with water. You can take off many pounds over the course of a year, just by drinking water. Within 10 minutes of drinking about a pint (16 oz.) of water, your metabolic rate will go up; within an hour or so your rate will be up by as much as 30%. The increased metabolic rate will burn more calories, leading to weight loss. Drink several glasses of water over the course of each day. Your cost: Free
10. Relieve back pain while you sleep. Your sleeping position can affect the health of your back. Sleep on your back or on your side, not on your stomach. When you sleep on your side, keep your knees together rather than having one leg thrown up toward your chest or out to the side. If you sleep on your back, keep your arms at your sides or on your stomach or chest, rather than over your head. Sleep position can be a hard thing to change, so if you sleep on your stomach try putting small pillows on each side. You can also place a small pillow between your knees if it’s uncomfortable to keep them together. Your cost: Free
11. Detoxification with cilantro. A major cause of disease is contamination of your body by heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and aluminum. Leaves of the coriander plant, also called cilantro, can accelerate the excretion of heavy metals from the body. Add a tablespoonful daily to soup, stew, or any other dish. Cilantro is easy to grow in a window box or herb garden. Your cost: $3 for a pack of seeds
12. Arthritis relief with bone broth. Not surprisingly, bones and cartilage from animals contain nutrients similar to those used in your own body’s bones and cartilage. Getting more of those nutrients provides support for your joints and ligaments. The simplest way to get those nutrients for yourself is to make a delicious, nutritious bone broth. Use leftover bones from a ham, steaks, or roast chicken or turkey. Begin by soaking the bones in water with a couple tablespoons of added vinegar or lemon juice for half an hour. (Be sure to use a glass or ceramic bowl for this, so the acid doesn’t leach metal.) Then follow the recipe in any good cookbook for making broth. Be sure to simmer for 6–8 hours, to extract all the goodness from the bones. Add your favorite vegetables toward the end of the cooking time. Your cost: $5 per batch for vegetables
13. Heartburn relief with chewing gum. Simply chewing gum more than doubles your production of saliva. Saliva contains a long list of compounds that protect your esophagus, including proteins, mucin, prostaglandin E2, and epidermal growth factor. Choose a gum that’s sweetened with xylitol to help keep your mouth healthy at the same time. (See Solution #25, below.) Chew a piece a couple times a day, before meals. Your cost: $5.50 per month.
14. Angina relief with zinc. High doses of zinc can get rid of angina pain. Nobody’s really sure why this works, but it does. Take 180–300 mg of zinc daily for 14 days. Look for zinc gluconate or zinc acetate, as lozenges or tablets. Zinc competes with copper for absorption, so when you’re taking this much zinc it can’t hurt to increase your copper intake as well, to 10 mg a day. Your cost: $6
15. Skin support with chia. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are an essential component of supple, healthy skin, and chia seed is about the most cost-effective source of EFAs available. You don’t even need to grind it before use the way you do with flaxseed; just sprinkle two tablespoons a day on cereal or a salad, or mix it in with yogurt or juice. Chia seed is available from sources such as Sam’s Club. Your cost: $6 per month
16. Potency improvement with L-arginine. Impotency (or erectile dysfunction) is often a result of poor circulation in the small arteries of the penis. The amino acid L-arginine helps your body produce the compound nitric oxide (NO), which works to expand those tiny vessels. Take 2–3 grams of L-arginine daily, in capsules or as a powder mixed into tea or juice. L-arginine is available from Puritan’s Pride online at: http://search.puritan.com/search?w=l%20arginine. Your cost: $7.20 per month
17. Blood sugar support with cinnamon. Adding cinnamon to your diet every day can cut your blood sugar level by up to 29%. Mix ¼ teaspoon into yogurt, or sprinkle it on your morning oatmeal. (Using more doesn’t appear to provide any additional benefit.) Research into cinnamon and blood sugar has used the cassia form, the type that’s sold in grocery stores. You can also buy cassia cinnamon online, from Puritan’s Pride at: http://www.puritan.com/natures-origin-brand-1068/ppcinnamon-500-mg500-mgmg1-057021?scid=32872. Your cost: $9 per year
18. Bone support with vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 helps your bones absorb dietary calcium. Get 4,000– 5,000 IU per day, either by spending time in the sun (which of course is free; see Solution #1) or by taking a supplement. Vitamin D3 is available from Sam’s Club. Get the highest IU amount available such as 5000 iu. Your cost: $13 per year
19. Sinus congestion relief with nasal irrigation. Salt water will clear out your sinuses quickly and effectively, whether you’re dealing with a sinus infection or allergies. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in 16 oz. of water. You can put some of the solution in the palm of your hand and sniff it into each nostril. For more complete irrigation, use a neti pot. You can find neti pots from many sources online, and even pharmacies such as Walgreen’s. Instructions will come with the pot, or you can view how-to videos for using a neti pot on the Web at video sites such as YouTube. Your cost: $15 for a neti pot.
20. Headache relief with peppermint oil. Mix one ounce of peppermint oil into nine ounces of grain alcohol (sold in liquor stores as Everclear), and store in a covered container. Then whenever you have a headache put a couple dabs of the mixture on your forehead and on each of your temples. We don’t know why or how it works, but it does. The peppermint oil mixture will even stop a migraine in its tracks. Your cost: $15 for a bottle of peppermint oil and a bottle of Everclear.
21. Smoking cessation with vitamin C. Some time ago, research showed that an ascorbic acid aerosol could reduce the cravings for cigarettes and help reduce or eliminate the smoking habit. To make your own “poor man’s anti-smoking device,” fill a small spray mister bottle with 4 oz. of water and 1 gram of powdered vitamin C. Regularly throughout the day, especially when cigarette cravings occur, discharge a couple of squirts into your mouth and throat. Vitamin C powder is sold in most health food stores or can be ordered from sources such as iHerb.com. Your cost: $15 for vitamin C and a mister bottle.
22. Kidney stone prevention with lemonade. Many kidney stones are formed from excess calcium in the urine. Citrate can bind to the calcium in urine, and reduce or eliminate the formation of kidney stones. Ordinary lemonade is high in citrate, and drinking two quarts daily can cut stone formation by more than 80%. Mix 4 oz. of reconstituted lemon juice with 60 oz of water. Sweeten with stevia or xylitol if you like. Your cost: $15 per month
23. Immune support with XPC. Yeast-based supplements have long been used to support overall good health. The farm product XPC is made from fermented yeast, and in animals improves the production of several types of immune cells. It’s safe even for people who are sensitive to ordinary yeast. Sprinkle 2–3 grams (¾ teaspoon) a day into your breakfast. XPC is normally sold in 50-pound bags at farm and feed stores, but you can buy it in smaller amounts from repackagers such as Diamond Wholesales, at: http://4spectrum.us/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=363. Your cost: $18 per year
24. Wound healing with honey. The sugar in honey acts to draw fluid out of a wound. Honey also breaks down in contact with moisture to produce hydrogen peroxide, a natural antiseptic. For cuts, put a little raw local honey on the bandage before applying it to the wound. For larger wounds and sores, rinse the area with a saline wash, then impregnate a 2×2 inch bandage with honey (use a larger bandage if needed). Lay the bandage on the wound, then cover it with another clean bandage and secure as usual. Change the dressing daily. Your cost: under $20 for honey and bandages, even for larger areas.
25. Oral health improvement with xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause cavities. The longer it stays in contact with your teeth, the more effective it is. You can make a mouthwash by stirring a teaspoon of xylitol crystals into a few ounces of water. Swish the mixture around in your mouth for a minute or two, then swallow it or spit it out. Another method is to chew gum sweetened with xylitol. Chew a piece for half an hour, two or three times a day. Your cost: $22 per year for xylitol
26. Alzheimer’s improvement with niacinamide. In animal studies, doses of niacinamide equivalent to 250 mg six times a day essentially cured mice of Alzheimer’s, restoring their short term memory and making them functional again. If you can stand the bitter taste, you can buy niacinamide in bulk from sources such as www.purebulk.com. A healthy pinch mixed into water or juice will give you 250 mg. Do this six times a day. This regimen is more effective than taking larger doses less often, because niacinamide is water-soluble and flushes out of your body relatively quickly. Your cost: $25 per year
As you can see from the solutions above, it doesn’t take much money to keep yourself in good health. You just need to be resourceful, and take advantage of what’s available.
Legal CMA Disclaimer:
Although this article may contain factual information, the information contained in this article has probably not been evaluated by the FDA nor is it in any way intended to be medical advice.
Unfortunately I must recommend that for any change in medical or health behavior or for any change in the way you use prescribed drugs by your healthcare providers or before acting upon any of the advice given in this or any other article, that you consult with your licensed healthcare provider or physician.
Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.