Natural Health Remedy For Better Living

Natural health remedy actually holds a simple and effective solution to improving health. No matter how well people have built their professional work credentials, those people still know very little about how the human body works. Many are unsure about the links between their health and certain diseases, which is why they are easily panicked by the diagnosis of certain diseases and are always obedient to doctor’s instructions regarding the treatment. But with a little diligence digging up information about available options for both orthodox and alternative treatments, they can start building their own understanding of their health conditions. Armed with this information, they might be more confident in trying out a natural health remedy and treatment solution.


With conventional medical treatments, many principles and methods are in contradiction as new discoveries and results of relevant research emerge. On the other hand, Western medicine is now recognizing the real benefits of drug-free natural health remedies. Medicine is now recognizing the impact of natural healing methods to diseases and overall well-being. Today, these remedies are used alongside conventional medical treatment as an adjunctive or complementary form of therapy. This only shows that natural health remedies can intercede and help people recover from their illnesses and achieve better health.

Regarding natural health and remedies

When conventional medical treatment fails to deliver its promised benefits, most people turn to alternative treatments to find solutions to their health problems. Natural health remedy is arguably the simplest among the available options of alternative treatment. This system of self-care basically involves the restoration of wellness and health using medicinal plants, diet, nutrient supplements and healthy lifestyle habits. With absolutely no form of drugs used, this treatment option appeals to the natural recuperative powers of the human body, restoring normal organ system functions and stimulating and strengthening the immune system to initiate natural healing processes. This way, it also builds stronger defenses for the body to fight the harmful effects of pathogens, diseases and other health-threatening elements.

Natural health practices

Natural health practitioners believe that through certain restrictive practices, the body can regain its control over diseases and health. Such practices include naturopathy, hygienic practices, herbalism, support of self-care sources like books, e-books and journals, healthy dieting and vitamin and nutrient supplements. These therapeutic and preventive health care practices oppose the continued reliance on professional caregivers and standard medical practices to achieve self-sufficiency in managing health and diseases.

How it works

It takes a long time for the human body to succumb to diseases and break down. Similarly, it takes time for healing to occur. natural health remedy practices believes the principle that the body must be viewed as a whole and that healing will only be achieved with a holistic approach to treatment. In believing that health is directly linked to the inter-relations of organ functions, it uses multiple strategies to promote health from the smallest cells to the whole body systems. This is the way to achieve a synergistic healing effect. This explains why natural health remedies tend to deliver more permanent health benefits than just delivering relief to diseases.

Impact of natural remedies on conventional medical treatments

Natural health remedy is seen as a solid and safe solution to achieving better health. It helps cure and prevent common diseases without the risks of side-effects, which can threaten health. Today, the well documented and scientifically proven effective remedies of natural and holistic healing approaches are slowly replacing commonly prescribed drugs.

Health Care Reform – How Are You Affected? – Part 3

If you are an employer with fewer than 50 full time and “full time equivalent” (FTE) employees, you will enjoy the luxury of being exempted from the most onerous provisions discussed in the previous article. If you offer health insurance coverage to your employees you will still have a few issues affecting your health plan.

Effective for tax year 2013, an additional Medicare Part A tax of 0.9% will be assessed on incomes above $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for joint filers. This works out to a 62% increase over the current Medicare tax rate of 1.45%. Another tax of 3.8% will be assessed against unearned income for “high income” taxpayers.

Other taxes will go into effect on or before January 1, 2014, that relate to HSA account distributions. The so-called Cadillac tax on rich health plans will begin then as well, but perhaps one of the most notable tax increases actually began March 23, of this year. All tanning bed operators began paying an additional 10% tax surcharge for customer rental of tanning beds.

If you offer group health insurance, your plan will have to eliminate lifetime caps on Essential Health Benefits (EHBs). As was discussed previously, EHBs will be further defined by Health and Human Services. It is believed EHBs will include certain wellness, outpatient and hospitalization benefits. That is, all health insurance plans must offer these benefits and can not place caps on how much can be paid out under the plan. A few of the EHBs may be required to be offered exclusive of a plan deductible, such as routine physical exams.

The most important issue for small groups is the 35% tax credit that is available for tax year 2010. This credit is available through tax year 2013 if the employer contributes at least 50% of the total premium cost. The debate continues at present if the 50% contribution rate must apply to dependents’ premiums as well. The larger the business becomes, the smaller the credit becomes. Consultation with a knowledgeable tax professional is recommended.

The credit will stop after 2013. At that time a two-year tax credit will then be available if the small group plan is purchased through the government health insurance exchange.

Children of employees are eligible as dependents until age 26, regardless of marital or student status.

By January 1, 2010,annual caps on EHBs must be eliminated. Too, the small business will not be able to extend a waiting period for enrolling new employees beyond 90 days. Texas state law already requires no more than a 3-month wait.

Pre-existing health conditions must be fully covered by January 1, 2014 for adults. The mandate for children under 19 years must be in effect by September 23, 2010. Insurance companies are challenging the child provision however saying, the time frame is too soon for the mandate to be implemented.

As you shop for better deals for small group insurance or even individual insurance, HCR is supposed to open the door to expanded competition. You will be able to continue to shop for insurance as you have in the past, but you may also go direct with insurance carriers, or look at Consumer Owned and Oriented Plans (CO OPs), or even through a state run health insurance Exchange.

The exchanges, in conjunction with purchasing from carriers directly through third parties, will most likely be the same insurance carriers, similar plans and comparable premiums. Although, the Exchanges will require insurance companies to offer plan designs that satisfy unresolved minimum benefit levels. Only the CO OPs may be able to offer a little diversity in plan design, and because they are supposed to be owned by the individual group employers, the idea is that premiums will generally remain stable.

HCR will provide initial seed money to start up the CO OPs and Exchanges, but no one knows yet any details on how these programs must be structured. Some important questions remain to be answered.

-Can CO OPs cross state lines?
-Can CO OPs include different industry types?
-Who actually will run the program?
-Will multiple plan options be available to different employers’ unique needs?

Individuals will also be able to shop through the Exchanges, but will not be allowed the opportunity to enroll in CO OPs unless 1-person groups are allowed to participate. Eventually, the small group market and individual market probably will merge into just an individual market.

A lot more of the “fun” begins for small groups and individuals January 2014. As mentioned earlier, the Medicare tax begins. Also on that date, individuals must enroll in a health insurance plan that is equal to or better than EHBs or pay a penalty. The penalty is $95 or 1% of household income in 2014; $325 or 2% in 2015; or $695 or 2.5% in 2016 and later. The penalty applies separately to the taxpayer and up to two dependents. So, a family of two people would have twice the penalty of a single person. A family of three or more would pay 3X the individual rate.

HHS did build into HCR some exemptions from the penalty for certain classes of individuals:
Certain religious objections, financial hardship, and inmates for example.

It is this issue that has insurance companies a bit on edge. What’s to prevent everyone from going uninsured until they need insurance and then going out to buy it. HHS is expected to offer revisions in the coming months and years to this loop hole.

Through government subsidies and expanded Medicaid eligibility, financed through additional taxes from tanning beds, high income earners, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, non-participation penalties and others, millions of Americans will be able to get health care coverage. These enrollees will also be exempt from the penalties for not enrolling in insurance coverage.

The individuals remaining would then be forced to buy insurance through the Exchanges, a broker, or directly from a carrier. To prove enrollment when they file their tax returns, a form similar to a 1099 or W-2 will be submitted with the tax return to the IRS.

Insurance companies tend to be comfortable with most of the mandates placed on them in the group (large and small) and individual markets. Two provisions pose particular challenges. The lack of enforcement avenues for failure to enroll in insurance is one. The other is the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) and premium rate review.

HCR sets up a review panel to review insurance companies’ proposed rates annually. HCR also requires insurance companies to begin in 2014 to report the proportion of premium dollars spent on clinical services, quality and other related costs. If those services are less than 80% of premiums paid by small group plan participants and individuals, the carrier is required to issue the difference in the form of a rebate.

The idea of a rebate is intriguing, but if the reverse is true as well, how much will premiums be allowed to go up if claims reach 200% or more of premiums paid? No one knows the answer to these questions yet. If a person does in fact get a 200% rate increase, will he/she still have the freedom to shop around for lower premiums. The answer would seem to be, “not likely”, since the government will be monitoring rates and such by January 1, 2014.

Then again, since the employer could get the rate increase as a group plan, would that employer then get to keep any rebate? What if one person on the group has high claims and another has low claims, “Is a rebate payable to the one and a big rate increase passed to the other?”

HCR is likely to force small group health plans out of existence (I.e. group plans under 50 lives). Because the regs have left little distinction between small group and individual plans, by January 1, 2014, individual health plans will probably take over the small group market. Employers who offer health benefits to employees would set up the program on a list bill system. At termination of employment, the employee would not have to lose insurance and could simply take the coverage with him/her.

The next employer may or may not accept that plan into its list bill arrangement, but enrollment in individual health plans will be quite simple. There will not be any health questions. The extent of the application will be name, date of birth, address, Social Security number, dependent information, and plan selection. By January 1, 2014, health questionnaires will not be necessary.

Obviously a multitude of questions will need to be answered by HHS, but it does appear groups under 50 lives and individuals will have a much easier process enrolling and maintaining insurance as long as premiums can stay affordable.

Stay tuned as the saga continues. Next time: more on individuals and seniors. We will take a closer look at health insurance for retired Americans and citizens over age 65 as well as some of the other details likely to affect those under age 65.

Climb to Superior Health Or Fall “Gracefully” Into Disease

I drove a 1972 Ford Pinto to high school. I kept it clean and waxed but I thought I was too busy to check the oil. I let it run low, and caused some serious damage to the engine and found myself with a car that would not run at all. I bought a repair book, went to the junkyard and took the a head from a wrecked Pinto and then rebuilt the engine on my car.

During the three days and most of a night that it took for me to repair that engine, I could not drive it at all.

After I rebuilt that engine, and understood more about how it worked, then I used an old-fashioned timing light and other tools to keep it running at optimum speed. I set up a maintenance schedule and stuck with it most of the time. I checked the oil with almost every fill-up, checked the air in the tires weekly, washed it weekly, and waxed it once a month. The car gave me great service and looked sharp until I finally traded it for another car. Odd that with the body-temple (which people cannot trade for another on this planet) people will not usually set up a maintenance schedule that will keep the body well-and then stick with that schedule.

There is a time for use and a time to maintain.

The body-temple is a tool that you animate. You are not your body, but you are so closely dependent on your body, and its health can so much control what you are able to do physically and mentally that some think of themselves as the body. Ironically, you be more exacting with your body and you will take better care of it if you think of it as something separate from who you are. You will not pay as much attention to hunger, or fatigue, or the discomforts of exercise if you think of your body as something you are caring for so that you can enjoy and produce more here on the planet.

Keeping your body functional will become keeping your main tool operational. Keeping your body beautiful will become the gift that you give to your lover. Keeping your body pure becomes the sacrifice that you offer to the heaven you find on earth.

If you think of yourself as your body, you will find it more difficult to judge what your body needs and does not need. You consider more personal and threatening the discomforts that lead to better health and will avoid the pains of the maintenance of health and fall into the pains of disease. For example, temporary hunger will feel like a threat to YOU rather than something your body must tolerate because you think it best. You become almost like the supervising guardian of your body.

The physical and the spiritual and mental giants of all time have taken time to see to the maintenance of the body-temple on some sort of schedule. Since the spiritual leaders have often found refuge and inspiration in the mountains, I call this maintenance time “Climbing.” This contrasts with the “Falling” into disease and despair that comes with ignoring health maintenance. Climbing could literally mean climbing a mountain to seek a place to pray. More commonly, it will mean figuratively climbing to better health by going for a walk.

Areas to Consider

In considering the methods for climbing, it’s useful to first consider what needs to be maintained. Consider a body without a healthy mind-not good. Consider a healthy body and mind with a troubled spirit-again, not good. For the best health, the Law is that you must have all three: body, mind, spirit. Here is an example of how cliché originates from truth. So, whatever method the Law of Health dictates, must care for those three areas of health.


There must be a balance between using a tool and caring for it–between walking for travel and climbing for fresh air. There are those who so much enjoy tuning a car that they make their living tuning cars. But, if they tuned their own car every day with the full maintenance schedule of rotating tires, changing the spark plugs and head gaskets, then they would never be able to drive the car-it would be continually disabled by the maintenance. And here lies an uncomfortable law: when you are climbing, you can’t be doing. When you are replacing spark plugs, you can’t simultaneously drive your car down the interstate. When Christ was on the mountaintop in prayer, He could not speak words of peace to the crowd.

When I was a teenager, I worked two to three part-time jobs and went to school and ran track. I had places to go. I did not have time (I thought) to maintain my car. You have places to go and things to do and will think that you do not have time to climb to a place of better health. But, the Law of Health is that you must take time to climb or you will fall. Because you do have things to do, however, you will want to find the most effective way to keep your health with the least amount of time possible so that you can go about doing.

There are those who’s main thing to do is to take the body to an almost super-human place. These may be professional athletes or professional models. And there are those who so much enjoy the activities of maintaining the body that they never get around to the doing. There is nothing wrong with looking to find a place in mind, body, and spirit that few find. Find the place of super-health and mind and spirit if you wish. But, you must do this in a way that leaves time for using your body-temple as the tool it was meant to be.

The Magic Ingredient of Breath

The Law of Health recognizes that there is a magic ingredient. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. When I saw someone die in the ER, I could often see what was wrong with the heart or lungs to cause their death. But, between life and death, there is an invisible line which when crossed means the loss of breath. The breath that goes into clay to animate it and make it become life is something greater than the mechanics and chemistry of the body. The more you study biology, the more it becomes chemistry; the more you study chemistry the more it becomes math (I was a chemistry/math major in college and worked as a chemist before medical school). Most importantly, the more you study math, the more it becomes prayer. Math and chemistry describe and predict, but they do not explain.

There is a law, gravity, that says two objects are attracted to each other with a force proportional to their mass and inversely proportional to the distance between them. This law predicts and describes but it does not explain why two objects should be attracted in such a way. For more understanding about the difference between explaining and describing, you should watch this conversation with Richard Feynman (who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1965 and helped develop the atomic bomb). Einstein died searching for the “why.” In describing his search, he said, “GOD does not play dice with the universe.”

So, there is not just an order but also a breath, not just a “what” but an unexplained and invisible “why” that animates and brings life to clay and brings more life when inhaled. Whatever schedule you use to climb to better health, must account for this breath and allow you to inhale more life into your body-temple. Finding this breath may mean being alone, being around certain people, or being in certain places. But to ignore the inhalation of this breath is to miss one of the benefits of the Law of Health.

Cosmetic is Good

On the other hand, in considering the mechanics of health and the magic of breath, you may think that you have the complete picture and to simply try to look more attractive is waste. But, imagine an amazing racing car with a 16-cylinder engine. Now imagine not taking time to wash and wax of even paint the body of the car. Sure, the shine of the paint has no direct effect on how the engine runs (or so we think). But, if you wash your car and wax it, then you will find that the engine seems to run better.

More practically, I have seen some who will become motivated to take better care of the engine after a good wax job. They take a deeper breath when the body temple just appears healthier. Many women will go on diets, like the 3-Day Fat Burn, and eat healthier after the liposuction. When they see all the fat that I suction out of their abdomen, they go home determined to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Of course there are those who would only wash and wax the car and never put oil in the engine. This does not work either. The healthiest become the most beautiful by virtue of their health. The best schedules are those that first take into account the mental and spiritual health. From this power, the person takes care of the physical health.

Then cosmetic efforts become the wax job on the finely tuned racing car. Some of the catholic priests of the dark ages thought it vanity, waste, and a detriment to spiritual climbing to even take time to bathe. The Law of Health says, “If the temple where you kneel to pray can have thousands of dollars worth of stained glass and carved wood, then the physical temple that houses your spirit is worthy of cosmetic care.” There are those who say, “I would rather age gracefully.” But, who says such about their car: “I’m not going to wash or wax or repair that big dent from bumping into a pole because I’m just going to let my car age gracefully.”

Who says, “I’m not going to paint my house and sweep the floors because I’m just going to let it age gracefully and crumble and rot.”

Yet, many will say with pride, “I’m just going to let my body age gracefully.”


The body-temple is worthy of scheduled maintenance that involves effort to climb to a better place of health of mind, body, and spirit. In considering schedules, the mechanics, the breath, and the cosmetics are important.

Peace & health,

Charles Runels, MD