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Dare to be Your Own Doctor?

Physician: Function: noun  Inflected Form(s): -s   Etymology: Middle English fisicien, from Old French, from phisike, fisique medical science — more at PHYSICS   1 : a person skilled in the art of healing : one duly authorized to treat disease : a doctor of medicine — often distinguished from surgeon    2 : one who restores (as a troubled spirit or the body politic) : one exerting a remedial or salutary influence <a physician of the soul> <nature as a physician>   obsolete : NATURAL PHILOSOPHER, PHYSICIST Source: Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002.

Doctor: Function: noun  Inflected Form(s): -s    Etymology: Middle English doctour, from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French doctour, docteur, from Medieval Latin doctor, from Latin, teacher, from doctus (past participle of docemacronre to teach) + -or — more at DOCILE   1 a : a religious scholar who is eminent in theological learning and personal holiness and usually an expounder and defender of established doctrine <Christ disputed with the doctors> <St. Jerome was one of the great doctors of the church> b archaic : a person competent by reason of skill and knowledge to teach or expound authoritatively a subject or field of knowledge; broadly : a person who teaches or expounds something — used with of.  c : a person who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (as a PhD) conferred by a university usually by spending several years in advanced study of a specialized field, by writing an acceptable dissertation, and by passing numerous rigorous examinations d : a person awarded an honorary doctorate (as an LLD or LittD) by a college or university    2 : one skilled or specializing in healing arts: a : a practitioner of medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine b : a person who has completed a course of study in one of these fields and been duly licensed to practice his profession c : PHYSICIAN — distinguished from surgeon d : a medicine man in a primitive culture; broadly : any practitioner (as a rainmaker or shaman) of mysterious or magic arts in such a culture    3 archaic slang : a loaded die    4 : a recurrent cool breeze; especially : a tropical sea breeze    5 : material added to produce a desired effect: a : something added to food or drink to improve its apparent quality (as acid to certain candies) b : DOCTOR SOLUTION    6 : a mechanical contrivance or attachment for remedying a difficulty especially when makeshift and used in an emergency: as a or doctor blade : a blade (as of metal, wood, or plastic) for spreading a coating (as of glue on layers of material being laminated) or for scraping a surface (as for removing ink from the nonprinting part of an intaglio printing surface or lint from a textile printing roll) b : a small engine for providing water for a boiler system : DONKEY ENGINE c : a tool used for electroplating surfaces that cannot conveniently be placed in a bath d : a soldering tool e : a knife for scraping up and incorporating rubber dough in a mixing machine    7 a slang : a ship or camp cook b : a person who puts things in or restores things to order: as (1) : a repairer of broken or disordered items, especially of mechanical apparatus or systems — used often with a qualifying attributive <a first-rate loom doctor> (2) : PLAY DOCTOR c : a person in charge (as of a situation) : one responsible for decisions to be made — used chiefly in the phrase you’re the doctor    8 : any of several brightly colored artificial flies used by anglers   Source: Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002.

Be Your Own Doctor? What Does That Mean?

A physician is someone skilled in the art of healing. When you cleanse a cut or abrasion somewhere on your body, and put a Band-Aid on it, you probably do so without thinking of the momentous act you are performing. You have, whether you know it or not, given yourself authorization to treat your own scrapes and bruises, and–with added care over time–to carry that treatment forward until you have restored the affected area to its normal condition. In short, you are already your own physician. But are you your own doctor? Let’s see…

The word, doctor, has its roots in the sense of being a teacher. As the word evolved, its meaning gradually expanded to include those skilled in the healing arts, yet the root definition never changed. We trust that those who are licensed in the healing arts will, as part of the fees they charge, teach us how to take care of ourselves. Many do that in an exemplary manner. After all, that’s what the word doctor means. Yes, it is true that some physicians, when asked to expound on how to take better care of yourself, will frankly say that it’s not part of their job description. But that’s the wrong kind of doctor, and when I say “Be your own doctor,” that’s not the kind of doctor I mean.

But how can you be the right kind of doctor to yourself? By letting your body teach you how to keep it healthy, and how to heal it when a malady comes along. Not every malady, mind you. Some absolutely require professional intervention. But many do not, and you should become, over time, able to treat those yourself. Your body will teach you how. So who’s the doctor? You or your body? Think about that for a moment. It’s really kind of a dumb question. You are your body.

And that’s the point. Your body needs to teach you how to take care of it because it is unique. Your body reacts to foods, medications, environmental conditions, bites and stings, foreign substances, and microbes in its own unique way, and because of that, its maintenance manual is different from those of all the other bodies on earth. That’s why licensed doctors in today’s world have an almost impossible job. In the few minutes they spend in your presence, they have to diagnose your ailments, size up your present state of health, and make a set of recommendations regarding your medications and how soon your next visit will be scheduled.

You, on the other hand, are in your presence every second of every day. Well, mostly, anyway…  But seriously, even when asleep you are right there. And you know all the intimate details, including things you feel uncomfortable sharing with others. Unlike the doctor who sees you only once every few months–with only a few minutes to study your file before sitting down with  you on those visits–you see yourself, and “study your file,” constantly. Now do you see why I mentioned, on the earlier page, that nobody is better qualified to doctor you than you, yourself?

But first, you need to learn a few things. Actually a lot of things. Not to worry, though; you have the rest of your life to do that. How hard should you study? It depends, for example, on  just how long you want the rest of your life to last. For some reason the old saying about teeth flossing comes to mind. You know the one. The dentist tells the patient “You don’t have to floss every tooth–just the ones you want to keep.” When it comes to your body, you don’t have to learn how to doctor every part of your body, just the parts that you want to keep healthy.

To make things easier, below is a partial list of things for you to delve into. The list is not in any particular order, as some will be more important and pertinent to one person than to another. Over time, with serious study on your part, you should become knowledgeable on each of these subjects. But your knowledge will be unique, because it will relate specifically to the way your particular body works. Your job is to go out and find sources of information on these topics and learn from them:


Fats & Fatty Acids

Bad Foods & Food Additives



Skin, Nails, & Hair

Teeth, Gums, Mouth & Throat

Brain & Nervous System

Heart & Vascular System

Lungs & Breathing

Spine, Back, & Hips

Digestion & Elimination


Ears, Eyes & Sinuses

Muscles, Bones & Joints

Endocrine System

Kidneys & Urinary Tract

Reproductive Organs

Good Foods & Food Additives

Pesticides & Chemicals

Feet and Footwear

Infection, Allergies, & Inflammation

Stings & Bites

You will find, with a minimum of searching on the Internet, a mountain of resources to use to learn more about each of the topics in the above list. Such information is so readily available, in fact, that it would be redundant for me to provide links on this webpage. Yet, because I suspect you want me to do that, I pland to do so in the future. As time goes by I’ll update the links, not only from my own searches but from those you conduct and share with me via email. Beyond that, over the coming days, weeks, and months, I’ll also link each heading in the above list to a summary that I have prepared on that topic, with additional links to relevant study materials.



Assembled and edited by Jerry Cates, Editor-in-chief, Questions? Corrections? Comments? BUG ME RIGHT NOW! Telephone 512-331-1111. E-mail Or register, log in, and leave a detailed comment in the space provided below.

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