The DIY Health and Wellness Blog mission is to empower readers with knowledge and tools to strengthen ourselves so we don't get sick (or need doctors) in the first place. And for the times when we do get sick, to provide alternative therapies that seek to strengthen our body's power to heal itself.
We try to give credence to western medicine when due, but also place high regard for oriental and other traditional and ethnic medical practices that view the body holistically, and whose focus is balance and enlivening our body's own intrinsic strength and well-being.
Yours for Health and Wellness!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Practicing Self-referral

People commonly say that we see our own selves the least clearly. In contrast, it seems we can easily see faults in others. One of my earliest rational lessons in self-referral, and the one that has been perhaps the most enlightening, occurred to me in my teens.

I thought that when pointing a finger, figuratively, at another person in judgment, I should instead point that finger at myself and ask if the same were not true of me. Years later I later read in the vedic classic The Bhagavad-Gita that 'the world is as you are.' This saying describes why pointing our finger in judgment at another person is really just pointing that same finger at ourselves.

The next trick is to use that awareness for self-growth.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hot water

Eating hot soups or drinking hot drinks are well-known for easing discomfort in many places: the stomach, nasal passages, intestines and bowels, even tired or frazzled nerves. Ayurveda promotes drinking plain hot water for all of these ailments (and more), and for promoting physiological balance and well-being.
Try it. And like my mother said about gargling with warm salt water- 'if it helps this much when you're sick, just think what it can do for you when you're not!'

Balance & Self-referral

Health and well-being can be thought about in many ways. Balance is one concept. Maintaining balance in our lives is one way to approach thinking about health and wellness.
Ayurveda, the health, wellness and longevity branch of the ancient Vedas of India, among other things teaches self-referral as a core concept. From the western tradition, this idea is summed up in Socrates' famous words, 'Know thyself.'
Knowing yourself, and understanding your own body's condition and moods, becomes imperative when trying to maintain balance, health and wellness, be it physiological, psychological or spiritual.
I am often surprised how little the media discusses, and how few people know and practice, simple techniques that are extremely powerful for promoting balance, health and wellness.
Click on the self-referral, The Vedas, ayurveda, balance, yoga, meditation and breathing labels in the right column for more...

web-searching home remedies....

When you're searching online for home self-treatment ideas, include 'home remedy' or 'home treatment' in the search box (ie., 'stomachache home remedy'). These search parameters will help you get what you're looking for.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Gum Disease

Do you remember your parents ever telling you to brush your teeth so you won't get gum disease? Probably not, since cavities (or dental caries) are more common in young people. As we grow older, though, gum disease (including gingivitis) is a much more common problem.
Gargling with warm salt water regularly will help, as will regular brushing, flossing, rinsing, and using a toothpick. Clove oil is one of the common smells you'll encounter when entering a dentist's office- it is a traditional gum therapy. Good luck finding it in the stores, though; I couldn't find it until I traveled to East Africa!
The most effective remedy I've found for gum problems is Colgate TOTAL toothpaste. It comes in a variety of flavors. Since starting to use it several years ago I haven't had any chronic gum problems at all. You might have to go online to find it in Japan, though.

Eye Strain

Here's a simple, yoga-inspired technique for relieving eye strain: Move the eyes up-and-down several times (12 o'clock-to-6 o'clock). Then several times 9:00-to-3:00, 10:30-to-4:30, and 1:30-to-7:30. Then all around several times, first clockwise, then counterclockwise. Finally, alternately focus on a near object and a far object. To finish, rub your palms together and place the warm palms over your closed eyes.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Mayo Clinic's website is a great resource for diagnosis, treatment, first aid, knowing when you should see a doctor, and more... a real one-stop site that's very easy to use. Check it out, then use it, yourself!

Gargling with Warm Salt Water

When I was a kid, gargling with warm salt water was something my mom told me to do every time I got a sore throat. Then in my 40's she made the comment, 'If gargling with warm salt water helps so much when you're sick, just think what it can do for you when you're not.' Let me say thank you Mom for so long being my Health and Wellness mentor.
This simple home remedy has also helped me with hayfever (it helps to clean the nasal passages), gingivitis (swelling of the gums and other gum problems), and ear and sinus congestion.
I stir as much salt as I can into boiling water. Then after cooling I put it into a plastic bottle and keep it in the shower. In the shower I take 1/2 mouthful of warm water, and then take some of the salt water from the bottle to gargle with. This makes it easy for me to gargle every time I take a shower or bath.