Taking Charge of Your Health

You’re listening to a podcast from
where nationally certified American homeopath, public speaker, and author Joette Calabrese
shares her passion for helping families stay healthy through homeopathy and nutrient-dense
nutrition. Jendi: Hi Joette, I’ve been poking around
your site and I’m particularly taken by how you raised your children. I know your
kids are adults now and since my kids are still at home I ‘m always interested in
learning how others who have raised their families successfully  did it.
Did you ever give your kids any meds…ever?  What did your pediatrician think about this? Joette:  For any mother, the most important
aspect of their lives is of course, their children. Then let me say, most emphatically…
Pediatrician?! Yikes!   I’m being flippant, but there’s  a measure of truth to that
reaction. I didn’t need one!
Those ubiquitous “well baby Check-ups” were something I didn’t buy into.  Excuse
my skepticism, but they’re just a calendar building technique for an otherwise not very
busy medical specialty. I’m happy to buy things when I need them,
but I don’t like to buy services and products that are redundant.  I found from years previous
to having children and having been married to a doctor back in my 20’s before I remarried
and had my children a decade later….(You can learn a lot in a decade)of going to doctors
that they’re always looking for something to do… which if interpreted properly means
prescribe drugs or order tests. And I don’t care for nor trust drug fundamentalists.
  I prefer those who are looking to protect the sanctity of  the human body, not taint
it with  questionable drugs, particularly during the susceptible years
of childhood. The more I read, the more I
found this medical specialty to
be a disappointment.   My thinking went something like this: If I was going to bring
children into the world, I ought to be able to identify whether they were well or not.
In fact, not unlike any mother, I checked my baby pretty much by the minute so I felt
pretty capable. And I felt and still feel that common horse
sense that I was applying trumped the pediatric drug laden scheme every time.
Jendi: I like this kind of thinking, but its hard to carryout these days, isn’t it?
Joette:  Listen, mothering should command your full attention.  The act of mothering
should be civilized, respected, resourceful.  After all, you’re raising a human being..your
off spring…your worldly and spiritual legacy. So if  you’re not up to the task  and
you need a glorified drug rep to tell you to put chemicals into your baby’s mouth
then…….well, we part ways and our conversation is over.
 Don’t ya think? A little blunt, but it needs saying.
Jendi: Yes! But what about when your kids got sick?
Joette:  Well, the problem with modern pediatrics is that drugs opened a door to overuse and
I believe there are long term ethical questions to be considered here. But then, worse yet,
the door closed behind and slammed shut. And once I recognized that the paradigm that
pediatricians  adhere to is based on cavalier smearing on, injecting in  and tossing about
suspicious chemicals, it was easier from there on, because I knew that that wasn’t what
I wanted. For crying out loud, I put a lot of time into
whole, homemade, organic, pasture feed foods, it seemed stupid to me to forget all that
and suppress a fever with an antibiotic.    There is a point of view that needs discussion
here, one that is not heard frequently enough and that is, is it possible that we are being
systematically altered and manipulated with  substances that have never been proven to
be safe?  I mean drugs are not tested on children, mind you…only adults but for obvious
reasons, children legally can’t be tested.  ….at least not in the conventional way.
How scientific is that?   In a circuitous way however, we eventually find out how dangerous
these products and remember that is what they are…products of an industry, really are.
 We find out after the drug has been on the market for a few years, sometimes months,
sometimes much longer, depending on the frequency of the prescription of the drugs.  Eventually,
we learn that this or that drug is not only doubtful, but down right lethal.  That makes
our kids lab rats for an industry.  When I recognized this, that’s when I begged
Jendi: Can you give me an example of  a drug that is dangerous to kids?
Joette:  in my estimation, they all are dangerous, its just a matter of balancing what is more
important. There are certainly times when the dangers of need to be put aside for the
advantage of something that is more looming, such as the need for surgery. I don’t think
I’d want surgery without anesthesia…you think?  It’s a risk, but it’s a risk
worth taking if the surgery is absolutely necessary.  But then that gets us into the
question of unnecessary surgery that is performed on children for simple tonsillitis, for example.  But this day to day taking of birth control
pills over the course of years for acne or because a pregnancy would be inconvenient
is something I find odious. There are so many intelligent, clean alternatives to these kinds
of over the top methods.  There’s always an alternative.  You just have to ask the
right person…not the one promoting the drug.  They’re already convinced of their methods
other wise they wouldn’t be touting it. the famous dangerous drug that opened the
public’s eyes, at least when I was growing up because we used to see kids that it so
horribly affected, was  thalidomide.   It  caused limbs to not develop in utero but
there are others such as Darvon, a much more ubiquitous drug that was regularly prescribed
for pain up until a few years ago. It claim to fame is not how brilliantly  it was in
aiding humanity, but how it caused countless deaths by  cardiac arrest in people who had
no previous  heart disease.  It was merrily selling on the market since the late 1950’s
and was recently removed from the market after nearly 60 years of causing these deaths going
untraced. Then there’s Accutane that was specifically
targeted at teens.  It has been linked to serious side effects like birth defects, thoughts
of suicide, depression and bowel disorders. It to was removed from the market place  in
2009, but there was no official recall. You see, its not that there is a conspiracy of
evil out there, its simply a market square that says, here’s a drug, if you want it,
take it.  If you don’t then ok too.  But meanwhile, the public has the erroneous idea
that our government is out there protecting us and that is just plain not true. So its up to us to determine if we want such
a chemical in our and our childrens’ bodies.  There are too many instances to name here
but its worthy of the attention of any conscientious parent and ask what kind of thin gruel are
we giving our children?     
Jendi:  so how did you know enough to take care of your children?
Joette:  Do we really have to ask that? I realize your question is rhetorical;  how
does anyone know how to make decisions of any substance in their lives?  How do we
know what house to buy?  How to educate our family?  who to marry?  Really! Do we need
to pay someone to tell us what to do?  What’s wrong with our world that the most fundamental
work of an adult must be run by an another!?  Ask your mother or grandmother.  That’s
where the wisdom lies.  If they fell into lockstep with this lopsided way of dependency
on a doctor for every little fever, then start studying.  
Jendi:  you know I never thought about ti that way.
Joette:  because I work with clients who hail  from all over the world, on a day to
day basis from far reaching places such as  Mongolia, the Philippines, the United Arab
Emirates, in my fellowships in Calcutta, where I worked with Hindus, Muslims, Seiks, in the
US,  I work with Amish, Mennonites, Hasidic Jews, fundamental Christians, conservative
Catholics.  I’ve also lived in many areas of the U.S., attended school in England and
have done extensive travel.  I don’t say this for any other reason than to tell you
that I  have observed a great deal in my 63 years on earth .    I’ve gleaned a
perspective that is sweeping.  And what I’ve consistently noted is something that is going
to fly in the face of the narrative of the Western world. And it is a sweeping generalization
but it is this. That the greater the formal education of the mother, the less she trusts
her ability to mother. And the flip side it that The more conservative the family values,
the more involved and less likely the mother is to run to the ubiquitous pediatrician for
childhood illnesses and an educator for her child’s education. For the educated mother, the common horse
sense has been educated right out of her. I’m not talking about intelligence, I mean
higher education.  Just try for one minute to see if you can convince a mother who has
a law degree that she should know how to treat a fever herself , without drugs in one hand
and a phone to the doctor in the other. It  might just throw her into a fit of disgust
for those who don’t respect the education of doctors with the mere mention of it.  I
don’t mean to condemn women who are attorneys in fact, I had taken my LSAT’s and was on
the entry list  for law school years ago, with a burning desire to join the legal ranks,
 but I far too often note  this phenomenon playing itself out in educated women. Its
prevelant in mothers with demanding careers.  They simply don’t have the time to learn
this stuff.  But I say, you must make the time.  Its that simple.  Priorities need
to be set with children at the apex and the career below that. Ultimately you have to
buck the system.  And yes, the feminist manifesto in order to take on this way of thinking.
I defiantly taught my children that they would most likely succeed in life if they watched
what everyone else did and then did the opposite.  That’s when  they’re likely to get
it right just about 100% of the time.   Jendi:  (ha ha) did they follow your advice?
Joette:  unfortunately, they don’t always listen to their mother.   But I’ll share
something with you  when I didn’t follow my own advise.  my 1st son was in a school
for a few years.  (I didn’t homeschool him until later).  I was being told by his
teacher that he should not be taught how to play piano until  he was older. It was the
philosophy of the that particular educational program to delay such intellectual pursuits. Now, my father and brother are professional
musicians,  I’ve played piano most of my life and took classical music training in
college,  so it took some convincing .  but convince me she did!  What the heck was wrong
with me?  The teacher was almost half my age and I consideded her education to be superior
to my years of life, my family’s values and more importantly my undying devotion to
my child . So I have to admit I too am prone to being sold.   I still kick myself today
for having fallen for such piffle . Soon after I woke up though and decided that I was not
going to pay attention I took him out of that school of so called “experts” and we homeschooled
from that time on .   As mothers we must step back, outside of the situation nad gain
a common sense perspective.  You know, the world is brimming with ideas and lifestyles
that are lacking in common horse sense.  We must sift through the rubble.
JEndi:  I image that your situation is different though.  You know, you’re a homeopath so
can have that confidence that the rest of us don’t have.  Wasn’t it your training
that gave the guts to take on curing your family yourself? Joette: No, it was the other way around.  I
knew nothing about medicine , about alternative medicine, about homeopathy until I got sick
at the hands of  modern medical treatments of antibiotics and those God forsaken birth
control pills.   THa’ts when I said I had had enough!  And it was just around the
time my husband and I were married and were looking to start a family. That’s when it became crystal clear that
if you want something done right, do it yourself. Jendi: so maybe your kids were not as sick
as others.?  Is that why you could handle their illnesses? Joette: You know, my kids were no different
than any others.  They got the usual coughs, colds, croup, stomach flus, ear infections,
bronchitis, styes, strep throat, an occasional food intolerance, cold sores and of course,
injuries galore. I wasn’t completely opposed to seeing doctors, I just knew I could handle
most any condition that came our way. And I preferred to not be interfered with, thank
you very much. We lived on
a small farm raising chickens, goats, bees
and we not only didn’t depend on others  but rarely even needed a veterinarian   for
our livestock.  You know, we Americans have been hoodwinked into believing that all germs
are bad. The truth is that exposure to these and eschewing
the stifling process of employing drugs is what actually keeps our children healthy.
  There is beneficial purpose to acute illnesses. Stumbling upon these fundamental discoveries,
I sighed a sigh of belief! A belief in myself; That I could do this myself. This set me off
by counting on my (at the time) not fully developed understanding of homeopathy. Jendi:  ‘Love it!  I think we’re often
are worried about pleasing others but of course our 1st duty is to protect the family. Until
that is accomplished, nothing else matters.    Joette: Yes, We must aggressively seek  answers
in our lives. And   I find that most of the answers that come too quickly are often
planted there by media, marketing, etc.  You know, I used to be an account executive for
NBC back in the 1980’s.  That means I was a member of the sales and marketing department.
 I know marketing when I see it..i used to write local TV commercials ya know, so I can
identify motives and who is behind what we read and hear. Yes, yes, I was one of them
and what I see is media that are the stenographers for the government health agencies,  self-
promoting medical organizations and out of control big pharma.  
So when I got out of that field and began raising my family, I used my experiences as
my guide. Far too often, what I witness in the general
public is apparent indifference, an incurious way of living. A way of thinking that is far
too accepting of status quo.  And that leads to  mediocrity. Those who are listening today
are certainly not of that ilk, otherwise they’d be watching a reality tv show instead of learning
how to take care of their families.    We need to get back to traditional values.
 Of commitment to our craft…whether it be as a parent, grandparent, engineer, pianist,
no matter. A commitment to excellence.  That’s why I look to those people in the world who
have made a mark that lives beyond their time on earth for inspiration. And since I have
a sympatico feeling towards India, I’ll use 2 of my favorite Indian citizens…Mahtma
Gandi and Mother Teresa.  I saw evidence of both of these 2 great minds during my time
in Calcutta. And as a Roman Catholic, I appreciate that
Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity depended on homeopathy and treated the poorest
of the poor in Calcutta with homeopathic medicines. Jendi:  really?  Mother Teresa and Gandi
used homeopathy?   Joette:  I don’t think Gandi administered
it but he held it in high regard. He is quoted as saying “Homeopathy cures a larger percentage
of cases than any other form of treatment and is beyond a doubt safer and more economical.”
  Yes, she and the sisters where not fully trained
homeopaths, but they knew how to use the medicines and administered them to the sick and dying.
Dr. Prasanta Banerji,  the wonderful man who trained me in his methods knew and personally
acknowledged that to me. Jendi: The wide world has so much to offer
us, if we seek.    
Joette:  The reason I mention this is because it demonstrates that homeopathy is so very
poorly underrepresented in the U.S. today, yet  highly valued in the rest of the world.
 In fact it is valued everywhere but in the U.S., Canada and oddly enough communist countries.
  But more importantly, I share this because what I have unearthed are what I believe the
answers to so many homeopathic protocols that can be learned by families to treat themselves.
It takes away the ‘trial and error’ found in both classical homeopathy and surpasses
what essential oils or herbs can provide. I love to say, “Here’s how you  do it.”
  Jendi: I’m getting in synch with your blog
these days.  Anytime someone in my family gets something, I go to your blog 1st.  I
love that its free and sometimes I don’t find the illness right away such as when I
was looking up acne for my daughter, when I chose a synonym “pimples” it brought
up the article I was looking for. Your blog is getting pretty popular around my house
and with my friends at church. Joette, do you have any parting words?
Joette:  Yes, but its actually just one.  My parting word is “NO!”
The most powerful word in a mother’s vocabulary is “NO!”  You can always say yes later.
 But start out with  ”no” first. “ No candy right now.” And more importantly…..“No
thanks, Doc, I need to give this some thought.”  “No, not today, Doc, I want to discuss
it with my husband.” “no, not Tylenol for a fever, thank you very much.”
When it comes to your posture in dealing with the health and welfare  (and this includes
dealing with education administrators too, by the way) my general rule is:  
No! Don’t be a good girl, be a good mother. Be prepared to fight to the finish for your
family.   No! Don’t be a compliant patient, be self
respecting , well informed force. Be defiant.   Unapologetically take control of your own
destiny. Instead of bumping around the bottom in mediocrity,  get to the top of your game.
So, go ahead  and tuck  some of my homeopathic tricks of the trade into your hip pocket …. then
take your family by the hand and face the opposite direction from the  rest of the
world and that’s when you say YES, YES to I CAN DO THIS MYSELF!
That’s when you’re likely to get it right!  
Jendi: Thanks Joette. Joette:  Stay warm everyone!  Bye Jendi. Thank you for listening to this podcast with
Joette Calabrese. If you liked it please share it with your friends. To learn more and find
out if homeopathy is a good fit in your health strategy visit and schedule
a free 15 minute conversation with Joette.

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