Optimum Wellness is Truly About Keeping Our Balance

Welcome to Our Office When we lose our balance, the wheel tips towards discomfort, distress and ultimately disease. Since each of us is a unique individual, the stressors that affect you will not be the same ones that affect me. Because of the multiplicity of human experience, there can be no one "magic bullet" that is the answer for everyone. Instead, each person's needs are different and his or her road back to optimum wellness is unlike anyone else's. The challenge, of course, is to determine what are your personal needs.

At RFHC we believe that many illnesses respond favorably to the conservative, non-medical treatment offered to the public under the umbrella of "alternative health care." We do not endorse the efficacy of all non-medical, alternative protocols, nor are we blind to the value of allopathic medicine - drugs and surgery - for those conditions where only medical means will serve.

In our practice we offer a spectrum of diagnostic tools, and treatment modalities to assist individuals to attain their own personal best. Which tool is best for you is determined from your personal history, your lifestyle and the state of your body when you are examined. The body is a marvelous source of information about your personal well-being, giving many indications and markers of exactly where your personal problem areas are. All that is needed is an educated reading of the multiplicity of indicators. And, when all the indications are taken together, a relatively complete picture of your being and your needs emerges.

It is very rewarding to be able to furnish direction to people seeking a better quality of life. Many people arrive at our office after exhausting conventional medical care, still feeling unwell, still wondering what is out of balance for them. For many, the examination shows sub-clinical, pre-pathological dysfunction which isn't far enough advanced for the medical profession to categorize. Yet, the person is not feeling up to par and he or she knows it. How frustrating to be told, "'There's nothing I can find yet, come back when you're worse." You deserve to get the most out of your life! Waiting around for a disease to manifest itself is not part of that picture!

An even more exciting prospect is maintaining a state of optimum wellness. And that too is achieved by the tools we have here at our Center. At different times in your life, you may be impacted by different stressors, and a tune-up will enable you to keep at your peak of performance.


Personalized Nutrition Program

BLOOD WORK ANALYSIS Preventative medicine is gaining recognition as the cost of catastrophic health care escalates out of reach. It is much less expensive to prevent arteriosclerotic disease than it is to perform coronary bypass surgery, for example. Fortunately, we now know that the two leading causes of death in the US - cardiovascular disease and cancer - are diseases of lifestyle. That means you can positively affect your future by taking appropriate action now.

The question becomes: What actions do I personally need to take? That can only be determined from your personal biochemical profile. A multi-channel blood chemistry, blood typing, urinalysis, complete blood count and thyroid panel provides a wealth of information for a relatively low cost. When that data is analyzed in terms of optimum health, a picture emerges of what parts of your body need nutritional support and what lifestyle changes you can make to improve your own well-being. All this information is extracted at a pre-pathology stage, before you are desperately ill and conventional medical intervention becomes necessary.

From that data, Dr. Richards prepares a personalized written report, using a database containing years of research and clinical experience. The report takes into account your biochemical individuality and contains recommendations concerning your diet, your special nutritional needs and lifestyle changes you need to make.

You, too, can enjoy better health and vitality. You can reduce your risk of disabling degenerative disease and extend your productive years. Call the office today so that Dr. Richards can assist you in getting on the track to glowing health.

The nutritional quality of food produced in our modern technocracy is sub-standard in many cases. We cannot get sufficient nutrition from the foods we eat; this is a strong factor in many of our illnesses. Correcting nutritional levels is fundamental to restoring and maintaining wellness. Laboratory test results provide Dr. Richards with nutritional profiles on each patient.


Do We Need Vitamins?

How many times have you wondered whether taking vitamins is doing you any good? Does anyone really need them, or is a "balanced' diet enough? And, have you ever wondered which vitamins are best? Or if it is possible to determine what you specifically need? Vitamin supplementation can be expensive, so buying the items that are right for you and that will give you the best results is very important.

To protect your health and pocketbook, there are some important facts to know in order to make good choices.

First of all, it is very difficult for most of us to get enough vitamins from our food supply today. Many of you are very health conscious and try to eat a quality diet - rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, with protein as an adjunct to the meal, limiting fats and sweets. Yet, even in health conscious individuals, the clinical tests I've been running show the need for additional nutrients.

The reasons are multi-factorial: Commercial agribusiness depletes the soil, and the commercial fertilizers they use increase only crop yield, not nutritional value. Take the example of tomatoes. Have you ever wondered why commercial tomatoes are so tasteless? It is because the majority are cultivated hydroponically using just the fertilizers that meet the basic requirements of plant growth; but they lack essential elements (mostly trace mineral). By contrast, cherry tomatoes can't be grown hydroponically, so they retain their full flavor.

The natural ripening process is also essential for optimum nutritional value. Yet, most fruits and vegetables are picked before maturity so that they can be handled more roughly. Once harvested, however, the story's not over.

The shipping, warehousing and distribution of food in America increases the delay in getting the food to you and your family. In almost every instance, the nutritional value of food begins to drop 24 hours after harvesting. This is particularly true for vitamin content.

So, in summary; yes, we all need vitamins - the right ones for us. Call the RFHC to obtain a personalized nutrition program.
[see Diagnostics/Bloodwork]

Does this seem helpful? If so, see our information on Consultations.


Why Take Vitamins

There are people who hold very desirable positions of public trust in the field of nutrition, positions of grave responsibility, who give out misleading information about vitamins and nutrition in general. They tell the general public that the average grocery store contains all the nourishing foods necessary to maintain abundant health. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Perhaps you have run into the individual who scoffs at you for your belief in vitamin therapy. Just remember, there are scoffers in any field of endeavor and that his scoffing is merely an attempt to cover his ignorance pertaining to the nutritional requirements of the human body. It simply discloses his lack of understanding in this particular instance and therefore, you have the opportunity of expressing the virtue of compassion to a fellow creature who is not as enlightened as he will some day be.

So, keep in mind:
If our nation's soil was virgin - which it is not;
If our ancestors had been perfect - and they were not;
If you could teach people to eat to satisfy the body's needs and not their perverted appetites - which you cannot;
If we could raise our own food on healthy soil and eat it fresh - which we cannot;
If we could all own our own cow, goat or chickens and raise our own meat and poultry - which we cannot;
If foods were not harvested green and immature - but they are;
If storage did not produce deficiencies in vitamins - but it does;
If we lived in a stress-free world - but we don't;
If chemical fertilizers were not used in our soil - but they are;
If refinement, processing, enrichment and synthetic substitution were not a reality-but they are;
If the animals we eat were fed a perfect diet - which they are not;
If insecticides did not penetrate every cell of our food - but they do;
If the animals were not force-fed and hormone-fed to increase their weight and make an earlier market day -which they are;
If most of our grains were not refined into dried cereals - which they are;
If our white sugar possessed anything more nutritive than sand which it does not;
If our modern white flour was all used for wallpaper paste instead of bakery goods - which it is not;
If our foods were not overcooked - but they are;
If deep fry fats were not to be found in almost every restaurant but they are;
If man would live by the laws of nature - which he will not;
If man were not greedy - but he is;

Then you wouldn¹t need vitamins and minerals!
[see Diagnostics/Bloodwork]

Does this seem helpful? If so, see our information on Consultations.


Healthy Food

[See our information on Healthy Food]

Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss − Is It Even Possible?

(This is an update of an article first published in 2001)

Ultra Meal™ is a medical food, suitable as a meal replacement or for weight-loss/maintenance programs. Ultra Meal™ has been studied in comparison to over-the-counter products, specifically, Ultra Meal™, and the results are very interesting. The Ultra Meal™ program, which was supervised by a doctor, lasted 10 weeks and consisted of 2 meal replacements per day, with one low-calorie meal of lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruit, with mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks of fresh fruit or vegetables. The Ultra Meal™ program was also 10 weeks, but was unsupervised, with no direction as to behavior and diet modification or exercise.

The results are enlightening: 64% of the Ultra Meal™ group completed the full 10 weeks; whereas, only 42% of the other group saw the program through to the end. In those who completed the program, differences in endpoint data were analyzed. Both groups lost weight; however, the most striking difference between them was that the Ultra Meal™ group lost a significant loss of weight as body fat, while the Ultra SlimFast™ group lost the majority of their weight from muscle protein, not body fat. The Ultra SlimFast™ group actually wound up with a higher ratio of body fat to lean muscle mass than before starting on the program.

The other notable difference between the two groups was that the Ultra SlimFast™ group showed a significant increase in thyroid stimulating hormone levels through the course of the program and indicating suppression of thyroid function while on the meal replacement. The Ultra Meal™ group thyroid stimulating hormone levels remained normal. It is generally recognized that the inclusion of high quality, bio-available protein in a weight loss program minimizes the risk of neuroendocrine disturbances. A number of studies have confirmed that extremely low calorie diets induced a decrease in thyroid function. It is the body's adaptation to a starvation state and conservation of what calories are available.

My take on this research is that UltraMeal™ is superior to any over-the-counter product because it allows for weight loss without loss of muscle mass. It also does not alter thyroid function, making it easier initially to lose excess body fat and then to keep it off.

I have an article from the Journal of Nutritional Medicine in my office containing all the data and references. If you would like all the details, send a SASE with the request for the "weight loss article" to the office, and we'll send you a copy.

The only "objection" to UltraMeal™ is that it doesn't fit the Zone diet concept. It does have more carbohydrates and less fat than may be optimal for the carbohydrate intolerant. We have recently begun carrying another product – Sports Doc™ - which conforms to the Zone pattern: 14 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrate and 4.5 grams of fat per serving. It comes in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and banana. We currently have vanilla and chocolate on hand and can order other flavors if you'd like to try them. Reports from patients are that, since there's less carbohydrate, the Sports Doc™ drinks are less palatable. However, for those of you with carbohydrate intolerance, the lower carbohydrate levels may be a distinct advantage. And, the cost is the same -- $27 for a container of 14 servings.

So, if you're looking for a safe, proven weight loss program or simply need a quick, easy nutrition rich meal for breakfast or lunch, give us a call and order either UltraMeal™ or Sports Doc™.

Also, we now have obtained our replacement products for FemProtect™. As you may be aware, Metagenics discontinued FemProtect™ abruptly. Since many of us have been taking it to reduce the risk of breast disease, I was understandably disturbed. It took several weeks; however, we have had a calcium d-glucurate product formulated by Professional Complementary Health Formulations in Portland. Calcium d-glucurate is a natural, non-toxic compound that has been demonstrated to inhibit the activity of ?-glucuronidase, an enzyme that elevates in many different disease states, including cancer. It has been demonstrated to inhibit the initiation, promotion and progression stages of chemical carcinogenesis in different animal models (mice and rats). When combined with turmeric and liver herbs (Hepatoplex), we have demonstrated excellent results with fibrocystic breast disease and various inflammatory conditions of the breast. The changes have been demonstrated on sequential thermography studies. Unfortunately, we have had to resort to two products to replace FemProtect™. The dosage is as follows: for every 2 FemProtect, take 1 D-glucurate and 2 Hepatoplex. If you suffer from fibrocystic breast disease and have not taken part in our thermography program at the office, we can provide you with these products. Scheduling a thermography would also be in your best interests to make sure you are not experiencing dangerous changes in your breast.


How Much Water Should I Drink?

On November 20, 2000, the Los Angeles Times, in its "Health" section ran an article entitled "Hard to Swallow." According to the "experts" cited in the report, you can get all the water you need from eating fruits and vegetables. Maybe, if you're a tortoise. However, for those of us who want to maintain good health and strong bodies, this information is shortsighted, at best. Water is essential to metabolism. Everything you put in your mouth and which is absorbed is eventually filtered out of your bloodstream by your kidneys. The recommended amount of water daily is one-half your body weight times 0.8 (representing an 8 oz glass).

Body weight/2 x 0.8 = Water requirement

For example, if you weigh 120lbs, one-half of your body weight is 60lbs. Multiply that number by 0.8, and you need 48 oz of water daily (or 6, 8 oz glasses). Substitute your own weight into the equation to find out how much water you need.

There are several important reasons why it is important that you drink enough water. In particular, water will alleviate fatigue. If you experience mid-afternoon doldrums, try a glass of water and see if it doesn't perk up your energy. Additionally, many Americans experience constipation. Did you realize that optimally your bowel should evacuate approximately 20 minutes after you eat? The gastrocolic reflex is initiated when food enters the stomach, causing the lower bowel to empty its contents. The longer your colon retains fecal material, the greater the impact the toxic chemicals in the stool have on the intestinal mucosa. Some authorities correlate constipation with an increase in colon cancer. A leading cause of constipation for Americans is hard, dry stools. Drinking sufficient quantities of water (not caffeinated beverages) is the simplest and healthiest way to improve bowel function. Finally, extra fluid is particularly important when you fly, because you dehydrate more quickly at higher altitudes. Drink adequate water to minimize the effects of jet lag.

In my opinion (and personal experience), the LA Times article is just another example of junk reporting. Since medicine doesn't deal with optimum health, keeping healthy is outside of the training of most medical doctors. I suspect in a few years, we will be hearing "Be sure you drink enough water to stay healthy." We've seen Œmedical experts' flip flop before, on many other issues.

In the meantime, position yourself on the side of optimum health. If you need a personalized nutrition program, call the office and make an appointment so that we can set you on the path to vibrant health.


Case Profiles

Case Profile (optimal health)
I came to the office through a friend. I was pretty unable to function. I was suffering from post polio syndrome. I was in pain constantly. Always felt like I had the flu. Some days I couldn't even get out of bed. I had been to at least 20 doctors and basically got no help. I must have had 30 tests or more. Within 10 minutes, she said most of the pain I was describing was coming from my liver which had gotten in really bad shape from so many years of being sedentary.

My liver is in good shape today and I do not live in that pain anymore. She has given me back my life. I have friends in wheelchairs who can barely function, and I continue to function at a higher level than many able-bodied healthy people do.

The woman, Dr. Richards, is one of a kind. She has the ability to heal like none other. Her perception, knowledge and understanding of the body, mind and spirit is enormous! She has an array of techniques no one person other than she has. She knows how to adjust my body even though I have severe curvature of the spine. I know my lifespan has been and will continue to be lengthened and enhanced beyond my wildest hopes and dreams. I am a paraplegic. This is an extraordinary woman not only for the extraordinary work she does but for the extraordinary being-ness she is. A true evolved powerful and gentle spirit. Thank you Rowan for all you are and for all you've done for me and for many others. We are fortunate you are who and what you are! --LL

Case Profile (Pediatrics, Cranial, Nutrition)
"In December of 1990, my husband and I visited Pitesch, Romania. Our visit was inspired by a segment on the TV show "20/20", which reported on the treatment and care of infants and children in Romania. When we first saw A and L, they were two weeks old and less than four pounds each. They were born two months premature and had suffered a trauma birth. (A and L are fraternal twins.)

"After a considerable amount of red tape, A and L were adopted at the age of four months by my family. From the time they were born until the day we were able to take them home, A and L were wrapped tightly in swaddling clothes that allowed little or no body movement. A had a severe heart murmur and L. had severe colic and strabismus in one of her eyes. A's heart condition eventually became more normal but he seemed unusually quiet. He had no head movement and at first we thought he might be deaf or blind. We eventually brought him to a chiropractic doctor. After just one treatment, A was able to move his head. My husband and I were referred to a chiropractor in San Fernando Valley. The doctor was treating A. and L and they were responding very well to the treatments. L's strabismus was clearing and A was able to move more. But the commute to San Fernando Valley was just too great. Then we were referred to the Richards Family Health Center.

"Dr. Richards has been treating A and L for over three months and both are steadily improving. In addition to their treatments, Dr. Richards has addressed their nutritional needs. Both A and L have benefited from the supplements and Bach Flowers we've obtained at the Richards Family Health Center. As a result, L's digestive system has now normalized. A's mobility and alertness has increased. I've noticed that when A. or L miss their treatment, A. becomes HYPO-active while L becomes HYPER-active. I'm confident that with their treatments and lots of TLC, both A. and L. will continue to improve. --RS

It is wonderfully rewarding to watch the twins blossom as we continue working with them. L. is steadily catching up to her age level. A.'s deficit is more marked, but it warms my heart to see him hold his head up and look all around. --Dr. Richards

Case Profile (Laboratory, Nutrition, CFIDS)
"Your wife is a very sick woman. She's been through too much and I don't expect her to live more than three to six months." This was my forecast, given to my husband, after my surgery in July of 1990. With that prognosis, I was then given nominal care in preparation for my demise. In January of 1991, my immune system collapsed. However, I felt that I wanted to live and continued to struggle.

I first saw Dr. Richards in April of 1991. She was thorough in both examination and testing, but more than that, she was thorough in gleaning medical history from me. The road has been rough, but her care brought me through and was most comprehensive. As a friend stated after I described the care I was getting, "She's helping your body to heal. "She was so patient because I was suffering both physically and emotionally. I had been the victim of surgeries and the ramifications from them, some serious medical neglect, over-medicated, over-worked, and stressed to the max. It took a long time, but life is so precious and I wanted to treasure any extension of time I could have with my family. It means a lot to have a doctor who is willing to help you fight to live, rather than one who doesn't care enough to try. Standard medical training and treatment does not have all the answers. I'm living proof of that. --EK

EK has made a remarkable recovery, with very little support from her medical practitioners. She has wonderful determination and her courage has been a large factor in her recovery. --Dr Richards

Case Profile (Phonocardiogram, Nutrition)
I have been an active patient of Dr. Richards' for over six years. During that time, I have had several blood tests and nutritional programs. After the first program, I promised myself I would never again take any supplement without having reliable data to show I needed it. I couldn't imagine better nutritional guidance than a blood work-up. Well, that was before I had my nutritional program evaluated on the phonocardiogram! Dr. Richards used the information from my most recent blood test to determine what supplements to test on the phono. I was fascinated to see for myself that most of my new supplements were heart-positive. A few made no difference (heart neutral, I think), and a couple were not good for my heart. In two or 3 instances, I actually needed a different form of the vitamin that was prescribed. Using those results, Dr. Richards modified my supplement program. I am 100% confident that I need everything that I am taking, and that I will improve as a result of my supplement program. --LDM

LDM developed a post-viral "chronic fatigue-like " syndrome at the beginning of this year. Her progress has been slow and steady. Perhaps the most outstanding result from her ACG was that she is one of the people who cannot take synthetic B vitamins. So, we provided the B's in another form. Her heart cycle showed immediate improvement with just that one change. --Dr. Richards