I thought I ate well. In fact, now that I was married I thought I was eating better than I ever had since I’d moved away from home to go to college 15 years earlier. Growing up, my mother had been a teacher of Home Economics which covered everything having to do with cooking, sewing, and maintaining a household. I was not brought up going to restaurants or eating fast food because we always ate at home. My mother wouldn’t buy chips, or cookies, and soda was reserved for special occasions. (On the other hand, my best friend’s house actually had an entire ‘snack’ drawer. I liked visiting her.) Our cupboards always contained things like Health Nut Bread from Natural Ovens, and ‘high fiber’ cereals. Of course, college changed my diet to some degree, but I felt I’d been given a healthy foundation.
At this point I was at least 5 years into a hobby study of health and nutrition. I was convinced that nutritional healing was possible, but there were still so many unanswered questions. I knew I didn’t want what regular doctors offered: to be prescribed antibiotics or other medications that just temporarily cover-up health issues allowing the deeper problems to go unchecked. But, the type of practitioner I was looking for didn’t seem to be readily obvious.
One of my favorite ways to waste time was to head to Barnes and Noble Bookstore and look through books and magazines. My preferred book sections were design and art, or DIY projects for the home. More recently some of the ‘new age-y’ magazines had started to catch my eye. I believe it was in one of these types of magazines that I stumbled upon an article about iridology. According to the article, this method of ‘reading the iris of the eye’ made it possible to actually see the body’s health status. It could assess one’s constitution. How fascinating! It didn’t take me long to track down Bernard Jensen’s ‘medical text’ called Iridology: The Science and Practice, Vol. II. Priced at $180.00, it was not going to be mine anytime soon. But that didn’t stop me from making regular trips to B&N to read as much as I could!
Over the next couple of weeks I could be found sitting in the bookshop’s café pouring over the testimonials, staring in awe and disgust at the pictures, and trying to make sense of what I called the ‘eye maps’ (iridology charts). I knew there was something here – something fantastic – and I wanted to understand it better.
Finally I felt I’d read enough that I was determined to find someone who could ‘read my eyes’. I wanted to know my constitution! Paging through the yellow pages I found a local clinic that listed iridology as one of their services so I called to make an appointment. They were very surprised I’d located them through the yellow pages. In fact, they had plans to pull their yellow pages ad because it didn’t seem to be worth the money. Most of their clients were found by word-of-mouth.
I was unaware when I made the appointment that I would be given far more than an iridology reading. This session would prove to be my first introduction to RBTI.
I arrived at the clinic and was quickly shuttled into a room where I received my first iridology reading. She informed me that I had metal poisoning, there were heart issues in my family, and I had a dropped transverse colon. Next, a live blood analysis was done. She pricked my finger and put the drop of blood on a slide. She then projected the slide onto a monitor so I could see the enlargement of my blood cells. She began to describe the health implications of what she saw under various microscopic strengths. The only thing that stuck in my mind was that the blood cells were forming rouleaux, meaning they were sticking together (I think she said they were sharing electrons). My mind went to unnerving thoughts of blood clots.
The RBTI test was a bit invisible to me. I don’t even remember the urine and saliva test, but I know we did it because it was part of my record. She tested me this way numerous times over the years and I sensed it gave her a lot of information but little of this was passed on to me. It was clear though, that whatever tests she had just completed, they had given her the most fantastic direction for reorienting my lifestyle, diet, and my health.
I left that clinic a changed person. I drove home with a bag of supplements, a colema board, a food combining chart detailing what I could and couldn’t eat, a promise to buy a juicer as soon as possible, and a follow-up appointment in 10 days.
Two weeks later I was back at the clinic. This time there was a naturopath-in-training sitting in on my appointment. He looked quite young to be involved in alternative health and I couldn’t help taking the opportunity to ask him what brought him to train as a naturopath at his age. He quickly told me he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in college and had attributed it to a very unhealthy lifestyle. He taught himself stress management, researched everything he could about nutrition and healing, and essentially healed himself. He now wanted to give back to everyone what he had learned about the truth to reversing disease.
The most memorable part for me of this second round of tests was with the live blood analysis. I could see the changes! My blood cells were now separated and no longer forming rouleaux. They even looked healthier.
Wow, what a change in my blood in just two weeks!
For those new to RBTI and reading this article, I need to interject some thoughts here. Although I was given an RBTI test at this clinic, it took years for me to realize that this person had not actually designed an RBTI program for me. Yes, they did the RBTI test, along with several other tests. However, they actually assigned (what I understand to be) a classic naturopathic approach to regaining health and only peripherally included a few RBTI recommendations.
For example, calcium was recommended but I never knew the importance of the type of calcium she assigned. If I ran out of whatever she’d sold me, I would occasionally just ‘pick something up’ or go without until I had another appointment.
I never heard about my salts. I was never told to drink water on a schedule nor was fresh lemon juice ever mentioned.
She did seem rather frantic once after testing me. She asked me if I felt light-headed or faint. I said “No.” She said my sugar number was so low it suggested that I should be passed out. She promptly made me drink some juice because she was afraid to have me drive home like that. I never again heard about my dangerously low sugar number, nor was I ever coached on how I should be managing it.
My supplements were frequently changed which was confusing and frustrating. I was always ‘fighting’ candida, or parasites, or whatever. Believe me, I asked more than my share of questions! But there was so much information that it was hard to remember everything.
The next several months I started rapidly dropping weight. My new diet had me eating only fruits and vegetables and doing 2 carrot juices morning and night. There was no fat allowed other than a little olive oil. All other foods, processed or otherwise, were not on the program. I was eating no protein at all, and dairy was a no-no. The other reason I lost weight quickly was due to having started VitraTox fasts. I did these routinely, every other month. These fasts are done by alternately taking a drink supplement and then food supplements every 2 hours starting at 8 am until 8 pm. The drink contains Bentonite clay and fiber, and the food supplements are supposed to provide you with minimum nutrition for the day. You eat nothing else for the entire fast of 7 days. Each day ended with a colema.
I breezed through my first 7-day fast without any problems. I actually started to look forward to the mental calm and centeredness that came with the fasts as well as the amazing nights sleep. I was feeling so much better – no digestive upsets or bloating like I’d felt before starting the program. My skin started to clear up. And I had more energy! It was really wonderful.
The most surprising change was in my right breast. It had always had quite a large, sore mass in it. It was never something my gynecologist felt needed to be biopsied, but she would always painfully work it over when I went in for my annual pelvic exam. Within about 6 months time after starting the naturopath’s program, I discovered the lump was reduced to approximately half the size it had been for the previous 15 yrs!
I really enjoyed the next two years. I was quite dedicated to this new way of life and I got a kick out of being the resident health weirdo at work. People would poke their head in my door, look over their shoulders to make sure no one was listening and then quietly ask me about their various health issues, “Do you know of a good place to get colonics?”, or “I think I have digestive problems. What do you recommend?” Numerous people wanted to try fasting, but they didn’t want to change anything else in their life. I felt fasting was serious business and without proper coaching, it was all I could do to warn them away from it.
My naturopath had given both my mother and me the ‘thumbs up’ for fasting, but after testing my sister, she was adamant that my sister was ‘not approved’. I never knew what my naturopath had read in my sister’s test, but clearly their were warning signs. Eventually my sister tried doing her own thing based on the book The Seven Day Detox Miracle. I put up a fuss and tried to get her to not do it. Several days later she called to say she’d been on Day 3 of her fast and was shopping at TJ Maxx when she almost passed out. She couldn’t understand why this happened but we all voiced our concerns about what could have happened if she’d been driving.
I learned many times over how hard it is to explain healing through nutrition. It just wasn’t information you could pass along quickly and you just never knew what tidbit was going to resonate with someone. The strangest comment I received was from a coworker as she stopped me in a hallway. She asked me why I started on this ‘radical’ approach to health. I explained that I sought out nutritional help as a way to help control allergies and to address some other health problems. Her response was, “Wow. Interesting. I wish I had allergies.” I walked away trying to figure out where I’d gone wrong with my explanation.
Although my health seemed to be all sunshine and roses, all wasn’t so positive on the marriage front. My marriage fell apart, and with that, my wonderful health routine started to disintegrate. I moved 5 times over the next 2 1/2 years and I never managed to have all my belongings in one place. The carrot juice routine dwindled to almost nil. Whole Foods closed their juice bar. My fasts became less frequent. I also found it was hard to introduce new people in my life to the idea that I wouldn’t eat for a week at a time. They thought I was totally loony and that I was going to hurt myself.
At some point in this chaos, I decided to go back to school for massage therapy. I had been a graphic designer but was drawn to – something – I wasn’t sure what, but I felt massage would take me the right direction. School was great and I loved everything I was learning. Surprisingly, the naturopath-in-training I had met years before at my second RBTI test was the instructor for our school’s Stress Management course. He had gone on to open his own naturopathic clinic and seemed to be doing very well with a particular focus on athletes. I felt lucky to be able to spend a half-day doing volunteer service through school at his clinic. Although nothing specific was mentioned, it became clear to me that he had not been in agreement with the way things had been done at the clinic where he had trained. I was just left with questions in my head as to why he felt this way.
When I graduated from massage school, it was December of 2003. Two months later I awoke to have my strangest experience yet. My throat area was bright pink. No, it was bright red. No, actually, it was fluorescent pinky-red, if you can even imagine such a thing. It radiated so much heat that I had to dress for work in a very low-cut top – not my usual Wisconsin winter style of turtlenecks and sweaters. It was painful to have anything covering the area because so much heat was being given off.
My face was completely unaffected. Since I was fluorescent below my chin, my face had a weird, yellow, creepy look to it. If I looked in the mirror and covered my view of my neck, my face looked completely normal. But as soon as I viewed both together, my neon-colored neck made my face looked more like I’d been prepared for my funeral.
This was eczema event #2. I still didn’t go to a doctor. Instead, I took a more holistic view and started to review my life and what led up to this experience. I had worked full time, and gone to school full time for the previous 10 months. I knew I had exhausted myself. I was also a workaholic and I didn’t define the start and end to my work day. Instead I let work dictate how it bled all over my personal time. On top of that, I didn’t exercise and I didn’t really spend any time out-of-doors.
It was pretty clear to me I needed to slow down and take stock of things. I stopped working weekends and eliminated most socializing which was energetically draining to me. I chose to focus on healing. I had also been introduced to meditation in massage school and I found this to be a wonderful way to deal with long periods of being quiet. I made conscious efforts to take time for myself above all else.
My throat turned around pretty well within a week. But it wasn’t too long after this that I had eczema event #3.
This third experience was the eczema from hell. It started as a small spot on my upper right thigh. I eventually noticed I scratched there so frequently I had thinned a spot in my jeans. Gradually, the spot grew to multiple spots, then moved to my arms. When it decided to itch, it was almost unbearable. I eventually found ice packs to be very helpful.
I still didn’t go to a doctor. I knew what they’d give me for treatment and I didn’t want it. I overheard a guy at my bank telling someone that he’d gone to the emergency room over the weekend for eczema. I was pretty sure my square footage of eczema exceeded anything he had. I still couldn’t help thinking that whatever they gave him may have cleared the eczema but I wondered what health issue he’d just covered up.
When my affliction became bad enough, I ran to my naturopath. My sense of well-being was really going out the window but I was trying to keep it together. This time she seemed irritated with me. She insisted the eczema represented yeast coming out of my skin and it could only be due to the carbohydrates I was eating. She also was ‘sure’ that I must be acidic. She handed me a piece of litmus paper and told me to stick it in my mouth and wet it with saliva. I pulled it out and she announced, “Just as I thought. You’re acidic.”
This whole exchange left me puzzled. For one, I wasn’t eating any sugar, flour or anything I wasn’t supposed to. I was trying so hard to eat ‘correctly’ – the eczema was a huge motivator! Yet this yeast supposedly kept coming. And secondly, I really didn’t know what to do to recover from this acidic place I supposedly had put myself into. I ate salads, fruits and vegetables almost exclusively which were supposed to be so alkaline forming. Where was I going wrong?
Then, a freak car accident killed my naturopath. She was in her prime and had just remarried the year before. It was a shock to all of us who looked to her for our health solutions. Tons of people showed up at her funeral, the majority of them clients of hers that felt they owed their life to her.
The void in the naturopathic community created by her death was quickly filled by a friend of hers, a naturopath from a nearby town. A bunch of us breathed a collective sigh of relief. Without our naturopath we had no idea what to do! This new N.D. also practiced RBTI, and she was able to start working out of my late naturopaths office so she had easy access to all the old files.
At one of the first appointments I had with this new naturopath, she looked over my charts. She had just retested me and told me I was ‘off-the-charts’ alkaline. I wasn’t exactly sure what this meant. I’d heard it was better to be alkaline than acid, so I figured I was better off than the ‘acid’ people. She then went on to say “Jody, do you realize you have always been really alkaline? According to your charts, your pH has never changed.”
She then began to educate me, somewhat, on what the numbers mean in an RBTI test. Since she had been friends with my late naturopath, she admitted that the other woman had not completed RBTI training and would not have been able to fully understand all the numbers. Up to this point I had been filled with questions as to what was ‘being missed’. Why couldn’t I overcome my eczema, the yeast, the parasites? But now, something else was becoming clear. I may not have the answers, but it appeared there was a gap in the knowledge of my previous N.D. as well. I started to ask my new N.D. a lot of questions, which eventually led to “How can I best go about being educated in RBTI?”
Follow-up: I have completed Dr. Beddoe’s 4 levels through his company Advanced Idealswww.advancedideals.org and have taken one Live Study Group weekend class. Due to the large amount of information I’ve gleaned from reading posts on the RBTI yahoo group I decided to continue my studies and have recently begun online classes with Michael Olszta. www.olszta.com