For over three decades Dr. Gary Null, who holds a Ph.D. in human nutrition and public health science, has been recognized as one of the foremost advocates of alternative medicine and natural healing. He has been a consistent voice on how to live a longer, more vital life through his work that embraces the body, mind and spirit and believes much of what our society accepts as inevitable markers of aging are actually manifestations of a preventable disease process. His philosophy has influenced countless Americans to achieve a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle.
As one of America’s leading health and fitness experts Dr. Null is the author of hundreds of medical articles and over 70 books on nutrition, self-empowerment, and public issues including: The Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, Healing Your Body Naturally, The Complete Guide to Sensible Eating, and the national bestseller Get Healthy Now! with Gary Null, A Complete Guide to Prevention, Treatment, and Healthy Living.
Get Healthy Now! is an ABCs of basic and enhanced nutrition, detoxification, prevention, treatment, exercise, beauty, and longevity, with special sections on women’s health issues, and health areas of special concern to men.
This comprehensive guide to healthy living offers a wide range of alternative approaches to help you stay healthy. These may be approaches your conventionally trained doctor wasn’t taught in medical school. Some are supported by thousands of years of use in other societies; some have been discovered or refined in recent years. When used correctly, they may improve your health—or even save your life—as the better alternative to drugs, surgical intervention and other standard Western techniques. It also features more than 200 pages of alphabetical, state-by-state listings of alternative health practitioners nationwide.
Dr. Null’s syndicated public radio show, “Natural Living with Gary Null,” (3 p.m. ET. Monday through Wednesdays) has earned 21 Silver Microphone Awards and is the longest-running, continuously aired health program in America (27 years). Currently, “The Gary Null Show” can be heard weekdays on the Internet at www.PRNcomm.net from noon to 1:00 p.m. ET.
As a journalist he has conducted more than 100 major investigations into issues such as AIDS, chronic fatigue, heart disease, cancer, diet and exercise, stress management, arthritis, vaccines, and allergies. Television programs such as 20/20 and 60 Minutes have used his material. He has also produced over 20 films and videos on health and nutrition topics and several special programs, which are regularly featured during public television fund raising drives.
TH: Dr. Null, welcome to totalhealth. This interview is long overdue. I have been a fan of your work for over 10 years. I have found your books to be invaluable both personally and in my capacity as editor of a magazine devoted to self-managed natural health and the imperative of becoming captain of your own health care team.
GN: Thank you.
TH: Please give us an overview of your journey to becoming one of America’s most visible and respected advocates of a program that embraces body, mind and spirit and aggressive natural health program coupled with alternative medicine and natural healing, as the imperatives to achieving a healthy and more fulfilling lifestyle.
GN: Years ago when I arrived in New York City from West Virginia to seek my destiny, even as I stepped off the Greyhound bus with just $7 in my pocket I was overwhelmed with the energy of the city. It was summertime and I intuitively knew somewhere there would be the opportunity to discover and realize my destiny.
My first and immediate project was figuring out how one could live on little or no money. So I learned how to survive on a shoestring. And that became my first book. It was a small book but very well received and reviewed in the media. As serendipity would have it the book came to the attention of an older couple that were publishers in the natural health and hygiene field. They contacted me and asked if I would like to do a book on health.
When I responded that I really did not have any experience they said you mentioned you are a vegetarian and you exercise don’t you? I answered yes and the response was, “Well that is all it takes.”
Well that is not all it takes. However it did begin my research. Shortly I realized coming from a completely uninformed point of view I needed to build my information base. Consequently, I began to read all of the other health books and found them pretty much the same. Also there did not seem to be any scientific references to back up the numerous health claims reported in each of the books.
I made two decisions. First, living healthy was becoming my passion and if I were to become a communicator of its needs and benefits it would be necessary to pursue a formal education in the field. So I became a dietician. Before I went on to get my undergraduate, graduate and doctorate at least I felt I had an understanding of how the body functions in health and disease. And that led to my first book, The Complete Guide to Health and Nutrition. I was told it became the all time best selling book on health and nutrition in American history.
The reception to that book led to a series of best sellers. I had about 13 in the next seven years; I was appearing on Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Johnny Carson, the Today show and other programs. It was also because there were no other young people in the field of health. Everyone in health was old, in fact the next youngest person was 62 (I was 21). Then you had Bernard McFadden who was about 75. When I attended my first health conference, I was really surprised. It was a National Health Conference in New York City. Everyone who was going to be a keynote speaker was back stage drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, eating little sausages and talking about deals. I’m looking at all this thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know this was going on.” And then I went on stage and there was the audience, it was a whitehaired audience not a young person in the crowd.
I carefully listened to the advice being given, “you can eat white bread, just make sure you put a little wheat bran in your cereal,” and “you can drink coffee and smoke cigarettes and you can eat meat, just be sure to get a five mg of B complex.” Afterwards I was so disillusioned by what I saw I decided to separate myself from it.
Shortly after I had experienced this introduction into the utter hypocrisy of what we as individuals were being led to believe and what was being represented as the real models of health I received a call from Adele Davis who said, “Gary, to succeed you must understand that the American public is not going to make any effort to be healthy. It causes them to become uncomfortable; they’re not going to do it. You are just going to have to compromise; your books are too rigid.”
I said you may be right, then that means I’ve chosen the wrong field in which case I’ll just find another field. And she said, “Why? You’ve got a good personality, you’re young, the media likes you and you do a good job lecturing. Understand that people are not this idealistic mind set.”
I was very discouraged at that conversation. I went on a trip, I walked, and I needed to be alone. I asked myself, does America want to be healthy and then I began listening to the health shows and every single call was about disease and what you do to fix this disease. I thought my goodness there’s got to be someone in America who wants to be healthy. Not people who don’t do anything and then want some kind of magic cure. I went on the radio and I began to talk about health—not disease, and a small audience began to listen.
We began to have dinners at a restaurant, and as many people as the restaurant held would show up. These were fun social events, we danced, we made great vegetarian meals, and most people were young.
Rarely did an older person appear. On the radio show I continued talking about health and nutrition. One day when I was talking with Dr. Linus Pauling about vitamin C and why we needed a great deal of it; not the 100 mg people were taking, but up to 10,000 mg and the phones blew off the wall. Approximately 50,000 people tried to call and couldn’t get in to talk to Dr. Pauling. (We had a clicker for every time someone tried and the line was busy, and the system blew out.) We had touched a nerve and realized there were people who were willing to take that extra effort.
Linus Pauling was a phenomenal human being. He was a real inspiration because he lived a higher ideal, and he was not afraid to get into an uncomfortable place, you know to push back barriers and to grow. And from then on the audience mushroomed until a year and a half later I had the largest afternoon audience in America. I then started doing non-commercial radio. Now I’ve been doing it uninterrupted for over 30 years and the listeners are still there.
TH: Dr. Null, the cover leaf of your landmark work Get Healthy Now! with Gary Null, introduced in 1999, stated the following: “This comprehensive guide to healthy living offers a wide range of alternative approaches to help you stay healthy. These may be approaches your conventionally trained doctor wasn’t taught in medical school. When used correctly, they may improve your health—or even save your life—as the better alternative to drugs, surgical intervention and other standard Western techniques.
The cover of the revised edition released in 2006 states the following: “The fully revised and updated edition to the national bestseller Get Healthy Now! includes new research and nutritional advice for treating allergies, diabetes, PMS, andropause, and everything in between. From healthy skin and hair to foot and leg care, and featuring an up-todate Alternative Practitioners Guide, Get Healthy Now! is your one-stop guide to becoming healthier from top to bottom, inside and out.”
Over the past seven years we have found Get Healthy Now! an invaluable profession al resource as well as a comprehensive personal guide. How did you accomplish the ambitious task of assembling the people and information needed to execute this landmark work?
GN: When I first presented the concept of Get Healthy Now! no publishers were interested in supporting the effort. It was basically because I wanted to draw information from resources around the world and verify the results individual doctors or clinics claimed.
The response was, “That’s an enormously expensive project and it will take years to implement. We suggest you just review the existing literature and write about it.” I said no and subsequently began the project without a publisher. Incredible when you consider I already had over 26 bestsellers.
I started with cancer, and when I learnedwho had been successful with cancer I had to prove it by my standards. My proof was there had to be a group of individuals whose records I could select—not cherry-picked from their files. Then I’d follow- up with those people five years after they’d been diagnosed with cancer. Diagnosed with a terminal illness that received no other therapy than the one the clinic or doctor had administered. And they had to be cancer free five years later. Of all the places I went there were only several that allowed me to do this. For example, when I went down to a noted clinic in the Bahamas, from 3000 patients I just randomly selected 500 and it took me months to contact them all. Then I had to obtain their medical records, verify the kind of cancer they had, and that they indeed had a high rate of reversal of their cancer.
I interviewed doctors from Germany, Panama, Florida, Houston, San Diego, New York City, etc. Doctors that had proved long-term cures of terminal cancer. At that juncture, if you were considered terminal, the statistics that you would live five years were almost zero. The fact the success rate of these practitioners approached a range from 15–25 percent cures of terminal patients was remarkable. And while they all had different approaches, they all involved supporting the immune system. And that is what I wrote about.
Then I investigated arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety, leg and foot problems, digestive problems and allergies. All conditions that many people are effected by. I didn’t go to the scientific literature, instead I went to the individual, plus I had my own long history of treating people. I wanted to see if the manner I used to help people in any way aligned with the way the health care individuals had helped. And indeed in many cases it was parallel. So at the end of this project, which took almost eight years of intensive research and travel, and thousands of interviews the final result was this enormous 1200 page book called Get Healthy Now!
Every person in the book is real and all the individuals benefited from the disease approaches documented while they had not benefited from orthodox therapy. So once we showed what was possible it became a mammoth bestseller—number two worldwide on Amazon.
TH: Thank you Dr. Null.