Hans Frischeisen

Photo By David Robert

After Hans Frischeisen finished his training in the field of naturopathy in Germany in 1961. (Naturopathy is a system of medicine founded on the belief that diet, mental state, exercise, breathing, and other natural factors are central to the origin and treatment of disease.) Soon after, he emigrated to Canada, wandered into a sales career with IBM and in 1990, retired in Reno. He is now the owner and president of Everlasting Health Center, a store that sells health foods and supplements, and provides information and consultations. Frischeisen is also known for adventuring across continents by kayak, bicycle and foot. In a gentle, German-accented voice, passionate but measured, Frischeisen delivers a thoroughly diagrammed answer to a short question.

What are some things people can do to avoid catching a cold or a flu?

There are various ways of approaching that. … Homeopathy … herbs, and there’s another field and that’s diet.

Basically, I think in our American society, people look for a quick fix. And the quick fixes normally are pharmaceuticals. They work fast, but they have drawbacks. In my opinion, principally, they have side effects. They are toxic, they rob the body of nutrients. So, maybe that’s not the best approach.

The next approach would be to do something similar, naturally. What comes to mind particularly is colloidal silver, maybe echinacea, [or] goldenseal, which has similar action as a natural antibiotic. So that is not really going to the source of the problem. That’s a little bit of a quick fix, but a natural quick fix. So that’s number two.

Number three is to build the immune system, and the best way is via antioxidants. The one that stands out is vitamin C. Unbeatable. There are many others. There’s alpha lipoic acids. There’s elderberry. There’s astragalus. Pau d’arco. Cat’s claw.

To me a true physician would work with the [the immune system] rather than using any other approach. … It’s your best ally. And to me, the true physician would tone, strengthen, support and work with this immune system for results. Unfortunately, you don’t find a lot of true physicians in that sense. Western medicine basically tries to label a disease, by a diagnosis, and then has an arsenal of pharmaceuticals, and they bombard the disease directly. And they ignore, bypass and quite often even work destructively on the immune system.

Now let’s come to the fourth category, which is the one I practice, and that is prevention upfront. You’ve heard of such obvious things as washing the hands, or staying away from people who are already infected. But I think I like to go a little deeper than that. For me, the last time I had a bout with the flu, with one exception, was 1972. If you can, through prevention, build your immune system to optimal levels, theoretically you should never be sick.

Since 1972, I had one bout with the flu. It lasted not very long, 4 days or so, and it was at a time when I allowed my immune system to slip.

So what will build the immune system?

Obviously, your diet has a lot to do with it. I think we can not escape the fact that we are what we eat. So if we eat poorly, then we’ll have poor results. If we eat, particularly organic, fresh foods, particularly vegetables and fruits that are rich in nutrients and enzymes, then we will end up with balanced nutrition.

The next one I’m thinking of is exercise. Our body is not designed to sit and rest. It should be active, and by being active we reactivate the nine major body systems, and they have to be active to in order to be balanced. And when they are balanced, you set the platform for the maximally functioning immune system.

Next is sufficient rest. We live in a very stressful world. And the stress is not only by deadlines to meet, all the things going on, but the stress is in the individual cells. They’re exposed to a lot of toxic assaults. So rest is not just, what comes to mind first is just possibly sleep. But there’s also maybe meditation that’s restful. Listening to wholesome music. Maybe a leisurely walk. Through nature. Or reading a good book. Anything that is really restful.

The next one is probably grossly misunderstood in this country, and that is to cleanse. We live in a very toxic world and that’s inescapable. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, all have a certain toxic levels. And unfortunately a lot if that is cumulative. As that grows in the body, this toxic level, it’s only a matter of time before it starts to compromise the immune system. That’s the first thing I think that gets compromised. And when that happens, you’re now in a vicious cycle. Your defense mechanism isn’t up. You catch the colds, the flus, the allergies, all those things, rather easily. And what people do now is they fight the symptoms. And that’s OK. … However, the real underlying cause of all of that, in my opinion, is toxicity that is in our system, that is kind of strangling the immune system from being at optimal strength. This sounds, I know, very simplistic. But if it’s as simple as I’m stating, the solution is just as simple. Bring it down. Cleanse.

All right, so if you do that, one very effective method of doing that is fasting. I fast every 6 months for about 2 to 3 weeks. It’s something that many people just are horrified to hear. “What? Go without food? I can’t do that.” But in reality it’s quite easy if you really try it, and if you know how to do it. That will bring down the toxic level.

So we covered four of those five pillars. What would the last one be? Any idea what that might be? There will be a written test after this.

It’s the attitude. It’s your disposition to what’s life. If you’re a cheerful person, you feel good, strong, let’s say happy about life, most likely you’ll never be sick. You seldom see happy people sick. On the other hand, once you’re sick, it’s a little tougher to be happy again. If you go through life and you think, “Why me? Why me?”, then you are the person that gets it. It’s coming your way, because you sort of invite it with negativity.

It’s almost like in my trips, how often do you hear people say that the French don’t like Americans? If someone comes with that attitude—hey, the French don’t like me—it most likely will happen. But if [I] ignore that and come with all my patience and suffering and—let’s call it love—there will be an echo, I promise. I’ve never in all my trips experienced a time where hospitality was refused to me. …

To sum it up, it’s probably most inviting to share with people what works for yourself, your own experience, and since I have this background of having had enormous health, may that be genetic, may that be because I consider myself fairly young—I’m only 64—but I think it’s lifestyle. You live right, you will see the results, and if you don’t, then you will feel that too.

Disease does not come from the sky. It does not fall from anywhere into our laps. It is something that we create. So by the same token, we can create, knowingly, purposely, a strong immune system, and if we work on that, chances are that we might never be sick. To me, sickness is not normal. Even though we have come to accept that having a flu once or twice, or a cold once or twice a year, is a normal thing, it is not, should not be. Health should be normal. Amen.