Q & A with Sydney Ross Singer

Sydney Ross Singer, along with his wife Soma Grismaijer wrote the book "Get it Out! Eliminating the Cause of Diverticulitis, Kidney Stones, Bladder Infections, Prostate Enlargement, Menopausal Discomfort, Cervical Dysplasia, PMS, and More" amongst others. This book details how our cultural taboos about dealing with our own bodily functions have lead us to a number of health conditions – including bladder infections. I was very grateful for the opportunity to ask Sydney some questions.

Sydney Ross Singer: Author of Get it Out! Eliminating the Cause of Diverticulitis, Kidney Stones, Bladder Infections, Prostate Enlargement, Menopausal Discomfort, Cervical Dysplasia, PMS, and More
Sydney Ross Singer

Q In regards to bladder infection, one of the biggest recommendations you make is to go when you need to and not hold on. Can you explain if this is more of a problem if you are repeatedly holding on or if it is essential to always answer the call of nature on time?

A Any time you hold in urine the pressure builds leading to discomfort, which can develop into pain. This is clearly not good for you, and should be avoided if possible. But far worse is the daily holding in of urine, which repeats the injury to the bladder, ureters, and kidneys.

Small things we do each day that seem minor at the time, add up to large problems over the long haul.

Q One of the questions I had when reading your book was - how I do I break this cycle? I don't have children yet but when I do, how can I teach them to use the toilet without setting them up for future pain?

A You need to explain to children the importance of urinating and defecating when they feel the urge and to not hold it in. Toddlers in diapers show they need to use the toilet in their facial expressions, and parents need to be sensitive to those signals. Ideally you would live in a place where your toddler can be naked, so you can quickly direct them to the toilet without having to take the time to remove the diaper. This speeds up toilet training.

The next challenge is to use public toilets at school, etc., which could be a challenge depending on how your child perceives those places. Some kids hate public restrooms and prefer holding it in. You need to talk about this with your child to make sure holding it in does not become a strategy for not using a public restroom. The important thing is to make sure your child appreciates the need to answer Nature's call, but don't make such a big deal out of it that it becomes a big issue. And if you have a dog, make sure you observe its elimination needs, too.

Get it Out! Eliminating the Cause of Diverticulitis, Kidney Stones, Bladder Infections, Prostate Enlargement, Menopausal Discomfort, Cervical Dysplasia, PMS, and More
Get it Out!

Q I have been reading a little recently about the benefits of squatting to do your business. Most of the information on this has been to do with the bowels but I did wonder if this would also translate to the bladder. Have you got anything to add to the squat debate?

A Whatever feels comfortable. Try it and see if it makes any difference to you.

Q I have personally noticed a correlation between my bladder infections and my stress levels. While I hear of stress being linked to heart attacks and stomach ulcers, I don't often hear about it in relation to health as a whole. What kind of impact do you think stress has on overall health and wellbeing?

A Stress causes lots of problems, including tight muscles which impairs circulation by compressing veins and lymphatic vessels. Circulation is essential for the delivery of nutrients to the tissues and the removal of waste products. Your immune system is also linked closely with your mind, so stress can amplify immune reactions, resulting in allergies and auto-immune disease, or it can exhaust the immune system, resulting in infections and cancers. Stress also causes people to hate their lives, and sets up self destructive behaviors in a psychological attempt to eliminate the stress.

So I would say stress is one of the most harmful things to the body and mind.

Q It wasn't until my mid 20's that I realised that I needed take responsibility for my own health and stop letting "experts" - like doctors, be responsible for looking after me. This is a continuing evolution for me and I learn more all the time. I know that in your self studies you are helping people to take their life into their own hands and help them to listen to their own bodies. What kind of results do you find people are getting?

A People who try the Self Studies we recommend usually find it life changing. By changing lifestyle habits and attitudes we can eliminate and prevent many health problems. But it takes someone who wants to change their life, not just continue doing what they are doing and run to a doctor for a pill.

Antibiotics or pills are the most common treatment from a doctor for a bladder infection
Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed treatment for bladder infections.

It requires taking responsibility for your own health. And change is not always easy. In fact, since most of our bad habits are sold to us by the culture, and constantly reinforced with commercials and bad advice from "experts", people are trained to conform to cultural pressures and not challenge them on their own. Those with the self determination to try Self Studies, however, are glad they listened to their bodies over the culture.

Q Do you think that there is a preference for finding "cures" or treatments rather than discovering causes which can prevent the problem? If so, what do you recommend we do about this as individuals to become more prevention focused?

A Of course, in our culture disease detection and treatment are big business, so prevention is downplayed. The important thing is to listen to your body and feelings. Do what feels right for your body, and you will probably be making the right choices that will prevent disease. But it's not really about thinking about prevention of disease, since this is still disease focused. It's about thinking about health and being happy.

Prevention then is a side effect of healthy living.

And we all have our own needs for health and happiness, so we all need to answer to the voice within as our personal guide.

Q I'll admit, I am a little biased against doctors. As a child I watched them treat my mother for cancer, which was incredibly painful. As an adult I found doctors quite unsympathetic to my questions – preferring instead to give me pills and send me away. While I try to stay neutral I think that it does influence my thinking and the way I approach my health. I know you once planned on becoming a doctor. Do you see doctors as an important part of our cultures path to wellness?

A Doctors are one of the leading causes of disease. Our culture conditions us to be ignorant about how our bodies work, and we then are told to rely on doctors who make money on our sickness. I suggest you see my book, The Doctor Is Out! Exposing the High Blood Pressure, Low thyroid, and Diabetes Scams.

Q One of the things I have enjoyed most about the books and articles I have read from you, is the way that you have made your information really accessible. It is easy to read, often humorous and is in stark contrast to some of the dry medical research papers I have struggled to read. How important do you think the way you convey information is when teaching a health message?

A The answer depends on your goal. My teachings are to empower people with self knowledge. Most healthcare information is to empower the healthcare provider and druggist. Medicine is intentionally mystifying to the public, to make people feel they need the doctor. Remember that the first responsibility of all experts is to maintain their status as experts, which requires others are kept ignorant.

Q You and your wife, Soma have now researched and written a number of books about how culture can affect health. What is it about this mixture of culture and health that keeps inspiring you?

A Culture is the cause of most of our disease. If you want to prevent disease, you need to address the cause, not just treat it forever, as medicine does.

Q If there is one message which you would like to share about health, what would it be?

A Enjoy your life, listen to your body, get close to nature and animals, and stay away from doctors.

Sydney Ross Singer is a medical anthropologist as well as the author of several controversial health books. He lives in Hawaii with his wife, Soma, where they work to promote health and sustainability.

Urine Trouble: An article by Sydney on eliminating the cause of bladder infections.

You can visit their website killerculture to learn more.

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