Health seminar to focus on chronic disease education

For those who are struggling with chronic illness, or know someone who is, naturopath Brian D. Jones and his wife, Ellen F. Cook, hope to help.

“We’ve had a good turnout each time,” said Jones of previous seminars. “Our focus is on immune stimulation and nontoxic approaches to human health and nutrition.”

Jones, who works at Shine Natural Health in Santa Barbara, Calif., gives lectures in the area twice a year. This spring’s talk, “Immune System & Lyme, Cancer & Chronic Disease Education Seminar,” will focus on building immune systems, how stressors promote disease and more.

“We conduct them in the spring and fall and get a full house each time. A lot of people have had success in approaching Lyme disease with natural approaches of stimulating the immune system,” he explained.

“We found that out from AIDS, that you can’t just put different types of antibiotics and/or antivirals or medications. You must also support the body and immune system, as well, in a dual approach so that the body takes this over.”

The health seminar will be held on Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the media room at the Frankford Public Library. Sponsored by the Frankford library and Good Earth Market, it is free and open to the public.

“In general, it’s for people who are dealing with or have friends or family with a chronic disease and are looking for natural approaches, and/or to complement their present strategies,” he said.

“What’s nice about natural approaches is they’re cumulative and progressive. You slowly get better, and you feel these changes in your body. You have more energy, more stamina. People notice that you look better, you look thinner. There’s a natural tendency to get more lean muscle tissue and less fat tissue as you begin to process food better.”

Jones said he and Cook will present a workable model that people can then understand and implement in their own lives.

“We like to give folks research-based materials they can take home to then employ into their own health plan,” he said. “It’s an explanation and instruction as to how to use these multiple tools — how much, how many and how often, with the ultimate goal of being healthy.”

Jones will also discuss adaptive and depressed immune systems.

“The body learns through antibodies and other adaptations to adjust and, hopefully, beat these diseases or at least sequester them to where we’re it’s not harming us,” he said, noting that the adult form of chickenpox, known as shingles, is an example of a depressed immune system.

“That’s due to a depressed immune system as we age, and depressed enzyme systems that are keeping these diseases in check as we age. If we’re keeping healthy, there’s a tendency to keep them in check. If we’re not, there’s a tendency for them to come out.”

Jones will go into detail, giving information on specific types of vitamins, minerals and lifestyle changes that people can use in their daily lives.

“Like sugar,” he said. “In the year 1900, the average intake of sugar in the United States was about 9 pounds of sugar per year, for each individual. In the year 2000, 100 years later, the average consumption per person per year was 190 pounds of sugar… If someone cuts back on sugar, yes, they begin to see decreases in candida populations in their gut and throughout their body.

“When someone cuts back and starts to consume more fats and proteins and less sugars, they start to see the body become healthier. That’s just one small change.”

Another way to help maintain health, Jones said, is to have proper vitamin D levels, which he said many people lack.

“You still need to supplement, but especially on the East Coast, where you have a lot of cloud cover, long winters, rain and bad weather — particularly December through February are really tough months because of the extremely low vitamin D levels, which coordinates with the flu season.”

He added that people should focus on eating more fruits, vegetables and biologically alive foods, such as yogurts and miso soup.

“When you have all these things in place, people get healthier. Knowledge is power, and people feel very empowered when they get information.”

The seminar will also focus on Lyme disease treatment, as Jones said is a growing issue nationwide.

“The Lyme disease issue has gotten to be so large — not only here, but in the Delaware/Maryland area on the Eastern Shore is the second largest infection area in the country behind Connecticut.”

He noted that with a dual-pronged approach to treating Lyme, results can be seen. However, he said, it is a slow process.

“I have a patient who had been on antibiotics for Lyme disease for 20 years… She made choices with her entire team here, and now she’s not on antibiotics and she’s working on developing her immune system. Her test scores are increasing, and she’s getting healthier… She’s in her second year of recovery with it.

“Oftentimes, it takes us a really long time to get chronically ill. Usually, in natural medicine, it’s one month of recovery for each year you’ve had some kind of chronic condition. That’s where natural medicine really shines — with these chronic conditions. It’s a combination of nutrition, supplements, homeopathic preparations and other complementary strategies.”

Jones added he works alongside conventional doctors to treat a disease from all angles.

“This is a really united front in approaching the Lyme disease. There are so many great conventional doctors and health practitioners that are working with us. We’re beginning to make some inroads to this, as people grasp the urgency to develop and alter the negative health practices that we humans do.”

Jones said he became interested in natural medicine after battling his own health issues.

“It’s a really interesting approach, which is why I’m in it. I found answers to my own cancer scare and Lyme disease infections through natural medicine, and that’s why I’ve pursued it,” he said. “It’s given me the ability, at age 63, to be out surfing three times a week out here in Southern California, lead a fulltime job, garden and exercise. I lead a fuller, higher quality of life.”

While Jones will be discussing natural approaches to chronic disease, Cook, a trained therapist, will discuss a mental approach and how it affects health.

“As we explore the new frontier of how the mind works with, what are the roles with past traumas? What’s the role of old wounds, scars, emotional tolls? We’re seeing it come to the forefront with combat veterans, people with PTSD or abuse victims, and what affect that has on their physical health later on in life,” explained Jones. “We understand that has a key role in creating body health, too. If we’re used to something — we’re always waiting for that dramatic situation to happen again and that wreaks havoc on our immune system.”

Through his years of practice and teaching, Jones said he has been able to see how offering knowledge has helped empower those who are struggling with illness.

“What I have seen is the empowerment that is given through various educational opportunities. Understanding something and having knowledge of how something works and performs is both empowering and a healing event in and of itself,” he said.

“The joy I get from introducing these research-based principals in natural medicine — people grasp them, they make sense to them, and all of a sudden they’re ready to move on these kinds of things, because they understand… People see results — that’s why they’re pursuing it.”

Jones said he would like to bring hope to those attending the seminar who are dealing with chronic diseases.

“Just hope — for many people there is none with chronic disease. They’ll go from health practitioner to health practitioner. They’ll go from medication to medication… People lose hope with chronic diseases,” he said. “Cancer has touched so many families. It affects not only the victim but the entire family, because it brings things to a grinding halt because it’s so consuming.”

Jones added that he hopes everyone who attends will bring friends and family, and learn about how to better their health, as well as the health of their loved ones.

“Let’s get a dialogue going about this,” he said. “We really need to take care of one another, and this is a great way to do it.”

Frankford Public Library is located at 8 Main Street in Frankford. For more information, visit or call (302) 732-9351. For additional information on treating chronic disease naturopathically, contact Jones at or (610) 587-4198. Cook may be reached at Jones and Cook offer consultations nationwide, in-person, and via email, phone and mail. For more information on their practice, visit