Before mid-1930s, health care in America was composed of many approaches. There coexisted a diversity of medical schools, each addressing a different facet of the healing arts. It was in the late 1930s that young Ralph Weiss was trained at the American School of Naturopathy in Manhattan, New York, under the guidance of Dr. Bendict Lust, the father of naturopathy. Dr. Weiss' path has crossed many of the pioneers of the naturopathic movement, including Kellogg, Pfeiffer, Shelton, Lee, Bragg, Walker and Howell, to mention just a few. Among the many patients he worked with was Edgar Cayce, the Sleeping Prophet. It was he who named Weiss his "reluctant healer." Whether by accident or fate, here is a personal look at a life dedicated to helping others in the gentle art of using nature to heal.
Steven Bailey, ND, is an internationally recognized authority on juicing and therapeutic juice fasts. He lectures worldwide and is the author of more than 150 articles on natural health. The founder of The Northwest Naturopathic Clinic in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Bailey is also the author of The Fasting Diet and coauthor of Juicing Alive—Second Edition.
1. The Reluctant Healer
2. Looking Back
3. An Early Journey
4. Healing with the Spirit
5. The Windy City
6. Home at Last
7. Travels Afar
8. The Big Apple
9. A Full Practice
10. The Good Life
12. A Change in the Air
13. Lighting the Way
When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I am a naturopathic doctor—a healer who uses proven natural remedies to help relieve pain and suffering. I also think of myself as a student, always open to the information that is imparted by both other practitioners and patients. And while some view my profession with a degree of skepticism, the need for a commonsense natural approach to health care is crystal clear. For over one hundred years, modern naturopathy has provided millions of patients with practical, safe, affordable solutions. Yet, as a healer, I have continued to search for more—something that would enable me to see beyond my own training and experience—a revelation, if you will. And to my surprise, something remarkable did occur. What began as a chance encounter, if there are such things, turned into a rare opportunity to learn and grow, for I was fortunate enough to meet a remarkable individual who had experienced firsthand the development of modern naturopathic medicine. This was a person who was not afraid to be guided by his spiritual beliefs—a teacher who could help me connect the dots in my own life and create a picture of remarkable clarity and meaning.
While I may be part of the tale, as you will see, this is first and foremost the story of Dr. Ralph Weiss, an unassuming naturopathic doc who never sought the spotlight but was satisfied to walk in the company of giants. Ralph, as he prefers to be called, is a man of strong faith in his God and in his many God-given talents—a seeker of wisdom and truth who is willing to share his knowledge with others. This book is a blend of my conversations with Ralph, told both in my words and in his. Beginning with our first encounter, it examines the spiritually driven naturopathic way through Ralph’s experiences. You will follow Ralph from childhood to manhood and will learn about the many events that helped shape his healing philosophy. You will also discover that he was destined to cross paths with many of the spiritual leaders from around the world, including famed psychic Edgar Cayce. As Dr. Weiss’s patient, it was Cayce who referred to Ralph as his “reluctant healer.” Why he did so was a simple matter of viewpoint.
Both before and after Ralph’s experiences with Cayce, he studied and worked with some of the leading figures of the natural health movement. You will meet these individuals, see how they contributed to Ralph’s health-care approach, and witness how his ever-growing skills were applied in the treatment of his patients. You will also explore his passion for music, his Christian faith, his interest in the healing arts of other cultures, and the subtle yet powerful effects of the voice of a spirit unseen. And throughout the book, you will discover the fascinating history of naturopathic medicine in America—a system of healing that was attacked by mainstream medicine but, due to the conviction and commitment of its practitioners, not only survived but ultimately thrived.
As of this writing, Dr. Weiss is alive and in good health. He continues to seek knowledge and wisdom as he remains fully engaged and active in his life. Edgar Cayce once told him he had never met anyone so intent on finding the truth, and today, he is still a humble seeker. It is my hope that in the following pages, through Ralph’s experiences, you will continue your own search for truth—about health, about wholeness, and about life.