Recapture Your Health:
The 3LS Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Illness

This information is excerpted and adapted from the book, Recapture Your Health, by Walt Stoll, M.D. and Jan DeCourtney, C.M.T. Feel free to use any of this information in an article or story as long as you quote the source and ordering information for the book (at bottom).

Do you have chronic nuisance symptoms that youd like to be free of, like recurrent headaches, insomnia, or allergies? Have you been struggling with a chronic illness, going from doctor to doctor in search of answers, only to find no solution? Are you tired of expensive lab tests or repeat treatments that dont seem to be helping? Worse yet, are you without health insurance or have you been turned away by the medical establishment with a story or the opinion that “it’s all in your head”?

There is hope for you, and you might find it surprising. The most important thing you can do to improve your health does not require a doctor. How can we say this? In our more than 38 years of professional experience working with thousands of patients struggling with a wide variety of conditions, we have found one particular path to wellness most reliably and effectively helps the largest number of people with the greatest success. We recommend this path to you as the most important thing you can do to improve your health -- and that is in your hands, not your doctors.

This path to health is called the 3LS Wellness Program. Named after the image of support, stability, and balance of a wooden 3-Legged Stool, the "3LS" Wellness Program consists of the three practices most likely to help improve anyone's health condition: Relaxation, Diet, and Exercise. We have found the most effective practice of these three is accomplished as follows:

  1. Practicing an effective form of Skilled Relaxation for 20 minutes twice a day. Skilled relaxation means any relaxation technique or practice that induces a deep state of relaxation of both body and mind (characterized by an alpha or theta brainwave). You can use a practice you already know or learn a new one. Examples of relaxation practices include affirmations, applied relaxation, autogenics, biofeedback, breathing techniques, chanting, imagery, meditation, mind machines, progressive relaxation, self-hypnosis, t'ai chi, or yoga. Any technique that induces a relaxed state can be used.
  2. Following a Whole Foods Diet. A Whole Foods Diet means eating foods which are whole. Whole foods have not had any essential part taken out, so their nutrition is complete. Whole foods include all kinds of fresh and frozen vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fats, herbal teas, and certain condiments and seasonings. This means eliminating foods from your diet that are refined (some part has been removed). Thus you would not eat, for example, grains in the form of white flour or white rice, and vegetables which have been peeled such as peeled potatoes. Also totally eliminate all sugars, alcohols, caffeine, and starches.
  3. Finding and doing the Right Exercise for you. Right exercise means regular exercise (at least 3 times a week) of any kind sufficient to create a positive, sustained improvement in your metabolism and how you feel. This may gradually lead to doing Aerobic Exercise 20 to 30 minutes, 3 or more times a week.

These three practices work together. This seems simple -- almost too simple to have an effect. However, these practices are fundamentally interconnected, and each enhances the effects of the other. Careful practice of the three parts of the 3LS Wellness Program can greatly enhance your health overall, and many chronic symptoms will clear up totally. The benefits of the Wellness Program come from helping your body heal itself, because thats the only way you can truly be healthy.

If you have a specific health problem or chronic condition that you are wishing to heal, for fastest results, start the 3LS Wellness Program and practice all three parts as perfectly as possible for at least six months to a year. This intensive short-term health benefit program will help you the fastest. If you just want to increase your energy, improve your concentration, lose weight, feel more confident and self-assured, and lift your spirits, practice the same program, but you can do it a little less perfectly.

By doing these three practices regularly, your doctor will likely become amazed to see your symptoms disappearing, and you, too, may become surprised at how much better you feel and how much more energy you have.

After you are feeling better, continue practicing the 3LS for maintaining that good health, as well as for preventing countless health problems. It is all right, and often a good idea, to practice the three legs of the 3LS Wellness Program diligently forever.

To begin: Choose the aspect of the 3LS that interests you the most -- Relaxation, Diet, or Exercise -- and start making it a part of your life. After you've done that practice for a while and feel comfortable with it, add another one. While you can start all three practices simultaneously (if the main focus of your life is health improvement), most people do better starting with just one. So pick the one practice you would enjoy doing the most, and begin there.

How the 3LS Wellness Program works: The 3LS aims toward enhancing the function of the bodymind. The term bodymind describes the reality of how closely the function of mind and body are interrelated. Anything that really helps any part helps the whole, because everything works together and is interconnected like a spider's web. The 3LS improves the web of a person's total function, which allows the bodymind to do the job of rebalancing and healing itself. The human bodymind is really the most powerful tool that we have for healing and preventing illness.

Rest and relaxation provide energy for the body to heal itself. Skilled Relaxation (SR) combines with diet by relaxing the digestive tract so that it can better digest and absorb nutrition. SR combines with exercise by relaxing tightly bound muscles, thus creating a more mobile and efficient body, which can then exercise more efficiently. Skilled Relaxation in particular helps discharge stored stress from the brain.

A good diet carries nutrition to the body for repairing damaged structures and functioning efficiently. A Whole Foods Diet combines with Skilled Relaxation by giving the body the nutrients it needs to repair and heal itself during times of rest and relaxation. The Whole Foods Diet combines with Exercise by providing micronutrients for good metabolism, which supports the exercise process. A very strict Whole Foods Diet, in particular, helps decrease biophysical stress.

Exercise provides strengthening, circulation, and efficiency to all parts of the body. Exercise combines with Skilled Relaxation by discharging tension, which helps the body relax more easily. Exercise combines with a whole foods diet by circulating nutrients to all parts of the body. Aerobic exercise, in particular, improves metabolism and increases energy, which especially helps decrease all forms of stress.

A wooden 3-Legged Stool balances well on all three legs. Similarly, the 3LS Wellness Program is most effective at rebalancing your health when you do all three practices comprehensively and simultaneously. Practicing only one or two parts of the Program will still bring you health benefits. However, there really is a synergy or power generated by doing all three aspects of the program simultaneously. The quickest, and best results, are obtained by utilizing all three legs at the same time.

The best way to avoid and resolve many chronic health conditions is to be too healthy to have any of them! This general outline of the 3LS will benefit most peoples health. There are further specifics for achieving the most efficient reversal of chronic symptoms using these practices. However, even just beginning to follow the very general guidelines presented in this article will start you on a path of health and healing. So if youd like to stop seeing your doctor so frequently, take your health into your own hands! Save money, time, and frustration by becoming your own best doctor.

Walt Stoll, MD, and Jan DeCourtney, CMT, are co-authors of the book, Recapture Your Health: A Complete Step-by-Step Program to Reverse Your Chronic Symptoms and Create Lasting Wellness, (ISBN 0965317129), available at local and online bookstores, and from Sunrise Health Coach Publications, 1-877-357-9355 or "".

Recapture Your Health by Walt Stoll, M.D. and Jan DeCourtney, C.M.T., (Sunrise Health Coach Publications, 2006)
Order at, 303-527-2886, or toll free at 1-877-3LS-WELL (1-877-357-9355)
Contact/info: Jan DeCourtney,, 303-527-2886,

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