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About Howard

A Florida native, Howard is originally from Ft. Lauderdale and grew up in that part of South Florida. Never having lived more than fifteen miles from the beach, he now lives in Satellite Beach, approximately 800 feet from the sand and the waves.


Howard Northrup didn't always have Optimal Wellness... 

As far back as he can remember into elementary school, Howard struggled with a runny nose from allergies. By his teenage years, he developed bronchial asthma. That condition kept him from many activities, due to his dependence upon a rescue inhaler that was always in his pocket.

A New Health Problem

At age 25 and working at a stressful job in the computer industry, Howard started noticing blood with bowel movements. He tried making changes that he thought could have been causing it (e.g. heavy weightlifting or too much beer drinking), but had no success. So he went to a doctor who recommended a "lower G.I." test (barium enema) to figure out why there was bleeding. He was referred to a gastroenterologist doctor, who prescribed a drug for the problem. But the side effect from that drug was intense headaches that made working difficult. When Howard told the doctor about that, the doctor said that he was ready to double the dosage. That seemed like a really bad idea from a doctor who wasn't listening to his patient. 

So Howard went to another G.I. doctor for a second opinion, which got him two different drugs to try. But he also switched jobs to a much less stressful position and the bleeding stopped. The problem would return occasionally over the next few years whenever he was in a stressful situation either at work or in his personal life.

"Managing" Health Conditions

By the time Howard was 30, his asthma wasn't well-controlled, so he started having regular appointments with an asthma and allergy doctor. This doctor put him on five prescription drugs (pills, inhaler, and nasal spray) to manage his allergies and asthma. The doctor also ordered a skin prick allergy test. The nurse who conducted the test told Howard, "We'll have to call you 'Mr. Allergy' because you're allergic to just about everything!" In fact, one of the allergens put under his skin caused such a bad reaction that the nurse had to end the test and give Howard an antihistamine shot to stop the out-of-control allergic reaction.

While his asthma and allergies were "managed" by the prescription drugs (man-made chemicals that are foreign to the body), he realized that he was also regularly getting whatever illness "was going around," (a cold or flu) at least once a month. Fortunately, a co-worker friend, Roger, who had learned about natural supplements told him that he probably just needed more vitamin C than he was getting from his diet. Roger had already tried that and noticed improvement in his health. 

Having never gone to a health food store or knowing what type of vitamin C to buy, Roger told Howard that they could make a quick trip to a nearby health food store on their lunch break so he could buy some vitamin C to try. Roger recommended that Howard take one tablet of 1,000 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day for a while to see if it helps. The government's Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C at that time was 60 mg, so this was more than 15 times that amount! But Roger told him that it had been proven to be safe at that dosage.

After taking vitamin C daily, Howard went three months without a single cold or flu and the only thing that changed was adding vitamin C, He happily shared his success with his asthma/allergy doctor. Unfortunately, he quickly learned that doctors are taught in medical school that vitamins and supplements are a waste of money and will just give the person "expensive urine" as it goes through the body for no benefit. But Howard didn't listen to this uninformed doctor because the results he was getting had already proven the doctor wrong.

A few years later, the computer company that Howard worked for had a layoff, which he was included in. Having worked there over 15 years, he would get 15 weeks of severance pay and stay on the company's health insurance plan until the end of that period. Knowing that he'd have no insurance to pay for all his prescriptions in less than 4 months, Howard headed to the library to start researching ways to treat his asthma and allergies without drugs.

He started by reading three books cover-to-cover on vitamin C by Dr. Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize recipient who had spent many years researching vitamin C, including using it intravenously (I.V.). Howard took lots of notes from his reading, then took Dr. Pauling's specific recommendation on how to increase his daily vitamin C dosage safely until it reached a point where the intestinal tract couldn't handle any more, known as Bowel Tolerance. He didn't reach that point until he was up to a dosage of 32,000 mg per day! So, as Dr. Pauling recommended once reaching Bowel Tolerance, he reduced his dosage to 28,000 mg per day and stayed at that daily dosage for years. During the process of increasing the dosage every few days, he noticed that he no longer had asthma attacks and his allergies were nearly non-existent! As it got closer to his health insurance coverage ending, since he had already stopped going to the asthma/allergy doctor regularly, he gradually decreased his prescription drugs until he was taking none. He still had no asthma attacks or allergy problems. He realized then that he was healthier at that age than he was ten years earlier!

The Path Toward Massage Therapy Begins (and A Health Problem Returns)

At age 39, Howard learned about a form of energy healing called Reiki (RAY-kee) from a massage therapist he went to for help with his job stress. During the session, she used Reiki to heal an abdominal hernia that Howard had since a childhood bike accident. Fascinated by that, he borrowed books from the massage therapist and signed up for a Reiki Certification course. At the end of the course, Howard had a feeling that his asthma may have been healed in the process, so he started lowering his daily dosage of vitamin C. Once he reached 9,000 mg a day, he stayed at that level, since that's what Dr. Pauling recommended that amount for healthy people. The asthma was gone...healed by Reiki energy! Howard continues taking 9,000 mg of vitamin C daily because of its many benefits to Optimal Wellness.

Later that same year, Howard's intestinal bleeding problem returned, but this time, it was with occasional diarrhea and weight loss, so Howard started researching what could help him. He went for sessions with a Reiki Master for touch healing energy work, which wasn't helping the condition. He then went to a Naturopathic Doctor, who used kinesiology muscle testing to see which supplements he needed and what dosage of each, then started him on some specific supplements. They helped some, but after a few months, he decided to see a Chinese doctor who gave him acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs. After a few visits, the doctor told Howard that he was improving, but he was continuing to lose weight (more than 40 pounds at that point) and was also losing energy. So he gave up his quest for a natural medicine solution and headed to the hospital Emergency Room.

The G.I. specialist at the hospital diagnosed Howard's condition as ulcerative colitis and started him on a steroid and two prescription drugs to try to get it under control. The specialist told him three things that all G. I. doctors believe about his condition: 

  • there is no cure for this condition 

  • it's unknown what causes it

  • diet has no effect on it 

Since Howard also had lost too much blood, he was given a transfusion pint. On his third and final day at the hospital, the doctor sent a licensed, degreed Nutritionist into his room to give him recommendations on how to put the weight he lost back on. She recommended eating good quantities of pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread. After about one week of eating more of those foods, his condition worsened and he lost another 10 pounds. He called the G.I. specialist's office, but all the doctor could recommend was that he take a multivitamin.

Learning More About Natural Remedies from Real Health Experts

After two weeks out of work and no improvement in sight, Howard regained enough energy to get on the internet to try to find information on ways to help his condition. He found a Usenet Group for Crohn's disease and colitis and quite a few users in the group were recommending a book with a diet that helped them tremendously. So Howard bought the book and it explained the ROOT CAUSE of his health condition--many of the carbohydrates being eaten are not broken down by people with this condition, so the author developed a Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) that recommended avoiding all the carbs that aren't digested properly. This including everything from table sugar to complex carbs, especially pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread--the exact same foods that the licensed, degreed Nutritionist at the hospital recommended to him and made his condition worse!

After three days on this strict SCD diet, Howard had significant improvement in his intestinal condition! The book stated that most people experience a leap in progress at the 3-week point and, on the 22nd day of the diet, he made a significant leap in progress with his condition. The following day, he went for a scheduled colonoscopy. Afterward, the doctor reported that his colon (large intestine) was "too far gone" and needed to be removed surgically. Since Howard already started seeing major improvements in his condition just from diet changes, he told the doctor he'd have to think about that surgery for a bit. However, he had no plan to have that surgery by a specialist 1) who didn't know what causes the condition or its damage, 2) who didn't know how to heal the condition or its damage, and 3) who thought that diet has nothing to do with it! 

What Howard was told was just disinformation from a doctor who hasn't done any research, very similar to both the licensed nutritionist at the hospital and the asthma & allergy doctor who gave him so much disinformation nearly ten years earlier.

Due to the lack of energy caused by the condition, Howard was out of work for 12 weeks. During that time in 1999, he started listening daily to a nationally-syndicated call-in radio show called Duke and the Doctor, with Jan McBarron, MD. She knew many natural options to offer callers for their health conditions, so Howard started taking notes from her show for future reference. He learned a lot of natural methods for treating a variety of health conditions and began putting some into practice for his own health and sharing what he learned with family and friends for their health conditions.

After 2 years on the strict SCD diet, Howard began reintroducing foods that he had been avoiding while his colon healed. But every so often, his condition would start to return and he would have to go back on the strict diet, but never gave up. For the next 13 years, his condition kept improving, due to his trying various natural remedies that he read about in health newsletters and in research studies. He was determined to find the FINAL solution to heal his colon for good! 

One Last Necessary Natural Treatment

At age 55, Howard read about a proteolytic enzyme that had the ability to "digest" scar tissue in the body. This supplement was recommended for people with a past history of ulcerative colitis, due to the intestinal lining's process of bleeding, then healing over with scar tissue--that scar tissue could never function like healthy intestinal lining tissue, which is what kept bringing on the occasional colitis flare-ups. Within 3 months of taking this enzyme supplement, Howard's intestinal function was nearly perfect and even better than it had ever been throughout his adult life!


Looking Back...

By age 60, Howard realized that he was healthier than he was at 50...and was healthier at 50 than he was at 40...and was healthier at 40 than he was at 30! This is how the journey to Optimal Wellness works--taking new health information that is learned and applying it to continually improve our health! 

In July of 2020, the Florida state government abolished the law that allowed only degreed nutritionists to teach the public how to get healthier. Armed with over 30 years of studying natural health, that change made it possible for him to become a Health Coach to teach clients who are ready to take the journey to Optimal Wellness. By late 2020, he completed a course from an institute that certified him as a Certified Health Coach (CHC).

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