June 13

Book Review: The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness


The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness, essential oils, herbs, first aid, reflexologyI recently had the opportunity to read The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness. This book was written by Julie Behling-Hovdal, with Rebecca Potter, M.H. and Col. Edward Behling (Ret.) This is an interesting reference book covering some points that are sorely under-addressed, and alternative therapies that have had little exposure in preparedness communities.

Early in the book, I completely identified with Julie’s story about how she became interested in holistic health. Julie was suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and the negative effects of pharmaceuticals. She was able to take control of her own health and wellness through a combination of therapies, including Reflexology, Accupressure, Aromatherapy, Herbalism, and nutritional/dietary changes. Julie combines this with her knowledge of first aid to come up with a very unique book filled with alternative protocols for both minor and major situations.

Of these various alternative therapies, Herbalism and Aromatherapy (the use of essential oils) are the most familiar to preppers. For those that may be unfamiliar with the more energetic-based therapies, I’ve personally used each of these modalities in my massage practice, in my herbal practice, and in my own life. During my labor with my daughter, my husband was able to perform Reflexology and Accupressure that I taught him. I needed no pain medication. I was aware of contractions and their surging pressure, but I can’t say they were very painful. I highly recommend learning Reflexology and Accupressure.

What This Book Is

What this book provides is an organized and extensive body of conditions and complaints followed by protocols involving first aid, essential oils, herbs, Reflexology and/or Accupressure, and nutritional approaches where appropriate. The topics span a very wide range of conditions and remedies, including allergies, women’s health, men’s health, broken bones, tick bites, the GAPS Diet, Antibiotic Resistance, and sanitation concerns.

What This Book Is Not

While there are basic skills discussed, the book is not a replacement for a proper training. Julie provides many resources for you to do exactly that. She also provides Reflexology and Accupressure charts at the back of the book, so you don’t have to carry both this book and additional books or charts. This is a quick reference book on an amazing number of health and wellness topics, not an in-depth training in any one of these skills.

For the essential oils and herbal recommendations, the book leans heavily on product recommendations, as opposed to individual recipes that you make yourself. The products referenced are available for sale on her website. Since this is a book review and not a product review, my comments on this will be very brief. There are two points I would like to make:

  1. Purchasing ready-made blends of herbs and oils can be a very convenient starting point for those who are not already familiar with herbs and essential oils.
  2. For those who are already experienced with essential oils and herbs and blend our formulas, the individual herbs and oils used in the blends are listed if you would like some inspiration for your own remedies.

The specific brand of herbal formulas referenced are Dr. Christopher’s. I have no experience with them, and therefore cannot comment in a meaningful way about them. The oils referenced are Young Living. I don’t do the MLM thing, and most Aromatherapists will recognize some of the company’s talking points. However, looking at the specific recommendations Julie has compiled- and she has compiled a LOT- there is much common ground between what I learned in my own training and with the individual oils in her protocols.

Another aspect that I really do appreciate about her book is Julie’s focus on preventative health. It’s really so much easier to maintain health than it is to regain it after an illness. The Guide has many helpful sections specifically addressing preventative healthcare.

The writing is on the wall, folks. There are tough economic times ahead, and plenty of uncertainty regarding healthcare access. It’s time to learn necessary skills and stock up on supplies now. In addition to first aid classes and stocking up on “Vet Meds”, I encourage everyone to keep an open mind and learn about the various holistic healing modalities that exist.

To purchase a copy of, The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness, please visit Julie’s website here.


Accupressure, Aromatherapy, essential oils, Herbalism, medical preparedness, Reflexology, Wilderness First Aid

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