Sunday, December 12, 2010

U.S. Life Expectancy Continues To Fall - Where Are We Going Wrong?

According to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, American’s life expectancy is falling, not rising.

Not good. Our life expectancy should be increasing, shouldn’t it? After all, we spend more money than any other nation in the world on “health care”. We have more hospitals, more doctors, more nurses, more drugs, and more surgeries than any other nation in the world; so how are we LOSING LIFE? And why are we ranked 37th out of 39 developed nations by the World Health Organization in terms of healthiest nations?

Because we are also the most irresponsible, lazy, and marketed to nation in the world. We are raised with the immediate gratification, “pop a pill”, victim mentality. Victims of our genes, victims of germs, victims of bad luck. How is that working for us? How is the brainwashing by Big Pharma, Fast Food companies, and Big Government affecting us? It’s killing us. Not just in terms of health, but in every societal and economic sense.

Our society and economy are affected because we are continuously marketed to and exploited by Big Business and a government that doesn’t care about our health or our quality of life, only our money. This money focus trickles down to the minds of the public and leads to a mentality of “more”; which leads to a loss of priorities and ultimately, a breakdown of the family unit. Instead of being home having a family dinner, parents are working late to “keep up with the Joneses” and letting strangers raise their children.

What does this financial stress do to families and marriages? It destroys them. Don’t look now, but two parent households are a minority in this nation. Do you think that impacts the self-esteem of our children? Do you think their self-esteem affects our society? Before you answer that question, take a look at the number of children on anti-depressant drugs, at the number of school shootings, and at suicide rates from birth to age 25.

The only solution to this societal, economic, and health decay is accountability. Accountability to yourself for your health, for your happiness, and for your focus. And accountability to your children to be a role model as to how to live a healthy life. We have to stand in opposition to the mainstream and consciously CHOOSE health and consciously CHOOSE life.

What does that look like? Continuously, on a day to day, minute to minute basis choosing healthy nutrition, healthy exercise habits, and healthy relationships and attitudes. It means educating yourself and discovering true health care practitioners like Chiropractors that have your best interests in mind. It means being proactive instead of reactive. It means spending a few dollars today to prevent becoming bankrupt by chronic disease tomorrow.

If you don’t educate yourself and take interest in what’s best for you and your family, who will do that for you?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Agrarian View of Health

Agrarianist Wendell Berry believed and wrote that we live with and from others in extensive webs of interrelatedness. In other words, our happiness and health follow from the acceptance of responsibility for our interdependence. Put a third way, we cannot hurt the Earth without hurting our bodies.

In his essay, "The Body And The Earth", Berry has a section devoted to health. Although this selection was written in 1977, I think you will find that it is just as relevant today as it was 40+ years ago. Please read it, think about it, and begin to think about how you can change your approach to health.

In it he writes:

"It is therefore absurd to approach the subject of health piecemeal with a departmentalized band of specialists. A medical doctor uninterested in nutrition, in agriculture, in the wholesomeness of mind and spirit is as absurd as a farmer who is uninterested in health. Our fragmentation of this subject cannot be our cure, because it is our disease. The body cannot be whole alone. Persons cannot be whole alone. It is wrong to think that bodily health is compatible with spiritual confusion or cultural disorder, or with polluted air and water or impoverished soil. Intellectually, we knwo that these patterns of interdependence exist; we understand them better now perhaps than we ever have before; yet modern social and cultural patterns contradict them and make it difficult or impossible to honor them in practice. To try to heal the body alone is to collaborate in the destruction of the body. Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Blaming Bad Genes For Breast Cancer Is A Medical Myth

Article Of The Week:

Blaming Bad Genes For Breast Cancer Is A Medical Myth, Read Here

Doctor's Soapbox:

The studies continue to pile up! This one is from the journal Breast Cancer Research and the lead researcher found that "regardless of whether or not women have a family history of breast cancer, staying physically active, eating well, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption reduce their risk of developing breast cancer to the same degree."

What does that mean? That means that if you have a "family history" of breast cancer, so what. You probably have a "family history" of poor lifestyle choices like sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, smoker, drinker, and/or high stress job, home, family life. In other words, it's not genetic, it's familial. You learned how to live from your mother who learned from her mother. If you all learned the same poor lifestyle and live the same poor lifestyle, you'll all more than likely develop the same chronic disease; in this case, breast cancer. Yes, genetics play a role, but it is a role that is far overblown by the media and industries that stand to make millions of dollars off of you living the victim mentality (Pharmaceutical companies, medical-industrial complex).

So take control of your life and your health. Live an anti-cancer lifestyle. Eat well, move well, think well, get adjusted.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Human Genome Mapping A Failure In Finding Cures For Disease

Article Of The Week:

Human Genome Mapping A Failure In Finding Cures For Disease, Read Here

Doctor's Soapbox:
10 years ago, Bill Clinton announced that the complete human genome had been mapped. This was a huge day in science because the thought was that once we map the human genome, we can discover what genes cause what diseases and treat them accordingly by pharmaceutical methods. One quote by Francis Collins at the National Institutes of Health said, "you will see a complete transformation in therapeutic medicine."

10 years later, where are we? No better off. Medicine still has no answer for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity. The genomes are mapped, we know which genes and gene variants are linked to which diseases, yet disease rates are increasing across the board, not decreasing. Where is the pie in the sky? It's fallen on the faces of the medical establishment. You see, there are genetic factors that play a role in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. But far and away, the more important factor when determining disease risk and prognosis is environment/lifestyle. This was proven yet again in an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. After studying 19,000 women with heart disease and finding 101 different gene variants that contribute to heart disease, they found that the fact that the women had a gene that was linked to heart disease had zero predictive benefit over 12 years as to whether or not the women developed heart disease.

So what determined whether they developed heart disease? Their lifestyle. How they chose to eat, move, and think on a daily basis.

Harold Varmus, the president at the National Cancer Institute summed it up in one great line, "Genomics is a way to do science, not medicine."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

Study Finds Special 'Atlas Adjustment' Lowers Blood Pressure
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

March 16, 2007 -- A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests.

"This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination," study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. "And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems," adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can't feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in.

X-rays showed that the procedure realigned the Atlas vertebra -- the doughnut-like bone at the very top of the spine -- with the spine in the treated patients, but not in the sham-treated patients.

Compared to the sham-treated patients, those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number).

None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study.

"When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn't believe it. It was way too good to be true," Bakris says. "The statistician said, 'I don't even believe it.' But we checked for everything, and there it was."

Bakris and colleagues report their findings in the advance online issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Atlas Adjustment and Hypertension

The procedure calls for adjustment of the C-1 vertebra. It's called the Atlas vertebra because it holds up the head, just as the titan Atlas holds up the world in Greek mythology.

Marshall Dickholtz Sr., DC, of the Chiropractic Health Center, in Chicago, is the 84-year-old chiropractor who performed all the procedures in the study. He calls the Atlas vertebra "the fuse box to the body."

"At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain -- if the Atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line -- it doesn't cause any pain but it upsets these centers," Dickholtz tells WebMD.

The subtle adjustment is practiced by the very small subgroup of chiropractors certified in National Upper Cervical Chiropractic (NUCCA) techniques. The procedure employs precise measurements to determine a patient's Atlas vertebra alignment. If realignment is deemed necessary, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to gently manipulate the vertebra.

"We are not doctors. We are spinal engineers," Dickholtz says. "We use mathematics, geometry, and physics to learn how to slide everything back into place."

Atlas Adjustment and Hypertension continued...

What does this have to do with high blood pressure pressure?

Bakris notes that some researchers have suggested that injury to the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull. Dickholtz thinks the misaligned Atlas triggers release of signals that make the arteries contract. Whether the procedure actually fixes such injuries is unknown, Bakris says.

Bakris began the study after a fellow doctor told him that something strange was happening in his family practice. The doctor had been sending some of his patients to a chiropractor. Some of these patients had high blood pressure.

Yet after seeing the chiropractor, the patients' blood pressure had normalized -- and a few of them were able to stop taking their blood pressure medications.

So Bakris, then at Rush University, designed the pilot study with 50 patients. He's now organizing a much bigger clinical trial.

"Is it going to be for everybody with high blood pressure? No," Bakris says. "We clearly need to identify those who can benefit. It is pretty clear that some kind of head or neck trauma early in life is related to this. This is really a work in progress. It is certainly in the early stages of research."

Dickholtz has been teaching, practicing, and studying the NUCCA technique for 50 years. He says high blood pressure is far from the only thing an Atlas misalignment causes.

"On the other hand, if people have high blood pressure, there is a tremendous possibility they need an Atlas adjustment," he says.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stress-Induced Coronary Heart Disease

Stress Induced Coronary Heart Disease

Dr. Paul RoschBy Dr. Paul J. Rosch, M.D., M.A., F.A.C.P.

Here are a half dozen of the numerous mechanisms that link stress to coronary heart disease:

1. For those who still believe in elevated cholesterol, stress has a far greater effect than fatty foods as demonstrated in tax accountants as April 15 approaches, students on the eve of an important exam and several other studies. Stress also contributes to other risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

2. Stress can cause constriction of the coronary vasculature and increased platelet stickiness and clumping that promote clot formation.

3. Stress increases homocysteine, CRP and fibrinogen, all of which are risk factors or risk markers for coronary heart disease.

4. Stress causes increased deep abdominal fat deposits that contribute to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome with its varied and sometimes deadly cardiovascular consequences.

5. In addition to Type A behavior, hostility, excessive anger, stressful life events, depression, and anxiety, have all been demonstrated to cause coronary heart disease.

6. It has been proposed that unstable atherosclerotic plaque might actually represent a "microabscess" that resulted from an infection. There is surprising support for this theory, and it is well established that stress can increase susceptibility to infections.
Read the whole article here:
Paul J. Rosch, M.D., M.A., F.A.C.P.
Dr. Paul J. Rosch is President of The American Institute of Stress,
Clinical Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at New York Medical College,
Honorary Vice President of the International Stress Management Association and Chairman of its U.S. branch.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Diet-Induced Obesity Accelerates Leukemia

Article Of The Week:
Diet-Induced Obesity Accelerates Leukemia

Doctor's Soapbox:
The title says it all. Lifestyle choice causes cancer. Lifestyle choice (poor diet leading to obesity; "diet-induced") causes cancer (Leukemia). It doesn't get any more cut and dry than this. And this is straight out of the medical literature: Cancer Prevention Research.

Each and every day studies continue to show that the more they look at lifestyle choices and their influence on cancer, the more they realize that lifestyle choices cause at least 80% of cancer.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Fit Brain

The Fit Brain Mark's Daily Apple

You love the runner’s high, chiseled physique, steady energy, knock-out sleep, and that alluring post-workout glow. And, sure, there’s always the extraordinary cardiovascular benefit, cancer deterrent, anti-inflammatory impact, and age reversal effect. If that isn’t enough congratulations for your fitness endeavors, here’s more. Physical activity helps fortify your brain as well as your muscles. Yes, exercise goes to your head in dramatically healthy ways – throughout the course of a lifetime. Let’s examine.
Changing the Brain
Exercise supports the brain in a number of ways. Most obviously, exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which provides more oxygen and energy but also reduces free radical damage and enhances memory. Researchers also know that exercise stimulates the creation of new neurons and the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a chemical that is instrumental in neuron preservation and formation. And then there’s the impact on gene expression (always a favorite of mine). Exercise specifically promotes gene expression that supports plasticity, the brain’s crucial power to alter neural pathways.
A more recent study highlights exercise’s role in boosting the brain’s stem cell activity – essentially the ability to divide and differentiate throughout our lifetime. Research at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine shows that exercise moderates the activity of bone-morphogenetic protein (BMP), which reduces stem cell responsiveness in the brain. Within a weeks’ time, BMP levels were halved in lab mice that ran on a wheel, and an opposing protein called Noggin increased. As a result, the mice displayed remarkable adeptness in cognitive tests.
In addition to enhancing cognitive performance and stimulating ongoing brain growth, exercise also influences the chemical balance related to mood. Research has long connected physical activity with relief of depression and anxiety. Exercise not only stimulates the brain’s release of “feel good chemicals” like endorphins that induce calm and contentment but also supports the brain’s efficient use of dopamine by increasing the number of receptors and the time dopamine remains in the synapses (PDF).
When it comes to the “aging brain,” exercise rewrites the script on that notion. Physical activity can not only preserve brain function but can turn back the clock. As mentioned, exercise keeps the brain’s stem cells working efficiently over the course of a lifetime and preserve brain tissue density. The difference shows. When researchers scanned the brains of fifty-five subjects (ages 55-79), those with the fittest profile (as measured by their maximal oxygen uptake) showed significant differences in the frontal, temporal, and parietal regions of the brain, areas related to learning and memory functions.
Researchers have also found that sustained exercise improves cognitive measures in older adults already experiencing mild memory loss.
Which Exercise?
So, what kind of exercise and how much are we talking here? Science is currently chasing that one down. A Taiwanese study compared mice that played on wheel at their own pace versus mice that were provoked to run at fast speeds. Although researchers found changes in the brains of both groups, the mice that got the more intense workout sported more numerous and more cognitively complex alterations. Their conclusion? Different exercise elicits different changes. Other research, however, suggests that more intense cardiovascular activity spurs more dramatic improvements in cognition and memory. And let’s not leave out resistance training. A recent Canadian study found that resistance training improved executive functioning measures related to attention and conflict resolution. Moderate levels of exercise appear to be effective, but any level – and amount – of activity leaves a positive impact.
The evidence clearly shows, however, that exercise sharpens our mental acuity at any point in our lives. In children, of course, there are plenty of cognitive and behavioral benefits. Study after study (PDF) has demonstrated that physical activity boosts academic performance as well as cognitive related functioning itself in areas such as attention, planning, and organization. (Was there ever any question on that one?)
Most research, however, has focused on older adults who have either been active throughout their lives and those who take up exercise in their later years. The fact is, the more sustained exercise is over a lifetime, the better. Research suggests that a “cognitive reserve” exists in those who were active early in life. Every workout adds to the overall – and lasting – benefit. Finally, experts believe that the best impact comes from a potent synergy between exercise and good nutrition. Now where have I heard that one before?
Have a great day, everyone, and be sure to share your thoughts!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Burger with a side of Statins?

Article Of The Week:

Doctor Urges Fast Food Restaurants To Hand Out Statin Drugs Like Ketchup Packets, Read Here

Doctor's Soapbox:
I hope there isn't anyone out there that actually believes this is a good idea. This doctor, Dr. Darrel Francis of Imperial College London, recommends handing out Statin drugs at fast food restaurants to "offset the cardiovascular risk of the meal." Really? He thinks that taking the pill will offset the dangers of eating the fast food and all will be fine. How about this, fast food is a chemical concoction of toxic sludge. Statin drugs are a chemical concoction of toxic sludge. Last I checked, 1 + 1 = 2. This doctor seems to believe that 1 + 1 = 0. Take a toxic drug to offset a toxic meal and you're safe. RIDICULOUS.

As if the fast food wasn't bad enough to cause obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke; now the doctor wants to add liver and kidney disease by handing you a Statin. Other side effects of Statin drugs include amnesia, muscle breakdown that leads to kidney failure, CoQ10 deficiency which leads to heart disease, and erectile dysfunction just to name a few.

It is this kind of mindless recommendation by the mainstream medical model that has enlightened and educated citizens looking to the "alternative" practitioners for answers. Mainstream medicine is the #1 killer in the United States (Read Here), ahead of cancer and heart disease, and it's this kind of thinking and recommendation that has earned them that title.

What the doctor should be recommending is "Stay away from fast food!". That way, you won't be exposed to a cardiovascular risk and you won't have to take drugs to be "healthy". By definition, all drugs are toxic. After all, the only difference between a drug and a poison is the dose. Therefore, the fact that you are on a drug immediately makes you unhealthy.

True health does not come from pills. True health comes from providing your body with the proper raw materials needed to express health from the inside out. These raw materials are: proper nutrition from REAL, WHOLE food sources, proper exercise, proper mental attitude/stress levels, and an optimally functioning nervous system to integrate and coordinate the expression of the raw materials into a healthy you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mind-Body: Why the Disconnect?

Article Of The Week:

Mind Over Matter? The Psychology of Healing, Read Here

Doctor's Soapbox:

An often overlooked factor in health is the Mind-Body connection. For over 200 years, since Descartes promoted a separation of mind and body in medicine in the 1700s, mainstream medicine has neglected the mind in terms of its power to heal. Fortunately, science has recently taken steps to reconnect the mind with the body in the literature and in the healing arts. Unfortunately, this is not happening fast enough in mainstream medicine and a lot of patients are suffering and/or being exposed to far too many toxic treatments and prescriptions that would not be necessary if the mind was brought into the picture. The above article is perfect proof.

This article from the scientific journal Diabetologia studied diabetic patients (Type 1 and Type 2) that had foot ulcers. Foot ulcers are open sores which form when a minor skin injury fails to heal because of microvascular and metabolic dysfunction caused by diabetes. Up to fifteen per cent of people with diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, develop foot or leg ulcers with many suffering depression and poorer quality of life as a result. The researchers in this study found that "the way patients cope with the condition and their levels of depression, affect how the wound heals or worsens." Eureka!!!! Mindset matters! This goes right along with the findings of many other studies that have shown that the more depressed or negative a person thinks, the more often they are sick. Science continues to back this up folks, even if your medical doctors give no credence to it.
Lucky for you, "alternative" practitioners like myself do recognize and acknowledge the monumental contribution a person's mindset makes to the healing process.

Let's take this a step further, if your mindset determines how quickly your body heals an ulcer, do you think it also factors into how quickly you age, and therefore, your lifespan? Absolutely! Negative thoughts increase the stress hormone cortisol in your body, just like physical or chemical stress. The body reacts to all stress the same, regardless of the mode of input. Increased cortisol leads to increased depression by depleting the brain's stores of serotonin. It also leads to atherosclerosis and increased LDL cholesterol. Does that sound like a recipe for heart disease to you? And what is the number 1 killer and robber of lifespan in America? Heart disease. Does mindset matter? You bet your life it does!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mainstream Medicine Tries To Jump On Bandwagon

Article Of The Week:

Physician Competencies For Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine

Journal of the American Medical Association July 29th, 2010
Lianov, L., M. Johnson. JAMA. 2010; 304(2): 202-203.

Doctor's Soapbox:
Here is up to the minute proof that what I have been preaching week in and week out is the key to health. Even mainstream medicine is admitting it, and has been. Lifestyle is the key to health. The only difference now is not only are they giving it lip service, but they're trying to get medical doctors to start practicing it. There's only one problem, medical doctors do not have the education or knowledge to provide it. As the article says,

"Even though the most widely accepted, well-established chronic disease practice guidelines uniformly call for lifestyle change as the first line of therapy, physicians often do not follow these recommendations."

Why? If research has proven again and again that people with chronic diseases (cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, etc.) get better faster and live longer, higher quality lives when instituting lifestyle change as the primary treatment, why aren't medical doctors screaming this from the rooftops? There are a couple reasons. First and foremost is money. Medical doctors have 2 tools, drugs and surgery. Those tools are very expensive and very profitable, teaching people to eat better, exercise more, and reduce stress is not as easy to give patients and requires a lot more thinking by the doctor (plus there are no kickbacks from Big Pharma). The second reason, which stems from the first, is that medical doctors don't have the knowledge base or paradigm to teach lifestyle. As the article states,

"Physicians also have cited inadequate confidence and lack of knowledge and skill as major barriers to counseling patients about lifestyle interventions."

So who does that leave to provide true health and healing? What profession provides lifestyle "medicine"? Chiropractic, specifically, chiropractors with the Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioner (C.C.W.P.) degree through the International Chiropractic Association.

While medicine tries to bail out their sinking ship by jumping on the wellness bandwagon and failing because they don't know how that bandwagon works, take care of yourself and your family by learning how to live a wellness lifestyle from an expert: John Bartemus, DC, CCWP.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wellness Lifestyle Implementation Steps 7/18/10

Did You Know???: the first Chiropractic adjustment was given to a deaf janitor named Harvey Lillard in hopes of returning his hearing? Guess what, it did! The janitor wasn't born deaf, he had become deaf after a fall and remained that way for years until D.D. Palmer (the founder of Chiropractic) gave him the very first Chiropractic adjustment. A remarkable story, and a reminder that Chiropractors are not "back pain" doctors, they are nervous system doctors. They find the spinal cause of nervous system interference, remove it, and allow the body to operate and heal at an optimum level. Chiropractors cannot cure deafness but your body can when operating on all cylinders. Is your body operating on all cylinders?

Book Of The Week: The Diseasing Of America's Children by: John Rosemond, MS and Bose Ravenel, MD

Recipe Of The Week: Walnut Broccoli with Carrots

1/2 cup walnut oil
1 medium onion, sliced in rings
2 large carrots, sliced diagonally 1/8 inch thick
2 large stalks broccoli, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup raw shelled walnuts

Heat oil in heavy skillet and saute onion until tender. Add carrots and broccoli and stir-fry until tender yet crispy. Add walnuts and cook 3-5 minutes longer. Serves 2.

Quote Of The Week: "Don't let someone else's opinion of you become your reality." Les Brown

Goal Of The Week: Go the entire week without watching the news. Realize how positive your world becomes.

Article Of The Week:
Meditation Helps Increase Attention Span, click here

Doctor's Soapbox:
What is the cause of an inability to concentrate or "shut your brain off"? Stress. When we are stressed out, we sacrifice our ability to concentrate, or pay attention, for the ability to increase alertness. This is important evolutionarily because when we were under the stress of a sabertooth tiger attack we didn't have to memorize a grocery list, we had to be alert and aware of any and all escape routes. Today, we aren't battling acute stressors that could take our lives as often as we did back then. Now we face chronic stressors that kill us slowly. While we're under this stress, the same physiology applies, we trade attention span for alertness. So if you find yourself unable to concentrate, or have been "diagnosed" with ADHD, try meditation to decrease stress levels and bring your body back to balance. You will find your ability to concentrate improves very quickly.


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