Science for Sale?


www.bamachiro.com

“Let the researchers do the research,” explained a friend whom I consider to be both educated and intelligent. This was in response to all the “soccer moms” doing their own research about vaccines. I vehemently disagree because I’ve learned a thing or two about how research gets reported and applied. Still, it got me to thinking about how critically important research, and our ability to trust research is.

After all, parents research everything from prenatal vitamins to strollers to find the option that best suits their needs. Why not vaccines? If you truly believe that the case for vaccines has been settled, then how do you explain the sheer volume of people not accepting the vaccine story? Most of these people tend to be intelligent, well-educated, and wealthy, and their ranks include doctors, pediatricians, PhD’s, and immunologists, not to mention folks with enough study under their belts to qualify for a degree. I mean, even asking the question is enough to get you publicly hammered. Right, Katie Couric?

Among the many, many reasons to carefully research before you choose to force a cocktail of potent poisons into your child’s flesh is the fact that you cannot unvaccinate a child. Also, you the parents, and no one else, will be responsible for whatever the outcome is. Those two things alone are motivation enough to research. All that is required of researchers is the ability to read and critically think. And maybe Google. That’s it.

It’s important to research, because you find very interesting things. For example, Hooker, et al., released a review article in Biomed Research International titled, “Methodological Issues and Evidence of Malfeasance in Research Purporting to Show Thimerosal in Vaccines Is Safe.”

Basically, this paper refutes the SIX studies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses to calm people’s fears about thimerosal as bad science and using 165 studies to demonstrate a link between Mercury and Autism. The CDC can’t find a link, but Hooker finds 165 of them.Mercury

If the CDC, your State Health Department, and your doctor all tell you that vaccines are safe and that they have not been shown to cause autism (which is not exactly the same as “do not cause autism”) but 165 studies show the opposite, what’s a parent/researcher to think? Who can you trust? The charge of “malfeasance” should be more than troubling. And it certainly isn’t going to make people like me less inclined to question.

At the heart of this matter is not whether to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. And frankly, getting distracted in a senseless debate is destructive, no matter what side you find yourself on. The heart of the matter is informed consent. People without accurate information cannot render informed consent. Informed consent is necessary, whether convenient or not, and speaks to the core of individual liberty.

The science of vaccine safety isn’t settled. Neither is the science of vaccine effectiveness. Not when vaccine researchers, the ones paid to do the primary research, lie and fake data.  Not when vaccines like the DTaP fail to protect.  Not when the concept of “herd immunity” or “cocooning” is bastardized and falsely attributed to a vaccinated state.

Misinforming people and then performing procedures isn’t just fraud; it doesn’t just damage the public trust; it is assault. To assault masses of people is to declare war on them. The Nuremberg Trials punished war criminals and the Nuremberg Code was established to protect free peoples from War Crimes.

Am I reaching here? Overblowing it just a bit? This is bigger than vaccines. Parents are having their children confiscated, based on conflicting medical opinions.  An otherwise healthy baby was taken from its mother because she questioned a vaccine.

Not all of this is happening based on science and research, but there is a clear trend of assault and bullying of the individual by hospital staff, Child Protection authorities, the news media and federal agencies, like the CDC and the FDA. Scientific studies are used as the common link of evidence-based practice, as they should be. But if we can’t trust the science, what then?

Ben Goldacre has a popular video on TedTalks that highlights some additional failings, faults, and fixes of our current research and publish model.

 

The more emphasis we put on science, especially in healthcare, the more we need real assurance that the science is impeccable. Currently, profitable science is promoted, and even “doctored” to make it more profitable. Science should never be for sale.arm-wrestling

 

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Are You Sticking Your Neck Out?


Your desk chair, steering wheel, and smart phone are trying to kill you.

Did your mom nag you about your posture like mine did? Turns out she was right! Deviations from normal posture can and will impair normal, healthy function in your body. Here’s how:

The Architect of the human body may have shared the basic design with many other creatures, but in mankind, the structure turned upright. This freed those front legs to do other things like create masterpieces of engineering, or change the TV channel with the remote. Standing upright requires the spine to support the weight of everything above the hips, roughly half your body weight.

As adults, we don’t usually think too much about the balance of standing. It took a long time to get there, though. What takes some four-legged creatures just a few minutes to learn, typically takes a human one year to accomplish and several years more to master. The neurology of standing and moving upright is many times more complicated than being on all fours.

Situated at the very top of your body is your head. It has a specific center of gravity that is easy to see. From the front, the head should rest in the middle between the shoulders. From the side, the ear hole should be located directly above the middle of the shoulder.

The most significant and common deviation I see in practice, is the head moving forward of this position. It’s called Forward Head Posture (FHP). This posture is associated with arthritic spinal degeneration, a narrowing of the spinal cord canal which is called stenosis, disc herniation, loss of spinal curves, vertebral subluxation, headache, loss of range of motion, and other issues. Additionally, as the head moves forward, the leverage to cause damage increases.

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These changes aren’t limited to the biomechanical. The main trunk of the brain-body connection, better known as the spinal cord, runs right through there. Postural distortions affect neurological function both directly and indirectly. When you disturb neurological function, you necessarily disturb the body’s ability to heal and regulate.

Any activity that juts the head forward encourages this posture. Desk posture, driving posture, mobile device posture, TV watching posture, even book reading posture encourages FHP. Very few activities specifically counteract it. Look around. How many people will you see today with FHP? All of them are at increased risk for accelerated wear and tear, premature aging, and a host of health complications.

Even if we could, simply eliminating FHP promoting activities wouldn’t reverse the damage. Activities including core-strengthening and flexibility are helpful in supporting proper posture and may help reduce some of the effects. The key to it all is a properly aligned and functioning spine. Nobody is better at helping you achieve that than your friendly neighborhood chiropractor.

Choice and Chance in the Land of Healthcare


For thousands of years, coughs, fevers, throwing up, and other disgusting symptomatic expressions have served as a stark warning of the presence of sickness. Unless you have specific training, signs like these evoke a visceral, stomach-turning response that is impossible to miss. For these thousands of years, infectious disease has been the number one threat against the individual. Infectious disease takes advantage of every other kind of hardship to break us down and destroy us.

To avoid that destruction, we have learned through these long generations to avoid any possible sign of sickness and to assume that the lack of symptoms means “no news is good news.” We have come to view sickness and disease as the result of an outside agent that steps in and robs us of our health. The proposition and subsequent discovery of micro-organisms solidified this idea firmly in the mind of those disposed toward rational, scientific thought.

In the early 20th century, this led us to seek to eradicate microbes by any means necessary. Antibiotics, a major medical advancement, showed tremendous promise as a capital weapon in our war on germs. This promise was relatively short lived though. We soon became aware that the very weapon we wielded with impunity against our foe was creating a new generation of germ that thwarted our every attempt to contain it. Instead of eradicating the foe, we were causing it to become only more dangerous and deadly.

Predictions as recently as 1955 painted a very rosy picture of the upcoming new millennium and beyond. Women would appear forever young. Man would live well into his 2nd century. Infectious diseases were to be eradicated. Cancer would be contained. The common cold a distant memory. And so on. Meanwhile, diseases that had previously been conquered are showing up as superbugs, including tuberculosis, staph and the latest, gonorrhea.

According to the CDC’s Top Ten Leading Causes of Death, the only infectious disease that still makes the top ten is the flu. Flu makes the list only when exaggerated and combined with pneumonia. Almost none of the diseases and conditions on the Top Ten list are likely to have early symptoms or to be infectious. Why do we use a healthcare strategy, based on the chance that we can use the presence of symptoms to protect us from the things that aren’t our primary threats? It is a systemic and cultural failure to adapt. In nature, failure to adapt is lethal.

What has become clear is that the primary threats facing American health are related more to choice than to chance. We choose to value a lifestyle and pace of living that require our bodies to be in top condition to keep up, while we choose to neglect or abuse our body at every turn.

Take another look at the diseases and conditions in the Leading Causes of Death and see if you don’t see a rampant pattern of abuse and neglect.   Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems related to chronic organ dysfunction of the lungs and kidneys. (Not to ignore suicide, which could be the poster child for abuse of the self.) We can’t legitimately claim that consequences of long-standing physical and emotional abuse happen by chance.

Why do we sit around and do stuff we know is harmful to our health? There are three main reasons:

  1. The consequences aren’t immediate and there’s no “one thing” we’re doing (or not doing) that is the cause of the problem. It’s just not that simple. The cause is cumulative, just like many other modern problems.
  2. The incentives to be healthy contradict cultural norms and values. Our culture values convenience, sensuality, and time efficiency. Natural, healthy foods, as an example, can be convenient, but that limits variety. Variety is one way we satisfy the sensuality value. They are also commonly less time efficient because you are left with ingredients requiring preparation instead of pre-packaged ready to eat items.
  3. A false sense of security when it comes to healthcare.guardrailWe tend to think of the healthcare system as a safety net, because in a way it is. It is a great system for helping someone avoid death in a crisis. But when the crisis arises from a long series of choices we make as individuals, it is limited in how it can help those who choose not to help themselves. It can no more protect you from the cliff than a good guardrail. It may give you a second chance, but it will eventually fail.

We have to realize that the steering wheel is in our hands and that with planning and action on our part, we can make a big difference in our own health outcomes. Right now, we’re #50 in the world. I know we can do better.

This is why the message of Chiropractic is so important. Health and healing come from within. You were made to be healthy. When you disturb normal function, you necessarily disturb the natural ability of the body to express health. Nowhere is this more true than in the nervous system. It is the master control system of the body. It is the part that gets disturbed through vertebral subluxation. That is why Chiropractic exists. That is why Chiropractic saves people money on their healthcare expenses. That is why you should make the choice to get checked and improve your chances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Boasts 51st Highest Life Expectancy


For falling to the 78th percentile, the US gets a:

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It’s time to take a hard look at the “Health Report Card” of the US. According to the CIA World Factbook, the most recent data ranks the US behind 50 countries, including South Korea and Puerto Rico, in life expectancy. In 46 countries, including Kuwait and Croatia, mothers are more likely to survive birth. There are 50 countries, including Cuba and Guam, where babies are more likely to survive their first month.

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2011’s Life Expectancy Estimates

We are the 18th fattest country in the world, twice the rate of Switzerland.

Alabama is the 47th healthiest state. When we compare just Alabama to the above charts, the results get even worse.

There is hope. Shortcuts like low-fat, trans-fat and artificial sweeteners are being exposed as frauds. We are, as a nation, realizing that good health is a direction and not a destination. Fads and cheats do more harm than good. To have a strong body, each part needs to be strong and all of those parts need to work well together.

Nutrition, exercise, and sleep are most affected by our daily decisions. There are apps and pen-and-paper charts that can give you a report into what you are really doing and how often.  Attitude is a crucial component, too. These things are all interdependent and synergistic, building on each other for better results. That’s good news.

To get the most out of efforts in these areas, it is vitally important that your body be able to function without interference. The part of your body that manages and coordinates all function is the nervous system. Most people are unaware that they live with nervous system interference, called vertebral subluxation.

Vertebral subluxation is “silent” the same way that hypertension and early cancer are. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get it specifically checked. The same is true for vertebral subluxation. Your chiropractor is specifically trained to check you.

Living with subluxation limits your potential to heal, to regulate and to thrive. In my practice, I’ve seen it result in agonizing headaches, chronic ear infections, and asthma, as well as body aches and pains. I’ve seen families who had trouble having kids, become fertile. Chronic conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) respond and quality of life is improved without the nasty effects of toxic and dangerous drugs. When correction is applied, many of these conditions improve or resolve without any other treatments.

You were made to be healthy. No matter where you are today, you can move in that direction!

High Blood Pressure


What if there was a safe, non-toxic method for dealing with high blood pressure? What if, instead of waiting for weeks to get an appointment with your cardiologist and having to remember to take medication EVERY DAY, there was another, possibly even more effective option?

Did you hear the news about how a chiropractic approach to health resulted in an improvement in blood pressure? The participants of the study  experienced an average of an 22 point decline in blood pressure verses the control group. This is equivalent to what 2 separate medications usually provide.

As the authors of the study point out, this should not be used as a “treatment” for high blood pressure, and it may not work for everyone. However, if you have high blood pressure, and 70+ million Americans do, you may benefit from having your spine checked.

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Bakris G, Dickholtz M, Meyer PM, Kravitz G, et al. Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. Journal of Human Hypertension 2007;21:347-352