Monday, December 29, 2008

Nutritional Deficiencies May Weaken Immune Response

Researchers at Cornell University reported that nutritional deficiencies may weaken immune response. They noted the importance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and probiotics to support immunity. (Calder PC, Kew S. "The immune system: a target for functional foods?" Br J Nutr. 88 Suppl 2:S165-77, 2002)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chiropractic Christmas Poem

Chiropractic Christmas Poem
Author Unknown
T'was the day before Christmas,
but there was no cheer.
No jingle bells jingled, no sound of reindeer.
The word had got out that Santa was sick.
There'd be no friendly visit from jolly St. Nick.
The people were sad; no gaiety sounded.
For Christmas had come,
but Santa was grounded.
He walked down the street,
and what should he see?
On a small sign was printed, Dr. Tang.
Now, Santa was not one to like a new tactic,
But all else had failed, so he'd try Chiropractic.
He entered the office and saw at a glance
In a place such as this illness hasn't a chance.
For all were smiling; the music was snappy,
With all the patients contented and happy.
In a very short time, to judge by the clock,
He was in the adjusting room, talking to Doc.
"It must be the hurry, the tension and all.
I simply can't seem to get on the ball.
Life used to be easy, just toys, guns and whistles.
Now I have to dodge fall-out,
space ships and missiles."

"And Doc, take a look at the size of this pack!
Have you any idea what it does to my back?"
Poor Santa was miserable; just barely able
With the help of the doctor, to get to the table.
The doctor was gentle. Without fuss or tussle
He examined the vertebrae
and relaxed the muscles.
He spotted the trouble, and then with a click,
Started aligning the ailing St. Nick.
And Santa felt aches and pains slipping away.
In no time at all he began to feel gay.
The air was a tingle with a new fallen snow.
And a healthy Kris Kringle was rarin' to go.
As he went out the door, he threw all a kiss.
Why, it has been centuries since
he'd felt as good as this!
Then once more he shouldered the bag full of toys.
His heart overflowing with true Christmas joys.
So, may we, your friends, echo this cheer?
Merry Christmas to you
and to all a good year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Depression Linked to Increase in Abdominal Fat

Dutch researchers made the connection after studying adults
ages 70 to 79

(HealthDay News) -- There may be a link between depression and
abdominal obesity in older people, according to researchers in
Holland who studied almost 2,100 adults in their seventies.

The participants were screened for depression at the start of
the study (four percent had depression) and their levels of
abdominal and overall body fat were recorded and then checked
again five years later.

After the researchers adjusted for socio-demographic and other
factors associated with weight change, they concluded that
depression was associated with an increase in abdominal fat and
visceral fat (fat between the internal organs).

"Such an association was not found for an increase in overall
obesity and also appeared to be independent of changes in
overall obesity, suggesting that depressive symptoms are rather
specifically associated with fat gain in the visceral region,"
wrote Nicole Vogelzangs, of VU University Medical Center in
Amsterdam, and colleagues.

There are a number of ways that depression may increase
abdominal fat, the researchers said. Chronic stress and
depression may activate certain brain areas, resulting in
increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which promotes
accumulation of visceral fat. Or it may be that people with
depression have unhealthy behaviors, such as a poor diet, that
interact with other physiological factors and boost levels of
abdominal fat, the study authors said.

"Our longitudinal results suggest that clinically relevant
depressive symptoms give rise to an increase in abdominal
obesity, in particular visceral fat, which seems to be stronger
than and independent of overall obesity," the researchers

"This could also help explain why depression is often followed
by diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Future research should
further disentangle these mechanisms because this will yield
important information for prevention or treatment of
depression-related health consequences."

The study was published in the December issue of Archives of
General Psychiatry.

About 10 percent to 15 percent of older adults have depression,
the researchers said.

Common Knee Injuries, Uncommon Sense

The growth of organized amateur sports over the past 30 years has spawned an unexpected and unwanted increase in sports-related injuries. Many young athletes suffer sports-related injuries that can turn into lifelong problems.
To learn why our knees are injured so frequently, it's important to know how the knee works. The knee joint is composed of four bones: the femur, the tibia, the fibula and the patella. Cartilage covers the joint and provides a smooth, lubricated gliding surface so the knee can move. The shape of the knee joint is stable, but to function properly, the ligaments have to be in good shape, too! Those ligaments include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
While the ACL works as the main stabilizer when the knee is bent, the PCL works as the main stabilizer when the knee is extended. The collateral ligaments are used when you move side to side. The medial and lateral menisci are located within the joint and act as "shock absorbers" and also influence knee stability. The most commonly injured parts of the knee are the ACL and the medial meniscus. Tears of the meniscus usually take place during twisting, pivoting, or decelerating movements, or as a result of direct impact.
A vast majority of people, young and old, excessively pronate. This means that when the foot hits the ground, it flattens out or unlocks, rolling inward and creating a twisting stress up the leg and into the knee. These twisting stresses do three things to the knees: stretch the ACL, stretch and twist the medial meniscus, and inhibit contraction of the quadriceps muscle.
Common sense tells us to prevent the excessive damaging motions by supporting the foundational structures (your feet) so they function within the functional range of motion. Many chiropractors now evaluate the quality of the arches of the feet. If the arches aren't supporting the legs and pelvis sufficiently, it can create stresses that lead to injury or joint wear and tear. It's just like the foundation of your house; if it settles too much, it creates stress in other parts of the structure.
Take a proactive step to avoiding injuries and preserving the health of your knees, hips and spine. After all, you know what they say about "an ounce of prevention." Ask your doctor for a thorough foot evaluation, particularly if you're experiencing knee pain or participate in activities that put you at risk for a knee injury.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Escape the Stress Web

Stress affects nearly everyone, but some people handle it better than others. And the simple truth is the people who are good at dealing with stress live healthier and happier lives compared to people who struggle with stress. The good news is if you are one of the many people who get caught up in life's sticky web of stress, you can get untangled and stay untangled. Keep these tips in mind the next time you're feeling the pressure:
Stay clear of the drama. As Rudyard Kipling writes in his poem "If," if you can "keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you," you'll be able to keep your cool under pressure and tackle your challenges much more effectively.
Lighten up! Many of the things you worry about won't occur, and worrying cannot help those problems that invariably do take place.
Say or do the opposite of what you are feeling. When someone or something pushes your hot buttons, you may feel justified to react with anger, but this negative reaction only brings more stress to the situation.
Override your pride. Think of a time in your life when you insisted that you were right and another person was wrong. Did this really bring you more happiness, or did it just create more stress for both of you?
Appreciate life's little detours. Each time you have to pick yourself up to get back on track, you learn important lessons and develop new skills that will help you in life.
Stress in many forms is common in society, and it's a problem because it can rob you of your health, happiness and potential for greater success. Talk to your doctor about ways to minimize stress and escape the stress web for good.

30 Minutes a Day May Keep Strokes Away

As little as half an hour a day of moderate exercise may reduce your risk of suffering a stroke, say researchers at the University of South Carolina's Prevention Research Center. Thats good news because stroke is the nation's third leading cause of death.
The research was presented recently at the International Stroke Conference in New Orleans. Researchers studied more than 61,000 adults at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas. After taking an initial treadmill test to assess fitness, study participants periodically answered health surveys. The study divided subjects into four levels of fitness and then looked at how many of them suffered strokes, following them for an average of 18 years. Overall, there were 863 stroke events during the study: 692 in men and 171 in women.
The study found that the most fit men had a 40 percent lower risk of stroke than the least fit men, while the most fit women had a 43 percent reduction in their risk of stroke compared with women in the least fit group. For moderate levels of fitness, the risk reduction ranged from 15 percent to 30 percent for men and 23 percent to 57 percent in women. These risk reductions held true even when considering other known risk factors for stroke, such as smoking, weight, high blood pressure, diabetes and family history.
Many people think they don't have the time to exercise regularly, but all it takes is 30 minutes a day, five days a week - definitely worth it, considering the health and wellness benefits. Your doctor can help outline an exercise program appropriate to your fitness goals.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Reading Is Fundamental

We eat for a variety of reasons – because a particular food tastes good, as part of socializing, boredom, or just because the clock says, "Time to eat!" Occasionally, we even eat because we are actually hungry. Unfortunately, too many Americans consume foods (processed and packaged) that contain one or more of the following ingredients: enriched wheat, trans fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) and high-fructose corn syrup. These three ingredients are prevalent in our food supply – yet they are basically "empty calories," lacking any nutritional value. In addition to the health benefits of avoiding these three ingredients, you can also avoid many chemicals and additives by association.

Enriched wheat: The word enriched actually sounds pretty healthy. The whole wheat contains the bran, germ and endosperm. The refined wheat kernel has had the bran and germ removed. The majority of the nutrients are in the bran and the germ. These include many B vitamins, healthy fats, minerals, fiber and more than 99 phytonutrients known to prevent disease. What is left is the endosperm. The endosperm is ground into flour and bleached to produce the popular white flour. Most flour is then enriched with five ingredients: niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid.The enrichment of five synthetically produced nutrients from questionable sources, (thiamin mononitrate is derived from coal tar from China) does not make this enriched grain a source of superior nutrition.

Trans fats: Trans fats are clearly not superior nutrition. On the front of a food package, the manufacturer may state, "Zero trans fats." However, when you look at the list of ingredients, you may still see the words "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil," which is just another name for trans fat. This means even though the front of the package promises zero trans fats, the product actually contains trans fats! Because it is less than 0.5 g the government has allowed them to ROUND DOWN.

High-fructose corn syrup: Most people are consuming gallons of it in their sodas, fruit juices, cakes, cookies, breads and even health food products. HFCS entered our food supply in the early 1970s. This man-made sugar is exceptionally sweet, so manufacturers can use less. It is also very cheap, so manufacturers have higher profits. HFCS metabolizes differently than sugar and may be responsible for higher triglycerides. It also does not cause the release of the hormone leptin, which makes us feel full. Therefore, a person can eat a package of cookies and several sodas and not feel full, which, of course, can contribute to obesity.
So, what can you do? Avoid all products with these three ingredients. Choose more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, dairy, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains. Flavor them when necessary with natural sweeteners and fats that have not been created in a laboratory. Remember, if people have been eating it for hundreds of years, it is probably OK to eat, because humans are still here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Toxins in the news TODAY

I can't believe 3 consecutive news articles in USA Today 12/8/08 talks about toxins. More reasons to detox. News - Top Stories
» Health risks stack up for students near industrial plants
The growl of air-monitoring equipment has replaced the chatter of children at Meredith Hitchens Elementary School in this Cincinnati ...
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile
» 'Weird' smell set off probe at Ohio school
The toxic chemicals that led to the closure of Meredith Hitchens Elementary School here became impossible to ignore in 2004, ...
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile
» Toxics can affect kids, adults differently
Outside almost every school in the country, the model used by USA TODAY indicates the presence of at least one or two chemicals ...
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile
» Militants: Camp tied to Mumbai attacks raided
Two militants say Pakistani troops have seized a camp used by the extremist group blamed in the Mumbai attacks.
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile
» More than 2,000 gather at Pearl Harbor to mark 1941 attack
About 40 survivors of the 1941 Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday marked the anniversary of the assault that ...
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Detoxifying' Foot Pads are a Scam

An NPR experiment on Kinoki foot pads tested to see if they'd drawn anything out of a reporter's body.
Reporter Sarah Varney and her husband bought some "detoxifying" Kinoki foot pads and wore them to bed. In the morning, they both awoke find the pads covered in the brown mess that the advertisement had promised. But when they took the foot pads to a lab and had them analyzed and compared with unused pads, the used pads were almost identical to the blank.
Further experimentation showed that the "gunk" in the pads shows up if you hold the pad over a pot of boiling water. Who knew steam had "metabolic waste"?
The Consumerist August 19, 2008
ABC News April 11, 2008
MSNBC June 19, 2008

I have received quite a number of emails from readers lately asking questions about these types of detoxifying foot pads; seems a lot of people desperately want to believe they work as advertised.  
The Kinoki foot pads -- as well as other brands -- promise to draw out everything from heavy metals to metabolic wastes, toxins, parasites, cellulite and more, to restore your vitality and health. 
I always questioned the value of this tool for detoxification, and, despite the lack of scientific research, the independent investigative reports above seem to agree: The likelihood that detoxifying foot pads work is slim to none.  
However, certain foot pads may still offer some value – just not necessarily what they're advertising. And, you're not likely to get it from most brands.  

Toxicology Lab Found No Toxins in Used Foot Pads 
Like reporter Sarah Varney, 20/20's correspondent John Stossel also took used pads in for toxicology testing. And, like hers, Stossel's results came back negative.  
20/20 asked NMS Labs, a national laboratory in Willow Grove, Pa., to analyze used Kinoki and Avon pads from eight volunteers. They tested for heavy metals, including arsenic and mercury, and 23 solvents such as benzene, tolulene and styrene.  
None of these common toxins were found in the used pads. 
So what's that brown, foul-smelling gunk? 
It's just a natural reaction between the ingredients and the moisture from the bottom of your foot.  
Exposing the pads to moisture, either by placing them over a steaming pot of water, or putting a few drops of water on them will make the ingredients turn a darker color and emit an unpleasant odor.
Dr. Devra Davis, director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert on toxins, also conducted a similar experiment on her own, leaving the pads out overnight without their protective packaging. In an article for MSNBC she stated the pads contain "little more than green tea and vinegar," and that the color and odor are likely the result of these ingredients "interacting with oxygen, heat or moisture."
20/20 asked Avon and Kinoki for scientific test results showing the pads do what they claim to do, but neither company fulfilled the request. 

Detoxing… For Real
Your environment does indeed have a profound impact on your health. Everything from the quality of the air you breathe to what you put into, and onto, your body makes a difference. Mercury alone can mimic or cause any illness currently known, or at least contribute to it. Detoxing and cleansing your body of toxins periodically can definitely help.
But what is the best way to rid your system of toxins?

When Should You NOT Detox?
Do not start a detox regimen when you are sick. 
You need to start your healthy lifestyle FIRST, before you start detoxing, so you have a reserve that your body can draw on to allow your liver to do its job properly.

If you fail to do this you can easily overwhelm your liver's ability to process these toxic substances that are being eliminated and you will become VERY sick, wishing you had never done the detox in the first place. I have seen this many times, so please use some caution.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vitamin D Provides a Wide Range of Health Benefits: Implications for Cancer Prevention and the Treatment of Inflammatory and Metabolic Diseases

Vitamin D Provides a Wide Range of Health Benefits: Implications for Cancer Prevention and the Treatment of Inflammatory and Metabolic Diseases and the Importance of Attaining Optimal Serum Levels of 25(OH)D
Alex Vasquez, D.C., N.D.
An increasingly well-documented and consistent body of literature shows that vitamin D has clinically-significant anticancer and anti-inflammatory benefits, and that the attainment of optimal serum levels of vitamin D also confer protection against diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, and hypertension. In this brief review, we will also discuss clinical trials that have used vitamin D in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, migraine headaches, depression, epilepsy, and musculoskeletal pain. We also elucidate new guidelines for the interpretation of serum 25(OH)vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D deficiency is an underappreciated epidemic that has heretofore received insufficient attention from clinicians in all disciplines. Given the clinical consequences of hypovitatminosis D, it is indefensible that doctors fail to diagnose and treat this condition (ICD-9 code 268.x) since numerous studies have documented the remarkably high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in medical patients (Kauppinen-Makelin R, et al. J Intern Med.
2001 Jun;249(6):559-63 and Thomas MK, al. N.Eng! J..Med. 1998 Mar !9;338(12):777-83). This article will ­serve to update clinicians on the diagnosis and treatment of this important and common health problem, and we have included our recommendations for laboratory testing to facilitate the clinical applicability of this information.
Vitamin D is metabolized in two distinct pathways: 1) endocrine-relevant to calcium absorption and bone metabolism, and 2) autocrine-relevant to the modulation of intracellular processes such as differentiation, proliferation, inflammation, and gene transcription. Relatedly, vitamin D deficiency is seen in two distinct forms: 1) acute deficiency diseases such as rickets and hypocalcemia, and 2) long-latency deficiency diseases which
manifest only after years of subacute deficiency (Heaney RP. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Nov;78(5):912-9). According to the current research literature, long-term vitamin D deficiency contributes to an increased risk for cancer, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and insulin resistance, and each of these clinical entities will be discussed in the sections that follow.
· Cancer: Cancer risk and vitamin D deficiency go hand-in-hand. The risk of cancer in humans increases in direct proportion to the reduction in sun exposure, a fact that has been repeatedly verified since its first publication more than 60 years ago. Based on this extensive data, Dr William Grant has estimated that at least 23,000 and perhaps as many as 47,000 cancer deaths might be prevented each year in America if we employed simple interventions to raise vitamin D levels (Cancer 2002;94:1867-75).
· Hypertension: Suboptimal levels of vitamin D increase the risk for and severity of hypertension, and augmentation of vitamin D levels with sunlight or oral supplementation safely and consistently reduces blood pressure in hypertensive patients (PfeiferM, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001 Apr;86:1633-7
· Insulin resistance: Patients with vitamin D deficiency show an increased prevalence of insulin resistance.
Authors of a recent study concluded that improving vitamin D status such as with oral supplementation could improve insulin sensitivity by 60%, indicating that vitamin D treatment ''is more potent than either troglitazone or metformin treatment (54% and 13% improvement in insulin sensitivity, 0 respectively.)"o (Chiu KC, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2004; 79:820-5).
· Depression: Vitamin D administration was shown to improve mood within 5 days of treatment in a controlled clinical trial of patients with wintertime depression (Lansdowne AT, Provost SC. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1998;135:319-23)
· Epilepsy: VitapJin D deficiency can cause seizures. Medications used to treat epilepsy commonly cause vitamin D deficiency, which can then result in iatrogenic epilepsy (All FE, et al. Ann Pharmacother . 2004;38:1002-5). Administration of vitamin D shows an anticonvulsant benefit (Christiansen C, et al. Br Med J. 1974;2:258-9).
· Polycystic ovary syndrome: Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent among 13 women with PCOS, and supplementation with 1,500 mg of calcium per day and 50,000 IV of vitamin D2 on a weekly basis normalized menstruation and/or fertility in nine of nine women with PCOS-related menstrual irregularities within three months of treatment (Thys-Jacobs S, et al. Steroids 1999;64:430-5)
· Osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal pain: Osteoarthritis develops more frequently and progresses more rapidly in patients who are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is alarmingly common in patients
We have an inexpensive BIOAVAILABLE emulsified Vitamin D that lasts a few months. Best yet, it is not a pill!
Ask our staff for the Bio-D-Mulsion.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder causing restlessness and the urge to move the legs. A recent study, published in the January 1, 2008 issue of Neurology suggests that people with RLS have an increased risk for stroke or heart disease.
The subjects of the study were 3,433 men and women, with an average age of 68. They were participants in the Sleep Heart Health Study. Nearly 7% of the female participants and about 3.3% of the men had RLS, as determined by a questionnaire. The participants also answered questions about cardiovascular disease and stroke. The presence of RLS was associated with a two-fold likelihood of cardiovascular disease or stroke. This association was especially strong among those with severe symptoms more than 16 times each month.
Nutrition may play a role. In the journal Age, Ageing (May 1994;23(3):200-203), a small study was published, involving 18 elderly subjects with RLS and 18 controls. The serum ferritin was inversely associated with the severity of RLS symptoms. Ferrous sulfate was given to 15 of the subjects and the RLS score improved in eleven of the patients—with greater improvement going to those with the lowest ferritin levels. Another article in the journal Sleep (June 15, 1998;21(4):371-377) looked at 27 patients between the ages of 29 and 81 and found a correlation between the severity of symptoms and low ferritin levels.
Magnesium supplementation was used in a small pilot study published in the journal Sleep (1998;21(5):501-505). Ten subjects with RLS were given magnesium supplementation over a period of four to six weeks. There was a reduction in leg movements (from 33 to 21 per hour) and sleep efficiency also improved.
Exercise may also be beneficial. Another small study appearing in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (2006; 19(5): 487-93) involved 23 subjects with RLS. They were divided into two groups. On group was put on an exercise program that included aerobic activity and lower body resistance training, and the other served as a control. At the end of the 12 weeks of the study, the group doing the exercise had a significant improvement in symptoms.
Granted, these are small studies. Considering that the treatments in these studies are very low-risk, they may be worth a try. Iron should only be given if there is a deficiency, so it is wise to check ferritin levels before supplementation. Magnesium is a very common deficiency and there are no side effects with supplementation (although taking too much magnesium can make the stools loose). Exercise should be recommended, even if RLS is not a problem.

Medication vs. Natural Health Care for Pain

Here is some of the research about pain and the use of natural health care. A common misconception that many patients have about treating pain is that the drugs they are taking are actually doing some good. Pain medication does not heal or repair a problem—it only offers temporary relief. That relief comes at a price. Pain medication causes problems.
Arthritis patients take NSAIDs regularly without realizing that they actually interfere with cartilage repair. These drugs are linked to high blood pressure, kidney failure, heart failure, ulceration of the GI tract, and some drugs even interfere with bone repair.
According to research appearing in the American Journal of Medicine, “Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone. The figures for all NSAID users would be overwhelming, yet the scope of this problem is generally under appreciated”
The drugs have side effects and some would even say that they are dangerous, but what are we to do? Many people have pain, and relief is a priority for them. Chronic pain is the most costly health problem in America, with an estimated annual cost of about $90 billion per year. This cost includes lost productivity, legal costs, doctors’ visits and medication; 80% of all visits to the doctor are pain related. An estimated 40 million Americans have arthritis or other rheumatic condition. That number is expected to climb to 59.4 million, or 18.2% of the population, by the year 2020, according to a new report published as a collaborative effort between the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Arthritis Foundation, and the American College of Rheumatology. Approximately 12% of all Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Nine out of 10 migraine sufferers report they can’t “function normally” during days in which a migraine strikes. Three out of 10 migraine sufferers require bed rest when suffering from a migraine.
In 2001, over 13 million people saw a physician for the treatment of back pain. According to the NIH, 65 to 80% of all people have back pain at some time in their life. Half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. Back pain costs an estimated $50 billion each year.
Our politics and the FDA seem to favor drug therapies. For example, there is a product made from a patented extract of skullcap that would have been worth mentioning in this article. The manufacturer is worried about any claims being made about the product—because it may cause problems with the FDA.
It has outperformed COX-2 inhibitors in clinical studies, but the manufacturer can’t compare the product head-to-head with drugs. It has improved WOMAC scores on arthritis patients, but the manufacturer can’t say that the product treats joint pain. They can say that the WOMAC score is improved, but can’t say what WOMAC is—because it contains the word “arthritis” (it is a pain-rating scale).
In the mean time, products that are linked to high blood pressure, kidney failure, heart failure, and death can make claims. Maybe the reason so many older Americans take so many drugs is because they start young—with pain medication (that help to destroy joints—making sure that they continue to need them) and safe alternative products are not allowed to make claims.

Insulin Insensitivity

This issue is high on the list because it is so common—and it responds very well to nutritional therapy. It encompasses three conditions: metabolic syndrome (sometimes called syndrome X), adult onset diabetes and people who are insulin insensitive, but have not developed these conditions yet. Insulin has a lot to do with weight gain and so many other common health problems you see in your office. Sugar and insulin are involved with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, type 2 diabetes, menstrual problems, heart disease, pain, inflammation, depression and even polycystic ovaries. With simple lifestyle changes and some good nutritional products you can help people to easily lose weight and help them with a lot of other health problems. This is easy and it works.
Symptoms of insulin resistance include fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, carbohydrate craving, and periods of hypoglycemia after a high carbohydrate meal (often needing a nap after eating). Approximately 50% of your hypertensive patients are insulin insensitive. Approximately 30% of American adults are insulin insensitive and 25% have Syndrome X. The Journal of the American Medical Association states that if a patient has three or more of the following symptoms then Syndrome X is present.: waist measurement greater than 40” in men (35” in women); triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dl; HDL lower than 40 mg/dl; blood pressure greater than 135/85; or fasting glucose of 110 mg/dl.
Problems with sugar and insulin cause weight gain, along with a variety of other health problems. In general, these patients will have a BMI greater than 30. They carry weight around their abdominal area and crave sugar and starch. Getting insulin production under control is the key to weight loss—and there are some products that will help you to do this.
Dietary changes are, of course, necessary. Patients need to go on a low glycemic diet—avoiding high glycemic foods like refined carbohydrates. Have them follow a low glycemic diet; avoid refined foods, hydrogenated oils and additives. They should eat a large breakfast—with protein. They should eat a lot of fresh produce. You may have some problems with compliance—sugar is addictive. The supplementation should help with cravings. If patients have compliance issues, be patient but be firm in telling them that they need to change their habits. One of the keys to this is getting them to control when they eat (see the next paragraph). They should eat slowly and eat until they are full. They should only eat three meals per day.
Patients need to exercise regularly. They also need to stop snacking. The snacking issue is a tough one; many of these patients are labeled as hypoglycemic. Some feel weak or shaky if meals are delayed or feel the need to snack every two hours (or have been told to do so). You need to wean them from this by increasing the time between snacks. When you first eat, you produce insulin which helps to store the calories of the meal. As time goes on, you produce glucagon, which helps to burn the stored calories. The first three hours after eating, insulin is dominant; after three hours glucagon becomes dominant. You cannot lose weight if you keep producing insulin and snacking makes you produce insulin. It is especially important not to eat between dinner and bedtime.

The dietary changes are difficult, but necessary. Fortunately there are products that help to bring insulin under control and to help with cravings.

A multivitamin (designed for glycemic control): Many of the companies who sell to chiropractors sell a product that has a lot of chromium, B vitamins, magnesium and other nutrients to help the patient will glycemic control.
Fish oil: One of the many good things that fish oil does is to help with glycemic control; it also helps to lower cholesterol.
Phosphatidyl choline Works like a fat detergent; it also helps with adrenal issues. Many of your patients needing to lose weight have high cortisol production. Interesting side note—this is good for exercise-induced asthma (as is fish oil).
Phosphorus: Insulin insensitivity is an acidic condition; phosphates help to buffer. Phosphorus also helps with bone loss (a lot of osteoporotic women love their carbs). Sugar upsets the balance between calcium and phosphorus.
Magnesium: Magnesium is also nature’s muscle relaxer, so give it to patients with tight muscles. A woman who is magnesium deficient often will have tender breasts and mood swings related to her cycle. Magnesium causes the stools to soften, so if the patient gets diarrhea, lower the dosage.
Beta TCP or Betafood: Biotics and Standard Process are the only companies (I know of) that make a product like this. It is an extract from beets; it thins bile. Think of it as a detergent for fat (people with Syndrome X tend to get fatty liver).

A Few Words about Statin Cholesterol Drugs

Statins ultimately prevent the production of coenzyme Q 10. Statins work by inhibiting the enzyme methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. They prevent the production of mevalonate from HMG-CoA. The body converts mevalonate to cholesterol and a variety of other products. One of the things that melvalonate produces is Coenzyme Q 10. Co Q 10 is important for energy production in the cell. Patients taking these drugs commonly do not tolerate exercise well and tend to get sore with activity. If general muscle pain is experienced, it is a serious side effect and a doctor should be consulted. Studies show that these drugs have the potential to cause myopathies (muscle pain) and rhabdomyolysis (muscle damage) with kidney failure. The FDA has warned about liver failure in conjunction with these drugs. These more serious side effects occur in about 1% of the population taking the drugs.
A study published in the journal Diabetes Wellness (May 2005;11(5):4) showed that giving coenzyme Q 10 to patients who take statins reduces muscle pain. Subjects received either 400 IU of vitamin E or 100 mg. of coenzyme Q 10. Eighteen of the 21 subjects receiving the coenzyme Q 10 (90%) experienced pain relief; this compared to three patients out of 20 in the vitamin E group. Coenzyme Q 10 levels decrease after taking a statin drug. In the June, 2000 issue of Archives of Neurology a study was published that showed a reduction in coenzyme Q 10 levels after the subjects took 80 mg. of a statin drug. The mean blood level of coenzyme Q 10 in the 34 participating subjects went from 1.2 mcg/ml to .62 mcg/ml.
The heart contains high levels of coenzyme Q 10 and these levels are found to be lower in people suffering from congestive heart failure. According to an article appearing in The Lancet (1998;352(Suppl. 1):39-41) notes that the incidence of heart failure has dramatically increased in the last three or four decades. The prevalence of heart failure has increased by 70% between 1990 and 2000.
Research on pravastatin appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (December 18, 2002;288:1998-3007,3042-3044) shows that the drug does indeed lower cholesterol, but does not reduce the risk of death or heart disease in those with moderately high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
There are a number of studies that show that statin drugs may affect behavior, leading to aggressive behavior or depression. Research appearing in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (1994 Nov-Dec;56:479-84) links aggressive behavior and depression to low cholesterol. It has been postulated that there may be a connection between cholesterol and serotonin.
There are nearly 130 million patients taking statins, and many having serious side effects. It is worth while to take a look at what these drugs do and to take the simple step of giving patients on these drugs coenzyme Q 10.

The message is: if you are on statin drugs, you must supplement with Co-Enzyme Q10 200mg. I have personally selected a potent coenzyme Q10 that actually has the amount assayed on the label of the bottle. This coQ10 is available at our office.

CAVEAT: Other studies have shown that some companies may not have ANY of the product that is on their label.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New street drugs in schools: Parents Beware

This is a new drug known as 'strawberry quick '. There is a very scary thing going on in the schools right now that we all needto be aware of. There is a type of crystal meth going around that looks like strawberry poprocks (the candy that sizzles and 'pops' in your mouth). It also smellslike strawberry and it is being handed out to kids in school yards. They arecalling it strawberry meth or strawberry quick.Kids are ingesting this thinking that it is candy and being rushed off to thehospital in dire condition. It also comes in chocolate, peanut butter, cola,cherry, grape and orange. Please instruct your children not to accept candy from strangers and even notto accept candy that looks like this from a friend (who may have been given itand believed it is candy) and to take any that they may have to a teacher,principal, etc. immediately. Pass this email on to as many people as you can (even if they don't havekids) so that we can raise awareness and hopefully prevent any tragedies from occurring.,2933,271215,00.html

Monday, October 27, 2008

Propylene glycol alginate MSDS - Do you want a relative of antifreeze in your salad dressing?

I'll highlight the questionable information in red. I remember a friend's significant other working at Kraft and her talking about how she had to use safety gear to handle these chemicals (unspecified at the time) to make salad dressing. (I have nothing against Kraft, btw.)

Hey, it sounds like a famous antifreeze: From wikipedia: Coolant: The major use of ethylene glycol is as an antifreeze in, for example, automobiles and personal computers.
Material Safety Data Sheet
Propylene glycol alginate MSDS
Section 1: Chemical Product and Company Identification
Product Name: Propylene glycol alginate
Catalog Codes: SLP1957
CAS#: 9005-37-2
RTECS: UJ1585000
TSCA: TSCA 8(b) inventory: Propylene glycol alginate
CI#: Not available.
Chemical Name: Not available.
Chemical Formula: (C9H14O7)n
Contact Information:, Inc.
14025 Smith Rd.
Houston, Texas 77396
US Sales: 1-800-901-7247
International Sales: 1-281-441-4400
Order Online:
CHEMTREC (24HR Emergency Telephone), call:
International CHEMTREC, call: 1-703-527-3887
For non-emergency assistance, call: 1-281-441-4400
Section 2: Composition and Information on Ingredients
Name CAS # % by Weight
Propylene glycol alginate 9005-37-2 100
Toxicological Data on Ingredients: Not applicable.
Section 3: Hazards Identification
Potential Acute Health Effects:
Hazardous in case of ingestion. Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation.
Potential Chronic Health Effects:
Hazardous in case of ingestion.
Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation.
Section 4: First Aid Measures
p. 1
Eye Contact: No known effect on eye contact, rinse with water for a few minutes.
Skin Contact:
After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of water. Gently and thoroughly wash the contaminated skin
with running water and non-abrasive soap. Be particularly careful to clean folds, crevices, creases and groin.
Cover the irritated skin with an emollient. If irritation persists, seek medical attention. Wash contaminated
clothing before reusing.
Serious Skin Contact: Not available.
Inhalation: Allow the victim to rest in a well ventilated area. Seek immediate medical attention.
Serious Inhalation: Not available.
Do not induce vomiting. Loosen tight clothing such as a collar, tie, belt or waistband. If the victim is not
breathing, perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Seek immediate medical attention.

Serious Ingestion: Not available.
Section 5: Fire and Explosion Data
Flammability of the Product: May be combustible at high temperature.
Auto-Ignition Temperature: Not available.
Flash Points: Not available.
Flammable Limits: Not available.
Products of Combustion: These products are carbon oxides (CO, CO2).
Fire Hazards in Presence of Various Substances: Not available.
Explosion Hazards in Presence of Various Substances:
Risks of explosion of the product in presence of mechanical impact: Not available.
Risks of explosion of the product in presence of static discharge: Not available.
Fire Fighting Media and Instructions:
SMALL FIRE: Use DRY chemical powder.
LARGE FIRE: Use water spray, fog or foam. Do not use water jet.
Special Remarks on Fire Hazards: Not available.
Special Remarks on Explosion Hazards: Not available.
Section 6: Accidental Release Measures
Small Spill:
Use appropriate tools to put the spilled solid in a convenient waste disposal container. Finish cleaning by
spreading water on the contaminated surface and dispose of according to local and regional authority
Large Spill:
Use a shovel to put the material into a convenient waste disposal container. Finish cleaning by spreading water
on the contaminated surface and allow to evacuate through the sanitary system.
Section 7: Handling and Storage
p. 2
Keep away from heat. Keep away from sources of ignition. Empty containers pose a fire risk, evaporate the
residue under a fume hood. Ground all equipment containing material. Do not breathe dust.
Keep container dry. Keep in a cool place. Ground all equipment containing material. Keep container tightly
closed. Keep in a cool, well-ventilated place. Combustible materials should be stored away from extreme heat
and away from strong oxidizing agents.
Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
Engineering Controls:
Use process enclosures, local exhaust ventilation, or other engineering controls to keep airborne levels below
recommended exposure limits. If user operations generate dust, fume or mist, use ventilation to keep exposure to
airborne contaminants below the exposure limit.

Personal Protection: Safety glasses. Lab coat. Dust respirator. Be sure to use an approved/certified respirator or equivalent.
Personal Protection in Case of a Large Spill:
Splash goggles. Full suit. Dust respirator. Boots. Gloves. A self contained breathing apparatus should be used
to avoid inhalation of the product. Suggested protective clothing might not be sufficient; consult a specialist
BEFORE handling this product.
Exposure Limits: Not available.
Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties
Physical state and appearance: Solid.
Odor: Not available.
Taste: Not available.
Molecular Weight: Not available.
Color: Not available.
pH (1% soln/water): Not available.
Boiling Point: Not available.
Melting Point: Decomposes.
Critical Temperature: Not available.
Specific Gravity: Not available.
Vapor Pressure: Not applicable.
Vapor Density: Not available.
Volatility: Not available.
Odor Threshold: Not available.
Water/Oil Dist. Coeff.: Not available.
Ionicity (in Water): Not available.
p. 3
Dispersion Properties: Not available.
Solubility: Not available.
Section 10: Stability and Reactivity Data
Stability: The product is stable.
Instability Temperature: Not available.
Conditions of Instability: Not available.
Incompatibility with various substances: Not available.
Corrosivity: Non-corrosive in presence of glass.
Special Remarks on Reactivity: Not available.
Special Remarks on Corrosivity: Not available.
Polymerization: No.
Section 11: Toxicological Information
Routes of Entry: Ingestion.
Toxicity to Animals:
LD50: Not available.
LC50: Not available.
Chronic Effects on Humans: Not available.
Other Toxic Effects on Humans:
Hazardous in case of ingestion.
Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of inhalation.
Special Remarks on Toxicity to Animals: Not available.
Special Remarks on Chronic Effects on Humans: Not available.
Special Remarks on other Toxic Effects on Humans: Not available.
Section 12: Ecological Information
Ecotoxicity: Not available.
BOD5 and COD: Not available.
Products of Biodegradation:
Possibly hazardous short term degradation products are not likely. However, long term degradation products may
Toxicity of the Products of Biodegradation: The products of degradation are more toxic.
Special Remarks on the Products of Biodegradation: Not available.
Section 13: Disposal Considerations
p. 4
Waste Disposal:
Section 14: Transport Information
DOT Classification: Not a DOT controlled material (United States).
Identification: Not applicable.
Special Provisions for Transport: Not applicable.
Section 15: Other Regulatory Information
Federal and State Regulations: TSCA 8(b) inventory: Propylene glycol alginate
Other Regulations: Not available..
Other Classifications:
WHMIS (Canada): Not controlled under WHMIS (Canada).
This product is not classified according
to the EU regulations.
HMIS (U.S.A.):
Health Hazard: 1
Fire Hazard: 1
Reactivity: 0
Personal Protection: E
National Fire Protection Association (U.S.A.):
Health: 1
Flammability: 1
Reactivity: 0
Specific hazard:
Protective Equipment:
Lab coat.
Dust respirator. Be sure to use an
approved/certified respirator or
Safety glasses.
Section 16: Other Information
References: Not available.
Other Special Considerations: Not available.
p. 5
Created: 10/09/2005 06:13 PM
Last Updated: 10/09/2005 06:13 PM
The information above is believed to be accurate and represents the best information currently available to us. However, we
make no warranty of merchantability or any other warranty, express or implied, with respect to such information, and we
assume no liability resulting from its use. Users should make their own investigations to determine the suitability of the
information for their particular purposes. In no event shall be liable for any claims, losses, or damages of any
third party or for lost profits or any special, indirect, incidental, consequential or exemplary damages, howsoever arising, even
if has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What we call health insurance (parody that is scary but true)

My Published Acupuncture Research Project as an Intern


A compilation of studies on acupuncture, depression and western treatment was analyzed for the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of depression. The fundamentals of depression, acupuncture and antidepressants are discussed. Acupuncture was found to be at least equally effective if not even better than antidepressants. It increased intracephalic blood flow and stimulated monoamine production, and decreased clinical depressive symptoms, as well as giving a sense of well being to the patient, and had with few side effects when compared with antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive therapy. Electroacupuncture is superior to conventional acupuncture in treating depression and is more effective than electroconvulsive therapy when given as a series of treatments. Finally, clinical depression is found not to be solely a neurotransmitter imbalance but it is also an imbalance in the meridians. Both Western and Eastern practitioners in the healing arts must see that clinical depression is a multifaceted condition that must be addressed through many types of healing paradigms to have effective treatment.
Acupuncture and Depression
Depression is one of society’s main mental health problems. At any one time, four percent of men and six percent of women have this condition while the lifetime risk in general is about 17 percent. [2] [18] Depression is a disease which transcends age groups. Young infants may even develop its symptoms although the peak usually occurs around late adolescence and early adulthood.
Acupuncture has been a Chinese healing art for over 5000 years. It involves the use of a filiform needle being inserted into a part of the anatomy, which in turn corresponds to an acupuncture point. These acupuncture points interconnect with each other in organized patterns called meridians. There are 14 major meridians in the body. Each meridian corresponds to an organ or function [6]. The theory is that vital life energy, qi, is blocked when a health condition, such as depression, is at certain acupuncture points throughout the body. When an acupuncture needle is inserted into an acupoint, it is postulated that the qi, which is blocked or stagnated at the point, is allowed to flow freely throughout the meridian [1].
The purpose of this paper is to determine if acupuncture can play an important part of the treatment of depression and how it can act as an adjunct to conventional (Western) medicine.
Western Definition of Depression
In medicine, there are two theories on depression; The biochemical theory and the neurotransmitter theory. The biochemical theory of depression is due to hormonal imbalances. There is a dysfunction in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis [9], mainly in the hypothalamus, which controls mood, appetite and sexual interest [2] which may display abnormal hormone levels during depressive episodes [2]. Low serum thyroxine is a major hormone associated with depression, with or without subclinical hypothyroidism, and the thyroid hormone cascade of lowered levels of thyrotropin releasing hormone that affects the thyroid stimulating hormone [9] [20].
Ascending to the neurotransmitter theory, there are imbalances in the catecholamine levels, namely norepinephrine and serotonin. Serotonin is synthesized from 5-hydroxytryptophan in neurons in the hypothalamus and brainstem. [20] Proof of this theory is the current effective use of antidepressant medication for affected patients. [2]
The criteria for a major depressive episode (also known as clinical depression) is extracted from [3]
A. Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.
(1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e. g. feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e. g. appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.
(2) Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)
(3) Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e. g., a change of more than 5% body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
(4) Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
(5) Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)
(6) Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
(7) Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional nearly every day (not merely self reproach or guilt about being sick)
(8) Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)
(9) Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide
B. These symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode
C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
D. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of s substance (e. g. a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g. hypothyroidism.)
E. The symptoms are not better accounted for by Bereavement, i. e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation.
Conventional treatments for clinical depression are (1) medication, (2) psychotherapy, (3) medication and psychotherapy combination, and (4) electroconvulsive therapy [13].
The most widespread treatment of depression in western medicine is the application of anti-depressants. They are drugs which change the biochemistry of the nervous system. Drug classes include the old monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which interfere with the monoamine oxidase enzyme from degrading norepinephrine and serotonin; tricyclics, which block the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin; and the newer generation selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which block uptake of serotonin only [4].
Cautions for use of these medications are countless side effects such as the length of time for it to reach therapeutic levels, ease of overdosing on tricyclics, headaches, upset stomach and sexual dysfunction. Patient non-compliance due to the latter side effect has an impact on the regression of the depressive condition [4].
Eastern Definition of Depression
In acupuncture, depression is defined as a "pulmonal orb depletion" with the major yin cardinal of the hand i.e. Lung Meridian [28]. Symptoms of this depletion include thorax congestion, cough, oppressed breathing, asthma, the sensation of heat ascension in the thorax, pain under the clavicle, heat in the palms, and stiffness in the lower arm [28]. Emotions associated are grief and dejection.
Also, suppressed emotions stagnate cardiac qi, causes mental illness. This affects the Heart Meridian Symptoms include insomnia, restivenss, nightmares, forgetfulness, inconsistency of speech and actions. Treatment of this would include HT 7, P6, P7.
Treatment of affective disorders, including depression, using acupuncture includes the following acupoint tables as described in [8], and including LU 1, the great forgiveness/antidepressant point [5] [17].
General affective condition:
GV20 increase mental alertness and balances mind
LI4 clears mind in the upper body ad improves mental function, relieves worry and anxiety
HT7 calms the heart and mind, decreases worry and anxiety and sleep disturbances
P6 Calms mind and relieves anxiety
For anxiety:
CV 6 Increases the ability to cope
CV12 Balances digestive organs and restores emotional stability
CV17 Calms the heart and mind
ST 36 Invigorates digestive organs and increases vitality and emotional stability
Memory and concentration:
BL10 Decreases tension and increases circulation in the neck, increases memory and concentration
BL23 increases kidney energy and is powerful for memory and concentration
KI6 Clears mind and improves concentration
GV26 Clears mind and relieves depression
BL10 Relieves depression
CV12 Balances digestive organs and restores emotional stability
LV3 Improves liver function
GB12 Decreases restlessness, disturbed sleep and excessive dreaming due to liver imbalance
SP6 balances spleen, liver, and kidney meridians and nourishes blood, sleep easier
KI3 Improves heart and kidney function
P8 Calms mind and decreases mental agitation
LU11 Calms agitation and restores mental ability
BL18 Improves liver function
LV3 Improves liver function
In auriculotherapy there are two antidepressant points found which are to stimulate cheerfulness and joy. These points are on LO8 and CW3 in the ear. [26]
Classical Acupuncture
Classical acupuncturists may rely on a 5 Element rule for treating "depressed" patients. This is described as follows by Schneider-Guild [30]
In TCM alone, there are many approaches to the same problem. The scope of this article is on the five elements and their significance in diagnosing and treating depression. Each element encompasses a symptomological picture that varies from the others. Becoming aware that a patient is depressed does not suffice. It is important to understand and address the individual and unique manifestations of that person's depression. The five elements provide a clear and interesting framework in which many cases of depressive illness can fit, be diagnosed and treated. For the sake of clarity, this article will present each element and its unique manifestations, without addressing the interactions of the elements. Although elemental interdependence is fundamental to the five-element theory, it is the goal of this article to highlight the differences among the elements in order to present a clear theoretical model. It should be understood that cases of purely Wood-element depression, for example. would be rare. Usually there is a combination of elements in the same person, which will hopefully become more decipherable through deeper understanding of each element.
The Wood Element
When considering the Wood element, one thinks of the obvious characteristics such as Spring, Wind, Eyes, Tears, Shouting, Anger, Sour, etc. However, there are also more subtle features pertaining to this element that are less obvious, but can be of great value when determining a person's elemental predominance. For example, some of the traits of a Wood case of depression could be that the patient has a great deal of difficulty relaxing or being at ease, that they want to control everything and fall into depression when defeated, and they have a stormy type of personality that is prone to many moods. The Wood personality can be arrogant, confident, aggressive, confrontational, driven and eager. They can be very demanding of themselves and others. and can easily be disappointed at which point they may fall into the clutches of a darkness known as depression. Usually this type of depression has a great well of repressed anger, disappointment, and frustration brewing underneath the surface. The primary issue is control in the Wood cases. As far as their appearance, a Wood type may present with a reddish facial skin tone, reddish eyes, and disgruntled look. Wood types are usually rather tall and slender.
The Fire Element
The Fire type, on the other hand, has quite different features than those of Wood. A Fire element depression most often has to do with relationships and "heartbreak." Most frequently, Fire types feel let-down or disillusioned by love. Their depressions are usually of a cyclical nature in that they get over one heartbreak, and then move on to the next. Their depressions can be quite severe, and they can often become suicidal due to their impulsive, and "living on the edge" character type. Fire predominance includes symptoms of anxiety, chest pains, nightmares of a vivid nature, and a lack of laughter and the ability to feel joyous. Depressive episodes readily deplete heart qi, and can cause the usual Fire related symptoms of palpitations, shortness of breath, mental confusion (due to the heart's relationship to the Shen or cognitive functioning of the individual), and listlessness. Since all emotions have an influence on the heart, the Fire element can transmit imbalances that stem from other organ or emotional disturbances. Yet. in those cases there would be a mixed symptomological picture. As far as appearance is concerned, the Fire types tend to have a reddish face with a rather pointy chin. Their hair tends to be curly, and when in balance they tend to move quickly and to frequently be in a rush. When depressed, however, they tend to feel unmotivated and unable to appreciate the beauty of life that they usually thrive on. Paradoxically, their strong point is also their weak point in that Fire types lean towards vigorous and healthy blood and blood vessels when well, but can easily become depleted in this area when out of balance. Since the heart rules the blood. Fire predominance can lend itself to a host of blood related and mental problems when the individual succumbs to stress and relational pressures.
The Earth Element
The Earth element would encompass its typically characteristic digestive imbalances. However, in depressive episodes, Earth types tend towards significant changes in their eating habits. Some will have no appetite whatsoever, whereas others become ravenous and try to eat in order to fill the dark emptiness inside. It appears to be a way of seeking warmth and comfort. When depressed, Earth elementers become unmovable, perhaps because they have a tendency towards dampness. At any rate, they virtually sink into their depressions and become heavy and unmotivated. The Earth element's energies contribute greatly to the human affect of centeredness, being grounded, peace, calm and compassion. In adversity, the serenity of this element becomes distorted into listlessness, obsessive worry, overconcern and their sense of self strongly diminishes as they lose their usual propensity to being grounded.
The Earth element's physical characteristics are unique, and usually quite detectable. They tend to be stockier, more portly, and generally move more slowly than most of the other elements. They often have round faces, and appear rather jovial when in balance. An interesting note is that their body shapes can alter significantly when under the duress of depressive illness. They may fluctuate in weight, depending on their individual tendency to either halt or greatly increase their food intake. A major clue in recognizing Earth element cases is their oral natures. They often need to have something in their mouth - chewing gum, candies, foods. Perhaps this is the reason for their propensity towards being damp and somewhat overweight.
The Metal Element
The Metal element encompasses a great deal of issues regarding giving and taking to and from the environment. Frequently, this element winds up depressed when there is loss or grief. Often these emotions can be repressed and manifest in unusual respiratory difficulties, asthmas, and frequent upper respiratory infections. Commonly, when depressed, Metal types sigh, cry and sob, and lack a sense of boundary between the "self' and others. They are prone to the sufferance of the world, which is termed "weltschmerz'' This is a Freudian term that depicts the person who takes the pains and suffering of the world onto their own shoulders. Therefore, this type of a case may also involve a sense of grieving that seems overwhelming and all-encompassing. The Metal element types are environmentally sensitive, but are also more easily influenced in a therapeutic setting with regards to their emotional status. They often appear with soft weak voices, and pale complexions. They are generally of thin stature and when depressed, appear meager and weak. In many cases, these patients will have rather clear regrets over the past and feel that there is a significant desire to wish things could only have gone differently. These people often feel plagued by circumstance, and therefore grieve over past issues and losses that they hang on to.
In strong contrast to the above mentioned elements is the Water element. This is the most clinically significant and potentially dangerous type of elemental depression. This is the element that is most greatly influenced by the pre-natal Jing - hence, genetics. In these cases, the patient is depressed and does not have any insight into why or any reasons that may have caused the descent into a depressive illness. These patients are most susceptible to severe psychological imbalances, such as schizophrenia, psychoses, and severe major depressive episodes. In many cases. the patient will become despondent and unable to do even the simplest of chores for themselves. Their depression seems to reach down into the very core of the person's being - their spirit and soul. These patients become incommunicable, and sink rather deeply into their illness. These are the most difficult of all of the elements to treat successfully. These patients appear desperate, paranoid, and out of touch. They fear life and death, and don't have any sense of what their fear means. Usually these people feel that they are beyond help, and no longer seek assistance in their grave dilemma over their life. They also reluctantly fear leaving their homes, and seem to lose their sense of purpose in life. They may appear in a clinic, usually accompanied, and be ungroomed, easily distracted and very scattered. They may have nervous tremors, and seem fearful or totally apathetic. These cases may be misdiagnosed, because it is easy to interpret the patient's signs as arrogance or poor hygiene. Yet, it is important to recognize the desperation of the person's plight because these patients are the ones most prone to suicidal tendencies. Since they feel so lost and don't grasp what is plaguing them on such a pervasive and personal level, they often resort to the ultimate escape from their misery - suicide.
In each of the elements discussed, there are specific clues and hints as to which element is predominant in the given case. It is helpful to ask questions that may evoke the necessary information in order to reach a diagnosis. One must use tact, empathy and a direct approach that is not overly involved, while still maintaining a concerned and caring disposition. The use of the five elements is only a tool in diagnosing and dealing with a case of depression. The elements afford practitioners an added sense of comprehension and clarity in a patient's case. However, it is important to focus on the most comprehensive and effective means of treatment. As alternative health care practitioners, it is also crucial to recognize the importance of dealing with the patient on a psychologically therapeutic level. In most cases of depression, there are unseen, underlying triggers that we as acupuncturists are not trained to deal with. Hence, it requires a delicate balance that always keeps the patients' best interests foremost in mind.
In conclusion, depression must be dealt with on every level of the person's being. The theoretical model of the five elements can be useful in diagnosing and treating a patient suffering from depressive illness. As stated previously, it is vital to assess the severity of a depressive's condition, and tend to their individual needs. In any case, the five-element approach can be seen as one perspective in dealing with these conditions.
Current Research and Discussion
In his book, Dr. Ming Wong reports that acupuncture "is equivalent to the effect of tranquilizers in cases of depression, worry, insomnia, and nervous disorders, and its action is swift and long lasting." [24] Evidence to support this statement comes from Ernst’s study, where levels of endorphins through acupuncture needling increased, and stated that acupuncture provides promising evidence for the treatment of depression [11], whereas electroacupuncture provides a greater efficacy in alleviating the depressive state over conventional acupuncture. Also, Tsai’s research, where acupuncture stimulation released cerebral serotonin, provoked an anti-depressant as well as an analgesic effect, improved sleep pattern, therapeutic relaxation and the ease of withdrawal of medications. The patient also had mental clarity and alertness due to the lowering of the levels of antidepressants in the blood due to a decreasing dependence of the drug, thus reducing their toxic side-effects [31]. Locations for these points included DU20 and Yintang (EX1), GB20, P6, HT7, ST36, SP6, KI3. Self-assessment scales were used for patient ratings on their health and the percentage of improvement was remarkable: 78.8% improvement of mental disorders and 77.1 % improvement of physical disorders from slight to remarkable improvement [8].
There is a correlative relationship between asthma and mood disorders, namely clinical depression, in inner city asthma patients [25]. This demonstrates a correlation of the Lung Meridian as a treatment for depression. This is the Pulmonal Orb dysfunction previously described.
A study discussing stimulation of acupoints ST 36 and GB20 reported that increased intracephalic blood flow helped transport more nutrients to the brain [8], namely the amino acid tryptophan and its metabolites in the synthesis of serotonin [14]. Other research linked electroacupuncture in facilitating the stimulation of a c-fos protein, which is a third messenger protein that ultimately stimulated serotonergic neurons [16]. Now that acupuncture is known to be able to manipulate neurotransmitters Riederer’s study identified acupoints for their ability to treat depression (He gu = LI 4, zhou san li = ST36, tai chong = LI3) and were studied for nervous conditions [29]. There were increases in the metabolites of neurotransmitters in blood and urine samples, which suggested that there were more neurotransmitters being produced in the brain after acupuncture treatment [29]. Another study demonstrated acupuncture points Baihui (GV 20) and Yintang (EX 1), both also known for treating depression [1], when electrically stimulated, produced significantly increased levels of cerebral serotonin in rats [33], and in clinical trials was found to alleviate some symptoms of mental illnesses in patients, and the authors suggested that there is an increased turnover rate in serotonin metabolism after electroacupuncture treatment [33]. This suggests that there is more serotonin production in the brain after acupuncture treatment. Research involving one of the known acupoints for depression, pai-hui (GV20), acupuncture helped the memory storage process, where memory loss is a criterion for the western diagnosis of major depressive disorder [7].
Animal studies involving manipulating the monoamine levels in the periaqueductal gray of the rat brain demonstrated that electroacupuncture increased the amount of serotonin levels in that part of anatomy [21]. Other research in support of electroacupuncture for depression included an animal trial in which serotonin and norepinephrine synthesis was accelerated [15]. Clinical data for this experiment concluded that electroacupuncture is effective in treating depressive patients with effectiveness equal to and higher than the tricyclic amitriptyline [15].
Other clinical research compared electroacupuncture with antidepressants [23]. The tricyclic amitriptyline was the drug of choice for this comparison study. Results hailed electroacupuncture equal to amitriptyline for depressive disorders but also had a better therapeutic effect for anxiety somatization and cognitive process disturbance over the drug [23]. In addition, electroacupuncture had fewer side effects than amitriptyline and was heralded as an effective therapeutic method for depressive disorders, and was the treatment of choice for patients who were not able to withstand the side effects of the antidepressant [23].
One case study [10] found a 46-year-old mother with a clinical diagnosis of depression as a Western diagnosis demonstrated a typical pattern of illness described by traditional Chinese medicine as a "wind illness". Western medicine was not effective ("useless" as described in the article) in the treatment of the patient but acupuncture was beneficial. This demonstrates the difference between Eastern and Western practitioners and how they view a certain set of symptoms.
Whole body acupuncture was attempted in a study to "tonify" psychiatric patients, meaning to restore physiological homeostasis through standard acupuncture, for schizophrenic patients was attempted. Over 60 % of the patients received feelings of well being but not lasting more than three days [12]. This is promising news as schizophrenia is suggested to be a condition that is due to an excess of brain monoamines, namely dopamine, that medication was thought to be the only way to treat them.
A Russian experiment made progress with some antidepressant-resistant patients who were bipolar which suggests that this sub-type of depression may not be a purely biochemical imbalance in the brain [27].
In a comparison study of non-painful acupuncture and electro convulsive therapy the electroacupuncture was not as effective as electroconvulsive therapy in single treatments but was superior in decreasing depressive symptomatology when a series of electroacupuncture treatments was given. Electroacupuncture was preferred over electroconvulsive therapy due to the latter’s side effects of temporary disabling memory defects [19].
Given the numerous research cited, acupuncture is at least equally effective if not even better than antidepressants. It increased intracephalic blood flow and stimulated monoamine production, and decreased symptoms as defined in the DSM-IV-TR, as well as giving a sense of well being to the patient. This is all done with few side effects when compared with antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive therapy. Electroacupuncture is superior to conventional acupuncture in treating depression and is more effective than electroconvulsive therapy when given as a series of treatments. Finally, clinical depression is found not to be solely a neurotransmitter imbalance but it is also an imbalance in the meridians. Both Western and Eastern practitioners in the healing arts must see that clinical depression is a multifaceted condition that must be addressed through many types of healing paradigms to have effective treatment.
[1] The Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1975. An Outline of Chinese Acupuncture. Foreign Language Press. Peking.
[2] Alloy LB, Jacobson NS, Acocella J. Abnormal Psychology. Current Perspectives. McGraw-Hill College. St. Louis.
[3] American Psychiatric Association. 2000. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) American Psychiatric Association.
[4] Anisman H. 1998. Personal Communication.
[5] Baker D. 2000. Personal Communication. St. Louis.
[6] Burton Goldberg Group. 1997. Alternative Medicine. Future Medicine Publishing. Tiburon, CA.
[7] Chang YH, Hiseh MT, Wu CR. 1999. Effects of Acupuncture at Pai-Hui on the Deficit of Memory Storage in Rats. Am. J. Chin. Med. Vol. 27. pp. 289-298.
[8] Chen A. 1992. An Introduction to Sequential Electric Acupuncture (SEA) in the Treatment of Stress Related Physical and Mental Disorders. Acupunct. Electrother. Res. Vol. 17. pp. 273-283.
[9] Ebert MH, Loosen PT, Nurcombe B. 2000. Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Psychiatry. Lange Medical Books: St. Louis.
[10] Eisenbach M. 1983. "Wind Illness" or Somatic Depression? A case study in psychiatric anthropology. Br. J. Psychiatry. Vol. 143. pp.323-326.
[11] Ernst E, Rand JI, Stevinson C. 1998. Complementary Therapies in Depression. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. Vol. 55. pp1026-1032.
[12] Esser AH, Botek ST, Gilbert C. 1976. Acupuncture Tonification: Adjunct in psychiatric rehabilitation. Am. J. Chin. Med. Vol. 4. pp. 73-79.
[13] Fawcett J. 1994. Overview of Mood Disorders: Diagnosis, Classification, and Management. Clin. Chem. Vol. 40. pp. 273-278.
[14] Guyton AC, Hall JE. 1996. Textbook of Medical Physiology 9th Ed. WB Saunders Company. Philadelphia.
[15] Han JS. 1986. Electroacupuncture: an alternative to antidepressants for treating affective diseases? Int. J. Neuroscience. Vol. 29. pp.79-92.
[16] He L, Wang M, Gao M, Zhou J. 1992. Expression of C-fos Protein in Serotonergic Neurons of Rat Brainstem Following Electro-Acupuncture. Int. J. Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res. Vol. 17. pp. 243-248
[17] International Academy of Medical Acupuncturists. 2000. Class notes. Carefree, AZ.
[18] Keller MB. 1999. The Long Term Treatment of Depression. J Clin. Psychiatry. Vol. 60. Supp. 17
[19] Kurland HD. 1976 Electroconvulsive Therapy and Acupuncture Electric Stimulation in the Treatment of Depression. Am. J. Chin. Med. Vol. 4. pp. 289-292.
[20] Labow RS. 1983. Research into Mood Disorders at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Can. Med. Assoc. J. Vol. 129. pp. 541-543.
[21] Li XY, Zhu CB, Chen HN, Zhu YH, Wu GC, Xu SF. 1999. Effects of Fenfluramine Combined with electroacupuncture on monoamine release in periaqueductal gray of rat brain. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. Vol. 20 pp. 597-600.
[22] Loh WP. 1972. Basic Understanding of Acupuncture. J Indiana State Med Assoc. pp. 913-915.
[23] Luo H, Meng F, Jia Y, Zhao X. 1998. Clinical Research on the Therapeutic Effect of Electro-Acupuncture Treatment in Patients with Depression. Psychiatry Clin. Neuroscience. Vol. 52. Suppl: S338-340.
[24] Luard P, Wong M. 1968. Chinese Medicine. McGraw-Hill. New York.
[25] Nejtek VA, Brown ES, Khan DA, Moore JJ, Van Wagner J, Perantie DC. Prevalence of Mood Disorders and Relationship to Asthma Severity in Patients at an Inner City Asthma Clinic. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. Vol. 87. pp. 129-33.
[26] Oleson T. 1998. Auriculotherapy Manual. Chinese and Western Systems of Ear Acupuncture. Health Care Alternatives. Los Angeles.
[27] Poliakow SE. 1987. Acupuncture in the Treatment of Patients with Endogenous Depression. Zh. Nevropatol. Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. Vol. 87. pp. 604-608.
[28] Porkert M, Hempen CM. 1995. Classical Acupuncture—The Standard Textbook. Phainon Editions & Media GmbH Neusass, Germany.
[29] Riederer P, Tenk H, Werner H, Bischko J, Rett A, Krisper H. 1975. Manipulation of Neurotransmitters by Acupuncture. J. Neural Transm. Vol. 37. pp. 81-94.
[30] Schneider-Guild S.
[31] Tsai HY, Lin JG, Inoki R. 1989. Further evidence for possible analgesic mechanism of electroacupuncture: Effects on neuropeptides and serotonergic neurons in the rat spinal cord. Japanese Journal of Pharmacology. Vol. 49 pp.181-185.
[32] Young J. 1994. Acupressure Step by Step. The Oriental Way to Health. Thorsons Publishing.
[33] Zhang W, Shen Y. 1981. Change in Levels of Monoamine Neurotransmitters and Their Main Metabolites of Rat Brain After Electric Acupuncture Treatment. Neuroscience. Vol. 15, pp. 147-149.

Avoid Flu Shots With the One Vitamin that Will Stop Flu in Its Tracks

Another influenza season is beginning, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will strongly urge Americans to get a flu shot. In fact, the CDC mounts a well-orchestrated campaign each season to generate interest and demand for flu shots.
But a recent study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu appeared to have no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons.

At first glance, the data did suggest that children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years derived some protection from vaccination in these years. But after adjusting for potentially relevant variables, the researchers concluded that "significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting" examined.
Additionally, a Group Health study found that flu shots do not protect elderly people against developing pneumonia -- the primary cause of death resulting as a complication of the flu. Others have questioned whether there is any mortality benefit with influenza vaccination. Vaccination coverage among the elderly increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now, but there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza or pneumonia.
There is some evidence that flu shots cause Alzheimer's disease, most likely as a result of combining mercury with aluminum and formaldehyde. Mercury in vaccines has also been implicated as a cause of autism.
Three other serious adverse reactions to the flu vaccine are joint inflammation and arthritis, anaphylactic shock (and other life-threatening allergic reactions), and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralytic autoimmune disease.
One credible hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease.

Vitamin D levels in your blood fall to their lowest point during flu seasons. Unable to be protected by the body's own antibiotics (antimicrobial peptides) that are released by vitamin D, a person with a low vitamin D blood level is more vulnerable to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.
Studies show that children with rickets, a vitamin D-deficient skeletal disorder, suffer from frequent respiratory infections, and children exposed to sunlight are less likely to get a cold. The increased number of deaths that occur in winter, largely from pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases, are most likely due to vitamin D deficiency.

Unfortunately, now, for the first time, flu vaccination is also being pushed for virtually all children -- not just those under 5.
This is a huge change. Previously, flu vaccine was recommended only for youngsters under 5, who can become dangerously ill from influenza. This year, the government is recommending that children from age 6 months to 18 years be vaccinated, expanding inoculations to 30 million more school-age children.
The government argues that while older children seldom get as sick as the younger ones, it's a bigger population that catches flu at higher rates, so the change should cut missed school, and parents' missed work when they catch the illness from their children.
Of course, this policy ignores the fact that a systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo.

Sources: October 3, 2008
EMS Responder September 9, 2008
WebMD October 6, 2008
Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine October 2008; 162(10):943-51

We have a highly bioavailable Vitamin D that one little bottle the size of an eye dropper for less than HALF the cost of a flu shot. This little 1 oz bottle is more than enough to protect the entire family, without the razor-edged needles that they inject you with. (And it also saves you the potential mercury or formaldehyde based preservatives. See my other post on Vitamin D by clicking "Vitamin D" below.



From "The Chiropractic" Newsletter dated 1899
By D. D. Palmer

Dr Palmer has given all his time for 13 years to healing the
afflicted. He cures many persons in so short a time that it seems

We are living in an age of wonders. Every day we are surprised at
some new invention, and yet many of these new ideas are so simple and
easily understood that we wonder why our grandparents did not know of

Often cures are made by chance which seem miraculous.

Today we have a comprehensible explanation of the fundamental
principles upon which all these cures are made. Today the cause of
diseases are being located and those causes corrected just as surely as any
mechanic would find the cause of inharmony or wrong working in a piano,
wagon, watch, engine, or other machine.

A human being is a human machine and, like a machine, would run
smoothly, without any friction, if every part was in its proper place. If
every bone, every nerve, and all the blood vessels, muscles, etc. were just
right, there would be nothing wrong.

I look the human machine over and find what parts are out of place,
why the blood does not circulate freely to all parts, why the nerves cry
out with pain.

Disease is the effect or result of some part of the body being
disarranged. To put them in their proper place, would give the diseased
person ease and allow nature to rebuild without being obstructed.

We do not go to the drug store nor ransack all creation to find a
remedy. The remedy is in righting the wrong. The cause of disease is in
the sufferer, and the cause must be corrected.

If every part of the human body was in its natural place there would
be no friction, no inflammation, no fever, no weakness...Why not remove the
pressure, adjust the framework, and take the strain off those sensitive

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Symptoms of Chronic Mercury Poisoning

anxiety/nervousness, often with difficulty in breathing
exaggerated response to stimulation
emotional instability-lack of self control-fits of anger, with violent, irrational behavior
loss of self confidence
shyness or timidity, being easily embarrassed
loss of memory
inability to concentrate
mental depression, despondency
suicidal tendencies
manic depression
numbness and tingling of hands, feet, fingers, toes, or lips
muscle weakness progressing to paralysis
tremors/trembling of hands, feet, lips, eyelids or tongue
myoneural transmission failure resembling Myasthenia Gravis

Freya Koss (right) was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis after being stuck with double vision and ptotis (drooping eyelids) after having amalgam fillings placed.Freya in 2002 after safe amalgam removal and detoxification.She is now Director of Development for Consumers for Dental Choice.More of her story is on their website at

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bill Maher's rant on Big Pharma

Bill Maher hits home with some comedy our perceived dependence on drugs. Funny, sad, but true.

Viewer discretion is advised: contains mature subject matter.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My newborn son's first fever

Tuesday evening my son Aldan had a fever, demonstrated by extreme crying. It was only the second time he had shed tears. He was extremely warm. My wife had said he had thrown up three times during the day. I had personally witnessed projectile vomiting when I got home in the evening. We took a temperature of 99.4F. I took his wailing little body into my arms and started chiropractic adjustments on his lower back and pelvis, where there were vertebral subluxations. He started calming down ad fell asleep after 15 minutes and after 45 minutes we checked his temperature: 98.6F. Absolutely normal.

I have heard of our results for feverish kids before but to see baby Aldan first hand how his temperature returned to normal fascinated me. The power of chiropractic.

Last week he had some congestion. I gave baby Aldan some laser acupuncture and within a few minutes his congestion had improved. It's his 5th laser acupuncture treatment, since I gave him a few laser acupuncture for his high bilirubin levels to save him from going under phototherapy for borderline jaundice. He's had over 15 adjustments in the month he's been alive. He does not fuss except for when he is hungry, poopy, or too warm. He's been a great baby and I'm blessed to have him.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Acupuncture Beats Drug to Treat Hot Flashes

Acupuncture works as well as Effexor, a drug commonly used to combat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms that can accompany breast cancer treatment.

In fact, the benefits of acupuncture last longer than the effects of Effexor, and without any bad side effects. After 12 weeks of treatment, symptoms were reduced for 15 additional weeks for women who had undergone acupuncture, compared with just two weeks for those who had taken Effexor.

Not only were no bad side effects associated with acupuncture, women who underwent the treatment reported increased energy and overall sense of well-being. Those taking Effexor reported side effects including nausea, headache, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, increased blood pressure, fatigue and anxiety.

Reuters September 22, 2008
American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Meeting September 21-25, 2008 Boston, MA

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries, and studies continue to show its benefits for a wide variety of health problems.

The type of acupuncture most widely used and studied involves penetrating your skin with thin needles that are then manipulated by hand or electrical stimulation. The idea is that inserting needles at certain points in your body will unblock the flow of qi (or vital energy) along your body's meridian pathways.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, if qi cannot flow along your body's meridians -- due to an imbalance in yin (cold, slow) and yang (hot, excited) forces -- this is when disease develops.

Western studies, meanwhile, have shown that the use of acupuncture on pain-relief points cuts the blood flow to key areas of your brain within seconds, which may explain how this ancient technique might help relieve pain and even treat addictions. It's also been suggested that acupuncture may help support the activity of your body's natural pain-killing chemicals.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine states that over 8 million U.S. adults have used acupuncture, with relatively few complications.

A Much Safer Alternative to Drugs

If you have the option of using acupuncture or drugs to treat a health complaint, the former is the much safer option. For instance, while the women who took Effexor in the above study had side effects ranging from fatigue and nausea to increased blood pressure, those who had acupuncture felt increased energy and levels of well-being.

So it really is a no-brainer. Acupuncture is helpful not only for pain, addictions and hot flashes, but also:

• Headaches
• Nausea
• Fertility problems
• Arthritis
• Morning sickness during pregnancy
• Fibromyalgia

Is acupuncture a wonder "cure-all" that can make up for a lifetime of poor eating, stress and no exercise? Not even close. You still need to follow the basic principles of healthy eating, emotional management, and exercise to prevent disease. But acupuncture is an effective, safe, and relatively non-invasive method for relieving a large variety of health complaints.

The Chiropractic Solution to Neck Pain

Neck pain is quite common, and most people simply carry on with their activities of daily living. However, about 5 percent to 10 percent of people develop debilitating symptoms. Unfortunately, even among those folks who do not have disabling pain, the majority find their neck pain is stubborn and recurrent to some degree.

The renewed interest in neck disorders among clinical researchers has spurred some interesting studies. In the March/April issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), Canadian scientists have shown that arthritis in the neck might affect balance. This could mean that in cases of poor balance or repeated falls among the elderly, treatment of the cervical spine might have value. This could represent a "top down" strategy, which is a bit different from the "bottom up" approach to balance training more commonly utilized in rehabilitation.

In the February issue of JMPT, a complementary study by New Zealand and Canadian researchers suggested spinal manipulation of the neck can relax muscles in the arms and could be useful in relaxation of the whole body. This implies anything causing tightness in the neck joints also might cause muscle pain in the arms or elsewhere. Since manipulation and manual therapy are primary treatments for neck problems, a doctor of chiropractic should be among the first providers consulted for this type of pain.

So, how fast can a patient with neck pain expect to feel better with chiropractic care? By chance, in the same March issue of JMPT, British authors studied which neck symptoms might respond the quickest to hands-on treatment. Overall, considering all possible neck area complaints, about 70 percent of patients reported immediate favorable responses to manipulation. However, if patients complained about more specific things like headaches, shoulder or arm pain, reduced arm or neck movement, neck pain, or upper or middle back pain, the percentage of those who reported immediate improvement in pain rose to an incredible 95 percent!

The moral to this story is clear: If you're experiencing neck pain and haven't scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor, you're missing the perfect opportunity to resolve your pain.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Doctors Applaud Infant Cold/Cough Drug Recall

Click the title for the RECALL of INFANT cold medications. I wholeheartedly agree with their decision.

Artificial Immunity

The link on this title will bring you to the International Chiropractic Pedicatrics Association's website for the stance on chiropractic and immunizations.

Immunizations: A Second Opinion

I've been bombarded with eight MDs on my wife's side of the familyi to immunize my son. I'm not completely sold on immunizations risks vs benefits. -Dr. Tang

Immunizations: A Second Opinion
by Stephen C. Marini, M.S., Ph.D., D.C.

Originally Printed in: I.C.P.A. Newsletter July/August 1997

The following is an excerpt from a statement presented on June 8, 1995 in Washington, D.C. at the Vaccine Safety Forum of the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
There is historic epidemiologic evidence that the incidence and severity of infectious diseases wanes in populations over time, particularly in technologically advanced countries such as the United States, as the human immune system naturally adapts to the challenge.
Especially with regard to the passing on of maternal antibodies to protect newborns and keeping usually mild childhood diseases, such as rubella and chicken pox, out of adult populations where they are more severe, the advantage of permanent immunity gained from natural recovery from infectious disease as children outweighs the artificial, temporary immunity provided by vaccines. Data also suggest that the diseases of childhood are necessary for appropriate development, maturation and function of the individual immune and nervous systems.
Furthermore, progress in the field of Psychoneuroendocrinimmunology has led some researchers to conclude that vaccines in general may not only be impacting negatively on the human immune system, but may also be adversely affecting the neurologic and psychologic development and function of the vaccine recipient. The impact of artificial immunity on immune, neurologic, endocrine, and psychologic systems has not been scientifically elucidated.
There is no credible scientific data to demonstrate that the injection of multiple antigens simultaneously into a baby, particularly a baby under the age of one year, is safe and effective. There is no credible scientific evidence to negate the hypothesis that vaccines cause immediate or delayed damage to the immune and neurological disorders including asthma, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, diabetes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and other diseases. There is no assurance that the agency charged with detailing and reporting adverse events following immunizations is not ethically constrained by its conflicting responsibility of promoting a vaccine.....
There is growing public awareness of the significance of alternative measures, such as proper nutrition, exercise, rest positive mental outlook and the maintaining of neurologic integrity, as powerful instruments for immunologic enhancement and defense against disease. There is increasing recognition among health care practitioners that the human body has an innate ability to protect and heal itself when allowed to function optimally without interference.Educational Conduits which target the largest number and widest socio-economic cross-sections of the public should be used to reinforce the concept that wellness is a way of life and can only be achieved by employing preventive health care strategies which enhance, not suppress or interfere with, the natural functioning of the human immune system. In recognition of the need to enhance the innate human immune capacity to resist infectious diseases such as polio, health and wellness advocates of the 21st century support the SANS or NO VACCINE option.
Stephen Marini, M.S., Ph.D., D.C. , member of the ICPA Board of Directors, author of numerous articles on virology and vaccination, prominent speaker for the ICPA Chiropractic Pediatric Certification program, former Immunohematologist //Senior Medical Technologist, currently enjoying a successful chiropractic practice in King of Prussia, PA. Dr. Marini will be a featured speaker for the National Vaccine Information Center's First International Public Conference on Vaccination September 13-15 in Alexandria, VA.