Sunday, October 3, 2010

Insomnia, anxiety meds shorten lives

Insomnia, anxiety meds shorten lives

If you're doping yourself to sleep each night the Big Pharma way, you could be medicating yourself right into an early grave. Same goes for those of you who rely on anti-anxiety drugs to take the edge off life.

Because according to a new study, people who take sleep and/or anxiety drugs -- even occasionally -- have a higher death risk.

I don't know about you, but the very idea would make me MORE anxious, not to mention unable to sleep. But if it's any consolation, the study was based on a survey so it's not exactly rock-solid science.

But there's a warning in here just the same, so let's take a look at the details.

Canadian researchers kept tabs on 14,000 volunteers who answered questions about their meds, lifestyle, and health every two years. During the 12-year study period, 15.7 percent of the patients who took a sleep or anxiety med at least once a month ended up dead... versus just 10.5 percent of those who didn't take the drugs.

While the study in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry didn't pinpoint exactly why these meds led to the higher death risk, the researchers are pretty sure it's the meds and not the conditions that led to drugs in the first place.

As sure as you can be using a survey, anyway.

That's because even after adjusting for factors such as lifestyle, health, physical activity, and symptoms of depression, they still found a 36 percent increase in the risk of death among drug users.

Now, don't think tossing and turning is any better for you -- because another study found that men with insomnia who don't get enough sleep have quadruple the risk of an early death.

That study, published in the journal Sleep, also found that insomnia combined with diabetes or high blood pressure increased that death risk by seven times.

But don't worry, if you're suffering from sleepless nights, there's plenty you can do -- safely and naturally -- to help you get some much-needed shut-eye.

Therapies that actually get to the heart of the problem (for those who understand traditional Chinese medicine principles, that was a pun).  The heart meridian is called the "emperor" and it rules the meridians with the pericardium "prime minister".  When they become out of balance by some type of excessive stress, whether it be emotional (excessive pressure from a boss or spouse), physical (overexertion from manual labor or exercise, or subluxation from poor ergonomics) or chemical (poor nutrition or food poisoning).  This is where your Shen is seated.  Shen is "spirit" or "essence", nothing we can see, but when it is unseated it may cause common conditions such as depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness, amongst other issues.  

The ROOT solution is to harness your Shen with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, and to correct for any other stresses such as with proper diet or supplements to build back up the nutritional imbalance.  The human body is complex and there is no "magic bullet", but it must be systematically addressed and if one of the three stressors is not addressed then one sets themselves up for failure.

Dr. Tang 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Woman with Seizures Helped with Chiropractic - Case Study

A case study documenting the improvement of a 25 year old woman suffering from seizures who was helped by chiropractic was published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. In this case the woman was diagnosed at age 14 with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), and had suffered with the problem for more than 10 years.

The woman's history showed that the seizures started at age 14 shortly after a neck injury and just after her first menstrual cycle. She had been diagnosed with JME by the Michigan Institute for Neurological Disorders in 1998, 11 years before starting chiropractic care. She reported that at age 14 she fell out of bed and hit her head on a desk 2 to 3 months before the seizures began. At the time of her initial chiropractic visit she was taking 200 mg of lamotrigine per day to control the seizure activity. Over the previous 11 years, she reported that she experienced 1 to 2 seizures per month. She also noted that her menstrual cycles were severely abnormal lasting approximately 10 days, with 10 to 15 days between cycles.

Chiropractic examination was specifically focused on the upper cervical spine and care was initiated to correct a first cervical vertebrae (atlas) subluxation using specific chiropractic adjusting procedures geared toward the correction of atlas subluxations. The study reported that the woman received this chiropractic care over a 12 week period.

The results showed that the woman did report one seizure a few days after the beginning of chiropractic care. After that point she reported having 6 episodes of minor twitching that did not progress into seizure.  According to the study the woman did not experience any additional seizures from this point forward. In addition to the seizure benefits she also reported that her last 2 menstrual cycles lasted less than 7 days and were 28 days apart.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case study demonstrated improvement in a young woman with a seizure disorder after she received upper cervical chiropractic manipulation. This case suggests the need for more rigorous research to examine how upper cervical chiropractic techniques may provide therapeutic benefit to patients with seizure disorders."


Back Pain Sufferers Benefit from Chiropractic Care

A study published in the June 2010 issue of The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, showed that people who used what the study called "Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)" received a "great deal" of benefit. Chiropractic was included in what this medical study defined as CAM care.

The study received attention in a number of news stories including an article in the July 4, 2010 Medical News Today, and in a June 30, 2010 Business Wire release by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. The study surveyed people who had suffered from back pain and had used at least one CAM therapy in the last 12 months. Of these participants the results showed that over 60% found remarkable relief using the top six CAM treatments. Those treatments were chiropractic care, massage, yoga/tai chi/qi Cong, acupuncture, herbal therapies, and relaxation techniques - with chiropractic care being the most popular choice.

The Medical News Today story reported that back pain is the second leading reason people walk into a doctor's office in the U.S. The survey looked at a total of 17 CAM therapies choices. Of those, Chiropractic care was the most popular approach at 74 percent, with massage a distant second at 22 percent.

Dr. Gerard Clum, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress spokesperson and president of Life Chiropractic College West noted, "What we are seeing with these studies is compelling evidence that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for back pain sufferers – more and more, that light is chiropractic care and other CAM approaches."

One of the interesting findings of the study was that an overwhelming number of the people in the survey did not go to a CAM practitioner because of a referral from a medical doctor. In fact only 24 percent of respondents with back pain who received CAM stated that care came at the suggestion of their conventional medical practitioner.

In their study conclusion, the authors of the study stated, "CAM is used by 40% to 60% of the population yearly, and back pain is the most common medical condition for which people use CAM. Using a nationally representative survey, our analyses documented that the majority of respondents who used CAM for back pain perceived great benefit and identified specific factors associated with perceived benefit."

In the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress release on the study Dr. Clum summed up the study by stating, "Back pain sufferers should be made aware of all treatment options, especially alternatives that have been scientifically proven to provide relief. While chiropractic care has in the past been considered alternative there is now a case to be made for making it the first choice for patients and in the process making interventions like injections and surgery the alternative approach."


40 Million Swine Flu Vaccines Written Off As Trash

The above is the headline from a July 1, 2010 story in Medical News Today documenting the large overproduction and waste of swine flu vaccines. Even amidst an ongoing push from the pharmaceutical companies and medical groups trying even now to persuade people to get a vaccine against a problem that never really materialized millions of doses of US taxpayer paid vaccine doses must be destroyed with millions more to follow.

According to the Medical News Today story, a full one quarter of the produced and paid for swine flu vaccines expired at the end of June 2010, and were to be incinerated. As more vaccines expire, that number will go higher and may mean that as much as half of all the swine flu vaccine produced will need to be destroyed. The cost for the vaccines that are being destroyed to date is estimated to be about $260 million.

The H1N1, swine flu turned out to be less serious than the normal seasonal flu and claimed less lives than the normal flu does. Criticism mounted as a review of the so called pandemic showed that the death toll was only one-third of what normally occurs during a normal flu season. Additionally, countries from all over the world are also destroying their stockpiles of vaccines as they also become worthless.

A July 2, 2010 story in the New American, reported on an investigation conducted by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism that exposed improper conflicts of interest among World Health Organization (WHO) scientists. The inquiry found that at least three of the organization's "experts" were paid by vaccine manufacturers. The BMJ wrote, "Despite repeated requests, the WHO has failed to provide any details about whether such conflicts were declared by the relevant experts and what, if anything, was done about them."

In Europe the Council of Europe strongly criticized the World Health Organization's fear-mongering and vaccine promotion by saying, "The handling by the WHO of the H1N1 pandemic led to a waste of large sums of public money and unjustified scares and fears about health risks faced by the European public. They went on to note that, "(There was), overwhelming evidence that the seriousness of the pandemic was vastly overrated by WHO."

Dr. Ulrich Keil, a WHO advisor, conceded in an interview with the Associated Press, "Each time the so-called experts told us that millions of people would be killed worldwide by the respective viruses. We have learned that the experts were utterly wrong."

Yours in good health, happiness, and gratitude,

Dr. Alan Tang
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