Thursday, December 31, 2009
But Tracy wasn't done in this life. The new mother began breathing again on her own and baby Coltyn also revived. Today they're both healthy with no ill effects from the experience.
The doctors cannot explain the cardiac arrest or the recovery. Dr. Stephanie Martin, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs said "We did a thorough evaluation and can't find anything that explains why this happened."
Let's simply appreciate and enjoy this miracle.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Pessimists had a 19% higher risk for early death according to a 2000 Mayo Clinic study.
Optimists have better immune system functioning, quicker recovery from heart surgery and greater ability to handle life-threatening illnesses like cancer. The good news is everyone can learn to be more optimistic, even pessimists. Wouldn't you prefer to wake up on the right side of the bed every morning?
Optimism is its own reward.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Did you know that over 11% of all out-of-pocket expenditures for health care were for complementary and alternative medicine? The field continues to grow in popularity today as more information becomes available.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Is it any wonder that more than 100,000 people are killed each year in hospitals due to medical errors and failures? Obviously the culture of medicine has flaws that are literally killing people and need to be fixed for the benefit of both doctor and patient.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Clearly these accomplishments are in stark contrast to the recent series of articles from the Associated Press which claimed that they have never found a single cure and that the millions of dollars spent on research could have been better spent on traditional research. This pro-prescription drug campaign should have been listed as editorial instead of news.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Does it look like a phony deal to you? The drug companies crank up sales by $10 billion in order to offer a price cut of $8 billion? I won't even go into the latest studies on heart drugs that show how they actually increase the risk of heart attack.
It's time for Americans to find better answers to their health problems than prescription drugs.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
CAM is much more accepted in Europe, it was just this past spring that Switzerland voted to add it to their constitution to protect it. However there hasn't been as much investment in research compared with the NCCAM in America. Germany, for example, has not invested any government funding since 1996.
In an era of health care reform this investment by Europe may pay dividends to America.
Monday, November 9, 2009
The congress opened with an exhortation towards precision with language in order to dispel confusion about the term “fascia” because there are different types and they're not all the same. The scientific research going on is providing a deeper understanding of the mechanics of the various structural integration and massage therapies for the practitioners and the experience of the practitioners provides insight and understanding to the researchers. It's a win-win opportunity.
Wouldn't it be great if other fields could learn to work with and respect each other? Just imagine how much progress could be made when folks work together!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
There is going to be a forum later this month by Consumer's Union Safe Patient Project called To Err Is Human, To Delay Is Deadly to review this situation and search for improvements. It will be webcast so anyone who is interested may listen and watch the proceedings on November 17, 2009 from 10am-3:30pm EST.
Can you imagine if any one of the 300+ therapies listed in my book killed 100,000 people every year? The media would be all over us but the medical systems' status quo doesn't even rate a paragraph in the back of the paper today.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
One answer to this problem is a radical change in our health care system, beginning with each one of us, right now. The current model is treatment-based and we need to shift to a focus on prevention. We don't wait until the engines fall out of our cars before getting them serviced do we? No! We take them in for regular service so expensive problems can be avoided. We need to do the same for our health.
Americans need to take responsibility for their own health. We can prevent bankruptcies in many cases by preventing serious health problems. Don't wait until something goes wrong, take charge of your life right now and do something to maintain better health. For instance, take advantage of the hundreds of complementary and alternative therapies that are available. Most of these are holistic (treat all of you) and are based on preventative medicine.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Is this how the FDA protects the public or the drug manufacturers?
Sunday, October 18, 2009
In one study scientists compared the health status of 386 men and women who took surveys in 1968 when they were 50 years old. Those with the most negative stereotypes about older people were much more likely to have had strokes or heart attacks than those with more positive views.
The good news is that attitudes about aging are not set in stone, it appears they can be changed, especially if people are exposed to positive role models.
So think positive! You're only as old as you feel.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Isn't it amazing that occupational radiation exposure is regulated by the federal government but there is no federal oversight when radiation is used for medical purposes? Doesn't this seem like upside-down priorities considering the number of people at risk?
Today even some doctors are beginning to suggest that tracking a patient's cumulative radiation dose in their medical record is necessary. Such a record could help prevent unnecessary radiation exposure.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
We all have four rivers of life that nourish us and help us to grow. The first is the River of Inspiration. What inspired you today?
The second is the River of Challenge. What challenged you to leave your comfort zone? Did you accept the challenge?
The third is the River of Surprise. What "came out of the blue" today for you? Staying aware of these mysteries of life can help you move in wonderful new directions.
The fourth is the River of Love. How did love touch you today?
These four rivers can raise our lives from a level of mundane averageness to an exciting, almost mystical level. Sounds like good advice to me!
Monday, October 5, 2009
"The concern here is that buried in these numbers is a true increase," said Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "We're going to have to think very hard about what we're going to do for the 1 in 100."
The bigger question, the one nobody seems to be asking, is what are we doing to our health in this country to produce this problem?
Friday, September 25, 2009
It's also why America needs to come to grips with a broken health care system that's consuming 16.7% of our nation's GDP.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Today is World Alzheimer's Day and in case you've forgotten the disease affects 5.3 million people here in the United States. One of the many organizations to learn more is the Alzheimer's Solutions Project.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Homeopathy was not mentioned specifically in the paper but the process was similar because they used aqueous solutions that were agitated and serially diluted, noting that the strong agitation was critical for the generation of electromagnetic signals. Anyone familiar with homeopathy recognizes the traditional homeopathic distillation process.
A portion of the abstract of this research in part asserts, "A novel property of DNA is described: the capacity of some bacterial DNA sequences to induce electromagnetic waves at high aqueous (water) dilutions. It appears to be a resonance phenomenon triggered by the ambient electromagnetic background of very low frequency waves."
One of the major arguments against homeopathy in America has been that scientifically it's impossible for such dilutions to maintain any effect. This latest research would appear to counter that claim. Homeopathy is used extensively in Europe.
To learn more: Montagnier L, Aissa J, Ferris S, Montagnier J-L, Lavallee C (2009). Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences. Interdisciplinary Sciences: Computational Life Sciences, 1: 81-90.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The most fun so far has been updating listings in the first edition. As you know I'm closing in on 50 podcasts and listening to them again always brings out some new tidbit of information about each therapy. Maybe I'm just putting off the hard work of researching all of the new listings for later. Also going to present the information in a slightly different way, a more entertaining and interesting way. I'm capitalizing on all of the suggestions from readers over the past two years about what they'd like to see.
I'll get back to blogging more regularly, I promise!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Here is the link to his article on 5 Myths on Health Care Around the World. Enjoy.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
In a prior life I produced a business video called Chorus For Quality about how we all needed to work together for our nation's economic benefit because we're all on the same team. One of the problems facing our country is the growing divide between CEO and worker pay. In Japan and other countries a CEO would be dishonored to be so greedy resulting in their pay gap being a fraction of ours. When my video was released many years ago the gap between CEO and average worker pay was less than 200% and that was the highest in the world by far.
A recent study has found that overall CEO-to-worker pay gap is 319 times more than the average worker for the S&P 500 CEOs last year. This growing divide is not only stressful to the workers getting the short end of the deal but also to our nation.
America is one of only two nations on earth that permit the direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs and even that's not enough for the drug companies. They want more and more and more. It's great to see the system working to protect consumers.
Don't wear the cellphone on your belt, carry it in your purse or lay it down. You really don't want to expose other parts of your body to a constant dose of radiation.
While we're on the subject of unseen energy ... if radiation can hurt us why can't energy medicine heal us?
Friday, August 28, 2009
This latest study showed that acupuncture increases the binding availability of mu-opioid receptors in regions of the brain that process and weaken pain signal, in other words it reduces pain. Western medicine continues to try and squeeze that square peg of acupuncture into their round hole of science to try and understand how it works. The fact that it's been used by billions of people for 5,000 years doesn't carry any weight with Western medicine.
They're slowing coming along and accepting that acupuncture does work. Better late than never.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
"Maybe it's time to correct the textbooks" according to researcher William Parker, an immunologist at Duke University Medical Center. Along with his colleges they recently suggested that the appendix serves as a warehouse for good bacteria, waiting to repopulate our digestive tract after diarrhea and other illnesses. Sounds like a pretty useful purpose to me.
The research was published in this month's issue of Journal of Evolutionary Biology.
Monday, August 24, 2009
The Deloitte Center or Health Solutions projects that 1.6 million Americans will make medical tourism trips in 2010, more than double the 750,000 who made trips in 2007. The reason is simple: price. Savings can be 50% to 90% on things like heart bypass surgery or knee replacement surgery.
Best of all, the foreign competition is forcing some doctors and hospitals here at home to reduce prices to compete with medical tourism.
Friday, August 21, 2009
The study, published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, involved 8,652 people aged 51 to 61.
It should be noted that people who remarry do tend to be happier they gain little in terms of chronic health conditions.
There are several lessons in this study, the most obvious is that divorce leaves many scars. It also demonstrates again that our emotional health impacts our physical health. One of the advantages of complementary and alternative medicine is that looks at the whole person because these therapies appreciate that the source of health problems can be in your mind or spirit. What's sad is that Western medicine is still doing studies to discover this fundamental human truth.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
It's been estimated that 30% of our health care budget, or about $700 billion, is spent on tests and treatments that provide no value or benefit. Clearly we've got a long way to go to better balance our health care.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
To put the issue in a more personal perspective, the American Journal of Medicine said in its June issue that medical debt was a factor in 62% of personal bankruptcies nationally and that 75% of those people had health insurance. Beginning to get the picture? Personally, and as a nation, we can't afford the current medical system.
We may disagree on what form the change needs to take, but hopefully we can quickly agree that change needs to happen NOW.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The second choice is to reform health care. We'll join every other industrialized country on earth with universal coverage and reduce our costs. America spends more on health care than any other country in the world yet we are no healthier for it. In fact, in most categories we're worse than other countries. So not only are we paying more for it, we're not getting as good a deal. President Obama made the point with the car analogy - if your neighbor bought a car and paid $6,000 less for it than you did, you'd want to find the same deal, and he's right.
This morning I even heard an anchor on Fox Business say it's crazy that we spend 98% of our health care dollars on treatment, and he's right. That's why other countries focus on prevention and have lower costs. We're paying for treatments instead of results. Our medical system is upside down and we're all paying the price for it, and it's going to get worse unless we do something about it now.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
The party may be coming to a close because Charles Rangel, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, wants to drop the drug-advertising deduction. The move would raise up to $37 billion over the next decade, money that could be used for health care reform.
Would anyone really miss those TV ads?
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Ran across a wonderful quote this week that shows the error of relying on artificial prescription drugs for our health today. Many people remember Thomas Edison as a great scientist and inventor. Even he could not understand why mainstream medicine continued to persist in treating diseases with drugs, when it was obvious to him that disease was caused by biological imbalances which drugs can do nothing to correct. He best stated his opinion in one of his writings when he said: "The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
Sounds an awful lot like Traditional Chinese Medicine and many, many other types of complementary and alternative therapies, doesn't it? Want to go back even further?
Four hundred years ago Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver's Travels, wrote that "the three best doctors in the world are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman." Today four centuries later we're still figuring out the importance to our health today of what we eat and drink, the peace that we find within, and the joy that we find within life.
Those of you familiar with the Ornish Program will recognize those features as being key to the program's success. The Ornish Program has been medically proven to reverse heart disease without drugs or surgery. It's so successful that Medicare last year approved it as the first lifestyle therapy in Medicare history.
Bottom line: drugs don't solve problems, they solve symptoms.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The catch in the deal seems to be an understanding that a public option for insurance would reimburse at higher levels. The groups supporting this position are the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals and the Catholic Health Association.
While I'm on the subject of hospitals, have you checked out some of the rating and review sites available? Transparency is one of the keys to getting hospitals to adopt best practices for better care and lower costs but the public has to take advantage of the information that's available. The federal government site allows you to do some comparison shopping for care. For safety, quality and efficiency try the Leapfrog Group site. To find hospitals with a problem stopping the spread of infections try the Consumers Union site.
Consumers of health care are going to have to talk about the choice of hospitals with their doctors and stop simply going along with whatever he/she suggests. Without consumer pressure there is no reason for hospitals to change how they do business.
Monday, July 6, 2009
The Washington Post says the health care industry is spending $1.4 million more right now to influence health care reform. The Post should know, they tried to auction off access to their reporters to lobbyists for prices ranging from $25,000 to more than $1 million. As a former journalist I find the idea of taking money from lobbyists who are eager to influence how a story is reported to be highly offensive. Doesn't anyone in Washington, D.C. have any ethics anymore?
The revolving door for elected officials to stay in Washington and make even more money as a lobbyist has to stop if we're going to protect the interests of the citizens of this country. Perhaps a 5-year moratorium before they can talk to their ol' buddies again?
Who's speaking up for the interests of Americans who want more affordable health care today in Washington?
Thursday, July 2, 2009
If doctors aren't embarrassed by all of these gifts why don't they simply put a big poster up in their waiting rooms and a special page on their website so patients can make informed decisions about their health care. After all, do you want a doctor doing your knee replacement who's taken $1,000,000 from a particular device manufacturer or one who has accepted no payments to bias his use of the best products for your care?
Let's be honest, the drug companies wouldn't be spending tens of millions of dollars on these "gifts" (regular folks would call them bribes) unless they increased sales and profits. Doctors claiming to be above being influenced are simply kidding themselves and their profession. The drug companies start the addiction with gifts while they're in medical school and it just gets worse over time.
But perhaps we should take a different approach. In NASCAR they proudly display their sponsors. The biggest sponsors get the biggest decals in the best position on the race car. Maybe doctors should admit they're being sponsored and put patches for each of the drug company products on their white lab coats. The biggest payments earn the biggest patches and best locations. At least then patients would know what to expect.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The actions are being considered because acetaminophen is responsible for 56,000 people going to the emergency room and around 200 deaths each year due to liver damage. No one can even estimate the number of people who may suffer liver damage from these popular products. There is no such thing as a completely safe drug.
In contrast, none of the 300+ therapies listed in my book on complementary and alternative therapies send thousands of people to the hospital every year or kill hundreds. And doctors say complementary and alternative medicine is dangerous?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The fact is America can't continue with our current health care system, period. We simply cannot afford it. Already 16.3% of our GDP it continues to climb faster than inflation (usually 2x or 3x) and will soon cripple our economy. I enjoyed the comment from the doctor at the Mayo Clinic that we simply can't afford to give all treatments to all people. Every special interest group recognizes that change is going to happen, they just want to protect their interests.
There are several fundamental changes being proposed by the administration. First is a shift from Western medicine's focus on treatments to an emphasis on prevention which is the foundation of Eastern medicine. Since the three leading causes of death in our country are preventable this is self-evident.
The key part of this shift is a change from a nation of medical specialists (80% of doctors today) to relying on primary care doctors. In every other industrialized country the ratio is reversed with 80% primary care doctors and only 20% specialists. Again, doctors have simply followed the money in a system that's evolved to reward procedures instead of results.
If you managed to stay up late you heard the best question of all: Every other industrialized country in the world manages to provide health care for every citizen while spending half of what we do in America. It's time for a change.
Change is coming whether we want it to or not, it has to. Now the challenge is to shape the change for the best future for America.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
But that's not all. At its national conference in Indianapolis coming up in August, this "professional" journalism group will offer a tour of the Eli Lilly drug company corporate headquarters.
And they don't see this as a conflict of interest? Are we surprised at the recent flood of anti-CAM stories showing up in the media? Whatever happened to professional ethics? As a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists this behavior doesn't come as a surprise to me but it is disappointing. Yes there is a war going on for the minds (and wallets) of America during the health care reform effort but journalists are supposed to be objective reporters of events, not PR hacks on the take to promote one viewpoint.
To be fair, some journalists are raising objections about the disappearance of professional standards and I commend their efforts to reform their field before all credibility is lost. Hopefully these organizations will listen before they become the headline in their own story.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The Cost Conundrum by Atul Gawande is an outstanding article about what's really involved in health care reform today. Who pays is only part of the puzzle. I've said for a long time that what we're paying for also has to be part of the discussion because complementary and alternative medicine has a lot to offer, that's why more than 1/3 of Americans already use it. What's really at stake in health care reform is the heart and soul of medicine in America today. President Obama recently was raving about the article at a Cabinet meeting and it's been circulating around Washington at the highest levels.
To learn even more about this issue you should read Shannon Brownlee's award-winning book OVERTREATED: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker & Poorer. It will open your eyes and you'll never look at your doctor quite the same way again.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Why would McAllen, Texas, a poor border town, spend $15,000 per year per Medicare patient when Rochester, Minnesota, home of the famous Mayo Clinic, spends half as much? To be fair let's compare it to El Paso since they have similar demographics. El Paso's hospitals rank better than McAllen's is 23 of 25 criteria. Yet McAllen patients get 60% more stress tests with echocardiography, 200% more tests to diagnose carpel tunnel syndrome and 550% more tests to diagnose prostate problems.
Atule Gawande, a Boston surgeon writing in The New Yorker recently said "they get more of what costs more but not more of what they need." Doctors at the Mayo Clinic work on fixed salaries which reduces the incentive for more revenue-producing tests. Developing "best practices" is not only a benefit to patients, it's also one of the ingredients in health care reform.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The fourth point in her story is the standard medical fear-mongering about comparative-effectiveness research and standards. In plain language doctors are afraid that studying what a procedure or drug does would lead to standards being established. The Dartmouth research has already shown that Medicare costs more than double in various cities yet the outcomes don't improve ... or may even be worse at the most expensive locations. In other words doctors just don't like being told what to do (or not do) by anyone else, even other doctors.
Doctors are screaming at the top of their lungs at how dangerous and unfair it could be for some government bureaucrat to determine what drug or procedure a patient could get. After all, you might not get that brand new $50,000 per dose wonder drug because only a few people might benefit.
Isn't it interesting that while doctors are fighting for your right to consume every type of drug or medical procedure, regardless of its effectiveness, they're also fighting hard to take away your right to choose complementary and alternative medicine because it may only benefit a small percentage of people? They used to call this kind of talking out of both sides of your mouth hypocrisy. They fight for the rights of a few when it's in their financial interest but fight hard to deny the freedom for everyone to choose to their patients when it might take away business.
Fortunately consumers are beginning to figure out that medicine in America often isn't about saving lives, it's about money. Lots of money. Anyone who doubts that can read Shannon Brownlee's award-winning book OVERTREATED: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker & Poorer.
Friday, June 5, 2009
If anyone wonders why the health care reform movement is growing stronger this time around, this is the answer.
And the medical community says complementary and alternative medicine is expensive?
Friday, May 29, 2009
Medicine evolved from the practice of curing our ills and it's been a big, profitable enterprise. Today it's so big that it consumes 16.3% of our GDP while the amount of care decreases due to rising costs and the number of uninsured. The basic solution is to a new paradigm of medicine to prevent illness and disease. This is where traditional medicine can learn from the world of complementary and alternative medicine.
The WIN report is interesting reading, especially while health care reform is such a hot topic in our country. You'll find it at WIN.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The British system provides a high standard of care to all Britons despite spending less per capita than is spent in the U.S., $2,500 a year in the U.K. versus about $6,000 in the U.S. He also pointed to a 2007 report from the U.S. research group Commonwealth Fund that ranked U.K. health care as No. 1 out of six large countries, based on patient and physician surveys (the U.S. placed last). And he noted better life expectancy rates — 79.2 years for the U.K. versus 78 years for the U.S., according to recent data from the World Health Organization.
The current TV campaign makes it sound like Britons are dying in the streets due to government bureaucracy. Is it a perfect system? Even the British will admit that it isn't, but it certainly offers some guidance to the health care reform efforts in our country. America simply cannot afford to continue spending 16.3% of our G.D.P. on health care, a figure which is escalating almost hourly.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This should be a clear indication for Americans on the importance other countries place on CAM. Perhaps there's a reason President Obama recently said he's open to adding CAM to health care reform efforts?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
At the same time the Insurance industry decreased lobbying expenses by 2% to just $41.4 million for the first quarter. Either they're keeping their powder dry or they accept that change in health care is inevitable this time around are are willing to work with the process.
Monday, May 18, 2009
The problem with health care costs is not just the uninsured, it's the cost we're all paying today. In Texas health insurance premiums rose from $6,638 in 2000 to $12,403 in 2007, an 86% increase while median earnings rose just 15%.
Add in the time and expense of dealing with the standard insurance industry practice of "denial management" and the toll just keeps on rising for American families. Any wonder there is such a concentrated effort to enact health care reform this year?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Since that increase was before our current economic crisis, how many are meditating today? The good news is they're using natural stress relief which is better for their whole body.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
"Neither managed care, nor wage and price controls, nor regulation, nor voluntary action nor market competition has had a lasting impact on our nation's health care costs," Altman said recently. Even after President Bill Clinton proposed an overhaul of our health care system the growth of health care spending slowed only slightly, only to surge a few years later.
The good news is the health care industry realizes that major changes are going to happen this time around and they're willing to promise almost anything to get a seat at the negotiating table.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Stress is connected to many health problems including heart disease and several digestive disorders. Now, more than ever, it's worth it to take the time for yourself to deal with the stress in your life. Tai Chi, meditation, yoga, massage are just a few ways to help handle stress. Even taking the time to stop and smell the roses as you take a daily walk would help ... it's part of living in the moment or what's called mindfulness.
It also helps to mind what your eating!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The President went on to say that our health care system needs to change its focus to one of prevention to obtain serious savings down the road. Too often elected officials and the private insurance industry focus on reducing costs in the near-term. That's also good news for CAM because so many therapies are directed at prevention and wellness.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Lifestyle is the major factor in our health so the report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development sheds light on why America ranks so poorly in so many health categories. For starters, the French sleep a daily average of 530 minutes compared with 518 for Americans and 469 for Koreans. (I've seen studies that say Americans average a lot less than 518 minutes.)
Medical science is just beginning to appreciate the negative effects of stress on our health but our culture isn't paying attention yet. The French enjoy 30 days of mandatory paid leave every year, compared to with 20 in the U.K. and 10 in Japan. America has no mandatory paid annual leave yet, the the impact of the resulting stress build-up can be seen in our health statistics.
Americans may enjoy being the hardest-working people on the planet but the toll it takes on our health is a heavy price to pay. Is it any wonder we spend more on health care than any other nation on earth at 16.3% of our GDP? How long before we stop and smell the roses?
Sunday, May 3, 2009
But you have to love the story out of Canada about the 200 pigs who caught the Swine Flu ... from a human worker just returned from Mexico. There just seems to be an element of "turn about is fair play" about the story.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Not long ago I mentioned the congressional sting that caught a Colorado company faking information. Originally Coast IRB said they would review their operations but as a result of the warning letter from the FDA and loss of several key customers the company has said it would close.
One small step ...
Friday, April 17, 2009
The problem is that it takes years of use in the population for problems with drugs to be recognized and by that time many, many lives have been changed forever. In some cases, even lost.
Doctors need to stop thinking with their prescription pad and free drug rep pen and start looking to more natural ways to help patients. Every prescription not written is another problem avoided.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
In tiny little Vermont the top 78 drug makers reported spending a total of $2,935,248 to promote their products. Can you imagine how much the drug industry is spending in New York or California to promote drug use and their sales and profits?
And you wonder why the first suggestion from your doctor is about a drug?
How can complementary and alternative therapies compete in this game that's all about money instead of being about patient health?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
It's about time somebody stepped up and started looking out for us!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Reuben Grainger-Mead was diagnosed with a congenital blood disorder that stunted his growth, weakened him and made his heart race three or four times faster than normal when he was just 2 years old. He had to visit a hospital for monthly blood transfusions but his condition continued. His parents refused to give up and eventually found a nutritionist who correctly diagnosed the need for a change in diet due to the unique way his system worked. A change in diet and some dietary supplements and at 8 years old he's living a nearly normal life.
His mother put it clearly "It just shows that parents should never give up," she said. "I'm not criticizing the medical profession at all -- they did all they could. But this shows that there's always another avenue."
And doctors wonder why we fight so hard to have access to complementary and alternative medicine?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I say there may be a silver lining in this problem because many patients are going to realize how little the prescriptions were doing for them in the first place, or at least appreciate the cost-benefit ratio. They may also discover some of their health problems were actually side-effects from the prescriptions they were taking, either by themselves or as in combination with other drugs they're taking.
Hopefully some folks are going to look for other, better answers to their health problems. Most of us start to use complementary and alternative medicine because we're out of options. Hopefully a few people are going to try CAM because they're looking for a better, cheaper and safer alternative.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Want more good news? Only 12% of companies today offer insurance for retired workers according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The reality is many people will continue working just for their health care.
The best advice? Start saving now not only for retirement, but for retirement health expenses.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Kind of makes it hard to believe their "expert" opinions aren't just a little bit biased, doesn't it?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
One critical point that I'd like to highlight was their recommendation that the priority of America's health care system be changed. In fact, they want it totally reversed. Over the last few decades the health care system has figured out it's much more profitable to treat sick people than to keep them healthy and prevent illness and disease. Great for them, bad for us. It's one of the major reasons that America spends more on health care than any other nation on earth, more than twice as much as many other industrialized countries. The report now calls for prevention to become the foundation for medical care.
It's a small step, but at least it's a start.
Monday, March 23, 2009
You see the problem is Leo, a professor of neuro-anatomy at Lincoln Memorial University, had the audacity to send a letter to the medical journal BMJ in which he pointed out an unreported conflict of interest in a JAMA study. As usual, a little sunshine scares the established medical interests so they reflex by calling him names.
The tide is slowly turning in America towards fairness and transparency though and less than a week later JAMA had to reverse course. They claim they're correcting their policy on conflicts of interest, but they've said that many times before. It's sad that Leo would have to send a letter out of the country in order to get it published, but that's a reflection of medicine in America today.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I particularly liked the information on the "gut brain" as they called it. The digestive tract is loaded with its own little nervous system that is incredibly tuned in to our thoughts and emotions. That's why you get butterflies there when you're nervous. Even greater or prolonged anxiety can trigger heartburn, indigestion and irritable-bowel syndrome, in which the normal movement of the colon gets out of rhythm, traps painful gas and alternates between diarrhea and constipation. Been there, done that, it wasn't any fun.
The article didn't really cover the hundreds of different CAM therapies that have been proven to help with stress and the damaging effects on our health. At least it's a start.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that lawsuits "uncover drug hazards and provide incentives for drug manufacturers to disclose safety risks promptly."
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sen. Tom Harkin had some wonderful opening remarks at the hearing. "It is fashionable, these days, to quote Abraham Lincoln. So I would like to quote form his 1862 address to Congress - words that should inspire us as we craft health care reform legislation. Lincoln said, 'The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty ... As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.'" Later he put the situation more succinctly: "It is time to end the discrimination against alternative health care practices."
The process of changing health care in America is not going to be a quick and easy situation but rather a long, bloody and difficult process to give birth to a better health care system.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Estimes show that Medicare will become insolvent as early as 2016, years sooner than expected. In fact, taxpayers will be responsible for more than half of the nation's health care bill by 2016 due to the influx of Baby Boomers and expansion of Medicaid. Health care costs will rise to $13,100 by 2018.
Meanwhile the nunber of uninsured has grown to 48 million according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
The technology is even being researched today by approved medical institutions because it does work. Now it's called laser technology using frequencies to explode viruses but decades ago it was simply called a "beam ray device" by Royal Rife. Interesting that this device predates the FDA by decades but they are obsessed with eliminating this threat to their friends in the drug industry.
Anyone who thinks they have freedom in America today isn't paying attention. Whenever there is money and power at stake, freedom is the first casualty.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Cigna said prices charged by doctors are part of the problem because doctors in the expensive New York City market charge on average $214 for a 15-minute, out-of-network office visit. Health insurance companies may reimburse as much as $160 based on the Ingenix database while Medicare pays doctors $77 for the same visit.
Looking at those figures is it any wonder the AMA is terrified of a national health plan? Is it any surprise why it's so difficult to find a doctor who will take Medicare today when they can earn so much more for the same amount of time?
Clearly the costs of health care today are at the breaking point snd something has to be done. Cooking the books in a database isn't the way to solve the problem.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
A coalition called the Partnership to Improve Patient Care includes the lobbying arms of the drug, device and biotechnology industries as well as patient-advocacy groups and medical-professional societies. Coalition spokesman David Di Martino says the research envisioned in the House bill may be used "in an inappropriate manner that may limit treatment options for patients." In other words, their profits.
Anyone who's read Shannon Brownlee's award-winning book OVERTREATED: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker & Poorer knows that cost does not equate to outcome in medicine today. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about the economics of health care in America.
One interesting thought is that the medical world may be terrified of this type of research because it might show that the cost-benefit ratio of complementary and alternative medicine is superior to the drug-based medical system we have today. CAM treatments are usually much less expensive than standard medical care and it can produce positive results.
I'm living proof of it. What I spent on CAM treatments to restore my health was a fraction of what was spent on specialists in Dallas and a trip to the Mayo Clinic.
The fact is the stimulus bill is the opening round of a new battle to change health care in America and the status quo are going to fight it.
Friday, February 6, 2009
The government approved the drug ATryn, which is manufactured using milk from goats that have been scientifically altered to produce extra antithrombin, a protein that acts as a natural blood thinner.
The biggest problem is that the FDA does not require any labeling to warn patients that this product comes from genetically engineered animals, once again protecting the profits of the drug companies.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
"This will stand out as a warning," said Cornelis Punt, the study's leader. "You have to do the randomized studies to see what really happens." The study shows that instead of treating the cancer better, it actually made the cancer worse.
The new research was done at hospitals throughout the Netherlands involving 755 patients who had colon cancer that had spread. In the U.S. colorectal cancer was expected to kill almost 50,000 Americans last year but rates have been dropping due to better screening and treatments.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
The real benefit is that if the military benefits from using this modified acupuncture for pain in war zones like Iraq and Afganistan then its benefits will likely be more accepted back home by civilians.
If found it interesting that the article in today's Dallas Morning News sat next to an article on how the FDA's medical advisors are urging a ban on the prescription drug Darvon that's been used to treat pain for 50 years. It continues to be one of the 25 most commonly prescribed drugs today but in 2007 there were 503 deaths from the drug. It's an interesting contrast to acupuncture which has been used safely for 5,000 years.
Friday, January 30, 2009
The patient had to ask for nausea medication before being discharged because sitting up from examination table to wheelchair was going to be extremely difficult. For the entire ordeal the hospital never offered so much as an ice pack or an aspirin.
Medical personnel are trained to not get involved with patients to protect themselves, but at what point do they pass basic human compassion? Treating patients as if they were an animal, a slab of meat without any feelings, may protect the staff but it has a direct and harmful impact on the patient.
It's been said many times that one of the major reasons so many Americans are turning to complementary and alternative medicine is the caring attention they receive from practitioners. Based on personal experience, I'd certainly have to agree.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
As an example, one of the four designated guides is published by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a group of hospitals. The guide relies on panels of experts to review drugs, half of whom have financial ties with a cancer drug maker.
While it's compassionate to try and help cancer patients afford drug treatments the profit motive of the drug companies would seem to be the real reason behind this change and yet the latest illustration of their influence in Washington.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The study shows that hospitals using the checklist reduced their rate of death after surgery from 1.5% to 0.8% and reduced the number of complications following surgery from 11% to 7%.
It usually takes 17 years for a medical advance to become standard practice but the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is pushing for faster adoption. According to vice president Joe McCannon "Patients deserve it, and they deserve it now."
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Sales of atypical antipsychotic drugs were up 12% in 2007 to $13.23 billion.
And the pharmaceutical industry calls this progress.
Monday, January 12, 2009
In these stressful times we need to laugh more than ever to return our bodies and minds to a healthy balance. Take the time and enjoy yourself!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
First they give up the ability to give out free pens and office supplies to doctors, now supporting universal health coverage ... where will all of these changes end?
Hopefully they'll end with Americans consuming less than 48% of the world's prescription drugs! With only 4.3% of the world's population it's absolutely crazy we spend so much on drugs only to rank #40 in the world for longevity.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The new administration has its work cut out to restrain the growing costs of health care in this country. Every family knows how the cost of health care is growing faster than their paychecks.
Friday, January 2, 2009
To give you an idea of how ridiculous this piece was it called Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Deepak Chopra "veteran hucksters" and basically called them stupid and charlatans because they promote health without prescription drugs. The author also denigrated the NCCAM for being a waste of taxpayer money. The author's qualifications are far less accomplished to say the least.
The reason for this article and the timing is easy to understand. With the incoming administration there are going to be major changes to America's health care system and early indications are that the current gravy train of profits is going to come to a screeching halt. We can't forget that the Wall Street Journal is all about business. It's unfortunate that the paper has chosen to promote profits over the health of its subscribers. They prefer to see healthy stock prices than healthy people. This lack of common decency and morality is the Achilles Heel of capitalism.
I am here to say the Emperor has no clothes and that in the war between money and health the people of this country are increasingly turning towards common sense and away from a drug-dominated health care system that places itself on a pedestal of profit. People are waking up to the facts that have been hidden for too long and recognizing the current health care system for what it really is, a very profitable sick-care system.
I can only applaud the efforts of Tom Daschle and the incoming administration to put the health of Americans above the profit margins of the drug companies and medical institutions. I hope they continue to have the courage to ignore the army of lobbyists who are deathly afraid for their jobs.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
There is an interesting nonprofit organization started by a doctor called No Free Lunch that encourages doctors to reject drug company giveaways. Our poor doctors still don't have to worry about going hungry because drug companies can still provide "free" lunches and dinners.
Let's hope that 2009 begins a year of real change in the medical community and they begin to reject the influence peddling from the pharmaceutical industry.