Health & Wellness

Magic Wand

Princess pedestal: How many girls are on one?

All the pink, frilly and sparkly - from the princess dresses to the four-foot-high pink castle in the playroom - isn't necessarily what Caroline Morris would choose for her eldest daughter.

She doesn't want to stop her 6-year-old from being who she is. But as princess fever has reached a new high with this generation of girls, she and other parents are feeling the urge to rein in the would-be reigning ones, just a little.

That's especially true in tough economic times, when more parents are focusing on messages of frugality and humility that, they say, just don't fit with the princess mentality that has become a rite of passage for many girls.

Morris knows, of course, that some parents think such worries are ridiculous. "But what happens when our daughters get to adulthood and they realize that the world isn't a fairy tale?" asks Morris, who lives in suburban Atlanta and insists she doesn't mind imaginative play. She just wants her girls to strive for something beyond being "pretty and glamorous."


People by Nature Are Universally Optimistic, Study Says

Despite calamities from economic recessions, wars and famine to a flu epidemic afflicting the Earth, a new study from the University of Kansas and Gallup indicates that humans are by nature optimistic.

The study, to be presented Sunday, May 24, 2009, at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in San Francisco, found optimism to be universal and borderless.

Data from the Gallup World Poll drove the findings, with adults in more than 140 countries providing a representative sample of 95 percent of the world's population. The sample included more than 150,000 adults.

Eighty-nine percent of individuals worldwide expect the next five years to be as good or better than their current life, and 95 percent of individuals expected their life in five years to be as good or better than their life was five years ago.


Organic Vs. Conventional: Have You Been Robbed?

It's Saturday afternoon and you're checking out at your local co-op. You're behind another member of your community, lining up your organic eggs, organic pork chops, organic milk, organic lamb shank, and organic cheese. You feel pretty content. You're eating right, in a world full of chaos. Your body loves you.

And probably best of all, your act of buying organic is part of a political movement; you're supporting a population of small farmers, the precious few who have decided that animals are more than merely walking meat slabs, and that vegetables should be birthed from sunshine and good soil, not created in a lab.


Children Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests

The inactivated flu vaccine does not appear to be effective in preventing influenza-related hospitalizations in children, especially the ones with asthma. In fact, children who get the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalization than their peers who do not get the vaccine, according to new research that will be presented on May 19, at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.

Flu vaccine (trivalent inactivated flu vaccine - TIV) has unknown effects on asthmatics.

"The concerns that vaccination maybe associated with asthma exacerbations have been disproved with multiple studies in the past, but the vaccine's effectiveness has not been well-established," said Avni Joshi, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. "This study was aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the TIV in children overall, as well as the children with asthma, to prevent influenza-related hospitalization."


Should You Detox to Get Rid of Chemicals?

Detoxification is growing increasingly popular. The basic premise is that your body accumulates more toxins in the modern world than its natural detoxification system (your liver, kidneys and lungs) can get rid of. Proponents say that chemicals from pesticides, chlorine, bleach and ammonia, and carbon monoxide build up over time and cause disease.

Dr. Tanya Edwards, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine, often starts patients out with a change in diet. Because Americans tend to have diets that lead to constipation, a change in diet can accomplish the same thing as many herbal detoxification products that are really just laxatives.


Laugh Your Way to Health

In Jimmy Buffett's famous song, "Changes in Latitudes," a key line in the chorus is: "If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane." This verse in this fun and somewhat philosophical song is supported by scientific research. Our mental health is positively enhanced by laughter.

Using laughter as medicine is not a new concept. As early as the 14th Century, French surgeon Henri de Mondeville used humor therapy to aid recovery from surgery. He wrote:
"Let the surgeon take care to regulate the whole regimen of the patient's life for joy and happiness, allowing his relatives and special friends to cheer him and by having someone tell him jokes."
In the 1930s U.S. hospitals began to bring in clowns to cheer children hospitalized with polio. In 1972, the Gesundheit Institute (of Patch Adams fame) was founded to bring "fun, friendship, and the joy of service back into health care."


Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food

© Unknown
On May 19th, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on "Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks."[1] They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling. AAEM's position paper stated, "Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food," including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, "There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation," as defined by recognized scientific criteria. "The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies."

More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free diets. Dr. Amy Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of AAEM says, "I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods." Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says "I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it."

Alarm Clock

Health Craze Deprives Poor Brazilians of Acai Berries

© Adriana Brasileiro/Bloomberg News
Baskets full of acai fruit from the riverbanks of the Amazon sit at the Acai Market in Belem, Brazil.
Rising U.S. sales of acai, a purple Amazon berry promoted as a "superfood" on Oprah Winfrey's Web site, are depriving Brazilian jungle dwellers of a protein-rich nutrient they've relied on for generations.

U.S. consumers are turning "a typical poor people's food into something like a delicacy," said Oscar Nogueira, who specializes in the fruit at Embrapa, Brazil's agricultural research company.


The Quackery of Chemotherapy, Gunpoint Medicine and the Disturbing Fate of 13-Year-Old Daniel Hauser

You see it in newspapers and websites across the 'net: People insisting that 13-year-old Daniel Hauser must be injected with chemotherapy in order to "save his life," and that anyone refusing to go along with that is a criminal deserving of arrest and imprisonment.

What's most astonishing about the mainstream reaction to the forced chemotherapy of Daniel Hauser is not merely that they believe states now own the children, but that they believe in the entire world there exists but one single treatment for cancer, and it happens to be the one that makes pharmaceutical companies the most money. The arrogance (and ignorance) of that position is mind boggling.

There was once a time when western medical doctors believed that the heavy metal mercury was a medicine, too. They methodically used mercury to treat hundreds of different diseases and conditions, oblivious to the fact that they were actually poisoning people with this toxic heavy metal.

Comment: Without a doubt, criminalizing personal medical decisions is abhorrent. That said, it is irresponsible to advocate any sort of armed resistence as a solution. More than likely the author was just using this extreme example to make a point but it is a dangerous point to make none-the-less.

This article is interesting in several ways. It certainly makes some valid points about chemotherapy, and the pharmaceutical industry in general. However, it completely undermines the validity of those observations, by its means of delivery.

Firstly, there is absolutely no solid data provided to back up the author's point of view. This does not mean that no data is available, simply that the author hasn't provided it.

This is somewhat akin to the tactic used in the movie 'Sleepers' where a court case is undermined from within by the prosecution counsel who is actually on the side of the defendants: He successfully turns the case around by 'playing the role' of prosecution attourney, while deliberately undermining the case against the defense by using convincing words (to make it seem as if he represents the prosecution) but consistently failing to provide any concrete evidence.

Also, the author turns to 'hysterical reaction' mode. By advocating violence against his oppressors he again undermines his position. This is ponerisation at work (get the people mad, cloud their judgement, make them easier to manipulate), and is exactly the reaction that the 'powers that be' want - it acts to undermine our freedoms by providing the justification they need to impose ever more restrictive and draconian measures against us.

This may be intentional or not (in which case the author fulfills the role of COINTELPRO 'useful idiot') but either way, the subtle result is the same - it devalues his observations so that they will appear to many to be the 'rantings of a conspiracy loonie', and it strengthens the pathocracy.


Martek Biosciences, Infant Formula and the Toxic Solvent Hexane

In 2003, an explosion occurred downstream from the Martek Biosciences manufacturing facility where hexane is used to extract DHA used in infant formula products. Hexane is a highly explosive chemical, and a Kentucky State Fire Marshal concluded it was the release of hexane from the Martek manufacturing facility that caused the explosion.

As contained in SEC documents on the public record:
Columbia, Maryland, April 8, 2003 - Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK), today announced that it has received a report from the Office of the Kentucky State Fire Marshal that concluded that the explosion that occurred in March, 2003 at a wastewater pretreatment facility in Winchester, KY resulted from the introduction of n-hexane, a class I flammable liquid, into the local sanitary sewer system. The Fire Marshal's report did not rule out other possible contributors to the explosion.