Health & Wellness


The rise of Functional Medicine & How it can change your life

Modern medicine is in crisis. The reason: it's just not working.

Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, obesity, and allergies are increasing with no letup in sight and account for seven of the top ten causes of death as of 2010. Heart disease and cancer accounted for forty eight percent of all deaths. Modern medicine may be great at dealing with infectious disease and traumatic injuries, but has failed to stem the tide of chronic disease.

In addition, surveys indicate that two-thirds of patients feel disrespected by their physicians, forty-four percent feel doctors don't spend enough time with them and a quarter believe physicians don't answer questions and don't adequately involve them in treatment decisions, and use medical terms with no explanation.

Numerous health systems have gained prominence in the West as alternatives to what is known as mainstream or biomedicine. Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Chiropractic, Chinese medicine, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy and Reiki have arisen as popular alternative healing methods. The most recent National Health Interview Survey estimates that up to forty percent of Americans have tried one or more of these alternatives and are spending $34 billion annually on them.

Comment: Dr. Mark Hyman is a functional medicine doctor, read his articles below to get an overview of the Functional Medicine approach:


Drug Cultures in the USA: The legal and the illegal

© The Guardian
Hidden dangers of legal highs
Currently, there's a huge debate about violence, especially firearms violence, in the USA, plus the restriction of gun and other self-defense weapons purchases, which I find amazingly attention-grabbing insofar as there are other causes of deaths that no one really is talking about and, seemingly, doing very little to curb.

The chart below drives home three high-profile killers: Drug-induced, Motor vehicle, and Firearms Deaths. Not surprising to me, at least, is that deaths due to firearms are the least of the three mentioned in 2013, whereas drug-induced drug deaths top out as the highest! Motor vehicle deaths are in the middle.

(U) Chart 1. Number of Drug Induced Deaths Compared to the Number of Motor Vehicle and Firearm Deaths, 2004 - 2013

© Chart Source: (Pg. ii)


Meditative practices that don't involve sitting

No longer the sole province of the hemp-swathed sprouting enthusiast, meditation's popularity has exploded across our collective faces. Tech companies have embraced mindfulness meditation as the ultimate productivity. Google has "mindful lunches," complete with prayer bells and hour-long vows of silence. And as legitimate meditation researchers uncover more benefits to our brains, our bodies, and our psyches, diehard rationalists have been forced to accept the scientific merits of mindfulness.

My explanation for why interest in meditation has grown is that it's a replacement for the nature in which we no longer reside. For hundreds of thousands of years, we spent our days in natural settings where much of the mind chatter stops and we exist in the present moment. The falling leaves sparkling overhead with sunlight. The herky-jerk scamper of a startled lizard just off the trail. The erratic brilliant butterfly fluttering through the scene that you can't help but stop to watch. That was life for most of human history. It wasn't special. It was home. It's what we knew.

Meditation represents a return to that ancestral state of presence in the moment. And yet I get the sense that more people are talking about meditation than actually meditating on a regular basis. I'm one of them, quick to recommend meditation on MDA because of the irrefutable benefits but unable to actually sit for a productive session, let alone a regular meditation routine. It's hard. It's unnatural. And it's an artifice, albeit one made necessary by our environment.


Are you ready? The Vaccine Culture War in America

Unexplained chronic disease and vaccine injury are prominent in America. The future of our health freedom is in our hands.

More than 1.2 million people in the United States are infected with HIV 1 but government officials do not ban HIV infected children and adults from attending school, receiving medical care, being employed, or otherwise participating in society. In fact, there are anti-discrimination laws that guarantee civil rights protections for Americans infected with HIV or living with AIDS. 2


The holistic approach of Africa's rich resource of traditional medicine

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it has been estimated that "about 80% of the population in developing countries depends on traditional medicine for their Primary Health Care (PHC) needs." What is presently known as 'conventional medicine' has its origins in the West.

Though this is arguably the most prominent form of medicine today, it is not accessible to, or the first choice for, everyone. Therefore, many still rely on traditional medicine even today. Some forms of traditional medicine include: traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine (which has origins in ancient Indian society), and traditional African medicine. It is the last of these examples that this article will examine.

The Prevalence of Traditional African Medicine

In the continent of Africa, traditional (or ancestral) African medicine seems to be much more prevalent compared to conventional, Western medicine. In West Africa, for instance, it has been estimated that between 70-80% of the population rely on traditional medicine. Such figures, however, are not unique to that part of Africa alone, but may even be applied to the whole continent. In the countries of the WHO - African Region, it has been claimed that "60-80% of people rely on African traditional medicine for their primary health care."

Comment: Although Western nations have been heavily influenced by allopathic medicine, the wisdom of traditional medical and alternative healing practices has been gaining ground in the West, despite the machinations of BigPharma.


Toronto residents given iodine pills as nuclear disaster precaution

Comment: Iodine supplementation has many benefits beyond just protection against radiation.

© Toronto Star
Residents and businesses within 10 kms of the the Pickering and Darlington Nuclear Generating Stations will receive potassium iodide pills, meant to protect in case of the nuclear disaster.
If you live in Durham Region or Scarborough, you may have just been mailed a package of pills in a calming sky blue box. Those pills are meant to protect you in the event of a nuclear disaster — a disaster that you, living within a sensitive 10km zone surrounding the Pickering and Darlington Nuclear Generating Stations, would be on the frontlines of.

"A serious nuclear accident is extremely unlikely," says Ontario Power Generation (OPG) spokesperson Neal Kelly.

"(But) we worked with Toronto Health and Durham Health and we came up with a plan."

200,000 homes and businesses have just received potassium iodide (KI) pills in a $1.5 million OPG-funded project that is being run in conjunction with Durham Region and the City of Toronto. Also known as RadBlock, the pills prevent the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine, thus reducing the risk of thyroid cancer in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster. As a gas, radioactive iodine can travel quickly and is easily inhaled.

Bacon n Eggs

No more fasting during labor, a common sense approach


If you've given birth to date, then in addition to labor and delivery pains you likely experienced hunger and thirst pangs as well.
Many pregnant women may now be releasing a big sigh of relief, as the American Society of Anesthesiologists released new guidance last week reversing their long-held position of requiring women in labor to fast. They are now saying instead that "most healthy women can skip the fasting and, in fact, would benefit from eating a light meal during labor." New research presented at the Anesthesiology 2015 annual meeting in late October supports this recommendation.

Comment: It's only common sense that one would need nourishing food to fuel the body when in labor.
See more: Fetal cells permeate blood brain barrier of mother lasting a lifetime


What is health? An alternative definition

© Unknown
There's no shortage of discussion about the factors that contribute to health and how to optimize and improve it. But what is health, really? How do we define it? And can the way we define health actually influence our experience of it?

A few weeks ago, I taught a seminar for clinicians in Pennsylvania. During the Q&A period, someone asked what I think is a very important—and underrated—question: what is health?

The concept of health is so familiar that many of us have never thought much about what it really means. That was certainly true for me prior to my decade-long struggle with chronic illness that began in my early 20s.

If asked, I suspect most people would define health as "the absence of disease." And in fact, if you look up "health" in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you'll find a very similar definition: "the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially: freedom from physical disease or pain."

Snakes in Suits

Thanks to the FDA you can say goodbye to medical Curcumin

The FDA continues its war on the compounding of custom medications by eliminating even more dietary ingredients.

Curcumin is the most important ingredient of the Indian herb turmeric. You probably have it in your kitchen as a yellow spice.

From a health standpoint, this herb is a miracle. It is tremendously anti-inflammatory and has so many health benefits it would take a book to list them all.

Naturally the drug industry wishes it could be patented as a drug. That won't happen, because natural foods generally cannot be patented. FDA to the rescue! The agency has just ruled that curcumin cannot be used in a compounded medication—that is in a medication prepared just for you by a specialized pharmacy.

Comment: As the article states, the FDA could very well be 'using bogus reasoning to whittle down what ingredients can be used in compounding, the FDA is once again doing the bidding of the very companies the agency is supposed to be regulating'. Big Pharma is not pleased when 'alternatives' out perform their toxic drugs!
The health benefits of both turmeric and curcumin as an herbal medicine is currently catching major attention. Turmeric possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, acting simultaneously as an antiseptic used for treating wounds and as a solution for inflammatory complications. Turmeric supplements are quickly becoming a 'must-have' for every household. It is common, inexpensive, and provides potent health-promoting with simplicity - so much so that it has been found to positively affect over 530 diseases. Even with the smallest amount of turmeric you will undoubtedly see incredible improvements in your health.


Pornography unlike other addictions according to researchers; neurological response differs

Although we've been told that pornography is an addiction, it turns out that isn't the case at all. A new study says the brain activity of "porn addicts" actually decreases when viewing X-rated images.

The research, published in the journal Biological Psychology, "provides clear evidence that porn does not look like other addictions," Dr. Nicole Prause, sexual psychophysiologist, neuroscientist, and lead author of the study, told Medical Daily.

Prause and her colleagues examined 122 men and women, 55 of whom reported a "porn problem." While an EEG recorded the participants' brain activity, the volunteers viewed photos categorized as pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant. Half of the pleasant photos were erotic.

In particular, the researchers were focused on something called the "late positive potential (LPP)," which is a common measure for the intensity of the brain's emotional response at a given moment. "The size of the late positive potential reflects the intensity of an emotional response,"Dr. Dean Sabatinelli, co-author and an associate professor at University of Georgia, explained in a press release.

So, for example, if someone addicted to nicotine were to view a photo of a cigarette, their LPP would intensify. The same goes for cocaine addicts, who would experience an "increased LPP to cocaine-related pictures," the study notes.
But that simply doesn't happen with porn. In fact, those who identified themselves as porn addicts showed a lower - not higher - late positive potential when viewing sexually explicit images.

Even those who said they had experienced "major problems" with their porn usage "showed decreased brain reactions when shown the sexual images, rather than heightened activity," according to the research. According to Prause, this finding "means it is not appropriate to call porn addicting from a scientific perspective."

Comment: See also: