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Sun, 22 Oct 2017
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Health & Wellness


Let there be light - Photobiomodulation

© Chris Crerar
Max Burr wears a homemade light therapy device.
On a crisp and clear autumn day two years ago, when the sun was high in the sky but the air was cold on the ground, retired federal politician Max Burr was sitting in front of his computer at home in Launceston, desperately seeking some help.

Burr, a federal Liberal MP from 1975 to 1993, had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2012 and required a steady increase in medication. The disease had affected many aspects of his life: his balance was uncertain, he could no longer write or play the piano, and he'd lost his sense of smell. "And my voice was very timid - imagine that for a politician," Burr says.

To his dismay, he had recently been told by his geriatrician, Dr Frank Nicklason, that his condition was deteriorating and he needed to further increase the dose of his medication. Concerned about potential side-effects, Burr refused. "I said to Frank, 'No, I'll find other methods'," he tells me.

With the tenacity of a seasoned politician, Burr, 78, opened his laptop and began to search. Before long he had found a research paper on the use of photobiomodulation - the term for light's ability to modulate key biological processes at a cellular or genetic level - in animal testing for ­Parkinson's disease, published by Sydney University's ­Professor John Mitrofanis. "The paper showed that the use of 670-nanometre red light was protective of ­neurons in Parkinson's," Burr says. "So I sent John an email and said, 'Look, this is all very interesting, I wouldn't mind having a crack at it'. "

Comment: For more information on this fascinating topic, check out:

Eye 1

Study Finds: National Institutes of Health surveils social media for vaccine beliefs

Social scientists and data analysts: Why not just ask parents who don't vaccinate what they believe? Or read the vaccine damage claims?

Would it make you feel safer to know that your government is monitoring social media for your views on vaccines? Studying us all like lab rats to isolate the anti-vaccine animals, to determine the nature of the beast, his habitat, his resources, his beliefs? That it is culling all this data to be used one day in large government programs to identify the perpetrators of unsafe opinion with ease and to silence them?

No? Well, it is underway.

Life Preserver

Back pain: Forget pills & surgery - physicians advocate exercise

Many physicians are advocating a simpler approach to treating lower back pain: exercise

It began like many other spring mornings on my leafy college campus. Birds were singing outside the dormitory windows, and the sun was shining. As I started to sit up, however, panic hit me: I couldn't get out of bed. Any effort to prop myself up on my elbows or shift my feet and legs met with waves of pain that rolled up my body.

I grabbed my nearby cell phone and called the campus nurse. After a brief chat, she declared that I had thrown out my lower back. The damage had probably been done the day before, when I foolishly lifted a number of large, heavy objects in an empty classroom, too stubborn to find help and too careless to properly bend my knees with each lift. I had nothing to worry about, the nurse informed me. My body would soon heal itself.

Comment: Read more about options for easing back pain:


A hidden public health epidemic: The psychological toll of natural disasters

© Sunrise House
Long after a big hurricane blows through, its effects hammer the mental-health system.

Brandi Wagner thought she had survived Hurricane Katrina. She hung tough while the storm's 125-mph winds pummeled her home, and powered through two months of sleeping in a sweltering camper outside the city with her boyfriend's mother. It was later, after the storm waters had receded and Wagner went back to New Orleans to rebuild her home and her life that she fell apart.

"I didn't think it was the storm at first. I didn't really know what was happening to me," Wagner, now 48, recalls. "We could see the waterline on houses, and rooftop signs with 'please help us,' and that big X where dead bodies were found. I started sobbing and couldn't stop. I was crying all the time, just really losing it."


Big Pharma price gouging: Why does the drug to fight opioid addiction cost $500 a month?

© Joe Raedle
The September issue of Harper's features juror excuses for why they were unfit to serve on the Martin Shkreli case. One called him the "most hated man in America," for good reason: in 2015 his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of Daraprim by 5,000 percent. Over 200 potential jurors were excused. The responses were telling.
  • Who does that, puts profit and self-interest ahead of anything else?
  • I'm aware of the defendant and I hate him.
  • My kids use those drugs.
  • You'd have to convince me he was innocent rather than guilty.
  • I think somebody that's dealt in those things deserves to go to jail.

Comment: More Big Pharma price gouging: Opioid overdose treatment prices have skyrocketed


Dr. Moss drops a bombshell to Senators regarding the vaccine-autism debate

Earlier this year, Dr. Alvin H. Moss, a physician and professor in the Centre for Health Ethics & Law Department at West Virginia University, testified at the West Virginia Senate Education Committee on the topic of childhood vaccinations.

As most of you reading this probably already know, multiple countries and communities around the world are now implementing mandatory vaccination policies, which ensure that if a child has not received the full amount of recommended immunizations, they cannot attend public school. This is primarily due to the belief that if the majority of a population can become "immune" to a disease via vaccination, diseases will either be eradicated or at least kept under control. It's called "herd immunity," and refers to a pattern of immunity that should protect a population against invasion of a new infection. It's the backbone of pro-vaccine arguments, despite the fact that there is no science behind it, which is why it remains a theory. Measles is one example where the theory has shown to be false. Measles vaccine failures have been documented for a quarter of a century around the world, showing that we're not really looking at a failure to vaccinate, but rather a failing vaccine.


What you need to know about flu vaccines in pregnancy and childhood

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns pregnant women and young children not to eat fish containing high levels of methylmercury. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends pregnant women and infants get influenza vaccines, many of which contain ethylmercury from the preservative thimerosal. Receiving them may result in mercury exposures exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended maximum levels.

World Mercury Project is deeply concerned that the risks of getting mercury-containing seasonal influenza vaccines may outweigh the benefits for pregnant women, infants and children. Mercury is known to be highly toxic to brain tissue and can impact critical stages of brain development.


Shilajit: What is it & what can it do for your health?

"There is hardly any curable disease which cannot be controlled or cured with the aid of shilajit." - Vaidya Charak, famous ancient Indian from the first century A.D
It looks and smells like tar and, in fairness, it tastes a little like tar too. Yet this wondrous, ancient resin-like substance just may be one of the best things you can take to improve your health.

Shilajit has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and by yogis alike for centuries, and for good reason. It's said that this ancient superfood supports every system in the body.

Alarm Clock

Study shows significant correlations between the use of glyphosate and the rise of chronic disease

It's no secret that we are living in a time where chronic disease continues to rise at an exponential rate, especially within the past couple of decades. New evidence continues to mount suggesting that Genetically Modified Organisms (more specifically GM food) might have played, and do play a key role in those statistics.

A study published in the Journal of Organic Systems last September examined US government databases, researchers searched for GE (Genetically Engineered) crop data, glyphosate application data, and disease epidemiological data while performing a "correlation analysis" on a total of 22 different diseases.


Middle Eastern gulf states ban glyphosate over 'probable carcinogen' fears

Oman's Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that six Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman have banned the use of glyphosate herbicides since last year, after reviewing IARC's classification of glyphosate as a 'probable human carcinogen'.

Eng Saleh al Abri, Director General of Agricultural Development in Oman's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF), confirmed to the Muscat Times on Wednesday that, "Glyphosate hasn't been available in Oman since 2016."

Al Abri added, "Roundup has been suspended for use in Oman since IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) added the active ingredient (glyphosate) to their list."