|Issue #53 - February 2007|
As of Friday October 6, 2006, my website www.foroptimalhealth.com, is up and running.
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: On this page you will find some of the more common items from Emerson. This allows you to conveniently order from my website. If one of the products that you use is not listed here let me know and I will add it. You can always order by phone from Emerson at 800-654-4432.
Here you will find all 53 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News".
Optimal Health Points: http://www.foroptimalhealth.com
This is my blog that I update 2-3 times per week. Here you'll find breaking health news or stories that piqued my interest.
HOMEOPATHY: CADENCE AND RHYTHM
My friend and colleague Dr. Susan Beal, likes to describe the cadence and rhythm of the action of a homeopathic remedy and the response of the animal taking it. The other day in the office I was struck by an aspect of this process while discussing dosing frequency with a patient.
In conventional medicine and a lot of alternative medicine as well (with some notable exceptions) the more a substance is given, the more action that is expected. It is quite common for the therapeutic dose of a particular medicine to exceed the amount that causes unwanted side effects. With prescription and over the counter drugs these side effects are often significant, less so or nonexistent for supplements or herbs. The shared belief is that the more you take, the more the medicine will do. This is true for the amount of the substance as well as for the number of times it is taken. Leaving aside for the moment the concept of 'half life' of medicines, it is expected that the medicinal action will cease or decrease when you stop or decrease the dose.
As with many aspects of homeopathy, this concept from drug dosing can only be applied superficially, if at all. Yes, in some manner or form, you need to take the homeopathic medicine. Orally, applied to the skin, dry or liquid form, by olfaction-the remedy must be introduced to your system. Here the familiarity ends. We move from the physics of Newton to the physics of Einstein.
Music can help us understand the process when a remedy is given. Once a string is plucked (remedy given) the sound continues on (effect is propagated). You can feel this sound (respond to the dose) if you pay attention or are sensitive. A complementary string will vibrate (resonate) with the one plucked. When you take a dose of the correct homeopathic remedy you will feel its effects. We're looking for change on any level that you can perceive-physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.
However, this resonance is not necessarily a one-to-one relationship. There will be a harmonious state where the remedy dosed and your response is in sync. This may work out to daily dosing, once a week dosing, 3 times per day dosing, or some other rhythm. If you dose too soon your response and the remedy effect is out of sync and there is disharmony. Dose at the correct moment and you will have an ongoing positive response. Dose at too long an interval and your state has fallen back out of tune too far before the next dose is taken. This is where the Art of homeopathy comes into play. Knowing what potency to give (force of plucked string) and the sensitivity of the patient (repetition of the dose) must be individualized in every case. Some music depends on the silence between measures to create the desired effect. The spaces in between each dose create the opportunity for the Vital Force to respond in a healing way. Each patient (and their state of disease) requires a certain cadence of dosing for cure to take place.
How can healing be taking place if you're not taking your remedy? Homeopathic medicines act in one moment like a particle-individual doses-and in other moments as a waveform-response of the patient. At the potencies I use most often there is no longer a physical substance present. The energetic signature of the original substance remains. As energy can neither be created nor destroyed you will respond to each dose of your homeopathic remedy for as long as a resonance is present. As that ebbs, symptoms assert themselves and it's time for the next dose.
It is this attention to detail and focus on the individual that makes good homeopathic treatment so powerful and at the same time so benign. If symptoms get stirred up change the frequency of dosing or the manner of dosing to better match the patient's sensitivity. Potency may change as the severity of symptoms transforms. Giving your Vital Force a chance to respond to each dose before the next one is given ensures the progression of the healing response and ultimately the restoration of health.
90% OF FLU SHOTS CONTAIN MERCURY
During this flu season health officials were as aggressive as ever in promoting the flu vaccine. In a Nov. 2006 survey of Americans carried out by PutChildrenFirst.org, a parent-led organization advocating vaccine safety, most Americans expressed concerns about the neurotoxin mercury, an ingredient in over 90 percent of this season's flu shot supply. Mercury, the second most toxic element after plutonium, is estimated to be 500 to 1,000 times more toxic than lead.
"More than 75 percent of Americans feel a mercury-containing flu shot should not be given to a pregnant woman or a child, despite recommendations from medical authorities to do just that," said Lisa Handley, a founding parent of PutChildrenFirst.org. Her own son, Jamison, had an adverse reaction to a flu shot containing mercury in 2003. "I know firsthand how life-changing a flu shot with mercury can be, since our son began his regression into autism after his flu shot."
In 1999, government agencies called for the removal of Thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative in most vaccines. In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that, "mercury in all of its forms is toxic to the fetus and children, and efforts should be made to reduce exposure to the extent possible to pregnant women and children as well as the general population." Despite these clear warnings, 90 percent of this season's flu vaccines still contained Thimerosal, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the vaccine for pregnant women and children six months and older.
Many people believe that Thimerosal is only present in trace amounts in vaccines. The concentration of mercury in a multi-dose flu vaccine vial is 50,000 parts per billion, which doesn't sound like very much. However, drinking water cannot exceed 2 parts per billion of mercury, and waste is considered hazardous if it has only 200 parts per billion. How can it be safe to inject pregnant women, newborns, and infants with levels of mercury 250 times higher than what is legally classified as hazardous waste?
Last fall, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that, "there is scant data on the efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccine in young children." Meaning that not only is the flu vaccine toxic its not scientifically proven to be effective.
Key findings from the poll, conducted October 27-30 2006 by Zogby International:
* 74 percent of respondents are unaware that most flu shots contain mercury.
* After learning that mercury is an ingredient, 74 percent are less likely to get a flu shot and 86 percent of parents say they are less likely to get their child a flu shot.
* 78 percent of respondents believe mercury should not be an ingredient in flu shots given to pregnant women and children.
* 73 percent believe the government should warn pregnant women not to get a flu shot if it contains mercury.
* More than 70 percent agree that Congress, doctors and medical groups (e.g., the American Academy of Pediatrics) should take responsibility for ensuring that vaccines do not contain mercury.
* 80 percent of respondents and 82 percent of parents are willing to pay the $2.50 additional cost for a mercury-free flu shot.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Patients are often surprised when I tell them that the flu shot contains mercury. "Wasn't that banned?" they'll ask. Parents of young children are made to feel that they are neglecting them if they don't get them a flu shot. I've written before about the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine. Isn't it time for doctors and the government to pay attention to science and stop poisoning our children?
ANTIBIOTICS USELESS FOR BRONCHITIS
A study published in the Nov. 16 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
suggests that most people with bronchitis should not take an antibiotic. Two physicians at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine surveyed the world literature on bronchitis-clinical trials, research studies, and anything related to bronchitis and its treatment. "Physicians should be encouraged to avoid antibiotics in most cases," said Dr. Richard P. Wenzel, chairman of the department of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth and one of the authors of the report.
Bronchitis, which is inflammation of the small airways of the lungs, is usually associated with viruses, for which there is no conventional therapy. Bacteria cause only a small percentage of acute bronchitis cases. Yet doctors keep prescribing antibiotics. 70 to 80 percent of bronchitis patients are given a course of antibiotics lasting five to 10 days.
That's a lot of antibiotics. Five per cent of American adults will get bronchitis in a given year, Wenzel said. "And all antibiotics have side effects, such as rash, diarrhea and abdominal pain," Wenzel said. Side effects are acceptable only when a medication helps the patient, he said.
Convenience is one reason doctors prescribe antibiotics, Wenzel said. "Think of all the patients we have to move through the office," he said. "I could take 15 minutes to explain why an antibiotic is not needed or write a prescription in 30 seconds."
The information on bronchitis is there for any doctor who cares to look. The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that "because acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses, antibiotics... usually do not help." The academy recommends getting lots of rest, drinking lots of non-caffeinated fluids, keeping the indoor humidity high and waiting for the condition to go away "after a few days or a week."
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: There are at least 4 good reasons why antibiotics should not be prescribed for bronchitis. 1. They don't work. 2. It's money ill spent. 3. Side effects then need to be treated costing more money. 4. Their use creates more disease-resistant strains of bacteria. 'Convenience' is the excuse?? Isn't conventional medicine practice supposed to be evidence-based and scientific?
ORGANIC WARS: WAL-MART DOES IT AGAIN
The Cornucopia Institute has filed a formal legal complaint with the USDA asking them to investigate allegations of illegal "organic" food distribution by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Cornucopia, the nation's most aggressive organic farming watchdog, has documented cases of nonorganic food products being sold as organic in Wal-Mart's grocery departments.
"We first noticed that Wal-Mart was using in-store signage to misidentify conventional, nonorganic food as organic in their upscale-market test store in Plano, Texas," said Mark Kastel of The Cornucopia Institute. Subsequently, Cornucopia staff visited a number of other Wal-Mart stores in the Midwest and documented similar improprieties in both produce and dairy sections.
In a September 13, 2006 letter to Wal-Mart's CEO Lee Scott, Cornucopia notified the company of the problem and asked that it address and correct the situation on an immediate basis. But the same product misrepresentations were again observed weeks later, throughout October, at separate Wal-Mart stores in other states.
"This is disturbing and a serious problem," Kastel said. "Organic farmers adopt and follow a rigorous range of management practices, with audit trails, to ensure that the food they sell to processors and retailers is organic and produced in accordance with federal organic regulations. Consumers, who are paying premium prices in the marketplace for organic food, deserve to get what they are paying for."
In 2006 Wal-Mart announced a sweeping organic foods initiative and declared that they would greatly increase the number of organic offerings for sale in their stores-at dramatically lower prices than the competition. The move by the giant retailer has been under close scrutiny from members of the organic community seeking to assess what impact Wal-Mart's decision will have on organic food and farming concerns.
"Our management and our employees know what organic means," said Lindy Bannister, General Manager at The Wedge Cooperative in Minneapolis, Minnesota. "If Wal-Mart intends to get into organics, they can't be allowed to misidentify 'natural' foods as organic to unsuspecting consumers." The Wedge, the largest single store member-owned food cooperative in the nation, was one of the first retailers to go through the USDA organic certification process.
"One can question whether Wal-Mart has the management and staff expertise necessary to fully understand organics and the marketing requirements essential to selling organic food," observed Kastel. "At this point, it seems they are attracted by the profits generated from the booming organic food sector but are not fully invested in organic integrity. Given their size, market power, and market clout, this is very troubling."
Cornucopia's complaint asks the USDA to fully investigate the allegations of organic food misrepresentation. The farm policy organization has indicated that they will share their evidence, including photographs and notes, with the agency's investigators. Fines of up to $10,000 per violation for proven incidents of organic food misrepresentation are provided for in federal organic regulations.
This past September, Cornucopia also accused Wal-Mart of cheapening the value of the organic label by sourcing products from industrial-scale factory-farms and Third World countries, such as China.
The Institute released a white paper; "Wal-Mart Rolls Out Organic Products-Market Expansion or Market Delusion?" that made the argument that Wal-Mart is poised to drive down the price of organic food in the marketplace by inventing a "new" organic-food from corporate agribusiness, factory-farms, and cheap imports of questionable quality.
The White Paper, along with a photo gallery containing images of some of the organic items now being offered for sale at Wal-Mart stores, can be found on the organization's web page at http://www.cornucopia.org as can Cornucopia's legal complaint filed with the USDA regarding Wal-Mart's alleged organic product misrepresentation.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Kudos to Cornucopia for taking on Wal-Mart's deceptive marketing practices. As I warned in issue #45 of Naturopathic News, http://www.foroptimalhealth.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=49&Itemid=4, Wal-Mart cannot be trusted to sell true organically grown food. Stay away from it.
WHY GOD CREATED CHILDREN (AND IN THE PROCESS GRANDCHILDREN)
Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children.
After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve.
And the first thing he said was "DON'T!"
"Don't what?" Adam replied.
"Don't eat the forbidden fruit." God said.
"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve...we have forbidden fruit!"
"Do NOT eat the fruit!" said God.
"Because I am your Father and I said so!"
God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants.
A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked!
"Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?" God asked.
"Uh huh," Adam replied.
"Then why did you?" said the Father.
"I don't know," said Eve.
"She started it!" Adam said.
Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own.
Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.
BUT THERE IS REASSURANCE IN THE STORY!
If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT!
1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.
2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.
3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.
4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.
6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.
ADVICE FOR THE DAY: Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day.
I am often asked what supplements I recommend. Many of you have been surprised to discover that I favor food over pills; lifestyle changes over fads. I have been working with nutrition for 30 years, herbs for over 20 years. Where and when appropriate I recommend them to my patients. I strive to act from knowledge, experience, and research.
Emerson Ecologics (800-654-4432) carries almost all of the nutritional supplements and botanical extracts that I think are useful. Their customer service is excellent and their delivery is reliable (often only 2-3 days to this region). It's a great way to get physician quality products at reasonable prices.
To offset the cost of shipping, reference my name when you establish your account and receive a 10% discount on every order. If you have any questions about these items feel free to email me.
That's it for this issue of Naturopathic News. If you've thought a bit extra or learned something new, then I achieved my goal. As usual, if you have questions or concerns brought up by these subjects, let me know.
Gregory Pais, ND, DHANP