Ten Things To Do Instead of Voting

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Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Ten Things To Do Instead of Voting

August 4, 2016
Hot Springs, VA

Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” – H.L. Mencken

The S&P closed out Wednesday at $2,163. Gold closed at $1,364 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $41.08 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.54%. Bitcoin is trading around $584 per BTC today.

Dear Journal,

Election season is now in full swing here in the U.S. – much to the agony of those of us who believe in human liberty, voluntary association, and participatory networks.

Once again the intelligentsia have convinced people that their future hinges directly upon the outcome of the next presidential election, and inevitably we non-voters are denounced for lack of patriotism by the 40% of the population who still place their faith in the voting booth. Naturally, our first reaction is to stand up for ourselves and explain our position:

“The essence of politics is coercion and, if necessary, violence…”, we attempt to explain in vain. Continue reading “Ten Things To Do Instead of Voting”

How We Are Making Our Children Sick

by Sean Manning, DC – ICPA.org:sick

The purpose of the immune system is to allow us to live in harmony with our environment. In fact, most of the trillions of foreign cells present within our body coexist peacefully, and in some cases even contribute to our health and well-being. In spite of this, chronic diseases such as allergies, asthma, and eczema, which were rare several decades ago, have risen exponentially, especially in children, quadrupling during the last two decades.

The number of asthma sufferers in the United States is expected to double by the year 2020, affecting 1 in every 14 people and outnumbering the combined projected populations of New York and New Jersey. A growing number of scientists now believe that the routine measures taken to suppress and prevent infections actually weaken certain responses of a child’s immune system, allowing other less appropriate responses to operate without control. The reduction of childhood diseases has been heralded as one of medicine’s finest accomplishments, yet there are growing suspicions that infection intervention may be having an adverse effect; as childhood infections have decreased, chronic afflictions have increased.

The immune system has two different aspects: the cell-mediated immune system and the humoral immune system. The cell-mediated immune system involves white blood cells and specialized immune cells which “eat” antigens, or foreign particles in the body. This helps drive the antigens out of the body causing symptoms such as skin rashes and the discharge of pus and mucous from the throat and lungs. The cell-mediated response is associated with the beneficial acute inflammatory illnesses of children, and represents the externalization, or driving out of the infection.

The other aspect is called the humoral immune system whereby antibodies—special defense proteins—are produced to recognize and neutralize the antigen. It is a persistent humoral response that is associated with chronic allergic-type diseases.

In order to be healthy, a child must keep a balance between the cell-mediated system and the humoral system, with the cell-mediated system predominating. The cell-mediated response is activated by the natural exposure to bacteria and viruses, in the way children are exposed by interacting with their friends. Through repeated exposure to infectious organisms a child develops a diverse repertoire of immune response patterns. It is the cellmediated response that protects a child from future illness, and develops the type of immune response we commonly associate with life-long immunity. The cell-mediated system suppresses the activity of the humoral system. The more active the cell-mediated activity is, the less active the humoral system is.

However, if the cell-mediated system is not properly stimulated it does not fully develop, leading to an abnormally high production of humoral system antibodies. A humoral system that is continually engaged will overdevelop, creating a hypersensitive environment. When infants are exposed to germs early, their immune systems are pushed to go in an “infection-fighting direction.” Without this push, the immune system’s shift to infection fighting is delayed, and it becomes more likely to overreact to allergens—dust, mold, and other environmental factors that most people can tolerate.

Early life experiences are believed to play a crucial role in the formation and patterning of a child’s immune system. Sensitization begins in utero and the first few months of life are crucial, for once cell-mediated/humoral imbalance occurs it tends to persist until specific measures are taken to shift the immune system back to equilibrium. There are several ways that pattern the reaction of the immune system toward either the cell-mediated response or the humoral response based on their timing and frequency. The important thing for a parent to understand is that their child’s immune system will react based on the way it has been patterned and programmed to react. If your child’s current immune capacity is poor, then it is possible to improve it by making better choices in the future.


There are numerous reports that suggest the excessive cleanliness practiced in modern society may be partly responsible for the increased incidence of allergic diseases. Repeated exposure while young to various types of bacteria and spores found in dirt, dust, and animal dander may actually protect against the development of allergies. A molecule known as an endotoxin naturally occurs in the outer membrane of bacteria. When the bacteria die the endotoxin is released into the environment. Children are exposed to these endotoxins by breathing them in, or by ingesting them when they put their hands or other objects into their mouths. The exposure to bacteria, viruses, and endotoxins is essential for the maturation of the immune system; less exposure leads to imbalanced immune responses.

Children’s early exposure to allergens and infections prime their immune systems to resist them later on. Although children in daycare seem to get sick more often than other children do, this is not necessarily a bad thing. These colds and other infections may be giving their immature immune systems a health workout, resulting in a lower incidence of asthma. Children with the highest degree of personal hygiene are the most likely to develop eczema and wheezing between the ages of two and a half and three and a half years. In 2000, a study of 61 infants between the ages of 9–24 months found that the more house dust an infant was exposed to, the less likely that they would suffer allergies.


Antibiotics given in the first year of life quadruple a child’s risk of developing asthma. Children given antibiotics after age one year are still one and a half times more likely to develop asthma than children not given antibiotics. What is particularly concerning is that every course of antibiotic treatments a child increases the occurrence of allergies and that treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics, such as streptomycin, tetracycline, and Cipro®, appear to be more likely to be associated with allergy development than is ordinary penicillin.

Antibiotics enhance allergic reactions by sidestepping the normal immune system response. Whenever the immune system successfully deals with an infection it emerges from the experience stronger and better able to confront similar threats in the future. Through the process of developing and then conquering infection, the child gets rid of acquired toxins and poisons from the body and receives a boost to the immune system. If you always jump in with antibiotics at the first sign of infection you do not give the immune system a chance to grow stronger.

Antibiotics also act nonspecifically, killing infectious bacteria as well as upsetting the normal gut flora. Substances that are introduced through the mouth are normally ignored by the humoral system. But, in order for this to occur, the normal bacteria in the intestines need to be present. Alterations in the normal intestinal bacteria levels, especially in infancy, allow food proteins and other particles to pass into the blood stream before they are broken down, where the body identifies them as a threat, contributing to a persistent humoral response and the development of allergic diseases.


Most childhood infections are caused by viruses, and thus do not respond to antibiotics, hence the development of our current vaccine program. Infections contracted naturally are ordinarily filtered through a series of immune system defenses. Naturally-contracted viral diseases stimulate a cell-mediated response, and it appears that because of this, early viral infections are protective against allergic diseases. When a vaccine is injected directly into the blood stream, it gains access to all of the major tissues and organs of the body without the body’s normal advantage of a total immune response. This results in only partial immunity, consequently the need for “booster” shots. Vaccines stimulate a humoral response so their contents are never discharged from the body, the way they would be if the disease were naturally contracted, leaving the body in a chronic state of sensitization. In a study of 448 children, 243 had been vaccinated against whooping cough. Of these, 10% had asthma compared to less than 2% of the 205 children in the non-vaccinated group, suggesting that the pertussis vaccination can increase the risk of developing asthma by more than five times.

Dietary Fat Consumption

Chicken nuggets, potato chips, and other fried foods, while convenient for parents, are relegating their children’s immune systems to behave badly. Another factor that has been identified as a contributor to the rise in allergic diseases is the increased consumption of omega-6 fatty acids and the decreased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. It has been known for many years that individuals with allergic conditions have disproportionately high levels of omega- 6 fatty acids in their blood. Omega-6 fatty acids actually suppress the immune system and promote inflammation, and allergic responses are, by their very nature, inflammatory. Sources of omega-6 fatty acids are corn, cotton, soybean, peanut, safflower, and sunflower. Omega-6 fatty acids are also present in most animal products.

Inversely, omega-3 fatty acids are known to enhance immunity, reduce inflammation, and protect the nervous system. Dietary omega-3 fatty acids have well documented immunological effects. Sources are flax, hemp, walnut, and cold water fatty fish, especially salmon. It is important to note though that the plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids are inadequate for infants and thus offer minimal benefit early in life. One study showed that children who regularly consumed oily fish were 74% less likely to develop asthma. Other studies show that fish oil supplementation is associated with improved asthma symptoms and reduced medication usage. The immune benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are likely greater during the critical stages of early immune development before the allergic responses are established, so it is recommended that women monitor their fatty acid intake during pregnancy and continue to do while nursing. Once the child is old enough there are omega-3 products designed specifically for children.


The focus of science has shifted from separate entities of the immune system and nervous system to an interactive immunology model. It is now understood that there is an intimate connection between the nervous system and the immune system, and that neurotransmitters can influence the activities of the immune system. In fact, nerve fibers physically link the nervous system and the immune system and there is a constant traffic of information that goes back and forth between the brain and the immune system.

The sympathetic division of the nervous system is the part of the nervous system that reacts to stress. It is the “fight or flight” control center. The sympathetic division of the nervous system also regulates all aspects of immune function, and abnormal activity of the sympathetic nervous system contributes to the cause of conditions where a selection of humoral versus the cell-mediated response plays a role, including allergic reactions.

Spinal movement influences the sympathetic nervous system. Changes to the relative position or movement in the spine interfere with the sympathetic nervous system causing the release of stress hormones and altering immune cell function. The result is suppression of the cell-mediated immune response, and in its absence an increase of the humoral response.

Early stress and trauma is believed to play a profound role in the development of spinal dysfunction, or subluxation, causing immune imbalance. In his research, Gottfried Guttman M.D., found that spinal injury was present in more than 80% of the infants he examined shortly after birth, causing interference in sympathetic function. Tissue injury to the spine and surrounding soft tissue results in scar tissue deposition in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. This leads to decreased motion in the joints and surrounding tissues. Neurologic changes accompany the spinal insult. This leads to chemical changes and a general shift in the body to the stress response or the “fight or flight” response. Subluxation in the infant and child has been associated with stress experienced at birth, particularly as the result of interventions, and early falls or other traumas.

Restoring proper function to the spine through chiropractic adjustments removes the interference in the nervous system shifting the body away from the sympathetic “alarm” response allowing the immune system to regain equilibrium and reducing hypersensitive reactions. In one study, 81 children under chiropractic care took part in a self-reported asthma impairment study. The children were assessed before and two months after chiropractic care using an asthma impairment questionnaire. Significantly lower impairment rating scores (improvement) was reported for 90.1% of subjects 60 days after chiropractic care in comparison to their pre-chiropractic scores. In addition, 30.9% of the children decreased their dosage of medication by an average of 66.5% while under chiropractic care. Twenty-four of the patients who reported asthma attacks 30-days prior to the study had significantly decreased attacks by an average of 44.9%.

Our children are born with an immune system that is capable of operating against anything that threatens it. Our role as parents should be to support the natural responses of their body in every way that we can; in some cases, that means giving the body a chance to overcome an infection on its own with out antibiotics. In another case, it means providing the proper nutrients to restore inner balance. Most importantly, it means realizing that when a child’s nervous system has interference, the body still knows what it is supposed to do, but is simply unable to do it. Let’s start by removing the interference from the body and then getting out of its way—appreciating that the fever and congestion and vomiting are all part of the miracle that is our child’s immune system working properly, not a sign that their body is failing. The less we focus on the eradication of germs and the more emphasis we place on creating a strong, balanced body, free of subluxation, the better off our children will be.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Tenets of Holistic Health

by Jeanne Ohm, DC – ICPA.org:holistic health

Nourishing the Terrain

When we think of nourishment, we naturally reflect on nutrition…the food necessary to establish a healthy terrain. After decades of propaganda leading us to believe that commercially produced “foods” are OK, we are coming to a rude awakening that we have deviated far from the natural, whole foods that truly nourish our bodies. Because this critical awareness is not upheld by all supporting systems in our society (agricultural, educational, economical, political, medical), only proactive individuals are making this difficult transition. We must be vigilant in selecting the foods we eat, how they are grown, how they are prepared and their consequent ability to nourish our cells. We know the importance of organically grown vegetables and fruits. Finding the best sources and preparations for our families may not be as convenient as we would like, but is certainly worth the extra effort. Our Nutrition section in this issue offers a few important suggestions to incorporate nutrient-dense foods and eliminate those that overload us. Included are family-tested recipes that improve the terrain and enhance immune system function.

Coordinating the Function

The classic medical text Gray’s Anatomy tells us that the nervous system is the master control system of the body, determining the function of all systems, all functions and all organs. Newer to science is the profound interconnectivity between the nervous system and immune system. Once thought of as separate, these systems are now considered intertwined. It is now widely accepted that a healthy immune system supports nervous system function, and vice versa. This is very important for us to recognize if we want to create a healthy terrain.

The nervous and immune systems are interconnected in several known ways. Adrenal glands are one common link. Chemicals and hormones that are produced by cells of both systems are another connection. Additionally, research shows that the brain uses nerve cells to communicate directly with the immune system.

Chiropractic care was first linked to improved immunity during the deadly flu epidemic of 1917 and 1918, when chiropractic patients fared better than the general population. This observation spurred a study of the field. The data reported that flu victims under chiropractic care had an estimated .25 percent death rate, considerably less than the normal rate of 5 percent among flu victims who received no chiropractic care.

In 1936, pioneering endocrinologist Hans Selye began groundbreaking research on the effects of stress on our health. B.J. Palmer tells us:

Selye’s great contribution to science was this clear concept, that disease affects people according to their previously developed ability to adapt. The writer goes on to relate that the physician prefers to hear that you have had childhood diseases rather than avoided them. He knows that a bout of harmless chickenpox while you were a child, will probably immunize you for life, but that if you contract it first as an adult, it could run a very serious course. This is somewhat of a reversal to medical thinking in years past. This may seem strange, but the writer has this to say regarding antibiotics. “All too often, a patient will insist on a shot of glamorous penicillin or some newer antibiotic for a mild infection. The physician will explain that the drug is not necessary—that it is better for the body to use its own defenses—but the determined patient shops around until he finds someone who will administer it anyhow.” “The frequent result is that, although the individual’s own natural resistance would have conquered the infection, the antibiotic suddenly robs the body of the germs necessary to stimulate the antibody producing mechanism into action. And, a stubborn chronic disease takes hold, against which, antibiotics are now powerless.”

In chiropractic we understand that nerve system function can be interfered with by subluxations, which create interferences to the normal transmission of nerve impulses. When this occurs, any and all systems are affected. Certainly immune system function, dependent on proper functioning of the nervous system, can be impaired as well.

Since then, additional studies have supported chiropractic care to improve immunity. One study found that disease-fighting white blood cell counts were higher just 15 minutes after spinal adjustments. In a similar study, the immune system response in HIV-positive patients under regular care for six months showed a 48 percent increase in white blood cell counts. Conversely, the group that did not receive chiropractic adjustments experienced a 7.96 percent decrease in immunity cells. More research is certainly warranted.

Trusting the Process

You may eat a perfect diet of raw organic, biodynamically grown whole foods, drink purified water, jog five miles a day, and get adjusted weekly, but if you are overcome with negative emotions enhanced by adversarial thinking, you will not be healthy. Your immune system, via your nervous system, listens to your inner thoughts.

Holistic healing practices have always recognized the relationship between thoughts and health. In 1910, D.D. Palmer introduced the idea of the three Ts. He explained that thoughts, traumas and toxins could cause distress to the nervous system, impairing its ability to function.

The science of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) studies the interaction between thoughts, their effects on emotions, and the resulting immune system function via the nervous system. In 1985, research by neuropharmacologist Candace Pert showed that neuropeptide specific receptors are present on the walls of cells in both the brain and the immune system. This revealed an interdependency between emotions and immunity via the central nervous system. Her work gave scientific credence to the ancient healing practices that have accepted the mind-body relationship. In her book Molecules of Emotion, she writes, “We know that the immune system, like the central nervous system, has memory and the capacity to learn. Thus, it could be said that intelligence is located not only in the brain but in cells that are distributed throughout the body, and that the traditional separation of mental processes, including emotions, from the body is no longer valid.”

That said, being conscious of our emotions is imperative in understanding health. For example, take fear, an underlying emotion that has an immense impact on health. In previous editorials and numerous additional articles throughout Pathways, we have looked at the stifling effects of fear on our well-being and normal, natural function. Fear propels us into the fight-or-flight mode—an override of our sympathetic nervous system. In this defensive state, our bodies limit cellular reproduction and growth as the systems of protection are activated. To paraphrase Bruce Lipton, we cannot live in a state of imbalanced protection and growth at the same time. He maintains that the state of being that fosters growth is love, and that the protection mode is activated by fear. When we are in a state of unresolved fear, we cannot heal, regenerate or be well.

A wise person once said that “fear” could be an acronym for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” When we look at the germ theory and feel the underlying emotion it produces, we can clearly see it is fear-based. The terms used in the course of allopathic medicine reflect this fearful, warlike mentality. We have to kill the cancer, destroy the germ, fight the disease, be rescued in labor, struggle through breastfeeding—the list goes on, with a mental perspective whose constant is fear.

Ah…and here is the killer (pun intended): The solution to these “problems” cannot be accomplished by our own selves; we are dependent upon an outside entity (in this case, modern allopathic medicine) for salvation. For example: Germs are our enemy and our only solution to overcoming them is that hopefully, someday, somebody will find that magic potion that can “kill those germs.” Until then, it is hopeless. Responsibility for our own lives has been stripped, and this disempowered state of mind creates even more fearful emotions. Healing in this model becomes an emotionally charged, futile pursuit.

So, how do we break the cycle of fear? Other than reading inspiring words of wisdom and surrounding ourselves with like-minded practitioners and friends, Pert advises us to get in touch with our bodies: “Your body is your subconscious mind and you can’t heal it by talk alone.” Bodywork, movement therapy, simple exercise, spinal adjustments and massage can all release stuck emotions by clearing blockages to normal body function. Ancient healing arts and modern holistic practitioners all recognize and support the mind-body connection in healing. Pert concludes, “…almost every other culture but ours recognizes the role played by some kind of emotional catharsis or energy release in healing.”

Let’s be honest—the role of the mind in healing is not new, it has just been allopathically suppressed. Hippocrates (the Father of Medicine) made these statements centuries ago:

• Humans are created to be healthy as long as they are whole: body, mind and spirit.

• People are characterized by self-healing properties that come from within and an innate healing force.

• Health and harmony is the normal state for all life.

Now, the accepted definitions of health are returning to Hippocrates’ way of thinking. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defines it as “a state of optimal physical mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.”

Pert agrees, “Last but definitely not least, health is much more than the absence of illness,” she writes. “Live in an unselfish way that promotes a state of spiritual bliss that truly helps to prevent illness. Wellness is trusting in the ability and desire of your body-mind to heal and improve itself, if given half a chance. Take responsibility for your own health—and illness.”

I am excited to see science catch up to the holistic paradigm, challenging fear-based theories and supporting the return of logical wisdom. The reason why most holistic practices did not accept the germ theory from its onset was because the major premise of their healing model recognizes there is an innate intelligence in living matter: There is order, synchronicity, and a respect for natural law. It is a shift in consciousness, toward understanding and adhering to these vitalistic principles, that will have the most profound effect on our individual selves, our families and the future of humanity.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Shifting the Germ Theory Paradigm

by Jeanne Ohm, DC – ICPA.org:germ theory

Since the founding of the germ theory of disease, scientists have offered a holistic perspective. At long last, their efforts are taking hold.

I grew up in a household afraid of germs. When my sister was born, my father had all guests put on surgical masks to protect her. We all had our tonsils taken out “just because,” and antibiotics were considered a miracle discovered by science. My generation was the one first introduced to fast food—we really believed it was food! Our mothers were sold the idea that formula could be better than breast milk. So began the modern, manipulated, misdirected generation.

Fortunately, before I had my kids, I was introduced to chiropractic. I discovered the body’s amazing intelligence and its innate ability to heal itself. I learned about nourishment, a healthy attitude and a functional nervous system. Among the many teachings of chiropractic’s founder, D.D. Palmer, and his son, B.J., I was most fascinated with B.J.’s comment, “If the ‘germ theory of disease’ were correct, there’d be no one living to believe it.”

Fortunately, my husband and I were able to live the “chiropractic lifestyle” with our kids. Years before the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended breastfeeding (yes, they finally did in the ’90s) we were strong advocates for it. Long before the allopathic healthcare system was recognizing the importance of nutrition, we as chiropractors were recommending and consuming good, wholesome, pesticide-free foods.

In 1951, again far ahead of the times, B.J. Palmer published a statement warning against the use of antibiotics. We knew that germs were not the cause of disease and we cautioned against the overuse of antibiotics decades before USA Today headlined their dangers in the 1990s. We also let our kids play in the sunshine (without toxic sunscreen) and in the backyard dirt, decades before the study came out saying exposure to animals and dirt is healthier than living in antimicrobial households. We insisted that symptoms should not be suppressed with drugs, but rather allowed to run their course while addressing the cause (which is actually the path of healing, not disease). When we questioned the use of vaccines (a practice rooted in mainstream, germ-phobic theories) we were further scorned for our blasphemous perspective.

We met other practitioners—naturopaths, homeopaths, midwives and herbalists, as well as parents who also understood these basic principles—and we rejoiced that there were others who were living from this logical but undermined paradigm. But we remained a marginalized group. Often ostracized, certainly ridiculed…and in some instances, violently opposed.

Understanding the Paradigm

The germ theory proposes that microorganisms are the overriding cause of many diseases. It was initiated by Louis Pasteur in the 19th century when he examined humans and animals that showed signs of being sick and found that they had very high levels of bacteria and viruses compared to those who were not sick. He then made the assumption that germs infect our body and cause sickness and disease. Pasteur, along with German physician Robert Koch, is considered one of the fathers of the germ theory. The practice of allopathic, conventional medicine to this day is still based on this theory.

Less known is that several of Pasteur’s contemporaries refuted his idea that germs cause disease. Claude Bernard, a colleague and physiologist of that era, resolved that the health of the individual was determined by her internal environment. “The terrain is everything,” he wrote; “the germ is nothing.” Other scientists tested Bernard’s theory. Elie Metchnikoff, a Russian immunologist a generation younger than Bernard and Pasteur, suggested that a synergistic interaction exists between bacteria and its host. He, too, claimed that germs were not the problem. To prove it, he consumed cultures containing millions of cholera bacteria; he lived to write about it, and didn’t even get sick.

His contemporary, French chemist and biologist Antoine Bechamp, also believed that a healthy body would be immune to harmful bacteria, and only a weakened body could harbor harmful bacteria. His research contributed to this understanding when he discovered that there were living organisms in our bodies called microzymas, which essentially form into healthy cells in the healthy body and morph into unhealthy cells when the terrain is less than ideal. The conclusion: Germs do not invade us, but rather are “grown” within us when there is diseased tissue to live on.

Rudolf Virchow, another 19th-century scientist (dubbed the Father of Pathology), wrote, “If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat—diseased tissue— rather than being the cause of diseased tissue; e.g. mosquitoes seek the stagnant water, but do not cause the pool to become stagnant.”

In this day and age, we have been taught that germs— bacteria and viruses—are bad, which ignores the vital functions they perform. They are designed to decompose dead and dying material. Germs are our planet’s recyclers; without them, life on earth couldn’t exist.

Out of the billions of bacteria and viruses we have in our bodies, most are considered “friendly germs.” Bacteria is essential for proper digestion and it scavenges dead cells in our body so they can be replaced by new healthy cells. When our body tissues become weak due to poor health management, normal bacteria and viruses start to multiply and scavenge our unhealthy, dying cells. Our immune system responds as a survival mechanism and we develop the symptoms of being “sick,” but the germs are just doing their job.

The question then becomes, what creates sickness and illness? Is it the germs or is it an unhealthy body? It has been said that on Pasteur’s deathbed, he admitted that Bernard was right and he, Pasteur, was wrong. Nonetheless, an era of antibiotic drugs, chemical pesticides and herbicides, vaccines and antibacterial soaps has ensued, resulting in a germphobic society and a pharmaceutical empire to lead the attack. But even worse, all of these weapons have interfered with the body’s natural microbiome and impaired our immunity.

Fast forward to June 2012, when the release of coordinated research from the Human Microbiome Project Consortium organized by the National Institutes of Health rocked the world. As The New York Times reported, “200 scientists at 80 institutions sequenced the genetic material of bacteria taken from 250 healthy people. They discovered more strains than they had ever imagined—as many as a thousand bacterial strains on each person. And each person’s collection of microbes was different from the next person’s. To the scientists’ surprise, they also found genetic signatures of disease causing bacteria lurking in everyone’s microbiome. But instead of making people ill, or even infectious, these disease-causing microbes simply live peacefully among their neighbors.”

Instead of the “one germ, one disease” theory that has dominated allopathic medicine for centuries, these findings imply that there is an entire ecosystem of bacteria symbiotically at work in the body, a concept understood by holistic practitioners for centuries. “This is a whole new way of looking at human biology and human disease,” says Dr. Phillip Tarr, a researcher and professor of pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine. “It’s awe-inspiring and it also offers incredible new opportunities.”

The following quote by Ronald J. Glasser, M.D., sums up the health crossroads we now face. This former assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota writes, “It is the body that is the hero, not science, not antibiotics…not machines or new devices. The task of the physician today is what it has always been, to help the body do what it has learned so well to do on its own during its unending struggle for survival—to heal itself. It is the body, not medicine, that is the hero.” As more doctors realize the self-evident principles of supporting the terrain, perhaps the allopathic model of killing the “bad” germs to fight disease may finally shift to improving the terrain to support the friendly bacteria.

The body, like all of nature, exists by maintaining a state of balance. It is dependent upon an environment that nourishes and nurtures with interconnectivity and cooperation between whole systems, and an underlying recognition of intelligence and a respect for the natural processes and order. Therefore, the essentials for a healthy terrain can be broken into several general premises: Nourishing the Terrain, Coordinating the Function and Trusting the Process.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Your Inner Knowing – Trusting the Process for Natural Birthing

by Author Jeanne Ohm, DC – ICPA.org:inner knowing

It is sometimes called “our inner knowing,” “the gut feeling,” or “the wisdom within.” Whatever its name, the experience is universal. It is a feeling, a word, an image that stands out bolder than the regular stream of conscious thought and it makes a slightly deeper impression on our minds. It will continue to guide us, depending on our receptive attention to it.

Natural processes like pregnancy and birth are dependent upon a woman’s ability to trust in her inner knowing. This wisdom leads women to support and trust the process rather than work against it. In this way, nature is allowed to take its course.

For centuries, this very intuition led women in their decisions for their own health and the well being of their families. Relying on its ageless wisdom, women listened to its promptings and trusted its guidance.

During birth, women used to decide which position would be most comfortable. They were free to move about during labor and delivery to manage the pain. Somehow, they knew that the squat position allowed the pelvis to open up more freely—one-third more in fact! If other people were present at the birth, they were there to support, not direct the process. Timing was not an issue; the baby was born at just the right moment. Once born, the mother immediately held, caressed, and nursed the baby. Separation was unheard of. Mother and child recovered quickly and grew strong together. There was confidence in this process as in any other body process: with respect and a sense of fulfillment.

Today, however, the birth process has turned into a technological procedure. The medical system in the United States is considered to be the most highly advanced in the world. We spend more on birth than any other country in the world. We expect this technology to improve our lives and solve our problems. We are led to believe this technology alone leads to improved outcomes. Why then does the World Health Organization rank the United States as 24th (last) among all industrialized nations in infant mortality and low birth weight?

Doris Hare, president of the American Foundation of Maternal and Child Health says, “It compels us to ask, what proportions of these complications, which have had their onset during labor and birth, are the direct result of aggressive obstetric procedures?”

This increase in technology leads to restrictions that apparently cause more harm than good. “Women are strapped down with monitors and forced into positions which are counter to gravity and normal physiology. They are forced into the hospitals schedule, inconsiderate of their normal birthing rhythms. This greatly slows down the natural momentum. The origin of this position had nothing to do with being safer for the mom or baby and yet its practice has remained unquestioned for centuries!

These restrictions in birth make women feel afraid and powerless. Fear shuts down the process both psychologically and physically. It actually constricts blood vessels and contracts muscles. This leads to greater pain. Drugs are given to ease the pain and the woman’s physical strength and uterine function is impaired further. Her ability to stay connected with her body is impaired and even cut off. She is not told that the drugs can harm her child’s developing organs and even intelligence.

Because of drugs and maternal positions, women strain and push excessively to get the baby out. Doctors pull and twist the infant’s delicate head and spine to get the shoulders out.

Even in what is called “natural birth,” standard birthing procedures pull the head and neck. Research shows that the routine force used in birth, may injure and damage the baby’s spinal cord and nerves. One medical study published in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology by Dr. Abraham Towbin addresses this issue even further. He says, “The birth process even under optimal controlled conditions is potentially a traumatic, crippling event for the fetus… Moreover during the last part of delivery, during the final extraction of the fetus, mechanical stress imposed by obstetrical manipulation—even the application of standard orthodox procedures—may prove intolerable to the fetus.”

Birth in our country is one of the most profound examples of how we have allowed the mystique of technology to overcome practical intuition. Before our high-tech involvement, women gave birth without outside interference. They trusted their intuition and their body’s inherent ability to function as it was created to.

It is no coincidence indeed; the very same procedures where a woman’s intuition has been violated the most— modern birthing—is also one of the greatest causes of injury to a newborn. It is also no coincidence that the health care provider who supports parents’ intuition and trust in the body’s self healing, natural processes—the chiropractor—is also the one who is most able to help reduce and correct the damaging effects of birth trauma.

Doctors of Chiropractic are seriously concerned with the amount of force being used during births. They know injury to the nervous system has a tremendous effect on a child’s ability to be healthy. This is because chiropractors work with so many children whose health has been impaired so early on in life. These birth injuries can have life-long health consequences.

One study done by Dr. Gutman, a German medical researcher, found that 80% of the newborns he examined had damage to the nerves in their necks from birth! These same children were all suffering from chronic ear and throat infections, colic, asthma, and other common childhood conditions. With specific corrections made to the misalignments in their upper necks, almost all of these children regained their health. His study, along with hundreds of case studies, shows how interferences to a child’s nervous system impair the body’s function and health.

With this research available to us, it is imperative that we as mothers become involved in our birthing decisions. We must look to decrease the possibilities of birth trauma in any way we can. Undue force and stress has become routine procedure in our modern birthing techniques. Doris Haire, former president of the International Childbirth Education Association, has investigated birthing procedures throughout the world. Her comments on births in America are not so favorable. She says, “Of all the 36 countries I have visited to observe maternity facilities, I am absolutely convinced that the United States has to be the most bizarre on earth in its management of obstetrics.”

I can remember giving a class in our community about birth trauma. When I was done, a woman in the audience raised her hand. “You are being very gracious,” she said. “I am an obstetric nurse and I have seen tremendous amounts of force used to pull out babies. One doctor resorted to putting his foot up against the table to gain greater leverage when he pulled on the baby’s neck. Than with all of his strength and weight put into it, he pulled that baby out by its head.” Most children born in modern societies with high-tech procedures have been injured at birth because of this type of unnecessary trauma to their tiny spines and delicate nervous systems.

With this evidence in hand, doctors of chiropractic are greatly concerned with routine birth procedures that lead to injury. This has led them to develop specific techniques to care for women during pregnancy. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy removes interference to the mother’s nervous system, enhancing baby development and uterine function. It balances her pelvic muscles and ligaments and allows the baby to get into the best possible position for birth. Chiropractic care, therefore, facilitates an easier and safer birth for both mother and baby.

As mothers, it is important for us to take responsibility and make our own choices in our families’ health from conception on. Those choices need to be made from the place of inner knowing that we have, not from the fear-based approach we are taught to take. Today, it is tough for us to stand out on our inner knowing when the ways of the world are telling us otherwise. Our society does not teach us to trust the process by any means, but rather implants thoughts of fear and misgiving when the body is performing normal, natural functions.

We have been taught to fear pain, suppress symptoms, control the unscheduled timing of natural processes, and shun differences in our individual body responses. If it doesn’t fit within the norm, the average, the routine, it is not acceptable. We have been forced to restrain feelings, symptoms, and any other untimely expressions of life. We are led to look outside ourselves for solutions rather than trusting our inner wisdom.

Christine Northrup, M.D., a former obstetrician says, “I’ve learned that women and men who have a great deal of self-confidence and self-trust can go into most situations and get their needs met. One of the key ways a woman can develop a sense of trust in her own power is through birth, but most women today lack confidence in their bodies.”

Doctors of chiropractic enhance the natural process of birth and reduce birth trauma by encouraging pregnant mothers to choose safe procedures, supportive practitioners, and healthy environments for birth. They recognize that birth is a normal, natural process directed by the body’s inherent wisdom to function accordingly. They remove interference to her nervous system, optimizing this function. They offer the pregnant mother assurance and confidence in her body’s ability to accomplish this natural process. The philosophy of chiropractic and the supportive science behind it is in trusting the body’s ability to function in accordance with its own inborn intelligence.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

The Real Drug Problem

by Susan M. Brown, D.C. – ICPA.org:pharmaceutical drugs

I happened to be watching television the other day and, instead of my usual flipping channels during commercials, I left it on the channel and saw a few interesting commercials. The first commercial showed a parent heading off a potential drug problem with their child. It had a slogan: “Parents – the anti-drug”. It was a nice public service kind of commercial and hopefully one that people will take to heart. Interestingly, the next commercial showed a parent with their child too but in this commercial instead of the parent trying to keep their child off drugs, they were giving them a drug. The child had a cold with a sore throat and couldn’t sleep. So this angelic figure of a mom was saving them from misery by giving them an over counter medicine, which if you look at the ingredients, amounts to sugar and alcohol with a little dye and artificial flavoring in it (none of which help the child to heal whatever is going on). Within the next hour I saw about a dozen more commercials for one drug after another. There were drugs for depression, headaches, low libido, indigestion, and a whole slew of other ailments. There were even commercials that never said what the drug was for but had lively music and showed scenes of very happy people and simply said to contact your physician to see if it was right for you. The extensive list of side effects for all these drugs, many of which were worse than the ailment the drug was being taken for, was of course, tagged at the end spoken very quickly and very quietly…

I have to wonder, where is the real drug problem? How do we expect our kids to “just say no” to drugs with the media portraying drugs as being the great panacea and when many adults are on several prescriptions as well as giving their kids drugs to avoid any type of discomfort? There seems to be such an incredible double standard. You can take these drugs because the “authorities” say they are OK but not these drugs they say are not. The “good drugs” may be just as addictive and have as many or more side effects as the “bad drugs” but that’s OK because with a prescription they then have the magic stamp of approval. It’s OK for this person who is depressed to take Prozac to give them a boost and make them feel artificially OK whenever the world gets to be too much but the drug addict who is most likely experiencing more emotional/mental pain than the average person could imagine is wrong for doing essentially the same thing. Kids grow up having their parents or doctors give them various drugs for the slightest discomfort, drugs that are not intended to strengthen their bodies and help them to heal, but to cover up the symptom, which ultimately weakens the body. Then we wonder why as the kids get older and feel whatever angst they experience in their lives and need a little “pick me up” they go to drugs or alcohol. Maybe it’s because that is what they learned you do when you feel uncomfortable. You “take something” to make the pain go away so you can supposedly feel better. They didn’t learn to see the discomfort as a message from the body asking to make a change or telling you that it was working hard to heal something so please do healthy things. They didn’t learn that discomfort is uncomfortable but not life threatening and that the body given time will heal most things and become stronger in the process. They didn’t learn that the peaks and valleys are part of life and can make it fuller if you learn to flow with it and approach it like a roller coaster ride, sometimes scary and sometimes a blast. They learned that if you are uncomfortable, take a drug to make it better. My body is not capable of healing so I need a drug to do it for me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely against medicine nor do I think that people should never take drugs. I just think that we tend to live in a pill popping society where many seem to think that drugs will make it all better. And bottom line, drugs don’t make it all better. Most of them simply allow one to function in spite of whatever is really going on. I’m reminded of a person I saw when I was first in practice, we’ll call him Max. When Max first came in I saw from his history that he was on several medications. I asked him why so many? He gave me a very typical story that he started on one and then started having other symptoms (actually side effects from the first drug) and so was given an additional drug and then started having more symptoms (more side effects) and was given another drug and so on and so on. Ultimately he was on about 10 different medications, about a third of them for the depression and the rest for various side effects including insomnia, indigestion, pain, constipation, and anxiety. Now keep in mind that the researchers test the effect of one drug on the body and there has been some research that has tested the effects of two drugs in combination on the body, but they have no idea what the overall effect of 10 drugs in combination on the body will be. I’d like to say that Max is an exception, but that wouldn’t be true. Many people are on multiple medications and it is standard care in medicine. The other noteworthy thing on Max’s history was his reason for being in my office. He said he came in because he was uncomfortable all the time and was told I might be able to help. I asked him in what way was he uncomfortable. Instead of what I expected, which was the common “chiropractic complaints” of my back hurts or my neck hurts, he began to tell me about his life. He hated his job as a social worker in which he saw an endless line of people who he described as having the most heart wrenching lives in the world many of whom he could not really help within the system. He was unhappy in his marriage and had been for many years. His wife belittled him constantly and his children had started doing the same, but this was no different than his childhood in which his parents had done it too. He had no hobbies that brought him joy. Any friends that he had were long gone and the only socializing he did was with his wife’s family who made no bones about expressing their belief that his wife had married a loser. I asked if all this had started before he started taking the medication and he said yes that it had been going on for years before. Then I simply said, “Max no wonder you’re depressed. If I had your life I would be depressed too.” He looked at me first with confusion and then with recognition as if a light had gone on for the first time and he started to laugh. The next words out of his mouth were, “You’re right my life sucks.” To make a very long story short, Max started getting adjusted and making changes in his life. He asked his doctor to begin to wean him off all medication, got a new job and was much less depressed. He found a hobby and had little glimpses of enjoying life. I’d like to say that his path to healing was effortless but it wasn’t, it was hard work and required that he begin to looked at himself and his life honestly. He had times when he felt he needed to take an antidepressant but it was to support him through a time of great change while he was on the road to healing his life. It was a short term choice for support and not a long term choice for denial. He realized that the depression he was experiencing wasn’t something that was wrong with him but something that was very right with him. It was a cry from the core of his being saying “I deserve something more in life. I deserve to be happy and to be loved and to enjoy life. I can’t tolerate a life that does not nourish me.”

Max made a choice to heal. Often people make a choice not to heal, but to feel better. Now don’t get me wrong, I love feeling great. I love it when it is an expression of my state of being and not an artificial feeling created by artificial means to hide what is really going on. On some level my body knows what is really going on. And it will continue to give me stronger and stronger signals until I pay attention. So, I can either keep taking more and more drugs or I can pay attention to those “uncomfortable” signals and consider what needs to change. We have to ask the question, is it reasonable to expect that our kids will choose to say no to drugs when most of society doesn’t? Is it reasonable to expect that they will have the tools to heal and integrate the many uncomfortable experiences they may have in life if we as parents never gave them those tools? You may be thinking “but I only give them cough medicine and maybe some antibiotics when they are sick” and “I really need that Prozac or those beers to get me through those stressful days”. Where do we draw the line? Most cough medicine has alcohol to make them drowsy and sugar to coat the throat. It is definitely more comfortable for the child and the parent because the child will often sleep, as most people want to do with a little alcohol in their system, but the sugar coating the throat is perfect food for the bacteria their body is trying to battle, the cough suppressant is inhibiting their bodies from getting rid of the debris, mucous, and bacteria in their lungs, the aspirin is decreasing their fever, which the body needs to fight infection and stimulate the immune system, and the antibiotics weaken the immune system. Most diseases are self limiting and most cold/flu ailments last for about a week regardless of the treatment sought. So, in most cases, why not do things to strengthen the body while it is working to heal. Learn the natural ways to strengthen the body and become an informed consumer for your health and the health of those you love. If you are depressed, distressed, and generally stressed why not consider the reasons why. Learn tools that help you to heal and pass that on to your kids instead of “here take this”. In order for parents to “be the antidrug” we have to provide kids with options and role models for what it means to be drug free. We need to give them tools so they don’t feel the need nor the desire for them. If we do this will it guarantee that our child will never take drugs? Unfortunately, no, but if they do we can know that we gave them the best foundation possible and that at least we were consistent in the message we gave. We can know that we were conscious of the choices we made and did all we could to listen, love, and learn and pass that on to our children.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Great Expectations

by Kevin Donka, D.C – ICPA.org:Great Expectations

A very busy road near my home is under construction right now. I travel this way twice every day, but the other day I noticed a sign I hadn’t seen before. The sign said, “New lane configurations—EXPECT DELAYS!” Now at first, this didn’t seem strange to me, but as I continued to think about it, I wondered why I should EXPECT delays, rather than just preparing for them. What I mean by this is, if I leave a little earlier than I usually do so that I don’t have to worry about being late and I bring an extra CD to listen to in the car, then I am prepared for a delay. And, if there is no delay, everything is still fine. This way, my EXPECTATION is that the situation will be fine no matter what happens.

But again, why should I actually EXPECT delays? If you’re still confused, let me try a different means of explaining what I mean. The fact is, you cannot escape something you are giving your attention to. When I put my attention toward EXPECTING a delay, I am very likely to experience that. But, when I put my energy into EXPECTING to be OK with whatever happens because I am PREPARED to deal with it, I often will experience whatever is best for me.

This concept is true with every area of your life—even your health. My question for you is, what are you EXPECTING to happen with your health? In other words, does more of the energy with your thoughts, words and actions go toward worrying about what might go wrong, or toward what might go right?

Most of us were raised with the belief that our bodies are inherently weak and defective and that they will break down without some kind of medical intervention. This begins in pregnancy with all of the talk about how hard labor is and that drugs will be necessary for the mother to be able to handle it.

Next, we are told that we need lots of vaccines because our immune systems are inadequately prepared to handle life. We are taught that if your body raises its temperature it is a mistake and that we must take some kind of medication to lower it. If we are creative and active in school, we are told we have a condition that doesn’t allow us to focus and function normally. We are basically told that we are not good enough the way we are, but that medications can make us better. This continues on throughout our lives and we unknowingly pass this legacy of lunacy on to our children.

The chiropractic paradigm takes the completely opposite approach to health and life. It says that we are all born with an innate intelligence and that when we fully express this intelligence our bodies are strong, healthy and we are free to happily work toward the actualization of our purpose and potential in life.

If there is any interference in the ability to express this intelligent force, then we end up in a state of “dis-ease.” We call this interference in your nerve system the subluxation process. The chiropractic adjustment process restores the free flow of intelligent energy and allows us to progressively return to the full expression of health and life. By making sure your brain and body can communicate effectively and by living a healthy lifestyle, you are PREPARED for whatever life brings you.

People raised in this mindset tend to progressively apply this way of thinking to every area of their lives, and so the legacy they pass on to their children is one of health, hope and faith that every situation offers an opportunity for growth. So again, I ask you—

What do you expect?

About the Author:

Dr. Donka is a nationally recognized author and lecturer and has shared the stage with many of the chiropractic profession’s leaders. His practice, The Donka Chiropractic Family Health, Wellness & Life Improvement Center in Palatine, Illinois, is a wellness-based family practice. The focus is on maximizing expression of Life by reducing and removing nerve interference in the form of the vertebral subluxation. In addition, there is a very strong emphasis on education and development of a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle that includes physical, mental and spiritual well-being. This with the understanding that there is no “finish line” as far as the process of health development is concerned.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Choosing a Wellness Mentality

by Kevin Donka, DC – ICPA.org:wellness mentality

One day not so long ago, a practice member named Craig walked into our center with a slight limp. When I asked him what was wrong, he told me that he had been wrestling with his son A.J. and had hurt his knee. When I told him we’d take a look at it he replied, “Oh that’s OK, it will be fine by the end of the week.” Just then, a woman walked in and I heard Amy at the front desk greet her and ask her how she was doing. She replied to Amy, “Oh I’m fine today, but I just know I’m going to be in bad shape by the end of the week with the storm that’s on its way!”

Albert Einstein once said, “The most important question you will ever ask yourself is whether this is or is not a friendly universe.” Dr. Einstein believed that your answer to this question would in fact be the most important decision you would ever make. The reason it would be so important is summed up in another of his famous quotations; “You cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that existed when it was created.” You see, Einstein knew that it is our deeply held BELIEFS about something that will determine which actions we will consistently take or avoid regarding that thing, and those actions or inactions will in turn determine the circumstances we will find ourselves in. So, your determination of whether we live in a friendly or hostile world will influence your actions in the world and bring about the circumstances of your life.

In our center for wholeness, we can see your answer to this question demonstrated in your attitude. You see, you either go through life with what we call a WELLNESS mentality, or an ILLNESS mentality. People with an illness mentality expect that mainly unpleasant things will happen to them because they believe that the world is basically hostile, unpredictable and out of their control. On the other hand, those with a wellness mentality expect that mainly good things will happen in their lives because they believe that the world is basically friendly, and that they control and attract to themselves most of what happens to them through each of their thoughts, words and actions. In the story above, Craig was in a state of dis-ease, and yet he had a WELLNESS mentality—a positive expectation that things would be good.

The other woman was actually in a state of ease, and yet had an illness mentality – a certainty that things would go downhill for her.

How do we develop, maintain and even expand a wellness mentality? Three things are necessary.

1. A deliberate focus on moving TOWARD what you want, as opposed to trying to move away from what you don’t want.

2. A healthy lifestyle that allows your body to function properly, heal and continue growing.

3. A clear neurological CONNECTION.

4. Where does chiropractic fit into this equation? Interference in your nerve system (what we call the subluxation process) causes your body to use energy at a much greater than normal rate. This rapid depletion of energy sends your body into SURVIVAL MODE and causes the highest thinking centers of your brain to shut down. With these parts of your brain shut down, do you think it is possible to see the world as friendly, or do you suppose that coming from a state of SURVIVAL that you might interpret many (if not all) things as threatening?

5. The chiropractic adjustment process restores the free flow of energy at a normal and natural rate; a rate that allows for EASE of function in every cell, tissue, organ and organ system—INCLUDING YOUR BRAIN! Your body goes out of survival mode and back into ease, allowing you to once again see the world as friendly.

6. You see, your adjustments don’t just help you feel better, they allow you to FEEL better—that is, they allow you to sense your environment in a totally different way than you would if you were subluxated and in survival mode. This is why we emphasize so strongly that everyone should get checked by a chiropractor regularly.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Taking Charge of Your Family’s Natural Wellness

by Andrea Candee – ICPA.org:natural remedies

“Self empowerment” is the buzz word of our time. Yet, many feel disempowered when it comes to the care of their family’s health. Integrated medicine, taking the best of all worlds, is a sensible, responsible approach to healthcare. Here’s more from Andrea Candee, author of Gentle Healing for Baby and Child.

Trying Herbs

Grandparents recognize this as the health care approach of their youth: administer natural remedies at home unless the situation requires more professional help. Perhaps this is why grandparents seem to be the biggest purchasers of books on natural wellness for children, offering it to their adult children for the care of the grandchildren.

Turning to the health food store or even the kitchen pantry, and given a medical diagnosis, a parent educated in medicinal herbs can return a youngster to health or soothe discomfort until seen by the family care provider. And what better way to empower a child about their own wellness than to engage them in their healthcare, creating an awareness that will stay with them for their entire lives. They learn that taking care of their bodies preventatively is every bit as important as consulting a doctor when they are sick.

Statistics indicate that 75 percent of children have at least three ear infections before the age of six. Most of us either have or know a child who repeatedly suffers from what we have tacitly come to accept as a common childhood illness. Doesn’t it make you wonder why, with all the advances of modern medicine, children seem to suffer from ear infections more, rather than less than they did even 20 years ago?

Some children respond well to antibiotics; others are put on a round robin of antibiotic treatments (sometimes for years); and others still require surgery. A study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that children given antibiotics for ear infections were two to six times more likely to develop a recurrence than children who did not receive the antibiotic treatment.

I am not the only one asking the question: What long-term effects do antibiotics have on developing immune systems?

“We found that, in the case of ear infections, sometimes the prescribed medicines created other problems and occasionally didn’t even cure…We have had the opportunity…to observe how effective, gentle and well tolerated these (herbal) remedies are in children.” (Larry Baskind, MD, FAAP, Riverside Pediatrics, Croton on Hudson, NY; excerpted from the foreword of Gentle Healing for Baby and Child [Simon & Schuster] ).

First Signs of Ear Discomfort

I recommend the following courses of action at the earliest signs of ear discomfort:

• Limit the intake of sugar. Processed sugar is a challenge to the body and feeds fungal, parasitic, and bacterial infections. Reduce fruit juice intake by diluting with water. Learn how to use echinacea, an invaluable immune system support found in health food stores, at the first sign of infection. Colds usually wind up in the ears of children predisposed to weakness in this part of their body. If you can prevent a cold from blossoming, you will have prevented another ear infection from developing.

• If a cold does take hold, you may choose to introduce an herbal decongestant.

• Add garlic to your child’s diet. Garlic is naturally anti-bacterial, as well as anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic. A fresh clove can be chopped into mashed potatoes or put on toast with butter.

• If infected fluid has settled in the ear, and there is no perforation of the eardrum (check with your family practitioner to be sure of this) add a drop or two of anti-microbial garlic oil in each ear, along with a drop or two oil of mullein flower. Mullein flower is well known for its anti-inflammatory, decongestant action in the ear. The easiest time to administer ear drops is when a child is sleeping.

• If there is pain in the ear, add a drop or two of St. John’s Wort oil. Its ability to calm nerve sensitivity may help to diminish the discomfort.

• For many children, chiropractic adjustments have been instrumental in preventing recurrent ear infections. If there is a misalignment in the spine affecting nerve and muscle function, chiropractic adjustments could help by enhancing proper drainage and function.

Don’t be afraid to implement all of the above protocols even if your child is on an antibiotic (To maintain the integrity of the intestinal tract, if your child is ever on an antibiotic, be sure to provide your child with a good source of probiotics). When a parent is informed and courageous enough to take charge of the situation, I have seen even the most chronic ear infections turned around—indeed eliminated—from the child’s life.

View article references and author information here:

Ear Infections

Van D. Merkle, DC Says:

1. Become informed about Prevnar vaccine (PCV7), also known as the pneumococcal strep vaccine, or ear-ache vaccine. The literature does not support its use.
2. Avoid ALL dairy products, sugar, and congestive type foods.
3. Try Monolaurin, an immune system enhancer.
4. Echinacea: 3/day. For infants 4 months to 25 lbs use 1 echinacea per day; open the capsule and put in food or water.
5. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to be of great benefit.

Management of Acute Otitis Media Summary

1. Nearly two thirds of children with uncomplicated ear infections recover from pain and fever within 24 hours of diagnosis without antibiotic treatment. Over 80% recover within 1 to 7 days.
2. More than 5 million cases of acute ear infections occur annually, costing about $3 billion.
3. The report points out that in other countries otitis media is not always treated with drugs at the first sign of infection. Rather, in children over the age of 2 years, the norm is to watch and see how the infection progresses over the course of a few days.
4. The report notes that in the Netherlands the rate of bacterial resistance is about 1%, compared with the US average of around 25%. 1

What Causes Damage to the Ear and/or Ear Infection?

Ear Wax: “During more than 25 years in pediatric medicine, I have never seen a case of permanent hearing loss as a result of ear infection…Parents and doctors can be responsible for injury to the ear canal and the eardrum because of the efforts to remove wax from the ear. It is inadvisable for you or your doctor to use ANY kind of instrument to remove wax forcibly from your child’s ears, even a cotton swab.” – Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD

The best was to remove ear wax is by inserting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear twice a day for 2 or 3 days. Let the peroxide remain in the ear for several minutes and then rinse the ear with gentle bursts of water from a syringe.

Pacifiers: Pacifier use was found to cause a 40% increased risk of ear infections in infants, as well as higher rates of tooth decay and thrush, according to Dr. Marjo Niemela and associates from the University of Oulu in Finland. Pediatrics September, 2000;106:483–488.

Don’t Drink Your Milk!: Ear specialists frequently insert tubes into the ear drums of infants to treat recurrent ear infections. It has replaced the previously popular tonsillectomy to become the number one surgery in the country. Unfortunately, most of these specialists don’t realize that over 50% of these children will improve and have no further ear infections if they just stop drinking their milk. This is a real tragedy. Not only is the $3,000 spent on the surgery wasted, but there are some recent articles supporting the likelihood that most children who have this procedure will have long-term hearing losses. http://www.mercola.com/article/milk/no_milk.htm

“The most common culprit [that causes ear infections] is cow’s milk, in its natural form or as found in infant formula. It causes swelling of the mucous membranes, which interferes with the drainage of secretions through the eustachian tube. Eventually infection results because of the accumulated secretion.” – Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD

What About Antibiotics?

Although more antibiotics are prescribed today for children’s ear infections—and for longer periods of time—in the US than anywhere in the world, several recent, independently financed studies have found that for the vast majority of ear infections, antibiotics are little more effective than no treatment at all. http://www.mercola.com/2001/jan/14/whistle_blower.htm

Experts say the routine use of antibiotics against pediatric ear infections produces little health benefit while contributing to the spread of drug-resistant bacteria, and recurrent ear infection. The article evaluated the results of seven different studies conducted over the past 30 years. They found that while antibiotics were linked to short-term decreases in the duration of pain or fever in patients in a few (but not all) of the studies, no long-term (more than six weeks) benefits are reported. All seven studies concluded that children recovered from ear infections at roughly similar rates, regardless of type of treatment. JAMA November 26,1997;278(20):1643–1645

When Is Tympanostomy (Tubes in the Ears) Justified?

“In all my years of practice I have never seen a case in which a punctured ear drum did not heal itself. The principle justification for the procedure [tympanostomy] is to prevent hearing loss, which is no justification at all. Controlled studies have shown that when both ears are infected, and a tube is inserted in only one of them, the outcome for both ears is almost identical. Meanwhile the procedure itself carries many risks and side effects. Justified as means of preventing hearing loss, tympanostomy can cause scarring and hardening of the eardrum, resulting in hearing loss.” – Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD

Prevnar, Pneumococcal (Strep) Vaccine Does NOT Prevent Ear Infections and Has Major Side Effects

Abstracted from lecture by Erdem Cantekin, PhD, Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh at the Second International Vaccine Information Center Conference September 9, 2000; Washington DC.

Prevnar is a new vaccine against pneumococcus. This is the most expensive routine vaccine to date. The wholesale cost is about $58.There are over 90 different strains of pneumococcus. The vaccine only has 7 strains assumed to be the common ones, but this is an uniformed experiment at best as there is no way to know if this will be covering all of the strains.

The FDA approval states the drugs is ONLY approved for invasive cases of pneumococcal disease such as bacteremia and meningitis. It is NOT approved for ear infections. This is most peculiar as it is commonly recognized that bacterial meningitis is primarily seen in adults not in infants for which this vaccine is recommended. The HMO trial in which Prevnar was approved had no placebo group. The control group received another experimental vaccine for mennigococcus. This was the ONLY trial that was done to establish the safety and efficacy to recommend this vaccine for every newborn in the US.

Just how well did the vaccine work in the HMO trial? In the first 17 cases of bacteremia it worked perfectly. However it was NOT effective for any cases of ear infections. If Prevnar could have stopped this or even reduced this problem it would have been great. But that is not the case. The FDA data from the HMO trial and that in Finland showed that the prevention benefit is less than 4%. The efficacy claims of Prevnar in ear infections and pneumonia remain unproven.

What About Adverse Side Effects of Prevnar?

The children who received Prevnar in the trial were:

• 4 times more likely to have seizures
• 4 times more likely to have stomach problems

Also, significantly more children who had been given Prevnar developed asthma. There was also one death in the Prevnar group and none in the other. Prevnar also alters the developing immune system. Additionally it will put selective pressure on the pneumococcal strains and has the potential to change the natural pattern of strep infections.

Over one trillion dollars of health care system are under the watchful eyes of the FDA, CDC, and the NIH. These three pillars of our public health care system have become to be more and more controlled by “expert panels” advisory committees. Such experts dictate policy and control the complex biomedical system. They directly influenced taxpayers health and wealth. However there is a huge conflict of interest as most of these experts served the special interest groups who profit in their decision. Many are in financial relationships with various manufacturers and are registered as their paid speakers or as some people might say paid lobbyists.

In Summary…

Ear infections will not cause permanent hearing deficits, and mastoiditis is so rare a condition that most contemporary physicians have never seen a case. Conventional treatment with antibiotics, other drugs and the surgical procedure known as tympanostomy is no more effective than the body’s own defenses in dealing with the problem.

Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn’s Recommendations for Earache

1. Wait 48 hours before you call your physician.
2. Relieve the pain with a heating pad, two drop of heated olive oil (not hot) inserted in the ear canal, and the appropriate dose of acetaminophen if the pain becomes unbearable.
3. If the pain persists after 48 hours, see a doctor—not to treat infection, if that’s what it proves to be, but to rule out the possibility of trauma or the presence of a foreign body.
4. Don’t allow your doctor to use an instrument to remove wax from your child’s ear, and don’t try to do it yourself.
5. If your doctor examines your child and finds a viral or bacterial infection, question the need for antibiotic use. If he finds a foreign body, let him remove it, but again question the need for antibiotic use. If your child has a self-inflicted injury to the eardrum, your pediatrician may refer you to an ear and throat specialist. Be suspicious and question the need if he recommends surgical treatment or antibiotics. In all my years of experience I have never seen a case in which either was necessary.
6. If your child has chronic, recurrent middle ear infection, it is probably because of allergies or the antibiotics he was previously given. If your doctor recommends tympanostomy, don’t permit it without obtaining a second opinion. This procedure has replaced tonsillectomy as the favorite of pediatricians, but there is no reliable scientific evidence that it will do any good, and there’s considerable evidence that it may cause further harm.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.


by Keith Wassung – ICPA:subluxations

Central Nervous System

The limbic system is the area of the brain that maintains homeostasis and the hypothalamus is perhaps the most important part of the limbic system. It is the “brain” of the brain and is the single most intricate and amazing part of the brain. The hypothalamus controls homeostasis in the brain by way of feedback. The combined neurological and endocrine function of the hypothalamus allows is to play a prominent role is the regulation of numerous body functions.

The main function of the hypothalamus is homeostasis, or maintaining the body’s status quo. Factors such as blood pressure, body temperature, fluid and electrolyte balance, and body weight are held to a precise value called the set point. Although the set point can migrate from day to day it is remarkably fixed.

To achieve this task, the hypothalamus must receive inputs about the state of the body, and must be able to initiate compensatory changes if anything drifts out of range. The Hypothalamus constantly receives millions of nerve messages from complex areas of the rest of the Nervous system including the nucleus of the solitary tract, reticular formation, the retina, the circumventricular organs, the limbic and olfactory systems, sense organs, neocortex, osmoreceptors, as well as numerous touch receptors.

“The hypothalamus receives signals from all possible sources in the nervous system, thus, the hypothalamus is a collecting center for information concerning the internal well being of the body, and in turn, much of this information is used to control secretions of the globally important pituitary gland.” 11

This input into the hypothalamus allows it to regulate and integrate heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, digestion, emotional responses, behavior, sex drive, body and skin temperature, appetite, thirst and body fluids, sleep cycles, metabolism, and much more. The effectiveness of the hypothalamus is directly proportional to the functional capability of the nervous system to send and receive nerve messages and especially to maintain the integrity of those nerve messages as they travel along the spinal cord.

Spinal Cord & Nerve Interference

The spinal cord is both a cable and a switchboard. As a cable, it connects the brain with the rest of the nerves in body. As a switchboard, it coordinates muscle movements, reflexes and other activities under its direct control. The spinal cord is actually a direct extension of the brain, composed of the same kind of nerve cells, nerve fibers and supporting glial cells as those of the brain. It is also protected by the same three coverings (the meninges) and the same fluid (cerebral spinal) that house and protect the brain.

The spinal column is composed of 24 movable vertebrae. The spine is straight when looked at from the front or the rear. When viewed from the side, the spine forms a series of geometric curves or arcs. When the spine is in its optimum structural position, the nervous system is protected, and the integrity of nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain is at an optimum level. This is when the control system of the body can best achieve homeostasis.

Because the vertebra are moveable, they are also susceptible to certain stresses and forces which can cause them to lose their proper position. This leads to stress in the vital nerve system. This condition is known as a “vertebral subluxation”. Subluxations interfere with the normal flow of nerve impulses and can cause either an increase or decrease of nerve activity. Other references in the scientific literature which describe subluxations are: spinal lesions, nerve dysfunction, dysponesis, nerve impingement, neuritis.

Hormonal imbalances can be the result of either too much or too little glandular activity. Spinal Nerve interference and its resulting decrease in function may be a significant cause of endocrine dysfunction and hormonal related health problems.

“Lesions of the hypothalamic input region may produce a variety of symptoms, including diabetes, insipidous, obesity, sexual dystrophy, somnolence, and loss of temperature control” 12 Correlative Neuroanatomy & Functional Neurology

“Studies have shown that more than fifty percent of hyperthyroid patients have damage to the pathways in their nervous system” 13 Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry

“Research at the A.T. Still Institute showed that spinal lesions resulted in pathological changes in the blood, urine, and tissue fluids. Spinal lesions of the atlas and axis ( C1& C2) were associated with abnormal function of the pituitary which resulted in abnormal hormone secretions. 14 Still Research Institute.

With few exceptions, hormone deficiency or hormone excess is the result of pathologic manifestations in the neural pathways that supply the hypothalamus. 15 Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine

Causes of Vertebral Subluxations

Vertebral subluxations can be caused by any force or stress to which the body is unable to adapt. Examples of this would include automobile accidents, work related injuries repetitive motions events, sports and recreational pursuits, poor posture, poor bending, lifting and sleeping habits, and various types of chemical and emotional stress.

The body can adapt to the stress as long as the nervous and endocrine systems are capable of responding normally. All types of stress can not only cause vertebral subluxations, but it creates a viscous cycle in which the body can no longer adapt to stress as a result of a compromised nervous system.


The purpose of Chiropractic is the detection and correction of vertebral subluxations which is accomplished by physically adjusting the spine. This restores the nervous system pathways to an optimum level of function, which maximizes homeostasis and the body’s inherent healing ability. Chiropractic is not a treatment for disease, nor do Doctors of Chiropractic claim to cure disease. Chiropractors simply remove nerve interference from the spine, and with a restored nervous system, the body is able to restore and maintain its own optimum level of balance.

Research studies as well as tens of thousands of case studies done in Chiropractic clinics have demonstrated that the correction of vertebral subluxations improves neurological function and health and allows the body to recover from a wide variety of health conditions, including many endocrine disorders.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.