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”

Fruits and Vegetables May Protect Kids From Asthma and Allergies

by Neustaedter, OMD – ICPA.org:Fruits and Vegetables

Children in rural Crete have an especially low incidence of allergies and wheezing (asthma). The diet among this population is typically high in locally grown fruits and vegetables. These facts led researchers to examine whether there was an association between diet and allergies in these children.

What they found can reassure and inspire us all as parents to pursue a healthy whole foods diet for our children.

The study included 690 children aged 7 to 18 years living in rural areas of Crete. Parents completed a food questionnaire that rated intake on a scale of six from never to more than once per day for each category of foods. The foods in the survey included vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, cereal, dairy products, meat, poultry, and margarine. Parents also completed a symptom questionnaire that included a current history (in the past 12 months) of respiratory and allergic symptoms.

They discovered that children with a daily consumption of grapes, oranges, apples, and fresh tomatoes had less asthma. Eating oranges, but not other fruits, was associated with less nasal allergies. Eating nuts more than three times per week was also associated with less wheezing.

Consuming margarine, however, showed a correlation with more wheezing and allergies. Other suspect food items, such as fast foods and fried foods, were not included in the study. Other studies have shown an increased incidence of asthma in children consuming fast foods.

The traditional Mediterranean diet contains a high proportion of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, and is high in essential fatty acids, fiber, polyphenols from olive oil, and vitamins E and C. In this study children with a primarily Mediterranean diet had a lower incidence of nasal allergies and nighttime coughing.

The message from this study is clearly that children with allergies may benefit from eating a diet with a high proportion of fruits and vegetables, and that this type of diet may be preventive for allergies and asthma as well. Parents would do well to make fruits available to children throughout the day, pack fruits in school and camp lunches, and avoid processed foods with added sugar and corn syrup. Never use margarine. And don’t forget to include nuts in children’s diets as well (including walnuts, pecans, and almonds).

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

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.

Symptoms Are Not the Problem

by Susan M. Brown, D.C. – ICPA:symptoms

I’ve had people say to me “I know you don’t want to hear about my symptoms, but…..” Enough people have said it lately that I thought an explanation of my view of symptoms was in order. It’s not that I don’t want to hear about symptoms or that you can’t tell me what they are, I just view them so differently.

The current view of health holds that if we have symptoms, we are sick and if we are without symptoms then we are healthy. And so much of modem health care, especially that which is medical in its approach, is geared toward ridding the individual of their symptoms. Some of the sickest people are symptom free. They just don’t feel anything. Their bodies are so impacted with toxins and stress and injury (emotional and physical) that they have shut down. So lack of symptoms does not necessarily prove to be a healthy individual. As the reverse can also be true. A person with symptoms is not necessarily “sick”.

Now at first, ridding the system of symptoms seems like a wonderful, noble thing. At least until you start to consider how the body functions. Many of the symptoms people experience are actually signs that the body is healing and stopping those symptoms can inhibit the healing process. For example, a normal fever rise is the body’s first line of defense against infection. Temperature goes up, which increases the body’s activity and signals the immune system to ‘turn on”. When we take something to decrease the temperature it compromises the body’s natural healing response.

When we ingest something that the body considers to be toxic, nausea and diarrhea are healthy responses. When a joint is injured the body gives us pain to let us know to be careful, to avoid using it and re-injuring it. It swells to provide a natural splint to the area to protect the injured joint and gets hot as the body increases the circulation to repair and heal the injured tissue. The runny nose we get at the change of seasons is the body sluffing off the old respiratory lining, much like the trees sluff off their leaves and animals sluff off winter coats.

Every symptom our body lovingly gives us is a message. The body can only speak to us in two ways, pain or pleasure, discomfort or comfort, ease or dis-ease. The words it speaks to let us know it is working or not working are what we have defined as symptoms. A heart that aches after years of abuse will signal us with chest pains. A stomach will flare up with an ulcer to let us know that we have let life get too stressful, that it is too much to bear. Our pulse will race with the anxiety forcing us to face the fears that have built up in our bodies.

When symptoms occur, when our body is trying its best to communicate with us, do we listen to what it is trying to say? Or do we just try to shut it up, quite down or stop the symptoms. Do we ignore the body’s only voice and try to “shut it up” like putting our hand over the mouth of a screaming child. If our intention is just to stop the symptoms, then we miss the gift. It’s not that I don’t want to hear about the symptoms, it’s that my intention is not to treat them or silence them, it is to acknowledge them with something far greater than talking about them.

My purpose and intent is to turn on the power of the body so that it can heal, and can integrate the experiences of life. Sometimes when the body is in flow with life it has no symptoms and sometimes it does. Sometimes we feel great, sometimes we feel the process of healing happening and sometimes we feel our body telling us that a change is definitely in order.

Life is a process not an event and so is healing. When your body is speaking, listen to what it is saying, acknowledge it and answer it. Educate yourself as to the processes of the body so that you can help it to heal and understand the messages it is giving you. I think the body’s wisdom will amaze you and if you both listen and respond, the conversations you have will surely enlighten you.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Hormonal Health

by Keith Wassung – ICPA:hormonal health

When the body is in a state of homeostasis, the precise amount of hormones are released into the bloodstream and things proceed smoothly. But when the control system malfunctions-either too much or too little of a particular hormone is secreted, or when an organ or a tissue does not respond efficiently – the results can be severe and can result in numerous health conditions including, but not limited to, thyroid disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression. Thyroid disorders are either classified as “hypo-thyroid” meaning too little thyroid activity or “hyper-thyroid” meaning too much thyroid activity. At any given time in the U.S. more than twenty million people suffer from a thyroid disorder, More than ten million women have a low grade thyroid imbalance and nearly eight million people with the imbalance remain un-diagnosed. More than 500,000 new cases of thyroid imbalance occur each year.

15.7 Million Americans have diabetes and it is estimated that 5 million of them are undiagnosed. Each year there are 789,000 new cases of diabetes. diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. and total direct and indirect costs of diabetes in the U.S is over 100 billion dollars.

The endocrine pancreas is regulated by hormonal activity controlled by the hypothalamus. The dysfunction of the regulation of islet hormone secretion as well as its mechanisms and the pathophysiology of the islet dysfunction is primarily a breakdown in the neuroendocrine control.

Osteoporosis is a major health threat for 28 million Americans, 80% of which are women. Annual treatment costs for osteoporosis exceeds 15 billion dollars. One out of every two women and one in eight men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture at some time in their life.

“Interference with bone remodeling-that is, the imbalance between bone formation and bone reabsorption-underlies nearly every disease that influences the skeleton. Most such disorders are caused by imbalances in hormones and related chemicals in the blood.”

“The key to stopping osteoporosis lies in a balanced body chemistry and a delicate balance of minerals in order to maintain a calcium homeostasis in the blood”

Depression is on pace to be the world’s second most disabling disease (after heart disease) by the year 2000; already the World Health Organization ranks it first among women and fourth overall. In the United States, depression afflicts 18 million people at any given time, one in five over the course of a lifetime and costs over 40 billion dollars a year in lost work time and health care.

The term “depression” often carries a stigmatism with it that denotes a certain sort of sadness, but research has revealed that the majority of the cases of clinical depression are due to imbalances in hormonal levels and are related to a dysfunction in neurological signaling and chemistry.

“Today, neuroscientists know that in many cases, psychopathology (ie depression) arises because of dysfunctions in particular brain structures or particular brain chemicals”

“In fact, it takes an incredibly strong person to bear the burden of the depression condition. The name, “hypothalmo-pituitary-adrenal-axis dysfunction” an appropriate jargony medical description that is accurate but would never make it into the headlines”

Traditional Approach to Hormonal Health

The medical approach to endocrine disorders and hormonal imbalances is to use a variety of drugs in an attempt to artificially compensate for a hormone deficiency. In the case of an overactive gland, radiation and surgical procedures are used. Drugs and related synthetic chemicals may be necessary and appropriate in certain situations, but they do little to correct the cause of the disorder or imbalance since they can do nothing to correct the original cause of the problem, which is often in the system of the control mechanism. Drugs often create an even greater chemical imbalance, which can result in harsh side effects that are much worse than the original condition.

“Too many medical remedies get in the way of the body’s ability to heal itself”…

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Pharmaceuticals are Gateway Drugs

by Colleen Huber, NMD – ICPA:gateway drugs

Gateway drugs to more serious substance abuse have often been thought of as just the illegal drugs: marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine to begin, and worse drugs, such as heroin, later. However, there are other gateway drugs, and these affect a much larger proportion of the population, and are perfectly legal.

You probably know all too well that pharmaceuticals often have side effects that result in the prescribing of additional pharmaceuticals.

One of the most common problems I see in my practice is the over-prescription of beta-blockers. These are utterly useless drugs. Sure they lower the blood pressure, which is why they’re prescribed. But they do that by weakening the whole cardiovascular system. So much so that at times, I have had patients who were then diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Furthermore, beta-blockers, because they weaken circulation, destroy libido, which then leads to the prescription of Viagra®, a drug that has been shown to cause blindness in some men.

Beta-blockers also cause weight gain, for which pharmaceutical corrections are then desperately sought. And perhaps worst of all, the beta-blockers cause fatigue, which is then interpreted by an incompetent or rushed physician as depression, and an anti-depressant is ordered.

In fact, anti-depressants seem to be gaining ground as the treatment of choice for doctors who simply have no idea what to do with the patient in front of them. The doctor’s inadequate understanding of the patient’s health is interpreted as “all in the patient’s head,” which then justifies the prescription of antidepressants. Some illnesses, not yet understood by conventional doctors, are treated this way more than others. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Epstein-Barr and Lyme disease are especially treated with unhelpful antidepressants.

But anti-depressants are not at all innocent. Just the psychological symptoms of them include suicidal thoughts and attempts and anxiety. (Don’t worry; there are more drugs to control the anxiety.)
The first drug opens up one wound, and then as sloppy bandaging of that wound begins, other wounds develop, until there are multiple wounds, and multiple inadequate bandages.

Many times the first pharmaceuticals are prescribed for someone else. According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, published September, 2007, every day 2500 teenagers, aged 12 to 17 years, try a painkiller for the first time. This is often right out of their parents’ medicine cabinet, such as drugs left over from a surgery or simply left unguarded. Teens are finding drugs and taking large amounts so they can get high. In fact, for 12- and 13-yearolds, prescription drugs are the drugs of choice. For teens, prescription drugs are second only to marijuana for getting high. Unfortunately, because they were acquired legally, and were prescribed for a family member, kids assume they are safer.

But the problem is these kids don’t realize that prescribed drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs. So, even if your kids would never try street drugs, they may be getting high out of your medicine cabinet.

In the specific case of painkiller abuse, which is the biggest accelerating problem for youth, these drugs are often opioid derivatives. A huge problem is the well-known mental impairment from these drugs. Another problem is the severe constipation that such drugs can cause. The rockhard constipation that can result from these drugs is not so easily resolved with fiber, and may require stool softeners and lead to accumulated toxicity in the body.

Sometimes the prescription or legal drugs are gateway drugs, not just to other pharmaceuticals, but to street drugs as well.

For example, Ritalin® and others in the methylphenidate class, such as Adderall®, Strattera™, and Concerta® have an identical molecular structure to amphetamines. Although these drugs are designed for the short-term palliation of hyperactivity or inattentiveness in kids (ADHD and ADD), patients never feel that they are permanently healed from these drugs. So, if the doctor after some years stops prescribing the ADD drug, the teenager very often ends up on a methamphetamine afterward. There are naturopathic physicians who have had numerous young men consult them in order to break the addiction to both Ritalin® and to the secondary addiction to crystal methamphetamines.

Both legally and morally, the pharmaceutical industry and the physicians who carelessly prescribe these drugs should be held accountable for this whole expanded branch of the street drug trade.

One of the main reasons that people come to naturopathic physicians is that they are tired of being on so many drugs, with the side effects and the expense. One of the main things we as naturopaths do is to taper people off poorly prescribed drugs. This is usually a gradual process because some drugs will cause a possibly dangerous rebound effect if stopped suddenly.

For every human ailment there are natural treatments. In fact they can treat more human ailments than drugs can resolve. So, consider this option for yourself and your family.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Rethinking Modern Medicine’s Germ Theory

by Daniel A. Middleton, DC – ICPA:germ theory

The germ theory states that diseases are due to specific microorganisms, which are capable of transmission from body to body. Yet although it is widely accepted by medical professionals, forming the basis for billions of dollars of healthcare spending (actually sickness care, but that’s another article), the fact that so many people believe it to be true doesn’t make it so. This is one of the classic logical fallacies: argumentum ad populum, the appeal to the majority, where a thing is stated to be true simply because so many people believe it.

That didn’t work for the belief that the earth was flat, and it shouldn’t work for a theory of disease that is increasingly coming under fire from the scientific community and whose fundamental premise was known to be flawed almost from the beginning. I am reminded of the famous quote by Anatole France: “If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.”

Everyone has heard of the Black Plague that swept through Europe in the Middle Ages, resulting in the death of nearly a third of the European population (25 million people dead over the five-year period between 1347 and 1352). What is most interesting, however, is the other two-thirds—the ones who didn’t die. Many times the survivors were members of the same family as the victims, sharing a home and meals across the same family table. What about them—why didn’t they ‘catch’ the disease? Were they just lucky?

I’m not denying that the disease itself existed; it’s well-documented. The Bubonic Plague, associated with the bacterium named Versenia pestis, was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history—and one of the most studied. Instead, my argument is against the ‘germ theory of disease’ itself, the overriding idea in many people’s minds that exposure to a germ almost always equals disease, when common sense tells us that this simply is not the case.

The germ (or virus or bacteria) might well be the agent of disease, but the cause is much more complex than that. Otherwise, as chiropractic pioneer B.J. Palmer said, eventually no one would be alive to tell you about it! If our bodies can be kept whole and healthy, then the germs, which we come into contact with every day, would have no purchase. One of the goals of chiropractic is to have your body function at such a level that you don’t get sick very often—and that when you do, your immune system, stronger because of more efficient body-brain communication, is better able to fight off the disease, letting you recover more quickly.

Chiropractic is a vitalistic way of looking at our ideas of health and wellness, of how we get sick and why. Very often, it’s at odds with the predominant (mechanistic) model of health that everyone is used to. With the number of drug ads on television and in magazines, and news shows touting the latest medical advancement to treat this or that disease (many of which show up later with unpredicted—maybe even unpredictable—side effects or problems) and the countless TV shows idolizing medicine (e.g. House, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, etc.) all the way back to the early days of television (City Hospital and The Doctor first appeared back in 1951, with the more well-known and iconoclastic Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey showing up ten years later).

Is it any wonder that we all grew up believing in the medical model of health care? After all, surely we could trust Robert Young’s kindly and grandfatherly Marcus Welby, M.D. In fact, we trusted him so much that Young made a subsequent commercial for a popular pain reliever (“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV…”) that became a well-worn cliché. But what if the foundation on which the entire medical model rests is flawed? What if the “germ theory of disease” is not quite so cut and dried as we’ve been led to believe? Highly controversial when it was first proposed, the germ theory is now the cornerstone of modern medicine, and its chief proponent, Louis Pasteur, a demigod in the medical canon. But is what we remember Pasteur for the last he said on the subject?

Everyone is familiar with Pasteur’s name, but one of his contemporaries and chief opponents was a scientist named Claude Bernard (1813–1878), who argued that it was not the ‘seed’ (the germ) that caused disease, but was instead the ‘soil’ (the human body). Bernard argued that germs are nothing more than opportunistic organisms. It was an argument that persisted throughout their careers, and for his entire life Pasteur was convinced that germs lay at the cause of all disease. Only on his deathbed—with Claude Bernard present—did Pasteur finally admit that Bernard was right. In the end, Pasteur came to realize that the germ was not the only element in determining who became sick and who remained well.

What this tells us is that modern medicine (or Big Pharma, as the pharmaceutical companies with revenues exceeding $3 billion are often called) has based its fundamental premise on a theory that even its most well-known proponent—as Pasteur arguably was—recanted in the end. For the past one hundred years, modern medicine has pursued a theory that is, at best, only a single aspect of the cause of disease and, at worst, a theory flawed at its core.

How much better spent would our health dollars be—in treatment, education and research—if they supported instead research into how to make the “soil” less hospitable to the “seed,” rather than chasing cures and potions for every collection of symptoms that can be named? Just as in a court of law deathbed confessions are given an extra weight, so too should we regard Pasteur’s final comment on his most famous theory: “Bernard avait raison. Le germ n’est rien, c’est le terrain qui est tout.” (“Bernard was right. The seed is nothing, the soil is everything.”)

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Living the 10 Tenets of Wellness

by Michael Arloski, PhD – ICPA:wellness

Wellness always seems to be working toward answering one critical question: Why don’t people do what they know they need to do for themselves? Providing people with good information about physical fitness, stress management, nutrition, etc., is important, but insufficient. A lack of information isn’t the problem. With the amount of media attention given to health and well-being, it is hard to believe that most people don’t already know more than enough to live very well lives. Articles on cholesterol, healthy relationships, exercise and smoking cessation abound. But where is the motivation to change, and what is blocking it?

Whether we are looking at our individual health, or wellness programming for a small or large organization, there seem to be certain factors that have emerged in the decades that the wellness movement could call itself a field of study. Let me share some informal suggestions or tenets that, after many years in the “wellness biz,” it all comes down to for me.

1) Wellness is a holistic concept. Anything short of that is incomplete and ultimately ineffective. We need to look at the whole person and program for the mind, body, spirit and environment. Just picking the dimension of wellness that you like and minimizing the others doesn’t work in the long run.

* Imagine each dimension of wellness in your life like a spoke on a wheel. Draw a picture of your wellness wheel, extending your physical fitness spoke, your spiritual development spoke, your nutrition spoke, etc., out as far as you feel you have developed it, and practice what you preach. Do you have a wheel that rolls reasonably well? Where do you need to put your energy into learning more and practicing more?

2) Self-esteem is the critical factor in change. Wellness is caring enough about yourself to take stock of your life, make the necessary changes and find the support to maintain your motivation. Heal the wounds. Find what is holding you back from feeling good about yourself and work through the blocks, not around them.

As psychiatrist Jerry Jampolsky says, everything we do comes either from love or from fear. Where do your wellness lifestyle efforts come from? For many of us, change requires the hard, roll-up-the-sleeves work of facing our fears and healing old wounds received during our experience growing up in our families of origin and from our peer groups and communities. Positive affirmations, or self-statements, are excellent, but need to be coupled with this type of lifelong self-reflective work.

* Identify one negative message you frequently say to yourself (“You’re so stupid!” “You’ll never amount to anything,” etc.). Relax for a minute or two with your eyes closed. Think of the negative message, and say out loud in a shout, “Who says?” Notice who flashes into your mind: a parent, a teacher, a one-time peer? See with whom you have some unfinished business to deal with.

3) The people with whom we surround ourselves either help us stretch our wings and soar, or clip them again and again. Positive peer health norms encourage wellness lifestyle changes. Mutually beneficial relationships with friends, lovers, family members and colleagues who care about us as people are what we need to seek and create in our lives. Rather than being threatened by our personal growth, they support it. Do your friends, partners, etc., bring out your OK or not-OK feelings? Giving and receiving strokes are what it’s all about. Friends keep friends well.

* List who has joined your inner circle of supportive friends in the last ten years. Give thanks—or grieve, and get busy making new friends!

4) Break out of the trance! Conscious living means becoming aware of all the choices we have and acting on them. It involves a realization that we don’t have to run our lives on automatic pilot. We can turn off the television (remember, TV stands for “time vacuum”), read labels, turn off the lawn sprinklers when we have enough rain, notice how our food tastes, and notice how tense and contracted we are when we drive 15 mph over the speed limit. It means consciously working on our relationships, life goals and maximizing our potential.

* For three work days in a row, minimize your attachment to the world of the media: no radio, television, Internet, newspapers or magazines. See what you become aware of about yourself and the world around you.

5) A sense of connectedness — to other people, other species, the Earth and the “something greater” — grounds us in our lives. We are all of one heart. Much of this sense can come out of the land we live on. By identifying with where we live and getting to know the plants, animals, weather patterns, water sources and the landscape itself, we develop not only a love for it, but feel that love returned. Through our commitment to our place on earth we value and protect our environment by the way we live our lives, and by how we speak at the ballot box. Through our contact with the natural world we experience a solid sense of belonging, peace and harmony.

Theologian Matthew Fox likes to say that we can relate to the Earth in any of three ways. We can exploit it, recreate on it, or we can be in awe of it. I believe it is within a sense of awe that our potential for growth and healing is multiplied. From such a state of wonder it is easy to see all other species as relatives. The Lakota like to close every prayer with the words “Mitakaue Oyasin”: “For all my relations.”

* Spend twenty minutes in a natural area just listening to every sound you hear. Locate its origin. Identify patterns. Try it with your eyes closed part of the time. Cup your hands behind your ears and try it. Note your awarenesses.

6) We are primarily responsible for our health. There are the risk factors of genetics, toxic environments and the like, but our emotional and lifestyle choices determine our health and well-being more than anything else. As much as we’d like to cling to blame and cop-outs, we do have to be honest with ourselves. The flip side is the empowerment that this realization gives us.
One path out of passivity and illness is to realize what you can do to boost your immune system. Stress, fatigue and poor diet have a tremendous influence on our body’s ability to resist illness and disease. Most people report excessive stress and chronic sleep deprivation.

* To take charge of your own health and boost your immune system, follow the usual wellness advice and live a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle but, more specifically, experiment with getting more rest and practicing some established form of relaxation training.

7) From increased self-sufficiency comes the confidence and power that overshadows fear. The Australian aboriginal people say that when a person cannot walk out onto the land and feed, clothe and shelter himself adequately, a deep, primal fear grips his soul. Recognizing our interconnectedness, we grow tremendously when we can care for ourselves on many different levels. Skills, information and tools that enable us to live more fully all increase our self-respect and self-confidence. These could include knowing how to choose our food wisely (or even how to grow it ourselves); how to become more competent at our career; how to adjust the shifter on our bicycle; how to take a hike into a wilderness area; or even how to bake bread from scratch. We need to learn these skills and teach them to others, especially our children.

* Identify some skill you want to learn that would make your life easier, more economical or fun (baking, something mechanical, an outdoors skill). Locate a person from whom you can learn that skill and arrange an exchange of knowledge, skill, time, or some other reciprocal arrangement you both like.

8) As much as we all need time with others, we all need time apart. Solo time, especially in the natural world, helps us relax, de-contract and get beyond the distractions of modern life that prevent us from really knowing ourselves. Peoples from all around the world have traditions of spending time alone (usually in a wilderness setting) in order to gain vision about the direction and meaning in their lives. There are some powerful reasons for this.

* Find a partner who shares your desire to spend one full day in solo time. Locate a nearby natural area where you both feel safe and would enjoy spending the day. Pick a day with a relatively good weather forecast. Take a whistle with you, appropriate clothing, rain gear, etc. Bring water, but no food unless you have a special dietary consideration. Do not bring anything to read, or anything to write with. When you arrive, you should both select a small area (10 to 15 yards in diameter, max) where you would like to spend five to eight hours alone. Your site should be close enough for your partner to hear your whistle easily, but far enough away that you can have complete privacy. Taking opposite sides of the same hilltop ridge works very well for this. Reunite at a prearranged time. Spend your time in contemplation and awareness of everything around you. This is a journey into inner and outer nature. Reflect and write about your experience afterward if you like.

The goal here is not endurance. Bail out if you have a nasty change in weather, feel ill, etc. You can always reschedule. Though this exercise in solo time is not physically demanding, you need to be your own judge, or seek your physician’s advice, if you have any health concerns.

9) You don’t have to be perfect to be well. Extreme perfectionism is a shame-based process that feeds a really negative view of ourselves. Workaholism, anorexia and other addictive behaviors can result. Wellness does not mean swearing off hot-fudge sundaes. It just means not “b.s.-ing” yourself about when you last had one! Whenever our healthy habits move from being positive addictions to being compulsive behavior that works against us, we’re usually the last ones to know. A lot of time, extreme behavior is a way to distract yourself from some other issue that needs your attention.

* Get a gauge on your diet, exercise, etc. Read several sources and see what the experts recommend. Check your program out with a qualified local resource, such as a nutritionist or exercise specialist.

10) Play! We all need to lighten up and not take ourselves (and wellness) so seriously. Remember the lessons of the coyote and be playful, even ornery in a non-malicious way. Let the child within out to play. Give yourself permission.

The “work hard, play hard” philosophy does little to help us maintain the balance needed for a healthy life. Psychophysiology works twenty four hours a day, every day (not just on weekends). Integrate a healthy sense of humor and play into the workplace. Make sure your yang equals your yin!

* List several of your favorite “play” activities that you either do, or did at one time in your life. Now note when you last engaged in each of these activities. Celebrate, or contemplate what you’ve (temporarily) let go of in your life. Have fun reclaiming it!

Even with these tenets, there is no concrete wellness formula. You have to discover what works for you. Take them not as rules, but as modern folklore gathered by one who has walked the wellness way for quite a few years.

Article originally posted at ICPA.org.

Preventative Care

submitted by jwithrow.Spa

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Preventative Care

November 12, 2014
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P opened at $2,028. Gold, starting to recover from its recent mugging, is up to $1,165. Oil is down to $77.25 and contemplating testing its support level. Bitcoin is up to $396 per BTC, and the 10-year Treasury rate opened at 2.34%.

Precious metals are still the asset class that most warrants your attention in the financial markets today. The U.S. mint sold 5.8 million ounces of silver in October which was a 40% increase from September sales. The Mint then started the month of November off by selling another 1.3 million ounces.

Then it ran out of silver to sell.

But guess what happened to the price of silver? It dropped from $19.50 per ounce on September 1 to $15.72 per ounce as the closing bell rang yesterday. Concurrently, the gold forward rate has just gone negative for the sixth time in fourteen years which suggests the market is pricing for a physical gold shortage. Despite this, the price of gold has been systematically beaten down in 2014 as well. What was that old saying about supply and demand?

Both gold and silver will probably flop around a bit for a while longer but ten years from now you will look quite wise if you allocate some of your capital to precious metals at the current prices.

Shifting gears to continue with our recent health care theme…

Last week we pondered a new model for health care based on cash payments for personalized service in order to opt out of the big-government/big-insurance/big-pharma cartel. We reckoned such a model would be similar to the free market model of a bygone era where family doctors had the freedom to offer personalized service to patients without having to worry about an avalanche of insurance paperwork needing to be complied with or a legion of attorneys hiding in the bushes outside looking for a malpractice lawsuit. We also reckoned there will be a small but growing number of health care professionals willing to offer personalized service for cash as the health insurance industry in the U.S. continues to spiral down into a sinkhole of bureaucracy.

What we didn’t ponder last week was how to afford a cash-based model and keep the insurance company in the waiting room unless an emergency occurs. The answer is simple: preventative care.

No, not the preventative care where you run to the specialist and sign up for the latest and greatest test or screening every time you think you might have sniffled in your sleep the night before. We mean the preventative care where you actually take responsibility for your own health and wellness.

The general guidelines are really pretty intuitive: get a good night’s sleep, stay active during the day even if you work behind a desk, walk as much as possible, eat real food and avoid the fake food that comes packaged in boxes and bags, drink plenty of water and not much soda, consider natural supplements and stay away from pharmaceutical drugs, reject stress and negativity, and maintain a positive state of mind.

Do these things consistently and you probably won’t ever get sick. And if you don’t get sick you won’t feel the need to go to the doctor – not even for checkups if you trust yourself implicitly. Then you could take the money you would have spent on doctor visits and prescription drugs and work on your asset allocation model.

Of course it is still advisable to maintain a wellness network. There are plenty of people and groups out there in cyberspace discussing natural health topics and answering each other’s questions at any given time of day. Though I gave it up years ago, I understand there are plenty of active Facebook groups in this space also.

Wife Rachel and I are big fans of routine chiropractic care as well. Instead of pushing a pill for every ill, chiropractors embrace a more holistic approach to wellness by focusing on musculoskeltal health to ensure optimal functionality of the nervous system. We found chiropractic care to be an especially important part of Rachel’s prenatal and postpartum wellness and it is an excellent tool to monitor the development of little Madison’s nervous system. You know how the pediatrician taps infants on the knee with the little hammer tool? Chiropractors do that too along with numerous other more advanced bio-mechanical and reactionary measurements.

Fortunately for the sake of this journal entry, many chiropractors operate on a cash-only basis. That is, they do not deal with insurance companies (they will accept credit cards). This eliminates the extra costs associated with insurance paperwork and compliance which means lower prices for clients. Some insurance policies may cover chiropractic care but it would be up to the client to file for reimbursement in that case. Ask the chiropractor whether or not his services are covered by insurance and he will probably say “I don’t know” and explain that your insurance policy is a private contract between you and the insurance company and has nothing to do with him (or her). How refreshing to know there is still a sliver of honesty and respectability left in the health care field!

With the proper mindset, preventative care is really quite easy so why do most people ignore it? One cannot know for certain but I suspect propagated fear has a lot to do with it. We’ll save that for a later entry…

More to come,






Joe Withrow
Wayward Philosopher

For more of Joe’s thoughts on the “Great Reset” and regaining individual sovereignty please read “The Individual is Rising” which is available at http://www.theindividualisrising.com/. The book is also available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.