Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shifting America from sick care to genuine wellness

I felt this was worth re-printing in its entirety. For years those of us in the alternative and complementary health fields have been saying this. Now that our health and the health system has been pushed to the brink we're willing to look at this on the National level. But please tell me who will lead this call to preventive health? Medical doctors by and large are not trained this way and medical schools don't teach it.

Washington, DC — With the Senate health committee convening daily to craft a comprehensive health reform bill, the basic outline of this landmark legislation is now clear.

Yes, it will ensure access to affordable, quality care for every American. But, just as important, it will hold down health care costs by creating a sharp new emphasis on disease prevention and public health.

As the lead Senator in drafting the Prevention and Public Health section of the bill, I view this legislation as our opportunity to recreate America as a genuine wellness society – a society that is focused on prevention, good nutrition, fitness, and public health.

The fact is, we currently do not have a health care system in the United States; we have a sick care system. If you’re sick, you get care, whether through insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, community health centers, emergency rooms, or charity. The problem is that this is all about patching things up after people develop serious illnesses and chronic conditions.

We spend a staggering $2.3 trillion annually on health care – 16.5 percent of our GDP and far more than any other country spends on health care – yet the World Health Organization ranks U.S. health care only 37th among nations, on par with Serbia.

We spend twice as much per capita on health care as European countries, but we are twice as sick with chronic disease.

How can this be so? The problem is that we have systematically neglected wellness and disease prevention. Currently in the United States, 95 percent of every health care dollar is spent on treating illnesses and conditions after they occur. But we spend peanuts on prevention.

The good news in these dismal statistics is that, by reforming our system and focusing on fighting and preventing chronic disease, we have a huge opportunity. We can not only save hundreds of billions of dollars; we can also dramatically improve the health of the American people.

Consider this: Right now, some 75 percent of health care costs are accounted for by heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and obesity. What these five diseases and conditions have in common is that they are largely preventable and even reversible by changes in nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle.

Listen to what Dr. Dean Ornish told our Senate health committee: “Studies have shown that changing lifestyle could prevent at least 90 percent of all heart disease. Thus, the disease that accounts for more premature deaths and costs Americans more than any other illness is almost completely preventable, and even reversible, simply by changing lifestyle.”

It’s not enough to talk about how to extend insurance coverage and how to pay for health care – as important as those things are. It makes no sense just to figure out a better way to pay the bills for a system that is dysfunctional, ineffective, and broken. We also have to change the health care system itself, beginning with a sharp new emphasis on prevention and public health.

We also have to realize that wellness and prevention must be truly comprehensive. It is not only about what goes on in a doctor’s office. It encompasses workplace wellness programs, community-wide wellness programs, building bike paths and walking trails, getting junk food out of our schools, making school breakfasts and lunches more nutritious, increasing the amount of physical activity our children get, and so much more.

I am heartened by the fact that the major players in this endeavor – Democrats and Republicans alike – all “get it” when it comes to prevention and public health. We all agree that it must be at the heart of reform legislation.

As President Obama said in his speech to Congress earlier this year: “[It is time] to make the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that's one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control.”

No question, comprehensive health reform is an extraordinarily ambitious undertaking. But what makes me optimistic is that all the major groups are playing a constructive role, including those that opposed the 1993-94 heath reform effort. Everyone agrees that the current system is broken.

Winston Churchill famously said that “Americans always do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” Well, we’ve tried everything else, and it has led us to bad health and the brink of bankruptcy.

Comprehensive health reform legislation is our opportunity to change the paradigm. We are going to extend health insurance to every American. And we are going to give our citizens access to a 21st century health care system – one that is focused on helping us to live healthy, active, happy lives.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) is a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and chairs the Senate panel that funds medical research and health care..

Op-Eds by contributors do not reflect the editorial views of the Yahoo! News staff.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How Insurance Companies Hurt Policyholders - ABC News

Every doctor and patient knows that in this three way relationship only the insurance company holds the power. Your best health insurance policy is to stay well if you can. Are there no honest institutions left anymore? Is it all a facade of greed and falsity? If so, the entire system has to crumble.

How Insurance Companies Hurt Policyholders - ABC News

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Air has elevated cancer risk in 600 neighborhoods

Particulate matter is particularly troubling. And now we have this study as further evidence. There is no way to avoid the issue of detoxifcation in our current environment. These airborne toxins are breathed in with every breathe but they also enter the water and food supply. The human body often lacks any sort of metabolic pathway to package them and get them out. They interfere with normal metabolic detoxification and destroy enzyme systems and nutrient levels. Because they body can't get rid of them they circulate perpetually through the blood stream wreacking havoc along the way. This puts a special burden on the liver, kidney, lungs, heart, and brain leading to systemic inflammation and many diseases besides cancer.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Core Values: A different type of ab workout

Dr. Stuart McGill is the current foremost expert in spinal biomechanics. Here's a video that demonstrates some of his techniques for strengthening the back and core of the body.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Is Your Ab Workout Hurting Your Back?

As usual people run for the one magic bullet to fix all their problems. In this case research was done showing that one particular deep ab muscle, when strengthened, decreased back pain. So everyone ran out and worked on this muscle. That is, they overworked the muscle causing instability. The body is never that simple. Muscles work as levers. When one contracts the opposite side relaxes. Also, muscles attach to different parts of the skeleton and other structures. If one muscle is over-strengthened then some other muscle and structure will be over-weakened. The body always strives for balance structurally and physically.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ADHD Drug Warning

A small study shows an association between ADHD medication and sudden cardiac arrest in children. According to Dr. Ashton, a medical doctor, chiropractic can help with ADHD.

Certain neurotransmitters in the brain are deficient in ADHD kids and adults. The drugs that are given will temporarily fill the brain receptor sites that help calm the person. When the drug wears off so does the effect and a new dose must be given. As we see from this study these drugs can also have a range of side effects, even sudden death in children.

There are much better ways to help ADHD children. One way is with specific excercises that create brand new neural pathways. Another great treatment is with functional lab testing

This is followed by a prescribed nutritional program to help rebuild the depleted nutrients the brain needs to replenish those critical neurotransmitters.

My office provides these services both locally in Israel and in the U.S.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Parkinson's Disease Associated With Pesticide Exposure In French Farm Workers

Most people don't realize just how toxic our environment is. On the most elemental level-air, water, soil-there are levels and types of toxins that the human body cannot handle. Even the home has toxins we would not imagine in ordinary items such as clothing, carpets, shower curtains, furnishings, building materials and wood flooring. For most of these toxins there are no metabolic pathways in the body break down and eliminate them. They are either constantly recirculated or they are stored in joints and fat. The bioaccumulation of them eventually can lead to disease. Pay attention to small chronic symptoms and get tested. Educate yourself regarding sources of these toxins, what they are, the damage they can cause, and how you can avoid them as much as possible. Learn methods as to how to eliminate them safely and effectively.

ScienceDaily (2009-06-05) -- The cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), the second most frequent neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease, is unknown, but in most cases it is believed to involve a combination of environmental risk factors and genetic susceptibility. Laboratory studies in rats have shown that injecting the insecticide rotenone leads to an animal model of PD and several epidemiological studies have shown an association between pesticides and PD, but most have not identified specific pesticides or studied the amount of exposure relating to the association.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

An Ounce of Prevention; Chiropractic for Kids

Kids are increasingly using chiropractic to achieve better health. Some are more active with sports activities and some are less active, sitting in front of a computer or TV all day. Either way they need to pay extra attention to the health of their neuromusculoskeletal system.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Study: Why Diabetes Looks Different in Asia

Study: Why Diabetes Looks Different in Asia

Patients seeking solutions outside the mainstream

The trend is going towards complementary medicine because Western medicine as a whole is failing. Part of the blame goes to Western society's bad habits of overeating, poor food choices, and lack of physical activity. People are beginning to realize that medicine does not have all the answers as they increasingly seek out other solutions.