NEW CAR WASH IN MOUNTAIN VIEW MISSOURI
THE CLEAN MACHINE
I get it; the "new" car wash on 5th street, across from Yarber's Mortuary and next door to Chowning's Auto Parts & Storage isn't exactly new. In fact, I remember when Lynn Ipock opened the "Wash & Roll" two decades ago --- about the same time I moved from just down the street in old Nappytown to our current location out on South 17. But the refurbishing job that new owners Jon and Robin Nielsen have done over the past several months will take you back to the days when everything there was clean, shiny, and new ---- and actually worked like it was supposed to.
After Lynn sold the business, maintenance and upkeep were let slide. Due to time and neglect, the Wash & Roll did exactly what you would expect it to --- fall prey to Newton's Second Law of Thermodynamics. Known simply as 'entropy,' this law of physics says that the nature of all things is to fall apart over time unless energy and / or work are added back. Needless to say, there had not been much work put into the car wash for a very long time. How bad was it? Let's put it this way; no one would have been surprised to see the old car wash torn down to make room for something else. Enter Jon Nielsen.
Jon knew exactly what it would take to resurrect this business from the grave. You see, Jon's one of those old fashioned 'solve anything / fix anything / build anything / figure it out' kind of guys. In the past he has worked as a builder and contractor. He is an excellent concrete man. He runs all sorts of heavy equipment. He also spent many years in the Car Wash business before selling everything four years ago and leaving with his family to become missionaries. They're back, and over the course of the past six months, everything about the car wash has been fixed, upgraded, or replaced. Even the name has changed. The old Wash and Roll is now the Clean Machine.
We've known Jon and his family for just over six years and can honestly say that they are some of our favorite people. In fact, his twins became OUR ETHIOPIAN DAUGHTER'S best friends as soon as they arrived in America five years ago this month --- before they could even speak English. Jon is a person of impeccable character and integrity, and not surprisingly that's exactly how he runs his businesses. But rather than taking it from me, when you stop by to get your car, truck, boat, mower, tractor, etc washed, look around and notice everything he's done --- most of it himself. And be sure to take a couple minutes and talk to him since he's frequently there making sure everything is working properly and running smoothly.
The brand new Facebook Page for Mountain View Missouri's Clean Machine Car Wash can be found HERE. Make sure to like and share!
Best wishes with the new endeavor Jon & Robin,
We love you both!
Sincerely, Dr. Russell S. Schierling
ACUTE TRAUMATIC INJURIES OR CHRONIC REPETITIVE INJURIES
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Why do I bring this up? Simple. Because it goes to the very heart of the different philosophies of healing. As I've already shown you, the medical community believes they are changing physiology through the use of drugs, even though I've also shown you very clearly they are not. The fact is, there is a gap between these two opposing philosophies that is almost as large as THE CHASM between medical research and medical practice. While not all scientists are atheists, and not all non-scientists are religious (by "religious" I mean anyone who believes in a higher power, whatever they believe that power to be) there is a foundational principle here. It boils down to the age-old DEBATE BETWEEN VITALISTS AND MECHANISTS.
You can read the arguments by clicking the link, but realize that these two groups treat their sick very differently. For instance, vitalists realize that while there is certainly a time and a place for Western medicine, they also understand the symbiotic relationship between health and disease. For a better idea of what I mean by this odd statement, HERE is a great example. But one of my favorite examples of how a vitalist would treat different than a mechanist has to do with Diabetes.
Thanks in part to the ridiculously addictive nature of processed carbs and sugar (HERE), not only is diabetes running rampant in America, so is pre-diabetes (HERE and HERE). What is America's medial machine (a machine that could now best be described as "corporate") doing about this? Instead of educating patients about diet and lifestyle (HERE), they are trying to induce homeostasis via prescribing a group of drugs that has been proven time and time again to be largely ineffective at doing anything other than lowering blood sugar (they do not significantly diminish morbidity or mortality --- HERE and HERE). Yet another example of the medical community getting to PICK AND CHOOSE the "EVIDENCE" they like, while discarding what they don't.
If you are interested in seeing the bigger picture as far as restoring homeostasis and returning to health are concerned, HERE it is.
INFLAMMATION, PAIN, GLUTEN, AND THE LEAKIES
(Leaky Gut, Leaky Brain, Leaky Lung, Leaky Cord, Leaky Nerve, etc, etc, etc)
While researching this post, I was curious to see what that shinning pillar of truth and light, Wikipedia, had to say. Upon looking up 'Leaky Gut Syndrome,' I was surprised to learn that, "proponents claim that a "leaky gut" causes chronic inflammation throughout the body that results in a wide range of conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and autism. As of 2016, there is little evidence to support the hypothesis that leaky gut syndrome directly causes this wide array of diseases." But after looking at who Wiki's "expert" author was for this entry, I clearly understood what was going on.
Using the discredited psychiatrist STEPHEN BARRETT (or HERE; a colleague of HALL & GORSKI) as the source of their information, Wiki went on to describe Leaky Gut Syndrome as, "a hypothetical, medically unrecognized condition... claims for the existence of "leaky gut syndrome" as a distinct medical condition are mostly made by nutritionists and practitioners of alternative medicine... an opportunity to promote a number of alternative health remedies including diets, herbal preparations, dietary supplements... probiotics, herbal remedies, gluten-free foods, and low FODMAP, low sugar, or antifungal diets, but there is little evidence that the treatments offered are of benefit." In light of the peer-reviewed science --- much of it decades old --- this is a harsh indictment for us ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE QUACKS.
Despite what Barrett says, there is a veritable mountain of peer-reviewed evidence that Leaky Gut Syndrome not only exists, but is intimately associated with massive amounts of physical suffering and CHRONIC PAIN --- particularly in those consuming large quantities of HEAVILY PROCESSED CARBOHYDRATES that are ubiquitous to the SAD (Standard American Diet). Those who follow my blog won't be surprised to see that I have written about every topic Barrett mentions, along with the intimate way(s) they are all related to each other. I go a step further by always giving you the study's name as well as the journal it came from.
If you go to PubMed, you can see just how few studies have been specifically done on LEAKY GUT SYNDROME --- only 180. However, plug in 'Increased Intestinal Permeability' and that number jumps to 3,500. This doesn't count searches for other terms commonly associated with LGS (increased, intestinal permeability, intestinal hyperpermeability, abnormal gut permeability, gut barrier insufficiency, mucosal dysfunction, intestinal epithelial aberrations, along with dozens of others). By my reckoning, there are at least 12,000 studies related to this topic, and maybe several times that number.
Just to show you how far removed from reality Barrett and his brethren are, if we take a quick look at Intestinal Hyperpermeability as it relates to MS, we immediately find two studies that were published over twenty years apart, but telling us essentially the same thing.
- 20 years ago in December, the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences (Multiple Sclerosis Patients have Peripheral Blood CD45RO+ B Cells and Increased Intestinal Permeability) concluded that, "Five of 20 MS patients had increased intestinal permeability, a finding not previously reported. A subgroup of MS patients has increased intestinal permeability."
- In June of this year, the journal Multiple Sclerosis (Altered Intestinal Permeability in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study) revealed that, "Alterations of intestinal permeability may contribute to the pathophysiology of immune-mediated [autoimmune] diseases. The proportion of participants with increased intestinal permeability was significantly higher in patients than in [controls]. The relatively high proportion of intestinal permeability changes in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients seems to confirm our hypothesis."
The thing is, we can do the same thing with any health problem or disease we want. Let's try plugging in ASTHMA --- now known to be an autoimmune disease --- and see what happens.
- Twenty years ago this past summer, the June 1996 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Increased Intestinal Permeability in Bronchial Asthma) revealed that, "Our results support the hypothesis that a general defect of the whole [Gut] mucosal system is present as a cause or a consequence of bronchial asthma." They didn't know whether LGS was the cause or effect, but they knew it was there.
- Eight years later, the March 2004 issue of the Archives of Diseases in Childhood (Intestinal Permeability is Increased in Bronchial Asthma) went a step further by concluding, "Intestinal permeability is increased in children with asthma, suggesting that the whole mucosal system may be affected."
- Six years ago next month, the November 2010 issue of Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology (Altered Gastrointestinal Mucosal Permeability in Asthma) showed that, "Abnormal gastrointestinal permeability has been implicated in immunologic disease, including Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, but also including non-intestinal diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. This study demonstrates an increase in gastrointestinal permeability in the small intestine of asthmatic patients, illustrating an association between abnormal gastrointestinal permeability and current asthma."
- In April 2014, the journal Clinical & Investigative Medicine (High Prevalence of Abnormal Gastrointestinal Permeability in Moderate-Severe Asthma) not surprisingly showed a strong link between LGS and asthma. "Although evidence in the literature demonstrates mucosal abnormalities of the digestive barrier in asthma, previous studies have assessed only colonic permeability, while ignoring the small intestine. Fourteen patients with moderate to severe asthma were studied, half of whom were found to have abnormal gastrointestinal permeability. This study demonstrated our ability to identify abnormal gastrointestinal permeability in the small intestines of patients with asthma."
How about taking a look at Leaky Gut as it relates to PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
- The month I was married (March, 1996) the Postgraduate Medical Journal (Intestinal Permeability and Orocaecal Transit Time in Elderly Patients with Parkinson's Disease) concluded that among other things, "Intestinal permeability was deranged." In other words, the gut was hyperpermeable.
- In 2011, the medical journal PLoS One (Increased Intestinal Permeability Correlates with Sigmoid Mucosa Alpha-Synuclein Staining and Endotoxin Exposure Markers in Early Parkinson's Disease) concluded that, "Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder of aging. The pathological hallmark of Parkinson's Disease is neuronal inclusions termed Lewy bodies whose main component is alpha-synuclein protein. The finding of these Lewy bodies in the intestinal enteric nerves led to the hypothesis that the intestine might be an early site of Parkinson's Disease disease in response to an environmental toxin or pathogen. One potential mechanism for environmental toxin(s) and proinflammatory luminal products to gain access to mucosal neuronal tissue and promote oxidative stress is compromised intestinal barrier integrity. Our data show that our Parkinson's Disease subjects exhibit significantly greater intestinal permeability (gut leakiness) than controls. These data represent not only the first demonstration of abnormal intestinal permeability in Parkinson's Disease subjects but also the first correlation of increased intestinal permeability in Parkinson's Disease with intestinal alpha-synuclein (the hallmark of Parkinson's Disease)."
- Last March Acta Neuropathological Communications (Structural Alterations of the Intestinal Epithelial Barrier in Parkinson's Disease) hit us with more revelations. "Functional and morphological alterations of the intestinal epithelial barrier have been consistently reported in digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. There is mounting evidence that Parkinson's disease is not only a brain disease but also a digestive disorder. Gastrointestinal involvement is a frequent and early event in the course of Parkinson's Disease, and it may be critically involved in the early development of the disease. Our findings provide evidence that the intestinal epithelial barrier is morphologically altered in Parkinson's Disease and further reinforce the potential role of the gastrointestinal tract in the initiation and/or the progression of the disease."
- A month later, scientists and doctors working in both Missouri and Illinois published a study (Leaky Intestine and Impaired Microbiome in an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Mouse Model) in the journal Physiology Reports showing that the link between abnormal gut permeability and Parkinson's Disease was well established --- almost passe. They discussed it's link to ALS (Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig's Disease). "Emerging evidence has demonstrated that intestinal homeostasis and the microbiome play essential roles in neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease..... Taken together, our study suggests a potential novel role of the intestinal epithelium and microbiome in the progression of ALS."
- The February 2008 issue of Neuro Endocronological Letters (The Gut-Brain Barrier in Major Depression: Intestinal Mucosal Dysfunction with an Increased Translocation of LPS From Gram Negative Enterobacteria (Leaky Gut) Plays a Role in the Inflammatory Pathophysiology of Depression) showed such a strong link between Depression and Leaky Gut that they concluded, "There is now evidence that major depression is accompanied by an activation of the inflammatory response system and that pro-inflammatory cytokines and lipopolysacharide may induce depressive symptoms. It is suggested that patients with major depression should be checked for leaky gut and accordingly treated for leaky gut."
- A year ago this month, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience (Breaking Down the Barriers: The Gut Microbiome, Intestinal Permeability and Stress-Related Psychiatric Disorders) revealed that, "The emerging links between our gut microbiome and the central nervous system are regarded as a paradigm shift in neuroscience. Mounting evidence broadly suggests that the gut microbiota can modulate brain development, function and behavior by immune, endocrine and neural pathways of the brain-gut-microbiota axis. The concept that a "leaky gut" may facilitate communication between the microbiota and these key signaling pathways has gained traction. Deficits in intestinal permeability may underpin the chronic low-grade inflammation observed in disorders such as depression and the gut microbiome plays a critical role in regulating intestinal permeability." In the last sentence you can clearly see how a intestinal permeability is affected by the microbiome and vice versa.
- This past April's issue of The Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (Modulatory Effects of Gut Microbiota on the Central Nervous System: How Gut Could Play a Role in Neuropsychiatric Health and Diseases) stated, "Gut microbiome is an integral part of the Gut-Brain axis. It is becoming increasingly recognized that the presence of a healthy and diverse gut microbiota is important to normal cognitive and emotional processing. It was known that altered emotional state and chronic stress can change the composition of gut microbiome, but it is becoming more evident that interaction between gut microbiome and central nervous system is bidirectional. Alteration in the composition of the gut microbiome can potentially lead to increased intestinal permeability and impair the function of the intestinal barrier. Subsequently, neuro-active compounds and metabolites can gain access to the areas within the central nervous system that regulate cognition and emotional responses." No wonder Depression is listed among those health issues intimately related to inflammation.
Or CHRONIC PAIN?
- According to a nine year old study from the journal Rheumatology (Altered Intestinal Permeability in Patients with Primary Fibromyalgia and in Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), "The pain intensity of patients with fibromyalgia has recently been reported to be correlated with the degree of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is often associated with an increased intestinal permeability. The intestinal permeability values were significantly increased in the patient groups. Intestinal permeabilities in primary fibromyalgia and, unexpectedly, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) are increased." Making this problem even bigger is the fact that numerous drugs, including most of those given for pain, cause increased intestinal permeability. And if you're not sure what SIBO is, I've written several articles about.
Or even CANCER?
- The April 1999 issue of Carcinogenesis (Increased Tight Junctional Permeability is Associated with the Development of Colon Cancer) revealed that, "Barrier function is provided by the epithelial cells and the tight junctions that connect them. Diseases of the colon characterized by increased permeability, like Crohn's and ulcerative colitis are typically associated with a high frequency of genetic alterations and colon cancer. We postulate that an increase in tight junction permeability constitutes a critical change for determining the growth of transformed epithelial cells into tumors, acting as an epigenetic tumor promotional event in colon cancer." I'll discuss other epigenetic factors in a moment.
- Writing about a study done by Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University and published in PLoS One, ScienceDaily (Stronger Intestinal Barrier May Prevent Cancer in the Rest of the Body...) let the world know in February of 2012 that, "A leaky gut may be the root of cancers forming in the rest of the body. It appears that the hormone receptor guanylyl cyclase -- a previously identified tumor suppressor that exists in the intestinal tract -- plays a key role in strengthening the body's intestinal barrier, which helps separate the gut world from the rest of the body, and possibly keeps cancer at bay. Without the receptor, that barrier weakens."
- Furthermore, dozens of studies have revealed that chemotherapy for a wide array of cancers frequently leads to increased intestinal permeability. The January 2014 issue of Nutrition and Cancer (Changes in Intestinal Permeability and Nutritional Status After Cytotoxic Therapy in Patients with Cancer) stated that, "Abnormal intestinal permeability... and its possible relationship with intestinal alterations... may be associated with poor nutritional status in cancer patients." And here's the thing about nutritional status in cancer patients --- the medical community will prove unhelpful in this endeavor as they do not recognize nutrition as important in the battle against cancer (HERE). It also helps explain why antibiotics are so strongly linked not only to LGS, but to cancer as well (HERE).
The point is, I could go on and on and on with this exercise, showing that no matter what sort of health issue you have, you are far more likely to have some degree of intestinal hyperpermeability (a "leaky" gut). Furthermore, most of these chronic conditions are going to be associated with higher levels of pain. And on top of everything else, you can see from the dates of some of these studies that such findings are neither new nor controversial. Now let's shift gears and talk a bit about the anatomy and physiology of the 'Leakies' --- complete with a few pictures.
ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY OF THE 'LEAKIES'
In fact, what you start to see as you study this issue is that all these diseases are really one big continuum of dysfunction --- physiology gone haywire, usually in the absence of gross pathology. It's the reason so many chronic health conditions don't offer much as far as positive test results when you go to your doctor feeling like crap (HERE). Fail to grasp this and you'll find yourself trapped on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND, taking all the very meds that Barrett and his ilk so heartily promote for BIG PHARMA under the guise of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE.
Because there is such an absurd amount of scientific evidence for Leaky Gut, and because if you have chronic illnesses of any sort, there's a good chance that you are dealing with this problem on some level, it is important you know what it is and how it works. Firstly, it is absolutely imperative that you understand what INFLAMMATION is and what it does. I continue to stand by my statement that 999 people out of 1,000 --- including many healthcare professionals --- do not understand inflammation and cannot explain it in a meaningful way. When it comes to inflammation, Leaky Gut is unique because it can both cause inflammation and be caused by inflammation (HERE). Bottom line, if you don't have a good handle on Inflammation, you have very little chance of actually getting better.
Secondly, because it is going to provide the same basic anatomical and physiological model of the other "Leakies" (Leaky Brain Syndrome, Leaky Nerve Syndrome, LEAKY CORD SYNDROME, Leaky Lung Syndrome, etc, etc), understanding a Leaky Gut will help you understand the hidden cause of a plethora of health issues. Let's get the ball rolling by discussing epithelial tissue --- in this case, simple columnar epithelium, because that's what's found in the Gut lining.
THE SMALL INTESTINE, SIMPLE COLUMNAR EPITHELIUM, TIGHT JUNCTIONS,
THE BASEMENT MEMBRANE, AND THE CAPILLARY BED (BLOOD SUPPLY)
What you need to remember here is that when we talk about GUT HEALTH, the "Gut" is one cell-layer thick, and this is where the barrier is. Another well-known barrier system that works in an almost identical fashion is the BBB (blood/brain barrier). Whether talking about the Gut, the BRAIN, the cord, the lungs, etc, the gates in these barriers are known as "tight junctions". If you look at the pictures directly below, you will notice the "tight junctions". Although these tight junctions are found near the top of the cell, there are looser connections below this called "gap junctions" (not shown).
When normal digestion occurs (SEE ENDOGUT), tiny particles of nutrients along with H2O are allowed to pass through the tight junctions, through the basal membranes, and into the capillaries, where they will be taken where needed for growth, repair, regeneration, energy, hydration, etc, etc. As long as the tight junctions are doing their job and only allowing in what should go in, all is well with the world. But what would happen if these "tight junctions" were to lose their tightness? What happens when things go awry in the body's barrier systems? Can anyone say 'leaky'?
LEAKY 'INCREASED PERMEABILITY' SYNDROMES
The bottom line is that if unwelcome guests manage to get past the barriers and into the blood, they are likely to create an immune response. The body recognizes these entities as foreign invaders and begins attacking. What's interesting (in a terrible way) is that once the tight junctions are opened and the body starts attacking the onslaught of invaders, it often starts attacking itself. This is known as AUTOIMMUNITY. If you are interested in looking at a short list of some of the more common autoimmune diseases (many of which you likely were unaware were autoimmune), HERE it is.
In the brain, things get even more interesting because head injuries themselves can cause hyperpermeability of the BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER. This not only allows the molecules we've already discussed to get into the brain's blood supply, but allows the cellular contents of dead or dying brain tissues to get in there as well. As long as brain tissue is where it should be, the body is more apt to be fine with it. But when significant amounts start getting into places it should not be, such as the blood stream; as crazy as it sounds, the body will often start making antibodies and mounting attacks against its own brain (HERE, HERE, or HERE). This can lead to a crazy array of problems including GLIAL CELL ACTIVATION, subsequent to something called CENTRAL SENSITIZATION (hellish chronic pain that has the potential to play on a continuous, never-ending loop).
WHAT CAUSES "THE LEAKIES" AND
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO FIX THE LEAKS?
Remember the quotes from Wikipedia concerning Leaky Gut Syndrome from the beginning of this article? Lets take a cherry-picked glimpse their piece on "Intestinal Permeability".
The barrier formed by the intestinal epithelium separates the external environment from the body and is the most extensive and important mucosal surface of body and serves two crucial functions. First, it acts as a barrier, preventing the entry of harmful substances such as foreign antigens, toxins and microorganisms. Second, it acts as a selective filter which facilitates the uptake of nutrients, electrolytes, water and other beneficial substances. One way in which intestinal permeability is modulated is via receptors in cells in the intestinal epithelium, which respond to zonulin. Gliadin (a glycoprotein found in wheat) activates zonulin signaling irrespective of the genetic expression of autoimmunity, leading to increased intestinal permeability. Bacterial pathogens modulate intestinal tight junction structure and function, and these effects may contribute to the development of chronic intestinal disorders. Stress and infections also seem to cause perturbations in intestinal permeability. Opening the intercellular tight junctions (increased intestinal permeability) can allow microbes, microbial products, and foreign antigens into the body. This can result in activation of the immune system and secretion of inflammatory mediators.
After this, the author(s) list a slew of the diseases caused by these inflammatory mediators. If you want to see not only this list of diseases but the list of mediators as well, HERE is the link. Again, a failure to understand inflammation means that solving (or at the very least, dampening) the effects of the Leaky Gut and other Leakies will be unlikely. Furthermore, there are two critical points to be made in this paragraph.
First is that gliadin is a component of GLUTEN. Gluten is intimately related to autoimmunity because (secondly) REGARDLESS OF YOUR GENETICS (irrespective of genetic expression --- these are the epigentic factors I told you we would get to), it activates zonulin. What the heck is zonulin? Discovered in Y2K by DR. ALESSIO FASANO and his team from the University of Maryland's School of Medicine, zonulin is not only the chief modulator of the tight junctions --- it's the only known modulator of the tight junctions. And as you can see above, the two things that modulate zonulin (increased zonulin breaks the tight junctions) are DYSBIOTIC INFECTIONS (bacteria, mold, yeast, virus, and other nasty critters) and gluten.
For those who don't think this is important, you can read the short article I wrote on this topic a few years ago (HERE) or you can read the words of Dr. Fasano himself from the 2012 issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Zonulin, Regulation of Tight Junctions, and Autoimmune Diseases). After invoking the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS, Fasano went on to say (extremely cherry-picked as are all quotes in this post).....
Collectively, autoimmune diseases are highly prevalent in the U.S., affecting between 14.7 and 23.5 million people — up to 8 percent of the population. Increased intestinal permeability, which may be influenced by the composition of the gut microbiota, has been proposed in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Zonulin as the only human protein discovered to date that is known to reversibly regulate intestinal permeability by modulating intercellular tight junctions. Exposure to environmental triggers, and loss of intestinal barrier function secondary to the activation of the zonulin pathway by food-derived environmental triggers or changes in gut microbiota, all seem to be key ingredients involved in the pathogenesis of inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer. Among the several potential stimuli that can trigger zonulin release, we identified small intestinal exposure to bacteria and gluten as the two more powerful.
If you weren't knocked off your feet by the sheer force of what Fasano is saying here, read it again. This is groundbreaking. Although I think his stat of 8% is incredibly low, this would mean that in tiny MOUNTAIN VIEW, MISSOURI, we have over 250 individuals who are autoimmune --- and who knows how many with CANCER or other INFLAMMATORY DISEASES intimately associated with leakies. This is why if you are chronically ill and still eating not only Gluten but ANY GRAIN AT ALL, you need to have your head examined. No; it doesn't matter that your doctor told you that this whole gluten thing is a big fad (HERE). Let's shift gears and talk for just a moment about the other zonulin activator --- MICROBIAL CAUSES (screwed up microbiomes). For my example, I am going to pick on a common bacteria called H. Pylori.
One of the biggest fallacies in the practice of medicine is the myth of too much stomach acid (or similarly, that stomach acid can be too strong). Unless you have a specific kind of tumor, this is virtually impossible. So why then are PPI DRUGS (acid blockers) one of the most-prescribed medications in the good ole USA? Mostly because when it comes to the practice of medicine, much of it --- particularity the way they deal with chronic conditions --- is completely backwards and upside down. This is particularly true when it comes to stomach acid as it relates to the ulcer-causing bacteria known as Heliobacter Pylori (HERE). (This link is for you MC)
If you've stuck with my post this far, you are definitely dedicated. Best guess is that you or a loved one is suffering from some sort of chronic condition. So; what does this post really mean for you? It explains why GUT HEALTH is the new frontier in real healthcare (HERE). It's why yesterday's healers said that all that was needed to heal the body was to heal the Gut. It's why generations of physicians and nurses understood the power of simple water-based therapies such as ENEMAS & COLONIC IRRIGATION. It's also why the single hottest area in Gut Health is FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS (FMT).
As a final note to my readers who are suffering with any of the chronic conditions mentioned in this post, including OBESITY or an inability to either lose or gain weight (that's right folks, the vast majority of THYROID PROBLEMS and ADRENAL ISSUES are autoimmune), I have a gift for you. If you want to SEE WHAT IT WILL TAKE to solve your autoimmunity and get your life, health, and mental acuity back on track, make sure to read both THIS LINK and the previous. No matter what your doctor tells you, it's possible to make incredible healing changes without "THE BIG FIVE" or other DANGEROUS DRUGS that themselves are a huge cause of The Leakies.
If you thought that this post kicked it, and if you know people who need this information in front of their faces, the best way to reach those you love and care about most is by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK.
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE FOR CHRONIC PAIN?
IT'S ONLY LOGICAL WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE ALTERNATIVE!
Yesterday the CDC released the latest data on the use of Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) as it pertains to chronic musculoskeletal pain, discussing among other things, the large numbers of visits that Americans make each year to providers they deem outside of mainstream medicine. But none of this is really news. Studies have shown that people have been making large numbers of visits to alternative providers, spending most of this money from out of their own pockets (sans insurance).
In fact, clear back in 1993, the New England Journal of Medicine (Unconventional Medicine in the United States. Prevalence, Costs, and Patterns of Use) reported that, "The frequency of use of unconventional therapy in the United States is far higher than previously reported. The majority used unconventional therapy for chronic medical conditions. In 1990 Americans made an estimated 425 million visits to providers of unconventional therapy. This number exceeds the number of visits to all U.S. primary care physicians (388 million). Expenditures associated with use of unconventional therapy in 1990 amounted to approximately $13.7 billion, three quarters of which ($10.3 billion) was paid out of pocket. This figure is comparable to the $12.8 billion spent out of pocket annually for all hospitalizations in the United States." This begs a very important question. Why are the American people using alternatives --- especially when it means they will be paying out of pocket?
According to Science-Based Medicine's Steven Novella (Why Do People Turn to Alternative Medicine?) it has to do with things like, "slick marketing, relaxed regulations, scientific illiteracy, a gullible media......." Interestingly enough, he tells us that it's not is because, "mainstream medicine has failed them. This version of reality is often promoted by CAM marketing. The evidence that we have, however, simply does not support this narrative." As the website he writes for is extremely ANTI-ALTERNATIVE, we shouldn't be surprised that Novella pumps mainstream medicine at the end of his article by saying that, "The way forward is with science-based medicine, not abandoning science for a fantasy."
Again; why would people pay to go to alternative practitioners and pay out-of-pocket, knowing that they could go to a doctor for the price of a co-pay? Firstly, hardly anyone has good health insurance anymore. In plainer terms, it's not uncommon --- especially among the self-employed --- to see five figure deductibles. But secondly, I think that Novella is not only wrong, but his belief that mainstream medicine is doing a "satisfactory" job is getting wronger (yes, I realize the correct syntax is "more wrong") with every passing day.
Healing involves much more than a doctor simply giving you a pill, or a chiropractor giving you an adjustment. While the physical treatment is certainly important (HERE for instance), real healing also involves relationship. Generations of families used to have relationship with their doctor (HERE). Now that the practice of medicine is corporate (HERE), people are "forced" by their insurance into a round-robin of physicians. Your employer changed insurance carriers? You can bet your bottom dollar that your current doctor won't be on the provider list. But the issues run deeper than this --- MUCH DEEPER.
How would you like to go to a doctor who absolutely hates what he / she does? What if your doctor got up every day, dreading work and longing for the day they can finally retire? According to A RECENT STUDY, that's exactly what's going on with fully half of all practicing physicians. But we still haven't got to the bottom of this issue. What if, as a physician, all you had to offer your chronic patients were drugs? If you want to freak yourself out a bit, start learning the truth about DRUGS, EXAMINATIONS & TESTS, and SCIENCE-BASED MEDICINE itself. It's no wonder people are looking for alternatives to things like "THE BIG FIVE". Or surgery (HERE). Or FLU SHOTS. Or ANTIBIOTICS. But what's really driving them to alternative practitioners? Try this on for size. The May 2004 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine (What Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practitioners Say About Health and Health Care) revealed that....
"The CAM practitioners interviewed stressed the holistic, empowering, and person-centered nature of CAM. They described themselves as healers, employing attentiveness, touch, and love to increase self-awareness and strengthen the healing process, usually in chronic illness, often with pain. They affirmed goodwill and respect toward conventional medicine, calling for greater integration of conventional and complementary health care; however, they identified the major differences of conventional medicine and several formidable barriers."
"Formidable barriers"? You mean like PREJUDICE, MONEY, and GOVERNMENTAL BIAS? The thing I've learned after two and a half decades of practice is that if you do excellent work and help people overcome their Chronic Pain and CHRONIC ILLNESS, the sky's the limit. People will seek you out and find you wherever you are --- even in tiny MOUNTAIN VIEW, MISSOURI. This is why yesterday's CDC report (Use of Complementary Health Approaches for Musculoskeletal Pain Disorders Among Adults: United States....) should surprise no one; least of all the authors.
"In 2012, 54.5% of U.S. adults had a musculoskeletal pain disorder. The use of any complementary health approach for any reason among persons with a musculoskeletal pain disorder (41.6%)." Using some simple math, we calculate that about 75 million Americans are using some sort of Complimentary & Alternative Medicine. According to this paper, the top musculoskeletal problems Americans face are ARTHRITIS, LOW BACK PAIN, JOINT PAIN, CHRONIC NECK PAIN, and SCIATICA, in that order. Of these, the number one reason by far that people seek out CAM is Chronic Neck Pain.
The really cool thing is that Chronic Neck Pain is a huge focus of my practice (HERE are some others). Does what I do work? Not always. But the great thing is that you'll know after a single visit if my approach is going to help you or not. And if it doesn't, there are any number of other things you can try on your own. One of the things I've done on my site is to provide you with tons of information to help you create your own EXIT STRATEGY (HERE'S ANOTHER). What do I want from you in return? You can always show us some love on FACEBOOK. But honestly, helping you take your life back is one of the things that makes me tick. My goal with every patient that enters in my clinic is to give you a GOLD BRICK to take home with you.
BENEFICIAL, FAILURE, OR BOTH?
"Prevention" is one of those things that has been so oft-repeated for so many decades that it simply must be true. It's not. And in many cases, even though the medical community does its level best to bury it, research has been providing the evidence against prevention SINCE I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. But because a whole host of 'preventative' services are mandated through the oxymoronically named ACA, the medical community (in cahoots with BIG PHARMA) clamors to add things to the list. Although I am not going to go over the list in its entirety, you are already aware of at least some of what's on it. What you might not be aware of is that some of the things on this list not only don't help with a person's health, they actually have great potential for doing harm via something called OVERDIAGNOSIS & OVERTREATMENT.
Some of these include FLU SHOTS, cancer screenings such as MAMMOGRAMS and COLONOSCOPIES --- both of which have evidence showing that they don't do what people are led to believe they do. FLUORIDE SUPPLEMENTS for children (in this day and age, really?). DEPRESSION SCREENING for every age group, including children --- especially troubling once you know the truth about ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATION USE IN CHILDREN. Enter the USPSTF.
The USPSTF (United States Preventative Service Task Force) is made up of sixteen (practicing) health care experts who, although not paid (at least not directly), get together periodically to create healthcare guidelines. Never forget that the USPSTF disregards cost or cost-effectiveness in their recommendations. The only criteria they use to make their recommendations is "Best Evidence" --- no matter the cost or the reality of the situation (HERE). According to the government's Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research......
"Created in 1984, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) is an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, or preventive medications."
Do you see the emphasis on evidence here? The problem is that in similar fashion to our nation's politicians, such groups have both proven themselves to be anything but 'independent' while frequently revealing themselves to be extremely susceptible to lobbying efforts. In other words, our nation's so-called "best-evidence" is being bought and sold on the open market. Thus, the reason for the article (Is It Time for the USPSTF to Inform—But Not Determine—Coverage?) in the current issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine. In this article the three authors (MD's with masters degrees in public health) wrote.....
"....The company is nonetheless attempting to lobby the USPSTF by claiming that its product meets the stated criteria. To legitimize this goal, the company has written an article, found a willing physician to attach his name to it, and published it in a medical journal. The physician, listed as the sole author of the article, did not write it; as stated in the publication, it was drafted and revised by a paid consultant, “based on input from the author”. As stated by the Chief Executive Officer of [the company], influencing government policies is part of their “unconventional approach to growing this franchise”."
I would have to argue a couple of points here. I've shown you in the past how HEALTHCARE GUIDELINES are for sale to the highest bidder. In fact, GHOST-WRITING STUDIES is so common that the conduct described in the above paragraph has been named as such. The cold, hard reality is that, "influencing government policies" via BRIBES is no more "unconventional" than you or I doing the laundry, taking out the trash, or filling up the car with gas. It's simply a part of everyday life. Necessities if you will. That is, if your goal is, "growing the franchise". Of course the authors of the piece from the Annals try and show that the people who create guidelines are above corruption. "The Task Force uses rigorous assessments of conflict of interest to ensure unbiased decisions, and members may not receive remuneration for services with respect to transactions involving parties with a financial interest in the outcome of a USPSTF decision." The amusing this is, they don't believe their own words.
In the very next paragraph, in the last sentence of the paper, the authors reveal what they really think should happen to the USPSTF's recommendations. They want the Task Force's cozy relationship with industry completely removed from the equation. In other words, they want insurance companies to be the ones to determine what's covered and what's not. "Perhaps it is time for the USPSTF to inform, but not determine, coverage." The problem with this approach is that insurance companies are no less corrupt that the pharmaceutical and medical device industries or THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF. As long as people have little or no interest (financial or otherwise) in their health or the health of their families, MEANINGFUL HEALTHCARE REFORM AND SUSTAINABLE HEALTHCARE ARE A PIPE-DREAM. It's also why EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE is often anything but.
As is always the case, whether you are dealing with CHRONIC PAIN, CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE ILLNESSES, or AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, the only way you are ever going to truly solve your problem is to step outside of the box and create your own EXIT STRATEGY. And as far as "PREVENTATIVE CARE" is concerned, click the link to see why it's so much more than what you've been led to believe it is.
MEDIA ADDICTED AMERICA
(PHONES, PORN, VIDEO GAMES, AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA)
"The thing is, no matter what you think of pornography (whether it’s harmful or harmless fantasy), the science is there. After 40 years of peer-reviewed research, scholars can say with confidence that porn is an industrial product that shapes how we think about gender, sexuality, relationships, intimacy, sexual violence and gender equality — for the worse." Dr. Gail Dines from the Washington Post's April 8 issue (Is Porn Immoral? That Doesn’t Matter: It’s A Public Health Crisis)
Well, they say it's kinda fright'nin' how this younger generation swings.
You know, it's more than just some new sensation.
From Van Halen's 1980 Album, Women and Children First (And the Cradle Will Rock)
Electronic media has created a monster; a society --- particularly the younger segment of society --- that, no matter where we are -- out with friends, in church or school, walking down the sidewalk, eating out with the family, or driving down the highway --- can't seem to put down our collective phones. Thus, we shouldn't be surprised that according to many experts, using electronic media of some sort is virtually non-stop; particularly for the younger crowd. From the time they wake up, to the time they go to sleep.
The Kaiser Family Foundation's 2010 study, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 Year-Olds revealed that when two devices were used together (i.e. phone and laptop), it brought the total time spent with media to over 10.5 hours per day. But that study was done nearly seven years ago. The situation has gotten more extreme since then. What do people think of their own cell phone use?
A study published one year ago this month in the medical journal PLoS One (Beyond Self-Report: Tools to Compare Estimated and Real-World Smartphone Use) concluded that, "Estimated levels of smartphone use have previously been related to sleep, interpersonal relationships, driving safety, and personality. Here we observe that self-reported estimates of phone use relate moderately to actual behavior in such situations." The problem was, in this study, the population underestimated by half how much time they spend on their phones. "Actual uses amounted to more than double the estimated number." Honestly, none of this is really news. But what about video games?
I grew up in the pinball age, but well remember when games like Pong, Space Invaders and Pac Man came on the scene in the late 70's and early 80's. Looking back, these games are utterly simplistic compared to what's out there now. Some of the latest games have extensive and in-depth story lines, and the graphics are incredibly life-like. This combination makes gaming extremely enticing; particularly to young males. Instead of going outside, building forts, and playing war or 'good guys and bad guys', you can play anything, anytime you want, from the comfort of your living room / bedroom. Which begs the question of just how enticing / addicting are video games?
According to a three and a half year old study / survey from the people who give us TV ratings, Nielsen (Multi-Platform Gaming for the Win), "As gaming companies continue to release everything from next generation consoles to hyper-addictive mobile apps, today’s gamer has a vast array of options to choose from. Players aged 13 and over spend more than six hours a week on any gaming platform. That’s a 12 percent increase from the 5.6 hours they spent with gaming platforms in 2012. And what’s more, U.S. console gamers are diversifying the devices they play on, as 50 percent say they also play games on a mobile or tablet device, up from 35 percent in 2011. This multi-platform trend suggests that the introduction of new platforms isn’t cannibalizing gaming time. Rather, it’s strengthening gamer engagement." Extrapolating these figures would put current video game usage at almost an hour a day, seven days a week. But this doesn't really take into account the hardcore gamer.
It's amazing how many parents and grandparents I've talked to who complain about little Johnny's video game habits. "That child will spend 16 hours in front of that TV playing those damn games unless I make him move." This isn't' really surprising. What is surprising is that when researching video game addiction for this post, just how many treatment centers there are nationwide. For instance, Video Game Addiction dot org (Never Too Old for Video Games) said that, "Video games and computer games are heavily marketed toward teens and young adults, but recent studies show the average video game addict is 35 years old. The research also shows that compulsive gamers are fatter and more depressed than the general population. The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Andrews University, analyzed data from more than 500 adults ranging in age from 19 to 90 in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The researchers found significant correlations between playing video and computer games and a variety of health risks...." But as you will begin to see, this study is barely scratching the surface of this problem (as a side note to this, I recently treated an individual for wrist problems brought on by playing various first person shooters 6-8 hours a day).
I could go into paragraph after paragraph of statistics about video game addiction, but instead, will leave you with one last study (unpublished) that was released less than two months ago by Erik Hurst, who headed up a collaboration of scientists from his institution and Princeton University. Dr. Hurst is an economist at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. His chief areas of study are household financial behavior and labor markets. The university's Becker Friedman Institute ran an article on Hurst back in July that concerned some of these "household financial behaviors" as they pertain to young, unemployed, American males, with less education than a four year college degree (extremely cherry-picked)
"I’m interested in employment rates of young (in their twenties), non-college educated men. In prior work on changes in demand for low-skilled labor, the theory exists that as technology advances, both employment and wages fall due to decreased demand. I’m almost flipping that theory on its head by asking if it is possible that technology can also affect labor supply. If leisure time is more enjoyable, and as prices for these technologies [internet / video games] continue to drop, people may be less willing to work at any given wage. In the 2000s, employment rates for this group dropped sharply – more than in any other group. The hours that they are not working have been replaced almost one for one with leisure time. Seventy-five percent of this new leisure time falls into one category: video games. The average low-skilled, unemployed man in this group plays video games an average of 12, and sometimes upwards of 30 hours per week. These individuals are living with parents or relatives, and happiness surveys actually indicate that they are quite content compared to their peers."
Wow! When I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, people not only liked to and wanted to work, I'm not sure I knew anyone who did not at least have a summer job. In other words, young people worked. Period. It was what you did. I have been noticing the reversal of this trend for years as I ask young men (or their parents) what they're doing with themselves these days. It's an amazing phenomenon and one that you can read about extensively by Googling "Erik Hurst Video Games," as dozens of media outlets and magazines picked up on his work and wrote articles about it, complete with interviews of young men, none of whom seem too worried about the way they were living their lives. They don't seem to be bothered or embarrassed in the least to sit in front of a screen every waking hour, sponging off their parents and the AMERICAN TAX PAYER).
Samuel James, writing for First Things, said in his August 2 piece (America's Lost Boys), "In other words, the time these young men spend on Xbox and Playstation does not offer them relief from the stress of joblessness and existential inertia. On the contrary, for them it’s part of Living the Dream." Which brings me to the next area I am covering today; internet porn. In the same article as above, listen to James continue (again, extremely cherry-picked).
"American men aged 18-30 are now statistically more likely to be living with their parents than with a romantic partner. Hurst’s research says that these men are single, unoccupied, and fine with that—because their happiness doesn’t depend on whether they are growing up and living life. This prolonged delay of marriage and relational commitment often means a perpetual adolescence in other areas of life. Love and sex are arguably the best incentives for men to assert their adulthood. Could it be that one reason that millions of young American men feel satisfied with their perpetual adolescence is that their sexual appetites are sated by a steady diet of internet porn? No woman they could meet at the coffee shop or on the church camping trip could possibly compete with these perfectly toned, perfectly undemanding models. A connection between enslavement to video games and enslavement to pornography is not far-fetched. As Russell Moore has noted, the former offers “fake war,” while the latter offers “fake love.” Between the Xbox and the X-rating, a young man can oscillate from the primal thrills of conquest to the orgasmic comfort of faux-intimacy."
James' and Moore's theory is addressed by a case study (...Internet Gaming Disorder Associated with Pornography Use) published in the September, 2015 issue of The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. When I started researching this post a couple of weeks ago, I was not only shocked at the number of treatment centers for gaming addicts (not to mention the number of peer-reviewed scientific studies on the subject), I was doubly shocked at the incredible number of treatment centers for porn addicts --- huge numbers of which have nothing to do with religious belief. For those who think that porn is no big deal, or simply one more thing for religious fuddy duddies to rally against, listen to some cherry-picked results from a study published by the US Navy back in August (Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports).
"Traditional factors that once explained men's sexual difficulties appear insufficient to account for the sharp rise in erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, decreased sexual satisfaction, and diminished libido during partnered sex in men under 40. This review also considers evidence that Internet pornography's unique properties (limitless novelty, potential for easy escalation to more extreme material, video format, etc.) may be potent enough to condition sexual arousal to aspects of Internet pornography use that do not readily transition to real-life partners, such that sex with desired partners may not register as meeting expectations and arousal declines. Clinical reports suggest that terminating Internet pornography use is sometimes sufficient to reverse negative effects."
It's no wonder that when you combine our RAGING RATE OF PHYSICAL SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION with porn-induced sexual dysfunction, the number of people no longer capable of having sex is through the roof. If you go to PubMed and type "Pornography Addiction" into the search bar, you will get over five pages of results. After skimming titles and abstracts of studies being done at secular universities from around the world, It's fairly easy to see that not only does this fit virtually every criteria for addiction as outlined by neuroscientists and addictionologists, but is spiraling out of control in our nation's children --- boys and girls. 'Girls,' you say --- 'I thought only boys were doing the porn thing?' Wrong again. A study done at Italy's University of Padova and published in this past May's issue of the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health (Adolescents and Web Porn: A New Era of Sexuality) looked at anonymous surveys filled out by 1,500 high school seniors (male and female). What did they learn?
"Pornography can affect the lifestyles of adolescents, especially in terms of their sexual habits and porn consumption, and may have a significant influence on their sexual attitudes and behaviors.... It is necessary to educate web users, especially young users, to a safe and responsible use of the Internet and of its contents. Moreover, public education campaigns should be increased in number and frequency to help improve knowledge of Internet-related sexual issues both by adolescents and by parents."
The problem is, as I have already shown you, government-funded PSA'S and "CAMPAIGNS" don't work. So rather than waste time, I found some YouTube Ted Talks that approach this topic from a totally secular / non-religious point of view. I will warn you that the talk by Dr. Gail Dines, a professor of sociology at Boston's Wheelock College, lays it out there in language that will offend some of you. She also happens to offer the best explanation of why young girls are rapidly becoming, in her words, "pornified" (if you have young sons, daughters, grandsons, or granddaughters, you might want to watch). Dr. Dine's talk --- particularly the last part --- will also help you understand why there's been a massive surge in HUMAN TRAFFICKING right in the Ozarks, that's getting worse instead of better.
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For instance, this older man grew up in the Depression and was actually coming back to Missouri from somewhere out West. He and his siblings were riding wherever they could find room, in the back of a canvas-tarped truck that was loaded down with their families possessions (think Grapes of Wrath here). This child had found himself a perch up in the "rafters" so to speak and was half freezing as they made their way through the Rockies, and across Kansas. They burned out a wheel bearing in Kansas and since they were being chased by a blizzard; with a bearing being several days away by mail from the small town they were in, they rigged up a bearing made from greased shoe leather. It lasted just long enough to get them back to Missouri.
It's a shame we can't go back to simpler times where MEN WERE MEN and everyone enjoyed CLEAN, OLD-FASHIONED FUN. But with a few exceptions, I don't see that happening any time soon. What must happen if we are going to turn this whole crazy thing around is parents stepping up to the plate and being parents. If you connect the dots from today's post (phones / gaming / porn), you'll realize that both gaming and internet porn are easily consumed via smart phone. There are about a jillion resources for monitoring your kid's electronic behavior, many of them free or extremely inexpensive.
CHRONIC NECK PAIN & HEADACHES?
THE FIRST STEP TO FINDING A SOLUTION IS RESTORING RANGE OF MOTION
For instance, the normal ROM of cervical rotation (think nodding your head "no" here) would be about 90 degrees. This means that not only should you be able to get your nose over your shoulder with little or no effort, when you get it there, there should be little or no play. In other words, you can't make your nose go any further. The amount of people who come to me who have had incredible numbers of treatments mentioned above, but who still have poor range of motion, is astounding (HERE are some examples). And the crazy part is, when I test these patients by asking them to turn their head right or left without turning their body, even though ROM is often in the 50-70% range, the patients often feel like it's normal.
What all this means is that while a wide number of non-drug therapies might provide relief to these patients, if they are not restoring ROM, short-term relief is all they'll get. As long as you don't have an occult (hidden) driver of INFLAMMATION (YEAST, MOLD, OTHER DYSBIOSIS, MERCURY & ALUMINUM, GLUTEN or DAIRY intolerance, PARASITES, CONNECTIVE TISSUE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, THYROID PROBLEMS, etc, etc, etc), the first step in solving CHRONIC NECK PAIN (HEADACHES are often included here as well) needs to be checking for the 'tethering' effects of SCAR TISSUE.
Once Scar Tissue and FASCIAL ADHESIONS have been dealt with, adjustment(s) will actually do what they are supposed to do. From there, you can begin to deal with the FORWARD HEAD POSTURE --- usually on your own. And for those of you who have been told that you can never get better because your problem is mostly related to degenerative or osteo-arthritis, you really need to read THIS SHORT POST. For those of you who feel you are probably living somewhere in the previous paragraph, THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU as well. It will just take a bit of time and discipline. HERE are some of our video testimonials; many concerning people just like you.
SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS ON STUDIES RELATED TO FASCIA, CHRONIC PAIN, CHRONIC ILLNESS, INFLAMMATION, AND FIBROSIS (SCAR TISSUE)Read Now
SCIENTIFIC STUDIES SHOW THAT ANY NUMBER OF CHRONIC HEALTH PROBLEMS CAN BE HELPED OR PREVENTED
- Three months ago, the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (Evidence for the Existence of Nociceptors in Rat Thoracolumbar Fascia) showed a mechanism for CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN. We already know that it is almost impossible to correlate both arthritis and disc problems found on x-rays or MRI, to the amount or area of pain a person is having (HERE). This study revealed at least part of the reason why. As per the title of the study, nociceptors (pain receptors) have been found in the connective tissue that covers the low back and 'hips' --- the THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA. Click the link to see 10 second videos side by side of the Thoracolumbar Facia in people with low back pain, versus the Thoracolumbar Fascia in people without low back pain. Astounding!
- Speaking of arthritis, last month's issue of Rheumatic & Musculoskeletal Diseases Open published a study about post-traumatic arthritis (Post-Traumatic Arthritis: Overview on Pathogenic Mechanisms and Role of Inflammation). I went through school being taught that this was essentially the mechanism for most arthritis (HERE). However, we now know that most "degenerative" arthritis (osteoarthritis) is caused by the group of immune system chemicals released by our tissues in order to heal said tissues when they are injured or compromised ---- INFLAMMATION. The most interesting aspect of this study (besides the fact that the medical community continues to use CORTICOSTEROIDS, which were deemed unfit for tissue injury decades ago) is that, "Evidence in human and animal articular cartilage suggested the activation of the remaining viable chondrocytes [cartilage cells] through the enhanced cell metabolism and the generation of oxygen radicals [they cause cancer and tissue degradation], matrix-degrading enzymes and inflammatory mediators. The exacerbation of the tissue biomechanical and physicochemical properties results in significant changes in chondrocytes, altering their ability to express proteins involved in metabolic pathways and leading to cell death [aka cellular apoptosis]. Since chondrocytes are responsible for maintenance of articular cartilage function, their death through apoptotic mechanisms is central in the development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis." The authors go on to conclude that, "Since activation of inflammatory mechanisms is considered to be critical to development of chronic disease, anti-inflammatory interventions may represent the best available opportunity to intervene early in the acute post-traumatic period." Great, but I just showed you the problems associated with corticosteroids and the rest of the "BIG FIVE" when used for soft tissue injuries (HERE is another crazy example). Stick with me because we will talk about non-pharmaceutical interventions for inflammation at the end of the post
- This month's issue of Neuroscientist (The Effects of Extended Pain on Behavior...) dealt with the way that CHRONIC PAIN affects your brain as well as the way you think and act. "Chronic pain is frequently associated with anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction." If you've ever been around people with Chronic Pain, you already know this. "Functional changes, including increases in the activity within specific neuronal pathways and in the levels of specific synaptic components, that are associated with the behavior changes, have recently been identified. Broadly projecting modulatory systems and widely expressed factors such as cytokines and growth factors also contribute to pain-associated behavior." Plainly stated, they are saying that with Chronic Pain comes very specific brain dysfunctions and inflammation. This is why some of you will need to see a FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGIST to have any prayer at solving a BRAIN-BASED problem.
- MICROGLIA are amazing. They are one of the GLIAL CELLS make up as much as 15% of the mass of your brain and act as its first defense against anything foreign (they engulf it and digest it like "The Blob"). Because the blood brain barrier prevents most antibodies from passing into the brain (they are too large), microglia must be Johnny-on-the-spot; recognizing, eating, and digesting / destroying invaders, while INITIATING THE BODY'S T-CELL RESPONSE. A failure to act quickly can result in damage to both brain and cord. Mast Cells are a type of white blood cells (immune system cells) that release two of the chemicals we that make up the spectrum of chemicals we call inflammation --- histamine & heparin. A couple of weeks ago, CNS Neurological Disorders Drug Targets (Mast Cell - Glia Dialogue in Chronic Pain and Neuropathic Pain: Blood-Brain Barrier Implications) said that, "Mast cells and microglia, working singly and in partnership, elaborate pro-inflammatory molecules which play key roles in a wide array of nervous system disorders. Such neuroinflammatory settings may compromise integrity of both the blood-nerve barrier, blood-brain barrier and blood-spinal cord barrier. Mast cells and glia possess endogenous homeostatic mechanisms/molecules which are up-regulated following tissue damage. Such molecules include the N-acylethanolamine family. In particular, N-palmitoylethanolamine is proposed to have a key role in maintaining cellular homeostasis against external stressors provoking, for example, inflammation." In the same manner that chronic inflammation can lead to something called LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (Increased Intestinal Permeability) it can likewise lead to other "leakies" --- in this study, Leaky Brain / Cord / Nerve Syndrome. Although this study was searching for drug-like compounds to target specific chemical entities, it provides more evidence that you had better control inflammation as though your life depends on it. Stick around and I'll show you how to at least get started without drugs.
- Adiponectin, leptin, and resistin are chemicals that are made and released by fat (adipose tissue) and known as adipokines. It's important to recall that many of the substances that end in "kine" are classified as inflammation --- chemokines, cytokines, kinnins). Last months issue of Cephalalgia (Investigating the Role of Adipokines in Chronic Migraine) said that, "Adiponectin, leptin, and resistin are adipocyte-derived secretory factors involved in endothelial function [Leakies], weight, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Recent studies suggested a role for adipokines in episodic migraine as mediators of inflammatory processes. Serum levels of adiponectin and resistin were significantly increased in chronic migraineurs in comparison with controls. After correction for BMI, sex and age, leptin levels were significantly increased in chronic migraineurs. A positive correlation between leptin concentrations and both indices of insulin resistance and markers of inflammation was found. Our data suggest that adiponectin and resistin are altered in non-obese chronic migraineurs." It's important to understand that every single health problem listed in this bullet (HEADACHES & MIGRAINES INCLUDED) is inflammatory (HERE is a list). Although it may not be relevant, also remember that while only about one third of our population is actually OBESE, more than that many again are overweight. What makes things even more interesting is that a large segment of the "normal weight" population are actually considered to be metabolically obese (MONW), which is sometimes referred to as "Skinny Fat".
- Your Sympathetic Nervous System is the part of your nervous system associated with "fight or flight". It dumps epinephrine (adrenaline) in your system, causing everything up in your musculoskeletal system and heart to ramp up, while decreasing blood flow and function to your organs of digestion. On the other hand, the Parasympathetic Nervous System is all about rest, relaxation, and digestive function. Unfortunately, huge numbers of Americans live in a perpetual state of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE. Not only does this set people up for Chronic Pain, but it usually means that even though they live in a state of exhaustion, they can't really sleep. Most have a wide variety of health problems as well. The August issue of the Journal of Neuroscience (Localized Sympathectomy Reduces Mechanical Hypersensitivity by Restoring Normal Immune Homeostasis in Rat Models of Inflammatory Pain) had some fascinating things to say about this phenomenon. The researchers essentially "cut out" (oversimplified) the Sympathetic Nervous System of rats that had been chemically induced with Chronic Pain resulting in, "profound sustained reductions in pain behaviors induced by local dorsal root ganglia inflammation (a rat model of low back pain). Effects of microsympathectomy were evident within one day. Microsympathectomy reduced local inflammation and macrophage density in the affected tissues (as indicated by paw swelling and histochemical staining). Cytokine profiling in locally inflamed DRG showed increases in pro-inflammatory Type 1 cytokines and decreases in the Type 2 cytokines present at baseline, changes that were mitigated by microsympathectomy." The point here is not that I am suggesting anyone try and find a surgeon that will cut out your Sympathetic Nervous System. What I am suggesting is that there are any number of things you can do to potentially reduce the inflammatory load on this part of your nervous system, thereby diminishing (or maybe even solving) Sympathetic Dominance.
- Anytime you see the word "itis" you must realize the topic is inflammation. Adhesive Capsulitis (aka "Frozen Shoulder Syndrome") is an inflammation of the ligaments that make up the capsule that surround the shoulder joint and contain the synovial fluid. Also understand that inflammation always leads to the SCAR TISSUE that the medical community refers to as fibrosis (HERE). The March issue of Medical Hypotheses (Adhesive Capsulitis: An Age Related Symptom of Metabolic Syndrome and Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation?) revealed that, "Obesity and metabolic syndrome, which are strongly associated with chronic low grade inflammation, are becoming increasingly understood to underlie a raft of morbid states including upper limb pain syndromes, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and central nervous system dysfunction and degeneration. Notwithstanding age, two of the strongest established risk factors for adhesive capsulitis are diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The hypothesis argues that similar to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the inflammation and capsular fibrosis seen in adhesive capsulitis is precipitated by metabolic syndrome and chronic low grade inflammation. These pathophysiological mechanisms are highly likely to be perpetuated by upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokine production, sympathetic dominance, and neuro-immune activation." Here's the deal folks; forget adhesive capsulitis for a second. We could insert almost any sort of chronic illness / Chronic Pain into the equation and these conclusions would still be true. This reminds me of a patient whose severe low back pain was being driven by a combination of GLUTEN SENSITIVITY and OVER-CONSUMPTION OF PROCESSED CARBS. What does this study really mean for you, the struggling person who's reading this right now?
It means that the more time you spend on my site, the more you realize that when it comes to chronic illness and chronic pain, everything is really one big thing --- different manifestations of out-of-control inflammation. In other words, as long as your problem is not totally genetic (most are actually EPIGENETIC) or LARGELY BIOMECHANICAL, figuring out what's driving the inflammation in your body is the key to helping you get better. The really cool thing is that much of it can be done yourself, although some of you might require a Functional Neurologist or a specialist in Functional Medicine. For the rest of you (the majority of you), HERE is a basic protocol. Does it work? For most of you reading this, if you do it correctly it will work like magic (HERE).
STILL THINKING ABOUT GETTING YOUR ANNUAL FLU SHOT?
YOU MIGHT WANT TO RETHINK THAT
As is often the case, OUR GOVERNMENT is once again acting as BIG PHARMA'S shill. In last week's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Health Care Personnel — United States, 2015–16 Influenza Season), we find the CDC complaining about the fact "only" 79% of health care workers received their annual flu shot; up two percentage points from the previous year. Truth is, if it were not forced on them by numerous employers (HERE), you would see an even lower rate than you already are --- probably much lower (HERE).
This begs the question of why so many people in healthcare --- smart people who supposedly know better --- have no interest in getting vaccinated against the flu; even though there is no monetary cost associated with doing so. It boils down to what's known in the medical field as "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE" or EBM. EBM is defined as, "The conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients." In other words, doctors are not supposed to ignore peer review --- something they've done for decades --- even if they don't like or agree with it (another example -- HERE). Unfortunately, ignoring peer review is alive and well in the medical field, particularly when it comes to flu vaccines (HERE).
A great example comes from the latest issue of the oldest scientific journal in the US, Scientific American (A Guide to the Changing Science of Flu Shots). "Some recent studies have suggested that getting a yearly shot may actually diminish the benefit of successive vaccinations. Others have raised the possibility that statins—the commonly used cholesterol-lowering drugs—may actually interfere with your immune system’s response to influenza vaccine. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended against the use of the nasal mist vaccine that many kids prefer over injected vaccine." We already know that STATINS are bad news. Period. What the last piece of this quote is not telling you, however, is that the nasal mist vaccine was dumped because it's shown 0% efficacy for flu prevention for the past several years (HERE).
Their article touts the usual stats by the CDC saying that flu vaccines are on average, 50 to 60% effective. As the gold-standard of medical research, the Cochrane Review has repeatedly shown you (HERE and HERE), this is not even remotely close to being true. And it's not just America where flu vaccines are ineffective. Over the course of the past few flu seasons, The Conversation (Why Have People Turned Their Backs on the Flu Vaccine This Year?) reported that England has seen the efficacy rates of flu shot drop to an abysmal 3%. That's right folks; not a misprint. Knowing what I know about mathematics and statistical relevance, I'm not even sure how you measure 3%.
Bottom line; you'll have to take care of your own health as far as the flu is concerned, because relying on vaccines is not only making the problem worse, it's creating some nasty new problems via MERCURY and ALUMINUM toxicity (HERE). The result of all of this is that growing numbers of people are, in response to evil individuals like me, declining at least some of THESE SHOTS --- particularly the flu shot. Case in point, the newest issue of Pediatrics carried a study called Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Influenza Vaccine Uptake in US Children that stated, "Some CAM (complementary and alternative) practitioners recommend against vaccination, and children who saw naturopathic physicians or chiropractors were less likely to receive vaccines and more likely to get vaccine-preventable diseases." Frankly, I want my children to get some of these 'vaccine preventable' diseases. Huh?
Why would I want my kids to get sick periodically with preventable illnesses like the flu or Chicken Pox? It's the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS in action. Plainly stated, we are starting to understand not only that these shots can be extremely dangerous (HERE), but that having to use your own immune system to mount immune responses provides tremendous widespread benefits over the long haul (HERE). Thus, the question should not be, "is my kid likely not to get the flu if I decide to get him / her vaccinated," it should be, "do I really want to swap short-term childhood diseases that everyone used to get for CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY and AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES that can't be cured?
For those of you who don't believe that CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS are a good treatment for individuals with the flu; you fail to understand both the immune system and history. The truth is, in the face of the greatest and most deadly flu pandemic the modern world has ever seen (HERE), the one treatment that not only seemed to work best, but actually worked at all was Chiropractic. Be aware that although it's certainly a huge part of it, "Chiropractic" does not simply mean adjustments. It can mean some of the things on THIS LIST as well.
DR. LYLE BOUCK: AMERICAN HERO & CHIROPRACTOR
Operation Watch on the Rhine (The Battle of the Bulge) was Hitler's final attempt to remain in power and salvage what was left of Nazi Germany. With Stalin's vengeance-minded Red Army rapidly approaching from the east, Hitler thought it might be possible to launch a surprise attack on the Western Front toward the port city of Antwerp, effectively splitting the allied forces in two, where they could be surrounded and eliminated. Hitler believed that America was sick enough of watching her sons die in the second European campaign in two decades, that we would agree to an end of the western war on his terms (as opposed to "unconditional surrender"), leaving him able to focus all his efforts on the far scarier Soviets.
Having just finished reading Alex Kershaw's (Bedford Boys) The Longest Winter, I found myself in awe of the book's main character, one Lyle Bouck Jr. Bouck is from Fenton (the St. Louis area), just down the road from where my wife is from. Having grown up in the Depression, Bouck was just 14 when he entered the National Guard. By the time he was 16 he was a supply sergeant, and by age 20, he was one of the youngest of the Army's commissioned officers (a lieutenant), leading the 99th's 394th Intelligence & Reconnaissance (I&R) Platoon.
Bouck's men were experts trained at going behind German lines to gather information and / or capture German soldiers to bring back for interrogation. When Hitler's surprise attack came in the freezing cold of December 1944, Bouck's platoon was one of the first to realize something big was going on. They dug in and held fast at Lanzerath, Belgium, effectively blunting the German attack by holding them (armor included) up just long enough (18 hours) so the allies could blow key bridges.
Their effort effectively threw Germany's strict time schedule off from the beginning of the operation. Although the Allied lines "bulged," they did not break. This allowed Patton just enough time to rush 3rd Army's tanks over 100 miles to Bastogne to relieve the embattled 82 Airborne (the Battling Bastards of Bastogne --- make sure to watch Band of Brothers) --- something he had been planning from the moment he first heard of the Nazi attack.
Bouck's platoon ran out of ammo and was captured, leaving him believing he was a complete failure. Much of Kershaw's book is the amazing story of survival of this group of POW's in the remains of Hitler's rapidly shrinking (and increasingly volatile) Third Reich. Although a few died of disease, exposure, and their wounds, the majority of Bouck's platoon (barely) survived. They eventually became the most decorated group of WWII SOLDIERS for their part in the Battle of the Bulge. Just how big was their role?
DD Eisenhower's son John, a renowned historian, wrote that his father had told him that the actions of these few men were the single most important in all the war. Over three decades after the fact, their heroism was recognized and honored as they were given a large number of medals and citations; some of them posthumously (RIP Bill James).
After the European war ended in spring of '45, Bouck, his young body decimated by hepatitis, malnutrition, and the wide array of other health issues that most POW's faced, was flown back to the States. Kershaw writes, "Though still only in his twenties, for several years after his return to St. Louis, Lyle Bouck was a shadow of his former self. He suffered the lingering effects of hepatitis and started to experience almost constant aches. It is only after he visited a chiropractor that he began to regain his health." Because of this experience with CHIROPRACTIC, Bouck decided to become a chiropractor himself, eventually being, "recognized as one of the best practitioners in St. Louis".
Although not in good health, First Lieutenant, Dr. Lyle Bouck is still alive today. In fact, back in April --- almost 71 years to the day after he and his men were liberated from the German Stalag System --- the St. Louis Post Dispatch ran a story on Bouck and his men (HERE). Although Bouck would never refer to himself as a hero, he and his men were just that --- heroes. I stand at attention and salute you and your men Officer Bouck (HERE are some pics of Bouck today, with a short piece on why he and his men deserve the honors they've received).
In my twenty five years in practice, I have had the opportunity to treat hundreds of men like Bouck --- heroes who would never claim honors for themselves. Their stories are all amazing. But there aren't many of them left. If you know a WWII vet, make sure to honor them today by thanking them for their sacrifices and service. In fact, this is something we should be doing for all our vets.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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