A new report out found that as many as 1 in 5 people diagnosed with MS does not have the disease. This of course is one more reason to always get a second opinion and maybe even a third. And an added reason that this is a such an important finding regarding MS in particular, is that once you start the drugs that are used to treat it, getting off of them is somewhere between very hard to impossible. So if the diagnosis is incorrect than you have been steered down a very hard path indeed. You can find the report at this link.
According to Chinese medicine, the best time to do a detox is in the Spring. It's a bit complicated to go into the details here as to why this is the best time of year for this. But if you are interested in learning more or participating in the spring detox, you can contact my partner - Remee. Remee has been runnig a spring detox for her patients for well over a decade and they love it. You can check out this program at this link.
An interesting study from the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University found that women with LDL (the bad cholesterol) levels below 100 mg/dL may actually be MORE at risk for certain types of strokes. And the recommended levels of LDL are below this level! You can read a report on the study here. I'm not sure what is up with this, but to me it's another example that shows that we don't really have everything figured out (most things?). That there are very few absolutes in health. I am not reporting this to scare anyone, just to remind you to be skeptical of all medical advice - including my own! One day meat is bad for you and the next it's saving you. One day they recommend to take your vitamins and the next they say it doesn't really do anything and might be harming you. There are some things that do seem to be written in stone, maybe. Like vegetables are most likely good for you. And exercise too, unless you are hit by a truck while jogging. Maybe everything in moderation should be the maxim, including cholesterol drugs.
I like to tell the story that the first time I ever got interested in things maybe considered 'alternative' was from taking a class at my alma mater the University of Texas at Austin. UT had classes called informal classes that the community could take and that students or exes could take at a reduced rate. And being Austin, the range and scope of the classes was eclectic to say the least. So, the first class I ever took there was actually a yoga class. This was before yoga was even popular and I didn't know it until later but for me it was life changing. Because, the way I felt after those first yoga classes I can still remember. Another class I took was on breathing. Amazing, a class on breathing. But the teacher, Charles McInerney was so impressive and informed about the way our breath can effect our health, that I realized that we can do things to become healthier on our own, without meds or western intervention. This opened up a new way of thinking for me. I hope Charles won't mind me linking to his web site, so here goes. For some amazing content click here. I recommend reading his blog as well.
So I was very interested in the study you can find here that talks about a western approach to improving our breathing that can increase heart and brain health in just 5 minutes a day. The yogis have been doing a practice called pranayama or breath control for thousands of years. And adding pranyama to your yoga practice is a good idea.
In a word - no. Results of medical and lifestyle studies that could help us decide how to live healthier lives are a dime a dozen on the internet. Instead of taking these results at face value and perhaps changing your behavior, it is best to think about if the results are completely valid or not. Then you can decide if the study was good science or flawed in some respect. And believe me all studies that post headline-making results are not good science. Here are a few things to look for so you can decide: 1. look first at possible conflicts of interest. Who funded the study? How would gain from the results? if you read report of the fantastic health benefits of coffee, it should be a red flag if that study was funded by Starbucks! 2. how large a study was it and for how long? it makes sense that a study of 9 people done over a weekend might be a lot less accurate than one done with 10,000 people over 30 years. 3. how was the study conducted? If, for example, participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about how many times in the past year they ate meat, I would question the accuracy of the data, because memories can be bad. 4. was it a double blind study? The double blind study is the gold standard in research. This means that the person who is conducting the study as well the person in the study both do not know who is receiving a particular treatment. For instance if there is a placebo and a real drug given randomly to participants, neither the giver not the taker know who got the real drug and who got the placebo. This way the person giving the drug out as well as the one taking it does not expect a certain outcome.
This type of thinking through studies and even polls works well not just for scientific papers but for any results that come out trying to influence you. Like a study showing that the best cars are made by Ford. Who funded the study (was it Ford?), If it was a poll who did they ask? Maybe they just polled 100 Ford dealership owners?
So we should be look a little deeper into any research or claims in order to determine if the results are valid. Its healthy to have a degree of skepticism.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond