of the American Naturopathic
The President's Corner
By: Mary Dunlap, N.D. for Dr. Charles Curtis
ANMA is proud to announce its 27th annual
educational convention. This event is always well attended and
successfully brings together members, ANMA officers and board of
directors, including merchants and other interested parties. In our
effort to constantly improve, we will have over 120 exhibitors with the
very latest products for your practice. The main purpose for each annual
convention is to offer continuing educational credits by presenting
current updated health information to enhance your knowledge and
practice abilities. This year the ANMA convention will be held July 25,
26, 27, 2008 at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In past years there have been many discussions
involving legislation, scope of practice rights, and qualifications
necessary for such practice. This year the ANMA convention is no less
important. Many changes nationwide are taking place in the naturopathic
profession, and it’s imperative that you as a member be involved. This
is an opportunity for the membership to voice opinions and suggestions
to be discussed and considered. I would like to thank all those supporters who
contribute regularly to the political action fund. This fund has
increased the ability of ANMA to be active in legislative matters around
the country. Through your support ANMA has played a major part in defending
the rights of the Naturopathic profession for the past 27 years. Sadly, last month ANMA and the naturopathic
profession lost a dear friend and supporter. Dr. Wendell Whitman,
President and founder of Trinity College of Natural Health, was an
inspiration to many in the natural healthcare field. Always friendly,
Dr. Whitman, was an activist fighting to retain practice and title
rights for naturopaths. Working together ANMA and Dr. Whitman
successfully warded off AANP for many years. It is with great sadness
that ANMA says good-bye to Dr. Wendell Whitman. You will be
greatly missed. On a lighter note: What a wonderful job Julie has
done since assuming the assistant director’s job under Dr. Curtis’
direction. Julie has served in various capacities and is set to take
over the duties of President if it becomes too much for Dr. Curtis at a
later time. Having dealt with the ups and downs of the naturopathic
profession, Julie is well versed when handling the many daily problems
that come her way. She was trained for many years by Dr. Charles Curtis,
President and Dr. Donald Hayhurst, President Emeritus. ANMA is delighted with Julie’s services. We
recommend that member questions be addressed to her. Julie will always
have our support and guidance, as well as the help of all those ANMA
officers and directors involved in the profession for nearly thirty
years. Signed and agreed to by: Dr. Charles Curtis, President, Dr. Donald Hayhurst,
President Emeritus, and the entire Board of Directors join us in wishing
Julie many successful years.
ANMA is proud to announce its 27th annual educational convention. This event is always well attended and successfully brings together members, ANMA officers and board of directors, including merchants and other interested parties. In our effort to constantly improve, we will have over 120 exhibitors with the very latest products for your practice. The main purpose for each annual convention is to offer continuing educational credits by presenting current updated health information to enhance your knowledge and practice abilities. This year the ANMA convention will be held July 25, 26, 27, 2008 at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In past years there have been many discussions involving legislation, scope of practice rights, and qualifications necessary for such practice. This year the ANMA convention is no less important. Many changes nationwide are taking place in the naturopathic profession, and it’s imperative that you as a member be involved. This is an opportunity for the membership to voice opinions and suggestions to be discussed and considered.
I would like to thank all those supporters who contribute regularly to the political action fund. This fund has increased the ability of ANMA to be active in legislative matters around the country. Through your support ANMA has played a major part in defending the rights of the Naturopathic profession for the past 27 years.
Sadly, last month ANMA and the naturopathic profession lost a dear friend and supporter. Dr. Wendell Whitman, President and founder of Trinity College of Natural Health, was an inspiration to many in the natural healthcare field. Always friendly, Dr. Whitman, was an activist fighting to retain practice and title rights for naturopaths. Working together ANMA and Dr. Whitman successfully warded off AANP for many years. It is with great sadness that ANMA says good-bye to Dr. Wendell Whitman. You will be greatly missed.
On a lighter note: What a wonderful job Julie has done since assuming the assistant director’s job under Dr. Curtis’ direction. Julie has served in various capacities and is set to take over the duties of President if it becomes too much for Dr. Curtis at a later time. Having dealt with the ups and downs of the naturopathic profession, Julie is well versed when handling the many daily problems that come her way. She was trained for many years by Dr. Charles Curtis, President and Dr. Donald Hayhurst, President Emeritus.
ANMA is delighted with Julie’s services. We recommend that member questions be addressed to her. Julie will always have our support and guidance, as well as the help of all those ANMA officers and directors involved in the profession for nearly thirty years.
Signed and agreed to by:
Dr. Charles Curtis, President, Dr. Donald Hayhurst, President Emeritus, and the entire Board of Directors join us in wishing Julie many successful years.
By: Asad Shahsavari, NMD, PhD, MD (MA)
Addiction itself, has been cited in scientific journals as a disease of the brain. Taking a look at the addictive process in the medical indices and current research in neurobiologics there is significant evidence pointing to reduced levels of dopamine in brain activity and fewer nerve cell components known as D2 receptors in the brains of addicts. These data have been cited in clinical observations and studies from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and numerous reputed university studies throughout the world. Dopamine serves as a stimulant that modulates feelings of pleasure which may contribute to the addictive process. Fewer D2 receptor sites may be implicated in addictions to cocaine, heroin, other drugs and compulsive behaviors. According to Dr. Joseph Frascella of NIDA’s Division of Treatment Research and Development: "Although many complex factors may be involved in excessive behaviors such as compulsive drug abuse, overeating, and gambling, they are all similar in that the brain is changed, reward circuits are disrupted, and the behavior eventually becomes involuntary."
The process of addiction begins with a learned and then memorized neurobiological reaction. It begins with occasional use of a substance or an activity to elicit a pleasure or reward that is then accepted as a habit and eventually leads to a compulsion. The very thought of pleasure which initiates the process becomes blurred in the exaggerated interpretation of wanting more and more pleasure and that elaborated want then translates biochemically into a need which then evolves into a bona fide addiction. Loss of choice leads to eventual loss of pleasure and possibly loss of life. Not what was bargained for but certainly what was gambled on.
Society condones, through relentless advertising, that we medicate ourselves from experiencing any pains or inconveniences, such as not sleeping well, having back arthritis, acid reflux, headaches or high cholesterol. Rather than removing causes, such as poor diet, daily stimulant saturation with coffee, candy, and soft drinks, dehydration, sedentary lifestyles or toxic emotions, we simply pop a pill and voila! No pain, no problem. That is, until the body becomes addicted to the drug and can longer function without it or a new list of drugs is added to deal with the ensuing issues that develop metabolically as a result of the alterations of the first drug.
A drug is traditionally considered a non-nutritive substance. Therefore, food is not traditionally considered a drug. Altering the chemistry of the body is achieved by any and all inhaled and/or ingested substances, including food. Even water and air create alterations that are intrinsic to the body’s natural functions, such as gas exchange in the lungs, oxygenation of cells or production of acids in the digestive process. However, a drug is not capable of regenerating cells as nutrients from food nor capable of being adaptogenic in multiple metabolic processes as are complex constituents of food. Therefore, a drug may be understood as a substance molecularly adapted to a singular action that alters the metabolism in order to achieve a defined result, without concern for biochemical compatibility or consequence to the consummate system. A drug is targeted to perform a certain task and often mimics, bypasses or over rides the inherent intelligence of the body.
According to the published charts of common drug manufacturers, all drugs have some level of toxicity. Not so with food. Although, certain individuals may have particular allergic reactions to some food substances, as a species and a planet of varying life forms, we have generally survived on food nutrients, air and water and, thanks to the brilliant biochemistry of Mother Nature, we have managed to survive for millions of years as an ecosystem. It is difficult to imagine such an elaborate experience in existence being fabricated in a typical modern pharmaceutical laboratory.
Natural substances, utilized as food, but without a significant nutrient base, such as common table sugar, dramatically alter the chemistry of the body and can cross the line from food to drug as chemical stimulants that generate addictive properties and subsequent withdrawal symptoms. The same applies to coffee and soft drinks that have been accepted as society’s daily fix of caffeine and liquid candy. Years ago, a cup of coffee was a 6-ounce serving consumed as a primarily adult beverage. Nowadays, it is a 20-ounce latte, being consumed by teenagers as they slip into a corner coffee shop while waiting for a school bus.
The same analogy applies to brand-name soft drinks, one of which still bears title to cocaine, once freely used in the original recipe. Due to federal enforcement decades ago, the cocaine was supposedly taken out due to its narcotic properties. Interestingly, the revised formula is reputed to contain a "secret" ingredient. One wonders at the integrity of an industry that blatantly sold cocaine-laden drinks to children and subsequently built a worldwide empire. Could such a replacement secret ingredient merely be a biochemical twin of the original narcotic? Today, some school systems are removing soft drinks from hallway vending machines in favor of more nutritious beverages due to the high rate of teen obesity and metabolic syndrome tendencies that have been cited as preludes to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
As children represent the must indulgent generational group with little to no risk concerns developed until after the age of 16-17 years, it is imperative that parental and social guidance be used to insure the physical and mental safety of youth during their most critical time of development. A disturbing reality was found when the mapping of the teen brain in recent years showed that it is still developing, even into the twenties, in some cases. Sarah Spinks, an independent director and producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for 17 years, produced a television special with FRONTLINE entitled "Inside the Teenage Brain". It focused on the work done by Dr. Jay Giedd at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD., in collaboration with colleagues at McGill University in Montreal. Dr. Giedd and his colleagues studied an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which appeared to be in a re-growth pattern just before puberty. This was surprising, as former studies of brain development showed that 95% of the brain’s functions were generally in place by age five or six. The prefrontal cortex is located behind the forehead and is responsible for organizing, modulating, planning, and general coordination of memory and mood. Adolescents tend to engage in risky behaviors. It is assumed this may be due to an immature frontal cortex. The researchers noted that a maturing prefrontal cortex provided teenagers with better reasoning skills, clearer judgmental abilities and increased control over impulsive and indulgent behaviors
In the Society for Neuroscience publication (Jan. ’07), new brain research indicated that adolescence is typically characterized by an infatuation with independence, exploration, heightened emotions and hormonal fluctuations. As the teen brain continues to evolve, high-risk behaviors may open doors to excessive experimentation with drugs and alcohol. At a time when the brain maturation varies with individuals, this may be considered a major contributing factor to teen vulnerability regarding indulgent and addictive behavioral patterns. A 2004 study found that 70 percent of high school seniors used alcohol in the previous year. The study also concluded that a teen brain, in its finalizing stages of maturation, may be particularly vulnerable to the negative impact of drugs, contributing to adult addictions later in life. This has been evidenced more so than in people who refrained from using drugs before their twenties.
The dramatic switch in food supplies, from harvested agriculture to fast food drive-thrus on every corner, has propelled the human taste buds into overdrive with over 20,000 commonly used chemicals including fungicides, hervicides, insecticides, dyes, additives, fillers, binders, excipients, conditioners, and flavor enhancers, not to mention the abundance of trans-fatty acids, cholesterol, caffeine, salt, high fructose corn syrup and bleached sugar. All of which contribute to metabolic mayhem and a yo-yo of stimulation overdose with resulting nutritional bankruptcy. Given daily doses of these chemicals masquerading as food is clear proof of what may drive youth into substance abuse and addiction years before the first puff on a cigarette or marijuana joint or the first hangover from a six pack of beer.
It would be fascinating to study how many drug addicts started off consuming "benign" soft drinks and nutritionally deprived junk foods as children and may still be addicted to them while they try to withdraw from illicit drugs. This may account for a possible reason for their inability to rid themselves of drug intoxication after repeated detoxification programs. Consumption of these highly addictive quasi-food substances daily may be responsible for seriously altered brain chemistries as teens develop and prime them for more dangerous chemical dependencies as adults. A census taken in 2000 from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse of the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration, 14 million Americans (12 years and older) admitted to using illicit drugs and 12.6 million (12 years and older) reported heavy drinking. As social mores weaken and laws are relaxed in terms of drug availability, both street wise and medicinally, as well as OTC’s (over-the-counter drugs,) there may be a dramatic rise in substance abuse at younger age brackets and more need for direct intervention at the school and home levels to ward off an epidemic of addictive developmental behaviors.
Homeostasis is the critical balance in the metabolism and has long since been considered a major marker for establishing health. Another interesting myth is that we can super-size life and somehow experience that crucial balance. Another fallacy is that we may somehow gain empowerment over our senses by abandoning sensible action to outside predators and becoming slaves to substances. These external promises of reward more often sacrifice our pocketbooks, our minds, our bodies and our spirits in order to give us a few fleeting glimpses of illusive gratification, rather than a life of fulfillment.
Taking into consideration the plethora of chemicals we are exposed to in daily life, it is no guessing game why chemical abuse, addiction and dependency are causing so much debilitation and costing trillions of dollars in lost productivity, human resources, law enforcement, criminal prosecution and rehabilitation. Prevention techniques and restoration of a balanced metabolism along with harmonized mental, emotional and spiritual perspectives are direct lifelines to avoiding the pitfalls and quagmires of substance abuse as well as an intelligible lifelong method of recovery.
In order to understand prevention and rehabilitation from substance abuse, nutrition must be accepted as the current centerpiece of empirical study and personal action. Over 2500 articles were cited in a recent PubMed search regarding nutritional deficiencies in relationship to chemical dependencies, both as causative and effectual factors. To gain a better insight into how nutrients make such a dynamic impact on the prevention and recovery issues involved in chemical dependencies, it is imperative to have a clear perspective of the biochemical processes of abuse and addiction in the brain chemistry.
In an article published in the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies (2002, 8(3): 165-170), entitled Diverse Options for Treating Chemical Dependencies, author Sala Horowitz, PhD notes that stimulation of the pleasure centers or reward pathways in the brain is associated with addictive drugs. In her article, these centers are described as existing from the limbic system to the frontal lobes and as being lined with dopamine modulating receptors in conjunction with varying neurotransmitters, including seratonin, norepinephrine and glutamate.
Dr. Horowitz also indicates that chronic chemical use generates a molecular mechanism that increases activity of the c-adenosine pathway. Due to the similarities in molecular structure of neurotransmitters and certain drugs, the brain has difficulty distinguishing between the two and the drug may effectively mimic the neurotransmitter and serve as a key that unlocks a particular receptor or binds to that site, thereby altering neuronal function. It was also pointed out that when devising a recovery program involving ameliorating the biochemical alterations related to addictions, clinical phenomena such as denial, cue-induced cravings and impulse control loss, which are all linked to the limbic center, need to be considered in an effective program of recovery.
The following is a copyright-free excerpt from the National Guideline Clearinghouse of the US government regarding detoxification and substance abuse treatment:
Detoxification and substance abuse treatment: an overview of the psychosocial and biomedical issues during detoxification.
An overview of psychological and biomedical issues during detoxification. In: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); 2006 Jan 18. p.19-41. (Treatment improvement protocol (TIP); no. 45).
Many drug addictions are associated with abnormal glucose (sugar) metabolism. This abnormality means that the body is unable to maintain a stable concentration of glucose in the blood. Abnormally high or low blood sugar levels easily can be confused with the signs and symptoms of alcohol intoxication or withdrawal; consequently, a check of blood glucose level is particularly important in patients with a history of blood sugar abnormalities.
Nutritional Deficits Associated with Specific Substances
Detoxification personnel should be familiar with the nutritional deficits associated with specific substances. Opioids are known to decrease calcium absorption and to increase cholesterol and body potassium levels. Magnesium deficiency often is seen in chronic alcohol dependence. Other nutrient deficiencies seen in alcohol abuse include protein, fat, zinc, calcium, iron, vitamins A and E, and the water-soluble vitamins pyridoxine, thiamine, folate, and vitamin B12. Alcohol also contains calories (7 kcal/gm) that when consumed in excessive amounts may displace nutrient-dense foods. Cocaine is an appetite suppressant and may interfere with the absorption of calcium and vitamin D. Laboratory tests for protein, vitamins, and iron and the other electrolytes are recommended to determine the extent of liver function as well as supplementation. Caution should be exercised when using supplements because of their potential interactions with other drugs and treatments.
Addressing Nutritional Deficits
Detoxification should include efforts to address nutritional deficits and to begin the patient on a course of improved eating habits. It is crucial to switch the paradigm from ingesting substances harmful to the body to taking in foods that heal the body. The regularity of meal times, taste, and presentation are important considerations. Attractively arranged, pleasant-tasting food may inspire the patient to consume vital nutrients and adequate calories. It is important that during the detoxification process, the patient avoid substituting one addiction for another. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine or sugar can compromise the process and lead to relapse. Patients should be offered only decaffeinated beverages and healthful snacks instead of refined carbohydrates such as sugar-based sweets like candy, cookies, or donuts. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods can contribute to the individual’s health and wellness.
Gastrointestinal disturbances (i.e., nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) may accompany the first phase of detoxification. Such disturbances can worsen dehydration and may disturb blood chemistry balance, which in turn can lead to mental status changes, neurological or heart problems, and other potentially dangerous medical conditions. Patients with gastrointestinal disturbances may only be able to tolerate clear liquids. When solid foods are tolerated, balanced meals consisting of low-fat foods, with an increased intake of protein (meat, dairy products, legumes), complex carbohydrates (whole grain bread and cereals), and dietary fiber are recommended. Patients undergoing detoxification may also experience constipation. Increasing the fiber content of the diet will help to alleviate this discomfort.
Considerations for Patients with Special Dietary Requirements
Patients with special dietary requirements need additional nutrition therapy. A person with diabetes, for example, should follow the dietary guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, which emphasizes individualized meal planning. A patient who is a vegetarian may have additional nutritional deficiencies, especially if she or he is a vegan (i.e., a person who avoids eating all foods derived from animals, including milk products and eggs). If a vegan enters detoxification with marginal or low nutrient stores, his or her diet should be augmented with legumes, meat analogs, textured vegetable protein, nuts, and seeds. Many other medical conditions (e.g., ulcers, heart disease, food allergies, etc.) may require special diets. At intake, any special dietary considerations should be noted.
Considerations for Intoxication and Withdrawal in Adolescents
Generally, detoxification is the same for adolescents as it is for adult clients. However, there are a few important and unique considerations for adolescent patients. For one, adolescents are more likely than adults to drink large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time, making it is especially important that detoxification providers be alert to escalating blood alcohol levels in these patients. Moreover, adolescents are more likely than adults to use drugs they cannot identify, to combine multiple substances with alcohol, to ingest unidentified substances, and to be unwilling to disclose drug use. As a result, the consensus panel recommends routinely screening adolescent patients for illicit drug intoxication. It also is important for staff to be trained in how to assess for the use of phencyclidinge (PCP), which can present with psychosis-like symptoms. Staff should ask the adolescent directly whether he has used PCP within the 12-hour period before entering the clinic or treatment center. Adolescents should be placed in a secure, clean environment with observation and supportive care. If alcohol, heroin, or other drugs associated with vomiting are suspected, protecting the individual’s airway and positioning the patient on his or her side to avoid aspiration (inhaling) of stomach contents are critical. In severe cases of ingestion of respiratory depressants, respiratory support may be needed. If the individual is severely combative or belligerent, physical restraint may be needed as a last resort when allowed and appropriate. In milder cases, observation in a quiet, secure room with compassionate reassurance may be sufficient. Additionally, adolescents served in adult settings should be separated from the adult population and observed closely to ensure that they are not victimized (i.e., verbally, physically, or sexually) by adult clients. Finally, adolescents in detoxification settings should always be screened carefully for suicide potential and co-occurring psychiatric problems.
It sometimes is challenging to establish rapport with adolescents, as their experience with adults may be marked by adverse consequences. Asking open-ended questions and using street terminology for drugs and other expressions commonly used by teenagers can be helpful both in establishing rapport and in obtaining an accurate substance use history. For more information on working with adolescents, see TIP 31, Screening and Assessing Adolescents for Substance Use Disorders and TIP 32, Treatment of Adolescents With Substance Use Disorders.
AVAILABILITY OFCOMPANION DOCUMENTS
The following are available:
• Executive summary. Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. p. xiii-xvii. (Treatment improvement protocol (TIP); no. 45).
• Overview, essential concepts, and definitions in detoxification. Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. p. 1-6. (Treatment improvement protocol (TIP); no. 45).
• Financing and organizational issues. Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. p. 135-156. (Treatment improvement protocol (TIP); no. 45).
Electronic copies: Available from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) Web site.
Print copies: Available from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI), P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20852. Publications may be ordered from NCADI’s Web site or by calling (800) 729-6686 (United States only).
Listed in Medline Plus’s website on diet and recovery from substance abuse, as updated by Caroline M. Apovian, M.D., FACN, Associate Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine and Director, Nutrition & Weight Management Center, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA., nutritional elements are cited in relationship to differing addictions as well as documented evidence that fluctuations in blood sugar levels are a major factor in chemical dependencies. It appears that when the blood glucose plumates, psychological and physical factors come into play that demand the 20% blood glucose requirement to be met. If there is not sufficient blood glucose regulation in the diet or there are predispositions to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), there will be dramatic reactions in the brain chemistry which will cause sympathetic and central nervous system alterations. Dietary markers must include complex carbohydrates as opposed to simple sugars which breakdown too rapidly in the bloodstream and after repeated usage can cause an insulin resistance factor known as metabolic syndrome.
It is no surprise that over 60% of inmates at a Midwestern penitentiary were diagnosed as hypoglycemic. Such glucose abnormalities can cause brain fog, extreme fatigue and a sudden rush toward behavioral abnormalities due to brain chemistry alerts that the glucose supply is dangerously reduced. This has a distinct tendency to cause irrational, irritable and often violent behavior when gone unchecked.
Of particular note in alcohol and drug abuse patients is the presence of Korsakoff’s Syndrome, named after Sergei Korsakoff, the neuropsychiatrist who popularized the theory. According to Wikipedia:
"Korsakoff’s syndrome (Korsakoff’s psychosis, amnesic-confabulatory syndrome), is a degenerative brain disorder caused by the lack of thiamine (vitamin B1) in the brain. There are six major symptoms of Korsakoff’s syndrome: anterograde and retrograde amnesia, or severe memory loss; confabulation, that is, invented memories which are then taken as true due to gaps in memory sometimes associated with blackouts; meager content in conversation; lack of insight, and apathy (the patients lose interest in things quickly and generally appear indifferent to change). These symptoms are caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1), which is thought to cause damage to the medial thalamus and possibly to the mammillary bodies of the hypothalamus as well as generalized cerebral atrophy."
The following is an abstract from an international study in Bangladesh:
Serum antioxidant micromineral (Cu, Zn, Fe) status of drug dependent subjects:
Influence of illicit drugs and lifestyle Kazi Jahangir Hossain1, Md Mustafa Kamal1, Monira Ahsan2 and SK Nazrul Islam1
1Institute of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh 2Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
"It has been documented that use of illicit drugs induces multiple nutrient deficiencies or malnutrition [1,2], which is the most common cause of immunodeficiency [3-6]. Immunocompetence is a sensitive and functional determinant of nutritional status because it is altered even before the onset of clinical symptoms of malnutrition . Illicit drugs are themselves immunosuppressive [7-11] and the use of these drugs undermines appetite  and affects food habits  making those who are drug dependent crave empty-calorie nutrient deficient foods [2,14,15]. This may cause micronutrient deficiencies, and thus influences susceptibility to infectious agents including HIV infection [1,2]. In addition, behavioral risk factors in drug dependent subjects such as sexual practice, unprotected sex with multiple partners, needle sharing etc [16-18] also ranks those who are drug dependents to be at the highest risk of HIV infection [2,19].
Microminerals or trace elements play a versatile function in human body ranging from developing immunity to provide antioxidant defense [20-25]. Zinc is essential for its catalytic, structural and regulatory functions. Its metalloenzymes are involved in immune development, cognitive functioning, reproductive maturation and physiological growth [20,21]. Zinc is required for DNA replication, RNA transcription, cell division and cell activation. Copper and iron are also crucial for physiological functions, antioxidant defense, and immune development [23,25-27]. Deficiency of any of these elements badly affects normal functions in the human body. It is also further reported that overload of micromineral or trace elements produces immunotoxicity [3,4]. Currently some investigators have been reporting a change in serum trace element contents in drug dependent individuals [28-30]. In view of their potential immunonutritional functions, we report here serum copper, zinc and iron status of drug dependent subjects who were being dependent to multiple immunosuppressive illicit drugs."
Given the wide body of knowledge that is available in the manner in which drugs and alcohol affect the metabolism and may be caused by or may cause nutritional deficiencies, a comprehensive program of nutrients should be considered that can address the issues of detoxification, nitrification and rejuvenation. Establishing such a metabolic program to redirect the brain and body chemistries should involve key nutritional factors. Michael Weiner, PhD, received his doctorate in nutritional ethnomedicine from University of California, Berkeley. His landmark book, Getting Off Cocaine, The Step-by-Step Program of Nutrition and Exercise, is highly recommended as a reasonable guide for the layperson in describing a 30-day program of dietary plans and nutrients as well as dealing with the withdrawal symptoms.
Applying this concept to a common sense approach to detoxification, nitrification and rejuvenation, the following daily markers are essential:
1.) Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation including antioxidants
2.) Gingko Biloba to help withdrawal from opiates and to re-oxygenate the brain tissues
3.) Liver and colon detoxifiers
4.) IP-6 to inhibit abherrant cell growth from immunosuppression
5.) Green drinks to reconstitute to metabolism and detoxify the system
6.) Flaxseed oil to rejuvenate the essential fatty acid balance
7.) Oxy-E drops to increase cellular oxygenation
8.) Hypoglycemic Diet
9.) Aerobic exercise and meditation to correlate the mind/body integration
Beyond the catastrophic reactions of substance abuse is the reality that the human spirit is not defined by chemicals or atomic structures or mathematical equations. It has survived the break-up of land masses, the passing of millennia, the evolution of species and the challenges of life and death. Viewing the indomitable spirit in perspective to substance addiction may be likened to Goliath tripping over mouse droppings.
Does Today's Food = Zero Nutrition?
By: Richard Drucker, B.S., M.S., N.D., Ph.D.
Think of health. Think of wellness. Think of nutrition.
So what kind of images came to mind? Exercise? Fruits? Vegetables? Lean meat? Supplements? How about "dirt?"
That’s right, dirt. Soil is the primary factor in nutrition because much of our food comes from the earth. Our bodies are composed literally of earth. Minerals in our bodies are directly connected to the state of our soil. If an element is missing from our soil, it will be missing from the foods we eat; hence we may not be properly nourished. Unfortunately, that is the reality of today’s soil.
It’s a fact. Our soils are depleted and depleted soils do not produce healthy, nutrient and mineral rich plants. It’s also a fact that crops produced in depleted soils are more prone to the invasion of insects, viruses, fungi, etc. Insects and infectious organisms were designed to get rid of unhealthy vegetation and they do not typically attack truly healthy plants. Much of the modern world is now aware that our industrialized methods of farming have not only depleted the soils, but they have created a cycle which requires pesticides to protect the unhealthy crops grown on depleted soils.
The commercial applications of agriculture have not only depleted the soil of precious organically complexed trace minerals but have also broken down the ability of plants to utilize those elements. That means our food is nutritionally deficient right from the source. Then our food is refined and processed, which further degrades the nutritional value.
And who suffers? We all do! There are more than 30 organically complexed trace minerals necessary to produce healthy, nutrient-rich crops, yet most current farming methods routinely put back only 3 to 5 of them. And that’s only a part of the problem. Inorganic (synthetic/dead/toxic), ammonium based fertilizers along with herbicides and pesticides, kill the precious microorganisms in the soil which are essential to the creation of organic (carbon-based/living) mineral complexes. Not only have we used up the available trace minerals in our soils (those in the form of organic complexes), but we have destroyed the means of replenishing these soil-based microorganisms.
Is there a consensus among health care professionals that depleted soil is a nutritional concern? While there are still some diehards who believe that you can avoid the need for supplements if you eat a "balanced diet," it is a verified FACT that most of our livestock feeds contain nutritional supplements. Without supplemental nutrients being added to the feed, far too many animals were getting ill. What does that tell you? The grain does not possess enough nutrients to keep the livestock healthy. If our livestock can’t stay healthy eating our modern crops, then how can we?
Modern, Inorganic Farming
Prior to the 1930’s, farmers fertilized their crops with organic substances. But modern, economic-based agriculture has virtually replaced all the critical organic complexes with inorganic (synthetic/toxic) fertilizers which cause toxicity in water runoff and further imbalance the delicate nature of our soils. In the 1930’s, when farmers began to add inorganic fertilizers to the soil, it was presumed that biological organisms could assimilate minerals in any form. Unfortunately this is not the case. We are now discovering that inorganic (synthetic/dead) minerals cannot be easily assimilated by plants. They must first be combined with carbonaceous matter (organically complexed), before they can be used. No wonder our food is less and less nutritious. No wonder it lacks taste and no wonder the modern farmer has to apply more and more toxic pesticides, herbicides and chemicals every year in order to get his crops to market.
Let’s look at a similar dilemma. The human body is meant to derive minerals from organic complexes. However, in our case, these complexes were meant to be supplied in the foods we eat. Unfortunately, these critical, disease preventing, organic nutrients are not present when our food is grown in depleted soils. And, just like the farmer who has attempted to alter the soil with inorganic toxic chemicals and fertilizers, we have tried to add inorganic trace minerals to our diet in the form of colloidal supplements - with even worse potential consequences. It is important to reiterate that most trace minerals are not recognized, absorbed or utilized by living tissue unless they are carried in organic complexes. Even the best inorganic trace minerals (e.g. coral, colloidal and/or ionic) are extremely large and insoluble with high atomic weights, and large sizes, ranging between 1 and 100 nm. These molecules are giant compared to organically complexed minerals, and may be rejected at the cellular level due to their synthetic composition, size, or weight. Moreover, they may eventually accumulate in the body as they are stored outside the cells (in extra-cellular spaces) interstitial fluid, and fatty tissue. Over time, this may lead to severe toxicity and disease.
How different are organically complexed minerals compared to colloidal minerals? Organically complexed trace minerals are definitively different from inorganic minerals. They are naturally chelated - ultra tiny - and they have ultra low molecular weight. They are approximately, 50 to 100 times smaller and much lighter in weight. They are physically small enough that they can be easily carried into the cells of our bodies. They are bound by carbon (living matter) and have innumerous health benefits, aiding in both intra-cellular and extra-cellular detoxification. Thus, when trace minerals are combined with carbonaceous matter, they become an enriching meal of living minerals rather than a toxic plate of inert, dead rocks. The function of ORGANIC trace minerals is to be systemic catalysts. They are activators: intra-cellular ‘spark plugs’. They either "kick off" or "speed up" much of the chemistry that goes on in our bodies. Without trace minerals there is NO LIFE! They are specifically responsible for carrying much of our nutrition, glycogens, glucose, etc to our cells.
Most scientists would agree that we need three basic ingredients to sustain life: water, oxygen and organically complexed (carbon-based/living) trace minerals. Not even vitamins or enzymes can perform without trace minerals, and when trace minerals are lacking numerous processes either slow down or come to a halt until the mineral banks can be replenished. Knowing this, it is easy to see why both plants and humans are becoming increasingly susceptible to disease. It is also easy to understand what Linus Pauling, (twice awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine) meant when he categorically explained to the 74th Congress of the United Sates, ‘Every ailment, every sickness and every disease can be traced back to an organic trace mineral deficiency.’ It has become alarmingly evident that we are severely deficient in one of the most basic components necessary to sustain health - organically complexed trace minerals.
The use of toxic chemicals has over time sterilized the soil, thereby reducing the microorganisms that keep the soil balanced. In a way, the problem with depleted soil is similar to the problems of using antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the harmful bacteria making us sick, but they also kill the friendly flora in the intestinal tract at the same time. Antibiotics appear to cure the infection, but in reality, the long term use may weaken the immune system making us more likely to suffer from future illnesses. Similarly, as the "good" microorganisms in the soil are wiped out, the vegetation loses its ability to gain the proper balance of minerals from the soil. The end result: our bodies take on these deficient foods and become impaired and imbalanced.
What’s the solution?
If our soils and crops are lacking essential minerals, supplementing our diets is needed if we are to achieve true wellness. All biological organisms (including humans) require organically complexed trace minerals in order to maintain health and help prevent disease. If decades ago we had only protected and nourished our soils from hazardous and toxic chemicals, these critical organic complexes would naturally be in the foods we eat today. Unfortunately, they are not. But will any old multi-vitamin off the shelves of our grocery or drug store do the trick? The short answer is no. Much like our soils, most supplements available on the market today are full of "synthetic chemical nutrients" instead of the organic nutrients our bodies need. And now the question becomes, how do we get these complexes back into the soils and what can we do in the meantime to replenish the organic trace minerals in our bodies? A piece of the answer to both questions lies in a substance called fulvic acid.
Fulvic acid (not to be confused with folic acid) is the end result of repetitive plant decomposition, and is the first biological step in changing inorganic trace minerals into organically complexed, soluble trace minerals which can be used by both plants and animals. Humic Acids (and Fulvic Acid) are produced as plant matter decays (over long periods of time) and utilized in trace amounts by microorganisms in the soil. The process takes hundreds of years and like photosynthesis, it cannot be duplicated in the laboratory. Fulvic acid has an extremely small (ultra chelated), low molecular weight molecule which may beneficially modify so many essential biochemical, electrochemical and metabolic processes, and yet, the greater scientific community is still largely unaware of its role.
Further research may show that Humic Acids can be used to resuscitate some of our soils, and possibly our food sources and our bodies. Until this can be accomplished, good quality supplements remain our best defense against food devoid of life-sustaining organically complexed minerals and nutrients.
Dr. Drucker has a Master’s of Science in Natural Health and Doctorate in Naturopathy. He is a highly respected doctor in the field of natural health and the CEO of Drucker Labs, who manufactures and distributes health, wellness and nutritional products. These products use a breakthrough technology called intraCELL™ V, which yields unique Carbon-bond organic microcomplexedTM structures that are highly bio-available and extremely effective. For more information please visit www.druckerlabs.com or call 1.888.881.2344.
As the 40 pound steel weight plunged
towards my head, I asked
By: Stephen Kaufman, D.C.
Trigger points frequentlycause pain.
Areas of reduced circulation in muscles are called trigger points. They are painful when pressed1,2,3,4,5,6,7. They cause or aggravate many types of pain disorders5,6,7, including low back pain, sciatica2,3,17, headache1, migraine1, TMJ syndrome15, neck pain7, ileotibial band syndrome7, frozen shoulder18, some forms of unexplained abdominal pain10,19, post surgical pain20, chronic pelvic pain21, etc. Cervical and lumbar disc syndrome pain is often caused or aggravated by myofascial trigger points2,3,13.
For our purposes, we call any area a trigger point in muscle, tendon, ligament or bony prominence that is excessively tender to pressure when compared to the surrounding tissues. This is a much broader use of the term "trigger point" than usual.
Several years ago I lifted a dumbbell over my head during a workout. The weight was too heavy for me and my triceps gave out; the dumbbell and my arm plummeted towards the table. By using more weight than I could handle, I had triggered the clasp knife reflex (aka the Golgi Tendon Organ reflex8,9), inhibiting the triceps and making my arm drop. I had neurologically inhibited the muscle, and the dumbbell fell like a steel weight! If I could discover a way to turn muscles off like this on purpose, I might be able to turn off trigger points and muscular pain as well.
Here’s the Big Idea
When my arm collapsed during my workout I deduced that I’d accidentally discovered how to trigger an inhibitory reflex in my triceps. If I could do that at will on a muscle that had a trigger point, I might be able to eliminate the trigger point.
The GTO Reflex protects muscles; it can also be used to turn offa trigger point neurologically, in seconds.
When the tension along a muscle becomes too great, the muscle relaxes8,9. It "lets go". This is a defensive mechanism such that if you pick up too heavy a weight, it doesn’t tear your arm muscle. It has several names; the inverse myotatic reflex, the clasp knife reflex, or the Golgi tendon organ reflex (GTO)8.
I reasoned that if I applied a specific force to a muscle with a trigger point, the activation of the GTO/clasp knife reflex would cause a tender trigger point to immediately become less tender when pressed. This might relieve chronic symptoms due to that trigger point. I eventually found a number of reflexes that consistently turn off palpatory pain.
The patients were more excited than I was! They were delighted! Many of those treated were doctors at seminars around the country; their shock and delight at the improvement of chronic pain was recorded on video and is available.
Why painful trigger points should not be treated repeatedly, but eliminated using light pressure on targeted neuromuscular reflexes
If the correct reflex for a trigger point is initiated, within seconds the point will no longer be painful when pressed. Very often, the patient’s symptom associated with that trigger point will clear up as well. Sometimes the symptom will improve immediately; sometimes it will resolve after several treatments.
Pain Neutralization Technique (P.N.T.) is completely different from previous methods for treating trigger points, e.g. ischemic compression, myofascial release, massage, strain counterstrain, etc. In fact, the aim here is not even to treat a trigger point at all but to eliminate it. P.N.T. does not use mechanical force to treat trigger points like other methods, but neurological reflexes to turn them off. If the reflex is correct for the involved point, it will not be tender within a few seconds; it will be gone. Patients are consistently amazed that tender areas are immediately pain free. The techniques are so simple that they’re taught on video.
The 3 types of pain
There are 3 types of pain:
1.) Palpatory pain- these are areas, often in muscle bellies, that are excessively tender when pressed. They’re usually a few inches away from the area of complaint. Many or most tender areas will respond instantly to the proper P.N.T. reflex.
2.) Pain on movement- this is when the muscle, joint, neck, etc. hurts when the patient moves it. Many times, pain on movement is caused by trigger points and will resolve when the trigger points are eliminated.
3.) Spontaneous pain- this is the pain that the patient is aware of, the pain that brings him into your office; the headache, the low back or joint pain, etc. This is the symptom.
Doctors Report Seeing Trigger Points Disappear Immediately Using Pain Neutralization Technique (P.N.T.)
Many doctors, including Don Gay, D.C. of Florence, CO., Dean Odmark, D.C. of San Antonio, Texas, and James Taylor, D.C. of Connifer, CO. have reported that they can easily feel the tenderness and tension of trigger points disappear under their fingers when applying the P.N.T. reflexes! In fact, at a demonstration for a state Chiropractic Association, 95% of the 150 doctors present reported feeling a trigger point diminish or disappear within seconds when taught the beginning P.N.T. technique.
Nari Pidutti, N.D., of Vancouver, B.C. said "I had a patient with neck pain at a level of "10" from an accident that went to "0" immediately after P.N.T. I had another whose shoulder ROM went from 10° to 80° in one session. As a naturopathic physician, I think it’s a good idea to get your hands on a patient and connect with them- what better way than turning off a few trigger points and seeing the "wow" on their face!" Kerry Randa, D.C. of Colorado, said "It’s so much fun to see the look on people’s faces when you shut down a major pain (with P.N.T.). I’ve had almost too many cases to list. I’d been unable to lift my own shoulder beyond 90° for 40 years. With one treatment at the seminar I got full abduction back, to 160 degrees!"
Some commonly overlooked activities that cause triggerpoints to recur.
In my experience, the majority of trigger points will improve after each treatment and be undetectable after 3-5 visits. Even though most trigger points will respond, occasionally a patient’s symptoms don’t completely improve. Not all pain is due to trigger points; eliminating the t.p. will often but not always eliminate the symptom. Many patients do things that perpetuate their trigger points, such as;
1.) snapping their own necks,
2.) sleeping face down,
3.) falling asleep when sitting and watching T.V. (their head drops and overstretches their neck) or
4.) holding a cell phone between their ear and their shoulder.
These activities need to be stopped. Sometimes just getting a patient to stop cracking his own neck or back often results in marked clinical improvement!
325 medical doctors astonished as Pain Neutralization Technique™ erases chronic pain straight away on one after the other.
In November 2007, I presented the Pain Neutralization Techniques™ to a group of 325 skeptical M.D.s and N.D.s at the American College for Advancement in Medicine (A.C.A.M.) in Phoenix, Arizona. As you may imagine, I was more than a little nervous! (I could almost envision them burning me at the stake.) Robert Rowen, M.D. editor of Second Opinion newsletter, was present. He wrote21;
"Here’s a miracle I wouldn’t have believed if I wasn’t there to witness it. An unknown chiropractor spoke about his technique for instantly relieving painful trigger points. I listened with curiosity and healthy skepticism. Then he performed his technique on many of my esteemed colleagues including some very famous ones. The majority got immediate relief, even with very long term chronic problems. It was absolutely incredible!21" (This unusual article is available at www.painneutralization.com.)
Gerard Pesca, N.D., a naturopathic physician and 3rd year medical student from Arizona, wrote "I observed more than 50 M.D.s treated with P.N.T. at the A.C.A.M. conference. Immediately after treatment, each doctor said they felt at least 75 to 80% better, and many of them admitted close to 100% improvement. The next day, I was able to catch up with approximately 12 of them and ask how they were doing since the treatment the day before. 11 of the 12 told me they felt "much better" or "amazingly better."
Ted Rozema, M.D., a pioneer in chelation and co-author of "The Scientific Basis of EDTA Chelation Therapy", previously wrote "I’ve had continuous back pain since fracturing the transverse process of 4 lumbar vertebrae in 1974. After P.N.T. the pain was completely gone in a few seconds. Eighteen months later, it’s still gone." Bohdan A. Lebedowicz, M.D., internal medicine, of Mt Vernon, Il. wrote "I had hernia surgery in December of 2001 and since then a nagging pain. It took about 15-30 seconds to absolutely eradicate it with Pain Neutralization Technique."
Joseph Rich, M.D. is on the board of directors of A.C.A.M. and was among those treated at A.C.A.M. in Phoenix. He wrote "the day after P.N.T. treatment my back and sciatic pain disappeared for the first time in 5 years." Hyla Cass M.D., well known author of "Supplement Your Prescription" and "Natural Highs", wrote "Besides watching the amazing results in others, I obtained immediate relief from chronic recurring neck and back pain. It’s not returned, weeks later."
Michael Schachter, M.D., author of "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Depression" and "The Natural Way to a Healthy Prostate", said "I had pain in the right lumbrosacral area for years. I felt immediate relief after P.N.T." Dorothy Pedtke, D.O., of Grand Rapids, MI., wrote "I had L5/sacroileac and iliotibial band pain for 3 months, due a fall. After this treatment I’m wildly better! My relief was instantaneous. I’ve had OMT, prolotherapy, trigger point injections and have done yoga--all to no avail and this treatment worked in 5 seconds. It’s crazy."
Dependable Results onMany Volunteers
Dr. Rowen wrote about the A.C.A.M. presentation, "I and at least 40 other doctors witnessed dozens of consecutive resolutions of chronic pain. Had I not seen it, I wouldn’t have believed a system based on simple body physiology could take away your pain so quickly."
"I literally have yet to have a patient who hasn’t been amazed at how their pain can be turned off - even a post surgical lumbar and bilateral SI joint fusion responded well. I had a 22 year old patient who was assaulted and had neck pain with headache for one month straight. After P.N.T. he had no head ache and full neck motion restored!" wrote Mark Milleville, a physical therapist in North Tonawanda, N.Y.
"Somebody finally found the key to the regulation of muscle tonus and trigger points. I foresee that this modality will be taught in every school of physical therapy, chiropractic, etc. in the future. I started to use P.N.T. on my family members, and our jaws dropped! Honestly: I’ve NEVER seen anything like this (although I had a vague hope I one day would)", wrote Hans Borge, P.T., L.Ac. of Hafrsfjord, Norway.
Sometimes complementary and orthodox practitioners squabble over the effectiveness of alternative therapies. As chiropractic student Jason Young, of Portland, Oregon, wrote "We spend a lot of time learning ‘Evidence Based’ medicine. There is no better evidence than the evidence you experience first hand. My hip and low back have been hurting for about 5 years, causing me to experience excruciating pain. P.N.T. offered instant relief." It’s difficult to argue with the instant, long lasting reductions in chronic pain that many well known, respected practitioners have experienced.
Over a thousand M.D.s, N.D.s, D.C.s, acupuncturists, D.O.s., P.T.s and body workers worldwide have now learned Pain Neutralization Technique™ from DVD. Many of these doctors and practitioners have had elimination of chronic symptoms when trigger points have been erased, including cervical and lumbar disc problems, frozen shoulders, severe TMJ dysfunction, migraines, unexplained abdominal pain, etc.
For further information, please refer to www.painneutralization.com. or contact Dr. Steve Kaufman, D.C. 2693 S. Niagara St., Denver, CO. U.S.A. (303) 756-9567 or (800) 774-5078.
Stephen Kaufman, D.C. graduated Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in 1978, and practices in Denver, CO. He developed Pain Neutralization Technique and Manual Spinal Nerve Blocks as a rapid new approach to pain. His friendly and informative website is www.painneutralization.com; he can be reached at (800) 774-5078 or (303) 756-9567.
What Do Top Naturopaths Know About
Getting More Clients Than They Can Handle?
By: Dr. Debasish Kundu, Ph.D. (Spagyric
Nearly 80 million baby boomers want to live long and physically prosper – and they’re looking to alternative medicine for help.
So, how can you reach them?
Without information and education, they’ll either continue to accept conventional medicine as the only option or go with the limited information that their family and friends offer.
What’s separating patient/clients and practitioners? Fear of the "big M word" – marketing. You may think marketing means high out-of-pocket costs. Or a lot of time implementing programs which take time away from using your healing expertise and wisdom to help others.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Not any more.
If you are you ready to find new clients? Quickly and easily? Here are just a few tips – based on 25 years of proven marketing expertise – and it’s yours for the taking.
Let’s take a look at direct mail…sending something about your practice to a group of potential clients through the US mail service, maybe a letter or a postcard. There is most definitely a science behind the success of any direct mail program. While it may seem simple, it is a time-tested formula for getting superior response because it’s done with these basics in mind:
· List (Who you are mailing too): The more targeted the list of prospects, the better. Remember that free does not necessarily mean good. With 60% of any campaigns’ success riding on the list, this is not the place to cut corners or expenses.
· Offer (What you will do for them): What you "offer" to the people on your list better be something consumers cannot get anywhere else... a free consultation from you can only be from you. It doesn’t get any more exclusive than that!
· Creative (How you will package your message): Practitioners must present their offer to the list strategically, so that all of the emotional hot buttons are triggered. The creative is simply the vehicle for getting the right message to the right people.
A final thought on marketing…
Being a gifted healer is table stakes when it comes to building your patient/client base. People need to know you are out there. How you optimize your outreach to potential patients/clients so that you can be found, could very well mean the difference between thriving or simply surviving.
The onus lies with each and every practitioner taking an active role in educating consumers on their wellness options. Then and only then can consumers make informed decisions.
The light is getting brighter everyday. It is yours for the taking, to do what you do best –as a healer and a successful practitioner. Let go of the fear of the "big M word" and be guided by its light – fully embracing marketing as friend - in the ever continuing charge to mainstream alternative medicine.
About Alternative Growth Streams, Inc.
Alternative Growth Streams, Inc., founded by Randi Drinkwater – a seasoned marketing expert with over 25 years in the industry - provides alternative health practitioners an online marketing solution built exclusively for them. The AGS marketing-membership website empowers practitioners – regardless of specific discipline – to: increase their public image; educate potential clients on the healing services that they offer; and help existing clients to understand the many "other" services that their practice offers. AGS Marketing Tools provide: a variety of marketing messages. Alternative practitioner can pick and choose from; professionally-designed marketing tools such as ads, direct mail campaigns, and websites with built-in flexibility to customize as they choose. Case studies and customer testimonials bring 3rd-party credibility to the services offered.
Naturopathic Doctors: The Emerging Experts on the Cause and Prevention of Breast Cancer
By: Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer
There are critical times in the history of a profession that offer exceptional opportunities for advancement of power and influence. For the naturopathic physician, this is one such time.
Over the past 13 years, since the publication of our research in the book, Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (Avery/Penguin Putnam, 1995; ISCD Press, 2005), there has been no research or interest in following up on our work by the dominant, pharmaceutically controlled medical establishment. Hoping that ignoring our theory and findings would make it all go away, authoritative organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) did their best to cover-up this vital information. When ignoring it failed to kill the bra/cancer issue, they tried suppressing interest by publishing fraudulent information on the Internet, calling the link a "myth" that has no basis in science.
For example, according to the ACS’s website (1), "The alleged mechanism suggested in the book and in chain e-mails (blocked lymphatic vessels causing toxins to accumulate) is inconsistent with scientific concepts of breast physiology and pathology." The NCI also dismisses the bra issue on their website.(2) Their misinformation states, "There are a number of misconceptions about what can cause breast cancer. These include, but are not limited to, using deodorants or antiperspirants, wearing an underwire bra, having a miscarriage or induced abortion, or bumping or bruising breast tissue. However, none of these factors has been shown to increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer."
It has been said that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. These inane statements from these allegedly august medical institutions has created in the awakening public a void of trust in the integrity of the medical industry. The cancer industry is appearing more and more deceptive and defensive. And the public is catching on.
This became clear to us recently with the airing of a FOX News story on the link between bras and breast cancer. In support of the bra/cancer issue was a naturopath, who explained how a tight bra can constrict the lymphatic vessels and cause toxin accumulation within the breast tissue, which can ultimately lead to cancer. He called for more research, and commented that this information could turn the cancer industry on its head. On the other side was an ACS spokesperson saying that a tight bra is irrelevant and that all women need are mammograms. He clearly did not want his world turned on its head.
The contrast could not have been greater. The naturopath showed knowledge about the lymphatic system, environmental toxins and their creation of cancer, an open-mindedness to new ideas, and an appreciation of how lifestyle can cause disease. On the other side was a defensive, ignorant, closed-minded front man for the cancer industry, pushing X-rays of the breasts to detect (and cause!) tumors when they form. The naturopath was prevention focused. The ACS spokesperson was treatment focused.
Nothing really new here. You all know this already. But what is new is why FOX did this story. Also included was a bra fitter, warning about the hazards of an ill-fitting bra. The concept of getting bra fittings to prevent and cure breast disease is what’s new, and points the way towards how the culture is trying to deal with the bra/cancer issue.
What’s happening is this. Researchers in the UK are finding that 100% of women coming to clinics for breast reduction surgery due to pain in the shoulders, back, and neck are wearing too tight a bra, and that this is what is causing their problems. Members of the British Medical Association are recommending that the National Health Service offer bra-fittings to help these women avoid unnecessary surgery.(3) Of course, this raises the question of how many thousands of women have undergone the rigors and negative side effects of breast reduction surgeries simply because their bras were worn too tightly. Why didn’t their doctors or the bra industry tell them? But we will leave that to malpractice and product liability attorneys to work out.
Meanwhile, bra manufacturers and department stores are promoting bra-fittings, explaining that tight bras can cause all sorts of breast problems, including cancer. The impact of tight bras on the lymphatics is especially discussed, showing that the bra industry understands breast physiology better than the ACS.
But the ACS has not given up its struggle to suppress this vital information. And we caught them in the act.
A recent article on India’s Mid-Day website, dated April 4, 2008, states that a large British department store, Debenhams, with stores in India, is trying to educate women about the bra/cancer link.(4) The store is encouraging women to get fitted bras to prevent breast cancer. They are teaming up with the Indian based Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA). According to Debenhams’ Sarah Sweeting, "We are trying to make women realize as to how an ill-fitting bra can lead to breast cancer. Proceeds from our lingerie wear will go to the Association, which will help us in promoting this cause."
I was pleased to see this, and looked up the CPAA website, (http://www.cpaaindia.org). Their mission includes, "Spreading awareness of the dangers inherent in accepted social practices." The bra/cancer link seems right up their alley. However, there is no mention of bras and breast cancer on their website. So I emailed them.
This email trail is interesting and revealing. It shows the problem with the ACS and breast cancer organizations that rely on them.
Here is my email to the CPAA:
I am a medical anthropologist, breast cancer researcher, and co-author of the book, Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. I am writing to suggest that your website include information about the bra/cancer link.
We believe this is the leading cause of breast cancer, and as more Indian women start wearing bras, the incidence of b.c.will rise. You need to warn women about not wearing a bra for too long or too tightly. Never wear it to sleep. It should never leave red marks or indentations on the skin, as these are signs of constriction.
In case you don’t know, the problem with constriction is that it impairs the
lymphatic drainage from the breasts, since the lymphatic vessels are easily compressed. This causes fluid accumulation within the tissue, leading to pain, cysts, and, ultimately, cancer, since cancer-causing toxins cannot be adequately flushed out of the constricted tissue. Essentially, bras are causing lymphedema of the breast.
Women doing self exams need to first look for red marks and indentations left by the bra. Then, massage the breasts as you examine them to help relieve the lymphatic congestion. We suggest eliminating the bra altogether, since it is only a fashion garment with no medical value. Just as corsets killed women for centuries in the name of fashion, so do bras, which, in a sense, are corsets for the breast.
If you would like more information, including other research that supports our theory, please contact me and I would be happy to help.
I received a reply from CPAA’s director, Dr. Shubha Maudgal, saying, "Please read below the response from the American Cancer Society." That was all he said.
Here is what the ACS said:
This is an old myth without adequate supporting evidence.
Omar Shafey, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Director, International Programs and Research American Cancer Society
Also in the email was this:
I don’t think so. I would not pursue. (Emphasis added)
That’s it. "I don’t think so. I would no pursue." And, "It’s a myth. See Scientific American." You would expect more from an organization that is considered the authority on cancer and admits ignorance as to the cause of most cases of breast cancer.
As it happens the Scientific American article just gives the opinions of three female doctors who don’t believe the bra/cancer link. One says it makes no sense, one says it does but is not true, and the other says she doesn’t really know what causes breast cancer but doesn’t think it is a bra. None call for more research. They just react negatively, out of hand rejecting the issue. This is not scientific, evidence-based reasoning. It is sheer opinion, biased in favor of a garment they probably each wear and would hate to think of as the cause of disease, especially since they are the so-called "experts" and should have known better.
And the public is starting to realize this. While the idea of bra fitting is a filtered cigarette approach, it will probably help many women who are painfully constricted by ill-fitted bras. Of course, some bra styles are impossible to fit properly. For example, a push-up bra by its very design and purpose is meant to be tight. A well-fitted push-up bra is an oxymoron. The more a bra tries to alter breast shape, the more it will alter breast physiology and circulation. And if you don’t circulate, you deteriorate.
Fortunately, more and more lingerie and women’s attire manufacturers are now making body-friendlier choices for women who want comfort over the squeezed to death look. And bra-free is becoming much more acceptable, especially among younger women. As this trend continues we expect breast cancer rates to fall. And falling along with it will be the cancer industry, which has ignored the most obvious issue relating to breast disease. Studying breast disease without considering the impact of bras is like studying foot disease while ignoring shoes.
How are these "experts" going to admit that they failed as doctors, as researchers, and as authority figures? How are they going to explain to the public that their breast cancer research over the past decades was flawed because it ignored what is probably the most important variable in studying breast disease -- whether or not a woman is wearing a constrictive bra? How are they going to explain why they have focused on drug treatment while suppressing information on prevention of this terrible disease?
What has saved the medical profession so far is that the public may see their shortcomings, but they still want a doctor to believe in. There will be a great deal of cognitive dissonance as the public slowly awakens to the fact that the medical industry is bleeding them for money, keeping them in fear and ignorance. Medicine has turned prevention into early treatment. It’s goal is to drug and cut, not educate and prevent. And as the public recoils from this disgusting fact, fear will mix with disillusionment, and they will be searching for help, knowledge, and wisdom. They want to prevent disease, not just pray and pay for a cure.
And this is where the naturopathic physician is coming to the rescue, filling this void created by medical incompetence, fraud, and self-interest. This was apparent when FOX told us that they were having a hard time finding M.D.’s willing to talk about the bra/cancer issue in a positive way. It’s not that they could not find these doctors who support the bra/cancer theory. It’s just that these M.D.’s were afraid of speaking out on a topic that their industry leaders were vehemently opposing. The only doctors they could find who were willing to speak out were natural medicine doctors.
This means that, as the issue evolves, the naturopathic physician will emerge as the hero, showing women the way to breast health. The public will come to see the naturopathic physician as the promoter of health and healthy lifestyles. This could be a renaissance for health care and for the naturopathic medical community. And given the current health care crisis, where prevention is the only real way to reduce costs and improve public health, this is a time of change. And Lord knows, we need it.
The views and opinions expressed in this online newsletter are not necessarily those of the American Naturopathic Medical Association, its officers or its members, nor are they necessarily in accordance or agreement with its policies.