The American health care system is failing. Americans spend 16.5% of our total economy on health care, estimated to be $2.4 Trillion in 2008 (that’s $2,400,000,000,000) which equates to twice as much per capita as other industrialized nations. Despite this obscene level of spending, we rank at the bottom of the list compared to our peers by measure of quality and outcomes. Americans pay more and get less value for their health care dollar than any other country in the world.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 119 million, or 64.5%, of US adults are either overweight or obese. According to projections, this number is expected to increase to 73% by 2008. Young Americans today now face a lower life expectancy rate than their parents, thanks largely to the effects of poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles.
The AP reported on May 14, 2008 that for the first time, it appears that more than half of all insured Americans are taking prescription medicines regularly for chronic health problems. The most widely used drugs are those to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol — problems often linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes, all of which are nearly 100% preventable with lifestyle modification.
The data shows that last year, 51 percent of American children and adults were taking one or more prescription drugs for a chronic condition, up from 50 percent the previous four years and 47 percent in 2001. Most of these drugs are taken daily.
Medication use for chronic problems (read taken daily for life) was seen in all demographic groups. Almost two-thirds of women 20 and older, one in four children and teenagers, 52 percent of adult men and three out of four people 65 or older take one or more prescription drugs regularly.
Most horrific is that among seniors, 28 percent of women and nearly 22 percent of men take five or more medicines regularly. All of which carry side effects too numerous to list, up to and including death. The estimated total number of iatrogenic deaths—that is, deaths induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures— in the U.S. annually is estimated to be approaching 1,000,000.
The current state of affairs in the U.S. with respect to diet is too bleak to even discuss in detail in this article, but here are some highlights:
The U.S. Census bureau data indicate that Americans drink a significant number of their calories. Americans drink about a gallon of soda a week along with a half gallon each of milk, bottled water, coffee and beer.
The biggest single source of calories in America is not pizza or burgers, but soft drinks. Soft drinks containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) supply just over 7% of all the calories consumed in the U.S. every year. The consumption of HFCS increased by more than 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group. A possibly toxic chemical sugar alternative made from genetically modified, government subsidized corn is the leading staple of the American diet.
Americans are exposed to thousands of different food chemicals including: food additives, preservatives, synthetic sweeteners, pesticide residues, environmental contaminants, mycotoxins, novel food ingredients, packaging-material migrants, flavoring substances and other added nutrients. Food chemicals make up only part of the 75,000 synthetic chemicals developed and released into the environment since World War II. Fewer than half have been tested for potential toxicity to human beings.
America is a nation of poorly nourished, overly sedentary, chemically exposed individuals. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a diet of natural, healthy, nutrient rich food, reducing toxin exposure from foods and drugs, regular exercise, normal sleep, emotional, spiritual health, and a fully functioning nerve system.
These factors all contribute to sickness and disease because they interfere with the body’s ability to produce new healthy cells. The brain controls and regulates, through the nerve system, all cellular function in the body. Proper cellular function is the key factor which determines ones health. The human organism is a community of 70 trillion cells working together, in harmony. This symphony is conducted by the brain and orchestrated by and through the nerve system. Chiropractic adjustments remove any impediment to the communication between the conductor and the orchestra.
Any attempt to extricate one’s self from the current disease care system requires an individual to radically alter their lifestyle. To begin an exercise program, change one’s diet, reduce their exposure to toxins, or work on their emotional health all take a considerable amount of effort on the part of the health seeker.
To improve one’s health through chiropractic requires nothing more than scheduling an appointment. We have in our offices the best kept secret in healthcare. Isn’t it time you find out what regular chiropractic care has to offer you and your family? As the only passive method of altering one’s health and well-being, chiropractic offices around the country will be inundated with more clients than they can handle in the coming decade.
Spread the word that chiropractic care is the fastest, the easiest and the most effective way to start off 2010 on the path toward health, happiness and abundant life.
The Georgia Council of Chiropractic, The Georgia Chiropractic Association and Life University, in order to develop a “Unity of Purpose” and a strong working relationship in the state of Georgia, embarked upon a project to develop a common, agreed upon definition of chiropractic. The resulting document was signed by the Presidents of the organizations, and those members of the committee who had worked together to finalize the language.
The document reads as follows:
THE FOUNDATIONAL TENETS OF CHIROPRACTIC
We embrace the concept that chiropractic philosophy, chiropractic science, chiropractic art, chiropractic technique, chiropractic diagnosis and spinal subluxation complex denote areas of ongoing research, continuing intra- and inter-professional dialogue and growing understanding.
We embrace the philosophy that life is intelligent. The human body possesses the inherent potential to maintain itself in a natural state of homeostasis through its innate, inborn intelligence.
We maintain that the science of chiropractic emphasizes the relationship between structure, primarily of the spinal column, and the nervous system, and how that relationship affects function and health. Implicit within this statement are the significance of the nervous system to health and the effect of the spinal subluxation complex upon the whole body.
We hold that all chiropractors should recognize the value of all phases of patient care, including condition-based care, health care and developmental care, as well as both therapeutic and non-therapeutic approaches to patient care. Individual chiropractors may choose to focus on one phase of patient care, one demographic segment of the patient population or one area of chiropractic expertise. They may also choose to become a certified specialist in one particular facet of chiropractic. Such specialization should require advanced, post-graduate education.
We recognize that:
· The primary clinical objective of chiropractic is the enhancement of human health through the adjustment of the subluxation, and that;
· Diagnostic expertise in chiropractic should focus on differential diagnosis of spinal subluxation complex, with other conditions assessed at a level of diagnosis appropriate for chiropractic management, or intra- and inter-professional referral, (referential diagnosis), and that;
· Spinal subluxation complex involves at the least biomechanical and related neurological dysfunction, and that;
· “Adjustment” in chiropractic refers to a specific spinal manipulation directed toward the objective of the reduction or correction of spinal subluxation or extra-spinal subluxation complex .
We recognize that core chiropractic competencies include:
Patient assessment, diagnosis, adjustment, patient education, management, referral, and co-management.
We maintain that chiropractic care incorporates the use of diagnostic and adjustive procedures when indicated, including some or all of the following:
- Patient history
- Physical examination
- Examination for spinal or extra-spinal subluxation complex
- Biomechanical functional assessment
- Laboratory and imaging studies
- Spinal and/or extremity adjustment
- Chiropractic case management
- Spinal Hygiene
- Patient education
- Participation in coordinated care
We maintain that chiropractic care focuses primarily on the chiropractic adjustment. Procedures ancillary to this and the other core chiropractic competencies are and should remain optional components of the practice of chiropractic.
These ancillary procedures may include some or all of the following:
- Spinal/extremity manipulation
- Nutritional supplementation
This list is not intended to be inclusive of all services ancillary to chiropractic that may fall within the scope of chiropractic licensure of a particular jurisdiction.
We hold that the conservative essence of the practice of chiropractic is not consistent with the performance of surgery or prescribing, administering, or dispensing of pharmaceuticals.
We further hold that the full spectrum of chiropractic practice from broad-scope to focused-scope will be defended equally, vigorously and pro-actively in order to protect the rights of all chiropractors to practice in the manner and method they deem appropriate within the law.
Your thoughts and comments are welcome and are very much appreciated.
Practicing Chiropractors’ Committee on Radiology Protocols (PCCRP) announced today that the PCCRP Radiographic Guideline was accepted for inclusion at the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). The NGC is a comprehensive database of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines that are accessible via the internet. NGC is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
According to Dr. Deed Harrison (Chair of PCCRP), “The PCCRP guideline is the most comprehensive evaluation of the chiropractic and biomedical literature on the topic of the utilization of X-ray in a Chiropractic setting. PCCRP Contains a thorough review of the reliability, validity, clinical utility and risk-benefit ratio of numerous radiographic views, including all standard views and specialty Chiropractic views like the Nasium, Vertex, and Base Posterior.”
Also, according to Dr. Harrison, “The extent of evidence contained in the PCCRP (nearly 2000 references) robustly refutes the contention that radiography in the Chiropractic profession should be used for Red Flag conditions only (suspected tumor, infection, fracture, etc).”
Some of the key topics that are reviewed in the PCCRP Guideline include:
- Guidelines for the use of radiography in the assessment of subluxation of adults and children;
- Biomechanical definitions for 6 subluxation displacement categories with supporting evidence from the literature;
- Discussion of the risk benefit ratio associated with the use of radiography in Chiropractic practice, including the radiation hormesis vs. the linear no threshold (LNT) theory;
- Comprehensive reviews of the literature on the reliability and validity of measurement of the biomechanical component of the subluxation through line drawing mensuration, as well as the reproducibility of patient positioning for radiographic views;
- Evidence based foundation for video fluoroscopy and digital motion X-ray;
- Reviews and rates the evidence on post-treatment use of radiography, in addition to follow-up radiography to assess the effectiveness of the Chiropractic methods employed and the long-term stability of the improvements achieved;
- Legal issues of Chiropractic radiography usage as determined by the existing State Law.
The PCCRP serves as a clinical guide, specifically for Chiropractors, on the utilization of X-ray, versus adopting/supporting the guidelines written for the use of X-ray in a medical setting. It is anticipated that the PCCRP document will provide supporting evidence which may assist Chiropractors using methods that rely upon X-ray analysis to determine appropriate management and to assess the effectiveness of the care plan for a variety of patient populations.
Although, the PCCRP is officially a sub-committee of the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), the guideline committee members were a diverse group and included individuals such as Dr. Christopher Kent (one of the 5 Principle Investigators) and Dr. Dan Murphy. Of importance, the PCCRP was reviewed and endorsed by numerous Chiropractic political associations, organizations and leaders of Chiropractic Technique Methods:
International Chiropractors Association
World Chiropractic Alliance
Federation of Straight Chiropractors and Organizations (FSCO)
Council on Chiropractic Practice (CCP)
Norway Chiropractic Association,
Ukraine Chiropractic Association
State and Provincial Associations
Arizona Chiropractic Society
Chiropractic Awareness Council of Ontario
Chiropractic Diplomatic Corps
Chiropractic Fellowship of Pennsylvania
Connecticut Chiropractic Council
Massachusetts Chiropractic Society
Michigan Association of Chiropractors (MAC)
Nevada Chiropractic Association
Virginia Society of Chiropractic
Washington State Chiropractic Association
Wyoming Chiropractic Society
If you would like a copy of the PCCRP Guideline you will be able to access these at http://www.ngc.gov/ in the coming weeks or you can contact the ICA at www.chiropractic.org for a printed bound copy.
To learn more about PCCRP, the principle investigators, the esteemed committee members and the international panel of reviewers assembled to guide and facilitate the creation of the guidelines, please visit the PCCRP website at http://www.pccrp.org/.
The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) is very pleased to announce that the landmark 640-page ICA Best Practices and Practice Guidelines have now been accepted for inclusion in the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). The National Guideline Clearinghouse is a comprehensive database of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and related documents. NGC is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This important recognition represents the culmination of a three-year effort, involving thousands of hours of study, research and analysis on the part of a team of several dozen doctors of chiropractic from around the world, chaired by Dr. Don Harrison. “We are very excited about the ICA Best Practices being accepted for inclusion by the National Guideline Clearinghouse,” said Dr. Harrison. “To see this ICA Guidelines reach this point is, indeed, historic. It was no simple feat to produce these guidelines. I feel this document and its future revisions will benefit thousands of chiropractors for generations to come, as well as enhance the quality of patient care for countless millions.”
According to the agency’s website, “The NGC mission is to provide physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, health care providers, health plans, integrated delivery systems, purchasers and others an accessible mechanism for obtaining objective, detailed information on clinical practice guidelines and to further their dissemination, implementation and use.” Over 1,400 clinical papers were reviewed by multiple analysts as a basis for the guidelines decisions made by the team, more than utilized by any other guidelines effort in chiropractic’s history.
All levels of evidence were included in an effort to gain a comprehensive and balanced foundation for the guidelines, from the randomized controlled trial to the individual case report. In addition, the draft document was available for review and comment on the Internet for nearly a full year, yielding hundreds of comments and recommendations from doctors of chiropractic worldwide.
The guidelines document and grade the clinical evidence of the efficacy of the chiropractic adjustment for 339 specific health challenges.
“The chiropractic profession owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Dr. Don Harrison, Dr. Leonard Siskin, Dr. Deed Harrison, Dr. Joseph Betz, Dr. Dwight George, Dr. Stephanie Cheney, Dr. Eric Huntington and many others who devoted their selfless energy and meticulous attention over a period of many years to this project,” said ICA President Dr. Gary L. Walsemann.
The Guidelines text has been published in a limited hardback edition available by contacting ICA at 1-800-423-4690. The full text of the document will also be available on the NGC website in the coming months.
“The level of professionalism and objectivity that went into this process is astounding and reflects a commitment to excellence rare in any professional endeavor,” said Dr. Walsemann. “I believe we can clearly attribute this exceptionally high standard to the Guidelines Committee Chair, Dr. Don Harrison.”
Donald D. Harrison, DC, PhD, MSE, received his DC degree from Western States Chiropractic College in 1979. He received his MSE (Mechanical Engineering) in 1997 and his PhD (Mathematics) in 1998, both from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He originated CBP Technique in 1980 and is the author of numerous textbooks and clinical manuals and more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed indexed journals. He has served on ICA’s Board of Directors and was ICA’s Chiropractor of the Year in 2006.
A new National Geographic special exploring the latest research on how stress may be killing us features Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky, who has spent decades studying stress in humans and baboons. “Stress: Portrait of a Killer,” a co-production of National Geographic and Stanford University, premiered on Sept. 24 on PBS.
While the focus of the show is stress, the research confirms tenets that, unlike the allopathic medical community, chiropractors have emphasized since the early 1900s. The “educated brain” impacts the “innate” function of the body at the level of the end organ, the tissue cell.
Sapolsky, who holds the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professorship, is particularly interested in how social standing makes one more or less susceptible to stress. His research in baboons is consistent with findings done by other researchers studying humans and monkeys.
One research study followed a cohort of British civil servants, who have a discrete hierarchical structure as follows:
* Administrative Assistant – Lowest of the low, although the numbers in this grade are slowly going down and most permanent staff are being upgraded to Administrative Officer.
*Administrative Officer – The legions of AOs are what keeps the civil service running.
* Executive Officer – This is considered to be the first management grade. An EO may be responsible for a number of AOs, but in some departments an EO would be the standard grade for staff.
*Higher Executive Officer
*Senior Executive Officer
The findings in this research revealed results strikingly similar to the studies in baboon troops (which have a strict hierarchical social structure) and in studies of colonies of macaque monkeys (who also live in large groups where constant and stressful competition establishes the social hierarchy).
In all three studies, the results were the same. Emotional stress causes those lower on the social ladder to exhibit higher blood pressure, higher levels of atherosclerosis, higher levels of stress hormones, weakened immune system function, additional fat storage and even reduces life span.
In other words, nearly identically matched humans and primates exhibited vastly different physiology, based on their THOUGHTS and FEELINGS. The “educated brain” produced vastly different cellular function, vastly different physiology, vastly different immune response, and different physical tissue cells, despite the fact that all other environmental factors were virtually identical.
As is so often the case, the latest scientific research bears out that the chiropractic view of health is correct: That health is controlled by the brain, all bodily function is regulated by the brain, physical, chemical and emotional stressors are the primary cause of disease in the human body and the educated brain impacts the innate function of the human organism. This is truly “must see TV” for every chiropractor.
Sapolsky is part of a group of researchers appearing in the program, whose collective work is illuminating just how big an impact stress has on our health. The documentary is based partly on Sapolsky’s best-selling book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. The broadcast represents the first time National Geographic has joined forces with a major research university to create original programming in the areas of science and technology for television audiences. Randy Bean of Stanford served as an executive producer.