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.
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 opportunity now exists to present positive, accurate information about chiropractic care to those with health challenges at the exact moment they are in need of care.
According to recent research by the non-profit Pew Internet & American Life Project, seventy-nine percent of Internet users have searched online for information on at least one major health topic. That translates to about 95 million American adults using the Internet to find health information or about 9 to 10 million Americans on any given day.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s previous research found that online health seekers are often motivated to search out information that relates to actions they might need to take for specific health issues in their lives. For instance, they (or people they love) might have experienced health symptoms that worry them and Internet users search for information about whether they would be wise to visit a doctor. Or, they might have just received a diagnosis and want to learn more about their particular condition.
In many cases, online health seekers are action-oriented and highly purposeful because there is a pressing medical issue for them to address. Since it is highly likely that the issue they face may have nerve system involvement, how likely is it that the Internet user will find accurate, positive information on chiropractic that will encourage them to see a chiropractor? The answer to this question could have a far greater impact on the future of chiropractic than one might expect. In order to understand why, we must look at what Internet users are doing online. The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s research found the top five activities of Internet users searching for health information are as follows:
- Tentatively diagnose their own diseases
- Confirm their doctor’s diagnosis and suggested treatments
- Check their doctors’ credentials
- Research all available treatment options – not just those recommended by doctor
- Give themselves a crash course on a specific medical condition when they (or someone they love) is diagnosed
Clearly these activities indicate a course of action is being formulated. This is precisely the time when accurate, positive information on chiropractic care can have the greatest impact. The Internet provides, for the first time in history, the ability to reach those in need of care at the exact moment they are deciding the form that care should take. So, how well is the chiropractic profession currently represented on the Internet to take advantage of this opportunity? You can see for yourself. Using Google, the world’s leading search engine, perform a search on the term “chiropractor”. What you find should cause you great concern.
As of 6/15/2009 , a Google search on the term “chiropractor” returns a a somewhat less than flattering Wikipedia entry as the number one result. A Bureau of Labor Statistics overview of “a career as a chiropractor” is the number two result and the third result is a condemnation of the profession titled “My Visit to a Straight Chiropractor” by Stephen Barrett MD on his website, Chirobase.com, which is dedicated to disparaging chiropractic. The fourth result is an article on the Spine Universe site that states that chiropractic is “a popular pain treatment”. And the remaining results are not much more encouraging. There is nothing presented that will inform a consumer with a specific health challenge how they may benefit from chiropractic care.
You may be wondering how this affects you. Maybe you don’t have a website and don’t concern yourself with Internet search habits. You rely on tried and true methods of new patient acquisition like personally delivered health talks and referrals from satisfied patients. This situation impacts you as much as the chiropractor that has spent thousands of dollars building and marketing his/her own web site.
Google, which handles 72% of all search traffic according to SearchEngineWatch.com, had 168,100 searches conducted on the term “chiropractor” in May, 2009. That means 168,100 Internet users were exposed to Stephen Barrett’s anti-chiropractic sentiments in May, 2009 alone.
How many of these Internet users were potential new patients referred by a loyal practice member or attendees at your most recent health talk who decided to do a little research prior to scheduling an appointment? How many of your patients have suggested that their spouse schedule an appointment, only to have them go to Google, become sucked in by the anti-chiropractic rhetoric and become forever poisoned to the idea of chiropractic care? They may even take their new found “knowledge” and talk your patient out of returning for their next visit. No one can say how many patients you have lost to the current Google situation, but it is safe to say you are not immune.
We know, however, from the Pew Research and Google keyword statistics, that the vast majority of the 9-10 million daily web surfers are not searching on the terms chiropractor or chiropractic (as they have no idea that their nerve system may be a factor in the health challenges they face). We also know that the majority of these Internet health seekers begin their quest for information at a search engine (72% using Google) and that they search on the symptom, diagnosis or condition from which they or their loved ones are suffering.
So what if an Internet user has just been told by a physician that they suffer from fibromyalgia? We know that four of the top five activities most frequently performed by Internet users seeking health information relate to a particular symptom, condition or diagnosis. A Google search on this term ( a condition, symptom or diagnosis) returns exactly zero results that mention chiropractic care as an option. Surely since many chiropractors see patients with “back pain” there will be many results from a search of this term which provide accurate, positive information about chiropractic. Think again. Not in the first 198 results displayed. The ACA website appears at 199 as of this writing. And guess what is among the first 100 results: Quackwatch.com by Stephen Barrett.
Term after term, condition after condition the results are the same. Except for an occasional sponsored link, there is no mention of chiropractic in the search results for any of the myriad conditions for which chiropractic has been proven safe and effective.
So what can be done to correct this and to take advantage of the opportunity described in the beginning of this article? Our consumer oriented site at www.YourSpine.com, provides positive, accurate information about chiropractic and lays the foundation on which to build a much brighter future for the chiropractic profession. We provide valuable patient education material on specific conditions for which chiropractic is most effective. We use detailed graphics and animations to educate Internet health seekers on spinal anatomy and the composition and function of the skeletal and nervous systems. We demonstrate how spinal fitness greatly impacts overall health and quality of life. We explain the many degenerative diseases associated with neglect of the spine, the drugs and surgeries used to treat them, along with their sometimes disastrous side effects. And most importantly, we demonstrate the important role chiropractors play in finding and correcting subluxations.
We provide content designed to be “found” by the major search engines when an Internet user searches for information on chiropractic as well as specific symptoms, diagnosis and conditions. We combine this with search engine optimization techniques and use paid search engine advertising to drive those in need of care to the site at the exact moment they are in need of care, deciding what form that care should take and who will provide it.
Presenting chiropractic in a positive way to online health seekers who are action-oriented and highly purposeful because they have a pressing medical issue to address dramatically increases both awareness and utilization. With this repository of valuable consumer information available and easily found by Internet health seekers, we drive people to the site rather than sit passively and wait for them to come. We utilize a world class public relations firm to facilitate national exposure throughout all news outlets: Internet, television, newspapers and magazines. These very same public relations firms have successfully turned lackluster drugs into household names. In the future, with this strong foundation in place, we plan to run cutting edge television and print ads that reinforce the message. This is a three tiered approach, utilizing advanced Internet technology, world class public relations and creative advertising.
With the food, beverage, diet and drug industries all promoting health compromising products to consumers through national promotional strategies, you cannot be expected to compete for consumer attention on your own. You need and deserve help. By coming together and taking advantage of an initiative like the one described here, you become a force, a force that is an attractive partner to national non-profit and corporate sponsors trying to reach the same key demographic, those actively seeking to improve their health. This opens the door to co-sponsored national events, public relations exposure, increased credibility and greater cultural authority. You may not be able to outspend them, but with radical strategies and an aggressive agenda, you can certainly out-think them. Imagine proper care and maintenance of the spine being as important to the health care consumer as the care and maintenance of their teeth. Have you tried to make a same day dental appointment recently? Better yet, don’t imagine. Make it a reality.
To make your practice part of the growing network of Chiropractic America certified chiropractors and to secure your exclusive zip code allocation in this groundbreaking opportunity, visit: Doctors.YourSpine.com to sign on today!
Media reports of Swine Flu in Mexico and now several US cities are frightening to many Americans, who are made to feel helpless. As a result, many will turn to dangerous vaccines out of fear and a lack of honest information. This virus is a strain of H1N1, the same virus responsible for the 1918 Flu Pandemic (often referred to as the “Spanish Flu”).
At this point, most confirmed cases in the United States have been mild and there have been no confirmed fatalities. However, in Mexico there has been a high case fatality rate among young adults, 25-44, with atypical pneumonia, which has similarities with the 1918 flu pandemic.
The media is reporting that the 1918 pandemic was composed of a recombination of H1N1 seasonal flu and H1N1 swine flu. What you won’t hear reported in the main stream media is how chiropractic care afforded life saving relief to so many back in 1918.
The 1918 flu epidemic swept silently across the world bringing death and fear to homes in every land. More than one hundred million people died. In 1918 almost nothing was known about prevention, protection, treatment or cure of influenza. The whole world stood at its mercy, or lack of it.
Strangely enough, around that same time, chiropractic, the only American born health care profession, was close to extinction only 23 years after its discovery. In the time just after the end of World War I, laws against slander were so lenient that medical doctors were allowed to openly attack the chiropractic profession without any regard to truth, legality or the best interest of the patients.
Because medical doctors were making it so hard to have a practice, chiropractors were making mostly house calls. In 1918, chiropractors in Wisconsin began going door-to-door adjusting anyone who had the Flu.
As a result, an amazing thing occurred. Those who were adjusted by a chiropractor didn’t die.
The news about Chiropractic swept across Wisconsin and eventually the whole country. Within a short period of time, chiropractic became so well known as the best defense against the flu that chiropractors were being called “Flu Doctors”.
Out of this epidemic, the young science of chiropractic enjoyed a new measure of enthusiasm and respectability. If there had been any lack of enthusiasm among the doctors of chiropractic, or a depleting of the sources of new students, the epidemic took care of that. These chiropractic survivors of the flu epidemic were confident, assured, determined, and ready to fight any battle that came up. The effect of the epidemic becomes evident in interviews made with old-timers practicing in those years. The refrain comes repeatedly, “I was about to go out of business when the flu epidemic came – but when it was over, I was firmly established in practice.”
The answer is reasonably simple. Chiropractors got fantastic results from influenza patients while those under medical care died. Statistics reflect a most amazing, almost miraculous state of affairs. The medical profession was practically helpless with the flu victims but chiropractors seemed able to do no wrong.
 In Davenport, Iowa, 50 medical doctors treated 4,953 cases, with 274 deaths. In the same city, 150 chiropractors including students and faculty of the Palmer School of Chiropractic treated 1,635 cases with only one death.
In the state of Iowa, medical doctors treated 93,590 patients, with 6,116 deaths – a loss of one patient out of every 15. In the same state, excluding Davenport, 4,735 patients were treated by chiropractors with a loss of only 6 cases – a loss of one patient out of every 789.
National figures show that 1,142 chiropractors treated 46,394 patients for influenza during 1918, with a loss of 54 patients – one out of every 886.
In the same epidemic, New York health authorities (who kept records of flu as a reportable disease) showed that under chiropractic care, only 25 patients died of influenza out of every 10,000 cases; and only 100 patients died of pneumonia out of every 10,000 cases. This comparison is made more striking when viewed in the following table:
Under medical care 10,000 950
Under chiropractic care 10,000 25
Under medical care 10,000 6,400
Under chiropractic care 10,000 100
The same epidemic reports show that chiropractors in Oklahoma treated 3,490 cases of influenza with only 7 deaths. But the best part of this is, in Oklahoma there is a clear record showing that chiropractors were called in 233 cases where medical doctors had cared for the patients, and finally gave them up as lost. The chiropractors saved all these lost cases but 25.
Statistics alone, however, don’t tell the whole story.
Dr. Helen B. Mason [DC], whose son, when only a year old, became very ill with bronchitis explains: “My husband and I took him to several medical specialists without any worthwhile results. We called a chiropractor, as a last resort, and were amazed at the rapidity of his recovery. We discussed this amazing cure at length and came to the decision that if chiropractic could do as much for the health of other individuals as it had done for our son we wanted to become chiropractors.”
Dr. M. L. Stanphill [DC] recounts his experiences: “I had quite a bit of practice in 1918 when the flu broke out. I stayed in Van Alstyne (Texas) until the flu was over and had the greatest success, taking many cases that had been given up and restoring them back to health. During the flu we didn’t have the automobile. I went horseback and drove a buggy day and night. I stayed overnight when the patients were real bad. When the rain and snow came I just stayed it out. There wasn’t a member of my family that had the flu.”
When he came to Denison, he said, “I had a lot of trouble with pneumonia when I first came. Once again I took all the cases that had been given up. C. R. Crabetree, who lived about 18 miles west of Denison, had double pneumonia and I went and stayed all night with him and until he came to the next morning. He is still living today. That gave me a boost on the west side of town.”
And when interviews of other old timers are made it is evident that each still vividly remembers the 1918 influenza epidemic. We now know about 100 million persons around the world died of the flu with about 500,000 Americans among that number. But most chiropractors and their patients were miraculously spared. Even today, we repeatedly hear about those decisions to become a chiropractor after a remarkable recovery or when a close family member given up for dead suddenly came back to vibrant health.
Some of these heroic chiropractors who served faithfully during the 1918 crisis went on to become the major characters thrust upon the profession’s stage in the 20’s and 30’s and they had the courage, the background and the conviction to withstand all that would shortly be thrown against them [including being thrown in jail for practicing medicine without a license]. The publicity and reputation of such effectiveness in handling flu cases also brought new patients and much acclaim from people who knew nothing of chiropractic before 1918.
Chiropractic’s journey into health care took a huge leap forward thanks to its incredible effect on thousands of Americans during the flu crisis. [2,3,4] When you get adjusted, you increase immune function, among many other benefits. An increase in immune function is important for everything from the cold and runny nose to influenza, cancer, and heart disease, not to mention the great enhancing effects on a healthy individual. This is why everyone should have their spine checked and adjusted if needed. An adjustment may stimulate your immune system to better fight off any challenge, including influenza.
Remember, regular visits to your chiropractor will assure that your body is always operating at 100% of your optimal health potential. And that is good news.
1. Rhodes WR: “The Official History of Chiropractic in Texas.” Texas Chiropractic Association. Austin, TX. 1978.
2. Kent C: “Neuroimmunology — an update.” The Chiropractic Journal. August, 2001. http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2001/aug/aug2001kent.htm
3. Kent C: “Neuroimmunology and chiropractic.” The Chiropractic Journal. October, 1995. http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/1995/oct/oct1995kent.htm
4. Kent C: “The mental impulse-biochemical and immunologic aspects.” The Chiropractic Journal. February, 1999. http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/1999/feb/feb1999kent.htm
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.