The 5 Most Deadly Heart Disease Myths

If you have read this blog for more than 5 minutes, you probably already know two things:

  1. I believe (because the research demonstrates) that taking control of your health care is the best way to become, and remain, healthy.
  2. I believe (because the research demonstrates) that mainstream medicine has absolutely failed in the prevention and treatment of most chronic diseases.

You may not yet know that heart disease, though it is the number two killer in this country (after medicine itself, which is in first place as the leading cause of death) is a chronic disease which is comprehensively preventable. But the "pill for every ill" mindset has prevented us from addressing the problem of heart disease in any kind of effective, comprehensive way. In fact, most of what you have been told by the media and your medical doctor about the causes and prevention of heart disease is wrong.

Hopefully, I can change that in a small way, on Wednesday, February 16. That evening, I will be giving my first seminar of 2011, titled:

The 5 Most Deadly Heart Disease Myths

  • Why your cholesterol levels really don't matter.

  • Why the drugs you are taking may be doing you more harm than good.

  • The "bad" foods that are actually good for heart health.

  • The real causes of heart disease, and how you can prevent and reverse it.

  • Why the heart disease statistics are fatally wrong.

Please join me on Wednesday, February 16 at 7 p.m.

Litchfield Community Center

Seating is limited -- Call or email today for reservations.

Do Chiropractors...?

Here's a fun little exercise for rainy days. Go to Google, type in the beginning of a search, and see what Google's autocomplete feature suggests. It gives you a sense of what people are asking about, in a more granular way than looking at Google's overall search trends. And as any good quantum scientist can tell you, the question you ask gives as much information as the answer does. Thus, it was with some concern that I looked at the autocomplete results when I typed in a search phrase starting "Do chiropractors...." Here's what came up:

This screenshot, more than anything, is a testament to the success of the smear campaign conducted for nearly 100 years by the AMA and its cohorts. And even after the Federal Court ordered the AMA to stop defaming chiropractic physicians, the smear campaign continued in the form of fringe groups with funding of uncertain provenance.

So even now, after millions of clinical successes and thousands of studies demonstrating the value of chiropractic services for the treatment of myriad disorders, we are faced with these questions, which I will address one by one. First, to the perennial, AMA-disinformation induced question: Do chiropractors work?

The efficacy of spinal manipulation has been demonstrated for a variety of musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal disorders. The efficacy of nutritional treatments and herbs for another gazillion disorders is also well-established, and it should go without saying that a chiropractic physician is far more equipped to deliver science-based nutrition than any other type of physician. Finally, when you couple that training with the increasing number of chiropractic physicians with advanced training in acupuncture, it is clear that chiropractic physicians are health care's most powerful triple threat against illness.

In short: Yes, chiropractors work. And quite effectively, I might add. Do chiropractors really help?

See the preceeding question. I'm just dumbfounded that this question continues to be asked.

Do chiropractors go to medical school?

Nope. But don't let that confuse you. Chiropractic school requires the same number of hours as medical school, and we study many of the same subjects during the first two years: Anatomy, physiology, pathology, endocrinology, etc. It is during the latter two years where the differences come more into play, as the students of each discipline begin to focus on the practical aspects of their professional tasks: Medical students to drugs and surgery, and chiropractic students to adjusting and nutrition. Do chiropractors prescribe medication?

Not currently, although the chiropractic physicians in one state are currently changing their scope of practice to incorporate prescriptions.

For the most part, however, chiropractic doctors really don't see the need for drugs, or have the interest in using them. My single biggest advantage over an MD is that I don't use drugs, a fact which brings more patients to my door than anything else.

Do chiropractors help?

Yes, we do. But whether a chiropractic physician can help you is something only you can decide in consultation with the chiropractic physician him- or herself.

But during my 15 years of practice, I have had many patients come to me and with hugs or tears in their eyes, thank me for changing their lives.

In all honesty, it wasn't me. It was the patients themselves that changed their lives. I just helped them along the path, that's all.

And, I suppose if you are looking for the clearest difference between medical doctors and chiropractic doctors, it is that one simple thing. While medicine and big pharma bluster and brag about their "new miracle cures" and "medical advances," and put themselves on the pedestal rightly belonging to the patient, chiropractic doctors recognize where cures really come from -- and are much humbler of our role in the process.

25 Things You Didn't Know a Chiropractor Could Do: #1

Chiropractic Winged Angel of HealthIn my 15 years of practice, there is a comment that I have heard all-to-frequently from my patients. It is not meant unkindly, nor as a slight, but evidences surprise at my hitherto unbeknownst powers, as if I had just unbuttoned my shirt and unveiled a Superman logo on my chest. This remark is often uttered as I say something that I think is relatively innocuous, like, "Yeah, we should probably do an EKG, just to be sure."

The patient will look at me, with eyebrows raised, and say, "I didn't know you could do that!"

The problem, it seems, is that the majority of the public have been trained to see chiropractors as one-trick ponies. Good for spinal adjustments, but little else.

This distorted image stems largely from the disinformation campaign mounted against the chiropractic profession by the AMA. 100 years of lies takes a while to untangle, especially when the bigotry is backed by a few billion pharmaceutical dollars.

And it is complicated somewhat by state laws, which vary widely. In some states, chiropractic physicians can inject substances and perform minor surgery. In others, they are not allowed to treat anything except the spine.

Throw into the mix the fact that most insurance companies will not reimburse a chiropractic physician for many of these procedures, and you get a large number of chiropractic doctors who will simply will not do them, simply to survive financially. It is difficult to justify spending several thousand dollars on an EKG machine if you'll never get reimbursed for its use.

But the fact of the matter is, chiropractors are trained in how to perform and read EKGs, as well as a number of other things which might surprise you as much as it has my patients.

Which is all a very long-winded way of introducing a new feature here at DocAltMed.

Every other Friday for the next year, I will post yet another example of the many ways your chiropractic doctor can serve you that you may not have heard of. And this week, we'll start with the basics, beginning with:

Your Annual Physical Exam

This, to me, is the real shocker. That people would not realize that they can use their chiropractic physician to do get their physical exam. My physical examination is every bit as complete as that you would receive in a medical doctor's office. Actually, I would argue that it is more complete, because my exams are not only looking for signs of pathology or disease; I am also illuminating areas of nutritional or physiological imbalance. It is those latter factors which are the true harbingers of health problems.

Yes, I listen to the heart and lungs, look into your eyes and ears, and peer intently at your mouth. As you might have guessed by now, we do an EKG, and I order the same blood tests that any other doctor would order.

But when I or another chiropractic physician performs your physical exam, you get two distinct advantages. The first I've already mentioned -- we are trained, as MDs are not, to spot dysfunctions before they become pathologies. The second is that when we do find a problem, you are far less likely to end up on a prescription drug.

In fact, studies have shown that patients who use their chiropractic doctor as their primary care physician end up in better health over the long term. They have fewer hospital days, they need fewer drugs to be healthy, and for older people they maintain physically active later in life.

So when it is time for your next annual physical, think hard about what you want -- better health, more active life -- and who is more likely to be able to give that to you.