Journey to Wellness
Hello to everyone from Davis, California, U.S.A. Welcome to this issue of Journey to Wellness. My New Year's greeting is a little late, but nonetheless heartfelt. I hope everything is well in your world, wherever you happen to live on this globe we call home. As the year 2012 has dawned, it seems an appropriate time to look at where we are, where we would like to be, and lay out a plan for how we will get there. So this month we will talk about new beginnings.
Time passes so rapidly, and as we age it certainly seems to accelerate, sort of like sliding down a hill, as opposed to trudging up a hill. At the same time it is certainly more fun on the down slope. That is kind of the way it has felt after reversing my own multiple sclerosis. Pulling that "sled" up the hill was no fun at all, but reaching the goal and being able to enjoy the down hill slope has been very rewarding indeed. And it is my wish for each one of you that you are able to enjoy that same jubilation.
Each month I have this unique opportunity to share my MS story. Years ago I chose to be "enabled" by my uninvited guest (which is what I have always called my MS) rather than "disabled," and I sincerely believe that each one of us has the opportunity to make that same choice. When I first began my Betty's House Life After MS website, about 15 years ago I was truly a lone wolf, telling people that they could heal their life and their body. There was no prominent self-help genus at that time. I knew theoretically, that the body was designed to be self-healing, but had yet to find the avenue to make it happen for me. But I bravely charged ahead and invited others to come along with me as we learned together. And I know that many of you who started way back then are still with me today. My belief that I and everyone else can teach our body to heal itself is stronger than ever. I ― and many of you ― are living proof that it works. We have chosen to be "enabled" rather than "disabled" by what doctors identify as multiple sclerosis. If you are new to this newsletter, it is my hope that you will com to share that belief.
Happy New Year. I hope you had a lovely Holiday Season with your family and friends. My daughter-in-law and grandson and I had a lovely Christmas. It was a great joy to watch Zach make the transition from Christmas being all about getting (childhood), to his realization that Christmas is really about giving (adulthood). I am so blessed to be able to share their lives.
Mixed emotions: This month I complete the last duties of my term as President of Senior Citizens of Davis, Inc. (SCD) as I install the new president on January 10. SCD raises and administers the funds responsible for the support and continuity of our beautiful Davis Senior Center, which serves thousands of senior citizen from our community. The funds that we provide guarantees the future stability and continuity of the Center. So you can see that the responsibilities of my office this year, although entirely voluntary, weighed heavily on my shoulders.
I am excited to have my life back. Woo Hoo!! Some administrative aspects I shall miss, but at my stage of life working all the time is not what I want to do. What I want to do is work with my website and this newsletter and doing private consultations, continuing to spread the word that those of us who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis do not have to accept the prognosis of allopathic medicine.
I have refused to be a victim my entire life, and I know that many of you have accepted that premise as well. I truly do believe that I create my life, at some level, even if I may not totally understand how that is.
I look forward to spending more quality time with my grandson, Zachary, who turns 16 this month. He is getting to be quite a young man these days, towering over me. Two more years and he'll be off to college. It just doesn't seem possible.
NEW YEARS . . . New Beginnings!
There is something about New Years that reminds us of new beginnings. Probably most of us have spent most of our New Year's holiday making or at least thinking about resolutions. Resolutions, or at least what we call resolutions, are as varied as those of us who make them. Popular resolutions are weight loss , saving money, eating healthier, exercising, etc. Unfortunately, most of them are rarely thought about for more than a few days, if that long.
May I be so bold as to suggest ways to be more successful with our resolutions, which incidentally may be begun at any time of the year. First let's define just what a resolution is. I like to think of them as something we want/wish to accomplish. It is often said that the resolutions (goals) must be very specific - how, when and where specificity - and if those specifics are missing then we have a wish or a want, not a goal. Wishes and wants only come true in fables and fairytales!
Wanting, that is getting clear on what you really, really want, is the first step in setting your goal. If you aren't clear on exactly what you want, then your goals will be weak and in a few weeks they will be all but forgotten.
With the specifics of our goals all set, then we must have a well-thought-out plan for reaching the goal. If your goal is conscientiously maintaining an exercise program, or perhaps establishing a daily meditation program, be very specific about how you are going to reach the goal. When are you going to reach your goal?
It has been said that, " inch by inch anything is a cinch." In my own recovery from MS that certainly was true. Instead of making your goal long term, first make it for a short term. Short term goals are not only more achievable, they are also more believable. If you do not totally believe in your ability to reach your goal, you cannot possibly be successful. An "I'll try" attitude dooms one to failure every time. And you must be very specific in the steps from where you are to where you want to be.
Ultimately only you hold the keys to success. If we really what to achieve anything in our life - health, wealth, relationships, etc. - they must first happen in our psyche. Make a specific plan, believe in yourself, and get started. And remember, you make choices every day that determine how your life turns out. And just because you perhaps didn't make the best choice yesterday, today is a new day and you get to choose again.
THE KEY INGREDIENT IS TAKING ACTION! I hope you will take one short-term goal, and prove to yourself that you can succeed. For me in the beginning it was simply one day at a time. I discovered that I could accomplish almost anything one day at a time. Please share your success stories with me and I'll share them in future issues of Journey to Wellness.
Your body has an awe-inspiring ability to create your own reality. Here are some helpful keys to success:
Develop a passion to achieve your goal - without passion we will fail
Results require action
All healing (change) is an inside job
The secret to your success is Y-O-U!
Remember that the healer resides inside of you, and daily meditation is like a visit with that healer within.
The alternative to living in the moment is
going through life blindfolded ̶ and
the choice is ours to make
Be sure you read the very important information included in the Research News" in this issue. It is guaranteed to make you ponder the state of medicine in our world today.
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→ YOU MAY WATCH A SHORT SAMPLE VIDEO BY CLICKING HERE. ←
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This recipe comes from the Starkist people. I'm always looking for ways to incorporate more seafood in my diet, and I found the combination of Mexican flavors with the tuna very appealing. If you can find jicama in your store, it adds a nice crunch. I also like to add avocado, and sometimes make my own dressing with half and half mayo and plain yogurt, with a little salsa added. Here's the recipe just as it came from Starkist.
4 c. chopped romaine lettuce
ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss.
I love soups, and especially hot soup in the winter. Here's one I found recently that combines two of my favorite flavors, pumpkin and curry. A big extra benefit is that Pumpkin, like oranges and Brussels sprouts, are loaded with antioxidants that fight stomach cancer. Enjoy
1 medium onion, diced
Step 1: In a medium size soup pot, sauté onion, potato, curry powder, and Chinese 5 Spice in olive oil over medium heat until potato and onion are tender.
Step 2: Puree ingredients from step 1 with 1 cup of chicken broth in a blender until all of the chunks are gone. Pour back into pot.
Step 3: Add remaining chicken broth (1.5 cups) and the can of pumpkin to the pot and heat to simmer. Turn down the heat and add the yogurt. Stir until well mixed.
Step 4: Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with a spoonful of yogurt and pumpkin seeds if desired.
Note: You can vary the individual ingredients to your taste and for a thicker or thinner soup. Do be sure to taste the curry, especially if you don't often cook with this Indian spice. It can be quite hot.
Yield: 4-6 servings.
I featured this item in the November 2011 newsletter, and I received so many responses it seemed apropos to repeat it this month. I have been adding this to my regular exercise routine now for the last several months, and it really works. Here it is again.
While surfing the Internet recently I came across an exercise tip that I think is powerful. Here is a summary that I hope you will all find helpful.
Fact one: The average person watches three hours of TV per day
Fact two: Most are getting little or no exercise during that time.
Fact Three: Out of a half hour TV program approximately 10 minutes are commercial announcements by the station/network we are watching.
Fact Four: If we will just train ourselves to stand up during these commercials announcements and walk in place for the duration of the commercials, during any three hours of TV viewing we will have walked for an hour.
I have been doing this for some time now, and I am amazed at how easy it makes fitness. Even if you only walked in place for half of the commercial breaks, your body would become fit in a very short period of time. I find it very effective to alternate the walking in place with just sitting down and standing up, repeatedly. Between the two they make a great no-frills workout. Be sure to combine these with deep breathing.
What if you are sitting in a wheel chair? Just move your arms and/or legs about as much as you can (even if it is just one arm or leg) and you will experience improvement. Don't forget the deep breathing. One reader reported that she could only do the walking in place with a cane in the beginning, but now she can do it without the cane. What awesome results!
EXERCISE WORKS FOR EVERY BODY!!
What I Know for Sure:
I often write about our body's energy - the secret to not only all healing, but also all life. Energy powers everything on the globe, as well as each of us, and we are all connected through this most powerful energy on globe.
When I first began writing about listening to the dialog our body constantly shares with us, it was a new concept to many. Today, I often read and hear, "everything is energy." That is absolutely true. Our body's energy powers every aspect of our physical body, and when its natural flow is blocked or interrupted somewhere in our body, we call that dis-ease. I have written many thousands of words about simple techniques to help restore that flow. Sixteen years since I first discovered the healing power of Qi Gong, and began to practice its simple moving meditations; my recommendation remains strong.
I have a retired M.D. friend, and we often talk about natural healing. He retired early because of his disagreements with the medical profession as a whole, and in particular how medicine is practiced by most allopathic physicians. One morning when I was standing in front of my TV doing my daily Qi Gong routine, after I had completed the routine I suddenly realized that I was walking without my at-that-time usual limp. I got very excited because I could see that the Qi Gong was responsible for the difference. It at that time was temporary, lasting for a couple of hours. In subsequent exercise periods I duplicated that experience. Then I got excited about what was happening. Incidentally, I called those "good legs days."
I called my doctor friend and explained what was happening, and asked him what he thought about these episodes. He said to me, "Betty, you are a very bright lady. What do you think is happening." I told him that apparently the Qi Gong routine was correcting/altering the flow of chi (energy) in my body, and that resulted in improvement in my physical symptoms. He agreed completely. QI GONG WORKS!
One of my favorite people, who over many years has had a profound effect on my life, is Oprah Winfrey. During the final show of her 25-year series, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah said:
“You are responsible for your life. And what is your life?
What is all life? What is every flower, every rock, every
tree, every human being? Energy!
And you are responsible for the energy that you create
for yourself and you are responsible for the energy you
bring to others.
ALL LIFE IS ENERGY, and we are transmitting it every
moment. We are beaming it...little tiny signals, like radio
frequencies, and the world is responding in kind."
Ask yourself, "What energy are you bringing to your life?"
"What signals are you sending?"
̶ Oprah Winfrey
Yes, everything and everybody is energy, and we are all emitting energy signals to everyone with whom we interact. It is my goal that the energy signals I send out are always loving, healing and positive, because I absolutely know that I will surely receive in kind.
That energy is the Qi (chi) on which Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong are based. The aura which surrounds all of us is also comprised of this energy, and is commonly referred to as our personal energy field. (Be sure to read below how thoughts are creative in the Gems from the Internet.)
I can't thank you enough for all the inspiration and information you provide for us every month. Blessings to you. I hope 2012 brings lots of good things your way. Thanks again. /s/ Carole and Joe E.
Dear Betty. I loved your Facebook Holiday card. I know you will miss your son, but I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your grandson and daughter-in-law. Thank you for sharing your journey with your newsletter readers. /s/ Skip and Jane.
To Carol and Joe, and Skip and Jane, and all the rest of you who sent me Holiday Greetings. I enjoyed and appreciated every one. Especially those that included photos of your families. Thank you all so much for your lovely greetings. We had a very special Christmas this year, the first that to me was really happy since my son Kevin moved on to his next experience five years ago. Somehow we knew he was with us.
You often talk about there being a difference between religion and spirituality. Please tell us how you define each. /s/ Carolyn P.
Hello Carolyn . That's a very good question, I don't know that I am qualified to answer it, so I'll just share with you my concept of the difference. Religion is man-made rules and dogma, whereas spirituality is the spirit or soul within each of us; and is our connection to the source of all creation. In a broad sense, religionists define God as an entity somewhere out there. Spirituality refers to the innate source of all being that indwells every person, the still small voice referred to in the New Testament. Jesus was a very spiritual person. There is so much more to be said about this question, but I hope this summary helps you to understand the difference.
Thank you for sharing that beautiful poem Why Not Today in your Christmas issue. It is beautiful and so timely for me. I am a champion "I'll do it tomorrow" person. I felt tike that message was just for me. Thank you for all that you do. /s/ Mark S.
Thank you Mark. I think we all need to be reminded from time to time to not put off important things. Thanks for writing.
Lots of "stuff" From Here and There on the Internet
Dr. Terry Walls is a medical doctor who has reversed her MS. I urge you to listen to her TED talk, and review her dietary suggestions.
DR. WAHLS TED TALK
EATING THE WAHLS WAY
As I often report, Marc again gives us an update on what's going on in the MS world. Be sure to check out his holiday blog posting. It is full of good stuff. Thank you Marc. This is a long link, so if it doesn't work for you, go to www.wheelchairkamikaze.com and you will find it. Just scroll down to his December 22 blog posting. While at Marc's site be sure to enjoy all the lovely new photos of New York City that he has just posted.
Author Peter Baksa's book, The Point of Power, is a great read about how the Universe/God works. The following comes from his writings.
by Peter Baksa
As a pragmatic truth-seeking philosopher, I was very skeptical when I first encountered the Law of Attraction (LOA). Many things I’ve seen really stretch my credulity. But the more I think about it, the more I see nuggets underneath the hype that make sense to me, if reformulated a bit. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say the Buddha was a Law of Attraction proponent, I do think there is some common ground to be found between the two.
Even String Theory says it’s True ̶ We create our world through our thoughts. Max Plank, Albert Einstein, Steven Hawking all seem to agree that the universe/god is actually a set of laws and principles that we can count on to create our world. Steven Hawking and Richard Feynman both speak in terms of M Theory and String Theory to further postulate how thoughts become matter. Our minds are essentially idea machines that refine our thoughts into electrical impulses which communicate with the same source energy that creates everything from nothing.
And then there’s your Brain Waves ̶ Richard Davidson at University of Wisconsin spent the last 30 years measuring brain waves and ascribing a consciousness level using an electroencephalograph. His research showed clear and direct correlation between brain waves and the way we all look at our life: From low frequency thinkers who feel as though they are constantly being victimized, to the self-actualized intellects whose brain waves vibrate at an extremely high frequency and are filled to the brim with information. Again, reinforcing “our thoughts create our circumstances”.
Not ‘New Age’ but really Old School ̶ Strangely, the Torah, the Bible, and the Tau Te Ching (written 500 BCE) all appear to say the same thing. The law of attraction is not some new age thinking without scientific basis. It is a fresh perspective that clears the fog surrounding the subject and applies contemporary quantum physics to provide foundation.
Thoughts equal energy; Energy equals matter; therefore Thoughts equal matter.
“Our minds are essentially idea machines that refine our thoughts into
electrical impulses which communicate with the same source energy that
creates everything from nothing.”
"Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be."
̶ James Allen
“Your body has not lost its wisdom of how to heal…you just need to give it the right environment
for a long enough period of time. Making a choice to become healthy
and then backing it up with belief and conviction are the keys to
coming into your own power and turning around any disease.”
̶ Ann Baroch, Author
More gems gleaned from the Internet:
(From the Drs. At www.RealAge.com)
Meditation can help control your vagus nerve, and controlling that sucker can help improve everything from your memory to your immune system. So carve out a little time each day to meditate. Before bed or early morning are good times, or when you feel stress is starting to get the better of you.
How to Meditate
The goal here is to clear your mind of all thoughts. Yep, all of 'em.
The first step: Silence. Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably without being disturbed.
Step two: Close your eyes. You don't have to do this to meditate -- some people like to focus on an object -- but closing your eyes may help you stay focused, especially when you're just beginning.
To help clear your mind, pick a simple word (om really is a good one) and repeat it to yourself over and over. Slowly -- there's no rush. Savor the word until it fills your mind. Why? Focusing on one word helps keep distracting thoughts -- like your to-do list -- from seeping into your gray matter and stressing you out.
Over time, you'll develop your own personal focus and style of meditating, so try to figure out what works best for you. Remember the objective is to search for a path that gives you comfort and offers an opening that allows you to find deeper meaning in life. So whether you focus on breathing, a mantra, or the inside of your eyelids, try to squirrel away at least 5 minutes of silence every day.
When you go into the silence, you will meet God.
Be sure you have something meaningful to say . . .
A few decades ago Albert Einstein said:
"You cannot solve any problem in the same
state of consciousness in which it was created."
If this very wise man was correct, then we must change our state of consciousness - our way of thinking and thus our attitude - if we are to make significant changes in any area of our lives.
Featured Books, DVD Exercise Programs and Videos
Please, everyone, do not sit around and wait for testing and treatment if warranted for CCSVI. Even if that becomes the standard MS treatment down the road, you need to get moving and improve your quality of life NOW. Even those who have the corrective procedure done still have to work to recover their quality of life.
How do you do that? I suspect that you already know. Start a simple daily meditation ritual, and move your body with healthy exercise and breathing exercises.
Oh you say you can't exercise? Excuse me, but that is rubbish. There is no such thing as a person who can't exercise. You can do a very effective exercise program sitting in a wheelchair, or even lying in bed. You just begin with some simple deep breathing and very simple arm movements. EVERYBODY CAN IMPROVE HIS/HER BODY WITH A COMMITMENT TO EXERCISE.
If you don't have them, order Yoga for MS (for strength) and/or Tai Chi/Qi Gong for Seniors (for healing) or Gentle Fitness (for overall fitness) and get moving. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT! Then pick two or three things from one or two of these programs and get started. Soon you won't believe what a tremendous improvement you will experience. The only thing hindering you is your own lack of enthusiasm and passion. There is no person who cannot improve the quality of his or her life with exercise. Just get moving!
I absolutely know that one of the primary reasons I live a normal, healthy life today is because of these exercise programs. Come on. Get started today!Research News
A Short Note about CCSVI:
I wish I had some big breaking news about CCSVI, but unfortunately I do not. But do check this out:
http://ccsvi-ms.ning.com/profiles/blogs/salvatore-ja-sclafani-md-s-page-check-out-dr-sclafani-s-ccsvi-loc for a listing of physicians in 11 centers located in 10 different states, from New York to California, who are specializing in CCSVI procedures.
A personal observation, if I may. While I fully understand the challenge living with advancing disability brings, and the eagerness to try almost anything that offers hope, I believe that many people have spent a great deal of money getting a CCSVI corrective procedure done before all the facts are known. I also have great appreciation for those early "test" participants in the early corrective procedures. More and more I hear from readers who have spent a great deal of money, then have had repeat procedures done, and their re-stenoses remain a challenge. So, I suggest that we all sit tight and wait a little while longer while the procedures are being perfected and the whole story becomes more clear. Just like everything else with MS, it seems that each CCSVI story is different. I know it is hard to wait, but remember that "patience is a virtue" really applies to this procedure.
Late Breaking CCSVI news: Just as I was about to upload this newsletter to my website, I received notification of an important posting entitled "Dr Sclafani and Others Dealing with Valves in CCSVI" that those interested in this procedure will want to read. You'll find it here:
Just scroll down and look for the title.
The Wheelchair Kamikaze holiday posting (see above) also includes a succinct update on CCSVI.
Posting of the following article has been approved by The Doctor's Guide to the Internet(TM)) (http://www.docguide.com)
Source: Mul Scler
Development of extensive brain lesions following fingolimod (FTY720) treatment in a patient with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder; Min JH, Kim BJ, Lee KH; Multiple Sclerosis (Dec 2011)
We report the case of a patient who developed extensive brain lesions during fingolimod (FTY720) treatment in the TRANSFORMS study. His initial diagnosis was multiple sclerosis, but after encephalopathy anti-aquaporin4 antibody (anti-AQP4 Ab) was detected, it was changed to neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. After treatment with fingolimod, he developed bilateral extensive brain lesions. The brain MRI showed lesions predominantly involving the right frontal and parietal lobes, with vasogenic edema and enhancement. He had residual encephalomalacia and no recurrence with steroid treatment over 3 years following withdrawal of fingolimod.
FDA Approves Fingolimod – Brand Name Gilenya – First Oral Disease-Modifying Therapy for Relapsing MS – Expected to be available by prescription in coming weeks
Is Big Pharma Dictating Editorial Policy at Your Favorite Newspaper or TV Station?
If you still believe that most media outlets provide unbiased, impartial information, it's time for a wake-up call, as most are heavily controlled by corporate interests, including drug companies. As retired neurosurgeon Russell L. Blaylock, MD put it:
" … We no longer have investigative journalists, we have a corporate controlled media. It is no secret that most media outlets are desperate for money, especially in this economy.
The lifeblood of all media is advertising. An independent analysis appearing in a peer reviewed open access journal published by the Public Library of Science estimated that pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. spent $57.5 billion on promotion in 2004, almost twice as much as they spend on research and development.
Virtually every TV news network, magazine and newspaper is filled with very expensive pharmaceutical ads. These media outlets cannot afford to lose this money and this allows the pharmaceutical companies to set editorial policy. Stories criticizing vaccines are as rare as hen's teeth. With billions to use for influence, one witnesses resulting bias in academia and government regulatory agencies as well."
Case in point, even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which also has worrisome ties to the drug industry, spends $1.7 million for a Hollywood liaison as part of their Entertainment Education Program, which makes sure that when your favorite TV shows feature a health topic, that information is "accurate," or shall we say "CDC-approved."
Have you ever wondered why you will rarely ever see a TV show that features a plot line including a vaccine injury or adverse drug reaction, even though they are incredibly common in real life? Now you know why.
When you begin to peek beneath the surface at the funding sources behind most media outlets, the picture becomes clearer as to why there is a pattern of censorship in the mainstream press when it comes to revealing the truth about the drug industry. This even applies to the scientific evidence documenting drug and vaccine risks.
Total Video Length: 1:02:23
In this video Dr. Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD -- an associate professor of medicine and associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California at San Diego -- shares shocking information about the dark underbelly of medical science to help you understand how, and why, the "scientific method" has become so manipulated and willfully distorted by the drug industry.
For starters, in order for scientific studies to happen, someone has to pay for them. The top funder for any drug trial is the pharmaceutical company that makes it, since the manufacturer is most invested in "proving" how spectacular its drug is.
Dr. Golomb uses the case of statins as an example, stating that all of the major statin studies have been funded exclusively by the drug industry. The second-highest funder of drug studies is the National Institute of Health (NIH), which is not the group of neutral government experts you may have assumed them to be. In fact, NIH accepts a great deal of money from Big Pharma and is deeply enmeshed with the industry.
Further, drug companies publish only a fraction of the studies they fund -- the ones that promote their drugs. Often those favorable studies are submitted multiple times, in a way that the reader doesn't realize it's the same study, obscured by different author lists and different details. If a study does not have findings that are favorable to its product, it is unlikely it will ever make it into a journal for publication.
But, when a scientific study has findings that cast doubt on the efficacy of a drug, oftentimes the negative findings are morphed into positive ones through statistical and semantic manipulation.
The editorials that follow from a study, submitted by so-called unbiased experts and then published in reputable journals, are also often done by non-neutral parties who have a financial tie to the drug maker. Not to mention that many of the articles that appear in medical journals purportedly written by well-known academics are actually written by unacknowledged ghostwriters on Big Pharma payroll.
Medical journals are generally considered by medical practitioners to be a source of reliable information. But medical journals are also businesses. In 2003, drug companies spent $448 million dollars on advertising in medical journals. It has been calculated that the return on investment on medical journal ads is between $2.22 and $6.86 for every dollar spent, with larger and older brands at the higher end.
Long-term returns may be even higher when you consider that one ad viewed by a physician could result in hundreds or even thousands of drug purchases, based on the prescriptions he or she writes.
At least certain medical journals are attempting to regain their unbiased reputations; in 2011 the journal Emergency Medicine Australasia announced it would no longer accept pharmaceutical advertisements, citing growing evidence that the drug industry "distorts research findings and engages in dubious and unethical publishing practices."
"George Jelinek, a former editor of the journal [Emergency Medicine Australasia], and Anthony Brown, editor in chief, wrote, "Marketing of drugs by the pharmaceutical industry, whose prime aim is to bias readers towards prescribing a particular product, is fundamentally at odds with the mission of medical journals."
In the CBS News video above, crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff explains how he influenced Congress for years, and how this kind of corruption still continues. He spent $1 million dollars a year on concert and sporting event tickets alone, and even had two full-time members of his staff devoted to booking tickets! If vacations, private jets, fancy dinners and other perks weren't enough to sway Congress, Abramoff's group would offer members of Congress a job when they leave Capitol Hill, at double or triple the salary. As Abramoff says in the video, once they accepted that offer that was it:" … We own them … everything that we want, they're gonna do."
Drug companies, of course, are the BIGGEST political lobby, and political lobbying is one of the primary reasons why the drug companies are controlling nearly the entire health industry. Lobbyists, by definition, "conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body on legislation." This is Big Business doing what it does best: using its power and money to strong-arm the legislative process.
The pharmaceutical industry spent $1.5 billion lobbying Congress in the last decade, and in so doing has manipulated the government's involvement with medicine and secondarily reinforced our dependence on them, through government policies.
Drug companies are willing to do just about anything to make you, and your physician, think their drugs are great -- including buying off Congress, the media, and even corrupting studies in medical journals so they show only favorable results. If that doesn't work, they will try to get their products mandated so you have no choice but to use them or face legal action.
It isn't always easy to fight back against this system, but know that the drug companies are not going to protect you or give you optimal health. You are the only one that can protect yourself and your family, and the chief way to do this is by taking control of your health.
Until real systemic change takes place, your best health strategy is quite simply to employ and maintain a naturally healthy lifestyle that will optimize your body's innate healing abilities and minimize your need for the drug companies' latest concoctions. We are, however, working hard to change the system and help protect your health freedoms from corrupt influences like the drug industry; you can learn more about our newest initiative toward this end, Health Liberty, now.
Source: BMJ 2011; 343: bmj.d6978
That's all for now. If you have an interesting question or story to share, please don't hesitate to write to me. If you have a photo, send it along and I'll share it with your e-mail.
Enjoy these lovely fall months.
PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A MEDICALLY TRAINED PERSON, AND I DO NOT GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. BUT I HAVE BEEN A VERY SERIOUS STUDENT OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS FOR MANY YEARS, AND I HAVE DEVELOPED A PROGRAM THAT HAS KEPT ME SYMPTOM FREE FOR A LOT OF YEARS NOW SINCE PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE MS FIRST MADE ITS APPEARANCE IN MY LIFE.