liveonearth: (Default)
I read this morning about a doctor who went mad and shot people in a hospital. As a doctor myself, I know that docs have terrible stresses trying to deal with a corrupt medical-industrial system that impairs our ability to help people regain their health. Then I went to look at the NY times article, here: He's richly melanated, that is to say, he has lived a life of fear because of his skin color. I infer from his violence that he may have been guilty of the accusation--sexual misconduct. He was a man, and he was angry enough to shoot others and hopeless enough to set himself on fire and shoot himself. He did not see any way out. He knew he would not receive compassion.

What people forget when they demonize any group of humans is that they are human. Dark skinned people. Doctors. Men. Gun owners. Murderers. Whatever group. All humans share the same basic needs. When those needs are not met, we have the same basic emotions. Driven hard enough, any of us could become dangerous. Hitler had reasons. The Arabs that flew airplanes into buildings had reasons. No one is pure evil, we are simply human and if tortured we can lash out, or become cunning.

My hope that that everyone who reads this will take a deep breath or three and think about the kind of pain that drives a person to such horrors. My hope is that compassion will rise in spite of the poisonous atmosphere of shame and blame that dominates our political world. We all deserve an opportunity to be free from fear, long enough to find our centers and our hearts and reach out into the world from that place. It will take a lot of us finding compassion to heal these wounds.
liveonearth: (moon)
Becca Zacchari on Treatment Outcomes of Alternative Therapies
OHSU Psychiatry grand rounds 10.18.16
Her interest: Trauma and substance abuse
Conventional and alternative treatment is merging-->integrative health
My notes... )
liveonearth: (moon)
I'm cleaning out my file cabinet and just reached the naturopathic medicine file.  It is full of philosophy notes from my first couple years of nd school.  I'm going to summarize them here so I can toss the paper.

SIX TENETS as taught by Deborah Frances
1. Primum non nocere - first do no harm (suppression is harmful)
2. Vis Meicatrix naturae - the healing power of nature (elemental)
3. Tolle causum - seek and remove the cause
4. Tolle totum - whole person
5. Docere - doc as teacher
6. Praeventare - prevention

Tonify, balance, bring to the middle
Do not Suppress symptoms, allow them to express, or else you push the illness deeper
Depression = suppressed fire: let it out and you have irritation, anger

Healing occurs in 3 directions
above downward
within-outward (more severe within, less severe the more peripheral)
in reverse order that it happened

vitamin C from a factory as vs from rose hips
complexity of plant medicine: many constituents with the wisdom of a living thing

hormone replacement
stimulate the vis
foundation -- start here and work upward in the heirarchy

The Naturopathic Physician's Oath as written in the 2008 NCNM convocation brochure is long and wordy and I do not like it.  I must prefer and do swear by the Classical Chinese Medicine Oath:

I will promise to follow the way of the great physician.
I will strive to live in harmony wiht nature, and teach my patients to do the same.
I will stay calm and completely committed when treating disease.
I will not give way to personal wishes and desires, but above all else hold and nurture a deep feeling of compassion.
I will be devoted to the task fo saving the sacred spark of life in every creature that still carries it.
I will strive to maintain a clear mind and be willing to hold myself to the highest standards.
It will be my duty to diagnose sufferings to treat disease.
I will not be boastful about my skills and not drive by the greed for material things.

Above all, I will keep an open heart.
As I move on the right path I will receive great happiness as a reward wihtout asking for anything in return.

OH I just dug deep enough into the notes to find some gold.  I'm not going to dissolve this file after all.  Going in archive.
liveonearth: (moon)
Just the other day a young man came to a doctor for help with persistent headaches after a hard head hit.  He left with a prescription for Nat sulph 1M.  What's that you ask?  That's sugar pills.  That's homeopathy, that's a substance so diluted that it isn't there, that's a treatment that has zero basis in science and plenty of mythology around it.  If you look online you will find plenty of articles supporting the use of homeopathy for brain injuries.  Check it out:

Traumatic brain injuries are very common in athletes and soldiers, and many of them go unreported and untreated.  Sure, there's a lot of media buzz these days about TBI because they've discovered that some football players and boxers have dramatically shrunken brains, and depression and tremors later in life, because of something they call CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.  Those words just mean longterm brain injury from being bashed around.

If you go to your doctor for a TBI, and it's a conventional doctor, he's likely to tell you rest will fix it.  Specifically no reading or screens for a week or so, no work if you can get out of it.  He's likely to tell you that it will pass on its own.  Sometimes it does.  That's when homeopathy "works", of course, when the condition it is supposed to treat would have passed on its own without treatment.  But what about those cases that are more severe?  What if rest and sugar pills aren't enough, and the brain really needs some help?  Both the homeopath and the conventional physician fail in that case.

There are good treatments for TBI.  There are doctors in the military who know them.  At a bare minimum people who've bashed their brains need lots of omega 3 fats and a clean, veggie rich diet.  There are herbs that have been shown to help a lot with brain recovery.  It's concerning that conventional doctors are so anti-botanical medicine that they don't even study up on that.  When are we going to get real about what works and what doesn't, instead of walking around parroting what we've been told?
liveonearth: (gorilla thoughtful)

Leave nothing to chance.
Overlook nothing.
Combine contradictory observations.
Allow yourself enough time.

(as quoted by Carl Sagan on p8 of The Demon-Haunted World)

liveonearth: (mad scientist's union)
Among regular people there seems to be precious little understanding of what exactly the method is, and what it does and does not accomplish.  This ignorance about the process of science contributes to claims that scientists are just greedy a-holes exploiting the government for profit.  This attitude rises from a complete lack of exposure to real scientists and their way of being.  It is not fair to scientists.  Scientists, for the most part, are trying to figure out how the world works so that we can use that information to make our lives and our world better.  They are not politicians, they are curious people who sought education enough to know what questions to ask and how to test them.  They care passionately about making the world a better place.

The first step of DOING science is to ask a question about the world.  The question doesn't have to be complicated, it just has to reach into the unknown.  Once you have your question, it is a good idea to snoop around and see if anyone else has already answered it, or tried.  Learn everything you can about the variables that might influence the answer.  Once you've studied up on it, you're qualified to make a guess---a "theory" in science terms---as to what the answer might be, and why.  A true scientist knows that a theory is just a theory--it has to be tested repeatedly by people who agree and by people who disagree.  A true scientist is not heartbroken when the data shows that his theory was bunk.  That is useful information.  Time to come up with a new theory.

This testing is the experiment.  There can be many different ways to test any one theory.  The most useful experiments are often the simplest, changing only one variable between two groups of test subjects.  Scientist use many different methods to approach the same question, and this diversity adds richness to the picture painted by the results.  We might know that B follows A three quarters of the time, but until we know WHY they are correlated, and what other variables contribute to the correlation, we do not understand.  A--->B at a rate of 75% is enough to know that there is a connection, but it is not enough to say that A causes B.  We don't know that.  Something else could be causing it.  We take our results from that experiment, share them with the other scientific thinkers in the world, and update our theory if possible.  Usually an experiment brings up new questions, which indicate new possible experiments that need to be done to understand.

So science does NOT discover causality.  It discovers correlations.  Correlations can have multiple contributing variables so more experiments are needed.  Sometimes someone repeats the same experiment and gets the opposite result.  This is evidence that there was something operating in the system that was not being measured.  This is a sign that the original theory was based in deeper ignorance than perhaps we thought at first.  This is hard to admit, even for scientists.

Just because an experiment gets peer reviewed and published in an journal does not make it the truth.  There are many false conclusions that have been published.  Egostists who call themselves scientists publish more books than all the real scientists put together.  Real scientists tent to be intraverts who'd rather stay out of the limelight and just keep digging into these interesting questions.  Every experient needs to be repeated from a variety of angles before a result is accepted as Truth.

So there is a basic primer on the scientific method.  My area is mostly medicine, though I am fascinated by all science.  Medical science is more than double blind placebo controlled studies.  It includes the careful evaluation of population outcomes and biochemical mechanisms and every other factor that could influence the answer.  Science is a process of asking questions and trying to figure out if our theories about the answers are right or not.  A theory is just a theory.

Evolution, by the way, has been proven in so many ways by so many different experiments, that it is not a theory anymore.
liveonearth: (kiss kiss bang bang)

Source: Rick Ungar "from the left" at Forbes Magazine

President Obama has signed 23 executive orders designed to address the problem of gun violence in America. The following are the items addressed:

Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make itwidely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effectiveuse of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to developinnovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

It does not appear that any of the executive orders would have any impact on the guns people currently own-or would like to purchase- and that all proposals regarding limiting the availability of assault weapons or large ammunition magazines will be proposed for Congressional action. As such, any potential effort to create a constitutional crisis—or the leveling of charges that the White House has overstepped its executive authority—would hold no validity.

liveonearth: (davinci cat)

We need to listen to the patients' story
and develop a response to it.
The approach to complex syndromes
may be much more profound
than just trying to point a round peg into a square hole
and get a singular diagnosis.

--Jeffrey S. Bland, PhD

liveonearth: (Chill Bitches Buddha)
Bring carbs
Eat protein.

Dr Paul brings ribs from a restaurant.  He's in his 90's and doesn't mind spending his money on food for others.  He's a retired physician, orthopedic surgeon to be specific.  His sons are all in medicine too, some clinical and some research.  He gave me the Mayo clinic book on Alternative Medicine.  They basically have a stoplight rating system for all things alternative, and the majority of treatments get the yellow light based on the science that they found.  I appreciate it pretty much.  They don't damn naturopathic medicine, it gets yellow also.  There are good and bad parts.  I wish they'd do the same approach for conventional medicines.  People might be shocked how weak the evidence is for some of them.  The degree to which pharmaceutical businesses drive the FDA and the delivery of medicine is apalling.  I love it every time I read of another review that shows reasonable conventional doctors understand that some of the uses of pharmaceuticals are unsubstantiated and may do more harm than good.
liveonearth: (dont_be_heavy)

  • This epidemiologic analysis revealed that mortality rates are increasing in the middle-aged white male population, largely due to preventable conditions like poisonings and overdoses.

  • Reductions in mortality were seen in other racial groups.

ARTICLE from Medpage, primary care )



Nov. 2nd, 2015 06:46 am
liveonearth: (moon)
I don't normally watch TV.  When I stay at my mom's house it is running all the time.  My first impression is that the programming is sensational, and that there is very little depth to any of the reporting or storytelling.  There is a lot of redundancy with so-called news programs repeating clips over and over.  Next impression: pharmaceuticals dominate the advertising.  I saw an ad for the "female viagra", and one for Humira that says "don't take this if you have an infection" and others that speak of liver failure and other dire consequence.  Direct advertising of pharmaceuticals should be BANNED.  As a doctor I would rather that people come to me with concern and complaints from their lives, not requests for drugs.  Television programs Americans to be shallow, ignorant, and demanding.  So unappealing.

I don't remember the stats but I saw in the news that most 4 or 5 year old Americans already have a television and a "mobile device" of their own.  Most babies are exposed to mobile devices before age 1.
liveonearth: (skull candle book)

The relief of suffering and the cure of disease
must be seen as twin obligations
of a medical profession that is truly dedicated to the care of the sick.
Physicians' failure to understand the nature of suffering
can result in medical intervention
that (though technically adequate) not only fails to relieve suffering
but becomes a source of suffering itself.

--Eric J. Cassell

liveonearth: (curiosity and cat)
I am an agnotologist, no doubt.  That is to say, I am fascinated with all that we do not know, with the gray areas and uncertainties of life, death, and everything.  Agnostic = Doesn't Know.  Agnotology = Study of Ignorance.  Science depends on us being very clear about what we do not know yet, so that we can devise ways to try to find out.

Great article here from the NY Times )
liveonearth: (moon)

He who has health, has hope;

he who has hope, has everything.

--Thomas Carlysle

liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
A group of 30 homeopaths at a conference in Germany became ill from an apparent overdose of a psychotropic medication. The article implies that the trippers had no intention of tripping, but I have my doubts.  Perhaps the food was spiked, or they were told it was "harmless".  Or perhaps they thought themselves ready for an incautious dose of a mind-expanding drug, and got more than they bargained for.

A homeopathy conference descended into drug-induced madness after thirty healers were spiked with a powerful hallucinogen.

Ambulances raced to the conference in Handeloh, south of Hamburg after 29 healers were found suffering from delusions having taken 2C-E.

The synthetic drug is a powerful hallucinogen, with effects similar to LSD, experts say.

German broadcaster NDR said that victims were, ‘staggering around, rolling in a meadow, talking gibberish and suffering severe cramps.’

liveonearth: (moon)
When I have a morning at home alone I work on my lists and I fall into my practice more easily.  The sun is streaming in and I am doing triage on piles of "urgent" items which have become buried under a stream of distractions and amusements like my nonstop study of public health.  One observation this morning is that the strong balancing poses which I find so elusive when surrounded by empty air and other students are more accessible when I am alone in my office.  Here I can step into a warrior 3 knowing that the sunny windowsill is right there to hold me up, and yet confidently not needing it.  This strength and balance that I find in my own small office is something I would like to take with me into the world.
liveonearth: (moon)
Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon
by Tom Myers and Michael Ghiglieri

This book logs all the mistakes you can make at the Grand Canyon.  There's an interview with the authors here.  There have been some changes since the first edition.  There are more environmental deaths, climbing deaths down in the canyon, and suicides than when the book was written. There are fewer deaths overall and fewer falls from the top of the canyon. Perhaps the park has improved safety and access to cliff tops to cause this change.

Q: What are common risk factors for death at the Canyon?

A: "Men, we have a problem," Ghiglieri said to an audience at NAU's Cline Library this winter, displaying a graphic with a skull and crossbones.

Being male, and young, is a tremendous risk factor, he and Myers found.

Of 55 who have accidentally fallen from the rim of the canyon, 39 were male. Eight of those guys were hopping from one rock to another or posing for pictures, including a 38-year-old father from Texas pretending to fall to scare his daughter, who then really did fall 400 feet to his death.

So is taking unknown shortcuts, which sometimes lead to cliffs.

Going solo is a risk factor in deaths from falls, climbing (anticipated or unplanned) and hiking.

Arrogance, impatience or ignorance also sometimes play a part.

liveonearth: (microbes)
We used to live in a world where people got sick from exposure to feces and lives were saved with antibiotics. Now we live in a world where people are dying from antibiotics and their lives are being saved by feces.
--a colleague


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