News Notes

Zip Dobyns

Most of the November issue of Health Freedom News, the publication of the National Health Federation, is devoted to the threat to our freedom to take responsibility for our own health which is being posed by the FDA. When you read about the outrageous powers being sought by the Food and Drug Administration, they sound like Nazi Germany rather than the U.S.A. If the FDA gets the powers it seeks, it will be able to raid any business, break down its doors, confiscate its inventory, levy huge fines against the owners, without the latter having any recourse to a legal defense. There will be no way to appeal to a judge or jury. The FDA will literally be a totalitarian force operating inside a supposedly democratic country, a “law unto itself.”

Among the announced plans of the FDA are a reduction of the amount of vitamins and minerals considered necessary for health from their already too low levels. Most food supplements, herbs, amino acids, and vitamins (beyond the tiny amounts which will be legal) will require a prescription from a doctor.

If you were not aware of the powerful businesses behind this effort, the whole thing would appear insane. At a time when the government is trying to reduce the cost for health care, to encourage prevention rather than waiting until illness hits, and to encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own health, everything the FDA is trying to do would move us in the opposite direction! But the explanation for the dangerous game is obvious. The AMA and big drug companies would increase their control over the nation’s health, and their financial profits. And if the vitamin standards were lowered, the makers of junk food could advertise that their candy bars etc. provided all of one’s needed nutrients.

As mentioned above, the November issue of Health Freedom News has very complete coverage of the struggle. I have never been an admirer of Senator Orin Hatch of Utah, to put it mildly, but this time he is on the side of the angels. He is sponsoring a bill to stop the FDA from this destructive power grab. If any of our readers were not already aware of this very real threat and have not already written or phoned your Senators and Representatives, please do so immediately! The FDA power will go into effect in the spring of 1994 if they are not stopped.

The President’s Message in the NHF magazine describes an effort by scientists to challenge the FDA’s reduction of recommended vitamins. 30 scientists, including professors from every major U.S. university, signed a position paper charging that the new RDI standards were developed internally by the FDA without sufficient involvement of nutritional experts and were maintained in the face of opposition by leading researchers.

New studies appear almost daily which demonstrate that additional vitamins can help prevent many chronic physical problems. One of the latest that I have seen was in the December 1993 issue of Alternatives, the newsletter from Dr. Williams in Texas. Williams cites a study at the University of Minnesota which found that a daily dose of 400 to 800 international units (IU) of vitamin E tripled the time it took the “dangerous” form of cholesterol (LDL) to oxidize. Within a week after the men in the study started taking the vitamin E, the toxicity of the LDL began to drop and within two weeks it was down to almost non-existent. The study also found that if the subjects stopped taking the vitamin E, the toxicity returned to its former levels.

In announcing their results, the researchers had to put in the usual “quibble” that they were not “recommending” taking more vitamin E, but privately, they said they planned to begin taking 400 units of E daily. 800 IU was not found to be more protective than 400. Dr. Williams continues the story of E by writing that it is needed for the proper handling of iron. Recent scare stories have claimed that too much iron is harmful and some vitamin products are even taking iron out of their tablets. But Dr. Williams writes that many people are deficient in iron. Instead of further reducing their iron, they need to increase their intake of vitamin E and other antioxidants to help their bodies properly use the iron. What is the present “officially approved” needed amount of E? 25 IU. And the FDA is trying to lower even that minimal recommendation or to make you see a doctor if you would like to help your heart and reduce the toxicity of your LDL; if you can find a doctor who knows about the proliferating studies on the benefits of good nutrition.

Of course, everyone tells you to eat lots of vegetables and fruits and grains and legumes and then you won’t need extra vitamins. How many people can afford a diet that is largely vegetables and fruits, and how much of our produce is grown on soils with depleted minerals, picked green, and seasoned with pesticides? I still think that happy people don’t get sick; that they have healthy immune systems which can manage even with inadequate nutrients and some stress from pesticides and other forms of pollution, as well as from time, work, and relationship pressures, but given the inevitable stresses in even a relatively “normal” life, why not give your physical system a little extra help from some extra vitamins? In light of the minimal number of cases of individuals who have managed to take enough vitamins to produce “side effects” compared to the deadliness of most prescribed drugs, as well as the minimal cost of vitamins compared to “legal” drugs, the only people who could conceivably prefer drugs would be the totally ignorant or the ones who profit from the drugs.

The same December issue of Alternatives described a new gadget which sounds as if it came out of science fiction. It is a “low reactive-level laser therapy” (LLLT) which beams photons into the body through the skin. High-reactive lasers are being used by doctors and dentists to burn and destroy tumors and other unwanted tissue. The small, portable LLLT gadget developed by a company near Houston, Texas is being tested by doctors around the U.S. as well as by veterinarians. Dr. Williams writes:

“From first hand experience, I can tell you LLLT is a miraculous healing tool that on the surface seems contradictory. It can alleviate the sensation of pain, but it can also bring back a sense of feeling in areas that have gone numb. It can remove overgrown scar tissue or it can stimulate tissue growth. It can remove excess pigment, but it also restores pigment in areas where needed. It can activate healing components within the immune system, but also decrease the body’s sometimes harmful inflammation response. The beauty of LLLT is that its photons normalize tissue. Photons do this by activating enzymes.”

...”I have personally had the opportunity to use Lasermedics’ portable laser unit, the MicroLight 830, for several weeks. I have seen chronic arthritic joint pain (duration of three years) disappear after one 3 minute treatment period. The same results have been achieved with shoulder, neck, knee and lower back pain.”

...”Dentists have used the instrument for dry socket problems, gum disease and temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Others have used it on keloids and scar tissue, torn knee cartilage, 2nd and 3rd degree burns, surgical and open wounds, damaged nerves, headaches, sinus problems, strains, sprains and athletic injuries.”

General Motors has found that 25% of its worker’s compensation cost is from repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The standard treatment for CTS is still surgery which has a success rate of less than 10%. The plant physician at GM’s Flint Assembly has treated close to 600 patients with this device and achieved positive results in over 70% of the patients.

When will every doctor (and hopefully, many ordinary people) be able to get one of these little miracles? The FDA will decide who can have one and Dr. Williams is hopeful that the decision might be made by the end of 1993. Do you think the AMA will let it out of the control of MDs? How will the international drug companies handle the threat to their business? Next year should be fascinating with the Clinton health plan on the docket, the FDA trying to gain totalitarian power to do the bidding of the AMA and big drug and junk food companies, the vitamin and supplement businesses (which are no longer small potatoes) fighting for their lives, the big HMOs and PPOs and insurance companies lined up against small independent doctors and hospitals and insurance companies but joined to resist the alternative health care providers from chiropractic to massage to homeopathy to colored light to sound to crystals to ??? The new government department which is investigating alternative healing methods will add its voice to the mix. Maybe the coming shake-out or shake-down in health care is an important part of the New Moon coming in the fall of 1994 in the chart described in the last Asteroid-World.

Dr. Williams ends this December issue of Alternatives with a description of current work with chicken cartilage or collagen. Animals injected with collagen develop changes similar to rheumatoid arthritis “but when given very small doses orally significant improvements were noted. The researchers have labeled this phenomenon ‘oral tolerization,’ but it sure looks like homeopathy and glandular therapy to me.”

“As I’ve been reporting over the last year or so, orthodox medicine has rediscovered the effectiveness and validity of glandulars. Obviously, you won’t see them using the word glandular! And the early pioneers of glandular theory like Royal Lee won’t be getting any credit. (That would be admitting that organized medicine unjustly persecuted and harassed all the individuals using these therapies since the early 1900s. You and I both have been around long enough to know they’re not about to admit publicly they were wrong! Instead they will probably try to ignore past research on these natural compounds and support any efforts to turn them into medications available by prescription only.)” ((Isn’t that exactly what the FDA is doing with vitamins, herbs, enzymes and food supplements thrown into the pot? — addition by Zip))

“And, believe it or not, admitting that glandulars are effective isn’t mainstream medicine’s worst nightmare. The one thing they would find even harder to swallow would be a confession to the public that homeopathy actually works!” Since the collagen can’t be prepared at home, anyone looking for help for rheumatoid arthritis still needs a doctor. To find one who knows about this new work with collagen, Dr. Williams says to have your doctor write to Dr. David Trentham at the Harvard-Thorndike Laboratory, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215.

In previous issues of The Mutable Dilemma, I have cited articles about new approaches to healing which were covered in the Yoga Journal. The November/December 1993 issue has several more. It really seems as if innovative approaches are popping up everywhere. One of the new theory-technique combinations is being offered by Irving Dardik, M.D. out of an office in New Jersey. Dardik cured himself of a supposedly incurable illness — ankylosing spondylitis, a degenerative affliction of the spine and joints which for nearly 30 years had kept him in constant pain with arthritis, sciatica, and a chronic low-grade fever. In spite of his illness, he had continued to work as a vascular surgeon for half of the period of his illness and as the sports medicine coordinator for the U.S. Olympic Committee for another seven years.

Dardik’s technique involves closely monitored cycles of exercise and relaxation. He believes that his techniques help the patients realign with the fundamental wave nature of their own organisms. The exercise periods are designed to flex the heart rate, increasing the span between its highest and lowest point. The heart is pushed to pump more vigorously, and then rested more thoroughly, in regularly repeated cycles. The amount of rest time is crucial and is based on the patient’s natural heart rate, fluctuations and optimal range. Dardik thinks that a healthy heart should fluctuate during varied activities in a natural wavelike pattern which is a reliable guide to an individual’s overall physiological condition.

Dardik gets daily, even hourly computer printouts of his own and his patients’ hearts using a portable, skin-mounted heart rate monitor. A sedentary cancer patient’s heart may range from 43 to 110 after exercise while a healthy child’s range may be from 80 to 200. Dardik does not think that the persistently low rate of some athletes is a sign of health. He believes that everything functions in waves and oscillations, and that by increasing the height and frequency of the heart waves, you in effect “jump-start” all the rest of your systems.

As our readers know by now, I think that the primary key to health and illness is in the emotions, especially the ones which are consciously ignored so they operate subconsciously. Where Dardik sees the physical heart as the “primary key,” I see the emotions in that role. But I absolutely agree that we are operating on all levels simultaneously: physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual, so if we can “break into” the cycle on any of these levels, we can reverse a “downward” spiral and move toward improved functioning. If we increase our “fire” through exercise which builds muscles and self-confidence (Mars), a stronger heart and self-esteem (Sun), and faith in something “more powerful than ourselves and also loving,” we can reverse supposedly “incurable” illnesses as Dardik is doing. Jupiter is the primary fire principle for faith in something beyond ourselves. Faith in an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God may be the most effective key to healing, but faith in a wise and caring doctor is also effective.

A study reported in the September 1993 issue of Brain-Mind Bulletin illustrates the preceding point. A California research group found that about 70 percent of patients in preliminary trials of five promising medical treatments showed improvement. However, all of the treatments later proved useless. The “conventional wisdom” in the past has been that about one in three individuals experience the “placebo” effect; that is, they are helped by treatments which are physically useless, like sugar pills which they are told are powerful drugs. Obviously, if people get better when they are simply fed sugar pills, the improvement is due to mental, emotional and/or spiritual faith. Normally, in placebo trials, the doctor knows that the substance being given is a placebo. In this recent California study, “the doctors who gave the treatments (to battle asthma, ulcer and herpes) believed them to be effective. Only in later research using control subjects and known placebos did it become clear that the therapies had no value.” Were the patients motivated to “improve” by their doctors’ enthusiasm, as the article in Brain-Mind Bulletin suggests? Or was the faith of the patients intensified by the faith of the doctors? Emotions are contagious!

Also relevant is a 1992 study showing that antidepressant drugs were more than twice as effective when they were pitted against inactive placebos as they were when compared to other active substances. As the article points out, active drugs have side effects. Most patients in placebo studies using “inert” placebos are able to guess which group they are in. (No side effects, I’m in the placebo group, so there is no reason to have faith that I will get better — my interpretation of the normal subconscious reasoning.) When will the AMA acknowledge the role that faith plays in healing? When they can sell faith? Many TV evangelists and subliminal tape promoters are making a living doing that. Many individual doctors recognize the power of faith and encourage their patients to pray. But it is hard to resist the beliefs of materialism that physical forces are the final reality and power. It is an uphill battle trying to persuade astrologers that our own emotions and beliefs are creating our lives and the sky is just a mirror showing us our own inner habits. I believe that the sky is a convenient way to see the local (in time and space) state of the COSMIC MIND. I believe that we precipitate out of the unmanifest Whole into a physical body when our previously developed emotional habits fit the current state of the Whole. Then we experience the consequences of our emotional habits and, hopefully, learn to change the habits which are producing results we don’t like. The mirror in the sky is a fantastic cognitive key to help us understand the emotional conflicts or imbalances or displacements or projections or repressions which are the source of the undesired results. Changing habits is not easy, but it is possible! We have to want different results enough to make the sustained effort to change.

Still on the topic of health theories, the November 20, 1993 issue of Science News has a story about a mutant gene which reduces or even prevents cholesterol damage. Readers may have heard about the 88 year old man who ate 25 soft-boiled eggs every day but had no problem with his heart or atherosclerosis. A mutant gene has now been found which apparently provides his protection, but what tickled me was a study which suggests that the gene is more common than anyone suspected. The blood of 23 medical students was tested for the special gene and 11 (almost half) were found to have it. I was reminded of the scare stories about too much salt causing high blood pressure when only about 10% of the population actually have their blood pressure affected by their salt intake. Alternative healing professionals have suggested that cholesterol represents a similar medical bogeyman which is being used to sell cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Another article in the same issue of Science News provides some new theories on earth’s periodic switch of polarity in its magnetic field. Deep sea drilling near the Galapagos Islands has recently produced a continuous record of the waxing and waning of our magnetic field over a period of about 4 million years during which there were 11 reversals of polarity. The evidence suggests that the strength of the magnetic field slowly wanes prior to a reversal and is higher immediately after it. The last reversal occurred about 750,000 years ago. Such reversals do not involve any change in the earth’s position or movement in space. The two magnetic poles simply trade places with the north pole becoming the south and vice versa.

The November 13, 1993 issue of Science News had two hopeful articles about energy and fuel. Fuel cells have been used as a source of power in space for years, but technology is finally improving so they can be produced at costs which will soon be competitive with power plants using fossil fuels. Several different types are being developed in the U.S. and in Japan and they are currently being tested in power plants, autos, and buses. Hopefully, we will soon have buses without detectable emissions!

The other “new” and relatively clean-burning, renewable fuel could be a godsend to many less-developed countries. A St. Louis university professor discovered that the dried roots of wild melons and gourds could be used for both cooking and heating. Varieties of the plants grow in many countries under semi-drought conditions. When native women in the U.S., Mexico and Africa tested the dried roots, they were thrilled with their lack of smoke (a hazard to women cooking in huts with minimal ventilation), the ease with which the roots ignited, and the fact that only two-thirds as many roots were needed to cook a meal as would have been required if the women had been using wood. In arid regions where finding enough cooking and heating fuel is a daily struggle, one test was enough. The women immediately requested seeds of the plants so they could begin growing them.

Copyright © 1993 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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