Reflections At The New Year

New Year 2013

Greetings, and Happy New Year!

If you’re like most people, you likely have a list (written or mental) of New Year’s Resolutions. And if you’re like most people, many of these resolutions will fall by the wayside by the end of January. Although I don’t particularly ascribe to the notion of resolutions, I do believe that it’s worthwhile to spend time in self-reflection, and to notice without judgment what is and what isn’t serving you in your life.

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Building Healthy Bones

In the last twenty years, osteoporosis has morphed from a relatively rare (albeit serious) condition affecting elderly women into an epidemic threatening close to half of all post-menopausal women and almost one-third of men in the United States. What’s changed? Frankly, not much except the hype. Unfortunately, I believe this is yet another case of the medical establishment and drug companies creating disease diagnoses by manipulating diagnostic criteria. The more medications prescribed for osteoporosis and osteopenia, the more profits for the corporations. And not a lot of doctors are offering healthy, natural solutions prior to doling out prescriptions, either.

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Dandelion: Much More Than A Weed

My oldest coffee mug is decorated with a big picture of a dandelion and emblazoned with: “If you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em.”

Many people consider the humble dandelion to be a pesky weed, and attempt to eradicate it from their lawns and gardens with toxic herbicides. But no matter how many poisonous chemicals are dumped onto dandelions, the bright yellow flowering plants not only survive, they thrive.

The scientific name for dandelion is Taraxacum officinale, which translates as “the official remedy for disorders,” acknowledging the esteemed position that dandelion has held as a medicinal herb. For centuries, dandelion (both the leaf and root) has been used in traditional healing in cultures around the world.

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Are Statins Safe?

Hand with Heart

The straightforward answer to this question is “NO.” Statins are not benign, health protective medications, as the pharmaceutical companies would have you believe. If the decision were left up to the makers of Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, Pravachol, and other cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins would be prescribed for every American (including children), handed out with fast-food meals, and added to our water supply. I’m not exaggerating—these absurd measures have actually been suggested at one time or another. The pharmaceutical industry, mainstream medicine, and even many governmental agencies are pushing the belief that lowering cholesterol (most often with statins) is the best way to protect against heart disease.

As a result, statins have become wildly popular drugs, so much so that Lipitor is the world’s all-time biggest selling prescription medication. An astonishing one out of every four Americans over the age of 45 currently takes a statin drug.

It’s time to dispel some popular myths regarding cholesterol, heart disease, and statin drugs.

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Should You Have a Mammogram?

As October comes to a close, the enormous amount of publicity given to Breast Cancer Month wanes a bit. I’m a strong proponent of education, and of preventive health care. But unfortunately, for many women, the fear of breast cancer has now reached epidemic proportions. Fear is a stressor that, left unchecked, can actually contribute to cancer. Stress heightens endocrine and nervous system activity, contributing to allostatic overload and exceeding our ability to adapt, restore energy, and maintain health and balance. This interferes with our body’s natural cancer-protective abilities. It’s important to realize that much of the fear propagated by the media is fueled by misinformation and misunderstanding. For example, studies show that most women believe that their risk of breast cancer is far greater than it really is.

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Does Surgery Spread Cancer?

When someone is confronted with a diagnosis of cancer, in the vast majority of cases doctors recommend surgery—often, as quickly as possible. The goal is to remove the cancer, with the hope that the person can go on to live a normal, cancer-free life. But unfortunately, the reality is often otherwise. For far too many people, cancer recurs; either at the primary site, or the cancer metastasizes, arising at sites distant from where the cancer originated, often in life-threatening areas, such as the lung, liver, brain, or bone.

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