How to Be Your Own Doctor

Posted in Arthritis, Health, Muscle, Pain, Proprioception, Strength on January 4, 2009 by livewithoutpain

If you have a pain or disability, what should you do?

The first thing to do is to consult the Hippocratic Oath. Raise your right hand and repeat after me “First, DO NO HARM.”

Harmful things you could do might include:

  1. Resting when you should be exercising
  2. Exercising when you should be resting-just do more of whichever makes it better and less of whichever makes it worse.
  3. Taking painkillers or anti-inflamatories – these just hide your pain and do nothing to solve the problem. Remember pain is your feed-back mechanism – an indicator of your body’s ability to heal itself. How are you going to get yourself better if you don’t know what is working and what is not?

Next, don’t waste your money on:

  1. Tests that won’t help you get better – X-Rays, MRI scans, Blood tests all take “pictures” of your current state. Most of the time (except in very rare cases) they are a complete waste of time and money. Think about them as a photograph taken of a car accident. You can see all the damage,  but nothing in the photo tells you whether someone fell asleep, or there was oil on the road, or the bend was too tight.
  2. Treatments that have temporary effects. Ask yourself how the treatment you are considering could  still be having any effect a week from now.

Is it Inflammatory or Mechanical?

  1. Inflammatory pain tends to come on spontaneously and tends to affect more than one joint or area at a time. So, if you’re honest, you tend to have a long list of aches and pains.
  2. Mechanical pain tends to be associated with an event, traumatic or trivial, but you know when it started and what you did to “cause it” (be careful, what you did probably isn’t the cause).

Is your progress “normal?

  1. If you’ve sprained a joint like an ankle, you can probably expect a couple of weeks of pain. If you’ve broken a bone, it might take 6-12 weeks to heal. What is not normal is if this is the second or 3rd time you have suffered this problem or if you haven’t recovered in the expected time.
  2. Most mechanical injuries swell for up to 3 days and then should start feeling easier, so rest for 72 hours and seek help if it is not getting better after then.

Find the Cause

  1. Inflammatory pain tends to be diet related. You need to stop having inflammatory foods and give your body as many fresh, raw, natural foods as possible. Try avoiding dairy, wheat, tea, coffee, nightshades – in that order for just a few days and see if detoxing makes you feel better.
  2. Mechanical pain is caused my muscle reflex weakness. This cannot be treated with exercise. If it could be treated with exercise, Dean Macey (Olympic Decathlete) would not have suffered a back problem that kept him out of the Olympics and Michael Owen would not have recurrent injuries. Reflex Dysfunction is caused by interference to sensory input. It’s time to buy the book at http://www.live-without-pain.com and check out the videos  or visit a practitioner trained in proprioceptive medicine.

Disclaimer: – always consult a qualified health practitioner before embarking on any treatment or diagnosis. None of the opinions here are meant to take the place of qualified diagnosis and treatment and no liability is accepted for any loss resulting directly or indirectly from the opinions given.

Live Without Pain

Posted in Arthritis, Health, Muscle, Pain, Proprioception, Strength on July 16, 2008 by livewithoutpain

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Wouldn’t it be great not to have to live with pain? Just published in December 2008 is a new book “Live Without Pain: A New Theory on What’s Wrong with you and How to Fix It” is a revolution in Natural Healthcare.

This remarkable book describes how your pain can be caused from something as simple as your jewellery or a crown on a tooth, in a way that no-one has yet suspected or published.

I wrote the book based on my discoveries and observations (many recorded on video) over the last 22 years in practice.

Pain is caused by tissue damage. It’s your body’s warning sign that something is wrong.

Usually, pain is temporary. We all have the occasional accident where something is damaged. Usually we brush ourselves off and get on with our lives (even if it takes a couple of weeks). Occasionally, however, our pain persists, or the injury reoccurs and no matter what we do, we can’t get it better.

That’s where the book – and this blog, can help.

The book looks at proprioception – our body’s sense of it’s self. If anything interferes with the reflexes that control our sense of our self, or our reflex reactions to our environment, then we end up with chronic injury and chronic pain.

Metal jewellery and metal dentistry are two of the biggest suspects in the body-reaction robbery although there are a few others.

By interfering with our reflexes, metal causes muscle inhibition or muscle weakness. Since our muscles protect our joints from sprain, strain and injury, weakness of muscles can cause chronic back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, spondylosis, sciatica, slipped discs and many other musculoskeletal injuries.

The Medical Paradigm – Part 2

Posted in Health, medical paradigm, Uncategorized with tags , on January 29, 2010 by livewithoutpain

The medical paradigm presumes to know nothing of the workings of the body or of the workings of disease.

Disclaimer:-
1. I believe all doctors are responsible, ethical and caring individuals who are doing their very best for their patients. It is their paradigm I will examine, not them as individuals.
2. I believe every individual has right to make their own healthcare choices. None of my articles should be taken as medical advice. If you feel like you are not sufficiently informed to make your own choices, you should seek the advice of a qualified professional.

It might seem incredible to you that after the thousands of years of study into human anatomy and physiology, medical science is built on a model that presumes to know nothing of the workings of the human body or of disease – but it’s true.

In the scientific medical paradigm, human beings are seen as a black box, the workings of which are unknown. Disease is another black box, an understanding of which is unnecessary.

To be fair, the exact nature of biological systems are unknown. We can study what happens and copy it to an extent but we can’t make DNA or create life.

Doctors hold evidence-based medicine as the holy grail and at the top of the evidence tree is the placebo-controlled or randomised-controlled trial. Since placebo-controlled trials are really only suited to drug trials, let’s look at the next best alternative, the randomised controlled trial (RCT).

Let’s imagine for a minute that your doctor qualifies as a mechanic. Now that they practice evidence-based mechanics, when he or she examines your BMW for the cause of it failing to start, they will have to search for evidence of a successful treatment.

Being a dedicated scientist and finding that an appropriate trial has never been done, your doctor might organise their own research.

They would recruit 100 BMWs with failure to start into a study. Since the workings of BMWs is unknown, an intervention would be trialled. Half the BMWs would have their tyres replaced, and the other half would have a placebo (the tyres removed but not replaced). The researcher would not know the randomisation and the outcome would be measured independently. A positive outcome would be defined as starting for a period of 5 seconds or longer.

A statistical analysis known as a T test would be used to see if there was a difference in the average starting of each car in the intervention group as opposed to the placebo group.

Publication of the trial would not rule out the possibility that changing the tyres helps BMW starting but chances are that difference between the groups would not reach statistical significance and the null hypothesis would prevail.

Once several such studies were available, a meta-analysis would confirm there was no difference in the two groups and the practice could be dropped from the guidelines.

Meanwhile a new set of doctor/mechanics would be examining whether changing the doorhandles would help starting. They would recruit 100 BMWs with failure to start …………

Can you see why there hasn’t been a major cure or medical advance for anything discovered in the last 50 years? The current scientific method precludes it.

The real mechanic, of course, starts from a position of understanding exactly how a car works.

He or she diagnoses the weak or broken link in the chain of events necessary for the car to start, reconnects the battery and the car starts.

There is no question that the repair was due to placebo because if questioned the mechanic just says “oh yeah?” disconnects the battery and recreates the problem. In medical terms, the subject becomes their own control.

The Alternate View

The real mechanic learned their skill through careful observation of trial and error. Making reversible, non-permanent corrections until a remedy is found.

You can manage your health in the same way, albeit with a little help if you wish.

If a problem develops, something needs to change. I’m sure we do this instinctively but often run out of options because we try everything we can think of and then resort the medical paradigm.

The best way is to look for examples of success and follow them.

Look to nature, ancestry and natural wisdom for guidance as it is those practices that have stood the test of time and weathered adversity. If your actions don’t bring you the results you desire, be prepared to change your beliefs and try a new approach. (This is by far the most difficult thing for human beings to do as most people are prepared to die for their beliefs, and usually do)

Be suspicious of anything that is unnatural and above all, be persistent until you get the result you desire.

It’s your body, let’s get it working the way it should

Simon King (B.App.Sc.Chiro) DIBAK
http://www.live-without-pain.com

Health Cannot Be Measured

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22, 2010 by livewithoutpain

The Western Medical Paradigm – Part 1

Consider two of the most common “health screeings” in medicine: blood pressure and cholesterol testing.

Are you healthier by virute of having the tests, be they normal or abnormal?

If they are abnormal, what is the consequence of the test?

If your levels are undesirable, you will probably receive drugs to manage the levels (“when diet and exercise fail”). Are you healthier because you are now on a drug?

Most of us recognise that drugs are synthetic, highly refined poisons designed to elicit a temporary physiologic effect. How is it possible that a poison can make us healthier?

Part of the problem is that in the medical paradigm, health cannot be defined or easily measured.

Even the World Health Organisation’s definition of “Optimal physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease” is lame. How is any doctor to decide what optimal physical wellbeing is for you, let alone mental and social wellbeing?

Does your doctor measure how fast you can run 200 metres? Swim against a current? Carry someone to safety? Jump off a 6 foot fence? Resist a dose of salmonella? Recover from a bout of the flu? Surely those are all signs of optimal wellbeing.

High blood pressure is supposed to make a stroke more likely but less than 2% of people who take the medication for a year prevent a stroke.

http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/band50/b50-8.html

Cholesterol turns out to be somthing of a red herring as well, as some studies suggest that a higher cholesterol level lets you live longer.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9343498

Without a way of measuring health, doctors are forced to look for indicators of disease.

This approach is never preventative or constructive. Looking for reasons to intervene with destructive poisons can never build health and can only create dependence on medication. More on treatment later.

The Alternate View

Although most chiropractors study all the same subjects as a medical doctor and just as many hours, we choose a different paradigm.

My definition of health is being resistant to illness and injury.

Under this definition any illness or injury is a sign of poor health.

In my practice, I measure resistance and robustness through muscle strength because muscles are our main source of injury resistance and they stimulate and run many organ and endocrine systems.

Almost invariably, the stronger someone is on testing, the less they are ill or injured, no matter what their activity levels.

Normal strength and muscle response becomes an effective objective for every patient and it turns out that muscle strength is one of the most important indicators of longevity and mortality.

A major study published in the British Medical Journal in July 2008 found that weaker men tended to die earlier than stronger men, even after allowing for activity level and cardiovascular fitness?

You can read the fascinating study here http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/337/jul01_2/a439.

The researchers measured the maximum strength of over 8000 men and followed them for 19 years on average. They found that men with the lowest strength had the highest death rates from all causes, including heart disease and cancer.

Interestingly, the effect was still present in those who did no exercise at all.

In my practice now, I use the protocol from this study to measure my patient’s strength and then re-measure every 6 visits. It’s remarkable how people’s strength increases and they become normal with the right treatment.

It doesn’t happen overnight (well, it does, sometimes) but with patience and persistence, it can become a reality for most people.

What about you? What is your definition of health? How would you want your health measured?

It’s your body, let’s get it working the way it should

Simon King
http://www.tweaks.org.au

Why the Medical Paradigm Fails

Posted in Health with tags , , , on January 22, 2010 by livewithoutpain

We all make mistakes. I’ve made more than my fare share. Many mistakes we can recover and learn from, but many health mistakes cannot be reversed or rectified.

When I was 2 years old I had swollen glands in my neck. A very helpful, friendly and highly qualified surgeon put me in hospital and took them all out. He was just doing his job. What a shame nobody told my mother about my milk allergy.

At the age of 11, a kind dentist my mother worked for pulled out 3 of my teeth, irreversibly damaging me forever. He was just doing his job. Shame nobody told him how your teeth play an important role in stimulating your brain.

My ex-wife had her tonsils removed. The clinical indication for the operation? Her brother was having his removed so she may as well have hers done at the same time.

I have treated a lot of people over 25 years. About 12000 new patients and 120000 visits. I listened and learned from all their experiences and stories. Almost all of them came after they tried the conventional doctors/drugs/surgery approach.

Based on my experience, I will admit to a rather biased view of traditional medicine. I respect parts of it enormously – trauma and emergency care are wonderful and save many lives. But health care, well…..

What is interesting is how I (and many like me) can study all the same subjects as a medical doctor, for just as many hours, and come out with a completely different attitude to practice.

It’s called a paradigm. We all have them, and medical doctors have their own special paradigm.

It doesn’t really matter to me who you choose for your healthcare. What matters is that when you walk into any doctor’s office you understand their paradigm, or the remedy you want may not be the diagnosis and treatment you receive. And as we have seen, medical mistakes are not easily rectified.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to give you an overview of the medical paradigm – essentially “how doctors think” so that you can ask better questions and be better informed.

Actually, this is not about medical “mistakes”. Medical mistakes kill, harm or injure thousands of people every year. “Safety breaches in Australian healthcare are killing more people than breast cancer or road accidents,” Associate Professor Bolsin said. (Source: Online SMH 11.07.07) Mistakes occur within a paradigm (you can read about the horrible consequences of medical mistakes here).

I am not arrogant enough to point out other professional’s mistakes, I’ll leave that to the lawyers. I will only consider the inevitable consequences of the paradigm itself.

I should charge for this information, as it is probably worth hundreds or thousands of dollars and could save your life, but for now it’s free because I want to see if I can write on this subject in a way that is compelling and useful to you.

One day it might become a book.

So sit back and relax as I take you on a journey into scientific medical thinking that could save you from medical mishap and misadventure. I welcome criticism and comment as they will help make my arguments bullet-proof.

If you want to contribute, I am posting each article into a blog so you can have your say.

I hope you enjoy this series. I’ll send you the first instalment tomorrow and send one a week for about 8 weeks.

They won’t be long, and they’ll be easy to read.

It’s your body, let’s get it working the way it should

Simon King

Chiropractor

TWEAKS

Tel 02 66422900

PS One of the problems with arguing against a dominant paradigm is that you will always be regarded as a kook, a nutcase and worse, a threat – which is why you won’t find this information anywhere else.

I assure you I am none of these but it is necessary to issue the following disclaimers:

1. I believe all doctors are responsible, ethical and caring individuals who are doing their very best for their patients. It is their paradigm I will examine, not them as individuals.
2. I believe every individual has right to make their own healthcare choices. None of my articles should be taken as medical advice. If you feel like you are not sufficiently informed to make your own choices, you should seek the advice of a qualified professional.

Half of Nothing is ????

Posted in Health with tags , on April 1, 2009 by livewithoutpain

The latest “magic bullet” hit the headlines yesterday.

“This capsule costs pennies …. halves the number of strokes and heart attacks” – The Independent

Pretty impressive claim considering 208000 people died in 2006 of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Unfortunately I’m pretty cynical about the outrageous claims made on behalf of mainstream medicine so it was time to check out the actual study at The Lancet

How many people has this pill actually saved so far???? 

None

Not one.

It turns out this wonder pill has only modified a few “risk” factors. Risk factors that are not even present (according to the article) in a third of those who have a heart attack.

Blood pressure reduced, on average by 5-7mmHg (about the normal tolerance range of blood pressure meters and lowered cholesterol by about .7nmol/l.)

Unfortunately, cholesterol is not the big baddy in heart disease. Potato chips are. 

In a recent study, it turned out that statins work (a bit) not by reducing cholesterol but by reducing crp, an inflammatory chemical.

CRP, it turns out, is caused by eating crisps.

So that would seem obvious. Either take an expensive poisonous chemical or stop eating so many crisps and chips.

Which will you choose?

Simon

Posted in Arthritis, Health, Muscle, Pain, Proprioception, Strength on January 8, 2009 by livewithoutpain

How to cure pain without getting off the couch!

Remember when you used to go to the doctor and they would say “take an aspirin and call me in the morning.” Now it seems to be “do these exercises and see me in a month.”

Exercise is such a standard part of the treatment and rehabilitation of injury, we hardly give it a second thought yet it is difficult to find any evidence to support its use.

A study from the Netherlands recently published in the Australian Journal of Physiotherapy showed that 8 weeks of intensive exercise in chronic low back pain patients, had some, small, short-term benefits in overall wellbeing but no increase in strength or other outcomes after 8 weeks or 6 months(1).

Even in ankle sprains, where strengthening exercises should show some benefit, no reduction of symptoms or recurrence was found in a large multicentre trial in Holland between those doing supervised exercises and those doing no supervised exercises(2).

Neither of these findings would come as any surprise to Michael Owen or Dean Macey who, despite having careers as professional athletes and having access to the best of medical advice and treatment, have been repeatedly side-lined by injury.

Obviously there is a time for exercise. If you’re a couch potato and your exercise routine consists of opening the fridge door twenty times a day, you will probably feel some benefit from moving more. And if you’re an athlete and have been overtraining, maybe taking it easy for a few days would freshen you up and allow you to start your work again.

But if you’re moderately active, neither exercise nor rest will change the basic tone of your muscles, which is the key to changing posture and resisting injuries.

And that’s because up to 90% of muscle control is subconscious and relies purely on reflexes, leaving only 10% available to be improved by exercise.

Neurologists(3) have identified two types of muscle control.

Feed-forward (or proactive) control is the type we would normally associate with our muscles. It is used to produce the force needed to do a bench press or a squat. Such activities start with a thought and end with a movement, although the mechanisms that control the movement are incredibly complex.

Pro-active control is the system you use when you do exercises for your back or your neck or any other injuries. They are most commonly employed in training and rehabilitation schemes designed to increase muscle strength through controlled repetition of deliberate actions.

However, most injuries don’t occur doing a bench press or a push-up. They happen due to minor, but unexpected changes in direction, usually doing an activity or movement we have done hundreds of times before. Resisting these changes uses the second type of movement control which is feed-back or REACTIVE control. It uses a quite different set of processes than the PROACTIVE system.

If I drop a tennis ball and you reach out to catch it, your ability to work out the angle and velocity of the ball, where your hand needs to be and how to move it there would all be defined as proactive control. The reflex reaction of your biceps, triceps, flexor and extensor muscles from the stretch on their respective muscle spindles as you catch the ball would constitute reactive control.

Reactive control depends mostly reflexes, particularly the stretch reflex.

It is the reactive control stretch reflex that prevents your ankle from spraining if a rock gives way suddenly under your foot. The sudden stretch on muscles on the outside of your ankle will increase the firing from those muscles, directly stimulating the nerves in your spine increase their output, immediately counteracting the movement of the ankle and thereby preventing damage to the ligaments, bones and joints.

It is reactive muscle control that will tighten every shoulder muscle at the end of a throw to keep your arm attached to your trunk and it will stabilise your vertebrae when you bend over to pick up a lawn-mower.

Reactive muscle control prevents injury by constantly adapting muscle tone to the tension applied to the muscle. It thereby limits the amount of load transferred to surrounding tissues and because it uses spinal-level reflexes, it does so at speeds that could not be achieved with cortical processing.

Being a neurological mechanism, reactive muscle control is not related to the physical capacity of the muscle or the training of the individual. Good control can exist in a 50kg 83 year old woman just as easily as in a 25 yr old 80 kg body-builder. Both can also suffer from a faulty reactive mechanism.

Reactive stretch-reflex control is often found disrupted in patients with pain or injury.

Simon King, a Chiropractor with 20 years’ experience in teaching and practice has just published a book called Live Without Pain: A New Theory on What’s Wrong With You, and How to Fix It.

The book describes how thousands of patients have found the answer to their pain and injury problems when all conventional exercises and treatments hadn’t worked by such simple things as removing their earrings, changing a filling in their mouth or eating different foods, things that affect muscle tone in ways they could never imagine. Simon describes how everything we can sense, we sense through our nervous system, whose job it is to regulate our muscle tone and our sense of our body can be disrupted by many things we take for granted.

The book explains how to find out what things are affecting your muscle tone. Once you know the cause, it’s easy to cure the problem, and you can do it permanently; without drugs, exercise or surgery.

  1. Harts CC; Helmhout PH; de Bie RA; Staal JB A high-intensity lumbar extensor strengthening program is little better than a low-intensity program or a waiting list control group for chronic low back pain: a randomised clinical trial.Aust J Physiother. 2008; 54(1):23-31
  2. van Rijn RM et al. Supervised exercises for adults with acute lateral ankle sprain: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Gen Pract. 2007; 57(543):793-800
  3. Kandel ER, Schwartz and Jessell. Principles of Nerual Science, 4th edition 2000
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