Whether we are melting with fatigue, disheveled from death or out of breath we must continue to move forward. If we stand still we are allowing our health to spill, so raise your arms and legs and move ever onward.
Sometimes we are coated in oil and everything is slippery and sloppy. Our inside zones burn and boil and desperately we seek to soak our souls in the soil. We reach out our hand to hold someone close, but often we are cloistered and closed away.
One day you will shake off that slippery, slick, sloppy sludge and sing a song of silly smiles. You will reach into your inside zones and touch your heart bone. You will no longer toil and desperately seek to soak your soul in the soil, because you will be happy, harmonious and peaceful.
The world can be a dark and dreary place and sometimes it can feel like we are constantly washing the muck off our face. Our lips turn sour becoming an upside down crown as it forms into a frown. Our hopes and dreams fade, we feel lost, sad and sorry. As our soul is saturated with dismay, our nerves begin to fray, so we sit and wait for the end of days.
There comes a time when we tire of the night and we rise. With a beaten and battered soul we muster all our might, attempting to fight the waste of this dark and dreary place. We punch, kick and scream, doing everything mean, but in the end we settle back in our seat, because once again we are beat.
We stand again, this time driving forward, pushing with all our strength, attempting to master the night, to defeat its dreariness and darkness. But, no matter how hard we push, now matter how strong we are, it is stronger. It defeats us because we cannot master the dark snippets of our soul.
Many of us never learn this lesson and we continually flex and force until we collapse under the strength of our own will. Each time we try to become the master, our life becomes a disaster, as we walk waywardly into an unwelcome wilderness. It takes a lot of walking, but eventually we learn we cannot master our emotions, we cannot make our heart zones cease to be. Until we can see how to achieve harmony we will never find the ease we need.
You are an amazing creature filled with so many magical moments and feels. Tend to your heart feels with loving care, find a purpose in their presence and love each for their beautiful uniqueness.
What is my purpose in life? When I tell people the answer they get excited. There is a certain thrill to hearing someone definitively tell you their purpose. Why is this exciting? It is because it gives them hope, in that moment they realize they too can achieve awareness of their purpose.
My purpose is to help others walk the twisting, dark road of life. To use my hardships to illuminate the land with beams of light showing them the right place to walk. My purpose is to inspire, bring joy and help others help themselves.
You too have a purpose and with it you will find the person you were meant to be. You will build the life you were born to weave. In the end you will see that if you take the lead, the world will become a better place indeed.
So many live life like its a long day dream, shambling like a zombie, existing without precision or purpose. Wake up! Stop sleeping through life! If you don’t open your eyes, you will rise from your rest just in time to see you missed your chance to shine.
You don’t need to be a zombie, you can be a person of purpose. Someone who fights to live life to its fullest. A person who lives as a legend and leaves behind a legacy!
When it comes to our health and especially neuroendocrine cancer, the best thing we can do is research. Our health care providers may be educated and valuable, but they are not always educated in the ways we value. The NET community has amassed a collection of valuable resources. These hardworking souls have built a framework for the rest of us to survive. In this article I will be sharing many of the resources available to us. Its easy to get lost when we are in the thick of the storm, but we must be vigilant, work hard and press our force of will to become the eye within the whirlwind.
If you have NET cancer you know how hard this journey can be. Ignorance is shoveled into our ears time and again. To make the most of our moments we must muster the energy to purge our lives of this BS. We must overcome the misinformation of unqualified doctors, charlatans and alternative medicine gurus.
What is the value of research? How does it help me?
The more we know, the better off we are. Throughout our lives we’ve been told ignorance is bliss, but you and I know this to be false. Imagine how many lives could be saved if others with this terrible disease knew more about their cancer at the start of this journey? If I had even a fraction of my knowledge when first diagnosed I would have walked a completely different path. I would have understood why a NET specialist was essential, I would’ve been more powerful and demanded excellence from my health care providers. Clearly, I cannot travel back in time to change the events in my life, and even if I could, I wouldn’t. It sounds utterly insane, but getting cancer was the best thing to ever happen to me. Since I was a youngster I have been searching for a purpose, and now I have one. My purpose is to help you avoid the pitfalls in this terrible journey, by casting a light on the many holes to reduce the horrors you must face. If I get to help just one person, then my pain had a purpose, and that gives me peace.
So what role does research have in all of this?
Research has been the eternal flame in my terrible journey. Knowledge is the true guiding light in life. If we want to make the most of our moments, we must have the tools to make it terrific. It can be daunting, learning more about our agony can be incapacitating, but if we don’t face the facts we will never have the life we want to live.
Are you going to teach me how to research?
No, that is beyond the scope of this article. I will leave that to people more qualified than I. However, I will guide you in the direction of collecting the science-based data you deserve. First, we are going to navigate some interesting waters. Once you get passed the perils of pseudoscience and propaganda we can begin delving deeper.
What do I mean by pseudoscience and propaganda? The alternative medicine movement is mostly based on superstition and prescientific ideas. If we want quantifiable and healthy results from the treatment options we select, we must choose the ones proven to be repeatable with the scrutiny of double-blind testing. We must learn how the scientific method functions and apply it to how we interact with our doctors and those who are seeking to make money from our misfortune.
I want you to live the highest quality of life you can, the best way to do that is through the continual pursuit of science-based knowledge.
Cure for Cancer?
Why isn’t there a cure for cancer? I bet Big Pharma has the cure, but they don’t want to share it with us cause there is no money in it!
If a pharmaceutical company was able to develop a single cure for cancer they would be so rich, they would become a world power. The idea of a company having the cure for cancer and not releasing it is ludicrous. Lets start with the most basic point: Cancer is complicated, we need to stop talking about cancer like there could be a single cure for it. There is no one cure for cancer, because there is more than one cancer.
Now lets address this big pharma term. Some time ago I ran across a special little MEME that read:
“a patient cured is a customer lost – Big Pharma”
Critical thought teaches us to acknowledge our bias, to set it aside, to be fair and treat others for their qualities, rather than the actions of people unrelated to them. It is unfair to apply blanket opinions on groups of people. When these blanket opinions are applied they create a stereotype which sets an atmosphere of unfairness.
Each pharmaceutical company is an organization comprised of dozens, hundreds, even thousands of employees. There are dozens of pharmaceutical companies, how fair is it to say these people are concerned only with making money? Not all people are the same, and not all companies are the same.
Instead of making blanket statements about groups of people we don’t know, we need to research each company and judge them individually. Just like people, the ideology of one pharmaceutical company will change, one to the next.
Curing a disease is a lot more complicated than simply waving money at it. However, without money research doesn’t happen. People need money to live, and if they aren’t being paid to do the research, the research isn’t being done. Cancer treatment often hurts a lot, some treatment options can have terrible side effects on the body, so we need to test it over long periods of time to make sure it doesn’t horrifically hurt or kill people before the cancer does. I know it can be frustrating waiting for a cure, we feel hopeless, but if we invite every miracle cure into our lives, we won’t have a life to live.
There are potential cures ready to be shared, why wont they share them with the public? People are dying, some chance is better than no chance right?
No, if every supposed discovery is made available to the public, there wouldn’t be significant advancements in medicine. Lots of resources would be wasted implementing worthless and dangerous measures. Just because an idea is proven to work once in vitro, doesn’t mean in is going to work in real life. The idea needs to tested time and again to make sure it is safe and helps treat the disease or its symptoms.
But some life is better than no life, a terminally ill person is going to die anyways, why deny them an opportunity to live?
To put it simply, quality of life is more important than quantity. What if this untested cancer treatment has the side effect of permanent blindness, deafness, paralysis and chronic pain? Would the trade off be worth living the rest of your life in a horrific prison that is your body?
I don’t think so. Scientific discoveries must be proven to work. This is for our protection. It is not so they can squeeze more money out of the public. Testing their drugs takes even more money, and these pharmaceutical companies have already spent a fortune developing the drug in the first place. They have to pay another fortune to prove it is a benefit to their target population.
Well this drug had an informative video showing it can blow up cancer cells with bubbles. It said it could save lives, we need to be saving lives!
Absolutely, but we can’t save lives by getting people to drink mystery cool aid. Recently I had a conversation with someone about this situation. They read an article about how a treatment could kill cancer in vitro by blowing it up with bubbles. Immediately my mind when to work to see what they were talking about. I found this article at first and read it. I wasn’t satisfied though, I wanted to see if this was real and if so where the research was now. In July of 2017 it was retracted. Imagine if we spent the resources to implement this discovery, only to find out the result could not be replicated? Imagine if your mother, father, son or daughter sought out this treatment and died because it had no effect on their cancer? Willful ignorance and desperation kills people. Testing the efficacy of a drug is how we ensure the best medicine is made available to the public.
- Ronny Allen
- NET Alliance
- Sunny Susan Website
Bad things happen, and they will always happen. Sometimes we find ourselves in a bleak nightmare wrapped in despair. The key to navigating these terrible times is knowledge. With knowledge we can unlock the door and escape our hellish nightmare. We can learn from the past and prepare for the future and make the most of our moments. I do my best to be my own advocate, it can be a hard task and sometimes the job becomes overwhelming. In these moments it is great when someone reaches out their hand to help me stand. Normally I am not particularly interested in the ears, it doesn’t have much to do with my cancer or massage therapy, but today I want to help a great friend by offering him my hand to stand. Though the entire ear is discussed in this article, my primary focus is the Eustachian tube.
When pain locks us down and hopelessness begins to set in it is hard to imagine the hardship will ever end. In these terrible times we need a guide, to help us navigate these mad moments and remind us there is more than the scary sea.
Lets get this article into gear and learn about our ears.
The ear has many important parts: the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear and the eustachian tube. The outer ear is the visible area, it is the flappy floppy skin and the hole, also known as the ear canal. Next, is the middle ear, this is the location of the tiny ear bones: stapes, incus and malleus. The inner ear, includes the chochlea and semicircular. Between the outer and middle ear is the tympanic membrane (also known as the ear drum). Finally, we have the eustachian tube, this important structure functions like a valve, controlled by the levator veli palatine, tensor veli palatine, salpingopharyngeus, and tensor tympani muscles.
What can you tell me about the External Ear?
The outer ear, also known as the auricle or the pinna is a structure primarily composed of cartilage. Its primary function is to gather sound and deliver it to the ear canal.
What do I need to know about the Middle Ear?
The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear cavity with the nasopharynx. It aerates the middle ear system and clears mucus from the middle ear into the nasopharynx.  The Eustachian tube is closed when it is at rest, and will open when we swallow, yawn or sneeze (or when performing the Valsalva Maneuver). It helps equalize pressure between our external environment and our middle ear.
What is their to know about the Inner Ear?
The Inner ear is used to detect and interpret sound and balance.
What could possible go wrong with an our ears?
- Otitis externa
- Wax impaction
- Eustachian tube dysfunction
- Otitis media with effusion
- Chronic suppurative otitis media
- Acute otitis media
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Ménière’s disease
Middle Ear and the Eustachian Tube
Eustachian tube dysfunction is a relatively common problem. Many otolaryngologists have patients who say their ears are blocked but show no severe pathology on examination, which often leads to a diagnosis of intermittent eustachian tube obstruction. This condition can wear down the eardrum, causing scarring or rupture. This in turn, may cause patients to experience hearing loss or cholesteatoma. 
There are various pathologies of the Eustachian tube, like Patulous Eustachian tube disease, otitus Media (OM), Acute Otitus Media, OM with effusion, Chronic Suppurative otitis media and Adhesive OM to mention a few.
Acid reflux and eustachian tube dysfunction
Could ET dysfunction be caused by acid reflux? It has been reported that eustachian tube dysfunction was more likely to be associated with a higher number of nasopharyngeal reflux events and higher reflux finding score. Nasopharyngeal reflux may have a role in the pathogenesis of eustachian tube dysfunction.  It has also been discovered that Reflux is likely present in a significant number of adult cases with otitis media and may lead to Eustachian tube dysfunction.
What are some treatment options for this disease?
- Nasal steroid spray (Flonase, Nasonex)
- Anti-histamines (Claritin, loratadine)
- Leukotriene Inhibitors (Singulair)
- Corticosteroids (Medrol dose pack, prednisone)
- Afrin (for short-term relief only)
- Sudafed (for short-term relief only)
- Anti-reflux medications (Prevacid, Zantac, omeprazole)
Food is our first medicine, but it is not our only medicine. In fact once we are sick there is little an apple, a steak or a pile of multi-vitamins can do. Aren’t dietary supplements good for me? Some claim multivitamins, diet pills and energy boosters are beneficial. However, according to the New England Journal of Medicine an estimated 23,000 people are admitted to the ER each year after ingesting a dietary supplement. There are many dietary supplements on the market. Some do nothing like those created from homeopathy, or next to nothing with marginal risks like the alkaline diet. However, there are others, like mega vitamins that pose a real threat with no benefit. Sometimes the use of megavitamins is called orthomolecular therapy, orthomolecular medicine, molecular therapy and nutritional therapy. If you are considering an orthomolecular option for your dietary needs, I strongly suggest you explore a science-based medical option first.
Orthomolecular therapy is a pseudoscience. Like others of its type it sneaks into our diet because it guises itself as food while claiming to be effective as regulated medicine. With so many responsibilities and hardships on our plate it is difficult to research everything. We live busy lives and it can be challenging to lead a healthy one, but it is especially important to research the claims of anyone trying to sell you dietary supplements. There is a chance you’re paying a lot of money for nothing, or simply shelling out hard cash to hurt yourself.
So, what is Orthomolecular therapy?
In 1973 Linus Pauling and David Hawkins (a supporter of Applied Kinesiology) published the book: Orthomolecular Psychiatry. It defined the term orthomolecular as the practice of using substances normally present in the body to prevent and treat disease. Pauling and Hawkins claimed nutritional psychiatry could treat diseases like schizophrenia, the common cold and cancer, because they believed these diseases were caused by nutrient deficiencies.
Pauling rallied the public to believe mega doses of vitamin C could be used to prevent colds and even fight cancer. Yet to this day there is no science-based evidence supporting this claim. Using beta-carotene, vitamins A and E to treat cancer has been found to do the opposite, often resulting in an increased risk of dying from cancer.  It has even been found that vitamin C has no effect at all in the treatment of cancer.  Sloan Kettering Cancer Center says: “Do not take vitamin C if you are a cancer patient undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Vitamin C may interfere with these treatments and lessen their effect.” They continue by stating: “most large-scale trials did not find vitamin C supplements useful in preventing cancers.”
Are supplements ever good for me?
In specific instances, your medical doctor may prescribe dietary supplements. When I say medical doctor, this does not include acupuncturists, chiropractors and other naturopaths. If you want proven medical benefit consult those with a science-based medical degree that you trust. For help finding the right doctor click here. The link details specific information for people with NET cancer, but it may be boiled down into any medical specialist.
Can you give me an idea of who might need dietary supplements? Scurvy, pellagra and beriberi are diseases caused by nutrient deficiency. Though rare in the United States and Canada these deficiencies do occur. A doctor may adjust a patient’s diet or prescribe supplements to treat these illnesses. Food is the most effective method of treatment because it’s less toxic and leads to fewer nutritional imbalances than supplements. 
Today the supplement industry encourages consumers to add Multivitamin/mineral pills to their diet to treat nutrient deficiencies, prevent chronic disease and promote health. However according to a study in 2006 Multivitamin/mineral pills did not reduce the risk of chronic disease.
There are specific instances when someone might need a supplement, these include, 
- Those who suffer with nutrient deficiencies or consume less than 1,600 calories a day.
- Vegetarians, vegans and older adults with atrophic gastritis may require vitamin B12.
- People who are lactose intolerant or don’t consume enough dairy may require calcium.
- Infants may need vitamin D, iron and fluoride.
- Pregnant women may require folate and iron.
- Elderly individuals may need vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
- People with heavily pigmented skin or those who do not consume enough milk may require vitamin D.
- Anyone with a condition that interferes with the intake, absorption, metabolism or excretion of nutrients.
- Individuals taking medicines that interfere with the body’s use of nutrients.
People who should not take supplements are, 
- Men and postmenopausal women should not take iron supplements.
- Smokers should avoid beta-carotene supplements given that high doses have been associated with increased lung cancer and mortality.
- Postmenopausal women should not take vitamin A supplements.
- Surgery patients should note take vitamin E, because it acts like a blood thinner.
-  <http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1504267>
-  <http://skepdic.com/orthomolecular.html>
-  <https://www.theguardian.com/society/2004/oct/01/medicineandhealth.lifeandhealth1>
-  <https://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/nov/17/cancer-vitamins-risk-study-science>
-  <https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/vitamin-c>
-  <page 321-332, Rose, Nedah, editor. Understanding Nutrition. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2013>
-  <Huang H-Y, Caballero B, Chang S, Alberg AJ, Semba RD, Schneyer C, et al. Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements and Prevention of Chronic Disease. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 139. (Prepared by The Johns Hopkins University Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-02-0018). AHRQ Publication No. 06-E012. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. May 2006.>
You say you want to network? I say I want to make friends. When I introduce myself to other humans my goal is to give something good. The world can be dark and dreary, I want to help people slice through the cumulonimbus clouds to see the radiant rays of the sun. All it takes is a few wonderful words and we can inspire some incredible heart feels. How do we make bonding a beautiful experience? Relationships are born and explored with intent.
Our goals are saturated with intent
Everything we say and do is saturated with intent. If you want to be an effective communicator you must get to know who you are. Why are you here? What do you want and who are you? Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly. Every time you meet someone new they will be asking them too.
Intent is the infrastructure of networking. If the focus is on friendship the bonding will begin, however, if it is superficial it will stagnate.
What is the best way to break the ice?
If you want loving and long lasting relationships, give good for goodness sake, and give it liberally. When we live to give greatness, introducing yourself becomes the best ice breaker.
Finding, Building & Maintaining relationships with Intent
An important lesson I have learned is how to live with an awareness of my intent. When I’m feeling or thinking about doing something I contemplate why I want to do it. Why do I want to help this person, why am I attracted to this lady, how do I feel about this or that? The why behind an idea is often more important than the verb of doing it. The genuine intent of goodwill is a peaceful experience. With it we can be satisfied with the outcome of all our social engagements because we have erased our expectations. We are ready to exist in the moment and enjoy it while it’s here.
Relationships are easier because I’ve completed myself. I’m not searching for someone else to draw the rest of my circle, because I’m already a whole person. When friends and loved ones die it’s easier to cope because I consciously make the most of our moments. I cherish their life as we live it together and remember the terrific times we experienced as we shared the road.
My awareness is one of my greatest tools. By knowing my intent is good and honest I can make the best decisions in the now and avoid the pitfall of regret. I have the Hope others live with the intent of mutually beneficial relationships, while having the wisdom to know they might not. At the end of the day whether they do or don’t share the same awareness I do, I am always willing to forgive a hurting soul.
Passion, lust, love and an ulterior motive
Sometimes when speaking to others I hear a lot about passion, lust, love and ulterior motives. I know what it’s like to live in fear of what others might do. It’s a painful lens that blinds us from experiencing the world in all its wonder. On the flip side of that coin it can feel horrible when we can’t share our feels. The scrutiny of others often damns the flow of our feelings with a large levy. This barrier can be torturous to the soul as our inside zones burn brilliantly and our feel-good fuel source rapidly diminishes.
It took me some time, but when the moment arrived I learned it is alright to live with passion, to lust for another, to love, even if they don’t love me, and to possess the desire to be desired.
The world is a magnificent place and our heart is a fiery furnace. When we discover that thing, that purpose, that person who captures our attention the universe imbues us with powerful passion. There is nothing that can stop the fanning of our furious flame, extinguish our eternal heart or take us apart.
Our passion is more than a singular purpose, it is a dedication to something we love. It is a complete commitment and we wear it like a glove. Passion is supposed to be healthy, good and great, its meant to be even, clear and purposeful.
Sometimes it isn’t. Perhaps most times it lacks direction and it steers off the map to a place that is not healthy, good or great and is uneven, murky and misguided. It is in these times we must look deeper to discover our true intent.
A person’s passion can be beautiful, but only when that passion wants to share. Every book of love is a compilation of letters, a shared story and a narrative coauthored by those involved.
With an empty stomach we hunger to satiate our appetite. The need to eat, the exquisite energy of anticipation and the desire for delicious delights can feel magnificent. Our longing moments of lust are no different and are equally healthy when fed with a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Its healthy to have a sexual appetite for another, it would be hard for people to fall in love if life existed without lust.
Lust like passion has unhealthy and dangerously winding roads. Sometimes taking people to places they shouldn’t go. Lust has an ebb and flow and cannot be the basis for how we should expect things to always go. It is the cream on a cake, something sugary to taste, but to live with lust without love is a slippery slope into loneliness.
A warm blanket that warms us from surface to center. A compass that guides us when we are lost. The crutch we lean on when we are weak. Love is the greatest and most wonderful place to live.
Whether we accept it or not we all want to love and be loved. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a person who wants to live in the same zip code of love we do. When this happens it’s important to look at the roots of why we want to be with them. If we love this person solely for our own benefit, perhaps we don’t love them at all and maybe we aren’t mature enough to be in their zip code of love. When we love someone, we should want to see them happy, even if their happiness doesn’t include us.
What exactly is ulterior motive and what does it mean? Why am I so concerned about what others want to do with me?
An ulterior motive is when we believe someone has a hidden reason for what they are doing. Focusing inwardly and feeling for that gut vibe is valuable in determining whether a person is safe. It is also important to evaluate your bias and forgive the wrongs of the person before they have committed them. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is akin to forgiving them for something you can’t prove is true. Bias is a valuable tool, we use it to decide what we are going to eat and which alley ways we are willing to walk down. We all have it, however if we want to live a life with good intent we must critically analyze our bias to determine whether it is fair and just.
So, when someone is attracted to us, does mean their only intent is to have sex? By and large I would say no. Relationships are so complicated and involved it would be a challenge to boil it down to a singular intent. Sure, most likely they would enjoy having sex with us, but that is just one component of the many beneficial aspects of companionship. I am not a psychologist or an expert in the field of human pair bonding, but I would make an educated guess by saying they want to live an adventurous life with a companion they are attracted to.
For the most part I believe our focus on the ulterior motives of others are fruitless endeavors. These thoughts lead us down a spiraling staircase into an abyss of loneliness. Simply put we create fantastical stories about others, casting them in a negative light. Instead of drawing unfair conclusions from nothing, we should be celebrating the bountiful beauty of life by exploring our humanity with others.
Finding a new doctor is like dating. We get to know who they are, what they believe and how they approach life. We want to make sure we are compatible and can spend a large chunk of our lives together. This doesn’t mean we are crossing professional boundaries, quite the opposite, this approach enables us to look deeper into who they are as a practitioner by learning about their professional accomplishments. While in their office we must believe they are listening to us, that we are safe under their care and they know enough to help. We need to make sure they are the best person for the job. Just like dating, we want to pair with this person for a long time, perhaps even the rest of our life, so it is important to make sure this doctor is the right choice.
How do I know if I have the right doctor for me? You must get to know yourself and discover what is important to you. You must set and enforce personal boundaries and become an unstoppable force.
I think I can take some time to get to know myself, but I’m not good with personal boundaries and I don’t think I could ever be an unstoppable force. How can I do this? Where do I even start? You start right now and every moment thereafter. Force of will is a tempered tool folded and pounded to perfection. Every day we have opportunities to become the better version of ourselves, seize those moments and move forward.
There was a time in my life when I was shy, I had a hard time talking or standing up to others. If I had to walk my NET cancer journey when I was shy, this would have been impossible. But don’t fret, just because you are shy now, doesn’t mean you will always be.
Shyness and Social Anxiety
Shyness, it sucks. That’s how I would describe it in three words. People are often surprised when I tell them I used to be very shy. Sometimes they ask how I overcame it. Well here is the first step of my fancy story.
In my mid-twenties, just after my mother had passed I was at a local dinner sitting with a couple friends waiting for our food. A few booths over was a group of young ladies, one in particular caught my eye, I was entranced by her beauty and I wanted to meet her. Unfortunately, I was frozen in fear and glued to my seat. “What is going on?” I thought to myself. I couldn’t muster a reason why I felt this, why I was so afraid? If she was so intimidating why would I be attracted to her?
After several moments of being teased by my friends for not approaching her, I rose from my seat and walked to her table. My hands were shaking, and my heart was pounding in my chest. When I opened my mouth to speak, all my charm fled, and I found myself completely unable to articulate my words. I stood there at the end of the table for several moments, I could feel their judgement piercing my soul. In a burst of what little confidence I had, I tried to introduce myself to her, a moment passed, and they were all quiet so I walked back to my seat.
I could hear them talking about me, describing how my hands were shaking, and how weird I seemed. As I sat there eating my meal, I reflected over the moment, and I came to the conclusion that I must have appeared completely insane.
At first, I saw this as a failure, but then I realized it was a success. I was unable to bridge my introduction into a conversation, but I was able to overcome the fear of talking to her. I set out to do something, and I did it. It was from this I was able to build my confidence. I spent some time thinking about how I could eliminate my social anxiety, and over several years of pushing myself I was able to become the social butterfly I am today.
Overcoming anything requires force of will, but we are simply unable to eliminate our hardships in one fell swoop. We must dedicate ourselves to a purpose and stick to it. My social anxiety didn’t disappear in this moment. I had to work on it daily. One of the first methods I used to fight my shyness was to smile and say hello to every person I saw. When they didn’t smile back or say hello, I copped by saying to myself they were the ones missing out.
If you are a person like myself who loves people and wants to have as many great friendships as you can, then challenge yourself, talk to others. Eventually you will realize there is nothing to fear. Most likely the person you want to talk to was wants to speak to you as well.
How does this help me with talking to my doctor and learning if they are right for me? In the beginning it may be difficult to directly talk to your doctor, but each time you stand your ground the better your footing becomes. Talking to a stranger can be daunting and by all accounts your doctor is a stranger. To complicate matters more we tend to deify their standing leading to a vast power differential. If you start making small changes in your life, these baby steps will improve your force of will and the effectiveness of your medical care. Be strong, know you’re amazing and make the most of your moments.
What do you mean by 26 seconds? I thought the appointment was fifteen minutes! Think back to the time you’ve spent in a doctor’s office. Once they walk you through the door to the sterile quiet office the nurse asks you the standard questions and tip taps her fingers against the key board. Then after some time the doctor enters, a few pleasantries are shared and then they ask you “So whats going on?”
This is your time to explain you condition. Since you have a maximum of 26 seconds you must have your ducks in order. If you don’t you might be leaving with regretful feelings, so make your seconds count. As human creatures our attention span is only so long, to make the most of these moments, be prepared and stick to facts.
To make these seconds more valuable make sure you write the doctor an email explaining your situation. If you would like more information on what to include in this email, click here. You should also write up a worksheet to guide you in the meeting. On this sheet have a bullet list of the important questions you want to ask. You will also want to bring a copy of this email in case your doctor has not read it yet.
How do I prepare for these 26 seconds?
Go over your medical history and records to find the information you believe is most important and write them down.
Document the signs and symptoms you’ve experienced, if you have enough time before your doctor’s appointment create a log of these conditions to determine patterns. Try to figure out if any of your lifestyle choices are contributing to your health issues.
Create a worksheet with bullet points detailing the most important aspects of your condition.
Rehearse with friends and family to see if your message is coming across correctly. Get out your smart phone and record yourself talking to see if you can see how to improve your communication skills.
We could have the best doctor, the perfect notes and the most amazing pitch in the world, but if our team doesn’t have our medical records, they won’t have the tools to help us. Doctors have a wealth of knowledge, but without our records they can’t help us how we need to be helped.
What does my doctor need from me?
A clearly presented history– Our doctor must be able to easily read our medical history. Your medical records may be collected from the hospitals and offices you’ve visited. This step may take some time, because you will include all the most important data in this booklet. Once completed send it to your doctor via email and bring a hard copy of it to your next appointment.
- When writing this booklet detail your medical history in chronological order
- What are some of the signs and symptoms of your disease? How long are they present (duration)? What degree of discomfort do they cause? How frequent do they manifest?
- What factors cause these signs and symptoms to trigger, amplify, reduce. Have you discovered anything that suppresses these experiences and if so what are they?
A detailed pathology report– When sending your medical history to your doctor they will also need your pathology reports. Be sure to send all of the following:
- What was the location of the primary metastasis?
- How differentiated are the tumor/s?
- What is the grade of the tumor/s?
- Be sure to send the % of Ki-67 & Mitotic rate.
Make the most of these moments– While organizing this information take some time to read it. If you see something you don’t understand write it down and look it up. The best way we can learn about our disease is to discover how it personally affects us.
There are no skeleton keys in cancer. Our journey isn’t a console game, we can’t enter a cheat code to speed through a stage and beat a boss. Instead we need a variety of keys to meet our needs. We must build and lead an all-star multidisciplinary team. How do I build this team? Identifying what we need is a big step, now it’s time to find the right people to fill those roles. Here are some useful techniques to ensure you land in the right place after your multidisciplinary leap.
If you have Neuroendocrine cancer, you must have a NET specialist.
If you don’t have one, I strongly suggest you contact your local NCAN chapter for support or visit the NCAN website for assistance. After you’ve contacted NCAN and have a few doctors in mind, how do you determine if they are right for you?
Selecting a doctor can be a troubling experience, where do we even start?
Our road is dark, so here are some tools to light your path, the last thing you want is to be blind, being led by the blind.
How do I choose my doctor?
People are unique and amazing, we all have special skills setting us apart from everyone else. Doctors are people and its important to remember that. They have personalities and approaches to life that may be different than yours. To know whether a doctor is right for you, you must know what you need and who you are.
Know your own personality: Take some time to get to know yourself. What is important to you, how do you communicate, how do you like to be spoken to? Are you shy, is it easy to share, how easily are you intimidated? Look at the company you keep, what kind of people do you surround yourself with and what are their personality types?
Know what you want: What are your expectations? Are you looking for someone to run the show for you or share in the decision making? How much information are you looking for, do you want the minimum to get by or an in-depth understanding of your disease?
Not all doctors are the same. It is important to have a doctor compatible with your personality, religious beliefs and ethics. Our health care providers are people, remember that, to receive quality care we need to feel like our needs are being met. If your doctor doesn’t understand your values, they will never understand what you need.
You should also be concerned with their background. What have they accomplished? What is their level of knowledge, what kind of training and experience have they had? Look online to see what they have written, get to know who they are through their literature.
Talk to people who have seen them a few times. Join your local NCAN support chapter and ask its members about the doctors they use. First hand information is a great place to start, but it should not be the deciding factor on which doctor you choose. Reputation doesn’t mean skill. Anecdotal evidence will lead you back down a dark path, it’s a pitfall of the blind leading the blind.
Now we have made it this far its time to merge the results of step 1 and 2. When you see your doctor open your mind and listen, have your thoughts organized and make short concise statements. The goal is to optimize the communication between you and your doctor. Consider recording what you have to say and listening to it before your appointment.
You are not obligated to stay with this doctor. If you feel uncomfortable or leave not understanding something, it is ok to find someone else. If you choose them to be your doctor you should never feel obligated to be loyal or faithful to them. If you are ever unsatisfied with your doctor, get a second, third or forth opinion.
Once you have found the doctor you trust, stick with them and continually work to make the most of your conversations.
With each test of pain, I’ve discovered new ways to explain all the gifts I’ve gained. I hope my hardships will help you have the highest quality of life you can live. The cancer journey is terrible, everyone wearing this badge of bad knows this, but in our journey, we are literally held down by a NET. Often our net is invisible making it impossible to see how we are anchored to the ground. To fight our cancer, we must have the right people on our side, who can see the invisible net and can sever its strings. I have learned we must surround ourselves with experts who can spot and treat our specific condition. We might not be able to escape our confinement, but we can learn to love the life we live and make the most of our moments. With the right people on our team we can treasure our time. What kind of expert do we need for our NET journey? We need a team of passionate, dedicated and science-based experts. Consider having the following doctors on your all star team.
- Primary Care Physician (PCP)
If you have NET cancer, you must have an Neuroendocrine specialist on your team. I can not stress this enough. The sooner you find one, the healthier life your will live. Of course, that raises a few questions. How do I find one? How do I know they are a NET specialist? How will I determine if they are right for me?
The Neuroendocrine Cancer Awareness Network is the best resource available to us. They know what its like to wear the badge of bad and be tied down under this nasty net of cancer. This amazing organization will help you find a local support community, guide you through the education process and aid you in finding a NET specialist.
Life’s Beautiful Cacophony
The Journey Begins
Once upon a time…
Nestled within a mound of blankets, I listened to the muffled sounds of my bedroom. Individually they were annoying, together they were an orchestra, a comforting cacophony, a loving lullaby.
Outside my cave of warmth, was a frigid bedroom. Like a vampire, the morning air leeched the warmth from my room. Leaky air whistled from a poorly sealed window. An electric hum played with a rhythmic rattle. The ceiling fan spun, releasing sounds like tearing paper with an occasional crunchy click.
Blissful was the moment, safe and comfortable within my sanctuary of warmth. As the sun rose, my inside parts advised me to wake from my slumber. Lying in bed I relished the comfort of my cocoon. I yawned, and with a deep breath I felt something, an uncomfortable itch, a juicy-sludge within my chest.
I coughed to clear whatever it was. Instead, it moved a gurgle of something, a certain something somewhere. Again, I coughed, the slick thickness found its way into my mouth, it was a viscous, coppery, sticky… slickness.
The taste forced open my eyes, something strange was happening… I needed to spit this out, to get this mystery liquid from my mouth. Reluctantly, I reached my arm beyond the barrier of blankets.
Intense barely describes the cold sensation that wrapped my arm. The temperature contrast was excruciating, so cold, so shocking… it made me gasp for air.
The deep breath rattled my insides. I erupted into a coughing fit and with each hack, a glob of thick, mysterious, goop filled my mouth.
My fingertips discovered and grabbed a tissue box. Eagerly and with haste I pulled it under the covers. Slowly my flesh thawed, warmth returning to my skin.
After a moment of recuperation, I placed a tissue against my lips and spat into it. Cough after cough I went from one tissue to the next. It hurt, it was a dry pain scouring my lungs for this never–ending nastiness. I continued to hack until all the tissues were sopping wet. “What is going on?” My heart worried, I needed to see what was on these tissues.
Raising my head from my cocoon I looked down. It was cold, but the chill paled compared to my terror. My heart sank into my stomach, the world slowed, and my heart raced. It was at that moment I realized every tissue was soaked in crimson, red, blood.
Time for a new day. Its time for stuff and things. Heading to the hospital for more tests.
Soon we shall follow the helpful blue line, the one akin to the yellow brick road, but made of tape. Its the line they put on the floor to make navigation easier.
Recently I was involved in a conversation with someone claiming essential oils could be used to help induce labor. I was interested in hearing more, because a scientific mind is creative and open. In my research I have never read any science-based evidence supporting this claim, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If someone has data supporting essential oils can help induce labor I want to read it. If they can’t provide science-based evidence, then my opinion will most likely remain the same. Those who don’t question the science or effectiveness of their ideas are pseudo-scientists and are a part of the problem in society. If we want to remain forward thinkers working hard to improve our lives we must engage in critical thought, debate and research.
Others participating in the conversation claimed there were no studies on aroma therapy and pregnancy. It was as if they were so locked in their beliefs they were unwilling to check PubMed to see if their claims had any weight. With a five second search I found an article on labor pain management and aroma therapy. It wasn’t directly related to the labor inducing claim, but it did show research existed.
Essential oils are discussed a lot in my professional circles, that is because I am a massage therapist. Unfortunately, with essential oils we are visited by the local parasite, the MLM. Shawn White, why do you speak so negatively about this type of business? The answer is simple, if a company is an MLM it is operating with an inherently unethical and unsustainable business model. MLMs, like cancer are bad for society, they destroy hopes and dreams, empty savings accounts and push people to desperate lengths, often leading them to terminate longstanding and healthy relationships. If you find yourself invited to an MLM, take this fancy test to see what kind of pyramid presence they are presenting.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy proponents describe this modality as “the therapeutic use of the essential oils of plants.” The term was coined by Rene Maurice Gattefosse, a French chemist in the 1920’s. When the term essential is used it is not describing the nutritional value of these plants. Instead it is the volatile, aromatic components that are the “essence” of the plant. This essence is believed to embody the plant’s life force and contains hormones, vitamins, antibiotics, and antiseptics. These oils are supposed to be administered in small quantities via inhalation and massage, though occasionally they are taken internally. 
Aromatherapists claim essential oils have the benefits of :
- They are convenient, quick and easy to use. – You can wear them during the day, diffuse them in your home or work place, or simply keep them in your pocket.
- Are organic substances from the volatile liquid of plants. – The essential oils support healthy body functions such as healthy immune system function.
- They can penetrate the skin and affect the emotional center. – Oils cross the brain-blood barrier and reach the amygdala and other limbic parts of the brain that control our mood, emotions and beliefs. So they can help us with our ability to handle stress, anger or any other emotion.
- Soothes muscle discomfort after exercise.
- Helps animals.
- Support healthy digestion.
What are my thoughts on Aromatherapy and Essential Oils?
Convenience is great, Americans love getting stuff right now, we are obsessed with fast food and instant gratification. Its fair to want medicine we can easily take, fortunately most simply require a small cup of water and the ability to swallow. The more important subject to discuss is aromatherapy’s claims involving the immune system. What do they mean by “The essential oils support healthy body functions such as healthy immune system function. ”
What part of the immune system are they supporting and in what way? What research has been done and where can I find evidence supporting these claims? Are these studies only in vitro or have they been performed on animals and humans? Are these results meaningful, have the researchers proven the outcome was statistically significant? This article presented by Mark Crislip at Science Based Medicine, is an in depth critical analysis of products and procedures claiming to support the immune system.
I read and hear a lot about the benefits essential oils have on mood, but where is the science-based evidence? If you have access to a double-blind study observing the effects essential oils have on mental illness I would love to read it. As of yet I have not found any evidence except anecdotal testimonies.
When someone says their product soothes muscle discomfort after exercise they referring to a condition called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, aka DOMS. People have tried many methods to eliminate DOMS. Massage, ultrasound, light exercise, glutamine, stretching, icing, electrical nerve stimulation, Epsom salts, drinking water, cherry juice, compression garments and vitamin D have been used to combat DOMS. Unfortunately, these methods just like Aromatherapy are ineffective . “To date, a sound and consistent treatment for DOMS has not been established. Although multiple practices exist for the treatment of DOMS, few have scientific support. ”
We have a lot of moving parts in our lives and the complicated nature of it can be dizzying. It sometimes feels like we are walking over a pit of fire on an oiled tightrope. Our journey can be terrifying, painful and horrific, but it is also beautiful, magnificent and magical.
I have faith you will cross this terrible tightrope and be triumphant.
I don’t know what it feels like to be you, but I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by life, underwhelmed by love and lost to my own impulsiveness. Its like getting caught in a cold rain with no shelter in sight. Know the rain will pass, and your skin will warm. You will see the value of the storm and there will be a time when the rain droplets of now, give birth to beautiful flowers of the future.
Knowledge is the greatest light of life. Put on your head lamp and crawl with me into the subterranean depths of applied kinesiology. This venom is the snake oil of life coaches and charlatans, seeking to steal control of your life and livelihood. Traveling deep into this rabbit hole we will discover the strange methods they employ to confuse and manipulate.
What is the medical definition of applied? To put to practical use; especially : applying general principles to solve definite problems.
What is kinesiology? It is the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement. 
If we combine applied and kinesiology together what does it produce? In the hands of pseudoscience, an unethical gold mine named applied kinesiology (AK).
What is applied kinesiology?
In summary AK requires the practitioner to press down on a patient’s outstretched arm. When doing so the test reveals the patient’s muscle resistance. A strong resistance indicates “yes” or “that’s fine” while weak resistance means “no” or “that’s bad.” 
Supposedly tests like these identify pathologies, nutritional deficiencies and the general health of patients. Additionally, some practitioners like David Hawkins believe AK may be used to detect lies, determine motive and identify how enlightened someone is.
To perfect one’s ability to diagnose they must have a working knowledge of chi, acupuncture meridians and the universal intelligence of the body.
How effective is AK as a diagnostic tool?
A systematic review of AK published in 2008 concluded: “There is insufficient evidence for diagnostic accuracy within kinesiology, the validity of muscle response and the effectiveness of kinesiology for any condition.” 
A double-blind randomized study in 2014 assessed the validity of AK and concluded: “The research published by the Applied Kinesiology field itself is not to be relied upon, and in the experimental studies that do meet accepted standards of science, Applied Kinesiology has not demonstrated that it is a useful or reliable diagnostic tool upon which health decisions can be based.” 
Edzard Ernst MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd, in his article: Applied Kinesiology: implausible, unproven, and yet incredibly popular; described AK as: “it is utterly implausible” and “there is no good evidence that it works” 
What danger does AK pose?
Like any pseudoscience it steers people with serious illness away from effective treatment. In this instance patients literally fall into the unqualified hands of practitioners using a subjective diagnostic tool to diagnose and treat illness.
This subjective diagnostic tool is the Ouija board approach to medicine. It is equally effective as locating water with dowsing rods or helping disabled people talk with Facilitated Communication. It is an abusive practice exploiting people with ideomotor effects.
Let’s imagine your dream is buying a plot of land far from society. You’ve spent countless hours learning how to cultivate the land, raise and slaughter livestock and live a completely self-sufficient life. You need a well and you don’t know how to find water. You have two choices, and both cost the same amount of money. The first choice is to put faith in a dowser, a person who waves two sticks in front of them to detect water. The second choice is to hire a hydrologist. This person is trained “in all of the physical, chemical and biological processes involving water as it travels its various paths in the atmosphere, over and beneath the earth’s surface and through growing plants…”.
Are you going to put your life savings and dreams in the hands of someone literally wiggling two sticks in the air to find water? Or, would you hire someone with an advanced education with access to satellite imaging and technology specifically designed to find water?
Using a practitioner of AK to diagnose and treat your illness is equally foolhardy. Especially when this diagnostic tool is used to identify and treat pain, cancer, diabetes, headaches, learning disabilities, osteoporosis, vertigo and Parkinson’s disease. 
Tools & Treatment of applied kinesiology
Our head lamps lit the twisting tunnels showing us the way through this shadowy cave. As we stepped around the corner of this twisting tunnel we learned things weren’t going to be ok. It was then, at that moment, we saw our hole was not burrowed by a bunny, but instead a hungry slithery snake.
We must keep our eyes open, always looking at where we are going, to ensure we are hoping into a healthy hole. By staring at the snake of AK we have already witnessed how illogical this viper can be, but we have yet to taste its venom. To truly understand the poison of the applied kinesiology snake oil we need to study how they claim to help others.
AK uses a variety of techniques to treat illness, here are a few:
- Quantum Pendants
- Craniosacral therapy
- Myofascial release
- Trigger point therapy
- Craniosacral therapy
- Nutritional therapies
Treatment of Quantum Pendants
Ernest the life coach and other charlatans love to twist and misinterpret placebo. They conceal their unethical practices with its warm wrappings. Perhaps these snake oil salesmen use the benefit of placebo to soothe their guilt for taking advantage of desperate souls.
This video shares the pseudoscience of AK and quantum pendants.
Treatment of Counseling
Sometimes Ak is used to counsel and advise patients on their personal lives. The very same muscle test used to determine the patient’s health is utilized to assess personalities of people they have never met. Imagine someone testing our worth, deciding whether we are a good person, if our spouse should leave us or if we should see our child, all by pushing or pulling on our significant other’s arm.
According to Rabbi Yair Hoffman, AK practitioners in his community have told their patients:
“I am sorry, Mrs. Ploni, but the muscle testing we performed on you indicates that your compatibility with your spouse is a 1 out of a possible 10 on the scale.”
“Your son being around his father is bad for his energy levels. You should seek to minimize it.”
“Your husband was born normal, but something happened to his energy levels on account of the vaccinations he received as a child. It is not really his fault, but he is not good for you.” 
In the following video we will observe how AK may be used to treat mental health issues.
While watching this video and others like it, notice how they call themselves kinesiologists. They do this to hide behind the veil of an actual scientific field. They falsely call themselves kinesiologists hoping to improve their credibility in the scientific community. If a practitioner doesn’t have the confidence to call their profession its actual name, how can we have confidence in their profession?
Lets look at AK in action.
“There is an emotional thing that’s in here as well that’s connected itself, if you like, to the cheese. Lets just have a look at what that is.” She performed her diagnostic examination using her AK muscle testing.
“We’re looking on the five-element chart in fire, there’s metal, lung, large intestine, looking from the top to bottom. So, the emotions could be powerless, powerful, toxic shame, sadness.”
“Are there any issues at home that might be causing some sadness at the moment?”
The patient replied, “Oh well recently my grandfather passed and there’s been a lot of sadness home from that.”
“Ok. So, your actually storing it in your body, actually in your digestive system. That emotion and that’s actually got itself connected to the food cheese, so when you’re actually ingesting it its like your body’s taking on board that sadness over and over and over again. So, I’m just going to give you a few drops of this virus essence under your tongue.” She drips some liquid into her mouth.
“Let’s have another look and see how it is.” The practitioner returns to performing muscle testing and the patient expresses she feels better.
“And how are you feeling about the issue with your grandfather now and the sadness we talked about?” The practitioner asked.
“I feel lots more, light and a lot more calm.” Her patient replied.
“That’s excellent, fantastic…” the practitioner replies.
A couple drops of water, some fidgeting hands and a few arm movements and this person is no longer sad about the passing of their father. Wow, they must not have been very close.
Treatment of Chiropractics
Treatment of Craniosacral therapy
AK practitioners also use craniosacral therapy to treat their patients.
“A bump or other type of strain to the head can jam the skull bones, causing abnormal movement. Improper nerve function may result that can cause problems in remote organs or other body structures. There are several methods for evaluating skull function that have been developed in AK examination. The doctor may test a muscle, apply a challenge to bones of the skull, and then re-test the muscle. The patient may be asked to take a deep breath and hold it, and then a muscle is re-tested to determine any change. The doctor may have the patient touch various areas of their skull while a muscle is tested. Dysfunction of the skull is called a cranial fault. If one is found, a specific gentle pressure, the direction of which is determined by the MMT examination, will be applied to the skull, usually with a specific phase of respiration. If the correction is successful, there will be an immediate improvement of the MMT.” 
Here is an example of it in use:
Treatment of Nutritional therapies
Like most pseudoscience the best way to test their venom is to see how they spit their snake oil. So, how do practitioners of AK describe the tools of their trade?
According to Dr. Laura Sleggs, ND she describes AK as “a non-invasive technique, it can help to identify nutritional deficiencies or excesses, imbalances in the body.” She specializes in using AK to “test for bacteria, virus, yeast and parasites that may be affecting your body, food sensitivities and heavy metal toxicity.” 
How does Dr. Laura Sleggs discover harmful pathologies throughout the body with AK? I imagine the same way practitioners like Kamilla Harra does in the following clip.
She claims the nutritional methods of applied kinesiology are “extremely accurate at diagnosing food sensitives, even very, very mild and minor ones.”
When asked to describe the principles of AK she stated: “Every single particle in the universe, including yours cells, they consist of molecules and they consist of particles, they all have their own unique vibration and they have an electromagnetic field around it, and that’s pure science. So, when you take an essence of a food. Every vial has a particular electromagnetic field and when you place it on your body your brain would react to it, because everything that happens to us is registered by the brain. Then because the brain communicates with the muscles, the muscles will also react.”
In an article written by Dr. Stephen Barrett titled Applied Kinesiology: Muscle-Testing for “Allergies” and “Nutrient Deficiencies” he directs the reader to the bizarre claims of AK. Some of these include:
AK proponents claim that nutritional deficiencies, allergies, and other adverse reactions to foods or nutrients can be detected by having the patient chew or suck on them or by placing them on the tongue so that the patient salivates. Some practitioners advise that the test material merely be held in the patient’s hand or placed on another part of the body. A few even perform “surrogate testing” in which the arm strength of a parent is tested to determine problems in a child held by the parent. 
Many muscle-testing proponents assert that nutrients tested in these various ways will have an immediate effect: “good” substances will make specific muscles stronger, whereas “bad” substances will cause weaknesses that “indicate trouble with the organ or other tissue on the same nerve, vascular, nutrition, etc., grouping.” A leading AK text, for example, states:”If a patient is diagnosed as having a liver disturbance and the associated pectoralis major [chest muscle] tests weak, have the patient chew a substance that may help the liver, such as vitamin A. If . . . the vitamin A is appropriate treatment, the muscle will test strong” 
Dr Barrett concludes his article by stating: The concepts of applied kinesiology do not conform to scientific facts about the causes or treatment of disease. Controlled studies have found no difference between the results with test substances and with placebos. Differences from one test to another may be due to suggestibility, distraction, variations in the amount of force or leverage involved, and/or muscle fatigue. If you encounter a practitioner who relies on AK muscle-testing for diagnosis, head for the nearest exit.
AK practitioners employ orthomolecular medicine to treat nutrient deficiencies and other ailments. This is not a type of medicine but a set of beliefs regarding the role of nutrition and supplements in human health and disease… not accepted by the majority in the scientific community. 
We have crawled down this dangerous snake hole to test the venom of applied kinesiology. I hope this journey has shown you the dangers of this poisonous practice and hope it will be enough for you to vaccinate against the harmful effects of pseudoscience.
When the world is terrible, and it seems, there is no end in sight I do my best to write. I start with sorrow and sadness and penetrating strain. Then I search inwardly to find a purpose to the pain. Once I see the clue I move on to what I must do. I take the bitter and the bad and everything sad, pouring and mixing it into a bowl I make a batter that will soothe the soul.
After its baked I take a taste and help others learn we have no time to waste. No matter how bad we feel there is always a time to playfully squeal. Every bad is a blessing, every laugh a gift, and in the end that is the best tip.
Sitting beside my friend Ernest we chatted the lazy morning away. We were in old town Saint Charles enjoying delicious coffee. Little birds scurried along begging for bread crumbs. Golden rays slipped through the fluffy cloud blankets creating kaleidoscope lightshows in the street.
Beside me was Ernest, he had a lean build halfway between a runner and a weekend warrior. His intensely bored eyes stared into the distance. He was tense and taut as a bow. “What did you think about the book I suggested?”
Watching the steam rise from my cup of coffee I placed my hand over the delightful heat of the freshly brewed deliciousness. Raising my eyes to his. “Oh yeah, the Mind Matter, You Are the Placebo book? It was boring with very little substance.”
Crossing his arms, Ernest’s face reddened as his brow furrowed.
I took a deep breath and continued speaking. “It was like four-hundred pages of pseudoscience garbage. I get what the intent of the book is, but it’s the kind of message that can lead seriously ill people astray.”
Ernest shifted in his seat, his body movements sharpened, and began speaking faster. “I can’t fucking stand people like you. How can you just discount and dismiss what you read?” His words boiled with anger.
My eyebrow raised, I assumed he took my review as a criticism of him. I was kind of weirded out by his reaction. To ease the discomfort of the scene I raised the mug to my lips and took a sip; it was my favorite, highlander grog. Thankfully it had cooled enough for me to enjoy its exquisite flavor.
I looked at him, then back at the birds and the dark river in the distance. It took a few minutes of silence for his agitation to subside. As the air cleared his grimace lowered and his arms uncrossed.
“You know I could’ve charged you when we first met?” He said with a stern face. “But, I value our time too much, so I didn’t…” Slowly he twisted his face into a half smile. “…and I know you need our meetings.”
I shrugged and took a sip of my coffee. “I wouldn’t have hired you, so it wouldn’t have mattered.”
His half smile curled into a full fake smile.
Watching his reaction, I continued. “I’m sorry… I don’t pay for advice or for people to be my friend.” I said holding my hands on the sides of my warm mug.
A few moments passed. Ernest stretched his leg out, then sat back in his chair. The pallor of his face started to redden again as he pressed his lips together and narrowed his eyes. “So, what’s up, how are things?”
“Eh, pretty rough, recovering from chemotherapy has been slow and hard.”
He stared off into space then back at me. “You know, the only reason you haven’t recovered is because you choose to stay sick. Right?”
“Excuse me?” I could feel a warm anger in my stomach.
“You’re choosing to be sick. As soon as you want to get better you will.” He paused for a moment. “That’s what Joe Dispenza is talking about right? This is all mind over matter.”
“That’s not how it works, that’s not how chemotherapy or cancer works.” I was getting angry, but I was doing my best to remain calm.
“That is how it works; if you tell your cells what to do they heal. If you chose to be sick, you stay sick. You have chosen to stay sick. Right? It is your decision; all of this is your decision. You’ve chosen to stay sick, just like you chose to get cancer.” His tone grated on my soul, like being stabbed by the splintered uneven edge of a broken spear.
My blood began to boil. How could this mother fucker actually believe this garbage? No one chooses to get cancer; no one wants to be sick.
He continued to explain. “I only get sick when I want to. I’ve been telling my wife and daughter this a long time. To prove it I told my wife I was choosing to get sick and I got sick. She used to have headaches all the time, now I’ve taught her how to choose not to have them, she doesn’t get them anymore. My daughter doesn’t listen though; she’s stuck like you and won’t accept she is in control of her health.” Ernest’s smile and eyes became wide for a moment before continuing. “You are the placebo, if you want it hard enough, you can have anything you want.” He paused for a moment and looked at his phone. “I have an appointment, give me a hug brother, I’ll see you next week.”
I don’t like to see bridges burned, but I do like see boundaries enforced. To have a relationship with someone we must build a bridge from our island to theirs. It requires upkeep and understanding built from a foundation of empathy and respect. That day he was in the business of setting fires. There are certain things we don’t burn, just like there are certain things we don’t say. It felt like he was in the mood to set my island on fire, so I turned him toward the bridge. He first started by melting and discarding all his understanding, then set flame to empathy, and at the very end, once the bridge began to crumble and fall all my respect for him was gone. I could have stopped the conversation, told him how offensive his statements were, but why put out a flame when the arsonist is just going to set it ablaze again anyways?
Tell me about this book.
In the book: You are the Placebo, by Joe Dispenza he shared how he willed his vertebrae to regenerate after being crushed. Where is the evidence? His followers claim things like x-rays and documentation aren’t needed to prove their prophet’s powers.
How did he heal his bones? Dispenza claims it was by becoming the placebo. In his words “The key is making your inner thoughts more real than the outer environment, because then the brain won’t know the difference between the two and will change to look as if the event has taken place. If you’re able to do this successfully enough times, you’ll transform your body and begin to signal new genes in new ways, producing epigenetic changes—just as though the imagined future event were real. And then you can walk right into that new reality and become the placebo.”
I have no clue what that meant, and I am sure he didn’t either. This is a common trait of followers and practitioners of pseudo-medicine, they love stringing together long unintelligible sentences.
Can we use the placebo effect to heal our body?
Harriet Hall, MD wrote: “Placebos are widely misunderstood. They don’t have any objective healing powers. Placebos have never been shown to change the course of any kind of illness; they have only been shown to temporarily improve subjective complaints like pain and nausea. You have a misconception about placebo surgery; no, it does nothing to activate the self-healing powers of the body. Placebo surgery is never used clinically for treatment. It has only been used as a placebo control in scientific studies, where it has been useful in demonstrating that a particular surgical procedure was ineffective and should be abandoned.”
Harriet A. Hall is a retired family physician, former U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, and health advocate who writes about alternative medicine and quackery for Skeptic magazine, Skeptical Inquirer and Science-based Medicine.
As you swim in the splashing sea you may feel the fish nibble at your feet. It is scary and may leave you weary, but you must force yourself forward. Push hard when it feels like you're flopping and floating, but know each stroke brings you closer to the coast.
I encourage you to keep Hope in your periscope and never be discouraged. See passed the stillness of the sea and the distance to the sandy shore. Know you are closer than ever before. There will come a time in the distant now when the might of your movement will take you to that perfect place, that incredible island, the sanctuary of your soul.