MBLEX

Massage: MBLEX, Body Mechanics & Communication

When I went to massage school very little was spent on body mechanics, technique or communication. Instead the class room experience focused on the MBLEX (the licensing exam every massage therapist must take to become a licensed practitioner). I understand the weight this test is supposed to play in a massage therapist’s career and public safety. However, when put on a scale with body mechanics, technique and communication, we quickly see how this kind of educational practice is not in the best interest of the community, industry or the massage therapist.

Body Mechanics is essential, if we don’t know how to massage someone without hurting ourselves we won’t be massaging very long. When I went to massage school there was very little time spent on body mechanics. If you asked the teachers they would claim they were focused on ensuring students were given the skills necessary to protect their body.  How can an instructor be teaching students to have good body mechanics if they aren’t watching them? During the class room portion of my education the teacher would sit at their desk grading papers or talking while the students massaged on their practice tables. Little to no observation was employed to ensure students were using correct mechanics. During clinicals, when students performed massages on the public or each other, the instructor’s ability to observe was greatly diminished because they were required to help other students study for the MBLEX. Massage therapy is a hands on learning experience, requiring an incredible amount of observation and repetition, without these kinds of practices a massage student will have a difficult time becoming a massage therapist with a long healthy career.

Practicing massage in the class room should begin early, be performed regularly and have a fair amount of instructor involvement. When going through school we rarely performed massages, when we did it was irregular and the instructor seemed disinterested in maintaining a constant role helping students learn, explore and become more effective. When I asked why we didn’t practice massage very often, the answer was “we would get our hands on experience while doing our clinical work“. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, most our clinical experience was just a continuation of the classroom and nearly every hour was spent studying for the MBLEX.

The MBLEX is not the end all be all test of massage therapy. It reflects some aspects of our ability to showcase our academic knowledge. More specifically it tests a person’s ability to access obscure information, apply critical thought and sit patiently in front of a computer. These skills do not easily translate into practical massage applications. I am an avid researcher and I love knowledge, passing the MBLEX was a breeze and though I thought the test was fun I have discovered its relevance has little to no value. With a few changes the test could be made a lot more valuable to our clientele, the massage industry and the therapist. One being the elimination of questions supporting pseuodoscience, others would be to test a student’s research knowledge, writing and literacy. These are all valuable skills a massage therapist needs in the field. Unfortunately no time was spent in my  schooling teaching students how to research, critically think or write effectively. In class our teacher spoke a lot about how to write SOAP notes, but no time was spent teaching us how to write them or testing our ability to write.

The biggest and most important part of massage is communication. Great massages happen because a massage therapist knows how to effectively communicate. If a client doesn’t feel comfortable telling us how the pressure is, if the table is too warm, if a heat pack is too hot or they want a specific area massaged, we will never be able to provide them with the experience they are looking for. When I went to school we had a course on communication, but it wasn’t very involved and there was very little participation for a communication course. When I heard we were going to do some role-playing I was excited, this kind of learning is a lot of fun and can be a great way of discovering how others explore life. Unfortunately we only spent about 2 hours on communication with maybe an hour of role-playing.  Most of the time was spent justifying why we did what we did instead of trying out a bunch of likely or hard situations. If more time was spent on communication I believe we could more easily meet the expectations of our clientele, reduce workplace conflicts and make life more enjoyable for everyone.

The MBLEX is an important test, but in many ways its has a negative impact on the industry. I believe with a few changes it can occupy the purpose it was meant to. By removing the pseudoscience it supports, adding questions that evaluate research knowledge, writing and literacy, we can begin moving our industry forward. This would be the first step with later steps involving the removal of the Provisional License (which is a grace period that encourages lower quality education in our massage schools.) and the creation of policies that enforce massage schools to provide the education they are selling.


Research

What are the Benefits of Massage

Bowen Technique 

Looyen Work

Rolfing

Pain Science

Shawn White Blog

Looyen Work

Looyen Work? That’s a strange name! What does it have to do with Adhesions?

What is Looyen Work?

This modality may be described as a combination of physical therapy and psychoanalysis.

Looyen Work practitioners claim to have the ability to penetrate deep into a muscle to reduce tension, remove adhesions and improve range of motion. This modality uses a variety of techniques and pressure levels, from mild traditional Swedish strokes to brutally painful Rolfing techniques.

Massage therapists who claim the ability to detect and break apart adhesions with their hands are woefully mistaken. Massage therapists do not have the ability to affect an adhesion in any meaningful way.

So then, what is an adhesion? Adhesions are fibrous bands of scar tissue that form between internal organs and tissues, joining them together abnormally. An example of an adhesion would be Endometriosis, which is a condition in which the endometrial tissue that lines the uterus begins to invade other parts of the body.

How is an adhesion actually removed? Adhesions are permanent without a surgical procedure called adhesion lysis or Laparoscopic Lysis, this procedure is used to disrupt or remove the tissue. Here is a great video that explains adhesions in greater detail and how to treat them.

Practitioners of this modality are also known for attempting to council their clients through any emotional release that may occur during a massage session. This is outside of a massage therapist’s scope of practice. As soft tissue manipulators we are not allowed to treat your mental health issues. Be wary of any massage therapist who attempts to diagnose or treat any mental health issues you may have.


Research

Shawn White Blog

Clinical Massage

What is Rolfing?

Massage is Amazing!

Cancer coach

Cancer Coach: Treating Cancer with Nutrition, Reiki and Meditation?

Cancer coach  Kathy Bero claims that she was able to cure her cancer using  anti-angiogenic foods, reiki and meditation.

There is real science that is going to be there” This woman says, as she makes it clear there is no science-based evidence supporting her claim that diet alone can cure cancer. She is giving advice to people based on her anecdotal evidence, which is the lowest form of evidence. This is extremely dangerous. These kinds of activities put the lives of sick people at risk, leading them down ineffective treatment options and horrific agony. Unfortunately when the blind lead the blind, people get hurt. This is a perfect example of this. The advice given to these people  might lead them to refuse science-based treatment options to pursue the untested anecdotal testimony of one person.  A testimony that ignored all the prior treatment she received.

Kathy Bero underwent extensive chemotherapy and paid the price in pain for its healing properties. Once the pain became too much she stopped taking it.  I can empathize, when I was going through chemotherapy it was one of the most horrific experiences of my life. I would rather die than do it again, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.  When it comes to our life it is up to us to determine how much we are willing to pay.  When it comes to cancer we aren’t paying in money, we are paying in pain, how much pain are we willing to pay to live.

In her situation there are two likely explanations for her current health. We could say it was the reiki, meditation and nutrition, or it was the invasive and scientifically tested chemotherapy medicine.

I have never read or heard of any scientific studies with controls that support reiki, meditation or nutrition as a means of curing cancer. On the other hand, I have read the science-based evidence supporting the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

If we apply Occam’s Razor to this situation, which is a problem-solving principle that, when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the answer that makes the fewest assumptions. Chemotherapy and its effects can be measured. Its benefits can be compared against placebo and it has been proven under rigorous testing to have a benefit to people with cancer. On the other hand, practices like reiki have never been proven to have any effectiveness greater than placebo when controls are applied. Nutrition may improve wellness, but it does not have the ability to eliminate tumors and no amount of meditation will cure your cancer.

To believe nutrition, meditation and reiki cured this woman’s cancer requires a lot of assumptions. Simply put we must ignore the fact there is no evidence these practices have the ability to destroy cancer cells, especially metastatic cancer. She admits in her own interview that she believes her beliefs will be validated by science.

So which treatment option was responsible? The answer is simple, her chemotherapy. Had she not of underwent the terrible journey of chemotherapy, she wouldn’t be alive today. She can pretend her recipes and pseudo-medicine diet cured her cancer, but at the end of the day there is no science-based evidence to support her claims.


Discovering Hope

Shawn White Blog

Orthomolecular What?

 

 

 

massage

Massage is amazing, but what are its benefits?

Would you like to improve circulation? Maybe you are interested in stimulating your lymph system to increase your body’s ability to fight toxic invaders? Perhaps you want to increase the number of endorphins released? These are common claims made by massage therapists, but are they true? Is there any science-based evidence supporting these supposed benefits? The answer is simple, most massage modalities have no proven benefit.

Life is already challenging, lets avoid increasing that difficulty. We achieve this by advocating for ourselves, one great way to start is by being critical about the advice we are given. We should be exceptionally critical of any treatment option we use, especially when it comes to our health. In this article we are specifically discussing the benefits of massage. In my research I have discovered two proven benefits:

  1. It can down regulate the sympathetic nervous system.
  2. It feels great.

I believe it is natural to search for the truth, and I believe we should always reach for the stars. The best way to understand our world and the stars beyond is with the scientific method. This process has paved the way for society to engineer lifesaving technologies that have saved countless lives. It is healthy to desire knowledge and to ask why. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to ask why or what science is. Many massage therapists have never been taught how to research or critically think, this paves the way for pseudo-medicine to continually nest within the massage industry. By and large massage therapists are undereducated, and they tend to cling to pre-science modalities or unproven ideas. This causes massage therapists to perpetuate myths and falsehoods. I want to help you protect yourself from this inaccurate information. The best way I know how is by showing you how to become your own advocate.

So how do I protect myself from low quality massage therapists? Finding the right massage therapist is like finding the right doctor. Now, by no means am I saying a massage therapist is equal to a doctor in education or scope of practice, but the way we approach our health should be universal.

Before using any massage therapist, we should review their website, or the company’s website they are employed by. This is done to see what modalities they use, and to determine if they provide evidence supporting the efficacy of these modalities. Contact the massage therapist and discuss their theory of massage, do their ideas match yours? If they don’t understand your needs, your needs will not be met. Not all massage therapists research and write articles, but if they do, this is a great way to see what their approach to massage is. If you can access a few, take some time to read them to determine if they are worth your hard-earned money.

Massage therapy makes all sorts of claims, here are some of the most common:

  • Increased circulation.
  • Increases stimulation of the lymph system to increase the body’s ability to fight toxic invaders.
  • Releases endorphins.
  • Improved range of motion.
  • Relaxation of injured muscles.
  • Increased recovery time after exercise.
  • Increased joint flexibility.
  • Treats migraines.
  • Reduces post-operative adhesions.
  • Reduces edema.
  • Reduces scar tissue.
  • Helps eliminate lactic acid from muscles.
  • Removes toxins from the body.

It is easy to claim massage has a benefit, it is much more difficult to provide science-based evidence it plays a significant role in treating a disease or condition.  Some of the claims above might be possible,  but others are simply ludicrous.

Here are some more claims, take a look and ask yourself if you believe massage therapy could be an effective treatment option for the following conditions:

  • Whiplash.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Disc problems.
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction.
  • Neurological dysfunction.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • Painful scars.
  • Scoliosis.
  • Vulvodynia.
  • Interstitial Cystitis.
  • Mastectomy Pain.
  • Menstrual Problems.
  • Painful Intercourse.
  • Urinary Frequency.
  • Problematic Breast Implant.
  • Coccydynia.
  • Endometriosis.
  • Infertility Problems.
  • Urinary Incontinence.
  • Lymphedema.
  • Urinary Urgency.
  • Episiotomy Scars.
  • Pelvic Floor Pain.
  • Pudendal Nerve Entrapment.

Conclusion

Massage therapy is great, it feels good and as a result it relaxes us. In a world of hardship, challenge and infinite obstacles, massage has a great slice of the wellness pie. We provide a healthy, ethical and effective form of instant gratification. A client doesn’t have to worry about adverse effects or addiction when receiving one. When we have such a wonderful niche, why are we so concerned with the release of toxins, improvement of circulation and the numerous other unproven claims? Embrace massage for what it is, an experience that feels amazing!


Research

Shawn White Blog

Clinical Massage

 

Rolfing

What is Rolfing? Its Painful!

What is Rolfing? This modality uses unproven techniques that claim to restructure fascia, muscles and other soft tissue to make improvements to a client’s posture. The techniques used in this modality are often very painful. Massage therapists implementing this modality use a considerable amount of force, enlisting knuckles, fists and elbows to dig deep into ligaments and tendons. In some instances a practitioner will place a client into a number of uncomfortable poses similar to assisted yoga.

The practitioners of Rolfing claim this modality may be used to treat a number of health conditions, such as: loss of balance, back pain, stress, anxiety, respiratory issues, decreased mobility, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and limited range of motion.

Unfortunately structural integration is still practiced. The no pain, no gain philosophy is an ineffective treatment option. Your massage should feel good during and after the session. If your massage therapist or health care provider is leaving your with bruises, consider letting this sadist go to seek out someone who actually has the education to help you.


Research

Shawn White Blog

Clinical Massage

alkaline diet

How effective is the Alkaline Diet? Should I have any concerns?

Do you believe an alkaline diet or a sodium bicarbonate infusion is an effective way to treat cancer? Are you considering an alkaline diet? Are you doing it because you want to live a healthy life, perhaps to fight and prevent disease? If that is the case then adopting the alkaline diet would be a step in the wrong direction. It does not cure, treat or affect disease in any positive way.

If you’ve read any of the pH Miracle books or are considering adopting an alkaline diet, I strongly suggest researching its inventor.

The Father of the Alkaline Diet, Robert O. Young and author of the “pH Miracle” books claims acid is responsible for all disease and the cure is alkalinization. Preying on the fear and desperation of the terminally ill he made millions of dollars with his diet plans, books and treatments. In 2014 he was charged with conspiring to practice medicine without a license and multiple counts of grand theft. As of 2017 he was found guilty of practicing medicine without a license and was sentenced to over three years in prison.[1]

Taking calcium has no effect on blood acidity. You could pour an entire bottle of calcium pills down your gullet and it would have no effect what-so-ever on your blood acidity. Sure it may neutralize some of the acidity of your stomach, but homeostasis would revert it back within a few minutes.[2]

Robert O Young “treated” seriously ill people with unproven and potentially dangerous procedures without a medical licence. Under his “care” many have paid the price of their life in addition to thousands of dollars for ineffective treatments.

In 2012 Naima Houder-Mohammed paid Young $77,000 for treatment, where he infused sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) into her blood stream. She was treated by him for three months, during which her health worsened until she died. [3]

When we are desperate we often take great leaps of faith in the pursuit of survival. It is important we are armed with the right information to protect ourselves from charlatans and snake oil salesmen.

If it is too good to be true, it probably is, the alkaline diet and the treatments of Robert O Young is a great example of this. Unfortunately, some believe the alkaline diet is the magical cure for everything. Like any magical cure, its effects are placebo at best. Its a nonsense idea created by the convicted felon Robert O Young. This supposed expert on biology and diet is not a microbiologist, hematologist, medical doctor, naturopathic doctor or trained scientist. In fact he doesn’t have any post high-school degrees what-so-ever[4].

Many seriously ill people have lost thousands of dollars and their lives due to Young’s pseudo-science treatments. If you are considering a new diet, consult your licensed health care provider and thoroughly research your options before committing to a new lifestyle.


Research

Shawn White Blog

The Placebo

Orthomolecular What?

NET Cancer

Caught in a Net? Research your way out!

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.

Net Resources

 


Discovering Hope

Shawn White Blog

Caught in a Net 5

 

Orthomolecular Therapy, Mega Vitamin Dietary Supplements

Orthomolecular Therapy, Mega Vitamins and Dietary Supplements might be bad for me?

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.[1] 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.[2]

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. [3] It has even been found  that vitamin C has no effect at all in the treatment of cancer. [4]  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.”[5]

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. [6] 

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.[7]

There are specific instances when someone might need a supplement, these include, [6]

  • 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, [6]

  • 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.


  • [1] <http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1504267>
  • [2] <http://skepdic.com/orthomolecular.html>
  • [3] <https://www.theguardian.com/society/2004/oct/01/medicineandhealth.lifeandhealth1>
  • [4] <https://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/nov/17/cancer-vitamins-risk-study-science>
  • [5] <https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/vitamin-c>
  • [6] <page 321-332, Rose, Nedah, editor. Understanding Nutrition. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2013>
  • [7] <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.>

Shawn White Blog

Research

NCAN 

 

 
Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology

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.[1]

What is kinesiology? It is the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement. [2]

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.” [3]

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.” [4]

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.” [5]

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” [6]

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…”[7].

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. [8]

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
  • Counseling
  • Chiropractics
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Myofascial release
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Nutritional therapies
  • Homeopathy

 

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.”  [9]

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

Applied Kinesiology often employs the pre-scientific belief of chiropractics. This practice claims to treat an array of illnesses by adjusting  subluxations, curing nerve impairment and innate.

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.” [10]

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.” [13]

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. [11]

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”  [11]

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. [12]

 

Conclusion

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.

 

Nioxin vs Monat vs Rogaine

Nioxon vs Monat vs Rogaine

While perusing the land of Facebook I was drawn to an image (shown below) illustrating the advantages of one product over two others. With my interest piqued I spent the better part of an evening researching it’s claims. I believe we all fall victim to the whirlwind of information flashed before our eyes. There is so much knowledge at our fingers tips it can be challenging to decipher fact from fiction.

Errors and Clarifications

The first error the author made was when they classified Nioxin, a company as a product. I am assuming the author intended to compare Nioxin’s Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men and Rogaine to the Monat product: Intense Repair Treatment.

The second error was when it compared the three products unfairly. No attempt was made to compare each item in a like manner, essentially the author was comparing apples to oranges.

The next error was that the active and inactive ingredients were inaccurately listed. If you consult the following data you will see that Acetamide MEA, Cocamide MEA, PEG-150 distearate, Tocopherol, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Diazolidinyl, Sodium Laureth sulfate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben PEG-150 distearate and Propylparaben are not on the ingredient list for Nioxin’s Hair Regrowth Treatment.
The active ingredient of Nioxin’s Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men is 5% Minoxidil. The inactive ingredients are Alcohol, Propylene Glycol and Purified Water. [3]

The active ingredient of Rogaine is Minoxidil 5%. The inactive ingredients of Rogaine are butane, butylated hydroxytoluene, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, glycerin, isobutane, lactic acid, polysorbate 60, propane, purified water, SD alcohol 40-B, stearyl alcohol.

The product I assume the author wishes to compare from Monat is their Intense Repair Treatment, which claims to be a patented biometric peptide formula, that has “higher proven results than other leading hair loss brands” and its “clinical results prove significant results in just 90 days” [1]

The Intense Repair Treatment does not use the terms active and inactive ingredients, instead the terms ‘key ingredient’ and ‘ingredients’ are used. The key ingredient is Capixyl [1]. However on the main Monat website this ingredient is not mentioned. On the main Monat website it states that the product’s ingredients are water, butylene glycol, acetyl tetrapeptide-3, Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, dextran, xanthan gum, pvp, cocamidopropyl-pg-dimonium, chloride, benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid, fragrance.

According to another source the ingredient list of Capixyl is: Butylene Glycol, water, Dextran, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract which matches up with most of the ingredients within the Intense Repair Treatment. [2]

How are the terms key, active and inactive ingredients defined?
According to the World Health Organization the term active ingredient is defined as:

“active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) Any substance or combination of substances used in a finished pharmaceutical product (FPP), intended to furnish pharmacological activity or to otherwise have direct effect in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or to have direct effect in restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions in human beings.”

An inactive ingredient or vehicle is an inactive substance mixed with an active ingredient to give bulk to a medicine. [4]

I have found no pharmaceutical definitions for key ingredients.

What do these three products do?

Nioxin Hair Regrowth Treatment for men and Rogaine have identical active ingredients.
Active Ingredient: Minoxidil 5%.

“Minoxidil applied to the scalp is used to stimulate hair growth in adult men and women with a certain type of baldness. The exact way that this medicine works is not known. If hair growth is going to occur with the use of minoxidil, it usually occurs after the medicine has been used for several months and lasts only as long as the medicine continues to be used. Hair loss will begin again within a few months after minoxidil treatment is stopped. In the U.S., this medicine is available without a prescription.” [5]

Monat Intense Repair Treatment
Key Ingredient: Capixyl (not listed as an active ingredient, see above)

There is no information on Pubmed about Capixyl. [6]

There appears to be no evidence-based data to suggest Capixyl or the Monat Intense Repair Treatment has any affect on the regrowth of hair.

Conclussion

According to my research Minoxidil is the only drug proven to regrow hair. Monat’s claim that Capixyl (or Monat’s Intense Repair Treatment) can regrow hair is anecdotal at best.

[1] “Intense Repair Treatment” Monat Intense Repair Treatment. Hair Canada. Web. 8 December 2017. <
[2] “Capixyl TM” Propspector. UL. Web. 8 December 2017 < https://www.ulprospector.com/en/na/PersonalCare/Detail/4501/191081/Capixyl>
[3] ”Nioxin Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men” JC Penney. Web. 8 December 2017. < http://haircanada.net/index.php/monat-products/intense-repair-treatment-monat/>
[4] “Defintion of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient” WHO. World Health Organization, July 2011. Web. 8 December 2017. <https://www.jcpenney.com/p/nioxin-hair-regrowth-treatment-for-men-30-day-supply-2-oz/pp5005120081?pTmplType=regular&rrec=true&rrplacementtype=product1_rr> http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_safety/quality_assurance/DefinitionAPI-QAS11-426Rev1-08082011.pdf>.
[5] “Minoxidil (on the skin)” Minoxidil. NCBI. 1 November 2017. Web. 8 December 2017. < https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0011238/?report=details>
[6] “No result found for Capixl” < https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/search/?term=Capixyl>

I feel like garbage

Garbage

garbage

Where am I am today?  I am in a I fucking hate this life kind of mood.  I feel like utter shit!  I am tired of feeling this way.  I can’t feel my fingers and toes, earlier I couldn’t feel my face.  I am stressed beyond imagination and I feel like all of my hopes and dreams have been stolen from me.  I feel robbed.  I feel like I am living in this shell of a body, I am so angry.  I try and I push and I do my best to make the best of every moment.  Times like these, times like these long moments I despise the cards that have been dealt to me.  It fucking sucks, there is no other way to describe it.

We must become advocates, all of us

Becoming your own advocate means you must learn how to critically research and develop critical thinking skills.  I consider personal advocacy to be an inner boundary (something I will discuss later).

Being your own Advocate means you must be a leader.  You have the break the mold of putting your life into the hands of strangers you know nothing about. These people should be working for you and not the other way around.

We should be interviewing these people, they should be earning our trust, we are their boss, there should be no point in our treatment plan that they are our boss. They are the people we are using to get a service done, if their ego or inability gets in the way of achieving your goals then they are failing in the duties they were hired for.  When this happens it is time for you to fire them.

If you hired someone to fix your motor vehicle would you hire them again if they failed to fix the part you paid them to repair?  Would you hire them again if they refused to follow your instructions?  No, of course you wouldn’t, so why are we shelling out thousands and thousands of dollars to health care professionals who are not meeting or exceeding our expectations.

Something has got to change and the only way I can see that change happening is if we have a greater understanding of our care.  If we take charge of our treatment plan and learn how to say NO, we can become a true advocate for our own health.  We have to be our own advocate.  This WE is more than just cancer patients, this is everyone.  Everyone has to be made aware of how to demand the service they deserve because they are paying for it, the service they deserve because they are a human being.

 

What does this mean? Part 1 (Introduction)

What does this mean, what does that mean, these are questions I found myself asking along the way.  Often I would see lists of abbreviations and acronyms that represented critical bits of information that did not exist within my vernacular. There is so much information in the medical world, it is easy for anyone to get lost in its sea of vast knowledge.

This series focuses on the abbreviations, acronyms and terms found on the different documents we see through our cancer journey.  This series is less entertaining and more informative, each post will have the subject matter after the part number in parenthesis.  My goal is to provide a comprehensive and easy to locate list to help you understand the difficult road ahead of you.

I want to leave off saying that I am not a doctor or a physician.  These definitions and explanations reflect my own personal research on the topic.  You should consult your health care provider when deciding your medical needs.  My goal is to give you some frame work to help facilitate those conversations.

Direction – Why do I need a specialist?

 

Sometimes it is a challenge to see our environment, it is difficult to make out exactly what it is we are experiencing.  When you are facing something as difficult as cancer it can be hard to find which direction is the right way to go. This is especially true of my cancer journey. When I started this road I put my faith into a group of professionals that I thought would lead me well. Unfortunately I discovered I was a blind man being led by another blind person.

In one of my last posts I made a comment about how upsetting it was that my oncologist knew very little about my cancer.  After watching this video it shed more light onto why he was so mistaken about the nature of my disease.

Why do I need a specialist?

Ignorance of something rare is excusable, but is it when the doctor doesn’t refer you out to someone who might be more knowledgeable? 

Bronchial Carcinoids

There are two kinds of carcinoid, typical and atypical.  I have the pleasure of owning the atypical variety.  I had a pneumonectoy on July 27, 2016.  That means that my right lung was removed in the attempt to stop the spread of my cancer.

In the following video Dr. Robert Merritt details some of the nuances of Bronchial Carcinoids.  If you have the time to listen to it its actually pretty fascinating.  If you have a carcinoid friend inside of you there is a chance it might get your gear going in the right direction.

Look here! This is another opportunity to read more about my cancer journey! If you would like to take some more steps with me, feel free to click here!