SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

September 30, 2013

Prevent Alzheimer’s

Be Proactive —  You can avoid Alzheimer’s

Once again I am borrowing from Dr Mercola.  This time it is a fantastic interview between Dr Mercola and one of the most prominent  Neurologists in today’s world by the name of David Perlmutter, M.D..  He and Dr Mercola spoke at length of his latest book which is simply called   “THE GRAIN BRAIN”  which of course gives one a clue to the message.

Dr Perlmutter’s  message is simple, clear and lays out the fairly simplistic (non-complicated) manner for anyone who wishes to take action against the enabling of this dreaded disease, Alzheimer’s.  His work is well documented and substantial — actually – irrefutable!  With so many of us fighting the good fight on this. . . this is a must see. .  .  (and coconut oil is not mentioned).  Jan

How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease—A Neurologist Speaks Out

Story at-a-glance

  • Alzheimer’s disease is currently at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans—including one in eight people aged 65 and over—living with it. There is no known cure, and few truly effective treatments
  • Research suggests the best hope is in prevention focusing on exercise and diet, specifically replacing carbohydrates with higher amounts of healthful fats, and moderate amounts of high-quality protein
  • Gluten sensitivity appears to be involved in most chronic disease, including those affecting the brain, because of how gluten affects your immune system. Glucose and fructose,(sugars) and carbohydrates can also have powerfully toxic effects
  • Preventing and treating neurological disorders requires severe restriction of gluten and casein. You also need to address your gut flora
Skip the Alzheimer’s Nightmare… Ditch This Brain-Numbing Food Today   Dr Perlmutter Gluten
This trendy food is adept at stalking your brain and turning you into an Alzheimer’s magnet… a disease with no cure or effective treatment. Yet here are research-proven rules to keep your brain healthy and fully functional, well into old age.

September 29, 2013

In praise of Pope Francis

Pope’s refreshing humility goes against the grain


Frank Bruni

It’s about time. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church has surveyed the haughty scolds in its ranks, noted their fixation on matters of sexual morality above all others and said enough is enough. I’m not being cheeky with this one-word response: Hallelujah.

But it wasn’t the particulars of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking message in an interview published last week that stopped me in my tracks, gave fresh hope to many embittered Catholics and caused hardened commentators to perk up.

It was the sweetness in his timbre, the meekness of his posture. It was the revelation that a man can wear the loftiest of miters without having his head swell to fit it, and can hold an office to which the term infallible often is attached without forgetting his failings. In the interview, Francis called himself naive, worried that he’d been rash in the past and made clear that the flock harbored as much wisdom as the shepherds. Instead of commanding people to follow him, he invited them to join him. And did so gently, in what felt like a whisper.

  • What a surprising portrait of modesty in a church that had lost touch with it.
  • And what a refreshing example of humility in a world with too little of it.

That’s what stayed with me, not the olive branch he extended to gay people or the way he brushed aside the contraception wars but his personification of a virtue whose deficit in American life hit me full force when I spotted it here, in his disarming words. Reading and then rereading the interview, I felt like a bird-watcher who had just stumbled upon a dodo.

I’m hardly the first to flag this pope’s apparent humility or the fact that it extends beyond his preference for simple dress over regal costumes, for a Ford Focus over a papal chariot, for modest quarters over a monarch’s suite. Less than two months ago, when he answered a question about gay priests with a question of his own — “Who am I to judge?” — the self-effacement in that phrase was widely and rightly celebrated. Was a pope really acting and talking like this?

But Francis’ tone so far is interesting not just as a departure for the church but as a counterpoint to the prevailing sensibility in our country, where humility is endangered if not quite extinct. It’s out of sync with all the relentless self-promotion, which has been deemed the very oxygen of success. It sits oddly with the cult of self-esteem.

Humility has little place in the realm of social media, which is governed by a look-at-me ethos, by listen-to-me come-ons, by me, me, me. And humility is quaintly irrelevant to the defining entertainment genre of our time, reality television, which insists that every life is mesmerizing, if only in the manner of a train wreck, and that anyone is a latent star: the housewife, the hoarder, the teen mom, the tuna fisher. Just preen enough to catch an audience’s eye. Just beckon the cameras close.

Politics is most depressing of all. It rewards braggarts and bullies, who muscle their way onto center stage with the crazy certainty that they and only they are right, while we in the electorate and the news media lack the fortitude to shut them up or shoo them away. They disgust but divert us, or at a minimum wear us down. Maybe we get the showboats we deserve .

For a textbook case of humility gone missing, consider right-wing Republicans’ efforts to derail Obamacare by whatever crude and disruptive means necessary. The health-care law has its flaws, some of them profound, but it was legitimately passed, in accordance with the rules, and to stray outside them in order to make it go away is to believe that they don’t apply to you, that your viewpoint trumps the process itself. It’s the summit of arrogance.

Humility doesn’t work in the crossfire of our political combat. Certainty and single-mindedness are better fuels.

How exactly does President Barack Obama fit in? While his Syria reversals may well have diminished him, they had a sort of humility to them, reflected a willingness to yield to the strong feelings of others and deserve some acknowledgment along those lines. Leadership, more art than science, should be a mix of rallying people to your cause and recognizing when you stand too far away from them.

But in Obama there’s a recurrent deflection of criticism and a refusal to abide certain political customs and efficiencies — the stroking, the rewarding, the mantra-style repetition of a simplified argument for a distracted populace — that work against his success and smack of excessive pride. He could take a page from this pope.

I never expected to write that. For too many years I watched the chieftains of the church wrap themselves in lavish pageantry and prioritize the protection of fellow clergy members over the welfare of parishioners. They allowed priests who sexually abused children to evade accountability and, in many cases, to abuse again. That cover-up was the very antithesis of humility, driven by the belief that shielding the church from public scandal mattered more than anything else.

For too many years I also watched and listened to imperious men around the pope hurl thunderbolts of judgment from the Olympus of Vatican City. But in his recent interview, Francis made a plea for quieter, calmer weather, suggesting that church leaders in Rome spend less energy on denunciations and censorship.

He cast himself as a struggling pastor determined to work in a collaborative fashion. He characterized himself as a sinner. “It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre,” he clarified. “I am a sinner.”

He didn’t right past wrongs. Let’s be clear about that. Didn’t call for substantive change to church teachings and traditions that indeed demand re-examination, including the belief that homosexual acts themselves are sinful. Didn’t challenge the all-male, celibate priesthood. Didn’t speak as progressively — and fairly — about women’s roles in the church as he should.

But he also didn’t present himself as someone with all the answers. No, he stepped forward — shuffled forward, really — as someone willing to guide fellow questioners. In doing so he recognized that authority can come from a mix of sincerity and humility as much as from any blazing, blinding conviction, and that stature is a respect you earn, not a pedestal you grab. That’s a useful lesson in this grabby age of ours.

Frank Bruni writes for The New York Times.

(My Comment:

For quite some time now, I have wanted to express my gratitude for the very good fortune which has given the world this truly beautiful man who now leads the Roman Catholic Church.    He is unique and his impact wherever he goes is amazing.  If ever there was a single man who could make a difference in all the regal pageantry and pomposity which has dominated for so many centuries, this would be the man. 

His great soul is reaching throughout the world and all are sensing it.    This gentle persona is indeed, great and powerful while unifying and calming as he strolls amongst us.  He loves, first and foremost and this is so evident.  People can’t help but respond to this loving man for he evokes this within us;  it comes from who he is — not his title, but his core. 

Frank Bruni has written a splendid piece, and I feel reluctant to have my own words appear on the same page with his marvelous writing  which has so sensitively and respectfully portrayed our reigning Pope.   Well done, Mr. Bruni.      Jan)

Lets talk “back Pain”

Most of us are NOT aware how big “back pain” REALLY IS

My husband suffered endless back pain all the years I knew him, though he was quite stoic about it.  And he suffered endless migraine headaches.  Couldn’t lay his body down to rest as it hurt his head too much.  He would just hang on to  the high-boy in the bedroom, darkened, as the light was blinding to him, and hold a cold cloth to his eyes and forehead – very gently.  It’s hard to see those you love suffer like that. (This was the early 50’s)  

My own first episode requiring chiropractic care happened when I was about 16.  On awakening one morning, I couldn’t move my neck to the frontal position.  I seemed stuck, looking over one shoulder.  It hurt.  I was scared and helpless.  Mother took me immediately to her own chiropractor — a man she trusted, but I was terrified of.  The sounds coming from his treatment of her scared me and I didn’t want any part of it.  I pleaded with her, but there was no contest (my puny will up against this dynamo was almost a joke).  Off we went.  Skipping the details, suffice it to say, I became a believer.   His ‘adjustment’ of my bones didn’t hurt — just sounds terrible.  The relief was instant.  Of course he rubbed my neck and shoulders as well as checking the rest of my cerebral column.   My particular predisposition seemed to be circumscribed to neck and shoulders primarily.   Low back and hip problems developed along the way.  By middle age, hips began to play a more prominent role. 

I have been active my entire life.  Never an athlete as was my mother, but marvelously healthy, agile and extremely limber. In touch with my feelings and emotional nature,  I could and would cry for release. . but this was just conscious stuff, and these issues, so to speak, are not what drives us from the unconscious part of ourselves. .  . like the biggies hiding in cellars we don’t even know we have.    We are born to families and circumstances, and from this we grow to become who we are, having been almost totally conditioned by those forces and experiences we have known.   Along the way, so much, some of the heavier stuff, gets stored below the conscious level.  It’s out-of-sight  ergo, we aren’t aware of these parts of our lives – – – but they are there.

So why go off on this tangent? One might say — just a bit of good fortune,  it comes from a book I bought recently called “Healing Back Pain” by Dr John E. Sarno.  I’m loving this book. I have recently bought 4 of them for different others who are suffering and in trouble.  The techniques  that Dr Sarno has developed have helped untold numbers of people who have been unable to find relief from any healing arts whatsoever.. . I mean  everything as well as psychiatry.  Dr Sarno is not a shrink, but has had to use this branch of medicine availing certain of his magical techniques.  His method is incredible.  As I read this book, I am learning and understanding more and more about myself — it seems written for me, about me.  I’m so hopeful.  

Dr Sarno says in his book that the incidence of this back pain syndrome which he discusses has reached gigantic proportions, around 80 percent of the population suffers this way and the financial tab tallies over $56 billion annually, (1991 book, so probably more like $75 Billion now.)  Yet all still suffer and hardly anyone is helped.  This man is helping about 90% of those he  works with to freedom from pain.  There remain some who still will need further help from a psychiatrist  to reach the hidden areas they are unable to reach alone.  This man and his techniques stand head and shoulders over all that I have ever seen. 

I do not wish to tell you more, but only to deeply recommend that you get this book.  When I found out about, I posted on it  (early September, 2013) and showed the confirmation document they had sent me in which I bought my book along with a few others.   From their site, I downloaded a few customer reviews of this book and the later one which I have included here.  These are of course, all 5 star reviews, but why wouldn’t they be – – this stuff is amazing, and as is my custom,  I like to share.  Beside all that, I am a believer in non-toxic forms of healing and I really ‘hate pain’,  so why wouldn’t I wish to tell you and everyone about this wonderful, available solution.  Take care.   Jan

Posted by Niki Collins Queen on 06/06/2003

Dr. John Sarno’s book “The Mind Body Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain” is invaluable.
I first bought Sarno’s book titled “Healing Back Pain” (1991) for my mother in South Africa and learned that stress, tension and psychological factors can cause back pain and migraines. Since I have chronic migraines I bought his later book “The MindBody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain.”  (1999) His thinking is of course outside mainstream medicine. Sarno found that strong emotions generated in the unconscious mind, particularly rage, cause the mind to create a more socially acceptable physical distraction. The brain does this by reducing the blood flow and thus the proper amount of oxygen to the tissues involved. He says the change in the muscles, nerves and tendons account for 90% of the pain. He calls it TMS-Tension Myositis Syndrome as it is a physical disorder caused by tension in muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments. The pain from the TMS takes our attention away from the emotional trauma and instead of dealing with our repressed feelings we focus on our body.
Treatment involves looking at what was going on in our life when the pain started and identifying repressed feelings from the past.
An experience I had makes me think what Sarno says is true. When my half sister and her husband, from South Africa, lived with me for five months they bought a car that had engine problems that only got seven miles to the gallon to tour America. I was concerned about their car purchase but did not say anything. I developed severe neck and back pain and could not turn my head for a week. I shared my concern about their car at a Co-Dependency group meeting and to my surprise I became very tearful.  As I spoke the ache in my neck evaporated like vapor. I later joked with them and said, “You’re a pain in the neck!”
I fit perfectly with the personality characteristics common in people with TMS — conscientious, responsible, perfectionistic with a strong need to please and to be helpful and good. And as Sarno says these tendencies have lead to tension and anxiety and physical problems.
When I looked for repressed anger when the migraines started I discovered that I felt extremely rejected, betrayed and used by my sister and brother-in-law at that time. Once I identified the repressed anger and sadness I started to grieve. It was like going through a divorce. Now I see we had different expectations for our relationship back then.  I thought of us as a family. They wanted to immigrate to America and saw me as their ticket to get established.
When my stepfather heard I was angry he said, “Why don’t you float your negative feelings in a paper boat down your creek? I thought I had! Now I see that Sarno’s views are more helpful. Sarno says, “We are frail beings with brains strongly influenced by childish, illogical, reactions and dependency needs. Most of us carry feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, humiliation, shame and anger at ourselves for not living up to our own expectations and rage at others for perceived hurt and betrayals.
The brain-mind is a conglomeration of thoughts and feelings that are often at odds with each other. It is not the neat, well organized, logical organ we would like it to be.” Thanks to Sarno I’ve decided it’s all right to be illogical and childish. It’s part of being human and it is universal and if it means getting rid of my migraines and rage and becoming a better person in the end, then so much the better.
To help people recognize that their mind, rather than a physical abnormality is the source of their pain Sarno’s treatment program involves lectures, group meeting and psychotherapy, if necessary. Patients are encouraged to discontinue all physical therapy, resume all physical activity, and review the 10 daily reminders: I have no structural abnormality only mild oxygen deprivation; — I have a harmless condition caused by repressed emotion (mostly anger); — TMS exists to distract me from emotions; — I have nothing to fear; — my physical aching is not dangerous; — I will not be concerned or intimidated by pain; — I will shift my attention from pain to emotional issues; — I intend to be in control — not my subconscious mind; — I must think psychological, not physical.
Sarno has treated more than 11,000 patients with chronic pain-many of whom have suffered for years. He estimates he’s cured more than 90% of them and has helped thousands of patients overcome pain without drugs or surgery.
I’ve been studying the principles in Sarno’s book for two months now and, unfortunately, still have the migraines. If the migraines are caused by TMS I may be among the 5% Sarno talks about who will need to actually experience my grief and rage with a therapist to get relief. However, Sarno’s book has been invaluable as I feel happier and more at peace. He has helped me realize that I need to spend more time with people that leave me feeling loved, empowered, and inspired….


Posted by Josh Brewster, HAPPILY CURED OF AGONIZING BACK PAIN on 06/06/2000

This man may very well be a genius. Or a great discoverer, like Christopher Columbus.  While I may have a humorous introduction, take me seriously,  I am a skeptic to the nth degree.  A cynic, and suspicious of all new theories in the world of science and medicine. But! The truth is, John Sarno is a legend, and an incredibly important hero.

I was in the hospital four times in four years for my chronic back pain. Doctor after doctor spoke to me about potentially slipped discs, nerve damage, sciatica, blah blah blah.  THEN, in 1995 the American Medical Association published a study regarding back pain, which a Doctor at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles mentioned to me. The doctor told me, “Josh, I need to tell you that the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study earlier this year, and I think they’re right. Your back pain is severe, but you need to ask yourself why your back pain comes back, treatment after treatment. If us doctors really knew how to treat back pain, we’d have cured you. There is nothing physically wrong with you.”

I was shocked.

Then, on the recommendation found in Howard Stern’s books, “Private Parts” and “Miss America” (yeah, I know, laugh all you want), I picked up John Sarno’s MIND OVER BACK PAIN.   (1984)  I could not believe any of this.

But it’s true. I have had NO BACK PAIN IN FIVE YEARS. I’m free. Folks, prior to this, I WAS IN TOTAL CRIPPLING AGONY. Nowadays, when I feel a tinge in my back, I remind myself that it’s my body reacting to tension or anger or a similar emotion or other imbalance in my state of mind. And now, the back pain is gone in SECONDS.


If your doctor rejects Sarno in any way, get a second opinion. Any doctor who rejects the mind-body connection Sarno puts forth is AN IDIOT.

One day, probably long after he’s gone, John Sarno will be lionized by the medical community.

He should be given the Congressional Medal of Honor for his work in saving folks’ sanity and the United States of America from more payouts via workman’s comp or lost time at work.


  A Whole New Way to Think About Health and Medicine  Posted by Matthew White on 04/22/2005

This is a fantastic book and Dr. Sarno has done invaluable, scientifically sound work. Now, how do we make his knowledge work for us; how do we start applying it right away?
First, a few of the basics.
1. There is no way to utilize Dr. Sarno’s research without dealing with the psychology of our unconscious minds. Most people are unfamiliar with this, so it takes some getting used to. If you have any skepticism regarding “the unconscious brain,” maybe even doubting its existence, then this will be a barrier for you in benefiting from Dr. Sarno’s research. Try to be open-minded and unafraid to own up to your own repressed emotions.   A common mistake made by many health professionals is to cite conscious emotions as the cause, or part of the cause, of various health problems. For example, when I handed my doctor a copy of Sarno’s book, he said, “I am already well aware that `stress on the job’ is the #1 cause of back pain.” But simply saying “stress” or “tension” is the culprit misses the point!  We have to accept that it is our job to root out the sources of our repressed, uncomfortable feelings that are currently hidden from us.
2. That said, we don’t have to change those feelings or make them vanish. Rather, we have to try to bring them to light and, if possible, sit with them. Once our attention is on the emotions, day in and day out, then the purpose of the pain or other distraction fades away.
3. Dr. Sarno’s treatment program is not aspirin. You don’t pick up his book on the days you hurt and then throw it down when you feel better. Dr. Sarno’s books are a long-term means for us to re-think how we understand pain and bodily disorders (turns out that most of them are not pathological). Without diligently following through on this re-thinking process, future relapse is a matter of course.
4. No matter how bad your bodily problems are (and there are hundreds that could be at work), they are not the real problems. Let me say that again, the pain is not your biggest worry! It is so easy to wistfully think, “If only I were well, then my life would be perfect.” I’m sorry, but that’s not true. Rather, once you are well, you are then more able to focus on the anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, and past events that deserved your attention from the very beginning. In so far as you avoid these subjects, you encourage any available distraction that your brain might utilize to boost your complacency. Be strong and don’t give up! To be specific, you’ve got to sit down for 15-30 minutes every morning and evening and go over the things in your life and your history that gall the heck out of your childish, selfish unconscious brain. This is the basis of the therapy. It is like homework. But really, it is medicine. The 15-30 minute sessions allow you to gradually absorb what Dr. Sarno has said, apply it to your own unique life, and talk to your brain. You have to banish the fear of physical disorders with facts and those facts need time to sink in.   Plus, you have to develop new habits of mental reflection. It takes a lot of patience and maybe sounds bizarre, but we ought to consider how little we know about this field of mind-body medicine. No one is expected to be good at it right away.
Strategies to use for self-therapy during your morning/evening sessions: take notes on ways that you put pressure on yourself, write down things that come to mind so you can review them many times. Talk to your brain. If you can lecture to your brain cogently, then you probably have Dr. Sarno’s findings well summarized. Re-read sections of his books. Watch the videos available (Mumbleypeg Productions). Balance your reflection sessions. Don’t just review the concepts of mind-body medicine. Be careful also to do sincere emotional exploration. It’s easy to avoid (heck, the whole program is easy to avoid). And, it’s easy to focus on just one aspect (say, your relationship with a specific family member).
But there are many possible aspects. Most of them quite unspectacular when compared to trauma and abuse, for example. Trauma and abuse might be the case for you, but there’s no need to have a troubled past to suffer severely. Just being a mature adult provides more than enough for a full “mental closet.”  Don’t let the turkeys get you down. Few people will understand what you are doing during your morning and evening sessions. And, you might have to continue for many months. No need to worry. You get to learn more about yourself and your emotional reactions. Believe it or not, but it’s truly a great opportunity. As Freud said, “Being totally honest with ourselves is a very beneficial exercise.” Are *you* willing to be honest about, say, inner anger toward loved ones? It’s no easy pill to swallow, but you aren’t the first.
Human psychology has its shocking revelations, but we all share them.  Consider that a real revision of our understanding of health is in order. Starting with stress, it is important to note that stress is basically universal. To be a normal mature adult is to endure stress. However, accusing someone of being “stressed out” often evokes hostile reactions. We are taught that experiencing stress equals a failure to properly cope and deal with one’s life. But don’t be lied to! Alas, misinformation abounds and we are lied to regularly (yes, doctors will provide lab results about, say your poor adrenal glands. But don’t take that malarkey. This is about your brain, not your body). The name of the game is not to magically live a stress-free life. That ain’t possible! Rather, it’s to admit the stress, point it out, bring it to light, and take the drama out of it. Sure, none of your friends might be doing this, but they probably don’t know the wisdom that Dr. Sarno has collected for us, either.
If you are active, congratulations on your exercise program. But, don’t think it is a cure for back pain. Let’s just let the cat out of the bag right now. Yoga is great. Swimming, jogging, cycling, etc. are blessed and holy, but no one ever got back pain from a lack of yoga so it doesn’t follow that yoga cures the root cause. And likewise no one ever got back pain from a lack of physical therapy. So why do yoga and physical therapy sometimes work? Well, that’s a long story, but they usually only work temporarily at best. But, by all means, if they work for you, don’t stop! Read Dr. Sarno, though, and you’ll see that the pain or chronic fatigue or depression is not a bodily or biochemical issue what so ever!    It is all initiated by the brain, so the route to curing it is also through the brain. If you avoid this fact, you will avoid getting over TMS and it’s host of equivalents. Throw away the pills and prescriptions. Get down to work. 15-30 minutes twice a day. Do it as long at you have to. And never look back. You’re in good hands. The data has not been fudged. This therapy works. I owe my active life to Dr. Sarno’s program.

  Cured after 10+ years of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) 03/16/1999

After more than 10 years of excruciating pain from fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), I’ve been cured…something doctors claim is impossible.

I tried everything before I found this book. Conventional medicine in all forms, alternative medicine & even Chinese medicine. Nothing helped…in fact doctors hindered me from finding the truth. Though I complained often about my pain & how determined I was to find a cure, my chiropractor never mentioned Dr. Sarno’s book (which he had just read) because he didn’t want to lose me as a patient. So much for conventional health”care”.

I found Dr. Sarno’s book by chance on a bookstore shelf on the way to see a movie one Saturday night.  After reading two paragraphs I sat down and immediately began to cry because I knew I’d found the answers I’d been looking for all these years. I knew Dr. Sarno was absolutely correct because, 1) I knew my pain was related to traumatic incidents in my life, 2) I realized that immediately after anything that increased oxygen to my muscles (exercise, acupuncture) the pain decreased, and 3) whenever I talked to anyone about my problems, which was rare, I felt immediately better. (All these topics are covered in the book.)

Dr. Sarno lead me down the trail of facing my true feelings & not living in denial. It’s been hard work these past two months & I have to constantly remind myself that any pain can be stopped if I face my unconscious rage, but IT’S WORTH IT! I’m nearly painfree already.  My personality has completely changed & I can now interact normally with the people I love without living life through a fog of pain. I can also play the violin again which I had to quit due to the intense pain.

Don’t miss this book if you have any sort of emotional pain…It will give you your life back!

  Sarno is a pioneer

Posted by Marshall Glickman, author of the Mindful Money Guide (Ballantine Books) on 01/20/2000

Last winter I was stricken with near-crippling lower-back and hip pain, which I initially attributed to a combination of basketball and hours of shoveling heavy snow. For more than a month, getting out of bed each morning was a painful, arduous affair that could take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. As the day wore on I would improve somewhat but was still unable to sit in a chair, let alone exercise, do yoga, or contemplate cross-country skiing or playing hoops.
I sought help from doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, and an acupuncturist. While acupuncture was very helpful, my long-term cure came from Dr. John Sarno’s book Mind Over Back Pain. In it, Sarno clearly explains how the vast majority of back, neck, and shoulder pain is caused by stress. The pain I felt wasn’t imaginary or psychosomatic in the sense that there weren’t actually physical symptoms, but the cause of those symptoms (the result of restricted blood flow to my lower-back region) came from not processing my emotions as emotions.
My back took the brunt of what my mind wasn’t fully able/ready to accept.   In The MindBody Prescription Dr. Sarno moves beyond just the back to explain how and why the mind causes pain in any number of places in the body; he applies those insights to help heal other maladies such as allergies, carpal tunnel syndrome, skin problems, and chronic fatigue syndrome. The reason most of these ailments don’t respond to drugs and physical manipulations is that these approaches don’t address the root cause of the problem: unrecognized emotional turmoil. If you’re suffering from an ailment that is difficult to diagnose or not responding to conventional, or even alternative cures, read Sarno’s book.

September 26, 2013

NE ‘suit’ 4 exporting ill

Health issues

Suit alleges Nevada exports mentally ill


SAN FRANCISCO — David Theisen keeps his legal papers in a frayed yellow envelope in his tiny transients-hotel room.

A lot has changed in the year and a half since Theisen, while homeless, threatened to kill himself with a butcher knife and ended up in a Las Vegas psychiatric center.  After one night, Theisen found himself on a bus to San Francisco, with several sack lunches and a day’s worth of medication.

“Technically, they shouldn’t have been allowed to send me anywhere,” Theisen said. “They should have put me in a little room until I got better.”

  • Now, Theisen, 52, is at the center of a class-action lawsuit brought this month by San Francisco’s city attorney, Dennis Herrera, against the state of Nevada on behalf of 24 mentally ill and homeless people. Like Theisen, the others were bused out of Nevada and left on the streets of San Francisco with little or no medication.

But that is just a small sampling, Herrera said, of the estimated 1,500 people who were bused all over the country in recent years from the state-operated Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Center in Las Vegas and other Nevada institutions.

  • “It’s horrifying,” Herrera said. “I think we can all agree that our most-vulnerable and at-risk people don’t deserve this sort of treatment: no meds, no medical care, a destination where they have no contacts and know no one.”

Mary Woods, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, laid out the state’s position in an email. Other than in a handful of instances, the state believes that its Client Transportation Back to Home Communities program was operated properly and that the program is not unlike programs in other jurisdictions, including San Francisco.

(My Comment:

Guess this could get interesting —  each accusing the other of crummy behavior.   But just imagine being some of these sick people and getting a ride out of state to destination unknown and dumped out on your own, alone, with no funds, friends or idea what to do..

Doesn’t it make you wonder about the people in charge,  the deciders?   Jan)

Off-label use – heart patients

Latest study

Therapy, if misused, can harm hearts


Doctors who use a therapy unapproved for certain heart-failure patients are doing more harm than good, according to a new study.

Dr. William Abraham, director of cardiovascular medicine at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, and colleagues from the United States, Australia and Europe looked into cardiac resynchronization therapy because of concerns that some of their peers were applying the treatment in patients without evidence that it helps them.

  • The therapy, which uses a pacemaker, has been shown to help heart-failure patients with an abnormality called “wide QRS complex,” a delay in the electrical message that tells the heart’s chambers to squeeze in unison.

Pacemaker wires placed in the lower chambers of the heart have been shown to coordinate pumping and improve health. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the treatment for those patients.

  • But some doctors are using the therapy in patients who have normal electrical messages but uncoordinated pumping, Abraham said. That disorder is called “narrow QRS complex.”

Abraham and his colleagues were hopeful that they would discover good news, but they halted the study in March after realizing that deaths and hospitalizations were far higher in the 404 narrow QRS patients who had resynchronization therapy compared with the 405 who did not.

  • Forty-five people died and 224 were hospitalized after receiving the treatment, compared with 26 who died and 194 who were hospitalized without it. Results were published online this month in the New England Journal of Medicine.
  • It’s unclear how many patients were erroneously treated, Abraham said, but the number could be “easily in the tens of thousands” in the United States.

Those with concerns should talk to their doctors, he said, adding that the resynchronization therapy should be turned off. Many devices are coupled with defibrillators that do benefit the patients, Abraham said.

  • The bigger message, he said, is that therapies shouldn’t be used in patients for whom they weren’t tested.
  • “I really think, quite frankly, that off-label use should in general occur only in the setting of clinical studies  rather than in clinical practice,” he said.

Other central Ohio doctors said it is unlikely that many patients in Columbus are in jeopardy.

  • Dr. Seth Rials, an electrophysiologist with OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, said he never used the technology in patients for whom it is not approved.   “I would not have expected it to work,” he said. “I would not subject a patient to it without any evidence that it would work.”

Dr. Christopher Frank, an electrophysiologist at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital, agreed.

“There has never been any evidence that this was a good idea,” he said, referencing a previous smaller study that also found no benefit.

Abraham, a consultant for Biotronik (one of the device makers, and funder of the study), said he knows of no evidence that device makers were pushing doctors to use the therapy outside of its approved use.

(My Comment:

We could all wish to never have to read about stories such as this again.   I have  tried to bring this to light whenever I see it because people need to know what they are dealing with and yes, up against!  To use medicines or treatments on trusting patients who have come to their doctors for help with perhaps worrisome or frightening problems and then learn that they are being “experimented on” is devastating to say the least.  This kind of off-label  use can only end in trouble, harm or death and is never condoned.  

So far, I can’t remember reading about the follow-up stories of these medical practitioners being disciplined or losing their license — for that is what is necessary.  Those with so little intelligence, discernment and ethics, should not be allowed to continue in the care of people with legitimate health problems  

If people were interested in gambling on outcomes, our Governor Kasich has given us quite a lot of opportunity for that with all the gambling casinos he has inaugurated which no governor would allow in prior days, for Ohio had always been recognized as a state devoted to “family values”. [knew it would be only a question of time before the business of gambling turned to an addiction problem — and it sure didn’t take long!].     Jan)

How Incentives work

Filed under: CARTOON SAYS IT ALL,Star Tribune SACK — Jan Turner @ 1:58 pm
Tags: ,

September 24, 2013

Drug arrests top others

Latest statistics

Drug arrests dwarf those for other crimes


While violent crimes showed a slight uptick for the first time in six years across the U.S. in 2012, drug arrests continued to dominate the Ohio and national crime picture.

There were more than four times as many arrests for drugs as violent crimes in Ohio last year — 26,936 to 6,236 — according to new Uniform Crime Reporting statistics released on Monday by the FBI. The report is compiled using statistics provided by more than 18,000 law-enforcement agencies across the country. Violent crimes include murder, voluntary manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and assault.

Violence has shock value in the report: A violent crime happened every 26 seconds, a rape every 6.2 minutes, and a murder every 35.4 minutes in the U.S. FBI Director James B. Comey noted in releasing the statistics that violent crime rose 0.7 percent last year.

  • But a group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition also underlined numbers showing law enforcement made a drug arrest every 20 seconds and a marijuana arrest every 42 seconds. The group is composed of police, prosecutors, judges and others who argue that the U.S. is losing a lengthy, massive and costly war on drugs.
  • “These numbers represent a tremendous loss of human potential. Each one of those arrests is the story of someone who may suffer a variety of adverse effects from their interaction with the justice system,” said Neill Franklin, executive director of the group and a police officer for more than three decades.

“Every time a police officer makes an arrest for drugs, that’s several hours out of his or her day not spent going after real criminals ,” added Diane Goldstein, a retired police lieutenant commander.

  • Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has pushed hard for arrests for possession and sale of narcotic prescription pills, heroin, methamphetamines and synthetic drugs, but has not made a similar move against marijuana.

The FBI report showed that nationally, 80 percent of all drug arrests were for possession as opposed to sale or trafficking. There were 1,531,251 U.S. drug arrests, more than theft (1,264,986), and drunken driving (1,215,077).

Midwest law enforcement had the highest percentage of any region in marijuana-possession arrests compared with all drug arrests at 51.9 percent; the West had the lowest at 22.1 percent.

The full report is at  .

(My Comment:

One questions whether this use of our limited,  valuable  public service personnel is being best utilized.   Crime has risen as it always does when  hard times persist.   And its no secret that African-Americans are being more targeted than others which further adds to racial tensions and disenfranchisement  Ohio has had to live with far too much in the way of cut-backs to everything;  schools, libraries,  voting accommodations; the loss of the people’s voice due to political lines being redrawn to ever increasing advantage for the Republican party and so much more or should I say less?   Our governor likes to brag about our  fine Ohio economy and all the jobs he has brought here.    None of this is true.  He has sold off assets which he could wring cash out of; cut back prison staff while they burgeon to illegal overpopulation and  tortuous conditions.  We’ve had no less than three prisoners that I read about in the last few weeks who have hung themselves.  Gotta tell ya something.

As to the job picture, it  has been pathetic, with mostly minimum wage and  cutbacks  everywhere and for these hard times — downright  criminal. Everything, health clinics shut down, women’s health centers at a minimum and believe it or not, there’s talk of “stand-your-ground” law in the works.  When I came here in ’94, Ohio was a pretty nice state . . stuff changes. . .Jan)

September 23, 2013

Kress’ Puffin contribution

STEPHEN KRESS    Stephen Kress reintroduced puffins to Eastern Egg Rock Island off the coast of Maine in 1973.

A man, a plan and an island of puffins

Bexley native honored for pioneering techniques to relocate sea birds


After three years of trying to persuade U.S. and Canadian fish and wildlife officials to back a plan to reintroduce a sea bird to an island off the Maine coast, Stephen Kress finally got his chance in 1973. Kress packed six puffin chicks from Newfoundland in coffee cans and took them to Eastern Egg Rock Island, where he fed them by hand and raised them as if he were their mother. At the time, the technique was untested and highly unorthodox. Today, Kress, known as the puffin man, is regarded as a pioneer of a conservation strategy used around the world to save sea birds from extinction.

This year, the National Audubon Society’s Project Puffin is celebrating its 40th anniversary. And on Tuesday, Kress will return to Columbus, his hometown, to discuss his work at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center.

“We were at the right place, at the right time, with a good idea,” Kress said during a recent phone interview.

“His story is amazing,” said Kristin Vargo, the center’s director. “It really shows what one individual can do.”

STEPHEN KRESS    About 100 nesting pairs of puffins return to Eastern Egg Rock Island each year.

The project got its unofficial start in 1969, after Kress earned a master’s degree in wildlife management at Ohio State University. He got a job with the National Audubon Society and traveled to its Hog Island Camp in Maine to work as an ornithology instructor.

It was there that he learned about nearby Eastern Egg Rock, an island that puffins once used as a breeding ground.

“They nested there until 1885, when the colony was wiped out by hunters,” Kress said. “They never came back.”

That’s when he came up with the idea to relocate the birds. While the practice is common today, wildlife officials back then weren’t so sure about Kress and his plans.

Hunting wiped out the native puffin population in 1885.

But after the success with those first six chicks, the project took off. Since then, Kress and his team have relocated more than 900 birds to Eastern Egg Rock.

“We had a long view,” he said. “Persistence was a big part of this.”

   *                       *                       *

Kress, 67, said his childhood in Bexley and central Ohio helped shape his devotion to conservation.

He said he spent his summers and his weekends in Blacklick Woods and other area Metro Parks.

“They had a program called the junior explorers … each weekend was a different topic,” Kress said. “‘Reptiles and amphibians’ was my favorite.”

He spent many childhood hikes with friend Mac Albin, who today is the Metro Parks’ aquatic ecologist.

“We were always seeing something new — frogs or salamanders or lizards,” Albin said. “He knows plants really well. He taught me the first plants I learned.”

Albin remembered seeing Project Puffin’s beginning.

“He had these big coffee cans that he and his dad gathered up to make a carrying case,” Albin said. They put (the puffin chicks) in these coffee cans with some herring to keep them alive on the way home.”

       *                        *                     *

At first, Project Puffin was an exercise in patience. The birds live on the ocean for three years before they seek a mate and nest. Then it takes five years before they reproduce.

The first birds returned to Eastern Egg Rock in 1977, drawn in by wood decoy puffins — another Kress idea. The first chicks hatched there in 1981.

Today, the colony has about 100 nesting pairs, and Kress has used similar techniques to colonize two other islands off Maine.

Atlantic puffin

Fratercula arctica

› Description: Males and females have stocky, round bodies with black backs and underwings, white breasts and faces and large colorful triangular bills with yellow and red-orange stripes.

› Range: Found in open water and small rocky islands off Maine, Newfoundland and Iceland.

› Size: Adults weigh about 13 ounces and are about 12.5 inches long with a 21-inch wingspan.

› Habitat: Between breeding seasons, the birds head for the high seas and remain offshore. When breeding, they favor treeless rocky islands where they dig nesting burrows.

› Life cycle: Can live longer than 30 years, but typically do not breed until they are at least 4. The birds are monogamous and a mated pair lays a single white egg in a burrow. The chick hatches in 40 days and flies off to sea after about six weeks. A fledgling puffin will not return to a nesting colony to look for a mate for several years.

› Typical diet: They hunt small schooling fish including capelin, herring and white hake, which they deliver to their young. Adult puffins dive underwater to eat their own food; their preferred diet is unknown.

Kress estimates that his techniques, which also include taped bird calls, have been used to successfully translocate 47 sea-bird species in at least 14 countries.

Last year, a number of Chinese crested terns, an endangered species, were lured away from colonies on the coast of China to a rocky islet in the East China Sea.

Dan Roby, an Oregon State University wildlife ecologist who worked on the project, said 19 Chinese crested terns flocked to the islet after hearing taped bird calls.

“That’s about half the known (Chinese crested tern) population,” Roby said.

Roby said he first used the techniques Kress pioneered to move a colony of 17,000 Caspian terns from the mouth of Oregon’s Columbia River. The terns were feasting on millions of salmon and steelhead raised in federal hatcheries. Tern decoys and taped bird calls lured the birds to East Sand Island, about 5 miles away. “The entire colony relocated in two years,” Roby said. Kress, now vice president of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society, said he’s pleased with his legacy. “When I started this project I thought it would last a few years, but it’s lasted a lifetime.”   @CDEnvironment

(When I find people like this man who has used his talents and abilities [obviously, innate], which the world  has recognized,  and then granted  to express his dream. . .  it should openly be praised for he is one creative man who has by his contribution, enriched our world.  Bravo!    Jan)

Student loan forgiveness

KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL DETROIT FREE PRESS Katelyn Lietz of Livonia, Mich., hopes to land a teaching job in Michigan to qualify to have $40,000 in student loans forgiven.

Student-loan forgiveness takes more than faith

Find additional advice at  .


Corey Nelson, 27, graduated from Michigan State University’s law school in 2012 with a plan to work his way out of six figures in student-loan debt. • His goal was to work in public service by getting a job as an attorney for the government, maybe on the state or local level, and qualify for a federal student-loan forgiveness program to tackle that debt.

First challenge: getting hired in a government job. It’s not all that easy.

Many students would like to see their student loans just go away. But getting rid of student loans can take real talent, discipline and some creative solutions.

Many students and parents aren’t even aware that some loan-forgiveness programs exist. A federal consumer-watchdog agency is trying to bring more light to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program created by Congress in 2007.

A student-loan forgiveness program typically rewards graduates for taking careers in public service, such as police officers, teachers, social workers and firefighters. The college graduate still makes regular monthly payments on a student loan but can look forward to having a good chunk of debt forgiven in the long run, if he or she follows specific requirements.

Some individual states have specific student-loan breaks for specific career choices, too.

As for Nelson? He has a job. But Nelson has been working for a year at a small general-practice law firm in Shawano, Wis. If he kept working there, he wouldn’t qualify for public-service loan forgiveness.

But, finally, he found a government job. He just accepted a job offer from the city of Madison, Wis.

For the debt-forgiveness program to work, he’s going to need to keep making payments for 10 years and continue working in public service.

“The hope, obviously, is that the program will still be there,” said Nelson, who pays about $400 a month in loans and expects to save five figures with forgiveness.

Katelyn Lietz, 25, a senior majoring in mathematics at Wayne State University in Detroit, said she might be able to get a break with the federal public-service loan-forgiveness program on about $40,000 in student debt — if she finds a job as a teacher.

But Lietz says that is a big if.

She works as a substitute teacher and said finding a teaching job in Michigan is difficult. She might have to move to Virginia or Arizona.

Her plan to get out of debt involves getting a job as an actuary at an insurance company or elsewhere in Michigan. She expects starting salaries to be around $70,000.

Mark Kantrowitz of   said graduates have to take care with their career choices to qualify. He noted that some nurses could qualify if they work in certain areas, such as social work, public health or at a not-for-profit hospital. But nursing itself isn’t necessarily considered a public-service occupation.
Cut college costs
• The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created a tool kit about the federal forgiveness program: http://  f/201308_cfpb_public-  service-toolkit.pdf

• An action guide for employees: http://files.consumer-   pledge-action-guide-for-employees.pdf

• The group American Student Assistance offers income-based repayment calculators and tips at

Source: Detroit Free Press research

((There needs to be so much more available help to insure that we in fact do have “Future Leaders of the Free World”  It takes all of us to care and be informed.    . . . THIS IS A GOOD THING   Jan)

September 22, 2013

Worse than Aids, TB, Diabetes & Car accidents

(Wow, could all the above combined really be less deadly  than the cognitive – emotional problems  found in the world today?   Sad, isn’t it?  Makes one wonder why. .   could be so many things impacting our general health picture.  Near the top should be the pace of our modern world;  changes in socioeconomic structure,  isolation and the breakdown of ‘family’,   any and all of which can impact our ability to have our needs met — including quality of food,  availability of medical care and of course, educational opportunity.  This scale can run from almost total inadequacy to the extremes of over- supply  or gluttony (recognized in some parts of the world as the caste system and in our nation as ‘economic disparity’.  Could no doubt stop there,  but what I see is more insidious.

While all of the above is true and evident — what I’m seeing is the victimization of a captive humanity by the corporate structures driven by greed and uncaring  with regard to the health and well-being of people.  Speaking of course of toxic destruction of all systems  globally, of the earth and all species specifically such as  animals, plant kingdom, the waters of the earth and the air surrounding it.  All life forms are being throttled from the top of the rung (humanity, to the lowest).  And this is being done by chemicals in every conceivable form.  Fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, anti-bacterial agents,  Monsanto sits atop this pile, but believe it, there are 100’s of others doing their share as they all attempt to improve our world, make it bigger, better, faster, slicker and less troublesome to all of us.  But they are killing us off as our inner eco-systems are impacted — often permanently. 

Most destructive of all is  GMO’s  — the genetically modified  so-called food-crops.  These are interfering with all the systems  within our body as they alter our hormonal systems disrupting natural function leaving behind permanent residents within our gut which is  home to our immune system.  So this is what I refer to when I say humanity is “captive” to all this — where is our choice?  We have spoken loud and clearly – those of us who understand what has beset us.  Mostly,, the masses don’t know nor would want to believe our type of government of and for and by the people could allow something like this, and so, turn to their doctors who haven’t a clue about what to eat —  (well, I refer to the majority of physicians),  there are many doctors right here at “smokinchoices” who have gone out of their way to learn about natural methods and herbs and real efficacy found in time-tested plants of the field.   

We live in these modern times, in a toxic world and therefore, must be highly selective, thoughtful and careful to eat only the best food (organic where possible); honor the body’s top needs with plenty of enzymes and a boat-load of minerals which are only found in plants.   Don’t over-burden the body with too much protein as it burdens the kidneys and liver. It helps a lot if we just simplify, do less, enjoy more.  Have fun and do what you love.   YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!  Never changes.  Do some digging — don’t take anybody’s word for stuff — find out for yourself.  When one culls the toxins out of the body and gives it only  unprocessed, organically grown and simply prepared  – you’re gonna be surprised how much better one can feel in every way.  This can’t be acquired with a prescription pad.  You gotta put the time in and learn.   Jan) 

So  here now the article I find very good, hope you enjoy this from Dr Mercola.  .  .    link below:

Mental Health Disorders Now Leading Cause of Non-Fatal Illness Worldwide

Story at-a-glance

  • According to a recent study, mental disorders and substance abuse combined were the leading cause of non-fatal illness worldwide in 2010, contributing nearly 23 percent of the total global disease burden
  • Depressive disorders were the most common, followed by anxiety disorders, drug use disorders, and schizophrenia
  • Mental and substance use disorders were responsible for higher global death and illness rates than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diabetes, and car accidents
  • High sugar intake can exert a toxic effect on mental health by causing insulin and leptin resistance; suppressing activity of a key hormone called BDNF, which is critically low in depressed patients; and promoting chronic inflammation, which is thought to be a primary cause of depression
  • Previous studies have also shown that aspartame has a detrimental effect on your brain function, neurological, cognitive, and behavioral health
  • Genetically engineered foods, as well as the herbicide glyphosate—can significantly alter your gut flora, thereby promoting pathogens while decimating the beneficial microbes necessary for optimal mental and physical health

Mental Health DisordersThe Surprising Disorder That Kills More People Worldwide Than AIDS, TB, Diabetes and Car Accidents
Its effects can be traced to dietary factors. While this “killer” can strike anyone at any age, there are simple measures you can take to help prevent or address its symptoms. Fail to address the root of the problem and you may suffer for years…

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