Friday, May 28, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
The above headline comes from a May 6, 2010 feature story on the Pittsburgh, PA, TV News station KDKA. The story starts off by noting that millions of people have high blood pressure. And they note that if left untreated it can be deadly.
Most people treat blood pressure with medication. However, the story notes that some people are turning to chiropractic for help. As a result, these people are seeing improvement in their blood pressure numbers.
The story focused on Dr. Michael Vactor who stated in an interview that, "Basically, one in four adults in America have some form of high blood pressure."
The article also quoted Bill Bird, a patient who is now sold on chiropractic. Bill has a very stressful job selling cars resulting in high blood pressure requiring prescription medication. After a few visits to the chiropractor, his blood pressure had improved to the point where his medical doctor cut his medication in half. Looking to the future, Bill optimistically stated, "30 to 45 days of my blood pressure staying at the levels it is, I'm going to be off it 100 percent."
In spite of the fact that studies have now shown that chiropractic can help lower blood pressure, some in the medical profession are still skeptical. Dr. Vactor noted, "If we can get somebody's blood pressure to be lowered without medication, it's amazing because most doctors you talk to will tell you it can't be done."
The article also interviewed Dr. George Bakris, a medical doctor whose expertise is high blood pressure, and who conducted a blood pressure study involving chiropractic on 50 patients at the University of Chicago Medical School. "We saw miraculous changes in blood pressure," said Dr. Bakris. "We saw 12 to 13 millimeter reductions in blood pressure."
In the conclusion of the article, Dr. Vactor noted that in spite of the medical approach to treat high blood pressure, chiropractic could have a unique answer. He states, "We've never been able to find a drug or a medication that can lower blood pressure that fast with no side effects."
Monday, May 10, 2010
By CATHERINE RAMPELL
The chart was put together by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, but its figures still, alas, look quite relevant. Thanks to lobbying, Congress chooses to subsidize foods that we’re supposed to eat less of.
Of course, there are surely other reasons why burgers are cheaper than salads. These might include production costs, since harvesting apples is probably more naturally seasonal than slaughtering cows (even though both are in demand year-round). Transportation and storage costs might also play a role, as it’s probably easier to keep ground beef fresh and edible for extended periods of time, by freezing it, than cucumbers.
Whatever the cause of the pricing change, there is little doubt that many healthful foods have gotten much more expensive relative to unhealthful ones. David Leonhardt showed this in another remarkable chart, published here last year, that displays how the prices of different food groups have changed relative to their pricing 30 years ago:
I put this together on Tuesday, with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shows the price of different foods and beverages over the last three decades. The price of each food or beverage is set equal to 1 in January 1978, and the chart then shows how the price has changed since then.
It’s a fairly striking pattern. Unhealthful foods, with the exceptions of cookies (the blue line), have gotten a lot cheaper. Relative to the price of everything else in the economy, sodas (the orange line) are 33 percent cheaper than they were in 1978. Butter (dark brown) is 29 percent cheaper. Beer (gray) is 15 percent cheaper.
Fish (the yellow line), by contrast, is 2 percent more expensive. Vegetables (purple) are 41 percent more expensive. Fruits (green) are 46 percent more expensive.
The price of oranges, to take one extreme example (not shown in the chart), has more than doubled, relative to everything else. So if in 1978, a bag of oranges cost the same as one big bottle of soda, today that bag costs the same as three big bottles of soda.
In my column this morning, I mention that the average 18-year-old today is 15 pounds heavier than the average 18 year-old in the late 1970s. Adults have put on even more weight during that period. The average woman in her 60s is 20 pounds heavier than the average 60-something woman in the late 1970s. The average man in his 60s is 25 pounds heavier. When you look at the chart, you start to understand why.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Subject: VA medical centers and clinics may offer chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for problems of the spine. Eligible veterans may receive chiropractic care after receiving referral from their primary care provider; however, this service is not offered at all VA facilities. In areas distant from the locations that offer this service, eligible veterans may be able to receive chiropractic care through VA's outpatient fee-basis program after a referral by their primary care provider, and prior authorization by the department. See your primary care provider at your nearest VA medical facility for assistance.
A "Kink" in the System
By: Elizabeth Corridan
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) – Returning to civilian life can be a tough enough transition for our veterans. Many also deal with a debilitating and painful condition: back pain. Help is available but some say there is a kink in the system.
According to a 2009 survey, the number one complaint from Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking care from the VA health system is back pain. Given the huge demand for care, in 2002 and 2003 Congress enacted legislation making chiropractic care available at 36 VA. facilities across the United States. None of those facilities are in Massachusetts. The closest are in Newington and West Haven, Connecticut.
At the Northampton VA Medical Center, veterans in need of chiropractic care are referred to the Connecticut facilities but some exceptions are made. In a statement on its policy, the Northampton VA said :
If a provider determines that the patient's condition requires obtaining chiropractic care closer to his or her residence, referral for fee basis care in the community may be authorized. For veterans responsible for co-payment charges, the basic co-payment charge of $15 will apply for chiropractic services"
Dale Giessman, DC
350 John Muir Pkwy., Suite 265
Brentwood, CA 94513