Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Great Barrington Declaration

To reiterate the July research paper I wrote, there is a very real other school of thought on COVID that you simply do not hear about because the volume has been turned up so loud on one particular viewpoint.  So, I wanted you to know about a group of highly regarded doctors, researchers, epidemiologists, etc. from around the world who drew the following conclusion:

"Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity."
This conclusion comes from something called The Great Barrington Declaration.  It is the highest profile example of professionals of similar philosophical minds as I on the subject coming together to announce "we know this is serious, but we also know what it is and what is isn't now, so let's take partisan politics out of this and find a middle ground before irreparable damage is done."  
The Great Barrington Declaration was signed on October 4, 2020 by:
-Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
-Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Professor, Medicine, Stanford University
-Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Professor, Theoretical Epidemiology, University of Oxford
-Dr. Rodney Sturdivant, PhD. associate professor of biostatistics at Baylor University and the Director of the Baylor Statistical Consulting Center. He is a Colonel in the US Army (retired) whose research includes a focus on infectious disease spread and diagnosis.
-Dr. Eitan Friedman, MD, PhD. Founder and Director, The Susanne Levy Gertner Oncogenetics Unit, The Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics, Chaim Sheba Medical Center and Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Depertment of Human Genetics and Biochemistry, Tel-Aviv University
-Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH a physician with the VA health system with expertise in epidemiology, health equity practice, and health impact assessment of public policy. He formerly served as a Deputy Health Officer for San Francisco for 18 years.
-Dr. Michael Levitt, PhD is a biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University. Prof. Levitt received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.
-Dr. Eyal Shahar, MD professor (emeritus) of public health at the University of Arizona, a physician, epidemiologist, with expertise in causal and statistical inference.
-Dr. David Katz, MD, MPH, President, True Health Initiative and the Founder and Former Director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center
-Dr. Laura Lazzeroni, PhD., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and of biomedical data science at Stanford University Medical School, a biostatistician and data scientist
-Dr. Simon Thornley, PhD is an epidemiologist at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has experience in biostatistics and epidemiological analysis, and has applied these to a range of areas including communicable and non-communicable diseases.
-Dr. Michael Jackson, PhD is an ecologist and research fellow at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand
-Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson, pediatrician, epidemiologist and professor at Karolinska Institute and senior physician at Örebro University Hospital, Sweden
-Dr. Sylvia Fogel, autism expert and psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor at Harvard Medical School, USA
-Dr. Andrius Kavaliunas, epidemiologist and assistant professor at Karolinska Institute, Sweden
-Prof. Udi Qimron, Chair, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Tel Aviv University
-Prof. Ariel Munitz, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Tel Aviv University
-Prof. Motti Gerlic, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Tel Aviv University
-Dr. Uri Gavish, an expert in algorithm analysis and a biomedical consultant
-Prof. Ellen Townsend, Self-Harm Research Group, University of Nottingham, UK
-Dr. Paul McKeigue, professor of epidemiology in the University of Edinburgh and public health physician, with expertise in statistical modelling of disease
-Dr. Mario Recker, Associate Professor in Applied Mathematics at the Centre for Mathematics and the Environment, University of Exeter
-Prof. Mike Hulme, professor of human geography, University of Cambridge
-Prof. Stephen Bremner, Professor of Medical Statistics, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex
-Prof. Matthew Ratcliffe, Professor of Philosophy specializing in philosophy of mental health, University of York, UK
-Prof. Lisa White, Professor of Modelling and Epidemiology Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University, UK
-Prof. Angus Dalgleish, MD, FRCP, FRACP, FRCPath, FMedSci, Department of Oncology, St. George’s, University of London
-Dr. Cody Meissner, professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, an expert on vaccine development, efficacy and safety
-Dr. Helen Colhoun, professor of medical informatics and epidemiology in the University of Edinburgh and public health physician, with expertise in risk prediction
-Prof. Partha P. Majumder, PhD, FNA, FASc, FNASc, FTWAS National Science Chair, Distinguished Professor and Founder National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, KalyaniEmeritus Professor Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata
-Dr. Gabriela Gomes, professor at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, a mathematician focussing on population dynamics, evolutionary theory and infectious disease epidemiology
-Prof. Anthony J Brookes, Department of Genetics & Genome Biology, University of Leicester, UK
-Prof. Simon Wood, professor at Edinburgh University, a statistician with expertise in statistical methodology, applied statistics and mathematical modelling in biology
-Prof. David Livermore, Professor at University of East Anglia, a microbiologist with expertise in disease epidemiology, antibiotic resistance and rapid diagnostics
-Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi, em. Professor of Medical Microbiology, University of Mainz, Germany
-Prof. Yaz Gulnur Muradoglu,
Professor of Finance, Director at Behavioural Finance Working Group, School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London
-Prof. Karol Sikora MA, PhD, MBBChir, FRCP, FRCR, FFPM, Medical Director of Rutherford Health, Oncologist, & Dean of Medicine

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

What is “The Doctor Inside” Each of Us? (Part 3)

The specific purpose of this discussion, started two months ago and continued last month, is to stimulate change through understanding.  Healthcare, to change, can no longer be 99% dominated by one ideology.  The consumers in the healthcare industry must be the ones to demand change, and so they must understand the other major health philosophy and why it is built around the synergistic principle that the body heals itself.  Health is the means, not the end.  As it has classically been said in the chiropractic profession, the body does not need much help to be well, just no interference to its function; to the “doctor inside” that simply needs the chance to work optimally.  

There are millions and counting who have experienced the freedom of this philosophical realization, the healthy lifestyle that embraces the innate intelligence of the human body and trusts its wisdom, respectfully demanding an active role from each individual in eliminating destructive habits in favor of constructive ones.  In every walk of life, there is a high value on the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, or synergy, one of the core aspects of any peak performing system, be it in business, politics, family units, etc.  When that same synergy for health is valued and personal responsibility for achieving it is accepted, lives change. 

Health, if redefined around interconnectivity (the relationship of the parts to the whole), shifts its focus to intervention or symptom treatment being the last resort instead of the first through tenth options.  Presently, holistic practices are positioned as the Hail Mary approach after repeated traditional medical failure.  Imagine if such holistic last resorts as Upper Cervical Care – which embraces the scientific hallmarks of finding repeatable objective patterns and correcting their structural/neurological cause (at the foundational area where the head and neck meet to protect the master control center of the body, the brainstem) – were near first in line to help sick people get well, or as often or greater, to help well people stay healthy.  When such imagination becomes reality, that is when the path to true healthcare reform can begin. 

If only it were that simple.  The holistic philosophy written about here, which seeks to harness the inborn wisdom of the body (i.e. “the doctor inside”) to its maximum capability by removing nutritional, structural, chemical, psychological, and neurological variables, makes all the sense in the world to those ready to learn about it, but it is for most on the opposite pole of what they have been taught about healthcare by a system that defines down health, focused as it is primarily on disease and treating symptoms.  Not knowing is the enemy of progress; awareness is the cure. 

The “doctor inside” is the organizer of the coordinated functions in the human body, one of the premier manifestations of natural law.  It need not be taken at faith value[i], as biological science provides all the evidence one could ever need to confirm the validity of it.  Those who enjoy a glass or two of red wine, for instance, may know that its benefits are derived from its hormone-releasing effects on the brain and from its anti-oxidant (anti-deteriorating) properties, despite that it is also inherently full of toxins that can harm the body.  For better or worse, the adaptative balancing act stimulated by red wine consumption evidences the body’s inborn wisdom at work, but the people must disconnect from the Medtrix (i.e. allow separation from the conventional, pharmaceutically-driven mindset) long enough to accept the evidence they ask for. 

Ponder this hypothetical comparative analysis: a person was asked to assess the difference between an ocean and a pond and was given the statistical variance of their respective sizes – four million gallons of water in the pond vs. 343 billion gallons of water in the ocean.  It is an enormous difference, the ocean so much greater than the pond that it almost seems comical to compare them.  Yet, imagine that the person, when asked to conclude which was larger, said without hesitation, “the pond,” having already made up their mind based on past education and assumption, unwilling to see beyond them. 

Proof, then, is as much based on the belief system of the person to whom it is presented.  That examples of innate intelligence, scientifically observed in nature and the human body, vastly outnumber what has been learned through scientific experimentation is a valid point only to the extent that someone is willing to accept it.  Give credit where due, of course, to the researchers who discover something like the presence of the anti-oxidant in red wine (a pond-sized achievement), but give infinitely more credit to the “doctor inside” that determines its use while simultaneously sorting out the toxicity dynamic as part of its tried and true process (comparatively, the ocean). 

As the conclusion of this series approaches, understand that a philosophy is not invalid because the masses do not readily acknowledge it any more than a philosophy is valid because the masses do readily acknowledge it; there can be no philosophical monopolization of healthcare for that reason.  Truly, the job of the “doctor inside” remains the same either way, to organize / adapt as best it can using what it has to work with.  The philosophical distinction is important because the current “health” care system ignores the bigness of the fellow within[ii] (the “doctor inside”) in favor of its limited knowledge, repeatedly getting in nature’s way; conversely, the other school of thought’s primary objective is to get out of nature’s way. 

[i] Reggie Gold’s Triune of Life

[ii] From Dr. BJ Palmer

Monday, October 19, 2020

Guest Blog: Carri Davis and the Kambo Detox Method


(Dr. Chad Note - Some of you may know Carri from her time running my front office years ago or as one of the best massage therapists around, but she is the type who constantly seeks innovative ways to help people and today she is sharing with us a most unique method to facilitate healing.  I know several people who have experienced it and raved about it.  Check it out!)


Discoveries in Amazonian plant medicine have been making big headlines in alternative medicine lately.  There are many master plants which have healing benefits for the westerner who has reached an impasse with traditional allopathic medicine.  Quite a lot of attention has been paid to the plants which offer psychedelic experiences - but lesser known, and perhaps more effective for chronic disease, is a powerful treatment that comes from the Amazonian Monkey Tree Frog, or Phyllomedusa Bicolor.  Named for the shaman who discovered the medicine, Kambo is not hallucinogenic - though its healing peptides can have benefits for both mind and body.  This medicine has been used by tribes in Peru, Costa Rica and other Amzonian communities for around 2000 years to eliminate various pathogens, like poisons from deadly bites and stings, and parasites from polluted water.  It’s most important to note during this time of Covid 19 hysteria, Kambo’s history stems from the search of one medicine man to find a cure for an unknown plague which was sweeping through the Amazon, decemating village after village.  His medicine journey with “Grandmother” revealed to him the means and methods to apply the secretion of the frog, thereby saving his village from the plague and restoring the healthy biome of his village.


Kambo is a powerful lymphatic and blood cleanser.  Shown to increase white cell activity, decrease blood toxicity, and clear the plasma of pathogens like bacteria, parasites, and fungus, it’s unparalleled as a full body detoxifier.  Kambo is currently being studied in western labs to understand its vast profile of chemical compounds, which include over 100 different peptides known to have numerous healing effects on the human body.  The process of Kambo is short but intense, lasting a little under an hour, with about 20-30 minutes of strong physical symptoms as the body purges toxins from the entire organ system.  Many people report feeling “empty” or “spacious” after a session, experiencing a physical and mental peace. Kambo is not known to have any psychedelic qualities, but can have profound effects on behavioral habits (addictions) as well as helping to release negative thought patterns. Indigenous tribes believed that Kambo clears the body of “panema” or bad luck.

While the secretion of Kambo is incredibly delicate and difficult to obtain, once harvested onto a wooden palate it becomes inert and stable, able to be reactivated and applied far away from the natural habitat of the frog.  Practitioners of Kambo medicine are able to share this medicine legally in the US because it is not classified or regulated by the FDA or legal system. We hope this valuable means of treatment for persistent disease can continue to be safely and sustainably shared with non-indigenous people, through platforms like Kambo Frog Detox Foundation, where our local Carri “Bindi” Davis received her training in 2019.  Immersion training with Kambo prepares the practitioner for safe and effective application with a firm medical understanding of how the compounds work in the human body, and awareness of potential contraindications.

Carri offers a unique approach to Kambo with the addition of microscopic blood analysis, having received her certification earlier in 2020. Through an educational insight into your living blood in real time, she helps you understand your own internal biome.  Nutritional Blood Analysis is another “gray area” in the field of medicine, largely because of its subjective observational method.  We can identify bacterial overgrowth, fungus like candida, parasite activity, toxicity from leaky gut, and free radical damage to red blood cells, among other factors which lead to disease.  Looking at the blood cells and plasma before and after your Kambo series, you can see a notable decrease in pathogens and an increase in circulation and immune activity.   Each individual has a unique personal chemistry and experience with Kambo.  Multiple sessions with the same person can reveal varying degrees of detoxification experiences and results. 

Kambo is traditionally offered in an “inoculation” series of 3 sessions - however, powerful healing can come from just one session. Some conditions (ie, autoimmune conditions, viral/bacterial infections, and certain kinds of cancer) may require a more in depth protocol over time.  While Kambo has many seemingly miraculous benefits, it is considered an “ordeal medicine”.  Many people do not want to undertake the difficulty of a physical purge.  However, small doses of Kambo can be applied to receive the benefit of the healing peptides.  Carri is knowledgeable with doses that are appropriate for elderly, infirmed, or children, or those who may have concerns about an intense experience.  Regardless of a person’s health and disease concerns, Kambo is often able to provide a step in the right direction.  Carri is able to help create a protocol with you that is unique to your intention for healing, integrating her knowledge of the TCM Meridian system for organ detoxification. She also offers nutritional coaching and hands-on healing as further detoxification support on your healing journey. 

If you are interested in learning more about Kambo, please text Carri at 336-965-6592, or email her at  An information packet will be delivered to your email address, including the science and source of Kambo, medical intake, and rates of service. You can schedule a phone consultation to discuss your treatment plan.


“It is my sincerest hope and pleasure to serve you with all of my heart.”

What is the "Doctor Inside" Each of Us? (Part 2)


That the cells of the stomach lining will have been replaced by the time a reader concludes this article is not something scientists can replicate, yet it exemplifies the presence of an inborn wisdom, always at work.  In last month’s Part 1, an intelligent organization was detailed and labeled as the “doctor inside” often spoken of among those who genuinely understand that the body heals itself.  This is an important conversation to continue because, frankly, American healthcare has a philosophical problem, a flat earth kind of tendency to downplay or even ignore the laws of life while viewing the theories of disease through tunnel vision.  No more than you can learn how to save money by studying how to spend it, you cannot learn how to be healthy by studying sickness.  Understanding the “doctor inside” is among the keys to flipping the script on a broken “health” care system. 

Further labeling is unnecessary, as whether called God or a life force or simply an irrefutable observation of biological science, the intelligence inherent to every known natural law and to an infinite number of processes not yet identified or categorized is just an undefinable something that is there.  Pseudoscience, it most certainly is not, to simply recognize that the superlative + exceptional x infinity-level of innate wisdom found throughout nature is too complex for the human mind, which though capable of extraordinary things cannot reign in the infinite and make it finite.  For example, in organ transplants, the innate intelligence within the body accepts and makes use of the donation once it is put in place.  It is amazing that organs can be surgically transplanted, but a new body accepting another person’s part takes amazement to a different level.  The whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts. 

It is a rather fascinating topic.  The ability of living things to adapt is perhaps the most established fact in science, regardless of the debate destined to rage for all eternity as to how they adapt.  Think of the scope of the adaptation seen in the human body and take a moment to fully appreciate something too often taken for granted.  Atoms further organized into molecules, which are further organized into cells, which further still get organized into tissues that combine to form organs, which are organized into systems.  It is a masterful synergy, the interdependence of the components acting as a cohesive unit.[i] 

There is no need to sit in a corner, concentrate with the all the brainpower one can muster at days end, and attempt to consciously seek and destroy the myriad foreign invaders (viruses, chemicals, harmful bacteria, etc.) that the body encountered.  The immune system operates independently, without need for conscious input, coordinating with all the other systems in the body (nervous, respiratory, etc.).  The same can be said of when the skin is cut and the subsequent organ system interaction that takes place during the average two weeks during which the wound heals.  Another example would be, after head and neck alignment is restored, how quickly the compensations used to level the head when out of alignment with the upper neck release as the body structurally reorganizes back into balance. 

Collectively, the time has come to rebuild supreme confidence that the “doctor inside” knows what it is doing, to honor that intelligence and tap further into the ability for it to be expressed. 

Children often do not appreciate their parents for what they provided until they have grown up.  Kids, especially younger ones, do not typically think about food being on the table or the clothes available for them to wear or the roof over their heads.  To them, those things are there because that is just how it is.  It is one of the ways that trust is formed.  Why does that dynamic largely disappear when the conversation shifts to health and the human body, which in similar fashion is given gifts far above and beyond human comprehension?  A person can consciously choose to hold their breath until the point of losing consciousness, then the innate intelligence within the body immediately takes over and restarts breathing.  The educated mind is a variable, easily influenced, and weakened by age or injury.  Why trust the inherently limited at the expense of the borderline[ii] limitless that directs life as we know it down to the smallest detail? 

Imagine instantly knowing without any training how to fight fire when the crockpot shorting sends the kitchen curtains ablaze[iii] or how to correct a brainstem subluxation when the top bone in the neck gets locked in a position that adversely affects the most vital organ or how to write a best-selling novel as soon as an interesting idea strikes or how to reinflate a lung when it unexpectedly collapses.  Imagine that knowledge was pre-programmed, there from the outset for whenever needed as if it was standard fare.  Since that degree of intelligence – the “doctor inside” – is exactly the sort innate to the human body and all its infinite standardized functions, now imagine a system built around a definition for health like this one: an optimized state in which the numerous organ systems in the body work harmoniously together at a level conducive to sustaining an innate adaptability capable of preventing sickness and overcoming the causes of various symptoms.  That would not only fix the cracked foundation of healthcare, but potentially change the world.

[i] Reggie Gold, DC’s The Triune of Life

[ii] To be further discussed in Part 3                                                      

[iii] I’m missing it too, This Is Us fans


Monday, October 5, 2020

Guest Blog from Mona Flynn: The Ancient System of Yoga Therapy Can Optimize Healthy Living


(Dr. Chad Note - Two years ago, two among our patient base who were struggling to hold adjustments began to maintain for months on end.  I inquired about habit changes that might have led to the shift in their health and was told about Mona's work.  Monthly adjustments for a half decade were no longer necessary thanks to Mona's help.  These patients recently joined the 1 Year Club, with membership earned by holding a correction for one year or longer.  So, I asked Mona to tell us about what she does.  Enjoy!)



Yoga therapy is one of the oldest mind-body practices, and modern science now shows that it can help optimize your health. Keeping yoga true to its roots, yoga therapy begins as a 1:1 practice. It is different (and simpler) than the bendy, acrobatic image you might have of yoga. A yoga therapist with in-depth training keeps you safe and interacts with your doctor of chiropractic (DC) to help you learn skills to improve your health. In addition, a yoga therapist incorporates more than just the practice of asana, the poses – individualized sequences are created to include asana “preprations,” pranayama (breathing exercises), restoratives, Ayurveda, meditation and more, to accommodate each student on their journey into a yoga practice.  


At LifeFit inc, students begin with a private session and can then join an ongoing small group or large group class, attend workshops, special theme class offerings, and retreats. The home studio small group classes provide a yoga wall which creates traction in the spine (space between the vertebrae) and along joint structure and offers support in many other ways such as accommodating limitations, informing the student of internal actions, refining proprioception and more. The state of art pilates equipment refines core strength and spinal support, helps to improve balance as well as muscular strength and flexibility.




What we pay attention to, worry about, and mentally rehearse are all known to directly affect our health. When our minds are jumping from one thing to another, stuck on imagining what might happen, or replaying our most recent argument, we’re like distracted drivers — prone to making poor choices on the road to health. A yoga therapist can serve as your driving instructor. With gentle, small movements and retraining of attention, you begin to become aware of those unhealthy distractions. Through simple postures, breathing exercises and deep relaxation, your nervous system settles down and moves toward relaxed yet alert performance. Sleep improves, muscular tension eases and you make smarter health choices because you are now able to pay attention.


This mind-body stability produced by yoga therapy also improves body awareness and creates emotional control, a known factor in improved pain management and interpersonal relationships. You’ll be inclined to hold yourself with better posture, shoulders drop from your ears, the chest becomes more open, and your lower back releases tension. No wonder yoga is becoming a common player in integrative medical practices. The yoga therapist communicates your new skills with your DC, and together they lay out even better roadmaps to health with your more mobile, stable and adaptable body.




1. The ability to more quickly sense when your nervous system is moving out of balance gives you time to reset before tension, anxiety, or stress create pain and misalignment.


2. Yoga therapy leads to increased postural awareness, which decreases excessive loads on supporting structures and allows for faster healing.


3. A benefit of a regular, smart yoga practice is better sleep, which aids pain, weight control and inflammation.


4. When you develop the habit of “tuning in”/turning your attention inward with simple, short yoga practices, your body almost runs smoother, and your mind-body interactions are optimized. Your Sympathetic drive is not as prone to be on overdrive and the Parasympathetic system’s beneficial effects arrive.


Yoga therapy, coupled with chiropractic care, can help prevent future injury through increased awareness of spinal alignment, more confident balance skills and improved ease of movement—all of which creates a holistic program for vibrant health.


Talk to your DC to see if a yoga therapy professional might be a good team member to bring on your road to optimal health. To read more about Mona Flynn, see

Monday, September 14, 2020

PSA: Avoid Sugar When Fighting Illness

My son started coughing last weekend. That’s OK. He is 4 years old and his immune system is still very much developing. That said, my daughter’s friend brought a special treat (cookie cake) to a play date at our house and, even though it upset my son, I wouldn’t let him partake. On Labor Day, we gathered with friends for a float (down the river) trip and special treats (cookies) were offered. I managed to keep my son away from those too. By Tuesday morning, the cough was on its way out.

The refined sugar found in candy, cookies, cake, etc. suppresses the immune system and generally decreases the normal functioning of the very well oiled machine that is the human body. So, when already exhibiting signs – like coughing – that your immune system is fighting a stronger opponent, then one of the best supports you can provide your body is to avoid the various things that slow down immune response, like special treats.

Unfortunately, when I picked up my son from pre-school on Wednesday, I learned that he had consumed two chocolate doughnuts in honor of a classmate’s birthday. His teacher told me that his nose had been running. It was a safe assumption that the elimination of his cough – or, more importantly, the underlying agent causing it – was no longer imminent. Sure enough, the cough continued and got worse. Two days later, he had a brownie and some cheese puffs (not so sugary, but loaded with its own destructive materials) at pre-school for another birthday party. Unsurprisingly, his cough is actually peaking one week after it started instead of going away.

I certainly don’t blame anyone for this, but this is a prime example of the battle for health that we face, ladies and gentlemen. Kids are sicker today that at any point in the last 50 years. Let that sink in and then ask the obvious question, “Why?”

Many things shape our terrible American health system, but one of the least talked about dynamics is the simple lack of education on how to stay healthy. “Sugar feeds infection” is not common knowledge; it should be. Nutritional education is virtually non-existent.

Ideally, it would be written into the by-laws of every school that if a child was showing overt signs of fighting illness, then they shouldn’t be allowed to have sugary snacks, regardless of the occasion; the few minutes of being upset is well worth a healthier kid first of all, but there is also the domino effect to consider – if the immune system of one child is suppressed, then the infection gets stronger and more likely to effect other kids who are simultaneously suppressing their immune systems with the special treats (this is one of the primary ways that infection spreads, by the way). Frankly, as a parent, I’d like to be informed of the junk food my child is set to consume so that I can give my consent for it and help them prepare for it by counteracting it with constructive, nutritional foods before and after. Until health education improves, those things won’t happen.

On the bright side, just as sugar fuels infection, watching my kids stay sicker for longer fuels my fire to ramp up the educational process and further stimulate long overdue change in healthcare. So, here’s a call to action to parents, teachers, grandparents, etc.: let’s reverse the trend of today’s kids being the first in modern history to be sicker than the generation before theirs, and let’s start by recognizing simple things like “sugar feeds infection.”

What is “The Doctor Inside” Each of Us? (Part 1)

It is common for holistic health practitioners to use phrases like “every person carries his or her own doctor inside, and we are our best when we give the doctor inside a chance to work[i].”  What does that really mean, though?  What is the “doctor inside”? 

To preface, the answer to those questions is what makes the holistic paradigm distinct from the traditional medical model.  Anything non-medical is described in American society as “alternative to” or “complimentary of” medicine, but in reality the truly holistic practices are separate from and distinct to medicine, as clearly defined in their separate roles as an electrician and a firefighter.  Each paradigm has its own philosophy and methodology. 

Holistic means the comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected, and explicable only by reference to the whole[ii].  When taught about anatomy (structure), physiology (function), neurology (communication), psychology (thoughts), etc. as separate entities with just vague reference to how interrelated they all are, it leaves out important contextualization, causing misunderstandings about health, what it is and how to achieve it.  The next step in the healthcare revolution is a better big picture understanding of how perfectly the human body exemplifies the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” also known as synergy. 

So, regarding the “doctor inside,” the meaning of the phrase is rooted in acknowledgment, based on the logic derived from indisputable facts, that there is an intelligence that exists in everything…in all matter.  This intelligence is different than the kind talked about in educational settings.  Instead, this intelligence is an expression of the infinite, as in the infinite number of coordinated functions that just took place inside each reader’s body over the last split second; or the wonders of the world, those amazing things that just happen, like a dogwood tree that blooms for one glorious week each year or the way that a developing baby has a beating heart less than a month after conception, and the processes that make each possible.  Education allows us to know that fertile soil along with balanced access to water and sunlight makes it probable for a dogwood to grow and bloom, but what makes it grow – and what makes a fetal heartbeat possible in 3 weeks – is an inherent intelligence that manages the process. 

The purpose of the intelligence in question is to organize, like the arrangement of earth among the other planets, and the volatile concoction of components making up an atom that would explode if not meticulously organized[iii].  As a form of infinite wisdom, if you will, this intelligence renders what humans know a speck of dust in an otherwise pristinely clean ballroom.  Science has given us a great deal of advantages, but it has also skewed the perceptions of many away from confidence and trust in something greater than science alone can offer.  There is a rational desire to be able to prove as much as we can, to unlock the vault to be discovered if we could just further tap into the source of that synergy – that interconnectivity among the various parts of the body, for instance.  When that desire manifests a battle between science and God, though, it is grounds for taking a step back to re-evaluate.  Truly, it is just another reason why all or nothing culture needs to move aside and make way for the currently elusive middle ground, the place where human evolution will continue (why not science and God?)

There is a certain safety in focusing only on the things that can be controlled, but to understand the “doctor inside” and, thus, to better comprehend health conceptually, there must be recognition that there is much beyond our conscious control and that some guiding intelligence governs the rest.  When eating food, for instance, our control ends at chewing and swallowing.  There is no conscious requirement for digestion of the food, so what controls digestion?  What prevents the bite slightly too big from getting lodged in the tubes of the small intestine?  What maintains the steady rhythm of contracting and relaxing used to push food through the system?  What makes the enzymes break down the food and disperse nutrients to the rest of the body?  The answer is intelligence, which many[iv] call God, maintaining harmony so that internal chaos does not ensue. 

Holistic professions like Upper Cervical Chiropractic posit that a primary way to give the “doctor inside” a chance to work is to correct head/neck misalignment, which balances the body and allows the proper flow of communication from the brain to the affected areas, immediately relaxing muscles, increasing blood and oxygen circulation, and stimulating the self-healing process to continue optimally[v].  The power that made the body can heal the body if interference to its function is removed.   

Synergy – harmony is synonymous here – can be seen everywhere.  Any diehard sports fan knows about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts; it is clear and obvious when watching elite teams that a highly coordinated effort among coaches and players, and not a series of random occurrences from exceptional individuals, leads to victory.  The same could be said of a superlative symphony orchestra and the beautiful music that it produces.  It is organization at its conscious finest.  “The doctor inside” is organization at God’s finest.  

[i] Albert Schweitzer paraphrased

[ii] Oxford Dictionary

[iii] The Triune of Life by Dr. Reggie Gold

[iv] I, Chad McIntyre, included

[v] Dr. Daniel O. Clark

Friday, July 24, 2020

Why The Unorthodox Perspective Matters In The COVID-19 Conversation

What a fascinating, albeit divisive period in history.  COVID-19 threw everyone off-course in some way, giving the entire world a rare shared experience.  Who would have thought that, especially in the 21st century, a virus could hold a country as powerful as the United States hostage, demanding as ransom both the health of entire industries and a way of life collectively taken for granted?  The people continue to pay dearly, and everyone is invested in the best path forward.  Accordingly, it feels like the appropriate time for learning and to put egos aside to facilitate important discussions about big picture healthcare topics.  There has been only one prominent voice in the coronavirus conversation, though, and that voice has spoken nothing of the battle-tested human immune system and how to optimize it, while championing largely untested concepts (i.e. social distancing, lockdown, and universal masking) as the only viable methods for successfully navigating this unprecedented situation.  As will be demonstrated in the forthcoming analysis of the two concepts that have shaped America’s COVID response, other voices need to be heard who advocate shifting healthcare's focus to personal empowerment, from being reactive to proactive.   

The current cultural climate presents a roadblock to learning and discussing healthcare and other social issues because American society has seemingly forgotten how, the collective having become so deeply embroiled in constant arguing that the discussion has become a lost art; that may prove to be an important acknowledgement given the realities of COVID about to be shared will likely be eye-opening to readers.  Nobody wins an argument and little change comes from arguing.  So, please know that the following is not intended to incite an argument, but rather to stimulate an on-going discussion.  The contents include cited statistics and corresponding interpretations. 

Rewind the clock to March, when the novel coronavirus came to the forefront in the United States.  The initial question that had to be answered was what made COVID-19 different enough from previous threats, such as Zika, Swine Flu, and even the yearly seasonal Flu, to warrant a drastic shift in response to it.  After all, it had years ago become a popular trend in the media to talk about unique viruses and their potential impact, but the public reaction remained measured.  On March 3rd, multiple news outlets reported the World Health Organization's claim that the COVID-19 death (mortality) rate was 3.4%, alarming considering that the death rate for seasonal flu hovers annually around 0.1% by comparison.  Granted, so little was known about the virus at that point, but the numbers warranted attention.  The gravity of mortality set in rather harshly and the ensuing projection models escalated the fear of what might happen when the number of cases predictably rose. 

Uncertainty can be as scary as risk evaluation on limited data is challenging.  Decision-making is at its best when the decision-maker is at his/her best.  Fear, meanwhile, clouds judgment, and though decisive action must at times be taken in the face of it, fear tends to spur on the increasingly common “ready-FIRE-aim” mentality that permeates American culture by disrupting the pathways in the brain that lead to sound judgment[i].     

Epidemiological predictions certainly begged the question as to whether there was enough knowledge to allow the reaction to the actual data to match the fear about the hypothetical numbers.   The initial fear was justifiable, but it was not as if COVID-19 was happening in a bubble, isolated from the recent history of disease and health.  The developed world has not dealt with an infectious disease death rate as high as 3% in modern times[ii], since before sanitation curbed in humanity’s favor the ratio of immune system integrity to infections capable of overwhelming the immune system.  It was perhaps a bold assumption that the baseline strength of present-day immune systems among the vast majority of the population was not up to the task against an opponent like COVID-19.  Confidence in the immune system’s adaptability was justifiable too, as demonstrated throughout the industrialized world repeatedly, to the point that infectious disease has ranked well behind its peers atop the leading causes of death list for decades.  Would patience have been more prudent?  Only time and contextualization via further data would tell. 

It was an unenviable position to be the ones responsible for weighing the options for how to initially respond, the ultimate test between fear of the virus and faith in the immune system.

Amplifying the fear during the early weeks of spring was a concept as novel as the 2019 coronavirus: that people without symptoms – who do not feel ill – were spreading COVID-19 to others.  White House Coronavirus Task Force leader Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that there was "no doubt" about asymptomatic transmission occurring.  That assertion, much like the reported mortality rate, was eye-opening.  Precedents had been set for noteworthy statistical spikes in infectious disease, but the suggestion of the silent spreader hypothesis completely changed the game, introducing the idea that anyone at any time could infect someone else with a potentially deadly disease, regardless of whether a person was traditionally ill.   

Before the silent spreader premise rose to prominence in March, it was generally accepted that the reason why people who do not exhibit symptoms of disease are not threats to spread it is because their immune systems could be trusted to essentially self-quarantine infections when exposed.  For context, Dr. Fauci had confirmed in late January 2020 interviews the long-held standard that “asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks.”  What changed?

The immune system is innately built with a catalogue of all types of cells that should be there and the capability to recognize and swiftly deal with foreign invaders when they arrive and attempt to replicate.  Such is why, with respect to the focus of infectious disease commentary being the small percentage of people who get diagnosed and/or perish, it is of paramount importance to remember that, by an overwhelming margin, people recover and/or do not get sick; as of this writing, for instance, there were 11.8 million confirmed COVID cases worldwide, which means there would need to be an additional 66 million confirmed cases just to equal 1% of Earth’s population. 

Conceptually, asymptomatic transmission crafted a horrifying new narrative that, in conjunction with the originally reported mortality rate of 3.4%, created the controversial public health protocols, including the lockdowns, and all the accompanying turmoil.  In the United States and beyond, the response to COVID was as extreme as the projections.  Few countries played the role of the pragmatist, as an unprecedented spread of fear demanded its terror be mirrored worldwide.  In the United States, the unemployment rate consequently saw its greatest month-to-month increase in the history of the statistic, 3.5% to 14.7%[iii]; millions of small businesses were forced to shut down; many lives were changed forever.  The validity of both the hypothesis of silent spreading and the accuracy of the projections based on the death rate, therefore, must be determined to figure out the best way to proceed, now and in the future.   

Perception is reality, which is another important acknowledgement in this discussion.  Opinions are shaped by worldviews.  In this age of social media and 24-hour news, confirmation bias – interpreting information in a way that matches an existing viewpoint – runs rampant.  Nobody is unaffected by it.  So, this is the point when things can get tricky. Industries have been ravaged.  Airlines are down 81%, a quarter to half of all restaurants are facing permanent shutdown, construction had its worst financial quarter since the housing crisis of 2008; the list goes on and on[iv].  This is dire, ladies and gentlemen.  It must be clear and obvious that COVID-19 is the threat it was feared to be, and so the following data must be shared and understood for everyone to be fully cognizant of the situation at hand.  

Interestingly, the “no doubt” suggestion by Dr. Fauci regarding asymptomatic transmission was based on the testimony of just one person, who initially said she was asymptomatic, but later admitted to being ill[v].  To date, only a few studies have been published about silent spreading, yet none of them confirm the hypothesis and the current hallmark study outright refuted it[vi].  How revealing, considering that silent spreading is one of the core tenets of social distancing, mandatory masks, and the continued restrictions.  

Asymptomatic transmission nevertheless remains the backbone of the explanation for the number of cases continuing to rise, which is the driving force behind the recent re-escalating fear.  Should it, though?  The key question remains whether the intense reaction to the virus was/is necessary.  Anywhere from 40%[vii] to 80%[viii] of all confirmed cases are symptom free.  Regarding infectious disease, these people are perfectly healthy, yet due to the lingering panic they are being tested, often multiple times, skewing the data in spite of the lack of evidence to support that they can spread the virus.  Dr. Zach Bush, a worldwide leader in understanding immunity, has said that if a random person was tested for a panel of known-viruses, of which thousands among the presumed millions have been named, he/she would test positive for dozens of them, even without symptoms[ix].  Typically, these people would have been living their lives, unaware of the virus present because their immune systems handled it already; presently, they are being treated like sick people.     

The number of cases is really not the concern, which is a statement that may seem confusing since so much attention has been given to the so-termed spike.  Obviously, when you increase the number of tests given five-fold[x], the number of positive tests will naturally increase too.  Again, though, most of the cases are asymptomatic and the silent spreader hypothesis remains at best a gray area.  Furthermore, 85% to 95%[xi] of all symptomatic (traditionally ill) cases experience only mild symptoms; 60% of the elderly, the highest risk group, experience only mild symptoms; children are hardly being affected at all by the virus itself[xii]. 

Studies conducted by Penn State[xiii], Stanford[xiv], and Southern Cal[xv] (among others) have deduced that there may be upwards of 80 times more cases than currently reported, research endorsed in part by the possibility that the origins of the 2019 coronavirus date back to last August[xvi].  On the surface, that too is alarming, but it is actually good news.  These studies are based on the presence of antibodies to COVID-19 and other forms of coronavirus (which cause about 20% of common colds) that help develop immunity to COVID-19.  The immune system is like a super navy, with stations set up throughout the body to alert of foreign invaders.  An anti-body is the memory of an old battle fought against infection stored by the immune system so that defenses will kick in immediately upon re-detection, swarming the virus and quarantining it; the second line of defense then comes in once the admiral in the brain is made aware of the significance of the threat and destroys it.  That system is a well-oiled machine; it has quietly been working against COVID-19 all year, and it can be trusted.

When accounting for those who have immunity to COVID already, the death rate, as it turns out, is right on par with the seasonal flu after all, at around 0.2%[xvii].  Plus, the overwhelming majority of the people dying from the novel coronavirus have comorbidities (i.e. other major health problems)[xviii], which is consistent with the data collected on other respiratory infections, and over 40% of the deaths from coronavirus are coming from nursing homes[xix].  Also, it bears mentioning that the over-inflation of COVID deaths has been a hot topic from the outset[xx], spurred on by the vague CDC language[xxi] of what constitutes a COVID death and the first-person accounts[xxii] of the unfortunate practice of misrepresenting causes of death.  Incorporating the regrettable 25% over-estimate, of course, lowers the mortality rate even further.  

If life were a football game, a replay would be in order to re-assess the public health policies enforced.  All Americans have had their worlds turned upside down.  A once thriving economy was plunged directly into a recession and government-imposed restrictions continue to slow the establishment of a new normal, with the possibility of longer-term restrictions strangling the hope that life can get back into balance sooner than later.  Yet, this is not football, when the ruling on the field stands if replay evidence cannot indisputably overturn the original call.  In life, decisions and their makers are held accountable by assessment of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, of which there is plenty in this case it would be fair to conclude.

The statistical realities thus far mentioned greatly call into question the necessity of the contentious lockdown.  Though much vitriol has been sparked by the topic, it is important to explore it to learn a better response down the road.  The lockdown has had massively negative socio-economic ramifications, as once warned by Dr. D.A. Henderson, credited as “the leader of the international effort to eradicate smallpox” and a staunch detractor of the lockdown concept when it was introduced in the mid-2000s.  Dr. Henderson promoted allowing viruses to spread so that immunity could naturally be built.  Michael Levitt, a 2013 Nobel Prize winner and professor at the Stanford School of Medicine, has observed that, regardless of restrictions imposed, there has been a short-term peak of significant cases followed by a sharp decline everywhere in the world.  He called the lockdowns a “huge mistake,” advocating instead for approaches like the ones mentioned below[xxiii]. 

Japan and Sweden were the most prominent countries of the pragmatic few, and they did not lock down so much as they suggested practical restrictions.  Both nations were heavily ridiculed for not following the global trend, but it has become clearer over time that the rest of the world can learn from them[xxiv].  Japan has just 20,000 cases compared to 3 million in the USA, adding just 4,000 cases since removing its restrictions in late May. 

Sweden took the most rational approach to COVID of any developed nation, keeping businesses and grade schools open and asking the elderly to shelter in place.   It has a similar population as the state of Illinois, yet half the number of COVID cases and 30% fewer deaths; Illinois locked down tight, while Sweden was relatively wide open.  Dr. Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, referred to the lockdowns as “madness” that ignored everything known about pandemic containment.

The data also demands an explanation as to why officials have continued implementing panic-driven restrictions based on March projections that fortunately proved inaccurate.  The elderly are being kept away from their families even though the approach has not made them less susceptible to COVID[xxv].  Massive hoops through which families must jump for kids to go back to school are being created when so little evidence exists that children are spreading the virus[xxvi] and while experts around the world maintain a position that schools should go back to normal[xxvii].  Suicide rates, alcohol and drug related deaths, child abuse, and domestic violence have all increased.  Quality of life has practically been deemed inconsequential, as savings and retirement accounts have been drained.  These are just a few examples of how living life around fear is a dangerous path.  What began as a conscious exercise to reduce risk has become an unsettling journey to create an impossible-to-achieve no risk scenario.         

There is a lot to sort out once the above breakdown is digested.  Each of the other components of the COVID response hinge on the validity of the previously discussed, highly flawed concepts.  Social distancing is another poorly researched hypothesis without peer-reviewed support[xxviii]; at face value, the hashtags for stopping the spread, flattening the curve, and staying home to save lives made sense, but when their foundation was shaken, they no longer carried weight and are no longer logical, especially considering the socio-economic downsides.  And if quarantining healthy people is unfounded, then what does that say for mandatory masking of healthy people, another notion with little to no support[xxix], as confirmed by the US Surgeon General[xxx] and the New England Journal of Medicine[xxxi].  On the contrary, masks can slow down the immune system and have other detrimental side effects[xxxii].  And if there is already a massive natural immunity to COVID-19, then why is the dominant theme of the expert commentary still that a vaccine is needed to propel America beyond the crisis?  It takes a decade to properly develop a vaccine[xxxiii] and it is very dangerous to rush that process[xxxiv].

COVID-19 is one of the most emotional topics in modern history.  It is hard to have a conversation about it without an argument occurring.  Let that be the last of the important acknowledgements made as the end of this article draws near.  Unfortunately, the asymptomatic transmission hypothesis has made it that much more challenging to avoid conversations about the coronavirus becoming circular arguments, which tend to spiral out of control and accomplish nothing more than upsetting all parties.  If it is generally accepted without the critical element of it becoming a supportable scientific theory, Americans could be forced to live their lives around infectious disease indefinitely; it opens Pandora’s Box.  While maintaining an unjustified undercurrent of fear, church, football games, vacations, movies, etc. could forever be lessened in their inherent ability to help you grow, escape, or destress.  Life might never be the same. 

The bright side of this is that it offers the chance to make change and rebuild.  The caveat is that change only happens when there is a realization that it needs to be made.  COVID has opened the door for conversations about the systemic problem that America has been dealing with for decades.  Healthcare has been designed around fear and around removing personal responsibility, and the last four months have shown how deep that rabbit-hole can go.  System wide, it has been assumed that human immunity was too weak to be trusted.  People, as a direct result of modern American healthcare’s educational shortcomings, do not understand health or the immune system.  Such is why it “shocks” the general public and its leaders when they learn that you cannot run and hide from viruses[xxxv].  American healthcare, as a system, has done the equivalent of tune into one radio frequency, then ignored the existence by and large of all other frequencies and taught the people that there is only one frequency that matters.  It is hard to hear hope on the frequency that only plays fear’s greatest hits.  So, change the frequency. 

It is not 1918, when the water supply used for elimination was also used for rehydration and bathing.  The baseline strength of the immune system today is immense, a fact being proven repeatedly in the age of COVID.  That cannot be downplayed, ignored, or dismissed as conspiracy theorist jargon.  Japan swiftly dealt with COVID.  They suggested (not forced) the biggest restrictions on Tokyo, which is home to 5 million more people than New York City, one of the most locked down cities in the world, but Tokyo has 250 times less COVID deaths.  Why?  The Japanese are generally much healthier than Americans, their system ranking among the top 10 in the industrialized world, whereas the USA ranks at the bottom.  Their immune systems are stronger. 

The immune system is the key to all of this.  Understanding it and the responsibility that everyone has to their own health offers the path to hope.  Unlocking the immune system’s full strength is as simple as keeping the body structurally balanced and functioning properly[xxxvi], making sure that nutrition is constructive and not destructive[xxxvii], staying physically active instead of being sedentary[xxxviii], and keeping a positive attitude to better manage stress[xxxix].  Viruses are everywhere and humans encounter millions of them every day; they negatively impact people who are either generally unhealthy or in a state of weakened health.  It is time to shift the focus of American healthcare from disease to health.  When that happens, life will not only be different, but it will be better.  

So, to recap, the reaction to COVID-19 was based on the death rate and hypothetical asymptomatic transmission, but the mortality rate is 94% lower now than it was reported originally and there is presently no quantifiable indication to support silent spreading, the burden of proof for which is on laboratory science to supply evidence that would unseat biological scientific observations of the human immune system as the enduring standard.  Quarantining healthy people remains a bold, disputed, and limitedly tested approach with its own paltry origins[xl] that other countries and even seven American states have shown to be needless.  As America continues to feel the aftershocks from the equivalent of a terrible earthquake, it is important to look at all of the relevant data and recognize that the coronavirus itself may actually be a tremor while the response to it – and the mindset driving the response to it – is the earthquake. 

[iii] The Bureau of Labor Statistics
[v] The New England Journal of Medicine
[vii] Various sources from April to June 2020
[xvi] Harvard Medical School
[xxviii] Oxford University Center for Evidence-Based Medicine