Monday, August 27, 2007

Got Back Pain?

What worked for me was the insight of the guaifenesin protocol, advanced by Dr. R. Paul St. Amand, as a cure for fibromyalgia, which is the syndrome of all the symptoms normally associated with chronic body dysfunctions and premature aging, until it is regarded as simply “normal aging.”

The doctor has a very complicated and unverified theory of why it works, but the simple and short story is that guaifenesin has the well-proven ability to liquefy mucus, and so that is why most people take it when they have a cold, flu, bronchial inflammation, expressly to liquefy the mucus in their lungs so they can breathe comfortably again (or expectorate the congealed mucus).

When the mucus solidifies, it doesn’t act in the optimal manner a fluid would -- but instead, assumes the lesser capabilities of a solid. The mucus is the medium and lubricant of the body for all movement -- in such critical systems as the respiratory, the digestive, and is secreted by the cartilage prior to movement of the joints. If that is not maintained at fluid optimal, naturally there will be “pain.” One will note that when one has a cold or flu, it is frequently accompanied by various other body pains, notably at the joints.

Long before I ever heard of Dr. St. Amand’s work, I noted that Robitussin (guaifenesin) had this favorable effect on general health -- beyond relieving bronchial congestion, so what I found encouraging about his study was the revelation that it could be taken in large doses indefinitely, with no negative side-effects, but many positive ones if one had those chronic problems and pains often associated with thickened mucus, which is a distinguishing characteristic of people as they age.

In people of advanced ages, the condition is called “phlegmatic” -- or that their mucus dries up. When that happens as a general condition of one’s internal environment, one is likely to have multiple general problems, called in the past, the natural (normal) process of aging that until now, was considered “normal” and congenital, with all its consequnces.

Apparently it doesn’t have to be that way though. I haven’t had any bouts of back pain or bronchitis that used to lay me up at least twice a year each for months at a time ever since I was a child diagnosed as an arthritic with chronic bronchitis.

I managed to ignore that diagnosis and prognosis for most of my life until about five years ago when I thought I wouldn’t recover again as I usually did. By chance, I read the article in the newspaper announcing the free seminar given by this doctor and have had no problem since.

The doctor’s book is titled, What Your Doctor Might Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia. I have no connection with the doctor. His website is:

The cheapest place to get guaifenesin is Costco.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Making It Simple (And to the Point)

Most people are out of shape, or in poor condition, because they don’t do a few specifically body shaping/conditioning movements frequently enough to retain that “memory” -- because it is a neurological capability as much as a cardiovascular one -- and it is this former neuromuscular programming, that causes one to look (be) in-shape. The cardiovascular capacity has little to do with this momentary ability to alter/transform one’s shape -- as one’s trained (neuromuscular) capability to do so.

One would not expect to throw a football (or any other skill) perfectly -- if one hadn’t done it for a long time -- if ever, and for that same reason, a lot of bodies do not take on a pleasingly proper shape because one has never practiced doing so. The only muscle in the body that always performs in that manner and therefore maintains its proper shape, is the heart muscle -- so it has a well-recognized “shape” -- no matter what condition the rest of the muscles are in, which causes people to vary in appearance quite widely, so that many are even unrecognizable as human beings in the shape we normally recognize them to be.

This familiar (pleasing) shape is due to proper programming -- rather than simply a function of random gross activity, as for example, burning as much calories as possible -- without the specific objective and intent of shaping (articulating) the muscle to its greatest possibility. In doing so frequently enough, that muscle takes on that memory -- of “how to be” -- as a preference for appearance and performance, in a way that simply random activity won’t. So it doesn’t matter how much of this random, or unspecified expression one does, if one does not do those precise, specific movements that achieve the ultimate expression of that muscle, as its well-recognized capacity.

All the spasmodic tantrums on the floor, though burning maximum calories and exacting maximum wear and tear on the body as well as the furnishings, are not going to make one the world’s gymnastic champion -- or proficient at anything, and so one will rightly and predictably retreat to the despair and futility of unrestrained snacking -- as the defining action of one’s existence.

So quantity of activity is not the defining measure as much as quality of activity is. That’s what "makes" world’s champions -- and people distinctively fitter and more in-shape than others. It is not the quantity of activity but the quality that distinguishes this difference -- at every level of performance, just as depositing one’s money on the sidewalk is not the same as depositing it in a bank, or brokerage. It is not that doing the latter requires more energy to learn about and do correctly, as the fact that they are doing the “right” thing -- and not just anything, and expending more calories and effort doing so.

This is true of every human activity -- no matter what -- that doing precisely the right thing, makes the difference that simply doing a lot, or even all the wrong things cannot accomplish. Yet that is the manner that intellectuals (writers) usually discuss these activities thinking they are making meaningful human sounds and significance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Doing the Right Thing (It Doesn’t Take Much)

If you don’t do the “right” thing, it doesn’t matter "how much" of the wrong thing you do.

A big casualty of the rise (and subsequent decline) of mass media, was the loss of the ability to determine the right thing -- for oneself, because their featured (anointed) experts, told them what was “right,” and one had to follow the “weight” of that opinion -- as a “right” in itself. Whatever most people believed, or what they could convince most people believed, became the ultimate truth of anything -- and no further thought or research was necessary, or even possible. That was the power of mass media.

It no longer mattered how one arrived at one’s conclusions -- only that “the experts said,” and there was no authority beyond those experts. That was the brief rise and fall of mass media and popular culture -- before the re-emergence of authentic, independently-derived knowledge, which are those ideas rooted in thought, experiment and reflection rather than popular opinion and manipulation -- because one "owned" the pipelines of information propagation.

Popular opinion is that which is repeated so often that one is inclined to believe it is true -- rather than those profound insights that are always rare to come by -- but determines one’s ultimate quality of life. The critical difference is that only the right thing “makes a difference,” and the only value of the wrong things, is when they help get one to the right thing -- but no amount of the wrong thing is a substitute for just the right amount of the right thing.

Even too much of a good thing can become a bad thing -- while just a little of the right thing, makes all the difference in the world. When one is thirsty, a cup of water is perfect, while a pondful, is no better, and may create greater problems (of drowning in that weakened state). So one has to be careful about such generalizations as indiscriminately more always being better. Too much, may also be the problem.

In exercise and conditioning, too much may be the reason one will no longer do the little that makes all the difference between being in optimal condition and not caring to distinguish the difference anymore, because one associates such activities with unreasonable and increasing demands for involvement beyond one’s control and enjoyment. One is always forced to do more than one wants to -- or to give up personal control over those aspects of their life to some authoritarian figure who merely insists they "know better than one does what is good for everybody else."

The right amount must be sought foremost -- in order to achieve that objective. Yet for many years, presumably intelligent people went around thinking that every excess would be balanced out -- by some mysterious court of nature, rather than that they are allowed to run their course until a serious breakdown.

At such a moment of truth, the intelligent and determined, will make drastic changes to survive and remain viable. A few others, will continue to deteriorate with periodic interventions that merely delay the inevitable “total failure,” because they’ve been convinced that the cure is worse than the disease.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Meaning of Health and Well-Being

Contrary to what any professional health care provider demands you believe, every individual is their own primary health care provider -- because nobody exists just to tend to the health care of others first and foremost. The reason they are in health care as a profession, is for their OWN health and well-being, and can share that expertise with others if they have immense talent in that area. However, a few, as in every profession, confuse their own self-interest for everybody else’s self-interest, and so every consumer has to be minimally on the look out for such abuses of trust and confidence. That’s just the way the world is -- and there are no good guys and bad guys just because they put a certain letter(s) after their names.

Health care providers work better for some than others. A few people, as with anything, may be better than the “professionals” -- whether that is car mechanics, computers, or physical therapies, writing, etc. -- depending on how well they know their subject, and how they learned it. Some people will pioneer the field even if they have no degree in it. That’s how inventions and innovations come into being -- individuals challenge the known to discover the unknown.

Every field of study and discovery has those similar issues -- of what is known by most people, and what is the cutting edge of discovery. The advantage most have over the professional (health care provider) is that nobody should know them better than they know themselves -- while the professional’s advantage is that s/he should have a broader range of experience and exposure -- although a few specialists will have us believe everybody has the problem of their specialty. So it is not just the consumer/patient who may overprescribe and overdiagnose.

Some people will insist that every problem can only be solved by hiring a lawyer -- or voting for a certain politician or party. Others think the accumulation of knowledge (information) is enough to protect them against all injuries, diseases and risks. That is the greatest problem, fear and anxiety in an age of information -- but that also opens up many areas of study to many more people than used to be involved, and so breakthroughs of insight can come much more rapidly and abundantly -- if everyone is allowed to think on these matters, as peers -- and not merely reinforcing the cult of the experts, which is merely the old pecking orders and status quo -- of which the medical subculture along with the military is the most bureaucratic.

Oftentimes, the bureaucracy gets in the way of the understanding -- and it is the understanding rather than who pays the medical costs and insurance that really is the health crisis of any society. So while a few may go astray in consuming too much time obsessing over all their afflictions, many more will actually find the knowledge and information that will relieve them of those anxieties.

Undoubtedly there are always abuses and addictions with anything -- including knowing too much. But I think most people can handle thinking for themselves -- and then finding the best of the professionals to assist them, as being the object and objective of their lives.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Why Not the Best Ideas?

The unfortunate teaching of “liberal studies,” is this notion that all ideas are equally valid and good as every other, when even for individuals, some ideas are better than others -- and are to be preferred over others, than left to random chance to dictate the course of humankind -- which is decidedly, not the story of evolution, progress and enlightenment -- even though such proponents think that is the ultimate vision of enlightenment and its objective. For such people, every idea is as good and valid as every other -- and not being able to discriminate any differences, anymore, is the objective and fulfillment of their lives -- rather than the reason for the disasters, misfortune and ill-will in the world.

This was largely the teaching and propagation (propaganda) of the institutions of mass (media) culture -- in which nobody anymore need do their own thinking -- because there are “objective” experts (practically like gods) who will do everybody else’s thinking for them -- just like in the good old days before these preposterous notions of self-determination, fraternity and liberty convinced many they could do their own thinking.

The old “mainstream” mass media would still like to convince everybody that we should consider them as modern icons (gods), rather than these delusions “common people” have that they are just as capable of determining the truth for themselves -- and should, if that is entirely possible -- because all manner of other knowledge is not as reliable, if one is familiarized with the basics of making those discoveries for oneself. Most are not taught that basic skill in school or their entire lives -- but conditioned merely to obey and defer to those most assertive and insistent that they are the “authorities.” We have to believe what they say, because they say “so.”

It’s actually not much different in the schools and universities anymore -- or for that matter, politics, in which those who have been there the longest, should never be questioned or challenged. But that is not science, the truth, or any other validity but assuring the perpetuation of things as they are -- which is the exclusive control by those who own the information pipelines. In a former day, those were a self-designated few; today, nobody has that exclusivity of control -- which is very troubling to those who think they should. A short time ago in history, there seemed to be very few alternatives to those choices -- until they exploded out of control, and those who are inclined to do so, can see many other perspectives except the one the local authority figure wishes to be so.

There are also the many struggles along the way -- by those who would like eventually (envision) to be that king of the hill. They think the meaning and purpose of every life is to dominate and prove their superiority to every other -- as though that was an intelligent thing to do, or at least that's what they were taught in school by many “teachers” who had no real idea of the meaning, purpose of significance of education, because they were never allowed to discover such a thing themselves.

But without that discussion first, everything else one does is arbitrary and rote. One learns what the “teacher” demands, because they are “bigger” than us -- or wants everybody to else to think so. That is their only skill and talent in life.