Monday, July 26, 2010

The Case Against Medical Marijuana

Smoking anything is bad for you. A lot of the marijuana advocates seem to promote the notion that only tobacco smoking is bad for you, but smoking marijuana has no negative effect on one's health.

Actually, because the marijuana smoked is much more resinous, it probably is even worse than smoking tobacco in the same amounts. This bad effect is notable as the thickening of the mucus in the lungs that smokers of anything develop as the lungs basic reaction to this irritant, which manifests itself as the smoker's cough or hack, or chronic bronchitis, which they then self-medicate with cough medicines (guaifenesin).

I attended a seminar several years ago at which a Dr. St. Amand, claimed that guaifenesin cured fibromyalgia, which is a currently popular syndrome of many common deteriorative conditions which includes chronic bronchitis and body pains. I was particularly interested because I had bouts of frequent bronchitis and back pain throughout my life and at the time, had a episode of back pain that led me to believe that I would be crippled for the rest of my life -- and so I was a particularly attentive listener because I was familiar with guaifenesin as a remedy for the bronchitis brought about through smoking, since I had been a smoker myself, and recognized that enabled me to do so.

Although the doctor had his exotic explanation for why guaifenesin cured fibromyalgia, a simpler explanation seemed to make more sense to me -- and that was that anything that thickened the mucus made one diseased, while things that liquefied the mucus, made one well -- because obviously, the mucus in the body will tend to be impacted in the same way throughout the body -- and not just in the lungs. That's why when people get a cold, flu, or bronchitis, they frequently also experience other body pains -- similar to arthritis pains, because mucus lubricates all the movement in the body, and particularly the interfaces of the respiratory and digestive systems, which seems to be the most sensitive and vulnerable parts that even the hardiest of people note increasing difficulty as they go through life.

In fact, the most notable indicator of aging and deterioration of the body, is the thickening of the two body fluids of the blood and the mucus -- of which the former is usually treated but the latter ignored. But the hugely negative impact of smoking, is that it has a deleterious effect of thickening both body fluids, and the primary effect of medications, is to thin the blood and mucus.

Without this realization, people who think they are treated themselves medically by smoking tobacco, marijuana, ice, or any other substance, are negatively impacting their health in doing so -- so that the underlying condition for which they are treating themselves by smoking marijuana, becomes worse. So, if nothing else, a better method of administration, would be to take it as a tea, or a topical.

However, the greater medical benefit for their painful condition, would be to thin the mucus which lubricates the movements of the cells, tissues and organs -- and there are herbs that specifically provide that effect -- such as guaifenesin, that also treat the common respiratory and gastrointestinal problems people often have -- in great part of medications and self-prescribed nutritional supplements.

The best known cure-alls of this sort, is anise(seed) and fennel -- as herbs that might actually cure most of their symptoms, instead of just allowing them to tolerate the pain enjoyably, as they get worse.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Failure of Contemporary Education

Many, if not most, professional "educators," would have us believe that in order for one to learn anything, one has to first pay them a lot of money and assure them lifetime job security, for them to sacrifice themselves by letting us in on what they presume to know -- making learning a function of time, money and control, rather than the simple process of paying attention to the realities of what is going on.

Properly, one then creates a general theory to explain what is going on, and not demand instead, that the reality must conform to their "theory" or "conjecture" of what is going on -- that more often than not, is a faulty understanding of the process.

In fitness or exercise (conditioning) activities, that is invariably that "more is better," without first understanding what is the process in the first place. It is simplified even further that simply making the heart beat faster, or slower, accounts for greater capability for actually doing anything meaningful or productive -- when the fact of the matter is that a specific objective must be measured for anything to be really meaningful -- and not just that in "putting" or "shooting," the faster one can get their heart to beat, the greater one's chances of success. Following that logic, the more one putts or shoots, the better one becomes -- rather than the more valid observation, that the accomplished and proficient at anything, actually uses less attempts (effort) to accomplish immeasurably more.

That is a qualitative difference, rather than simply a quantitative one. That is the fallacy of measurement, which presumes and assumes that all things are otherwise equal -- when that may be the biggest difference. The economy of effort is what differentiates the average from the exceptional. That is the beauty and art of movement (or for anything for that matter) -- and not who looks like they are producing the greatest expenditure of effort, suffering and "sacrifice."

In that way, the popular notion that proper conditioning is the measure of the greatest expenditure of effort and energy, is the focus on the wrong things and measurement. In everyday experience, the objective is to move as effortlessly, gracefully, and easily, rather than making the simplest things a monumental and extraordinary effort, causing much pain and suffering in the doing so -- and thinking that is a major accomplishment, let alone a desirable conditioning (education), requiring a platoon of health advisers to achieve and support. Obviously, that is done for the benefit of the trade associations of fitness/health professionals, and not for the individual desiring the greatest economy of expenditures for maximal benefits -- for themselves.

But as life becomes more institutionalized and bureaucratized -- even in the name of "public service," we lose that connection to the simple realities -- and come to regard the explanations as the reality, and to prefer it -- until one day, there is a critical failure of that theory to match up with reality, and most people then, simply give up on trying to understand anything thereafter, because they think all knowledge and information has betrayed them.

And so the great quest of truth, is to find and identify the exceptional rare few, who do not think this way.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Most of What You Think You Know, Is Wrong

Just because it is the conventional wisdom, which means it is repeated often without questioning, is the problem, and obviously not the solution, though many will say it is so.

That is especially true of "fitness" and "health" articles one will read in the mainstream media -- who not coincidentally, are people in notorious poor health and fitness, deciding what everybody else should also think -- and therefore be in as hopeless condition as themselves.

The problem is not that the truth is not out there, but the truth that is understood by the reporter and editors, are not valid -- if one just makes the attempt to test out those "truths" for themselves.

One of the longest-standing of those so-called scientific myths that have become conventional wisdom, is the statement that one cannot "spot-reduce," or specifically shape a particular bodypart (muscle) to one's liking and choosing -- but that development, or lack of it, is predetermined genetically, and subject to the fitness of the heart -- only, and that there is no getting around that inviolable "truth," when the fact of the matter, is that all development one sees, is determined by favoring those particular outcomes.

There is nothing wrong with a person who wishes to reduce their midsection, to do exercises specifically to reduce and shape that midsection -- above all else, but the pseudo-experts, who think they know because somebody else told them so without them ever testing any truth for themselves, or observing that truth all around them in every aspect and occasion of life, because they have been brainwashed only to accept what the "proper" authorities on such matters tell them is the truth, under penalty of a lower grade and disapproval, will never discover the truth for themselves about anything.

Those are the people usually rewarded very well by the "establishment" for propagating and defending whatever "truths" the powers that be -- who wish always to remain so, tell them what to say -- unquestioningly. For their business is not to question and inquire, but merely to obey and repeat unquestioningly, until someone in authority tells them the next new truth to believe and defend. Usually, these people are very proud to believe that they have discovered those truths by and for themselves -- because they think they are among the first to receive those truths, when in fact, they are simply working to persuade people of what is not true, as the truth -- which is the only way they can think to perpetuate their "authority." They must be able to convince the rest, that the most preposterous and outrageous statements and affirmations are true, despite nothing in the world corroborating those statements. It is, because they say so.

Anybody who's ever spent any time in the world of bodybuilding knows that that is the reason people often disrupt the natural proportion and symmetry of development -- by deciding that they want to overdevelop one area (muscle) of their body, over every other -- thinking that is what is most aesthetically pleasing, at least to themselves, and project others should think so too.

So people who want to develop "washboard" abs, or peaked biceps -- usually do, because that may be all they do -- so to say that one cannot "spot reduce" or overspecialize to monstrous proportions and distortions, fly in the face of reality so much so as to discredit the speaker entirely that they know anything at all about anything -- and certainly nothing in real life.

While genetics may determine the ultimate possibilities of development, the realm in which most people are working, is untapped potential that is their reality -- and not that it is hopeless to undertake a program of change and effort, because they have been conditioned throughout their lives, to believe that what is not true is true, and they have never broken through to discovering reality for themselves -- but live entirely in the world of thought untested by any actual understanding of reality.