Venus Dancing W/Neptune 2004

Venus Dancing With Neptune   ©  Dean Andrew Scarpinato 2002

I gaze into your eyes and I’m met with understanding.
With Love.

You see me as I long to see myself
And as I gaze into the windows of your soul
I am truly absorbed in the refracted reflection into my own essence.
Seen through the soft rosy lens of your adoration.

I Adore You.

In the pools of your calm seas I invert my reflection
As I linger in fields of narcissus.
Like Persephone enchanted by the heady bouquet
Letting go trusting in your deliverance (beneficience).
I seek to know you in a space beyond time
And in our deep embrace we are free in perfection.
An Eden transcending Death and the consciousness of “I”
We’re all ways, here at once in all directions.

And I try to mirror back what I imagine are your needs
And live up to the fantasy we’ve created.
You see me as I need to be but fear that I am not
So unconsciously I’m feeling deflated.
And I fear and resent the need to become
The hero I’m longing to be
And I’m feeling the weight of the subtle demands
That you never consciously speak.

You have manipulated away my boundaries
As we’ve merged with the Collective Sea
As separation melts away with the longing to fuse
We lose objectivity.
And while I desire to bask in your nectar
And to kiss your pedicured feet,
Where my ego is weak I feel self-effacement
Fear and insecurity.

Which, of course, in delusion, I project onto you
Avoiding reality
Subtly undermining your sense of self-worth
Because I fear you’re too good for me.
Or that I’ve been exposed as another flawed human
Shattering illusions of divinity.
You can’t possibly love me
You don’t know me at all.
You’re deceptive. You lied to me!

So we tear down our love, pierce the heart of the goddess

And never see the truth of it all.
We’re subconsciously attracting and directing this scene
And you know we’ve been through this before.
But the problem doesn’t lie with he, she or it
But the way you relate to desire.
Can you give all in a moment of honesty
And not be consumed by the fire?

Well I guess that depends on if you’re keeping it real
Or allowing yourself to be deceived
Not by what you think I thought, said or meant
But by your own wounded fantasies.

I may help you to smile or incite you to cry
Or inspire your own inner strengths.
But I’m not your saviour and I’ll slip through your grasp
And you’ll call me deceptive and fake.
When the truth is your clinging out of desperation
Just to not face yourself all alone
And you’re blaming me for not living up to the image
You projected onto your illusory throne.

For your Vision of Venus and your need for a martyr
Who can heal you of all of your wounds
And be wrapped in the image of your dream of Osiris
And respond to your every mood.
Is a bit unrealistic yet that’s who I must be
To be the archetype for which I was groomed
So we move from one to another fantasy
With an impending sense of doom.

Then we wonder why no one out there understands
And why “true love” is so damned elusive.
Its cause we’re avoiding the true work our psyche demands
Seeking whatever easy path seems conducive.
To deluding ourselves that this time its different
That this girl will never break my heart
That forever is known in the blink of an eye
And that this was true love from the start.

But when the fantasy fades and the glamour is sullied
Then unselfish love is the only true key.
And that’s true understanding of your unconscious motives
And forgiving those motives in me.

 

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Integrative Care: The Only Common Sense Solution

The majority of the money that is spent on medical care in this country does not stay with the town physician to spend in the local economy.  Instead the lion’s share of the profits end up on the balance sheet of the multi national corporations (MNC’s).  Medical device companies and their big brother Big Pharma, the term given to the drug cartels of Western Medicine, together account for almost 1 trillion dollars this year.  “The pharmaceutical industry is, and has been for years, the most profitable of all businesses in the US,” says Time Magazine.  http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,993223-2,00.html

 

They will defend these profits as necessary to continue research and development.  However, the pharmaceutical companies on average spend two to three times on marketing and campaign contributions as they do on R&D.  And while print and media are great sources by which to advertise, the #1 target of their marketing blitzkrieg is doctors.  Doctors are, after all, the main conduit between a companies product and the ultimate consumer.  So “research” is developed that gives your physician complete confidence in whatever he’s pushing at the moment, and a few little perks never hurt either.  Hey that’s business.  And you don’t mind being a cog in that wheel do you citizen, I mean “consumer.”   And much of the so-called research amount to paying scientists to come to the conclusions the drug companies desire and then publishing said conclusions in acquiescent journals creating even more advertising.  After all, who funds the journals?  Who funds the medical schools?

 

And along with promoting individual drugs what they are really promoting, with the zeal of the Inquisitor is an orthodox view of medicine which states that all disease is material in nature and that the only solution is to be found in patentable drugs and surgery.  Moreover any so-called “alternatives” such as the approaches to health that countless cultures have followed for countless years are quackery and should be eradicated.

 

Recognize the absolute stupidity which would need to be present to remove the blatant sinister nature of just one example.  Herbs which grow naturally by the grace of God or the evolution of nature with whom we have lived side by side, relied upon and catalogued for their therapeutic properties, for tens of thousands of years are now illegal to use as medicine in all of Western Europe unless they can individually be put through the same clinical trials as pharmaceuticals.  This is impossible and they know it.  One of the reasons that pharmaceuticals are so expensive is that they go through this billion dollar process.  So unless you are prepared to pay $100 for every dose of garlic this becomes ridiculous.

 

Adding insult to injury the FDA has ruled that Genetically Modified Substances, such as the food you eat require no testing at all because they are “essentially” the same as nature.  So Monsanto can splice pesticides right into the seed of corn or soy and you can’t wash it off before eating it.  It’s part of that corn’s DNA.  But that’s cool.  However, if you take a piece of garlic and rub it on a spider bite and make the itching and redness go away you are a criminal.  God help Jesus Christ himself should he attempt to heal in such an environment.  Without a license to boot!!!  Then there’s insurance and physician oversight and he better not show up to work in those sandals and he better cut his hair!

 

Let’s look at another example.  Laetrille.  E. Edward Griffin has a You Tube called the Science and Politics of Cancer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54VbiKw2LdM&feature=related in which he explains that Laetrille also known as Vitamin B17 is known to be a cure for cancer and has been suppressed by the medical establishment since the 1970’s.  There is also Harry Hoxey, Hulda Clark, Royal Rife, Nicolai Tesla and countless others who can teach us how to prevent and treat cancer with effectiveness at least equal to and probably more viable than the success of chemotherapy and drugs.

 

According to the Townsend Study http://www.townsendletter.com/Oct2010/cancerprogram1010.html the incidence of cancer since 1975 is increasing dramatically, not decreasing.  And according to Dr Weil “the survival rates of cancers have increased only slightly over (those) years.  The 5 year survival rate is only 15% or less for cancers of the lung, liver, pancreas and esophagus.  And the 10 year survival rates for these cancers are notably lower.”

 

Despite hundreds of billions of dollars being poured into cancer research the results are really pretty piss poor.  The US has eradicated entire human populations for less!  Curing cancer by way of the American Medical Society is like trying to get justice for indigenous populations dispersed from their land by Texaco and/or Monsanto.  To understand this reference please see the movie Crude http://www.crudethemovie.com/ and The World According to Monsanto: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6262083407501596844

 

Upon seeing these films you will be more likely to believe the truth that cures for cancers are being suppressed and their proponents are being systematically intimidated, harassed, and destroyed by Big Pharma and its ilk.  And for this we spend 20% of our GNP while marginalizing other, often more effective forms of treatment.

 

What is the solution many may ask.  It’s really quite simple.  Utilize all sciences and disciplines, faiths and miracles in the maintenance and the restoration of your own health.  Utilize the least costly and least invasive, which are usually the most common sense measures first.  You have IBS???  Do you think that modifying your diet might have an effect?  Or should you just continue eating processed, poisoned crap morning, noon and night while adding a pill, usually containing more poison?

 

The health care industry as it stands today is bankrupting the nation and, given the number of morbidly obese people walking the streets, the number of anti depressants being prescribed, the rise in preventable diseases that only lead to worse chronic conditions such as diabetes and coronary disease, the fact that 20% (1 in 5) Americans has some form of arthritis etc, etc it really does not appear that this self proclaimed “Greatest Health Care System in the World,” is really living up to its own myth.

 

Yes we keep people alive through miraculous surgical intervention in cases of outrageous trauma.  But when it comes to simple quality of life measures most doctors don’t have a clue.

 

Nutrition is not part of basic Medical School curriculum.  Nor is meditation.  Nor is the necessity of maintaining one’s own health through diet and exercise if one is to be a real doctor also known as “teacher.”   So a medical consultation is the equivalent of a drug deal and usually takes about as long.  The average face time with a physician is 7 minutes.  Usually after a 45 minute wait (never forget that his time is more important than yours!).  You have a cold???  Don’t try Vitamin C, more rest, a netti pot, more Vitamin C and another netti pot followed by Chicken soup with plenty of garlic topped off by more rest.  Take antibiotics!!!  In fact let’s put them in the food supply, in every milk cow and hell let’s splice them into corn and soy so that your immune system becomes so deficient that you can’t cure yourself of the freaking sniffles!!!  Then we can breed some super viruses that are immune to the antibiotics when you really need them.

 

I mean, let’s hope this is just stupidity.  Because otherwise there might be some profit driven collusion at work in these here drug cartels.  Cartel, by the way, is defined by Miriam Webster as : a combination of independent commercial or industrial enterprises designed to limit competition or fix prices or a combination of political groups for common action.

And that is exactly what we have.  We have a small, elite group of corporations perpetrating the myth that their perspective on health and healing is the only valid one.  This is dangerous to the patient and it is pure disaster for the economy.  What needs to be put in place is a medical system driven by the desire for patient health and well being and not a profit driven industry.  Integrative care wherein all disciplines work side by side in a respectful manner, cross pollinating ideas so that understanding emerges between different perspectives and something greater emerges as a result.

 

The motives of the insurance industry must no longer be the main consideration in treatment strategy or in the structure of the health care system.  An all inclusive approach to health and well being must be put in its place and insurance companies must begin reimbursing for yoga, tai chi, Acupuncture, hypnosis, etc.  Costs must be associated with drinking, smoking, obesity and stress filled living while those who replace those activities with meditation walks in nature, art and yes even an occasional glass of wine or a joint should receive discounts.

 

The goal of prevention does not begin and end with vaccinations.  Many may even argue that vaccinations are the source of many chronic unexplained illnesses as well as numerous acute conditions such as autism.  But prevention is a lifestyle.  We all know this.  It’s common sense.  I think we need less “brilliant innovation” and more common sense.  Less billion dollar solutions going to banks and MNC’s and more thousand dollar solutions going to individuals.

 

What if every person in this country had access to organic foods, yoga, tai chi etc and regular massage and Acupuncture?  When I speak of “access to organic foods” as a government responsibility I am talking about the huge subsidies that are given to Big Ag, the blanket term for Monsanto and the rest of that rat pack. This is why the prices of pesticide rich genetically modified foods are cheaper than organics.

SUBSIDIZE THE ORGANIC FARMER!!! Level the playing field, make the industry more lucrative, bring more small farmers into the game and thereby increase the supply of food grown the way God and nature intended. Greater supply means lower prices means greater demand which spurs more people to get into the business and thereby creates greater supply and a whole virtuous cycle.

They know this. Anyone who slept thru a microeconomics class knows this. So why don’t they do it? There’s your million dollar question. At the root of the answer is the simple fact that they don’t give a damn about you. Only the profits of their robber baron political pig cronies.  We could do that for less than 5% of our annual health care expenditures.  How much do you think that would take off the top end in terms of less diseases encountered due to lowered blood pressure, lowered stress, lowered body weight, more homeostatic “balanced” organ systems and more well being for whole beings?   How about we give it a try for 10 years?  Doesn’t it sound just crazy enough to work???  May the power of love replace the love of power.  Dean Scarpinato.

 

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Efficient Market My Ass

3 MAJOR MYTHS OF AMERICAN HEALTH CARE

Because America has the most expensive health care it must be the best. Reality: The WHO recently rated the US #37 in the world in terms of outcomes on a par with Serbia.
Medical technology is our greatest single asset. Reality: We have powerful technology but we misuse it and overuse it driving up costs and worsening health outcomes.
Our medical schools and research facilities excel at creating the worlds finest physicians and most productive medical investigators. Our medical and scientific infrastructure is extensive. But it is controlled by an almost fundamentalist medical orthodoxy that limits our ability to understand and promote health and prevent disease. Medical education today omits whole subjects of great relevance to those ends including nutrition, mind/body interactions and environmental effects on health. We train researchers to think simplistically and focus narrowly on single interventions aimed solely at the physical body especially pharmaceutical drugs. The manufacturer’s of those drugs strongly influence research practitioner’s and the journals that report research results.

The above is taken directly from Dr. Andrew Weil Why Our Health Matters. It is the inspiration for this series of blogs in that it helped me to crystalize and focus many of my own ideas about the American Medical System in a cohesive and credible way. I also see the system as a microcosm of the big system which is capitalism and thereby allow me to critique and propose changes in the overall system without leaving an area in which I have some expertise. There are many out there shedding light on the Military Industrial Complex and one more voice, my own, no matter how aware and informed may be of less value than speaking on the subject of the Medical Industrial Complex. And make no mistake that is exactly what we have.

The US has the most expensive Health Care in the world. That does not make it the best. Perhaps Senators like Mitch McConnell or John McCain would disagree. If I had their health care package and lacked a social conscience I might be inclined to see it their way. But alas that is not my fate.

We have some incredible doctors and some great technology and an almost miraculous ability to treat major traumas successfully. I often joke that if I ever get shot don’t take me to an Acupuncturist. Take me to a surgeon. However, get me out of the hospital as soon as I stabilize and into herbs, Acupuncture and my own form of rehab. But again that is me.

So we can stipulate that we have excellent technology, some great physicians and trillions of dollars going into the health care system every year. I submit that it is ever more tragic due to these factors that our health care system is such a failure for so many Americans.

Here’s what experts from the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies of Science, wrote in a 2001 report: “The American health care delivery system is in need of fundamental change…. Health care today harms too frequently and routinely fails to deliver its promised benefits.”

When you look at the resources that are spent and judge that against the actual outcomes our system is broken and requires a major overhaul. Compared to other first world nations our life expectancy is lower and our infant mortality higher. Physician errors kill more people every year than traffic accidents, breast cancer or AIDS. Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 250,000 Deaths Every Year. Unnecessary surgeries, improper medications, hospital acquired infections and general fuck ups amount to ¼ million iatrogenic deaths every year. Terrorism by contrast in the US has been responsible for 3000 deaths in the last decade or 30 per year.

Due to costs many many patients are reported to skip doses of medications. The obscenely high cost of American health care, even to those insured, delays people in seeking out timely and effective medical care. The most recent WHO ratings of health care systems placed America near the very bottom. The CDC ranks the US 29th in the rate of infant mortality, tied with Slovakia. If we do not abandon the myth the “We are the best USA USA!” we will never improve much less make the radical changes necessary to insure that we are able to bring good health to all people without bankrupting the system in the process. And that is exactly what we are doing. We are bankrupting the US, one family, one company at a time and we are delivering great service to a few, average service to many and not a rat’s ass to the bottom third of the US population, many of them children (ex-fetuses).

“In the same ranking of developed countries the US placed near the bottom in terms of life expectancy among people at age 60. In an 8 country ranking the US came in last in years of potential life lost to circulatory diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes and had the second highest death rate from asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Approximately ¾ of all Americans die of preventative degenerative diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. The incidence of cancer has risen since 1975 not decreased and the incidence of cardiovascular disease among women is rising. 8% of all Americans have diabetes, a disease that increased by 14% in the period between 2005 and 2007,” according to Dr Weil.
We also boast of the worst obesity rate in the world among children as well as adults. And along with the fact that the baby-boomers are aging and soon our population will be old and very old, bringing with it numerous health issues that will bankrupt an already bankrupt system. As I write this there are revolutions occurring in Egypt, peaceful protestors being shot down in the streets of Bahrain and teachers and firemen and police, city employees are storming the capital in Madison, Wi. because the system is so broke that they are trying to welch on agreements like pensions and health care and issues of tenure. As a final straw they are telling the unions that they no longer have the right to collective bargaining. This is just a harbinger.

So wait (and not long) until the baby boomers start demanding their Social Security and Medicare by the hundred millions. Lets see the system keep them alive into their 90’s on breathing tubes and unnecessary meds and unnecessary surgeries. Someone’s going to have to pay for all that. Let me give you a clue. Prudential Towers which I can see (vaguely) out my window was built on profits, not pay-outs. And Obama says “the answer to getting the uninsured insured is to make it a crime not to have insurance.” LOL

I repeat that the key is not to force everyone onto a sinking ship, but to fix the ship or maybe even design a better mode of transportation altogether.

And we have not even touched upon the childhood obesity rate which will blossom into all kinds of fun, chronic, expensive diseases. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer. Have I mentioned diet and exercise? Has anyone been listening??? We are walking into a catastrophe, an epidemic of disease that is almost entirely preventable. But you can’t patent organic foods, just genetically modified ones that they serve in hospitals. And if you can’t patent it the pharmaceutical companies cannot become ever more disgustingly gluttonous and so it becomes marginalized.

Drugs and surgery are the only way to health, they would have you believe. In fact they insist, legally that you believe. And not marijuana either, just pharmaceuticals. Marijuana we spend billions of dollars every year eradicating and billions more housing non violent offenders for simple possession charges. And how many billions go uncollected in that we can’t tax it. Efficient market my ass! But that is the result of capitalism in the justice system. Justice for sale. But you don’t get justice you just perpetrate evil. How much more efficiently and justly do you suppose capitalism will work when you’re life and health are at stake?

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Not Every Skinned Knee Requires an MRI

The staggering costs of health care which continue to rise unchecked are quickly bankrupting the system one family at a time. Every 30 seconds another personal bankruptcy is filed in the wake of a health care crisis. I and many many like me are aware, keenly aware, that higher costs do not equate to better medicine. To serve as an anecdote it has been over 10 years since my cat was diagnosed with a heart murmur. That was the last time he saw a vet. He’s fine. He’s 15 and going strong. Other cats and dogs I’ve known have come and gone in that time racking up vet bills left and right, being constantly sick and dying in the process. Not Scrapper.

Being on more medications and having more surgeries is not a sign of health. The current system over medicates and over diagnoses and it does so unchecked because insurance seems happy to pay for an MRI every time you skin your knee but refuses to pay for true preventative care such as organic foods and yoga classes.

Something as simple as folic acid to a pregnant mother reduces the number of birth defects significantly. We do that as a matter of course and this is a good thing and it saves astronomical bills. How about vitamins, medicinal herbs, Integrative Care and a focus on empowering the patient to take more control of their own health?

The #1 problem with the current system are the staggering costs which continue to rise exponentially. Between 1950 and today the cost of the average good or service has increased 8 fold. Medical care is up almost 300 fold. And people are not getting healthier, just broker.

In the words of Deep Throat of the Watergate days we need to “follow the money,” right from your pocket into the lavish world of the CEO’s of Pharmaceutical Companies and Insurance Companies and into all that super impressive, super expensive technology that goes beep-beep-beep and spits a prescription out at the other end. People lived long and healthy lives without these machines for about 40,000 years now. All of a sudden a fetus cannot gestate without being hooked up to all sorts of devices that drive up costs and rarely if ever create more healthy children.

Oxygen, work, play laughter, love, clean drinking water free of pesticides and fluoride, crops grown the way God intended, freedom from dozens of vaccines linked to autism due to the mercury that the FDA says they can’t do without, freedom from addictive psychotropic drugs such as Ritalin etc etc all go a lot farther toward creating healthy children than the inverse. That would not, however, be good for business.
It is only since the Nixon Administration that the concept of “for profit” medicine was even considered. Only since Reagan has it been full speed ahead. Only now are we beginning to see the damage. Patients are not happy. Doctors are not happy. Children are fat and lazy and addicted to Schedule 2 drugs such as Ritalin. I could go on and on with the disaster that is the current medical system. 20% of the population is uninsured. The cost to a family of 4 for health insurance is equal to the salary of a full time minimum wage worker. We are not healthier, happier or holier and the only ones benefitting are the lawmakers and big Pharma execs. That is capitalism applied to health care.

Capitalism is unsustainable and coming to the end of its rope. The same goes for this health care, or better stated “disease management” system. I mean really if it was a health care system wouldn’t your doctor know about nutrition, vitamins and Tai Chi? Wouldn’t there be at least one option for non invasive low cost techniques such as Acupuncture in his arsenal? Why do the people in China live so much longer and enjoy so much better health into their 90’s and 100’s? It certainly is not the great wealth of the people but perhaps the simple and wise diet and the daily Tai Chi as well as regular Acupuncture and reliance on herbs as a staple.

And while we can turn those people into smokers, McDonald’s eaters and Coke drinkers with our predatory corporate pirateering we cannot infiltrate their medical system. Do they know something we don’t? Or do we know and refuse to accept?

Should we not be considering the simple wisdom that our bodies know what is best for us? Again, we formed perfectly from two simple cells and the freedom to be left alone for 9 months. What are the chances that this wisdom does not stop once we hit the birth canal? How exactly is it that those folks in the white coats are the only ones who know how to heal us? And so why can’t they fucking do it??? Why is everyone walking around with a pharmacy of prescriptions in their pocket? How exactly did people live and thrive for so long (40,000) years at least without all these damn drugs and machines that account for almost $3 TRILLION per year? Why are the people that see the doctor the most, the sickest?

Maybe instead of relying on Insurance Execs and the CEO of Pfizer to shape public policy we should try the Dalai Lama, Tich Nicht Hanh. Kriyananda and the millions of other octogenarians that haven’t seen a doctor for decades. What if we looked into the simpler and wiser approaches to stewardship of the land and stewardship of our bodies. What if we stopped pushing ourselves to exhaustion and revving up with caffeine and other stimulants just to wind down with alcohol so that we can “get the most out of life?”

Getting the most out of life means loving every moment of it. When I love what I’m doing I don’t need stimulants to keep me going (and I have the freedom to take a nap), and I sure don’t need strong liquor to blot out my day. I am able to exercise regularly and eat well. That does not mean shoveling cold gruel into my mouth as fast as possible to get back to shoveling coal for the devil.

Why, if this is such a great country and if capitalism brings such good things to life are upwards of 30 million people on antidepressants? Why are so many more self-medicating by sitting in front of the TV with a shot and a beer? These are valid questions and the only valid answer I can see is that they feel as though their life sucks and there is no way out. Perhaps the decisions they have made based on greed, the number of ways they sell out every day , or the number of times they wave their hand and say “that’s just the way it is. Whaddaya gonna do about it?” actually gets to them and they feel their own impotence, irrelevance and mortality.

The root of the problem is the alienation we feel from society, ourselves and even the utter powerlessness over our own health. What a depressing scenario! Whaddaya gonna do? I say take back some control. Stop running to the doctor for antibiotics every time you get a sniffle. Replace smoking with breathing and booze with Tai Chi. Try substituting organic vegetables for potato chips drenched in lard and more organic vegetables for dead carcasses of animals injected with steroids and antibiotics and fried in lard.

Taken to the extreme, and only to those who are truly free, try replacing health insurance with vitamins and conspicuous items of consumption with a day off. Why exactly are you working your life away to accumulate more shit than you’ll ever need and send your kids to overpriced schools so they can learn to pile more shit on top of that while 24,000 people will die of starvation TODAY??? Not because they are stupid heathens but because capitalism has cut them off from their basic resources such as water and land. If you don’t believe me you are uninformed.

Why is there no moral outrage over babies never getting a clean drink of water and dying of dysentery before their first birthday and yet incredible outrage over birth control in Africa? Sometimes, I swear to God, I look at the human race and say “you deserve your fate!” If 95% of you will really just sit back and watch 5% take all the resources and write all the laws, you deserve your fate! If you really cannot find the time and energy to stay healthy and well but will, I promise, find the time and energy to be sick you deserve your fate. If you are running yourself ragged doing work that is killing you to afford health insurance for medicine that doesn’t make you better, just more dependent and then the insurance refuses to pay and you cry cause there’s nothing you can do I say you should have appreciated and kept healthy the gifts that God gave you instead of believing in and sacrificing your soul to this corporate Leviathan. And I say to you, here and now, it is not to late! Now is the time!

Health care is so expensive because we do not concern ourselves with the prevention of disease and preservation of health. Instead we concern ourselves with high cost, highly mechanized intervention in diseases that could have been prevented. Remember an ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure!

According to the Congressional Budget Office 50% of the recent escalation of health care costs are the result of new technology. This includes new pharmaceuticals that very often are no better (though 100X more expensive and therefore 1000X more likely to be prescribed) than older drugs used for the same purpose. Moreover, they often if not always carry far more dangerous “side effects”. Out of curiosity why is the term “side” effect employed? Isn’t it an “effect” 1000 suicides per year are directly attributable to anti depressant medication. But that’s just a “side” effect.

Do you know the side effects of yoga? A more centered attitude (less depression). Physical toning, weight loss, better breathing and therefore better blood flow. Lowered blood pressure, better elimination, healthier complexion, reduced stress, greater resistance to injury and illness etc etc. Now if only we could make a drug that did that I suppose the Rockefeller Foundation might show interest. In the meantime lets just hope that Monsanto doesn’t try to pass a law against it.

If its really a healthcare system wouldn’t there be at least one machine that did all this??? But no we have plenty of machines at $3000 a pop that can tell you just exactly how sick you are and then a bunch of drugs to handle your blood pressure and more for the constipation and impotence that results and more for the depression that comes from not getting a hard on and then more from all the weight you gain and then more for your diabetes which results from the weight gain and THEN they will tell you to stop drinking, smoking and maybe take up moderate exercise. And for this you spend $7000 per year or more. And for this I say perhaps your fate is somewhat self inflicted.

Do you know that in the office of doctors that OWN certain scanners and other machines the frequency of those procedures is more than 3.2X greater than in the offices of doctors who do not? Does this surprise you? When health care is considered an industry of profit you become a commodity. If this does not sit well with you I highly suggest you look into the alternatives. They are myriad. They are simple. And they are relatively low cost. And they are scorned, ridiculed, undermined and attacked daily by conventional medicine and Big Pharma.

Acupuncture, for instance, is not a novel new fad that you try for back pain after all else has failed. It is a way of life that has existed for 8,000 years that includes (here we go again) diet, exercise, rest, regular treatment, healthy state of mind (not constant stress and greed promised by capitalism) and the innate understanding of the wisdom of nature and our own body. The more you commit to this lifestyle the greater the rewards and benefits, including a love for simplicity that starts to mean you don’t need to work as hard just to acquire the latest gadget to impress some other yuppie who is as fucking miserable as you. Strong words I know. I speak from experience. I will take a moonlit night on a balmy beach with a beautiful woman over a 60 hour workweek and an overpriced condo with an overpriced car any day of any week at any time in history. If it means I don’t have the latest version of capdambler or schmendler well I reckon I’ll just have to make due. If you you see the wisdom in this then begin, now, one step at a time to integrate it into your life. If not maybe you should try Ritalin LOL. No, not even you deserve that fate, and certainly not your children.

In the words of Dr Weil, “the time has come for a new paradigm of preventative medicine and a society wide effort to educate our citizens about health and self care.”

It needs to become a matter of policy that healthy choices are rewarded and unwise choices taxed. Smokers should bear a large portion of the burden. If the cost of tobacco products gets too high perhaps they can quit. At the same time incentives need to be in place for those who live a more healthy lifestyle. Like that Geico commercial: “Nonsmoker: discount. Not overweight: discount. Moderate exercise: discount and so on.”

Physicians need to seek the lowest cost and least intrusive treatment strategy first. Not every skinned knee requires an MRI. Bypass surgery is not the first line of defense in coronary disease. And not every patient who walks into the office a bit downcast and crestfallen requires Zoloft. Nor does every 6 year old boy who gets bored in school need Ritalin. Maybe he needs to practice Martial Arts which will teach him to focus and work all that built up energy out of him in a positive way. Frankly that would be a good prescription for every one of these cases. The guy with the skinned knee would learn to stop being such a pussy. The heart condition would very likely moderate and even reverse itself, though this requires regular monitoring as it may indeed be life threatening. And depression too would yield to the large number of endorphins and serotonin released as well as the sense of accomplishment and the good feeling that comes when life has a greater purpose.

I personally go to Western doctors as a last resort and I don’t resort to it too often. Exercise, Acupuncture, home remedies medicinal and culinary herbs, plenty of rest and good food and I’m feeling pretty good most of the time. If I want to feel better there is a glass of wine and certain sacred herbs that have been known for millenniums to enlighten the mind and soothe the soul. My health, by my professional opinion ranges from average on a bad day to superior the rest of the time. There is no reason that the majority of people could not be in the same position if they would simply adopt a few really quite pleasant changes in their lifestyles and attitudes.

This is what I try to teach my patients and clients and my hands on empathetic method of treatment added into this regimen very often is successful in replacing the high tech high cost approach of drugs surgery and more drugs. The key is Integrative Medicine which pulls from the combined wisdom of every paradigm and discipline to form a team where the total health of the patient, physical, emotional and spiritual is the # 1 priority.

Doesn’t it just make sense that you could visit a clinic and on staff would be a Western Physician, chiropractor, massage therapist, Acupuncturist, herbalist Yoga/Tai Chi Instructor, psychologist and perhaps even a shaman. Depending upon the need of the individual patient a treatment strategy can be devised specifically for him/her with a number of different people overseeing the case. Not everything requires pills and cutting and you would be absolutely amazed at the number of ailments that respond to Acupuncture and/or changes in diet.

In such a setting one would have access to all fields of medicine and have the absolute luxury of going with the least intrusive and least expensive treatment first. I suspect the percentage of cases that never had to go beyond Acupuncture diet changes and taking up walking on a daily basis would be quite high. I guarantee that this would bring medical costs down beyond dramatically. For the price of one surgery you could probably see an Acupuncturist every day for the rest of your life. And you probably wouldn’t need that surgery after all. Nor would you need to see me every day for the rest of your life so multiply that by a million cases a year and reduce the obscene profits of insurance companies and big pharma down to something more in line with an equitable world and an efficient health care system.

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A New Paradigm In Medicine

Health is more valuable than gold states an Ancient Chinese proverb. Blood is the most precious resource on earth states a tenet of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The reason is clear: without health and life all the tea in China cannot be enjoyed. Lose your health even for a short time and you will recognize what a great gift it is. Approach your last breath and you will know this for certain.

I was watching the Sopranos and Tony’s Mom and Uncle Junior tried to have him whacked in a scene reminiscent of the Godfather when Vito gets shot up trying to buy vegetables. He’s on death’s door for quite some time but good ratings as well as excellent trauma care save his life and he comes back a new man, vowing to treat each day as a miracle, stop and smell the roses, recognize the divinity in every breath and even stop cheating on his wife. And he means it. Then of course life comes along and the good vibes end all too soon. But he’s right and we all know it. Our health is a blessing and a miracle and the most valuable thing on earth. We might note that the Medical Industrial Complex accounts for almost 20% of GDP, more than even the War Machine. But more on that later.

Your health is your responsibility. Your body formed itself completely and perfectly (well more or less) from nothing but a sperm and ovum (yin and yang) and a healthy place to chill for 9 months. I submit that the perfect balance of yin and yang and a healthy stress free environment can restore health right now, but again more on this later.

Your health is your responsibility. Give your body proper exercise, nutrition, rest, stir in some good loving (not necessarily sexual) and tranquil thoughts (meditate) and I’ll straight up bet you that you will be way more healthy than your counter part who is chronically exhausted from overwork, under-appreciation, lack of exercise, processed foods, not enough sleep too much coffee booze and cigarettes and being so wound up all the damn time about keeping his job (never mind enjoying life) mostly so he can afford his insurance payments in case he gets sick, which frankly, given that lifestyle is a certainty. “Whaddaya gonna do,” he says throwing back coffee and aspartame and a sugar doughnut. Hasn’t it always been this way?” Well no, but more on that later.

The word Doctor means “teacher” (as by the way does “Dean”). The proper role of the doctor traditionally has been to keep you informed about the best measures by which to maintain the health of yourself and your loved ones. Then in times of crisis when home remedies do not work, and in the case of Traditional Chinese Medicine, on a regular basis for true preventative measures, you visit your doctor and get back in balance, back in the pink or back into homeostasis. Yin and Yang is balanced, all the meridians are working in harmony and all is right spiritually, mentally and physically.

And as Jesus said “go forth and sin no more.” That is if you leave an Acupuncture treatment and party till dawn and work till sunset (or worse) on coffee and other stimulants the treatment probably won’t hold as well as if you were to go home and chill. Your choice. Your responsibility.

Your doctor is here to help you remain in optimum health, not just provide emergency service when you are sick or injured. To approach our own health from this perspective will all but guarantee greater health on a personal basis and for all of society, thereby reducing the enormous costs of health care which do not threaten but flat out promise to bankrupt this nation in the very alarmingly near future. Obamacare, far from the solution, will only compound the problem and expedite the day of reckoning. The real question is not “how do we give everyone access to this failing system?” but instead “How do we change the system to provide for the whole population, not “health care,” but HEALTH.”

The system as it exists could more properly be termed a “disease management system”. By every measurable statistic (longevity, infant mortality, obesity, rates of chronic diseases) our health in this country is deteriorating and lagging unforgivably behind almost all other nations and we have a greater number of people without access to the system than any other nation on earth. By any rational measure other than the obscene profits of Big Pharma and the insurance conglomerates, ours is a failed system.

The problem of an uninsured populace only deepens as unemployment continues to rise. Patients, consumers of medicine are growing ever more frustrated and dissatisfied by what they regard as impersonal care, the often arrogant behavior of physicians which, in their defense is required if they are to see a patient every 7 minutes and write a script or two (Nurse is that Pfizer or Merck that is offering the free junket this week?) and the outrageous costs of prescriptions and hospital stays all of which are as likely to create more dangerous side effects than the symptoms they are designed to treat. Except marijuana of course, but oh yeah its illegal.

Then of course there is the adversarial attitude and obstructionist tactics of insurers who are driven only by profits, maximized by charging you through the nose on the front end and denying claims on the back end. This is no end of fun for doctors as well who spend the majority of their time (or a good portion of their earnings) worrying about ICD-9 Codes and practicing defensive medicine and all the other joys that come when profits and a third party stand between the physician and the patient. The effect on a patient who is, say, battling cancer when he or she is forced to continually fight for the life saving treatment and medication are indeed life threatening, cruel, heartless and I guess to the market, just good business.

Doctors are pretty pissed as well, as they, and rightly so, do not wish to see their treatment strategy dictated by some corporate insurance drone. In fact a large percentage of doctors, despite the high pay, now say that they regret the choice of medicine as a profession. According to Dr Weil “The emotional reward of the therapeutic relationship has dwindled because the system has limited the time of patient visits in order to save money. Selection of treatments is dictated by policies of reimbursement not by practitioner judgment and experience. Many good doctors are leaving the practice of clinical medicine.”

The problem, at its root, is the system which treats healthcare as a profitable enterprise. Huge, obscene profits which go to CEO’s, advertising (about $6.6 Billion in 2010) campaign contributions or as it is known in Chicago “greasing the weasel” lawsuits in the billions for prescription drugs foisted on an unsuspecting public (bad public! This is your responsibility!) when clinical tests showed that new drugs didn’t work as well as others already out there or worse contained unacceptable side effects only to have the studies squashed and an all too incestuous FDA go along. Look at aspartame, tobacco, Vioxx, the fact that millions of children are given Ritalin, a drug legally in the same class as cocaine to keep them from “fidgeting.”

This is straight up evil vile and it has everything to do with greed which does not seem to work very well when running a health care system.

Again, according to Dr Weil, “the average families premiums now exceed the gross annual wage of a full time minimum wage worker.” This says to me that if we work that many hours less and devote said time to rest, exercise, love and good nutrition we can dramatically decrease our need for doctors as well as dramatically increase our quality of life. This may not be for everyone. But it works for me. Medical costs by the way are a leading factor in the majority of all personal bankruptcies. And so we have the medical community saying literally “your money or your life”. I don’t know about you but as for me I am inclined to fight back.

As a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine I believe, in fact I know, that the only way to eliminate a problem is to weed it out by the root. The root of the problems facing American Medicine is the outrageous greed of a medical system operated for profit as well as the narrow minded fundamentalism on the part of the medical establishment regarding any approach to health that does not rely entirely on drugs, surgery and really expensive machines that go beep-beep-beep and emit enough radiation to insure a cancer ridden population for many years to come. Sounds like American Foreign Policy doesn’t it? Cut, burn, irradiate and bankrupt the people with debt.

Are there any alternatives? Of course there are. Big Pharma and Big Insurance would prefer that you did not consider them as their profits would probably stop increasing at exponential level The amount we spend as a nation on health care is up 500% in the last two decades. How about your salary? That is if you’re not the CEO of a Pharmaceutical giant. In fact take home pay has pretty much flat lined since 1990 for the average worker. But not the amount they spend on health insurance. Some would say that tai chi, better sleep, and better diet along with a proper state of mind is all the body needs. But they are not the only ones “choosing” to go without health insurance. Close to ⅓ of all Americans are uninsured.

Again, to the system literally hell bent on profits this may be acceptable, even desirable. To a society with compassion, justice and dare I say “Christian” values it is an abomination. The solution however is abundantly clear. How or if we choose to implement it will decide the type of nation or world that we are, wish to live in, and shall endure, at least in the short run. For the system as it stands, and as it is moving, is unsustainable. It will crash by its own weight unless very radical (“to the root cause”) solutions are adopted and quickly.

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