hepatitis CThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just recommended that all members of the Baby Boomer generation be tested for Hepatitis C at least once in their adult lifetime.[1] Baby Boomers are more than 5 times more likely to be infected with Hepatitis C than anyone else in the country. Baby Boomers – meaning anyone born between 1945 and 1965.

The hepatitis C virus, first identified in 1989, kills more than 15,000 Americans each year. The CDC estimates that 3.2 million Americans are currently infected with the virus. An estimated 15 – 25% of them will clear the virus from their bodies. The remaining 75 – 85% of people who become infected go on to develop chronic infection – in other words, do not heal, do not eliminate the virus, but rather simply live with it and sometimes die from it.

The virus can be spread through blood contact – i.e. sharing IV needles – or blood transfusion or organ transplantation. It can also be spread through sexual intercourse, or through sharing razors or tooth brushes.

hepatitis CSymptoms may be as diffuse and non-specific as fatigue, or as specific and severe as jaundice and liver failure.

Hepatitis C is currently the leading indication for liver transplantation in the United States.[2]

What is not always recognized is that symptoms may involve other organs as well.
– Vasculitis (leukocytoclastic)[3]
– Glomerulonephritis (kidney failure)
– Porphyria cutanea tarda

hepatitis CMost of us do not indulge in IV drug use, are not exposed to needle sticks, and do not have blood transfusions or organ transplants. Unfortunately, even a single IV drug use or sharing of a razor many years ago may result in current Hepatitis C infection.

So how did the CDC determine that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 should be tested? And why is the CDC pushing for testing at this time?

First, the number of people dying of Hepatitis C doubled between 1999 and 2007.[4] Second, in 2011 the FDA approved two new drugs for treatment of Hepatitis C.

Might there perhaps be some association between the new drug approval and the push for testing?

In any case, if the CDC figures are true, we have a pretty large number of people infected with a potentially fatal disease. Three percent of Baby Boomers is a lot of people – 17 million.

Current testing recommendations are for an initial Hepatitis C antibody screen. If positive, then recommendations call for Hepatitis C antibody verification by another test.

“watchful waiting” until the victim becomes ill, or develops a high viral count or elevation of liver enzymes. Once they are sick enough, they can be treated with pharmaceutical drugs.[5]

The following drugs are currently recommended for initial therapy:
– Interferon – Peginterferon® alpha is administered by subcutaneous injection twice a week.
– Ribavirin – is administered by mouth daily. The dose depends on the genotype of the virus.

And now there are two new ones, just approved in 2011
– Boceprevir – Victrelis® – is given by mouth every 8 hours, but only after a 4-week course of interferon and ribavirin.
– Telaprevir – Incivek® – is given by mouth every 8 hours in combination with interferon and ribavirin.

So that’s easy, right? Just take some drugs and everything will be fine.

Not so fast. The recommended drugs have pretty significant side effects – which explains why they are not used early in the course of the disease.
– Interferon side effects include headache, fatigue, pain at site of injection, itching, skin rash, elevated liver enzymes (as if the hepatitis C damage wasn’t bad enough). It may cause worsening of other autoimmune diseases like Lupus, thyroid disease, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, low white count and low platelet count.
– Ribavirin side effects include fatigue, headache, anemia (from blood cells being attacked), muscle aches, joint pains, and significant effect on the fetus in pregnant women.
– Boceprevir side effects include fatigue, anemia, nausea, headache, abnormal taste, and multiple GI effects
– Telaprevir side effects include rash, fatigue, itching, nausea, anemia

Is the treatment worse than the cure? Of course, if there were an actual cure, it might be worth the misery of treatment. Unfortunately, cure rates are not high – there is decrease of viral count in only 50% of those treated, and the course of therapy is long. A minimum of 24 weeks – 6 months – is recommended, and many patients require therapy for twice that long.

What other choices are there?

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we have had good success with treatment of patients with liver disease, including Hepatitis C, with substances which support the liver detoxification mechanisms and help to rebuild the liver cells.

Many of these therapies are with large doses of substances normally produced by the body – glutathione, lipoic acid, Vitamin C and other things which the body requires for detoxification. We also use specific treatments to help bring the immune system back into balance, so that it can deal with viral infection as was originally intended.

We also, of course, work with diet and nutrition. It is easy for a virus to thrive in an environment loaded with sugar and toxic chemicals like aspartame. Viruses have a much harder time when the environment is cleaner.

We find that liver enzymes go down, health improves, and we do not have to deal with the side effects of the drugs – anemia, fatigue, skin rashes, worsening of autoimmune diseases, etc.

Initial screening requires simply a brief evaluation and a blood test, which insurance often (but not always) will cover.

If indeed the test is positive, then a more complete evaluation is in order, so that IV treatment may be initiated. It is possible to heal the liver. It is possible to strengthen the immune system so that it can deal with chronic infection – whether hepatitis or any other infection.

We can become healthy. Our bodies can heal, if we just give them the right tools – clean food, clean water, clean air (no smoking!). The choice is always ours. Of course, it is always easier to get healthy when the liver is still working. But even if we already have significant liver disease, the treatments mentioned above help the liver cells to regenerate and recover.

It is not too late to change our diet and lifestyle.

The choice is ours.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/HCV-TestingFactSheetNoEmbargo508.pdf

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/HCVfaq.htm

[3] Images of vasculitis and porphyria downloaded May 19, 2012 from http://dermatlas.med.jhmi.edu/derm/

[4] Ly, K., et al. The Increasing Burden of Mortality From Viral Hepatitis in the United States Between 1999 and 2007. Annals Of Internal Medicine, 2012. 156(4): p. 271-278

[5] Yee HS, Currie SL et al. Management and Treatment of Hepatitis C Viral Infection… American Journal of Gastroenterology. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2006.00754.x

By decoding some 40,000 genes in the human body, the Human Genome Project opened up an entirely new spectrum of knowledge. Genetic testing gives you the ability to understand your body’s vulnerabilities, your unique genetic predispositions. Genetics is playing an increasingly important role in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of diseases.

David Duncan
In the April 2009 issue of Discover Magazine, journalist David Duncan investigated his genetic code.

“In essence I am aiming to answer two big, personal questions: How healthy am I at the very deepest level? And what can the seemingly endless profusion of new high-tech tests for various diseases and traits tell me about my health now and in the future?”

For the article, Duncan wanted specifically to gauge how well he could excrete the mercury in fish he eats. He discovered he is among the minority of people who carry a genetic mutation that apparently causes their cells to retain mercury for far longer – up to 190 days – greatly increasing the chance for cellular damage.

“Unfortunately, eliminating the source isn’t possible for most other pollutants that we breathe, eat, drink, and absorb through our skin whether we want to or not, including man-made chemicals such as phthalates and perfluoro-octanoic acids, which are found in Teflon and other widespread products. The basic chemistry of these and thousands of other manufactured compounds incorporated in everyday products do not appear in nature; they have entered our environment so recently that our genes, cells, brains, and bodies have not yet evolved mechanisms for coping with them.”

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a long molecule made up of two strands of genetic material coiled around each other in a double helix structure. DNA is found in the nucleus (center) of most cells. DNA is made up of 3 billion base pairs with a myriad of sequences of four nucleotides, chemicals represented as A. T, G, and C. These form the “instruction book” for a human being. The four chemicals occur as pairs because a base on one strand is bound to a corresponding base on the other strand. When the bases are out of order, or missing, our cells often do not produce important proteins which can lead to a genetic disorder. Common variants are called SNPs. For example, a SNP might change the DNA sequence from AAGGCTTA to ATGGCTAA Not every gene is functioning all of the time. Some genes are turned on during critical points in development and then remain silent for the rest of our lives. Other genes remain active all of our lives so that our cells can produce important proteins that help us live – digest food, fight off the common cold, etc.

A genetic test looks at your individual DNA, the genetic information contained inside your cells. The test can often determine if you have a pre-disposition to develop a certain disease or could pass a disease onto your offspring.

Some genetic compositions may make a person more susceptible to certain types of illness. For example, in 1994 and 1995 respectively, two variant (or mutant) genes were identified. BRCA1 and BRCA2 were found to predispose women to breast and ovarian cancers. The gene variant NAT2 may predispose some individuals to colon cancer. But not everyone with these gene variants gets cancer, why?

Environmental factors can turn genes on and off. Science is finding that the interplay of the environmental toxicology and genetics makes us who we are and often determines whether we are healthy or sick.

For example, we know that your odds of coming down with lung cancer greatly increase if you smoke. Farmers who apply certain pesticides to farm fields are twice as likely to contract melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.[1] If you took synthetic HRT – hormone replacement therapy – you have an increased chance of heart disease, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.[2]

“Recent increases in chronic diseases like childhood asthma and autism cannot be due to major shifts in the human gene pool,” says physician and geneticist Francis Collins, former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. While acknowledging that changes in diagnostic criteria and heightened awareness may play a role, Dr. Collins says that much of the increase “must be due to changes in the environment, which may produce disease in genetically predisposed persons.”[3]

There is the science of genetics, and there is the science of epigenetics. We cannot change the genes we have – that’s genetics, but we can change environmental factors in our life that may determine whether or not a gene is likely to manifest a disease – that’s epigenetics.

Genetic testing can sample the risk for about 1500 diseases. Having a genetic marker for a disease is not a guarantee that you will absolutely get that disease with very few exceptions such as Huntington’s disease, Muscular dystrophy, Tay Sachs, and cystic fibrosis. Most genetic markers, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, merely point to an increased risk of developing a chronic disease in the future.

Imagine your genetic makeup as cards in a hand of poker. Predicting whether you will develop high blood pressure by testing a handful of genetic variants is like trying to guess whether you will win the hand by looking at just one card. A hand with an ace of clubs is statistically more likely to win than a hand with a six of clubs, but it depends on your other cards. And of course your genome is much more complicated. Genes interact in complex ways that are still not understood.

Understanding Genetics

Family history is an important component of understanding one’s potential genetic risk and this is still the best place to begin any genetic assessment. Yet family history alone does not reveal all risks. Most diseases are multifactorial, meaning a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Sometimes genetics are the stronger factor, but more often environmental influences are stronger.

More than 99% of human DNA sequences are exactly the same with every person. Variations in the remaining 1% or so can have a major impact on how any of us responds to disease.

Over the centuries, mutations or variants got introduced into the human DNA sequence. When a large number of people share the same variant, it is known as a single nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP (pronounced “snip.”)

The list of a person’s SNPs constitutes a unique DNA pattern – a genetic fingerprint. It is a unique blueprint, giving instructions for a person’s physical traits, such as eye color, hair texture, height, and susceptibility to disease.

SNPs make up about 90% of all human genetic variation. SNPs are also evolutionarily stable, not changing much from generation to generation, and this makes them easy to follow in population studies.

A catalogue of SNPs, or human variations, was released in 2005. It is called the HapMap. By comparing SNPs in patients with a disease to SNPs in the HapMap, scientists can pinpoint SNPs that are unique to that disease.

According to the Human Genome Project:

genetic sequences“SNPs do not cause disease, but they can help determine the likelihood that someone will develop a particular illness. One of the genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, apolipoprotein E or ApoE, is a good example of how SNPs affect disease development. ApoE contains two SNPs that result in three possible alleles for this gene: E2, E3, and E4. Each allele differs by one DNA base, and the protein product of each gene differs by one amino acid.

“Each individual inherits one maternal copy of ApoE and one paternal copy of ApoE. Research has shown that a person who inherits at least one E4 allele will have a greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Apparently, the change of one amino acid in the E4 protein alters its structure and function enough to make disease development more likely. Inheriting the E2 allele, on the other hand, seems to indicate that a person is less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

“Of course, SNPs are not absolute indicators of disease development. Someone who has inherited two E4 alleles may never develop Alzheimer’s disease, while another who has inherited two E2 alleles may. ApoE is just one gene that has been linked to Alzheimer’s. Like most common chronic disorders such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, Alzheimer’s is a disease that can be caused by variations in several genes. The polygenic nature of these disorders is what makes genetic testing for them so complicated.”[4]

For example, the most common form of dwarfism, called achondroplasia, occurs because of a single base pair substitution, creating a mutation in the FGFR3 gene. The FGFR3 gene provides instructions for making a protein involved in the development and maintenance of bone and brain tissue. Researchers believe that the mutation causes the protein to be overly active, which causes the disturbances in bone growth seen with this disorder. One copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. About 80 percent of people with achondroplasia have average-size parents; these cases result from a new mutation in the FGFR3 gene. In the remaining cases, people with achondroplasia have inherited an altered FGFR3 gene from one or two affected parents. Individuals who inherit two altered copies of this gene typically have very severe problems with bone growth, and are usually stillborn or die shortly after birth from respiratory failure.

Other genetic diseases are caused by different SNPs that may occur anywhere along the length of a gene. For example, cystic fibrosis (CF), a common genetic disease in the Caucasian population, is caused by over hundreds of different mutations along the gene. Two altered genes must be present for CF to appear. This means that if both parents are CF carriers, their offspring would only express CF symptoms if they had inherited one defective copy of the CFTR gene from each parent.

Genetics versus Epigenetics – the Environmental Influence

About 13 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s and half of those over age 85 will develop Alzheimer’s or a closely related dementia, according to current statistics.[5] The World Health Organization estimates that there are 18 million people worldwide with Alzheimer’s disease, a figure projected to nearly double to 34 million by 2025. Although some cases appear to be inherited in what is called an autosomal dominant pattern, many other cases appear to first time expressions of the disease – no prior family history. Conventional wisdom says as much as 80% of the disease is attributable to genetics. But not all agree.

We did not have an epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease 100, 200 years ago, why? Did people not live long enough? Was it not recognized or recorded? Has there been, as many suggest, a modern day explosion of it like cancer, diabetes, and so many other chronic illnesses? Is MSG a factor? How about vitamin K or B12 deficiencies? Severe hypothyroidism? Perhaps exposure to the neurotoxin aluminum from aluminum foil, aluminum cookware, common table salt, processed cheeses, refined flours, baking powders, contaminated water, deodorants, cigarette filters, beer, pesticides, and over-the-counter drugs such as antacids, anti-diarrhea drugs and drugs used for pain and inflammation?

The picture is fuzzy yet about environmental connections to Alzheimer’s. But not so with obesity.

obesityPaula Baillie-Hamilton, a doctor at Stirling University in Scotland, observed in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2002 that obesity rates had risen in lockstep with the use of chemicals such as pesticides and plasticizers over the previous 40 years and thus, there might be a connection. It was a novel idea at the time to mainstream medicine. Since then, evidence has been steadily accumulating. For example, we determined how the plastic chemicals bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates create fat cells. We now know that certain hormone-mimicking pollutants, ubiquitous in the food chain, have two previously unsuspected effects:

• These chemicals act on genes in the developing fetus and newborn to turn more precursor cells into fat cells, which stay with you for life.

• They may alter metabolic rate, so that the body hoards calories rather than burning them.[6]

Prescription drugs can also act as environmental pollutants. For example, one of the side effects of two popular diabetes drugs (generic names – rosiglitazone and pioglitazone) is obesity. The drugs activate a receptor called PPAR gamma, which acts like a switch for cells’ fate: in one position it allows cells to remain fibroblasts (cells that become connective tissue), in another it prompts them to become adipocytes – fat cells. The drugs push the switch in the “become a fat cell” direction.

Super Size MeAnd who can forget the lessons of the “Super Size Me” movie? We have greatly increased the calories, trans fats, and insulin-spiking content of our foods.

On the genetic front, a mind-numbingly complex array of genes influence body weight. By sampling fat tissue, one group of researchers recently found that the activity of 17,000 genes correlate with body mass index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight), and 14,900 correlate with waist-to-hip ratio.[7] Complicating matters further, these genes seem to operate in large networks, interacting with each other and the environment to influence weight.

When it comes to obesity, it appears that food ranks as the number one contributor to the problem, chemical pollutants rank second, and genetics comes in a more distant third.

Genetic disease results from a variation, or mutation, in a chromosome or in one or several base pairs on a gene. Some mutations are inherited, most occur spontaneously. For many of the adult onset diseases, genetic mutations can occur over the lifetime of the individual while the cells are making copies of themselves or dividing. Environmental effects such as radiation, chemicals, and lack of nutrient-dense food play a role in these mutations.

Studies of identical twins show just how much environmental influences trump genetics. Identical twins, siblings who share the same genome, do not always develop the same DNA-related health conditions.

Genetic Testing as Preventive Medicine

genetic testingWould you toss out your aluminum cookware and your MSG “flavor enhanced” food if you knew your genetic makeup could make Alzheimer’s disease more likely in your future? Would you take a folic acid supplement if you thought Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or pregnancy was in your future?

Most people want a genetic test to provide insight, to empower them to take precautionary steps. DNA knowledge is a starting point. Knowing which risks you have inherited can help guide your health prevention strategies. You can assess your environment and lifestyle and take important steps to protect your health in the future.

Kári Stefánsson, the famous gene hunter who spearheaded the effort that mapped 65 percent of Iceland’s genome, said:

“There’s a paradigm shift from intervention to preventive medicine as we speak. It happened when people started to download information about diseases. This didn’t happen before. Doctors used to be omnipotent; no one ever questioned them.”

People increasingly are looking for answers that mainstream medicine rarely gives them – how to prevent disease.

Keep in mind that the science of genetic testing is still new, and it is not a perfect or complete science. It was only in 2003 that the Human Genome Project finished mapping the entire human genetic makeup. Five years later, an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine cautioned:

“Even the ardent proponents of genomic susceptibility testing would agree that for most diseases, we are still at the early stages of identifying the full list of susceptibility-associated variants. …diabetes, various cancers, and heart disease are so-called complex diseases thought to be caused by multiple gene variants, interactions among these variants, and interactions between variants and environmental factors. Thus, a full accounting of disease susceptibility awaits the identification of these multiple variants and their interactions in well-designed studies. What we have now is recognition of a limited number of variants associated with relative risks of diseases on the order of 1.5 or lower.”[8]

Not everyone agrees how strong the connection is between a gene variant and susceptibility to disease. And new discoveries still await us. In April, 2010, a newly-identified gene variant was dubbed MTHFD1L. It may make a person nearly twice as likely to inherit Alzheimer’s disease. This gene is known to be involved in the metabolism of folate, which in turn influences the body’s levels of homocysteine.[9] High homocysteine levels, which happens when there is too little folate in the diet, have been shown to be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. This knowledge is now added to what we learned two decades ago about the ApoE gene which can increase risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Science is still shuffling its way through the genetic deck of cards.

The Politics of Knowledge

In 2008, Congress passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits employers and health insurance companies from denying jobs or coverage based on an individual’s DNA. Advocates of the measure considered its protections crucial to the advance of medical research and personalized medicine, both of which rely increasingly on genetic testing.

“By removing the fear of discrimination, GINA may now allow people to engage in testing that will improve prevention and treatment,” said Joann Boughman, executive vice president of the American Society of Human Genetics. “Hopefully it will lead to a change in mind-set in medical practice.”

GINA was intended to address concerns about identifying potential genetic liabilities in otherwise healthy people. Yet studies have shown that some people avoid getting tested because they are afraid the results will somehow be used against them. And there is no clarity yet as to how the new health care reform bill of 2010, and its requirement for electronic recordkeeping, will play out. President Barack Obama said his administration wants every American to have an electronic health record by 2014, and more than $36 billion was allotted to the effort in a prior economic stimulus bill.

In 2002, under President George W. Bush, the right of a patient to control his most sensitive personal data – from prescriptions to DNA – was eliminated by federal regulators implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Privacy notices you sign in doctors’ offices do not actually give you any control over your personal data; they merely describe how the data will be used and disclosed. HIPAA says mainly that information will not be released to anyone without the patient’s consent – with the notable exception that the government is not required to obtain the patient’s consent, and may obtain that information at will. HIPAA applies only to practices which transmit information electronically. So those offices with paper charts who never receive or send information through the Internet, or who never do electronic billing, are theoretically not included in the HIPAA act.

Putting Genetic Testing To Work for Prevention

genetic testingYou can acquire some very useful information through genetic testing. For example, do you have the genes to efficiently use folic acid? Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a rare genetic variant that can lead to complications in pregnancy. Many people do not know that they have this variant gene until after they have had several unsuccessful pregnancies. A mother with the MTHFR variant gene is unable to efficiently metabolize folic acid, also known as vitamin B9; the disorder has been linked to a variety of pregnancy complications including Down syndrome and congenital malformations. This variant is also implicated in autism.

This same variant also plays a role in our adult lives. Those with it are prone to having elevated levels of homocysteine in their blood and that leads to problems with heart attacks, strokes, depression, cervical and uterine cancer, arthritis, spina bifida, and Alzheimer’s.

Interaction between vitamin D and another common genetic variant alters the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). We have long noticed that MS is more prevalent in the northern latitudes where there is less sunlight, therefore less vitamin D. In 2009, researchers at the University of Oxford and the University of British Columbia established a direct relationship between the gene variant DRB1*1501 and vitamin D. If too little of the vitamin is available, the gene may not function properly and the person is more likely to develop MS. Researchers hypothesize that the gene-environment interaction inhibits the thymus, a key component of the immune system, from performing its regular tasks.

“We have known for a long time that genes and environment determine MS risk,” said Professor George Ebers, University of Oxford. He and his research colleagues believe that vitamin D deficiency in mothers or even in a previous generation may lead to altered expression of DRB1*1501 in offspring. “Epigenetics will have important implications, not only for MS, but for other common diseases. For mothers, taking care of their health during their reproductive years may have beneficial effects on the health of their future children or even grandchildren.”[10]

SNPs have been identified in the vicinity of the HNF1A gene that are strongly related to high levels of chronic inflammation.[11] C-reactive protein (CRP) is one way to measure that; the higher your CRP, the more susceptible you appear to be to coronary heart disease.

SNPs have been indentified that could influence a myriad of health conditions ranging from osteoporosis to metabolic syndrome, from cancer to the ability to detoxify heavy metals – and much more.

Your genetic desk of cards cannot be changed. But you have more control than you might think over exactly how those cards play out. You can greatly influence the outcome in most cases by what you eat, what you breathe, how much radiation and electrosmog you are exposed to, how much nutrient-dense food you eat… understanding what optimum health really means and what you can do to achieve it, maintain it, and perhaps even influence the health of your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Knowing from a genetic test that you’re at risk allows you to pay closer attention to its warning signs, detect it earlier, and very possibly head off the worst case scenarios from that risk.

The Ghost in Your GenesBBC’s “Ghost in Your Genes” Video

And it’s not just what is happening to our bodies today. It’s what is happening to our genes that are passed down to our children and grandchildren for centuries to come. Look at how the science of inheritance is being turned on its head.


[1] Leslie K. Dennis, Charles F. Lynch; Pesticide use and cutaneous melanoma in pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Heath Study. Environ Health Perspect :-. doi:10.1289/ehp.0901518

[2] http://mensnewsdaily.com/2009/07/19/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt-ovarian-cancer

[3] David Ewing Duncan; Doctor Interview: Francis Collins – The head of the Human Genome Project is a devout Christian and true believer in stem cell research. Discover Magazine, February, 2007

[4] http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/faq/snps.shtml

[5] http://www.disabled-world.com/health/aging/dementia/statistics.php

[6] Sharon Begley, Born to be Big-Early exposure to common chemicals may be programming kids to be fat. Newsweek, September 11, 2009

[7] Susanne Tan, André Scherag, et al; Large effects on body mass index and insulin resistance of fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) variants in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), BMC Medical Genetics, January 21, 2010, 11:12doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-12

[8] David J. Hunter, Muin J. Khoury, Jeffrey M. Drazen; Letting the Genome out of the Bottle — Will We Get Our Wish? New England Journal of Medicine, January 10, 2008, Volume 358:105-107

[9] http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20100414/new-alzheimers-gene-identified

[10] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205093552.htm

[11] Angela Armendariz, Ronald Krauss; Hepatic nuclear factor 1-a : inflammation, genetics, and atherosclerosis; Current Opinion in Lipidology, 2009, vol. 20, no2, pp. 106-111

Swine Flu

swine fluH1N1 influenza virus, otherwise known as swine flu, popped up publically in Mexico in March, 2009. By June, the World Health Organization (WHO) had announced a Level 6 global alert – the highest – for the first time in 40 years. It was intended to help the world prepare for an imminent lethal viral attack not seen in decades and required the mobilization of immense resources. By August, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology was projecting that H1N1 could kill as many as 90,000 Americans in the 2009/2010 flu season, two and a half times the number killed in a typical flu season.

“We are witnessing a roll-out of the largest, most expensive mass vaccination campaign in the history of our nation, a rollout that is bigger than even the polio vaccine campaigns of the 1950’s,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, President of the National Vaccine Information Center. “There is no funded government vaccine injury compensation program for swine flu vaccine.”

Initially, some doctors wondered whether the vaccination drive was necessary for a flu that has caused only mild symptoms in most cases. They said some of their patients had expressed doubts about whether the vaccine had been sufficiently tested for safety, and they admitted that they were sympathetic to those fears.[1] Then reports told us half of the healthcare workers were not going to get vaccinated for swine flu and don’t routinely get their shots for seasonal flu, in part because many of them doubt the vaccines’ efficacy.

Meanwhile, a shortage of vaccines forced the delay of mass vaccinations. But by the time vaccines were widely available after Thanksgiving, people were no longer clamoring for them. The CDC estimated that as of February, 2010, about 23 percent of Americans had rolled up their sleeves for the shot. [2]

Countries around the world began planning how to dump their excess supplies of vaccine. By the first week of 2010, France said it wanted to cancel 50 million of the 94 million doses it had ordered. Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain also reported huge excess inventories.

In June of 2010, the U.S. ordered the destruction of 40 million doses of expired vaccine worth $260 million dollars. The CDC estimated about 12,000 Americans died from swine flu between its emergence April 2009 until mid-February, 2010.

The WHO officially declared an end to the pandemic on August 10, 2010.

In September 2010, the Journal of the American Medical Association published findings that the 2009 pandemic swine flu virus H1N1 had a lower risk of most serious complications compared to recent seasonal flu strains.[3] “We found that the pandemic H1N1 virus disproportionately affected children and young adults, but the symptoms and risk of most complications were similar to those of seasonal influenza viruses,” said lead researcher Dr. Edward A. Belongia, from the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin.[4]


Each year, a panel decides which three strains will be included in the seasonal flu shot. The makeup for the 2010-2011 season vaccine is:[5]

• A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus (pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus)
• A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus
• B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

Thus the 2010-2011 vaccine is a combination of both seasonal flu and the swine flu. The CDC recommends that people who got the swine flu shot in 2009 get it again in 2010.[6]

Also, the CDC voted in July, 2010 to expand its flu vaccination recommendation, saying everyone over six months of age should get the annual seasonal flu shot. This means that in the 2010-2011 season, everyone is also recommended to get the swine flu vaccination.[7]

The majority of flu shots are administered from multi-dose vials and they contain mercury as a preservative.[8]

Headlines from abroad paint a picture of growing resistance to vaccines:

“India has seen three vaccine disasters this year, resulting in 4 deaths after the measles vaccine and six deaths after the HPV vaccine, so it any wonder that the citizens of India are wary of having the H1N1 vaccine? The Times of India report that a pharmacy manager in Virugambakkam told them that he had sold a mere four vials of the H1N1 vaccine in a month, with the capital New Dehli pharmacists reporting a similar story.”

– Christina England, American Chronicle, September 5, 2010

“The Finnish National Institute for Health (THL) proposed suspending vaccinations for H1N1 swine flu, due to suspected links to increased narcolepsy in children and adolescents … In Sweden, the Medical Products Agency started a similar investigation on Aug. 19 for the same reason.”

The Epoch Times, August 26, 2010

“Seasonal flu vaccinations across Australia for children under five have been suspended after 23 children in Western Australia were admitted to hospital with convulsions following their injections … More than 60 children around the state may have had adverse reactions to the vaccine, including fevers, vomiting and febrile convulsions, a type of fit brought on by a high fever.”

WA Today, April 23, 2010


Governments heeded warnings from the United Nations throughout 2009 that there would be millions of deaths unless nations promptly proceeded with the controversial vaccination plan promoted by the UN’s entity for health matters, the World Health Organization (WHO). With billions of dollars of unneeded inventory going to waste a few months later, government leaders turned angry and started to demand hard answers.

Articles in the European press have repeatedly called into question the myriad ties between vaccine manufacturers and decision makers in the WHO.

In early January 2010, the Council of Europe member states announced they launched an inquiry into the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the global swine flu campaign, focusing especially on extent of the drug industry’s influence on WHO. The text of the resolution says, in part,

“In order to promote their patented drugs and vaccines against flu, pharmaceutical companies influenced scientists and official agencies, responsible for public health standards, to alarm governments worldwide and make them squander tight health resources for inefficient vaccine strategies and needlessly expose millions of healthy people to the risk of an unknown amount of side-effects of insufficiently tested vaccines. The ‘bird-flu’-campaign (2005/06) combined with the ‘swine-flu’-campaign seem to have caused a great deal of damage not only to some vaccinated patients and to public health-budgets, but to the credibility and accountability of important international health-agencies.”[9]

The WHO’s “false pandemic” flu campaign is “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century,” according to Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. “The definition of an alarming pandemic must not be under the influence of drug-sellers,” he adds.

Wodarg, a doctor and former SPD member of the German Bundestag, says that the “false pandemic” campaign began last May in Mexico City, when a hundred or so “normal” reported influenza cases were declared to be the beginning of a threatening new pandemic, although there was little scientific evidence for this. Nevertheless the WHO, “in cooperation with some big pharmaceutical companies and their scientists, re-defined pandemics,” removing the statement that “an enormous amount of people have contracted the illness or died” from its existing definition and replacing it by stating simply that there has to be a virus, spreading beyond borders and to which people have no immunity.

These new standards forced politicians in most states to react immediately and sign marketing commitments for additional and new vaccines against swine flu, through “sealed contracts” under which orders are secured in advance and governments take almost all responsibility. “In this way, the producers of vaccines are sure of enormous gains without having any financial risks. So they just wait until WHO says ‘pandemic’ and activate the contracts,” says Dr. Wodarg.[10]

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had issued a “formal declaration of a Public Health Emergency” in April of 2009, even though there had only been 20 confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus.

Two reports came out in June, 2010 that accused the WHO of exaggerating the threat posed by the H1N1 virus and failing to disclose conflicts of interest where WHO officials had financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

The prominent British Medial Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism based in London collaborated on a report that criticized 2004 guidelines the WHO developed based in part on the advice of three experts who received consulting fees from the two leading manufacturers of antiviral drugs used against the virus, Roche and GlaxoSmithKline.

The second report came from the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which launched an investigation in response to allegations that the WHO’s response to the pandemic was influenced by drug companies that make antiviral drugs and vaccines. It states, “It is particularly troubled by some of the consequences of decisions taken and advice given leading to distortion of priorities of public health services across Europe, waste of large sums of public money, and also unjustified scares and fears about health risks faced by the European public at large.”

In an interview with London’s The Independent newspaper, World Health Organization advisor Prof. Ulrich Keil, complained that by calling the early H1N1 outbreak a “pandemic,” countries around the world wasted precious public health money: “We know the great killers are hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, high body mass index, physical inactivity and low fruit and vegetable intake….instead [governments] wasted huge amounts of money by investing in pandemic scenarios whose evidence base is weak.”


One reason many people around the world refused the shot was that people are increasingly skeptical about vaccines.

A British paper, the Daily Mail, published an article August 15, 2009, that said:

“A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter … It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine … The letter, sent to about 600 neurologists on July 29, is the first sign that there is concern at the highest levels that the vaccine itself could cause serious complications. It refers to the use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976 when more people died from the vaccination than from swine flu.[11]

In 1976 the U.S. government ordered a mass vaccination drive in response to a swine flu outbreak. It was abruptly stopped after 30 people died as a direct result of the vaccinations and some 500 people reported developing Guillain-Barre syndrome, a paralyzing disorder, after getting the flu vaccine. Unanswered questions regarding the outbreak remain to this day. A “60 Minutes” news segment on the 1976 vaccination campaign can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro1WL5ketWg

In the November, 2009 Atlantic Monthly magazine, health writers Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer asked some fundamental questions:

“What if everything we think we know about fighting influenza is wrong? What if flu vaccines do not protect people from dying – particularly the elderly, who account for 90 percent of deaths from seasonal flu? And what if the expensive antiviral drugs that the government has stockpiled over the past few years also have little, if any, power to reduce the number of people who die or are hospitalized?”[12]

The writers reveal that questioning the party line can be hazardous to one’s medical career. Lisa Jackson, a physician and senior investigator with the Group Health Research Center in Seattle, questioned the estimate of 50 percent mortality reduction for people who get seasonal flu vaccine. Her studies found evidence that the flu vaccine itself might not reduce mortality at all.

“‘People told me, No good can come of [asking] this,’ she says. ‘Potentially a lot of bad could happen for me professionally by raising any criticism that might dissuade people from getting vaccinated.’

“One flu expert who reviewed her studies for the Journal of the American Medical Association wrote, ‘To accept these results would be to say that the earth is flat!’

“Government officials declare that both vaccines and drugs are effective. When faced with contrary evidence, the adherents acknowledge that the science is not as crisp as they might wish. Then, in response to calls for placebo-controlled trials, which would provide clear results one way or the other, proponents say such studies would deprive patients of vaccines and drugs that have already been deemed effective. The logic is circular.

“The annals of medicine are littered with treatments and tests that became medical doctrine on the slimmest of evidence, and were then declared sacrosanct and beyond scientific investigation.

“Most experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before we’re hit by a truly devastating flu pandemic – one that might kill more people worldwide than have died of the plague and aids combined. In the U.S., the main lines of defense are pharmaceutical – vaccines and antiviral drugs to limit the spread of flu and prevent people from dying from it. Yet now some flu experts are challenging the medical orthodoxy and arguing that for those most in need of protection, flu shots and antiviral drugs may provide little to none. So where does that leave us if a bad pandemic strikes?”

avian fluResearchers in Japan found Tamiflu excreted in human waste travels through sewer systems into waterways. Concern is growing that birds, which are natural influenza carriers, are being exposed to waterborne residues of Tamiflu’s active form and might develop and spread drug-resistant strains of seasonal and avian flu. And the researchers didn’t test during a pandemic, when Tamiflu prescription rates might be 10 times higher.[13]

In December 2009, health writers Brownlee and Lenzer reported that Tamiflu is not as effective or safe as many patients, doctors, and governments think. They said:

“The nation may have put more than a billion dollars into the medical equivalent of a mirage. This week, the British medical journal BMJ published a multi-part investigation that confirms that the scientific evidence just isn’t there to show that Tamiflu prevents serious complications, hospitalization, or death in people that have the flu. The BMJ goes further to suggest that Roche, the Swiss company that manufactures and markets Tamiflu, may have misled governments and physicians.

“All of which leaves open the question of why governments around the world have invested so much – on the order of $3 billion since the emergence of H1N1 last spring, according to investment bank, JP Morgan – in a drug that appears to do so little.”[14]

Meanwhile, both seasonal and swine flu shots are heavily promoted, protective or not.

An August 12th, 2009 editorial in the Wall Street Journal by two doctors puts the vigorous swine flu vaccination campaign in perspective:

“Compare this response to the scant media and political attention that have been given to several silent but no less deadly outbreaks of disease in recent years caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Most such outbreaks are treated as the poor stepsisters of pandemic influenza, even while they have killed far more people than swine flu over the same period.”[15]


Several thorny issues exist around vaccine manufacture and approval. One way to ease supply problems is the use of adjuvants in a vaccine. Adjuvants are usually oil-water emulsions like squalene or aluminum salts. On July 7, 2009, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization recommended that vaccine formulated with oil-in-water adjuvants and live-attenuated influenza vaccines should be promoted to help increase the global supply of a vaccine and because they are better at protecting against strain variations.

Adjuvants can be added to inactivated vaccines (ones without the live virus) to boost their efficacy by stimulating the immune system to respond to the vaccine more vigorously. Adjuvants also reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose. However, they often heighten unpleasant side effects.

Animal studies have shown that squalene adjuvants may generate autoimmune versions of arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other conditions. A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Pathology demonstrated that a single injection of the adjuvant squalene into rats triggered “chronic, immune-mediated joint-specific inflammation,” also known as rheumatoid arthritis.[16]

The FDA has never approved the general use of any vaccine containing squalene in the United States. Well, maybe.

One of the many controversies swirling around vaccines is whether squalene was used as an adjuvant in anthrax vaccines given during the 1990-1991 period to Gulf War soldiers. A 2000 Tulane Medical School study found that “The majority of symptomatic GWS patients had serum antibodies to squalene” and concluded that squalene played a role in Gulf War Syndrome.[17]

In September, 2009, American officials decided against using squalene, fearing that using an adjuvant would raise public fears about vaccine safety at a time when their challenge might be about to shift from procuring enough vaccine to persuading people to use it.[18]

Aluminum salts are the most commonly used adjuvant, but they are not as powerful as squalene. The side effect of aluminum salts is possible hyperactivity of the immune system. Just like an allergy, if a person is allergic to the vaccine’s contents, the body’s immune system causes extreme inflammation, which is a more dangerous situation than what the vaccine was intended to prevent. The inflammation can cause nerve damage. The neurotoxic effects of aluminum were recognized a hundred years ago. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.


vaccinationsMulti-dose vials containing thimerosal, another term for ethyl mercury. It is an antibacterial additive. Multi-dose vials typically hold 10 doses which means 10 different times a needle will be inserted through the rubber top. Even though each needle is new and sterile, it is necessary to have an antibacterial additive for multi-dose vials.

The “autism epidemic” in the U.S. took hold about 1991, which is when vaccines for children doubled. Epidemiologist Tom Verstraeten and Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado, both concluded that thimerosal was responsible for the dramatic rise in cases of autism; their findings were dismissed by the CDC.[19]

Personally, I believe that autism is not necessarily caused by mercury in vaccines, but rather by an overwhelming toxic body burden. Mercury is part of that toxic load, and for some children, the dose of it in a vaccine may the “final straw.” Children who have not been vaccinated have developed autism. Your genetics dictate how easily you excrete mercury.


One of the most often repeated mantras of the campaign to vaccinate against the flu is that “A normal flu season kills about 36,000 Americans and hospitalizes 200,000.”[20]

But a little research turns up an inconvenient truth – no where near 36,000 people die each year from the flu.

The figure comes from the CDC. According to their National Vital Statistic Reports (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr52/nvsr52_13.pdf), the actual number of flu associated deaths from 199 to 2006 are:[21]

2006 849
2005 1812
2004 1100
2003 1792
2002 727
2001 257
2000 1765
1999 1665
1998 1724
1997 720
1996 745
1995 606
1994 No data
1993 1044
1992 No data
1991 1137

So how does the CDC get from 849 flu deaths in 2006 to a number like 36,000? By combining flu deaths with pneumonia deaths. In 2006, the CDC reports 55,477 pneumonia deaths, making the combination the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. That’s misleading, because that statistic descries only the elderly. In 2006, of the 849 deaths attributed to flu, 689 of those occurred in people 65 or older.[22]

And the CDC’s justification for inflating the statistics? Seasonal influenza-related deaths are deaths that occur in people for whom seasonal influenza infection was likely a contributor to the cause of death, but not necessarily the primary cause of death.”[23]

The British Medical Journal wrote a scathing critique of the CDC’s numbers. In an article entitled, “Are U.S. Flu Death Figures More PR Than Science?” they pretty much hit the nail on the head:

“US data on influenza deaths are a mess. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. Additionally, there are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear – a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts ‘predict dire outcomes’ during flu seasons … CDC is working in manufacturers’ interest by conducting campaigns to increase flu vaccination.”[24]

Perhaps that sharp criticism from across the pond hit a nerve. In August 2010, the CDC backed away from the 36,000 number, saying it was an estimate based on data from the 1990s when H3N2 viruses were prominent. Now the CDC says deaths vary widely from year to year. “Flu really is unpredictable,” said Dr. David Shay, a CDC medical officer. “Because we have this very wide range of deaths – from 3,000 to 49,000 – it’s really meaningless to say what happens in an average flu season. There is no average flu season.”[25]

One thing we know for sure about the statistics – people 65 and older have contracted swine flu at the lowest rate of any age group. The elderly appear to be largely protected because of exposure to other distantly related flu strains that circulated decades ago. And that speaks volumes about the nature of immunity.


Historically, an infection passes through the population, felling those whose immune systems are weak. A prevailing theory says the rest of the population then has immunity to that infectious agent because they have been exposed and their bodies developed memory cells that “remember” each specific pathogen encountered, and are able to mount a strong response if the pathogen is detected again.

While the CDC campaigns vigorously each year for vaccinations, the historical record reveals that infectious diseases declined 90 percent before mass vaccination was ever introduced. A major sanitation reform movement swept Europe during the 1800s. Plumbing systems were developed, creating a sewer system other than streets, and water distribution systems were upgraded to prevent bacterial contamination. All the old terror diseases of plague, black death, and cholera responded to these reforms, and epidemics declined throughout the 1800s, long before the advent of vaccination. Even the CDC reported in 1999 that:

“The 19th century shift in population from country to city that accompanied industrialization and immigration led to overcrowding in poor housing served by inadequate or nonexistent public water supplies and waste-disposal systems. These conditions resulted in repeated outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, TB, typhoid fever, influenza, yellow fever, and malaria.

“By 1900, however, the incidence of many of these diseases had begun to decline because of public health improvements, implementation of which continued into the 20th century.”[26]

The concept that epidemic diseases were ended by sanitation reforms is reinforced when natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina destroy sanitation systems and roads, bringing epidemic diseases with the collapse of the infrastructure. Vaccination does not end these epidemics – the restoration of basic services restores health.

Germs seek their natural habitat – weakened and diseased tissue. Just as a lawn that is stressed from too little water and nutrition grows weeds, a stressed human inner terrain invites pathogens to take hold.

The best defense against flu – or any new pathogen – is a strong immune system. Seven common ways the immune system is depressed:
•  Low thyroid
•  Sugar
•  Stress
•  Diets low in good fats (eggs, butter, grass fed meats) and high in trans fats
•  Chronic low infections
•  Environmental assaults – chemicals like pesticides, plastics, dioxins, and heavy metals (including mercury and aluminum in vaccines)
•  Chronic low vitamin D levels

According to the CDC, by June of 2009, one million Americans had already been exposed to H1N1 swine flu and didn’t know it; they had no symptoms. When the body is exposed to a new virus, a strong immune system makes its own antibodies, making you immune to further infections from that virus. That is why you get childhood illnesses generally just once. By now, several millions of Americans have already survived H1N1 swine flu; their healthy immune systems have done their job of keeping them well.


I do not recommend seasonal flu shots. They come with mercury and they simply don’t work that well to begin with. I do not recommend the swine flu shot. The risks are not worth the possible benefit. And so far, swine flu has produced mild symptoms and most people recover without any medical intervention.

Symptoms of swine flu, so far, are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and may include:
•  Fever (greater than 100°F or 37.8°C)
•  Sore throat
•  Cough
•  Stuffy nose
•  Chills
•  Headache and body aches
•  Fatigue

When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue – or your sleeve if you do not have a tissue. Throw used tissues in a trash can. When people use their hands to cover a sneeze, their hands tend to spread germs around. Germs left on a shopping cart for example can live up to 48 hours. After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water.

Official guidelines for schools recommend that isolation “should continue for at least 24 hours after patients’ temperatures returns to normal or their fever breaks without the use of medication.”

At The Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, we have lots of safe, effective options for both preventing flu, and dealing with it should you become infected.

Influenza is a virus, and immensely susceptible to vitamin C. First, take extra amounts of vitamin C. At about 10,000 mg you get “bowel intolerance” which means you head for the bathroom a lot. As a preventive measure, aim for something less than that, but perhaps more than what you usually take. You may also wish to increase your vitamin D – flu often hits harder in the winter season when sunlight exposure is less.

If you are feeling as if you are coming down with flu, call us pronto. We will be able to give you intravenous vitamin c – large doses that bypass bowel tolerance and flush viruses out of the system by making them unable to “stick” to cell membranes. We also add glutathione – the body’s own antioxidant, immune system booster, and detoxifier.

For confirmed cases, we can also clean the blood of viruses, fungi and more with UV light. We can add ozone to oxidize (kill) the molecules in the shell of the virus.

OscillococcinumIf you feel ill on a weekend, use Oscillococcinum. It is an over-the-counter homeopathic remedy. The effectiveness of Oscillococcinum is confirmed by a several double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials published in the Lancet, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, and others. Again, take it at the first signs; do not wait 2 days to start it.

colloidal silverAnother option is high-grade colloidal silver. This is available through my office. Silver’s renowned germicidal abilities come without the downsides of prescription antibiotics. ACS 200® demonstrates a much broader pathogen kill spectrum than traditional prescription antibiotics, antifungal, or antiviral preparations. ACS 200 does not damage human tissue or wipe out good intestinal flora. ACS 200 is proven to kill MRSA, Candida albicans, and Rhinovirus in less than 3 minutes. It is a good tool to use whenever you are in high-exposure environments such as airplanes and schools.

[1] A. Hartocollis. Swine Flu Vaccine Reaches an Anxious Nation. New York Times, October 5, 2009

[2] CDC 2009 H1N1 Flu Media Briefing (unedited). CDC On-Line Newsroom, press briefing transcript. February 5, 2010

[3] Edward A. Belongia, Stephanie A. Irving. Clinical Characteristics and 30-Day Outcomes for Influenza A 2009 (H1N1), 2008-2009 (H1N1), and 2007-2008 (H3N2) Infections. JAMA. September 8. 2010;304(10):1091-1098.

[4] H1N1 Pandemic Flu Even Milder Than Seasonal Strains. HealthDay News, September 7, 2010

[5] FDA Approves Vaccines for the 2010-2011 Influenza Season. PR Newswire. July 30, 2010

[6] Centers for Disease Control, Inactivated Flu Vaccine-What You Need to Know 2010-2011

[7] Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines – Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010. Centers for Disease Control. July 29, 2010

[8] CDC dosage chart: Influenza vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for different age groups – United States, 2010 -11 season

[9] Lynne Taylor. EU to probe pharma over “false pandemic.” PharmaTimes online. January 4, 2010

[10] ibid

[11] Jo MacFarland. Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease: Leaked letter reveals concern of neurologists over 25 deaths in America. Daily Mail, August 15, 2009

[12] Shannon Brownlee, Jeanne Lenzer; Does the Vaccine Matter? Atlantic Monthly, November, 2009

[13] J Raloff. Excreted Tamiflu found in Rivers. Science News, September 30, 2009

[14] S Brownlee, J Lenzer; The Truth About Tamiflu – Has the U.S. Wasted $1.5 Billion on an Ineffective Drug? The Atlantic Monthly, December 10, 2009

[15] Mitchell Schwaber and Yehuda Carmeli. Don’t Forget the Bacterial Threat-Antibiotic resistance is a much bigger problem than swine flu. Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2009

[16] Barbro Carlson, Åsa Jansson, et al; The Endogenous Adjuvant Squalene Can Induce a Chronic T-Cell-Mediated Arthritis in Rats, The American Journal of Pathology, 2000; 156:2057-2065 http://ajp.amjpathol.org/cgi/content/abstract/156/6/2057

[17] Asa PB, Cao Y, Garry R. Antibodies to squalene in Gulf War syndrome. Experimental and Molecular Pathology February 2000;68(1):55-64.

[18] A. Pollack, Benefit and Doubt in Vaccine Additive, New York Times, September 22, 2009

[19] Robert F. Kennedy, Deadly Immunity, originally published on Salon.com, June 16, 2005

[20] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Seasonal Influenza:The Disease.” Accessed at www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/index.htm

[21] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics Report. Deaths: Final Data for 2006. April 17, 2009. Vol 57 No 11. Table 1.

[22] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics Report. Deaths: Final Data for 2006. April 17, 2009. Vol 57 No 11. Table 4.

[23] http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm

[24] Peter Doshi. Are US flu death figures more PR than science? British Medical Journal, December 10, 2005

[25] Julie Steenhuysen. CDC backs away from decades-old flu US death estimate. Reuters. August 26, 2010

[26] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Control of Infectious Diseases.” Accessed at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4829a1.htm

flu seasonFlu season is that dreaded, head-pounding, body-aching, feverish, nauseating, coughing affair that adds up to equal parts misery and inconvenience. Flu season runs November through May; most cases usually occur in January or February.

Influenza virus spreads from infected persons to you when you make contact with contaminated surfaces and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes. The virus is also passed by sneezing when you inhale someone else’s droplets of contaminated fluid.

Rates of infection are highest among children. Flu can cause:
•  fever
•  sore throat
•  chills
•  fatigue
•  cough
•  headache
•  muscle aches

Influenza can lead to pneumonia and can be dangerous for people with heart or breathing conditions. It can cause high fever and seizures in children. About 90 percent of the fatalities are among the elderly.[1]


Flu shots are vigorously promoted each year, but the latest science suggests they simply don’t work very well.

The annual flu shot is a product of the educated guesses of a group of vaccine researchers. Every February, they try to predict which flu viruses will circulate the next winter. Their three top choices are put into the vaccine. The CDC claims the vaccine will be 70 to 90 percent effective against just those strains of flu.

But the virus mutates from year to year. In 2003-2004, the CDC admitted that it completely missed the virulent Fujian flu strain that hit hard that winter. In the 2005-2006 season, a strain not included in the vaccine hospitalized 31 children in Houston.[2]

One of the three strains in the seasonal flu shot for the 2010-2011season is the swine flu virus (H1N1) of 2009. The seasonal flu shot and the swine flu shot will be just one shot this year. If you got the H1N1 vaccination last year, the CDC recommends that you get it again in 2010.[3] And if your shot comes from a multi-dose vial, it will contain mercury as a preservative.[4]

There are two types of influenza vaccine:
•  Inactivated – vaccine made with killed virus material and thimerosal, and injected into the muscle. Usually dispensed from multi-use injectable bottles and thimerosal (mercury) is used as a preservative.

•  Live, attenuated (LAIV) – weakened influenza vaccine and sprayed into the nostrils. These viruses can survive in the nose and throat long enough to trigger the immune reaction that fights off flu, but will be killed by the higher temperatures in the lower respiratory tract. It does not contain thimerosal. The CDC describes this as “an option for healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.”

People with egg allergies shouldn’t get the shot because the vaccine is manufactured using eggs. Also, the shot is not recommended for babies under 6 months. The LAIV form is not recommended for children under age 5 with asthma, pregnant women, or those with a weakened immune system (especially cancer, bone marrow transplants), nor for people with various chronic diseases – the list includes Guillain-Barré Syndrome, heart disease, and cerebral palsy.[5]

In February 2010, on the heels of the 2009 Swine Flu “pandemic,” the CDC made a new recommendation that every American over the age of six months be vaccinated for the seasonal flu each year. The effect of the policy change is that flu shots are now recommended for almost 100 percent of the population, up from 85 percent.[6] The CDC said, “This represents an expansion of the previous recommendations for annual vaccination of all adults aged 19 to 49 years and is supported by evidence that annual influenza vaccination is a safe and effective preventive health action with potential benefit in all age groups.”[7]

Meanwhile, the British government was quietly cancelling their flu immunization program for children aged six months to five years. In December 2010, senior government advisers ruled that flu shots for kids would not have significant “gain,” despite flu levels reaching a ten-year high.


Should you stand in line for your annual flu shot? Consider these findings:

•  Every year only 5%-20% of the US population gets the flu. It can become serious for those with a pre-exiting condition. Approximately 175,000 people are hospitalized each year from flu complications such as pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and other respiratory problems, or the aggravation of chronic illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma, cardiovascular disease, lupus, and diabetes.

•  A yearly flu vaccine has not been shown to prevent flu-related deaths in people over the age of 65, according to the 2005 and 2007 Cochrane Collaborative’s reports in The Lancet medical journal.[8,9]

“Recent excess mortality studies were unable to confirm a decline in influenza-related mortality since 1980, even as vaccination coverage increased from 15% to 65%.”

The prediction that flu vaccines reduce the mortality risk among the elderly by 50% is also being challenged by researchers of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This challenge is based on the fact that the actual flu virus is usually cleared before secondary complications set in. When researchers from the Institute included all deaths from illnesses that flu aggravates, like lung disease or chronic heart failure, they found that flu accounts for, at most, 10 percent of winter deaths among the elderly. Dr. Tom Jefferson, head of the Vaccines Field at the Cochrane Collaboration, said:

“For a vaccine to reduce mortality by 50 percent and up to 90 percent in some studies means it has to prevent deaths not just from influenza, but also from falls, fires, heart disease, strokes, and car accidents. That’s not a vaccine, that’s a miracle.”[10]

•  The CDC kicks off the annual flu shot campaign with the statistic that 36,000 Americans die from the flu every year.[11] But others find that number is propaganda, not fact. The American Lung Association’s report from April 2010, entitled “Trends in Pneumonia and Influenza/Morbidity and Mortality,” uses CDC figures and shows:[12]

1991 1137 2000 1765
1993 1044 2001 257
1995 606 2002 727
1996 745 2003 1792
1997 720 2004 1100
1998 1724 2005 1812
1999 1665 2006 849

The CDC’s 36,000 number is based on an estimate of cases where “seasonal influenza infection was likely a contributor to the cause of death, but not necessarily the primary cause of death.”[13] The flu is not a reportable disease and most physicians don’t do a nasal swab to determine whether the symptoms are indeed caused by influenza.

After much criticism, including a blistering editorial in the British Medical Journal, the CDC announced in 2010 that it was discarding that decades-old estimate. The agency now says that flu is unpredictable, and the number of annual fatalities ranges from 3,000 to 49,000.[14,15]

• A study in the British Medical Journal reported vaccines just don’t work too well for people of all ages:[16]

“The optimistic and confident tone of some predictions of viral circulation and of the impact of inactivated vaccines, which are at odds with the evidence, is striking. The reasons are probably complex and may involve a messy blend of truth conflicts and conflicts of interest…”

• Internationally renowned vaccine researcher Dr. Sherri J. Tenpenny found that 70-80% of the sniffles, fevers, and body aches generally characterized as “the flu” between 1999-2004 were not caused by influenza viruses, but by other organisms not covered by a vaccine.

• Between October 1, 2003 and April 9, 2004, the CDC identified 863 antigenically different influenza viruses. If you assume that flu vaccines work for the three chosen strains, the vaccines do not provide protection against the other 860 influenza viruses known to be in circulation.[17]

• Federal health officials warned in November, 2007 that risks from the flu drug Tamiflu warrant stronger warning labels. Tamiflu is prescribed for almost two million Americans a year, including almost 700,000 children. About 600 cases of psychiatric problems in Tamiflu patients have been reported; five children died in Japan after “falling from windows or balconies, or running into traffic,” the FDA stated.

• Flu vaccine is preserved with thimerosal, which is 50% mercury. So with each shot comes a dose of a neurotoxin.

• Vaccines are also grown and strained through animal or human tissue like monkey kidney tissue, chicken embryo, embryonic guinea pig cells, calf serum, and human diploid cells (the dissected organs of aborted human fetuses as in the case of rubella, hepatitis A, and chickenpox vaccines). Vaccines can also contain bits of bacteria and measurable amounts of aluminum, gelatin, polysorbate 80, MSG, and other chemicals.[18]

• Hugh Fudenberg, MD, an immunogeneticist and biologist with nearly 850 papers published in peer review journals, has reported that if an individual had five consecutive flu shots between 1970 and 1980 (the years studied), his/her chances of getting Alzheimer’s Disease is ten times higher than if they had zero, one, or two shots.[19]

• Vaccine manufacturers received federal legislation to protect them from liability.

“There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza…they are worthless.”

— Dr. J. Anthony Morris, research virologist and
former Chief Vaccine Control Officer of the FDA.

So the flu vaccine is said to be virtually worthless at best and loaded with toxic chemicals at worst. On top of that, many people come down with the flu shortly after receiving the shot. How does that happen? Because it weakens the immune system, making you more predisposed to the illness.


Good question. You are much more likely to come down with a cold. Colds and flu are both respiratory illnesses but caused by different viruses. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. There are more than 200 cold viruses, they mutate a lot, and virtually everybody comes down with one from time to time. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

FEVER Common Uncommon
ACHES Often severe Slight
CHILLS Common Uncommon
ONSET Suddenly, 3-6 hours Slowly, 1-2 days
STUFFY NOSE Common Common
SORE THROAT Common Common
HEADACHE Common Uncommon


Influenza is an Italian word that some historians proposed originated in the mid-18th century as influenza di freddo, or “influence of the cold.” Here some plausible ideas why winter is to blame:

•  During winter, we are indoors more often in poorly ventilated buildings and this aids the airborne transmission of viruses.

•  Ultraviolet light kills viruses and there is less sunlight in winter.

•  People are exposed to less sunlight in winter and so their bodies make less vitamin D which nourishes the immune system.

•  Colds and flu increase after Christmas when students return to schools and colleges because young people have less mature immune systems and crowded nurseries, schools and colleges provide an ideal breeding ground for viruses which then spread out into the community.

•  Cold weather and sunless days can be tough on the psyche. Combined with holiday stress, our bodies are more prone to succumb to viruses in winter.

•  Researchers found that flu virus is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry. Flu viruses spread through the air, unlike cold viruses which primarily spread by direct contact when people touch surfaces. [20]



1. Wash your hands. Even the CDC tells you that hand washing is the best protection. “Rub your hands for 20 seconds – about the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.” Note though that colds and flu come from viruses, not bacteria, so antibacterial soap doesn’t help. In fact, anti-bacterial soaps merely invite environmental bacteria to become resistant.

2. Sneeze into your elbow, not into your hands. Ditch the old mantra to “cover your mouth” with your hands. Kids especially, when they sneeze or cough into their hands, don’t always wash their hands, and then they use their hands to touch surfaces and other people.

3. Find out what your vitamin D level is. Vitamin D deficiency may be the real reason people come down with the flu in winter. Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council first introduced the hypothesis in 2006 that influenza is just a symptom of vitamin D deficiency.[21,22] His papers were subsequently confirmed by a large study of 19,000 people that found that those with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu.[23]

A Japanese study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests vitamin D is better than the vaccine at preventing flu. Researchers found that vitamin D supplementation almost halved incidence of seasonal flu or influenza A among school children given 1200 International Units per day.[24]

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is more readily absorbed by the body and more potent than vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), the form often found in multivitamins and “fortified” milk.

4. During the hectic, stressful holiday time, it is more important than ever to eat right. Conversely, this is the time of year we are bombarded with foods full of sugar which lowers the immune system. Avoid processed foods.


Out of respect from Grandma’s wisdom, we’ll put this one first on the list: Eat chicken soup. In folk wisdom, rich chicken broth – the famous Jewish penicillin – is a valued remedy for the flu. The 12th-century physician Moses Maimonides prescribed chicken broth as a treatment for colds and asthma. Modern research has confirmed that broth helps prevent and mitigate infectious diseases. Properly prepared broth contains the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. A big dose of good nutrients is always a good thing to have on board when the body is sick. Nourishing the gut boosts the immune system.

When children run even a small a fever, adults run scared. But hold on a minute. Fevers inhibit the replication of many bacteria and viruses. White blood cells also move more quickly to the site of infection at higher temperatures. A basic fever, brought on by bacterial or viral illness, is an expression of the immune system working well. The argument can be made that children need to experience fevers to develop a strong immune system that can ward off allergies and asthma as they grow older.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, we use different forms of treatment, depending on how early in the course of the flu treatment is requested. Before the start of the flu season we recommend that you purchase Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic remedy for flu, found in any health food store. This remedy needs to be taken early, preferably on day one of symptoms. Many people swear by colonic hydrotherapy – it has been their experience that a colonic taken at the first opportunity keeps the flu from taking hold. We also recommend a couple of Chinese herbal formulae for cold symptoms – one of them, if taken at the very first sign of the cold or flu, will dispel symptoms at least 95% of the time. The other formula we use commonly is taken if the symptoms go deeper – with cough and fever. If symptoms are very severe, we recommend treatment with high doses of Vitamin C, often intravenously, and with glutathione, to oxidize and destroy the viruses from the system. We may also treat your blood by passing some of it through a device which exposes it to ultraviolet light, a well-known killer of viruses and bacteria.

[1] Centers for Disease Control, Inactivated Flu Vaccine-What You Need to Know 2010-2011

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/31/flu.hm.flu.shot

[3] Centers for Disease Control, Inactivated Flu Vaccine-What You Need to Know 2010-2011

[4] CDC dosage chart: Influenza vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for different age groups – United States, 2010 -11 season

[5] LIVE, INTRANASAL INFLUENZA VACCINE – What You Need to Know. CDC info sheet.

[6] February 26, 2010. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/180511.php

[7] Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines – Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010. Centers for Disease Control. July 29, 2010

[8] T. Jefferson, D. Rivetti et al. Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines in elderly people: a systematic review. The Lancet, October 2005, Volume 366, Issue 9492, pages 1165-1174

[9] T. Jefferson, C. Di Pietrantonj. Inactivated influenza vaccines in the elderly—are you sure? The Lancet, June 2007, Volume 370, Issue 9594, pages 1199-1200

[10] S Brownlee and J Lenzer. Does the Vaccine Matter? Atlantic Monthly, November, 2009

[11] Centers for Disease Control, Inactivated Flu Vaccine-What You Need to Know 2007-2008, accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-flu.pdf

[12] Accessed at http://www.lungusa.org/atf/cf/%7B7A8D42C2-FCCA-4604-8ADE-7F5D5E762256%7D/PI1.PDF, page 9

[13] http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm

[14] Peter Doshi. Are US flu death figures more PR than science? British Medical Journal, December 10, 2005

[15] Julie Steenhuysen. CDC backs away from decades-old flu US death estimate. Reuters. August 26, 2010

[16] T. Jefferson. Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence, BMJ 2006;333(7574):912

[17] Dr. S. Tenpenny. Annual Number of flu deaths: it’s a guess. accessed Jan 2008 at http://www.whale.to/a/ten12.html

[18] Dr. S. Tenpenny Questioning Vaccines is Not Fueled by Ignorance News With Views, Feb 7, 2007

[19] Hugh Fudenberg, MD, Founder and Director of Research, Neurolmmuno Therapeutic Research Foundation. Information is from Dr. Fudenberg’s speech at the NVIC International Vaccine Conference, Arlington, VA September, 1997.

[20] Gina Kolata. Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter. New York Times, December 5, 2007

[21] J Cannell, R Vieth. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. December 2006 Dec;134(6):1129-40. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

[22] J Cannell, M Zasloff et al. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virology Journal 2008, 5:29doi:10.1186/1743-422X-5-29

[23] A Ginde, J Mansbach, C Camargo Jr. Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. February 23, 2009;169(4):384-390.

[24] Mitsuyoshi Urashima, Takaaki Segawa. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr, March 10, 2010 (doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094)

Fibromyalgia (FMS) was first recognized by the American Medical Association as an illness and a cause of disability in 1987. In an article the same year, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a physician named Don Goldenberg called the syndrome “Fibromyalgia”.

The universal symptom of fibromyalgia is pain. FMS is characterized by widespread, debilitating pain involving the muscles, the joints – almost any area of the body.

Usually when the body has pain, inflammation is present. But this not necessarily the case with fibromyalgia. People with FMS can experience pain throughout their entire body without any damage or apparent inflammation of the peripheral tissues.

According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 10 million Americans suffer from it. Most of them are women.

There is no blood or x-ray test that can diagnose fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is based upon the patient’s history and physical examination. Widely accepted criteria created by the American College of Rheumatology define fibromyalgia by two things:

  • A history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months and affecting all 4 quadrants of the body (left side, right side, below the waist, above the waist).
  • Upon examination, a finding of pain at 11 or more of 18 “tender points”
Fibromyalgia tender points - Fibromyalgia tender points posterior view
Pain and tenderness in the so-called “tender points” are the defining characteristics of fibromyalgia, so medical care providers focus on the features of the pain to distinguish it from other rheumatic disorders. A posterior view of the “tender points” often used to diagnose fibromyalgia.

(Figures reproduced from the American College of Rheumatology website [1])

While these criteria for classification of patients were originally established for research purposes, they have become the de facto diagnostic criteria.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by diffuse pain, but is often accompanied by other “functional” conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches, chemical sensitivity, Raynaud’s phenomenon[2] and chronic fatigue, making it often difficult to reach a definitive diagnosis.

Because of the difficulty of diagnosis, and because so many patients also reported cognitive difficulties, for years the conventional medical community was quick to tell patients that “it’s in your head.” But patients instinctively knew better. So they shuffled from one doctor to another as they continued to search for what was wrong. Many physicians believed that FMS was mainly a disguised form of psychological distress or depression.


New research since 2003 demonstrates that FMS is indeed real, not imagined.

Daniel Clauw, M.D., of the University of Michigan, recently did much to legitimize the pain of FMS. He used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look into the area of the brain that registers pain. Dr. Clauw observed that the area of the brain that registers pain showed an increase of blood flow when FMS patients were given a low-pressure stimulus. The identical stimulus showed no change in the brains of control group subjects. But when a more intense stimulus was administered to the control group, the blood flow increased in the same way as it had when the FMS group received the low-pressure stimulus. Dr. Clauw says his research finally offers visual proof that FMS patients experience hypersensitivity in the pain processing areas of their brains.

Dr. Clauw’s work provided visual evidence that FMS patients really do experience pain differently than people who don’t have the disorder. Clauw states:

Dr. Clauw“Pain is always a subjective matter, but everything that we can measure about the pain in fibromyalgia shows that it is real. We think that one of the primary abnormalities in fibromyalgia is an imbalance between the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that affect pain sensitivity. Although right now there are no drugs approved to treat fibromyalgia, within three years it its likely that there will be three, if not four, drugs specifically approved to treat the condition. This is not an inflammatory disorder and this is not a primary psychological condition. … A person is about eight times more likely to develop fibromyalgia if one of their relatives has it. But there are also certain environmental triggers. For example, people develop fibromyalgia after motor vehicle accidents, or after certain types of infections or biological stress.” [3]

Dr. Clauw is a Professor of Medicine, in the Division of Rheumatology, at the University of Michigan. He is the Executive Director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, and of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR), at the University of Michigan.

In a 2003 paper in the journal Science, the University of Michigan team reported that a small variation in the gene that encodes the enzyme called catechol-O-methyl transferase, or COMT, made a significant difference in the pain tolerance, and pain-related emotions and feelings, of healthy volunteers. Researchers also have found that individual mutations in the COMT gene are related to the future development of temporo-mandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ, a condition related to fibromyalgia.

In 2006, The University of Michigan team concluded:

“It is increasingly clear that fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder and that patients experience hypersensitivity to pain. There also appears to be a fairly strong genetic component to fibromyalgia and related conditions. These studies indicate that fibromyalgia patients have abnormalities within their central brain structures. … It is time for us to move past the rhetoric about whether these conditions are real, and take these patients seriously as we endeavor to learn more about the causes and most effective treatments for these disorders.”[4]

National Fibromyalgia Association president and founder Lynne Matallana said that doctors who treat fibromyalgia patients face a unique challenge. “This is a new paradigm for medical professionals to understand,” she says. “It isn’t a tumor or something else that you can see. It is a problem within the pain-processing center of the central nervous system.” [5]


People with FMS can be sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and temperature. Rain beating on the windowpane may feel as if it were beating on the walls of your cells. Noise emitted by fluorescent lights can be very irritating, and you may have to avoid overcrowded areas such as malls. FMS sensitizes nerve endings as well as the rest of the autonomic nervous system. The actual ends of the nerve receptors may have changed shape, turning touch and other receptors into pain receptors. Pain signals then bombard your brain. Your brain knows pain is a danger signal – an indication that something is wrong and needs attention – so it mobilizes its defenses. Then, when those defenses aren’t used, the brain becomes anxious.

If you have FMS, you may have insomnia or a host of other sleep-related problems. You may have sleep apnea, or your heightened sensitivity does not allow you to sleep deeply. Our body heals and many neurotransmitters are balanced during deep sleep, and without it we soon suffer from the effects of sleep deprivation.

You may experience skin mottling. Your finger and toe nails may have vertical ridges – a typical sign of endocrine imbalance. Fingernails may break off, often in crescent-shaped pieces. If nails do grow, some may start to curve under (beaking).[6]

You may experience “brain fog” and so you have a cognitive overload, memory dysfunction, and an inability to do more than one thing at once. The brain “feel good” chemical, dopamine, and the overall master controlling neurotransmitter, serotonin, are typically low in patients with fibromyalgia. Since a firm diagnosis of fibromyalgia is difficult, and no confirmatory laboratory tests are available, FMS patients are often misdiagnosed as depression patients.

People with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases are particularly likely to develop fibromyalgia. To the good, patients with fibromyalgia do not develop deformity as happens with rheumatoid arthritis. Fibromyalgia also does not cause damage to internal body organs. Therefore, fibromyalgia is different from many other rheumatic conditions.

Many medical conditions can cause pain in different areas of the body, mimicking fibromyalgia. These conditions include:

  • low thyroid hormone level (hypothyroidism)
  • parathyroid disease (causing elevated blood calcium level)
  • muscle diseases causing muscle pain (polymyositis)
  • bone diseases causing bone pain (Paget’s Disease)
  • infectious diseases)

Even though there is no blood test for fibromyalgia, blood tests are important to exclude other medical conditions.


Many people with Lyme disease suffer the same widespread pain and tender points as fibromyalgia sufferers do. There is no good test for Lyme disease, so things get confusing. According to some in the Lyme community, as many as half the people diagnosed with fibromyalgia actually have Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease and fibromyalgia have very similar symptoms. Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacterium borrelia burgdorferii, a spirochete originally transmitted to animals and then humans by ticks. Lyme disease can cause a host of different symptoms because it affects a number of different systems within the body, including the heart, brain, and musculoskeletal systems.

Brooke Landau
San Diego news reporter Brooke Landau speaks about her battle with Lyme disease.

One school of thought says that many fibromyalgia patients have unrecognized infections caused by atypical bacteria or viruses, including mycoplasma, chlamydia, Lyme disease and HHV-6. They claim beneficial results from long-term antibiotics. Several studies support these claims, but none was large or well-designed enough to put skepticism to rest. Breakthrough research on HHV-6 virus as a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome was reported recently. Transfer Factor, colostrum made from cows especially immunized to produce antibodies against HHV-6, was reported to help about two thirds of patients. This same approach, in theory, could also help fibromyalgia.[7]

Fibromyalgia can affect every aspect of a person’s life. The chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia is pervasive and persistent and can severely curtail social activity and recreation. As many as 30% of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are unable to maintain full-time employment. Like others with disabilities, individuals with FMS often need accommodations to fully participate in their education or remain active in their careers.


For FMS, the recommended prescription drugs typically are:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. Elavil/amitryptiline, Pamelor/nortriptyline)
  • Desyrel/trazadone, a different form of anti-depressant
  • Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor Antidepressants (e.g. Prozac)
  • Sleeping Medicines (Ambien/zolpidem, Klonopin/clonazepam)
  • Muscle relaxants (Flexeril/cyclobenzaprine)
  • Various pain medicines

Traditionally, the most effective drugs have been the tricyclic antidepressants. In treating fibromyalgia, tricyclic antidepressants are taken at bedtime in doses that are a fraction of those used for treating depression. Tricyclic antidepressants appear to reduce fatigue, relieve muscle pain and spasm, and promote deep restorative sleep in patients with fibromyalgia. Scientists believe that tricyclics work by interfering with serotonin.

In reality, the degree of benefit differs very much for each individual.

Several drug companies are testing new drugs for the treatment of fibromyalgia; they target the central nervous system. These drugs fall into two general classes. One class raises the levels of neurotransmitters that normally stop the spread of pain, while another class lowers the levels of neurotransmitters that normally increase the spread of pain.

In 2007, pregabalin (Lyrica) became the first drug approved specifically for treating fibromyalgia.

Local injections of analgesics and/or cortisone medication into the trigger point areas can also be helpful in relieving painful soft tissues, while breaking cycles of pain and muscle spasm.

Non-Pharmaceutical Treatments

Limit the dietary stimulants. Just say no to caffeine and sugar. Avoid excitotoxins, especially MSG (monosodium glutamate) and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Both glutamate (in MSG) and the amino acid, aspartic acid (in aspartame) stimulate pain augmenting receptors within the spinal cord. These are called NMDA receptors. Some individuals with Fibromyalgia improve very much on a Fibromyalgia diet that avoids MSG and aspartame. Occasionally, people with Fibromyalgia improve with the elimination of foods to which they personally are sensitive. Wheat/gluten, milk, yeast, and sugar can be culprits.

One of our patients had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia since 1996. In 2007 he came to us. One week after we took him off gluten, his pain was completely gone. Gluten, the protein in wheat, is notorious for creating chronic inflammation in many people.

Acupuncture is effective in treating some patients with fibromyalgia. The University of Michigan team is attempting to quantify just how helpful it is.

Exercise helps many patients. While exercise improves the symptoms of FMS, pain and fatigue often prevent individuals from beginning an exercise regimen in the first place. Because of the known benefits of exercise on FMS, it is important to find new ways for individuals with FMS to increase their physical activity. Lifestyle physical activity, which involves any type of moderate-intensity activity such as walking, housecleaning, shopping, and gardening, may be more doable than structured exercise like what you find at a gym.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome often goes hand in hand with fibromyalgia. Detoxification of the body is especially beneficial at the beginning of treatment. Colon hydrotherapy cleans out the colon, initiating the detoxification process. The first step in any detoxification process is to make sure the toxin has someplace to go that is outside the body.

As is true with so many autoimmune diseases, stress plays a big role and learning how to handle stress can make living with the disease easier. As is true with so many autoimmune diseases, stress plays a big role. Hypnosis can be extremely helpful to learn how to defuse stress.

One thing which may distinguish fibromyalgia is its brain activity. It does appear that people with fibromyalgia have a hyperactive pain sensitivity, with significant elevations of substance P, a pain neurotransmitter, in the cerebro-spinal fluid.[9] Differences in blood flow to specific areas of the brain have been noted in patients with fibromyalgia.[10]

FMS dysfunctions may be simply points on a spectrum of chemical sensitivity or autonomic nervous system imbalance[11], through a mechanism called “neurogenic switching”[12] . This is a process whereby a signal from the brain, in response to an inflammation from a given site in the body, causes inflammation at a second site elsewhere in the body, apparently not related to the first site. Fibromyalgia is an excellent example of the “switching” phenomenon – we may ingest a food which causes inflammation in the intestinal tract, sending signals to the brain, which are then expressed as diffuse pain in the muscles. This phenomenon happens because the body uses many of the same neurotransmitters and hormones to activate pathways in many different organ systems. It is not surprising that, with an overwhelming stimulus, the system itself may become overwhelmed.[13]

To make an appointment for evaluation at the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, call 480-240-2600.

[1] http://www.rheumatology.org/public/factsheets/fibromya_new.asp#4

[2] Vaerøy H, Helle R. Elevated CSF levels of substance P and high incidence of Raynaud phenomenon in patients with fibromyalgia: new features for diagnosis. Pain. 1988 Jan;32(1):21-6.

[3] Fibromyalgia: the Misunderstood Disease, University of Michigan Health System press release, June 4, 2007, accessed at http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/530528/

[4] Harris, R. and Clauw, D.; Current Pain and Headache Reports, December 2006

[5] Salynn Boyles, Fibromyalgia Pain: It’s for Real, WebMD Health, Nov. 30, 2006

[6] Devin J. Starlanyl and Mary Ellen Copeland, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome: A Survival Manual, © copyright the authors, revised 2/4/04

[7] Dr. Richard N. Podell, How We Approach Fibromyalgia Treatments, accessed September 2007 at http://www.drpodell.org/fibromyalgia_treatments.shtml

[9] Russell IJ, Orr MD. Elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels of substance P in patients with the fibromyalgia syndrome. Arthritis Rheum. 1994 Nov;37(11):1593-601.

[10] Mountz JM, Bradley LA. Fibromyalgia in women. Abnormalities of regional cerebral blood flow in the thalamus and the caudate nucleus are associated with low pain threshold levels. Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Jul;38(7):926-38.

[11] Buchwald D, Garrity D. Comparison of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivities. Archives of Internal Medicine 154;18 (September 26, 1994).

[12] Meggs W. Neurogenic Switching: A Hypothesis for a Mechanism for Shifting the Site of Inflammation in Allergy and Chemical Sensitivity. EHP 103;1 (1995).

[13] Rowat SC. Integrated Defense System Overlaps as a Disease Model: With Examples for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. EHP Supplements 106;S1 (Feb 1998).

If you’ve ever told a doctor you had erectile dysfunction, did the doctor talk to you about cardiovascular disease or diabetes?

Erectile dysfunction, ED, is more than just a bedroom frustration. ED is often a warning bell of the onset of heart disease or undiagnosed diabetes.

Men with erectile dysfunction are 80 percent more likely to develop heart disease compared to men who do not have ED. Men ages 40 to 49 with erectile dysfunction are twice as likely to get heart disease.[1]

Diabetics with erectile dysfunction are perhaps twice as likely as non-diabetic men with diabetes to develop heart disease.[2]

The cause of erectile dysfunction is typically the lack of adequate penile blood supply as a result of damage to inner walls of blood vessels. Sounds like the arterial damage we see in heart disease and diabetes? Yes, because it’s the same physiology, the same underlying problem.

• A buildup of plaque blocks arteries around the heart and can also plug the smaller penile arteries, even before we see the effect on heart performance
• Inflammation causes the blood to become more viscous (thick, sticky) and the red blood cells membranes to become more rigid. These rigid red blood cells then nick the lining of the arteries.
• Arteries may lose elasticity over time, affecting the penis first and the heart later

corpora cavernosaThe endothelium or inner lining of blood vessels regulates how the heart relaxes and contracts. When there is a problem with blood vessel relaxation, you have bad blood flow and develop heart disease. Endothelial malfunction in the penis causes erectile dysfunction.

When the brain gets aroused, it sends a signal to the penis. Nerve cells in the penis’ corpora cavernosa start producing nitric oxide, which creates cGMP, an enzyme which tells smooth muscles that line the arteries to relax. Next, blood flow increases and small arteries at the base of the penis dilate. Blood rushing into the penis is shunted into the expandable tissues of the corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum. These fill under high pressure to compress outlet veins so blood cannot drain back out again. So those small capillaries are the first element that must operate correctly for a successful erection.

structure of the penisIf the arteries in the penis do not dilate enough, the amount of cGMP produced is not enough to maintain an erection.

More than half of American men age 40 to 70 suffer from erectile dysfunction, so that’s a lot of men who may be at risk of vascular disease – and may not realize it.

Other diseases – kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, and multiple sclerosis – can impact vascular health; such diseases account for about 70 percent of cases of impotence. What if it’s not damage to blood vessels which provide blood flow to the penis? Then we look for damage to nerves, medications, chronic inflammation, and environmental toxicity. In late 2009, it was found that Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in hard, clear plastic used to make everything from baby bottles to food packaging, caused erectile dysfunction in male factory workers exposed to large amounts of the substance. The men handling BPA were four times as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and seven times as likely to have difficulty with ejaculation.[2a]

And finally, don’t discount psychological factors such as stress. Psychological impotence occurs when erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings.

Erections are triggered by emotional, physical and hormonal signals. The hormone testosterone is important overall but it has no direct impact on blood vessels. Most men who are low on testosterone can blame low adrenal function because of stress.


Heart disease is often the result of chronic inflammation. Inflammation causes the blood to thicken. The red blood cells get stiff and nick the walls of the arteries. The body uses cholesterol patches to cover the nicks. Although cholesterol does not cause heart disease – it is merely a marker of inflammation – statin drugs were created to reduce the body’s production of cholesterol.

Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she made cholesterol. It is a super anti-oxidant, the building block for manufacture of our sex hormones, and a good Band-aid that can be transported to tissues to repair damage. When you artificially reduce your body’s ability to make cholesterol, you also reduce your body’s ability to make a whole family of intermediary substances which have important biochemical functions in their own right. Let’s highlight Coenzyme Q10 depletion.

Inside each of the 5 trillion or so cells in your body are energy factories called mitochondria. They need CoQ10 as much as a car needs gas. Cardiologist and researcher Dr. Peter Langsjoen says:

“The depletion of the essential nutrient CoQ10 by the increasingly popular cholesterol lowering drugs, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), has grown from a level of concern to one of alarm. With ever higher statin potencies and dosages and with a steadily shrinking target LDL cholesterol, the prevalence and severity of CoQ10 deficiency is increasingly noticeable.”[3]

Deaths attributed to heart failure more than doubled from 1989 to 1997.[3] Statins were first given pre-market approval in 1987. Interference with production of CoQ10 by statin drugs is the most likely explanation because the heart is a muscle which requires high levels of CoQ10 for healthy functioning.

The most common reported side effect of statins is muscle pain and weakness. So on one hand, statins help heart disease patients by lessening inflammation, but on the other hand, statin drugs can predispose patients to congestive heart failure by lessening heart function and antioxidant activity. Statins are now proven to activate a gene called atrogin-1, a gene that is activated in order to break down skeletal muscle, when the muscle protein is needed for calories (as in diabetes, starvation, and… when taking statin drugs). This explains why patients on statin drugs so often experience muscle pain.[4]

Anecdotal reports have been surfacing for years of impotence, loss of libido and erectile dysfunction associated with statin drug use. Researchers continue to find a strong relationship between statin drugs and erectile dysfunction.[5] In 2010, an Italian study of 3,484 men found that statin drugs lower testosterone levels and contribute to ED. The authors called upon doctors to be better aware of the association. “Our data suggest that statin therapy, even at low dosage, might induce an overt primary hypogonadism [decreased production of testosterone] and should be considered a possible confounding factor for the evaluation of testosterone levels in patients with erectile dysfunction.”[6] Other studies show ED is reversible when men stop taking statins.

Chronic inflammation also can cause prostate enlargement, by the way. That tends to go hand-in-hand with erectile dysfunction, but prostate enlargement does not directly impact the ability to achieve an erection.


ViagraViagra® can enable an erection to be attained and maintained long enough for intercourse, but drugs do not permanently improve the underlying condition.

A healthy artery is a clean, smooth, slick one with flexible walls that can expand to let more blood through when the heart needs to work harder. And what maintains that youthful vigor? Nitric oxide. It is essential for healthy circulation. It helps dilate blood vessels, prevent blood clots, and regulate blood pressure. It also inhibits the accumulation of dangerous arterial plaque.

Drugs can increase the efficacy of nitric oxide temporarily. But drugs come with side effects. The most common side effects of Viagra are headache, facial flushing, and upset stomach. Less commonly, bluish vision, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light may briefly occur. People taking nitroglycerin need to be especially careful because nitroglycerin works by increasing nitric oxide. The combination of nitroglycerin and Viagra can lead to major problems maintaining any blood pressure at all. Viagra can cause a heart attack. As the television commercials say, if you get a painful, long-lasting erection, you have to see a doctor to solve the problem. Treatment involves removal of blood from the corpora cavernosa by needle decompression. Sound painful? You betcha. But so is priapism (painful long-lasting erections). And priapism can cause death of penile tissue – also pretty painful.

Herbal preparations: Many are offered, but effectiveness is questionable. A few have been tested – ginseng, DHEA, propionyl-l-carnitine – but very little research has actually been done with them. Yohimbe, a popular remedy, can cause significant high blood pressure and heart failure.

Yin YangAcupuncture can be helpful with ED. The placement of acupuncture needles in the back and lower legs support the bladder-kidney meridian. The penis is part of that system. In Chinese medicine, impotence is chiefly due to the deficiency of the kidney’s energy, or kidney qi. At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, we use acupuncture to improve the function of the kidney meridian to relieve stagnation, calm the mind, and invigorate the heart and spleen. Relieving stagnation helps to move blood out of the body into the penis. Calming the mind relieves stress, which is a major factor in erectile dysfunction. Invigorating the heart and the spleen gets the blood moving, gets the emotions in a good place, and enhances the entire sexual experience for both men and women.

In the long run, the best way to address ED is not with a pill. Sure, the pill works – but at some considerable cost to the health of the body. If the other health issues are not addressed, you stand the chance of dying in the saddle – not a very nice experience for anyone involved. If emotional issues are addressed, then look at the underlying state of health of the body – clean up the filters (the liver), make sure the fuel pump is working well (the heart), make sure the fuel lines are clear (the arteries) and make sure that the computer is loaded with the right software (the brain).

[1] Martin Miner, MD; Erectile Dysfunction and the “Window of Curability”: A Harbinger of Cardiovascular Events; Mayo Clinic Proceeding, February 2009, vol. 84 no. 2 102-104

[2] Dr Peter Chun-Yip Tong, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, May 2008

[2a] Lyndsey Layton, High BPA levels linked to male sexual problems – Study in China is likely to bring further scrutiny of the common chemical; Washington Post, November 11, 2009

[3] Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen AM. The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors and the associated depletion of coenzyme Q10. A review of animal and human publications; Biofactors. 2003;18(1-4):101-11. http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/02/May02/052902/02p-0244-cp00001-02-Exhibit_A-vol1.pdf

[4] Jun-ichi Hanai, Peirang Cao, et al; The muscle-specific ubiquitin ligase atrogin-1/MAFbx mediates statin-induced muscle toxicity, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Volume 117, Issue 12 (December 3, 2007)

[5] Rizvi K, Rizvi K, Hampson JP, Harvey JN; Do lipid lowering drugs cause erectile dysfunction? A systematic review. Family Practice 19 (1):95-8, 2002

[6] Corona G, Boddi V, et al. The Effect of Statin Therapy on Testosterone Levels in Subjects Consulting for Erectile Dysfunction. J Sex Med. February 5, 2010.)

chirenOn January 19th, 2012 almost two dozen people gathered in Tucson, AZ to learn how to use the Chiren™, a biophotonic device which they had just purchased. Among the students were a physician, a chiropractor, a naturopathic doctor, an acupuncturist, a dentist, a nurse, an energy healer, a brewer, a nutritionist, a publisher, a social worker, a patient’s mother … not exactly the usual crowd for a course dealing with a medical wellness devices.

Based on the principles of electroacupuncture according to Voll, the device measures electrical energy stored in specific places on the fingers and toes, and relates these points to specific meridians and organ systems in the body. In that sense, it is somewhat similar to other bioelectrical impedance measurement devices currently on the market – the Biomeridian, the QXCI, the Ondamed, the Asyra, and others.

All the above-mentioned devices use electromagnetic pulses both to measure and to treat the physical organism. Since bioelectric energy corresponds directly with biophotonic energy, this is an easy way of measuring biophotonic signals without having to put probes into individual cells.

The Chiren measures coherence of the signal emitted by the physical body. Healthy cells radiate coherent light, unhealthy cells radiate chaotic light. This radiation, called “ultraweak photon emission” is the subject of an increasing amount of research published in the scientific literature. The Chiren device measures the frequencies of homeopathic remedies and the inverted frequencies of illnesses (nosodes) which it then uses to feed back to the body for healing.

Since treatment is effected through fiberoptic cables and glass rods, the higher frequencies associated with emotional disturbance can also be accessed and used, enabling restoration of the head-heart connection which is disrupted in so many people. And since no negative or incoherent signals are returned to the body, but only positive coherent signals, no harm accrues to the system from treatment.

Bioenergetic devices work on the electrical channels of the body, to restore balance where electrical conductivity is unbalanced. Depending on the device, thousands of remedies can be tested, to see which one or ones help to balance the electrical channels. Patients then take these remedies home and use them for a time to continue the treatment.

Electro-magnetic frequency devices pump electrons into the system, assuming that the body will know how to distribute the extra electrons. Sometimes this works well, sometimes it simply strengthens that which is unhealthy in the body, as well as that which is healthy, and there is a war.

The Chiren biophotonic device uses measurement of light frequencies, and is able to demonstrate coherence of each point by means of an audio signal. When the correct remedies are added to the treatment, points become coherent, the audio signal becomes steady, and treatment can be accomplished on the spot. There is no need to continue to take remedies outside the office, unless the physical body is indeed very weak.

The device requires some skill to learn. First, the therapist must learn the meridian system of Chinese medicine as it relates to the different organ systems within the body – including the emotional attachments to the various systems. Second, it is necessary to find the correct location of points on fingers and toes. Third, the signal must be heard and correctly interpreted. Fourth, it is crucial to know which remedies, on what level, are most appropriately used. And fifth, it is vital to know when the physical body also requires support. Not all ills can be immediately healed energetically.

Nevertheless, when the energy is available, and the information is clear and coherent, restoration of the health of the physical body (emotional and mental, too, for that matter) is much easier to accomplish.

The director of the course and inventor of the device, Johan Boswinkel, is quoted in Ode magazine as saying: “If all the information required to control the body’s biochemical processes is in the light that the body emits, and if disturbances in that light disrupt biochemical processes and cause disease—as Popp claimed—then it must be possible to “examine” the light and remove the disease. Then you return the “repaired” light to the body. If it works, it will have enormous consequences for everything.”

There are three major differences between the Chiren and the other EAV devices which this writer has investigated.

  1. Measurement of the points is operator-dependent only insofar as the operator acquires the skill to find the points. As soon as the necessary skill is developed, the audio-feedback is very clear, and there is also an on-screen representation.
  2. The number of remedies programmed into the system is limited, but a limitless number of remedies may be used – including people and experiences.
  3. Specific treatments are left to the knowledge and intuition of the therapist, not preprogrammed into the system, allowing room for the art of medicine to flourish.

The Chiren absorbs the body’s own light frequencies, corrects them to make them coherent light, and sends them back into the body. If the frequencies absorbed belong to toxins like lead, or drugs, or allergens, the device can send back the inverted frequency to neutralize the effect of these substances, freeing the tissues from these disharmonious forces.

Correcting the disharmony within the body allows the body to come to a state where it can heal itself. One session may not be sufficient. It is often necessary to peel the onion over several sessions – generally 5 or 6 is enough, occasionally more are required.

But even more important than the nature of the device was the nature of the course itself. The word “biontology” conveys the essence of the course. The word is a combination of the word “bio” meaning life, and “ontology” meaning the branch of metaphysics which deals with the nature of being. A so-called “wellness machine” which deals with the nature of being? Not exactly your usual medical device…

BioEnergetic Medicine is a powerful approach to healing based on physics, not chemistry. If chemistry is about the body’s components (oxygen, carbon, etc), then physics is about the bigger universe that the body encompasses.

All living things are surrounded by fields of energy and emit visible light in extremely small quantities. Kirlian photography is able to capture these emissions. Other technologies capture some of the body’s energetic functions. EKGs are an electronic representation of the activity of the heart, for example. EEGs are an electronic representation of the activity of the brain. Ultrasound machines use high frequency sound energy to create images. The physical plane is simply dense energy and we now have devices that can interface with it, such as MRIs and CT scans.

The field of light and energy that surrounds the body is called a “biophoton field.” Eastern medical traditions have operated on this premise for thousands of years. This energetic model for health has influenced Tibetan medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and Ayurvedic medicine.

In 1974, Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp proved the existence of the biophoton field. He demonstrated that normal living cells emit a regular stream of photons, or quanta of light radiation. In his book Biologie des Lichts (Biology of Light) he showed how living cells pass on biological information via photons, through the language of light.

Each of the trillions of cells in the human body undergoes more than 100,000 biochemical reactions per second, all of which are exquisitely timed and sequenced with each other. The DNA sequence contracts and expands several billion times per second, producing a photon of light with each contraction. DNA sends out and receives information on each photon. This all happens with a speed far faster than any computer mankind has devised. Light is fast; it is an efficient carrier of biological information.

So too are the meridians, avenues of electrical energy that flow trough the body. In the 1950s, Dr. Reinhold Voll, a German medical doctor, scientifically verified the existence of meridians and acupuncture points which had been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. Dr. Voll created an electronic testing device to pass a tiny electrical current through the human body and measure the amount of resistance encountered at the acupuncture points. He found that the acupuncture points exhibit a different resistance to current than nearby tissues. He also realized the diagnostic abilities of this information. For example, he found that patients with lung cancer had abnormal readings on the acupuncture points referred to as lung points. Dr. Voll made it his life’s work to identify and document correlations between disease and changes in the electrical resistance of the various acupuncture points.

To heal with energy is to heal with the body’s own essence. Rather than assaulting the body with chemicals, we can encourage our ability to heal through its own inherent mechanisms. It is the body’s natural inclination to set itself right again.

“Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.”
— Albert Schweitzer

NES Scan

The NES scan is based on Quantum biology. It is an assessment tool at the energetic level, researched and developed by an Australian physician, Peter Fraser, and a British computer expert, Harry Massey. The scan of the body’s quantum electrodynamic (QED) body field allows us to peek into the body’s innate wisdom and see where the energy fields are distorted, so that we may determine where physical dysfunction may be occurring before disease sets in.

There is evidence that all plant and animal cells and tissues continuously emit weak light in the visible spectrum (400-800 nm). Experimental evidence shows that DNA is a source of this emission. Electrons and photons are thought to be the carriers of information through the body.

In its external form this human body-field is what some people call the “aura.” It has measurable structure, and the NES scan shows us the various components of that field.

The human body-field is like the body’s energetic mastermind, the operating system which organizes the body’s chemical processes.

Chemical reactions are all about making and breaking energetic bonds between molecules. The human body-field provides the information needed for the body to initiate chemical reactions.

The body field has energy pathways that channel information to direct fundamental activities like pumping blood and digesting food. There are 12 such pathways, each representing a band of energy wavelengths and magnetic vectors in the QED field. These compartments are called “energetic integrators” and are folded on one another, such that information must be sequenced in the correct order in order to be correctly interpreted. Chinese Medicine calls these pathways “meridians”.

Loss of homeostasis – the break-down of the body’s ability to self-correct – is an intricate interplay of a multitude of factors. There is no single “correct” state of being. Most of the body’s interactions have considerable flexibility built into them.

In Quantum biology, disease can be thought of as “untunement.” This state arises because particles are arranged incorrectly in space, not because they are vibrating at an incorrect frequency.

The human body-field also coordinates with the emotions and the consciousness. It is in constant interaction with its environment.

We use the NES scan to determine whether any of the information pathways which control the body’s metabolic processes have been damaged, distorted or blocked. Then we use remedies to correct the distortion of the information pathways, so that the body may have the best chance of returning to full health.

A NES scan is typically conducted during our patients’ initial visit. It helps give us a broad picture of what is going on inside the body.

starting the NES scan
The NES scan starts by placing your hand on the input device. Your human body-field information is transmitted to the computer where it is compared to an optimal human body-field.
Dr.Martha Grout
Dr. Martha Grout demonstrates how to analyze the data.
analyzing the data

The Chiren

The ChirenThe Chiren, a biophotonic device that is new to the energy medicine scene in the United States, is based on the principles of electro-acupuncture.

Based on the principles of electroactupunture according to Voll, the device measures electrical energy stored in specific places on the fingers and toes and relates these points to specific meridians and organ systems in the body. In that sense, it is somewhat similar to other bioelectrical impedance measurement devices currently on the market, such as the Biomeridian, the QXCI, the Ondamed, the Asyra, the Zyto and others.

The Chiren measures coherence of the signal emitted by the physical body. Healthy cells radiate coherent light, unhealthy cells radiate chaotic light. This radiation, termed ultraweak photon emission, is the subject of increasing of research published in the scientific literature.

The Chiren measures the frequencies of homeopathic remedies and the inverted frequencies of illnesses (nosodes), which it then uses to feed back to the body for healing. Because treatment is effected through fiber optic cables and glass rods, the higher frequencies associated with emotional disturbance can also be accessed and used, enabling restoration of the head-heart connection that is disrupted in so many people. Because no negative or incoherent signals are returned to the body, only positive coherent signals, no harm comes to the system from treatment.

Additional physical treatment may be required, such as vitamins and nutrients and detoxification, but once the issue is identified and released, the physical treatment becomes more rapidly effective and significantly easier to effect.

But even more important than the nature of the device is the nature of the treatment itself. The word “biontology”, which conveys the essence of the device, is a combination of the “bio”, meaning life, and “ontology”, meaning the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being, resulting in a “wellness machine” that deals with the nature of being.

BIA Test

A bioimpedance analysis (BIA) energetically measures body the percentage of body fat and lean body mass. This test gives us a reading on many aspects of your body including:

Phase angle: All living substances have a phase angle. Lower phase angles indicate either cell death or a breakdown of the cell membrane. Higher phase angles indicate healthy cells. Phase Angle indicates the course of disease. It increases as the result of optimal health based on good nutrition and consistent exercise.

Body Cell Mass: BCM represents the “living cells” such as those found in muscles, organs, blood and immune cells. In the normally nourished individual, muscle tissue accounts for approximately 60% of the body cell mass, organ tissue for 20% of body cell mass, with the remaining 20% made up of red cells and tissue cells, as well as intracellular water – the water inside your trillions of cells.

Extracellular Cell Mass: This is extracellular fluids, the amount of water found outside your cells. ECM includes blood and lymph, plus solids such as bone and cartilage – the primary functions of support and transport.

Lean body mass: The sum of body cell mass and extracellular cell mass.

Fat mass: The amount of fat stored in the body.

Body capacitance: Measures the ability for nutrients to move into the cell and waste to move out. It increases or decreases depending upon the health and the number of cells. Damage to the cell membrane and its functions is as lethal to the cell as direct damage to the nucleus itself. Cells are compartments filled with a concentrated solution of chemicals and salts. Groups of cells perform specialized functions and are linked by an intricate communications system. The cell membrane maintains an electrochemical concentration gradient between the intracellular and extracellular spaces. This gradient creates an electrical potential difference across the membrane which is essential to cell survival. Electrical gradients are necessary to support movement of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nutrients. Therefore, the cell membrane has electrically insulating qualities, or capacitance.

Basal metabolic rate: Based upon lean body mass, the number of calories your body uses each day, not including the calories burned through exercise, to maintain its weight.

We use the BIA measurements to determine the current state of health of the physical body, as well as for comparison purposes, as treatment progresses.

Evoked Photon Capture (also known as Gaseous Discharge Visualization, GDV)

evoked photon captureEvoked photon capture (EPC) is a tool of quantum medicine. Simply put, it allows us to measure the energy level at which the body is operating.

The EPC technique measures the body’s photon and electron emissions. The EPC machine emits a weak electric current that is pulsed and measured in micro-amps. It is safe for the human body because it causes no substantive physiologic effect.

The body has electrical properties. Electrons are generated first from the surface of the skin, and within a short time, electrons from deeper tissues within the body are included in the current flow. The electrons come mainly from the proteins. According to principles of quantum mechanics, these electrons are dispersed among many molecules, and form an “electron cloud,” occupying a specific region in space. Other sources of electrons are the free radicals which form in response to metabolic processes.

When the body is functioning normally, electron clouds are distributed among all systems and organs. The mitochondria inside cells use the mitochondrial electron chain to convert molecules to ATP, packets of energy. When there is imbalance or dysfunction, electrons are not transferred normally to the blood and redistributed to all tissues. This prevents the normal flow of electrons (the basis for energy production), resulting in overall decrease of energy of the system. Accumulation of electrons also allows free radicals to build up in specific organs, resulting in tissue damage. This decrease in energy both to the body as a whole, and to specific organs, is measured by the EPC technique.

Information exchange occurs between the organs and the autonomic nervous system all the time. In a state of health, there is excellent information exchange, the autonomic nervous system can respond to all the needs of the different organs, and the body is in a state of balance (or homeostasis), and is healthy.

EPC therapy session with Dr. GroutWhen information channels are blocked, by inflammation or tumor or injury, this information transfer is suppressed or completely cut off, and the autonomic nervous system can no longer respond as rapidly or completely. At a given point, the information suppression gets so severe that it may result in insomnia, abdominal pain, fatigue, susceptibility to infection. In conventional allopathic medicine, this is still considered to be a state of health.

Eventually, the body can’t compensate enough and you get noticeably sick. You many have organ damage. At this point, allopathic medicine agrees that you are sick and gives you a “diagnosis.”

EPC is a means of assessing the energy state of a person, from the point of view of the balance of autonomic nervous system function. It is a unique way of assessing how the body is functioning. The EPC evaluation can be added to other forms of assessment – EKG, ultrasound, blood analysis, etcetera – to give a more complete picture of the state of health of a person’s organ systems.

The Photon Genius

Photon GeniusThe Skilling Institute created a device called the “Photon Genius” that combines the healing power of noble gases with infrared heat. The machine stands about seven feet tall. Sitting in front of it, you notice the pulsating glass rods of various colors and the heat emanating from it.

This device sends an electrical current through noble gases contained in glass rods, putting the gasses into a semi-plasma state. As the gases cool, they need to discharge energy which they have absorbed. The energy is released as photons – light that vibrates at the same frequency as the noble gases. These frequencies also happen to be harmonics of the human body – and indeed of most living things. Hence, the healing power of noble gasses.

The Photon Genius nourishes the body with a complete spectrum of bioavailable frequencies to break up blockages and barrier tissues in the body, while moving the lymphatic and circulatory systems to assist in detoxification. Nourishment is the driving principal behind this approach to healing. Nourishing the body’s own powerful self-healing intelligence has much deeper and long-lasting benefits than allopathically forcing a change of symptoms with chemicals. Symptoms are simply the body communicating to us about much deeper levels of physiological and energetic imbalance.

The infrared heat is used to elevate the body temperature in much the same way the body triggers a fever to kill germs.

We can use photonic energy to bring the body back to a balanced state because photons drive our metabolism. The body is about 70 percent water with a high mineral content making it highly electrically conductive.

When the cells of our bodies lose their normal charge due to stress and unhealthy elements in our daily lives, they become disorganized. They clump together and blockages are created. Noble gases can be used to send out photons of light that mimic the body’s natural, healthy vibration. The cells then are prompted to re-orient themselves back to a healthy state.

The word “noble” has its roots in the German word for resistance, meaning that these gases resist bonding with other elements so they are very stable. Noble gases are a high energy light that conducts electricity; they fluoresce. They glow in distinctive colors when used inside gas-discharge lamps. Used medicinally, these gases repair damaged red blood cells, make nitrous oxide for healthy arteries, make proteins that fight inflammation, normalize blood pressure, prime the immune system, move the lymph system, keep DNA from being damaged by toxins, accelerate detoxification, produce antioxidants and neurotransmitters, and much more. Noble gases have the ability to correct acute infections and chronic illnesses, including cancer.

If you say “vibrational energy medicine” people think of modalities like acupuncture, homeopathy, bioelectrical devices and aromatherapy. Noble gases are a form of vibrational energy that uses photons instead of a needle, a diluted essence, electrodes or a smell.

How do we know that Bioenergetic Medicine is valid?

One of the reasons that the allopathic community has such a hard time accepting the concept of bioenergetic medicine is that its practitioners are often unable to explain how they get their information. The information cannot readily be confirmed by any tests that we have currently available to us. Thus we are left with only the “proof of the pudding being in the eating” concept. If the treatment works and the person is healed, then the treatment must have been valid. And if the treatment doesn’t work, then maybe it didn’t do anything, or maybe the person being treated was resistant to the treatment, or maybe the practitioner was a charlatan.

So how does one choose a correct response? How do we distinguish among the multitude of bioenergetic treatments and machines which are available all over the Internet and used by both licensed and unlicensed practitioners?

My own preference is to use devices which are not operator-dependent. If I am having a bad day, I don’t want the bioenergetic scans to be affected by my energies. And once I have picked a device, I check the information it gives me against other devices, or my own logical brain, or the patient’s laboratory tests – whatever I need to do, in order to get information from more than one source. If all sources are in agreement, then I consider the information to be valid. If there is disagreement, then the information needs to be double-checked.

Homeopathic Medicine

The goal of homeopathic medicine is the cure of chronic illness and restoration of health on an energetic level. This is fundamentally different from the goal of allopathic medicine, which is the management of chronic disease and suppression of symptoms.

Classical homeopathy was developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in Germany more than 200 years ago, although the discipline was founded on principles which were expressed in Chinese medicine and in the ancient world more than 2,000 years ago.

In Dr. Hahnemann’s day, very powerful toxic substances were being used as medicines. Conventional medicine has a long history of it. Mercury was injected as a cure for syphilis, for example. Other fashionable treatments included purgatives, bleeding, and blistering plasters that were more harmful than effective. Dr. Hahnemann stopped using these treatments, because he felt that the effect of the medicine was worse than the effect of the disease. He believed that approaches to disease must be studied from the viewpoint of vitality, meaning the life and health of an individual, and not from the viewpoint of suppression of symptoms.

From the perspective of advanced homeopathic medicine, all disease or dysfunction is an external manifestation of an internal bioenergetic disorder unique to the individual. Homeopathic medicine looks for that substance which will work on an energetic level to correct the energetic defects or dysfunctions unique to a given individual.

In 2010, Professor Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus, shook up the mainstream medical community with his announcement that he had verified the science behind homeopathic remedies. Speaking to 60 Nobel prize winners and some 700 other sceptical scientists at the Lindau Nobel laureate meeting in Germany, Montagnier explained he had discovered water has a memory that continues even after many dilutions. He said solutions containing the DNA of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, including HIV, “could emit low frequency radio waves” and influence water molecules around them, turning them into organized structures that in turn emit waves. Montagnier said water could retain such properties even after the original solutions were diluted to the point the original DNA had effectively vanished. In this way, he suggested, water could retain the “memory” of substances with which it had been in contact and doctors could use the emissions to detect disease.[1]

A few months later, Montagnier told Science magazine, “The high dilutions [used in homeopathy] are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules … DNA produces structural changes in water, which persist at very high dilutions, and which lead to resonant electromagnetic signals that we can measure. Not all DNA produces signals that we can detect with our device. The high-intensity signals come from bacterial and viral DNA.”[2]

Many skeptics fail to recognize that homeopathic remedies attribute their effects not to molecules present in the water, but to modifications of the water’s structure.

As technology has advanced, we have learned how to measure energetic dysfunctions and departures from the original template. We are now able to treat with substances which can restore the disharmony of the information systems which subtend the body’s cellular function, right down to the level of the DNA. This may include electromagnetic energy, homeopathic remedies, combination remedies, and physical remedies such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids.

Homeopathic medicine carries the potential to modify DNA switches which have been turned off or on by toxins presented to the body. This, in part, is why it is said that energy medicine is the future of medicine.

So why is homeopathic medicine not the standard of medicine in this modern age?

By the year 1900, more than 100 homeopathic hospitals operated in the U.S., along with 22 homeopathic medical schools and more than 1,000 homeopathic pharmacies. Interestingly, many students and practitioners were women, and the homeopathic Boston Female Medical College, founded as a school for midwives in 1848, was the first women’s medical college in the world. Mark Twain wrote in Harper’s magazine in 1890, “The introduction of homeopathy forced the old-school doctor to stir around and learn something of a rational nature about his business.”[3]

But the allopaths competed for patients. They established the American Medical Association in 1846, two years after the founding of the American Institute of Homeopathy, the nation’s first national medical society. Allopaths were called quacks in the 19th century and even before, because they used quicksilver, what we call mercury, also known as quack silver, as medicine. Homeopaths did not support the use of caustic or poisonous pharmaceuticals; homeopathy was the predominant form of medicine at the start of the 20th century. People living on the frontier relied on homeopathic remedies because doctors were few and far between.

As Doctors Paolo Bellavite and Andrea Signorini wrote of that era:

“The rapid initial spread of homeopathy was probably initially due, on the one hand, to the fact that the orthodox medicine of [Hahnemann’s] day and age was still extremely backward and lacked truly effective therapeutic remedies, and, on the other to the distinct superiority of homeopathy treating the various epidemics of typhoid fever, cholera, and yellow fever which raged across Europe and America in the 1800s.”[4]

In 1855, the AMA incorporated a code of ethics that included expulsion of physicians who even consulted with homeopaths or other “un-scientific” practitioners. Similar events were unfolding in Europe; orthodox physicians in France also banned consultations with homeopaths. Homeopathy was outlawed in Austria.[5]

In 1908 the newly formed American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council on Medical Education wrote to Andrew Carnegie to propose a collaboration with the purpose of reforming medical education. The Carnegie Foundation was allied with the Rockefellers, who heavily invested first in oil, then in pharmaceutical companies. It was decided to hire Abraham Flexner to investigate the 155 U. S. and Canadian medical schools.

Flexner was a schoolmaster who knew nothing about the field of medicine but he was well-connected; his brother Simon was director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.

Flexner’s subsequent findings, not surprisingly, heavily favored the medical schools which supported the use of pharmaceutical medicine and “science-based” medicine. Flexner wanted to promote higher status for doctors. He recommended specialization, and recommended that most of the schools for women and blacks be closed, since women showed a “decreasing inclination” to enter the profession, and blacks were a potential source of “infection and contagion.” In the report, Flexner called chiropractors “quacks.”

Medical journals had mixed reactions. The Journal of the American Medical Association announced that “[a]lthough there may be statements of detail which might be criticized in the Foundation’s report, generally speaking the statements made are recognized as the truth by those who are in a position to judge.”[6] It was “full of errors,” alleged the Denver Medical Journal; “a piece of monumental impudence,” according to the American Medical Compound.[7] Among other failings, the report was produced too fast to for Flexner to visit all the schools. “You don’t need to eat a whole sheep to know it’s tainted,” Flexner later wrote in his autobiography.[8]

The New York State Journal of Medicine berated the Carnegie Foundation for attempting to “dictate the policies … to wipe out institutions with the stroke of a pen” and thereby “threaten the freedom” of medical schools.”[9]

Despite the clear bias against all forms of medical treatment other than allopathic, the report was widely acclaimed by the allopathic medical community. It sent shock waves through the medical schools of the United States.

The historic Flexner Report[10] dictated that medical schools which would be funded and accredited would be those which trained doctors in the extremes of medicine – emergency and surgical, both of which make extensive use of pharmaceutical drugs. In 1905, 160 medical schools were in operation. By 1927, seventeen years after the Flexner Report, the number had dropped to 80. The homeopathic medical schools were disappearing.

Medicine in America was shifting from its early emphasis on prevention and health to a model of disease management. Influential forces promoted “allopathic” medicine, the suppression of symptoms. And they fought competition fiercely.

Doctors of Chiropractic came to find themselves denied coverage and recognition in all federal and state government agencies. They took the fight to the court. The historic 1987 decision[11] found the AMA guilty of an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade “to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession” and that the “AMA had entered into a long history of illegal behavior.” Since then, chiropractors have largely been able to continue their practice without medical doctor interference.

homeopathic college in Phoenix, ArizonaGeorge Vithoulkas, a Greek homeopath who is credited for much of homeopathy’s revival since the 1960s in Europe, said:

“The immune systems of the western population, through strong chemical drugs and repeated vaccinations, have broken down … If conventional medicine were really curing chronic diseases, today we would have a population in the West that was healthy, mentally, emotionally and physically.”[12]

Americans are beginning to demand more than symptom management. More and more, they want to find out what went wrong and how to fix it at the fundamental level. In 1999, the first homeopathic college to open its doors since the Flexner report did so in Phoenix, Arizona: The American Medical College of Homeopathy under the direction of Dr. Todd Rowe. It currently graduates the Doctor of Homeopathy and Homeopathic Medical Assistants.

Where are we headed?

I always envied the doctors in the Star Trek programs, with their hand-held scanning and diagnostic devices, and their ability to do surgery – and visualize what they needed to see – without having to use cumbersome and physically dangerous tools. We could be headed in that direction. If we can conceive the device, I am quite certain that someone will build it. Those photons keep popping in and out of existence, showing us the way to a world of infinite possibilities.

And in the meantime, we do our best with what we have available to us. We use those physical tools that are effective, we use pharmaceuticals when we have to, we use nutrition and detoxification to maintain and restore our health, we use supplements to provide that which nutrition does not, and we use the tools of bioenergetic medicine that make sense to us.

And we keep our minds open to new tools, new drugs, new treatments – remembering that ballast is good, to keep the ship stable in the water. But ballast is meant to be jettisoned, when the ship needs to move quickly, or the waters become shallow. I read a wonderful little book years ago, talking about how to distinguish true prophets from false. The book’s advice:

“You will know them by their fruits.”

If use of the tool results in dangerous consequences to the patient, we are well advised to find a different tool. If use of the tool results in accurate assessments or good treatments, then we can use it in good conscience, and with the sure and certain knowledge that something better will come down the pike next year.

[1] Nobel laureate gives homeopathy a boost. The Australian. July 5, 2010[2] Enserink, Martin. Newsmaker Interview-French Nobelist Escapes “Intellectual Terror” to Pursue Radical Ideas in China. Science. December 24, 2010: Vol. 330 no. 6012 p. 1732

[3] Kim Ridley. The Controversial Cure. Ode Magazine, January/February 2006

[4] Paolo Bellavite, Andrea Signorini. The Emerging Science of Homeopathy – Complexity, Biodynamics, and Nanopharmacology. North Atlantic Books, 2002, p 21.

[5] Kim Ridley. The Controversial Cure. Ode Magazine, January/February 2006

[6] Berliner HS. A System of Scientific Medicine: Philanthropic Foundations in the Flexner Era. Tavistock Publications; 1985. p. 120-121

[7] Felts JH. Abraham Flexner and medical education in North Carolina. NC Med J 1995; 56:534-40. p. 537

[8] Flexner A. Abraham Flexner: An Autobiography. Simon & Schuster; 1960.

[9] Berliner HS. A System of Scientific Medicine: Philanthropic Foundations in the Flexner Era. Tavistock Publications; 1985. p. 122

[10] Flexner A. Medical Education in the United States and Canada: A Report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Bulletin No. 4. New York: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; 1910.

[11] Wilk v. American Medical Association, 671 F. Supp. 1465, N.D. Ill. 1987.

[12] Speech to the Swedish Parliament upon acceptance of Right Livelihood Award, 1996. Accessed at http://www.vithoulkas.com/content/view/175/9/lang,en

Thomas Edison switched on his first light bulb about 130 years ago. Since then, the world has become enveloped in an invisible net of radio and television signals, military networks, cell phone towers, WiFi, baby monitors, etc. Add to that the plethora of AC energy used to run electrical appliances in the house – refrigerators, printers, hairdryers, electric clocks by our bedside, dimming light switches, and more. Electrosmog, pollution through electromagnetic energy, is relatively new in human experience.

A human being is a complex organization of electrical fields. The body is about 70 percent water with a high mineral content making it highly electrically conductive. We have some 60 trillion cells, and between the nucleus and the membrane of each cell is a measurable electrical field. Brain cells, nerve cells, bone cells, all vibrate at different rates in order to communicate with one another. Cells know when to divide by vibrating. Cells, tissues, and organs communicate using bioelectrical pulses. When you look at an EKG, for example, you see the electrical functioning of your heart. Although Western medicine has been focused on chemistry for last century, electricity is what drives our biology.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produced by modern technologies are artificial intrusions with unnatural intensities, signaling characteristics, pulsing patterns, and wave forms. They can misdirect cells in myriad ways.[1] “If you put a radio near a source of EMFs you will get interference,” says Olle Johansson, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. “The human brain has an electric field so if you put sources of EMFs nearby, it is not surprising that you get interference, interaction with systems and damage to cells and molecules.”[2]

Not So Good Vibrations


A frequency of energy created by the amount of times lightening strikes the earth every second of every day. The Schumann Wave is a steady frequency of energy that measures 7.83 Hz, and beats 7 to 10 times per second.

When astronauts first traveled to space, they came home sick. They had been separated from gravity and from the Schumann Wave – the earth’s natural frequency, a constant vibration to which our bodies are attuned. When later space flights installed a Schumann Wave generator, astronauts came home in good shape. The steady rhythm of the Schumann Wave regulates our biological clock, our sleep/dream patterns, our patterns of arousal, and hormonal balance. Our optimal brain wave pattern duplicates the Schumann Wave. Human beings do best when they resonate with this frequency, which is what we have done since time began.

Man-made frequencies exert a constant pressure on the cells to shift their natural vibration. Our DNA is affected because these unnatural fields carry enough energy to break the chemical bonds that hold DNA together. EMFs also slow our brain waves and affect our long term mental clarity, according to Eric Braverman, MD, an expert in the brain’s global impact on illness and health.[3]

The term electrosmog here refers to


EMF = Electromagnetic field, a field of energy created by electrically charged objects.

EMFs occur naturally in storms, in the Earth’s magnetic field, etc. The development of man-made electricity and rapid technological progress over the past century have multiplied their sources and diversified their characteristics.

EMFs are an invisible air pollution.

»  Electrically charged wires or appliances that exert a magnetic pull on our cells, prompting them to move away from their natural, healthy vibration.

»  Frequencies from wireless communication networks which penetrate the body.

»  “Dirty electricity” is very-low-frequency voltage signals (1-100kHz), by-products of modern energy-efficient appliances, halogen lamps, computers, wireless routers, plasma TVs, dimmer switches, etc. What all of these devices have in common is that they tamp down the electricity they use. This manipulation of current creates a wildly fluctuating electromagnetic field. Say you bought an “Energy Star” refrigerator. You plug it in. It receives 110 volts, but it ramps down to use less and the unused excess is directed away from the appliance toward you and back onto the electrical lines. Some research has shown that “dirty electricity” increases your risk of melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer.[4]

Electricity powering our homes exposes us to magnetic fields as current flows to power appliances and lights, and to ever-present electric fields produced by the wiring in the walls, floors and ceilings, and wiring to appliances, etc. If you are sleeping with your head against a wall that has a refrigerator on the other side, for example, every time the refrigerator goes on in the middle of the night, you are bathed in its unnatural magnetic field.

Nighttime exposure is the worst. It is at night that your body regenerates, organs detoxify, and cancer-fighting melatonin is produced. Dr. George Carlo, the researcher who first blew the whistle on cell phone hazards, explained that when there is a constant pulsing signal as you get from ‘Energy Star’ appliances and Wi-Fi networks, human cellular receptors are fooled into entraining to the frequency of that pulsing signal. DNA within the cell has to interpret and decide whether the vibration is friend or foreign. If foreign, the cell thinks it is under attack and closes its ‘doors’ which means nutrients do not get in, and toxins do not get out. The medical term is oxidative stress. At night it is essential that the cell membrane be permeable. Think about those 60 trillion cells in your body. Because the cells are not releasing toxins, you get free radical buildup and DNA repair is disrupted. Cellular communication is also impacted, causing confusion within the cells as to how and when to divide. This is the path for the development of tumors associated with cell phone usage.[5]

RF (radio frequency) signals + chemical toxins = damage. It has been shown that mammalian brains are affected negatively by mobile phones, causing increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier and leakage of albumin from the capillaries into the surrounding tissues. [5a] The Kuopio research group found that mobile phone radiation, at 5W/Kg, can amplify the DNA damage caused by a chemical mutagen.

When pathogens are grown in a Petri dish and bathed in electromagnetic energy, they reproduce ten times faster than normal. It is theorized this is because the pathogens feel threatened and rapid reproduction is a survival strategy. This could explain why, in part, we see disease states manifesting in younger people and becoming more virulent.[6]

When Science Meets Politics

Cell phones radiate microwaves, as do microwave ovens. If cell phones had been called “microwave phones” when they came on the market, would you have bought one?

The Russians first noticed during World War II that radar operators often came down with symptoms we now call electrical hypersensitivity syndrome. When television was introduced in Australia in 1956, researchers there documented a rapid increase in cancers among people who lived near transmission towers.

In 1960, neuroscientist Allan Frey “heard” the persistent low-level hum of radar at GE’s Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University. The “hearing,” however, didn’t happen via normal sound waves perceived through the ear. It occurred somewhere in the brain itself, as electromagnetic waves interacted with the brain’s cells, which generate tiny electrical fields. This told scientists that by pulsing a radio signal, it is possible to have the signal interact with the brain and nervous system. This idea came to be known as the Frey effect, and it caused an uproar in the neuroscience community. Frey had stumbled upon the fact that microwaves open up the blood-brain barrier. He was pressured to stop further investigation. (Since then, no meaningful research into the effect of microwaves on the blood-brain barrier has been pursued in the United States.)[7,8]

Cell PhonesWhen cell phones went on the market in the 1980s, federal regulators did not require proof they were safe. The telecommunications industry came to see storm clouds on the horizon and hired Dr. George Carlo, a first-rate public health scientist, to study the product. Six years and some $23 million later, Dr. Carlo and his team reported the unexpected – there are definite human health risks:

•  cell phones caused leakage in the blood brain barrier
•  radiation from wireless phone antennae causes genetic damage in human blood
•  there was a doubling of risk for a certain type of cancer

The industry did not renew his research funds and began to discredit him.

Meanwhile, industry lobbyists were at work. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a boon to the telecom companies. It specifically prohibits citizens and municipalities from stopping the placement of a cell tower due to health concerns. You can go to your city council and argue whether or not a tower looks pretty enough, but you can not argue that cell towers should not be allowed because they make people sick. But the worrisome studies kept coming.

In 2007, the Bioinitiative Working Group released a 650-page report citing more than 2,000 studies that detail the toxic effects of electrosmog ranging from DNA damage and immune system dysfunction to brain cancers and childhood cancers like leukemia. “Every single study of brain tumors that looks at 10 or more years of use shows an increased risk of brain cancer,” said Cindy Sage, MA, coeditor of the report.[9]

cell phone radiationIn the wake of that report, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts (cell towers). The agency suggested that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking and lead in gasoline.[10]

“The case studies of public hazards analysed in the ‘Late lessons’ publication show that harmful exposures can be widespread before there is both ‘convincing’ evidence of harm from long-term exposures, and biological understanding of how that harm is caused.

“There are many examples of the failure to use the precautionary principle in the past, which have resulted in serious and often irreversible damage to health and environments.”[11]

But in America, the agencies were quiet, waiting for the Interphone Study that came out in 2010. Microwave News put it this way:

“There’s an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Welcome to Interphone. “The good news is that the Interphone paper has finally been made public after a four-year stalemate within the 13-country research team. But it comes at a price. A series of compromises over how to interpret the results of the largest and most expensive study of cell phones and brain tumors ever attempted has left the paper with no clear conclusions other than more research is needed.

“At the very least, the risks are greater than many believed only a few years ago. In a series of interviews, a number of the members of the Interphone project told Microwave News that they now see the risk among long-term users as being larger than when the study began. Some think the risk warrants serious attention.”[12]

The Interphone study began with cases – people with brain tumors – and controls – people with no cancer – and asked them to remember how much they had used mobile phones in previous years.

At the Bioelectromagnetics Society annual meeting shortly thereafter, Lloyd Morgan, B.Sc., Senior Fellow of Environmental Health Trust, demonstrated that the risk of brain tumors from cell phone use is in fact much higher than the Interphone study acknowledged: “What we have discovered indicates there is going to be one hell of a brain tumor pandemic unless people are warned and encouraged to change current cell phone use behaviors.”[13]

“Electromagnetic pollution may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible.”— Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

We are all being affected by personal cell phone usage, and also as by-standers subject to second-hand radiation from nearby cell phone users, cell phone antennae, and wireless networks. This is why the concept of second-hand smoke is being applied to wireless technology and cell phones in particular, and why cell phones are sometimes called the cigarettes of the 21st century – toxic, addictive, and heavily defended by an army of industry lobbyists.

People Began to Say No

Dirty ElectricityIn 2003 the teachers at La Quinta, California middle school complained that they, the staff, and the students had more cancers than would be expected. They demanded an EMF investigation. Sam Milham, MD, an experienced epidemiologist, studied high-frequency voltage transients now called “dirty electricity.” In some classrooms he found the surges of transient pollution so high, they exceeded his meter’s ability to gauge them. In 2008 he reported in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that he suspected the cumulative exposure to transients in the school increased the likelihood a teacher would develop cancer by 64%. The teachers’ chances of developing melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer were as much as 13 times higher than the average.[14]

Dr. Milham’s findings served a public alert in the U.S. about the health link between occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and human disease. This research addressed why office workers, like the school teachers, have high cancer incidence rates. It also describes why indoor workers have had higher malignant melanoma rates, and why melanoma might occur on parts of the body never exposed to sunlight.

In September 2007, the German Government issued a warning to citizens to avoid using WiFi in the workplace or at home, suggesting cabled connections instead. In late 2007, the French National Library removed all WiFi systems in Paris due to health complaints from staff. The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying against the deployment of WiFi in schools.[15] Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada has limited its use of WiFi and relies on a comprehensive fiber-optic computer network throughout the campus. University policy states:

“There will be no WiFi connectivity provided in those areas of the University already served by hard wire connectivity until such time as the potential health effects have been scientifically rebutted or there are adequate protective measures that can be taken.”[16]

cell phone at headVarious doctors began to speak out. Three neurosurgeons went on Larry King Live in May, 2008 saying they observed widespread dangers from cell phones and that they personally never put it next to their head – they use earpieces or the speakerphone feature. A couple months later, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, who headed up the prominent University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer. He testified to Congress in September, 2008, that the Interphone Study and industry-sponsored studies often discarded data from studies that involved heavy cell phone usage:

“Some recent studies in Nordic countries, where phones have been used the longest, find that persons who have used cell phones for at least a decade have 30% to more than 200% more brain tumors than do those without such use, and only on the side of the head where the user holds his or her phone. To put these numbers in context, this is at least as high an increase as the added risk of breast cancer that women face from long-term use of hormone replacement therapy [HRT].”[18]

In 2009, a collaborative of non-industry funded scientists published “15 Reasons for Concern” about cell phones: including: •  Independent studies show that for every year of cell phone use, the risk of brain cancer increased by 8%, and that after 10 or more years of digital cell phone use, there was a 280% increased risk of brain cancer.
•  Electromagnetic fields cause DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair.
•  Cell phone radiation has been shown to cause the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to leak; the BBB protects the brain from many molecules that are toxic to the brain.
•  Cell phone radiation decreases sperm counts and reduces sperm motility.

Despite heavy lobbying from industry, the city of San Francisco voted in 2010 to require all retailers to display the SAR number, the amount of radiation each cell phone emits. ElectromagneticHealth.org called it “a watershed moment for health advocates in the U.S. and families who have or have had members with brain tumors.”

EMF Hypersensitivity and Diabetes Type 3

Could dirty electricity raise elevated blood sugar levels among diabetics and prediabetics who are especially sensitive to EMFs? Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University in Canada, has seen and documented it. Her research represents a paradigm shift in the way we think about diabetes.

She found that blood sugar levels went up when subjects were on a treadmill or in a doctor’s office where there is dirty electricity; blood sugar levels went down when subjects walked outside. She calls EMF-induced higher plasma glucose Type 3 Diabetes.

EMF and blood sugar levels“Type 1 diabetics require less insulin in an electromagnetically clean environment and blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetics increase with increasing exposure to dirty electricity … Type 3 diabetics may be better able to regulate their blood sugar with less medication, and those diagnosed as borderline or pre-diabetic may remain non diabetic longer by reducing their exposure to electromagnetic energy.

“What we describe here is a totally different type in the sense it has an environmental trigger … We recognize that there is, as yet, no accepted definition of Type 3 diabetes and that our definition may be in conflict with others that have been suggested.”[19]

She tells us that for those who are hypersensitive to EMF, blood sugar measurements need to be done in an electromagnetically clean environment (medical offices are typically in buildings with dirty electricity, homes often have wireless networks and portable phones) to prevent misdiagnosis and to accurately determine the severity of the disease.

Riskier for Children

When Dr. Ronald B. Herberman issued his warning to staff and testified before Congress, he included the illustration below which shows how much higher the absorption rates are in a child’s brain than in an adult’s. Electromagnetic radiation penetrates almost straight through the entire brain of a 5-year old child.

cell phone radiation penetration

This is a modification of the iconic illustration made in 1996 by Om Gandhi, Professor and Chairman of Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.[20] Dr. Herberman worked with Gandi to turn the illustration into a three-dimensional model that estimates the absorption of electromagnetic radiation.

Scientists feel children are more susceptible to harmful effects of cell phones because:

Dr George Carlo•  Pre-teen children have a smaller head and brain size, the skull bones are thinner, and the percentage of water volume is greater (water conducts electricity).

•  Children’s brains and central nervous system are still developing so they are more sensitive to exposures.

•  Today’s children have started to use cell phones at a younger age, therefore their lifetime exposure to cell phone RFs will be greater. Those who started using cell phones before the age of 20 may be five times more likely to develop a glioma, a type of brain tumor, according to Swedish independent researcher, Lennart Hardell.[21]

The UCLA School of Public Health collaborated with University of Aarhus in Denmark to study 13,000 children born in 1997 and 1998. They found children who were exposed to cell phones – either in the womb by their mother’s cell phone use or as youngsters themselves – had more behavioral problems at the age of seven than non-cell phone users. Researchers found inattention, hyperactivity, and problems with peers.[22]

Recently, France and Germany dismantled wireless networks in schools and public libraries. Israel has banned the placement of cellular antennae on residences. Russian officials have advised against cell phone use for children under the age 18.

teens on cell phonesThe French government announced in 2009 plans for the most comprehensive action to date taken by any government worldwide: ban advertising of cell phones to children under 12, ban manufacturing of phones specifically designed for children ages 6 and younger, put more restrictive limits for radiation from the phones, and make it compulsory for handsets to be sold with earphones. Lyon, France’s second city, launched an advertising campaign before Christmas 2008 aimed at dissuading people from buying mobiles for children as presents, with the slogan “Let’s keep them healthy, away from mobile phones!”[23]

In 2011, the influential Council of Europe’s Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs pronounced that mobile phones and computers with wireless internet connections should be banned from schools. The council found evidence that the technologies have “potentially harmful” effects on humans, and said it was crucial to avoid repeating the mistakes made when public health officials were slow to recognize the dangers of asbestos, tobacco smoking and lead in petrol. The committee also highlighted the potential health risks of cordless telephones and baby monitors, which rely on similar technology and are widely used in British homes.[24]

Is brain cancer on the rise among young Americans? Depends on who interprets the stats. At the September 2008 congressional hearing on cell phone safety called by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Robert Hoover of the National Cancer Institute said government statistics show no increase from 1987 to 2005 – end of story. But Dr. Ronald Herberman testified that as he looked at the same government statistics, he was struck by the fact that the incidence of brain cancer has been increasing over the last ten years, particularly among 20-29 year-olds.

America Lagging Behind?

The American Federal Communications Commission established radiation standards for cell phones in 1996, 13 years after cell phones went on the market. The agency adopted limits recommended by industry that were established to protect against high-dose thermal effects. So they allow a 20-fold higher exposure to the head (1.6 W/kg) compared to the rest of the body (0.08 W/kg) for both adults and children.

Public Health SOSAt the beginning of the Cold War in the 1950s, radio frequency (RF) standards were set, primarily by the Air Force. It was an era of air raid drills and fear of Soviet missile launches. Decisions were based on the nation’s urgent security needs of the day. At that time, the thinking was focused only on the hazardous biological effect from short-term, acute RF exposures of sufficient power to raise body temperatures in excess of 1 degree centigrade. This is called the “thermal-effects-only” viewpoint and it contradicted Russian and other Eastern European research that claimed to have found a whole range of biological interactions at power levels far below that which was needed to cause tissue heating. That is called the “non-thermal theory” of RF.[25]

Can you have human health problems from non-thermal RF – in other words, from something other than heating? Yes. Though difficult to definitively measure, when a cell phone is being used (making phone calls, searching the internet, downloading music) the non-thermal effects extend about three to six feet. Non-thermal effects from cell towers can affect people thousands of feet away from the originating signal. Often, multiple antennae are all transmitting simultaneously so your home or office is being impacted at the same time from different directions.

From David Carpenter, MD, co-editor of the BioInitiative Report:

“The fields associated with electricity are commonly called “extremely low frequency” fields (ELF), while those used in communication and microwave ovens are called “radiofrequency” (RF) fields. Studies of people have shown that both ELF and RF exposures result in an increased risk of cancer, and that this occurs at intensities that are too low to cause tissue heating. Unfortunately, all of our exposure standards are based on the false assumption that there are no hazardous effects at intensities that do not cause tissue heating … We need to educate decision-makers that ‘business as usual’ is unacceptable.”

electromagnetic fieldsYet in the United States, it is still business as usual; the science seems to get little official attention.

In 2006, the New York based publication Microwave News examined the 85 papers on microwave effects on DNA that were published in peer-reviewed journals since 1990.

They found 42 papers reported no effect, and 32 of them were funded by either the U.S. Air Force or industry. Of the 43 yes-effects papers, only 3 were funded by Air Force or industry. The source of funding appears to have a strong influence on the outcome of research. The published results, however, with an approximately equal mix of positive and negative studies, supports the mobile phone industry’s viewpoint that “the science is inconclusive” and “more data is needed.”[26]

As the public relations spin masters describe it, this is paralysis by analysis.


cordless phoneCordless phones are EMF monsters. The base is the problem, not the handset. The base can exert radio frequencies that range between one quarter and one half mile, depending on the strength of the phone. This means that even if you do not have a cordless phone, your neighbor’s phone can impact you – and every other cordless phone within range of your house. As these waves pass through your windows (not through walls), they tend to concentrate in rooms with natural lighting. This is why it is said that we are bombarded with more than a 1000 times more electromagnetic energy now than ever before in the history of mankind.

Many cordless phones emit pulsing microwave radiation from their base station even when the phone is not being used.

Make sure your cordless phone base station is not in your bedroom or close to where you sit a lot. You can put a metal bucket over the base of a cordless phone at night or just unplug it. Better yet, replace it with a hard wired phone and use two 25-foot spiral cords attached together with a coupler to give you a 50 foot tether for mobility.


cell phone headsetHolding the cell phone against your head ensures that you will absorb most of the microwave energy. A speakerphone is better because it puts more distance between the emissions and your head. Using a headset also reduces exposure. You can choose to limit your calls to a couple minutes. Use less than 500 minutes a month. Texting is better than talking (in terms of avoiding cell phone damage) because all the data is transmitted in a fraction of a second.

When your cell phone has fewer bars, it ramps up and uses more power; therefore, it is more dangerous to make calls from outlying areas.

Inside a vehicle, the RF frequencies bounce off the inside of the vehicle and bombard you. You increase your exposure when you use a cell phone in an enclosed area such as a car, train, airplane, or metal building.

Don’t let your teenager sleep with a cell phone under the pillow. And turn off all wireless devices in the house at night.

flip cell phoneCell phone radiation is transmitted by the antenna and the circuit elements inside the handset. The antenna and the circuit elements send out the electromagnetic wave (RF radiation) to transmit the signal. EMF radiation emitted by a cell phone antenna is not very directional – similar amounts of radiation are transmitted outward, towards the base station, and inward, towards the ear/head of a cell phone user.

A worldwide recognized, basic unit for the description of thermal effects of a cell phone is referred to as the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is given in watt per kilogram (W/kg). The higher the “SAR rating,” the more thermal energy a phone gives off. To play it safe, you can buy a cell phone with a SAR number of .08 or less – that would be half or less of what the U.S. allows. However:

•  The SAR value compares just the thermal (heating) effect of different phones and does not give information about the non-thermal biological effect of that phone.

•  SAR values are reported to the FCC by the manufacturer and there is little or no ongoing, independent monitoring of the SAR values submitted.

•  SAR values are measured at low phone transmissions – strong signal (lots of bars) and maintaining a conversation – not in low-signal environment (few bars) or when making connections or downloading data.

•  Holding the phone in a slightly different way can actually render the worst SAR value phone better than the best SAR value phone.

•  SAR values have been created based on simulations of exposure in a plexiglass head filled with fluid, not a human head, and many scientists consider them to be inaccurate and irrelevant at determining actual biological effects. The FCC, the industry, and the academic community all acknowledge that SAR measurements have significant precision problems.

•  Some non-thermal, biological effects have been shown to be worse at lower SAR values compared to higher SAR values, such as blood brain barrier permeability.

As Camilla Rees, founder of ElectromagneticHealth.org put it: “Physical distance of the phone from your brain, and less usage of the cell phone overall, more so than simply choosing a phone with a lower SAR value, is probably a far better insurance policy.”

antenna searchWireless devices transmit a constant signal whether in use or not. IPhones and Blackberries are different than other cell phones; each device acts as antenna Bluetooth relay station, even when turned off – thus more exposure to you.

It varies from model to model, but in general when a cell phone is being used in a full-strength signal area, the signal can have a potential impact on anyone within approximately three to six feet of the cell phone. As the signal strength decreases, and therefore the cell phone strength increases, this distance increases proportionally.

Every time you use your cell phone, it is necessary for a nearby cell tower antenna to transmit and receive your signal. Therefore, anyone within the neighborhood of the cell tower will be impacted by your action. Each cell tower’s signals eventually hit the ground. If you home is at that spot, the bombardment from the tower is usually many times greater than the bombardment from a wireless system you would have in your home office.


You can have a BauBiologist check your home (www.buildingbiology.net), find out exactly how badly you are being bombarded by neighborhood cell towers and where the wiring and appliances in your house are most intrusive. Parents who have autistic children and those with Lyme disease who have followed the BauBiologist’s recommendations have reported significant improvement in their autistic children’s behavior.

There are many devices on the market that claim to protect from electrosmog, but claims and counter-claims about their effectiveness abound. Also, this is often a case of you get what you pay for. Here are some of the options:

shielding paint•  Paint the interior walls of your house with shielding paint.

•  Put a shielding film on windows and sliding glass doors. You can also use RF shielded material that can line drapes – most of these look like a silvery space blanket.

•  Install a kill switch in the bedrooms to turn off electricity at night that runs through the walls. If a refrigerator or TV backs up to a wall that is also a bedroom wall, put RF shielding material behind it.

•  Don’t use your laptop computer directly in your lap.

•  Use a cell phone protector. Buyer beware here. Skip past claims that a protector will “stop damage to your blood cells.” You want a protector that has been measured with a meter for its shielding abilities.

Cell phones emit microwave energy – the stuff of thermal effects and the source of most of the publicity. Some cell phone protectors offer some protection from this. There are no cell phone protectors for the non-thermal effects. Something to shield from both – and still allow the cell phone to work – does not exist that we know of at this time.

Absent prudent safety standards from government and manufacturers (adding a protective filter would add perhaps $5 to the cost of a laptop), protection is up to you.

As momentum builds, we may see the day when – by incentives or mandates – much of our wireless communications will be conducted on a fiber optic system. That would pretty much give us the technology we want, minus the risks we do not want.

Good Vibrations

Clint OberClint Ober decided to create a new life for himself after he almost died from an abscess. He quit his cable TV executive life to get closer to nature. He found himself sitting on a park bench in Arizona in 1998 noticing that everyone walking by was wearing shoes with synthetic soles that impede their connection to the earth. He got an idea.

He researched EMF studies. He saw that effects from exposure found in some human studies were “inconclusive” because the same effects could not be reproduced in animal studies. Ober went where no one else had gone before. He theorized that animals don’t wear shoes or sleep in beds so they are naturally grounded by the earth, unlike people today. He understood that the earth’s natural grounding effect might protect people from EMFs the way it protects electrical systems from interference. Researchers laughed; Ober persisted and he did studies.

Simple ground contact, Ober observed, provides a neutralizing charge to the body and naturally protects the nervous system and the endogenous fields of the body from extraneous electrical interference. He expanded this to include the neutralization of free radicals produced within the body. Free radicals are produced by the body to destroy pathogens. But outside forces cause us to produce too many free radicals. Ground contact, he postulated, allows the earth’s free electrons to neutralize excess free radicals.

EarthlingThroughout most of evolution, humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground. The Earth is full of electrons. When a person’s bare skin touches the earth, Ober says, electrons enter the body and work like antioxidants, disarming the free radicals that age us.

Dr. Maurice Ghaley, an anesthesiologist, set out to prove Ober wrong. Instead, he found that grounding the human body to the earth during sleep reduces nighttime levels of cortisol and re-synchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile.[27]

Ober puts it this way:

“Exposure to sunlight produces vitamin D in the body. It’s needed for health. Exposure to the ground provides an electrical ‘nutrient’ in the form of electrons. Think of these electrons as vitamin G – G for ground. Just like vitamin D, you need vitamin G for your health as well.”[28]

And like vitamin D, “earthing” is free. Well, mostly. There are gadgets you can buy to ground your bed to the earth. “Earthing ranks right up there with the discovery of penicillin,” said Ann Louise Gittleman, author of several natural medicine books.

In our excitement to develop new technologies, we rushed past the natural and good vibrations of the ground beneath our feet. How ironic – a retired cable TV executive hands us a low tech idea for protection from the ever-increasing high-tech EMF net around us.


Cell Phone Radiation

Environmental Working Group’s comprehensive report
“Cell Phone Radiation: Science Review on Cancer Risks and Children’s Health”

Environmental Working Group’s SAR info
Look up the SAR rating on your phone

Learn how to Create a Sleeping Sanctuary at wehliving.org

emrpolicy.org is a good all-around source of the latest news and resources.

ElectromagneticHealth.org also offers free audio interviews with some of the world’s leading experts in the field of EMF. They also post videos of industry discussions.

electrosensitivesociety.com provides information and resources for those who are especially sensitive to EMF.

[1] B. Blake Levitt. Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves. Backinprint.com, 2007

[2] Nic Fleming. Scientists serious about ‘electricity sickness’ claims. The Telegraph. January 24, 2005

[3] Bioinitiative Working Group, 2007

[4] Dr. Samuel Milham, Dirty Electricity. 2002

[5] Mary Budinger. Lyme-Induced Autism Conference Focuses on Biofilm and Toxicity. Public Health Alert, July 2009

[6] Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. Electromagnetic Radiation, Electromagnetic Fields, Pollution, Microwave Radiation, Cell Phone Cancer

[7] Allan H. Frey. Headaches from Cellular Telephones: Are They Real and What Are the Implications? Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 106, Number 3, March 1998

[8] Christopher Ketcham. Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health. GQ Magazine, February, 2010

[9] Michael Segell. Is ‘electrosmog’ harming our health? Electrical pollution from cell phones and WiFi may be hazardous. Prevention Magazine, January, 2010

[10] Geoffrey Lean. EU watchdog calls for urgent action on Wi-Fi radiation. The Independent, September 16, 2007

[11] Radiation risk from everyday devices assessed. European Environmental Agency. September 17, 2007

[12] Interphone Points to Long-Term Brain Tumor Risks-Interpretation Under Dispute. Microwave News, May 18, 2010

[13] Press release: Risk of Brain Cancer from Cell Phone Use Underestimated by At Least 25% in Interphone Study, According to Scientific Presentation Today at the Bioelectromagnetics Society. ElectromagneticHealth.org. June 15, 2010

[14] Milham S, Morgan LL. A new electromagnetic field exposure metric: high frequency voltage transients associated with increased cancer incidence innteachers in a California school. Am J Ind Med 2008;51(8):579–86.

[15] http://wifiinschools.org.uk/4.html

[16] WiFi and Cellular Antennae Policy. Lakewood University. Effective November 10, 2009

[17] Cancer institute warns of cellphone risks. USA Today, July 25, 2008

[18] Statement of Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Tumors and Cell Phone Use-What the Science Says. Testimony to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. September 25, 2008

[19] Magda Havas. Dirty Electricity Elevates Blood Sugar Among Electrically Sensitive Diabetics and May Explain Brittle Diabetes. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 27: 135-146, 2008.

[20] Om P. Gandhi, G. Lazzi, and C. Furse. Electromagnetic Absorption in the Human Head and Neck for Cell Telephones at 835 an 1900 MHz. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 1996. 44 (10):p 1884-1897

[21] Lennart Hardell, M Carlberg. Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep;64(9):626-32. Epub 2007 Apr 4.

[22] Press release: Study questions safety of children’s exposure to cell phones during prenatal and early childhood period. UCLA School of Public Health, May 21, 2008

[23] Geoffrey Lean. French government bans advertising of mobiles to children. The Independent, January 11, 2009

[24] Report: The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. Council of Europe, Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs. May 6, 2011. Doc 12608

[25] Donald R. Maisch, PhD. The Procrustean Approach – Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation. Thesis submitted to University of Wollongong, 2010

[26] L. Slesin, ‘Radiation Research and The Cult of Negative Results’, Microwave News, vol. 26, no. 4, July 2006.

[27] D Minkhoff. Best Cases in Biological Medicine, Series #6. Explore! Volume 13, Number 6, 2004

[28] Clint Ober, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Martin Zucker. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? Basic Health Publications, April, 2010




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