A Different Way

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Archive for October, 2008

Thank God chiropractors cannot prescribe!

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 30, 2008

A recent reader of this blog, Ed, responded to my post regarding an article titled “half of doctors prescribe placebos“.  The article points out that half of all doctors in the US prescribe placebos instead of drugs designed to treat conditions other than the one that brought their patient into the office in the first place.

Ed was glad that his son’s pediatrician had prescribed a placebo without telling Ed (or his son) what he was doing.  The gist of the article was that it was unethical for the doctor to do so without informing the patient.

Ed was pleased that the placebo worked and ended his post saying “Thank God chiropractors cannot prescribe”.  Maybe Ed’s point that his son got better WITHOUT being given a REAL drug.  And, guess what?  That was precisely MY point, too!  Imagine how much safer American healthcare could be if HALF of all people taking dangerous drugs DIDN’T!

Honestly Ed, I’m glad chiropractors CANNOT prescribe drugs.  Because when you make money to prescribe drugs and the patient does not need a drug, chiropractors CANNOT be tempted to do so just to appease their patient and keep them coming back.  Doctors have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients and informed consent is a vital part of that responsibility.

Thanks God chiropractors cannot prescribe! That GUARANTEES folks that there IS at least ONE kind of doctor that WON’T risk your health or your life by prescribing a potentially dangerous, ESPECIALLY when you don’t need it!

For a better idea of what chiropractors CAN do, try this post:  What does a chiropractor REALLY do?

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Ethics, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Life, self help, vaccination, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Half of Doctors Prescribe Placebos

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 24, 2008

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal indicates that HALF of all doctors in the US prescribe placebos to their patients.  Apparently, since a doctor can’t write a prescription to the pharmacy for a sugar pill, they recommend drugs or supplements that have no effect on the problem that brought the patient to their office in the first place.  Further, the prescription in these cases is NOT for the problem the patient is having BUT to make the patient THINK their problem is being addressed.

Naturally, this brings up the ethical question, “Are doctors fully informing their patients of what the doctor thinks there REAL problem is?  Or, are doctors writing prescriptions to simply keep a patient’s business instead of telling them they might really NOT have a problem?”  Further, if 50% of all doctors prescribe placebos INSTEAD of drugs, are drugs (or even doctors) as necessary as we have been led to believe?

Here’s the link to the article.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic, Ethics, Fitness, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, vaccination, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

How is chiropractic like a manicure?

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 8, 2008

I was talking with a friend who has also been getting adjusted by me over the last few years.  While my friend has seen chiropractors for many years, she had never heard about the wellness aspect of chiropractic care.  In fact, in all her previous chiropractic experiences, she would get adjusted ONLY until her symptoms cleared up.  At that point, she would be released from care and not come back until her symptoms did.

At the point that I had started adjusting her, it had been a few years since her last chiropractic experience.  She came to me because her symptoms of tingling and numbness in her hands had returned AND the only thing that ever helped were adjustments.  Obviously, she responded quickly to the adjustments and the symptoms cleared up in no time.  But, she was shocked at my answer when she asked the question, “How can I keep this problem from coming back?”  My answer was simply, “You will probably need to get adjusted on a regular basis for the rest of your life”.

One of the biggest prejudices people have about going to the chiropractor is they “they want you to go forever!”  The truth is that YOU are the customer.  YOU decide how often and for how long you want to get adjusted.  Like my friend, lots of folks are satisfied to simply go until the symptoms go away, then stop.  the problem with that approach is that you never really get the source of the problem cleared up.  So, the problem continues to get worse over time causing you to have to go back later.

I proceeded to tell her that regular adjustments over time help keep pressure off your nervous system.  And since your nervous system runs every aspect of your life and every bodily function, regular adjustments help you reduce stress that builds up in your body causing all sorts of aches and pains, as well as many chronic autoimmune problems like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, arthritis (and all its’ derivatives) migraine headaches, high blood pressure, ulcers, ADD/ADHD, even infertility and sexual dysfunction.  Oddly enough, my friend had had a foot of her colon removed because of IBS, which is made worse by chronic stress.

It was at that point that she asked a question I must have heard a thousand times over my chiropractic career.  “Why wasn’t I told about this by ANY of my previous chiropractors?”  I didn’t really have a good answer.  I think part of it is that chiropractors don’t want to seem TOO bold about what they claim, so they simply take the easy money and adjust till the pain goes away and hope to see you when the pain comes back.

Chiropractic is like a manicure. This was a little hard for me to grasp at first, simply because I don’t get manicures.  But with a manicure, the nail polish either fades away or is slowly chipped off as you go through your normal routine.  So, ladies generally go back on a weekly or monthly basis.  I’m sure one reason they go back is because they like being pampered a little.  Another reason is that they simply like how they feel when they look better and a fresh manicure always looks better than an old one.  Chiropractic adjustments are very much like that.  While one adjustment is great and a few are even better, the true benefit from chiropractic care comes when you make it a part of your life.  Whether weekly or monthly, regular visits help your body stay aligned and dealing with a stressful world much better than if you don’t go at all.  And when you go to the chiropractor on a regular basis, you also get to ask questions about where health really comes from and compare perspectives between your chiropractor and your MD.

If women get their nails done on a regular basis and men change the oil in their car every 3-5000 miles, why wouldn’t you make sure to keep stress off your nervous system?  After all, your nervouse system controls EVERY function in your body!  Every life experience is filtered through your nervous system.  In other words, if you’ve got stress on your nervous system, your life can be an absolute mess without you even knowing it!

If I could encourage you to do one thing it would be to talk to your chiropractor about long-term wellness care.  If you don’t have a chiropractor and want to know more about living a better life without drugs and fear of sickness and disease, read more of my blog and feel free to ask questions.

Best wishes for a powerful day and inspired life!

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic, Fitness, health insurance, Health Issues, Life, self help, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

How might the financial market crisis affect your healthcare?

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 7, 2008

Good question.  Probably NOT the first thing folks think about when they hear and read reports about the (almost $1 TRILLION) Government bailout of the financial industry.  However, this nonsense will ripple throughout our entire economic sytem with repercussions not yet considered by our “leaders”.

The real estate, banking, securities and insurance industries are all linked in a variety of ways.  In good times, insurance companies are flush with cash and invest heavily in the stock market and real estate.  Also during good times, bankers tend to get a little over-enthusiastic and get very aggressive in their lending.  As we have seen from this “bailout” madness, securities firms speculated on the value of real estae and bought and sold essentially worthless mortgage backed securities in astounding volumes.

As the market turned, all of these entities became less liquid and started pulling in their horns.  If it were just one bank, or securities firm or insurance company, there would be virtually no problem as a result.  However, everybody involved started pulling back at the same time and in a drastic way.  The result is what we are seeing right now,  a liquidity crisis throughout the financial industry.

So, just how will all this affect your healthcare?  Good question.  Specifically with insurance companies, I think you’ll see a few things happen.  As they try to improve their liquidity, I think you’ll see premiums increase while payouts are tightened.  In other words, t’s going to cost you more to have insurance AND it will pay you even less than before IF they pay, at all.  You can expect underwriting criteria to get insurance to get much toughr.  You may see your healthcare providers ask you to pay up front and have your insurance company reimburse ou directly.

So, how might you deal with this scenario?  One alternative might be to purchase a higher deductible insurance policy.  Another would be to think twice about even using your insurance.  Isn’t THAT a heck of a note?  Pay out the nose for insurance and not be able to use it.  Still another might be to seek out providers that operate on a cash basis and offer reasonable fees based on what YOU need instead of what your insurance policy might pay.

However you decide to deal with this situation in the banking and finance industry, you should keep your debt down and try to manage your expenses as much as possible.  Stay healthy and on the job.  If you need to find a good chiropractor to help you stay healthy and on the job, just let me know.  I have friends that can help you stay on the job AND save money while doing so.  Best wishes.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Politics, Real Estate, Small Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The “next” bailout will be the healthcare (?) industry

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 1, 2008

Given the current hysteria over the Government “bailout” of the financial industry, we tend to lose sight of other potential problems on the horizon.  Now that the Government has injected itself into “saving” whole industries, we should not be surprised when traditional healthcare systems in this country start clamoring for the government to bail them out, as well.

The following article indicates that one estimate is that problems caused by hospitals (not related to the reason for being in the hospital) accounts for over 12% of total legal liability costs of healthcare facilities in 2007.  As you know, hospitals bill your insurance company for these so-called “never events” AND GET PAID!

As other insurance carriers follow Medicare’s lead and refuse to pay for these “never events”, I think you’ll see these facilities and even the AMA and other groups calling for the Government to intervene.

How did we EVER get to the point where we PAID for doctors and hospitals to screw people up and NOT pay to get and keep them well?

Here’s the article:

Study: Never events major factor in hospital liability costs

According to new research by insurance firm Aon Corp., hospital-acquired conditions accounted for 12.2 percent of total legal liability costs insured by healthcare facilities in 2007. It is perhaps the first study to benchmark claims specific to “never events” affected by Medicare’s new policy of not paying for hospital-acquired conditions. (All four of the never events reviewed by Aon are covered by Medicare’s new policy.)

According to the study, one out of six claims against healthcare facilities were related to hospital-acquired infections, injuries, pressure ulcers and foreign objects left in the body after survey in 2007, according to the company’s 2008 Hospital Professional Liability and Physician Liability Benchmark Analysis. Of these, claims for injuries were most frequently reported of four hospital-acquired condition categories. Pressure ulcers were the most expensive for healthcare facilities, which cost them about $145,000 on average for claims per incident in 2007, Aon concluded.

To draw its conclusions, Aon analyzed almost 78,000 claims, relating to a total of $9.3 billion in incurred losses. The data included information from more than 1,200 facilities from 1998 to 2007.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic, Economics, Ethics, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Panic, fear and the financial bailout. Just say “NO!”

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 1, 2008

Here we sit on the eve of another vote by the U.S. Senate on the $700 BILLION bailout of the financial industry.  We’re told that if this bailout plan is not passed immediately (virtually WITHOUT review) that we could be headed for another Great Depression and that people retirement accounts will vanish into thin air.  As for me, I say “STOP!”

If a problem that has taken AT LEAST a decade (probably two) to manifest itself, how can we expect it to be restored with ONE fell swoop of the Congress.  And worse, how can we expect any different results when the VERY same people who allowed this debacle to be in charge of doling out the money?

The collective wisdom of a HUGE majority of Americans are skeptical (at best) about the validity of doomsday predictions if the Paulson Plan fails to pass.  Most Americans STILL oppose the bailout.  Yet, despite the will of the majority of Americans, arrogant politicians apparently feel that you are simply stupid and can’t possibly understand the complexities of the issues at hand.  However, those politicians don’t seem to understand that what the electorate DOES understand is that If business is allowed to profit from such careless practices, then businesses should be allowed to FAIL when those practices cause them financial calamity.

This whole scenario is akin to going to the doctor when you have a cold only to be told you MUST check in TODAY for emergency surgery WITHOUT fully explaining to you what is wrong, what are the procedures being recommended and why, and what are your chances of recovering or even dying on the operatiing table while TELLING you to sign a waiver “just in case” something goes wrong.  Who wins in THAT scenario?  Certainly not you, the patient, who will pay the bill and deal with the consequences?  In that scenario don’t you AT LEAST deserve a full explanation, including your alternatives, of what is being proposed?  And shouldn’t you KNOW the risks involved?

This bailout of the financial industry is simply wrong.  Our economy is essentially strong.  And, just like your body is designed to absorb dead and dying cells and use them for good and eliminate any waste, so would a free market do with these failed institutions.  In fact, just look at the Washington Mutual and Wachovia situations.  Both banks assets were acquired without hurting anybody but their stockholders.  As a result of their failure, another bank will be able to expand and provide better service than what existing customers may have been able to expect from a struggling bank.

Do NOT be swayed by fear and panic.  As the old saying goes “Haste makes waste”.  Allow the free market to deal with this mess.  It really is the best way to get through this with the least harm to the most people.  And the next time someone tries to scare you into acting out of fear, simply tell them “NO!”

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Ethics, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Life, Politics, Real Estate, Small Business, vaccination, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What does a chiropractor really do?

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 1, 2008

That’s a fair question, especially if you’ve never been to a chiropractor and someone has recommended that you try one.  Some folks (even some who have used chiropractors for years) will tell you “they crack your back or neck and the pain goes away”.  Others might tell you they correct the alignment of your spine and your body works better.  Still others may tell you chiropractors specialize in making you “believe” you feel better.

And while there may be some truth in all of those perceptions, they simply don’t tell you “what” the chiropractor is doing.  Certainly, with some chiropractors you may feel and hear what may seem to be strange noises.  Trust me though, nothing is cracking!  And while some chiropractors DO focus on the alignment of the spine, THAT really isn’t the objective of chiropractic, either.  And while us chiropractors (and MDs, too) want to believe the major benefit to you is what WE do for you, the “placebo effect” can’t be minimized, either.

So then, just what does the chiropractor do?  Well, there are lots of “things” the chiropractor might do while you’re in their office.  BUT, there is ONLY one thing the chiropractor does that o other professional is trained to do.  That ONE thing your chiropractor does is to locate a bone in your spine that is slightly out of alignment with the bone above or below it and putting pressure on either a specific nerve OR the spinal cord.  When we find that misaligned spinal bone, we gently and specifically help it move back to where it should be.  When that is accomplished, we SHOULD stand back and watch your body HEAL ITSELF!

It really is THAT simple.  Now, it’s not always as simple as that because most of us let our bodies get to a point of degeneration that it has to retrain itself toward holding its proper alignment long enough to both heal and retain your health.  BUT the ONE thing we chiropractors SHOULD do is to simply remove A source of interference in how your body communicates with itself.  Anything else a chiropractor might do is more palliative and financial than it is beneficial to your health.

We call what we do an “adjustment”.  Some call it a manipulation, which is just wrong.  We’ll talk about that in another post.  But, if nothing else make sure your chiropractor “adjusts” you regardless of whatever else they want to do or tell you you need.  Because the ONE thing the chiropractor offers that no one else does is “the adjustment”.

I’ll write soon on how to tell if you might need an “adjustment”.  Stay tuned.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic, Health care, Health Issues, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »