Achieving Good Health and Wellness

February 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Health And Wellness

cimerAchieving good health and a state of wellness is an important cornerstone of living a Low Density Lifestyle. Yet so many people unfortunately don’t know what good health means–and if you’re not in good health, there’s a good chance you’re living a High Density Lifestyle.

What Type of Doctor Are You?

When you think of health and wellness, what do you think of?  Do you see a doctor in white coat prescribing drugs?  Or do you think of a doctor/practitioner of alternative medicine, who might perform acupuncture on you or prescribe herbs and/or nutrition?

Most people think of the former, and when they are sick they think nothing of going to the doctor to get taken care of.  Unfortunately, that is not the route to achieving good health and wellness.

A Brief History of Modern Medicine

Interestingly, in the United States, the system of modern medicine is only a little more than 100 years old, and before the system was put it place, doctors were either natural healers or allopaths – those who prescribed drugs and surgeries.medical-symbol-snake-15021

About 100 years ago, the American Medical Association started flexing its muscle and medicine became a business. The allopathic doctors pushed out the competition, labeling the natural healers as quacks, and became the only show in town.

Modern Medicine – Its Strengths and Weaknesses

Modern medicine has a lot of benefits, and is at its best with emergency, life-saving measures. But it is at its worst with chronic ailments and with helping people become healthier. Because modern medicine is disease-oriented and not wellness oriented, it has no concept of what health is, besides the usual definition of “absence of disease.”

And because of its inability to understand what health and wellness is, in the U.S. we have a country of sick people, along with a medical system that is broken and offers no easy solutions.

Achieving Good Health and Wellness

To achieve good health and wellness, you have to take your health in your own hands, which makes sense, since who knows your body better than you?

But most people don’t do that. We succumb to the authority figure, thinking they know best. But the medical ultrasoundmedicalmodel is flawed. It’s only recently that alternative medicine has regained its popularity – and that’s because people are becoming more frustrated with the standard approach of drugs, more drugs and even more drugs, with some surgery thrown in for good measure.

More people are breaking free of the modern medical model by choosing the safer approaches of alternative medicine. These approaches boost the immune system and can lead to a better sense of wellness.

Good Health = Low Density Lifestyle

The truth is that good health is not that hard to achieve, if you are willing to make the commitment to it. And it’s well worth the price, because when you feel healthy in your body and mind, it is such an amazing feeling—that’s because you will be living a Low Density Lifestyle.

Taking Pharmaceuticals: Are You Out of Your Mind?

February 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Health And Wellness

Pharmaceuticals: Out of Your Mind?

Ok, I’ve been writing articles the last few days on pharmaceuticals, saying that you’ll never acheive good health, and never attain a Low Density Lifestyle, if you take pharmaceuticals.

I close this series with the above video. This gives you a chance to rock out and groove to the music and images, while also getting the point about pharmaceuticals.

In essence, pharmaceuticals will make you go Out of Your Mind.

Drugs and the Good Doctor

February 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Health And Wellness

Sky-High Drug Use

prescription-drugs1Why has the use of drugs gone sky-high? Is it because good doctors care about you and want to give you a drug that will help?

That’s highly unlikely. We have become a nation of drug abusers, and the good doctors are drug pushers.  The per capita consumption of drugs in the U.S. has gone through the roof.

Good Health and Drugs Don’t Mix

Good health is an important aspect of living a Low Density Lifestyle, yet taking drugs will not allow you to achieve good health. In the last two days I have featured articles about well-known cases of abuse of drugs and the tragic endings they caused.  First, the article on Heath Ledger, and then on Travis the chimp.

Today I want to talk about drugs one more time. I don’t mean to beat the subject into the ground, and I’d rather focus on things positive, but because most people are indoctrinated by drug companies into thinking they need more drugs than they really do (if they need any at all), I want to talk about it one more time.

As I said above, to achieve good health and get into the Low Density Lifestyle groove, you’re going to have to open your eyes about drugs.

Lipitor and Dr. Robert Jarvik

Today, I will talk about Lipitor and the good Dr. Robert Jarvik, who until the spring of 2008, was the corporate spokesman for it. Dr. Jarvik, and Pfizer, Lipitor’s manufacture, used false advertising to convince people that Lipitor was an essential drug.drrobertjarvik-709327

Dr. Robert Jarvik, born in 1946, resides in New York City. Best known for the artificial heart he pioneered, he has since been working on several other heart-related inventions. He most recently is working on the Jarvik 2000 FlowMaker.

Dr. Jarvik, who received his medical degree from the University of Utah, is not a cardiologist and has never been licensed to practice medicine. In 2006, he returned to the spotlight when he began to appear in television and magazine ads for the Pfizer cholesterol drug Lipitor. In the ads, Jarvik is shown doing a number of physical activities while stating, “When diet and exercise aren’t enough, adding Lipitor significantly lowers cholesterol.”

False Advertising/Side Effects

But as it turns out, the ads contain false advertising. In the ads, he is depicted rowing a one-man racing shell across a lake. Yet, Dr. Jarvik does not know how to row, and a stunt double played Dr. Jarvik in the scene. One colleague of Dr. Jarvik said, “He’s about as much an outdoorsman as Woody Allen.” Dr. Jarvik is not a cardiologist, nor a practicing physician, yet here he is dispensing advice, and supporting his claim with some fancy sleight-of-hand.

Lipitor, which is a statin drug, is known to have serious side effects. Two of the most troubling potential side effects of Lipitor include extreme muscle pain and muscle disease (statin induced myopathy), and serious liver problems.

In addition to serious muscle and liver problems much research has shown that side effects of Lipitor could include sexual dysfunction and performance problems, as well as memory loss, personality changes and irritability.

Another FDA approved statin called Baycol was recently pulled off the market due to serious side effects and even deaths.

Because of the false advertising, the United States Congress investigated Dr. Jarvik, Lipitor and Pfizer. This led Pfizer to cease the ad campaign with the good doctor.

For Pfizer, there was much at stake. Lipitor is the world’s bestselling drug, with 2007 sales of $12.7 billion. To help drive business for the drug, Pfizer spent $258 million from January 2006 to September 2007 on the marketing of Lipitor, with much of that going into the Jarvik campaign.

Yet drug companies continue to market away, spending tons of money to make you believe that you need to take medications, and that there is nothing else that can help you better your health.

Good Health and Drugs Don’t Mix

One more time, I want to repeat. If you want to achieve good health and live a Low Density Lifestyle, drugs are not the answer, no matter what the good doctor might tell you. They are a band aid solution at best, and at worst will lead you straight down the path of a High Density Lifestyle.

Drugs and the Crazed Chimp

February 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Health And Wellness

prescription-drugsHow many drugs do you take? One, two, half a dozen, maybe even a dozen? Or maybe you’re in the minority and take none.

Drugs for Everything

We have drugs for everything—to help your cholesterol, to thin your blood, to elevate your mood, to settle your anxiety, to lower your blood sugar, to reduce inflammation, to kill pain, to stop your headaches….the list goes on and on and on.

Way Too Medicated

We are way too medicated as a culture. There are times when drugs can be helpful, and there are occasional times when they are necessary, but forgive me if I am repeating myself—we are way too medicated as a culture.

You want to be healthy? You need to lessen or stop your medications. Drugs block the ability for your body’s own innate healing system to work. And drugs block your ability to live a Low Density Lifestyle.

When you take pharmaceuticals, it blocks the body’s ability to tap into its own healing reservoir. We all have great innate healing capabilities, but we don’t even scratch the surface of utilizing them.  Instead we run to the doctor for every ailment, and predictably a medication is given. But doctors aren’t fully to blame—writing prescriptions is what they’re trained to do.

Travis the Chimp

You may have heard in the news about the chimpanzee who recently went berserk and severely mauled a woman in Connecticut. The 14-year-old chimp, Travis, was a family pet and was highly intelligent and extremely friendly and docile. After the mauling, the Travis was hunted down by police officers and killed. Travis’ behavior stunned his owner, because it was so out of character.Travis the Chimp

What caused Travis to go crazy? It turns out that a little before the attack, he had been acting rambunctious—he had taken the keys to the house and unlocked the door, and went outside and was walking around the neighborhood. Travis’ owner brought him back inside and then gave him tea mixed with the anti-anxiety medication Xanax.  The drug had not been prescribed for Travis.

In humans, Xanax can cause memory loss, lack of coordination, reduced sex drive and other side effects. It can also cause aggression.  This is what caused Travis to snap.

So if this drug changed the behavior of a docile chimp so radically, what can it do to a human?  Its use is to calm you down, but it can do quite the opposite.

And so, the lesson of this is (and I know this is a bad pun): Don’t monkey around with drugs. You won’t find your way to a Low Density Lifestyle if you do.

Heath Ledger – Rest in Peace

heath-ledger-1The late Heath Ledger won the Academy Award on Feb. 22, 2009 for his role as the Joker in the film The Dark Knight.

Heath Ledger, as we all know only too well, died on January 22, 2008, at the much too-young age of 28.  I wish him a peaceful sleep with the angels.

Unfortunately for Heath, his untimely death came as a result of getting caught up in a High Density Lifestyle.  How a High Density Lifestyle manifested for Heath Ledger was in the large number of prescription medications he was taking.

Drugs can never help you become truly healthy and they will stop you from finding your way to a Low Density Lifestyle.

In today and tomorrow’s articles, I will talk about the tragic cases of two celebrities who both were caught in the crossroads of a High Density Lifestyle by virtue of their being a victim of taking medications.

The Australian-born Heath Ledger had been in 18 movies, many of them critical and box-office successes. He received an Academy Award nomination in 2005 for his role as Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain.

His last completed role (he was acting in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus when he died, and filming was suspended) was for the film The Dark Knight, in which he plays Batman’s nemesis, The Joker.

In a November 2007 New York Times interview, Ledger had stated that his recently-completed role in The Dark Knight had taken a toll on his ability to sleep: “Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. … I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” At that time, new-joker-poster-for-the-dark-knighthe said that he had taken two sleeping pills, after taking just one had not sufficed, and those left him in a stupor, and gave him an hour of sleep at best. In January 2008 he also came down with an upper respiratory illness.

When he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on January 22, sleeping pills were found by his bedside, but an autopsy was inconclusive as to whether sleeping pills played a role in his death. Ten days later, on February 6, toxicology reports allowed the New York City medical examiner to state that Heath Ledger died accidentally from being overmedicated. It was found that he was taking six different medications—two pain medications, three anti-anxiety medications, and a cold medication.

Too many people in the U. S. are extremely over-medicated. It is not uncommon for people to be taking four, six, ten or more drugs at any one time. The interaction of various drugs in the body is always a cause for concern—there can be volatile and unpredictable reactions in the body from the many drugs, and it is one that can have potentially lethal complications, as we tragically saw with Heath Ledger.

Sadly, if only Heath Ledger knew better—then he wouldn’t have gotten sucked into the vortex of drugs and trapped in a High Density Lifestyle.

Heath Ledger, you were a gentle soul.  May you rest in peace.

Video of Heath Ledger’s Win at the Academy Awards

Longevity: Meet the 91-Year Old Drummer Who Rocks!

February 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Happiness, Health And Wellness, Longevity

Jerrie Thill: The 91- Year Old Drummer (Oxygen Tank and All!)

What better way to conclude a series on longevity than to present the above video of Jerrie Thill, a 91-year-old drummer who can still rock!

Isn’t she sweet? And isn’t she a dynamo?

This is what longevity is about, the ability to live a long and prosperous life, and still, even when the advanced years set in, to keep on keepin’ on.

No matter your age, you are always young at heart. Just tell them that Jerrie told you.

Longevity – Secrets to Living a Long and Prosperous Life: Part III

February 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Health And Wellness, Longevity

twin-sisters_1214304c1Longevity, the ability to live a long and healthy life, is one of the things that a Low Density Lifestyle can do for you.

If you want to experience longevity and live a long and healthy life, there are nine secrets to doing so. And whatever your age, whether you’re young, middle or elderly, or young at heart, if you take these nine secrets into account, you will have found the Fountain of Youth.

The first article covered the first three secrets, and the next article covered the next three secrets to longevity. In this article, I will give you the last three secrets.

The Secrets to Longevity

Secret #7: Have a Sense of the Sacred
Longevity studies have shown that having a spiritual belief and practice can lengthen your life. One recent study that followed 3,617 people for 7 1/2 years found that the people who attended religious services for at least once a month reduced their risk of death by 1/3.flame

Another study, commissioned by the U.S. National Institutes for Health found that people who pay attention to their spiritual side have lower rates of heart disease, depression, stress, and suicide, and their immune systems functioned better and stronger.

Secret #8: Make Family a Priority
Successful nonagenarians and centenarians embrace family and center their life around the family unit. Ritual, familial duty and an emphasis on togetherness are core values for people who live a long and healthy life.

Secret #9: Being Surrounded by People of Like Mind
Social connectedness is always important, but if you want to live a long and healthy life, having a social network of people also interested in living a long and healthy life can increase your chances of doing so – that means people into a healthy lifestyle.

A study of 12,067 people who were followed for 32 years found that people were more likely to become obese when their friends became obese. And in the case of close mutual friends, if one became obese, the odds of the other becoming obese tripled. The same was also found with weight loss.

As the saying goes, choose your friends wisely.

So that concludes the nine secrets to longevity and living a long and healthy life. If you missed the first three secrets, here’s the article.  And for the next three secrets, here’s the article.  If you follow these secrets well, you’ll be living to at least the age of 150.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the last part of this Longevity series. You’ll hear about a very special person, a model of longevity and living a long and prosperous life.

Longevity – Secrets to Living a Long and Healthy Life: Part II

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Health And Wellness, Longevity, Stress

ft_hdr1Longevity, the ability to live a long and healthy life, is one of the things that a Low Density Lifestyle can do for you.

If you want to experience longevity and live a long and healthy life, there are nine secrets to doing so. And whatever your age, whether you’re young, middle or elderly, or young at heart, if you take these nine secrets into account, you will have found the Fountain of Youth.

In yesterday’s article, I gave you the first three secrets. Today I will give you the next three secrets to longevity.

The Secrets to Longevity

Secret #4:  Drink Red Wine (or Beer) in Moderation
Studies of cultures that are noted for longevity have found that they all have a daily drink – one or two at most – of wine, beer or sake.  Drinking this amount has been found to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce stress 1132280_grapesand can reduce chronic inflammation. The best type of wine is a good quality red wine, while the best type of beer is also good quality and unadulterated, such as those made from handcrafters.

Secret #5: Have a Sense of Purpose
If you have a goal, a reason for getting up in the morning and going through the day, you feel like you have a mission in life, something that spurs you on to achieve greater heights. Contrast that with someone who feels as if life is drudgery and has no purpose.

Someone like that won’t feel energized to wake up every morning and take on the day, whereas if you have a sense of purpose, everyday offers new challenges to achieve your vision and dream.

Your sense of purpose can be a grand vision, or it could be something as simple as providing for your children, family or other loved ones. It could also be to always keep learning and expanding your mind, and so you’re always taking on new activities or challenges.

One way or another, the trick is to have something to live for.

Secret #6: You Need Decompression Time
We’re all so good at accumulating lots of stress in our lives, but not as good at the opposite, of finding the time 1121962_meditationto destress. Decompression time, the ability to stop, unwind, relax and enjoy the simple things, is a fine art that seems to be a rare commodity for so many people.

Decompression time is also essential for living a Low Density Lifestyle.

How often do you stop and smell the roses? Or stop and watch a thunderstorm? Or do some other thing that is not about being busy and doing, but instead allows you to enjoy the passage of time?

So many people are busy with their lives, along with shepherding their kids off to one place or another. In the equation, we’ve become busier and busier.  But what is needed is down time, the decompression time.

Ok, that’s it for today’s secrets to longevity. I’ll be back next time with the next three secrets. Until then, as Mr. Spock always says, “Live long and prosper.”

Longevity – Secrets to Living a Long and Healthy Life: Part I

longevity1Longevity, the ability to live a long and healthy life, is one of the things that a Low Density Lifestyle can do for you.

If you want to experience longevity and live a long and healthy life, there are nine secrets to doing so. And whatever your age, whether you’re young, middle or elderly, or young at heart, if you take these nine secrets into account, you will have found the Fountain of Youth.

In today’s article, I will give you three of the secrets to longevity. In tomorrow’s article, I will give the next three secrets, and then I will conclude the series on the following day with the final three. So make sure you read them all, so that you can live long and prosper, as Mr. Spock always said.

The Secrets to Longevity

Secret #1: Be Active, But Move in Natural Ways
It’s not a matter of being an Olympic hopeful or competing in triathlons. You just need to move in ways natural to your body rhythms, and to make it part of your daily work routine. Gardening, hiking, walking and bicycling all fit into this, along with countless other movements that can be part of a daily routine.longevity-1

Obviously exercise is important, but it should be done to accentuate flow. You need different types of exercise, and these should include aerobic, balancing, flexibility and muscle strengthening. Yoga and Pilates fit this bill, but these are not the only ones. Further down the road, in a future article, I’ll talk about the LDL (that’s short for Low Density Lifestyle) Flow series of movements, which combines everything you need effortlessly and seamlessly.

Secret #2: Eat Less
Longevity studies have shown that if people cut their caloric intake by 20% they will live longer. In Japan there is a saying that you should only eat till you’re 80% full. Furthermore, the Japanese believe that if you chew your food really well, about 50 times per mouthful, you will get full much quicker and will need to eat less.

Contrast that with most people, who keep eating even when they are full. Studies have shown that eating less causes less cellular damage in the body because there are less free radicals floating around. Another thing that eating less will do is cause you to lose weight, and having excess weight on your body will not allow you to live a long and prosperous life.

Secret #3: Right Diet
Eating the right diet is an important key to longevity. Patients and clients often tell me that they eat well, but I always find that to be a meaningless comment. Instead I ask them to tell me what their five favorite foods are, and that tells me much more, especially if they tell me ice cream, lasagna and frozen broccoli.

So what constitutes eating well? A diet that emphasizes plant foods, and contains no or only lean meats–and if meats are eaten, it should be only as a supplement, not as the main dish. Studies show that if you restrict meat intake, you live longer.

Furthermore, eating well also means eating few, if any, processed foods, including junk foods, sugars, and foods laden with preservatives and additives.

I’ll be back next time with the next three secrets to longevity and living a long and healthy life. See you then.

A Healthy Relationship – How To Have One

February 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Happiness, Love, Relationships

938356_loveI continue on with our Valentine’s Day series by talking about how to have a healthy relationship with a partner.

A Low Density Lifestyle gives you the ability to be in a healthy and long-lasting relationship, because you don’t carry baggage into it. Baggage is what can make you feel heavy and cause you to act out in unhealthy ways.  Carrying baggage around is definitely one of the traits of living a High Density Lifestyle.

I would like to narrow down what makes a healthy relationship to four traits. Keep this in mind as you work to develop and cultivate your relationship.  And whether your relationship is a 30-year marriage or you’re just starting out,  these four traits hold true for each and everything in between.

The Four Traits

The first trait for a healthy relationship is Love. Obviously, there has to be a chemical connection, or a soul connection, between the two of you. Love is a mysterious thing, but when you feel it, you know you it.

The next trait for a healthy relationship is Trust.  You have to trust one another and be honest with one another. If you go sneaking around doing things without telling the other, then your relationship is doomed. Remember how Integrity is one of the 12 steps of living a Low Density Lifestyle?  Well, when you carry yourself with integrity, not only will you be honest with yourself, you’ll be honest in your relationships, and especially with your significant other, who should be the one you trust the most.

The next trait for a healthy relationship is Communication and Shared Vision. Most relationship experts say how important communication is to maintain a vital relationship, and this is true. I take it a step further though, because it’s not just about communication, but communication about your vision, and then sharing that vision, or at least finding a way to make the visions work together. Vision can be about buying a home, having children, working in a field that expresses who you are, eating a certain way and living a certain lifestyle; the list goes on. But if one person doesn’t agree with or is unwilling to accept the other person’s vision, then no matter how well you communicate, the relationship is doomed.

The last trait for a healthy relationship is to be emotionally, intellectually and spiritually healthy. You are healthy if you are self aware and free of baggage, insecurities and self-destructive tendencies. Or if you’re not, you’re willing to work on these.  Hey, nobody is born perfect. But we’re all looking for healthy relationships and love – it’s just that we don’t want to be looking for love in all the wrong places.

So there you have it. I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and remember, everyday is Valentine’s Day.

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