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Health

Resolutions

I see thine eyes gazing at the dark of my heart,
Lord of my life,
I wonder if my failure and wrongs are forgiven.
For many were my days without service
and nights of forgetfulness; futile were the flowers
that faded in the shade not offered to thee.

Often the tied strings of my lute slackened
at the strains of thy tunes.
And often at the ruin of wasted hours
my desolate evenings were filled with tears.

But have my days come to their end at last,
Lord of my life, while my arms round thee
grow limp, my kisses losing their truth?
Then break up the meeting of this languid day!*
Renew the old in me in fresh forms of delight;
and let the wedding come once again in
a new ceremony of life.

~Rabindranath Tagore

At the beginning of a new year we hope for renewal. About a week ago I wrote in a Facebook post:

I didn’t want to make my resolutions all at once at the beginning of the new year. Hitting myself with a long list hasn’t worked well in the past so this year I will add one new (behaviour change) resolution each week until Lent at the beginning of March. My first resolution, to run at least three times a week, has survived its first week. My second resolution, is to get away from computers, TV, smartphones, tablets, the Internet and even radio for the 12 hours between 21:00 and 09:00.

My first resolution has now survived the first two weeks but the second lasted two days. I am not dropping it however; I am persistent if not consistent and this will continue as a rule even if it is not always and entirely observed. All Sabbaths are made for us and not we for the Sabbaths and the breaking of a Sabbath does not mean that it is not useful to us or that we shall not return to observance of it.

My third resolution, prompted by my return to a very unhealthy looking belly and being overweight by almost three stones, is to change my eating habits in order to lose weight and become healthier. At minimum this means giving up confectioneries and sweet drinks including juices with the exception of an occasional morning orange juice. I will also give up alcohol with the exception of an occasional glass of wine and give up milk products with the possible exception of plain yoghurt and cottage cheese.

I am currently reading a diet and exercise book called ’10 Pounds in 10 Days’ written by ‘celebrity trainer’, Jackie Warner. The book is good enough for me to have read beyond the first chapter and to have started following some of its advice. I have reintroduced chicken breast (free-range) to my diet and cooked this with broccoli, carrots, spinach and new potatoes as my main meal yesterday. I also bought a pair of 6 kg dumbbells and did over an hour of exercises from Warner’s book with these. This morning, after my shower and before breakfast, I weighed 12 stone 10 lb. I will, mostly, follow Warner’s programme over the next 10 days but as I won’t be following it exactly (I never follow anything exactly) I won’t be able blame her if I don’t drop 10 pounds in that time.

Statins: The Greatest Medical Fraud?

I have been hearing negative things about statins for a long time. I gave up taking them about five years ago. I also gave up taking blood pressure tablets a year or so later. I not going to say that my rationale for going off medication was based on research or any deep knowledge of hypertension or high cholesterol but I believe that lifestyle choices can have a more profound effect on health than medication which, I also believe, have harmful effects that doctors try to counter with more medication. While I have not made the lifestyle choices that I should have made I think that my decision to go off the medication was still the right one.

An article on Waking Times cites what looks like a major report on a number of studies on the effects of statins. The report says that:

“The statin industry, with all of its spin-off(s), is a 20-billion-a-year industry. We are observing the revealing of the utmost medical tragedy of all times. It is unprecedented that the healthcare industry has inadvertently induced life-threatening nutrient deficiency in millions of otherwise healthy people.[1]”

The article is well worth reading. Because the medical profession is perceived as competent and as generally good a great deal of good its pronouncements and recommendations are accepted uncritically by most of us even when we are presented with strong evidence that those pronouncements and recommendations are wrong.

I’ve uploaded the cited article here: The Ugly Side of Statins. Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-Known Unknowns*

See also:

Note on Cancer

This is note rather than an argument. It’s also a note completed late at night.

I saw this documentary, Cancer the Forbidden Cures, some time ago. It was referenced in a comment about an article, in realpharmacy.com, claiming that chemotherapy boosts cancer growth:

The scientists found that healthy cells damaged by chemotherapy secreted more of a protein called WNT16B which boosts cancer cell survival. The protein was taken up by tumor cells neighboring the damaged cells.
 
“WNT16B, when secreted, would interact with nearby tumor cells and cause them to grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy,” said Nelson.
 
In cancer treatment, tumors often respond well initially, followed by rapid regrowth and then resistance to further chemotherapy.

The comments on the article are interesting – they argue for and against chemo:

Caitlin Pryce-Davies Trigatti · Grace Lutheran College
This is all very well–but what the hell do you do when your child has an aggressive cancer and you don’t want them to die? I’m currently in this position and while I am open to alternatives I am going thru with chemo to save my daughters life—I’m so scared as it is and am constantly hearing that my choice to give treatment to my child could end up killing her anyway—I’m over it!!

This is the ‘argument from fear’ and it is understandable. We tend to trust the expertise of the medical profession. According to GP Online, a recent poll showed that doctors are the most trusted profession in the UK; It is rational to trust science and people whose expertise is based on science. Claims that there are cures for cancer that have been suppressed by the medical establishment appear to be the stuff of paranoia. The Mayo Clinic website argues that:

If you still believe a cure is being purposefully withheld, ask yourself why a doctor would choose to specialize in cancer research. Oftentimes doctors go into cancer research because they have a family member or friend affected by the disease. They’re just as interested in finding a cure as anyone else, for exactly the same reason — it affects them personally. They hate to see a loved one in pain and don’t wish to lose this person. They also want to spare others what they have gone through.

This is a good point. The documentary cites the success of Gerson Therapy and suggests this is a possible cure but there are several articles online that challenge the effectiveness of this therapy. Gerson Therapy, which emphasises a high intake of fruit, also seems to be contrary to other alternative therapies such as the alkaline diet.

There are clearly difficulties with mainstream medicine in general and with chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the case of cancer treatments but this does not mean that we have to give alternative approaches a ‘free pass’

Tai Chi and Qi Gong

Attended my second Tai Chi and Qi Gong class yesterday evening. It helped me reorient towards reality and I noticed that my vision which had been blurry on my way to the class was clearer. I felt clear this morning then still in bed I picked up my phone and started playing a game and noticed my vision blurring again. I’ve been spending far too much time staring at screens. My habits in recent weeks and months have become really bad; disconnected to reality. The Tai Chi/Qi Gong course is a way back. Too, I’ve not been getting out much and it’s good to interact with new people.

The class, in a hall at Stratford Circus, is run by Dan who is a White English man in his late twenties. Slightly built, he appears to know his stuff and is a reasonable teacher. His assistant is a young White woman who is not English; her accent is perhaps East European I forget her name. I am making an effort to remember the names of the people in the class.

Camille is a black woman around 27 years old. She is slim and taller than I am. This is her second term doing the class.

Maggie is a black woman about 45 years old. She is slim and shorter than I am.

Merle is white, late forties, she has a tattoo on her right upper arm.

Priya is Asian. She is aged about 25.

There is another Asian woman, she brought some food to share during our break between the Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes. She is in her late twenties maybe early thirties. She has an extraordinary smile but I have forgotten her name.

Yuri is Russian and in his late twenties. He mentions that he does power lifting. He is well built, not very tall but taller than I am.

There are others in the class but I did not interact with them. Besides Yuri and myself, there is one other male student in yesterday’s class. He is Asian and quite heavily built. Perhaps in his mid thirties.

It is important to note names and characteristics. I am aware that I do not do this enough. It is important for memory, for reflection and for improving my writing skills.

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