Sunday, May 27, 2012

Are you getting enough Vitamin M?

Are you suffering from low Vitamin M? Here are some of the symptoms:
 - depression
 - lethargy
 - poor circulation
 - weak social or community health
 - isolation
 - poor mobility

Are you suffering from a deficiency of Music?

Music has often been demonstrated to have benefits as treatment for illness. Sometimes it is dismissed as if it were 'anecdotal evidence'.  But in truth, music is a healthicine.  And anecdotal evidence is one of the most uninformed and mis-used phrases by the commercial medical interests - but that should be the subject of another blog post.

Music activates healthy minds, lifts healthy spirits, and builds healthy communities. 

But be careful of synthetic alternatives. Synthetic music - the worst is elevator music, can actually make you feel bad, and in extended periods can feel like become torture.

The most organic music, is music you create.  But, the healthiest music is not music you create yourself, it's music you create in a community.  Even if you are only helping put out chairs in the community hall, and tapping your toe to the 'real musicians', your participation is enhancing your health, and the health of your communities.

Listening to music on your iPod, or a CD, can be healthy, healthier if it activates you to movement.  It might lift your spirits, but it does little for your community. Music in isolation is limited in health benefits and can lead to more isolation from your community, resulting in poor community and spiritual health.

Listening to the radio can be pure commercial poison - or, if you have a good community radio station that is more interested in music than in 'sales' - it can be a health benefit.  My favorite radio station, the best radio station in the known and unknown universes - is CKUA.  CKUA is all about the music, which ranges - sometimes from moment to moment - from the musician who lives down my street, to blues from the south, jazz from northern Europe, drums from Africa or Japan.  There is no world music - they say, just music.  The announcers at my radio station choose what they want to play - it's not commercial music. Hum along - or sing in your car...

Kill your television.  Or turn off the sound. Vitamin M on your television can be toxic.  Pretending to be real music, but not involving you.  Television plays on your emotions, not on your musicality.  Television is designed for passive watchers - not active participants.  Not as bad if it's seen but not heard.

Church music is involving.  I think it's one of the greatest strengths of religion.  In the forest, even the ugliest bird can sing.  And even the poorest song is beautiful. And so it is in church. Everyone sings. It's about creating music together - not about competing for the next idol.  The churches don't need another idol.  I like churches where the people get up and move to the music.  Music has power, let it loose. Poetry is music.  Prayer is music. Everyone sings.  Everyone prays.

What about 'best music'?  The Grammy's? Billboard music awards? The latest craze? Music from the 50s, 60s, 90s?  Rock music? Blues music? Jazz?  Concert music?  The best music for you is the music that involves you - the music that you can participate in. Awards are important, they encourage us to reach new heights, creation of new music is healthy. But creation of your own music is important too - even for those of us who might never win an award.

Several months ago, I wrote a post titled "Is listening to the Blues Healthy", and concluded - yes it is. But it's not just blues - it's all Music. Music is vital.  Vitamin M.

I love, and actively encourage live music. Support your local musicians. Help music grow and flower in your lives, your communities, your children. Music truly is an essential element of healthiness.

Some people have claimed that Vitamin M is 'movement'. I beg to differ.  Movement comes from the inside, not from the outside. Music inspires movement - let the music move you!  Note: In actual fact, Vitamin M is assigned to folic acid or folate, presumably because Vitamin F had already been assigned to fatty acids. I prefer think of Vitamin M deficiency as a deficiency of frolic.

Can we dance without music?  Not me... Even if a dance is silent, I hear the footsteps. Music in my head.  There is, for me, always music in my head.  I don't get 'earworms', I enjoy earworms all day long.

I'm off now, to listen to some music, and of course to dance a bit (in my quiet way), to sing along (under my breath), to tap my toes, and of course to take some pictures.

Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthiness.  And some music too.
to your health, to your music health, tracy

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Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: 

This post has been picked up and republished by
Wake Up World
Health Freedom Alliance
Waking Times

Friday, May 18, 2012

Universal Declaration of Health Freedom - March 29, 2012 on

Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthiness. 

Most governments have recognized the people's rights to life and liberty. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and...". The United States Declaration of Independence says  "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that amount these are life, liberty and...";

These rights are fundamental; they are not conditional nor linked to any responsibilities. There are some alternatives for the word after 'and'. Now is the time to correct this situation. 

Everyone has a right pursue their own healthiness.  To heal when you are sick, to rest when you are tired. To make decisions and take actions that affect your personal healthiness. Everyone has a right to medical assistance and treatment, to choose their doctor and their treatments - or not. Health freedom does not necessarily mean 'free treatment'. We need efficient and effective systems to administer payments for health and medical treatments - to decide which treatments will be paid for by the community - and which are paid for by the person.  These systems need to be flexible to change as our knowledge of medicine and health changes.  Payment systems are not about health freedom. 

Is there difference between a right to pursue healthiness and a right to medicine? We might think of health as a 'yes or no'.  Either you are healthy, or you are sick.  Not! Healthiness is a scale, hundreds or perhaps thousands of scales actually, ranging from almost dead to very, very healthy.
Healthiness is varied and complex. The Hierarchy of Healthiness is an effective structure for the study of health, clearly articulating the primary and secondary disciplines of healthiness, and facilitating a scientific exploration of healthicine. 

Healthiness begins with genetics, is activated by nutrition, and enabled through the growth of our cells. Cells combine into tissues, tissues combine to create organs.  Organs, tissues and cells cooperate to create our respiratory, circulatory, and other systems. Our bodies consist of each of these components.  Our health depends on every one.  Our minds raise our healthiness to a new level - and our spirits rise above the body and mind.  Finally, communities of people - we are not alone, complete the hierarchy of healthiness. 

Each layer in the hierarchy of healthiness: genetics, nutrition, cells, tissues, organs, systems, bodies, minds, spirits and communities is dependent on the prior layer for its existence, stability and health. Each layer can affect any other layer in the hierarchy, in a positive and a negative fashion. Each layer in the hierarchy of healthiness is composed of many individual components, that work together and affect our overall healthiness.  Most of our health components are below 'optimal', but overall, we are healthy.  When some, or many of the health components are well below optimal health - we are unhealthy. At some point, unhealthiness crosses a diagnostic threshold - and we have an 'illness'. It is important to understand that you can have an illness - and be healthy, at the same time. Your cellular healthiness does not disappear just because you have a broken leg.  Your genetic healthiness doesn't change when you have a cold.  Your spirit healthiness may be strong, when your flesh is weak. Healthiness is a scale, a set of many scales, not an on-off switch. 

Once we understand the concept of healthiness - separate from the concept of illness - we can reach for health freedom

Health freedom is the right of people to pursue their personal healthiness. Why does this need to be a right of all persons?  There are many reasons.  

Most, possibly all, actions that affect your healthiness positively also affect it negatively.  These are not 'side effects', they are simply changes in health balances.  We need to exercise to stay healthy.  Exercise depletes our calorie store, our essential nutrients, and our water stores.  Health requires balance. Sometimes, optimizing health requires shifting the balance one way - and then helping it return. 
When we are sick, every action we take to recover has positive and negative effects our healthiness.  Everyone has the right to choose their healthy actions - and their sickness actions.  We all need to seek medical advice at times - but we also need the right to make our own decisions.
Science and medicine work hard to prevent, diagnose and treat illness.  But, there are still many disagreements with regards to which actions are correct, which actions are most effective. Science is about challenging prior assumptions.  I hope we always continue to have healthy disagreements. Personal choices are required.  Trust your doctor, but if you are able, investigate for yourself and make your own decisions. That's your health freedom, your right to pursue healthiness

Your health freedom, your right to pursue healthiness goes beyond illness and medicines.
Science and medicine do not study healthiness.  There is no standard technique to measure healthiness. Someday, I hope and expect we will have several competing ways to measure healthiness.  And we may learn to compare them and rate different techniques to refine our understanding of healthiness and health measurement.  But today, we have no recognized tool or technique to measure your healthiness, nor to measure the healthiness of any single layer in the hierarchy of healthiness, nor any organ, system or community. Note: There are some techniques to measure healthiness of communities - but in fact they only measure illness and attempt to extrapolate overall healthiness of individuals from 'absence of illness'. When we look at the details in the hierarchy of healthiness, we can start to realize how difficult it will be to develop scientific measurements of healthiness. 

We have a lot to learn about healthiness.  There are many things we do not know.  What we do know is always open to scientific study and challenges. When we know much more about health and healthiness, we will still need to consider this famous quote:

"We have not succeeded in answering all our problems. The answers we have found only serve to raise a whole set of new questions. In some ways we feel we are as confused as ever, but we believe we are confused on a higher level and about more important things."
and we will still need the right of everyone to pursue healthiness on their own.


This post is based on a post on the site written in November 2010. Many other people and groups have contributed to the goals of health freedom, and some of them have created declarations of Health Freedom or Medical Freedom.  I want to acknowledge and respect the work of these people and their contribution to the fields of health freedom. 
International Declaration of Health Freedom from World Health Freedom Assembly 2006.  A more in depth declaration of health freedom.  Contains information that is useful for contacting other Health Freedom organizations around the world.
2004 - NHFC Declaration of Health Freedom A national view from the United States of America. 
Amend the Constitution to grant Americans Medical Freedom - a petition to amend the constitution of the United States to ensure: "freedom of choice regarding what happens to our body, medically and nutritionally."
Charter of Health Freedom  A Canadian Health Freedom document.
​to your health, tracy
Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What are the symptoms of healthiness? What are the symptoms of health?

What are the symptoms of healthiness? What are the symptoms of healing?

Heathicine is the study of health and healthiness.  This diagram shows the gradient of healthiness, to unhealthiness, to illness. Healthiness drops due to deficiencies or excesses, and all illness is caused by deficiencies or excesses.  Your healthiness is complex and multi-dimensional.  Each layer in your hierarchy of healthiness  (genetics, nutrients, cells, tissues, organs, systems, body, mind, spirit and community) can change and move, suddenly or over time, up or down the scale. So can individual health components.  The healthiness of your liver, your pancreas, your circulatory system, your spirit health, etc. is changing all of the time, moving up and down the gradient, becoming healthier, unhealthier and sometimes ill.

When we study disease we use symptoms to differentiate between different diseases.  Some of the same or similar symptoms can occur from many different diseases. I believe all diseases should be named by their cause - to avoid this confusion.  However, for some diseases we do not know the cause - and need to resort to other methods.

Sometimes, we have symptoms of healing.  If you break your leg, or cut your arm, or bruise your face, you may observe specific symptoms of healing, most commonly an itch, or a tingling sensation.  If you have a bad flu, or infection, you might find that your body feels 'different' for a while, after that passes.  The symptoms of healing might be skin eruptions or allergic type reactions, itching, and discomfort, as your body and your immune system fights and recovers from illness. 

How can we tell between symptoms of illness and symptoms of healing?

When we have an illness, we might take a drug to help fight the illness.  Drugs have 'side effects' on the label.  We take it for granted that when we take a medicine, we will have 'other symptoms' as a result of the medicine's toxicity.

What about taking a healthicine?  If we are deficient in some nutrient, and we suddenly start taking lots of that nutrient - what are the symptoms of healing? What are the symptoms of recovery?

We know that, sometimes, people stop taking a medicine, because the side effects are worse than the illness.

But do we understand that sometimes people stop healthy actions, because the 'health effects' create strange symptoms?

In many cases, we might 'suffer symptoms' that are actually symptoms of health and healing. But we don't know.  We barely study health, and healthiness, even less, the minute we enter the doctors office.  Doctors study, diagnose and treat illness.  If you have symptoms - their job is to identify the illness.  If they can't find an illness they are more likely to say "it's all in your mind", or "try this and see if it helps", rather than say, "maybe it's a symptom of healing."

Let's suppose you are 'unhealthy', but not 'sick'.  Healthiness is a scale, as seen above, and it is very possible to be in unhealthy state without having a diagnose-able illness. Now let's suppose you deliberately (or even accidently) take some action that increases your healthiness. You might have many different 'symptoms' as your healthiness increases.  This can happen very slowly, over the course of several months, or very suddenly, over a few days.

If you have a cut and you put on some anti-bacterial cream, you expect some itching as it heals.

If you haven't exercised for a while, and you go out for a run.  The next day you wake up stiff.  Is this a sign of healthiness? or Unhealthiness?  Stiffness can be a symptom of arthritis, or a symptom of healthy recovery from a healthy activity.

More complicated, what if you have an unhealthy digestive system?  So, you try to eat something to make it healthier.  What will you 'feel' if it is getting healthier? The digestive system is very complex.  But many people, when they 'feel' discomfort in their stomach, might feel 'hungry'.  It's natural to associate stomach pains with hunger pangs. Or you might feel that the 'healthy food' made you feel 'sick'. How can you tell if your symptoms are symptoms of healing, or symptoms of illness?  It's not easy.

If you are trying to understand your symptoms, and they are symptoms of healthiness - you might search for a long time.  There are many internet sites where you can search by symptom. You will find many symptoms attributed to many illnesses.  But you probably won't find symptoms attributed to healthiness and none will lead you to the illness called 'healing'.

If your spirit is healing, you might find yourself overwhelmed by memories, sensations, and feelings. You might think you are 'mentally ill', because your symptoms are so strange.  It's difficult to tell sensations of illness from sensations of healing.

A more complex, but not necessarily uncommon example. Let's suppose you change your diet to improve your healthiness, because it's spring and you want to be healthy for the summer.  But you find that you wake up in the morning with dry, itchy red eyes.  You might blame the diet change when the actual cause is spring pollen allergies. Your body might even be reacting more this year - because your immune system is healthier than last year.

A healing crisis can occur when you detox your body, as it becomes overwhelmed by the release of toxins. Many doctors, conventional and alternative, believe that an individual in the process of getting well will undergo some sort of healing reaction.  A similar event, the Herxheimer reaction, can occur when you take an antibiotic and your systems are temporarily overwhelmed by dead bacteria. These symptoms are not illness, the are the result of initiation of healing.

What does it feel like if your liver is healing, recovering from prescription drugs?  What does it feel like if your muscles are healing from a heavy exercise routine? What does it feel like when your lungs are healing after you quit smoking?  How long does it take to heal?

Our lives are very complex. It's easy to imagine many different situations where we believe something is "unhealthy for us", because we remember some associated events.  Our natural systems protect us from toxins by helping us to remember what made us feel sick.  But sometimes they guess wrong. Then we learn and remember the wrong thing for a very long time.

It's very difficult to differentiate between the symptoms of illness and the symptoms of healing. But there's an even more challenging question:

What are the symptoms of healthiness?  What does it feel like to be really healthy, from genetics, to diet, through every cell, tissue, organ, bodily system, body, mind, spirit and community?  What are the symptoms of healthiness - and why don't we know?

Maybe we can come close to answering those questions someday - as we study healthicine.

Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthiness.
to your health, tracy

This post has been re-published by:
Wake-up World: What are the Symptoms of Healthiness and Healing?
StumbleUpon: What are the Symptoms of Healthiness and Healing?
Miss Elixir: What are the Symptoms of Healthiness and Healing?

Monday, May 7, 2012

What kills one in seven men every year?

Have you seen the prostate cancer article in the Canadian edition of Reader's Digest for April 2012?

No, you haven't.  It doesn't exist. There is no prostate cancer article in the April edition of Reader's Digest, although I do encourage you to check it out.

There is an 'advertorial' to raise funds for Prostate Cancer Canada, an organization that provides support to present and future cancer patients and their families.

The advertorial says, (my emphasis)

"You can't test yourself, you can't see it, a lot of people can't even get the name right - 
yet it kills one in seven men every year."

I'm all in favour of supporting people with cancer, but I'm not in favour of making false statements in the interest of getting a donation from me.  I will not donate to a cure for cancer.

Kills one in seven men every year?  Surely I would know several people it killed last year?  I know hundreds of men.  At that rate, in theory, more than 50 percent of Canadian men would be dead in (just a moment while I jump out to Excel to check my numbers), in less than 5 years.  Frankly, I'm surprised that Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) printed this ridiculous statement - and I'm also surprised that Reader's Digest accepted the advertorial without checking the simplest facts.

Let's be honest, I can guess what they meant to say.  But it's not up to me to guess. There are several more, totally false statements - and more statements that are subject to significant challenges in scientific and medical circles.  I might be guessing, assuming a lot if I try to guess what they really meant.

Read the advertorial and you might also 'learn' that "Over 90% of prostate cancer cases are curable if detected and treated in their earliest stages."  However, on the very same page it says, "Ultimately, what PCC is looking for is a cure."  Which is true?

The truth, there is no known cure for prostate cancer.  A 'cure' would restore health, without damage.  The only current treatments for prostate cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  None of them 'cure' the cancer, they simply try, often without success, to 'kill the cancer'.

The other truth? No-one is looking for a cure for cancer.  There are lots of companies looking for better ways to treat cancer patients, better ways to kill cancer, but no-one is looking for a cure.

The truth - Ultimately, PCC is looking for your dollars.  When you get to the last page and you will see that the entire advertorial is designed to have you register in the "SAFEWAY FATHER'S DAY WALK/RUN Prostate Cancer Canada
Take the first step.
Register today! FATHERSDAYRUN.CA  Sunday, June 17, 2012"

PCC wants your money. I'm sure four page advertorial in Reader's Digest does not come cheap - even if you are a charitable organization. PCC would like you to help them pay for it, and more.

They go on to say... "As Director of Prostate Cancer Canada's Atlantic region, Peter Mallette wants everyone to know that the disease does not discriminate.  It does not care if you are gay, or straight, rich or poor, black or white."

But.... the Prostate Cancer Foundation clearly states different: "Race: African Americans have a 40% greater chance of developing prostate cancer and twice the risk of dying from it. Conversely, Asian men who live in Asia have the lowest risk; however when they migrate to the west, their risk increases."  So does the PCC's own website, which states: "even more important for those of African or Caribbean descent as they are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, the most common cancer to afflict Canadian men."

Rich or poor? "The risk of developing prostate cancer for men who live in rural China is 2% and for men in the United States 17%."

two out of three wrong, more?:
"Rates of prostate cancer were significantly lower in gay men than other groups.However, both gay and bisexual men were significantly more likely than heterosexual men to have been diagnosed with an “other” form of malignancy." according to:

It is unfortunate that this advertorial starts out with the words "A little education goes a long way." I'm convinced that they are trying to 'sell' me not educate me.

I encourage you to go to their website and come to your own conclusions.

You might want to research the PSA testing controversy. Much of the latest research into prostate cancer has surrounded the information suggesting that PSA tests often lead to false positives, and to further tests and treatments that actually cause more damage than the disease would have - if left alone. What does PPC say?  On thier front page it says "we recommend that men consider prostate cancer screening using the simple PSA blood test. Talk with your doctor."

The Huffington Post recently reported that many men are still getting PSA tests, even in cases where the US Preventative Services Task Force specifically recommended, in 2008, against PSA test for anyone 75 years or older.

What does the PPC website say?  If you search for PSA testing, you will find posts recommending PSA tests, but check the dates.  The latest post appears to be from April 2009, today is May, 2012 - three years have passed.  What has PPC done in these three years?  I'm not sure...

It appears the PPC organization is doing some good work.  I think they can do better.  I think their advertorial in the Canadian April 2012 edition of Reader's digest is a very poor piece of work.

This blog is about health.  Prostate cancer is a disease.  I am not a doctor.  But when I see totally ridiculous statements like "kills one in seven men every year", I need to rant!

Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthiness.

to your health, tracy

Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: 

Friday, May 4, 2012

5 Diseases your Doctor Can't Cure

You might also find this post interesting: Diseases Cured by Not By Medicine

There are many diseases that your doctor can't cure.  Here are five well known examples: arthritis, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, cancer - and of course number six is love. "Ain't no cure for love." (Leonard Cohen).

What if you have a disease your doctor can't cure?  Why can't it be cured?

Maybe we should take a moment to clarify what I mean by cure.  I like Merriam-Webster's definition cure: "2. a : recovery or relief from a disease", and "3. : a complete or permanent solution or remedy". Wikipedia defines remission as "a temporary end to the medical signs and symptoms of an incurable disease."  A remission is not a cure. Treating symptoms is not a cure.

If your doctor wants to cure cancer by surgery: 'cutting out the affected part', it's not a cure. If you have prostate cancer - and your doctor cuts out your prostate - they didn't cure it. They only moved you closer to the famous joke: "The operation was a success, but the patient died anyways."

Why can we cure some diseases - but not others? How can you recognize a disease your doctor can't cure?

We cannot cure a disease unless we know the cause. Let's look at arthritis.  You can substitute many different incurable diseases in the following discussion.

We don't know the cause of arthritis, so we can't cure it.

We do know some causes of arthritis.  Like cancer, we know dozens, maybe hundreds of causes of arthritis.  And every one of them is correct.  every one is an important, valid cause of arthritis. But when most doctors are presented with a specific case of arthritis - there is usually no search for the cause. There is simply a search for 'relief from symptoms'.  We know that arthritis is a degenerative disease. We treat the symptoms - it continues, to gets worse, slowly, over time. It will only get better when we treat the cause.

Why don't we treat the cause?  Why don't we know the cause? 

Finding the cause of a specific incidence of arthritis is very difficult, and very time consuming.  All disease is caused by deficiency or excess.  But what deficiency, or what excess might be causing a specific person's arthritis?  Arthritis gets more complicated.  Arthritis is a degenerative disease, it can get worse over time.  The cause might be simple, a single deficiency or excess.  Or it might be complex.  There might be several deficiencies and excesses contributing to a single case of arthritis. There might be a chain of causes, as we grow older and our life changes, our diet changes.  Maybe it changed from one arthritis cause to another arthritis cause? Arthritis is also difficult to measure - and may wax and wane over time.

As a result, our medical system chooses to treat the symptoms of arthritis (and many diseases) rather than tackling the cause.  The cost of searching for the cause is more (for the medical system) than treating the symptom.  However, the cost to the patient is more if the cause is not addressed.

So, arthritis is a disease we can't cure.  It's not actually.  In many cases, arthritis is a disease we can cure, we just choose to 'not cure'.  If we think we can't, we can't. We will not succeed until we try.

And so it goes with all of the diseases we cannot cure.  We give up searching for the cause.  We treat the symptoms.

What are your doctor's tools?

A doctor has a specific set of tools. The basics, tools to observe the patient's status and symptoms.  Lab tests to measure more about the patient's status. X-rays and many other tools that peer into the body.  There are dozens, hundreds of medical tools, very precise, well engineered, sophisticated.

But what tools does a doctor have to track the cause of arthritis?  What tools does does the doctor have to monitor success, or failure of your battle against arthritis (or any other disease that our medical system can't cure)?  Our medical system's tools for finding cause are very weak.

Is treating the symptoms ever a good idea?  Yes.

Symptoms disrupt our well being.  Pain can cause disability.  Treating symptoms is often very important - WHILE WE SEARCH FOR THE CAUSE.  But if we treat symptoms and stop looking for the cause, we admit defeat.  And in some specific cases, the disease is clearly so far advanced that treating the symptoms is the only option. However, arthritis is a very slow disease.  If we can locate the cause before significant damage is done - there will be no need to treat the symptoms of an advanced state of the disease.

If you have a disease your doctor can't cure, don't give up.  Search for the cause.

Everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of healthiness.

ps. If you enjoy my posts, please share - and you might LIKE my facebook page
Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: