Month: April 2006

Cocaine in the water

By Darrel Crain, D.C.

It’s the water – and a lot more

Fred Hoyle wrote: “Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.” His comment demonstrates a typically American, classically human, endlessly optimistic faith in the ability of new technology to solve all our problems like magic. The big problem remains all the new problems we create through using and developing the new technology.

Benjamin Franklin, for example, is credited with being among the first to develop waste management technology. “Drag the trash to the middle of the river before you let go of it. Don’t just throw it in the water from the riverbank!” He probably called out instructions just such as these to his slaves, perhaps even wading out with them in his excitement about this new technology.

The basic strategy of waste management, “Put that garbage somewhere we don’t have to see it or smell it,” has not changed over the years, although our technology for dispersing it has changed considerably. Do you suppose Franklin had any idea his technology would evolve to the point that today’s society’s toxic leftovers would be found over the entire surface of the planet, including the drinking water?

Archaeologists have always been known to check the waste of societies for important clues about life. Now they’ve got company. A recent news article, describing new activity by government scientists, caught my eye. These federal investigators in white coats have developed a taste for waste-testing. They have begun the fascinating task of studying America’s wastewater, intent on finding out just how much cocaine people might be snarfling up their noses.

Cocaine, of course, can pass through the human body and still end up as cocaine in the sewage. This can also be said of antibiotics, pain medications, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, cholesterol lowering drugs, blood-pressure lowering drugs, anticonvulsants, cancer-fighting and hormone replacement drugs, and on and on.

Why do you suppose the government only wants to know about the cocaine, though? Why not compare cocaine levels to say, antibiotic levels? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to measure all the drugs, legal or not. How much used cocaine is safe in American waterways compared to used antidepressants?

Even after passing through water filtration plants, tap water in cities all over the world has been found to contain the entire array of modern pharmaceuticals. To the list of toxic heavy metals, PCBs, engine emissions and fluoride wastes in our municipal water, we must now add the entire pharmacopoeia.

The chlorine treatment of wastewater creates another layer of difficulty by splitting drug molecules into new molecules, some of them more toxic than their parents.

Do you find this troubling? Don’t worry, be happy! A spokesman from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) has wisely assured the public that there are no “appreciable impacts on the aquatic environment” that can be linked to low concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the water.

How about, “cumulative, insidious, adverse impacts” on aquatic ecosystems, including a decline in rates of reproduction and survival of animals in contact with the water, according to scientists with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)?

We have also been assured that there are “no appreciable human health risks.” This brings to mind the Ashanti proverb, “One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.”

The operative word in their statement is “appreciable.” Perhaps the definition of an appreciable risk to a drug company is simply a risk whose hemorrhaging of corporate profits due to legal death and damages claims can no longer be ignored.

Many scientists perceive real risks to humans posed by constant exposure to recycled drugs. These likely involve developmental and reproductive changes, just as we are seeing in other vertebrates around the globe.

“We’re concerned [these pharmaceuticals] are not only having an effect on aquatic organisms, but on human populations, as well,” wrote scientist Rebecca Klaper of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

Despite all this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seems in a big hurry to put its seal of approval on loads more drugs day after day. I don’t know, maybe it is time to turn the whole drug approval process over to the EPA and see if they can protect us any better. After all, shouldn’t the drug companies have to submit an Environmental Impact Report each time they apply for a new drug, just like the other gross polluters?

When used medicine gains entrance to your body every day, the price of admission is a loss of vital energy. Virtually all drugs, recycled or not, have the tendency to cause a power loss in every last one of the several hundred trillion cells you call home: your body.

Cells, you may recall, actually do the work of creating the life inside you. Each cell is a tiny factory with an important job to do. Each one carries its own power supply, called mitochondria. When chemicals come in contact with your cells, the ability of mitochondria to recharge is reduced, a loss of power and energy at the cellular level.

As Peter Newman correctly pointed out, “Power tends to connect; absolute power connects absolutely.”

Your cells crave absolute power to get their job done. It is time to get on with life and filter out all this depressing news. I have faith in some of our current technology to help us out. As Ben Franklin also said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

With a bit of planning, we can filter out the recycled drugs and other nasty stuff from our water before we drink it, shower in it, and wash clothes, plates, forks and knives in it.

I’ll drink to that. Make mine a triple-filtered, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet-light exposed glass of pure water.

Dr. Darrel Crain
Family Chiropractor
Natural Health Writer
President, CCA San Diego County District
619-445-0100 @ 9:48 pm | Article ID: 1146199684

Chiropractic Student Loan Consolidation

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Several chiropractic students and former students have e-mailed me asking about their student loans and if they should be consolidating student loans. I’ve been there, done the borrowing, and all my student loans are paid, hopefully what I’m sharing is of value to you.

While in school, you may have had several different loans. If you are a borrower with several outstanding student loans, it may benefit you to switch to a federal consolidation loan. The loan allows you to combine all of your eligible student loans into one new loan that has a single monthly payment. A consolidation loan is still a federal loan and it can make repaying your student loans simpler and sometimes more affordable. Not long after I graduated I consolidated all of my loans into one federal consolidation loan. Mine was done through ACS. If you are a loan borrower in grace or repayment and want to reduce your monthly expenses, you may want to consider loan consolidation.

You can always do an online search for student loan consolidation and you’ll find lots of related information, but be careful before making long-lasting financial decisions. If you’re still in school and are just about to graduate you can check with the financial aid department at your current chiropractic college.

Adjust More People
Years of practicing chiropractic has taught me the fastest way to pay off loans is to adjust more people.

Getting your student loans consolidated may be a good idea simply for the fact that you can combine everything into one monthly payment. You’ll have many other things to be concerned with while you’re in chiropractic practice and you don’t need multiple payments to multiple lenders if you can just simply send in one check or make automated payments online.

Some of the loans that may apply to chiropractic students include: Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Parent Loans (PLUS), Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS), Federal Perkins Loans, Federally Insured Student Loans (FISL), and Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL). If I come across others I’ll list them here.

Here is a summary of advantages:

    • Lower monthly payment – your monthly payments may decrease since you’ll have more time to pay back your loans. A consolidation loan may allow you to extend the repayment term up to 30 years, depending on your total outstanding chiropractic student loan balance.
    • Single monthly payment – you only have to write one check per month to a single lender. You can also make online payments in most cases.
    • You and Spouse – you can consolidate your student loans with your spouse’s student loans.
    • No prepayment penalty – you can repay your loan sooner without getting penalized (do this whenever possible).
    • No fees – there should be no charges to consolidate your loan, if there are, look elsewhere.
    • Choice of repayment plans – there are choices such as standard, graduated, or income sensitive payment plans. Which plan you choose depends on how low you want your monthly payments.

Here is a summary of disadvantages:

  • Longer repayment period – you will have a longer repayment period due to the extended term which can be up to 30 years (like having a mortgage).
  • Increased interests costs – over the life of your loan you may pay more interest (almost certainly will if you go with a thirty year option).
  • Limited deferment and forbearance options – you may lose any unused deferment or forbearance period on your existing loans.Again, talk to the people in the financial aid department at the chiropractic school you attended. They will most likely have a student loan consolidation application available. If you are already out of school you may just want to search online. I’ll post more articles and share how I was able to pay off my loans after graduating.The best student loan repayment program that I know of is going to work! That was the model of repayment for every successful chiropractor I @ 1:23 pm | Article ID: 1145650980

Can You offer Advice about Chiropractic Schools?

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I have been receiving lots of questions from people searching for information regarding various chiropractic schools, mostly those in the United States. In an effort to better answer some of these questions I began doing some research of my own. What I discovered was that while there is a web site for every chiropractic College in the United States, most of the information I found was similar to reading a brochure. All schools want to paint themselves in the best light and I don’t recall coming across any chiropractic school website saying “we may not be the right school for you.”

Anyone who has been to chiropractic College, or works in its educational system, knows that not all schools are created equal. While the schools all strive to teach their students to be competent doctors of chiropractic, to pass national and state board examinations, and to get licensed, the similarities pretty much end there. Beyond the basics, at the 18 current US schools, we have major differences in technique instruction, philosophical tenets and instruction, and practice management, just to name a few.

The research I have been doing led to the creation of the ( chiropractic school review web site. Here, recent graduates, as well as chiropractors in the field of practice, can share their insights and experiences about their chiropractic education. I hope the information on the web site is helpful to both the prospective student and the general public.

I am also working on several featured articles for planet chiropractic that are focused on the chiropractic educational system. I have an article published this year on assessing the salary of a chiropractor (which is a continual work in progress), as well as an article on advice about chiropractic schools. A few of the topics that are in the works include: whether chiropractic schooling in today’s health-care climate is a worthwhile investment; are all chiropractic schools created equally; which chiropractic schools have the best reputations for doctors in the field of practice.

chiropractor adjustingThe reason I am working to publish information on these topics is that I find they are topics that are little discussed. For example, I would assume that nearly any chiropractic school recruiter is going to say that becoming a chiropractor today is a good investment. They may cite recent studies saying the growth of the chiropractic profession in the United States is looking good, they may cite studies showing comfortable incomes earned by practicing chiropractors, they may cite studies of chiropractics growing acceptance (I hate that term). But as I recently discovered, after hearing from young chiropractors graduating with plus $200,000 in student loan debt, I began to wonder whether an eight-year full time schooling investment in chiropractic education and nearly a quarter million dollars in debt, was a good bet. To be clear, I’m not talking chiropractically minded DCs, I am talking business models.

Any doctor who has been in practice for any length of time knows that chiropractic schools are not all created equal. There is little to no information regarding this available on the Internet. With your help, my upcoming series of articles regarding the similarities and differences of the various chiropractic colleges in the United States should assist both the student doctor and the general public to disseminate some important information regarding the various schools.

Do some schools have better reputations than others among field doctors? Even though I’m not a graduate of Palmer in Davenport, Iowa or Life University, I have to say that in my experience, some schools are held in higher regard among not only doctors of chiropractic but a select population of the general public as well.

I know what it is like to go to the office everyday. I know what it is like to have reports due, to have staff to train, to have people to see. I also know that if I did not make the time investment, this website would not exist. If you’re interested in contributing and/or participating in the creation of these articles I’d appreciate hearing from you. For more information you can click here to e-mail me. If you are a recent graduate from a chiropractic College or are a doctor practicing in the field I would also appreciate if you would take a few minutes to visit our school review web site. If you feel like sharing and potentially making chiropractic schools a better place, register a free username, and tell a story about your chiropractic educational experience.

Thanks and all the best of health to you and yours.
Dr. Michael Dorausch, D.C. @ 7:44 am | Article ID: 1145371458

US life expectancy falls below that of most wealthy nations

By Darrel Crain, D.C.

Long may you live!

American medicine was publicly flogged recently because life expectancy in our country falls below that of most wealthy nations. This is totally unfair. “The wise man lives as long as he ought, not so long as he can,” according to Montaigne, and he was French! The French, of course, rank above everyone except the Japanese and the Australians for life expectancy. Anyway, I don’t think we should blame the medical industry for our lifespan. Medicine in the United States is doing everything in its power to fight death. Heck, we spend twice as much per person on medical care than any other country. Take that, Japan!

Here in America we have a solid tradition of treating old age as a disease and recognizing death as the ultimate enemy. “We can! We must! We will fight death, to the uh, to the death!” Isn’t it amazing that roughly 80 percent of the money spent on all medical care occurs in the last few weeks of life?

“Congratulations Mrs. Jones, your 87-year-old husband has a new heart, one new lung and a couple of new kidneys. The procedure was difficult but 100 percent successful. We did a great job!”

“But my husband died!”

“Yeah, we’re truly sorry about that, we did everything we could think of. Anyway, that’ll be $178,542 please. Will that be cash, check or charge?”

Art Linkletter said, “The four stages of life are infancy, childhood, adolescence and obsolescence.” He was joking, of course, but people who believe old age means feebleness and disability will likely end up that way. If good health and long life are our goals, we might be wise to study people who live long, healthy lives.

“The man who has lived the longest is not he who has spent the greatest number of years, but he who has had the greatest sensibility of life,” according to Rousseau. At times, the world is enriched with an individual who achieves both a long life and great sensibility. I was nine when just such a man moved in next door, Grandpa Bert.

Starting at a young age, Bert climbed the ladder of success one rung at a time, rising from office boy to become vice president of a farm implement company in St. Paul, Minnesota. Then the depression hit and he lost everything. The resilient optimist that he was, Bert declared, “We might starve, but we won’t freeze!” and he and Grandma Isabel moved the family west to California.

Bert joked and laughed right up to the last day of his 99 years. “It’s a terrible thing getting old, but it beats the alternative!” That was the closest thing to a complaint Bert ever uttered about growing old. Ask how he was doing and he would tell you, “I’ve still got all my marbles, but they may be rattling around a bit in there!”

Of course, Bert’s excellent health during his long life did not necessarily stem from ten decades of strictly eating only health foods. He explained to me when I was ten how to balance your meals, “Hold a hot dog in one hand and a glass of root beer in the other.” Significantly though, he loved describing what he ate in his early years: farm-fresh food free of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and herbicides.

Bert was able to get around and do the things he enjoyed up to the very end of his days, better than loads of people twenty and thirty years his junior. He never seemed preoccupied with old age. He advised us to “stay on the sunny side of life,” and “take life one day at a time.” He loved walking and walked nearly every day. Before the housing development bulldozed its way into our valley, a very long dirt road connected our old ranch to the main road. Bert used to walk down in the morning to pick up the newspaper and drop outgoing mail in the mailbox. Later he would walk down again and carry a large bundle of mail up the hill.

Bert was full of practical advice, including, “Sleep when you’re tired, and get up when you’re hungry!” He often told us, “Stay away from doctors!” meaning medical doctors, of course. He followed his own advice and was prescribed drugs only a handful of times in all his years. How many seniors do you know who swallow a handful of drugs every day?

I hate to be critical, but is it possible modern American medicine is missing something? Medical doctors seem to think our senior citizens are all terribly sick, probably because the healthy ones are staying away in droves. There is a pervasive myth that as we grow old we must deteriorate, we must take drugs and we will probably need major surgery. Survival is granted greater importance than quality of life.

Which brings up the topic of how seniors are supposed to pay for all this medical stuff. Do you suppose it is just a coincidence that the new Medicare rules are proving profitable for our poor drug companies, while proving to be confusing and unfair to seniors? I think it is time we change the name of the whole program from Medicare to “Medi-doesn’t-care-one-little-bit.”

Seriously though, if you are interested in staying young and healthy while growing old, you should make a point to talk to some of the healthy senior citizens walking all around your town. Find out what their secret is to long life. Chances are they know Mark Twain’s secret just as Bert did, “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

– – – – – – – – – –
Dr. Darrel Crain
Family Chiropractor
Natural Health Writer
President, CCA San Diego County District
619-445-0100 @ 1:04 pm | Article ID: 1145304255

Is there such thing as caring too much?

By Sharon Gorman, D.C.

The obvious answer might seem to be no but the answer that I always seem to forget to be true is yes. I am thinking here specifically about my practice. I want my practice to do well. I want to serve a lot of patients. I want my time to be full during office hours as well as my staff’s time. I want to be successful. I know the things I need to do to have this happen. Or do I? Is it always appropriate for everything to work out the way that I think it should. When do we stop pushing our way through life and when do we turn it over and trust? And when should we not? These are questions that I wrestle with all of the time.

So I woke up this morning and I took a few minutes to thank God and pray. For me prayer is stopping to remember that God is in charge and I am not God. After I do that I usually take a few minutes and in my head play through the day. I see things turning out the way that I would have them turn out. On a Monday morning I usually commit to my practice. I usually make the decision again to try my best today. I think about the things that I really would rather not have to do and commit to dealing with them today. I commit to being brave and remembering that I am not alone. I am not only walking with God but I also walk with this tremendous support system that I have set up for myself in life. I walk with my husband, my kids, my associates, my staff and my community of friends. I remind myself that I am not alone. I remind myself to lighten up and invite humor into my life. I especially remember not to take myself too seriously. Then I have to remember to let go and let God and put my feet on the floor one foot at a time and keep doing the next right thing.

The letting go for me is the tough thing. It is one thing to care about the outcomes in my life and another to try to Control them. That is not an excuse to not try my best in my life yet when I remember all of this then I become right sized again.

Sitting here I can think of literally 10 times when things turned out better than I thought they would even after life took a few bends in the road and I didn’t think things would work out at all. They turned out just the way they were supposed to work out. Doesn’t it always work out the way it is suppose to? Sometimes we certainly don’t think it turned out very well but that is too bad. It is what it is. Some of the hardest things that I have been through have taught me the most valuable lessons. Those tough days forced me to call to my higher self. Sometimes I had to learn tough lessons by being in so much pain by practicing my old behaviors that I finally gave in and made changes in myself. I thought that if I tried real hard in life then I would never have to deal with these tough days. God is not going to stop teaching me lessons and preparing me to serve because I try hard in my life. That would hardly be a reward for my good behavior. Yet, that is what I yearn for. I would actually get very bored with my life if it became that predictable. I don’t know why I still go into these lessons kicking and screaming. I guess it is human nature. It sure isn’t an excuse to stop caring about the outcomes in my life. I just need to keep life in perspective. There is a God and I am not it.

– – – – – – – – – –
Focus Philosophy Night
May 13, 2006- 7:00pm
Optional dinner at 5:30pm
FEATURING: Cheryl Langley, D.C. & Ginger Grancagnolo, Ed.D.

Howard Johnson Hotel – Route 611 Bartonsville, PA (exit 302 off I-80)
(570) 424-6100 for Reservations (ask for Focus Rate)
Contact Sharon Gorman at (570) 350-4091 for more info. or e-mail [email protected]
COST: Suggested fee is the price of one office visit.
We will be passing the hat to cover expenses.
Please bring your staff, patients are welcome too!

Future 2006 Dates: JUNE 3, July 8th, August 12th, September 9th and October 14th @ 9:43 pm | Article ID: 1144730627

Do you even believe in chiropractic?

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Some brief notes from the DCS LiveWire Tour 2006 4/3/2006

I got the finger on you for sure…

Dr. Bill DeMoss - Chiropractor of the Year 2005The Dead Chiropractic Society (DCS) rocked Orange County on Monday night with presentations from 3 red hot chiropractors. Complete with advance ticket sales, t-shirt sales, pizza and perrier, this experience is a one of a kind chiropractic event, and I know of nothing else like it, anywhere on the planet. The walls are painted with a special fleck paint that glows brilliantly when the rooms black lights are lit. This is no back corner kiddy garage. This place rocks inside a commercial property and is a major part of Dr. Bills mission to educate the world about chiropractic. No one in Southern Cal is doing more than DCS to keep alive the flames that DD and BJ Palmer lit.

The music of choice for the evening was from the AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip Live DVD. We also heard some powerful talks from three different DCs practicing in California. Dr. Bill DeMoss gave the best talk that I have heard from him yet. It was well presented and his message was right on!

Shockwaves reverberate from the coast of California across water and land, spreading the word of chiropractic (and some loud rock-n-roll) to infinity and beyond. Every time I am in the room at DCS I have to look around and get more details. It’s like going to a dark club, there is always something new to discover on your next visit.

There are a lot of guys behind the success of DCS but the true credit goes to Dr. Bill DeMoss (and Mary Jane) for their relentless hard work and efforts that result in these oh so powerful events.

This is nothing like a professional night out with your colleagues. No way my friends, this is an evening of raw chiropracTIC. Many things may and will be said that would piss off many a chiropractor. The point (to me) is not to rub elbows and congratulate each other on how nice our ties look. The point is to be reminded of what it is we do, who we do it with, why we do it, and how we can continue to do it, regardless of perceived obstacles that may present themselves.

Dr. Brad Glowaki of Long Beach, CA shared some of his very successful marketing strategies. This alone was worth the one hour trip for me from Los Angeles. Dr. Brads energy was way up there. He gave a great analogy of Starbucks and new patients. I got the jist like this… Are people with fatigue going to Starbucks? Is Starbucks effective at removing the symptoms of ones fatigue, even if only temporarily? Is chiropractic care effective in improving ones energy naturally and thus decreasing fatigue? To anyone that has been in practice any length of time (like more than a day) the obvious answer is YES. The rest of the world is not necessarily aware of that information, or at least the rest of the world outside of your office. When folks start coming in asking for a double atlas-axis, no mix toggle then we’ll know we are on to something. Until then, we have plenty of work to do.

Dr. Bill was presented with the “Chiropractor of the Year” award for 2005 by Dr. Brad. An honer he very rightly deserves.

Dr. Bill DeMoss talked about practicing in the office like you were preparing for the Superbowl. Some of his slides read…

Train like you are in the Superbowl.
Get adjusted, exercise, rest, nutrition, take lots of vacations.
Are you in it for the long haul or are you just a flash in the pan?
You don’t appreciate chiropractic until you don’t have it.
Live Wire! On Fire! Get out of the box! Get out of your comfort zone!
Do you even believe in chiropractic?

He also talked about the worlds most profitable industry – the pharmaceutical industry and when adjusting, he reminded us that… “time does not equal quality.”

Dr. Scott Sawyer from Santa Cruz came down and read us tons of quotes from his collection of chiropractic texts and shared some stories about his practice in Nor Cal.

All these guys did a great job and the energy for the night was exceptionally high.

I recorded all three talks on my cowon mp3 player / recorder and although the audio quality is going to be less than great, I’ll post all the audio to the website and will update this article with appropriative links. @ 9:15 pm | Article ID: 1144210520

Chiropractic Monday Morning Message – The Gift of Gratitude

By Sharon Gorman, D.C.

Stop – take a moment and get a scrap piece of paper. Now, not later, write it down. Write down at least 5 things that you are grateful for. Write it down. Now read it back. Do you feel luck? Do you feel rich? You are lucky. You are rich.

Try this now, write down 5 things that you like about yourself. Write down some of your good qualities and think about the decisions you made and the things you have done that have worked out real well. If you read back your list and take a minute to think about it, you will be taking a few minutes to build your self esteem.

Good self esteem is necessary to be effective in life.

If you don’t work on building your own self esteem then you will be looking outside of yourself for strokes. This can be very dangerous because it can be a filter you use in selecting people that you allow in your space. In other words, if you are dependent on other people to tell you that you are OK then you will pick people who do just that and you might start living your life in such a way that you will please that person because you have become addicted to their ability to praise you and make you feel good about yourself. Why put yourself in this vulnerable position when you can become your own best fan. You can prevent yourself from living from the outside-in. You build your self esteem from the inside-out. You don’t need to owe anyone. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have positive motivating people around you. When you have good self esteem you would choose those kind of people and that are positive and motivating. If you walk around with a need that other people have to scratch in essence you become their prisoner and you lose yourself and your own self respect. You are good. You are enough. Focus on the good and you will get more of what you focus on.

Hope I got you thinking.


– – – – – – – – – –
Focus Philosophy Night
April 8, 2006 – 7:00pm
Optional dinner at 5:30pm
FEATURING: Reggie Gold
Howard Johnson Hotel
Route 611 Bartonsville, PA (exit 302 off I-80)
(570) 424-6100 for Reservations (ask for Focus Rate)
Contact Sharon Gorman at (570) 350-4091 for more info
Suggested fee is the price of one office visit.
We will be passing the hat to cover expenses. @ 1:24 pm | Article ID: 1144095850