Open Thread Friday 7-10-2020

This has been an interesting 8 months since I offered to fill in temporarily as the contributor of the Friday Open Thread. Thought health was a safe noncontroversial subject.
It was the week before Thanksgiving, six weeks before China notified WHO they had a problem and 2 months before USA first patient with a confirmed COVID diagnosis when composed the following.

A few core opinions I have developed over time
1) The body is designed to stay healthy and heal itself from injuries, infections, toxins and chronic illnesses.

2) Be responsible for maintaining and improving your own health or listen to the designated person in your family (often wife or mother). Which includes finding a new health practitioner occasionally. Respect and trust between you and the one providing healthcare treatment can be as important as the treatment.

3) Learn to listen to your body and learn to see the small changes and physical clues in others and yourself. It is easier to do a minor course adjustment before there is a major problem. Insulin resistance discussed in several diaries recently is a good example. This link for some additional signs of insulin resistance.

4) Everyone is a unique individual and there is not one answer or one problem universal to us all. I think in addition to profit our bouncing from one extreme medical idea for another is not believing there can be more than one truth at the same time. A person can be made sick with a high carb diet and a low carb diet - it depends on the person, their time of life and other environmental factors.

5) It is an important to know when to reduce or stop treatment as it is to start. Overtreatment is a significant risks to health, including medications and exercise.
Sport medicine is a profitable business segment.

6) I consider the foundations to effect health are food, physical activity, mental activity and air.

7) The physical body will die after it is born and does not always function perfectly. It is what we do within the beginning and end that is important. Working with people who knew they were dying and still enjoying life brought a level of peace and acceptance to mine I can't explain easily.

8) Most people will ignore advice if it requires them to make personal lifestyle changes, environmental changes or learn and apply a new skill. It is easier to pop a pill, inhale a substance, have a surgery, or live with degrading health. (Inhale a substance - I was thinking of asthma inhalers)

9) Modern medicine theories for treatment and health are based on our understanding chemistry and biology. We have barely began to apply any understanding of physics, mostly within the scope of how it effects chemistry and biology. Yet most of us instinctively know a good joke or music makes us feel better.

10) Technology is not always the best answer.

Importance of a healthy immune system is once again of predominate importance in maintaining health. Understanding and practicing basic principles of infection control has become a necessary daily habit.

Western medicine is supposed to be based on scientific principles and not propaganda. Early in my career doubts started to appear. The first serious hit was 1986 article (sorry unable to find the reference) in The Wall Street Journal regarding a denial to allow the reasearcher to publish information from a research project on levothyroxine which did not support the marketing and advertising by the patent holder. Since then we have seen multiple instances where research not supporting industry viewpoints have been withheld from public view. Glyphosate and climate change are just a couple of examples.

The problems with medical research not being reliable has been a growing problem for those of us supplying medical advice to other practitioners and patients for a several decades. It has become more visible to the general public during this Covid crisis as explained by Malcolm Kendrick MD, a General Practitioner in Britain's National Health Service and author of Doctoring Data – How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense.

For example, here is Dr Marcia Angell, who edited the New England Journal of Medicine for over 20 years, writing in 2009:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as editor.”

Have things got better? No, I believe they’ve got worse – if that were, indeed, possible. I was recently sent the following email about a closed-door, no-recording-allowed discussion, held in May of this year under no-disclosure Chatham House rules:

“A secretly recorded meeting between the editors-in-chief of The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine reveal both men bemoaning the ‘criminal’ influence big pharma has on scientific research. According to Philippe Douste-Blazy, France’s former health minister and 2017 candidate for WHO director, the leaked 2020 Chatham House closed-door discussion was between the [editor-in-chiefs], whose publications both retracted papers favorable to big pharma over fraudulent data.

The email continued with a quote from that recording: ‘Now we are not going to be able to … publish any more clinical research data because the pharmaceutical companies are so financially powerful today, and are able to use such methodologies, as to have us accept papers which are apparently methodologically perfect, but which, in reality, manage to conclude what they want them to conclude,’ said The Lancet’s editor-in-chief, Richard Horton.”

Open discussion is an important process for us to wade through the various discrepancy of information being provided to us by various government agencies, universities, non-government agencies and commercial enterprises. Discussion can be a bit like democracy, messy and confrontational but better than other systems.

________

I have pushed this concept and going to one last time. Gentle exercise and breathing techniques can be used by nearly everyone to improve or maintain physical and health. Physical movement effects more than simply muscles. Simply walking is of great benefit.

In Dr John Dudgeon's 1885 writings on Kung Fu or Chinese Medical Gymnastics he compares the qigong discipline to the Greek teachings of Gymnasia.

Hence the discipline of gymnasia, where the science of movement, as it were, was taught, and which were always dedicated to Apollo, the god of physicians. The Greeks owed much of their mental greatness to the exercises. They formed one of the three great parts into which all education was divided and this branch was the more important in that it did not cease at a certain period but was continued through life.

I keep recommending qigong practices because it a type of moving meditation, can take little space if need to be performed inside, no high cost equipment and several examples on youtube. Exercise disciplines from other cultures are also of value.

General discussion how different approaches to Tai Chi for relaxation, health practices and martial arts. (11 min)

Example of the full 24 form sequence of Tai Chi reminds me of dance. (6:30 min)

Not big on product recommendations but this arthritis program is good. Is available on DVD or as a book. The concept or arthritis prevention and healing is done by improving the health of internal organs not simply focusing on the joints. The routines can be used to encourage improved general health.

Another teacher I have used is Ken Cohen who has several videos available on youtube.

My local classes have generally not had knowledgeable teachers, your may have better choices.

________

I have another long day today out of the house and will not be able to check in until this evening.

________

Open thread all discussions are welcome.

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Comments

Thank you SOE for the encouraging info.
Hoping your day goes well.
Bracing for a tropical storm here.
Hog tie the boats.
The rains may be heavy at times.

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Let's try to help each other
find a better way.

studentofearth's picture

@QMS Spent time enduring a brief (few hours) tropical storm on a tarmac on the plane until the rain let up enough for take off. Much more intense than the storms raging while docked in Astoria and Yaquina harbors. Be safe.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Soooo..., Ms. jbob voluntarily sought out corona testing back on July 1 to be "double extra" safe before planned travel. She has no symptoms but tested positive. The results were not returned until July 7. Both she and her primary care physician suspect this was a false positive. She has not gone back for a retest at my request. I asked for that due to the way NYS is operating. She who tested positive without symptoms received an order from the health department to isolate for 10 days from the date of her test. Bear in mind that it took 7 days for the results to come back so most of the 10 day order was for time already passed. I on the other hand received a 15 day Quarantine order via the contact tracing system starting the day her test results came in. (July 7) I went for a test the next day. (July 8) I received a negative test result this morning. (July 10) However according to the documents they sent me there is no recourse on the Quarantine order except by going to court. So I will just wait it out until July 22. Ms jbob who tested positive without symptoms is free to "mingle" starting tomorrow July 11.
To recap the person who tested positive without symptoms was ordered to isolate for 10 days from the date of testing. The test results took 7 days to show up so most of that order was useless.
The person with no symptoms who lives with the one that received a positive test was given an order of quarantine for 15 days from the day the test results came back. That makes little to no sense in my mind. So Now I'm at home with the quarantine blues. Go figure!

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enhydra lutris's picture

@jbob

is always so much more frustrating then merely falling the victim to happenstance.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@jbob

it's just our policy."

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snoopydawg's picture

@jbob

Heh..I wonder which parent she is mimicking? So cute when she bangs her hand on the table.

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“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” - John Adams

studentofearth's picture

@jbob is aggressive testing in the United States. I am assuming the policy drafters decided the publicity would be worse if all persons in a household did not endure any Quarantine after someone tested positive. It is an easier metric to track than verification of percentage of false positives, timely test results and incidence of asymptomatic vs symptomatic diagnoses.

Hopefully is does not effect your livelihood.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

The failure of our broken health care system is glaring during this pandemic.
Arbitrary closings, lack of PPE, unreliable testing (false positives and negatives),
lead times for results, costs of testing varying wildly, confusing data, conflicting
opinions, mask enforcement vagaries. It is a real mess. With more fog on the horizon.

Good luck with your saga.

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Let's try to help each other
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ggersh's picture

@QMS @QMS https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/07/10/the-movie-villainthe-actual-vill...
The Movie Villain:

The Actual Villain:

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“Awesome! I always wondered what it was like to live during the times of the Civil War, Spanish Flu, Great Depression, Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, & the Dust Bowl. Not all at once mind you, but ya know, ‘beggars/choosers” and all.”

studentofearth's picture

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

enhydra lutris's picture

is attacking jbob et. ux. and am reminded of the extent to which process is the problem. We have reached a place where we cannot function without set, orderly procedures which beget uniformity, but too often idiocy as well. The biggest problem is the immutability of process and procedure once established. Some klutz fails to think of and hence include some detail and everything goes off the rails shortly thereafter. Should not jbob's likely unnecessary quarantine begin on the EARLIEST of either Ms. jbob's test or their first post test encounter or somesuch? More to the point, shouldn't the whole contact tracing flow chart operate different for incidental - meet up contacts and for continuous contacts, family, cohabitants, etc. WE could try to figure out the perfect process, but it would be a waste of time, because there is now somewhere a written directive, and it would take at least 6 months to change so much as one word of it due to the nature of the process used to generate process statements.

Process(es) are a big problem with our whole approach to medical care (as opposed to health care), preventing the discovery, implementation and utilization of partial solutions and remedies and mandating others which are not that well founded. Monetization, profit taking, rent seeking and the like are horrible problems, but our addiction to process runs a close second. OTOH, pure anarchy would also be problematic.

For all of its flaws, western "medicine" has its good points and strengths too, but the same can be said for the eastern health oriented practices soe has served up here, and also other folk medicines and simply a return to things like eating real food, getting adequate exercise but likewise adequate rest, etc. In this, like in so much else, it seems that we need to seek and find our own way, in part through sharing information and ideas, in part through independent research, but also, to some extent through self experimentation and self observation.

Thanks for the OT soe, and for all those you have done since you took up the task of producing a regular weekly offering.

be well and have a good one. Have a great weekend too.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@enhydra lutris

like in so much else, it seems that we need to seek and find our own way, in part through sharing information and ideas, in part through independent research, but also, to some extent through self experimentation and self observation.

Thanks for contributing to the Friday OTs. It made them richer.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

lotlizard's picture

November post-election victory lap, after which they intended to

gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later [= Bernie Sanders supporters] for Guevarista [“Che Guevara type”] fantasies about what their policies are likely to do … [and] … for advocating Comintern-scale lying to voters about what our policies are like[ly] to do.

https://www.bradford-delong.com/2016/04/live-from-la-farine-duncan-black...

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/06/clinton-loyalist-autclinton-loya...

Not looking forward to the centrist gloat-fest you know is coming — after four years of Russia-Russia-Russia frustration, an orgy of pent-up centrist Dem revenge on those commie progressive “people to be named later”! — after Biden wins 2020 in a landslide.

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studentofearth's picture

@lotlizard people for not supporting them blindly. Do not look forward to experiencing an even more punitive style of politics than we already have the past few years. Even if not a targeted group the collateral damage can be hurtful.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

from the wiki

In Ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (/jɪn/ and /jɑːŋ, jæŋ/; Chinese: 陰陽 yīnyáng, lit. "dark-bright", "negative-positive") is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

Thank you studentofearth, thanks for all that work, I'm glad it is here now. Even though I stfu for a while, always made time for high quality lurking. I'm grateful for curated content it is like gold to me. Gold! Otherwise the information fire hose would drown me in confusion, I can't keep up. Thanks.

Basement Cat
Sonoma County native Andrew Smith confirmed as new agriculture commissioner

He got his start at the office performing pest detection and trapping duties. The office, along with the state Department of Pesticide Regulation, helps to foster reduced-risk pest management practices, an issue that is a concern among some local residents. On Saturday, members of the North Bay Organizing Project protested outside a Graton vineyard over the spraying of more than 9,000 pounds of pesticide annually in the surrounding area.

Pesticide use by the agriculture sector is heavily regulated and a lot “of very educated decisions” go into such spraying, Smith said.

“I think what’s important, if we’re concerned about pesticide use, is that we are not reactionary. That we seek first to understand why is this ag practitioner using this as a tool? Are there alternatives?” Smith said. “Ultimately, if you’re a business owner, you make decisions based on what is best for your business, while also taking into consideration the impact of those decisions on your employees and the environment.”

No cloth mask is going to protect me from Monsanto, not around here anyway. oh well

Baah!
Sheep flock to River Park for fire fuel reduction

“A lot of the landscape that we graze are annual grasses, so those are plants that come up year after year,” Brown said. “What we hope to do with our grazing in part over time, as we suppress those annual grasses, is that we sort of push the available brush to more (local) species.”

For the River Park project, however, restoring local species is primarily an added bonus.

“The goals specific to Cloverdale are more fuel reduction, so looking at reducing some of the understory and fire fuel. That can be the type of work that’s typically done with mowing or weed whacking,” Brown said.

Right on. I walk everywhere except down by the River Park now. There are too many homeless and not enough services so it looks like a depressing shithole to me. The chamber of commerce is still going with their "eXperience Cloverdale" meme, so I guess it's just me. lol Sucks to be me. oh well

peace and love

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studentofearth's picture

@eyo The description is closer to my current understanding than when originally used it as a source. Always liked reading different editions of encyclopedias to to get a sense of how evolving societal norms effect the presentation of information. Wiki simply makes changes with no path to follow the intellectual changes.

If interested in further Chinese philosophical thought you might find this set of videos interesting. I found it a few years ago. Professor Cui presents the information in Chinese and organized in a non-Western manner. The young man translates in Americanized English as they go along. The intent appears to provide us (the student) enough information to start to look at The Book of Changes as a source of cultural wisdom, not fortune telling.

My sheep flock has been decreasing in number. Primarily use them for landscape management. In the actual fields grass is a little tall and developed seed heads. First time site - Just after sundown a young great horn owl appeared to be hunting at the eastern edge of the field. An adult was perched in a tall tree on the northern side calling out and observing.

Good to see you writing.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

magiamma's picture

For all your essays. I have bookmarked them. They are keepers -so much good info. Stay safe and take good care.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

studentofearth's picture

@magiamma sources. Thanks for participating.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.