Healthy Health Care for Everyone
Saul Yudelowitz BSc (Hons)
Itís a very interesting time in the UK right now with regard to health care. In Scotland a recent report suggests that the cost of obesity in 2025 will be £3 Billion per year, a cost that will not only bankrupt the Scottish health care system but also place significant impedance on the economy to grow.
While consulting for the UK government on the Forsyth report, I concluded that their solutions were no better - wanting to make me laugh and then cry. I donít have any figures on the annual cost of obesity in the UK, but what this and many other countries donít realise is that there is another problem increasing at an astounding rate. Neurodegenerative disease will make the cost of obesity look like the pennies lying among the trillions of bank notes.
One well known but as yet still rather poorly understood neurodegenerative disease is Alzheimerís disease. In a nutshell we have unhealthy health care because there are serious flaws in the medical model as well as with governments that are responsible for implementing health care. We have a flawed definition of what health is, and so we have been led to believe that throwing money at this problem will ultimately solve the problem.
I will say this: there is a financial bubble growing at a very fast rate when it comes to health care and when it bursts it will make the subprime bubble look small.
Some of the problems with the current medical model are:
The focus is on disease and not health. In a medical degree course you spend a lot more time studying pathology then you do health, so doctors typically donít have a good understanding of what health is. They are very well educated at what disease a patient has and what medication they will need, this is mainly due to the pharmaceutical industry (P.I.). You see, while there is a place for medicine, governments of the world make so much money from the P.I. that the P.I. has a majority say in health policies. This is one reason the merry go round doesnít stop, until there are not enough people alive to feed the system.
The World Health Organisation along with the World Bank realised many years ago that the healthier a nation is, the greater the potential for financial wealth in that nation. What they need to do is recalculate the figures base on health against chronic disease. Just as the actuarial scientists made a mistake a number of years ago with pension funds (and the expected mortality rate), so too have these organisations with regard to the cost not being healthy. Let me put it this way: the human race has taken the best creation that will ever be known to us Ė natural health - and in a few decades moved us from an acute to a chronic disease state.
Another problem with modern health care is the numerous research articles published. Many of them by or funded by the P.I. You see maths is very creative - most people donít believe me when I say this, but when I began to study maths I learned the basics like 1 + 1 = 2. This is the boring part of math but itís the foundation of understanding creative math. Just as language has basic rules like beginning a sentence with a capital and ending with a full stop so too does math.
In my second year of math we had to study philosophy. Many people didnít like this but in time we were given symbols that represented a meaning and we had to add these into the discussion. After time we had to use less words and more symbols. Symbols were then replaced with numbers and so, I promise you maths is as creative as any language can be! When I finished my research project I had to give a talk to the 4th years that would be doing their projects the next year. My advice was to choose a subject that you are passionate about and to scrutinise the statistics in the research papers you use in research. I explained that you could statistically move the results in a direction that you wanted gaining a significant statistical result. The Principal objected to this comment and my answer was: if you do not agree with what I just said then you truly do not understand statistics and maths. By the rule of statistics it was not inaccurate to do this. There have been research papers on the statistics used in research papers; the results are not a feather in the cap of common sense.
Another problem with the medical model is the method that it is used to diagnose diseases. Death and disease caused by doctors misdiagnosing is a lot higher than many people think and one common denominator is that the developed first worldís health care systems tend to have the highest number of iatrogenic incidences.
While I have pointed out many issues pertaining to health from the medical model they are very good at emergency care, but this is exactly the point I am trying to make. Our health care is only effective at emergency (reactive) care and not at keeping or advising the population on how to get and stay healthy so that they ultimately have less dependence on health care! This was one of the main reasons for the formulation of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
From 10 years of clinical work with professional athletes and the general public, advising governments and sports organisations I have come to the following potential solution to our unhealthy health care.
For a few millennia the East has worked with energy flow, chi and meridians. They understood that maintaining the ability for energy to move from one area of the body to another was important. What some might not realise is that this allowed the patient to get healthy from the inside to the outside - a huge contrast to the many cosmetic and aesthetics that the modern world now sees as healthy.
Our skin is the largest organ that we have; it will let you know when you overload your liver. We are not what we eat, but what we absorb from the food we eat and the environment we live in. Our faeces will indicate the health of our gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Our sex drive is one of many indications of the balance of our hormonal system. One of the most accurate assessments of toxicity in the body is from semen and motherís milk. Patients are always shocked to see just how high their toxicity level is.
The West formed a study of biomechanics. This pertains to the internal forces and external forces acting on the body. For me biomechanics also holds the following definition: the ability to use the joints in the manner in which they have been designed to function.
We atHealth and Performance, from many clinical studies, believe that applied force forms the foundation of the structure and structure forms the foundation of function. Letís use the spine as an example. If there is an applied force on the spine that acts for a chronic period on the vertebra of the spine, osteophyte formation occurs. This is the same as a heel spur, a small piece of bony out growth. The applied force over time changed the structure and now that there is an osteophyte the function will be altered.
Another example is the liver. Sclerosis of the liver literally means that the architecture of the cells has changed. If we use an alcoholic as an example the fatty deposits in the liver is the applied force that acts on the structure of the cells. After a chronic period the function of the liver will change as a consequence of the altered architecture. If we use our body in the manner that it has been designed to work then just by exercising, we will increase the energy flow from one area of the body to another, just like Eastern medicine has been doing.
The flow of this energy allows the viscera to be healthy. Anyone who has studied health will know that the ability to move is a requirement of health. Perhaps the reason why I wanted to laugh and then cry after listening to the UK on their advice for the obese becomes clear now. The Forsyth report just wanted obese people to become more active, like running at the gym. All this would lead to are the slave joints wearing out and becoming arthritic very quickly. The rate of hip and knee replacements would increase significantly.
Itís the same as watching the Biggest Loser. They are made to do exercises that will not only wear out their slave joints quickly but also stress the hormonal system to the point of the body storing as much fat as possible. This is one reason that this system has never and will never work! It will be approximately 10 years before participants from The Biggest Looser US will sue the producers of the program; they have failed on their duty of care and so any legal form that was signed would not stand up in a court of law.
Letís get back to the biomechanical example and how it can affect the viscera. An example is tendonitis. The Supraspunatus is a muscle that commonly contributes to rotator cuff problems of the shoulder (GH) joint. There is an area in this muscle known as the critical zone as it does not have a blood supply that is as rich as the rest of the muscle. The critical zone is towards the lateral end of the muscle. Poor biomechanics, which contribute to a protracted and elevated GH, tax this muscles function by physically impinging the muscle and further reducing the blood supply to the critical zone. This applied force leads to the structural change of calcification and this structural change leads to an altered function.
This all takes some time. It is only in the last few years that the fascia has been taken into account in a functional manner. The foot is supported in a facial strip that runs from the front of the leg, round under the foot, up the outside of the leg, up the back of the thigh and attaches onto the pelvic floor. The same nerves that innervate the pelvic floor innervate the underside of the foot. You have to take a step back and just admire the brilliance of the creation of man!
Letís look at digestion and how biomechanics affect the function of the GIT. The main complaint that doctors receive with regards to the GIT is constipation. While there are many reasons for constipation the majority of the presenting cases are not serious in the sense of pathology. Lack of water, fibre, exercise and others are some reasons given. The GIT is divided into different parts.
The large intestine has a few functions; one of them is the formation of faeces. Since the ascending and descending parts of the large intestine are retroperitoneal the angle of the lumbar spine will affect the function. Flexion of the spine not only leads to a tightening of the retroperitoneal fascia but also the diaphragm compressing the GIT, the applied force changes the structure of the organ, which affects the function. Constipation literally leads to a dirty GIT, this leads to low levels of chronic inflammation which has been implicated in many diseases one of them being neurodegenerative disease.
In our opinion not only does an unhealthy GIT from chronic low levels of inflammation lead to neurodegenerative disease it is the driver of autoimmune diseases. Two thirds of our immune system resides in the GIT. In Autoimmune disease, it is the immune system that attacks itself!
The last example of the affects of biomechanics on health we will give is the eye. There are many people who have corrected their eyesight without the use of glasses. Put simply, when the muscles around the eye are in a balanced length-tension relationship with each other the resulting applied force allows the structure of the eye to be round leading to normal function. Imbalanced length-/tension relationships have an applied force that makes the eye ball a different structure and hence the function is altered.
Just looking at biomechanics would be a reductionist approach - this is common in many medical principles. We also look at the mind. W e know that we can change the biomechanics of a patient or athlete a lot quicker than the typical 8000 reps that has been drummed into the media. First we get people thinking like a winner.
An example of this is when a patient or athlete comes in for treatment due to an area of pain, like lower back pain (LBP). Once we resolve the pain we ask how the back feels, most answer that it feel good! We stop everyone there and explain that the lower back canít feel good. No pain is normal and not good. There are many other techniques we employ to get our athletes and patients thinking like a winner.
On the issue of relearning motor programs we have found that the typical methods used clinically are flawed as they focus on using the conscious mind and not the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind can multitask and accurate movement requires the assessment of many different variables and reacting to them.
An example is the UK London underground terrorist attack. The more sensors that are stimulated the more importance the body gives to recalling and learning from experience. If you were to ask any survivors from the attack what people in their location were wearing they will recall in vivid detail. The subconscious mind learns when tasks are performed quickly; it is excellent at assessing many different variables on many different levels.
In contrast the conscious mind is attuned to focusing well on only one task. If you learn with the conscious you will take at least 8000 reps to relearn movement - life is literally too short for such poor methods. Health is about balance in life, of every aspect of life. You canít expect to be health by having great biomechanics and eat rubbish: this way of thinking is for losers who donít want to use their common sense.
Ultimately you will grow old and either love life because you are functionally healthy or you will grow old and bitter - hating life because you are unhealthy. What is clear is that we canít rely on our governments to provide health. The time to act is now! Remember that the government of the day works for you: you pay their salary and itís up to you as the boss to demand a minimum level of professionalism.