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March 04, 2009


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Izabella Tabarovsky

Daphne, thank you for this great post. I was there for part of Harkin's presentation and found him inspiring... though I have to admit, I have an inherent mistrust of politicians :)

Still, his track record seems to speak for itself, and he clearly was passionate about what he was saying. I loved his anecdote about the program of bringing fruits and vegetables into schools that he instituted a few years ago. Didn't he say that what began with a very small amount is now actually a $1 billion program?

The program is simple - bring fresh fruits and vegetables into schools and place them wherever the kids are - in the halls, in the classrooms - so that they don't have to go somewhere else to get them. And imagine this - contrary to what all the doubters predicted, it turned out that when kids have fruit sitting around, they will actually eat it!

This just goes to show how we undermine ourselves in advance by assuming something that's not true - e.g., that kids won't like fruit or that they will create chaos in the hallways by throwing it at each other.

The Coach in me makes me wonder what other assumptions we as a society are operating on that we need to let go of. Our thoughts really do create our reality in a very concrete way, and sometimes the quickest path to change is through changing your own thinking - including by letting go of your assumptions and negative beliefs...

Julia Schopick

Izabella and Daphne:

What a great posting this is. Thanks so much for it. Hopefully, those of us who are committed to seeing that inexpensive, non-toxic ("alternative") treatments become part of our new healthcare plan, will make ourselves heard.

I like the idea of contacting our political representatives. In addition, I have another idea that might help.

It has come to my attention, via an email from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, that the proposed panel empowered by the IOM to make recommendations on the comparative effectiveness of treatments has no members representing the public. It points out that “the only patient or consumer representative named to the panel’s tentative roster was from the Alzheimer’s Association, a single-issue patient advocacy group that receives substantial support from the drug industry.” (To see the names of all 16 members: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/CommitteeView.aspx?key=49051

If you go to the above link, you will also see that there are also NO members who represent the alternative/holistic/complementary/integrative community.

This, of course, is not good news. But, also according to the email, the public has until March 23 to add our own comments on the IOM’s proposed panel! See http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/FeedBack.aspx?key=49051&type=committee.

This IS good news.

I am planning to comment that they need to have representatives from the holistic/alternative/integrative communities, and that unless they do, our healthcare system will certainly go broke!

I recently conducted an interview with Dr. Burt Berkson (MD, PhD) for my website, HonestMedicine.com. For over 30 years, Dr. Berkson has successfully treated patients with non-toxic, inexpensive (non-Big-Pharma) treatments, such as intravenous alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and low dose naltrexone (LDN). His results have been exceptional, including several cases of remissions in patients with pancreatic cancer.

I know that you will not be shocked (but many of your site visitors might be) to learn that, although in the 1970s, the NIH was very supportive of Dr. Berkson’s work with alpha lipoic acid, in the end, the interest in his work with these kinds of non-pharmaceutically based treatments waned. In my interview with him, Dr. Berkson expressed a strong belief that this eventual lack of interest stemmed from the fact that no one (read “Big Pharma”) would make “big bucks” on these inexpensive treatments, and therefore, no costly trials were ever funded.

Please listen to this important interview with Dr. Berkson at http://tinyurl.com/cgfjh3 . You will also find a transcript of the entire interview there -- complete with links to several of his published papers.

It is time that voices like Dr. Berkson's are also heard in the major healthcare arena.

Thanks for this posting. And I hope we can all work together to effect this very important change. (Feel free to contact me.)

Many thanks,
Julia Schopick

Izabella Tabarovsky

Julia, thank you for this. This is so important, I'm thinking of emailing all of my people to tell them go look at the links you provide and take an active stance... Thank you for the work you're doing!

J.L. Fearing

The senate hearing was excellent. I have been an advocate of orthomolecular (nutritional) medicine for nearly 15 years. I've attended many Nutritional Medicine Today conferences hosted by Dr. Abram Hoffer's group in Canada, the International Society of Orthomolecular Medicine. Dr. Hyman's talk on "functional medicine" was very similar. Dr. Ornish was also very good. All had something important to contribute. We all know that the current medical model is not working for most people with chronic illnesses. Prevention and healing through nutritional medicine works for many, many people. It has changed my life.

Insurance companies have done much harm to the medical system. I would like to see us do away with our current system. But if we don't and we are forced to have coverage, then at the very least we deserve to have options for health care choices. Please support this Integrative Care model.

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