I have stuff I say over and over – things that I have a definite opinion about, and when the topic comes up, I step on my soapbox like the street preachers of old, and give a mini lecture. If you have ever been a patient at our office the chances are that you have heard one or two.

We created this section of our website for those who want a repeat (or a flavor of the lectures to come)

Keep in mind that these are my opinions. They are a compilation of things I have read, heard, and learned over the years. They are my opinions and, while I believe them to be true, I don’t necessarily have the research to substantiate them at hand.

And, therein lies a tale . . .

“Health” Insurance Is Misnamed

Health insurance is misnamed. It’s not about health at all, it’s about illness. You can’t use it unless you are sick. ‘Health’ insurance companies basically aren’t interested in keeping you well.

But, we might not buy it if they called it ‘Sick’ Insurance.

Kind of like ‘Life’ Insurance, which you have to die to collect.

Or, the ‘Side’ effects of medication (which sometimes include death).

If they called these things by their proper name (Death Insurance, Very Bad Effects) would we purchase them?

Health Insurance History

There was no such thing as health insurance until the Great Depression (the early 1930’s). When it was conceived, the premiums for health insurance was literally pennies, and the deductible was HUGE – $100! You could be in the hospital for a week, and your bill would not get to $100. That big a bill would wipe your family out.

Well, time passed. For a long time, that $100 deductible stayed the ‘norm’. Premiums, however, rose, and rose, and rose. Pretty soon, all of a family’s health care budget revolved around ‘insurance’ – there were no funds for any kind of health care that wasn’t covered by insurance.

And what that did, in essence, was let the health insurance industry decide what ‘medicine’ should look like – what kind of treatment was ‘covered’ determined what kind of treatment their clients received.

Remember that insurance companies are businesses. The goal of their business is to make a profit for their stockholders and own real estate. The business that they are in involves paying claims (unless, of course, they can find a reason to not pay the claim.)

Do you think we realized just what we were giving up? Making our own decisions about what kind of care we receive? Letting alternatives flourish?

How much water do we need?

Everybody ‘KNOWS’ we need more water when we sweat, when we exercise, and in the summer. What most people don’t realize is that we need even more water in the winter! Why?

Our lungs raise the humidity of the air in every breath we take to 100% as we inhale, and when we exhale, the water in that air is released into our environment. Cold air doesn’t carry as much water as warm air, so the colder the air we breath, the more of our body’s water reserve goes toward making it moist, and is then lost. [That’s why we fog up the inside of our car windows in the winter.]

Here is how to calculate how much water you need to drink: Take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2. This is the number of ounces of water you need daily. So, if you weigh 128#’s, you need 64 ounces of water (8 cups, or a half gallon). If you weigh 256#’s you need 128 ounces of water (16 cups, or a gallon).

The next thought is usually “I’ll spend all of my time in the bathroom if I drink that much!”, and it would be true if you go from wherever you are to enough all at once. But, if you add a cup a day, your body will adapt, and you won’t even notice an increased frequency in bathroom breaks, though you might notice that your urine is less concentrated (a good thing!).

Do I need back surgery?

If you’ve lost bowel or bladder control? Yes. Right now.

If you are experiencing pain you cannot get away from AND the cause of the pain can be demonstrated as anatomical on imaging studies? Yes, the sooner the better.

That AND is a pretty big one. One of the reasons back surgery has such a poor reputation [someone you know had four back surgeries and is no better or is worse than when they started] is that it took awhile for researchers to figure out that just seeing a disc problem on imaging studies didn’t mean that the problem was actually causing the pain. More than 50% of people without any back pain at all have an identifiable disc problem.

In the last few years, orthopedic surgeons have gotten very good at predicting if the problem is fixable. And, they generally give pretty good advise. If they say you need surgery, you probably will benefit from it. If they say surgery isn’t the answer at this time, believe them and don’t be disappointed.

Why Filter Water?

I think the stuff that comes from the water treatment plant should be called tap fluid, not tap water. Have you ever looked at the inside of a water pipe? Yuck!

The municipal water treatment program has as mission – to get water to your house that will not cause disease. They have to put enough chemical into it to get it through miles of those pipes and into your house pathogen free. So, essentially, it’s an antibiotic as it comes into your house.

It’s your job to take all of those chemicals, and everything that died as a result of those chemicals, and everything that the just shows up in water because we’ve put it into our environment and the treatment plants are not mandated to remove it, OUT of the water before you drink it.

That means you need to filter your water. And, though the higher the quality of filter you use the better, even those pitcher filters are better than drinking straight from the tap (as long as you really do change the filter as directed).

NOTE: I am NOT advocating buying your water in the disposable bottles at the grocery store, for a bunch of very good reasons.

  • You don’t know how long that water has been in the plastic bottle. The entire time, plastic has been leaching into the water, and it’s one more toxin your body will have to deal with. And, if it happened to get hot or icy in the meantime, it’s even worse.
  • The plastic bottles are a huge source of waste that needs recycling. It’s my belief that not using it in the first place is superior to recycling it after it’s used.