Monday, April 24, 2006

Minute Clinics

There's a new type of clinic where you can see a nurse-practitioner or physician's assistant for a reduced price for a specific set of low risk health problems.

It's called Minute Clinic. Check it out!

Project 730

I have an idea to increase my own productivity. I'm calling it Project 730.

I have a lot of trouble getting up and to work on weekday morning when I don't have any commitment that morning. If I don't have any meetings or phone calls at a specified time, I tend to sleep late and lose that productive morning time.

So I'm setting 7:30am as my wake up time every weekday morning. For me, that's the perfect time, not super early but not too late either. Hopefully I can keep it up. Today - so far so good!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Happy Birthday, Holistic Economy!

This blog is one year old! It's been a fun time adding posts. I'm definitely continuing for another year. Hope you'll stick with me!

The Individual Development Account (IDA)

I found out about this only because my sister-in-law is a banker...

There is a new type of bank account (set up in Federal law) called an Individual Development Account (IDA).

You can open this account, and it teaches you how to save. What that means is that for each dollar you deposit, it will be matched 1-to-1 or better (even 6-to-1 sometimes I guess). That's a great incentive to save! But it goes further. As part of this deal, the person who opened the account has to agree to save a certain amount every month (whatever amount), and also has to attend several training classes on compound interest, etc.

It sounds like a revolutionary idea! So why didn't I hear about it until just now? Why haven't there been a million ads promoting it? Maybe banks wouldn't be too excited about promoting it, although my sister-in-law said that they want to encourage savings as much as possible, because their savings business is much more profitable than their loans business. Seems counter-intuitive, but when I realized that interest rates are quite low and the stock market is doing well, that explains it somewhat.

Anyway, here's a link to an explanation from the North Carolina government (best one I could find).

Friday, April 21, 2006

Some Good Advice on Multitasking

Sometimes you need to book a special "think time" for yourself. This article gives a great perspective on stepping back regularly to allow the space for new ideas to appear.

Click here for the article on the Fast Company blog.

My New Nephew!

Here's Timothy Kulak! He's my newest nephew, just born April 19, 2006. He is healthy, his mother (my sister) is healthy, everyone is fine, just tired. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but he will live in Drayton Valley.

He came out at 6 pounds, 15 ounces, despite the fact that he is 1 month premature. Big kid!

Congratulations, Shelley, and welcome, Timothy!

Growing Up

Advice on growing up, from That 70s Show. Here is Red's advice to Steven when Steven doesn't want to attend his 18th birthday party:

Red: "Hyde, get your butt upstairs and go to
your party."

Hyde: "I'm not goin'."

Red: "Steven, you're eighteen now. It's time to start
being a man. And the first rule to being a
man is, you gotta spend your life doing crap you
don't want to do. Like right now, I don't
want to be here, talking to you, but I am. You
don't want to go to a party, but you will."

A Story About the Power of the Mind

I read this story in Elaine Hruska's book "When Illness Strikes," although the story originally appeared in Bernie Siegel's book "Love Medicine and Miracles."

In 1957, the patient, Mr Wright, had advanced lymphosarcoma, with neck tumors the size or oranges and an enlarged spleen and liver. Treatments were ineffective, yet he had hope despite his condition. A new drug was being tested and he begged to be included in the study. Even though he didn't qualify because he was considered very near death, the doctors, at his insistence, gave him the drug anyway, expecting him to be dead in a few days. But he perked up considerably, the tumors were half their original size - a more rapid regression than could have been achieved with heavy X-ray doeses. Within ten days, he was discharged from his "deathbed."

About two months later, news reports carried conflicting stories about the usefulness of the drug, and Mr. Wright, very logical and scientific in his thinking, experienced a relapse. However, his doctor, seeking to explore what was really going on, explained that the early shipments of the drug had deteriorated rapidly in their bottling, but a newer, more potent strain was available, and gave his patient injections of this more recent preparation.

But it was really only fresh water.

Yet, the results were astounding, even more dramatic than his first near-terminal state. Again the tumors decreased in size and he appeared to be the picture of health. Continuing to receive the water injections, he remained symptom-free for more than two months.

Then the American Medical Association announced that the drug was indeed worthless and ineffective in the treatment of cancer. A few days later, Mr. Wright was readmitted to the hospital, his faith and hope shattered, and in less than two days he was dead.

This is very compelling proof that there is much more to our mental attitudes of whether we "believe" a remedy is going to work or not. "It's all in your head" might not be such a bad thing.

I've often thought that, in clinical studies, the miracle is not that a particular drug achieved, for example, a 22% decrease in symptoms, but that the groups receiving the placebo medicines achieved similar results in 18% of the cases. That's the real miracle! They got better and we didn't do anything! And yet, we herald the drug for exceeding the "placebo response." How locked into a "physical-only" model of medicine we are.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Community Radio Project

I'm working with a great group of people on a community radio project (low power FM) here in Columbus Ohio. It's going to be a "voice for the voiceless" type of project.

See more here.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Health Care Blog

Another great healthcare blog here.

Curing Healthcare

Here's a great blog called "Curing Healthcare" that I just found out about.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Massachusetts Governor Tries to Undo Ban on Parting Gifts for New Mothers

Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, tried to undo a ban on giving gift bags of infant formula to new mothers as they left hospitals in the state. The ban was put into place because it was felt that these infant formula trial packages would discourage mothers to breast feed, which is almost always more healthy for the mother and the baby.

Romney seems to be acting on behalf of the infant formula companies, not his constituents.

This will be a good thing to remember when and if he begins a presidential campaign.

Click here for more info.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Ohio Chiropractor Investigated by the Board

Following is a message from Deborah Lindsey about a chiropractor in Athens, Ohio who is being investigated by the Chiropractic Board.

I've personally spoken with Dr. Burda, the chiropractor under investigation, and I can say that he is NOT crazy, and the work he does is helpful to people (including my wife!) and he should not be put out of business.

/*Is it possible to heal people across space and time? Dr. James Burda, a licensed chiropractor in the sleepy town of Athens, OH, thinks so. The Chiropractic Board, however, does not. */

Earlier this year, Jim received a letter from the chiropractic board asking him to come in to answer some questions. When he got there, he found not just a few members of the Board asking a few questions, but a full out Inquisition led by the Assistant Attorney General himself. He was sworn in, without an opportunity to get a lawyer, and questioned for much of the day. The charges against him were unclear, but the tone of the hearing was not.

You see, Jim is not just a chiropractor. He is a healer. An energy healer to be exact. He has been called to do what is essentially ENERGETIC CHIROPRACTIC work. Through kinesiology (a.k.a. muscle testing) and intention, Jim is able to adjust the bones of the back without ever touching anyone. He simply intends them to move and they do. Or so he says. Moreover, Jim claims to do the unthinkable: he can treat someone from a distance and through space and time! Impossible? Jim doesn't think so and neither do his myriad of patients from all over the country. He calls him work Bahlaqeem.

The Board begs to differ. They say that not only is this work outside of the "scope of his practice," they claim he is crazy.

As a result of the first round of questions, the Board required Jim to visit a psychiatrist for a full mental examination. Now, it is important to note that THEY chose the psychiatrist AND they required Jim to pay for the examination, which cost $900!. (It is also important to note that Jim is practically a pauper from doing this work. He rarely charges for it and never charges if the person doesn't feel like they had results. Even if he does charge the cost is negligible. So for Jim, $900 is practically a million). If he didn't come up with the money for the exam, they would automatically revoke his license and label him as mentally ill in the records.

Fortunately, the energetic healthcare community came together and raised the funds for the exam. But as expected, the Board has now leveled charges against him that he is mentally ill and has made him a laughing stock by releasing information to the press which is not only illegal but slanderous in nature. Only NPR has managed to cover the story in a way that is even the slightest bit balanced, but even they didn't give Jim a real opportunity to tell his side of the story. I am writing in the hopes that you will consider offering a true examination of this question: is it possible to treat people across space and time?

New information in science is available to support Jim's claim. Even Einstein himself proved that time is NOT linear as we experience it, but it is actually vertical in nature. In essence, all time is happening at the same time. It's Science. It's Einstein. Not just New Age ramblings.

Also, the physics called Quantum Physics has proven that we are all swimming in the same consciousness, that consciousness is essentially non-local. As a story, there are some fascinating guests who you could call upon to corroborate this information. Most notably Dr. Fred Alan Wolfe, Dr. William Tiller, Lynn McTaggart, and Dr. Deepak Chopra come to mind. Both Wolfe and Tiller are featured on the recent movie sensations, "What the Bleep Do We Know" and "Down the Rabbit Hole." McTaggart is the author of the best selling book, "The Field." And Dr. Deepak Chopra is an expert in the field of consciousness.

Now I want to say that this story is about MORE than Jim. It is about the right of people everywhere to practice alternative healthcare. The thing that is fascinating to me is that less than a decade ago, chiropractic care WAS alternative healthcare! And now that they have joined the mainstream, they have all of the rules and regulations that actually BLOCK them from exploring new ways to help people. I also think it is interesting that chiropractors all over the country are practicing Alternative Healthcare and they are ALL living in fear of losing their license by doing so. I know of several chiropractors in my own community who are offering NAET (allergy elimination), Reiki, Touch for Health, JMT, EFT, and other protocols. I also know of a chiropractor in Michigan who was fined for using WATER to help heal people (I'm not kidding) and no one came to his defense.

I also think it is important to note that while Jim is a talented healer, he is not so exceptional in the field of energy healing. There are thousands upon thousands of people in this country who are doing distance healing. They tend to hang out under the radar because people can be very judgmental about things they don't understand. If you choose to do this story, you help a lot of us, not just Jim.

Jim's trial takes place at the end of April.

You can reach him at 740-591-9857 or 740-594-3200. His email is

Thank you and Peace,
Deborah Lindsey

Self-Health and Awareness Center
6250 Grand Central Ave.
Vienna, WV 26105

Thanks Deborah, for spreading the word about Dr. Burda. It seems that his case is becoming a national issue, thanks to people like you.

Spread the word! E-mail this post to your friends by clicking the little envelope below.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

I'm Thinking About a Different Podcast (on UML)

Well, the Holistic Health Nation podcast is going great. I'm going to continue it with vigor.

However, I'm motivated to start another podcast. Based on the success of the first, I guess.

You see, I lead a double-life. Before getting involved in holistic healthcare, I was a computer consultant. A pretty good one, actually. I was a technical architect, project manager, requirements analyst and also involved in sales.

This side of my life still makes money for me, which helps me fund my holistic dreams. Anyway, I still have passion for that side of things too, and do some consulting and training here and there.

So, I've decided to start a podcast on the UML - Unified Modeling Language. This is an analysis and design language used in software development. I became very familiar with it back in 1999-2000 and actually authored a book on an aspect of UML.

I'm starting the podcast to express that side of myself. And since podcasting seems to suit me, why not?

Stay tuned. The new UML podcast will be called "UML in Seven Minutes" and will be at

Dissecting the High Cost of Healthcare

When I hear politicians talking about the "healthcare crisis," I cringe. For all the usual reasons, plus this.

They're asking (and answering) the wrong question. They're all asking "How do we pay for healthcare in America?"

But that's not the question. It's just a symptom of the problem. (Hmmm.) The real problem is this...

"Why is healthcare so expensive?"

Let me itemize what I think makes it so expensive.

  1. Doctors turn to expensive pharmaceutical drugs as a first line of defense for each patient, instead of prescribing cheaper, safer holistic alternatives.

  2. We overuse healthcare when things are covered by health insurance.

  3. The system pushes patients toward symptom relief, not healing the underlying causes. The top drugs of 2005 (Lipitor/cholesterol, Zocor/cholesterol, Nexium/heartburn, prevacid/heartburn, Advair Diskus/asthma) only treat symptoms, they do not do anything about the underlying causes.

  4. Diagnosis is extremely expensive. Doctors routinely prescribe that patients submit to MRIs, CAT or PET scans, which use incredibly expensive equipment to determine the patient's health. The cost of these machines has to come from somewhere.

  5. Modern medicine has taken a paternalistic view of medicine. For instance, when a patient has success with some type of holistic treatment, their doctor is likely to "poo poo" the treatment, saying that the patient imagined it or that it couldn't possibly be the reason for better health. The only "real" health result comes from a controlled study conducted by scientists. When a patient is no longer the expert on their own health, the patient feels they can't make a move without advice from the doctor - at $150 per 7 minutes.

  6. Malpractice insurance rates have gone up dramatically in the past twenty years. Doctors, especially ob/gyns, pay tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars PER YEAR to stay insured against malpractice. Lawyers make livings from suing doctors for even the slightest mistakes. This causes medical licensure boards to hold doctors to strict "by the book" procedures for every type of disease, ignoring the patient's true needs and the doctor's instincts.

I hope this explains why Western medicine is so expensive. It is NOT because of excess greed on the part of the doctors, nor the insurance companies, nor the hospitals. It results from these, largely systemic, factors.

What can you do about it?

First, use holistic healthcare as your first line of defense. It's almost always cheaper and safer.

Second, try not to overuse the Western medical system. Consider the expense to yourself and to your insurance company.

Third, question your doctor's advice. If the doctor suggests an expensive diagnostic technique or an expensive drug, ask if there is some other choice. Start a discussion. You're paying him to talk to you!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sometimes Giving the Customer What They Want Isn't Such a Great Idea

As a businessperson, I've always been trained to "find out what the customer wants and give it to them." This is a simple, but difficult process, but it is definitely good business.

However, it seems like this advice that I've held to so steadfastly is actually not always true.

Look at the pharmaceutical crisis in North America today.

Patients go to a doctor with a medical problem, let's say obesity. "Doctor, I'm too fat." Okay, so the doctor tells the patient, "To lose weight, you need to eat less and exercise more." Simple (but difficult --- again!).

So the patient says, "Hey doc, can't you just give me a pill?" And, in today's world, the doctor says "Sure, here's the prescription for Redux or Acomplia."

That's exactly the way business is supposed to work. But in this case, it's a bad thing for the patient. He got what he wanted, but he also got a rafter full of side effects that wouldn't be a factor if he had just taken the first piece of advice "Eat less, exercise more."

So, if the doctor was acting in the best interests of the patient, he would say "No, I'm not going to give you the pill. You have to eat less, exercise more, and I'm going to help you. Let's create a plan."

Can good business be bad medicine? In this case, I think it's true.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Podcast 11 - How to Afford the Holistic Lifestyle

In my latest podcast I! Well, not really, but it features a reprise of my talk from the Tri-C Holistic Health Expo this past weekend.

Also, I play music from Henta Ellis (I love her stuff!) and Black Lab, a band from Montana.

Please join me!

Monday, April 03, 2006

If Sony Had a Water Business

This comment from about digital rights management (DRM) and how it would look if applied to the "running water" business. Very interesting and entertaining!

I just thought of what the media people would do if they were in another service industry. Lets take for example, running water. Lets pretend that Sony gets into the water business.

If they were in the running water business, they would probably be in other businesses as well. Like Sony does content, hardware, etc. So you could get a Sony sink and faucet with your Sony water.

The difference is that you would have to use your Sony sink, or Sony licensed sink to drink your Sony water. The Sony water would then have to be protected so that a Panasonic sink would not be able to dispense of the Sony water. How would they do that?

DRM. Yes, they would add a poison to the water, at great expense and danger to the public. The water would kill you in seconds of ingestion without the aid of a Sony sink to remove the poison.

Of course, you could license the rights to drink Sony's poisoned water, but all of the fittings would be nonstandard. You would have to get special tools to work on the sink. Oh, and Sony water would never just go through PVC or copper pipe. The Sony water would need an end to end transport system.

Thanks to "Hackstraw", a commentor on

Finding a Color in a Library of JPG Photos

Could anyone help me with this question?

My wife has a whole bunch of photos on her disk drive (Mac). These are mostly from a big set of CDs that we bought a few years ago that we copied onto disk.

She would like to be able to search through the photos (all JPGs) and bring up all the photos that feature a particular color - blue, let's say. This "color search engine" would be able to run through all the photos and find those that have a lot of blue, then bring them up in a window.

Google, are you listening?? This would be such a cool product to have for any kind of Photoshop person. Finding matching photos that you can use as backgrounds for stuff would be amazing. As it is, we search one-by-one through the libraries of photos, using our own visual recognition of the colors.

Ideally, this would be something we could run on her Mac Mini (OS X) and it could examine the photos on her own disk drive. Searching photos on the Web (like Flickr) would be nice too.

Podcast 10 Goofy Songs I

What fun! I did a podcast featuring a bunch of funny songs taken from the Podsafe Music Network. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed producing it!

Here's the podcast.