Archive | Health RSS feed for this section

Learning Capoeira

3 May

I recently began Capoeira class at Roda Movements in the Washington, DC area.

What is Capoeira you ask? I created the below diagram to illustrate what it basically is:

Capoeira - What People Think I Do / What I Really Do

I combined two popular versions of this Capoeira “What People Think I Do / What I Really Do” meme to create this one.

It is a Brazilian Martial Art / Dance / Acrobatic discipline. It was created around the 16th Century by African Slaves brought to Brazil by the Portuguese. Traditionally, it is done to music in a circle, with two people at a time ‘playing’ in the middle. The legend is that the martial art was disguised as a dance and played very slowly so the slave owners would not realize that their slave were training to be deadly. Continue reading


Chiropractic is Quackery

24 Jul

The basic idea of chiropractic is that “subluxations” are the cause of disease, back pains etc. A “subluxation” is a misalignment of the spine that allegedly interferes with nerve signals from the brain. Chiropractors allege that by adjusting the misalignments by hand they can restore the nerve signals and cure health problems. Note that subluxations are largely theoretical.

This novel idea was first stumbled upon in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer, a grocer from Davenport, Iowa. How? Years of study? Research? Nope. A GHOST TOLD HIM. I kid you not. He said he “received chiropractic from the other world” during a séance, from a DEAD physician named Dr. Jim Atkinson. Also, Palmer practiced “magnetic healing”..the idea that magnets can help cure disease.

There is no scientific evidence to support this idea of Subluxations causing disease or back pain. Most support for the idea comes from the testimonials of people who say chiropractic helped their back pain, not from controlled trails.

A study and critique of chiropractic’s lack of scientific validity was published by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Quebec.( College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Quebec. The scientific brief against chiropractic. The New Physician, Sept 66.) It stated:

Chiropractors claim that subluxations, or partial displacements, of the vertebrae cause a perturbation of the distribution of nervous impulses to tissues and cells. Neurophysiologists have developed methods of recording the passage of impulses in nerves. Exceptionally sensitive apparatus is available to anyone wishing to use it.

No scientific study has ever been published on the subject by a chiropractor. No chiropractor ever defined, either quantitatively or qualitatively, what chiropractic means by perturbation of nervous impulses. Is it their number, their amplitude, their frequency, or their wave patterns which are affected? All of these qualities can be identified, recorded, and studied. It is no longer permissible to accept empirical statements. Proof should have preceded practical application. With the first point untenable, the rest crumbles

While I am in favor of people seeking ‘alternative medicine’ in place of proven, time-honored, tested and effective mainstream medicine, I am appalled at how few people realize that Chiropractic is not a mainstream medical field, but an unproven, silly at it’s core quackery that originated from A GHOST.


Resveratol – The miracle substance

8 May

I recently went to have lunch at my favorite hamburger establishment, FIVE GUYS, and as part of their charm they offer free peanuts while you wait in line or are sitting waiting for your order. I pondered and realized I don’t know much at all about peanuts.

So I did a bit of investigative research. Apparently the peanut is a woody, indehiscent legume or pod and not technically a nut. The other interesting thing I found is it is a rich source of Resveratol. (also nitroglycerin is made from peanuts)

What is it you ask?

More than 10 years ago John O. Holloszy, M.D., professor of medicine, demonstrated that caloric restriction increased the lifespan in rats by 30 percent or so, and acted a shield against cancers.

Apparently, recent research indicates the effect might come from the activation of a gene that resveratol also activates. It is found in Red Grapes, red wine, and peanuts.

Resveratol is produced as an antifungal agent in some plants. Whatever effective antifungal effects Resveratol has for plants is also extremely effective in humans for prevention of cancer, aging effects, and viral infections (inluding even HIV)

So I think from now on, to protect against cancers, aging effects, and even viral infection I will be drinking a lot more red wine.

Interesting Medical Fact: Human can regenerate limbs

1 Apr

I was reading about limb regeneration because I was bored today, and found out that relatively recently it was discovered human beings, along with salamanders, are the only known vertebrates capable of limb regeneration, although our ability is greatly limited when compared to the Salamander:

Like many discoveries, this one was made by accident. In 1974, a child arrived at the emergency room of Sheffield Children’s Hospital in England. A piece of farm machinery had sliced off her fingertip. The standard procedure in such injuries is to smooth the exposed bone and sew the skin closed, but due to a clerical mixup, the girl was not seen by a surgeon that day. When surgeon Cynthia Illingworth caught up with the error a few days later, she was surprised to find the fingertip was growing back. She ordered staff not to touch it. Within three months, the bone, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, skin, nail, cuticle and motor nerves had grown back as though the accident had never occurred.

Studies have since documented more than 1,000 such cases. In fact, if a finger is guillotined beyond the outermost joint, in a child 11 years or younger, it always grows back within 90 days.

Does anyone have a younger brother, sister, nephew etc. who wants to try a fun science experiment and document it?

Kalari Payattu – World’s Oldest (and probably original) Martial Art

29 Mar

Here is an article about this interesting martial art

Kalarippayattu from southern India is probably the oldest still-practiced martial art form in the world. As of now, its mostly practiced in Kerala. It is said that Bodhidharma took this art form to China, which it is claimed to have evolved into Kung Fu and other forms of Chinese martial arts.