the new book that I am reading

This post was prompted by Suzan over at Scrub Oak, who posted about some books she is reading at the moment. I thought I would post about the book I am currently reading.

The book is called Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs, by Patrick Holford and Jerome Burne.
I think it would be a very informational read for anyone in healthcare or a caring situation. It may help you understand the drugs being prescribed for yourself or for someone you care about

I am still working through the book and will probably do a book review of sorts when finished. It is fascinating stuff although I have to admit that the beginning of the book, which concentrates in the pharmaceutical industry had me fairly angry, huge parallels to the energy industry and the oil/nuke boys wanting to control the entire market and have us all entirely reliant on them – oops – think that’s another post?

The book goes into quite a bit of detail about “blockbuster” drugs such as statins, high blood pressure pills, pain-killers and anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants etc. I found it fairly shocking really that so many of these drugs do so much harm, for example in Britain more people die from prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) than from some cancers.

I have become aware that I don’t know what sort of drug regularity structures we have in this country, do we rely on US FDA recommendations? I must try to educate myself more. The FDA and the British body MHRA are scarily inept and often the people in charge have links to the Pharmaceutical industry, until recently it was not illegal in Britain for MHRA decision makers to be on the payroll of pharmaceutical companies – hard to believe!

The majority of these “daily” drugs are designed to deal with symptoms, not causes. If we never deal with the cause of the “unwellness” then we will always need these drugs to maintain the status quo.

Not only are some of these drugs designed to be a part of our daily lives, some of them actually produce a need for more drugs! Some NSAIDs (including aspirin) are so hard on the stomach lining that they require the use of another drug to protect the stomach and at worst sometimes cause gastro-intestinal bleeding.

I bought the book to educate myself about arthritis aches and what nutritional advice I could follow to protect myself from these aches without resorting to prescription drugs. Anyway, so far I have discovered that the usual healthy food advice applies in reducing the aches and pains.

Supplements such as chondroitin, glucosomine, msm, omega 3, epa and dha (healthy fats) are all advised for daily consumption to ease inflammation and should be just as useful as taking a daily NSAID.  Naturally daily exercise is also important.
That’s what I gleaned so far, I had skipped ahead and had a quick look at the relevant chapter after I bought the book so that I could do some supplement shopping too before heading home and now I am reading from the beginning.
I am hoping that about six weeks from now I will know if the new regime of supplements and taking nuts, seeds and hemp oil will help ease the aches I have started to feel over the last two months.
I am guessing that doing all those healthy things would help delay the onset of the aches for some people. Obviously these are just my opinions and should not be taken as advice to anyone.

Good News Story

I love this story which I found on TreeHugger, a site that I check out every now and again, I like the fact that you get good news stories there, there are enough of the other kind (like my last post for instance!).

This story is about a young fella in the USA who got so frustrated at what he saw happening around him that he had to take action. Apparently GWB, the almost EX-president of over-there (how I love saying almost ex) decided in his unlimited unwisdom to sell off the leases on thousands of acres of Utah wildland – “After receiving complaints from the National Park Service, The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had dropped half of the initially proposed 359,000 acres from the sale” – wow, did someone notice the sellout? This young fella went along to the auction to protest and, understandably, got carried away

Read the story here for yourself, it’s worth the click…

Simple can be difficult

I recently had the opportunity to sit in a group and work through some unresolved tension between some of the group members. The method used for relieving the tension was so simple – good communication.

Everyone spoke in turn, without interruption. People took their time, there was no rush, there was time to think about what you were saying. We all spoke about how we were affected by the situation thus avoiding the “you said” and “you did” elements which can be so unhelpful.

We realised how what we say and the tone used can be so easily misinterpreted. This can cause hurt, which if not aired can fester and lead to resentment.

It is not as simple as it sounds to sit and listen to each other without interruption and without the chance of an immediate come-back – which often just escalates a situation into an argument. The value of speaking in turn is that by the time it is your turn to speak you may no longer wish to say what you were expecting to say, you will have had to time to listen to others speak and this may well have changed how you see things and given you the opportunity to identify what you are really feeling.

There may be many rounds necessary to resolve a situation, you sit with it until it is finished. People sometimes ask – how long will this take? It takes as long as it takes!

It is also not often that people are courageous enough to really speak from the heart, to say how hurt they are feeling or vulnerable or frightened or angry. We are so often afraid to let others see how we really feel, we wear masks to protect ourselves, to hide behind. There are many reasons that we do this, it is a learnt behaviour. Perhaps in the past someone used our vulnerability against us or took advantage of our fear to frighten us further, whatever the reason we can unlearn this behaviour and learn a new way to be. Learning any new skill takes practise and to do this it helps to have people around us that we trust and feel safe with.

I would love for everyone have the opportunity to experience this sort of communication, to experience what it is like to sit through a situation which could very easily lead to confrontation but doesn’t, which allows everyone to speak their truth and to really hear each other.

Simple things can be really difficult – but it is worth it!


This is in response to a blog entry in Nurtured By Love

It’s difficult for many people to be around anger I think. Is it easy for anyone I wonder? I know that even some people who are used to expressing their own anger can be frightened by the anger being expressed by others, while others are desensitized to it.

It takes a long time to unlearn bad or unhealthy habits and of course we can only do something about our own anger, we are not responsible for the anger of others, even when it is directed towards us. Each of us chooses how to react, even when we react so instinctively that it doesn’t seem like a choice, it still is a choice, we get to decide what our reactions are. I am not saying that it is easy but I do believe it (uncomfortably) to be true.

I say uncomfortably because it makes us responsible for feelings that we may be more comfortable blaming on others – she made me angry, upset, sad etc. rather than I am feeling angry, upset, sad etc. It is not always pleasant or comfortable to take full responsibility for our own feelings and many of us have to learn to do it as adults because we did not learn these things whilst growing up.

Often we may need help learning these new habits, it is especially good to chose your companions from emotionally healthy people, those who are really working on positive living, who are really trying to learn or practise integrity and self-awareness.

I notice that many tv “reality” shows and soap operas seem to work very much with a theme of anger running through so that those who watch regularly (phew I am glad I don’t) are subjected to anger on a regular basis and would therefore view it as quite normal. I think that the danger here is that anger can cover so many other feelings which may never be acknowledged, causing many other problems. Why do the media pepper their “popular” shows with anger? Please let me know if you any thought on this.

I know that it is the main reason that I watch so little tv. I don’t need my entertainment to foster feelings of impotent anger in me. I want my tv entertainment to charm me, educate me, surprise me. I like to watch shows with some human values of honesty, warmth, healthy emotions being healthily expressed and dealt with, compassion. Perhaps that’s why I mostly watch reruns of old shows and movies and stay away from the current rash of so-called reality tv.

Having said all that I think it is important to recognise that anger can be a positive force for change, for improvement, it should not be viewed as a negative or unhealthy emotion.

Anger is not an unhealthy emotion, it is just an emotion.

It all depends on how we behave when we are angry, how we use the anger we are feeling, whether we recognise where it is coming from, whether it is hiding any other emotions that we should be aware of and learning how to act appropriately.