Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carpal Tunnel: Just a spot in a very dark tunnel.

What most young people don't understand (because we've lost most of our manufacturing jobs) is that repetitive motion leads to problems.  This is especially true for the fine bones of the hand.  Long before there were electronic devices to mess up your hands, musical performers knew of a thing called carpal tunnel, a small subsection of repetitive strain injury.  I've written about this and posted the research.  But the master wrote a book that really helped my family.  Here it is. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Has Homeopathy Ever Been Given a Fair Shake?

It seems as if homeopathy is, in the minds of some, a recent phenomena that somehow can be squashed by constantly providing misinformation.  Despite numerous attempts through the centuries, homeopathy is thriving.  Even as critics "squat" on alternative medicine definitions on Wikipedia, the growth of alternative medicine continues.  And poor old beaten up homeopathy may finally have an answer as to why it works

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Graceling: A Surprising Good Young Adult Fiction

It is so rare to find something in young adult fiction that actually justifies reading it.  I've been pleasantly surprised by Graceling, and will be getting a copy for my eleven year old to read.  It doesn't have the depth of Tolkien (who does?) and some plot points needed thinking out more, but I found myself deeply caring about the main character without realizing it.  That's accomplishment enough. It's a little gory for the younger set (what am I saying?  They are all reading Twilight these days). 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sherlock Holmes: The Original and Unfettered Scientist

You've got to love a character that has become an expert in tobacco and the soils of England.  Doyle couldn't even kill him off, we loved him so much.  I always wanted to be him when I grew up, and remember reading the complete Holmes at a local college library when I was only ten.  In some small way I have become Holmes for my family:  it is my duty to track down lost objects.  Holmes always beat out the other detectives because he wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty.  Of course, we have him recreated as more of a fighter and less of a detective in the recent movie. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rabelais: A Time For Folly.

If you can wrap your noggin around the thick prose, this book has it all.  We've got pranks and wits and urinating off towers.  We've got enough graphic love to make Chaucer's Miller blush.  And all this from the 15th century.  Who says the classics have to be stuffy?

Preventing Bed Bugs: Does Stinking It Up Help?

I have yet to see any studies on whether stinking it up with garlic, etc. would deter the little critters.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pandemic 2010: Will There Be a Sequel?

We've got the CDC gunning everyone up to a frenzy again, even as they declare a normal flu season.  Have a look at some of the offerings from 1918.  I somehow don't think we'll be seeing the 2009 equivalent, mostly because it was about average as a flu year.  For an update on vaccination, check out Alternative Health Answers (with funny video).  For way more information, check out Guerrilla Healthcare for the Flu

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Civil War: A Reminder

I just got the issue of Newsweek talking about armed militias.  It reminded me that we desperately need a sense of history in this country.  Any type of armed conflict within the United States is unthinkable.  We did that, and it was terrible for everyone concerned.  Whatever our disagreements, our children deserve to hear us debate them rather than fight them out. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Back pain: Nonsurgical Options.

I just did an update on long term outcomes for back pain surgery and we still aren't seeing large studies.  The patients are there, but no one is doing follow up over a couple years.  In the meantime, there are a great many home treatments that are available. 

The little guy on the left is a TENS unit, every person with chronic pain's best friend (unless you have an inflammatory condition, in which case stay away).  Clinicians can get these for about $45 and they run on a nine volt battery.  I just don't see them being used instead of pain drugs, which is sad, because they are a much better option for specific pain.