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Where is the Evidence?

Every once in a while, I receive requests for references to back up some of information on self health care that I provide throughout this web site. If a post doesn't have citations for published studies, some people refuse to consider its contents. Believe it or not, some of these folks get downright ornery about this issue.

My response is two-fold:

First, I encourage everyone to learn as much as they can about human anatomy and physiology. The more you know about your design and how all of your organ systems work together to preserve your health, the better equipped you'll be to make choices that support your health.

I suppose the three giant endnotes that could sit at the bottom of every page of this web site are Guyton's textbook on Human Physiology, Robbins' text on Pathology, and Lehninger's textbook on Biochemistry - these books provide a comprehensive look at how your body works, from the cellular level all the way up to your organ systems.

Second, I like to point out that the science of human health is vastly different from the science of non-living and non-thinking entities. For example, when drawing up engineering plans for a bridge or writing the code that makes a web site work, skilled engineers and computer programmers can work their way to their desired outcomes one step at a time. They may have to go through some trial and error, eliminating options as they go along and coming up with creative ways to address unique challenges, but ultimately, their problem solving occurs within a matrix that is governed by mathematics and physics.

Your body is also governed by mathematics and immutable laws of physics. The difference between your body and the Golden Gate bridge is that your body is constantly being affected by your thoughts and emotions. The endless stream of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other biological compounds that are produced by your thoughts and emotions makes it impossible for any physician to fully understand your needs and prescribe a guaranteed fix for whatever ails you.

We call this the mind-body connection, and it's arguably the most overlooked determinant of human health.

My Awakening to the Mind-Body Connection

When I began chiropractic school in the suburbs of Illinois, I was consumed with anxiety about how I was going to pay for my education. Being from Canada, I didn’t have access to the same student loans that my fellow American students had. The Canadian government loaned me and other Canadian students studying abroad approximately eight thousand Canadian dollars per year, barely enough to cover tuition and dormitory fees for a third of each year.

At the time, my parents were struggling to build a young Korean Presbyterian church in Toronto and were unable to help me with more than a couple hundred dollars of grocery money every four months. I was extremely blessed to receive an entrance scholarship that took care of half of my tuition costs each semester, but I still needed to find a way to come up with about three thousand dollars every four months to pay my way through school.

Early in my first semester, I discovered that the best work opportunities on campus were a few coveted fellowship positions, one in each major department. These fellowships provided a stipend worth a few thousand dollars each semester, just what I needed. The problem was that these positions didn’t come up very often, only when a current fellow was ready to graduate.

During my first two semesters, I worked as an assistant in the biochemistry lab and did some private tutoring in neuroanatomy. These part time jobs were enough to buy a few essential textbooks, but the balance owing on my tuition and dormitory bills got scarier by the month. I never spent more than twenty-five dollars per week on food. My staples were potatoes, white bread that was thirty-three cents a loaf, peanut butter, pasta with tomato sauce, frozen cheese pizzas that were two bucks a piece (good for two meals), and whatever fruit was on sale each week at ten cents per piece (Thank you Jewel Osco in Lombard, IL).

In the beginning of my third semester, I was elated when the anatomy department announced that a search was on for a new fellow who would take the place of the current fellow when he graduated. Given my academic record at the time, I was extremely hopeful of getting this position. I spent the next few days scurrying around the main building and library, getting together reference letters and polishing up my resume as I prepared my application.

To this day, I cannot remember how I found out that I did not get the position. All I remember was how crushed I was in receiving the word. I literally couldn’t eat anything for a day and a half, thinking that I had lost a golden opportunity to pay my way through school. Within days, I came down with a viral infection that had me in bed with a fever, sweats, excruciating lower back pain, and extreme weakness. Even after I recovered about a week later, I felt sluggish, weak, and depressed.

I was still feeling down and unhealthy a few months later when I learned that the research department was taking applications for a new research fellowship position. Almost instantly, my disappointment vanished as I went after this new position with gusto.

Within days, the head of the research department called me to her office, where she announced that I was hired. Unbelievable! For a full year, my mind and heart had been consumed with getting a fellowship position. I had regularly dreamt about being a fellow, paying my tuition and dormitory bills, and even squirreling away a few dollars each month.

As I sat in that office doing my best to look calm, I felt like I just won the lottery. When I got out of the meeting and a few meters away from the clinic, I broke into a sprint, yelping and punching at the air. I'm sure I looked like a first class ninny.

When I reached my apartment, I called my folks, out of breath, and blurted out the amazing news. My parents were incredibly happy, of course, which fueled me into an even greater frenzy. At one point, I remember smothering my face in my pillow and hollering as loud as I could – I was incapable of containing my excitement

Up until that moment in my life, I had never felt that kind of gratitude. I think that my joy was enhanced by the devastation I had felt just a few months prior.

Years later, I was able to think back to both moments - the feeling of ultimate defeat and the feeling of ultimate triumph – and realize how much power my emotions had over my physical health. When my dream was crushed, I felt like a five to ten car pileup. When my greatest hope became reality, I felt like I was almost floating around campus, able to accomplish anything and be compassionate to the nastiest of people. At a relatively young age, I experienced the power that my emotions have over my physical well-being.

Your Mind-Body Connection is ON at All Times

Here's the thing: it's not just the big ups and downs that affect your health via your mind-body connection. This connection is on at all times.

Every thought and emotion that courses through you influences your health. Your thoughts and emotions affect blood flow, the strength of your immune system, healing capacity, and every other aspect of your physiology.

You can see evidence of this undeniable connection between your ongoing emotions and your health in everyday life. Ever woken up from a bad dream, covered with a thin coat of sweat? Nothing but your dream – thoughts and emotions – caused a series of chemical reactions that resulted in real physical change: production of sweat from your sweat glands.

Have you ever had your mouth water at the thought of eating a particular food that you had a strong craving for? How about saliva production at the thought of drinking a large glass of cold, tart, super sour lemon juice? Clearly, your thoughts and emotions are capable of causing physical contraction of your salivary glands.

What about the obvious physical changes that occur in your body when you feel sexually aroused? Again, mere thoughts and emotions creating a ripple of physical effects throughout your body.

In recognizing how real and powerful this ongoing connection is between your emotions and physical health, can you see how regularly eating a large green salad with a resentful or depressed spirit is not conducive to supporting your best health?

The Limitations of Scientific Research

Getting back to the issue of references to scientific research, should you ignore health information that isn't footnoted with studies that are published in indexed and peer-reviewed medical journals?

Only you can make this decision for yourself. Personally, I don't need health information to be footnoted with published studies to consider its merit. To judge the value of any new health information that I come across, all I require are logic and my knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. And when I don't know enough about the human anatomy and physiology involved with a particular health issue, I educate myself until I am confident that I have enough knowledge to make a logical assessment of the issue at hand.

My approach to assessing health information was largely shaped by experiences that I had in the world of medical research during my undergraduate (University of Toronto, Clinical Sciences Division of the Institute of Medical Sciences) and graduate (National University of Health Sciences) years of schooling.

When I was a research fellow at the National University of Health Sciences, I was intimately involved with a randomized control trial that was designed to evaluate the effect that chiropractic adjustments had on primary dysmenorrhea, also known as painful menstruation. A randomized control trial (RCT) is a type of scientific investigation that is meant to reduce or eliminate bias; RCTs are considered to be the most reliable form of scientific evidence in modern medical research.

The dysmenorrhea study assigned subjects - all women with primary dysmenorrhea - to one of two groups: the first group received a series of "sham" treatments, while the second group received a series of spinal manipulative treatments. The women received their weekly treatments without being told which group they were assigned to, and filled out a series of questionnaires to subjectively rate the effectiveness of their treatments.

My involvement with the dysmenorrhea study allowed me to make the following realization:

When dealing with human subjects, even the most meticulously designed and conducted randomized control trials fail to account for the ongoing impact that thoughts, emotions, and interaction with other humans have on overall health.

In the dysmenorrhea study, it was obvious to me that a significant determinant of how the women felt about the effectiveness of their treatments was the manner in which the attending physicians and research assistants interacted with them. We can all relate to this, can't we? All of us know how reassuring it is to be cared for by a doctor who has a warm bedside manner, just as we know how upsetting it can be to be handled by an uncaring physician.

All scientific studies that involve human subjects are at the mercy of this huge, uncontrollable variable. Even if a study involves something as simple as giving its subjects one of two pills, the effect of taking any pill will always be influenced by the subject's thoughts and emotions surrounding that moment. And the subject's thoughts and emotions will always be influenced by his or her circumstances and interactions with others before, during, and after treatment.

Doctors are well aware of the impact that your thoughts and emotions have on your health. They even have a term for it - it's called the placebo effect, which is defined as the healing effect of a "sham" therapy.

A study published a few years ago in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that out of 466 faculty physicians at Chicago-area medical schools, 231 of them reported that they had prescribed placebos in clinical practice. Reasons for prescribing placebos included:

  • To calm a patient down.

  • To respond to demands for medication that the physician felt was unnecessary.

  • To do something after other treatment options had failed.

I find it unfortunate that while many people are aware of the power of the placebo effect, they have a tendency to forget about it when it comes to evaluating medical research.

Here's another important realization that I made during my years as a research assistant and fellow:

Medical researchers at colleges and universities are under significant pressure to receive grants to carry out their research and have the results of their research published in indexed and peer-reviewed medical journals.

I think it's naive to believe that the pressures that researchers face to meet these objectives don't influence some of their findings, the way their findings are presented, or if their findings are even presented to the public.

To give just one example of how medical research and guidelines may not always be in your best interest, think back to the summer of 2004 when a panel of expert physicians lowered the "safe" level of LDL cholesterol from 130 to 100 mg/dL, and even recommended that people at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease aim to lower their LDL level to 70. This modification in the medical standard of practice for assessing and addressing blood cholesterol levels caused an estimated eight million Americans to instantly become candidates for cholesterol-related drug therapy.

While this "medical news" was covered by all major media outlets and news wires, only one newspaper, Newsday, reported that most of the physicians who were responsible for establishing the new recommendations had conflicts of interest; almost all had received money – mainly in the form of grants or honoraria - from at least ten drug companies. These financial disclosures were not reported by the National Cholesterol Educational Program, which was the source of the new medical treatment guidelines for cholesterol.

So how do you know what information to trust to help you with your health? Hopefully, you are open to the possibility that the size of the footnote section of health articles does not correlate with how reliable they are. This is not to say that footnotes are useless. There are excellent researchers and research papers in our world, and footnote sections can acquaint us with them.

But on a practical level, when searching for answers to your health questions, rather than spend time researching each footnote and assessing the validity of the original research in question (not forgetting the uncontrollable mind-body-connection element), I suggest that you consider doing what I mentioned above: educate yourself on relevant details of human anatomy and physiology until you are confident that you have enough knowledge to make a logical assessment of the health information that you are considering.

As you put into action the steps that make the most sense to you, you must continuously observe your progress and be open to making adjustments until you experience the improvement that you're looking for. Keep trying, observing, and adjusting as necessary. Because what works for some people may not work perfectly for you. And if you find something that works for you, continue to observe and be open to making adjustments, because what works for you today may not necessarily work for you as you go through different phases of life and healing.

This is what it means to be your own best doctor. No one can understand and take care of your health better than you can, because only you live with all of your thoughts, emotions, and life experiences.

Most importantly, as you search for answers to your health challenges and take measures to improve your health, I encourage you to be hopeful. If you commit yourself to the belief that you cannot get better, then so it likely will be. If you embrace the attitude that regardless of how unfortunate your circumstances are, you have power to improve your situation with your thoughts, emotions, and behavior, you may just create what some people call a spontanteous remission, and what others call a miracle.

The quality of your health and life begins with your thoughts, which govern your emotions, which create the juice that coats all of your cells. What kind of juice you manufacture moment-to-moment is almost entirely up to you.

I'll bring this post to a close with the following suggestion:

Whenever you feel your thoughts and emotions going to the dark side, be it rage, jealousy, resentment, pettiness, or self pity, to change your momentum, ask yourself any of the following:

Who do I love most in this world?

Who in this world cherishes me?

What brings me joy?

If I knew that I only had a week left on this planet, what would I do?

What am I grateful for?

Really think about your answers to any of these questions.

Allow your soul to marinate in your answers.

Breathe your answers in and out.

Feel them at a cellular level.

This is how you and you alone can create health-enhancing juice anytime and anywhere. Enjoy it, and know that no supplement, drug, or surgical procedure can help you in this way.

How often should you do this? As often as possible, I say. To make this a morning and nightly ritual isn't such a bad idea. As Aristotle told us, "we are what we repeatedly do."

And that's just about all I have to say to those who need references to scientific literature to make decisions regarding their health care. Hope this jumble of thoughts is helpful to at least one person out there.

 
 

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The evidence

The scientific evidence for herbal efficacy is literally overflowing... check out the iPhone app called HerbStat... more than 100,000 abstracts for different herbs and supplements.

Mind over body

Fifty years ago I was a a young nurse practitioner in Siberia, Russia. In my care were about three hundred geological organization employees. The nearest clinic was within two hours flight. I vividly remember two case when I used placebo with great success. One was an older man complaining of aches and pains which, according to him, no pill could help. Realizing that the patient was deeply suspicious of standard treatments I gave him instead huge brown-greenish herbal pills. Told him they were hard to come by, and he should take no more than one daily. A few days later I heard he was hailing me as a modern day savior )) In the next two years there were no complains from him )) The other case was a young newlywed complaining of sudden impotence. I realized that a young man was simply physically and morally exhausted, but seeing his horror in the face of not being able to perform, I resorted to giving him some herbal concoction, telling him that it was powerful Chinese aphrodisiac. Young man was so relieved to report next day that my medicine worked wonders that I didn't have a heart to tell him the truth ))
That reminds me of the play, "La cage aux Folles" and the "Pirin" pills Albin the Drag Queen gets for his "nerves" (regular Aspirin with the first letter scratched off)

Hello: I am a firm believer

Hello: I am a firm believer that our mind and emotions affect our health at all times no matter what we eat, etc. Working on and understanding what "ails" us emotionally and mentally will do a lot to make us healthier. I have seen, in my 60 years on this planet, people that ate "wrong" and did other unhealthy things (by other people's standards) but because they had a great attitude, dealt positively with issues that came up in their lives, dealt with the past and stress in healthy ways, etc......well, they were very healthy people. On the other hand, I have known people that ate "healthy" but if they were plagued by emotional issues or anything from the past that they still carried or sustained stress that they did not release, well, they were always sick or had health issues that took longer to heal than other people I have known. So I totally agree with: "When dealing with human subjects, even the most meticulously designed and conducted randomized control trials fail to account for the ongoing impact that thoughts, emotions, and interaction with other humans have on overall health." Thanks for the great article!!! Bonnie in Winnipeg

broad spectrum science

What a refreshing and thorough article to read. I will copy this and reference it from time to time.
Thank you for sharing your experience at University.
My favourite course at university was Anatomy and Physiology. It goes into microscopic detail of our wondrous systems - a bit too detailed for the layperson. Adding the mind body dimension to health can't always be broken down in a lab. I've learned over the years to listen and feel how my body reacts to foods, stress, decisions... when it breaks down because of choices or mismanagement of time and energy. The ingredients of good health are so complex and start at home and not when we need to go to a doctors office because we haven't been living well to start with.
Thanks Dr. Ben.

Great Article

The skeptics of the scientific community are just shills for pills and all they care about is making humans dependent on their trillion dollar medical pseudo-science. Sure, there have been some break-throughs that have helped humanity but what you write about is the truth for everyone to take responsibility for their lives and their health. Your articles are excellent and I appreciate all you do.

Where's the Evidence

Super article, Dr. Kim,

The power of our emotions, live what we believe; also the sad truth
about the power of drug companies to influence what we are told about
health.

Thank you,

Jaydayrock

Thanks Dr. Kim

Great article and action plan to keep the spirits up in these times of trouble. We love you Dr. Kim!

I have no words

This is one of the most profound & useful articles I have come across lately.

I will surely try to apply all the things mentioned in this article.

A heartfelt thank you Dr.Ben Kim.

where is the evidence

I love your honesty. Thank you for this article, it gives me hope. Your article is truthful, to the point, and it has answers.

and that is the problem today with medicine. they lie and trick us, which leads to confusion.

You make more sense than most

(Note: how come the comments aren't displayed at the bottom of a post anymore?)

Of all the doctors, physical therapists and other so called professionals I've worked with throughout my life time, you are one of the small group at the top that makes sense when it comes to treating a patient.

I've had my share of health issues and hospital visits, but I have to say that most professionals I've encountered have treated my body like the 'Golden Gate Bridge' you've described, without any consideration to what I eat, my emotional state, my hereditary 'qualities' and so on. Everyone is treated the same way with the same medications and the same techniques.

The worst is when someone who is school trained but never had to endure a serious health issue themselves accuses you of lying about your pain:

I've had one physical therapist tell me "your arm is all fixed (10 inch scar, 36 stitches) and healed up, so why should it hurt?" Can you believe it? She went through 6 years of school, but had absolutely no idea about the healing process, no consideration for my emotional state and had absolutely no idea what a huge difference good nutrition can make.

You understand all that, And question old conventions, And you have real life experience, And you have the training.

My final thoughts for anyone questioning what Dr. Kim is writing about:

Consider how much humans have learned about medical care the past 100 years and how barbaric and useless some of these treatments look to us now. In another 100 years, what we do today will look just like that to the people living then. The reason for this progress comes from people who smash old conventions and who aren't afraid to learn and apply and grow what we already know in new ways. In other words, there may be no reference yet and Dr. Ben Kim may be the one referred to in a hundred years!

Amazing article

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences and your great insight!

Confirmation

Proverbs 23:7 agrees with your article and the mind/body connection.

As a man thinketh in His heart, so is he.

All the more reason to think good, positive thoughts no matter what circumstance we're in.

I appreciate your articles.

Thankyou.

Loved this post. Even though

Loved this post. Even though I already agreed with your approach and most of what you say, I still love the way you say it. And I am copying the last bit about creating "health-enhancing juice anytime and anywhere" and going to carry those questions around with me. Wish I'd had them last week! ;)

Where's the evidence

Dr. Kim,
I love to read your articles on health, but need to say this has to be at the top of MY list. This was such a wonderful read. I can agree with everything you wrote. I have experienced these very things, and I have been looked at strangely for saying some of these same words. Thank you Dr.Kim. I appreciate you more each time I get your newsletter. I feel sincerity from you like no one else. I am not the kind of person that usually writes comments, although I like to read them. But this time I felt a need to do so. I appreciate you & your work more than I can express.
Keep up the good work of helping us help ourselves. Betty

Be Your Own Best Doctor - Listen to Your Body & Learn From It

An excellent post and very practical advice indeed. Good job Dr. Kim. I certainly can relate very well to this post based on my own health experiences and challenges. Back in 2005, I was so ill and after spending tens of thousands of dollars on lab tests and office visits with Stanford trained specialists, I still ended up getting nowhere. Instead, the specialist has the nerve to prescribe anti-depressants for me to take, thinking that it was all in my mind. You can imagine the fear of the unknown as to what was wrong with me, plus the flood of emotions and stress going through my body was enough to kill me by itself. That was the time when I turned to alternative medicine but unfortunately, I could not find a good Naturopath/ND. He had good test mechanisms to determine what could be wrong with me but he does not have the knowledge to effectively treat me. He also mentioned this mind and body connection about how emotions can affect my health. With these test information and through further research on my own (as you mentioned, to learn as much about human antomy and physiology), I found out that I had leaky gut syndrome and my digestive organ systems were compromised. The causal organs were my colon and pylorus and my critically stressed organs include the liver and the pancreas. I had too much toxicity in my bloodstream and organ systems that were left undetected by the Stanford Specialists as they only diagnosed my esophagus and stomach. What a medical malpractice I must say and I almost died from this experience. Fortunately, I was on the right path through research and managed to listen to my body, understanding how the organ systems work and learning from it in order to heal myself over the years with herbal, homeopathic therapies and supplements. However, there was the one thing that I did not want to face and that is the impact of emotions on my health. It is very difficult in my environment when you have to spend your entire adult life looking after your ailing parents and still doing it after 30 years. That takes an emotional toll on my body, especially my liver. It was not until 2 years ago that I fully grasp the concept of mind-body connections and now with your post, the fact that the body is constantly being affected by your thoughts and emotions is very true. I managed to escape a near death illness back in 2005 but now with my emotions not in check, I still continue to have health challenges. At this point, I understand my body so much better now - how my organ systems work, how they relate to each other, the muscle groups, the lymphatic systems, the meridians and the pressure points - and this has helped me lived a better and healthier life. I have not conquered my emotions yet due to the level of responsibilities I am faced with daily and literally not having a life of my own but at least I understand what kind of impact it will have on me and what I need to do to make it better. I also continue to learn and observe and am open to making adjustments through the different phases of my life and healing process. So Dr. Kim, you are right on the money, this is what it means to be your own best doctor. God Bless and thank you for sharing this post...Elizabeth.

I have to say, i never

I have to say, i never thought of you as anything other than a health care practitioner but in the vein of people like Mr. Nelson Mandela.

I just happened to watch Invictus last night (not a rugby union fan at all} and just what you are saying is one of the great things I got from that movie - change your thoughts and you change your life. Of course courage, compassion and understanding underpin this.

I'm seeing that because that's what I'm looking for; but I know it's so - I've known for decades; what I need right now is the reinforcement.

It's the same with whether or not you give a bibliography. Most of what you say I know already from other sources (I'm much older than you); but what I don't know already, then I keep an eye open for in other sources - I usually wait 'til they 'cross my path' (and they always do).

The claims and statements I want verified are the ones from politicians, so-called 'captains of industry' and the media.

Where Is The Evidence

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
Your posted article addresses a serious deficit that has become pandemic — the lack of common sense.
Here's to LIFE !

Where's the evidence

Hi Dr. Kim.

Haven't written a while to you. I'm the vegan cookie mfg who loves your mother's kim chee recipe, I also sent you some cookies! Now do you remember?

I found this article especially inspiring and am forwarding it to all those in my inner circle. Our lives are what we, as individuals make of it, and our attitude towards life and it's sometimes perilous situations makes for either our good quality, or not so good quality. You are completely right when stating that we are our own best doctors, amd must listen to what our bodies tell us, all the time. I, myself have learned this from past experience.

Please keep writing, you do so beautifully!

All the best,

Cindy

mindbody connection

I love your writing, Dr Kim, full of honesty and without ego. It is truely refreshing. My father was a General Practitioner in a small town, which meant he did everything from bee stings to heart surgery and he did it for 50 years (although the last 10 or so were less rewarding due to the changes in society and medicine). His famous saying was always,'Stress kills more people than bacon'! Meaning of course, we worry so much about what we eat, but we should also concentrate on eliminating the stress in our lives. Keep up the beautiful work...even if I am crazy busy, I always take time to read your message!You are a gift.

Need to reference

As long as we don't believe that there are other ways of discovering self and our environment, we keep going in circles of scientific endless debates over what can not be resolved by observation, analysis or (in one world) what we call "science" today.
There has been time that science has been defined differently from how is defined now. Let's keep open mind to new ways of thinking. Thanks Dr.Kim.

Testimonial to emotional and physical connection

For ten years following an auto accident, I had debilitating pain in my right hip and thigh. Constant (2-3 weekly) chiropractic and massage therapy would help to relieve it slightly however, nothing changed except my loss of hope that I would ever recover.
I changed chiropractors and again, would get some relief for a few days then back to what I was beginning to consider "normal". After one of my periodic spells of uncontrollable crying throughout the night from hopelessness, my chiropractor suggested a healing modality called Body Talk. She contacted the lady and I immediately went to her office.
She asked what was going on and I couldn't talk without bursting into tears so she just said come on back. A minute or so into the session, she sat back in her chair and said, "Wow! Your body is sick of this pain in your hip and it is ready to get rid of it." By simply listening to my body's vibrations, she began telling me how long I had suffered with this problem, what event was the start of it, exactly what part of my body the pain affected and that when we were finished with the session, it would be gone. And she was right about all of it.
Without knowing anything about me or my life, she explained that I had experienced some sort of emotional trauma, or multiple things, that the body stores in the right hip. No amount or type of treatments, drugs, surgical procedures, etc. would eliminate my pain, only "tapping out" the emotions and use of this "storage area" (my hip). I walked out of her office that day free of any pain and have not experienced the pain since the session 8 years ago.
In my opinion, anyone who trusts information published by the American Medical Association (AMA), FDA or pharmaceutical giants (Big Pharma), all which control the media and all sources of medical information and approval, should understand that their "facts" are based on and generated solely for the purpose of financial gain! If you are healthy, they do not profit! Nothing is farther from the truth than the brainwashed belief that only a PHD can know or comprehend anything concerning our physical being. Each of us has an obligation to our own health to use our minds, become educated about how the body functions and, as Dr. Kim tells us all the time, LISTEN TO YOUR OWN BODY!
Last, and most importantly, GOD MADE US PERFECT!!! He made us to be healthy! He has no desire for us to be sick or crippled and everything He created was without a flaw of any kind...so why would he make us anything but perfect...?

Where is the evidence

Spot on, Dr Kim, and very well expressed. I have tried to get this message through to my two adult sons who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. I think they understand to a degree, but if I can get them to read what you have written, I believe they will finally understand completely and be able to use this knowledge to improve their state of mind and, hopefully, their health. As you would know, when every day requires a great deal of effort to put in a day's work, there can be a lot of internalised anger produced, especially when they perceive that their friends and colleagues do so with apparent ease. Thank you for writing this.

Beryl

Excellent article

I wholeheartedly agree with your article. I have personally observed the mind-body connection at work in my health over and over again.

I choose LOVE

Dear Dr Ben
I teach yoga and meditation. Occasionally i run into people who are resistant and skeptical. They are not in my regular class, though. Just random people i run into. The information you share is extremely useful and balanced. There's always a joker in every deck of cards. You are attracting people who are like you. The jokers are merely distraction. Wishing you bliss in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes. Light to you, Chrys.

medical references

I read this article with interest.By chance I listened to an interview with Esther Steinberg (another Canadian) yesterday. As you would know, she has done ground breaking research into the impact of emotions on glandular and other functions; and also on the effects of environment in healing,healthy socialisation and so on. In terms of ordinary day to day primary medical care, which is where most of us are most of the time, we haven't advanced much since the Greeks and Romans. (Medical intervention in crisis situations, on the other hand, has improved enormously over the past 150 years. Sadly, iatrogenic illnes is robbing us of many of those achievements.)

It is, however, on some other aspects of the article that I wish to comment. I am old enough to have received a good standard, if somewhat limited, public school education.I have read widely ever since. I can read and enjoy most articles in Scientific American, for example. But i am very clear that, apart from some areas of history, (even here I'm now out of date) I have no specialist knowlege in any area at all. If I need something more than a general working kmowledge of an area, be it global warming or blood chemistry, i consult a specialist in one form or another. Even had I the capacity and energy, and at over 70 I haven't, there is no way I could become a specialist in even a tiny percentage of the areas that engage my attention over the course of a week - including human anatomy, biochemical physiology and the specifics and interactions of anatomical systems.

Most of the time this works well enough - paricularly in practical as compared to speculative areas. When we come to the area of diet and dietary supplements this is not true. We are bombarded with conflicting information from sources so widely varying (even among those who can claim a high level of reputability) that with the best will in the world I find it impossible to avoid confusion. In the past I would shrugged and moved on, thinking that most of the issues would be resolved by time. However as a recently diagnosed Type2 diabetic, some of these conflicts of opinion take on practical signifigance. eg The nurse educator whose clinic I attend is adamant I should replace butter with a margarine that supposedly lowers cholesterol. I pointed out to her that there was considerable disagreement about the healthiness of using hydrogenated fats. This made no impact - the standard medical position remains.

Frustrated, I turned to two medical sources - one Australian; the other the Mayo Clinic. Both recommend replacing butter with polyunsaturated margarine. Several other sites that I consider trustworthy in these matters (including Dr Ben) say margarine is destructive of human health; and that most of the fuss over cholesterol is unwarranted and misleading.

Quo vadis? David Young

Where is the evidence?

While I was in my 20s and 30s, I thoroughly believed the words "latest scientific research shows that...". By the time I reached 40 I started to become confused when research findings contradicted each other and my suspicions continued for the next 20 years that something was seriously amiss with "research". The reasons are contained in Dr Kim's excellent article.

My lifelong interest in health related topics has helped me make decisions about options and take charge of my own health. Just today my doctor advised me to have a certain test, but I insisted I was not going to take it and gave my reasons. It was then that she mentioned an alternative test that would have to be paid for out of my own pocket, which I am willing to do. The reason she pushed for me to have the first test was because it is the only government subsidized option, showing once again that we are pointed in certain directions for other reasons than what is best for us personally to the extent that are not even aware that there ARE alternatives!

Additional Mind-Body Healing ideas

Dr Kim, you are brilliant! Thank you for sharing your insight!

I'd like to share some powerful ideas I've learned from wise sages who have mentored me...

First, when my digestive system was very unhappy, I learned to journal as a way of purging everything yucky out of my system, and then journal profusely to welcome new happy positive thoughts into my system.

Second, I learned about Brainstorming Posters. You take a big piece of posterboard (thick big paper) and write with colorful markers every positive word or phrase you can think of. Anything inspiring, anything uplifting! (Answer the 5 questions at the end of Dr Kim's post!) Then you post it prominently wherever you spend the most time. My small children have been learning to read "The Most Important Words" because of this simple idea- they love the big posters and ask about the pretty words, "What does this one say?" and "What does this one mean?".

Lastly, I learned about creating a dated Vision Board. Similar idea with the poster, but you write phrases that describe who you want to be, where you want your emotions to live, how you want to feel, etc. The brilliant effect of a prominently placed Vision Board is that because it's dated, you start to see over time how you ARE BEING who you wanted to be, but ONLY because you actually wrote it and reminded yourself of your dream by posting it prominently!

I was told "Your words are your power to create" and I've found that to be true! Thank you for changing the world through sharing your powerfully encouraging words!

Just now i came to know the best medicine...

Hello Dr.Ben,

Thank you very much for your informative article..

Where is the evidence?

I LOVE this article! THANKS Dr!

I want to encourage you

Dear Dr.Kim, I wholeheartedly agree with every point you made in this article. Especially how a person's health can respond to any kind of intervention depending on the attitude of the caregiver whether it be a physician or oneself. I have experienced many uncaring and ignorant physicians who have insulted my intelligence frequently and caused me and my children more harm than good. I would leave feeling angry and frustrated and worse off than when I came there. Managed care is designed to keep you medicated and sick and coming back for more of their drugs. But that's another issue. I have on the rare occasion been cared for by a Physician that made me feel as if he/she were really listening and really cared and I could tell by the relief I got from the treatments that he or she did care about human suffering. Our own beliefs about getting well also play a huge role in our healing and our bodies possess an inherent intelligence to healing itself that at times our mind and emotions sabotage.The bible says: "Life and death are in the tongue",(even our self talk can keep us sick) and "Hope differed makes the heart sick". You give us hope, Dr.Kim and I respect your knowledge. I can also feel how much you do care about people and the integrity in which you run your practice and website. Your products are high quality and so are you. Don't listen to the arrogance of the health pharisees, they probably work for Big Pharma or know someone who does. You just keep doing what you know in your soul is right. We deserve to know the truth about how to help our bodies heal, not mask the symptoms with drugs,
and you give us that truth. Thank you.

emotions affecting health

I am a person who developed a blocked blood vessel and high blood pressure. I live a very healthy life style vegan,raw organic foods,very active life style bike,run,swim but still developed these problems.This was caused by extreme stress, because of certain events in my life, emotion and thoughts play a major roll in our health. Keep up the good work Dr Kim

Where is the Evidence

The truth always shines through as something that indicates deep down for me. I have been a registered nurse for 21 years and have seen the mind-body connection many times. A wise man once said, "If you truly believe a candy bar will kill you, it most certainly will!"

We all create our lives one thought at a time!! I am just starting to scratch the surface of this "secret" and am seeing it manifest daily.

If we all put our attention on what we want, instead of what we don't want, we would see miracles happen!!

Your articles are insightful and full of precious gems Dr Kim.
Thank you!!

Where is the evidence

Right on!!! Thing is, I think you are being far too modest. I'm a chemistry graduate, but I, like most of us, don't have the time or training to evaluate how good any scientific or non-scientific information is - therefore I rely on gut-feel, my body's feedback and people like you, Dr Kim, to advise me on how to best live a healthy life. We couldn't do it without people like you. Continuing thanks for all your help and support. Cheers, Kate

So right!!!

Wonderful response to non believers! Our bodies are amazing machines that are constantly working to be in the best condition possible, despite all we do to jeapordize it! People just need to remember that people survived thousands of years without modern medicine and need to open their eyes to the fact that nature has everything we need to live a full healthy life! And thanks for all your good work!

About: Where is the Evidence?

Dear Dr. Ben,

I have never commented on your site before, but I have been reading for awhile. Every newsletter you have sent to me is stored in a folder for future reference. I have been researching and investigating health and nutrition for around 5 years now. When I first started I was truly one of those scientific proof people. As I became more knowledgeable about the human body, it became easier to read someone's information without having to see where it was based from, because I knew enough about it to be able to decide it was true or not. I encourage people to get involved in their own health. I tell them to do their own research. For me, doing my own research has led me to the knowledge that 'not everyone has your best interest at heart'. I think it's just like this: If you own a business, you would probably have an accountant, because you wouldn't have time to do it all yourself. But just because you have an account, it doesn't mean you don't check up on him to make sure he's not stealing from you. You need to have an idea of what his job is, so you can know if he's doing it!! The same holds true for your physician. He is a person and cannot possibly know everything about everyone, especially your emotional state. Only you can know that. If you know enough to keep him accountable, you will go a long, long way to healing yourself. Thank you Dr. Kim for your newsletters. Yours is one of only about 5 emails I get, out of lots, that I feel gives me even more information I can use in my daily life. Keep the great topics coming!!!!

Where's the evidence?

Thank you for your honest and direct article on 'the evidence'. I am in a very negative marriage and have been for 40 years. Because of my religious convictions, I will not divorce. He is not abusive except at an emotional level and is financially irresponsible. I take good supplements and have a good chiro. No matter what I do, I struggle with feeling joyful and well. Prayer and meditation do the most for me, as well as fellowship with people who are joyful and happy. I refuse to take the way of 'big pharma'. I know what they would prescribe and numbness is not a solution. I just wanted you to know I appreciate your insight and wisdom in this area; it is so needed. No pill can correct the mind-body connection and we are each responsible for what we do with what life is for us. Thank you for listening.

Reply to Anonymous about a difficult marriage

I had to reply to your post, Anonymous. I'm hoping you will see this. I have been in a similar situation as you - the only differences are that for us it's been only 39 years :), and I am staying in the marriage, not for religious convictions, but because we have a disabled adult son who needs both of us to care for him.
That said, I got to a point 3 years ago, where I felt "I couldn't take it anymore", and needed to do something, or I would "go out of my mind". I had gotten to the point where I could barely eat. But I didn't want to leave.
I tried some counselling, which helped a little bit, but didn't seem to be addressing the issue very well. Then I started to read some articles that Dr. Margaret Paul has written about "inner bonding". There is a lot to this system, but the part that helped me the most was the explanations she gives about emotional abuse and how to address these issues in a way that really help both people in the relationship. This made so much sense to me, and was so different than other approaches I had read about. I have since taken a couple of her online courses, and I feel so much better inside; my thoughts and emotions and beliefs are much more now "on my side" and helping me feel better as well as, amazingly, seeing my husband gradually change, even though he isn't doing the course at all, and has no interest in learning anything about it!
Sounds like prayer and meditation and surrounding yourself with joyful people is helping you now. I'm so glad to hear that you have found a way to cope. I hope that you can continue to find more love and wellness within. I hope you don't mind my relaying my experience.
Also, when I first signed up for a course, I felt that I was so old (in my 60's), but found that there were people even in their 70's taking the course. So it's never too late.
Dr. Kim, thank you for all your articles. Like others, I so appreciate not just your wisdom, but your honesty. I was especially grateful when you answered one of my questions about taking one of your supplements, but you advised against it based on an autoimmune condition which I have.
With gratefulness,
Coral

thank you

My life's work has been to get this message across:
"mind-body connection. This connection is on at all times."
As a FT medical intuitive, I can't help but see how the cells react to all we subject them to emotionally, mentally, pharmaceutically. Human minds and therefore systems get confused (i.e. western med.) but biology is clear. I love what you are able to put out in the world and hope to connect. Thank you.
Madalyn Suozzo

Your best work ever! So true

Your best work ever! So true and amazingly well put together. It is something we all know either consciously or subconsciously but the environment we live in wants us to ignore and forget. And we need loving and caring souls like you to remind us.
Thank you Dr Kim.

Excellent article, Dr. Kim! I

Excellent article, Dr. Kim! I am so glad that we are becoming ever more aware of the impact our emotions and thoughts have on our physical being, whether for well- or ill-.

It's good to remember that: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Psalm 17:22

"Where Is The Evidence?"

Fantastic! Superb! Excellent!
Information as worthwhile as any of the many books I have on the subject, one I will print and keep handy always. THANK YOU!

Evidence VS. Science

Dr. Kim I have found the same questions surfacing in my area of expertise. I am not a doctor however, when my mother was diagnosed with emphysema and prescribed over $1000 per month in medications and treatments I made sure she took and performed all that was prescribed.

As I am sure you and all of your readers know the medical and pharmaceutical industries claim that emphysema is incurable and essentially terminal. I noticed that after two years of not smoking and the same two years taking the prescribed medications and treatments my mother was noticeably worse and it seemed her deterioration was accelerating.

I researched for more than 6500 hours looking for anything that might help my mother. She had deteriorated down to only 77 pounds, was on 4 liters of continuous supplemental oxygen and could only eat very small portions of food or it would negatively affect her breathing.

I put her on a very healthy diet with uncontaminated protein and fresh vegetables taking all sugar and foods that convert to sugar out of her diet. Amazingly after only two weeks she began improving. By then she had stopped taking the majority of the medications prescribed claiming they were not working. I realized that even when they did work all they did was mask symptoms and absolutely did not provide any sustained improvement in her condition.

When I asked why her emphysema got worse even though she had quit smoking two years earlier the doctor replied, "We don't know. It is a mystery."

With a small bit of improvement visible we continued and expanded by adding specific supplements, many of which you recommend for reversing various diseases and achieving optimal health.

After 18 months my mother no longer required any supplemental oxygen and had gained back all of her weight (minus two pounds). Best of all, she felt good seemed happy that she had beat this impossible disease. This success bred more success. Her attitude had so much to do with her recovery.

The people asking you for references instead of using their own logic may not have any logic in them. With me they simply assume that I am not telling them the truth. They think that if there was a way to reverse this disease the doctor would know it but I would not.

AFter reading your information I think I will tell them to listen to what their doctor is saying and what I am saying and follow the one that makes the most sense.

Thank you very much for this insight. Maybe I will be able to help at least some of the 400,000 Americans that die every year with emphysema not to mention people from all over the world.

Evidence

In general I am a fact person, but I believe that there are many things that relate to our health that we cannot attribute to a fact or data. I agree that each person has to find his or her own path through this maze of information, propaganda, marketing information and truth.
I like to read Dr. Kim's articles because I find his perspective to be honest, intelligent, compassionate and well reasoned. I do not agree with every word he prints, but I find much of his writing to be so inspiring and real that I listen carefully to his thoughts, as I find most of them valuable, or thought provoking in some way.
Thanks adn best wishes.

Amazingly well-said

Hi Dr. Kim,

This article is amazing. In my own journey of educating myself about my body and the health that it is related to at any given time, as well as my time as a nursing assistant, I have come across such people as well, in forums or in conversation. There is a certain group of people who, for whatever reason, choose to place blame on everyone else. Rather than accept that they are the only ones responsible for their health and well-being, they scan for contradictions in various publications and argue with the authors. You hit the proverbial nail on the head when you stated that it is beneficial to research human anatomy and physiology. I learned so much, just in my Courses 1 & 2, that widened my understanding of how the physical body works! When we TRULY understand what we are dealing with, it is much easier to make confident, conscious decisions as to what is best for us, even if it is not considered part of "modern medical practice."

Cheers to you Dr. Kim and all you have contributed to the community!

 

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