Magic for Medical Professionals
McBride School of Magic
November 4th, 5th and 6th, 2005
Las Vegas, Nevada
In collaboration with Eugene Burger, the dean of the McBride School of magic, and guest L.B. Grotte M.D., an expert in Oriental medicine, Jeff McBride presents a workshop to introduce medical professionals to the powerful secrets of magic and performance and how to use them to influence and improve the healing relationship central to all systems of medicine. The program will be limited to 15 participants.
For more information, visit Wizards Teach Medicine to Doctors
To register or learn more about the School, visit The McBride School of Magic
Culture of Fear Series
News News News
LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE
A study carried out at Indiana State University randomly divided 33 healthy adult women into an experimental group who were shown a humorous video, and a comparison group who sat through a tourism video. All subjects were assessed for self-reported stress and arousal, laughter and immune function (NK cell activity). The results showed that stress decreased in the laughter group compared to the comparison group, and that stress decreased and immune function increased in the laughter group proportionately to the amount they had laughed whilst watching the video. (Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 Mar-Apr;9(2):38-45).
EXERCISE, WEIGHT LOSS & SYNDROME X
Syndrome X (or ‘metabolic syndrome’) is a collection of metabolic abnormalities (elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity and, crucially, insulin resistance) that leaves patients at a higher risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. Syndrome X has a high incidence in people with high blood pressure and its prevalence is increasing in the US, and has been diagnosed in 40 million adults (over 20% of the population). A nonpharmacological solution is especially sought because drugs prescribed to lower blood pressure have been shown to worsen carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in Syndrome X patients. A recent study carried out at Duke University Medical Center randomly assigned 53 overweight and middle-aged men and women with Syndrome X into three groups: exercise alone (three to four times a week for 26 weeks), exercise plus weight loss (one to two pounds per week), and usual lifestyle, and measured blood pressure, glucose, insulin and lipid levels before and at the end of the six-month study. There was a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure in the exercise plus weight loss group, and a reduction in hyperinsulinemia in both the intervention groups (47% in the exercise plus weight loss group compared to 27% in the exercise only group. (Archives of Internal Medicine, Sept. 8, 2003).
FRUITS, VEGETABLES & BREAST CANCER
A study of over 1400 women in Shanghai has found that those who ate at least four servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a 50% lower risk of breast cancer than women who ate two or less portions. (American Association for Cancer Research conference, October 2003).
TEENAGERS HEALTH ‘TIME BOMB’
A report from the British Medical Association has warned that teenagers who increasingly consume high amounts of alcohol, drugs and junk food, and are sexually promiscuous, risk becoming the most obese and infertile generation of adults in the history of mankind, generating a public health time bomb. 20% of UK 13-16 year olds are overweight, 25% of 15-16 year olds smoke, and 10% of females aged 16-19 have chlamydia, potentially leading to infertility. 11-15 year olds now drink twice as much as they did a decade ago, with nearly a fifth of them drinking at least once a week, whilst cirrhosis of the liver is killing an increasing number of young people. The report also says that up to 20% of children and young adults suffer from some form of mental distress, from depression to eating disorders. The report’s authors call their findings “an extraordinary threat to an entire generation”.
EXERCISE, DIET & HEART DISEASE
An analysis of the data from nearly 9,800 people who enrolled in a large health and nutrition study between 1971 and 1975 has found the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease (less than half of the highest risk) in those who both exercised and ate more. They were leaner than those with higher risks, who tended to exercise less, eat less, and be overweight. The conclusion appears to be that to prevent cardiovascular disease, the key factor is exercise and that total caloric intake is relatively less important. (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2003;25(4):283-289).
The Old Order Amish, who live a 19th century lifestyle and practice traditional agricultural techniques, engage on average in six times more physical activity than the average citizen in a ‘modern’ nation. Amish men take on average over 18 thousand steps a day, compared to the US average of two to three thousand. Only 4% of the Amish studied were obese (compared to a 31% US average) whilst 26% were classified as overweight (compared to a US average of 64.5%), despite the fact that the Amish diet is high in calories, fat and refined sugar. (Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, 2004;36:79-85).
HIGH HEELS & KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS
Wearing high heels does not appear to be a contributory factor to the development of osteoarthritis of the knee in women, although women over the age of 65 are twice as likely as men to suffer from this disease. The researchers interviewed 111 women who were waiting for knee replacement surgery, and 82 women with no knee problems, and asked about their lifetime history of wearing one inch, two inch and three inch heels. None of the measures of high heel wearing were significantly associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. It’s obviously time now to consider the hypothesis that Chinese medicine would make i.e. that the greater exposure of women’s knees to wind, cold and damp due to insufficient clothing, could be a factor. (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health [2003;57:823-30]).
ASTHMATIC BREATHING, EXERCISE & FISH OILS
A small study has found that otherwise healthy experienced athletes who normally experience asthma-like symptoms following exercise (exercise-induced bronchoconstriction/EIB) had 80% less severe symptoms after taking fish oil capsules for three weeks. The study also found that athletes who did not usually experience EIB showed no change in lung function after taking the fish oil. (Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2003; 168: 1181-1189).
Research carried out at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, England has confirmed that an extract derived from the Chinese herb Qing Hao (Herba Artemisiae Apiaceae) is effective in the treatment of malaria. Qing Hao extract works by disabling a vital enzyme in the malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) causing it to die within hours. It is expected that improved versions of the extract will cure malaria in 3-4 days. (New Scientist, August 23, 2003).
POOR RESULTS WITH ECHINACEA FOR CHILDREN’S COLDS
New research has cast doubt on the ability of Echinacea to reduce the symptoms of colds in children. 524 children between the ages of 2 and 11 were followed for four months. If they got a cold during that time, they were given either echinacea or a placebo for up to 10 days. The parents recorded the child’s symptoms, their severity and duration as well as the number of days of fever, if any. Analysis of the data revealed no difference in symptoms, duration of symptoms, overall days of illness or days of fever between the two groups. The only observed difference was a negative one, with rashes appearing in 7% of children who took echinacea compared to 2% of those treated with placebo. ( Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003;290:2824-2830).
A US veterinary researcher is training dogs to diagnose a variety of diseases by smell. A dog’s sense of smell is reported to be 100,000 times as sensitive as that of humans, and there have been many reports of dogs detecting and then showing continued anxiety about their owner’s undetected skin cancers. Dr. Lawrence J. Meyers, the researcher, believes that in future trained dogs will work in dermatology clinics, checking all the patients as they come in. Another US veterinary clinic reports dogs able to detect low blood sugar, high blood pressure, migraines and heart attacks. (Thanks to Ivanhoe.com).
HRT & ASTHMA
Researchers from Bergen in Norway studied data from 2589 women aged between 26 and 54, living in 7 areas of northern Europe (in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Iceland). The women were sent a questionnaire ten years ago and then contacted again between 1999 and 2002. The results indicated that women taking HRT are 40 to 50% more likely to suffer from asthma or to exhibit asthma symptoms, and the increased risk rises to 60% in the case of allergic asthma. The women on HRT were also 30% more often affected by hay fever. When the study was restricted to non-smoking women, HRT practically doubled the likelihood of having asthma or hay fever. (Presented at the 13th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society, 2003).
HRT & OVARIAN CANCER
A new study has indicated that estrogen plus progestogen replacement therapy may increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer and may also increase the number of endometrial biopsies that women need before cancer can be diagnosed. An analysis of data from the recently completed women’s health initiative (WHI) trial into HRT (stopped early in 2002 because of health risks) found that estrogen plus progestogen reduced rates of endometrial cancer by 19% but increased rates of ovarian cancer by 58%. (BMJ 2003;327:767).
ANTACIDS & FOOD ALLERGIES
Research on both humans and animals suggests that taking antacid medication, which affects gastric acid secretions, can result in normally digestible proteins acting as food allergens. Up to 10% of the adult population may take antacids. (World Allergy Congress, Vancouver, 2003).
FRUIT, VEGETABLES & LONGEVITY
Older people with high blood levels of vitamin C (ascorbate) live longer than people with low levels, according to a study of 1214 people between the ages of 75 and 84 years. Researchers found that ascorbate concentrations decreased markedly with age and that participants with
the highest blood levels of ascorbate (greater than 66 micromol/L) had about half the risk of dying during the 4-year follow-up period as did participants with the lowest blood levels (less than 17 micromol/L). Blood levels of the other antioxidants measured did not correlate with mortality. Only 17% of the participants took vitamin C supplements and this did not appear to affect the correlation between blood levels of ascorbate and mortality, which rather related to fruit and vegetable intake. (Am J Clin Nutr 2003 78: 999-1010).