From the News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton

Posted 28 July 2014 | By Sofia Lind Pulse Daily

GPs may benefit from using astrology to make health services more efficient and reduce public spend, a member of the House of Commons Health Committee has told Pulse.

David Tredinnick, Conservative MP for Bosworth, said he believes that the ancient practice – used in western, eastern and native American cultures for thousands of years – could ‘certainly’ be useful to GPs and also help reduce the cost of NHS as a whole.

The debate was important, he added, to stop the overuse of antibiotics and reduce pressure on doctors, by guiding patients in understanding what type of ailments they may be prone to, based on the position of the planets at the time they were born.

Asked whether it could also help GPs in treating patients, Mr Tredinnick said: ‘Certainly. Particularly a lot of GPs from the Indian subcontinent would be aware of the Indian astrology and probably apply it. I mean there are doctors here who do astrology. It has been around for so long that I think it is time to stop saying “it has no evidence”, it has been used for 3,000 years in all these cultures and we need to be a bit more broadminded.’

‘[Astrology] does have a part to play and I’ve studied it over 20 years, but it doesn’t work on the basis of double-blind placebo controlled trials. It works on the basis of observation and to a degree intuition, and this is something that we have lost in the health service. We rely too much on evidence and we should listen more to patients’ experience which is what we always used to do.’

For example, astrology may help GPs and their patients understand which pending health issues they should be on the lookout for, he added.

Mr Tredinnick said: ‘The signs of the Zodiac have been associated with different ailments. For example Capricorns are associated with the knees, I am a Capricorn and I’ve always had to watch my knees, Aries is the head, Pisces is the feet and you have the others sort of going in order from top to bottom. That’s a fairly simple way of looking at it but some people because of their astrological make up would be more susceptible to some ailments than others.’

He added that the ‘bigger point’ though was how turning to complementary medicine could help achieve the ‘Nicholson challenge’ of cutting spending on the NHS by increasing efficiency and also the help avert the ‘drugs crisis’ linked to antimicrobial resistance.

He said: ‘We have to look at ways of reducing that demand. Traditional disciplines, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, which is very widely used in China, homeopathic medicine – 90% of pregnant women in France use homeopathic medicines – we need to try and have a better understanding of these options to reduce demand, so that it is not just about increasing supply. We have to produce other alternatives to reduce the pressure on existing services in the system and take the pressure off doctors.’

The MP clarified however that he was not suggesting the NHS pays for patients to have their astrological charts done.

‘I have not said that this should be on the health service. I have been quite clear about this. This is something that can be looked at by people, but I am not advocating that the health service pays for this service. To have a chart done, or a map done, an astrological breakdown of someone’s personality and likely behaviour costs about £30. You can go online, there are lots of people doing it, and you can buy it as a computer programme I use and I’ve done it for MPs in the past. It is very, very helpful and based on where the emphasis in your chart is you get some idea of where you are likely to be affected and where you are not.’

Pulse spoke to Mr Tredinnick in light of comments he made in the House of Commons last week that he hoped Government would stop ‘looking just at increasing the supply of drugs and consider the way that complementary and alternative medicine can reduce the demand for drugs, reduce pressures on the health service, increase patient satisfaction, and make everyone in this country happier’.

Readers’ Comments

One reader wrote “Is it April 1st?”

An anonymous reader wrote” OMG, a lunatic is really in charge of the asylum. 

How does someone with views like that get to be on committees dealing with medicine and with science?
 What next witch doctors on the NHS? Shall we kill a chicken and read its entrails?

Just how much sheer stupidity can the NHS take before blowing up?

An other nameless reader wrote.” If he were a doctor, letters would right now be winging their way to GMC. But since he’s a politician he is allowed to spout drivel and draw a salary for it!


“What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Low Thyroid Is Keeping You Sick and Tired

From the News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Posted JULY 28 2014 Dr Rodger Murphree’s Blog THE FIBRO DOCTOR

When we look at low thyroid function, it really mirrors all those symptoms we see in fibromyalgia-chronic fatigue syndrome because when you have a low functioning thyroid, you start to have fatigue and the mental fibro fog, the headaches and the weight gain, cold hands and feet, poor memory, hair loss, hoarseness of your voice, start to get anxiety issues, depression. It increases your joint and muscle pain.

Along with that, you might get tingling in your hands and feet. There can also be some numbing sensations, certainly poor circulation, cold hands, cold feet also is part of that. Typically you have constipation, may get high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, have problems with menstrual irregularities, PMS, infertility issues, fibrocystic breast disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, reactive low blood sugar reactions; hypoglycemia … psoriasis or the instance of psoriasis certainly raises its ugly head, and low immune function.

All these things show up with low thyroid. The reason that is, is because your thyroid and thyroid hormones control every function, every cell in the body. When the thyroid hormones are depleted or your thyroid function is compromised, you start having a slowdown in all of your cellular energy processes, your metabolism; what gives you energy to actually have a cell make something happen biochemically. It’s no wonder since the thyroid hormones control every cell, once they become compromised, you start getting all these different symptoms that can go along with that. That makes thyroid a very, very important thing to address if it’s an issue. As I said, I find about 60-70% of my patients of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have a low thyroid. Either it’s been misdiagnosed or it’s been improperly treated.

The doctor will say, “Let’s check your thyroid. Sounds like your energy is down, let’s check your thyroid.” They do the thyroid test and it comes back normal, they tell you everything’s okay. The problem with many doctors is they just start treating your symptoms. If you’re tired, they may put you on an amphetamine which is an upper that’s illegal if you sold it out on the street, called Ritalin or Concerta, or one of these other speed medications; amphetamines which really do havoc to your biochemistry and really very big source of problems that I see in patients who take that because it makes your adrenal glands, your stress coping glands and their function even more compromised, especially long term.

They may put you on something for your high cholesterol, even though your cholesterol is being elevated because you got low thyroid. They may put you on something for your low moods like Paxil, so you gain 30-40 pounds on this antidepressant, even though low moods are due to the low thyroid.

The other thing I’ve seen happen is patients get on prescription medication for their thyroid and they get checked about twice a year. The doctor says everything looks fine, even though they feel terrible because the thyroid medication’s either not the right dose, it’s too weak a dose, or it’s the wrong thyroid medication. That often happens as well.

The other thing I’ve seen happen is patients get on prescription medication for their thyroid and they get checked about twice a year. The doctor says everything looks fine, even though they feel terrible because the thyroid medication’s either not the right dose, it’s too weak a dose, or it’s the wrong thyroid medication. That often happens as well.


From the News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton

By Dr Rodger Murphree The Fibro Doctor

For over 2,000 years, the Dead Sea has been renowned for its therapeutic effects on bathers. Recently, studies have been done on the health benefits bathing in Dead Sea salts:

One such study was conducted by Dr. I. Machtey on 103 patients suffering from osteoarthritis and tendinitis…. Improvement was found after as little as one week of treatment for those treated with 7.5% or 2% salt baths. By the study’s end, 80% of the patients reported less pain; 70% experienced improved mobility and 60% were able to decrease their use of analgesics.

All bath salts are sea salts (with the exception of Epsom salt and Himalayan salt), and are obtained naturally from evaporating seawater. Research shows that adding a little sea salt to your bath can increase circulation, ease muscle cramps, relieve arthritis or back pain, and soothe achy, overworked legs and feet. Plus sea salt helps cleanse and detoxify your skin, the largest organ in the body.

I often recommend my patients use epsom salt baths to reduce their achy, tight muscles.

Did you know-Epsom salt isn’t actually salt. Epsom salt is a pure mineral compound of magnesium sulfate in crystal form, so it looks an awful lot like salt. But it has no sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is salt. Salt is sodium chloride.

Epsom salt is made up of naturally occurring minerals magnesium and sulfate, which can help improve health in numerous ways. A lack of magnesium—which helps regulate the activity of more than 300 enzymes in the body—can contribute to high blood pressure, hyperactivity, heart problems, constipation, depression, fatigue, restless leg syndrome, and other health issues. Magnesium is one of the most important stress coping chemicals and is quickly depleted in times of stress. The more stress we are under the more magnesium is needed. In today’s fast paced culture, most Americans are suffering from deficient magnesium levels.

More than 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium, which helps the body regulate heart muscles and control high blood pressure.

Along with taking additional magnesium on a daily basis, epsom salt baths offer a way to optimize our magnesium levels.

Sulfate is essential for many biological processes, helping to flush toxins and helping form proteins in joints, brain tissue and mucin proteins.

Next time you’re feeling some aches and pains, try taking a warm 20-minute bath with one to two cups of epsom salts. Trust me you’ll become addicted.

I like to mix together, one cup epsom and one cup regular sea water bath salts with several drops of eucalyptus for a soothing, health promoting a bath that cleans the skin, relaxes the muscles and opens up the sinuses.

See you tomorrow Jeanne






About jeanne hambleton

Journalist-wordsmith, former reporter, columnist, film critic, editor, Town Clerk and then fibromite and eventer with 5 conferences done and dusted. Interested in all health and well being issues, passionate about research to find a cure and cause for fibromyalgia. Member LinkedIn. Worked for 4 years with FMA UK as Regional Coordinator for SW and SE,and Chair for FMS SAS the Sussex and Surrey FM umbrella charity and Chair Folly Pogs Fibromyalgia Research UK - finding funding for our "cause for a cure" and President and co ordinator of National FM Conferences. Just finished last national annual Fibromyalgia Conference Weekend. This was another success with speakers from the States . Next year's conference in Chichester Park Hotel, West Sussex, will be April 24/27 2015 and bookings are coming in from those who raved about the event every year. I am very busy but happy to produce articles for publication. News Editor of FMS Global News on line but a bit behind due to conference. A workaholic beyond redemption! The future - who knows? Open to offers with payment. Versatile and looking for a regular paid column - you call the tune and I will play the pipes.
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