The Power of the Placebo

placebo-effect-one-a-day

The placebo effect is a very interesting bane in scientific research. It cannot be easily dismissed, nor can it be readily explained. Yet it is a factor in clinical research, and scientists must deal with it scientifically as an abnormality. The real question is the placebo the only actionable method of action at work, or is the procedure, drug or chemical being tested (the alternative hypothesis) actually “doing something”. Should we have research that accepts where the placebo is scientifically effective, and where it isn’t?

Scientists rarely study the placebo effect, because it can be problematic to isolate variables. In addition, allopathic medicine tends to think of the placebo effect as a negative factor. Researchers and doctors could accept it as a viable and ethical factor to healing if fully disclosed. That is to say is there enough evidence to warrant using the good side of the placebo, scientifically, to improve the quality of care and treatment?

Placebo effects have been shown to be less of a factor in some disease states such as cancer (Chvetzoff & Tannock, 2003) or infection, and more of a factor in things like pain management (Hunter, 2007). If the placebo effect is a tool for healing, is there justification to use it when it has been proven to work?

One of the most profound discoveries on the strength of the placebo effect was a study using Novocaine from dentists (citation pending). These dentists were given a placebo and told to administer it as Novocaine to their patients. Even though the doctors didn’t do anything different in administering the placebo the effect the placebo was, as you would expect, very low. However, when the doctors were given blinded placebo, not knowing if they were giving real Novocaine or the placebo, the placebo rates went up statistically higher. Somehow, patients felt that they were getting the real thing, and the only change was the doctors were blinded. But the most profound aspect of this study came from looking at the doctors were all given a placebo, and told it was real Novocaine. The rate of agonistic effect was very high. In other words, for some reason, doctors were able to transfer the belief that the treatment would reduce pain. If they believed it, so did their patients.

Is it possible then to realize that there is value in the placebo effect? Should “above the board” disclosure include the use of clinical situations that contribute to areas where a placebo effect is a part of the treatment? Where do we draw the line, when the placebo effect should be used, or when it shouldn’t be used. Clearly patients expect the cost of their medication or treatment should be above and beyond the value of the placebo. Scientist are now starting to explore the ethical use of the placebo.

References:

Chvetzoff, G., & Tannock, I. F. (2003). Placebo effects in oncology. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 95(1), 19-29.

Hunter, P. (2007). A question of faith. EMBO reports, 8(2), 125-128.

The “Mac-Do” Effect

Most people have been to McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, or any number of favorite fast food restaurants. Our first experience is either as a young child when our parents seek to provide relief from proper parenting, by purchasing some “happy meal,” where the purpose of the food is anchored in the toy included in the meal or our attempt to save some money during our growing up years. Thus, the last 30 years we have seen a surge in the growth in the fast food industry in markets globally, where fast food formats have become infused into the diets and cultures of peoples around the world in what I call the “Mac-Do” effect. That is: traditional culinary delights in many countries have been displaced by french fries, cheap hamburgers, soda’s and deserts and with each emerging generation some sort of sick homogenization of a poor global diet has emerged, leading to poor health and dietary behaviors, and a loss of thousands of years of culinary perfection.

I’m sure executives of fast food chains don’t have a hidden agenda to destroy culinary excellence, and lately many have diversified their menu’s to include healthy alternatives, yet I believe the damage has already been done. Young children and youth globally often prefer a diet laden with bread and sugars over traditional foods. In many asian countries, for example, young people are consuming alternate foods that “taste better,” and no longer eat rice and fish. In western cultures, the migration from vegetables and local meats and dairy have given way to sodas and fried foods. But the problem goes well beyond fast food restaurants but includes choices of beverages and snacks. Coca Cola, for example, leads the way as a drink choice over water or juice, and even as a juice choice, most turn to processed juices with corn syrup and have little “fruit” in them, if at all. They are less expensive, and in developing countries where income is spent on energy, housing, and electronics, there is often little “leftover” to help pay for good food.

The “Mac-Do” effect has also changed the way the food industry works. Instead of large local farms producing food aligned by centuries of genetic cultivation, large corporate entities now produce low cost ingredients making alien foods cheaper to manufacture and consume. While not all of these foods are represented in the fast food menu, they are profoundly represented in grocery stores and local shops, nearly completely displacing tradition food in marketplaces for younger generations.

The net effect is both a high caloric diet of non-native foods, but densely calorically packed cheap foods, low in nutrition leading to disease and dietary complications including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. But more profound is the loss of generations of culinary mastered dishes and dietary flavors, that for centuries aligned to the dietary requirements both nutritional and in a medicinal capacity. Younger generations find their tastes are changing and with it the benefits of thousands of years of culinary perfection.

In a recent article, a study shows diabetes and obesity linked to a number of nearby fast-food outlets: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/11/diabetes-obesity-fast-food-outlets-study More emerging research support this and other studies.

The solution to this may exist in re-localizing food choices, in a return to native foods, but the pressure from a profit-centered economy built around food is enormous and dynamically powerful. The “Mac-Do” effect may be stopped through education programs both proactive by groups and councils to promote proper diet and by reacting to nutritions decay of world health populations now more susceptible to “cheap food.” Either way, times are changing, and some foods are disappearing and are being changed, if we recognize this, we may be able to change it. For me, I hope we can retain the perfection in a diverse food marketplace, and personally, I resist the homogenization of a global food economy by always selecting local dishes as much as possible.

12 Things Happy People Do Differently

Happiness

I recently had a church lesson, of all things on the 12 Things Happy People Do Differently. I found it rather provocative, and extremely practical, so I thought Id echo the points here, and add my two cents.  These are vitally true.  I think life, and they way we view it, is often seen through the lens we create. We live in a negative world, where people just “want to share”, but often these things drag us down, and lead our minds into avenues of despair and frustration.  Of course life gives us a set of challenges, its up to us what we do with them.

I’ve quoted the four points from this website ( http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/08/30/12-things-happy-people-do-differently/)

 

  1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
  2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.
  4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
  5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
  6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
  7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of sucker-ism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
  8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
  10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
  11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a contentedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
  12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

If you find these interesting, I recommend getting this book “The How of Happiness” by  Sonja Lyubomirsky.

Gold is not the security you think

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/why-is-the-price-of-gold-falling/261273/

Unlike commodities such as wheat or oil, which you can at least eat or burn for fuel, gold pretty much lacks any inherent value beyond what the market assigns to it.

I’ve been saying this for a long time. What is gold good for? Its just a medium. In very hard times, who needs it? Gold will hold value only if somebody else finds value in it, and most people only find value in it, to preserve value. Once that value is gone, its worthless. Well maybe not entirely.

With India and China changing the market demand, we now see that the value of gold is changing. Something to think about.

Navigation vs Searching on the Internet

Its a pet peave of mine, mostly exploited by browser authors, but searching on the Internet is NOT the same thing as navigating to a website. Follow this story. You’re talking to a friend, and you ask him or her to goto “mobileapps.com”. And they do this:

And this is SEARCHING for the website mobileapps.com
Then they get search results:

That takes the user directly to the website they want (after all, that is what talking about in this story example “goto” the website mobileapps.com.

This drives me nuts. I suppose its just the Internet, but this seems like a pretty easy concept. </rant>

Protandim Canada

Protandim Canada

Protandim Canada(Update April 2018) Protandim is available in Canada for customers or distributors.  The cost of Protandim is the same for both customers or distributors at the wholesale price of CAD$53.25 per bottle plus sales tax and shipping. Preferred Customers can save on shipping by setting up quarterly shipments instead of monthly orders.  There are also options for free shipping for registered customers who bundle with other products.

Because LifeVantage is a referral based business, if you are already working with a LifeVantage distributor, please contact them to purchase Protandim or enroll as a distributor. If you do not have a distributor to help you or if you need more information about how you can become involved in LifeVantage in Canada, I’m willing to assist you.

Need Help? Message me or use the links on this page or the phone number below.

Protandim ships from the Canada warehouse, and takes about 4-6 business days.  LifeVantage also sells a skin care system (called TrueScience).  TrueScience has Protandim in it, click this link to TrueScience for more information.  Our Canine Health (now called Petandim) product is available through our “not for resale” website, where distributors and customers may order.  Axio is now available Canada online.  PhysIQ for Canada is now available also.

For local inquiries in Canada please contact one of the following authorized distributors:

Vancouver or Victoria Island, please contact Dora or Pete by phone at 250-723-9372.

Eastern British Columbia call Collin at 250-231-2078 for orders.

Ontario or Manitoba, please contact me. (I’m looking for a local distributor to help in Ontario)

Nova Scotia contact Christoph via email in Halifax.

Quebec please visit lundgren.ca-fr.lifevantage.com

How do you Buy Protandim in Canada Now?

There are three options to buy Protandim in Canada.  One is become a preferred customer, the other is to place a one time retail order, and the third is enroll as a distributor.  The prices for Protandim are nearly all the same, but there are different benefits or advantages to each.

   CUSTOMER ACCOUNT or CUSTOMER ORDERS

3 Protandim Package: buy protandim in Canada as a preferred customer.  You will notice this order is for a monthly order of 3 Protandim. However, you can change this after you complete the order and set it up the way you want, even for a one time order.  Just Message Me after, or when I see your order I will try to contact you.  After a few months, you can setup a regular subscription as you want with customer service and keep the wholesale price, or you can order at irregular intervals at the retail price.  Most customers either cancel their subscription, or place regular orders each month or every quarter to save on shipping.

  PHONE ORDER

For phone orders please call 866-460-9610, or one of the phone numbers above, or send me a message via email.

For Local orders in Canada see the list above on this page, or call this number 866-460-9610, and I will connect you with a person close to you.  Most local distributors don’t stock extra Protandim, but I may be able to connect you to a local distributor who may have some.

  DISTRIBUTOR ACCOUNT

If you want to setup a distributor account, to qualify to earn commissions on referrals, please follow this link.  Please contact me for specific information on what aspect of a distributor account you are most interested in.  You may need assistance in how best to set this up for you.

Become a distributor in Canada?

Yes, we’re fully open with the correct listing and approval from government agencies. You will need a sponsor to enroll you.  If you need a sponsor, please send me a message via email. However, again, if you are currently working with an existing distributor please continue to work with that person.  My interest is helping the entire country, so please feel free to ask any questions.

 

FAQ

What distributor packages are offered?

There are 3 options for distributors (remember you can just be a customer, this is optional for those who want better discounts or a business opportunity with their order) .

Platinum Pack – $1,500.00 CAD (1000 PV)

14 – Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer
4 – AXIO Decaf Red Raspberry
2 – TrueScience Regimen
2 – All Access Event Tickets
2 – Months LV Move App Membership

Gold Pack – $750.00 CAD (500 PV)

5 – Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer
3 – AXIO Decaf Red Raspberry
1 – TrueScience Regimen
1 – All Access Event Tickets
2 – Months LV Move App Membership

Silver Pack – $375.00 CAD (250 PV)

4 – Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer
2 – AXIO Decaf Red Raspberry
1 – Facial Cream
2 – Months LV Move App Membership

Note: you also need to buy a $44 starter kit, not included in the prices above.  You can just get a starter kit alone if you choose.  Full details for Canada Distributor packages can be found here.

Is Protandim sold inside Canada?

Yes through an authorized distributor. The vast majority of sales of Protandim are mail order, and it doesn’t take long to arrive.  LifeVantage has warehousing in Canada. Protandim is not allowed to be sold in retail stores, now or ever, you will have to purchase Protandim through an authorized distributor located in the United States or Canada.

When was Canada open for sale of LifeVantage Products?

Since June of 2013 we’ve been open to conduct business in Canada.  Recently we opened business in Quebec also for customers or distributors.

Can you upgrade to a distributor later?

Yes, login to your preferred customer website, and click the upgrade link on the far left. If you do not know how to do that, contact customer service by phone.

Preferred Customer or Distributor?

While Preferred Customers can order at wholesale they cannot earn commissions.  Distributors may earn commissions through referrals and business building.  The potential is extremely high for those who are interested in inviting others to learn about LifeVantage and Protandim in Canada.

Is Quebec Open?

Yes, all of Canada is.

Is Protandim listed by Health Canada?

Yes, Protandim Nrf2 is registered with Health Canada (Natural Product Number 80040726).  Protandim Nrf1 is also registered with Health Canada (Natural Product Number 80077451).

Can I get Canine Health in Canada?

Yes, via NFR (not for resale) for registered distributors or preferred customers.  You can also purchase it from the USA, please inquire how you can do that.  Canine Health is now called Petandim.

Can I get PhysIQ in Canada?

Yes, PhysIQ is available in Canada for customers or distributors.