Americans are living longer than ever before. The human life expectancy is increasing and barring unforeseen circumstances, we can expect to live to a ripe old age-that is a ripe old calendar age. Though our life expectancy has increased, the quality of our lives and our health has not. The United States continues to be one of the unhealthiest nations in the developed world.
The United States has the most extensive health care system in the world. Americans pay more for health care than citizens of any other country. In 2010 the U.S. spent over two trillion dollars, an average of sixty-eight hundred dollars for every man, woman and child. Yet the United States ranks as one of the least healthy nations in the developed world. Our infant mortality rate is worse than 20 other nations. People live longer on average in 25 other countries. We are in the top five in incidents of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and autoimmune disorders.
Every medical, anatomical and health related text will confirm that the central nervous system is the master control system of the human body. The central nervous system is the master control system of the body and every single function reflects its activity. The foundation of health begins with a properly functioning nervous system, to the extent that we can equate levels of function and healing capability with the ability of the nervous system to send and receive information.
Every parent wants a healthy child. Good health depends upon a strong and properly functioning immune system. A properly functioning immune system is one of the keys to a healthy, happy child who will resist infections, allergies, and chronic illnesses. For the first time in history, U.S children are sicker than the generation before them. They’re not just a little worse off, they are propitiously worse off physically, emotionally, educationally and developmentally.
Asthma is one of the fastest growing chronic conditions in the United States with over 15 million Americans affected, including four million children. The death rate from asthma has increased more than 66% since 1980, with a record 6,600 annual deaths attributed to asthma. Americans spend $6.2 billion annually on asthma treatment and over $1 billion on medications. Adults with asthma lose over $850 million in lost wages from work and parents with asthmatic children lose over $1 billion by staying home from work to care for their children. Asthma is the #1 cause of hospitalization for children in the United States.
The neck of the human body is a bio-mechanical marvel. It possesses a wide range of mobility in nearly every direction. The neck serves as a conduit for the major blood vessels to the brain and is the primary pathway of the central nervous system. The cervical (neck) region is one of the most important areas of the body and a growing body of research clearly shows that its structural integrity and function are absolutely critical to overall health and healing.
Genes are unquestionably the fundamental units by which our bodies are constructed. However, pure genetic determination does not adequately explain the varied capabilities of our biology. A more accurate view of the role of the genome is to see the genes as providing the overall plan for the developmental pathways. The environment to which the individual is exposed will modify the actual pathway. “Health care is going to change from a treatment-based to prevention-based discipline.” -William Haseltine, Chairman Human Genome Science
The practice of vaccination against disease began in 1796 by Edward Jenner, who used the pus of blisters from cowpox to vaccinate people against smallpox. Despite the fact that vaccination is perhaps viewed as the strongest preventive measure against disease in modern health care, its practice and protocol has been challenged in recent years by a growing number of doctors and scientists, as well as a large number of parents. Recent immunology research and the availability of health information have caused the challenge of the foundational tenets of vaccination. “The control or even eradication of childhood disease has been heralded as one of medicine’s finest accomplishments, yet there is a growing suspicion that infection intervention may have an adverse effect on the patients. As childhood infections have decreased, chronic afflictions have increased.”
The past 20 years of health science and research has seen a tremendous increase in the knowledge and understanding of the human immune system, mostly due to cancer and AIDS research. The findings have completely changed our approach to health care as we slowly change from a disease/symptom model to one in which the function and communication of the immune system is optimized. “The inability of antibiotics to wipe out disease entirely and the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and super infections have led many distinguished researchers and physicians to conclude that the answer to disease is not to create stronger medicines. Rather, we say the solution lies in attacking the disease from the inside out by strengthening the body’s natural defense network.”
The first antibiotic, penicillin, became widely available in 1940. Antibiotics have since become a popular weapon in the medical arsenal against disease. Over one-third of all hospital patients are given antibiotics and each year in excess of 240 million antibiotic prescriptions are dispensed in the United States. Although no one can dispute that antibiotics have a place and a purpose, especially in emergency and lifesaving situations, a growing number of doctors and medical researchers contend that antibiotics have been grossly overused and abused, and, as a result, produce adverse reactions as well as strains of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics.
The word “homeostasis” describes the body’s ability to maintain relatively stable internal conditions even though the outside world is constantly changing. Many of the most vital functions of the human body are influenced by the endocrine system, which consists of glands that secrete hormones, or chemical messengers into the bloodstream. The hypothalamus, located in the brain, acts like radar, receiving incoming information from the nervous system. It then uses this information to manufacture hormones that either target specific part of the body, or to target other glands to produce specific hormones for homeostatic regulation.
Athletes have been benefiting from Chiropractic care for many years; however, it has only recently been receiving attention from the media. Athletes of all types, from the weekend warrior to the world-class athlete, utilize Chiropractic because it is a drug-free way to better health and performance. Chiropractic adjustments help ensure that the body functions as efficiently as possible, which can maximize healing and recovery from all types of injuries.
When you think about someone having a headache, you probably think of an adult. However, an increasing number of children experience chronic headaches. The National Headache Foundation estimates that over sixty percent of all children suffer from occasional headaches. The majority of school-age children get headaches, and many have headaches on a recurrent basis. Even before entering school, roughly one-third of children experience a headache at some point. Children miss more than one million days of school each year because of headaches. Recurrent pediatric headache is a common disorder that may affect half of the population.
The role of inflammation in the process of healing has been misunderstood for many years. Recent neurological and immunological research has shed light on its importance in the human healing process. A clear shift in science is taking inflammation away from being the enemy of health and a condition to be suppressed and or eliminated to one in which its importance and role is allowed to proceed.
Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for 28 million Americans, 80% of whom are women. Annual treatment costs for osteoporosis exceed $15 billion. One out of every two women and one in eight men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. The impact of osteoporosis will become even more profound as the oldest of the baby boomers approach menopause, the stage of life when the bone loss that leads to osteoporosis begins to accelerate.
“At least 1.5 million women suffer fractures each year as a result of osteoporosis and, to make matters worse, the number is increasing. More than twice as many fractures occur now compared with 30 years ago and this cannot be explained by the aging of our population. Clearly, there is something wrong with our bone health, something the medical profession has not been able to do much about. “
Over twenty million people in the United States have diabetes mellitus, half of which are undiagnosed. In both human and economic terms, it is one of our nation’s most costly health conditions. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness in adults, and amputations. It is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and birth defects, shortens average life expectancy by up to 15 years, and costs the nation in excess of $100 billion annually in health- related expenditures. At present, there is no method to prevent or cure diabetes, and available treatment have only limited success in controlling its devastating consequences.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread, migrating, and often debilitating pain and fatigue which prevents patients from accomplishing everyday tasks. It affects mostly women between 20 and 50 years old. The National Foundation for Fibromyalgia estimates that as many as 12 million Americans suffer from Fibromyalgia, yet remain undiagnosed because of its elusive nature.
Aspirin, one of the first drugs to come into common usage, is probably the most widely used drug in the world. Approximately 35,000 metric tons are produced and consumed each year, enough to make over 100 billion standard aspirin tablets. It is estimated that over one trillion aspirin tablets have been consumed in the past 100 years. Each year over 60 billion aspirin tablets are taken worldwide with Americans consuming 34 billion of those tablets. Presently, aspirin is most frequently prescribed for the prevention of heart disease. According to the Center for Disease Control, over 50 million Americans take aspirin for the prevention of heart disease. This accounts for about 350 million dollars in annual sales. It is estimated that in the next ten years, medical doctors will recommend that an additional ten million Americans should begin taking aspirin on a daily basis.
HPV infection and HPV-associated cervical cancer are significant national and global public health concerns. An estimated 11,000 newly diagnosed cases of cervical cancer occur annually in the United States, resulting in 3700 deaths. Globally, an estimated 493,000 new cervical cancer cases occur each year, with 274,000 deaths; more than 80% of cervical cancer deaths worldwide occur in developing countries.
Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, with an estimated 6.2 million individuals newly infected annually.
The cost to cover the typical family of four under an employer plan is expected to top $20,000 on health care this year, up more than 7% from last year, according to early projections by independent actuarial and health care consulting firm Milliman Inc. In 2002, the cost was just $9,235, the firm said. It’s no secret that these mounting costs are eroding profit margins, and in some cases, threatening the survival of U.S. companies.
“It is a well-known fact that the U.S. automobile industry spends more per car on health care than on steel.” – Lee Iacocca, retired chairman of Chrysler