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Friday, March 16th 2012 at 7:00 am by Dr. Peter Braglia

When it comes to health care, Western medicine has always taught its patients that they are victims of their genes. They truly believe that within their family history lies their fate. They tell us that if our grandfather had heart disease and our father had a heart attack, then our fate is sealed and we are set up to be an unavoidable victim. We are told that disease is something you’re stricken with, not something you develop or create on your own or lifestyle induced. This victim mentality has allowed the pharmaceutical industry to flourish and prey upon the public’s misunderstanding regarding disease as well their ability to take control of their life and health.

While it’s true that some of us carry genes that make us more susceptible to cancer, heart disease,and diabetes just to name a few, it is also true that for these genes to cause disease, they must be turned ON. In fact recent research has shown that genetics contributes only about 30% to disease susceptibility while an individual”s environment contributes upwards of 70%. So, as long as these genes are turned OFF, you are safe.

Now, you might be asking yourself, what is it that turns these switches “ON”?

The answer is several factors contribute:


From Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease:

Nearly all the major medical societies recently joined in publishing a review of the scientific evidence for lifestyle medicine both for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. There is strong evidence that this approach works and saves money. Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t usually pay for it. No one profits from lifestyle medicine, so it is not part of medical education or practice. It should be the foundation of our healthcare system.

For example, the recent “EPIC” study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine studied 23,000 people’s adherence to 4 simple behaviors (not smoking, exercising 3.5 hours a week eating a healthy diet [fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and limited amounts of meat], and maintaining a healthy weight [BMI <30]). In those adhering to these behaviors, 93% of diabetes, 81% of heart attacks, 50% of strokes, and 36% of all cancers were prevented.

Imagine that, taking control of your health instead of suppressing it with prescription after prescription. The average American fills 12 prescriptions a year. It’s unfortunate that the general public does not understand the nature of medication. That drugs will, by definition, have some toxic, collateral side effects. Plus, the side effects from a single medication are only made worse by taking two (or twelve!) together.

A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, further solidifies this point. An analysis of more than 5,600 drug labels and more than 500,000 side effects found that prescription drug labels include an average of 70 different potential adverse reactions — a number that jumps to 100 side effects for some commonly prescribed drugs. Obviously, in some cases medication is absolutely necessary. But the shear number and frequency in which prescription drugs are handed out today needs to be addressed.

As a Chiropractor, there’s freedom in knowing that if you have a proper functioning nerve system, you don’t have to take prescription after prescription to keep your body functioning. The future of medical care must be to transform the general lifestyle guidance (eat a healthy, whole food diet, exercise regularly, maintain a positive mental attitude) that many physicians try to provide to their patients into individually tailored lifestyle prescriptions for both prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Lifestyle is the best medicine when applied correctly. After all, if lifestyle medicine becomes central to the practice of medicine, our sick care system will finally be transformed into a healthcare system.


Dr. Peter J. Braglia, D.C. has a mission to educate, adjust, and inspire a health transformationin as many families as possible toward optimal health. To learn more about his practice please visit his website and his Facebook page.

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