Even though with all this rain it may not seem like it, but Summer is here. And so are all the posts and blogs on remembering to wear your sunscreen. Once in a while, I will come in to work and a patient will notice my glowing tan. :) And they will make a comment like, "Wow, you got some sun this weekend." or I have even heard "Doctor you got a lot of Sun, that's not too healthy." The latter one I remember following up with "I get Sun for my health." To no surprise this new patient looked sort of puzzled. Well I am here to say we have been brainwashed and lied to for a long time about the Sun. Before I go any further I want to say, I do not advocate frying yourself or getting burned. There are obviously limits and everything in moderation, but I want you to understand the Sun is not your enemy. You desperately need it to survive.
As you have probably already concluded I have a different point of view on the Sun and Sunscreen than most people. So how did I arrive here. Well let's start with basic knowledge on how life works. Everything needs the Sun to survive, grow, and be healthy. Correct? We all know that if we starve a plant from the Sun it will die. So how are we different? Let me ask you a question, do you think sitting in an office all day, all week, and then avoiding the Sun like the plague on weekends is a recipe for growth? Would that work for your plant? Of course not. Ok so we got the basic understanding that we need the Sun to survive.
Now let's go in to disease rates. Are disease and cancer rates going up or going down? Going up, at an alarming rate. It has actually been predicted that cancer rates in the next decade are going to double and cancer will surpass heart disease as the number one killer in the US. But skin cancer rates should be going down right? I mean, we have all this sunscreen. Wrong, skin cancer rates also continue to go up. So we have more access to sunscreen than ever before, more warnings about the sun than ever before, yet skin cancer rates are going up? Yea, I know. Not adding up. When you speak to people a generation behind mine, do you know what they used in the sun growing up? Sun tan oil! Not sunscreen! Yet now skin cancer rates continue to go up, in younger and younger populations I might add. So what is the argument and explanation behind the rise in skin cancer rates? That people now have a false sense of security with all of the sunscreen and are in the sun more. Ummm I call BS. Just look at prior generations, like I mentioned and look at Vitamin D rates.
Have you heard anything about Vitamin D? You know the thing that is absolutely vital to fighting disease and supporting your immune system. We are deficient. Actually beyond deficient. But where do you get Vitamin D from? A supplement? Well that's not the original source, you guessed it, we get it from the Sun! So let's recap so far, Vitamin D helps you fight disease and cancer, you get it from the Sun, yet we are told to avoid the sun, and as a result cancer rates are going up. Yup.
Ok but you said you do not advocate burning, so what do I wear? Well most sunscreens are completely toxic. That is right, most commercial sunscreens can cause cancer themselves. Did you see the surgeon general's warning last year not to use spray sunscreens on your kids? Yet we still all continue to use them, spraying and breathing in toxic aerosols. But they are convenient, right now they are. There are many more natural sunscreens and better options out there. A website and valuable resource to use is EWG, On the website you can put nearly any cosmetic in and they generate a rating on how safe or how toxic it is. It will help you when making a decision on which sunscreen to use. Some brands my family uses are;`
There are also just smart decisions like wearing a hat, or limiting exposure with an umbrella or sun shirt. When I am on vacation, my kids always have a sun shirt and hat on.
So you still aren't convinced? Well this article came out yesterday about a study that is linking erectile dysfunction drugs to skin cancer. Big names like Viagra and Cialis. You can view it here. So there are other factors than the sun that can contribute to skin cancer? No way!!! Like things internally? Or things that are toxic? Of course! Cancer is abnormal mutated cells. But the Sun gets all the blame.
I also have two personal stories with skin cancer. I had a close friend that was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. He went to this special cancer doctor in Spain. They tested his hormones and his stress hormones were out of control. So what did the doctor do? He put him on a beach for a month to relax. Wait what? A person with skin cancer, go sit on the beach? Well my friend is still here today, I know that. I also have a family member who was diagnosed with skin cancer. The only weird thing is this family member avoids the sun like the plague. He never leaves the house without lathering himself until he looks like Casper, and always had one of those big goofy hats on as well. So how did he get cancer? Makes you think right?
*One note; I do NOT advocate the use of tanning beds. Why? It falls in to the same category as I make decisions with food or anything else. It's not natural. Go to the original natural source!
“The Health Choice Movement is the global movement about having the right to know what is going into our bodies and having the freedom to make that choice.”
Here's more info about the movement:
The Health Choice Movement is a growing unofficial, non-violent, non-partisan, education-based global movement about preserving civil, religious, parental, educational, and informed consent rights; wanting to know what is going into our bodies; and having the freedom to make that choice.
The Health Choice Movement and its accompanying symbol represent the non-violent opposition of government medical mandates and control of food mandates, and removal of health choice.
It aims to shift the prevailing conversations away from “whether or not to vaccinate” and “being able to eat organic and GMO free,” to “preserving the right to choose.”
Furthermore, the Health Choice Movement is aimed to:
- End discrimination of anyone who denies one or more doses of mandated vaccines or aims to avoid GMO-based foods
- Dispel fear-based propaganda about the spread of disease and death from partially vaccinated and unvaccinated persons
- Allow full disclosure of ingredients and labeling of foods/products intended for human consumption or use
- Encourage and publicize all science regarding health, GMO’s, and vaccine safety
- Promote public discussion and discourse from all parties through all media channels
- Remove pharmaceutical company immunity from liability
- Promote government transparency regarding medical mandates, GMO labeling, food production and vaccines
- Allow open dialogue between opposing parties in the vaccine and GMO food safety debate, including: environmental toxins, epidemic of food and environmental allergies, autoimmune issues, cancer, autism spectrum disorders, chronic illness, Lyme disease, etc.
Formed spontaneously from a coalition of parents, community members, doctors, nurses, lawyers, students, politicians, activists, and consumers, the Health Choice Movement is composed of concerned citizens worldwide who aim to preserve the right to choose one’s medical treatment and food, and to promote healthy living and information regarding the strength of the human immune system.
Health Choice Advocates believe that the choice of what goes into one’s body should remain with the individual or, if a minor, the parents.
The Summer vacations have already started in the office, which means I am very jealous of some of my patients. Cruises, Europe, the Caribbean, my patients go on some awesome vacations. Talking to a patient the other day about their recent trip to Europe, she seemed surprised when I told her I have never been. Not that I don't want to I told her, I just never seem to make it over there. Really for two reasons, one it is hard for me to take off more than a week at a time. The practice doesn't do too well when I am not here. :) And when you only have a week, a couple of days of travel doesn't seem as appealing as a beach that is only a 2 hour plane flight away. Second, is I feel like my vacations are needed. Meaning I need the break, the rest, I need to re-energize and refocus. I find that doing nothing and laying on the beach, watching the waves helps me do just that. If I went to Europe, I would want to see everything! Whether it was the Vatican, the Coliseum, Greek ruins, there is so much to see. I think it would be exhausting! And if I need my vacations for my own well-being in this stage of my life, sight-seeing is not going to get me there. I told her some day.
But my wife and I laugh everytime we are on vacation. And if this is you, I am not making fun, just making an observation. We always meet another family or another couple on vacation. And they will usually ask us what we had planned or what we are doing while we are on vacation. And as I sit on the beach, I look out at the water, and I say "this". Most of them will then usually tell me about all their plans to go zip lining, atv riding, snorkeling, guided tours, you know all of the excursions. But to ride a quad is not why I flew to the beach, I can do that in Texas. I flew to the beach, for the beach. Now if all of these things help you blow off steam and reduce your stress than have at it. For me, it doesn't. I need a break. And from my observations of some of these people frantically planning their excursions before they sell out, they do to. I hear a lot of, "we have to do this" or "we have to see that". Ummm no you don't, you are on vacation. You actually don't have to do anything. So whether you are going on vacation, or you are just in need of a staycation over the weekend at your house. Make sure you are getting your break, you work hard, you deserve it.
What is weird? I would say it is something different. I was kind of surprised by the actual definition. the first definition is "suggesting something supernatural". Let's just go with different. Through out history many "geniuses" have been pretty weird people. To be a genius or innovator obviously you have to stand out from the crowd and think differently. I am currently reading a book from a person who is leading the world in his industry, and most people would say he is a little weird. But that's ok because chiropractors are weird :). But he made me think of a class I took in college. It was in undergraduate, in Monterrey, California. I think the title of the class was "Critical Thinking". And the teacher was definitely weird. She was what you picture when you think of an old hippie. If I had to guess she probably went to college in Berkeley. And she would open the class the same way every time, we would have to go around the class and share something we were thankful for. There were no rules, it could be something small that just happened that day or week. Or something bigger. As you can imagine most of the kids made a joke out of it. Saying they were thankful for dumb stuff, or some refusing to participate. But it never phased this teacher, it never affected her smile as she went around the room so interested in what people had to say.
I'll be honest, at the time I thought the exercise was weird and a waste of time. I was wrong, she had it all figured it out. She made us start our day, at least the ones with her, with gratitude. Expressing or meditating on gratitude is such a powerful tool. It helps with things from stress and depression, to just keeping you focused on what's important and why you are here. Anyone who does things different is called weird, it takes courage to be weird. I'm sure there were times that this teacher might have felt intimidated by an unentertained student. Or wanted to give up and stop doing the exercise, but she kept with it. And look, I still remember it to this day. It obviously made a large impact on me. A lot of people are so scared to be different that they never truly express who they really are. Don't be afraid, be true to yourself. That is enough to be thankful for. On this Monday I challenge you to take a few minutes and meditate on gratitude. Think of the things you are truly grateful for. Visualize it, why are you thankful for it? What does it feel like? What does it make you feel like? It should put things in perspective.
An open minded place for alternative thought and discussion.