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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mensa Health Sciences Seminar


Mensa News Release
Contact: 
bunnysam@bestselfusa.com   239/591-4565

Mensa Health Sciences Seminar
Sponsored by the South West Florida MENSA Chapter
Mensa membership is not required; this seminar is open to the public.
On Saturday, October 6 at 2 PM - Sam and Bunny Sewell are hosting:

DANGEROUS PRESCRIPTION – A PBS Frontline Special

Have you noticed that shortly after a drug company advertizing blitz about the latest “wonder drug,” there is another advertizing blitz from lawyers wanting you to join a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the same “wonder drug.”  “Dangerous Prescription” is a look inside the FDA, its recent record, and the debate over whether our nation’s drug safety system is broken.

As medications assume ever-larger roles in health care, the importance of FDA approval mounts. But what do average Americans know about the FDA process? What happens when a drug product harms consumers, and what role do drug companies play in approving and monitoring drugs?

DANGEROUS PRESCRIPTION offers a FRONTLINE investigation into the FDA and drug safety process, revealing the questionable effectiveness of the FDA in identifying or testing the efficacy of drugs they “approve” that soon are shown to not work, or cause significant harm.

This is an extremely important issue to millions of Americans!
Please share this with anyone who takes, or cares about, people who take prescription medications.

Always good discussions afterward.  Feel free to bring friends!

The follow up seminar, offering healthy alternatives to drugs, will be held the following Saturday October 13 at 2 PM

Sam & Bunny Sewell
10202 Vanderbilt Dr
(NE corner, @ 102nd Ave)
Naples, Fl 34108
Contributions benefit the Mensa Scholarship Fund

Limited space, please let us know ASAP if you would like to attend
RSVP: 239/591- 4565   bunnysam@bestselfusa.com  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bad Pharma - The Drugs Don't Work!


The drugs don't work: a modern medical scandal

The doctors prescribing the drugs don't know they don't do what they're meant to. Nor do their patients. The manufacturers know full well, but they're not telling.
a0158-000112View larger picture
Drugs are tested by their manufacturers, in poorly designed trials, on hopelessly small numbers of weird, unrepresentative patients, and analysed using techniques that exaggerate the benefits. Photograph: Photograph: Getty Images. Digital manipulation: Phil Partridge for GNL Imaging

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/sep/21/drugs-industry-scandal-ben-goldacre

Reboxetine is a drug I have prescribed. Other drugs had done nothing for my patient, so we wanted to try something new. I'd read the trial data before I wrote the prescription, and found only well-designed, fair tests, with overwhelmingly positive results. Reboxetine was better than a placebo, and as good as any other antidepressant in head-to-head comparisons. It's approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (the MHRA), which governs all drugs in the UK. Millions of doses are prescribed every year, around the world. Reboxetine was clearly a safe and effective treatment. The patient and I discussed the evidence briefly, and agreed it was the right treatment to try next. I signed a prescription.  
But we had both been misled. In October 2010, a group of researchers was finally able to bring together all the data that had ever been collected on reboxetine, both from trials that were published and from those that had never appeared in academic papers. When all this trial data was put together, it produced a shocking picture. Seven trials had been conducted comparing reboxetine against a placebo. Only one, conducted in 254 patients, had a neat, positive result, and that one was published in an academic journal, for doctorsand researchers to read. But six more trials were conducted, in almost 10 times as many patients. All of them showed that reboxetine was no better than a dummy sugar pill. None of these trials was published. I had no idea they existed.
It got worse. The trials comparing reboxetine against other drugs showed exactly the same picture: three small studies, 507 patients in total, showed that reboxetine was just as good as any other drug. They were all published. But 1,657 patients' worth of data was left unpublished, and this unpublished data showed that patients on reboxetine did worse than those on other drugs. If all this wasn't bad enough, there was also the side-effects data. The drug looked fine in the trials that appeared in the academic literature; but when we saw the unpublished studies, it turned out that patients were more likely to have side-effects, more likely to drop out of taking the drug and more likely to withdraw from the trial because of side-effects, if they were taking reboxetine rather than one of its competitors.
I did everything a doctor is supposed to do. I read all the papers, I critically appraised them, I understood them, I discussed them with the patient and we made a decision together, based on the evidence. In the published data, reboxetine was a safe and effective drug. In reality, it was no better than a sugar pill and, worse, it does more harm than good. As a doctor, I did something that, on the balance of all the evidence, harmed my patient, simply because unflattering data was left unpublished.
Nobody broke any law in that situation, reboxetine is still on the market and the system that allowed all this to happen is still in play, for all drugs, in all countries in the world. Negative data goes missing, for all treatments, in all areas of science. The regulators and professional bodies we would reasonably expect to stamp out such practices have failed us. These problems have been protected from public scrutiny because they're too complex to capture in a soundbite. This is why they've gone unfixed by politicians, at least to some extent; but it's also why it takes detail to explain. The people you should have been able to trust to fix these problems have failed you, and because you have to understand a problem properly in order to fix it, there are some things you need to know.
Drugs are tested by the people who manufacture them, in poorly designed trials, on hopelessly small numbers of weird, unrepresentative patients, and analysed using techniques that are flawed by design, in such a way that they exaggerate the benefits of treatments. Unsurprisingly, these trials tend to produce results that favour the manufacturer. When trials throw up results that companies don't like, they are perfectly entitled to hide them from doctors and patients, so we only ever see a distorted picture of any drug's true effects. Regulators see most of the trial data, but only from early on in a drug's life, and even then they don't give this data to doctors or patients, or even to other parts of government. This distorted evidence is then communicated and applied in a distorted fashion.
In their 40 years of practice after leaving medical school, doctors hear about what works ad hoc, from sales reps, colleagues and journals. But those colleagues can be in the pay of drug companies – often undisclosed – and the journals are, too. And so are the patient groups. And finally, academic papers, which everyone thinks of as objective, are often covertly planned and written by people who work directly for the companies, without disclosure. Sometimes whole academic journals are owned outright by one drug company. Aside from all this, for several of the most important and enduring problems in medicine, we have no idea what the best treatment is, because it's not in anyone's financial interest to conduct any trials at all.
Now, on to the details.
In 2010, researchers from Harvard and Toronto found all the trials looking at five major classes of drug – antidepressants, ulcer drugs and so on – then measured two key features: were they positive, and were they funded by industry? They found more than 500 trials in total: 85% of the industry-funded studies were positive, but only 50% of the government-funded trials were. In 2007, researchers looked at every published trial that set out to explore the benefits of a statin. These cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce your risk of having a heart attack and are prescribed in very large quantities. This study found 192 trials in total, either comparing one statin against another, or comparing a statin against a different kind of treatment. They found that industry-funded trials were 20 times more likely to give results favouring the test drug.
These are frightening results, but they come from individual studies. So let's consider systematic reviews into this area. In 2003, two were published. They took all the studies ever published that looked at whether industry funding is associated with pro-industry results, and both found that industry-funded trials were, overall, about four times more likely to report positive results. A further review in 2007 looked at the new studies in the intervening four years: it found 20 more pieces of work, and all but two showed that industry-sponsored trials were more likely to report flattering results.
It turns out that this pattern persists even when you move away from published academic papers and look instead at trial reports from academic conferences. James Fries and Eswar Krishnan, at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, studied all the research abstracts presented at the 2001 American College of Rheumatology meetings which reported any kind of trial and acknowledged industry sponsorship, in order to find out what proportion had results that favoured the sponsor's drug.
In general, the results section of an academic paper is extensive: the raw numbers are given for each outcome, and for each possible causal factor, but not just as raw figures. The "ranges" are given, subgroups are explored, statistical tests conducted, and each detail is described in table form, and in shorter narrative form in the text. This lengthy process is usually spread over several pages. In Fries and Krishnan (2004), this level of detail was unnecessary. The results section is a single, simple and – I like to imagine – fairly passive-aggressive sentence:
"The results from every randomised controlled trial (45 out of 45) favoured the drug of the sponsor."
How does this happen? How do industry-sponsored trials almost always manage to get a positive result? Sometimes trials are flawed by design. You can compare your new drug with something you know to be rubbish – an existing drug at an inadequate dose, perhaps, or a placebo sugar pill that does almost nothing. You can choose your patients very carefully, so they are more likely to get better on your treatment. You can peek at the results halfway through, and stop your trial early if they look good. But after all these methodological quirks comes one very simple insult to the integrity of the data. Sometimes, drug companies conduct lots of trials, and when they see that the results are unflattering, they simply fail to publish them.
Because researchers are free to bury any result they please, patients are exposed to harm on a staggering scale throughout the whole of medicine. Doctors can have no idea about the true effects of the treatments they give. Does this drug really work best, or have I simply been deprived of half the data? No one can tell. Is this expensive drug worth the money, or has the data simply been massaged? No one can tell. Will this drug kill patients? Is there any evidence that it's dangerous? No one can tell. This is a bizarre situation to arise in medicine, a discipline in which everything is supposed to be based on evidence.
And this data is withheld from everyone in medicine, from top to bottom. Nice, for example, is the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, created by the British government to conduct careful, unbiased summaries of all the evidence on new treatments. It is unable either to identify or to access data on a drug's effectiveness that's been withheld by researchers or companies: Nice has no more legal right to that data than you or I do, even though it is making decisions about effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness, on behalf of the NHS, for millions of people.
In any sensible world, when researchers are conducting trials on a new tablet for a drug company, for example, we'd expect universal contracts, making it clear that all researchers are obliged to publish their results, and that industry sponsors – which have a huge interest in positive results – must have no control over the data. But, despite everything we know about industry-funded research being systematically biased, this does not happen. In fact, the opposite is true: it is entirely normal for researchers and academics conducting industry-funded trials to sign contracts subjecting them to gagging clauses that forbid them to publish, discuss or analyse data from their trials without the permission of the funder.
This is such a secretive and shameful situation that even trying to document it in public can be a fraught business. In 2006, a paper was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama), one of the biggest medical journals in the world, describing how common it was for researchers doing industry-funded trials to have these kinds of constraints placed on their right to publish the results. The study was conducted by the Nordic Cochrane Centre and it looked at all the trials given approval to go ahead in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. (If you're wondering why these two cities were chosen, it was simply a matter of practicality: the researchers applied elsewhere without success, and were specifically refused access to data in the UK.) These trials were overwhelmingly sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry (98%) and the rules governing the management of the results tell a story that walks the now familiar line between frightening and absurd.
For 16 of the 44 trials, the sponsoring company got to see the data as it accumulated, and in a further 16 it had the right to stop the trial at any time, for any reason. This means that a company can see if a trial is going against it, and can interfere as it progresses, distorting the results. Even if the study was allowed to finish, the data could still be suppressed: there were constraints on publication rights in 40 of the 44 trials, and in half of them the contracts specifically stated that the sponsor either owned the data outright (what about the patients, you might say?), or needed to approve the final publication, or both. None of these restrictions was mentioned in any of the published papers.
When the paper describing this situation was published in Jama, Lif, the Danish pharmaceutical industry association, responded by announcing, in the Journal of the Danish Medical Association, that it was "both shaken and enraged about the criticism, that could not be recognised". It demanded an investigation of the scientists, though it failed to say by whom or of what. Lif then wrote to the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty, accusing the Cochrane researchers of scientific misconduct. We can't see the letter, but the researchers say the allegations were extremely serious – they were accused of deliberately distorting the data – but vague, and without documents or evidence to back them up.
Nonetheless, the investigation went on for a year. Peter Gøtzsche, director of the Cochrane Centre, told the British Medical Journal that only Lif's third letter, 10 months into this process, made specific allegations that could be investigated by the committee. Two months after that, the charges were dismissed. The Cochrane researchers had done nothing wrong. But before they were cleared, Lif copied the letters alleging scientific dishonesty to the hospital where four of them worked, and to the management organisation running that hospital, and sent similar letters to the Danish medical association, the ministry of health, the ministry of science and so on. Gøtzsche and his colleagues felt "intimidated and harassed" by Lif's behaviour. Lif continued to insist that the researchers were guilty of misconduct even after the investigation was completed.
Paroxetine is a commonly used antidepressant, from the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. It's also a good example of how companies have exploited our long-standing permissiveness about missing trials, and found loopholes in our inadequate regulations on trial disclosure.
To understand why, we first need to go through a quirk of the licensing process. Drugs do not simply come on to the market for use in all medical conditions: for any specific use of any drug, in any specific disease, you need a separate marketing authorisation. So a drug might be licensed to treat ovarian cancer, for example, but not breast cancer. That doesn't mean the drug doesn't work in breast cancer. There might well be some evidence that it's great for treating that disease, too, but maybe the company hasn't gone to the trouble and expense of getting a formal marketing authorisation for that specific use. Doctors can still go ahead and prescribe it for breast cancer, if they want, because the drug is available for prescription, it probably works, and there are boxes of it sitting in pharmacies waiting to go out. In this situation, the doctor will be prescribing the drug legally, but "off-label".
Now, it turns out that the use of a drug in children is treated as a separate marketing authorisation from its use in adults. This makes sense in many cases, because children can respond to drugs in very different ways and so research needs to be done in children separately. But getting a licence for a specific use is an arduous business, requiring lots of paperwork and some specific studies. Often, this will be so expensive that companies will not bother to get a licence specifically to market a drug for use in children, because that market is usually much smaller.
So it is not unusual for a drug to be licensed for use in adults but then prescribed for children. Regulators have recognised that this is a problem, so recently they have started to offer incentives for companies to conduct more research and formally seek these licences.
When GlaxoSmithKline applied for a marketing authorisation in children for paroxetine, an extraordinary situation came to light, triggering the longest investigation in the history of UK drugs regulation. Between 1994 and 2002, GSK conducted nine trials of paroxetine in children. The first two failed to show any benefit, but the company made no attempt to inform anyone of this by changing the "drug label" that is sent to all doctors and patients. In fact, after these trials were completed, an internal company management document stated: "It would be commercially unacceptable to include a statement that efficacy had not been demonstrated, as this would undermine the profile of paroxetine." In the year after this secret internal memo, 32,000 prescriptions were issued to children for paroxetine in the UK alone: so, while the company knew the drug didn't work in children, it was in no hurry to tell doctors that, despite knowing that large numbers of children were taking it. More trials were conducted over the coming years – nine in total – and none showed that the drug was effective at treating depression in children.
It gets much worse than that. These children weren't simply receiving a drug that the company knew to be ineffective for them; they were also being exposed to side-effects. This should be self-evident, since any effective treatment will have some side-effects, and doctors factor this in, alongside the benefits (which in this case were nonexistent). But nobody knew how bad these side-effects were, because the company didn't tell doctors, or patients, or even the regulator about the worrying safety data from its trials. This was because of a loophole: you have to tell the regulator only about side-effects reported in studies looking at the specific uses for which the drug has a marketing authorisation. Because the use of paroxetine in children was "off-label", GSK had no legal obligation to tell anyone about what it had found.
People had worried for a long time that paroxetine might increase the risk of suicide, though that is quite a difficult side-effect to detect in an antidepressant. In February 2003, GSK spontaneously sent the MHRA a package of information on the risk of suicide on paroxetine, containing some analyses done in 2002 from adverse-event data in trials the company had held, going back a decade. This analysis showed that there was no increased risk of suicide. But it was misleading: although it was unclear at the time, data from trials in children had been mixed in with data from trials in adults, which had vastly greater numbers of participants. As a result, any sign of increased suicide risk among children on paroxetine had been completely diluted away.
Later in 2003, GSK had a meeting with the MHRA to discuss another issue involving paroxetine. At the end of this meeting, the GSK representatives gave out a briefing document, explaining that the company was planning to apply later that year for a specific marketing authorisation to use paroxetine in children. They mentioned, while handing out the document, that the MHRA might wish to bear in mind a safety concern the company had noted: an increased risk of suicide among children with depression who received paroxetine, compared with those on dummy placebo pills.
This was vitally important side-effect data, being presented, after an astonishing delay, casually, through an entirely inappropriate and unofficial channel. Although the data was given to completely the wrong team, the MHRA staff present at this meeting had the wit to spot that this was an important new problem. A flurry of activity followed: analyses were done, and within one month a letter was sent to all doctors advising them not to prescribe paroxetine to patients under the age of 18.
How is it possible that our systems for getting data from companies are so poor, they can simply withhold vitally important information showing that a drug is not only ineffective, but actively dangerous? Because the regulations contain ridiculous loopholes, and it's dismal to see how GSK cheerfully exploited them: when the investigation was published in 2008, it concluded that what the company had done – withholding important data about safety and effectiveness that doctors and patients clearly needed to see – was plainly unethical, and put children around the world at risk; but our laws are so weak that GSK could not be charged with any crime.
After this episode, the MHRA and EU changed some of their regulations, though not adequately. They created an obligation for companies to hand over safety data for uses of a drug outside its marketing authorisation; but ridiculously, for example, trials conducted outside the EU were still exempt. Some of the trials GSK conducted were published in part, but that is obviously not enough: we already know that if we see only a biased sample of the data, we are misled. But we also need all the data for the more simple reason that we need lots of data: safety signals are often weak, subtle and difficult to detect. In the case of paroxetine, the dangers became apparent only when the adverse events from all of the trials were pooled and analysed together.
That leads us to the second obvious flaw in the current system: the results of these trials are given in secret to the regulator, which then sits and quietly makes a decision. This is the opposite of science, which is reliable only because everyone shows their working, explains how they know that something is effective or safe, shares their methods and results, and allows others to decide if they agree with the way in which the data was processed and analysed. Yet for the safety and efficacy of drugs, we allow it to happen behind closed doors, because drug companies have decided that they want to share their trial results discretely with the regulators. So the most important job in evidence-based medicine is carried out alone and in secret. And regulators are not infallible, as we shall see.
Rosiglitazone was first marketed in 1999. In that first year, Dr John Buse from the University of North Carolina discussed an increased risk of heart problems at a pair of academic meetings. The drug's manufacturer, GSK, made direct contact in an attempt to silence him, then moved on to his head of department. Buse felt pressured to sign various legal documents. To cut a long story short, after wading through documents for several months, in 2007 the US Senate committee on finance released a report describing the treatment of Buse as "intimidation".
But we are more concerned with the safety and efficacy data. In 2003 theUppsala drug monitoring group of the World Health Organisation contacted GSK about an unusually large number of spontaneous reports associating rosiglitazone with heart problems. GSK conducted two internal meta-analyses of its own data on this, in 2005 and 2006. These showed that the risk was real, but although both GSK and the FDA had these results, neither made any public statement about them, and they were not published until 2008.
During this delay, vast numbers of patients were exposed to the drug, but doctors and patients learned about this serious problem only in 2007, when cardiologist Professor Steve Nissen and colleagues published a landmark meta-analysis. This showed a 43% increase in the risk of heart problems in patients on rosiglitazone. Since people with diabetes are already at increased risk of heart problems, and the whole point of treating diabetes is to reduce this risk, that finding was big potatoes. Nissen's findings were confirmed in later work, and in 2010 the drug was either taken off the market or restricted, all around the world.
Now, my argument is not that this drug should have been banned sooner because, as perverse as it sounds, doctors do often need inferior drugs for use as a last resort. For example, a patient may develop idiosyncratic side-effects on the most effective pills and be unable to take them any longer. Once this has happened, it may be worth trying a less effective drug if it is at least better than nothing.
The concern is that these discussions happened with the data locked behind closed doors, visible only to regulators. In fact, Nissen's analysis could only be done at all because of a very unusual court judgment. In 2004, when GSK was caught out withholding data showing evidence of serious side-effects from paroxetine in children, their bad behaviour resulted in a US court case over allegations of fraud, the settlement of which, alongside a significant payout, required GSK to commit to posting clinical trial results on a public website.
Nissen used the rosiglitazone data, when it became available, and found worrying signs of harm, which they then published to doctors – something the regulators had never done, despite having the information years earlier. If this information had all been freely available from the start, regulators might have felt a little more anxious about their decisions but, crucially, doctors and patients could have disagreed with them and made informed choices. This is why we need wider access to all trial reports, for all medicines.
Missing data poisons the well for everybody. If proper trials are never done, if trials with negative results are withheld, then we simply cannot know the true effects of the treatments we use. Evidence in medicine is not an abstract academic preoccupation. When we are fed bad data, we make the wrong decisions, inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering, and death, on people just like us.
• This is an edited extract from Bad Pharma, by Ben Goldacre, published next week by Fourth Estate at £13.99. To order a copy for £11.19, including UK mainland p&p, call 0330 333 6846, or go toguardian.co.uk/bookshop.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sam and I have the privilege of speaking on Barb Lagoni’s PRODUCT TALKS program at 7:45 Central, this Tuesday, September 25.


Here’s the dial in number:  212/990-8000 6262#  Thanks for helping spread the word! J



Sam and I have the privilege of speaking on Barb Lagoni’s PRODUCT TALKS program at 7:45 Central, this Tuesday, September 25.
Our topic this Tuesday will be   HEART HEALTH!
A little better than six years ago Sam had a “surprise” heart attack. They told him that if he didn’t have a heart transplant he wouldn’t live until Thanksgiving.  After exploring the risks of conventional medicine, we opted to use alternative solutions. Two years later, with no drugs and no surgery, Sam’s Ejection Fraction had gone from 15 to 40! He walks 3+ miles a day, has been to several Global Conferences and is enjoying the yearly bonus trips.  Many of you have visited with us personally. J
Our book, I FIRED MY DOCTORS AND SAVED MY LIFE, has been an inspiration to thousands who have health challenges, be it heart, cancer, diabetes, or any of a number of other issues.
Our goal is to provide people a tool they can pass on to inform others of alternatives that doctors usually don’t; specifically, that if we give our bodies what they need, many serious issues CAN be reversed or prevented.
Sam’s Total Life Saving Regimen http://thenaturaladvocate.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-total-life-saving-regimen-from-i.html continues to evolve since our book was first published.  We would expect people to make their own decisions and personally customize this regimen to suit their unique needs. The better we eat and the more we exercise, the better we feel!

Invite your friends to dial in this Tuesday by 7:45PM, CT to hear us talk from first hand experience about the difference a total life style change can make for a vital future. You can email your questions in advance, or during the broadcast to: bunnysam@bestselfusa.com

Keep choosing healthier alternatives!
          Sam and Bunny Sewell
           

Who do you know with heart issues?
    Read Sam & Bunny’s story of triumph over adversity!
Doctors, drugs and surgery are not always the best answer!
         Includes LANDMARK STUDY, and
scientifically validated Total Life Saving Regimen available at:

      Sam went from “NEEDING A HEART TRANSPLANT”
       to walking 4 miles a day, with NO Drugs or Surgery!

      You can buy personally autographed copies of our book
           “I FIRED MY DOCTORS AND SAVED MY LIFE”
        Healthy, Natural Alternatives to Drugs and Surgery
     by calling: 239/591-4565 ($20ea + $5 S/H)
   or email requests to: bunnysam@bestselfusa.com
Buy several as gifts: FREE S/H on additional copies to same address
            (Contact us for quantity discounts)
                        (10202 Vanderbilt Dr, Naples, FL 34108)

PDF download copies ($12.50) can be sent instantly to you or to friends,
so you can begin reading right away!  
    
        View videos at: www.ifiredmydoctors.blogspot.com
     Read our famous Chapter 16 on Stress Management at:
                        www.stressmood.blogspot.com
        Information also available at www.bestselfusa.com

       For before and after pics of Sam, who lost over 100#,

      Feel free to share all the informative links on our
Health Sciences blog: www.thenaturaladvocate.blogspot.com

Email us if you would like to be added to our email list of article updates… 


Saturday, September 15, 2012

How the Shaklee Business Works

Thursday, June 28, 2012

First Nationwide Counseling Available in the Privacy of Your Own Home


First Nationwide Counseling Available
in the Privacy of Your Own Home
Best Self USA is a full spectrum counseling and life skills training facility in Naples, FL offering distance counseling services in the privacy of your own home by use of voice, video, online and other media.
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Phone: 239-591-4565
(Naples, FL) Best Self USA is an innovative Counseling and Life Skills Clinic.  They have been helping people for more than 40 years, and are applying the latest research and technology.

Responding to the needs of their clients is what motivates Best Self USA to develop new services and techniques.  Best Self USA is unique in offering long distance services as well as helping their local clients in Naples, Florida.  The long distance counseling services grew out of the need to remain in contact with clients who live in Naples seasonally and elsewhere off-season. 

Recently Best Self USA has launched a new web site www.bestselfusa.com, added new staff members, and expanded their services to include full spectrum counseling and life skills training to a nationwide clientele. They are now serving clients across the country.

Other groundbreaking services provided by Best Self USA include:


The staff at the Best Self Clinic can help you to
become the best you can be!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

PEER-REVIEWED AND PUBLISHED STUDY FINDS PHYSICIANS AND NURSES USE AND RECOMMEND SUPPLEMENTS

PEER-REVIEWED AND PUBLISHED STUDY FINDS
PHYSICIANS AND NURSES USE AND RECOMMEND SUPPLEMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2009 — Physicians and nurses are as likely as members of the general public to use dietary supplements and most physicians and nurses recommend supplements to their patients (1), says a new study published in Nutrition Journal, a peer-reviewed, on-line journal that focuses on the field of human nutrition. The study, which utilized data from the “Life…supplemented” Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study, found that 72 percent of physicians and 89 percent of nurses used dietary supplements and that 79 percent of physicians and 82 percent of nurses said that they recommend dietary supplements to their patients.
“Health professionals including physicians and nurses are just as interested in healthy lifestyles as members of the general public and are just as likely to benefit from rational supplementation,” the authors—Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., consultant and past president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition; Andrew Shao, Ph.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition; and Nicolas Boyon, senior vice president, Ipsos Public Affairs, who conducted the HCP Study—state in the article.
The study found that the dietary supplement product most commonly used was the multivitamin, with or without minerals. Vitamins and other minerals most commonly used by both physicians and nurses after multivitamins included vitamin C, a B vitamin complex, vitamin D, vitamin E and calcium. However, physicians and nurses seemed to differ slightly on the non-vitamin and mineral products they used most often—physicians reported higher usages of green tea, fish oil, glucosamine, soy, flax seed and chondroitin (in that order) while nurses tended to use green tea, fish oil, echinacea, glucosamine and flax seed, respectively.
Overall health and wellness is the biggest motivator for taking dietary supplements, according to 40 percent of physicians and 48 percent of nurses who take supplements. However, more than two-thirds cited multiple motivations, including bone health, flu or colds, heart health, immune health, joint health, energy and musculoskeletal pain. Most physicians and nurses cite similar reasons for recommending dietary supplements to their patients, with the most common reason being for overall health and wellness (41 percent of physicians who recommend supplements and 62 percent of nurses who do), followed by bone health, joint health, flu or colds, heart health, immune health, musculoskeletal pain, and energy. Over three-quarters (75 percent of physicians and 79 percent of nurses) also indicated that they would be interested in Continuing Medical Education regarding dietary supplements.
This latest survey adds to the growing body of published data suggesting that healthcare professionals are among the highest users of supplements. For example, in a survey of women physicians, it was reported that 64 percent used vitamin or mineral supplements at least occasionally and 47 percent of the women used a vitamin or mineral supplement at least 5 days a week. (2)
“It may appear surprising that physicians and nurses are as likely as the general population to be using dietary supplements, given the negative views sometimes expressed editorially in medical journals,” the authors conclude. “Physicians and nurses, as well as lay consumers, are exposed to these divergent views and must make their own decisions regarding their personal approach to wellness. The majority opt to use dietary supplements.”

1 Dickinson A, Boyon N, Shao A. Physicians and nurses use and recommend dietary supplements: report of a survey. Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:29 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-29.
2 Frank E, Bendich A, Denniston M. Use of vitamin-mineral supplements by female physicians in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:969-975.

Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements, CRN members also agree to adhere to voluntary guidelines for manufacturing, marketing and CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit www.crnusa.org.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Biofeedback Coaching at Best Self USA

First Nationwide Counseling Available
in the Privacy of Your Own Home
Best Self USA is a full spectrum counseling and life skills training facility in Naples, FL offering distance counseling services in the privacy of your own home by use of voice, video, online and other media.
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Phone: 239-591-4565
(Naples, FL) Best Self USA is an innovative Counseling and Life Skills Clinic.  They have been helping people for more than 40 years, and are applying the latest research and technology.

Biofeedback Coaching – a shortcut to therapeutic results
Dr. Sam Sewell was privileged to work personally with Dr. Elmer Green, the father of biofeedback therapy.  In the early 1970’s Dr. Sewell was recruited to participate in a research project at the famous Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. Dr. Green was the first person ever to receive a National Institutes of Health research grant, given for his autonomic research program. Dr. Green investigated voluntary control of internal states by individuals like Swami Rama, and American Indian medicine man Rolling Thunder.  A film containing footage from their investigations was released as Biofeedback: The Yoga of the West (1974)

Dr. Sewell’s participation in these studies in the early 1970s strongly influenced him. He has been using biofeedback therapy at Best Self USA ever since.

Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to have volitional management of autonomic functions, thus improving overall health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity. These instruments rapidly and accurately 'feedback' information to the user.   Becoming aware of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior —results in desirable therapeutic changes. Over time, these changes become responsive to the individual’s will, and can be implemented without the use of an instrument.

Biofeedback has many therapeutic applications, but the primary goal of biofeedback training at Best Self USA is to empower the individuals to have volitional input into and management of the autonomic functions that create stress and emotions. 

STRESS MANAGEMENT – In just a few coaching sessions clients learn to turn off stress responses to stimulus quickly; stimulus that has heretofore always resulted in uncomfortable feelings.  EXAMPLE: The usual stress-related responses to situations at work or in the family can be reduced, and perhaps eliminated, by finding the internal “switch” that controls such stress responses.  Biofeedback coaching can help the client find the On/Off switch for stress.

ANXIETY DISORDERS – We all have anxiety “triggers.”  They range from feeling somewhat uncomfortable in an elevator to the significant anxiety attacks associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.   EXAMPLE: A client has developed obsessive patterns of anxious thinking related to an automobile accident that happened three years ago.  With biofeedback coaching the client leans how to “turn on” and “turn off” such uncomfortable feelings and becomes better able to manage such feelings, eventually becoming desensitized to the original trauma. 

PERSISTENT  TRAUMA – Many of us have trauma buried in our personal histories.  Grief or guilt can feel very uncomfortable, even if the events happened years ago, as far back as during childhood.  Biofeedback coaching can help clients identify the intensity of buried traumatic memories and feelings, and can help desensitize them to such memories and feelings.  EXAMPLE: An elderly man who cheated on his wife one time when he was 24 years old continues to have very uncomfortable feelings about his “one night stand.”  By experiencing these feelings and memories while connected to a biofeedback device he can get accurate readings about his progress in “letting go” of his history, progressively transcending the event, and finding peace.

Clients who request biofeedback coaching will begin with a brief orientation session to establish the guiding principles of biofeedback science.  In the next session they are introduced to the biofeedback device and familiarized with the effectiveness of biofeedback training.  A significant advantage of biofeedback training over conventional therapy is instantaneous, objective progress measurement.  After completing the introduction to biofeedback training the client will be invited to work with a biofeedback device that is connected to a computer so that they can work on their skills independently, without supervision.  The eventual goal is for the clients to become so comfortable and proficient with these skills that they will be able to apply them in real life situations without the need of the biofeedback unit.

Most people can identify with the plaintive cry “Help! My brain has a mind of its own!”  We all know what it feels like to have our brain taking charge of our thinking, feeling, and behavior.  Biofeedback training can help you become the master of your brain, rather than your brain being in charge of you.

Two short videos of Dr. Green’s research are on YouTube

This is an example of a modern biofeedback device.

Other groundbreaking services provided by Best Self USA include:


The staff at the Best Self Clinic can help you to
become the best you can be!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Our Annual Valentine Message - Most visited link on our clinic web site

VALENTINE MESSAGE

LOVE  or love?
by Sam and Bunny Sewell

            Every time we try to explain the two kinds of love to someone, they know very well what we are trying to say.  We all have noticed a distinct difference between LOVE and love.  However, we don't seem to be able to make the distinction between the two until after we are hurt and confused.  We all get smart too late!   It is as if love had the power to cast a spell over us and make us believe that we are experiencing LOVE.  In an effort to keep all of us from being hurt or hurting others, the Best Self Clinic offers the following comments on the subject.
            First, the lesser love is a biologically motivated mating behavior similar to that which can be seen in the animal kingdom.  Second, in humans it shows up as a deficiency need.  love is a hole that yearns to be filled!  This lesser kind of love is an emptiness, a lack of emotional self-sufficiency.  This deficiency is almost like a lack of vitamins or other dietary shortcoming.   It results in "love craving" or "love hunger" just as dietary deficiencies often result in cravings for certain kinds of food.   Our whole culture seems to be suffering from "love craving".  Most of the so called "love songs" are about this lesser love..   Romance novels, movies, TV programs, and Valentine cards all have this lesser love  as their theme.  "How can I live without you?" and "Without you I am nothing at all!" are not examples of  healthy love. We have all seen those people who grasp at relationships and fall in love   twice a week.  Men who suffer from this condition tend to be very charming and are skillful in the art of courtship.  They sweep women off their feet as the prelude to a relationship filled with attempts to dominate, suspicious jealousy, and often, abusive behavior.   Women who are lesser lovers often make friends with  nice guys and  “fall  in love” with  the type  of  men described  in  the previous sentence (usually referred to as an unmentionable body orifice).  Nice guys just aren't "romantic" enough for them.
            Many people, when given a chance to make a choice, are so blinded by their cravings that they foolishly choose love.   Then, these same people begin to question the worth of all members of  the  opposite  sex,  rather  than  questioning  their  own mate  selection  habits. Choosing love rather than LOVE reminds us of addicted laboratory animals who will choose drugs and die of starvation rather than choose nourishment.
            Persons  suffering  from  this  deficiency  disease  are  so  obsessed  with filling  their  emptiness that they can't even think about giving to another person.  Their whole reason for existence is to fill up the aching bottomless pit inside them.  They operate from their need to receive from others.  We all know people like this.  Maybe we even see parts of ourselves in this behavior.  These lesser lovers make very poor friends, mates, or sex partners.  They suffer and everyone who becomes involved with them suffers.
            If you suffer from this problem, PLEASE quit looking for a relationship!  Quit hanging around bars, going to church to meet that “special someone”, or joining singles groups.  The only relationship you should be seeking is an intense, honest involvement with a good psychotherapist.  If you are someone involved with (not married to) a lesser lover, save yourself a lot of trouble and get out of the relationship at once.   If  you are married to a lesser lover get some help for both of you before you suffer any longer and your family is destroyed.  Don't be the model for your children growing up to be lesser lovers!
            One of the odd things about these two kinds of love is that everyone can recognize them.   The person who has evolved into a healthy, emotionally self sufficient individual has also been a lesser lover at some point.   The lesser lover probably has caught a glimpse of what it is like to really LOVE.  Perhaps none of us is totally one kind of lover.   There seems to be a broad spectrum of human behavior between  LOVE at one extreme and love at the other.  We all experience both kinds of love in varying combinations.  Lets look at some contrasts between the two kinds of love:
1.)   Since LOVE is non-possessive and admiring, rather than needing, it makes no trouble and is practically always a joy to all concerned.   love  causes plenty of heartache and trouble.
2.)   LOVE can never  wear out.   LOVE grows greater rather than disappearing.  You can't "lose that LOVE-ing  feeling".  love  seldom lasts.
3.)   The LOVE experience is closely akin to the inspiration of poets and artists.   LOVE is mystical and holy.   LOVE is humans involved in the Divine.   love can be observed in livestock every spring breeding season.
4.)    The  healing  and  nurturing  effects of LOVE are profound and widespread.  The caring nurse  heals patients with her LOVE.   The nurturing LOVE of parents guides their child's growth into a  healthy adult.  love  doesn't heal, it makes people sick.  love  doesn't nurture, it takes from everything that comes into contact with it.
5.)  LOVE does not seek to be gratified.  Gratification doesn't even enter the picture since LOVE comes from a person's fullness, not from his need.  love  is always seeking gratification and can never be satisfied.   love  "can't get no satisfaction".
6.)   Couples who know how to LOVE are more independent of each other. They are more individual, less jealous or threatened, they need less and give more, they are more eager to help the other toward becoming their best self.  love is cloying, clinging, dependent, jealous, and threatened by the other person's independence and personal growth.
7.)   LOVE helps create both partners’ best selves.   LOVE is the ultimate environment for personal growth.   The full development of a human being may be impossible without it.  love  takes from one at the other's expense.
LOVE eliminates the need for love.
Contact us if we can help!