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New Documents Expose How The CDC Has Been Lying About Vaccine Safety – They’re Not That Safe

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Note from the World Mercury Project Team:  Following is Part Five in Vera Sharav’s seven-part exposé of the complex and widespread corruption that exists in the vaccination program, the deceptive practices by officials of “authoritative” international public health institutions and further evidence of the callous disregard for the plight of thousands of children and young adults who suffer irreversible harm. Sharav’s research is a must-read by those in our community. 

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You can read the other parts here.

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The internal correspondence between CDC officials and the authors of the Danish epidemiological studies reveal a culture of corruption. CDC officials are intent on shielding vaccines and the childhood vaccination schedule at any cost — including outsourcing dubious epidemiological studies that have no relevance to the vaccination exposure of U.S. children. These documents confirm that CDC and its commissioned scientists resorted to all manner of subterfuge and deception, in their concerted effort to subvert bona fides safety assessments.

Dr. Edward Yazbak,[48] a pediatrician, referred to CDC’s epidemiological studies “just a distraction. They hope to bury evidence of the dangers of vaccines. At the same time, they have waged a misinformation campaign in making claims that skyrocketing Autism/ASD rates are due to better diagnostics.”

An email exchange (2001) between Dr. Verstraeten, Dr. Chen and Dr. Elizabeth Miller (a consultant epidemiologist to the WHO, previously headed the UK Immunisation Department for 15 years) discussed the national differences in infants’ exposure to thimerosal. They all acknowledged that the U.S. vaccination schedule exposes American infants to much higher doses of thimerosal than babies in Europe, including the U.K. They further acknowledged that Danish babies’ exposure to thimerosal does not come close to the exposure of U.S. babies – Danish babies received 75% less thimerosal than U. S. babies. That difference in exposure to mercury-laced vaccines renders the Danish studies non-comparable to U.S. children, and, therefore of no value toward ascertaining the risk posed by thimerosal-laced vaccines.

CDC officials disregarded the incompatibility of Danish vs. U.S. infants’ exposure to 75% higher doses of thimerosal; despite the incongruity, they chose Denmark as a population study comparator.

CDC officials selected a Danish network of scientists who were either employed by the Danish vaccine manufacturer, Statens Serum Institut (SSI), or worked at institutions closely connected to SSI, such as the Danish Epidemiology Science Center, and Aarhus University. The details of how the studies’ results were premeditated are revealed in internal CDC email correspondence .

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The Danish studies were crafted to deliver “proof of innocence” to offset Dr. Verstraeten’s evidence documenting a disturbing Thimerosal-autism risk; and they were crafted to refute Dr. Wakefield’s suggestion of an autism-MMR connection.

CDC disregarded the scientific reservations about comparing “apples to pears”

Dr. Verstraeten expressed concern about scientific dishonesty in an email (dated July 14, 2000) addressed to Harvard professor, Dr. Philippe Grandjean, an expert in heavy metals toxicity, (copies addressed to Chen, DeStefano, and four other CDC scientists) he stated:

“many experts looking at this thimerosal issue, do not seem bothered to compare apples to pears… I do not wish to be the advocate of the anti-vaccine lobby and sound like being convinced that thimerosal is or was harmful, but at least I feel we should use sound scientific argumentation and not let our standards be dictated by our desire to disprove an unpleasant theory.”

CDC officials sought to obtain reports that would provide the appearance of scientific evidence that thimerosal, the mercury-based vaccine additive is safe, the MMR is safe, and that vaccines do not cause autism.

Dr. Diane Simpson, the CDC official tasked with obtaining proof to offset Dr. Verstraeten’s demonstrated thimerosal-autism risk,[49] traveled to Denmark in 2001 where she met with a network of Danish scientists. CDC provided tens of millions of dollars in grants to a Danish team at the University of Aarhus in Denmark; the management of the grants was entrusted to psychiatrist Poul Thorsen, who had been a CDC “visiting scientist” in 1990.

At Thorsen’s recommendation, Simpson recruited Kreesten Madsen, a doctoral candidate, who was listed as the lead author on several pivotal Danish studies. However, the principal scientist who co-authored those studies was, in fact Thorsen.

Beyond the continued influence of fraudulent CDC and CDC-sponsored Danish epidemiological studies, Thorsen was a participant in a pivotal Working Group of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which led to the controversial re-defining of the criteria for an autism diagnosis in the DSM-5, psychiatry’s diagnostic “bible”; the new DSM-5 criteria reduced the autism prevalence rate substantially.

In another email addressed to Dr. Chen (2001), Dr. Verstraeten expressed serious doubts about the reliability of the UK General Practice Research Database (GPRD)[50] which numerous authors[51] have continued to rely on, to support the claim that there is “no evidence of a causal association between thimerosal and autism”.

“I think two issues are important in assessing the potential strength of the GPRD study:.1. Maximum exposure and 2. Unbiased controls.

I’m not sure if the GPRD is that reliable that you can be sure that low exposure is really low exposure and not underascertainment in the database. I hate to say this, but given these concerns, it may not be worth doing this after all. On the other hand, maybe the [WHO] grant can be given to Herald in Sweden to do a follow-up of the DTaP trial.” (June 26, 2001)

Dr. Verstraeten’s criticism of the GPRD alarmed Dr. Miller who expressed her concern (in an email to Chen): “Do I have to give my GPRD grant money from WHO back”?

The CDC VSD study (1999) led by Dr. Verstraeten, underwent a series protocol manipulations and statistical tricks aimed at eliminating the 7.6 relative increased risk of autism from exposure to thimerosal.

During a four year “evolution”, the study’s original conclusion – an increased risk factor of 7.6 – a risk that Dr. Verstraetn had indicated in 1999 – “it just won’t go away” – was systematically reduced at each phase in a series of 5 protocol modifications – even after his departure from CDC for GSK in June 2001. In phase 2, infants’ exposure to Thimerosal was compared at 3 months rather than 1 month – when infants are their most vulnerable; the original 400,000 records from the 4 HMOs, were reduced to 124,170 records from 2 HMOs, with the addition of records from the Harvard Pilgrim HMO – which used different diagnostic codes than the other two – (and whose records’ accuracy was in doubt).

These changes reduced the relative risk to 2.48. In phase 3, the age criteria of the children included, was changed from (0 to 6 years) to (0 to 3). A cut off at age 3 eliminated a significant number of children who were subsequently diagnosed, but not counted in the study. This was acknowledged by Dr. Coleen Boyle in an internal email to Dr. Frank DeStefano (April, 2000):

“For me the big issue is the missed cases — and how this relates to exposure. Clearly there is gross underreporting… Considering that the average age of diagnosis of autism in the VSD database was 44 to 49 months it is easy to see that almost half of the children in the database were too young to be diagnosed.”

This dubious cut-off resulted in reducing the relative risk 1.69. A manuscript was submitted for publication but was rejected by the journal Epidemiology. Two more “modifications” wiped the risk out of existence. The study was then submitted for publication to Pediatrics (2003).[52] The study’s illegitimate, manipulated findings exonerating Thimerosal were widely publicized.

In October, 2003, Congressman Dave Weldon, MD raised serious concerns in a letter to CDC Director, Julie Gerberding, citing specific issues undermining the scientific integrity of the CDC Pediatric study, and CDC’s undue influence on the IOM report:
I found a disturbing pattern which merits a thorough, open, timely, and independent review by researchers outside of the CDC, HHS, the vaccine industry, and others with a conflict of interest in vaccine related issues (including many in University settings who may have conflicts)… A review of these documents leaves me very concerned that rather than seeking to understand whether or not some children were exposed to harmful levels of mercury in childhood vaccines in the 1990s there may have been a selective use of the data to make the associations in the earliest study disappear.

Furthermore, the lead author of the article, Dr. Thomas Verstraeten worked for the CDC until he left over two years ago to work in Belgium for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a vaccine manufacturer facing liability over TCVs [thimerosal containing vaccines]. In violation of their own standards of conduct, Pediatrics failed to disclose that [serious conflict of interest].

“In reviewing the study there are data points where children with higher exposures to the neuortoxin mercury had fewer developmental disorders. This demonstrates to me how excessive manipulation of data can lead to absurd results.” [Highlight added]

Internal email correspondence reveal a culture at CDC that is intent on shielding vaccines and the childhood vaccination schedule at any cost. That culture was the subject of a follow up letter by Congressman Weldon to CDC Director, Dr. Julie Gerberding (January 2004):

“For too long, those who run our national vaccination program have viewed those who have adverse reactions, including those with severe adverse reactions, as the cost of doing business… It appears to me not only as a Member of Congress but also as a physician that some officials within the CDC’s NIP may be more interested in a public relations campaign than getting to the truth about thimerosal.”[53]

Public distrust in government vaccine safety pronouncements is validated in documented evidence showing that CDC-sponsored published reports are the product of scientific fraud, in violation of legally mandated, ethical requirements, and malfeasance by high level CDC officials.

In 2011, Poul Thorsen was indicted by a federal grand jury on 22 criminal counts of forgery, money laundering, embezzlement, among others, whereupon he fled the country to Denmark and remains a fugitive from justice. In 2012, Thorsen was added to the Office of Inspector General’s “Most Wanted” list of criminals.

At the very least, Thorsen’s documented criminal actions clearly call into question the validity of those CDC-sponsored Danish epidemiological reports whose inordinate influence continues to permeate the vaccine literature and vaccination policies. Yet, the academic community, and the medical journals – with the exception of Nature Online – have maintained a deafening silence – even as the evidence of fraud and criminality by the principal scientist of the Danish studies was laid bare.

What was also laid bare in internal correspondence is that CDC officials colluded with Thorsen’s Danish team in deception and fraud in the preparation of autism research studies for publication.

In January 2011, BMJ Editor-in-chief, Dr. Fiona Godlee, reignited and intensified the campaign against Andrew Wakefield, by launching an unprecedented assault that declared his research to be “fraudulent”, and Dr. Wakefield guilty of “elaborate fraud.”

Was the timing of BMJ assault a coincidence?

The BMJ assault was launched at the very moment that conclusive evidence of far-reaching, elaborate scientific fraud was uncovered in CDC internal documents. These documents also provided the US Inspector General with evidence of elaborate criminal actions committed by Poul Thorsen, MD, PhD (dubbed “Master Manipulator” in a book by James Grundvig, 2016). Thorsen was the principal investigator of the pivotal CDC-commissioned Danish studies that declared that neither thimerosal nor the MMR posed a risk of autism.[54] CDC relies on those studies to dismiss evidence of serious risks posed by the MMR and thimerosal for young children.

Whereas Poul Thorsen’s extensive fraud and malfeasance was substantiated by evidence; Dr. Godlee’s charge of fraud against Andrew Wakefield was made without a shred of evidence.

Internal correspondence document that the CDC commissioned Danish studies were designed and manipulated to provide the pre-determined exoneration of Thimerosal as a causative trigger for autism. The authors delivered the “evidence” that CDC sought (and paid millions to obtain) in its effort to quell public suspicions that an autism epidemic has been triggered by (a) vaccines laced with mercury (thimerosal) and/or (b) the combined measles/mump/ rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The six Danish studies are:[54]

  • Madsen KM, Hviid A, Vestergaard M, Schendel D, Wohlfahrt J, Thorsen P, Olsen J, Melbye M, New England Journal of Medicine, 2002;
  • Hviid A, Stellfeld M, Wohlfahrt J, JAMA 2003;
  • Madsen KM, Lauritsen, MB, Pedersen CB, Thorsen P, Plesner AM, Andersen PH and Mortensen PB, Pediatrics, 2003;
  • Stehr-Green P, Tull P, Stellfeld M, Mortenson PB, Simpson D. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2003;
  • Larsson HJ, Eaton WW, Madsen KM, Vestergaard M, Olesen AV, Agerbo E, Schendel D, Thorsen P, Mortensen PB. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2005;
  • Lauritsen MB, Jørgensen M, Madsen KM, Lemcke S, Toft S, Grove J, Schendel DE, Thorsen P. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2010

The foundation for CDC’s public assurances that “conclusive” evidence shows that vaccines, with or without mercury are safe, relies on invalid, fraudulent studies.  

The authors of the “the definitive Madsen MMR Study” sent a letter to the editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine (2002) to persuade him to accept their study for publication. They emphasized the political value of their study and claimed their study refuted Wakefield and provided strong support for the MMR vaccine program:

“It has been suggested that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism.

If true, this could jeopardize the MMR vaccine program in children.

The debate was initiated by research in Britain [Wakefield] provided suggestive evidence of an association between the MMR vaccine and autism…

In addition, Uhlmann recently published a study where they found measles in the gut in patients with developmental disorders but not I controls. So far, no study has had sufficient power to address the topic.. Our study gave no support for an association between MMR vaccination and autism or autism-like conditions.” [Emphasis added]

Evidently, the editor, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, was persuaded and the article was published in the NEJM (2002). Dr. S. Suissa, an epidemiologist at McGill University, questioned the statistical analysis in this large population-based epidemiological study. However, his letter to the editor was not published. In 2004, Gary Goldman, PhD and F. Edward Yazbak, MD submitted their detailed scientific critique of the same study; their critique was not published in the NEJM; it was published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The emails document how the Danish studies were manipulated to exonerate the MMR vaccine and thimerosal in vaccines. They misclassified children, masked the association of autism, and deleted portions of the data. This constitutes fraud.

Principal CDC insiders who colluded with Thorsen in deception and fraud include.

Dr. Coleen Boyle, Director of National Center for Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities [Boyle was the lead investigator of the Congressional investigation of Agent Orange in 1984-1987. She and her team reported, “no association” between the defoliant dioxin and the inventory of cancers and autoimmune diseases that sickened tens of thousands of US troops. Her exoneration of Agent Orange deprived those veterans of getting compensated].

Dr. Marshalyn-Yeargin-Allsopp, Head of Developmental Disabilities Branch; Dr. Joanne Wojcik, Procurement and Grants Office, CDC;  Epidemiologist, Dr. Diana Schendel, was the senior CDC scientist directly involved in the Danish project. She was Thorsen’s longtime girlfriend who co-authored more than three dozen studies with Thorsen, including the “definitive” NEJM (2002) study. In 2009, she was officially reprimanded for the conflict that her intimate relationship posed.  In 2014, she moved to Denmark, taking a position in the epidemiology department at Aarhus University.

Internal correspondence provides a record showing that the authors knew that the results that they reported in the Pediatrics (2003) were contradicted by the data from the Danish Psychiatric registry. The actual data confirmed that following the removal of thimerosal in 1992, the “incidence and prevalence” rate of autism in Denmark decreased.[55]

The study, “Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism”, was published in the journal Pediatrics, (2003). The first named author was Madsen; however the principal investigator was psychiatrist Poul Thorsen and a team of six co-authors at Aarhus University. The study was presented as an analysis of the Danish Psychiatric Registry from 1971 – 2000. The ostensible, stated purpose of the study was to determine whether the removal of Thimerosal from children’s vaccines in Denmark (in 1992) decreased the incidence of autism.

The report they submitted for publication claimed that the prevalence of in autism in Denmark increased after thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines in 1992. Figure 1 in the published report in Pediatrics shows a 20-fold increase in autism. The authors stated:

“From 1991 until 2000 the incidence (of autism) increased and continued to rise after the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, including increases among children born after the discontinuance of thimerosal …The discontinuation of thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark in 1992 was followed by an increase in the incidence of autism. Our ecological data do not support a correlation between thimerosal-containing vaccines and the incidence of autism.”

Despite the implausibility of such a correlation, no one within the medical establishment questioned or critically examined this study or any of the Danish epidemiological studies. The first detailed critique of the Madsen / Thorsen Pediatrics study (2003) was by Mark Blaxill; it was posted on Safe Minds, September 2003.  Blaxill, who is a business analyst, not a medical scientist, identified inconsistencies with the previous study (NEJM, 2002) by the same Danish authors who used the same Danish dataset.

Blaxill’s analysis showed that the claimed findings in the Pediatrics report were invalidated by their biased methodology. Blaxill identified the scientifically illegitimate methods the authors used to arrive at their predetermined CDC-commissioned “findings” exonerating vaccines and thimerosal. He did so – even without the benefit of the incriminating internal CDC documents that provide evidence of fraud.

  • Inconsistent inclusion criteria: Prior to 1993, only inpatient autism cases were reported in the Danish registry; representing only 10% of autism cases. Following the removal of Thimerosal from childhood vaccines in 1992, patients from a large Copenhagen outpatient clinic were added. But the authors excluded these cases from the report. In 1995, a new Danish registry was introduced to include all outpatients. These existing, previously unregistered patients were counted by the investigators as new—thereby artificially increasing the number of reported autism cases significantly.
  • Inconsistent diagnostic criteria: In 1994, Denmark changed the diagnostic criteria for autism from “psychosis proto-infantilis” to the more commonly used “childhood autism” to determine a diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria require autism to be identified before a child is three years old. But the authors misrepresented newly registered outpatient cases – many of who were children between the ages of 7 and 9 as “newly diagnosed.”
  • Deletion of data: The authors also deleted the entire year 2001 data for seven year old children from the final published report. This constitutes flagrant research fraud. Blaxill also invalidated the Danish mercury vaccine exposure experience as not a proper comparator:

“The context for the early mercury exposures was completely different in Denmark when compared to any other country, and particularly compared to the U.S. and U.K., where autism rates are being watched most closely. The Danish report describes a different world of vaccine exposures and ignores exposures that are present today that were not present in Denmark in the 1970s. Autism onset has been reliably associated with exposure to viruses.

In the cases where increasing thimerosal exposures have accompanied autism increases, numerous additional confounders were present that were not present in Denmark. Between 1970-92, the only childhood vaccine given in Denmark until 5 months of age was the monovalent pertussis vaccine. In the United States in the 1990s, children were exposed to multiple doses of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza B (Hib) vaccines before five months of age.

In the United Kingdom, injections before age 5 months included multiple doses of meningitis C, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, Hib, and pertussis vaccines. Increasing autism rates there were accompanied by earlier thimerosal exposures due to schedule changes, new exposures to MMR and Hib vaccines, and stringent on-time compliance procedures. Denmark did not administer thimerosal-containing Rho D immunoglobulin during pregnancy.”

This is the pivotal study that CDC has relied on as “scientific evidence” of the innocence of thimerosal.  The only in-depth critical analyses of the Madsen/ Thorsen Danish studies has been by vaccine safety advocacy groups, independent scientists, and alternative news sources. But these valid critiques analyzing the methodology of the Danish studies did not make it into “high impact” journals where the Danish studies were published. The independent analyses were ignored by the medical establishment and by the media as well.

By burying the criticism, this study not only “enjoyed a prolonged period of acceptance: It influenced the outcome of the IOM Immunization Safety Review Committee of February 9, 2004 and helped sabotage the MMR litigation in the United Kingdom.”[50]

In 2014, a review by a group of independent scientists examined the six studies that CDC continues to cite as evidence in support of its claim, that there is “no relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism rates in children”, was published in Biomed Research International.[59] Dr. Brian Hooker and colleagues identified more than 165 published studies that refute CDC’s claim that thimerosal is safe.

Of these 165 studies, 16 studies specifically examined the effects of Thimerosal on infants / children. Among the adverse effects, the studies documented following exposure to Thimerosal, include: one death, 4 allergic reactions, 5 malformations, 6 autoimmune reactions, 8 developmental delay, 9 neurodevelopmental disorders, including tics, speech delay, language delay, ADHD, and autism.

CDC’s childhood vaccination policy rests on the denial of the existence of evidence documenting safety hazards posed by the vaccines in the CDC Vaccination Schedule. CDC uses its influence with the gatekeepers of “high impact” medical journals, who reject scientific studies that contradict the sacrosanct vaccine safety mantra. Although a body of scientific studies documenting serious vaccine-related ill effects, has accumulated in the scientific literature, CDC and those “high impact” journal editors invoke their authority to declare: “there is no evidence of a risk from thimerosal or MMR”.

WMP NOTE:  This concludes Part Five. Part Six of the seven-part series will be entitled: A Foolish Faith in Authority.

Previously published articles: Sharav’s Introduction to the full article,  L’affaire Wakefield: Shades of Dreyfus & BMJ’s Descent into Tabloid Science, outlines her well-researched and documented belief that, “Public health officials and the medical profession have abrogated their professional, public, and human responsibility, by failing to honestly examine the iatrogenic harm caused by expansive, indiscriminate, and increasingly aggressive vaccination policies.” Part One focuses on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the vaccine industry control vaccine safety assessments, control the science of vaccines and control the scientific and mass channels of information about vaccines. In Part Two Ms. Sharav interprets the complex web of internal CDC documents, revealing how key CDC studies and CDC-commissioned studies were shaped by use of illegitimate methods. Part Three takes a closer look at the Brighton Collaboration and the extraordinary influence these stakeholders have in the business of vaccines and their power to control the science and research and manipulate reports to further their own interests. Focusing on the HPV vaccine, in Part FourMs. Sharav explores how a global network of government/academic and industry stakeholders can suppress information about genuine scientific findings and, when needed, engage in corrupt practices to thwart the airing of information about vaccine safety issues.

More about the author: Vera Sharav is a Holocaust survivor and a fierce critic of the medical establishment. This article was originally published at www.ahrp.org. Stat news recently published an article about her and her work. 

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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Awareness

Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

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Awareness

Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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CE Staff Writer 10 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

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 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

To help make sense of what’s happening in our society today, we have released a course on overcoming bias and improving critical thinking. It’s an 8 module course and you can learn more about it here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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