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Medical Science - Discussion

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by RaviHegde, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Tornado

    Tornado Superiore

    Sahyadri ranges.
    Western Maharashtra
    Avventura 1.3 90 HP
    If above patient gets a reassurance from a doc without conducting scans & tests, and later on, after few months if he finds that there is a brain tumour. Rather than going to consumer court, he keeps on bad mouthing the doc for not conducting tests & scans when the tumour was in primary stages.
    Notwithstanding the fact that patient always has got a freedom to take a second opinion & refuse to undergo a scan or test.(practically, docs never physically overpower the patient and push the patient in the scan machines)

    AFA as the link provided above, where it is mentioned that death rate goes down when docs are on strike is concerned, I would like to quote a part of it here.

    'there was a fifty-two-day period in which doctors disappeared altogether except for emergency care.'

    Doesn't this mean if docs are available full time for emergency services, death rate goes down?

    The term 'Iatrogenesis' is also invented and researched the reasons & solutions for it only by docs and not by the Google which is considered as reliable source of medical knowledge than the docs!

    Problem in India is that if a doc earns more money, it is considered as unfair but same is not true for people like Dhirubhai Ambani & Adanis.
    And real reason is that docs are considered Gods. But you must have seen a god's temple where a devotee pray to the god for something.
    And if the prayer bears the desirable fruits, then the devotee donate whatever was promised by him at the time of prayer .
    But, if the prayer does not bear desirable fruit or if something goes worse. Have you ever seen a devotee calling his relatives & friends throwing stones & breaking panes, beating the staff of the temple? I know, answer is 'No', but at a doc's clinic, who is also considered as a god, you often see it happens in that way.

    Things would improve a lot if society & docs themselves stop thinking that they are gods but normal human beings & professionals.

    AFA, frauds in the pharma companies are concerned, whenever a drug is to be introduced in market,
    The drug is first tested on mice, pigs, cows, frogs etc, later on it is tested & tried on human beings. And there are official & ethical ways to conduct the trials.
    1) double blind randomised controlled trials
    2)double blind randomised uncontrolled trails.
    3)meta analysis.

    The uncontrolled trials sounds and practically unreliable.
    But other two methods are reliable and the result is mentioned in percentage of success of a drug against a disease and tells docs to use it against the disease on human beings taking in to account the facts mentioned in the trial results.
    Any pharma, if found doing some foul during the trail or preparing the result of the trail can be found easily as everything is on paper and punished accordingly by the law. And as mentioned in the links provided above they have been caught doing that. And, also majority of pharmas are not found doing any foul play.
    prabhjot likes this.
  2. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Linea 1.3
    Ambani group or Adanis etc. and their businesses are (have been) largely immune to general public wrath, but it does not mean at all that there is no discontent. I have heard such discussions quite often among general public. And its not even clear why and what and who all are to be blamed (or if they deserve to be blamed that bad). So your point is right, and its a fact that doctors too often complain they are soft targets. So yes many doctors are mistreated, manhandled, while others who must deserve far worst get scott free too. Also I have mentioned before why (perhaps) doctors are more widely, vividly discussed and the profession is under more scrutiny than others. Not that public at large have no grudges about other professions, blame the public.. :D

    Person A says there is not much problem, person B says there is way too much problem, the discussion never ends, neither helps.

    @Tornado, so many arguments for and against the industry malpractices and also safeguards (such as what you mentioned for pharma) are true. Also many which one can just co-relate to and 'feel' are right and many unsubstantiated about which we can call as 'arguable'. So it is unfair as I said before and no one says here that all doctors are the same, just like all other professionals of various fields are not the same. Perhaps only the perception of proportion of wrong doings which unfortunately have been more discussed than good things happening around in healthcare industry. But as @RaviHegde said in a post earlier not just the doctors, but I think the industry as a whole could reflect why there are more issues that people have, that is if doctors also acknowledge the many wrong-doings too around them. Or maybe that's plain foolish of anyone to expect...given that they too are humans and behave, think and respond differently, each individual.

    Its a huge topic and I am not sure, how majority here appreciates these discussions we folks have at length. :) Most will have so many stories and angles which they could talk about. Although there are and always will be many points one could argue upon.
    Perhaps maybe in future we will continue debate if more TFIans are willing to participate in it.. ;)

    Meanwhile welcome anyone, everyone to suggest things that could help more practically (widely) for everyday health related issues.
  3. Tornado

    Tornado Superiore

    Sahyadri ranges.
    Western Maharashtra
    Avventura 1.3 90 HP
    Thanks bro, for coming back, leaving the discussion was not going to help the cause of removing the ills affecting medical profession.
    Recently, I had came across a TV serial run by Famous actor Amir Khan. He was exposing greed in the medical profession. And was stating that docs should not charge the patients as per their will but charges should be just adequate, and greed should be curbed. Also he was advocating use of generic medicines & bashing docs who do not use them.

    I sent him an email, and told him that now a days research has proved that music & entertainment is considered as therapy and good against many stress related diseases.
    He himself charges in corores for acting a single movie which takes a month or two for completion . Which makes the tickets of his movies costlier at the tune of Rs 200 to 500 which is not in reach of poor and common man.

    So wouldn't it be a 'led by example' situation for the docs to follow, if he charges Rs one lakh or two for a movie. And wouldn't it help reduce the greed factor ?

    As far as generic medicines are concerned, I asked why does he considers generic versions of his movies available @Rs 30 at roadside CD shops as piracy? These CDs are rather helping people getting out of the stress and stress of purchasing movie tickets at theatres.
    Isn't it double standard from him about the docs?
    He is yet to answer these queries.

    Bro, talking about ills affecting medical profession is not a crime but bashing it as whole is not appreciable either.

    Let's talk of solutions :
    Only docs thinking & coming together against the problems in their field is not going to help. Patients also need to come together along with them.
    1)Consultation charges should be fixed according to the locality and trends prevailing in the society.
    Now a days, plumbers charges min Rs 200 for fixing a tap. Electricians charge Rs 200 for fixing one electric point.
    Barbers charge Rs 100 for a hair cut, which is done monthly.
    So primary care physician (Eg MBBS) should not be left thinking that as a doc he is charging lesser than the people who provide lesser essential services. Similarly,for the specialist MD docs & superspecilistsDM, Mch..

    Recently, a drainage chamber was blocked and the filth had started accumulating, so a cleaning person was called upon, he removed the block using a iron bar in presence of all the hosing society members , charged Rs 300 for the work of 5 minutes.
    So if a doc who prescribes a pill for constipation, in privacy, in absence of society members (problem is same, but of human body for which doc has to study and pay tuition fees for 5 1/2 years ) should be paid better than that.
    This is how adequacy of charges can be understood by both the patient & docs.

    Now, there are many cases in supreme Court where docs have been penalised for Rs 20 L to 30 L for negligence while conducting surgeries on limbs. Now, if you see the doctor has charged hardly few thousands as surgeon charges with intention to do it correctly. If surgery brings a bad result then he will have to repay 20 L to 30 L Rs, why not patient pay 20 L to 30 L if all goes well and produces desired result? Else, the compensation amount which the courts are asking the docs to pay to patients should be reduced to few thousands as charged by him + pleading charges of lawyers. Once this happen, docs themselves would come to know that what they are saving in the form of life & limb is not that precious or precious as it is always said.
    I think greed would automatically comedown.
    I have asked many docs as to why they charge only few thousands when courts ask to compensate in Lakhs & millions? Answer given by them was,'humanity, charity, blah blah.. Once above two steps are taken, docs would definitely stop thinking themselves as angels or gods.

    AFA as switching over to alternative medicine is concerned :
    It is not the patient who need to turn to the alternative medicine but the docs or graduates in the alternative medicine pathys need to turn to their respective alternative medicine pathys.
    I will give you an example of Maharashtra :
    Approx ,there are 125000 docs who have got MBBS as a minimum qualification and are practicing allopathy as it apt & desired from them.

    Approx, there are 90 000 Ayurveda docs and 60,000 homoeopathic docs but they are practising allopathy rather than their own alternative medicine pathy. (Total goes to more than the number of allopathy practioners
    Two years back, the FDA commissioner, took a stand that if any medical store if respects a allopathic prescription from non MBBS docs would put the pharmacist behind bars. Effect was immediate because supreme Court had given many judgements against these docs as crosspathy practice is a crime on the basis of affidavit submitted by the national councils of respective alternative medicines.
    So all the alternative pathy docs united & agitated against FDA and compelled state government to declare a new one year course in allopathy for them so as to enable them to prescribe the allopathy medicine legally which they were prescribing already albeit illegally.
    Now for allopathy, pharmacology is a three year course (1 1/2 year theory +1 1/2 year practical medicine in hospital), and after that they have to practise it under supervision in internship, so total 3 and half years.
    So now, IMA has gone to the courts, asking how a one year course in allopathy is going to be adequate for other pathy people.
    So, I repeat, it is not the patients who need to turn to alternative medicine but the docs graduated in these alternative pathys needs to turn to their own pathys.

    Once this happens, misuse of allopathy drugs (which are potentially dangerous when misused) would reduce by 95 %. And the remaining misuse of allopathy drugs by allopaths themselves would be very easy to deal with.

    I hope, this helps, you can suggest more.
  4. jumu

    jumu Superiore


    HCLF, I realize it has helped you guys,but I refuse to accept that it is the only way to overcome diabetes. All other suggestions done are politely over ridden with kind words that suggest that I may be right, but on this forum this LCHF line is what we take, and hence dont deviate.! Its like the "my rabbit has 5 legs" theory. That was my understanding. Twice in the last six months I had taken my sugar readings and it was perfect at both times.

    The main train station in chennai is called "Chennai Central" and one can reach there by taking many roads which lead there. Similarly every individual has the freedom to have his choice of treatment just as there are many brands for the same product which essentially serve the same purpose but may have a side effect or may not. Each one protects his turf and will manipulate to that extent, to put down the other. We are humans after all, arent we? So lets share our good experiences.

    There was an man pf age 60 plus who who used to stand next to me during prayer at the mosque. Gradually as time passed he began using a chair and after more days he sat down on the floor while the rest of us would do all the motions required for a Muslim prayer. One day I enquired with him and confirmed my suspicion of arthritis of the knee. From my experience of painful knee and understanding what causes it, I called him aside a month ago and advised him to take half a white radish everyday. Now he joins us in prayer and doesn't use the chair any more. I too get stiff knee whenever i go overboard on animal protein and rich food and use the vegetable therapeutically. I am not going to elaborate here how the vegetable functions, but would hint that radish is a very alkaline vegetable and it weans away the accumulated acidic wastes and helps body heal from within. Those suffering or knows of near ones suffering same can try it out or inform others.

    rusticnomad and RaviHegde like this.
  5. Tornado

    Tornado Superiore

    Sahyadri ranges.
    Western Maharashtra
    Avventura 1.3 90 HP
    To seek advice for any medical condition, one needs to have faith in the medical science & doctor.
    But, it is noted here and elsewhere that this faith has shaken.
    So, we were just discussing factors responsible for that and solutions to regain the faith.

    Anyways, correct advices can only be given by the doctor who actually takes detailed history of the patient and examines him.

    Here, we can have broad & general discussion about a medical condition and tell whom to consult. What qualifications & experience a doc should possess so as to deal with a particular medical condition. Medical science is a complex science but health care system in India is more complex & rather confusing and hence dangerous for lay man than the science itself. And I humbly feel that society needs come out of that confusion so that a patient finds himself in the safe and in case he /she suffers from a medical condition.
    RaviHegde likes this.
  6. rusticnomad

    rusticnomad Amatore

    Linea T-Jet
    @jumu - We follow LCHF. HCLF route is standard ADA advise, which only helps in sales of drugs. Agreed there could be many other routes, but as long as diabetes is inability to handle carbs efficiently, carbs will have to be cut down, whichever route one follows. There's no second thought about it. Low GI is a failed theory as per recent research. It does nothing to improve insulin resistance or offer any cardiovascular advantage, because at the end of the day one is still eating same number of grams of carbs, needing same amount of insulin to handle it.

    Imagine a 70+ year old diabetic with a history of 20+ years as a diabetic reducing insulin by 50% (from 100 units to 50 units) and yet landing A1C of 5.5. This is one of the cases with three bypass surgeries and nothing seemed to have helped him over the years as a diabetic, not even 100 units of insulin per day. He is on highest fat diet (take 3 TBSP VCO and 3 TBSP Butter just from morning till lunch), despite all the warnings from mainstream against saturated fat, and his recent ECG was excellent and he is to take Treadmill test soon.

    There's another similar case who went off all drugs for diabetes, neuropathy and STATIN (for broken LIPIDS) drugs, despite being a diabetic for 20 years. I am yet to find a diabetic consuming high carb and achieving this. People have tired vegan, Dean Ornish etc but none have achieved the same success as LCHF (there are different variants of LCHF).

    I have read about alkaline diet.
    asimpleson likes this.
  7. Aanand

    Aanand Amatore

    @jumu "...would hint that radish is a very alkaline vegetable and it weans away the accumulated acidic wastes and helps body heal from within."
    Most useful. Thanks a pile.
    Just a query, if I may.
    Would one teaspoon per day of Apple Cider Vinegar work just as well?
  8. Aanand

    Aanand Amatore

    Want to reverse aging?
    (And, that means everyone above the age of 35, or so. Not just those over 60, as the reviewer says).

    Read this review of a book:

    Are you over 60?
    Would you like to be healthier, stronger, fitter, better able to enjoy life?
    Well, now you can be…
    A new book by Dr Doug McGuff and John Little explains how you can achieve all this in just 12 minutes a week

    Message from the author:
    This document is not trying to sell you anything; it’s free.
    The purpose of the document is to explain how anyone over the age of 60 can significantly improve the quality of their life.
    You just have to do a short exercise routine, about once a week.
    If you’re prepared to work hard for 10 to 15 minutes, once every seven days or so, you will get stronger and fitter, and become better able to enjoy your old age.


    ‘If only I could get more strength…’Queen Elizabeth, mother of the present Queen of England, speaking at the age of 101.

    1.1 What happens when you grow old (as if you didn’t know)

    If you’re 60 years of age or more, you will have noticed that your body doesn’t work as well as it used to. You get puffed out when you climb a flight of stairs; your grandchildren leave you exhausted; an evening in front of the television begins to look more attractive than a night out.

    None of that is surprising, because after the age of 35 you lose a pound of muscle for every year that passes, and unless you do something about it you get progressively weaker in every way.

    This loss of muscle (sarcopenia) leads to a lack of strength and endurance which has profoundly negative health consequences.

    It’s easy to forget just how hopelessly unfit some elderly (or not so elderly) people are.

    In 1990, for instance, a UK study showed that half the women tested, aged 55 to 64, could not comfortably walk a mile. And that’s not good news.

    1.2 Don’t grow old too fast

    However… You don’t need to grow old too fast. This process of physical deterioration can be reversed, at least partly. There are things that you can do to help yourself – quite simple things –and the purpose of this document is to give you an outline of what they are. And you may find, as I have, that the results are pretty startling.

    All you have to do is five sets of exercises, which in total will take you about 10 to 15 minutes. And you do them once a week – or even less frequently. Doing the exercises too often is counter-productive, and I find that I do best if I work out about every 10 to 14 days.

    1.3 The catch

    Well you knew there would be a catch in this somewhere, didn’t you?

    But please DON’T stop reading, because if you do, you may miss out on some really vital information. The statement which may cause you to groan and shake your head in dismay is this: in order to improve your strength and general fitness for life in your senior years, you need to go to a gym. Because that’s where you find the necessary exercise machines. That’s the bad news.

    1.4 The good news

    The good news is that recent research has demonstrated that, even if you walk slowly from one piece of equipment to another, you will be finished in 15 minutes. And, as stated above, you don’t need to go back to the gym for at least a week.

    1.5 Sources of information

    The information provided here is almost entirely drawn from a 2009 book entitled Body by Science.

    The authors are Doug McGuff and John R. Little; the publisher is McGraw-Hill. The list price is $19.95, or £11.99 in the UK, but you can certainly find it on sale for less than that. I shall refer frequently to this book, and to save time and space I shall call it BBS

    1.6 These guys are the experts

    Doug McGuff and his co-author John Little are the experts on exercise, not me. I am neither a sports scientist nor a medical practitioner, and I am not going to be offering you any advice. What I shall do is summarise what McGuff and Little say in their book, and I shall add a few notes drawn from my own experience.

    I’m doing this because I spent my entire working life in education, and I believe in disseminating useful information as widely as possible. I was quite excited to discover what McGuff and Little have to say, and I have already benefited from their book myself (see para 5.6 below).

    Within 12 weeks of starting to perform these five exercises I had doubled the strength of several of my muscle groups, and gained substantial strength in the remaining groups. And that is not, apparently, an unusual result for seniors who start to reclaim their muscle power.

    1.7 Who are these guys anyway?

    There are two authors of BBS.

    Doug McGuff is a doctor by profession, and his speciality is accident and emergency work in the ER. In addition to that training and experience, however, he has had an interest in exercise since the age of fifteen, and he also runs a private gym where he and his instructors give one-to-one training to their personal clients.

    McGuff’s co-author, John R. Little, is a noted fitness researcher who has written 12 previous books on exercise, and 38 other books on philosophy, history, and the martial arts. As if that was not enough, he is also an award-winning documentary film-maker. Just as important as these achievements is the fact that Little and his wife also run a gym, where they have supervised in excess of 60,000 one-on-one workout sessions.

    You will find, if you become familiar with BBS and its associated web sites, that Doug McGuff tends to be the front man who gives lectures and TV interviews, while John Little provides background support and films the online videos.

    1.8 There’s always another side to the story…

    It will not have escaped your notice that scientists do not always agree; for example, there’s a big row going on at the moment about global warming. So, you need to be aware that some sports scientists are not in total agreement with the ideas expounded by McGuff and Little in BBS.

    The authors are, for instance, very unkeen on jogging, but jogging still has its advocates.

    McGuff and Little, for their part, have tried to base their book on truly objective research.

    Much research is biased in one direction or another. As BBS states, ‘If, for instance, a pharmaceutical company or a [food] supplement company funded a study, any data derived may be suspect, and serious doubt will have been cast on its conclusions.’ This is true, but is not often so baldly stated.

    I take no sides in any of these disputes, but in this book I shall give you the gospel according to McGuff and Little, because it seems to me to yield good results.

    1.9 Your call

    What you do with the information in this document is up to you. I am not advising you one way or the other. Whatever you do, even if it’s nothing at all, you are going to have to take responsibility for your own future health – you can’t escape that. Some readers will glance through this document and then forget about it. But others, I believe, may be encouraged to take steps to improve their quality of life. After all, the thought of going out jogging three or four times a week is too much for most of us. But 12 minutes in the gym, at intervals of a week or more, doesn’t sound too bad – and it isn’t.


    2.1 The basic idea

    If I were to try to summarise BBS in one sentence, it would be something like this: A few minutes of high-intensity exercise, carried out once a week, is going to do you the world of good.

    2.2 Tell me more about how it will do me good

    During the course of BBS, McGuff and Little mention a whole string of metabolic benefits which result from high-intensity exercise. The list is surprisingly long. Here are a few of the key benefits which you can reasonably expect:
    • Increased strength
    • An improved cardiovascular system (i.e. a stronger heart and lungs)
    • Improvements in the flexibility of joints
    • A positive effect on cholesterol levels
    • Reduced blood pressure
    • An easing of the symptoms of arthritis
    • A reduction in lower-back pain
    • Reduced risk of osteoporosis (i.e. your bones will be stronger)
    • An improved body-temperature system
    • A better digestive system, which reduces the risk of colon cancer.
    • An improved immune system

    Perhaps the most dramatic benefit is one which was announced in 2007.
    Researchers identified 596 human genes that appear to be damaged by increasing age. When they subjected a test group to strength training, 179 of these genes were restored to the standard of much younger people. In other words, the effects of ageing were to some extent reversed.
    (For the full story, see McGuff and Little’s article The Fountain of Youth.
    You can find this by going toMcGuff and Little’s web site and then clicking on Articles, and after that The Fountain of Youth.)

    The most astonishing thing about these findings, as McGuff and Little point out, is that the results attracted almost no press interest at all. In the UK, for instance, newspapers are normally very quick to run a story such as NEW DRUG CURES CANCER. But in this case – nothing. No mention of a method of reversing the effects of ageing.

    Why not?

    Well, you’ve probably guessed. It’s because you can’t just trot down to the doctor (or, more likely, drive down) and demand to be given the magic pill. No. In order to obtain any of these benefits you have to get up out of your comfortable chair and actually do something to help yourself. Which, sad to say, most people aren’t prepared to do. Well, more fool them, is all I can say.

    2.3 The publisher promises you the world (don’t they always?)

    On the front cover of BBS the publisher has placed the following description of the book: A research-based program for strength training, body building, and complete fitness in12 minutes a week.

    Since you’re a senior, and therefore weren’t born yesterday, you will probably regard this as the sort of stupid claim that publishers frequently put on the covers of books. You know the kind of thing: ‘How to get rich and have fantastic orgasms in just three days’, or some such rubbish. In the case of BBS, however, McGuff and Little consider that this ‘strapline’ is a pretty good description.

    2.4 The research basis

    To begin with, the book provides ‘a research-based program’. In other words, it doesn’t just present some fancy theory that McGuff and Little dreamed up over the weekend. On the contrary, their recommendations are based solidly on modern scientific research into the effects of exercise. If you’re trained to read scientific papers, McGuff and Little provide references to the relevant publications so you can study them for yourself.

    2.5 Jogging is bad for you (you will be relieved to hear)

    These days, you can hardly step out of the house without seeing somebody out running. Actually I can see them from the comfy chair in my front room. There they go, wearing athletic kit, jogging along in all weathers, and, as likely as not, panting like carthorses and looking close to collapse.

    These runners, McGuff and Little tell us, are basing their exercise on out-of-date research. They hope and believe that they are strengthening their cardiovascular system and thus extending their lives; but in fact the benefits which they are obtaining are not all that great, and they are simultaneously placing their joints at risk by pounding along the pavement. Not only that, but they are expending large amounts of unnecessary time.

    McGuff and Little refer to evidence that this kind of exercise may actually be counter-productive, and may undermine your health. The hoped-for benefits can be better obtained, they believe, through markedly briefer but more intense exercise.

    2.6 And you definitely shouldn’t run a marathon (just in case you were thinking of it)

    The further and harder you run, the more true this is. For ten good reasons why you should not run a marathon, see Arthur de Vany’s famous blog post, which provides the scientific evidence. The first few reasons listed by de Vany are: marathon running damages the liver and the gall bladder; it causes acute and severe muscle damage; it induces kidney dysfunction; it causes acute micro-thrombosis in the vascular system; and so on.

    I don’t want to labour the point, but research has shown that 60 per cent of runners are injured in an average year, with one running injury occurring for every 100 hours of performance. For McGuff and Little, the moral is clear: don’t be tempted to jog, even indoors, much less run a marathon.

    2.7 Strength training

    The second part of the BBS cover strapline refers to ‘strength training’. But that’s only part of the story. Research has proved that exercises which are designed to build up muscle strength have valuable knock-on effects on the metabolic system as a whole. In particular, strength training, properly performed once a week, is actually more beneficial to the cardiovascular system than is running five days a week, or going to a Jane-Fonda type of aerobics class. Many seniors show a rapid increase in strength over the first twelve weeks of BBS training. (I certainly did: see para 5.6 below.) After that, increases in strength will continue, but not at such a rapid rate. Should you live long enough, and carry on training, you may reach your maximum genetic potential for strength after about two years.

    2.8 Will Arnie have a rival?

    The strapline reference to ‘body building’ may alarm you a little. Will I, you may ask, end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his Mr Universe days? Answer, no. Not even if that’s your secret ambition. The body-building reference, and the reference to ‘complete fitness’ which follows, are simply attempts to highlight the consequential metabolic effects that I have mentioned above. That is to say, by building up the muscles to replace the wastage caused by aging, you will improve your overall health and your ability to make the most of your final years.

    2.9 The fittest guy in the tour party is 83

    At this point, a little encouragement will not be out of order. McGuff and Little show, throughout BBS, that senior citizens are the group which can benefit most dramatically from the strength-building exercises that they recommend; and they quote a couple of examples. Both these examples, as it happens, involve men. But make no mistake about it – everything in BBS applies just as much to women as to men. In fact, in the BBS chapter devoted to training seniors, McGuff and Little include a photo of a very trim but mature lady – it doesn’t say so in the book, but I’ve read elsewhere that she is 83 – working away in the gym with the best of them. She is warmly wrapped up, I notice, in jeans and a woolly sweater – a leotard is not necessary. One of the men who attends McGuff’s gym is another 83-year-old, Mr Davies, who suffers from a form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. Typically, those in their eighties who have this condition are wheelchair-bound. Mr Davies, however, after some years of training, is as strong as a typical 25-year-old man, pulled in straight off the street. On a recent tourist trip to the pyramids, he was able to climb to the top of one, while no other member of his tour group got further than halfway. I don’t know about you, but I’m 70 now, and according to UK statistics I have a life expectancy of about 14 years. So I quite fancy being an 83-year-old who has more strength and stamina than anyone else in a tour group. And if I can achieve that aim, or even part of it, through some intense exercise for 10 or 15 minutes once a week, that sounds like a pretty good bargain to me.


    3.1 Buy the book
    If you’ve read this far, the best thing you can do at this stage is to order a copy of BBS.
    Here, just to remind you, are the details:
    Body by Science by Doug McGuff and John Little Published by McGraw-Hill ISBN 978-0071597173

    Choose your own retailer; there’s no commission in it for me. And while you’re waiting for your copy of
    BBS to arrive, you can read the rest of this document.

    3.2 When push comes to shove, you really do have to push

    I’m not going to attempt to summarise the BBS workout procedure here, much less reproduce it wholesale. For that, you need to read the book. What I am going to do is draw your attention to certain important points which the book makes, and to add some comments. You already know that the basic BBS exercise programme involves performing strength-building exercises for about two minutes on each of five pieces of equipment.

    I need to make it clear (so that it doesn’t come as an awful shock later) that, during your 90 seconds or two minutes of effort on each of the five pieces of equipment, you really do have to make a gigantic effort.

    You will be moving a weight which represents about 75 per cent of the maximum weight that you could lift on that particular day.
    That’s the whole point.
    So you will be making a ferocious effort; and that will be briefly painful and exhausting. It will leave you panting and perhaps a bit shaky.
    But I’m pretty ancient, you say to yourself. I could take it a bit easier than that.
    Sorry, but McGuff and Little make it quite clear that, if you don’t do the exercises really hard, then you will be largely wasting your time; a half-hearted effort simply won’t produce the desired result. And it is this aspect of things which really sorts people out.
    For the benefits to occur, say McGuff and Little, ‘an individual of any age must be willing to train with effort, a rare find in our society.’
    In my opinion, the temporary discomfort of what McGuff and Little call a ferocious effort is not much of a price to pay for the benefits.
    That said, some people won’t like it, and they will either go easy (which is pointless) or give up (fine, OK, it’s your life).

    3.3 Can I have a rest now?
    After you have done your 10 to 15 minutes of exercise you not only can have a rest, but you absolutely have to.
    One small counterbalance to the news about ferocious effort comes in the notion of recovery time.
    When you perform the BBS workout, you are actually weakening the muscles, at least temporarily.

    Believe me, if you do the exercises properly, you will certainly feel weak and wobbly for a few minutes, and some residual stiffness and weakness will last for a few days.

    Being a senior (we call ourselves oldies in the UK), you will probably not be inclined to rush back to the gym too quickly anyway – but the point worth emphasising is that it is actually unhelpful to do so.

    On average, a minimum of one week between workouts seems to suit most people, but it won’t matter if you take ten to fourteen days.

    McGuff and Little say that many seniors train at intervals of between one and two weeks.

    Listen to what your body is telling you, and you will gradually get to understand the language.

    3.4 Can my old bones really take that much effort?

    If we do the exercises as instructed, McGuff and Little assure us that ‘we’re not going to be placing any joints or musculature in a vulnerable position that, as we increase the stimulus/intensity, will put us at significant risk for injury.’

    I mention that because if you go and see your doctor, before starting the BBS routine, he will probably say something like, ‘OK, but take it easy at first.’

    Sorry, but as I said above, that ain’t gonna work.

    McGuff and Little maintain that seniors are not as fragile as people think they are.

    The response mechanism in the body is still there; what you have to do is administer the correct stimulus and the body will respond favourably.

    3.5 What about my heart, doctor?

    Similarly, if you’re wondering about the effect of intense (if brief) training on the heart, you can evidently rest easy.

    ‘The evidence is clear,’ say McGuff and Little. ‘Strength training is a modality of exercise that is as safe and productive as possible from a cardiovascular standpoint. The American Heart Association has even included strength training as one of the major components of cardiac rehabilitation.’

    I mention this point because Dr McGuff has stated, on his blog, that ‘BBS has a greater emphasis on safety than many other exercise philosophies’. That is to say, he and John Little take the view that it is important that exercise should in no way make matters worse.

    3.6 Can you translate that please?

    Do be aware that, while BBS is written for the average lay reader, McGuff and Little have chosen to include a great deal of hard science in the text.

    Consider, for instance, this passage: Albumin transports these fatty acids to the muscles, where they undergo beta-oxidation to form thirty-five ATP molecules. Moreover, glycerol, an intermediate step in this process, can also be shunted to the liver and converted to glucose, which can then undergo further oxidation through a process that will yield an astounding ninety-six molecules of ATP.

    I don’t know what that passage means, and most other readers won’t either. But the authors have included descriptions such as this, quite rightly in my view, in order to establish their credibility in the eyes of fellow scientists. Any scientist who thinks they’ve got it wrong can say so. As I mentioned above, the authors also include references to the original scientific papers on which their advice is based. Not one reader in a hundred is likely to go to an academic library and check out the actual papers, but they are able to do so if they wish.

    3.7 Take a look at the BBS web site

    McGuff and Little have set up a web site for all matters relating to BBS and their recommended training programme. Here’s the link:http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/

    You will see that there is a blog written by Dr McGuff, with numerous comments by others. There are also pages devoted to associated articles, videos, recommended trainers, and so forth. Go take a look and explore. If you prefer to take in your information via audio-visual means, rather the printed word, the videos will give you an overview of the book.

    There are also some videos of various people doing the exercises. I find these particularly helpful but I caution you against watching (at first) some of the big strong men using enormous weights. These are rather alarming and may give you a false impression of what a workout feels like.

    It is certainly better, in my opinion, for seniors to watch some of the young women doing their thing. Dr McGuff’s wife, for instance, does a workout once every two weeks.

    As you explore, you will find other web sites with related material.

    There is one, for instance, for information relating to the gym which Dr McGuff owns and operates: http://www.ultimate-exercise.com/

    There’s also an interesting interview with John Little to be foundhere:http://conditioningresearch.blogspot.com/2009/05/interview- with-john-little.html

    And for the fairer sex there’s an interview with a mature lady who suffers from osteoarthritis, among other things, and finds that high-intensity training is very beneficial to her:http://www.greyhoundfitness.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=102



    4.1 But how do I find a gym?

    There may be a few fortunate souls reading this who live in America and have easy access to one of the gyms recommended by McGuff and Little on the BBS web site. Those gyms all have staff who are fully trained in BBS theory and practice. Most of us will not be so fortunate, and will have to make do with a less specialised facility. But unless you live in a very rural area, you are likely to find yourself spoilt for choice. I live in a small town in England, and there are at least five gyms within a ten or fifteen minute drive. The gym that I use is part of a municipal leisure centre, with a swimming pool, outdoor tennis courts, and a lot more. I just pay an entry fee every time I go. You may wish to sign up to a private club if you prefer, but it’s likely to cost a lot more, requiring a regular monthly subscription.

    Before committing yourself in any way, you need to ensure that the gym you have your eye on actually has the right equipment.

    To decide that, you really need to study the book version of BBS, and perhaps take it along with you when you go to inspect.

    Any gym will want to give you an induction session during which they give you some brief training on how to use the various pieces of equipment. You will almost certainly be asked to fill out a health questionnaire: on the whole gyms prefer you not to collapse during your first session. Most gyms will then write out an old-fashioned training programme for you, and it is a matter of personal temperament as to whether you pay any attention to that or not. You may, perhaps, want to do it for a few weeks until you feel confident enough to do the Big 5 BBS exercises as prescribed.

    What you are not likely to get, in any gym, unless you pay a lot of money for it, is the kind of one-to-one training which McGuff and Little and their associates provide in their private facilities.

    Even if you do decide to pay for a one-to-one service, you may find that your instructor is not up to speed on high-intensity theory. When you tell him or her what you want to do, you may encounter head shaking and the sucking of teeth. ‘Ooh, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.’

    It’s worth remembering at this stage that gyms, whether privately or publicly owned, need customers in order to survive. It’s very much in their interests to have people coming two or three times a week, not once every ten days.

    And personal trainers have a vested interest in persuading you that you need detailed supervision every time.

    McGuff and Little’s suggested workout – a short visit once a week at most – is not good news for these people.

    But it may be excellent news for you.

    You are going to have to make up your own mind about these things. Whatever you do, you will in effect be taking responsibility for your own body and your own future health.

    Who do you trust most?

    On your left, Dr Doug McGuff and John Little, with their high-level training and lengthy experience.

    Or, on your right, a charming and friendly but modestly paid gym person who may or may not have any qualification in sports science.

    You will just have to feel your way and make up your mind.

    4.2 Do I need to do anything else?

    Yes, ideally, you do.

    4.2.1 Rest

    You need to make sure that you get adequate rest. That’s not usually something that seniors find difficult. But earlier on we did mention the importance of recovery time (para 3.3) and McGuff and Little suggest that on the whole it might be best not to do too much violent exercise in addition to their Big 5 exercise routine. If you play golf or go swimming, regard it as recreational fun rather than physical training.

    4.2.2 Watch what you eat

    Then there’s the tricky question of diet. By which I mean what you eat, not the question of weight loss. McGuff and Little do discuss weight loss in BBS, and high-intensity training does seem to be effective in that regard, for reasons which they explain.

    But they are mainly concerned with diet in the sense of what you eat. This is a big subject and not one that I intend to say much about here.

    However, as a senior you will already have had ample time to come to some conclusions about what benefits you and what doesn’t.

    McGuff and Little, like a number of these fitness guys, are advocates of what is sometimes called the hunter-gatherer diet, or the Palaeolithic diet (paleolithic is the US spelling). The theory behind this is that, until 10,000 years ago, human beings were all hunter-gatherers, who did no farming and grew nothing. Then, within the last few thousand years, we all began to grow crops. The Palaeo-diet theorists take the view that 10,000 years or so is not nearly a long enough period for our genes to have adapted to cereal crops and the flour which is made from them. They argue that we would therefore be better off by avoiding all carbo-hydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, cake, and doughnuts. If you want to know more, Wikipediais a good place to start.

    I don’t personally find the palaeo argument wholly convincing, so I don’t adhere to those diet rules. I do, however, very much agree with those theorists when they emphasise the need to eat natural foods. What they mean by natural foods are things like meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and so forth. Personally I try hard to avoid eating anything processed, all forms of sugar (which I regard as poisonous) and anything made from refined flour. Anything which comes from the supermarket in a shiny packet is probably going to do you no good at all. Of course you can’t avoid sugar altogether – it’s impossible, because it appears in the most unlikely things, such as mushroom soup and tomato sauce. And it’s very difficult to eat natural food if you eat out a lot.

    4.2.3 Keep drinking

    Drink plenty. Preferably water. McGuff and Little say that you should take in 3 litres a day, though it’s not clear whether they intend to include the usual coffee et cetera in that total.

    Personally I have for several years drunk four UK pints of water every day (that’s 80 fluid ounces), in addition to any coffee or tea. I started doing that because I read F. Batmanghelidj’s book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water .

    Dr McGuff tells us, and I’m sure he’s right, that the thirst mechanism often doesn’t work properly in the elderly. Keeping yourself properly hydrated is important.


    Just in case it helps – and it may not – I am going to give you a brief history of my own adventures in the land of exercise. The important bit, of course, is an account of how I got on after I began to do the

    BBS workout.

    5.1 Schooldays are the best years of your life (?)

    It so happens that, from the age of eleven to eighteen, I attended an English boarding school. This was a school which believed that the devil makes work for idle hands, and so the whole day, from seven a.m. to ten p.m., seven days a week, for solid twelve-week terms, was filled with activity of some sort. Games such as Rugby football, running, and athletics, were compulsory, one every afternoon; on Sundays you were required to go for a walk. The result of this regime was that, after leaving school at eighteen, I never did a stroke of exercise for the next forty years. I didn’t play golf, swim, or even walk very much.

    5.2 The light dawns

    However, I wasn’t stupid, and I could hardly fail to notice that, from the 1950s onward, researchers had established clear links between physical activity and good health. In the UK, for instance, Professor Jerry Morris analysed a large amount of data in 1953 and found that bus drivers (who remained seated all day) were twice as likely to have a heart attack as were bus conductors (who in England used to run up and down the stairs of the double-decker buses, collecting fares). Furthermore, I worked in a university and mixed with academic staff who were researching into these topics. The result was that, when I took early retirement at the age of 57, I realised that I would be extremely foolish if I didn’t start taking some form of regular exercise. With a heavy sigh I signed up with a local gym.

    5.3 The orthodox routine

    Given that I wanted to bring about an overall improvement in my health, the gym staff naturally gave me a programme of exercise which was, for that time, absolutely orthodox. It began with warming-up exercises, followed by about 20 minutes of cardiovascular work (treadmill and rowing machine), followed by some upper body work with weights, and then ‘warming-down’. I attended this gym for about five years, going two or three times a week. Strangely enough, I quite enjoyed it after a while, and it certainly did me good. Because of my academic background, I did some reading about exercise, and I bought myself a heart-rate monitor, and generally took the whole business seriously.

    5.4 Interlude

    However, after about five years I found that devoting three afternoons a week to exercise was taking up too much time. You know how it is when you’re retired – everyone finds things for you to do. So I gave up going to the gym. Instead, I concentrated on walking, and walking fairly briskly at that. And I have to say that walking served me fairly well, so that by the time I reached seventy I was still fitter than most men of my age. After all, quite a lot of people don’t make seventy at all. Between 2007 and 2009 my wife and I spent most of our time selling one house and buying another. (It’s a long story.) In the course of that time I found myself moving furniture, disposing of boxes of books, and generally using the muscles of my upper body more than I had done for a long time. And what I noticed, quite markedly, was that my upper body was far weaker than in the past. So I made up my mind that, come the autumn of 2009, I would start going to the gym again.

    Even in the non-gym years, I continued to be interested in the theory and practice of physical exercise. For example, I became a regular reader of Arthur de Vany’s blog. I do not agree with quite a high proportion of what Arthur recommends, but he reportedly has a book coming out in December 2010, so you will be able to judge for yourself. The working title is The New Evolution Diet. It was through the de Vany blog that I came to hear of Doug McGuff and John Little and their book BBS. The rest you know.

    5.5 BBS in practice

    I started using the McGuff and Little’s high-intensity workout in November 2009. At first I found myself to be relatively weak – which I had already realised, of course. But then I began to be able to move greater weights quite quickly.

    In the chapter of BBS dealing with the experience of seniors, McGuff and Little say that ‘The senior citizen is starting from a point of worsened muscular condition because he [or she] has allowed the process of degradation (or atrophy) of [the] muscular system to take place without remedy for a much longer time [than has someone aged thirty-five].’ Because they start from such a weak position, ‘the rate at which [seniors] strengthen is astounding…. It is not uncommon to see a doubling of strength (yes, a 100 percent increase) in as little as six to twelve weeks.’

    As for my own progress, here is a table which illustrates the amount of strength (in percentages) that I gained over the first three months. Listed below are the pieces of equipment which are used in the Big 5 exercise routine, followed by my results.

    Seated row97% (i.e. nearly twice as strong)



    Overhead press44%

    Leg press130% (well over twice as strong)

    You will note that much the weakest area was the Overhead Press. As the name suggests, this involves pushing a weight directly upwards. I am not remotely surprised that I only increased my strength by 44% in this direction, because I have a history of problems with my shoulders. I fell off a horse a good many years ago, and for quite a while I was unable to raise my left arm above my head at all.

    5.6 Conclusions?

    Well, as you can see from the figures above, I have certainly become stronger. I have also gained some five or six pounds in weight, which I am quite sure is muscle and not fat. Muscle, by the way, weighs more than fat. Dr McGuff relates that, when he hired the current manager of his gym, a man of 63, he told him that within twelve to sixteen weeks of training he would probably be stronger than he ever had been at any point in his life. Recently the manager (Mr Garbe) admitted that he had originally been sceptical about this statement but was now a firm believer. ‘This stuff,’ he said, ‘is literally the fountain of youth.’ I’m not sure about that ‘literally’, but metaphorically I believe the case is made.


    6.1 Keep your eyes open

    Further research is needed. That’s what scientists always say, because if further research was not needed then they would be out of a job. But in this context the statement is certainly true.

    McGuff and Little point out, for instance, that it would be useful to know whether the same or better results can be achieved by exercising on just one piece of equipment per week instead of all five, using the different pieces of equipment in weekly succession.

    If that were true, just think. You could get all the benefits of high-intensity training through only two minutes of effort a week instead of twelve!

    So keep your eyes open. One way to keep up with developments is to readDr McGuff’s blogon the BBS web site.

    But don’t forget one vital point.

    Whether it’s two minutes a week or twelve, an effort must definitely be made.

    ‘If a “toned-down” approach is employed,’ say McGuff and Little, ‘the roster of benefits either will be diminished or will not be forthcoming at all.’ So you must make that ferocious effort for just a few minutes.

    6.2 An example to us all

    Finally, I want to tell you about an acquaintance of mine. About twenty years ago, when I was living in Wiltshire, I began to notice a man on a bicycle; it was what we used to call a racing bike, when I was a lad. I would frequently see this man as I was driving around, and he was memorable for several reasons. First, he was clearly elderly. Second, you don’t see many cyclists on today’s busy roads – and I later learnt that he had been knocked off twice. And third, he wore heavy motorcyclists’ goggles, so you quickly picked him out.

    In those days my wife used to teach swimming at the local pool, and she told me that the man was known to everyone there as Mac. He was a widower, lived alone, and was something of a fitness freak. He was, she said, in his late seventies. A few years later, when I began going to the gym myself, I used to come across Mac in the changing room. Whenever we met we would have a chat about exercise. He was then in his late eighties. When I stopped going to the gym I lost contact with him, but then a couple of years ago I bumped into him in a shopping mall.

    I was distressed to see that he was now walking with the aid of a Zimmer frame on wheels. When I asked him, Mac told me that he was ninety-five. ‘I was all right until I was ninety,’ he said. ‘I used to cycle into Bristol when I was ninety.’ (A distance of about 40 miles in total.) But then, he said, he got what he called the arthuritis. ‘And now look at me.’

    I tried to cheer him up by pointing out that very few people make it to the age of ninety-five in any sort of shape. But he told me that in addition to everything else he now had cataracts. I know a bit about cataracts, so I explained how surgery can solve that problem, and I hope I may have helped him.

    The last time I saw Mac was a year later, when he would have been ninety-six. I was driving through the village where he lived at about 4 p.m. on a cold winter afternoon; it was almost dark, and it was raining steadily. Halfway along the village high street I came up behind a bus which had stopped to pick up a few bedraggled passengers. And there, just about to get on the bus, complete with woolly hat and Zimmer frame, was Mac. I don’t mind admitting that it brought tears to my eyes to see this old man struggling to get on the bus in the pouring rain. That man, I said to myself, is unstoppable. He is an example to us all. And so he is.

    This document has been written in the hope of finding readers.

    I want it to be read, and used, and talked about, and passed on to other people who might find it helpful. For that reason, I have made it available, free, on Scribd.com. It is published on Scribd under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution licence 3.0. What this means, in practice, is that you are free to copy, distribute and transmit the document in any way you wish. For instance, you can email the digital file to a friend, print it out on your printer, use chunks of it as a teaching aid, and generally do pretty much whatever you wish with it – provided, please, that you attribute the work to me, Michael Allen.

    If in doubt, click on the licence link above for more details. For any other information, please contact me on mikel01@globalnet.co.uk . First published on Scribd in February 2010. Revised edition August 2010.
  9. Ganges

    Ganges Esperto

    Driver Seat _/
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Recently I have done a trip for 1800kms.During this trip one of my friend suffered from conjuctivitis. After returning from the trip no one got affected.The car was parked, and after 5 days I was ready for the weekend trip. Soon after continuous drive of 3 hours my left eye started watering and day after confirmed that I too was suffering from conjunctivitis.So the query is what should i do with the car interior .Just clean it with dettol? Suggest please.
    Edit:- AC was continuously ON
  10. jumu

    jumu Superiore

    You may open the windows and leave the car in the sun for a couple of hours.That should suffice. Next time you get conjunctivitis, you can drink a glass of water kept overnight in a copper vessel. You should splash your eyes with the same water often:} recovery will be quite quick

    Ganges likes this.

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