Monday, May 31, 2010


'Fast food franchise KFC is injecting $35 million to launch its latest menu addition, Cayan Grill chicken, with a campaign headed up by Olympic swimmer Libby Trickett.'

'Trickett has taken on the role of brand ambassador for the new line, appearing in a series of 30 second tv ads which launch today, and due to make appearances at some promotional events.'

Photo may be subject to copyright

This would have to take the biscuit; fresh faced, slim and athletic, we're now seeing Mrs Trickett on TV selling her soul and her body to the junk food industry. I expect her to balloon out over the course of the campaign and take on the shape of a true-blue Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pepsi Max customer.

On the face of it, the Cayan Grill Chicken looks like good wholesome food. ButI suspect Kentucky Fried Chicken isn't greatly interested in Cayan Grill Chicken. It's the upselling and the supersizing that makes the money, the chips and the Pepsi.

I thought sport was meant to be character building. Maybe I was wrong.

On the track
A modest workout on the stepper. 30 minutes for 3873 calories and 507 steps.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and order chips with your next bucket of fat.

John Miller

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Read that the Heart Foundation is working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics to conduct a comprehensive national health survey that includes biomedical data such as actual height, weight, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and glucose levels.

Another vapid of vapids. Same old same old. Ho hum, ho hum.

This is the sort of data every doctor should be supplying to a national repository as a matter of course.

I wrote to the PR woman at the Heart Foundation for a list of the tests. She gave me the brush off and told me to contact the Bureau of Statistics.

However, I'll bet you my last razoo they won't be measuring how aerobically fit people are, despite a low level of aerobic fitness being the principal driver of metabolic dysfunction.

They won't measure strength and flexibility either.

These people don't want to get their hands dirty.

They won't measure levels of homocysteine or C-reactive protein, markers of metabolic dysfunction more appropriately targeted than cholesterol.

Whilst I notice they're measuring weight, I'll also bet they don't measure percent body fat. They'll go for body mass index.

This is just more academic busy work designed to give someone a PhD.

On the track
A good session out early with the boys.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and wait for someone from the Bureau of Statistics to come round to your house and run the ruler over you.

John Miller

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Found a brochure I picked up from McDonalds a while ago announcing that the National Heart Foundation had sold its tick (and its soul) to McDonalds.

Like an earlier blog I wrote about academics getting into bed with drug companies, this too fits into the lying-down-with-dogs category.

One half of me says that if you eat mince meat, lettuce and tomato at home it's OK; the other half says that if you buy it from a junk foodery it's not.

The Heart Foundation has taken a very soft line with McDonalds.

It cannot be forgiven for turning a blind eye to the massive damage that fast food industries do to the arteries that the Foundation goes to such length to protect. A couple of innocuous products doesn't stand as penance for the rest of the stuff this conglomerate and its independent distributors sells.

But why would anyone be recommending bread rolls stuffed with meat or chicken and a bit of salad? This country is awash with people who eat too much bread. It fattens them up. White bread at that. The Heart Foundation must be attracted to the dough.

Chicken nuggets, they've given them the tick too. Goodness knows what's in them, compressed bits of mashed chicken smeared with fat and bread crumbs. I don't think that's the sort of diet the Heart Foundation should be recommending. I betcha they don't serve them at board meetings.

The wraps look OK, but the problem is that as soon as anyone goes into a McDonaldry as likely as not, as well as something nutritious they'll also come out with a bucket of fat in the form of chips and a fatshake.

You'd think that giving the tick to a company that probably does more than just about any other company on earth to fatten up people up would leave a nasty taste in the mouth of all those surgeons.

Anyway, what can you expect of a medical charity that also gives its tick of approval to

- bread

- bircuits

- breakfast biscuits

- fruit bars

- pasta

- chips

- cheese

- ice cream

- oils

- pies and pasties?

And in case you missed it on their website, here it is again.

On the track
No track today. It's getting colder and I appear to be getting lazier.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and eat your mince meat and salad at home.

John Miller

Monday, May 24, 2010

BACK AND HIP PAIN - Wednesday May 19th 2010

There's an epidemic of musculo-skeletal dysfunction in our community. Ask any group of people 'Who here has either got a crook back, stiff neck, 'cold' shoulder, bung hip, game leg, dicky knee or sore wrist?’ and at least 50% of people will put their hand up.

The good news is that in 80% of cases it's not a medical problem, it's a fitness problem. Chances are you're not strong enough or flexible enough to keep your body in good alignment.

The solution? You need a good strength and flexibility training program to straighten yourself up.

There are two key principles involved here.

1. Tight muscles pull bones out of alignment. That’s the bad news. The good news is that by loosening tight muscles the bones will go back into alignment.

If you do the right exercises, long enough and often enough, there’s a better than even chance you’ll straighten yourself up. Poor function will be restored to good. You’ll start to feel better. Your pain will go away. All you have to do is find the right exercises.

2. The cause of the pain is rarely at the site of the pain – so a rub down and a hot wheat bag on the spot where it hurts may give you some temporary relief but won’t treat the cause of the problem. Over the years it will just get worse.

With lower back pain there’s a chain of dysfunction. Tight calf, hamstring and buttock muscles take your pelvis out of alignment. When that happens, the bones above it are taken out of alignment as well.

It puts pressure on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and discs in your lower back. They ‘feel the pinch.’ You tell people you’ve got a crook back.

Next week I’ll give you an exercise to loosen up your calf and hamstring muscles and get you sitting up straighter. Do that and you square your pelvis up and take the pressure off the bones of your lower back.

Then there’s that better than even chance that millimeter by millimeter, your lower back pain will start to go away.

On the track
Back walking with the boys.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and if it’s weak strengthen it; if it’s tight loosen it.

John Miller

FEELING BETTER - Tuesday 15th May 2010

I'm feeling better.

I'm up and about, dehydrated, thinner but definitely better. By tomorrow I should be as right as rain.

The body does indeed have remarkable recuperative powers.

On the track
No track.

In the meantime get ready to get back on the track.

John Miller

GO BACK TO BED - Monday 17th May 2010

I'm still crook.

I got up just before 6.45am and went out the front to tell my mates I wouldn't be going with them today.

Then I went back to bed.

Christine said I should go to the doctor, but I don't feel like paying $80 to be told I'm crook. Maybe I should have gone to the chemist. I've seen adverts in toilets at airports for stuff that's mean to fix you up when you're crook.

So I just stayed in bed - and the loo. I can feel myself gradually getting better.

On the track.
Only track today was between the bed and the loo. I don't know where all this water is coming from. I've lost 3Kg.

In the meantime lie low and let nature run its course. The body has remarkable recuperative powers; stimulate them - sometimes with exercise, sometimes with rest.

John Miller

STILL CROOK - Sunday 16th May

I'm still crook. Up and down half the night. Don't feel like eating. I'm like an animal. When they get sick they go away and hide for a couple of days.

I'm hiding in bed and in the loo. My feet are cold, my bones ache.

On the track
No track today, no way.

In the meantime lie down and go to sleep.

John Miller

I'VE TAKEN A BAIT - Saturday 15th May 2010

I must have taken a bait somewhere in Brisbane. It could have been at Brisbane Airport.

There doesn't have to be much wrong with you to put you right off your game.

Christine and I went to the Australian Institute of Sport for a swim and a hot spa. And then it hit me.

It's a very interesting phenomenon. Water has been pouring out of me. Maybe this could be some sort of blood pressure-lowering therapy!

I felt crook and cold and went to bed in the afternoon. My feet were like ice. The Achilles and calves hurt like hell.

I went to be early and slept like a log, except for the half a dozen times I had to get up.

Sheesh, it's no fun being crook.

On the track
Went swimming for half and hour.

In the meantime it's hard to stay tuned, when you're crook.

John Miller

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF AT WORK - Friday 14th Maty 2010

If you think you can spend 8 hours a day sitting down without moving you've got another think coming. Sooner or later something's going to give, usually your mind, or your back, neck and shoulders.

You've just got to give yourself a break, in fact a number of breaks for 10 minutes to freshen up. Call it a quick defrag.

Here's a few activities to pick from.

Spend ten minutes doing a few stretches, for your neck, shoulders and back.

It's as simple as putting on the headphones and playing a relaxation MP3. It's an essential feature of a work fit program designed to calm you down.

Limber up! One of the best things you can do for your body is go for a quick walk around the block once a day. Endorphins will be released, more oxygen will be pumped up into your head, you’ll blow off a bit of ’steam’; you'll feel better.

Any organisation that's up to speed these days will have either a yoga program or a tai chi program. Manage your time so you can go a couple of times a week.

Or, search on the internet for a copy of Yolanda Pettinato's Simply Yoga program. A few poses each day will loosen up your mind and the rest of your body. The Yoga CD may be available from your local bookstore. That's where I picked up my copy.

Or get a copy of Keith Jeffrey's Easy Tai Chi program. Once you learn it, it only takes 4 minutes. It's available online.

Get yourself a set of juggling balls.

One of the absolute best ways to take your mind off your work is to do some juggling. You can't think about work and juggle at the same time.

Want to see how it's done. Go to YouTube and search for Chris Bliss amazing juggling finale.

So there you have it.

Look after yourself in the workplace. You'll feel better. Your back, neck and shoulders will feel better. You’ll be more productive. You’ll last the distance. You’ll save money and time loitering around surgeries and pharmacies.

On the track
No track again. Flew down to Sydney, met up with a cousin I hadn't seen for 40 years and drove back from Sydney to Canberra.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and look after yourself at work.

John Miller

HEADACHES - Thursday 13th May 2010

I've been delivering seminars all day again. It's amazing how many people get headaches, don't sleep well and lack energy.

Some put up with it. They think it is a normal part of the human condition. Everyone gets headaches don't they?

Some spend a fortune on pills. Others spend hours traipsing through surgeries looking for the magic bullet.

No-one ever told them to get themselves into a good exercise program.

You'd have to wonder what years of PhysEd in schools did to them. Those PhysEd teachers must have switched them right off.

On the track
No track today. Another day of seminars and then off to spend the evening with my editor.

in the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned, go outside and get some fresh air.

john Miller

DOCTORS ON THE BREAD LINE - Wednesday 11th May

One of the fall outs of Tuesday night's budget was a piece in the paper about a local Canberra doctor being appreciative of the Government providing her practice with a $25,000 grant to employ a nurse.

The doctor let us into the secret that her annual income is $140,000.

She also let us into another secret, she charges $78 for each 15 minute consultation.

Add that up.

Eight hours a day work at $312 an hour adds up to $2,500. Multiply that by 5 and you get $10,000 a week., Multiply that by 44 weeks a year and you get $440,000, a far cry from $140,000.

There's three doctors in the practice. By the tone of the article you'd think they were on the bones of their arse and needed the Government to pay for a nurse.

All the government needs to do is help nurses set themselves up in private practice and give them access to the prescription pad.

Who is it that dreams up these stunts? How does the Government fall for them?

On the track
No track. In Brisbane running 6 seminars for the day. That's quite enough.

In the meantime stay tuned highly tuned and if you feel crook get thee to a nursery.

John Miller

HOW TO BLOW $57 BILLION - Tuesday 11th May 2010

Treasurer Wayne Swan bough down the Commonwealth Government's Budget this evening. $57 Billion has been allocated to the Department of Health. $57 Billion., it just rolls off the tongue as though it might have been $57 thousand, or $57 million. It's $57,000,000,000. When in the hell does it all go?

This is 16% of the Government's budget.

Some of the money will go to improve people's health, the great bulk of it will be poured down the medical black hole. People will not become fitter or healthier.

The Government says this is NEW. In reality it's Medicare 1975 version 35. Next year we'll go through the same old same old again, and spend $65B.

The great tragedy is that the health of Australians is declining in direct proportion to the increase in Government expenditure.

Until the Government stops protecting the bloated, inefficient and expensive general practice division of the medical industry to the degree it does, particularly at the local level, it's stuffed.

The big announcement of the evening is that the Government is going to give doctors in private practice $25,000 to employ more nurses. Would that they had decided to support more nurses setting up their own clinics as an alternative service to the one provided by doctors. As it stands the nurses will continue to act as doctors' lackeys and the doctors will pocket the change.

In this country doctors just love doing busy work, work that other professional groups like nurses, fitness practitioners, pharmacist, naturopaths and counsellors can do better.

People should only be going to doctors for things that require the kind of medical attention that only doctors can provide. Primary health care for the great bulk of metabolic, musculo-skeletal and psychological complaints doesn't need a doctor. on the contrary.

On the track
No track, presented 6, one hour seminars to staff at a corporate organisations. That's sufficient.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and remember, you can't solve a fitness problem with a medical solution.

John Miller


I recently got a note from the Health Sciences Institute about the effectiveness of green lipped mussels in the treatment of arthritis and joint pain. I've read about green lipped mussels in previous stuff they've circulated. This time the note came with a recommendation to buy the product from Magnolia Health in Brisbane, Australia.

It comes branded as Globalvit Joints.

Here's the blurb from the website.

Globalvit Joints capsules help support healthy joint function and assist relieve pain and swelling.

Globalvit Joints takes an holistic approach to joint health combining a number of active ingredients such as Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Green Lipped Mussel, Vitamin E and C, and the B group vitamins which may help you
- Reduce joint pain
- Increase your range of movement
- Reduce inflammation
- Support collagen and cartilage synthesis
- Management of Arthritis
- Support general joint health

I like this holistic approach with the preparation including a number of efficacious ingredients. The more the merrier I say. So I took the opportunity and went out to see the company near the Breakfast Creek Hotel and was cordially received by Managing Director Carly Tribe and her associate Michelle.

My brother Geoff and I have been interested in establishing an affiliate program with a company that targets specific metabolic, musculo-skeletal and psychological dysfunctions.

This is what Magnolia Health does - researching the recipe for a wide range of non-pharmaceutical sources, many previously reported in HSI publications, getting it made to their specifications and then distributing it world-wide.

I like the holistic nature of the products. Their joint, prostate, urinary tract and diabetes preparations are leading edge. I suggest you take a look at their website

Watch this space.

On the track

No track. Got up eatly to go into the city and came home late after a number of appointments.

In the meantime stay tuned highly tunes and if you're looking for an arthritis support preparation, go to


Saturday, May 22, 2010

A LOAD OF TRIPE - Sunday 9th May 2010

Have you ever noticed that many diet advertisements make reference to the fact that all diets are fad diets, with the exception of the one being promoted?

The other thing to be wary of is not what the adverts say, but what they don’t say.

For instance there are adverts doing the rounds lauding the nutritional benefits of a breakfast biscuit that contains 22% protein. Most food made with flour only has about half that amount of protein, so give it a big tick. Of course, what the adverts fail to mention is that the same breakfast biscuit contains 32% sugar, and that’s before you put the sugar on the top! It’s not a cereal, just a small and oddly-shaped biscuit, and with that amount of sugar there’s a good case for putting it in the confectionery aisle, along with all the other breakfast biscuits that contain more than 30% sugar.

Now I could be wrong about this, but I’m pretty sure that the high sugar way of life is more likely to turn little boys into fatties than he-men.

Stop for a moment and have a think about it. Why are you eating biscuits and confectionery for breakfast? Choose a genuine cereal, like rolled oats. It’s half the price and better for you.

The CSIRO Diet is a very good diet, in fact many who adopted it experienced a miracle change in body fat content. The diet works because the scientists stripped the junk food out of it. The only criticism I heard was that some of the cuts of meat were a bit pricey, but that’s not hard to overcome. Purchase cheaper cuts.

For most people these cheaper cuts are off the radar. It’s like as though they’ve vanished.

A lot of people in this country grew up with basic fare, not on lamb mind you, but good, old fashioned, common or garden, down to earth mutton, interspersed with even cheaper cuts.

These days, if you go out for tea, unless you’re in a Greek or Turkish restaurant, it’s hard to find a menu with the word ‘chop’ on it.

And you’ll have to scour a lot of menus before you’ll come across brain patties, steak and kidney, lambs fry, or tongue, and I know that while a few readers will drool at the thought of a plate of tripe and onions, a much higher percentage will be gagging over these very words.

I read somewhere that wild animals tend to go for the offal first because that’s where the essential nutrition is. Over the last 40 years we’ve stopped doing that and I suspect our health is suffering.

Maybe we deprive ourselves of some of this essential nutrition by just eating muscle meat, some of it from animals that have been cooped up in cages for a couple of months. At least in Australia we let our sheep and beef roam free, unlike in America where their cattle are stuck in lots and fed mush laced with anti-biotics.

Of course, once you start talking about meat these days you get into the fat-around-the-meat debate. I think that’s largely been put to rest. Cut it off.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and eat to nourish the cells of your body, not just to fill up your stomach.

On the track
No track today. Drove up to Sydney and then on to Brisbane ready for work on Monday.

Big surprise, my daughter, Lisa and the little fella, Jackson were at the gate to meet me.

John Miller

BACK PAIN - Saturday 8th May 2010

There's an epidemic of musculo-skeletal dysfunction in our community. Ask any group of people 'Who here has either got a who's got back pain and at least 30% of people will put their hand up.

The good news is that in 80% of cases it's not a medical problem, it's a fitness problem. Chances are you're not strong enough or flexible enough to keep your body in good alignment.

The solution? If you're going to fix back pain you need a good strength and flexibility training program to straighten yourself up.

There are two key principles involved here.

1. Tight muscles pull bones out of alignment. That’s the bad news. The good news is that by loosening tight muscles the bones will go back into alignment.

If you do the right exercises, long enough and often enough, there’s a better than even chance you’ll straighten yourself up. Poor function will be restored to good. You’ll start to feel better. Your pain will go away. All you have to do is find the right exercises.

2. The cause of the back pain is rarely at the site of the back pain – so a rub down and a hot wheat bag on the spot where it hurts may give you some temporary relief but won’t treat the cause of the problem. Over the years it will just get worse.

With lower back pain there’s a chain of dysfunction. Tight calf, hamstring and buttock muscles take your pelvis out of alignment. When that happens, the bones above it are taken out of alignment as well.

It puts pressure on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and discs in your lower back. They ‘feel the pinch.’ You tell people you’ve back pain.

Loosen off your calf and hamstring muscles and you start sitting up straighter. Do that and you square your pelvis up and take the pressure off the bones of your lower back.

Then there’s that better than even chance that millimeter by millimeter, your lower back pain will start to go away.

On the track
On the stepper, 30 minutes at level 8: 608 steps and 465 calories.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and if it’s weak strengthen it; if it’s tight loosen it.

John Miller

BARNEY GOOGLE - Friday 7th May 2010

Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google had a wife three times his size
She sued Barney for divorceNow he's living with his horse
Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

This was one of the few songs my Dad used to sing. And 50 years later, blow me down if 'Google' hasn't become a household name world-wide. A prophet is not without honour ...

Until now I've been using the Health Blogarithm to post my views on topical issues. I'll continue to do that, I can't help myself. But as well as that I'll also be using it to promote some of my ebooks, particularly the Fix Back Pain series. I can't sit here thumping our articles without getting paid.

In internet parlance the key to success is getting your site up on the first page of Google. To date my internet business partner, The Gaveen and I have managed to get a first page rank for a number of keywords for the website. In fact we're chuffed about that. For instance if you search for Fix Back Pain there we are, on the first page, and in illustrious company I might add.

If you'd like to know how to do that send me a note and I'll put you in touch with The Gaveen.

The big hairy audacious goal
Our next big goal is to get a first page rank for the search term 'b*ck p*in'. There are millions of people searching for these key words every month and millions of websites trying to sell them stuff. (I've cloaked the words so Google won't recognise them on this blog.)

So, over the weeks and months you'll see articles and blogs about this search term. If you've got a crook b*ck you'll find the posts interesting.

When we get onto the first page of Google I'll report back.

The columnist
No, not fifth columnist, just columnist. I write for a couple of local newspapers in Brisbane. I'll post these articles for you from time to time as well.

On the track
Early morning walk and run with the boys.

In the meantime stay tuned and watch that first page of Google.

John Miller

Friday, May 21, 2010

THE TEA YOU HAVE BEFORE TEA - Thursday 6th May 2010

It’s like this. You leave work tired and hungry. You have to pick up a few things from the supermarket.

Have you noticed that you never go to the supermarket on a full stomach? And being a while since you had something to eat there’s always a bit of slack in your trousers.

Anyway, you push through the turnstile and blow me down, if there aren’t any baskets there. Every second time I go shopping I have to scrounge around the checkouts and bring a stack of baskets back to where they should be.

You do the right thing. You start in the fruit and vegetable section, move round to the fish, drop a bottle of peach tea into your basket, load up with a few groceries and then think ‘Hmmmm, I could do with something on the way home.’

You sneak back to the vegetables section and get a handful of cashews.
Now nuts are good for you. If you look at cashews, they possess herbal health benefits that include killing bacteria and germs, stopping diarrhea, drying secretions, increasing the libido, and reducing fever, blood sugar, blood pressure muscle spasms, migraine headaches, tension, soreness and fatigue. They help reduce gallstones, facilitate the utilization of iron and the elimination of free radicals.
The big problem is they pack a powerful energy punch. Cashews are around 2,400 kilojoules (kJ) per 100gms, which is about the size of the handful you scooped into the plastic bag. To put things in perspective, depending on your size and the amount of physical activity you get each day, you need between 7,000 or 8,000 a day.

Be that as it may, you’re as hungry as a horse and 100 grams doesn’t seem all that much as you navigate the lid on the box, and dip the shovel in. Two cashews fall on the floor. You look around. No-one’s watching. You stoop down, pick them up and stuff them into your mouth; can’t let good food go to waste.

You’ve cleaned the full 100gms up by the time you’re half way home and stick the empty bag under the seat to hide the evidence.

It’s your turn to cook tea. You’re still hungry. The smell of food in the supermarket and the thought of food at home has made you even hungrier. You could eat the crotch out of a low flying duck.

But first, before you get started, you need a few Ritz cracker biscuits just to tide you over. (They’re called Ritz because no-one ever had 1 Rit.) Now, whilst Ritz cracker biscuits have 2118 kJ /100gms, the redeeming feature is that each one is very small. But that only provides you with all the more reason to get through 20 of them while you’re cutting up the vegetables. There’s around 600kJ.

And they do taste better with some dip. Some of the dips contain 2000 kJ/100 grams. On this night you pull back and only have half the container, there’s 1000kJ, and all of which raises a thirst; and after all it’s been a long hard slog at the office. You’ve come home tired and depressed so the next thing you reach for is a central nervous system depressant. Duh!

The Heart Foundation reckons you’ll benefit by having a glass of wine a day; you interpret that as one’s good, two’s better and three’s best. Today it’s mid week so you decide to go easy, and restrict yourself to two glasses. A regular glass contains about 300kJ, your glasses contain 400 kJ. All up 800 kJ.

So if you want to know why your trousers are so tight they’re ring-barking you, let’s add up the kilojoules you’ve had before you’ve had your tea:

• cashews 2400
• cracker biscuits 600
• dip 1000
• wine 800

Total 4,800 kJ

On the track
Spent 30 minutes on the steppoer, 507 steps and 387 calories.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and eat and apple on your way home.

John Miller

Epilogue. I forgot to tell you about the Cherry Ripe that someone put into the basket at the supermarket. That was an extra 1500kJ after tea.


Went out to the letter box this morning and there's an unsolicited letter from the Garvan Medical Research Institute asking for a donation.

These people have a hide. Not satisfied with the funds they can prise out of the NH&MRC and wealthy dowagers from the leafy suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, they've now tuned their guns on the hoi polloi.

But what could you expect for an organisation set up by the Catholic Church and the University of New South Wales? Blend in the NH&MRC, Big Pharma and Madison Avenue in the form of a fund raising and PR department and they end up putting the bite on people like me. They must have spent a fortune sending out hundreds of thousands of letters, all in the hope of suckering 3% of people into sending them a donation. These are the sort of people that used to tug the heartstrings of my Mum and Dad.

A few years ago it was a cardiac charity setting up booths in shopping centres staffed by kids in suits.

Why do they want money from me?

When it comes to the Garvan Institute, it's not as though all those boffins are sitting on high stools peering down microscopes with the seat out of their pants and ladders in their panty hose.
Last year the Institute had an income of $64m. The spent $44m (of which $28,000,000 went on salaries) and trousered the rest. That's a cool $2o which no doubt has been added to the $100m in assets.

They want more. They obviously can't get any more from serial soft touch, Lady Fairfax or colourful Sydney businessman Trevor Kennedy and his wife, so they've written to the likes of me out in suburbia. Well sorry boffins, my charity dollars for this year have been allocated. It's gone to Somalia, or the Sudan or somewhere. You've called too late.

Pity the NSW Government. Despite going broke, last year they gave the Garvan $3.7m - which, no doubt got squirreled away into the hollow log that contains the $20m.

The flyer in the envelope with the letter begging for money extolled the virtues of the Institute and what jolly good, hard working fellows they all are. No mention that it's just another sheltered workshop for the academically gifted.

They're just one of many sheltered workshops up there in Sydney, research organisations run by the Sydney University and the University of NSW, spawned to suck on the NH&MRC tit and Big Pharma from cradle to grave.

Their 400 staff are in a perpetual drool as they hitch their wagons onto the latest gravy train passing through town.

Guess what they're researching at the moment?

- Obesity Research
- Osteoporosis Research
- Weight and Blood Pressure Medication
- Diabetes Risk Study
- Glutamine in Type 2 diabetes
- Pre-diabetes: early mechanisms in the development of type 2 diabetes.

You can put down the glasses the results are in. Eat less fat, flour and sugar. Exercise like buggery and get your acid/alkaline ratio back into the normal range. All fixed. These people are either very young or have short memories.

According to the bumpf on their website -

The Garvan Institute is a global leader in diabetes research and committed to finding new ways to understand, control and prevent the disease. Garvan researchers are tackling the problem of type 2 diabetes from many directions, including: investigating the role of genes in the development of type 2 diabetes; collaborating with scientists at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica to unlock the potential of traditional Chinese medicines for better treatments; and understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease.

These people don't have a clue about exercise not do they give a stuff about it. As the population becomes unfitter and fatter these people are peering down microscopes looking at the Islets of KD Langerhans. The reference to the Shanghai Institute means trips. They're trying to find out why Chinese medicine works. Hello! You don't have to find out why. It's been working vefry nicely thank you very much for a few thousand years. Modern medical research is about as arrogant as it gets.

World-wide collaborations have been set up. Maps have been Blue-tacked on walls and pins have been stuck into places all over the world. Pinz meenz tripz. They want me to pay for them. They're dreaming.

Simply put, this is a medical charity masquerading as a research centre that's turned academic bludging into an art form. Cop this -

You can create an online fund raising page for many different occasions that mark your life:

If you are having a birthday or wedding, why not ask people to make a donation to Garvan rather than give you unwanted presents?

If you have an anniversary or celebration, you can suggest that if people would like to honour this, they can do so through their donation to Garvan.

If a loved one has passed away, you can ask people to donate to Garvan in memory of your loved one instead of giving flowers.

If you are participating in an organised fundraising event such as a marathon, swim or triathlon, you can choose for proceeds to go to Garvan.

It's enough to make you want to ram your fingers down your throat and roll your eyes through to the back of your neck.

Like all these institutes it's run by boffins who spend a quarter of their life writing research grants and a quarter of their life sitting on review panels sniffing each others' bums and making sure they all get grants. The NH&MRC needs to bring Hercules in to muck out this stable.

Then they spend another quarter of their life doing some research, finishing off with the final quarter sprinting to the finish line writing papers referred by their mates for research journals no-one reads. Then it's off to international conferences to deliver the papers, sniff more bums, scratch more backs, quaff more Grange Hermitage supplied by drug companies and get their heads patted. It's a great big farce. Why? Because while all this is going on the population is getting fatter and unfitter by the day.

Papers that's what it's all about. You can look at some of them in the back of the Annual Report. These people don't produce anything except papers. They don't make anything, they don't sell anything. You'd think that after researching for the last 80 years the Garvan Institute would be rolling in income from patents.

And just who are these people? Most of them are second-raters who couldn't get a job out in the real world. Anyone who's smart as a tack gets out and makes their fortune producing something of value. Read the stories of Jobs, Ellison and Gates. These are stories of intelligence put to good use, that created value for themselves and their community.

The ones that stayed behind got a second class honors degree. If you've got one of them and you hang arouncampus long enough they'll take pity on you and slip you a few labouring jobs, running tutes for wet-behind-the-ears undergraduates and cleaning test tubes. If you can stick that out for a couple of years you're qualified start a doctorate. Once you've done that you can become a post.doc fellow and then you're on the academic equivalent of the dole for life.

After that it's busy work. It used to be vanity, now it's busy work.

Busy work, busy work, all is busy work - and cribbing a bit of work time to write letters to the papers telling the Government to spend more money on research so you can keep putting bread on the table. You sign your name 'Bill Nerd, PhD' just to let people know you're superior. To hell if what you're doing is useless.

Not only is it farce it's also tragedy that so much money can be spent on so many people with their heads down doing busy work. This is the academic equivalent of stimulating the economy by digging holes and filling them up again.

The great advances in health won't come out of a bloated, useless, self-serving Garvan Institute they'll come from people eating wisely and spending 40 minutes a day jogging round the block. Peering down microscopes and writing equations on white boards is the easy stuff. The hard stuff is getting people off their bums and out of the junk food eateries.

On the track
Out early with the boys, walking and running.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and if you've got type 2 diabetes go for a 40 minute run every day and eat more methylhydoxychalcone polymer. You'll find it in your kitchen cupboard. It's called cinnamon.

John Miller

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SECONDARY HEALTH CARE - Tuesday 4th of May 2010

Secondary health care is the health care you can get for free by talking to other people, reading, searching the internet ...

It doesn't cost much.

Don't know what to do to get yourself back into good nick? Ask someone who's in good nick or look it up on the internet. Just keep in mind you're probably best to avoid the sites that suggest you take a tablet, creme or suppository to mask the symptoms, rather than actually doing something to fix the cause of the dysfunction.

And steer clear of the Cochrane Collaboration. It's a completely vapid and useless site if you're looking for straight forward information. If you've got a crook back go there and see if you can get a good set of exercises to fix yourself up. Not there! A waste of time, just an academic wank.

Go to your doctor’s own website and see what information is there to help you over a rough spot. (I bet your doctor doesn't have such a website, that's why the surgery is always full.)

A lot of the advice on the internet is basic health stuff put there by people who collectively have had thousands of dealings with the same problem as you have now. If you go to you can ask questions and you'll get responses from all manner of people who've dealt with the same problem(s) you have.

Another good site I use is

In this day and age we tend to downgrade the learning that comes from observation as opposed to scientific research. Keeping your eyes and ears open doesn't seem to be a highly valued scientific skill these days.

Keep in mind that most of the people making observations based on experience and dealing with real people are too busy to go to the trouble of writing an article for a journal.

The other thing you have to keep in mind is most of the the scientific researchers are working out of the pockets of drug companies. If their research isn't tainted it will be diverted away from working out what needs to be done to stimulate the body's own recuperative powers.

In this day and age the people who are fair dinkum about helping you either write a book or set up a website. They don't swan around the world scratching each others' backs and grovelling in front of drug company stands at international conferences.

No-one ever said that a treatment has to have been written up in refereed journal for it to be work. In fact most of it never is. Some of the ancient remedies and remedies your grandmother and her doctor used will do as much good for you as the latest pill. Pity that people are either too young to know about them or have short memories.

The advice you’re likely to get from any source will vary in quality, but if you’re an internet surfer you’ll have already developed skills of discernment. Keep in mind that high tech advice and advice from the blue chip medical fraternities is often no better than low tech advice, so don’t over look the advice that a good fitness leader, naturopath, yoga teacher and life coach can give you to sort out your problems.

When searching on the internet you'll soon get a feel for sites that look genuine. It's likely that you'll soon start steering clear of squeeze pages with lots of bumpf and hype, though you never can tell.

On the track
On the stepper, 30 minutes, nice and easy.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and ask around for advice on what you can do to fix your health problems.

John Miller


The new primary health care is the health care you give to yourself, which speeds up the rehab process and stimulates the recuperative power within your own body.

You don't need to go to a doctor for this type of primary health care. You already know what to do:

- exercise regularly with vigor
- eat wisely
- get enough sleep
- meditate
- distract yourself from being busy and miserable
- take decent holidays.

and all the rest of that stuff that you know you need to do.

Maybe you've forgotten what to do? As a species we seem to be mighty forgetful.

When we're crook out initial reaction is to reach for the bottle for our medication of choice. We forget that there are other things we could do which are more effective.

I'll give you and example. A lot of people I see get headaches. They're not caused by a lack of Panadeine.

So why do we persist in taking the palliative route instead of thinking, 'What's caused this headache and what do I need to do to firstly get rid of it, and secondly not have it happen again?'

I'll leave it to you to work that one out. I hope you can remember.

On the track
Running with the boys.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and remember what you need to do to keep yourself in good shape.

John Miller


A man found a butterfly cocoon.

One day a small opening appeared and the man watched the butterfly as it struggled to force its body through the small hole. It appeared that it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther.

The man decided to help the butterfly, so he got a pair of scissors and snipped off the remanding bit of the cocoon.The butterfly then emerged easily, but with a swollen body and tiny, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly, expecting that at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shivered wings, never able to fly.

What the man had not understood was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved freedom from the cocoon.

Some struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we might otherwise be.

And we could never fly...

-Author unknown

On the track
On the stepper, 40 minutes all over level 8. Now that's a good workout, expending 643 calories.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and spread your wings and fly.

John Miller


Workcover in South Australia have produced a vapid report on back injuries. They got a team from Adelaide Health Technology Assessment (AHTA) a money-making venture of the Discipline of Public Health, School of Population Health and Clinical Practice at the University of Adelaide to prepare the documentation.

It's the usual useless literature review stuff, the same old rehash of the same old stuff the NH&MRC produces.

Cop this:

Draft recommendation 4. 1. 1
In the majority of cases of acute low back pain (approximately 95%), no specific diagnosis can be made nor needs to be made.

This is just bunkum.

6.7 Specific exercise programs

Draft recommendation 6. 7. 1

There is insufficient evidence to recommend specific exercise programs (e.g. stretching, strengthening, side bends, flexibility/mobilising exercise, or aerobics) over no treatment for workers with acute low back pain. The McKenzie exercise, however, may have some benefits over no treatment for workers with subacute low back pain (Grade C).

More bunkum. When you see the McKenzie exercise prescription you know the report has been written by physiotherapists.

Draft recommendation 6. 7. 2
There is insufficient evidence to recommend that specific exercise programs (e.g. graded activity, strengthening, stretching, aerobics, extension and flexion exercise) are superior to other conservative treatments or usual care (Grade A).

More bunkum. Surely this is evidence of a parallel universe. This is selective evidence at it's best, or is that worse? These people would have got more and better information about the treatment of back pain from a form guide.

Draft recommendation 7. 3. 2
There is some evidence that advice to maintain usual activities, provision of an education booklet and community-based group exercise* appears to be cost-effective first line interventions for acute low back pain.

Usual activities: I bet they don't include strength and flexibility exercises. And the booklet. I don't think many people became stronger or looser reading pamphlet.

If this is the best Workcover can do, no wonder the South Australian Government is going broke.

On the track

Took it easy.

In the meantime stay tuned highly tuned and steer clear of reports on back care produced by academics.

John Miller

DON'T SMOKE, YOU'LL BE RIPPED OFF Friday 30th May 2010

Yesterday I wrote about the Government's proposed ripping $5b out of smokers' pockets supposedly to stop them from smoking.

On one count it's a good thing to put up the price of cigarettes. A few less people will smoke and a few more people may smoke less. Give it a tick.

However, this price rise is a blatant tax grab, ripping money off the working class to put into the pockets of doctors. When the workers wake up to the fact that Kevin Rudd and Nicola Roxon have pulled a swiftie on them they'll be pulling on their red shirts and storming the barricades around Parliament House.

If ever there was a good reason to stop smoking it would be to prevent the feeding of the insatiable appetite of a greedy, inefficient and bloated medical industry for public money.

This is yet another bad policy solution to a bad policy problem. The more money poured down the medical black hole the worse the health of the population.

On the track
Running with the boys. A good steady pace.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and if ever you needed a good reason to stop smoking this is it.

John Miller