Volume 1, Issue 8: Monday, October 18, 1999

eLetter > Volume 1, Issue 8: Monday, October 18, 1999


Late-Breaking Local Announcement

Sunday, October 24th. The entire Denver-area community is invited to an open house at the very new and inspiring Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports & Wellness at the University of Denver from 11 am – 3 pm. See more in Announcements below.

CompWellness Network, Part I – Fitness

Wellness - Fitness

Wellness is a state of high-level health that requires a strong effort to reach and a continual effort to maintain. The result, however, is the best possibility of good health throughout life. Wellness has four parts:

  • Fitness – your body needs 20-30 minutes of exercise about 5 days per week. About 60% of US adults do not exercise enough and 25% not at all; for US youth, the numbers are 50% and 15%. See article below.
  • Nutrition – what and how much you consume effects how you feel, how long you’ll live and how you deal with illness and disease. It includes healthy foods, supplements and the all-important water.
  • Attitude – regular non-physical exercise of the mind and spirit effects your mental and emotional state. This integrates your Fitness and Nutrition efforts.
  • Help – regular visits to healthcare professionals who assist you to a healthy state as well as customize your wellness plan.

CompWellness Network is applying this four-part program using the full spectrum of healthcare modalities – Acupressure through Yoga, including conventional Western Medicine. You may be able to modify your health insurance coverage to include many of these modalities, or raise your deductible to reduce conventional insurance costs, therefore making money available for the other modalities.

The goal is for you and your healthcare practitioners to work together, using the least-aggressive therapies available to treat injuries and illness, and to assist you with recovery and prevention – your wellness plan.


In mid-1996, Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General brought together the scientific evidence that physical activity is good for your health and a sedentary lifestyle contributes to chronic disease and disability. One of the Report‘s major conclusions is that moderate activity helps to combat the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and various other diseases and conditionsFitness by itself does not guarantee wellness, but healthcare without fitness will definitely fall short of wellness.

The Report also noted that more than 60% of US adults do not exercise regularly and 25% are not active at all. Somewhat surprising, too, is the large number of younger Americans who are inactive: 50% do not exercise regularly and about 15% are not physically active at all.

The 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans – the basis of the federal government’s nutrition-related programs – included physical activity guidance to maintain and improve weight: 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on all, or most, days of the week. Guidelines gives several examples of moderate physical activities for healthy US adults, including house cleaning, lawn mowing, painting, gardening, and many other normal, non-threatening activities.

This 30-minute-or-more, seven-day-a-week program is an excellent goal, but you can certainly improve your fitness by starting with 20 minutes, three days per week. In addition, you can accumulate the minutes throughout the day: two brisk 10-minute walks are equivalent to a 20 minute walk.

The Surgeon General Report’s Executive Summary states, “Underpinning Guidelines’ recommendations is a growing understanding of how physical activity affects physiologic function. The body responds to physical activity in ways that have important positive effects on musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine systems. These changes are consistent with a number of health benefits, effecting:

  • Premature mortality
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Colon cancer
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks throughout life

So, it’s off to the gym for all of us? Not necessarily. As reinforced in the Questions & Answers Section below, walking is a great way to get your exercise – it costs nothing and is usually very enjoyable, with immediate non-physical benefits. A more aggressive fitness program, especially if your back, knees or legs need work, can be well aided by Fitness Professionals (included in the Help component of wellness)

Fitness Professionals by Pat Pine, President, National Fitness Therapy Association

The Fitness Professional entering the next century must be prepared to answer some key questions:

  • Is a Fitness Professional a personal trainer, a massage therapist, an aerobics instructor, a nutritionist, a yoga instructor, or anyone that works in the healthcare industry?
  • What is the minimum educational requirement to be called a Fitness Professional – high school diploma or a two-year, four-year or a post graduate degree?
  • What areas of study are recognized – Physical Education, Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Sports Medicine, Health, Corporate Wellness, Others?
  • What type of a certification is required, if any, especially given that there are more than two hundred certification bodies for the health and fitness club industry alone?
  • How does the Fitness Professional compare to other healthcare professionals?

All of the above questions have been answered for other healthcare professions, such as Physicians, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors and Nurses. The healthcare industry requires a college degree or specific certification, as well as usually licensure or accreditation. In short, it requires specific responsibility, accountability and it is usually regulated either by a government agency or an accrediting association. The fitness industry, however, is basically unregulated.

The challenge is three fold:

  • The foremost challenge is to answer all of the above questions that would identify the professional requirements to be called a Fitness Professional.
  • Establish credibility as true healthcare providers within the limits of their services.
  • A Fitness Professional must be responsible and accountable.

That is precisely why the National Fitness Therapy Association (NFTA) was formed. NFTA accreditation identifies the professional requirements, establishes credibility by adopting nationally recognized standards of operation and validates the services and programs provided by the individual Fitness Professionals within this industry.

Source: Patrick Pine, President, National Fitness Therapy Association, 1141 Jersey Street, Denver CO 80220, (303)399-4545, (888)523-4545. Mr. Pine is the founder of NFTA. He also served as the Executive Director for the Western Association of Clubs (WAC), a regional association of IHRSA, from 1993 to 1998. He has a Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Colorado State University and more than 30 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. His experience includes teaching, coaching, recreational director, sales manager, wellness director, club owner/manager and consultant.

Complementary First Aid, Part VII – Survive a Heart Attack

Study Finds Sixth-Graders Can Be Taught To Use A DefibrillatorThe Medical Tribune, October 19, 1999. Dr. Gust H. Bardy, a professor of cardiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, set out to prove that the latest automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are so easy to use, even a child can operate them.

After giving a group of 19 sixth-graders in the Seattle area just one minute of instruction on their use, he showed that the children could correctly apply the device to a training mannequin. Not only did the children properly use the device, they took only 30 seconds longer on average than a fully trained paramedic to apply a shock that could restore a heartbeat.

Every year about 300,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest. This is caused by ventricular fibrillation – a chaotic abnormal electrical activity that causes the heart to quiver in an uncontrollable fashion, interfering with the pumping action of the heart. The defibrillator provides an electrical shock to the heart that helps to restore its natural rhythm.

A properly used defibrillator can save a life if it is used on time. You have an 80 percent chance of surviving a near certain-death event if you are shocked within two minutes,” says Dr. Bardy. The chances of fatality increase by 10 percent for each minute of delay, and more than 75 percent overwhelming majority of those who suffer cardiac arrest do so inconveniently away from a hospital. That is why Dr. Bardy suggests that defibrillators should be as common in the home as smoke detectors or fire extinguishers. Defibrillators cost about $3,000 each, but Dr. Bardy noted their price has been dropping, and he expected they will eventually cost less than $1,000.

This shows the importance and possibilities for involving youth in emergency preparations, as well as the need for handy emergency equipment. Find more on this study and its background in the October 19th issue of Circulation. Additional information can be found at the American Heart Association’s CPR and AEDs web page.

Controversial Cough CPR Technique

We found the following that is being passed around through heart attack support group eLetters and emails that is not supported by any medical organization that we can find. However, if nothing else is available, it may keep you alive until help is found. Use your discretion, and do not recommend it as a proven technique.

When alone, a person whose heart stops beating properly, and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs, and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a phone and, between breaths, call for help.

Another scenario for use of this technique is that you are in your car with no cellular phone and you feel a heart attack coming on. Pop your hood, get out of your car, open your hood, go to the back of your car, wave for help and cough as above.

Questions & Answers (Email your questions to us at Info@CompWellness.org)

Healthcare in the year 2000 and beyond will be as much prevention and preparation as it will be responding intelligently to symptoms. It will be helpful to reach tip-top shape before Year 2000 challenges start to take their toll on our body systems – which may start as early as December. Here are some straight-forward answers to typical medical problems.

Walking for Your Life by Andrew Weil, MD

Is it true that walking is almost equal to jogging as an aerobic exercise?

Not only is it almost equal to jogging in terms of getting your heart pumping, but I think research eventually will show that it’s superior in terms of overall health benefits. There are lots of reasons to prefer walking to just about any other form of exercise. First of all, everyone knows how to do it and it doesn’t require any equipment. Second, you can do it anywhere. Third, the risk of injury is far less than for any other kind of aerobic exercise.

With jogging, the risk of injury is high. A person who jogs also is more likely to become exercise-dependent or to misuse exercise. People who really go for the endorphin high are often tempted to run through the pain – and then wind up being unable to exercise at all.

You may also find that walking can be meditative and relaxing. You can take in the sights or listen to a portable radio or CD player. Walking exercises your brain as well as your body; it’s a cross-patterned movement – right arm moves forward with the left leg – that generates harmonizing electrical activity in your central nervous system.

For more of this answer, see www.pathfinder.com/drweil/archiveqa/0,2283,123,00.html

Fight Depression without Drugs by Andrew Weil, MD

What alternatives are there to conventional antidepressant medications?

There are only two alternative treatments for depression. The first is regular aerobic exercise, which can definitely provide a long-term solution. You’ll have to do at least 30 minutes of some vigorous aerobic activity at least five times a week, and be prepared to wait several weeks before you see any benefit. Aerobic exercise is a preventive as well as a treatment.

The second is an herbal treatment, called St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), which is much used in Germany for the treatment of mild to moderate depression, as well as associated disturbed sleep cycles. Take 300 mg, three times a day, of a standardized extract of 0.125 percent of hypericum. Again, be prepared to wait several months before you see the full benefit. Note: Don’t combine St. John’s Wort with prescribed antidepressant medication.

Changes in your diet may also make a difference. Try eating less protein and fat, and more starches, fruits, and vegetables. Make sure you aren’t taking any other medications that may contribute to depression. These include antihistamines, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and narcotics. Recreational drugs, alcohol and coffee can also make depression worse. [See our next issue on Nutrition.]

There are some good resources on depression on the Web: Mental Health Net‘s depression guide, which lists newsgroups, the National Institute of Mental Health, and various websites. The Samaritans, a non-religious charity in Great Britain, runs a newsgroup called alt.support.depression.

Buddhist psychology views depression as the necessary consequence of seeking stimulation. It counsels us to seek an emotional balance in life, rather than always seeking the highs and then regretting the lows that follow. The prescription is daily meditation, and I agree this may be the best way to get at the root of depression and change it.

See more of this answer in Dr. Weil’s Q & A Library

Dr. Andrew Weil is a leader in the integration of Western medicine and the exploding field of alternative medicine. He teaches at the University of Arizona in Tucson – specializing in alternative medicine, mind/body interactions and medical botany – where he is training a new generation of physicians. He is the author of seven books including his most recent best-seller, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. Dr Weil answers 100′s of wellness questions in the “Previous Q & A’s” Section of his”Q & A Library.”

Reader Comments (Email your comments to us at Info@CompWellness.org)

Healing vs Wellness

Tom Goode, ND of The International Breath Institute Boulder Colorado, wrote: I find myself increasingly concerned with the seeming trend away from holism toward “new and better” allopathic magic bullets in the natural genre. Most of the eLetters, magazines and other services to which I subscribe are hot to tell us about the latest external treatment for this, that or the other without addressing cause in consciousness. As an alternative healthcare practitioner in the late 70′s and early 80′s, I became weary of being the healthy “alternative” to self-responsibility and exploration of cause. My practice then was of mostly medical (MD) and psychological (MA, PhD) types looking for a natural remedy – an alternative to drugs for symptomatic treatment.

Certainly remedies are important inasmuch as it is difficult to consider cause when in acute pain or attending to a bleeding wound. However, there is so much emphasis on (fearful) prevention and readiness (what to take on a hike so that if you are attacked by fruit bats, bears, wild dogs, insects and poison ivy you will be ready) that the issue of our creation and responsibility for our part in it are totally overlooked. I would hope with all of the wondrous cures and treatments that are available today, that at least a few of us will be able to assist our clients at looking to the cause, instead of becoming hypnotized by the cures and thus miss the message of any illness or accident, mishap or misadventure.

We agree, Tom. The best way to heal is to address the root cause and to focus on wellness. Many of us are there in our self-care, practices and teachings, but others are not. Part of this eLetter’s mission is to transform all of us from the strictly-allopathic, illness model to a holistic (complementary) wellness model. As you can see in this issue, we are working the wellness aspect of healthcare into our editorial each issue. I invite you to expand this note and pull from other writings to put together an article for our eJournal. Breathwork would be especially interesting since it is portable and does not require the technological trappings of allopathic and many other healing systems. –KJ

News (Email news leads to us at Info@CompWellness.org)

News report summaries on Healthcare follow, focusing on this issue’s theme – Fitness. We have most of the articles on file in case you look for the web references after they are cleared.

Exercise In Long Sessions or Short Frequent Ones for lowering triglyceride levels or blood fatsMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, November 17, 1998. Evidence from a study published in the October 1998 issue of the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® indicates that your schedule can dictate the timing of your exercise sessions. If lowering triglyceride levels or blood fats is your goal, several short sessions may do the job as well as one long bout. In addition, this study provides support for ACSM’s current physical activity recommendations, but the results join a growing scientific literature indicating that shorter, more frequent physical activity and exercise sessions can be beneficial to health. Time need not be the psychological barrier any longer. This information supports the ability of the individual to choose short or long sessions and reap the benefits either way. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise is available at 1-800-638-6423.

NFTA Announces Formation of a National Advisory Committee, September 1, 1999. Patrick Pine, President of the National Fitness Therapy Association (NFTA), announced the appointments of ten professionals to the NFTA National Advisory Committee. These individuals provide representation from all aspects of the health, fitness and wellness industry. The purpose of the committee is to review the established standards and audit process on an ongoing basis and to make recommendations to the Board if changes are needed for improvement. It will also keep the Board informed of any changes in the health care delivery systems that may affect the published standards. Contact Pat Pine for a full press release.

Announcements (Email press releases to us at Info@CompWellness.org)

DU invites Public to its New Sports & Wellness Center for Open House, University of Denver, Sunday, October 24th. The entire Denver community is invited to the new Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports & Wellness at the University of Denver from 11 am – 3 pm. The open house promises free entertainment featuring a bell concert, public ice skating, refreshments, varsity soccer and volleyball games as well as tours and membership info on wellness activities. The Ritchie Center is located at 2201 East Asbury Ave. on DU’s University Park campus.

Within The Ritchie Center is The Coors Fitness Center featuring a 10,000-square-foot free-weight, cardiovascular and aerobic conditioning center, a two-story climbing wall and 20,000 square feet of exercise rooms for dance and aerobics, martial arts, yoga and other wellness programs. Classrooms and offices finish out the fitness and wellness facility. Public tours and memberships will be available during the open house.

For more on this facility, see The Ritchie Center on DU’s website.

Holistic Approach Towards Aids & Health – 7th International Congress, December 1-2, 1999, Taj Bengal Hotel Calcutta. “The six International and eight National Conferences organised by the Board were a grand success attended by a great number of delegates from all over the country and many parts of the world such as USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, Italy, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Bahrain and Maldives. A host of luminaries from all walks of life – Mother Teresa, HH Dalai Lama, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Rev Desmond Tutu, President & Vice President of India, Prime Minister of India, Union Ministers, Governors, State Ministers – have also blessed the occasion. This time, we expect a great number of delegates from abroad and all over the country. You are most welcome to join us.” Fees: Foreigners- US$ 250 Indians- Rs. 2500. Hosted by the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines, 91-33-2470157, Fax : 91-33-2402792, E-mail:president@altmeduniversity.com.

Year 2000 Complementary Healthcare Conference

Survey (Please indicate your responses today by hitting REPLY or emailing this section to Info@CompWellness.org)

We have been encouraged to go forward with our plans for an International Healthcare Conference in the Denver Metro area on one weekend for November, December or January. It will not be an exposition but rather professional-level conference featuring 2-hour classes on the following and more stand-alone, immediately-usable, well-documented healthcare self-sufficiency modalities, for first aid and the long term:

  • Acupressure and Reflexology
  • Aromatherapy
  • Fitness – to be in tip-top shape
  • General First Aid – includes Western Medicine
  • Herbal Remedies – growing and using
  • Homeopathic Remedies
  • Immune System Enhancement
  • Iridology
  • Macrobiotics
  • Magnetics
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Stress Management
  • T’ai Chi
  • Others (please list)-

It will be positioned with good access to Boulder County. Metro Denver and the major airport hotels. To pay the $10,000+ for the facilities, supplies and labor, there needs to be some fee, with senior, student and group discounts. reasonable daily fee would be:

[ ] $15 per day .. . [ ] $20 .. . [ ] $25 .. . [ ] $30 .. . [ ] $more
[ ] People will not pay anything for this valuable life-saving, self-sufficiency information

The best dates – with no known conflicts – would be (check as many as appropriate):

[ ] Nov 20-21
[ ] Nov 27-28 (Post-Thanksgiving weekend)
[ ] Dec 4-5 (Hanukkah through the 11th)
[ ] Dec 11-12 .. . [ ] Dec 18-19
[ ] Jan 8-9 .. . [ ] Jan 15-16 .. . [ ] Jan 22-23 .. . [ ] Jan 29-30

We definitely need two or three media sponsors to properly promote this type of conference, as well as some other sponsors that will reduce our costs – any ideas/contacts? List here:

We have several local and some nationally-known speakers in the Denver Metro area, but we’d like more national speakers willing to do this for little or no compensation – any ideas/contacts? List here:

Would you come on one of your selected dates? .. . [ ] Yes .. . [ ] No .. . [ ] Possibly

Please indicate your responses today by hitting REPLY or emailing this section to Info@CompWellness.org

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