Adenoid surgery fails to reduce upper respiratory infections

Children who have their adenoids surgically removed do not get fewer upper respiratory tract infections such as sinusitis and colds, according to research published on

Upper respiratory tract infections are extremely common in children and many of them are referred for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgery. Having their adenoids taken out (adenoidectomy) is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in children in western countries, says the study.

One of the main reasons adenoidectomy is performed is to reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections. However, the clinical effectiveness of the procedure in children with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections is lacking, say the authors, led by Prof. Anne Schilder from the University Medical Centre Utrecht.

Schilder and colleagues studied a group of 111 children between the ages of one and six selected for adenoidectomy. Half were assigned to have the operation, the other half initially were not.

The research took place between April 2007 and October 2010 across 11 general hospitals and two academic centers in the Netherlands. The participants were followed up for 24 months after surgery.

The results show that the children in the adenoidectomy group had 7.91 episodes of upper respiratory tract infections per person, compared with 7.84 episodes in the other group. Days of absence from school or day care, and health-related quality of life was similar in both groups.

The findings also reveal that the prevalence of upper respiratory tract infections decreased over time for both groups.

In conclusion, the authors say “in children selected for adenoidectomy for recurrent upper respiratory tract infections, a strategy of immediate surgery confers no clinical benefits over a strategy of initial watchful waiting.”

SOURCE: “Effectiveness of adenoidectomy in children with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections: open randomised controlled trial,” BMJ 2011; 343:d5154. Abstract online

More evidence on the benefits of meditation

by Terry A. Rondberg, DC, president, World Chiropractic Alliance

I’ve written often before about the many physical, mental and emotional benefits of meditation (see list of previous posts below), so it’s of great interest that another research study has added to the mountain of evidence.

The latest, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that being able to focus on the present moment triggers specific brain activity that can impact on health and well-being.

“Many philosophical and contemplative traditions teach that ‘living in the moment’ increases happiness,” the investigators concluded. “However, the default mode of humans appears to be that of mind-wandering, which correlates with unhappiness, and with activation in a network of brain areas associated with self-referential processing.”

They studied brain activity in experienced meditators who engaged in different forms of meditation (Concentration, Loving-Kindness, Choiceless Awareness).

“We found that the main nodes of the default-mode network (medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices) were relatively deactivated in experienced meditators across all meditation types,” they stated. “Furthermore, functional connectivity analysis revealed stronger coupling in experienced meditators between the posterior cingulate, dorsal anterior cingulate, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (regions previously implicated in self-monitoring and cognitive control), both at baseline and during meditation. Our findings demonstrate differences in the default-mode network that are consistent with decreased mind-wandering. As such, these provide a unique understanding of possible neural mechanisms of meditation.”

The research generated quite a bit of online interest, including a report on a CNN Health blog.

“The study does not address the issue of cause: Is meditation changing the brain, or do people who already have these brain patterns get interested in meditation?

‘Emerging data from our group and others suggests that some things thought to be result of meditation might be cause of meditation,’ said Dr. Charles Raison, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

If some people are just better at keeping their minds from wandering, that would also be consistent with the Buddhist idea that your capabilities are the result of your Karmic path, so meditation may be better suited to some people than others, Raison said.

Someday, if brain scans become cheap enough, one day there might be a test to see who can benefit most from mindfulness training, Raison said.

In the meantime, scientists should explore these open questions by doing longitudinal studies, Raison said. That would involve assigning some people to meditate and some people to not meditate, and following the groups over time to see whether a change in brain activity patterns is visible.”

SOURCE: Published online before print November 23, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1112029108 PNAS November 23, 2011 abstract online

Previous TCJ/WCA Health Update posts on meditation include:

Hypertension patients rejecting medicine in favor of alternatives

Effects of meditation on brain function explored

MDs using ‘mindfulness’ to relieve pain

UCLA focusing on ‘mind-body’ connections


These comments sold me on HouseCall Rehab

by Terry A. Rondberg

One of the things I like best about the Internet is that it makes it possible to find out what others think about a product or service BEFORE you buy it.  I always look for personal “real-life” reviews or testimonials rather than just advertising hype. When others have tried something and think it’s great, I figure it’s got to have something going for it.

That’s why I was attracted to HouseCall Rehab, Inc. Take a look at a few of the comments posted about this company:

“We are a partner of Housecall’s. We recommend them to all of our Chiropractor clients. The results they have seen in terms of new patients is dramatic. Additionally, many of our clients have commented on how easy their solution is to implement and Housecall’s customer service is great!”

“I have been using HouseCall for the past 3 years. It has revolutionized my practice. It has not only helped me to generate the type of active, rehab-minded patients that I enjoy treating, but it also provides a means– for me to stay in contact with my active and inactive patients.”

” Housecall has become the largest source of new patients every month I have ever had. Last month along it generated us 11 new ones!”

Those were enough to get me to watch this video, so I thought I’d pass it along to all of you as well:


The program Jason Lord calls ‘revolutionary’

by Terry A. Rondberg, DC, President of the World Chiropractic Alliance

I’ve been hearing more and more comments about the Integrative Outcomes Measurements (IOM) Wellness Assessment tool and I wanted to share this video by Jason Lord, DC, founder and CEO of HouseCall Rehab.

As Dr. Lord notes, the IOM system really is revolutionary. Doctors can have individuals take the evaluation online for free, on their own home or work computers. It’s all Internet based, so providers don’t have to install any new programs on your computer. The people get their overall score, then return to the doctor for a “report of findings” and the more detailed scores. They retake the test after receiving care, and they and their provider get to see specifically the areas and extent of improvement for each intervention.

One thing I was really impressed with is the low cost — just $97 a month for unlimited access (you could have 10,000 people take the evaluation!) There’s no contract so members can quit at any time (although, apparently, very few do!)

Take a minute to hear what Jason has to say:

Every once in a while …

by Terry A. Rondberg, DC

Every once in a while you speak at a chiropractic seminar and something magical happens. The consciousness of the room changes. It’s subtle at first but then the whole room is awash in love.

Here I am with Jeanne Ohm, head of the ICPA, flanked by Drs. Keven Pallis and Ed Plentz

I was speaking at the Revitalization Seminar put on by The New Renaissance (TNR) in Detroit last weekend, and the topic of my talk was the non-linear aspect or spiritual side of chiropractic.

Why do some DCs witness miracles in their offices and others don’t? Same college degree, same training … hugely different results.

I’ve spoken all over the world in front of many people. These DCs were different. They actually heard my message and responded by making a connection with me that I rarely see with any group. Doctor after doctor came up to me afterwards and commented about how I inspired them and “captured” the essence of chiropractic. I was humbled by this group of compassionate and high-achievement DCs.

Another thing that sets them apart is that they’re involved in a project called Love Has No Color, which helps Native American kids on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana. It’s hard to believe, that third-world conditions exist right here in the US. But they do.

The World Chiropractic Alliance has formed an alliance with TNR to help LHNC wipe out the extreme poverty and hopelessness on the Reservation.

These doctors have it all: fascinating work, selfless service with a higher purpose, and a wonderful resonating vision – one vision uniting the profession. The group has a can-do attitude reflected in their motto, “If you want to get something done that nobody else can do, call a principled chiropractor.”

They’re taking action in the face of overwhelming odds. This reminds me of how chiropractic got started. These remarkable individuals are “walking their talk.”They’re taking action and doing something very big.

It’s nice to see people in chiropractic who still care and want to go above and beyond to help people in need.

And, the best thing is that they are not a closed group. Any of you can join them and start making a different on the Reservation, in your practice and in your life. To learn more, go to the Love Has No Color website.