By LeRoy Perry Jr., DC
With the death of Joe Weider, the world's most famous body-building visionary, crusader, fitness magazine publisher and icon, on March 23, 2013, chiropractic has lost one of its greatest friends and supporters.Just like our chiropractic profession, Joe traveled a controversial road as a health advocate. He was the architect of body-building, which was frowned upon and picked on in the '40s, '50s and '60s by the AMA and FDA. (Sound familiar?) Joe knew only too well what it's like to have something of great value that the "establishment" doesn't appreciate and actually opposes. Organized medicine did everything it could in the early years to discredit Joe and his principles, but he stood his ground.
Throughout his life, Joe stayed true to his beliefs. He became body-building's greatest teacher and the head of what would become a publishing empire. Joe spoke of his vision many times to me during the 30 years he was my patient, friend and mentor. His support of chiropractic was truly based on knowledge and insight. He understood that our body has an innate ability to heal itself; to become strong with applied effort.
Changing the World by Challenging Us to Do Better
Since his death, there have been many articles about Joe on the Internet and in the newspapers, but none I have read does him justice. To me and to many others, he was like a father: a mentor, teacher, coach and friend. I want people to understand what a great man he was and how he changed the health and perception of the world – by his personal example, through his magazines, with their self-help articles, and through his health and fitness products. Joe was a great businessman, promoter and a genius in life. He was full of wisdom and he was always well-intended. He knew how to talk to people and get them on a positive, constructive path.
Joe passed away Saturday morning, March 23 at 4:30 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. His loving wife, Betty, had been by his side every day for the past 40 days, and I had visited him in the hospital almost every night for the past four weeks. The night he died, I was with him until 1:30 a.m. As a son loves a father and a father loves a son, Joe was my inspiration. He genuinely wanted only the best for me, as he did for all the others in his extended family: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Lou Ferrigno ("The Hulk"); Franco Columbu, DC; Sal Aria, DC, president of the International Sports Science Association (ISSA); Bill Pearl, five-time Mr. Universe (over a 20-year time span); Lenda Murray, eight-time Miss Olympia; Cory Everson, six-time Miss Olympia; Lynn Conkwright, world body-building champion; and many, many others.
|The Vision of Joe Weider
Joe Weider was a futuristic thinker and doer. It was 63 years ago that he made these 10 predictions concerning body-building's impact on the future of health. Viewed in hindsight, Joe's vision was uncanny.
Joe learned from his daily school-of-hard-knocks experiences. These were the years that built his mental and physical foundation of strength and integrity. He would often say, "If something is worth doing, you must do it to the best of your ability." Joe did not like slackers. He liked people who were doers. If you asked him for advice, he would give it, but your journey was your own.
He knew how to mentor without being judgmental. He gave each of us (his "adopted children") guidance, reinforcement and inspiration on his formula for success. He was a very patient man for those he mentored, but he expected each of us to make an extraordinary effort to achieve our goals. He set the bar high and challenged us all to surpass it.
"The Father of Fitness"
Joe was often referred to as the "Master Blaster" for his stature as the world's pre-eminent body-building trainer, and it was a title well-deserved. I should know: we were workout partners. He would always find a posture or movement of mine to correct, or an additional exercise to enhance the effectiveness of my training and increase my strength. His understanding of the biomechanics of the body was unparalleled. He knew just how hard to push me, and then when I thought I had hit my limit, he would inspire me to push even harder. He applied this wisdom to everyone he trained.
In 1991 the Boy Scouts of America presented Joe with the Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award, calling him "The Father of Fitness." Weight training and aerobic exercise were just tools of his trade. I regard him as the greatest teacher of health since Hippocrates. He lived it, breathed it and dreamed it. Joe was obsessed with creating healthy, beautiful bodies. He was a master sculptor with the eye of Michelangelo. He knew how to sculpt the body through exercise and diet. He was a teacher / coach / mentor who understood the psychology of athletes, and knew how to motivate them.
Joe was a unique, charismatic person with multiple interests. Basically self-taught, he loved to read and studied history, philosophy and science. As time evolved and Joe learned more about the science of exercise, nutrition, psychology, physiology and biomechanics, he implemented his findings in his publications, often using doctors of chiropractic, medical doctors and scientists from every field to advance his message.
Joe was also a publishing and marketing genius. He won almost every award possible in publishing, including the Publisher of the Year Award in 1983, beating out every other national magazine including Time, Newsweek and Life. During his career, he was invited to the White House and received awards from Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush for his contribution to health and physical fitness in America.
Helping Advance Chiropractic
I would like to thank the many DCs who have called and e-mailed their condolences following Joe's passing. He was one of the greatest advocates chiropractic has ever had. Through his many publications, including Muscle & Fitness, SHAPE, Flex, Fit Pregnancy and seven other magazines, many of which carried articles written by chiropractors, he helped give chiropractic credibility and recognition.
Joe told me he realized from his early years as an athlete that chiropractors understood more about the needs and care of bodybuilders and athletes than any other health care professional, and he wanted to give them the recognition he felt they deserved. Chiropractors not only wrote for Joe's magazines (including Drs. Anita Sant'Angelo, Jack Barnathan, Dick Tyler, Gary Gagliardi, Lance Cummings and Ginger Southhall); they also played key roles in the day-to-day operation of Muscle & Fitness magazine.
Tom Deters, DC, was the associate publisher and editor in chief of Muscle & Fitness. Franco Columbu, DC, who won all the major body-building and powerlifting titles in the world, including Mr. Olympia twice, wrote many articles for Muscles & Fitness. (Dr. Columbu is now the chairman of the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners). To this day, the Muscle & Fitness advisory board includes two chiropractors: James Stoxen, DC, and me.
Joe's favorite quote, which helped me through many trying times fighting for the inclusion of chiropractic in the U.S. Olympic program, was "Only those who quit lose; never quit." I could always hear those words echoing in my ears in the heat of conflict during athletic competitions – back when I was forced out of medical areas and had to treat U.S. and other athletes in parking lots, under bandstands and on side alleys adjacent to the competition. Those words were his motto, and it rang true and always sustained me.
Throughout the years Joe financially and intellectually supported our chiropractic cause. During the 1976 Montreal Olympics, I was the first chiropractor to be appointed as an official Olympic team doctor. Since Joe was born and raised in Montreal, he knew that the Canadian medical staff was much more open-minded and appreciative of chiropractic than its U.S. counterpart. He also knew we needed medical supplies to be successful. Many chiropractors including John Hemauer, DC, Ted Shrader, DC, Kia Drengler, DC, and Leonard Savage, DC, contributed to our cause; so did a non-chiropractor – Joe Weider.
Joe understood controversy and knew the more we as a profession fought for the rights of our patients to have freedom of health care choice, the more it would rock the AMA's political boat and directly help us change public opinion about chiropractic. Politically, Joe liked to do things silently. He was a great strategist. When I was asked to participate in the Wilk v AMA lawsuit, I asked Joe what he thought. He suggested that rather than participate, I should concentrate on working with my athletes, creating positive media and a positive image for chiropractic. He told me controversy was good if controlled properly.
Joe advised me to never do an interview that spoke negatively about the AMA or the U.S. Olympic Medical Committee, but rather to talk about the importance of all doctors working together. It was Joe Weider's wisdom and experience fighting the AMA that reinforced my actions, and eventually, through public demand, the U.S. Olympic Medical Committee was forced to officially appoint a chiropractor to the U.S. Olympic medical team in 1984. We won!
Throughout our battle for chiropractic inclusion in athletics, Joe warned me that the person making the biggest waves politically was going to be the last to get on the boat; but he also told me to never stop trying. As a result of Joe's inspiration, I never stopped trying and in 1991 I became an official team doctor for the Soviet team during the Track and Field World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. At the closing ceremonies for that event, I was given the honor of carrying the Soviet flag – the last time it was ever carried in an athletic ceremony. A year later, I was appointed to the Russian Olympic Team as their spine care specialist, and Joe told me he was proud of me. That meant more to me than any public award or praise.
A Lasting Influence
Joe was personally responsible for the fitness movement around the world. His goal was to wake the world up, get people off their butts, and get them healthy, strong and in shape. There was something bigger than life about Joe Weider. Even his name became a living trademark of the fitness industry, of body-building. The world of health and fitness will not be the same without him. And the chiropractic profession would not be where it is today in the collective consciousness of the American public and the world if it weren't for his constant and enthusiastic support of chiropractic over these past 65 years.
I think every chiropractor should read, and every chiropractic student should be required to read, Brothers of Iron, How the Weider Brothers Created the Fitness Movement and Built a Business Empire. And always remember Joe's motto: "Only those who quit lose; never quit."
The David Suzuki 30x30 Nature Challenge is on again this May (2013).
I've decided to participate this year for the first time. Another step towards achieving greater wellness in my life.
Essentially, it's used as a solvent. A solvent is a substance that is used to dissolve another liquid, solid and/or gas (referred to as a solute), to create a solution. In other cases, it can be used to form emulsions in which the oil and water components of the product are combined to form creams and lotions.
According to cosmeticsinfo.org, water is used in the formulation of virtually every type of cosmetic and personal care product. And the quality of water used is monitored and is not supposed to contain any intentionally added substances that organizations like the US Environmental Protection Agency would disapprove of.
Just for added comfort, it's nice to know that water doesn't show up on Environment Canada's Toxic Substance List. But, then again, it didn't even show up on the Domestic Substances List (DSL); nothing showed up at all. That's because, in order to access this database, I would require access first to the Chemical Abstract Registry (CAS) numbers. Not very convenient. Otherwise, plug in a chemical name and you get: "The substance is not specified on any list."
According to the Environment Canada:
[T]he DSL is an inventory of approximately 23 000 substances manufactured in, imported into or used in Canada on a commercial scale. It is based on substances present in Canada, under certain conditions, between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1986.
The DSL is the sole standard against which a substance is judged to be "new" to Canada. With few exemptions, all substances not on this list are considered new and must be reported prior to importation or manufacture in order that they can be assessed to determine if they are toxic or could become toxic to the environment or human health.
Clicking on the header only takes me to a HTTP Error 404 - Not Found.
Moving through the Government of Canada's / Environment Canada's / Health Canada's labyrinthinian website(s) is a task in itself. Somehow, I ended up discovering Health Canada's "Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist."
"The Hotlist is a science-based document that is reviewed and updated a few times per year as new scientific data becomes available. In this way, the Hotlist serves to keep the cosmetic industry aware of new substances Health Canada considers inappropriate for cosmetic use, or which require avoidable hazard labelling. It is recommended to check the Cosmetics Program website regularly."
A pdf version of it can be downloaded here: Download Health Canada Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist.
Again, no water. As one should expect (and hope). Interesting to note, however, that 'vaccines' is on Health Canada's list of prohibited and restricted cosmetic ingredients Hotlist. That raises more questions than answers.
Apologies, but I couldn't come up with a better title.
So, I thought it would be interesting to dissect the ingredients list on the brand of shaving cream that I had been using for a long time.
All ingredients must be listed in descending order of prevelance on the outer label of the product. On November 16, 2006, Health Canada put new regulations into effect that require mandatory ingredient labelling on all cosmetics sold in Canada. This is all in an effort to enable the Canadian public to make more informed decisions about the types of cosmetic products that they use. Prior to this amendment, manufacturers were not required to list ingredients.
I am no chemist and I certainly do not want to play the role of an alarmist. In my modest research of the ingredients listed on my old brand of shaving cream, several were described as having associated with them serious health and safety concerns. Yet, expert panels and government agencies state that these same products are safe to use in personal care products. But is that with one solitary application or with repeated, daily application over a period of years? What would the effect of that be? I'm reminded of the Tuskegee Experiment.
So, someone might be okay applying a product to themselves, daily, that contains a product known to have a strong association to allergies, immunotoxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer. Wonder if that same person would continue to eat a bowl of soup after a fly was found in it. Couldn't be any worse than the daily application of a known carcinogen, right?
While I was away on vacation in South Carolina last week, I came across a strawberry unlike any other I have ever seen. The question of genetic modification was foremost in my mind.
The above image came from here.
Here's a picture of that very strawberry compared to what I consider is a normal sized orange. I regret not having used something more quantifiable for comparison.
I didn't eat it.
In my quest to detail why my old brand of shaving cream is considered extremely unhealthy and dangerous to my health (see my previous post Product Labelling), I came across this article posted on the website of the David Suzuki Foundation: 'Dirty Dozen' cosmetic chemicals to avoid.
A downloadable pdf of the 'Dirty Dozen' ingredients found lurking in cosmetics can be found here.
Would you consider a change?
A few days ago I had posted a quick entry entitled "What's in your personal products?" For the past little while I've become increasingly interested in scrutinizing the list of ingredients found in what I eat and what I use for personal grooming. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, on their webpage, they have this to say about product labelling:
Although some products, such as food and cosmetics, contain ingredient labels to tell us what's in them, many of the products that we buy in Canada don't. This means we can't make informed choices on whether to use them.
Currently in Canada, manufacturers of consumer products such as household cleaning products or electronics do not have to list ingredients but they may list this information on their products voluntarily. They should also offer this information if you ask for it.
The Canadian Cancer Society believes that Canadians have the right to know:
Sounds good to me.
So, a little while back I took a closer look at the shaving cream that I had been using for quite a long time. Using the GoodGuide rating and a list of ingredients my wife would like to see us all shun (found here on her website: www.daphne.miessence.com), this particular personal product scored a 3.8 out of 10 on the GoodGuide scale. To make me feel even better (please note the cynicism), it scored a 0 out of 10 for Health ("This product contains problematic, banned, or contaminated ingredients"). How did this stuff ever make it onto the shelves?
Here is a photo of the ingredients listed on the label of this particular brand. I plan on dissecting the ingredient list for a future article.
Here is a photo of the ingredients list of the product I have switched to.
These particular ingredients can all be found indexed at my wife's website. And, for my shameless plug, if interested, you can purchase the shaving gel from here. As the label does recommend, I do follow with the after shave balm. Not exactly cheap, but it is a whole lot cheaper than the possible future alternative - my health, wellness, and peace of mind.
Below is a video clip from a recent news post exploring the efficacy of the Graston Technique. The orginial excerpt can be found here. For more videos and information regarding the Graston Technique, you can learn more about it from the Graston website and you can click on the Graston Technique category on the right for my other posts surrounding this modality.
Do you feel that you might have a musculoskeletal condition that could benefit from this particular service?
I am accepting new patients at my new location with LifeMark/Centric Health (902-404-3888) located in the Canada Games Centre.
PS: Happy St. Patrick's Day