Letters to the Editor – March 2017

Letter to Shawn Buckley About Natural Health Services Under Threat
[Re: “Freedom of Choice Threatened – Again”, in the Dec16 / Jan17 issue of Vitality]

I enjoyed your article on “Freedom of Choice Threatened” in Vitality, which focused on natural health products. I wish it had also addressed natural health services. As a practitioner of acupuncture in Toronto for over 30 years, I feel we acupuncturists are now facing the same frustration and uncertainty about our vocation and the future.

Your remark: “Health Canada is not there to protect our health. They are there to enforce the law (regardless of flaws in the law),” is exactly applicable to acu-puncturists and alternative therapists as well.

In 2013, the Ontario government passed legislation to regulate acupuncture practitioners and set up the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practi-tioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO). Since then, the College has been imposing draconian control measures on us with many regulations and rules. Further, the College is interfering with every detail of our practice in the name of “protecting public safety.”

This College has been swiftyly cracking down on any member whom they suspect of not adhering to their rules by revoking the title and the right to practice acupuncture, regardless of the practitioner’s clinical experience, expertise, and good reputation among patients and the public. And on top of this, they are demanding an exorbitant annual membership fee ($1,300), yet there is no transparency about their revenue (millions of dollars every year), and no benefit for us members at all. Where is this money going and what is it being used for?

I really hope that you will continue fighting for Canadians’ health freedom, along with helping to protect the rights of natural medicine practitioners like ourselves.
– Toronto acupuncturist (name withheld by request)

Where Are the Donations to Cancer Charities Going?

If our goal is to become aware of breast cancer as a disease, our objective was reached long ago. Although our hearts and our intentions are in the right place, it appears that our awareness is not. Despite billions of dollars raised in donations for the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, we have yet to determine a cause or to create new treatment options. Our course remains the same: zap it, poison it or chop it off. Certainly, medications have improved in prolonging life, much the way that preservatives keep cookies fresh and malleable in local stores.

But it may surprise you to know that driving a pink Ford Mustang has not prevented an increase in the incidence of breast cancer – from 1 in 22 to 1 in 8 – in the last 30 years; nor will it thwart its expected increase of 50% by the year 2030. Several funding organizations advocate for a cure, yet are also responsible for manufacturing products containing toxic chemicals proven to cause cancer. The pharmaceutical giant (AstraZeneca) behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month also happens to be manufacturer of the two most commonly used medications for breast cancer. A tit for tat.

This issue does not discriminate by gender, race, or nationality. We are all aware that our meat and dairy is injected with harmful hormones and that our deodorant and cosmetics are laden with toxic chemicals, yet our apathy turns our heads away from the irrefutable evidence that breast cancer is directly linked to lifestyle and environmental causes, and prevents us from understanding that only three to five percent of the hundreds of millions of dollars raised for “cancer research” goes to studies about prevention and determining a cause. (It is now known that genetics account for only five to 10% of breast cancer cases.)

But life is tiring, I haven’t taken the dog out, and my mind is on the pile of bills I’ve yet to pay. It’s easy to purchase a pink chocolate bar while paying for gas, it feels significant, and it’s delicious too. I don’t ask the attendant what percentage of my two dollars will go to charity. Nor do I see any fine print engraved within the foil of my chocolate bar wrapper informing me of a cap placed on donations by Hershey that will pre-determine the amount of money pushed through to charity. My mind is already flipping between Thai food or fajitas for dinner. Should I finally succumb and go android? Oh look, a video from Mark, he did the ice bucket challenge … got to stop and watch this.
– Gina McGuire is a Toronto-based freelance writer and author of LittleLifeofPlenty.com

Naturopathic and Integrative Medicine for Breast Cancer Patients

I’m trying to get ahold of Ahmad Nasri who has written for your magazine and has had his business advertised with you as well. I am a former patient of his and want to send my aunt to him. She’s been diagnosed with breast cancer. I can’t find any information on why his clinics have closed and was hoping you could help.
– Rainee Dilinger, Barrie, Ontario

Vitality Responds:
Hello Rainee,

Since we have not heard from Mr. Nasri either, we can only assume that he has left town or gone out of business. (The former website and phone number are non-functional.)

May we suggest some excellent alternatives?

Readers: To have your say, email letters@vitalitymagazine.com, or write to: Vitality Magazine, 356 Dupont Street, Toronto, ON Canada M5R 1V9

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