More Enhanced Watery Water + Sugar + Lies = Liquid Crap


Back in September I wrote about enhanced water (It’s More Watery Than Water).  Looks like the Coca-Cola is now going to have a little trouble with their VitaminWater product.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has decided that Coca-Cola’s line of VitaminWater drinks is not really vitaminy enough nor is it watery enough. Coke is being sued for deceptive and unsubstantiated claims via a class action lawsuit.

The drinks are positioned as a healthy alternative to soda and make claims including that its drinks variously reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce the risk of eye disease, promote healthy joints, and support optimal immune function.  Buzzwords like the “power of triple antioxidants to help keep you healthy and fight free radicals” and “it is definitely au naturel” are included.

Statements like that might make a buyer assume that the product is, I don’t know, filled with powerful antioxidents.  And, I don’t know, healthy?

In reality, VitaminWater has a lot of added sugar (about the same as a can of soda) and contains between zero and less than 1 percent juice (depending on the flavor) thus doing more to promote obesity and diabetes than fix health problems.

Saying that a food is “natural” is meaningless when it comes to health. Both Salmonella bacteria and arsenic are natural but you wouldn’t want to drink them.

It gets sillier.  The VitaminWater flavor “XXX Blueberry Pomegranate Acai,” for example, contains no blueberry, no pomegranate, and no acai juice.  The other flavors lack their claimed namesake’s cranberry, grapefruit, dragon fruit, peach, mango, kiwi, or strawberry juice .

Okay, even if the nutrients listed are in the product that means nothing about the impact it may have on your health.  “Vitamins + Water = all you need.”  O rly?  Recent studies show that the effects a nutrient may have in isolation do not match the effects when the same nutrient is combined synergistically with the other nutrients present in its original, raw, whole food form.

Bottom line it for me Doc, would ya?  Sure, faithful blog reader!  Thirsty and looking to avoid soda in favor of a healthier beverage?  Great.  VitaminWater isn’t it.  How about just plain water?  Want some antioxidants with it?  Have a piece of fruit.


Dr. Brett L. Kinsler is a chiropractor in Rochester, NY and is available most days for a drink but not VitaminWater because it’s silly.


Ergonomic Keyboard Bobs and Weaves

smartfish pro motion keyboard

Engadget is reporting on a sighting at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas– an invention by Englewood, NJ chiropractor Jack Atzmon. Dr. Atzmon developed a regular-sized keyboard that contains a small motor and enough computer power to tilt slightly every so often — on three different axes — thus moving the user’s typing position.

His production company, Smartfish, has not conducted any clinical trials to support the theory, but it collaborated with the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan on the keyboard design.

A design such as this has the potential to decrease the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome. Ergonomic keyboards are nothing new, but Atzmon’s appears to be a novel approach.

Atzmon had the idea for his keyboard during a trip to a Best Buy about two years ago. He realized that by having the keyboard itself move slightly every so often, it would shift the angle of a typist’s wrists and keep the carpal tunnel region from staying in the same position all the time.

Smartfish’s Pro:Motion keyboard, with a suggested retail price of $130, moves every 4,000 to 6,000 keystrokes, according to the company.

It remembers the last user’s typing pattern and will reposition itself about eight times a day. It also knows when you pause, and moves only then, so it doesn’t interrupt work flow.

Atzmon says his 20 years of chiropractic training and experience, including treating people with repetitive stress injuries related to typing, helped spark the inventor side of his brain. “Chiropractors are not taught to treat pain; we’re taught to fix it.”

About the same time, he injured his own arm while swimming with his kids, limiting his ability to perform chiropractic adjustments and giving him both the time and the motivation to turn his idea into a real product.

Jewish Autistic Astronauts Fake Moon Landing

Not really…but I thought you might like to see the Anti-Vaccination quote of the day:

“Many doctors now argue that reporters should treat the antivaccine lobby with the same indifference they do Holocaust deniers, AIDS deniers and those claiming to have proof that NASA faked the Moon landings. ”

Read this article on the lack of a link between autism and vaccination in the New York Times, see the link below:

Patient Advocacy for Chiropractic

Dr. Duncan over at his “Chiropractic Discussions”  blog discusses a new online tool for chiropractic patients…

Chiropractic Think Tank Launches Website


The West Hartford Group, Inc., (WHG) is a chiropractic think tank dedicated to the advancement of the chiropractic profession in an ethical, responsible, evidence-based way.  The WHG is a pro-active and positive force moving in the direction of cultural, social and professional authority to improve the profession’s standing within the health care system and society.

Some of the members of WHG include such chiropractic notables as Michael Schneider, Richard Vincent, Stephen Perle, Donald R. Murphy, John J. Triano, David Seaman and Lawrence Wyatt.

 The West Hartford Group’s website was launched today.  Soon, position papers and other information will be added to help promote the non-surgical, patient-centered, spinal specialist model embraced by the think tank.  The website is located at:

500 Words About the Medical Conscience Rule

compassHave you heard about the governmental approval of a new medical “conscience protection” rule?  It allows health care workers to opt out of administering any form of medical care they feel is objectionable on moral or religious grounds. Hmm…sounds good in theory. People shouldn’t be forced to do things they find objectionable, should they?

A press release on the Department of Health and Human Services Web site says the law will “protect health care providers from discrimination.” DHHS secretary Michael Leavitt said that doctors have a duty only “to provide care that they are comfortable providing.”

But religion is a discussion hotbed and healthcare is a hot button on the front burner of that hotbed and I have a few questions and a somewhat queasy feeling about this rule.

The goal of this rule, supposedly, is to make sure doctors who are firmly against abortions aren’t forced to perform them. However, the new rule also permits emergency room workers to withhold information from rape victims about access to emergency contraception. It also allows doctors in federally-funded clinics to refuse to tell a pregnant woman that her fetus has a severe abnormality.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops praised the new rules, saying medical workers “should not be required to take the very human life they are dedicated to protecting.” The rule is scheduled to take effect the day before President Bush leaves office.  Coincidence?  Sure, like cops with white powdered sugar on a dark colored uniform.

But a large number of medical groups oppose the rule.  Wacko fringe groups?  Not quite.   The American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and 27 state medical associations. Democratic House Representatives Diana DeGette (Colorado) and Louise Slaughter (New York ) plan to introduce a Congressional resolution rejecting the Bush administration’s last-minute rules.

Perhaps they have questions like me.  Perhaps they, too, are the teensiest bit afraid of Dr. Government.  Perhaps they are wondering:

Does the law mean a doctor can refuse to treat someone who is gay? Or refuse to prescribe medications for someone who is gay and has HIV because they feel that homosexuality is wrong?

Can care be refused to someone who overdosed using illegal drugs because the doctor doesn’t approve of drug use or of illegal activities?

How about refusal of treatment of an unwed mother because they disapprove of premarital sex or having children out of wedlock?

Wait a second! What if the doctor is anti-gun? Does the law permit withholding treatment to someone who was injured by a gun?  What if it was the patient’s own gun that went off when he was cleaning it?

Should medical professionals be permitted to refuse to treat a member of any particular group who they deem as immoral?

Of course not. This is a dicey, ill-conceived last minute plan to slip in a policy that makes sense to some people on isolated religious grounds but the risks if its implementation are too great and far reaching.


Dr. Brett Kinsler is a chiropractor practicing in Rochester, NY who does not support the conscience rule….and no, wiseguy, this does not count as part of the 500 words.

Cold Laser Treatment for Autism?

autism-19Dear Dr. Kinsler.

Can cold laser therapy help autism?

Y.G. Denver, CO

Are you kidding me?  Do I really need to write a post on this?  No.  There is not a scrap of evidence that application of cold laser therapy can improve autism.

Save your money, save your time and save your sanity.

Cold laser treatment is a really nice therapy that is showing some promise for musculoskeletal problems.  Neurological issues, not so much.

I am sick and tired of seeing people rip off desperate patients in the name of healthcare…and especially in the name of chiropractic.  Cut it out!

We have plenty of treatments that work and lots of people with spinal problems that require our help.  We don’t need to make up treatments for illnesses that we cannot help and water down our profession even further.


Dr. Brett Kinsler is a chiropractor in Rochester, NY who will not treat people for autism using chiropractic, cold laser or by flinging marshmallows at them since none of these things will actually work to improve autism.

Cold Laser for Smoking Cessation – Fact or Crap?


Ok, ok…you keep asking.  At least once per week.  You want the answer?  Fine.  What do I think of the use of cold laser therapy for the treatment of smoking cessation?  Alrighty, then.  It’s time I publicly comment on my opinion.  The short answer is that it sort of works and sort of doesn’t.  Cold laser therapy in the form of laser acupuncture, applying laser stimulation to specific acupuncture points, seems to reduce some of the effects of nicotine withdrawal.  Great, you say…so it works…sign me up!

Well, not so fast.  See, nicotine chewing gums and patches also reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal and their success rates are pretty lousy.  By themselves, the success rates are about as poor as cold laser.  Plus, they really do not help to break the actual nicotine addiction.  To paraphrase Einstein, you cannot treat a problem with the exact chemical that caused it.  In other words, treating an alcoholic who prefers vodka by giving him whiskey simply won’t do it.  There is no easy fix, be it a pill, laser or what have you, that will make someone wake up one day and say “I never want to smoke again.”

The best recommendation is for someone who wants to quit to get Franchise  For Laser Unit1.pubeducated about nicotine addiction and the cycle of addiction.  Going to a website like or, well, quite frankly, there is no electronic media substitute.  Reading what is posted there can change the way you look at nicotine and smoking.

In answer to the question, will I perform cold laser for smoking cessation?  Okay, sure.  As long as you understand that the treatment is not a cure for smoking cessation and that I make no promises and you are just using it to decrease your symptoms while quitting and will still get educated about nicotine addiction.  I would rather know that you were getting the treatment in my office rather than somewhere where you might be lied to or taken advantage of.



Dr. Brett Kinsler is a chiropractor in Rochester, NY who performs cold laser therapy — sometimes as part of a smoking cessation program.

Wasamatterudeskitis? Get a Workstation Evaluation Free Online


Recently, I successfully completed a tricky two-handed control-alt-delete maneuver while holding my 4 month-old baby.  Although I nearly dislocated a shoulder (mine) and there was some crying involved (the baby) it occurred to me at that moment that many people are not as well qualified to perform ergonomic evaluations of their workspaces as I am.  Well, that oversight cannot be tolerated.

Ergonomics is the science of designing a job, equipment, or workplace to fit the worker.  Proper ergonomic design prevents repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability.  Some companies provide ergonomic specialists to evaluate an employee’s workstation and make recommendations as to ideal positioning and equipment.  For people who do not have this service, I strongly recommend a website called Ergonomics Simplified

These folks offer a free online evaluation of your workspace.  They ask for an email address for identification but there is no verification so if you are as allergic to spam as I am, you can use a spam proof one (like mailinator) or some other fake. 

The free ergonomic evaluation asks some information about you, your job and your space and then walks you through an interactive step-by-step process making suggestions or offering tweaks you can do along the way.  The information appears to be clinically sound and goes beyond the ordinary.  This skeptical chiropractor is impressed….and I don’t impress too easily.ergonomics_workstation

For the maximum benefit, go to Ergonomics Simplified from your workspace computer so you can actually make some of the changes that are recommended.

Let me know what you think.

Dr. Brett L. Kinsler is a chiropractor in Rochester, NY with a pretty good ergonomic setup for some of his desks but not so good for some others.  His office website is

Ear Candling: Sure, It’s Waxy, But Is It Good?


Dear Dr. Kinsler,

What do you think of ear candling?  My sister swears by it but I’m skeptical.


Cleveland, OH

Stop me if you’ve heard this one… 

A guy walks into an alternative medical provider’s office.

AltMed Guy: Can I help you?

Guy: What?

AltMed Guy: Can I help you?

Guy: I can’t hear so well.


Guy: I heard what you said.  I think I’ve got wax in my ears.

AltMed Guy: Well allow me to stick this cone in your ears and light it on fire to draw out the wax using negative pressure.

Guy: Hahahahahahahaha

AltMed Guy: What’s so funny?

Guy: I thought I heard you say you were going to stick something in my ears and light it on fire.  Wow, my hearing must truly suck!

AltMed Guy: Actually, that’s what I said.

Guy: Oh, okay.  Well, while you’re doing that, could you poke something into my eyes and set that on fire, too?   

You’ve heard of this I’m sure.  Ear Candles. Also known as thermal-auricular therapy.  A hollow candle is placed in the ear and the end sticking out is lit on fire.  Supposedly, the heat from the candle creates a vacuum thus drawing out wax in the ear.  The proof is in the formation of a dark residue inside the candle.

Only, it’s not proof because ear candling is crap.  And dangerous crap at that.  In fact, studies have shown that ear candling not only doesn’t create negative pressure…the same junk is found inside the candle whether or not it’s lit inside someone’s ear. candlecompare

Sounds like it’s a better idea to just light money on fire and see if that helps your ears.  Except the danger from ear candling isn’t limited to its scamminess.  There have been reports of serious damage from the practice.  Hmm…fire near the face inside an opening of the skull…nope, I don’t get it.  Hot wax placed next to the eardrum?  No, I still don’t see the issue.  Open flame and hair?  I just don’t see what you’re driving at.  Anyhow, I’m not sure where the danger comes from but nonetheless I must recommend against this one.

Bottom line: ear candles lack any evidence of efficacy for any condition and do more harm than good.  Period.

Say what, now?

Dr. Brett L. Kinsler is a Rochester, NY chiropractor and produces the skeptical podcast On The Other Hand.

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