It was out of growing concern about false claims and exaggerations that abound in media that in 2014 I, Dr. Garrett, launched my web site Spanking FIT! (http://www.spankingfit.com/). I introduced it as a “spanking new” approach to health, medicine, fitness, and sexual topics based on REAL Science. As explained in the web site’s ABOUT US section, a common source of false claims in health-related fields are peer-reviewed papers published in well-regarded scientific journals. Their authors, while well trained in medicine, often have little or no education in the Science of Statistical Inference, also. Understandably, the media journalists who report on them do not possess the skills to critically evaluate them. My stated objective was a thorough investigation into all popular claims using my special personal statistical expertise. It is my belief that with reader input, I have been able so far to take a modest step forward toward achieving my goal.
What major categories have we covered? They are best summarized as: (1) Illness Prevention (2) Injury Prevention (3) Performance Enhancement & Sports (4) Nutritional Supplements Evaluation, and (5) Healthful Recreation & Nudity. Here’s a summary of major revelations in each category:
Illness Prevention Findings
In “Heated Debate on Sauna Health Benefits“, we examined carefully all sides of the controversy surrounding reputed sauna health benefits and hazards. You will recall that a number of “prominent” medical practitioners maintain that the sauna is of little therapeutic benefit or may actually be harmful. After an extensive review of research findings, Spanking FIT ascertained that the weight of scientific evidence is presently on the side of those who claim it is healthful, provided moderation in usage is practiced. We came to a similar conclusion regarding so-called steam bath use in “Now for Some Steaming Sauna Science“, with even greater emphasis on moderation.
In “Foxy Running Tips for Cold Weather” we covered the Science of “Clothing Wicking”, and explained how it plays an important thermo- regulatory role especially in preventing the so-called “winter chills” when exercising outdoors. We ascertained what we believe to be optimal cold weather dress for exercising which was endorsed by our Scandinavian readers.
In “ Male with Low T? Try Nude Sunbathing“, our analysis produced promising scientific evidence that favors the Vitamin D/ cancer prevention hypothesis. We also outlined an argument that moderate sunshine exposure may prevent certain forms of cancer including skin cancer, and that inadequate sunshine exposure might actually play a role in cancer development. We also presented scientific evidence that favors the claim that sensible exposure to sunshine may be especially beneficial to males in raising their testosterone levels. (We also made a note of unconfirmed research results implying that exposure of genitalia is especially helpful in that regard.) In a closely related article, “Male T Replacement Should be the Last Resort“, we were dismayed to learn how little well-designed medical research there is to support the multi-billion dollar industry of male testosterone enhancement using pharmaceutical products. Serendipitously, we came upon research suggesting that physical exercise, while increasing “health-span”, does not actually permanently raise resting testosterone levels. This latter finding further calls into question the wide spread practice of raising them artificially with pharmaceuticals, in my opinion. Additionally, in “Nude Sunbathing- It Does a Body Good!“, we revealed scientific evidence that sunshine exposure with maximum body surface area exposure (that is either nude, or close to it), may contribute to a safe and natural increase in Insulin-Like Human Growth Hormone 1 (IGF-1), a hormone which promotes growth of skeletal muscle, cartilage, and bone tissue in both women and men.
Despite a plethora of potential sunshine health benefits, everyone is aware of the abundance of warnings that originate with the medical community and the sunscreen industry regarding sunshine over-exposure dangers. In “Can Sunscreen Cause Skin Cancer” we evaluate them as well as the opposing hypothesis that inadequate exposure caused by over use of sunscreen products may be dangerous.
We tackled another important health controversy in “Brassiere Science 101“; namely, reputed health hazards and benefits of female brassiere usage. Volumes have been written by medical “experts” who claim that brassiere use puts women at increased risk for breast cancer. All the relevant studies contained serious scientific flaws, in our opinion, and needlessly made women afraid of their bras. We recommended moderate bra usage to our female readers. On the other hand, we were surprised by how few studies were conducted to address the problem of breast pain experienced by ladies who exercise braless, given that the health benefits of exercise are well known. We hoped that by calling attention to the deficit in relevant research, major teaching hospitals will answer the call and fill this serious void.
Next came “Should Tattooing be Taboo?“where we carefully examined health risks associated with modern day tattooing practices. You will recall from the article that an estimated 21% of all U.S. adults have at least one (that’s over 50 million people!) Among the most serious infections associated with this practice is the potentially fatal liver disease Hepatitis C. We statistically reviewed major epidemiological work performed in New York and in Texas and concluded that the association was strong enough that extreme caution should be exercised by anyone considering getting a tattoo from even a so-called “professional”.
Legitimate concerns that we had concerning tattooing health risks, especially among the young, led us to embark on our “Healthy Body Art for the ‘Boys’ & ‘Girls’” series. The series contains exercise sets designed to safely enhance sexual attractiveness of the male and female body without the health hazards of “Body Art”. The series so far includes exercises for women and men for acquiring “Venus Dimples“, enhancing “The Butt“, for developing “Broad Shoulders“, for enhancing “The Chest” and for “Biceps & Triceps“. More to come.
In researching “Kick Sickness-Try Thai Massage!” we were surprised to discover that the so-called sports therapy experts were in disagreement over whether or not massage is beneficial in healing and in preventing muscle injury. (2014 estimated sales from massage services was $11.7 billion in U.S. alone.) A few went so far as to claim that massage does not enhance athletic performance by decreasing delayed onset muscle soreness (D.O.M.S.), a traditionally held notion! In the course of our comprehensive review of relevant research, we came upon serious work out of Thailand that suggests that traditional Thai massage may boost the human immune system and therefore has the potential to prevent some illness and complement certain therapies.
Our Illness Prevention category needed to include a Sexual Health subcategory. In it we started an “Unsafe Sex Worries” series based on wide spread public confusion regarding what constitutes safer sex practices. We opened the series with “Unsafe Sex Worries? Try Kink!” in which we challenged the antiquated Freudian notion that so-called “kink sex” is psychopathology. We presented rational argument that “kink sex”, if practiced prudently, is a far safer alternative to the “normal” mode. We constructed a similar rationale in favor of nude “tantric” massage in “Unsafe Sex Worries? Try Tantric Massage!” It included a highly educational demonstration by a couple from Germany.
More and more women and men are “pushing their limits” these days to achieve certain physical ideals such as “six pack abs”. Consequently, there’s been a corresponding uptick in the number of activity-related injuries such as femoral and inguinal hernia. The latter often require corrective surgery that results in physical inactivity for weeks or even months. To begin addressing this problem, Spanking FIT included in its Injury Prevention section two important exercise sets designed specifically to prevent these injuries: “How to Safely Acquire Six Pack Abs” introduced “Yoga Crunches“, the safer alternative to fitness ball “crunches” and traditional sit-ups. In “Prevent Groin Injury & Inguinal Hernia“, Spanking FIT recommended certain exercises required to provide the necessary balance to prevent injury and possibly reverse the effects of strain. In “The Jockstrap-Still Man’s Best Friend” we presented “Support Science” and explained how, despite all the recent “high-tech” inventions for protection of a man’s privates, the traditional jock invented and first sold in 1874, remains among the best. Spanking FIT went so far as to recommend that older men consider wearing one on an every day basis outside of athletic activity, and that young men avoid baggy pants!
Similarly, in “Running Shoes-Don’t Leave Home Without Them!“, Spanking FIT discussed the science of pronation: that rolling motion of the foot that puts stress on the knee joint often resulting in injury. Our recommendation was for women and men to give up shoes and boots all together, and wear running shoes on an everyday basis, barring weather conditions, of course!
It is my opinion that a common mistake that “fitness experts” often make is to assume that the “workout club” consists of sedentary workers with desk jobs only. By doing so, they exclude the type of worker whose work involves heavier physical activity. In “‘Fitness Experts’ Consider Occupation!“ Spanking FIT made a declaration that more attention needs to be paid to occupation in planning workouts, and that when it comes to fitness, one size does not fit all. Our position was affirmed by readers on an international basis.
“Nutrition & Noise Induced Hearing Loss” discussed the findings of serious research that indicates that nutritional supplementation especially with Magnesium and Alpha Lipoic Acid may prevent and reverse the inner ear damage inflicted by loud noise. Such injury often requires surgery. I included personal case example evidence in addition to the clinical trial outcomes .
Performance Enhancement & Sports
These have been rough times for the professional sports world with one scandal after another. In “Why Not Allow Lance Armstrong to Dope?” Spanking FIT began with the complete rundown on the tragic downfall of a truly iconic sports legend. We argued that since anti-doping regulations appear essentially unenforceable, and that data pertaining to enhancement in sports may be valuable to public health, why not simply allow the players to use the dope-they-desire in exchange for their personal information. The response to this suggestion ranged from “brilliant suggestion” to “are you a complete idiot?” In “Worldwide Pandemic Caused by Gene Doping“, we took a contrary viewpoint after uncovering serious health hazards that exist to players and the public from the latest form of enhancement known as gene doping. As we explained, gene doping makes use of potentially dangerous viral vectors which deliver genetic material to a player’s genome in order to enhance her/ his innate ability. The problem is that it is possible for the viruses to become contagious and/ or insert incorrect genetic errors that cause cancer. The same procedures are currently being used by medical “professionals” for “treating” certain diseases with similar inherent dangers.
In “Does CoQ10 Enhance Athletic Performance?” we conducted an exhaustive evaluation of research relevant to alleged benefits of CoQ10 supplementation. CoQ10 and its electron-rich form Ubiquinol have received tremendous media coverage in recent years. We were somewhat disappointed to learn that a dearth of serious supporting science exists relevant to these claims. (Actually, there is one study only that strongly supports the use of Ubiquinol supplementation, but is was unfortunately funded by Kaneka Corporation, the product’s maker.) This isn’t to say that Ubiquinol ingestion is not beneficial as thought. The Science just isn’t here yet to make the claim, in my opinion.
Nutritional Supplements Evaluation
We previously evaluated some of the benefits of Magnesium and Alpha Lipoic Acid supplementation under Injury Prevention. Similarly, we evaluated CoQ10 supplementation under Performance Enhancement & Sports. Standard treatment protocols for the skin condition known as “acne” are usually ineffective and dangerous. In “Young Adults with Acne May Benefit from Zinc“, Spanking FIT put forth the hypothesis that acne flair-ups during puberty, especially in boys, may be related to zinc deficiency, whereby serum zinc levels required for natural anti-bacterial immunity are diverted for sexual development. Given the prevalence of this problem and its associated costs, Spanking FIT called for large-scale independent trials to assess the health benefits of supplementing with zinc.
Healthy Recreation & Nudity
The scientific evidence is overwhelming that moderate all around sunlight exposure benefits our health. There’s even unconfirmed evidence that exposing genitalia to sunlight may be healthier yet! For this reason, Spanking FIT embarked on a quasi-scientific “International Nude Beach Evaluation“. Our evaluation begins in the western part of North America: Part IA covers the U.S. State of California, and Part IB covers the Pacific Northwest including Oregon, U.S.A. and Vancouver, British Columbia. Stay tuned for more to come.
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