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What happens if we're all wrong or all right? What is most important?

Commentary by Roger L. Price, Consultant, Respiratory Physiologist, and Functional Medicine Educator in Clifton, New Jersey, USA

December 2016


What percentage of the world’s population subscribes to Latinized, evidence-based medicine, randomized clinical trials, double-blind and placebo-controlled studies, gold standards, Cochrane Collaborations, verified meta-data, and a limited view of human health? Isn’t there a bigger picture? After all, evidence-based practice has three equal components (i.e., client preferences/values, clinician expertise, and best available evidence which frequently changes).

Reading the volume of posts, comments, ideas, facts, and suppositions based on indisputable medical facts, data, and scientific validation one could be forgiven for thinking that the entire world revolved around the trinity of:

-Evidence-Based Medicine

-Randomized Clinical Trials

-Best Practice Protocols

But, isn’t this a process? Many think that evidence-based medicine consists only of randomized clinical trials from which best practice protocols emerge. However, there are many types of research. And, what about client preferences/values and clinician expertise?

Did you know this fact? – “The World Health Organization estimates 65 - 80 percent of the [world] population use holistic naturopathic medicine as a primary form of health care” (Neddermeyer, 2009, Rev. 2014). Here is a quote from Dr. Neddermeyer: "If everyone knew they could prevent any disease with plant extracts, medicinal herbs, natural vitamins, minerals, and supplements, as well as having peace of mind-the pharmaceutical and medical industry would collapse overnight." Fortunately, there are ever increasing number of studies on holistic health care methods and practice.

So – what is more important?  Being right (according to some form of published data) or getting results?  Anyone can poke holes in research reasoning. Some conclusions might be physiologically valid. However, in real life they usually only occur under extreme conditions and not as a matter of course as often seems to be indicated or implied in the research. We see this time and time again as information we thought was true is proven wrong or at least needs refining in some way.  In fact, a large percentage of clinical trials end with the statement “Further research is required.”

The reality is that we simply DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING AND NEVER WILL. It is so easy to get caught up in a debate and to end up in a position that Australians, South Africans, Brits, and Kiwis will understand and appreciate – as illustrated by this wonderful scenario:

It is a grudge game of Rugby between two local teams. Tempers are flaring in the crowd as well as on the field. The game is intensely physical when the ball flies out into the crowd. The game continues. Ruck, Maul, Stomp, Grind – suddenly a muffled voice calls out “Hey man – the ball’s out!” There’s a brief pause when an equally muffled voice is heard “Agh - $#%* the ball – let’s get on with the game!”

We cannot get on with the game through posturing, name-calling, criticizing, and nit-picking over technicalities in the rarified atmosphere of academia or interest-based scientific research. Our prime concern (i.e., our ball in the game) is the health and wellbeing of our children, and that seems to have gone out into the crowd of spectators. That is where my focus is directed and will be directed for as long as I have breath in my body. I have no interest in being proven right – just trying to balance the intense debates which do not end up being in the interest of a sick child. Let’s at least all be in the same book – if not on the same page.

Here is a poem I wrote for my students about the importance of nose breathing (one area I know for sure is crucial for overall health): 

About the Author

Roger started his training as a pharmacist in the mid-1950s and went on to study in many fields of health management, both orthodox as well as naturally based. With a medical background spanning some 50 years, a wealth of experience as a lecturer, locally as well as on the international circuit, Roger is one of only 6 registered Practitioner Trainers with the Buteyko Institute worldwide.

He founded Breathing Well in 2000 and moved to the USA in September 2013.  He is an acknowledged authority on the implementation of Breathing Retraining in the management of dental and orthodontic problems and has written specific programs for the dental and orthodontic professions.

Roger is a registered member of the International Association for Orthodontics (IAO), a world-wide organisation devoted to the management of dental and facial abnormalities in children and adults. With the total acceptance by the dental profession that mouth-breathing is the major cause of crowded mouths and narrowed jaws, the specialised children's dental program which he designed has been recognised by the IAO as a viable and effective way of helping to restore facial balance and prevent the need for costly and complicated orthodontic intervention in later life. Mouth-breathing is also one of the major contributors to upper respiratory tract infections, ear and hearing problems, as well as asthma attacks.

As far as sleep disorders are concerned, there is a gaping hole in knowledge and treatment of two major aspects.  UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome) and CSA (Central Sleep Apnea). Neither of these is truly obstructive, but rather occlusive and/or biochemical, yet both are still being treated with CPAP and oral appliances. Localized inflammation as a result of over-breathing, is a significant factor in the etiology of these conditions – yet remains untreated.  The Breathing Well Program is directed specifically at addressing these issues.

Roger is a regular lecturer and presenter at Dental and Orthodontic Conferences worldwide.
He is a skilled and entertaining trainer and presenter and is able to motivate people to achieve their maximum potential. This caters to a wide range of individuals, with a wide variety of conditions and multiple learning styles and requirements. He runs regular courses throughout the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia and is at the forefront of the development of specialised teaching and training programs.

Roger’s contact information:

Breathing Well, LLC

1425 Broad Street, Suite B,

Clifton NJ, 07013

Phone: (973) 778-9225

Cell: (505) 331-1051



Neddermeyer, D. M. (2009, Rev. 2014). Holistic health care facts and statistics. Disabled World towards tomorrow. Retrieved from