The Posture Theory home page

The Hypochondria Web page: and The Posture Theory

The symptoms of hypochondria according to The Posture Theory

This webpage is a continuation of Hypochondria In Time Magazine

Timely Jokes about Hypochondria

The Hypochondria Test


 The Cyberchondria Webpage ©

On this webpage I will continue my comments and open correspondence with the editors of Time magazine who published an article on hypochondria and referred to cyberchondria on October 6th 2003 and have not yet replied to my email, or my letter, or to this open commentary. If and when they do reply their comments will be presented on this page.

(continued from The Hypochondria In Time Magazine Webpage

Missing Persons Bulletin for the editors of Time Magazine who have not been in contact for 2 years

Definition of Cyberchondria

 Cyberchondria - The independent study of disease by patients for patients without fear or favor of doctors, corporations, or governments, where the internet is the primary source of information.

see also Chronic Q-fever Fatigue Syndrome

Webpage Index
 Open correspondence with Time Magazine continued  The Symptoms of Hypochondria Index
 The real reason people read medical books or surf the web for health innformation  The Posture Index
 The type of person who develops their own health knowledge  Hypochondria and Cyberchondria definitions
 Methods used by most doctors to solve the problem  What you may learn about your health problems by surfing the web

The objective truth about hypochondria and cyberchondria

In my study of this subject I found that the actual meaning of the word hypochondria was defined by the ancient greeks from the words hypo which means below, and chondros which means cartilage (in particular the cartilage of the ribs) and it referred to a multiple symptom disorder which was believed to originate just below the cartilages of the ribs. I discuss the problem in relation to its actual meaning, but the article in Time Magazine confuses it (and cyberchondria) with imaginary ailments or disease phobias, so in order to give a full account of the problem I have to discuss all aspects and all interpretations of the word, and hope that, in the process, I clarify a simple word which has become complicated by multiple usage.

 Hypochondria - (brief definition) A response to health problems which doctors have not been able to explain, relieve or cure, where the patient reads medical books to find information about their ailment for themselves.(full definition) A response to health problems where the patient, more often an intelligent and educated patient, out of necessity, reads medical books to find useful information about their ailment which their doctor, or more commonly, a series of doctors and specialists, have not been able to explain, relieve, or cure. Formerly regarded as a form of insanity until advances in diagnostic technology revealed the real physical causes of ailments which had previously been diagnosed as trivial, imaginary, or psychosomatic, and were treated, often for decades, by weekly sessions of psychotherapy, all to no avail, and can now be cured within a week by antibiotics, or instantly by surgery, and where many patients, acting independently, found evidence that medical opinion was often baseless and unscientific speculation, or was, in many cases, dominated by a few prominent doctors or scientists who had been employed by corporations or governments to deliberately conceal or distort the truth about disease, so that, in effect, the only way that the truth was ever going to be revealed was for those patients to find it themselves. Also called cyberchondria where the internet is the primary source of independent medical information.

More definitions of hypochondria and cyberchondria

During the 20th century doctors described the chronic fatigue syndrome as 'just tiredness', a Medical Association president said that repetitive strain injury did not exist, psychiatrists described whiplash injuries as an example of mass hysteria, gynecologists described menstrual pain and menopause symptoms as trivial, plastic surgeons described silicon breast implants as being harmless to women's health, dentist's described mercury based teething powders as being harmless to the health of babies, medical researchers employed by the tobacco industry concealed and denied the harmful effects of tobacco smoke, courts and a Royal Commission found that there was no evidence that Agent Orange was a cause of cancer, and governments concealed the harmful effects of Maralinga and Chernobyl nuclear fallout. When patients did their own medical research to find the cause of their ailments they were impeded in every conceivable way by almost every person in official authority and were branded and publicly discredited as being mentally ill hypochondriacs. If you have searched the web and found information which is useful to you in dealing with your ailment then I invite you to produce your own webpage and link it to mine. Thankyou M.B. 

The Inalienable Right Of All Patients

Patients have an inalienable right to study medicine in any way that suits them in order to determine the cause and treatment of their own ailments without interference, insults, or deterrence from doctors, psychiatrists, corporations, or governments. Any violation of that right is a crime against humanity, especially where the medical profession has failed to explain or cure the condition to the patients complete satisfaction. M.B.


Open correspondence with the editors of Time Magazine . . . continued

*** 8-1-04 *** 

According to Time Magazine (South Pacific edition - October 6th 2003) there is a new form of hypochondria called cyberchondria where patients search for information about their symptoms by surfing the Web. This condition is described as "a disorder of thought, not of the body", and involves "heightened illness concern".

I have started this web page to let the editors of Time Magazine and the general public know the real reason why tens of millions of patients around the world are surfing the net to find useful information about their ailments.

"doctors rarely tell hypochondriacs the truth about their disorder". They have been studying the symptoms of hypochondria for more than 3000 years and still have ideas which are "no good", and are using medications such as Prozac, similar to valium and barbiturates, which have been applied for more than 30 years, and the preferred treatment is "cognitive behaviour therapy" which has been practiced for more than 3 decades but in that time "Nobody's done a comparative trial" and now researchers have decided to work on that, while "most doctors" "run and hide" from the problem. Meanwhile I have been criticising the Time Magazine article for more than 3 months and the editors have apparently chosen to ignore it in the hope that the problem will go away.

I am one of the tens of millions of people who had the symptoms for more than 10 years before, out of necessity, I decided to use the principle - "if you want the job done properly, do it yourself". I studied the subject for 5 years and identified the cause as poor posture (in The Posture Theory - 1980), but the medical profession have chosen to ignore it for more than 20 years despite the fact that they, by their own admission, still have "no good" ideas of their own, and neither, apparently, do the editors of Time Magazine.

The following charts are a new addition to The Posture Theory which proposes that poor posture compresses the chest and abdomen to cause the multiple symptom disorder of hypochondria. These charts have been designed to improve the capacity to understand and assess the realtionship between poor posture and the symptoms. M.B.

 Postural Hypochondria Chart

The following 2 charts will give some indication of the extent of postural deformity and the symptoms of hypochondria, where a high score on both indicates a likely cause and effect relationship between poor posture and the symptoms. i.e. Postural Hypochondria (the presence of undetectable symptoms which are caused by poor posture).




The Postural (or skeletal) Deformity Index

Useful in identifying single, multiple, and combined postural factors which may contribute to symptoms

 Score from 0 - 5 from no deformity to severe deformity.
 Forward curve in your upper spine  
 Forward arch in your lower spine  
 Sideways curvature of the spine  
 One shoulder higher than the other  
 One leg longer than the other  
 A breastbone which leans on an angle to one side  
 The cartilage at the base of the breastbone is bent in the opposite direction to the breastbone  
 A flat chest  
 A narrow chest  
 A long chest  
 A thin physique  
 One eye has better vision than the other  

Total Score

Extreme Swayback

Extreme Sideways Curvature of the spine

Return to The Posture Theory Homepage

 The Symptoms of Hypochondria Index

 The Symptoms Of Hypochondria Index

(symptoms caused by the stooped posture, sideways curvature of the spine, chest shape, or a combination of all three factors)

 Score from 0 - 5 on the basis of frequency and severity
 Neck ache or pain, including occasional cricks in the neck  
 Shoulder ache or pain on the left or right side in the muscle between the neck and the top of the arm, depending on whether the spine is curved to the left or right (e.g. where sideways curvature of the spine to the right lowers the right side and disposes to pain in that shoulder muscle.  
 A general ache and or a localised pain in the muscle on the left or right side of the spine between the spine and the shoulder blade  
 Lower back ache or pain  
 Fatigue which interferes with and restricts lifestyle  
 Palpitations which limit the capacity for exercise and make vigorous sport impossible  
 Faintness or dizziness in relation to bending, stooping, or exertion.  
 Breathlessness which occurs in relation to physical exertion, sometimes stooping, sometimes cold weather, or otherwise randomly, and involves a difficulty in gaining a full breath  
 Lower left, and or, right sided chest pains (sudden and brief stabbing pains), or a general ache on one side of the lower chest sometimes extending to the back (which occurs with prolonged sitting or standing in the same position). These pains occur because of combined forward and sideways curvature of the spine, where the stabbing pains are generally on the side of the chest which is stretched, and the dull ache occurs on the side which is compressed. There may also occasionally be a dull pain which occurs each time the chest bobs up and down while jogging ,  
 Lower left and right sided chest muscle cramps on the far left and right side of the chest  
 A gnawing or ripping upper abdominal sensation, ache or pain in an area the size of a 20 cent piece just below the lower tip of the breastbone, where the pain is induced and gets worse in relation to repeated leaning or stooping, or sudden twisting of the abdomen, or sudden arching of the back, or abdominal muscle strains, or jarring of the abdomen, and where the worsening pain is accompanied by spasm of the colon, constipation, and difficulty swallowing as if food gets stuck in the throat, and which is sometimes accompanied by regurgitation.  
 Pains along the track of the colon, and writhing pains in the abdomen due to spasmodic cramps which travel along the path of the colon, and are strongest in the upper left and right bends in the colon.  
 Constipation which becomes worse as the abdominal pain increases and diminishes as the abdominal pain subsides  
 Aching in the back in the kidney area which is aggravated by repeated stooping or exposure to cold breezes  

Total Score

*** 15-1-04 ***

In their article about hypochondria Time Magazine refers to "a tiny lump under the skin" or a "cough", or "minor twinges". I would like the editors of Time Magazine to tell me how those vaguely defined symptoms relate to the word hypochondria which is derived from hypo (which means below), and chondros (which means the cartilage tip of the breastbone), where, in combination it refers to a disorder originating below the tip of the breastbone, or a disorder of the upper abdomen.

 I would also like the editors to refer to the index of symptoms which I have presented above and then answer the following questions.
 yes  no
 1. Are the symptoms in their article relevent to the word hypochondria     
 2. Are the symptoms referred to in my chart relevent to the word hypochondria    
 3. Are there any x-ray devices or other diagnostic methods for detecting the symptoms listed in the hypochondria chart above.    
 4. Are there any medical methods for measuring the severity of the symptoms listed above    

 I would also like them to answer the following questions
 1. If there are any methods for detecting and measuring the symptoms of hypochondria listed in the chart above - What are they? and - why are they not in common clinical use.
 2. If the set of symptoms presented in the list above are not those of hypochondria, then what is the name of the condition.
 3. If the set of symptoms in the list above are not detectable then why is it not hypochondria
 4. If the symptoms in the above list are not measurable then how can they be deemed trivial

What do the editors of Time Magazine think is the cause of the symptoms of hypochondria as described in the chart above
 1. Postural factors  yes  no
 2. They are a disorder of thought, not of the body    
 3. They are imaginary symptoms    
 4, They have a trivial cause    
 5. Depression    
 6. Obsessive Compusive Disorder (OCD)    
 7.Factors which the medical profession do not understand and cannot detect, measure or treat    


 What treatment do the editors of Time Magazine think will relieve the symptoms described in The Hypochondria Index above

 Yes  No
 1. Prevention    
 2. Improvements in posture    
 3. The use of ergonomic seating etc.    
 4. Avoiding activities which involve repeated stooping    
 5. Keeping exercise within moderate limits    
6. Moderation of lifestyle     
 7. Prozac, barbiturates, or other medically prescribed drugs, Chelmsford drug induced narcolepsy, electroconvulsive therapy, or frontal lobotomy.    
 8. Cognitive behaviour therapy    
 9. Diversion therapies such as stamp collecting    
 10. Telling patients that they are imagining things in the hope that they will believe it and the symptoms will disappear.    
11. Keep going back to doctors who have failed to give plausible explanations for 10 years    
 12. Look for believable explanations and realistic and practical management methods or cures by reading medical books or by surfing the web    


*** 22-1-04 ***

According to the article in Time Magazine the problem of hypochondria "may be getting worse, thanks to the proliferation of medical information on the Internet . . . Doctors have taken to calling this phenomena cyberchondria . . . but it's a disorder of thought, not of the body and includes three groups of people, those with a form of obsessive compulsive disorder, or those with depression , or those who somatize - which means they focus an inordinate amount of attention on their bodies". In fact the general theme of the medical literature is that anyone other than doctors who reads medical books are motivated by some sort of psychological problem. However, my observations indicate that the following groups of people are much more likely to read medical books and use the medical language fluently, and it is their knowledge of the human body which enables them to prevent or recover from their injuries and illnesses more effectively, and, instead of having their carreers ruined and becoming depressed by their ailments, they are more likely to continue to improve and achieve success in life.

 People who have acquired fluent medical knowledge about their own injuries or ailments, as can be commonly observed . . .
 1. Television quiz-show champions  6. Corporate executives
 2. National spelling, or IQ test winners  7. Army officers and generals
 3. Olympic champions  8. Academics in every field
4. Elite footballers and other sportsmen  9. Politicians (including health ministers)
 5. Forensic police, lawyers and judges 10. Authors, journalists, and Time Magazine editors

According to the article in Time Magazine "doctors rarely tell hypochondriacs the truth" and hypochondriacs read medical books because they "focus and inordinate amount of attention on their bodies". However, that is what you would expect doctors to say, but the article does not mention that there may be very good reasons for patients to read medical books. For example many patients become curious about why doctors discourage them from reading that literature. They may ask what the doctors have to hide, and what are they afraid that the patient may learn. The following questionnaire is presented for the benefit of the editors of Time Magazine, the public, and patients.

What could doctors fear that patients may learn if they read medical literature or surfed the web - That the ailment was caused by . . .

   yes  no
 1. The doctors mistake    
 2. The side effects of a prescribed medication    
 3. A surgeons mistake    
 4, A defective medical product (silicon breast implants)    
 5. An occupational illness which would make an employer liable for the costs (RSI)    
 6.An accident which would make an insurance company liable for the costs (Whiplash injury)    
 7.An ailment which would make the army liable for the costs (Agent Orange symptoms)    
 9. An ailment which would make the government liable for the costs (Maralinga Fallout)    
 10. An ailment which would make a large corporation liable for the costs (mass food poisoning from contaminated chain store food, or large scale industrial pollution).    
 11. Factors which the medical profession cannot detect, measure, understand, or explain, and do not wish to take responsibility for, because they cannot diagnose it with any realistic, scientific, or credible authority.    

For more reasons see The Hypochondria Test

In considering why some patients read medical books in an attempt to understand their own ailments it is important to identify what most other people are doing to solve the problem

Methods used by most doctors and other observers to solve the problem of hypochondria

   yes  no
 1. The run and hide method    
 2. Trivialise the problem    
 3. Decide that the problem is imaginary and therefore does not warrant treatment because it does not exist    
 4, Pass the buck - by deeming it to be psychological rather than a physical problem, and therefore refer the patient to a psychiatrist    
 5. Devise ideas which blame the victim and when all of those ideas don't fit, find a circumstance and devise another    
 6. Make plausible excuses for the failure of treatment and when one excuse fails invent another one    
 7. Devise red herrings in the form of new ideas in the hope that they will be followed in circles    
 8. Change the meaning of words and ideas to hide the mistakes and failures of the past (i.e. rewrite history)    
9. Delay, delay, delay    
10. Ignore the problem in the hope that it will go away    

As I have mentioned several times before I spent 10 years consulting doctors for tests and treatments, all to no avail, before reluctantly deciding to read medical books in an attempt to deal with the ailments myself. I also decided that if I had to go to all that trouble and found anything of use to me that I would tell the whole world so that other patients could benefit from the information without having to go to the same effort themselves.

The reason I was reluctant, was because I had been led to believe that I would start to worry about every new malady that I read about, and because I considered the fact that I was only an ordinary person of average intelligence, and if the best doctors in the world did not understand the problems then the task of finding answers could be difficult.

Ultimately I found that there are many diseases and conditions which the medical profession cannot detect or measure, and therefore do not understand and cannot explain, and most of their ideas on such subjects are speculative, including the psychological ideas which are presented without scientific evidence, and are often misplacements of cause and effect, and which are as ineffective as the medical treatments. I also found that there are many social, economic, and political factors influencing medical ideas and practices, and that not all of those are in the patients best interests, and I found that some of the problems were due to the side effects of medications or resulted from following inadequate or misleading advice. However, more importantly, I found a lot of information which was useful to me in formulating ideas of my own which did explain and relieve the symptoms and I discuss many of those factors on my website.

More recently I have written to the editors of Time Magazine in response to their account of the subjects of hypochondria and cyberchondria, and have requested that they inform their readership of my website so that their readers would become aware of the information that I have made readily available on those matters. However more than 3 months have passed and my correspondence has not been acknowledged or published.

Although I still give the editors of Time Magazine the benefit of the doubt, I am not going to waste 10 years on this webpage waiting for them to respond, but merely mention to members of the public who come upon this webspace through their own efforts, that sometimes, for one reason or another, if you want to learn anything of value, you have to find the information yourself. Congratulations!

If you have had to use your own resources to find this webspace then please do something yourself rather than waiting for someone else to do it, and link this webpage to yours so that others can find it more easily. Remember, if you do nothing for any reason, it is just as likely that everyone else will do nothing for one reason or another, and nothing will ever get done.

I will now conclude this webpage by presenting some definitions for consideration and then I will close it with a final recommendation.


 Cyberchondria - A single or multiple symptom disorder which cannot be detected by any x-ray or other medical test, and which doctors do not understand and cannot explain, or effectively relieve, treat or cure, and where, generally after several years of consultations and tests, all to no avail, the patient decides to search for more useful information themselves in medical books or, more particularly on the internet. M.B.
 Hypochondria - A multiple symptom disorder caused by poor posture which strains the spine and compresses the chest and abdomen resulting in neck or back ache, left and right sided chest pains, breathlessness, palpitations, fatigue and upper abdominal pain. (Also a word which was first defined by the ancient Greek physicians as a multiple symptom disorder which they thought had its origins below the rib cartilages. Also a word which has been used throughout history to diagnose illnesses which were not detectable or measurable and had been deemed to be imaginary until gradual advances in diagnostic technology revealed the real physical causes. Also a word which has been used inappropriately and incorrectly to describe disease phobias. Also a word which has been used as an insult and as a form of ridicule to discourage patients from searching for health information for themselves, by implying that anyone, other than a doctor, who reads medical books, is mentally ill. Also a word which has been used as a form of ridicule to discourage patients from searching for health information which has been deliberately concealed by particular doctors, corporations, or governments, where there is the additional objective of discrediting the individual to contrive public doubt about the information which is found - It is implied that only medical or official opinion can be trusted and that the patient does not know his own mind and is whinging about nothing, and that his opinion is worthless: as in the Agent Orange cover-up). See also The Hypochondria Test

 Chondria (from Gr. chondros = cartilage) - The xiphisternum, and more generally the pointed piece of cartilage at the lower end of the sternum, in combination with the cartilages which connect the sternum to the lower left and right ribs (the 10th ribs). Also called the chondrium. c.f. hypochondria - the anatomical regions below the chondria which include the epigastrium and the lower left and right hypochondria.

The chondria - shown in bold
 Corsetchondria - A multiple symptom disorder where the symptoms result from the long term practice of wearing very tight waisted corsets or other restrictive clothing which applies repeated pressure on the pointed piece of cartilage at the lower end of the sternum and the cartilages between the sternum and the lower ribs and compresses the upper abdomen. (related to a corset and the chondria)
 Posturechondria - A multiple symptom disorder where the symptoms result from long term repeated postural pressure on the pointed piece of cartilage at the lower end of the sternum and the cartilages between the sternum and the lower ribs which compress the upper abdomen. (related to posture and the chondria).
 Visceroptochondria - A multiple symptom disorder where the symptoms result predominantly from the internal organs being displaced by the prolonged or repeated compression of the upper abdomen by various factors which include postural or corset pressure on the cartilage at the lower end of the sternum and the cartilages between the sternum and the lower ribs. (related to visceroptosis and the chondria)
 Hyperchondriac (from hyper = above or over, & chondria = the cartilage rim of the lower ribs - A patient who studies their own disease and achieves independence from fruitless medical advice by learning more about it nature and realistic treatment than any of their doctors or specialists. See also The Hypochondria Test
 Hypodenial -The medical professions general denial of the existence of real physical ailments which cannot be detected by modern diagnostic technology, including their tendency to understate the extent of the problem or their complete refusal to mention or discuss the subject.
 Hypofraud - The baseless, unscientific, unprovable and fraudulent claim that the symptoms of hypochondria are trivial or imaginary, and any similar claim about any other undetectable and unmeasurable ailment.
 Hypohatred - The intense and relentless stigma which is deliberately directed towards patients who study the cause and treatment of their own diseases, where the hatred is contrived by some doctors, corporations, or governments to discourage the independent search for the real cause of illness in order to continue hiding or evading their responsibility for obscure or costly ailments.
 Hypo Phobia - A doctors fear that diagnostic technology is below the level of development required to detect or measure their patients illnesses. i.e. a doctors fear of hypochondria.
 Hypo-terrorism - The attempt to discourage patients from reading medical books by telling them that they will start to worry about every new illness that they learn about, when in fact, 10's of millions of people read medical articles in newspapers and magazines every day, and only a very small percentage of them worry about what they learn, while the vast majority use the knowledge to prevent, relieve, or cure their own ailments without incurring the expense of medical consultations which are drug and technology intensive, but provide only brief and shallow information which is quite often useless.
 Hypochondriacs Law - The right of any patient who has failed to get a satisfactory explanation or cure for their ailment from a doctor, or a series of doctors, to read medical books and to do whatever else that may be necessary in their attempt to diagnose and cure their own condition, without being discouraged, insulted, or defamed by any doctor, psychiatrist, or any member of the media, or any publication or website.
 Medical Phobia - The morbid fear of doctors, disease, or death, especially when extreme, where the patient is afraid to criticise poor treatment, or is afraid of offending the emotional or authoritarian sensitivities of their doctor, or is afraid to read medical books for fear that they may learn something that makes them worry about their health.
 Patient Phobia - A doctors fear of patients, especially the fear of patients who start reading medical books where there is the threat that they may be able to identify the doctors mistakes and sue for damages, or where the doctor may lose the dictatorial capacity to tell lies and talk unprovable nonsense with impunity.
 Talk time - A method of providing useful medical information to patients which is not compatible with production line general practice where consultations are restricted to 10 minutes or less.


The Hypochondria In Time Magazine webpage was started in early October 2003. This Cyberchondria webpage is a continuation of that page and was started on 8-1-04.

If there is any doubt about the editors of Time Magazine being aware of these webpages members of the public who view this site are invited to inform them by email and enquire about why a reply to my emails, letter, and comments has not been presented, and then they can tell me why and I will post the explanation here.

The editors of Time Magazine have still not responded to my correspondence as of 16-7-05 but they might eventually, and if they do I will present their reply here, and if appropriate, will resume my commentary.

I therefore recommend that you . . .

Add this web page to your favourites and . . .

make notes in your diaries to

Watch This Space

at the following intervals: 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, or 10 years, and inform your descendants to watch this space in 100 years, 1000 years, and 10,000 years. M.B.

More than 2 years has passed since publication of this correspondence - and there has still been no response from the editors of Time Magazine, as predicted. M.B.
 Send the editors of Time magazine an email about Chronic Q-Fever Fatigue Syndrome

Missing Persons Bulletin for the editors of Time Magazine who have not been in contact for 2years

Timely Jokes about Hypochondria


 The Posture Theory home page and index

Hypochondria In Time Magazine

The Hypochondria Web page

The Symptoms of Hypochondria Webpage