Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Distance Healing

July 9, 2013

energyhealingOne of the most fascinating aspects of energy work, and one of the most difficult to accept (or at least it was for me in the beginning), is the concept of proxy work. If you’re not familiar with energy work, it may seem pretty crazy for me to tell you that I often work on people that I’ve never even met in person. Five years ago, if you’d have told me about someone doing this type of work, I may have even branded that person a charlatan; someone tricking people out of their money. Now I have many people who can attest to its effectiveness. In fact, if I’m not helping someone, I discontinue the treatment. I’m still amazed at how well this really works.

The first formal introduction I had to proxy work was through the training and certification process for The Emotion Code. Dr. Brad Nelson, in his book, The Emotion Code, describes it like this:

“When someone has been given authority to act for someone else, we commonly refer to the authorized person as a proxy… By voluntarily putting themselves into the position of standing in for someone else, a proxy can be tested as if they were the subject of the testing, allowing their body to be used to benefit the subject… It is literally a form of remote or distance healing. Although remote healing has not been incorporated into Western Medicine, it has been practiced both anciently and in modern times by those who practice The Silva Method, Qigong, GungFu, Reiki and other respected techniques.”

In quantum physics, there is a principle called “entanglement”. I recently watched a program where they talked about scientists doing work with this. After two particles are entangled, they can separate those particles by hundreds of miles and whatever they do to one particle is reflected in the other particle. I got excited when I heard this because it reminded me of the proxy work that I do. Whether these two principles are even connected (from a scientific standpoint), I don’t know. But I just thought it fascinating that we’re seeing a similar phenomenon outside of the world of healing and energy work.

There are many things that we can do long distance via a proxy, such as clearing trapped emotions, balancing energetic imbalances (I mainly use the Body Code), and treating allergies. I’ve worked on people as close as across the room and people as far away as the other side of the planet (New Zealand and Europe). I don’t know what the limitations are, but I can certainly work on anyone on this planet. The only catch that I know of is that you should have the subject’s permission before you have someone act as a proxy for them.

If this sounds crazy to you, feel free to read some of my previous blogs about how I came to recognize the validity and efficacy of energy work. If you’d like a consultation or to set up an appointment, visit my website at http://www.GoodHealthChiro.com.

The Trouble with Time

June 21, 2013

impatient manThey say that good things come to those who wait. I’m not sure I believe that since sitting around waiting usually doesn’t accomplish much. However, most good things do take time. In our hurry-up, get-it-now, no-waiting, fast paced world, it’s easy for us to get in a mindset of instant gratification. We expect to see results immediately, and if we don’t, we assume that the results aren’t what we were looking for.

When I was attending chiropractic college, I worked part-time as a smoking and weight therapist. Among other things, we taught people about why smoking is so addictive. Outside of the chemical addiction to nicotine, there is a strong psychological addiction due to the way in which smoking affects the body and makes you feel. Smoking can be both relaxing and stimulating simultaneously, both of which occur quickly, while you are still in contact with the cigarette. Other effects, such as anxiousness and fatigue, which are just as attributable to the tobacco as the previous effects, take a little longer, after the cigarette has been extinguished. Therefore, the mind gets programmed over and over that “when I am in the process of smoking, I feel good… when I am not smoking, I feel bad”. Get that into your mind a thousand times over and no wonder it’s a hard habit to break.

There are a lot of things in life that are somewhat like a tobacco addiction. Although we are blessed with the ability to reason and to look beyond the immediate situation, we are too often not much different from single-celled creatures – drawn toward pleasure, repelled by pain. Without conscious thought and determined purpose, we drift toward whatever feels good at the moment. However, since we are able to reason, when we take the time and effort to use our God-given intelligence, we can see beyond the moment and examine the consequences of our decisions. Therefore, we can exercise, knowing that it will give us strength and energy, although at the moment we feel more weak and tired. We can say no to that cinnamon roll that’s calling our name because we know that we’ll be healthier in the long run if we don’t give into that temptation.

Imagine a gardener plucking seeds back out of the ground or abandoning the garden simply because there was no harvest within a week of planting. Time itself accomplishes nothing. However, time is an important factor in virtually every process. We understand that. However, in life, it’s not always very straight-forward. Every time we try something new or change the way we do things, when we don’t see immediate results, we’re left to wonder whether we’re on the wrong path or if we just need to give it more time. The gardener knows approximately how long it takes for sprouts to appear. He doesn’t worry about it unless it goes significantly past a certain amount of time. However, in most new situations in life, we have no idea how long is too long. Healthcare is a lot like that. People get used to taking drugs where they often feel an almost immediate difference. So when they start taking nutritional supplements and don’t feel any difference for two weeks or more, they wonder if the supplements are doing anything. I’ll sometimes have people come in for treatment and if they don’t feel major changes in one or two visits, they feel like they’re wasting their time and money. Natural health takes time. Proper effort and patience will pay big dividends in the long run.

To sum it up, time does not heal anything. Only healing processes heal. However, all processes take time. Use your knowledge, intuition and inspiration to know what paths to follow in all aspects of your life. Then follow through, stick with it and give it sufficient time to allow natural processes to do their job and bring you the health, happiness and success that you seek.

The Complexity of Healthcare

June 14, 2013

Internal organs

The human body is extremely complex. I believe that any comment or approach that implies otherwise is naïve and an insult to the Creator. I have been treating people for over 30 years and I think I’m less confident now in giving patients a prognosis than I was in the beginning. That’s because I’ve found that people are very unpredictable. We’re not machines produced on an assembly line. Each of us is a unique individual. What’s normal for one person may not be for another. There is a saying that goes something like this: if all you have is a hammer, then you see every issue as a nail. It’s that way in healthcare. If you’re a surgeon, you’re far more likely to recommend surgery. That can be motivated somewhat by greed, but in all fairness, it’s natural to look first for a solution that you typically work with. Someone who isn’t involved with surgery is more likely to consider it a last resort. As a chiropractor, I see many health problems as being related to nerve interference secondary to vertebral subluxations (spine out of alignment). Most of the time, I’m proven right, but I realize that’s usually not the complete picture. Health problems generally have many facets to them.

There is frequently a temptation to oversimplify. We get one or two clues about a possible condition and suddenly we think we know all about it. Non-professional friends and relatives are quick to give you a diagnosis and give you a suggestion for how to manage it. Even professionals may do the same thing. Have you ever gone to the doctor with four different problems and walked out with four different prescriptions? That happened to me a few years ago. I was taught to look at the whole picture before offering a diagnosis, which is the basis of the prescribed treatment. So I wanted to see what my medical doctor would say about some issues that I was having at the time. So I gave him a list of my symptoms. Instead of looking at the bigger picture to see how the symptoms fit together so he could have a good understanding of what was going with me, he looked at each symptom separately and prescribed treatment for each one.

When I was in chiropractic college, which is similar to medical school in many ways, I was always amazed at the number of physiological principles that were not totally understood. It’s important to understand that, in spite of all the fancy instruments, scientific studies and research, healthcare is more art than science. There’s a helpful article about the problems with research entitled “That Study Is Wrong: The Truth About Research”. In actual practice, there is not a great deal of precision. We should certainly strive for greater precision and the ability to duplicate positive results. However, it’s important to understand that it’s not an exact science. That’s why a little inspiration and intuition can be so helpful.

I am constantly amazed at the functioning of the human body. (I realize this all applies to animals also, but the human body is what I work with.) It’s not only a highly coordinated system of many thousands of intricate chemical and electrical processes, but when you add in the mind, the spirit, the electromagnetic fields and so forth, it’s totally astounding! (And to think that all of that came about by accidents of nature! [yeah, right]) I’ve seen lots of people who talk about their body as if it were some old piece of machinery held together by bubble gum and baling wire and that anything they can do to it would be an improvement. That simply is not true. I have great respect for the body. I rely on treatment methods that work in conjunction with the wisdom of the body, rather than fighting against it. There are many drugs (pharmaceuticals) out there that are necessary. However, many drugs are designed to “trick” the body, to make it think that internal conditions are different than what they really are so that we can get it to provide a desired physiological response. The problem is that the body is far smarter than the doctor, not the other way around. So you need to be very careful taking that kind of control into your own hands!

I firmly believe that our bodies were designed by an all-knowing, loving Creator. Our bodies have great wisdom. For the most part, if we remove interference and give them what they need (physically, chemically, emotionally, etc.), then all we need to do is get out of the way and let them function as they were created to do.

Moon, Stars & New Paradigms

June 6, 2013

moonstarsI recently got to look at the full moon through a telescope. It was so amazing. I’ve seen detailed pictures of the moon, but this was very different looking at it myself. What was so astounding to me was the fact that I was seeing something that I had seen thousands of time, and yet I never saw it like this. It was like seeing it for the very first time.

There’s another astronomical fact that causes me deep reflection. When I look up at the night sky, whether through a telescope or just the naked eye, I realize that I’m not seeing how the stars are, but how they WERE. The closest stars are 4-6 light years away. Most of them that we see are much further away. What that means is when you look up at the stars, you’re actually seeing the past. You’re seeing the stars as they were several years ago. While it’s very cool to actually be able to witness the past, it’s also a little disturbing that I cannot see the stars as they are right now. Astronomers can come up with extremely powerful telescopes, but even they cannot see what’s happening in the distant cosmos right now.

I used to put a lot of faith in science and research. It seems like the older I get, the less faith I have in it. Research, even the highly respected double-blind studies, can be biased, results can be manipulated or misinterpreted, and so forth. Even when research is done very carefully and without bias or agenda, we can be limited by our senses, our degree of understanding, and the methods used in gathering data. I’m definitely not saying that we should do away with science. Quite the contrary. However, we just need to recognize its limitations. Many people have set aside religion in favor of science. But then they treat science as if it were a religion. To be scientifically minded is to be open minded, not clinging to dogma or preconceived notions of how the universe operates.

As I progressed in my practice as a chiropractor, over the years, I realized that body, mind and spirit all work together. I needed to learn to see things in new ways. I didn’t have to set aside the scientific model that I had been clinging to. I just had to open up its boundaries to allow new ideas in. I had to realize that the way I was looking at the human body didn’t tell the whole story. As I opened up my mind to new ways of gathering information, including tapping into the storehouse of data contained in the subconscious mind, I was able to accomplish much more with my treatment and help people with a broader range of problems.

Journey of the Hesitant Healer

April 5, 2011

I’m a conservative kind of guy. I always have been. Many people would consider me downright dull. I’ve been a chiropractor for 28 years and have always been attracted to the more scientific and measurable approaches to chiropractic care. In chiropractic college, I shied away from techniques that weren’t easily explainable or clearly documented. I always wanted everything to fit neatly into a little box of scientific comfort. And yet, I still had unanswered questions. I have always witnessed instances of chiropractic doing so much more than relieving aches and pains. I have always taught the true potential of chiropractic as set forth by its founders. So from a medical mainstream perspective, perhaps I haven’t been so conservative. Still, I kept to the right wing of chiropractic and avoided the ethereal.

Having worked with many patients over the years, I’ve noticed how some people seem to attract illness or injury whereas others have an attitude of health that helps them recover more quickly and stay healthier. I’ve also learned more about how energy flows through the body. This includes the nervous system, acupuncture meridians, magnetic fields, etc. I’m also a believer that our bodies contain an eternal spirit. When we die, our spirit leaves our body. Or is it the other way around? Do we die because our spirit leaves? I truly believe that having a close association between the body and spirit is synonymous with life and disassociation of the two means death. Could there be degrees of separation? It’s an interesting question. It’s obvious that there are many degrees of health – not just alive or dead.

With all that I’ve learned and witnessed, I’m absolutely convinced that our mental state (primarily our emotions) affects our body, and vice versa. I have also seen that proper communication between the central nervous system and the rest of the body is critical to health, which is the basis of chiropractic. Life giving energy and unhampered communication is essential to the health of every part of the body. This is critical for every cell to function properly as a component of its own part of the body and for every part of the body to function harmoniously in order for us to live and be healthy. Chiropractic adjustments can be very helpful to regain and maintain this communication and coordination. But it’s just one piece of the overall puzzle. If a spinal misalignment (subluxation) is the primary issue that’s interfering with the proper distribution of energy and coordination of the nervous system, we see tremendous results occur from properly applied chiropractic adjustments. When it’s just one of the factors causing the health problems, the results are less dramatic.

The mind has a tremendous influence on the state of the body. Most, if not all, disease processes have some degree of psychosomatic component. Our emotions are reflected in our physical state. Intense emotions, especially those that are bottled up deep inside for long periods, have the greatest effect. Addressing emotional issues can have a significant impact on our physical health.

Functionally, the mind and spirit, which are inseparably connected, work together. There are many people who feel that the subconscious mind or spirit knows deep down what’s right and what’s wrong with the body. It just doesn’t have an effective way to tell us (communicate with the conscious mind) what’s going on, at least no method that we’re typically taught. It’s painfully obvious (pun intended) that symptoms don’t tell the whole story regarding the state of our physical being. Sometimes a physical problem will manifest itself in our emotions, such as anxiety or depression. That then adds to the psychological issues, which can lead to a positive feedback loop where both health and emotions take a spiral dive.

It’s been a long journey to get me to this point. The things that I’ve learned from a scientific basis were not wasted. They have provided a foundation that allows for a more thorough, educated approach to health care. However, I found that science and technology can only take you so far. If we were talking about a machine, something that man had created, man’s education and understanding through traditional scientific methods would be sufficient to fully understand and manage it. But when we’re dealing with the human body, which obviously man did not create, scientific methods fall short.

One thing I tried to do was to decrease subjectivity by removing myself from the equation. I tried doing some tests where I was not in contact with the patient or where someone else was doing the test. Neither of these things showed the same results as I was getting. In fact, they showed no result. Does that prove that it’s all in MY head? I would wonder about that if it weren’t for the results that I’m getting. I don’t think I can separate myself from the process. If that creates subjectivity, I can’t help that. I am a part of it.

In spite of my initial scientific approach to chiropractic and the desire to be grounded in well-established and accepted principles, I have never wanted to be a healthcare technician. It is one of my greatest desires to be a HEALER. That said, I fully acknowledge that I personally cannot heal anything. Healing comes from God and from the inherent abilities that God included with the gift of our physical bodies. For most chronic conditions where significant and immediate intervention is not required, the best that any doctor/healer can do is to remove interference so our God-given healing abilities can be fully active and functional.

Since we are spiritual beings, healing must have a spiritual component. If you believe that we are soul-less creatures who simply evolved from the muck and slime, you will not agree with my reasoning. If you feel that everything you need to know about the human body can be learned by dissecting a cadaver or studying physiology, you’ll think I’m just a crackpot. However, if you believe as I do, that we are spiritual beings, that our spirits are templates for our bodies and that the energy of our spirits provide life for our bodies, then what I’m saying should make some sense, even if it seems foreign at first.

Inside Chiropractic Philosophy

January 11, 2011

I want to share some insights into differences within chiropractic philosophy. Being a chiropractor and caring about my colleagues, the purpose of this post is not to run down anyone’s philosophy. However, I am not ashamed of our profession and I think that it would help many people to understand the differences between chiropractors. There are very distinct differences between chiropractors. In some ways, those differences make us (my profession) weaker by not providing a clear understanding of what chiropractic really is all about. Perhaps in some ways we’d be better off if we all did the same thing. It would certainly be less confusing to the general public. It would be much simpler to say this is what a chiropractor is and this is exactly what all chiropractors do. Our message to the world gets confusing and watered down because we don’t have a unified voice.

But would it be better for everyone if all chiropractors were the same? I don’t think so. Different people have different needs. We as people are not machines that came off an assembly line. Even standards for what’s “normal”, such as a body temperature, etc., are more averages than exactly what’s right for each individual. Not only do needs differ, but so do levels of understanding, philosophical backgrounds, etc. If we were to standardize all chiropractic care — all doing the same tests, the same treatments in the same way, which approach would we choose? Who’s to say exactly which one is right? Not only do patients need different kinds of care depending on their unique circumstances, but the philosophy and technique must also fit the doctor. Attitudes, beliefs, size and strength all play a part in each chiropractor’s decision on what technique they will primarily practice.

When I first started in practice, we used to talk about “straights” vs. “mixers”. A straight chiropractor only did chiropractic adjustments, whereas a mixer would add other things such as nutrition and so forth. I usually don’t hear those terms any more. One of the main distinctions that I see these days is that of wellness vs. pain doctors. Pain-oriented chiropractors don’t usually identify themselves as such, but that is their focus. I am a wellness chiropractor. It’s not so much whether I use nutritional supplements or physical therapy or other adjunctive methods. The main thing that distinguishes a wellness chiropractor from others is that we’re not strictly orthopedic. We want to relieve pain and restore joint function as much as anyone else. However, we see chiropractic as much more.

Since the body is self-healing and self-regulating, and since the nervous system controls and regulates all parts and processes of the body, it stands to reason that if a vertebral subluxation (small misalignment in the spine) can interfere with the full proper functioning of the nervous system, then reducing that subluxation through chiropractic adjustments can improve health. This is not some snake oil approach. We don’t claim that chiropractic can cure everything. In fact, I maintain that chiropractic doesn’t cure anything. It’s the body that heals itself. The purpose of the chiropractic adjustment is to remove or reduce interference so the body can take care of itself.

Although what I’ve just stated is the foundation of chiropractic as set forth by its founders, not all chiropractors see it that way. There is not even agreement between all chiropractors as to what constitutes a subluxation. So are the differences between chiropractors in both technique and philosophy a strength or a weakness? It would make our message much clearer if we all saw it the same way, but then we wouldn’t be able to appeal to such a large number of people. If you don’t like the experience you’ve had a with a chiropractor, chances are there’s another one down the street with a different approach that may fit you better. However, if you’re like most people, your experience with them has been very positive.

Should children get chiropractic adjustments?

October 15, 2010

Dr. Don's grand-daughterThere are two basic approaches to the philosophy of chiropractic. We see this among both doctors and patients. The most essential difference I see is pain relief vs. wellness. This isn’t really about chiropractic technique or whether a doctor uses nutrition and other supportive measures or if he/she just simply does adjustments. It’s a question of intent. If we approach chiropractic as some kind of therapy designed to simply reduce pain and improve function from an orthopedic standpoint, its focus is simply symptom relief, following a more medical model. On the other hand, chiropractic can follow more of a wellness model, that is maximizing health potential by improving the functioning of the nervous system.

The question of treating children with chiropractic adjustments, in my opinion, is where the rubber meets the road in pain relief vs. wellness. I haven’t run across many young children who complain of back or neck pain. Therefore, under a medical model, it would rarely be appropriate for small children to be adjusted. However, if we consider the importance of a properly functioning nervous system in achieving and maintaining good health, and if you understand the relationship between chiropractic adjustments and the nervous system, it would make great sense to adjust children when there are spinal misalignments (subluxations).

After nearly 27 years of being a chiropractor, I’ve never witnessed any ill effects of chiropractic adjustments on even very young children. Yet I’ve seen many children helped significantly by them. My own children, and now my grand-daughter (shown above), are prime examples of this. I listened to other parents talking about how their children frequently got sick and suffered from earaches, sore throats and so on. It was extremely rare that we had to deal with anything like that. From the time that they were small babies, I checked them regularly and kept them in proper alignment. I don’t “pop” little baby’s necks or backs, but rather just apply very gentle specific pressure on the vertebrae. As the child gets bigger, I can do a little more. (A chiropractic adjustment does not require a “pop”, and certainly not all pops are specific enough to be considered an adjustment.)

I’ve often wished that adults would respond as quickly or dramatically as young children. Adults are generally healthier under chiropractic care as well, but often times, they have long-standing problems and many other complications that make the response slower and less extreme. I’m not saying that chiropractic is a cure-all and that children under regular care will never have any health problems. I hesitate to list conditions that chiropractic can help with. On the one extreme, I don’t want to promise that chiropractic will definitely help with any particular condition. At the other end of the spectrum, I don’t want to put limitations on it. The body is a wonderful and amazing creation. When nerve interference is the main problem, using chiropractic adjustments to reduce that interference can have fantastic results, especially on children, who are resilient and free from long-standing problems.

I highly recommend having children checked by a competent chiropractor. Chances are they’ll be much healthier for it. You can also refer to an article in USA Today for further thoughts on it.

Hope for fibromyalgia sufferers

August 7, 2010

I just gave a presentation on fibromyalgia. So I thought I’d share some of the principles with the rest of the world. If you or a loved one is suffering from fibromyalgia, I don’t need to tell you how debilitating it can be. It’s a difficult condition to diagnose, probably due to a lack of definitive tests. Doctors who are looking for it see it frequently, whereas more conservative doctors may not even believe in it and would therefore never offer that as a diagnosis. Used to be, people who had it were generally told it was all in their head. Some people may still be told that from time to time since it’s so hard to prove.

One of the possible causes of fibromyalgia is depression. It will also trigger a flare-up and it’s also listed as a complication of fibromyalgia. So which comes first – depression or fibromyalgia? I’m sure it varies from person to person. One thing for sure, if you hurt every day and can’t do the normal things in life without difficulty, especially when there’s no obvious reason for it, chances are you will get depressed, if you weren’t already! It’s not all in your head, but it can at least partly stem from where your head is at.

The problem is that fibromyalgia isn’t really a specific disease. I refer to it simply as a condition. There are two main criteria for diagnosing it. First, you have to have widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months. Second, you have tenderness or pain in at least 11 of the 18 specified tender points when pressure is applied. For more information, visit the National Fibromyalgia Association’s website at www.fmaware.org.

I’ve gathered a list of possible causes of fibromyalgia from a number of sources:

  • Immune system problems
  • Physically unfit muscles 
  • Disturbance in brain chemistry
  • Sleep Disturbances or Insomnia
  • Infection with the Epstein-Barr virus
  • Food allergy
  • Emotional stress
  • Intestinal candida overgrowth
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Adrenal exhaustion
  • Chronic mercury poisoning from amalgam dental fillings
  • Anemia
  • Hypoglycemia 
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Fibromyalgia is closely related to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which causes similar symptoms, except that in fibromyalgia, muscle pain predominates over fatigue, whereas in CFS, fatigue predominates over pain.
  • Muscular hypoxia

It’s that last one that I’d like to focus on. I’ve seen some interesting research that may provide hope. It has to do with ATP production. ATP is the substance that your body produces for managing and storing energy. It’s been found that fibromyalgia sufferers frequently have low levels of ATP in their blood platelets. Two nutrients that help to boost ATP production are magnesium and malate (or malic acid). One study showed that patients taking 300-600 mg of magnesium and 1200-2400 mg of malic acid per day showed an average 60% reduction in pain after only 48 hours.

Here are a few other things you can do to improve this condition:

  • Exercise — Fibromyalgia can be a downward spiral. The muscles desperately need exercise, but it hurts to exercise and can cause a flare-up that can last for days. Without the stretching, increased circulation and movement in the muscles, fibromyalgia symptoms will gradually increase. Exercise is an important component of the management of this condition. The keys are to start off very slowly and to make the exercise regimen part of an entire management program (see the other suggestions listed in this blog). I recommend starting off with walking and stretching.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids — Irritation leads to inflammation, which can cause more irritation (another one of those ugly spirals). Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EPA, DHA) naturally reduces inflammation.
  • Chiropractic — Regular chiropractic adjustments will improve both mobility and function. It will also increase your general health and well-being.
  • Stress/emotion management — Find reasons to laugh, let go of stress. Emotional stress can kick off fibromyalgia flare-ups and is even suggested as one of the causes. As much as possible, avoid negative physical, emotional, chemical and nutritional stress. I realize that’s a very broad statement, but in this context, that’s about as deep as I can go on that. As much as you can follow a proper path of health and reduce stresses upon your system, the less pain you will experience.

Try these things. Hope is an essential ingredient in the management of any condition or disease. Do what you can to take control. Giving up, giving in only empowers the problem more than the solution.

Migraine Tragedy

July 2, 2010

I recently had a patient come in with severe neurological damage. Several years ago, she was undergoing medical treatment for migraine headaches. The doctor was injecting her neck with steroids. The first shot was okay, but the second one went terribly wrong. He apparently went in too far, injecting into her spinal cord. She was paralyzed for six months. She eventually got to where she could walk and get around fairly well. However, it left her right hand and arm practically useless. She is in constant pain and must use implanted electrodes along her spine to try to control the symptoms, as well as taking strong pain killers every day. In spite of all that, the pain and disability are almost unbearable. This has been going on for six years now.

The purpose of this blog is not to criticize the medical treatment this woman received. The outcome was obviously tragic. I frankly don’t know enough about the circumstances or what the doctor was doing to comment on it intelligently. What really bothers me is that I have successfully treated many migraine patients through gentle and natural means without ever harming anyone. Perhaps I could have averted this tragedy if this woman would have come to see me or one of many other chiropractors who have similar techniques.

Chiropractic is safe and works in harmony with the body. Serious adverse effects are extremely rare. In fact, in 26 years of practice, I’ve never seen any. Effectiveness, of course, varies from person to person. With some people it helps a great deal, while a few not so much. I wish I could say that I’ve totally eliminated everyone’s headaches that’s ever been to see me. However, at least 90% of them have had their headaches, including migraines, significantly reduced or eliminated. (I know — that’s not very statistical; it’s just an observation. But it is an honest assessment of my experience.)

I hope that people with chronic headaches will give chiropractic a try. I realize that medications are easier and cheaper, but they do have side effects and dangers, and they do nothing to address the underlying cause.

An Inflammatory Battle

May 31, 2010

This is not actually about a battle that is inflammatory. This is about the battle against inflammation itself. Inflammation, which is an immune response, creates pain, stiffness and decreased function in joints, muscles and other parts of your body. Inflammation reduces proper flow of blood and lymph, thus allowing toxins to build up in that area. This swelling results from injury, infection or just irritation of soft tissues and can slow the healing process.

The most common approach to treatment of inflammation is with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). More than 70 million prescriptions are written for NSAIDs each year and 30 BILLION over-the-counter tablets are sold annually. This represents a 9 billion dollar annual industry in the United States alone.

So what’s wrong with using NSAIDs? Their use has been associated with gastric ulcers, bleeding, myocardial infarction, stroke and even death. Prescription NSAIDs for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis alone cause over 16,000 deaths each year. NSAIDs are actually the most common cause of drug-related mortality reported to the FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world.

Are you taking NSAIDs? You may not know them by that name. We see them as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxin and other terms. There are safer and healthier alternatives! For localized relief, an ice pack can be very effective. Ice should only be used when there are no serious circulatory problems. Also, don’t put it directly on the skin. Use a thin towel or something similar to protect the skin. Place the ice pack on the area of inflammation for 10-20 minutes.

For longer term treatment, omega-3 fish oil can help to control inflammation. Essential fatty acids in the fish oil can help reduce joint pain, including pain from arthritis. Most of the greasy foods that people eat, including potato chips, french fries and many processed foods are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can increase inflammation in the body. Eating too much red meat can also contribute to the inflammatory process.

Much has been studied and written about the harmful effects of inflammatory processes within the body. It goes beyond simple pain. However, I won’t try to address that issue in this brief post. How do you know if there’s inflammation if it’s not all red and swollen? When it comes to joints and muscles, if it hurts, there’s usually inflammation. What about treating it with heat? Heat is good for stiffness. Alternating heat and cold can even be an effective method of treating mild inflammation and driving out toxins. However, heat pulls fluids in, which can increase inflammation. That’s why I always tell my patients — if in doubt, use ice.