Perplexing situation

An interesting conversation with one of my patients this morning:  she has been getting chiropractic adjustments for complaints that resulted from an automobile accident a couple of months ago and she was recently contacted by her insurance representative who told her she wasn’t coming to see me often enough and that she had a lot more money assigned to her case that she needed to use up. 

Now, this is the second insurance representative that has indicated to me that we weren’t utilizing or charging enough.  With the cost of health care as it is, wouldn’t one assume that the insurance companies would be delighted to be working with someone who is trying very hard to keep costs down?!  I am perplexed by this.  My intention has always been to get maximum improvement as quickly as possible with the least amount of expense, no matter who is paying the bill.  In the end, it costs us all if the prices or frequency are inflated and that serves no one in the long run. 


Spinal health affects other functions

I have been reminded lately of  the importance of maintaining excellent spinal health as it relates to the function of other body systems.  Functions such as bladder control, digestion, elimination processes are all influenced by the coondition of the spine.  For those folks who are experiencing bladder control problems, constipation or chronic diarrhea, the spinal nerves in the lumbar area may be at issue.

I have had a large number of patients that have seen improvement in these areas when they pay attention to spinal health, including regular adjustments and being consistent with their core exercises.  And since bladder and bowel problems are the most frequent issues that require admittance to a nursing-home facility, it behooves all of us to pay attention to the maintainance required.  Core exercises and monthly spinal adjustments are effective and easy in most cases.  And well worth the time and effort.

Balanced exercise activity

I have recently had more opportunities to talk with patients about the importance of a balanced exercise program.  Most folks are aware of the benefits of cardio activities and will opt for that type when starting a new exercise routine.  What I think is important, is to include exercises for strength and flexibility. 

Adding regular yoga practice, or Pilates is a terrific way to help protect bone density as we age and to improve and support our ability to control our bodies in space, maintaining balance, thus reducing the risk of falling. 

Along with good nutrition, participating in regular weight-bearing, resistance and stretching type exercise activities will contribute a great deal to keeping us strong, healthy and out of the nursing home.

Spring Fever

Since we have had an unusually mild winter here in Lawrence, KS, and spring has already begun to show a bit of the seasonal glory, it causes me to reevaluate my daily routines.  Maybe to shake out what doldrums might be hanging around , while I shake out the rugs and clean the windows, so I can see and feel more of what life has to offer.  One of the areas I want to restructure is my physical exercise routines.  I have benefitted by the racquetball and weight training that are my usual activities, but with warmer weather, I feel the need to add more outdoor exercises.  It helps to keep boredom at bay when we add something new, replace those activities that seem old, with another that might also stimulate our mental activity.

I know that reading the newspaper or watching the news while on the treadmill is a common approach to cardio exercise, but I find that walking outdoors in a good pair of shoes, especially going up and down hills, not only gives me a good cardio workout, but allows me time to watch the evolution of the spring happenings around my neighbohood.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the visual stimulation that I want to continue the walk far beyond my regular exercise time.  Unless I am in a time crunch, it is a treat for me to be lost in the process while I add more good movement and fresh air. 

What a great time of year…isn’t Mother Nature something!?

Broccoli, broccoli, broccoli

Okay, so not just broccoli, but word has it that broccoli in particular is extremely good to prevent and sometimes eliminate malignant cells in the prostate and even shrinks cells involved in benign prostatic hypertrophy.  The other cruciferous veggies, like brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower are also associated with decreased risk of colon cancers.

The vegetable should be eaten raw or lightly steamed, as the longer you cook it, the less effective it is, because the active enzymes are deactivated with prolonged heat.  Studies also show that isolated ingredients from these foods are not near as effective by themselves, so whole food is absolutely the best.  Or include some whole food supplements into your diet.

It is so true, that food should be our first line of medicine.  If only we could remember that.

Travel Ramblings

During a recent trip to southwest Kansas, from my hometown of Lawrence, KS, I was feeling a little stressed about everything I needed to get done.  There was a single event that totally took me out of my place of stress and reminded me of the  wonder of nature.  I was approaching the very last leg of my trip when the sun was setting  and I was awestruck by the colors I saw.  The deepest orange I could imagine, nestled underneath an incredible spectrum of purple hues, topped with the palest of blue. 

I called my parents in Deerfield, and suggested they stop what they were doing that very moment and go outside to see it.  Which they did.  We were able to share something spectacular without having to do any of the work to make it happen.  Wow, just wow!



New Year – New Beginnings

In honor of the New Year, instead of making resolutions I don’t usually follow through on, I have committed to laughing more.  Given the difficulties that my fellow humans have survived this last year, I think that more joviality might make the hard times easier to manage.  So, I will make every effort, when appropriate, to laugh more, share more of a positive perspective to my friends and patients and to appreciate others’ humor.

I am also going to start a liver cleanse next week.  I have done it many times before and find it to be a good way to get everything moving in my body.  Three weeks of clean food, lots of nutritional supplements which help to clean out the liver and digestive tract give me a great boost of energy and as a side effect, it helps decrease the incidence of migraine headaches. 

Happy and Prosperous  New Year to all!

Spinal health and digestion

I am frequently reminded of the close relationship between the middle of the spine and the health of the digestive system.  Often, when a patient complains of indigestion, we can help to improve the symptoms with proper alignment of the thoracic spine and adding some digestive enzymes.  We also try to address lifestyle issues that may be contributing to the situation.  High stress, eating large meals, diets high in simple carbohydrates, not drinking enough water, eating late at night are a few of the possible contributing factors over which we have control. 

Exercise, oddly enough, also has an effect on digestion.  Using the muscles in the abdomen helps to increase blood flow to abdominal organs and creates a massaging effect on the digestive organs, which encourages proper movement of food through the system.



Thoughts for the holiday season

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be.  Be one.”  Marcus Aurelius

Okay, I know we all have a lot of pressure to be good and do good.  As I move through the holiday season preparations, it serves me well to be reminded that the stress associated with the increased activity can be transformed into results that can change a life.  Choosing kindness instead of short-tempered responses, choosing gentleness and presence of mind instead of  just going through the motions can make a huge difference in our own experience as well as those with which we are interacting or even those who witness our presence. 

I am committing to having just such an experience as often as possible, in an ongoing attempt to ‘be what a good wo/man should be’.  Happy, kind and gentle holiday wishes to everyone.



Wisdom from the ages

“The consumption of sugar and other relatively pure carbohydrates has become so great during recent years that it presents a serious obstacle to the improved nutrition of the general public”  This was quoted from the American Medical Association in 1942!  Can you believe it?  The more things change, the more they stay the same, but in this case, it grows.  I am reminded of how diet can effect our current and long term health in very major ways.

I recently heard of a program for teaching kids about nutrition.  It categorized foods in green, yellow and red light groups.  The kids then can monitor their own red light foods, decreasing the number per week gradually.  It seems to work better than the parents always being the food police.  PS, it works for grown-ups too.