Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Five Foods to Fight Asthma

Most of us take breathing for granted. But if you suffer from asthma, the simple act of inhaling and exhaling can be a painful, even life-threatening struggle. Asthma causes dramatic tightening of the bronchial tubes, making breathing difficult or even impossible. It can be triggered by a number of factors, ranging from airborne allergens to exercise and stress or certain foods.

Processed foods and some vitamins and medications may contain food coloring and additives that can worsen asthma; yellow dye #5 (tartrazine), for example, is well known for provoking attacks. Asthma attacks may also be triggered by a high-salt diet, and some studies have shown that reducing salt intake can enhance pulmonary function. Some people are sensitive to foods that trigger mucous production in the body, especially dairy and wheat. Additionally, excess dietary tryptophan can aggravate respiratory conditions. Foods high in tryptophan include turkey, chicken, dairy products, soy and seafood.

Avoiding foods that may lead to an inflammatory condition in the body can also be helpful. These foods include fried and processed foods, which are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and trans fats; sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can cause the body to increase production of inflammatory compounds and red meat which contains pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid.

Certain foods can help lessen the symptoms of asthma by reducing inflammation, relaxing spasms and acting as natural antihistamines.

1. Salmon. This oil-rich fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that are well known for their ability to reduce the body's production of inflammatory compounds. Studies have shown that fish oil can improve pulmonary function in people with asthma and can protect against exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Fish oil can also reduce airway narrowing and inflammation. Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include tona, mackerel, and other cold-water fish. Flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and canola oil are high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which the body converts to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the form found in fish.

2. Spinach. Spinach is a great source of magnesium, which may improve symptoms of asthma. Studies have found that people with asthma tend to have lower blood and tissue levels of magnesium, and increasing magnesium intake over the long run can reduce the incidence of asthma attacks. In one study, 400mg of magnesium per day significantly decreased asthma symptoms. Researches think that magnesium works by calming asthma's characteristic spasms in the smooth muscles of the upper respiratory tract and it also appears to have a mild antihistamines effect. A diet high in salt can deplete magnesium, as can calcium supplements, soft drinks, refined carbohydrates, and stress, so you may not be getting enough. Also, spinach is high in B vitamins and may help reduce stress-related asthma attacks. Other good sources of magnesium include almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, tofu and beans.

3. Red peppers. Red peppers are rich in vitamin C, which is especially helpful in treating asthma brought on by exercise. In other studies, a diet high in vitamin C appears to reduce inflammation. Ascorbic acid may also lessen asthma symptoms by acting as an antihistamine. And it appears to inhibit production of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase, which is how common asthma drugs work. Red peppers are also rich in vitamin A, and new research shows a correlation between vitamin A deficiency and asthma attacks. Other great sources of vitamin C include peaches, papayas, strawberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, organs and grapefruit.

4. Onions. A number of older studies have found that onions have an anti-inflammatory and anti-asthmatic effect, inhibit the release of histamines, and reduce bronchial obstruction. Onions contain prostaglandins that relax the bronchial passageways. Onions are also high in quercetin, a type of flavonoid that has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties and in vitamin C. And onions contain L-cysteine, an amino acid that factors into the production of glutathione, a naturally occurring antioxidant in the body that is necessary for maintaining immunity. Glutathione production is often compromised in asthmatics. (Note: raw and picked onions may provoke asthma attacks in a small number of sensitive people.)

5. Chickpeas. Chickpeas are rich in vitamin B6, which may help decrease wheezing and asthma symptoms, especially in children. Getting additional B6 becomes especially important if you use the asthma drug theophylline, which seems to depress the liver's metabolism of B6 and can deplete the body's stores of this crucial nutrient. Vitamin B6 also appears to correct abnormalities in tryptophan metabolism, which are common in asthmatics. And since many cases of asthma are stress related, it makes sense to eat adequate amounts of this stress-relieving nutrient. Other good sources of vitamin B6 include fish, chicken, turkey, barley, brown rice, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds and peas.

Article Source:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Blind Men and The Elephant

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, "Hey, there is an elephant in the village today."
They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, "Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway." All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.
"Hey, the elephant is a pillar," said the first man who touched his leg.
"Oh, no! it is like a rope," said the second man who touched the tail.
"Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree," said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.
"It is like a big hand fan" said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.
"It is like a huge wall," said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.
"It is like a solid pipe," Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.
They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, "What is the matter?" They said, "We cannot agree to what the elephant is like." Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, "All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said." "Oh!" everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.

The moral of the story is that there may be some truth to what someone says. Sometimes we can see that truth and sometimes not because they may have different perspective which we may not agree too. So, rather than arguing like the blind men, we should say, "Maybe you have your reasons." This way we don't get in arguments. In Jainism, it is explained that truth can be stated in seven different ways. So, you can see how broad our religion is. It teaches us to be tolerant towards others for their viewpoints. This allows us to live in harmony with the people of different thinking. This is known as the Syadvada, Anekantvad, or the theory of Manifold Predictions.

Could the autonomic arousal that accompanies anxiety contribute to cardiovascular instability?

Women with histories of full-blown panic attacks had elevated risks for coronary heart disease.

To find out, these investigators extracted data from the Myocardial Ischemia and Migraine Study, a prospective, community-based study of 3369 generally healthy women (age range, 51–83). Most of the data were obtained from questionnaires, which were supplemented by physical examination and ambulatory EKG monitoring and by individual follow-up or event confirmation of patients who had died or been hospitalized for serious cardiovascular events.

Full-blown panic attacks were defined as sudden fear, anxiety, or extreme discomfort accompanied by four or more DSM-defined panic attack symptoms. A total of 330 patients reported experiencing full-blown panic attacks over the 6 months before the study, and 273 had experienced limited-symptom panic attacks (anxiety plus 1–3 panic attack symptoms).

Researchers determined risk for coronary heart disease (CHD, defined as myocardial infarction or cardiac death) after adjustment for all relevant risk factors, including smoking, hypertension, body-mass index, depression history, and physical activity. The risk for subsequent CHD was 4.2 times higher in women who had experienced full-blown panic attacks than in those without panic histories. Women with limited-symptom attacks did not have significantly elevated risks for subsequent CHD (but did have elevated risks for stroke and all-cause mortality). Depression was not associated with cardiovascular events after adjustment for panic attacks.

Comment: It is not clear whether panic attacks are a manifestation of autonomic instability that predisposes to cardiac events or whether the physiology of panic anxiety brings out latent coronary instability. In either case, panic attacks in postmenopausal women appear to be an independent risk factor for CHD. Patients having panic attacks with or without panic disorder should be evaluated for comorbid CHD. It will take some creativity to explain these findings to patients while working to reduce catastrophic reactions to perceived dangers.

— Steven Dubovsky, MD

Published in Journal Watch Psychiatry October 29, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Pics

We have seen some pretty creative costumes: Brett and Jermaine-Flight of the Concords, Beckim and Posh Spice
Please send us your pics so we can post them.

Antidepressant Use Rising Among Kids

A November 18, 2004 Reuters News story with the above headline starts off by noting that according to a new study doctors are prescribing more antidepressants for children and adolescents although there is little evidence about their safety or efficacy in youngsters.

Dr. Ian Wong of the Centre for Paediatric Pharmacy Research at the University of London was one of several researchers who conducted the study. They compared prescribing trends in Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico by using information from an international database that contains a representative sample of medical practitioners in each country. Dr. Wong noted that Britain had the highest rate of increase with 68 percent while Germany, with 13 percent, had the lowest. He commented, “The number of prescriptions in different countries for children with mental illness is increasing.”

Dr. Wong did note that the rate of increase in England was higher because the number of children that were taking antidepressants was low compared to the United States. “In England, the number of prescriptions per child for that kind of illness is actually 10 times lower than in America. When you have a very low baseline the increase is much quicker,” Dr. Wong said.

The article noted that earlier this year New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer accused drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline Plc in a lawsuit of fraudulently suppressing information about its antidepressant Paxil, which is sold as Seroxat in Europe. The lawsuit claimed that the drug was broadly ineffective in youngsters and could increase the risks of suicidal behavior.

Wong and his colleagues concluded, “We believe the use of psychotropic medications in children is a global public health issue, which should be studied in partnership with pharmaceutical companies, governments and researchers.”

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Monkey See - Monkey Do Not by Steffi Freedman

Aerobics can be challenging and on days when you’re not feeling too coordinated, it’s helpful to have a neighbor you can follow. In classes like step, kickboxing, and even hip hop, it’s extremely helpful. In fact, it’s literally survival of the fittest – and the most coordinated!
Participants in a Pilates classes should approached it differently. You may notice that some instructors forgo music or demonstrating the exercises. These different approaches help you zone in on feeling, not just doing Pilates. We were taught to cue in a very specific and vivid way that helps you connect your mind, body, and spirit. You’re challenging yourself each time you take class to draw your belly deeper, glide the shoulders away from the ears, lengthen just one more inch!
Every once-in-a-while it may help to turn to the left to see if your neighbor is on the right track so you can follow, but honing in on the instructors’ cues and quieting your mind of whatever happened that day can turn your Pilates class into an intense and invigorating experience.

Friday, October 26, 2007

TOPIC: Finding a Qualified Pilates Instructor by Steffi Freedman

When starting Pilates, or really any exercise program, it’s important to make sure your instructor is properly trained. The industry is experiencing such a surge in popularity that the number of qualified instructors isn’t keeping up with the growing demand of participants.
Only recently the governing body of Pilates, the Pilates Method Alliance, instituted a national certification exam for instructors. While it’s not required (yet), it helps screen the instructors who have gone through extensive training that includes an overview of anatomy and hundreds of hours of observation, workshops, teaching, and taking Pilates.
At most studios, you can call before hand and set up a ten minute consultation to ask the instructor questions. Whether she teaches Classical, Power Pilates, Stott, or a blend of different approaches, the truth of the matter is this. If your instructor has completed one of those programs and you feel that she can help you achieve your goals, you’re on the right track.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pot For Pain: Low To Moderate Doses Only

Although smoking "moderate" doses of cannabis helps reduce pain in healthy research volunteers, pain is actually increased at high doses, a new study shows.

The November issue of the journal Anesthesiology features a study showing that marijuana, or cannabis, reduces pain only within a smaller dose range.

"Our study suggests that there is a therapeutic window for analgesia, with low doses being ineffective, medium doses resulting in pain relief and high doses increasing pain," said lead author Dr. Mark S. Wallace of University of California, San Diego, in a news release.

Wallace and colleagues evaluated the effects of smoking marijuana on pain responses in 15 healthy volunteers. On different days, the research subjects smoked low, medium or high doses of cannabis (based on the content of 9-delta-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active chemical in marijuana), or an inactive placebo.

Pain was induced by injecting capsaicin, the "hot" chemical found in chili peppers, into the skin. Capsaicin injection is a standard technique used in pain studies, according to the authors.

Five minutes after smoking, none of the three doses of cannabis had any effect on pain responses to capsaicin.

However, 45 minutes after smoking the moderate dose of cannabis, pain was significantly reduced — approximately six points lower on a 100-point scale, compared with the inactive placebo.

In contrast, 45 minutes after smoking the high dose of cannabis, pain scores were increased — about eight points higher than with placebo.

The low dose of cannabis had no effect on pain scores. None of the three doses affected the spread of pain beyond the area injected with capsaicin.

Levels of THC measured in the blood were significantly related to reduced pain scores at the moderate dose of cannabis, but not to the increase in pain with high-dose cannabis. The volunteers' sense of feeling "high" increased with each dose of cannabis, even though the pain-relieving effects did not.

"With several states having passed laws legalizing the medical use of cannabis, there has been a call for more research on medicinal cannabis," said Wallace.

Wallace and colleagues call for further research, including studies of the clinical value of the pain-reducing effects. Based on this studies findings, Wallace said he would not recommend marijuana as a method of pain reduction at this time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Emotons and Eating: Understanding the Hungers That Make Us Human by Dr. Sherri Edelman


Eating is a metaphor for the way we live and love. Excessive fantasizing, creating drama, the need to be in control, and wanting what is forbidden are some of the behaviors that block us from finding joy in food or relationships.
Guidelines that enable us to break free from compulsive behavior—learning to stay in the present, beginning to value ourselves NOW, giving the hungry child within us a voice, understanding our physical and emotional hungers, and teaching ourselves to receive pleasure—enable us to be intimate with ourselves and others.

• Diets don’t work because FOOD & WEIGHT are the SYMPTOMS, not the problems! The focus on weight provides a convenient and culturally reinforced distraction from the reasons why so many people use food when they are not hungry!
• Some of the reasons we experience failure have more to do with—neglect, lack of trust, lack of love, unexpressed rage, grief, protection from getting hurt…
• People abuse themselves with food because they haven’t learned deeply that they deserve better, and have not learned and implemented the skills and strategies that are necessary to remove the interference to living the truth.
It is important to now take responsibility for changing these archaic dysfunction and destructive patterns of reacting and perceiving ourselves. Because our patterns of eating were formed by early perceptions of loving, it is necessary to understand and work with beliefs around both food and love to feel satisfied with our relationship to either.


Compulsion is despair on the emotional level…the feeling that there is no one home. We become compulsive to create what we believe is not there. All we ever wanted, or still want, is love.

• We didn’t want to become compulsive…we did it to survive, to keep from going crazy.
• Food becomes love—eating is a way of being loved. It is available when noone else is…it is always there…it tastes good…is warm when we are cold and cold when we are hot. It becomes the closest thing we know of love.
• This happens not because we are ignorant, but if we’ve never been “loved well”, we don’t know what love really feels like, and we haven’t learned to love ourselves well. We need to learn that now.

Compulsive behavior, at its most fundamental, is a lack of self-love; it is an expression of a belief that we are not good enough. When we are children, we have no resources, no power to make choices about our life situation. We are completely dependent on our caregivers for food, shelter and love. If we experience the pain as too uncomfortable and we have no power to change it or leave, we shut it off. We then switch our pain to something we can control: a compulsion. Food is just one of many possibilities. (Others are sex, television, work, alcohol, drugs, shopping, etc.)
Fortunately, as adults, we have free choice to revisit the decisions we made long ago before we had a real choice—about our self-worth, our capacity to love, and our willingness to be loved, for it is from these decisions that many of our old beliefs about compulsion and love took hold. Long ago we had no choice—now we do!
When food and love get mixed up with each other—we stop showing the places that hurt or need comfort. We stop expecting our needs will be met (sometimes we don’t even know what our real needs are!) and we begin to rely on ourselves and only ourselves to provide sustenance, comfort, and pleasure. So we begin to eat. And eat…but not to fuel and nourish our bodies.


Obsession with food gives us an easy container for all of our feelings of disappointment, rage, sorrow and shame. As long as we are obsessed with food, we always have a concrete excuse for our pain. The significance of giving up an obsession with food is not a thinner body, not a smaller size, but giving up a protection from pain. When you continue to protect yourself from pain, you protect yourself from intimacy. But when you allow yourself to experience what the real emotion is, sit with that very real emotion—and then ask yourself “Why am I feeling this way? Why now?”, we can then clearly identify that need. Once we do, we as adults must become Self Responsible for the steps to take to get that need met!!
Eating becomes a way to secretly give to yourself—any time we eat compulsively, we reinforce the belief that the only way we can have what we want is to give it to ourselves by means of the chosen compulsion. Moreover, it triggers old messages that we are bad for having needs, and especially bad if we satisfy them. No two objects can occupy the same space at the same time: it is not possible to be obsessed with food, or anything else, and be truly intimate with ourselves or another person; there is just no space for it. So giving up a compulsion makes room for self, and other, and love.


Love and compulsion cannot coexist…
• Compulsion is the act of wrapping ourselves around an activity, a substance, or a person to survive, to tolerate and numb our experience of the moment.
• Love is a state of connectedness, one that includes:
A willingness to face, not run from, our fears
• Compulsion is a state of isolation—one that includes:
Low self-esteem
Fear that if we faced pain—it would destroy us

Compulsion leaves no room for love—which is why many individuals started eating: as a result of past experiences when we were open to receiving love, but BURIED that need when the people around us did not offer it unconditionally. The existence of compulsion is to act as a shield from the pain associated with issues to do with love.

• Set a goal to have, rather than be, a healthy, fit body. To gain confidence on this path, you need to listen to yourself, both thoughts and feelings.

• Build a “Self” based on Esteem, Kindness, Patience and Forgiveness.

• Break free from Mindless Eating…. it asks you to stop being a victim, gives you choice, self-responsibility.

• Go against a culture that encourages us to define our self-worth as a comparison, against externals—what we look like, what we weigh, how much we possess.

• Mend the shattered, fractured self, hiding inside the compulsion. Seek help from professionals that can partner with you on this very important journey.

• Use the strong language of action:

I agree to
I pledge to
I am prepared to
I intend to
I am ready to
I vow to
I promise to
I will

Vow today to not stand in your own way.

Often it is easier to accomplish the difficult goals of transformation with the partnership of a experienced, compassionate professional. Dr. Sherri Edelman is a Licensed Counselor and Clinical Psychologist, and Co-Founder of Triune Wellness in Old City. With years of experience working with individuals to aid them in dramatic life transformations, you can feel confident in your choice. If you are interested, please contact her at or telephone 215 627 6279 to schedule a consultation. Please visit our website at to learn more about holistic health and wellness.

Dr. Edelman on NBC The Today Show - Do You Keep Secrets from Your Mate?

6 secrets you should keep from your mate
Don't tell each other everything. Here's what should stay hush-hush

Updated: 10:06 a.m. ET May 15, 2007

Do you love to be open and honest with your partner? Well, perhaps you shouldn't tell them everything. Dave Zinczenko of Men's Health magazine and clinical psychologist, Dr. Sherri Edelman tell us the 6 secrets couples should keep classified from each other.

You don't turn me on right now.
Dave says: No matter how gorgeous your partner is, there are going to be moments when they don't seem to resemble the attractive person you were first enamored with. They're wearing the black belt and burgundy shoes (Forty-five percent of women say that fashion sense is extremely important for attraction.) or they just got a haircut from Edward Scissorhands. But physical attraction waxes and wanes, and there will be moments of both in any relationship,

Sherri says: I agree, but if it is directly related to the woman (i.e. he loves your hair down, and you always wear it up, or if he loves lingerie and you always wear flannel pajamas), these issues can be tactfully addressed.
Story continues below ↓advertisement

I flirt with others at work.
Dave says: Even if you have no intention of taking it anywhere, nobody wants to think of their significant others spending 8, 10, 12 hours a day flirting with attractive females, especially when they look, smell and behave at their very best. (Forty-two percent of men and 35 percent of women have lusted after a peer at work — without ever making a move.)

Sherri says: I agree. A woman would not benefit from knowing this. However, 8 — 12 hours of flirting a day is extreme. Also, flirting is a term that could mean different things to different people. A man's intention is what is important. What need is he getting met by this? Is it reflecting something missing in the relationship like attention, interest in his work or compliments?

That's not how my Mom or Dad would have done it.
Dave says: It's true for men that in the majority of cases, we are intimidated by your parent who provided the role model that we now have to fill. And number one, we'll never be able to measure up to your mom or dad on a few levels; number two, we were raised by a different set of parents that taught us a different way of doing things. If you want to impart your parents' wisdom to your partner, it's fine to tell them stories about how your folks did things, but never make it a comparison between how your parents lived life, and how your partner is living life

I can't stand your friends.
Dave says: According to 83 percent of the men we surveyed, boxing out a man's friends is a relationship deal-breaker. And 62 percent of women consider it a deal-breaker if a guy doesn't get along with her friends.

Sherri says: I agree this is a problem. This needs to be handled carefully. A woman can have her views and opinions, and may not want to be “attached at the hip” with his friends, but character assassination should definitely be avoided.

Is it okay to keep secrets from your spouse or partner?

I still think about my ex.
Dave says: While it is natural to think about your ex, more and more the internet has made exes a bigger threat than ever before. The phenomenon of Googling one's ex, which the majority of Americans admit to, can really make your spouse jealous and fearful. Especially since the phenomenon of people reuniting with very old flames has recently exploded (because of the Internet).

Sherri says: An occasional thought like “I wonder if she ever took that position in Boston?” or “Did the mortgage ever go through on that house she loved and was trying to buy?” is much different than preoccupation, obsessive thinking, fantasizing and longing. Any kind of communication like texting, IM/chat, emailing, etc. could border on emotional cheating and be considered by some women as threatening so collaborative discussion is needed.

My friends know all about our sex life.
Dave says: Her entourage knows all about you. As hard as she might try — which probably isn't hard at all — a girl can't keep a new fling to herself. Early in a relationship, you dominate her life, so her friends are already calling and e-mailing for daily updates. If she were any less discreet, she'd have a blog with your name in the URL.

Sherri says: Sharing very intimate details crosses the line (sexual intimacy). Girls beware! Be careful who you trust...if you tell all, you may tempt a girl "friend" to seduce your man!
© 2007 MSNBC Interactive

Sunday, October 21, 2007

An aspirin a day? Maybe not!

Aspirin: It kills 20,000 Americans every year
Common over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin kill around 20,000 Americans every year, and another 100,000 end up in hospital as a result of taking the drug, new research reveals.

Painkillers known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) are far more dangerous than people have been told, and can cause life-threatening gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, stomach perforations and ulcers.

More than 14 million Americans regularly take an NSAID for their arthritis pain alone, and around 60 per cent of these will suffer gastrointestinal side effects – and will probably never blame the drug, researchers from the Eastern Virginia Medical School estimate.

Researchers realized that patients weren't associating the painkiller with their stomach problems when they carried out a survey among patients at a clinic that specialises in gastrointestinal disease. Around one in five of the patients was taking an NSAID such as an aspirin, and was not reporting the fact to medical staff because they didn't regard it as significant.

"This reflects a common misperception that these medications are insignificant or benign when actually their chronic use, particularly among the elderly and those with conditions such as arthritis, is linked to serious and potentially fatal GI injury and bleeding," said Dr David Johnson, one of the researchers.

(Source: Proceedings of the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, October 15, 2007).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Do's and Don't for your neck and back

As a chiropractor who has treated thousands of patients since 1996, I have found that certain suggestions I have shared with my patients have stood the test of time.
Here are some simple pointers and explanations that may help you reduce muscle spasm, neck, shoulder and low back pain and possibly prevent structural problems in the cervical (neck), lumbar(low back) and pelvic regions of your spine as you mature.

DON’T: Sleep on your stomach.
(Sleeping in this position causes torque and tension in the upper portion of your spine, mainly because your head is turned to one side or the other for extended periods. The muscles in your neck work hard to keep your head level on your shoulders and your eyes parallel to the horizon.)

DO: Try to sleep lying on your back as often as possible.
(If you sleep on your side, switch sides frequently during the night and try putting a pillow between your knees for added support.)

DON”T: Sleep with a flat pillow that offers no support to your cervical spine

DO: Find a pillow that structurally supports the natural curve of your neck
(There are three natural curves in the spine that increase its strength and flexibility: the cervical curve in the neck, the thoracic curve in the mid back, and the lower back or lumbar curve. Sleeping on a pillow that does not properly support your neck or causes it to tilt forward can gradually decrease the angle of the cervical curve and result in neck or back pain, headaches, and fatigue.)
There are a multitude of different types of cervical or neck pillows available on the market today. If you are like many people, you have tried at least a couple of different types, and hopefully found one that you are comfortable with.

DON’T: Sit at a computer or desk for extended periods without getting up and moving around or stretching.

DO: Position the computer monitor directly in front of you and as close to eye level as possible.
(Turning your head to one side to look at a monitor even a few degrees can have detrimental effects on your spine over time.)

DON’T: Stretch your neck using quick, jerky motions.

DO: Stretch slowly and gently, holding each stretch for a minimum of six seconds. Stretch often (preferably in the morning and also in the evening).

DON’T: Lock out your knee joints when bending forward, stretching, or exercising.

DO: Perform your lower back stretches on a consistent basis, even when you are pain free.
Regular stretching increases range of motion and prevents problems in the future.

DON’T: Sit with a wallet in your back pocket.
A thick wallet acts as a wedge, twisting the pelvis, often resulting in pain and dysfunction over time. Muscle responds to pressure by contracting. A wallet on one side of the buttocks creates muscular contraction, thus throwing the pelvis off balance

DO: Get up from your desk and move around as often as possible at work.
Also when driving on long trips, get out of the car, walk around, and stretch whenever you have the opportunity.

DON’T: Keep your feet planted when lifting and moving objects from one area to another.

DO: Use your legs when lifting.
Position the object you are lifting as close to your body as possible without leaning forward. Take small steps rather than twisting your torso when transferring objects from one area to another.

DON’T: Cross your legs for extended periods.
Not only does this position decrease blood flow to the lower extremities, but it also can cause imbalance in the pelvis.

DO: Traction your lower spine by letting your legs hang down while in the deep end of a pool, using a noodle or raft to support your upper body.

Furthermore, as you use your muscular and skeletal systems to fight gravity through your demanding, but productive day, remember that all finely tuned machines need lubrication. It is important to drink water throughout the day to keep your magnificent machine gliding through all your daily activities.

Submitted by Dr. Jeffrey A. Sklar, Chiropractor Triune Chiropractic Counseling and Wellness, LLC

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Woman Gets Vision Back After Chiropractic Adjustment

A feel good story appeared in the August 3, 2005 issue of the The Daily Times of Delaware. The story starts off by reporting, "Doctors said after Laura Hattier was born, she'd never be able to see like a normal person, let alone drive a car -- but that didn't stop her. She later entered a beauty pageant -- and won. After a chiropractic adjustment, her vision came back and she married the chiropractor."

According to the article, Laura was diagnosed at birth, with congenital nystagmus. This is a condition where the eye experiences involuntary shaking, causing severe vision loss. According to Laura one in a thousand children are born with this condition. She noted, "When I was born, I was completely blind. The doctor's told my parents there was no hope."

This situation did not stop Laura from working to achieve. As a child her vision improved, but she was still unable to play or read like normal children. "When I was a child, I would look in an adult text book and all I could see were dots," Hattier said. "I thought, 'Wow, grown-ups are really special to be able to look at dots and get words out of that!'."

By the time Laura turned 16 her vision had improved a little but she was still legally blind. Additionally she had begun suffering from severe stomach ulcers. Doctors continued to tell her there was no hope for either of her conditions.

However, Laura did not let that stop her. She then entered the Miss Laurel beauty pageant -- and won. She noted that event changed her life and opened doors that would have otherwise remained closed. She commented, "That was the best things about my teenage years."

While continuing on to college, Laura took a part-time job at chiropractor Donald Hattier's office in Delmar. She noted his belief in chiropractic by recalling, "He suggested that everybody should get adjusted (chiropractic) if they need it or not just because it's a healthy and holistic thing to do."

It was in this circumstance that her life was changed forever. After just her first adjustment, her ulcers disappeared and her vision began to improve. Laura commented, "I don't know if it was coincidence or chiropractic."

On her last day of employment, Dr. Donald asked her on a date. The rest as they say is history. The article notes that Laura and Dr. Donald Hattier now have four children and live near Dagsboro. At age 39, Laura is living the life she never thought possible. Her vision has improved to 20/50 and she reports that she is able to take care of her family and run daily errands. "I can pick my kids up from school, I can drive my kids to church and I can go to the grocery store for my family," she said. "I am truly thankful for that."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic

Dr. Paul Whitcomb, a chiropractor in South Lake Tahoe, Ca, doesn't want to offer fibromyalgia sufferers false hope. However, he has developed a chiropractic treatment that has been successful in treating 95 percent of his fibromyalgia patients. Approximately 3.7 million Americans, mostly women, currently have fibromyalgia, according to Dr. Whitcomb's website
"It turns out that fibromyalgia is an upper cervical spinal stenosis, which is actually a choking off of the spinal cord structures, but not so much the spinal cord as the meninges; the coverings of the spinal cord itself," explains Dr. Whitcomb.

Fibromyalgia appears most frequently in people who have suffered some sort of physical trauma, such as a car accident or a blow to the head. Some even recall abuse as a child, but Dr. Whitcomb, who himself suffered from fibromyalgia for three years, said he is currently researching and writing a book about another possible cause of the condition -- surgery.

"I think what's happening is, when you sleep at night you have muscle tone, and if you get sore or you're uncomfortable, you move out of that position -- when you're having surgery, you have no muscle tone at all. You're totally flaccid, and it doesn't take a lot to change something," Dr. Whitcomb said.

"I think what's happening -- I may be wrong -- but the position [surgeons] place the [patient's] head to put the trachea in is the same position [chiropractors] would use to take the first vertebrae and shove it forward." Dr. Whitcomb also theorizes the hospital staff tries different methods to support the neck and make the patient comfortable, but the supports they use often end up pushing the first vertebrae against the spinal cord. The adjustments Dr. Whitcomb makes in moving the first vertebrae from up against the meninges have meant relief for most of the patients who visit his clinic.

In an interview from the "Tahoe Daily Tribune," Dr. Adnan Sammour, an internist, said that one of his patients seems to have enjoyed great success with Dr. Whitcomb's treatment.

"She's almost completely pain-free, sleeping through the night and not requiring any pain medication," Sammour said. "She tried pain medicine, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and that did not help."

Some patients do not experience relief from their symptoms with Dr. Whitcomb's treatment. Dr. Whitcomb says they often are not suffering from fibromyalgia, and he also warns them of their limited chances of success beforehand. On his website, Dr. Whitcomb mentions two other hindrances to the success of his treatment. The first, overmedication, can be a problem, since patients often lose the ability to differentiate between the symptoms of fibromyalgia and the side effects of their medication. In addition, patients are often unwilling to discontinue use of their medications. The second hindrance can be the formation of scar tissue. Pseudo, or false, joints can develop after extended periods of living with fibromyalgia. Dr. Whitcomb, however, has had patients recover from their symptoms after 55 years of living with them.

Although fibromyalgia is defined as a chemical imbalance causing hypersensitivity in the nervous system that amplifies pain, the symptoms go far beyond just pain, according to Dr. Whitcomb, "[The misaligned vertebrae] pulls on the meninges, which is not that flexible, which attaches to all the nerve roots all the way down the spine," he said. Since the nerves from the spine have to pass through the meninges, the pulling causes all the nerves to fire at one time. "Now these poor people have symptoms of everything that comes from these nerves, and so you will hear them say they have pain, they have numbness, they have tingling, they have burning, they're cold, they itch; those are just all the proprioceptive fibers that go to the brain from the different areas," said Dr. Whitcomb.

Patients can also be subject to pituitary and thyroid problems. They often experience an almost constant adrenal rush, as the pressure on the meninges causes a reaction in their sympathetic nervous system. Sufferers are basically in a constant "fight or flight" response.

What does this mean for the patients? "They can't sleep," said Dr. Whitcomb. "Even if they do get sleep, or even if they take medication to sleep, they still wake up exhausted." Additionally, the constant activity in the sympathetic nervous system often shuts down the patient's intestines, causing diarrhea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

Dr. Whitcomb has found this barrage of pain and discomfort is often accompanied by irrational and uncontrollable mood swings, which are understandable given the severity of the symptoms. Family members and loved ones, however, sometimes feel pushed away by this behavior, and some even leave. This intensifies the feelings of hopelessness, and can lead to depression, sometimes to the point where sufferers feel their only remaining option is suicide.

"I'm trying to do some research to find out how many fibromyalgia patients commit suicide, and the closest we have right now is 14 percent," said Dr. Whitcomb. "But I'm not sure that's an accurate figure. It sounds way too high." Dr. Whitcomb added the national average for suicides is two per 100,000 people. "At any rate, I know it's high because people are sick and they definitely don't want to live like that," adds Dr. Whitcomb.

Part of the healing process, according to Dr. Whitcomb, is meeting and talking with other people who are suffering from fibromyalgia. Patients pack into Dr. Whitcomb's office from all over the world and end up forming close friendships with each other, to the point where some patients show up together in carloads. "It's wonderful...they've got somebody to cry with or hold hands with and the other women grab them and start taking them shopping and going places. That part of it's a real good time."

Not surprisingly, with such a large number of victims, and such serious symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, Dr. Whitcomb's high rate of proclaimed success has met with some skepticism. Dr. Whitcomb says he often wakes up in the morning and can't believe it himself. In the "Tribune" article, National Fibromyalgia Association president Lynn Mantallana said the word "cure" made her nervous, since no cure for fibromyalgia is known at the current time. Mantallana doesn't immediately discount Dr. Whitcomb's claims, however; she herself has suffered fibromyalgia for two years, and just feels more research is needed.

Dr. Whitcomb agrees. He has enlisted the help of Dr. Gregory Plaugher, director of research at the Life Chiropractic College West, to document the cases of 30 of Dr. Whitcomb's patients. "The reason I'm working with [Dr. Plaugher] is that he's an outside source, he's not in our office," said Dr. Whitcomb. "He's going to document and print the results as they come out."

The skepticism, however, doesn't just stem from Dr. Whitcomb's claims about a disease that has only been recognized as a diagnosis within the last five years. Dr. Whitcomb feels other factors may contribute to some of the doubt he is facing, or has yet to face. Among those factors are professional jealousy, misunderstandings and general negativity.

In the case of skeptical medical professionals, Dr. Whitcomb feels that most of them are just trying to address the symptoms as best they can, but they don't define any one treatment as "right" or "wrong". "[Chiropractors] kind of look at a lot of the things [conventional medical professionals] do, and go, 'Why in the world would you do that to a person that has this?' and they look at us and go, 'We think this should be done this way,'" Dr. Whitcomb said. "The problem I have with some of their patients is that they go to doctors and the doctors look at them and say, 'You know what your problem is? You just need to pull your act together, get a life, go back to work and quit whining.'" This type of bedside manner can exacerbate the depression and hopelessness fibromyalgia patients already encounter.

Although Dr. Whitcomb doesn't blame individuals or their doctors, he also has a problem with some patients and their medication. Fortunately, as relief comes for patients, their dependency on painkillers, such as morphine, Oxycontin, and Vicodin, recedes. "Most of my patients are either off of all their meds, or 80 percent are off them within six weeks," Dr. Whitcomb said. "So they usually leave here without meds. He further adds, "Some of the people who have been long term on antidepressants or something, sometimes they'll have to take longer to get off the medications."

Dr. Whitcomb would prefer to be able to send his patients straight to a detoxification program from his office, but he said that it's important to note that he would never take patients off their medication. He prefers to let his patients discuss getting off medication with the doctor who prescribed it, saying, "I don't like to interfere with what other people are doing. The same way I don't let them interfere with my treatment."

As patients begin to recover with his treatments, Dr. Whitcomb feels that it is important for patients to begin some lifestyle changes. Ideally, he would like to work with a resort where patients could go for exercise and detoxification programs, and help with positive diet changes. The road to recovery is intense, with patients visiting Dr. Whitcomb's office up to three times a day over a period of one to two months. "We normally will see a patient three times a day -- Monday, Wednesday and Friday, twice on Tuesday, twice on Thursday and once on the weekend," says Dr. Whitcomb.

According to the information provided on, the intensity of the treatments is necessary to combat fibromyalgia's propensity to return to its abnormal state. Cost for the treatment is $62.50 per visit, which is less than the national average for chiropractors. The cost, however, can quickly add up due to the frequency of visits. A four-week treatment usually costs about $3,500. The cost includes exam, consultation, report of findings, and X-rays. Patients usually find the results well worth the price.

"Somewhere around three weeks [into the treatment], they start sleeping, and it's like a miracle," Dr. Whitcomb said. Patients sometimes think something has gone wrong with the treatment, because they seem to want to sleep all the time, but Dr. Whitcomb says that is a positive change. "I say, 'Good.' That's a real big landmark for us, because that shows me that the sympathetic nervous system is going back to normal." The increased sleep is usually followed by patients' systems recovering from irritable bowel syndrome, as the pain begins to subside. However, Dr. Whitcomb has noticed a setback that sometimes accompanies recovery. Patients have a bit of fear of returning to their life as a healthy person and what their loved ones will expect from them now.

"I have a video here that I show; a talk I give...I tell them, "Look, I want your spouse and everybody to know that you need to go home and you need some months to readjust to being a human being.' It's not easy, and a lot of people require counseling." Dr. Whitcomb employs a counselor for just that purpose, who works with his patients twice a week. Dr. Whitcomb also recommends following up his treatment with deep tissue massages.

Insoluble cereal fiber reduces appetite and short-term food intake and glycemic response to food consumed 75 min later by healthy men1,2,3

1 From the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Background: Insoluble fiber consumption is associated with reduced risk of obesity and diabetes, but its mechanisms of action are unknown.

Objective: The objective was to describe the effect of insoluble fiber on appetite, short-term food intake, and blood glucose (BG) before and after a meal 75 min later in healthy men.

Design: In a crossover design, high-fiber (HF; 33 g insoluble fiber) cereal, low-fiber (LF) cereal, white bread (WB), and water control were administered to young men after an overnight fast. Caloric treatments had similar energy, macronutrient content, volume, and weight. In the first experiment, subjective appetite and BG were measured at 15-min intervals before and after an ad libitum meal at 75 min. In the second experiment, a preset pizza meal (850 kcal) was consumed at 75 min. Appetite and blood glucose were measured for 150 min at fasting and at 15-min intervals before and after the fixed meal.

Results: In experiment 1, ad libitum food intake was lower after the HF cereal and WB than after the LF cereal and water (937 ± 86, 970 ± 65, 1109 ± 90, 1224 ± 89 kcal, respectively; P < 0.001). Appetite was lower (P < 0.05) after the HF cereal than after the WB but not different from the LF cereal. The BG area under the curve (AUC) did not differ among the HF cereal, WB, and LF cereal from 0 to 75 min, but the postmeal BG increased after the WB and LF cereal but not after the HF cereal. In experiment 2, the HF cereal, but not the LF cereal or WB, increased fullness before and prevented an increase in the BG AUC after the preset meal (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: A serving of 33 g insoluble fiber reduced appetite, lowered food intake, and reduced glycemic response to a meal consumed 75 min later.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vegan Website with Recipes

Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular d

Currently, we are experiencing an epidemic of cardiorenal disease characterized by increasing rates of obesity, hypertension, the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease. Whereas excessive caloric intake and physical inactivity are likely important factors driving the obesity epidemic, it is important to consider additional mechanisms. We revisit an old hypothesis that sugar, particularly excessive fructose intake, has a critical role in the epidemic of cardiorenal disease. We also present evidence that the unique ability of fructose to induce an increase in uric acid may be a major mechanism by which fructose can cause cardiorenal disease. Finally, we suggest that high intakes of fructose in African Americans may explain their greater predisposition to develop cardiorenal disease, and we provide a list of testable predictions to evaluate this hypothesis.

Key Words: Fructose • uric acid • sugar • arteriosclerosis • endothelial dysfunction • hypertension • obesity • chronic kidney disease • metabolic syndrome

Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease1,2,3
Richard J Johnson, Mark S Segal, Yuri Sautin, Takahiko Nakagawa, Daniel I Feig, Duk-Hee Kang, Michael S Gersch, Steven Benner and Laura G Sánchez-Lozada

1 From the Division of Nephrology and Department of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (RJJ, MSS, YS, TN, and MSG); the Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (DIF); the Division of Nephrology, Ewha Woman's University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea (D-HK); the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, Gainesville, FL (SB); and the Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia Ignacio Chavez, Mexico City, Mexico (LGS-L)

Tea Toddling and Osteoporosis


Tea drinking is associated with benefits on bone density in older women1,2,3
Amanda Devine, Jonathan M Hodgson, Ian M Dick and Richard L Prince

1 From the School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia (JMH, IMD, and RLP); the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Australia (IMD and RLP); and the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia (AD)

Background: Impaired hip structure assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) areal bone mineral density (aBMD) is an independent predictor for osteoporotic hip fracture. Some studies suggest that tea intake may protect against bone loss.

Objective: Using both cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs, we examined the relation of tea consumption with hip structure.

Design: Randomly selected women (n = 1500) aged 70–85 y participated in a 5-y prospective trial to evaluate whether oral calcium supplements prevent osteoporotic fractures. aBMD at the hip was measured at years 1 and 5 with DXA. A cross-sectional analysis of 1027 of these women at 5 y assessed the relation of usual tea intake, measured by using a questionnaire, with aBMD. A prospective analysis of 164 women assessed the relation of tea intake at baseline, measured by using a 24-h dietary recall, with change in aBMD from years 1 to 5.

Results: In the cross-sectional analysis, total hip aBMD was 2.8% greater in tea drinkers (: 806; 95% CI: 797, 815 mg/cm2) than in non-tea drinkers (784; 764, 803 mg/cm2) (P < 0.05). In the prospective analysis over 4 y, tea drinkers lost an average of 1.6% of their total hip aBMD (–32; –45, –19 mg/cm2), but non-tea drinkers lost 4.0% (–13; –20, –5 mg/cm2) (P < 0.05). Adjustment for covariates did not influence the interpretation of results.

Conclusion: Tea drinking is associated with preservation of hip structure in elderly women. This finding provides further evidence of the beneficial effects of tea consumption on the skeleton.

Key Words: Tea drinking • cross-sectional study • prospective study • bone mineral density • fracture • elderly women
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 4, 1243-1247, October 2007
© 2007 American Society for Nutrition

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Good Posture Equals Good Health

Stories from each side of the Atlantic Ocean have highlighted the benefits of good posture and its relationship to good overall health. One of the articles found in the May 4, 2005 PR Newswire highlights the problem that many people spend all day tapping away on a keyboard at the office only to come home and slouch in a recliner for hours while watching TV. This article points out that 80 percent of Americans have not only endured back pain, but contribute to it in the way they sit, exercise, work and sleep.

Across the "pond" in a related April 2005 article from the British "" comes the headline, "Work May Be Hazardous to Your Health." This article also highlights the dangers of workplace posture and its effect on health. In this article the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) joined forces with Targus, leading supplier of mobile computing cases, to conduct the research that showed that a third of office workers make no adjustments to either seating or computer equipment when switching desks. The article noted that the same percentage of office workers say they currently suffer back pain – and experts believe there may be a link.

The American PR Newswire article noted that the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) was declaring May to be "Correct Posture Month" and is using this event to highlight the relationships between posture and health. Spokesperson for the ACA Dr. Jerome McAndrews stated, "Once established, poor posture creates a chain reaction throughout the body. The digestive and respiratory systems will be affected by poor posture, especially poor sitting posture. And in more serious cases, where poor posture has had major effects on the musculoskeletal system, there can be a resulting negative impact on the vascular system."

In the British article, Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association commented, “Whether at work or at home, computers have begun to dominate our lives, yet what we don’t realise is that they in fact have the ability to damage our health. The nation is suffering from an epidemic of back pain and our working lives could be contributing to this. By taking time to adjust your chair and by taking regular breaks can help protect your spine and prevent the onslaught of back pain”.

Both Chiropractic organizations released a series of recommendations to help deal with the posture issue. Similarly, The International Chiropractors Association also released recommendations related to posture and sitting at work. These include:

When sitting - use a chair with firm low back support. Keep desk or table top elbow high, adjust the chair or use a footrest to keep pressure off the back of the legs, and keep your knees a little higher than your hips. Get up and stretch frequently--every hour if you sit for long periods of time. Do not sit on a fat wallet; it can cause hip imbalance!

When working on a computer - take a one or two minute task break every 20 minutes when you work at a computer screen. Keep the screen 15 degrees below eye level. Place reference materials on a copy stand even with and close to the terminal.

Gardening Safety Tips

In the International Chiropractors Association's (ICA) July 5th 2001 issue of the Chiropractic News Service appears tips and warnings concerning safe gardening related to spinal health. Because of the emphasis on a healthy spine relating to a healthy nervous system and therefore overall good health, the ICA issued the gardening tips as a preventative measure. The ICA release starts by saying, "The best preparation for safe summer gardening is a body properly conditioned and supported by exercise, good posture, and chiropractic care all year round.

The ICA went on to recommend a list of 10 “Do’s and Don’ts of Gardening” These guidelines are designed to help you garden safely.

The ICA's Do’s and Don’ts of Gardening

Warm up with light movement or a brisk walk to loosen your muscles and increase your flexibility. The smooth coordination of your muscles and ligaments is an important part of safe exertion in gardening and other activities.
Know your strengths and limitations. Do not overexert, vary your activities, and take regular rest breaks.
Avoid bending over repeatedly while standing upright when performing ground-level work like weeding. Get down closer to the task by kneeling or sitting on the ground or a gardening bench, rather than bending and twisting from the waist.
Keep your back protected when you stand up from a sitting or crouched position. Rise up by straightening your legs at the knees, not by lifting your torso at the waist.
Lift dirt and plants by letting your arms, legs and thighs carry the load: bend and straighten at the knees instead of the back and hips. Lift the load close to the body’s torso and center of gravity, and handle smaller, more manageable loads at a time.
Use long-handled tools to give you leverage and help you avoid having to stoop while raking, digging, pushing or mowing.
Switch hands frequently when doing prolonged raking, hoeing or digging actions. Repetitive motion on one side can bring on progressively serious joint imbalances and may produce postural misalignments and pain, including muscle spasms in the neck, shoulder and lower back.
Don’t work too long in one position, especially one that is awkward or unusual. This can reduce circulation, restrict mobility, and promote strain injuries.
Carry objects close to your body. Keeping the load close to your center of gravity reduces the risk of straining your neck and back.
Don’t overexpose yourself to long periods in the sun. Utilize protective measures for your head and skin, drink plenty of fluids, and take frequent breaks.

Monday, October 8, 2007

ADHD Helped With Chiropractic, A Case Study

In the October 2004 issue of the peer-reviewed research publication, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), comes a case study of a child with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), who was helped with chiropractic.

The case was of a 5 year old boy who had been diagnosed with ADHD at age 2. The child’s pediatrician prescribed methylphenidate (Ritalin), Adderall, and Haldol for the next 3 years. The combination of drugs was unsuccessful in helping the child.

At age 5 the child was brought to a chiropractor to see if chiropractic care would help. The history taken at that time noted that during the child’s birth, there were complications during his delivery process. The results of this trauma and complications resulted in a 4-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. The child’s mother reported no other incidence of trauma.

The chiropractic examination and x-rays showed noticeable spinal distortion including a reversal of the normal neck curve indicative of subluxations. Chiropractic care was begun and the child’s progress was monitored.

According to his mother, positive changes in her son's general behavior were noticed around the twelfth visit. By the 27th visit the patient had experienced considerable improvement.

The child was brought by the mother to the medical doctor for a follow up visit and questioned the usage of the Ritalin. The medical doctor reviewed and examined the child and based on that assessment and his clinical experience, the MD felt that the young boy was no longer exhibiting symptoms associated with ADHD. He then took the boy off the medications that he had been taking for 3 years.

The conclusion of the author of the JMPT case study noted, “The patient experienced significant reduction in symptoms. Additionally, the medical doctor concluded that the reduction in symptoms was significant enough to discontinue the medication.”

Backpack Safety is Back-to-School

Concern over children and their backpacks continues to grow. An article appearing in the September 8, 2003 issue of The Times Herald features this problem by noting "Trudging their way around the school campus or to the bus stop, hunched-over kids could be dealing themselves a lifetime of back pain, experts warn."

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 6,512 emergency room visits each year result from injuries related to book bags. CPSC also cites the statistic that backpack-related injuries are up 256 percent since 1996. The issue has become so widespread, that the California State Assembly passed legislation that forces school districts to develop ways of reducing the weight of students' backpacks. Other states are also considering similar legislation.

In an online survey conducted last year of more than 200 chiropractors responding from across North America at, it was learned that:
NOT Like This

* 89 percent of chiropractors surveyed responded that they have seen patients (ages 5-18) reporting back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks.
* 71 percent of chiropractors presently seeing such patients responded that they are currently seeing one to four patients (ages 5-18) reporting back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks.
* 20 percent of chiropractors presently seeing such patients responded that they are currently seeing five to nine patients (ages 5-18) reporting back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks.
* 9 percent of chiropractors presently seeing such patients responded that they are currently seeing 10 or more patients (ages 5-18) due to back, neck or shoulder caused by heavy backpacks.

The American Chiropractic Association has offered the following tips to help prevent backpack problems in school children. Those tips include:

* Make sure your child's backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight.
* The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
* Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps, and wide, padded straps are very important.
* The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child's body.

The over-packing of backpacks was featured in a recent study conducted in Italy. In this study it was found that the average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Spinal Manipulation May Benefit Asthma Patients

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:

FROM: Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER)

October 24, 2002 Des Moines, Iowa— Patients afflicted with asthma may benefit from spinal manipulation in terms of symptoms, immunological capacity, and endocrine effects, an audience was told on October 5 at the 9th International Conference on Spinal Manipulation in Toronto. The investigative team, headed by Ray Hayek, Ph.D., has been conducting a trial at 16 treatment centers in Australia involving 420 patients with an average age of 46 in an effort to find out what effects spinal manipulation has on symptoms, depression and anxiety, general health status, and the levels of immunity as reflected by the concentrations of both an immunoglobulin (IgA) and an immunosuppressant (cortisol). This investigation draws from several references in the scientific literature which suggest that different forms of manual therapy (including massage) improve the symptomatology and lower cortisol levels in asthma patients.

Dr. Hayek reported that only the patient group which underwent spinal manipulation (by any of four commonly used manipulative treatment protocols) displayed significant improvement in asthma symptoms and depression and anxiety scores. Simply experiencing structured interviews at the treatment centers or being monitored at home did not yield these improvements. In addition, patients actually undergoing spinal manipulation displayed dramatic increases of IgA and decreases of cortisol through the posttreatment period, suggesting that there were physiological consequences to their manipulative treatments reflecting increased immunological capacities which would be expected to ward off subsequent asthmatic attacks.

These biochemical changes not only suggest that the effects of spinal manipulation are more far-reaching than commonly believed, but that they may be more long-term as well. The gain in immunological capacity achieved with the simultaneous loss of the immunosuppressant cortisol and the increase of the immunoglobulin IgA following spinal manipulation would be expected to reduce the incidence and severity of pathogenic invasion of the airways. There would be less of a risk under these circumstances of compounding the symptoms of asthma.

The immunosuppressing mechanism of glucocorticoids is believed to occur by their reducing the permeability of capillaries, decreasing the migration of white blood cells in inflamed areas, suppressing the release of interleukins, and inhibiting the production of proteolytic enzymes by stabilizing the lysosomal membranes which release them.

This followed contacts that the Director of Research at FCER was able to make with the Australian research community in 1995, taking into consideration the expertise of the investigative team as well as the fact that Australia's 2 million asthma sufferers have given the Island Continent the dubious distinction of being the asthma capital of the world. It has been carried out with the support of research grants exceeding a quarter of a million dollars from both the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) and the National Chiropractic Mutual Insurance Company (NCMIC). This research, which may be highly influential on the future of the chiropractic profession, is still in need of funding. To contribute to this important project, please call FCER at 800-637-6244, or donate via the Foundation's secure website at:

This research represents one of approximately 50 projects administered by FCER since 1990 in the effort to document both the theory and practice of chiropractic to increase its effective integration into healthcare systems worldwide. The conference at which these results were presented is an international forum which FCER has sponsored at different locations worldwide for the past 14 years.

Garlic -not just fighting off Vampires

NO other herb has such a rich history of use in every single culture on this planet than garlic. The ancient civilisations of Rome, Greece, China and Egypt devised stellar stories about its origin. Ayurveda, the oldest medical system of the world, relates its own: garlic grew as an offshoot of drops of amrita which fell on the earth during the epic battle between gods and demons. Surrounded by an aura of magical and medicinal mysteries, the charm of garlic has remained undiminished over the centuries of its use.

Garlic’s Sanskrit name rasona literally means lacking one taste; it contains all the six tastes except sour. Ayurveda has described it as hot in potency and pungent in post-digestive effect. It is unctuous, sharp and heavy. It pacifies kapha and vata but aggravates pitta. Modern analyses of garlic show that it contains water, protein, carbohydrates and other substances like calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B complex, besides traces of iodine. It also contains volatile oils and sulphur compounds of which some are responsible for its sharp odour.

Though in recent times garlic has acquired a reputation as an effective immunostimulant, anti-viral, anti-cholesterol, cardio-vascular tonic (and also as a tumour inhibiting medicine), ancient ayurvedic texts have eulogised it for its extraordinary healing properties and called it maha aushadhi (great medicine).

Garlic has been described as a stimulant, carminative, digestive, metabolic corrector and killer of intestinal worms. It also has laxative, diuretic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac and rejuvenative properties. Given in low doses, it helps in hypertension, raises the body’s immunity, fights viral and bacterial afflictions, keeps cholesterol and tryglycerides level under control and acts as an anti-oxidant substance.

As a home remedy, it is used both externally and internally to combat many diseases. A few cloves of garlic are added to hot oil used for body massage and oleation. Frying five to six cloves of garlic in desi ghee and taking it before lunch provides an adjuvant effect for controlling the flare-up phase of rheumatoid arthritis. The medicated milk of garlic (kshirapaka) works well in many vata diseases like sciatica, lumbago and paralysis whereas the consumption of garlic in one’s daily diet reduces body toxins besides controlling the lipid profile.

However, one fails to understand why such a useful herb didn’t get religious sanction despite its “divine” origin and is rather feared as being tamasika Ayurvedic texts describe a method to lessen its strong ordour. Put a few peeled off cloves of garlic in buttermilk or diluted curd overnight. If used next day, the garlic will lose much of its sharpness and offensive odour. Those who want to use raw garlic, and also to whom its suitability is in doubt, can try this method. Cooking it in ghee too reduces its pungency.

There are many ayurvedic classic medicines containing garlic — Rason Vati, Lashunadya ghrit and Rason Ghrit. Kashyap Samhita, while describing the famous Rason Kalpa, is more explicit in telling that garlic should be used sparingly by persons of pitta prakriti. In kapha and vata diseases it should be used with honey and ghee respectively. The maximum dose of raw garlic cloves is up to six pieces and to counter its unsavoury effect the powder of coriander seeds should be used.

Fighting Colds with Chiropractic by Drs Jason and Danella Whitaker

Chiropractic for Colds and Flu

Chiropractic for colds and flu? But isn't chiropractic just for back pain? Not at all. Many people who initially visit chiropractors for aches and pains discover to their surprise an improvement in their general health, including no or fewer (and less severe) colds, flu and other respiratory problems.

The Chiropractic Approach
Chiropractic doesn't "treat" cold or flu; chiropractic promotes improved body function which creates high natural resistance. Natural resistance is the only reason why your cold "goes away" rather than lasting for weeks, months or your entire lifetime!

How do chiropractors help raise your natural resistance to disease? By removing a serious interference to your proper body function: vertebral subluxations.

What Are Vertebral Subluxations?
Vertebral subluxations (VS) are misaligned vertebrae in your spine that interfere with your nerves and the flow of information and energy between your brain and the rest of your body. VS lowers your natural resistance to disease by unbalancing your nervous system. You may have a subluxation and never know it.

Chiropractors Adjust Subluxations

Chiropractors perform spinal examinations to detect and locate vertebral subluxations in your body, then correct them by giving chiropractic spinal adjustments. This reduces or relieves your spinal nerve stress and helps restore optimal body functioning for higher resistance to disease, which, we cannot overstate, is the best defense against the common cold.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Flu Vaccine and Elderly

Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccine in the Community-Dwelling Elderly


Background Reliable estimates of the effectiveness of influenza vaccine among persons 65 years of age and older are important for informed vaccination policies and programs. Short-term studies may provide misleading pictures of long-term benefits, and residual confounding may have biased past results. This study examined the effectiveness of influenza vaccine in seniors over the long term while addressing potential bias and residual confounding in the results.

Methods Data were pooled from 18 cohorts of community-dwelling elderly members of one U.S. health maintenance organization (HMO) for 1990–1991 through 1999–2000 and of two other HMOs for 1996–1997 through 1999–2000. Logistic regression was used to estimate the effectiveness of the vaccine for the prevention of hospitalization for pneumonia or influenza and death after adjustment for important covariates. Additional analyses explored for evidence of bias and the potential effect of residual confounding.

Results There were 713,872 person-seasons of observation. Most high-risk medical conditions that were measured were more prevalent among vaccinated than among unvaccinated persons. Vaccination was associated with a 27% reduction in the risk of hospitalization for pneumonia or influenza (adjusted odds ratio, 0.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68 to 0.77) and a 48% reduction in the risk of death (adjusted odds ratio, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.55). Estimates were generally stable across age and risk subgroups. In the sensitivity analyses, we modeled the effect of a hypothetical unmeasured confounder that would have caused overestimation of vaccine effectiveness in the main analysis; vaccination was still associated with statistically significant — though lower — reductions in the risks of both hospitalization and death.

Conclusions During 10 seasons, influenza vaccination was associated with significant reductions in the risk of hospitalization for pneumonia or influenza and in the risk of death among community-dwelling elderly persons. Vaccine delivery to this high-priority group should be improved.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

New Study on Panic

Panic Attacks Associated With Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Events and Death in Older Women

CHICAGO -- Older women who experience at least one full-blown panic attack may have an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke and an increased risk of death in the next five years, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Panic attacks involve the sudden development of fear, anxiety or extreme discomfort accompanied by four or more additional symptoms, according to background information in the article. They may occur sporadically or as part of an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder or phobias.

Jordan W. Smoller, M.D., Sc.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and colleagues studied 3,369 healthy postmenopausal women (age 51 to 83, average age 65.9). When they entered the study between 1997 and 2000, the women filled out a questionnaire about the occurrence of panic attacks in the previous six months. They were then followed for an average of 5.3 years to see whether they had a heart attack or stroke or died from any cause.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Keep Adjustments to the Chiropractors

Spinal manipulation, as practiced by US-trained osteopathic physicians, is a safe and effective method of resolving patient pain and encouraging desirable physiologic improvement— often without pharmacologic intervention. Though novices, laypeople, and other clinicians also use manual techniques with similar goals in mind, their results are varied and sometimes dangerous to those they would help. The authors describe a case in which a layperson attempted spinal manipulation on a 20-year-old woman who later required a chest tube thoracostomy and hospitalization as a result of a pneumothorax. Osteopathic physicians are encouraged to consider patient risk factors for pneumothorax as a contraindication for the use of thoracic thrust techniques.