Many of you have noticed that I am not wearing my glasses in the office.
I've been asked if i had eye surgery or switched to contacts. I haven't
done either of these but instead have been working to improve my natural
eyesight. At age 60, I've finally gotten to the point that I don't need
my glasses for most activities, including reading.
I've worn glasses since I was 9 years old. Year by year, my prescription
kept increasing in strength until, in my 20's my vision was 20:400. This
meant that, at 20 feet all I could see was what someone with normal
vision could see at 400 feet!
This started changing when I got under care with chiropractic applied
kinesiology. I've had a number of my patients need to get less powerful
eyeglass prescriptions as their eyesight improves. Keys include cranial
and cervical spine adjusting as well as improving stress handling
(adrenal function), digestion and detoxification. I also had the
advantage of a good behavioral optometrist, Brent Neilson, OD. He uses
lenses in a way to encourage better eyesight as well as improving
posture and balance. Together, we got my eyesight in the area of 20/200,
quite an improvement!
About 2 years ago I started working with the Bates system for improving
eyesight. This system uses techniques to relax the extra-ocular eye
muscles (the muscles that move the eyeball). The concept is that these
muscle become tense and strained, distorting the shape of the eye and
causing the lens to focus in front of the retina for nearsighted
(eyeball becomes elongated) like me or behind the retina for farsighted
(eyeball becomes shortened) folks. After using the system for a couple
of months, I tried going without my glasses in the office. I was good in
most areas but wasn't able to see my notes well enough. As I continued
to use the system improved my eyesight has improved to the point that I
can now read my notes fairly easily (sloppy handwriting aside :-) ). The
best book on this system I've found is "Relearning to See" by Quackenbush.
One more variable in the last 2 months has been very regular and
systematic aerobic exercise, using a pulse monitor to make sure I was in
the right pulse range for highest benefits. I've always been a regular
exerciser with Tai Chi Chuan, Ballroom dancing, walking and race-walking
but recently I've added very specific step aerobics which makes it
easier to stay in my optimal pulse range. I'm not sure how big a role
this has played but there may have been some relaxation and circulation
benefits which were positive for my eyesight.
I no longer need my glasses to do routine tasks in the office or at
home. I can see well enough to drive without them in the daytime,
although I can't yet read the smaller street signs until I'm about 10
feet away. I use my glasses for the movies and sometimes for TV
(sometimes not) but I don't need them for computer work or reading. At
this point, I'm only wearing my glasses about 10% of the time which,
according to Dr. Bates, should help my eyes improve faster.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. If you are interested in trying
this approach to eyesight improvement for yourself, I'll be happy to
work with you on a combination of specific adjustments, nutrition and
"exercises" as well as referral to Dr. Neilson.
Here's Looking at You!
January 20, 2010 Preventing the Flu With Nasal Irrigation
Originally Posted 11/11/09
By now we've all heard about a number of common sense precautions to
help keep us from getting infected with flus and colds. Along with
drinking lots of fluids (especially water), getting good rest and sleep,
avoiding sugar and eating a good diet high in fresh vegetables and
fruits we know that frequent hand washing will clean off any viruses we
may touch before we can transport them to our mouth, eyes or nose. Well,
here's an interesting and effective variation on the hand-washing theme.
For years I've recommended using a nasal rinse or nasal "douche" for
sinus infections. I've helped many patients clear out even severe
infections with this approach. For established infections I recommend 1
teaspoon each of sea salt (not regular table salt which contains sugar
and other additives) and apple cider vinegar in 8-10 oz of warm water.
This makes a good gargle and nasal rinse.
Recently I've run across some interesting studies using the nasal douche
to prevent or speed healing from the flu. One found that it takes up to
48 hours for the flu virus to establish itself in the mucus membranes of
the sinuses and throat. If you can wash these areas out during that 48
hours it can keep the virus from getting established and growing into a
full-fledged flu. Another study was done with school children, some
who had the flu and some who didn't.....yet. As compared to the control
group, the kids who used a nasal douche 2-3 times/day got over the flu
faster and fewer kids got sick to start with.
In both these studies the nasal douche solution was simple salt water.
It seemed the benefit was two-fold. The solution washed viruses out of
the body and also cleared the "filter" mechanism of the cilliary
escalator in the nose and throat. Kind of like changing the filter on
your furnace when it gets clogged up.
I'm suggesting using the salt water (one tsp/10 oz coffee mug) for
prevention and to speed up recovery. The salt is important. You want to
keep the solution about the same salinity as your cells or slightly
higher. Otherwise your nasal cells will suck up the water, swell and
cause painful nasal congestion...not the effect we're trying for! Some people need to use less than 1 tsp of salt. You should be able to definately taste the salt but the salt taste should not be overwhelming. Use
the salt water as a gargle daily. To rinse the nose, you can pour a
little salt water into your cupped palm, block off one nostril and suck
up a little water with the other. Tilt your head back and let the water
run back into your throat and spit it out. Do this 3 times on each side,
1-3 times/day, once a day for prevention, up to 3 times/day if you're
actually sick. To make things easier and get more volume through your
nose, you can use a "Netti Pot" to pour salt water through your nose.
They're available in most health food stores and we have them for sale
at the office.
So, to help prevent flu and colds, wash your hands frequently and keep
your nose clean!
January 20, 2010 The Perfect Ecercise
Originally Posted 10/18/09
My patients often ask me "What's the best type of exercise for me?"
There are lots of types to choose from:
1. Aerobic types like walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling, treadmill etc.
2. Strength and toning types like weight lifting, calisthenics, palliates
3. Flexibility types like stretching programs, palliates and yoga
4. Other types like Tai Chi Chuan, Aerobic dancing etc that may fall
into more than one category
While there are pros and cons for every type of exercise, one principle
stands out above all others when considering an exercise program. The
one thing all these types of exercise have in common is that they will
only work if we *do* them on a regular basis. So when figuring out what
type of exercise is best for you, a good question to ask yourself is
"What type of exercise would I be able and *want* to do on a regular
basis for a long time?". I find that, for someone to really stick to an
exercise program long enough to get real benefit, it has to be *fun*.
One of my personal favorite types of exercise is dancing. Dancing is
great exercise whether it's ballroom, latin, hip-hop, folk or free form.
Karen and I have been dancing for years, starting out with free form
and, in the last three years, adding ballroom and latin. It's something
we can do together and combines some of our favorite music with good
exercise and a *lot* of fun!
For a long time I kind of resisted the whole formal dancing idea because
I thought I wouldn't be able to learn it. My teen years were a bit
socially deprived and I was kind of a klutz. When I finally decided to
go for it, I was delighted to find that, with a good teacher, learning
ballroom and latin dancing wasn't hard at all. A good dance course will
take you, literally, step-by-step, teaching very simple movements at
first (think the basic "box" in waltz) slowly adding more complex (and
fun) moves as you master each level. In very little time Karen and I
found ourselves looking pretty darn good in a variety of dances like
waltz, cha cha, rumba, swing and foxtrot. The best part has been that
every step of the way has been a lot of fun.......so we kept it up!
Karen and I have had several great dance instructors. Out favorite
instructor, Gunter Schluter, has started a "Meetup group" website. One
of the things I like about this meetup site is that Gunter has made it a
resource for every dance studio and dancing event in the Quad Cities,
not just the ones he's involved in. It's really a one stop shopping site
whether you're looking for dance lessons, trying to find dances to go to
or just where and when great dance bands are playing. It also includes
non-ballroom events like square dances and folk dancing. If you're
interested, you can become a member of this meetup group by going to
So what's the central point of my message today? The "perfect" exercise
has to start with being perfect fun!
January 20, 2010 Alternatives to Antibiotics
Originally Posted 9/13/09
With the cold and flu season approaching, I thought this article from
Dr. David Williams was particularly timely. He outlines some of the,
sometimes life-threatening, problems with indiscriminate use of
antibiotics, suggests strategies to make sure antibiotics are really
needed and lists some common effective alternatives to antibiotics.
I'm adding some suggestions of my own at the bottom of his article.
The development and widespread use of
antibiotics has undoubtedly made one of the greatest impacts on our
health this century. While targeted use of antibiotics has saved
thousands of lives, their overuse and misuse has undermined the health
Numerous research studies and even congressional
hearings have concluded that between 40 and 60 percent of all
antibiotics prescribed in this country are unnecessary.
body ordinarily does an effective job of protecting you; the immune
system produces natural antibodies to recognize and destroy foreign
bacteria. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics, however, can both weaken
your immune system and create the antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that
have begun to surface over the last several decades.
common misuse of antibiotics probably occurs when they are prescribed
for known viral infections such as the common cold or flu. Antibiotics
are only effective against bacteria. Both the cold and flu are viral
diseases. There’s no way antibiotics will speed up the healing process
or stop viral infections. They can, however, make you more susceptible
to the more virulent super-strains of bacteria such as MRSA
(methicillin-resistant S. aureus) and VRE (vancomycin-resistant
Enterococcus) now showing up in our hospitals.
Childhood ear infection (otitis media)
is another area in which use of antibiotics should be questioned.
Although 98 percent of the physicians surveyed in the US routinely
prescribe antibiotics for the condition, recent studies show that drugs
are no more effective than placebos. Even more shocking, using
antibiotics increases the risk of recurrent ear infections as much as
Despite what we’ve been conditioned to believe,
the human body was designed to deal with foreign bacteria. Every time
your immune system overcomes an infection it emerges stronger. Through
the body’s production of natural antibodies, it becomes better able to
deal with future assaults on your health.
If, however, antibiotics are given at the first sign of infection,
several serious events can occur.
body’s own immune system becomes suppressed. Fewer natural antibodies
are produced. And worse, studies have shown that the body’s white blood
cells are less active in attacking bacteria that have been treated with
antibiotics. This suppression of the immune system explains why many
seemingly minor infections appear to recur over and over again, thus
requiring multiple courses of treatment.
bacteria are repeatedly exposed to antibiotics, they begin to mutate.
Through a series of mutations, they can quickly become immune to the
drug’s effect. Our inability to stop the spreading infection of these
mutant bacteria costs thousands of people their lives each year.
Drug-resistant bacteria have become especially dangerous in the fertile
breeding grounds of hospitals. Many times hospitals are the worst
possible place a sick person should be.
thousands of hospital patients die each year from infections caused by
these drug-resistant bacteria. We all know someone who was admitted to
the hospital for one condition, but while there, developed a near-fatal
or fatal case of drug-resistant pneumonia.
Estimates are that over 20 percent of those who enter hospitals leave
sicker than when they entered, if they’re able to leave at all. About 2
million patients acquire what are called nosocomial infections
(infections from microorganisms that reside in hospitals). In
approximately 3 to 5 percent of these cases, the infection will be the
cause of their death. Pneumonia is the most common hospital-acquired
infection. It now appears to be responsible for as many as 15 percent
of all hospital-associated deaths.
destroy the beneficial bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract. In
a healthy intestinal tract, trillions of beneficial organisms help form
vitamins and enzymes, deactivate cancer-causing compounds, help
regulate cholesterol and hormone levels, and protect against the
overgrowth of disease-producing bacteria and fungi.
Anyone who takes antibiotics without replenishing beneficial intestinal
bacteria is subject to developing a long list of problems. Some of the
more common ones include eczema, Candida
infections, hyperactivity, parasitic infections, depression, fatigue,
decreased mental abilities, food allergies (particularly to milk and
milk products), recurrent vaginal or bladder infections, PMS,
irritability, constipation, diarrhea, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and
Before discussing any alternatives
to antibiotic therapy, you should know of the safeguards that can be
taken when antibiotics must be used.
First, make sure there’s
really a need for antibiotics. Have your doctor take a culture of the
area involved. This will establish if you actually have an infection.
If so, it will identify the specific organisms involved, allowing the
proper antibiotic to be prescribed.
Next, always supplement
your diet with cultured foods like sauerkraut and live yogurt, and make
sure to take a high quality probiotic regularly to keep your intestinal
flora in balance and resistant to “bad” bacteria.
natural items that fight infections are so well known I won’t spend an
excessive amount of time discussing them. I will mention them briefly,
however, to provide the doses that are generally recommended and any
synergistic factors and precautions.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting that all of these items should be used
the first sign of infection, it is recommended that 500 to 1,000 mg be
taken every two hours. This can be continued until you reach what is
called bowel tolerance—the beginning of diarrhea.
Vitamin C works effectively in both bacterial and viral infections.
Zinc gluconate lozenges also exhibit anti-viral properties and can
lessen the duration of the common cold.
study tested an over-the-counter zinc product called Cold-EEZE on 99
individuals. Half the group took a zinc lozenge (containing 13.3 mg of
zinc gluconate) every two hours at the start of a cold, while the other
half of the group took a placebo.
The colds of those who took
zinc lasted about four-and-a-half days compared to seven-and-a-half
days in the non-zinc takers. In addition, the zinc takers experienced
fewer days of nasal congestion (four days vs. six days for those not
taking zinc), nasal drainage (four days vs. seven days), headache (two
days vs. three days), hoarseness (two days vs. three days), sore throat
(one day vs. three days), and coughing (two days vs. four-and-a-half
You can find Cold-EEZE and other brands of zinc
gluconate lozenges in most drug stores, as well as many of the larger
health food stores.
vitamin also has virus-killing abilities. Initial doses as high as
100,000 IU daily for the first couple of days of infection can be very
beneficial. The dose is then dropped back to 10,000 to 25,000 IU daily
to avoid problems with toxicity.
general healing properties of aloe vera gel have been known and
utilized for hundreds of years. Recently, however, scientists have
discovered that a large number of aloe vera’s more potent healing
compounds reside in the sap and rind of the plant’s leaf.
years ago, none of the commercially available aloe vera products
contained the sap and rind portions of the plant. Most processors
intentionally eliminated this portion because it contained a natural
laxative called aloin and the FDA limits the aloin content of any
non-pharmaceutical aloe product to only 50 parts per million. A process
has recently been developed, however, in which the laxative aloin is
converted to salicylic acid. This enables the entire leaf (gel, sap,
and rind) to be used.
There are thousands of aloe vera
products on the market. Most consist solely of the gel. We now know,
however, that these lack most of the primary healing components. Look
for a high quality whole leaf aloe vera juice product. My favorite is
Aloe-Ace, made by Bio-Nutritional Formulas. You can find it online by
searching on the product name and company.
Reserve Antibiotics for When
are probably a thousand other natural alternatives to antibiotics.
Others include gargling with salt water, saunas, fasting, rest, et
cetera. The items I’ve mentioned provide you with several natural
alternatives to antibiotics. They shouldn’t, however, be used in place
of antibiotics to treat serious infections. If there is any question
consult your physician.
There is no question that the use of
antibiotics has gotten totally out of control. Fortunately, in recent
years as the news has gotten out, the public has been revisiting the
previous assumptions that antibiotics have few, if any, adverse side
effects and they should be used at the first sign of any infection. Of
course, when used judiciously, antibiotics can be lifesavers.
Indiscriminate use, however, weakens the immune system and creates
dangerous new strains of microorganisms that can threaten your life.
the use of antibiotics for those times when either your own immune
system can’t handle the problem or you are faced with more threatening
infections. This caution may very well lengthen your life in the long
Dr. David Williams
let us know if you found this article helpful. And tell us if there is
anything else on this topic (or another topic) that you’d like Dr.
Williams to address in the future.
This excellent article should be read by everyone, especially parents
of small children. The paragraph on using antibiotics for treating
childhood otitis media is especially important and, thought it's really
not new information, very few people know about it.
In addition to Dr. Williams suggestions I'd add the following;
1. Spirulina is a very nutritious algae. Numerous studies show that it
boosts the immune function, increasing white blood cell (WBC)
production and effectiveness in killing viruses and bacteria. It also
helps increase antibody production. I suggest one 500mg tablet/waking
hour at the start if any infection. Follow with at least two weeks at
two tablets three times/day after you're well.
2. Vitamin D is a major factor in immune function. One of the reasons
people have more infections in the Winter is because of the lack of
exposure to sunlight needed for your body to make vitamin D. Vitamin
also helps prevent autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and
autoimmune thyroid disease as well as several types of cancer including
skin cancer! The best way to get D is from moderate sun exposure, about
10-20 min four times/week with as much skin exposed as possible. Avoid
burning because that will make you more prone to skin cancer, just as
not getting enough sun exposure will. If you can't get out in the sun
or that's not working well enough for you (as we get older our skin
loses some of it's D producing ability) an alternative is to take a
good quality D3 supplement. For most people, taking up to 2000 IU/day
during the Winter will be safe. Many people need more than this to get
blood D levels up to the optimal range for best health. Unfortunately,
you can also get too much vitamin D and it can become toxic. That's why
I run blood tests on my patients for higher doses. Ask me next time
you're in for an appointment if you're someone who could benefit from a
blood test to see how much vitamin D you need.
3. I can't emphasize enough how important adequate sleep is for your
immune system. We need an absolute minimum of 6 hours of good quality
sleep/night and most people need around 8 hours for best health.
4. Oil of Oregano is a very potent substance that has been shown effective for a wide variety of bacteria. It is especially usefull for intestinal pathogens and a recent study demonstrated that a specially emulsified preparation of oil of oregano was very effective against several protozoal intestinal parasites! Herbal antimicorbials have an advantage over pharaceutical antibiotics in that they are several orders more chemically complex than a drug and therefore much harder for the bacteria to develop immunity to.
5. Water is used by your immune system in a process called "hydrolysis"
to kill germs. Most people don't get enough water, especially in the
Winter when we feel less thirsty. It needs to be pure water, by the
way, not juice, tea, (green tea does help to fight infection but should not be used instead of water) milk, etc. Shoot for 6-9 cups/day based on your
body weight and activity levels.
Most of the supplements in this email, both Dr. Williams suggestions
and mine should only be used at these levels for the short period of
time needed to get well. You can get too much zinc, causing imbalances
in other vital minerals. Many immune system builders seem to become
less effective if they are taken continuously so they don't work as
well when you really need them. Vitamin C, at 500-1000mg/day, spirulina
at 3-6 tablets/day and Vitamin D at whatever dose indicated by blood
work can be taken continuously for optimizing health.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
January 20, 2010 Breathe Your Stress Away!
Originally Posted 8/15/09
By now probably everyone knows that too much stress can damage your
health. It's usually a factor in every chronic disease like
cardiovascualr disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. In
addition stress can contribute to:
Immune system suppression and lowered resistance to infection
Digestive disturbance and ulcers
Increased vulnerability to injury and slowed injury healing
Hormone problems, especially involving estrogen, testosterone,
thyroid hormone and DHEA
Allergies and asthma
Low back pain
Joint instability and difficulty holding adjustments
Impaired mental focus, ADD, ADHD
And much more
There are many ways you can help reduce your stress loads involving
diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes but that will be the subject
of another email. What I really want to cover this time is how you can
use breathing to lower your stress levels.
The breath is very interesting. It's a semi-conscious activity which
means that you don't have to think about it to make it
happen.....fortunately! On the other hand, you *can* control it
consciously if you want to. Because of this, the breath can act as a
sort of back door into the subconscious.
You may know that I taught yoga for many years before becoming a
chiropractor. I taught breathing techniques on a regular basis to help
my patients relax and lower their stress levels. Recently, I've been
teaching my patients to help lower their stress and reset their
adrenals with these ancient yoga breathing exercises. I want to share
two of these with you in this letter.
The first is very simple. Simply find a quiet place where you'll be
undisturbed for at least five minutes. Now close your eyes and take
slow, deep breaths. Breathe down deep into your belly and let your
chest gently expand. Don't force the breath. Breathe slowly and deeply
but don't try to fill every little bit of your lungs. Keep it relaxed
and pleasant. Focus on the breath, watching it come and go. If your
attention wanders, that's OK, just bring it gently back to the breath.
Practice anywhere from three to ten minutes three to seven days per
The second technique is more complex but even better for lowering
stress and taking a load off your adrenals. It's called the "alternate
nostril breath" or Nadhi Suddhi in the original Sanskrit. Use the same
type of slow, deep breathing as above add nostril alteration.
Note: you need to be able to breathe through both nostrils to do this.
If you have sinus problems you might want to stick with the first
Fold your index and middle fingers into the palm of your right
hand, leaving your thumb, ring finger and little finger out.
Take a slow, deep breath through both nostrils
Block off your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through
your left nostril
Keep your right nostril blocked and inhale through your left
Block off your left nostril with your ring and little fingers and
exhale through your right nostril
keep your left nostril blocked and inhale through your right
Block off your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through
your left nostril
Continue as above for 1 - 10 minutes. Be sure to finish by
exhaling through your right nostril
To summarize, the air you breath in through one nostril, you
breathe out through the other nostril. Out, in, switch, out, in,
For lefties, feel free to use your left hand
If it's more comfortable, you can leave your index and middle
finger out, just don't use them to block off your nostrils.
You'll get best result with daily practice but even three or four
times/week will make a big difference. Some people find that it works
better to practice several times/day for just a minute or two. This
breaks their daily stress cycle and they find it easier to fit in
several, shorter periods rather than one longer one.
Use these techniques regularly to improve your life and breathe your
January 20, 2010 Protecting Yourself From The Swine Flu
Originally Posted 4/29/09
It looks like the whole country is going to be dealing with this new
swine flu outbreak. So far there have been no cases reported in Iowa
but it's likely this will change in the next few weeks. While there's
no need to panic, this may be worse than anything we've dealt with for
a number of years. Fortunately, there are some things we can do to
protect ourselves and others.
Stay hydrated. Water is the best source of liquid, although
unsweetened juice is fine too. Avoid caffeine drinks because caffeine
increases stress hormones which knock down the immune system. You
should get at least 2 quarts of water a day
Get adequate rest and sleep. Sleep deprivation severely weakens
the immune system and makes you much more susceptible to infection.
Depending on your physical type, you'll need from 6 to 9 hours of
Stress hormones depress the immune system. That's why you want to
avoid caffeine. In addition, try to reduce stress in your life. In
addition to emotional stress there is also:
Thermal stress: extremes in temperature, especially when the
temperature fluctuates rapidly like it has been lately. Listen to the
weather report and try to dress appropriately
Chemical stress: Caffeine, refined sugar, food additives,
cleaning and workplace chemicals are all in this category. Try to
reduce or eliminate those you can. Ask me about nutrients and
homeopathic remedies to help deal with those you can't
Physical stress: poor working position, sleep deprivation,
overworking, muscular and skeletal imbalances all contribute.
These all add up together to equal the magic stress number at
which things start going wrong in your body
Incorporate some anti-stress activities in your life like
Moderate, aerobic exercise
Meditation. I'll be writing a separate anti-stress breathing
techniques that give some of the same benefits as medition
Wash your hands regularly, especially if you have been around
anyone you think is sick or if you're sick yourself. Definitely avoid
touching your or anyone else's face, mouth, nose, eyes with hands that
may have the virus on them
Avoid sugar. A tablespoon of sugar inhibits the immune response
by 40% for four hours. A can of pop contains 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Eat lots of fruits and especially vegetables. Fresh is best,
followed by frozen. The more colorful the better. Deeply colored, fresh
produce contain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that have been
shown to fight infection and even cancer.
Shitake mushrooms have been shown to be big immune system
boosters in many studies. They are available fresh, frozen and dried at
most grocery stores these days.
There are a number of nutritional supplements that can build your
immune system and help prevent infection
Vitamin C is a proven standby. I suggest 3000mg/day divided in
at least 3 doses
Vitamin D has been found, in the last few years to be very
important for immune function. One reason we are sicker during the
Winter is that we don't get significant vitamin D from the sun. The
recent research in D has been very exciting. I plan to write a separate
article for you just on D but for now here are some highlights
10% of our genes depend on vitamin D to work properly
Vitamin D helps prevent several types of cancer, including
You should get out in the sun with arms and legs bare for at
least 10 min/day without sunblock, preferably between 10 AM and 2 PM
You should avoid getting burned. This, rather than just sun
exposure may increase your chance of skin cancer
Some people don't make vitamin D as effectively as others,
especially as we get older. They will need vitamin D supplements and we
all need them during the Winter, early Spring and late Fall. The best
way to determine your best dose of D is a combination of a blood test
that I can order for you and muscle testing.
Spriulina has been shown effective at reducing the reproduction
of several viruses, including influenza. I suggest everyone take two
500mg tablets three times/day and increase to one every hour if you
start getting sick.
Echinacea can be useful if you take it at the beginning of
illness. It should not be used for prevention like spirulina because it
becomes ineffective if taken for very long.
Boneset can be especially useful for the flu but, like
echinacea, you should wait until you feel you are actually starting to
If/when we start getting swine flu cases nearby, it's best to
avoid situations where you might be crowded together with a lot of
people. You also might want to carry a bandanna, silk scarf or surgical
mask to wear over your mouth and nose.
If you get sick, stay home. I even suggest you wait to come to my
office until you're well. If you're coughing or sneezing, cover your
mouth with a handkerchief or tissue to avoid spread the virus around.
Don't touch other people, especially around their face until you've
thoroughly washed your hands.
There are a number of treatments I can do that improve your
ability to resist infection. The 1918 flu epidemic was probably the
most dangerous and lethal flu in recent history. There were thousands
of deaths. I've heard from several sources that people who were under
regular chiropractic care during the epidemic did much better than
average. One source claims that not one person under chiropractic care
died of the flu. I'll be tracking down the actual stats on that but I
have many powerful tools for enhancing health and immune function that
weren't available in 1918. I suggest, if you want to optimize your
immune system, that you come in to get checked at least once every two
weeks until the present epidemic is past.
These are a few strategies for improving immune system strength and
decreasing your chances of getting seriously ill. I've been delaying
sending this out because I keep thinking of things to add. I'm going to
post this now and send shorter messages for any additional tips that
come to mind.
Let's all work together to get through this.
January 20, 2010 More health Benefits of Tai chi Chuan
As you may know, Karen, Valerie and I are long-time practitioners of Tai
Chi Chuan (TCC). TCC is an ancient martial art from China. When
practiced properly, it encompasses moving meditation, gentle physical
exercise, Chi Kung (energizing), Taoist philosophy and self defense.
There are many benefits to TCC. It develops strong legs as well as
helping maintain upper body strength. It greatly improves
sure-footedness and balance. Several studies have found that senior
citizens who practice Tai Chi have fewer falls and fewer broken bones.
It also helps reduce stress and improves coordination and mental focus.
One of the things I noticed when I first started Tai Chi was an
improvement in my immune system. At that point I would succumb to a cold
or flu about twice a year. Not bad considering I get exposed dozens of
times a week whenever there's something going around. When I started Tai
Chi, that was cut to one or none/year!
Here's a couple of links to stories on Reuters reporting on studies
demonstrating the ability of Tai Chi to improve immunity and help the
body fight shingle and type 2 diabetes.
Tai Chi has been known for years as a useful form of exercise for
arthritis sufferers. Here's a link to a study that was done showing real
benefit for patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees.
We're fortunate to have one of the best Tai Chi Chuan instructors in the
country right here in the Quad Cities. Scott Caulpetzer teaches classes
in the evenings on Monday and Wednesday as well as several day classes.
His main class is Saturday morning at 10:00. if you're interested in Tai
Chi classes, you can contact him at: 322-4002 or ask about classes next
time you're in the office.
March 25, 2009 Autoimmune thyroid and other problems more commone than we thought
Recently, I've been investigating the possibility of autoimmune
reactions (where your body's immune system attacks your body instead of
germs) as a cause of some difficult to treat problems in my patients. In
particular, I've been looking at patients with chronic thyroid problems,
patients who have been on synthroid or armor thyroid hormone replacement
There are some simple and inexpensive blood tests for autoimmune thyroid
problems and for general autoimmune problems. I've sent a number of
patients out for these tests and I've been a little surprised how many
have come back positive, especially for the thyroid gland! Most of these
patients had thyroid hormone blood tests run by their MD but *none* of
them had the test for autoimmune thyroid run! Treating autoimmune
thyroid problems requires a completely different approach than regular
thyroid problems and some conventional thyroid treatments can actually
make matters worse.
Other possible autoimmune related problems include: arthritis, macular
degeneration and other vision problems, fibromyalgia symptoms, multiple
sclerosis, systemic lupus, scleroderma, connective tissue and muscle
pain, allergies, ADD and ADHD.
I have some exciting new methods for testing and treating autoimmune
related problems. If you think you may have problems in this area,
especially thyroid problems, be sure to let me know. This is providing a
key for many of our patients!
January 4, 2009 Making Your New Years Resolutions Come True
Our New Years Resolutions Come True
the holidays are over with all the parties and special treats. I hope
your holidays were wonderful and (at least reasonably) healthy! We're
starting an New Year in many ways. Not just 2009 but with a new, very
different, president and new challenges both as a nation and
traditionally a time to reflect and take stock of our lives. What
serves us? What doesn't? What do we want to accomplish in the coming
year? What do we want to accomplish in our lives? What aspects of our
lifestyle brings us closer to those goals and which get in the way?
make resolutions at the beginning of a new year. Maybe we decide that
this is the year we lose weight, take up an exercise program, learn a
new skill, get a new job, improve our relationships or release a
habit that no longer serves us as we progress toward our life goals.
Whatever you resolve to change or accomplish in the coming year, I
want you to know that my staff and I are here to help you meet your
the powerful tools we have available is the Neuro-Emotional Technique
(NET). Using NET we we can work together to find out if there are any
old, buried (or unburied) emotional associations that may be
sabotaging your conscious desire to make change in your life. We can
then zero in on the past incident that you're unconsciously reacting
to and defuse it so that, although the memory is still there, the
emotional reaction that has been blocking your progress is cleared
thus helping the desired change to occur.
many of you have experienced the life-changing effects of NET just as
I have. Whether you want to change your diet or exercise program,
find your perfect job or life partner, break an old habit or
new, positive one, NET can often be key to smoothing the way. Sure we
can accomplish things in spite of these old emotional stresses and
blocks but it's like driving with the parking brake on! I'd love to
help you get out of your own way and help release your full,
information on NET please ask me or my staff or check out the NET
great tool I use for changing habits is auriculotherapy (ear
acupuncture). This technique is especially effective for addictions.
Addictions don't have to be just to the obvious things like drugs,
alcohol and tobacco. Other common addictions include food and work
and gambling. Auriculotherapy along with NET and specific nutritional
therapy are extremely effective in helping people who want to break
an addictive habit. In fact auriculotherapy is so effective that it's
part of the drug rehabilitation program for drug-related crime
prevention in Florida, New York, Nevada and Israel.
begin this New year together, I'm excited about working with you to
make the changes you want in your life, your family, your community
and the world! Each one of us, as we become truly healthy on all
levels are freed to make contributions only we can give, which
affects everyone around us.
office motto is "We change the World by optimizing health".
YOU change the world by being all you truly are!
you ever experienced a severe band of pain across your lower back or
neck? Have you ever hurt your back, knee, ankle, elbow, etc. badly for
no apparent reason? If so, you may have been a victim of "success
Success Syndrome is a term used in Applied Kinesiology to describe a situation of ligament weakness caused by prolonged or excessive stress.
Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that hold joints together. They
are sometimes confused with tendons which connect muscle to bone.
Tendons are supposed to be stretchy and elastic, ligaments are
supposed to have almost no stretch. During prolonged periods of stress
or short periods of extreme stress, an imbalance in adrenal hormone
production may occur. This imbalance, especially the increase in
cortisol production, has the effect ofbreaking down and weakening the
ligaments. This weakening of the ligaments sets the stage for
overstretching and tearing. The person with success syndrome literally
becomes a "sprain waiting to happen"!
have come to me with massive back sprain which they acquired by simply
bending over or leaning across a desk. Ligaments in the low back and
base of the skull are especially susceptible to success syndrome. A
typical pain pattern with success syndrome seems to be a band of
intense pain across the top of the hips in back, intense neck pain, or
a headache at the base of the skull. Although the above areas are more
common targets for this syndrome, any joint may be affected. Injuries
of the knee, elbow, shoulder, ankle, etc. may be a result of success
syndrome especially if the injury seemed to occur too easily.
treatment for success syndrome is directed toward getting the primary
culprits, the adrenal glands, functioning properly. This is
accomplished using the “Hypothalamic Set Point Technique to help the
adrenals reset to a more normal level of activity. Specific nutrition
to improve adrenal function is usually needed in addition. Any bones
which are out of position are also adjusted back into position.
Treatment to improve the tone of any weak muscles in the affected area
is also important. Treatment for success syndrome takes from 2 days to
2 weeks depending on the length and severity of the problem. Most
patients experience significant reduction in pain within a few hours of
beginning the nutritional therapy.
adrenal function is more normal and ligaments are not longer being
weakened, nutritional support for the ligaments may be indicated. It
is also very important to identify the source of stress in the persons
life. Stress may be emotional: such as pressure at work, chemical;
resulting from improper diet, structural; due to posture imbalance, or
even thermal; weather related. During last summers' heat wave, I
treated two cases of success syndrome caused entirely by the 95_100
degree temperatures! Once the source of stress is identified, I work
with the patient to try to eliminate areas of stress where possible or
teach techniques for effectively dealing with stress that they're stuck
avoid success syndrome in your own life, first try to identify sources
of stress in your life. Decide which types of stress you can really do
without_such as the chemical stress of caffeine and sugar. Work on
techniques for dealing with the stress that you can't avoid.
Developing the correct attitude, employing relaxation techniques such
as Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi as well as getting proper aerobic
exercise will help you handle unavoidable stress. And by all means, if
you think that you are developing a case of success syndrome, get into
the office for care, so that your desire to be successful doesn't end
up as a pain in the back!
NEXT TIME YOU HAVE A "SLOW DRAIN" DON'T CALL A PLUMBER
do swollen ankles, swollen glands, tonsillitis, sore throats, anemic
conditions, low energy, fat digestion problems, poor healing of cuts,
pneumonia and low resistance to disease have in common? These common
health problems may seem unrelated but they can all be symptoms of a
blockage in lymph flow known in Applied Kinesiology (A.K.) as
the words circulation and body fluids are used, most people think of
blood. There is, however, a second system that circulates body fluids
called the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is much smaller and
simpler than the blood circulatory system but it still performs many
important functions. These functions are of three primary types: 1.
lymph system filtration 2. collection of fluids and proteins from
between the cells 3. pickup and distribution of fats from the small
IMMUNE SYSTEM FILTRATION Located throughout the lymphatic system among
the lymphatic vessels (the lymph version of veins) are lymph nodes.
These nodes are actually lymph filters. One of the functions of the
lymph system is to pick up bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, debris from
old cells etc., and bring them to these nodes where they become trapped
while antibodies are produced in the nodes to destroy this unwanted or
dangerous material. When the nodes become filled with bacteria or
debris and as antibody production increases, the nodes expand and are
referred to as "swollen glands". In addition to the nodes, there are
special disease fighting areas such as the tonsils, thymus gland,
spleen and parts of the liver which are all part of the lymphatic
system. Good function in these disease fighting areas depends on a good
flow of lymph to and from each node, tonsil, etc.
The second function of the lymphatic system involves COLLECTION OF
FLUID, PROTEINS, AND OTHER NUTRIENTS that leak out of or are missed by
the blood circulation. Normally this fluid, protein, etc. is collected
from the tissues and returned to the blood system at the right
subclavian vein in the upper chest.
Although most nutrients are picked up from the small intestine by the
blood, FATS WHICH HAVE BEEN BROKEN DOWN INTO TRIGLYCERIDES ARE PICKED
UP BY THE LYMPH SYSTEM and emptied into the blood at the subclavian
vein. Fats are not only an important energy source (especially for the
aerobic or oxygen using muscle fibers) but form important components
for many cell parts and are especially important for nerve cells.
lymphatic retrograde problem occurs when muscle weakness or spasms in
the neck and chest cause a restriction or blockage in the lymph flow.
This restriction usually occurs right before the lymphatic vessels
empty into the subclavian veins, and the lymph drainage in the whole
body can be affected.
of the restriction, lymph nodes, tonsils, etc. cannot get rid of the
dead bacteria, digested cells, etc. They swell up and may become
irritated and inflamed (tonsillitis). Because the lymph flow is
blocked, bacteria and viruses can't be brought to the nodes in a normal
fashion and one of the body's major defenses against disease is
crippled. I have seen many chronic infections such as viral pneumonia,
tonsillitis, persistent flu, swollen glands, sore throats, etc. show
great improvement or even vanish within hours of doing the A.K.
lymphatic retrograde therapy.
the lymph system is blocked, fluid can't be removed from the tissues
properly and conditions of edema or "water retention" may develop. If
water retention is caused by poor lymphatic drainage then classic
remedies such as "water pills" (diuretics to make the kidneys work
harder at taking fluid out of the blood) will not solve the problem.
The pull of gravity tends to make collection of fluids from the legs
and feet more difficult and if a lymphatic retrograde problem is
present, the swollen ankles referred to earlier may result. This
swelling often reduces dramatically (including loss of "water weight")
after lymphatic retrograde therapy.
lymphatic flow is sluggish, pickup of triglycerides from the small
intestine is also impaired. For reasons as yet not fully understood,
the restricted lymphatic flow seems to interfere with red blood cell
production in some people producing a lowered hematocrit. Here, again,
I have seen several cases where the low hematocrit increased or
normalized after lymphatic retrograde therapy.
a great number of problems may result from poor lymphatic drainage, it
is important to remember that other conditions can produce many of
these same symptoms. Fortunately, Applied Kinesiology muscle testing
can quickly discover whether a lymphatic blockage is to blame for these
problems and allow the A.K. Doctor to effectively correct numerous
conditions that would be very difficult to treat otherwise.
So, if you're feeling puffy, stuffy or just plain tired, remember, your problem may be a "Slow Drain".
Key Ideas for a Healthy Diet
result of many requests from my patients, I have decided to start a
series of newsletters on diet and nutrition. This is an extremely
large subject which I don't expect to be able to cover fully in a
series, let alone a single newsletter. What I'd like to do in this
series is to sort of hit the high points in nutritional theory as well
as my own personal and clinical experience.
this first installment, I'd like to lay out some general guidelines for
diet and nutrition. I fell that guidelines must be general for two
reasons. First, nutrition is an infant science. What we think
we know (nutritional "science" is made up largely of theories which are
sometimes contradictory and frequently proven wrong as new data comes
in ) about nutrition is only a small percentage of what there is left
to learn on this subject. Secondly, and most importantly, each
person's metabolism is unique. While it is true that we all have needs
for general categories of nutrients like protein, carbohydrates,
vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and water, the amounts and best form of
those nutrients may vary substantially from person to person. This, of
course, is why Applied Kinesiology (AK) testing procedures are so
useful and important in working out nutritional needs. These
procedures allow the well-trained Doctor of Applied Kinesiology to
tailor-make a nutritional program for the individual by "consulting"
with the ultimate authority - each patient's body.
this in mind, I'd like to list some general nutritional guidelines
which are fairly well agreed upon and which I have seen work
consistently in my patients.
generally a good idea to eat foods in as near to their natural state as
possible. The more processed (refined, milled, cooked, irradiated,
homogenized, pasteurized, hydrogenated, artificially flavored, colored,
and preserved) a food is, the lower it usually is in nutrition.
Several vitamins and all enzymes are destroyed by prolonged cooking
and many vitamins and minerals are leached out of food by cooking in
water - unless you're making soup or you're going to drink the cooking
water, then this becomes less of a problem, (soup is a good
food). When a grain is refined into white flour, it usually has both
the bran and germ removed, stripping away dozens of nutrients and
leaving you with the starch and a few vitamins and minerals the food
companies put back in to "enrich" it.
that have been added to food to color it, flavor it, or prolong shelf
life are often given their final test by using us as guinea pigs. Many
food additives that at one time were thought to be safe, were later
discovered to cause degenerative diseases, cancer etc. The most recent
example of this is aspartame, otherwise known as NutraSweet which is
now used in virtually all artificially sweetened beverages and most
other "low cal" foods. This substance was put on the market almost
untested. So far it has been involved in certain types of urinary
diseases, and learning/concentration problems. It is also well
established that aspartame will degrade into formaldehyde if exposed to
temperatures over 85 degrees F. I'm not trying to pick on NutraSweet,
but I feel this is a good example of the kind of chemical russian
roulette the FDA and food companies play with the American consumer.
good reason to eat food in as close to its' natural state as possible
is to obtain synergistic factors. These are substances naturally
"packaged" with vitamins and minerals that will aid in their digestion
and absorption and may even be necessary for a vitamin to perform its'
role as a nutrient. Phytonutrients are important nutrients, found most
abundantly in darkly or brightly colored fruits and vegetables. The
more intense the color, the higher the phytonutrient content is likely
to be. Phytonutrients seem to be involved in many health benefits
including protecting the cardiovascular system, improving the aging
process and protecting against certain types of cancer. Once again,
phytonutrients are often lost as foods are processed and changed form
their natural state.
nutrition is such a young science, it is very likely that there are
many essential nutrients that we may not know about. People living
mostly on processed foods would be missing both known and yet to be
discovered nutrients. An obvious example of this principle is the
difference between infant formula (once thought to be a scientifically
superior infant food) and mother's milk. Contrary to scientific
beliefs of a couple decades ago, it is now well accepted among
enlightened pediatricians and obstetricians that breast fed babies are
generally healthier and develop faster, have less colds, etc. than
formula fed babies.
my patients hand in their diet charts, most of them are deficient in
two areas; vegetables and water. The body uses water for many
important chemical reactions. It is also important in regulating blood
pressure and body temperature and helping rid the body of toxins. White
blood cells use water to help hydrolyze and destroy bacteria, cancer
cells, etc. This same process of hydrolysis is used in the digestion
of the food we eat (but don’t drink a lot of water with your
meals) There is evidence that the body treats water differently from
other fluids (milk, juices, tea, etc.) and that, while one could stay
alive drinking only other fluids, pure water is needed for optimum good
health. As a general rule of thumb, the average adult will need about
8 cups of water per day. The quota will need to be increased with very
hot or very cold weather, for lactating women, very active people or
any other condition which would increase water use.
are a source of many vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber.
Since some of these nutrients are destroyed by cooking, most
vegetables are better eaten raw. Some notable exceptions are carrots
(the high cellulose content may interfere somewhat with nutrient
absorption unless they're cooked, but if you want more fiber in your
diet, they should be eaten raw),most beans, (many beans, especially
soybeans, contain an enzyme that inhibits protein digestion. This
enzyme is destroyed by heat.) and, in some cases, raw spinach, which is
high in oxalic acid and can aggravate certain types of urinary
disorders. The best way to cook most vegetables to preserve nutrition
is to steam them for anywhere from 5 -20 minutes.
general dietary considerations would include: cutting down or
eliminating refined (white) sugar and sugar products and exercising
moderation in your intake of animal fat and meat. More on these topics
in future newsletters.
can see, even a basic introduction has turned into a rather long
newsletter topic! I hope this information will get you off to a good
start. Please give me your feedback, ideas, etc. on this diet series.