Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Swine Flu, Fact and Fiction

By Scott Beck

With the 2009-2010 flu season in full force, many Americans are searching for protection for them and their families. This year is particularly scary since we are faced with the first pandemic (global outbreak) in over 40 years because of the H1N1 influenza virus. As growing controversy over the safety and effectiveness of the seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines spread, the question “what am I to do” often arises. To make an informative decision on your families health care options, we must first take a look at the facts.

Each day the media reports additional cases of H1N1 infections and rising death tolls attributed to the pandemic disease. In July of 2009, the World Health Organization issued a press release stating that it will no longer release the global table of H1N1 infections because it is “extremely difficult, if not impossible” to determine swine flu cases in laboratory testing. The Centers for Disease Control issued a similar statement on October 2, 2009. “Influenza diagnosis will not distinguish between infection with seasonal influenza vs. infection with A-H1N1.” However, we are told by our doctors and the media that it is imperative to have the flu and “swine” flu vaccine this season. Here are a few facts on that:
The nasal spray vaccine by MedImmune has demonstrated evidence in clinical trials of shedding the live virus for 3-21 days post-vaccination. This means that vaccinating large populations, especially school children, with the live nasal-spray vaccine may actually cause a rise in the number of those infected! Also, pregnant woman have been identified as a targeted risk group for H1N1 and seasonal influenza, therefore, they are urged to get the vaccines. However, Influenza vaccines are Category C pharmaceuticals, which means that no animal or human studies have been conducted for safety. Influenza vaccines have not been tested on pregnant women.
As a concerned and informed parent, you are now wondering what you can do to protect your family with a safe and natural approach. The simple answer: CHIROPRACTIC. One of the most important studies on chiropractic and the immune system was performed by Ronald Pero, Ph.D., chief of cancer prevention research at New York's Preventive Medicine Institute and professor of medicine at New York University. Dr. Pero measured the immune systems of people under chiropractic care as compared to those in the general population and those with cancer and other serious diseases. His initial three-year study was of 107 individuals who had been under chiropractic care for five years or more. The chiropractic patients were found to have a 200% greater immune competence than those people who had not received chiropractic care, and they had 400% greater immune competence than those people with cancer and other serious diseases. The immune system superiority of those under chiropractic care did not appear to diminish with age. Dr. Pero stated “When applied in a clinical framework, I have never seen a group other than this chiropractic group to experience a 200% increase over the normal patients. This is why it is so dramatically important. We have never seen such a positive improvement in a group.”
The immune system is affected by the nervous system through the connections with the endocrine and the autonomic nervous system. And chiropractic care improves the function of the nervous system through improving the movement of the spinal bones that encase and protect the spinal cord. Stressful conditions lead to altered measures of immune function, and altered susceptibility to a variety of diseases. Chiropractic care is a safe, gentle and effective way to enhance your immune system this flu season. Call today for a FREE consultation to discuss how our health care team can help your family!

How to Practice Gratitude.

Study after study shows that people who give time, donate money or simply help others are healthier and live more fulfilled lives. Here are some things you can do.

1.) Volunteer. Volunteer your time, skills and expertise. Volunteering helps, you build and sustain your community, which in turn will give back to you. It's a win-win situation. People volunteer to contribute their skills and knowledge however it's practically guaranteed that you'll walk away with more knowledge and skills than you had beforehand. There is little else in life that offers the same level of satisfaction like watching your hard earned efforts benefit someone in need. Volunteering also offers you new interests, new experiences, new people, and authenticity and credibility in your industry.

2.) Donate funds. What's your favorite cause or charity - something that's important to you, your family or your friends? Perhaps it is the American Cancer Society, the Humane Society, or the Nature Conservancy. These organizations thrive on two things: Volunteers and Donations. If you have causes, passions and charities which are near and dear to your heart, it's important to do what you can to keep them in the black, financially solvent, and able to continue to provide their services.

3.) Mentor. Mentoring is an exceptional way to share your knowledge and experience with others and give back to the world. Mentoring is when you meet with someone one-on-one and help them learn and grow. A mentee can be a child or young adult struggling with choices, a professional who is interested in growing their career, or a person interested in starting a business similar to yours. A mentor/mentee relationship is essentially, however you define it.

If history and experience have taught us anything it's that the more you give, the more you receive. When you take the time to give back to the world with the intention of improving the lives of others, the essential result is that you end up receiving so much more than you can possibly imagine. Give it a try. You'll be amazed what happens in your life.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Feel Better. Why Continue?

The biggest mistake patients often make is quitting care too soon. Once symptoms resolve many patients feel they are fixed. This cannot be further from the truth. My years of observing relapses proves this.

It is impossible to correct mechanical flaws in joints, break up scar tissue and adhesion and strengthen the weakened supporting structures in a few visits. Your body is very intelligent and will avoid pain at all costs. Even at the expense of proper biomehanics. Ultimately the body will compensate which will only lead to a problem elsewhere in the body.

The goal needs to be correction of the joint problems and prevention of future problems. This takes time and effort. It is common to think you are fixed when the pain is gone but this is rarely the case.
Herniated Disc? Now what?

Not so long ago a diagnosis of a herniated disc often had you heading for an open surgery with a long recovery. This is no longer the case. In fact, it is most important to always verify the true cause of your pain or symtoms. For example, in many instances it may not be the disc causing the problem. We now know many people have disc herniations and are totally asymptomatic. There are many techniques and methods to determine and verify the true cause of your pain. The good news is there are many minimally invasive procedures such as spinal decompression, such as the DRX9000 or endoscopic disectomies that have patients regain their lives. It is important to make sure you seek out conservative options first prior to undergoing more invasive procedures.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Back pain to be concerned about

90% of Americans will suffer an episode of back pain in their lifetime. It is important to determine when medical action is needed. Back pain can be categorized into radiating and nonradiating or centralized back pain. Non radiating back pain is often caused by spinal misalignment, muscle spasms or facet irritaion. This type of pain is often uncomplicated and can be resolved fairly quickly with conservative hands on therapies. Radiating back pain is often more complex and can be more serious and chronic. Many times the radiation is caused by a herniated disc or nerve related issue. It is important to seek medical care to get a proper diagnosis so the appropriate treatment can be performed. A very serious condition called cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency and is associated with bowel or bladder issues in conjuction with back pain. Back pain that lasts more than a few days will only create bigger problems down the road in the future so don't ignore the signs.

What is functional training?

The days of working out "body parts" are a thing of the past. For example, working out your back and biceps on one day and your chest and triceps on another. This methodology, although good for muscular growth, does not translate to real life activities. So what we create are muscular people who are not able to perform integrated movements successfully. In other words these people can lift heavy weight in one plane or direction but when you put the person in real life situations, where they need to move at certain angles, they cannot perform them and are subject to spine or joint injuries. Working out should prepare your body to prevent injury and pain syndromes and increase performance in everyday MOVEMENTS such as lifting, bending, reaching etc. In functional training the difference is in training movements and not muscles. When you train movements you integrate several muscle groups at the same time, strengthen your core and prepare the body for real life movement and performance.