Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A scar is a scar right?

"He with the most scars wins." Scar tissue distorts the body. But what does that mean, "distorts the body?" And should we be concerned? In short, yes. No one can achieve top performance with scars on the body, or rather scar tissue in the body. The physical appearance of a scar is one thing what is occurring underneath is altogether different. It pushes, pulls, distort cells and the extracellular matrix (myofascia...that thin layer you clean off the chicken breast.) thereby distorting the body and biomechanics. Donald Ingber, Phd, MD studies what this all means and writes about it in this paper titled  Mechanobiology and Diseases of Mechanotransduction (a mouthful I know but do not shut down the browser yet). Here, the winner with the most scars is not the winner. 

"The global shape of the cell determines it's behavior (e.g.growth versus differentiation (from simple to complex) or apoptosis (cell death)), and these effects are mediated through tension dependent changes in cytoskeletal (cell skeleton) structure and mechanics." Whew! OK, what does this mean? "The global shape of the cell determines its behavior..." means a cell that has changed shape by means of something such as scar tissue which pushes, pulls or crowds its way in will alter the function of the cell. Not good! Scar tissue from surgical procedures or traumas will therefore alter the function of cells. A scar becomes a stress point because the scarred tissue is not able to move fluidly thus causing a pull onto surrounding tissue, or cells. What happens next is loss of range of motion, altered biomechanics and altered cell function. Right sided ACL surgery? I consistently see tighter shoulders and hips. Hysterectomy, c-section and appendectomy scars...yikes...often low back pain, tight shoulders, tight hips, etc. The scar tissue is not able to move as freely as healthy tissue which puts stress on surrounding tissue and distorts at the cellular level. Distortion of the tissue or cells is what will lead to disease often local to the area of injury

Communication is also altered at the cellular level. Remember that myofascia I mentioned above? Well that is a matrix (Alfred Pischinger's research explains this nicely) where communication signals are relayed to call for an action such as neurological function, hormone control, and circulation. Restoring this communication is paramount toward relieving that distortion...it is like a black hole otherwise. Once communication is restored and the adhesions removed the body's response can be nothing short of shocking. I have seen major gains (up to 40 degrees of range of motion) in hip movement from the release of both knee surgery scars and scars such as those from c-sections. Strength in muscle that have been tight and weak will suddenly start to fire and feel relaxed and strong again. This unwinding of the body allows for less distortion and better biomechanics. It also allows for better cellular function and less chance for disease. These are very profound changes and it is the reason I ALWAYS impress the need to release scars and do so within the first 2 visits for my new patients. It is a fundamental piece of restoring optimum health.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me. Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ibuprofen Is Good Right?

Ibuprofen? Good? Not quite. Naturally there are "side effects" to pharmaceutical drugs such as Ibuprofen or NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug). Side effects are unintended consequences of an action where the good of the intention is typically offset by the bad of the side effect...sometimes there are good side effects but NSAIDs or Ibuprofen do not fall into this category.

Three populations typically use NSAIDs. The first is the patient in chronic pain typically from arthritis where they take say 800 mg.day. The second is a patient who got injured today. They will load up over the next few days trying to decrease that pain and reduce swelling. The third user is the athlete who often times is using them prophylactically to prevent soreness afterward running or whatever they participate in.

Inflammation occurs through a cascade of events in the body and NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen inhibit a step in the cascading process preventing or reducing inflammation. The side effects of Ibuprofen us are rather nasty in my humble opinion. In this abstract the author ponders whether "The ever-emerging anti-inflammatories. Have there been any real advances?" and in the first statement says "Gastrointestinal (GI) (the stomach and intestines) Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) from the NSAIDs are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in arthritic patients taking these drugs." Not a good side I am certain we can all agree. Another known side effect are stomach ulcers for the "long term user." NSAIDs block a pathway that produces the protective mucous lining of the stomach causing ulcers (HOLES!) in long term users. Again, when the stomach goes south so goes the body. The need to protect the GI tract cannot be overstated. Damage to the GI tract will result in a compromised nutrient absorption. And this, of course, leads to stress onto the entire body.

Cardiovascular health can also be compromised from NSAID use. The author of this abstract cautions against the use of NSAIDS for patients with musculoskeletal (muscle and joint pain) pain for patients with known cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues. This abstract gives warning against those with gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, liver disease, platelet issue, asthma, and children overdose to name some of them. The NSAID creates stress on the body and for those bodies already under stress it can be quite bad.

Finally, I found these two studies which were quite telling of Ibuprofen use in the athletic population. These studies were done on athletes who ran the Western State 100 Mile Endurance Run. The first study concluded that athletes who used Ibuprofen prophylactically did not experience a decrease in post race muscle soreness versus those who did not but did see "elevated indicators of endotoxemia and inflammation." Yikes! What is "endotoxemia?" It is bacteria present in the blood and the danger is stated in the following statement: "The presence of endotoxins in the blood, which, if derived from gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria, may cause hemorrhages, necrosis of the kidneys, and shock." Again, we can all agree this is not a good outcome I am certain. Here is the kicker though the user group saw an INCREASE in inflammation! The very thing they were trying to prevent was increased! Ibuprofen CAUSED inflammation in this population. Furthermore this study saw an increase in oxidative stress among the Ibuprofen users. Oxidative stress means an increase in free radicals...free radical stress causes all sorts of damage not the least premature aging. Hence the anti-oxidant craze.

So what to do when one is inflamed? Fortunately, there are great alternatives to this stomach destroying product. Proteolytic enzymes work great, actually promote healing and I can't find anything on Pubmed where they damage the stomach...or any side effects. This study shows the power output of a muscle to be higher post exercise by those treated with Bromelaine, a proteolytic enzyme, than those left untreated. Herbs such as Curcumin, Capsaicin (essentially cayenne pepper), and Tumeric also play powerful roles in anti inflammation and protection of the GI tract....not too mention cancer preventive!

Using supplements with an array of these properties will often deliver a very powerful anti-inflammatory effect with no side effects. Any healthy store that sells quality supplements...not Costco, Safeway, etc....will have supplements of this nature. If you have any questions feel free to drop me a line. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Splenda: A Poor Sugar Substitute

I was inspired to write this blog because I was in the grocery store today and found a book about cooking with Splenda, the ARTIFICIAL sweetener. Serious?! I went to Amazon.com and...wow, there are a lot of cookbooks out there promoting Splenda as a great alternative to sugar (super low calories yet still sweet), some by supposed "health experts" (I make it a rule to never trust "the experts.") Splenda, also known as sucralose (well this is actually the main component of Splenda), is found in diet drinks, ice cream, protein bars, vitamins, toothpaste to name ONLY a few. Look at your gum, over-the-counter drugs (those sweetened so swallowing them tastes a bit better), salad dressings and on the restaurant tables in those little yellow packets where real sugar used to sit.

So what is the big deal right? Well...here is the big deal. One can suffer from any number of conditions such as sluggishness, fatigue, legs feeling like lead weights, mood swings, severe cramps in females, joint pain, painful bowel movements, bloating, dizziness, confusion, depression, headaches, and nausea as well as reproductive and immune problems.* In this study using rats "the numbers of total anaerobes, bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, Bacteroides, clostridia, and total aerobic bacteria were significantly decreased" in the gut as examined through a stool analysis. Meaning the pH had gone up (away from acidic or toward a more basic state) and the gut flora was now out of balance or decreased. The problem with a higher pH is not only breaking down of food but also the gut losing the ability to break down microbes (i.e. bad bacteria) compromising the immune system. And as I stated back on the post Why Use Probiotics? altered flora result in poor absorption of minerals. This malabsorption can then lead to any of the conditions listed above. The body loses its ability to detox and obviously a high toxicity will not serve your body well. We can all agree with that. Pretty big deal right?

If you are experiencing these conditions and use Splenda (or are not experiencing and using Splenda) STOP all Splenda products immediately, meaning do not eat them...hopefully it's obvious I would suggest that...and "Flush Your System." For two month use probiotics, mulit vitamin and MINERALS (I suggest multi-vitamin/mineral daily for your entire life), and undenatured whey to rebuild and detox your body.

You can find studies out there where they will report Splenda to be a safe product. Here is what I tell my patients though, "Serious?! You want to put artificial food into your one and only body? Keep it simple and eat nothing processed." Inevitably these artificial foods turn out to have damaging effects. And now don't even get me started on High Fructose Corn Syrup or Aspartame. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions call the office, send me an email or get a hold of us on Facebook.

*Splenda: Is it Safe of Not? by Janet Starr Hull, phD., Pickle Press, 2005
*FIRST, "A Magazine For Women On The Go" Article titled "Tired All The Time?" June 26, 2006 pp 25-26

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Stick - Inflammation, Adhesion, Toxin Remover

Each new patient (athlete and non athlete alike) gets The Stick after the first visit. Why? When used daily it removes pockets of inflammation, mild adhesions, and toxins often resulting in a rapid decrease in pain. Inflammation distorts the cell by crowding its way and decreasing the room for proper cell function. And proper cell function is EVERYTHING with regards to the body. Cells that are not functioning correctly cause stress on the body, leading to a less than optimized state for (athletic) performance and recovery. Mild adhesions also distort cells by tensioning the myofascia. In effect the adhesion is pinning down the myofascia not allowing it to move thus distorting cell and altering cell function. Removal of toxins that have accumulated in the myofascia allow the bodies electrical signals to move more efficiently resulting in better performance and recovery. As The Stick rolls over the muscles an electric charge is created breaking the bonds between the toxins and myofascia. The toxins will move into the lymphatic system and go out of the body as waste. 

Using The Stick correctly is key and very simple. The Stick is to be used lightly (i.e. light pressure...not bending The Stick) on relaxed muscle that are not contracted. Do every evening and after workouts on the muscles below the waste at a minimum. Do 20 sweeps each on the lateral (IT band side), anterior (quads), medial (adductor side), and posterior (hamstrings) thigh, and the posterior (calf muscles) and anterior lower leg. After doing both legs stand up and do the gluteus muscles (buttocks). Feel free to do upper body as well.

For athletic training I recommend 2-3 times per day: morning, evening and after training. The recovery advantages are huge. Good luck and feel free to ask me any questions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Use Probiotics?

"The intestinal tract can thus be considered the most extensive disturbance field for the regulatory system. As such it stresses the matrix system through toxins and mineral deficiencies, since it is in the abdomen that this tissue is most abundant and in its purest form."* Antibiotics, environmental toxins, processed food, gluten intolerance all contribute to damaging or destroying the intestinal flora that resides in the small and large intestine. Even small disturbances to the flora causes stress to the entire body. This stress shows up in damage to immune system, hormone system, neurological system, enzyme production and in tissue healing rates. Vitamins, trace elements (especially zinc and iron) and minerals start absorbing at a lower rates causing these systems to break down. As zinc levels fall the body loses its ability to detoxify heavy metals (i.e. mercury). Iron levels fall causing decreased hematocit levels and any endurance athlete knows the meaning of that, less oxygen available for muscles and decrease in performance. 

It is paramount to preserve or restore the flora of the intestine if one is to not only attain optimum performance but also optimum health. Using probiotics will restore this balance and coupling with a quality mutivitamin/multimineral will ease the stress put onto the body.  

*The Extracellular Matrix and Ground Regulation. Basis for Holistic and Biological Medicine. Alfred Pischinger, 2004 pp162.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Why Whey? For Better Performance and Faster Recovery!

I am often asked "what protein powder should I use?" Personal preferences aside whey powder is certainly a great choice. Whey powder has the ability to reduce recovery time by stimulating muscle protein synthesis, provide amino acid building blocks, has anti-inflammatory effects (which I am ALWAYS looking for ways to reduce inflammation), boosts the immune system and reduces toxins. Wow, this stuff is pretty good! Taking it to the next level though occurs when using UNDENATURED Whey.

Undenatured Whey has all the benefits of denatured whey but with addition of raising the levels of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is the most powerful anti-oxidant known in the body. During training and exercise through oxidative processes cell-damaging free radicals are increasing in the body. Raising glutathione levels in the body can have the following effects:
  • Reduce the free radicals that lead to muscle inflammation and damage
  • Reduce muscle fatigue/delayed onset muscle soreness
  • Decrease recovery time from training
  • Increase strength and endurance
  • Improve ability to endure exhaustive exercise
  • Increase peak power and work capacity
  • Shift metabolism from fat production to muscular development
  • Maintain white blood cell counts that normally fall during intense training sessions
  • Prevent over training symptoms
  • Improve performance
  • Increase resistance to illness
  • Detoxify foreign substances
That is an impressive list to say the least and are the reasons I have been recommending Undenatured Whey to those who do not have a whey sensitivity. 

Here is a simple recipe to follow.
1 cup filtered water
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup whole oats
Blend then add 1 scoop of Undenatured Whey and stir in until it is homogenized. Important: do not blend in Undenatured Whey with blender this will potentially denature the whey. 

Let me know how this works out and if there is anything I can add or answer for you.

Information from Nutri-Notes/ ed. Dr. Lynn Toohey. Vol 10, #4

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Energy Bar Recipe

So for the last couple of months I have been experimenting with energy bar recipes. The ingredients are focused around keeping inflammation down. I use pastured eggs which are high in Omega 3. Hens fed a grain diet produce eggs which are high in Omega 6 and too much Omega 6 in the diet produced inflammation. I use Sea Salt to get trace minerals which are perfect for your adrenals among other functions...like keeping the muscles from cramping. I use Coconut Oil because it is a medium chain triglyceride which absorbs rather quickly for a fat. Nuts are a good option but I have a small allergy to them so in keeping the inflammation down I don't use nuts. I get the protein from the eggs.

Cook 2 cups of Sweet Brown Rice in 4 cups of water.
When rice is finished cooking preheat oven to 375 F.
In a bowl mix 6 eggs
6-9 Figs diced
1 cup raisins
3 Tablespoons Molasses
1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
nuts are optional...or whatever else you want

Now mix cooked rice into egg mixture then pour into a 9x13 pan and bake for about 40-45 mins uncovered until top starts to brown. After cooling for 30 minutes they are ready to eat. Let cool COMPLETELY prior to putting into refrigerator.

Cut them into approx. 2x2 inch squares and wrap in parchment paper then place into plastic bag to put into your jersey or wherever you carry your food.

Experiment and if you trip onto something better send me a note so I can try it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Interesting takes from various studies

Dr. Dan Murphy put together this review from various studies. Some fascinating information in this review.

Spinal stiffness was linked to visceral pathology with nearly 100% accuracy based upon sympathetic innervation.
(Medical Times, 1921)

1,000 capsules of Tylenol in a lifetime doubles the risk of end stage renal disease. (New England Journal of Medicine, 1994)

The average time for a whiplash-injured patient to achieve maximum improvement is 7 months 1 week. (Spine, 1994)

93% of patients with chronic whiplash pain who have failed medical and physical therapy care improve with chiropractic adjustments. (Injury, 1996)

Taking the correct drug for the correct diagnoses in the correct dose will kill about 106,000 Americans per year, making it the 4th most common cause of death in the US. (Journal of the American Medical Association, 1998)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for rheumatoid and/or osteoarthritis conservatively cause 16,500 Americans to bleed to death each year, making that the 15th most common cause of death in the US. (New England Journal of Medicine, 1999)

Glutamate and aspartame can cause chronic pain sensitization, and removing them from the diet for 4 consecutive months can eliminate all chronic pain symptoms. (Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2002)

Chiropractic spinal adjusting has been shown to be better than 5 times more effective than the NSAIDs pain drugs Celebrex and Vioxx in the treatment of chronic neck and low back pain. (Spine, 2003)

In patients suffering from chronic pain subsequent to degenerative spinal disease, 59% can eliminate the need for pain drugs by consuming adequate levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids. (Surgical Neurology, 2006)

Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to significantly lower blood pressure. (Journal of Human Hypertension, 2007)
The estimated incidence of chronic pain from whiplash trauma is 15-40%. (Jour of the Am Academy of Ortho Surg, 2007)

Meniere’s Disease has been linked to a disorder of the upper cervical spine facet joints. (International Tinnitus Jour, 2007)

Supplementing with vitamin D3 has the potential to reduce cancer deaths in America by 75%. (Ann of Epidemiology, 2009)

Potentially, the largest exposure of Americans to the neurotoxin mercury is through the consumption of products containing High Fructose Corn Syrup. (Environmental Health, 2009)

Those who consumed the highest amounts of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain drugs increased their risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s dementia, by 66%. (Neurology, 2009)

The newest estimate for the incidence of autism is 1 in 91 US children. (Pediatrics, 2009)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sponsorship of the Fanatik Bike Team

2010 is starting off really well. At the end 2009 I got the opportunity to join forces with the Fanatik Bike Team and I could not be more excited. As some of you know I am a huge fan of the bike and cycling has been a life long passion...both racing and riding. Just after signing on with Fanatik, Stewart Bowmer went to the Bare Bones Track race in Canada taking 1st in the Keirin, 2nd in the Match Sprints and top 10 overall for the series meeting his goals for the season. Congratulations! Here is to more success for the riders on the Fanatik Bike Team for the 2010 season.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy 2010! I am really excited about the new year and am anticipating it being a great one. I recently got signed on with the Hagens Berman Elite Cycling Team out of Seattle to work with these up and coming riders. I will be travelling with the team to some of the big National Racing Calendar races to support the guys and give treatments to keep them racing at their optimum level. Super excited about this opportunity as I believe it will help take my treatments to another level as I constantly try to find the edge to help the rider reach a higher level.

I am also working 2 professional riders from the United Healthcare Professional Cycling Team. This occurred over the last 2 months. It will be exciting to see these 2 riders reach another level in their game. I am confident that treating their weaknesses and keeping the body towards a more optimized state will result in bigger results this season for them. I will keep you posted.

Finally a congratulations goes out to Steve Fisher. He is a rider I have been working with for the last 3 months. He rides for the WWU Cycling Team, Rad Racing and Hagens Berman. He just got back from European Cyclocross Camp in Belgium where he did 8 races over 17 days racing against the best in the world. He achieved his goals and remained 100% healthy the entire time...tough to do in a foreign country while sharing a house with 15-20 other guys.

Exciting year ahead for the Western Washington University Cycling Team. This is my fourth season working with the team and this season's road team on the Men's side looks to be super strong and they will undoubtedly be challenging for the National Championship again. The strength of the women's team is unknown but there is a good group of ladies who I am sure will rise to the challenge and perform nicely.

I hope everyone had a great holiday. Good luck in 2010!