Tuesday, May 15, 2012

STRESS In 3 Dimensions

STRESS, STRESS, STRESS. Prior to my work as a Chiropractor I had only heard the word STRESS in association with school, work, relationships, finances, etc. All the psychological ones. I knew that STRESS kills! I also knew that STRESS will cause hair to fall out and jaws to clench. We'd heard the stories of STRESSed-out folks suddenly having a heart attack and dying...STRESS kills! The subject seemed to be focused on psychological STRESS only. At least for most conversations.

But, like many things, of course, there is more to the STRESS story than meets the eye. Make absolutely no mistake, STRESS kills! Where the story expands is there are two more STRESSors that need to be included into the conversation: Physical and Biochemical STRESS.

Physical STRESS includes but no limited to: birth trauma (80% of births result in some form of birth trauma to the spine), sports injuries, car accidents, computer programming, desk work, yard work, etc.

Biochemical STRESS included but not limited to: sodas, alcohol, smoking, processed foods, any 'food' that is not whole, sugar, etc. Simply because it has calories does not make it a food. If food could be defined as something that will help the body thrive, like gazelle meat for a tiger and broccoli for the human then we would have to call most of what is in a grocery store...not FOOD...or more so, biochemical STRESSors.

In reality then, STRESS is three dimensional. Physical, Biochemical and Psychological. As these STRESSors accumulate the nervous system becomes negatively affected. Since the nervous controls and coordinates everything we feel and experience our life experience starts to diminish due to illness and STRESS on the nervous system. STRESS on the nervous system ultimately creates disorder in the body as seen in many of the symptoms and disease people are experiencing today. Again, it is this disorder that will lead to disease. Remove the STRESSors that are negatively affecting the nervous system AND get your spine checked (see Subluxation Station for a description of what is used at Noble Chiropractic to determine how much STRESS your nervous system is experiencing) and cleared by a wellness chiropractor and the life experience becomes greatly enhanced. Continue on the same path and I am sad to say STRESS does indeed kill. 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A REAL Food Concept Rather Than Manufactured Food For The Athlete

During the High Cascade 100 last year I reached a point when I could no longer take in another swig of the Hammer product that was in my bottle or in my Hammer flask (gel). I was done with all of it. I just wanted REAL food. "Back in the day" (I can say that since I started racing mountain bikes in the mid 80s) our fuel was real food. Bananas and oranges were the most used at aid stations along with cookies, PBJs the size of a Tapas and water. We did long races too. Typically 2-4 hours were the finishing times. Granted the food was not as convenient as today's products but, again, it was real and did not leaving me wanting to hurl with the next suck on the bottle or bite of an energy bar.

My solution to this great dilemma: make my own energy drink using real food. Can Hammer product be BETTER than REAL food in terms of bringing me to a higher level of performance? Logic, of course, dictates a big 'NO' to that question. But, like many, I bought into the rhetoric or, more so, the convenience about performance fuels. Until now.

A few months back we bought a Vitamix blender. For those not familiar with the Vitamix it is a high powered commercial blender that you might think when first turning it to HIGH your lights will suddenly dim in your house. It is that powerful. My wife has always questioned manufactured endurance fuels and suggested I just make a smoothie. Novel ideal. So with the Vitamix sitting on the counter and ready to go I started to experiment. And much to my delight and not really surprised the smoothies work fantastic. After all I am giving my body fuel that we are designed to eat....for the most part...the oats and honey are somewhat of a deviation from that idea but they are...REAL. And they taste good...I get to design the taste around what I am feeling like on a particular day.

An idea to try (this is what I have been doing for 2 bottles):
1 cup blue berries
1 or 2 bananas
1 heaping spoon of honey
1 heaping spoon of almond butter (that I make in the Vitamix after roasting the almonds)
1 cup whole oats (Vitamix will leave you wondering where the oats went...no grittiness whatsoever)
water as much as needed to thin it out and have it fill 2 bottles
Blend on HIGH for 30-60 seconds and it will be smooth.

I have also thrown a carrot in there, kale and chard (a leaf or two...excellent source of vitamins and minerals) as well. One could also get some caffeine in there is wanted with the toss of a few beans (the Vitamix will surely blend it but I am not sure about less powerful blenders) or a shot of espresso. The possibilities are endless and are only limited by one's imagination.

It really has been amazing and kept me going strong. No question about it. My stomach never feels that nasty feeling like after using those manufactured fuels on long rides. 

Should you try it out shoot me a note and let me know if it worked out. Also, if you have a tasty recipe that you would be willing to share let me know so I an try it out and post it.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Biomechanical Breakdown Is Really A Health Issue

The knee starts to hurt. Rest is doing little to help it other than not aggravating it. There is no explanation for the knee pain other than when running down or up or for X amount of time is the usual statement I hear. Often the diagnosis is something along the lines of, "your quad (VMO in many cases) is not firing or your glut is not firing so you need to do these exercises to get them firing again and this will allow your patella to track straight again" or "your IT band is too tight so you need to stretch it out." I am pro stretching and strengthening. But the bigger question that should always be asked is this. Why are, for example, the muscles of the right leg "firing" while the left is not? Serious question here. Why? Or why is one IT band "tight" while the other side functions without issue? The answer is this. A muscle will not "fire" when there is a lack of nerve supply to that muscle. Lack of nerve supply results in the muscle not doing its job which allows the biomechanics to break down thus causing hip, knee, foot, shoulder, etc. issues. Once the biomechanics breakdown, soft tissue will need to adapt and this will often cause scar tissue, hence the need for the some soft tissue work. Lack of nerve supply will also result in a loss of strength, hence the need to possibly do some strengthening of those muscles supporting the area in question.

To the bigger issue. Barring a blow to the knee or any other area in question that causes a tissue injury like a torn meniscus, there really is just one reason why biomechanics breakdown and that is nerve interference (aka SUBLUXATIONS) in the spine. It's that simple. Biomechanical breakdown is PRECEDED by subluxations. Subluxations come first. No doubt about it. The brain needs to connect to the body through the spinal cord and out the nerves. If the bones in the spine are not moving correctly or at all (a subluxation) that causes the obstruction of nerve impulses from the brain to the body. It is an absolute. You can stretch, strengthen, rub, electric stimulation, ultrasound, put orthotics under your feet (a woefully over prescribed device if I have ever seen one) or do whatever but until the subluxation is cleared you will have poor biomechanics. Those modalities may allow for some tissue healing thus allowing it to "feel better" but once those modalities are stopped and the running or whatever returns to full speed the odds of it coming back are very high.

On a larger level though there is a real problem that is creeping up. Biomechanical breakdown is really an indicator of decreasing health...those nerves that come off the spinal cord and go through the vertebrae to your leg also feed to the organs. The organs and muscles share the same outlet off the spinal cord into the body through the vertebrae. There is no separation. If your leg is not receiving proper amount of nerve supply neither are your organs. I hope one will recognize that as not being a good thing. That is why one will often see a decrease in health when the knee is bothering them or more so for the athlete a decrease in performance and recovery leading up to the knee injury. Now not only are the muscles of the leg not getting enough nerve supply to give proper biomechanics but also your organs are not getting proper nerve supply causing an absolute decrease to your health. Since the nervous system controls and coordinates ALL functions of the body health will naturally suffer without proper nerve supply. So a hurt knee caused by biomechanical breakdown is a health issue. Whoa!!!

So when a patient shows up with the chief complaint of knee pain (or IT Band, hip pain, plantar fasciitis, etc.) the two things I can be relatively sure of: 1) they have subluxations and 2) therefore their health is being affected negatively. Correcting the subluxations through chiropractic adjustments will not only start the correction of the biomechanics and get one back to a lifestyle of running but also and for many more importantly return one's health and prevent health problems in the future.

Thanks for reading!