Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

New Research On Diet And Exercise

Monday, December 20th, 2010
USA Today reports two-thirds of people in the United States are overweight. “Overweight” is defined as being 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight. This means 66% of Americans, because of their weight, are at higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and even some types of cancer.
That’s why it is so important to lose weight if you are overweight. New research published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared exercise combined with diet versus diet only. Here’s what researchers found… At six months, people in the diet-and-exercise group lost an average of 24 pounds and had better reduction in belly fat and liver fat than those in the delayed-exercise group, who lost an average of 18 pounds.
After a year, people in the diet-and-exercise group lost 27 pounds compared to 22 pounds in the delayed-exercise group. “This shows that a traditional diet-and-exercise program can work for people who are very obese,” says lead author, Bret Goodpaster, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Most participants in the study lost between 30-40 pounds… but a handful lost nearly 100.
Recently, a study published in the September 2008 Journal of Obesity raised a few eyebrows. The study contrasted diet versus exercise for weight loss and concluded that, even though exercise may be good for strengthening bones and muscles, improved mental health and mood, lowering blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels and reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer… it may not be the best thing for weight loss. According to one of the study’s authors: “We would love to say that physical activity has a positive effect on weight control, but that does not appear to be the case.”
Knowing how to control your weight is very important. At New Century Spine Centers in San Diego, the chiropractic doctors regularly treat patients with back pain that also require weight loss. New Century Spine Centers in San Diego can be reached by calling 619-630-9153.

USA Today reports two-thirds of people in the United States are overweight. “Overweight” is defined as being 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight. This means 66% of Americans, because of their weight, are at higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and even some types of cancer.
That’s why it is so important to lose weight if you are overweight. New research published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared exercise combined with diet versus diet only. Here’s what researchers found… At six months, people in the diet-and-exercise group lost an average of 24 pounds and had better reduction in belly fat and liver fat than those in the delayed-exercise group, who lost an average of 18 pounds.
After a year, people in the diet-and-exercise group lost 27 pounds compared to 22 pounds in the delayed-exercise group. “This shows that a traditional diet-and-exercise program can work for people who are very obese,” says lead author, Bret Goodpaster, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Most participants in the study lost between 30-40 pounds… but a handful lost nearly 100.
Recently, a study published in the September 2008 Journal of Obesity raised a few eyebrows. The study contrasted diet versus exercise for weight loss and concluded that, even though exercise may be good for strengthening bones and muscles, improved mental health and mood, lowering blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels and reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer… it may not be the best thing for weight loss. According to one of the study’s authors: “We would love to say that physical activity has a positive effect on weight control, but that does not appear to be the case.”
Knowing how to control your weight is very important. At New Century Spine Centers in San Diego, the chiropractic doctors regularly treat patients with back pain that also require weight loss. New Century Spine Centers in San Diego can be reached by calling 619-630-9153.

When You Go To The Doctor, Do You Get REAL or FAKE Medicine? And Which One Is Better?

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Imagine this: You have a joint pain…such as back or neck pain. You go to a rheumatologist – a doctor who treats arthritis and other joint problems. He or she examines you and determines your problem. He or she prescribes a treatment and describes the treatment to you as “a potentially beneficial medicine not typically used for your condition.”

What Would You Do? Would you follow his or her recommendations? Probably. And you would probably do it without much question or skepticism at all. Right?

Would THIS information change your decision? According to an October 23, 2008 Associated Press article, a recent survey found about 50% of American doctors REGULARLY give their patients drugs or vitamins that won’t help their condition. But that’s not the worst part… These “placebo” treatments are not explained to their patients.

For example, in the survey, a random sample of 1,200 internists and rheumatologists were questioned; 679 of the doctors responded to the survey, and…62% Believed Using A Placebo Treatment Was Ethically Acceptable

But really, is that so bad? After all, some studies have shown the “placebo effect” to be real. A certain percentage of patients actually get better when they believe the treatment they are getting works – when in reality, it is a sugar pill sham. (Which is an amazing testament to the power of your mind and the human body!)

Think about it. Just believing you are going to get better has the ability to make you better.

How Can This Be? Actually, it’s simple. Allow me to explain…

Imagine you’re walking in a really dark place. Maybe it’s in the woods… or an unlit street… or you’re home alone one night and all the lights in your house are off…And in the complete darkness… someone sneaks up on you and touches you. Or yells, “BOO!!!” What happens? Yes… you almost jump out of your skin. But what happens INSIDE YOU?

Here’s what: Your heart rate suddenly and sharply increases. Your pupils dilate. The hair follicles on your body stand on end. Your breathing increases. You stomach feels queasy. You instantly sweat. And you are wide awake and ready to go!!!

It’s called the “fight or flight” response. In an instant, your brain signals your body and you produce an incredible array of chemicals – commonly called an “adrenaline rush.” What’s more, anytime you are under stress, your body has a similar response. If the stressor is not so sudden or intense – your body’s response will not be as severe.

This is exactly how many people can become “suddenly” ill with a serious disease, even those that seem to have no blatant cause. Small or moderate amounts of stress can cause your body to dump these “fight or flight” chemicals into your body over and over again for years and years and years. And just like smoking cigarettes over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer and other serious health problems, your body’s reaction to stress can slowly break down your immune system and lead to real problems. Which is exactly why so many people say… Stress Kills!

On the other side of the coin, if your body can produce “bad” chemicals, it can also produce “good” ones. That’s what the placebo effect is. When you believe 100% you are taking a medication that will help, your body reacts in a way that heals.

Here’s one very good theory about why that happens…When you are faced with stress, your body reacts in a harsh way in an attempt to save you from the impending danger. The adrenaline rush is important to quickly get you out of harms way, if necessary. So it makes complete sense that if you REMOVED stress from your life – you would not only never produce the harmful chemicals from the fight or flight reaction – but your body may produce healing chemicals instead.

After all, what happens when you get a placebo? You are sick and stressed out because you are sick. You don’t know if it is serious, if you will get better or if you will get worse. We humans have a tendency to let our minds run crazy and always think of the worst case scenario, don’t we?

I’m sure you’ve had a little ache or pain at some point and thought you had a disease you were going to lose a limb or die from… and then it turned out to be NOTHING!!! We all have.

Anyway, back to the placebo effect. When you go to the doctor and he tells you he knows what is wrong with you and gives you something to take care of it – you instantly RELAX. All the stress and strain of the unknown mystery disease that was going to kill you is gone. Not only is the stress removed, but your body is able to relax and do what it does best…

Heal! So… the placebo effect is a good thing, right? Certainly. But there is an ethical question to all this, that was raised in the above-mentioned survey. You see, for the placebo effect to work, you really have to believe 100% you are receiving a treatment that works. Can you see the catch 22 for doctors here? In order for the placebo effect to work they must lie to you.

And that’s exactly what the survey found. According to the Associated Press article, “Half of the doctors reported using placebos several times a month, nearly 70 percent of those described the treatment to their patients as ‘a potentially beneficial medicine not typically used for your condition.’ Only 5 percent of doctors explicitly called it a placebo treatment.” And here’s what may be shocking: “Most doctors used actual medicines as a placebo: 41 percent used painkillers, 38 percent used vitamins, 13 percent used antibiotics, 13 percent used sedatives, 3 percent used saline injections, and 2 percent used sugar pills.” When questioned, 60% of doctors said they would prescribe a sugar pill for chronic pain if it had been shown to work better than no treatment. According to the AP article, Franklin G. Miller, one of the authors of the study and director of the research ethics program at the U.S. National Institutes for Health said, “It’s a disturbing finding. There is an element of deception here which is contrary to the principle of informed consent.”

Clearly, there are two BIG issues here: Always doing what’s best for your patients and always informing them everything that is going on. You may ask yourself this: Would you rather receive a placebo and not know about it and get better… or… be 100% informed and stay sick? Only you can answer that question.

But on the bright side – this demonstrates the body’s amazing ability to produce whatever it needs to heal itself. And more of your time and effort should be spent on eliminating all the stressors in your life – and focusing on all the wonderful things life has to offer. There is no doubt you will be happier and healthier!!!

Natural Pain Relief Ginger Supplements May Reduce Post Exercise Pain

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

A recent study published in The Journal of Pain found both raw and heat treated ginger reduced the pain associated with muscle injury when compared with a placebo. “The primary novel finding was that supplementation with both raw and heat-treated ginger attenuated muscle pain intensity 24 hours after eccentric exercise,” wrote the researchers, led by Chris Black, PhD, from Georgia College and State University. The researchers also added, “Consumption of raw ginger resulted in a 25 percent reduction while heat-treated ginger resulted in a 23 percent reduction in muscle-pain intensity 24 hours postexercise.” It is believed ginger may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) properties, similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Heart Surgeons Get Wake-Up Call On Common Procedure

Monday, August 9th, 2010

On May 15th, 2007, the Commonwealth Fund issued a report entitled, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care.”

The results were not good. In fact, here’s what the first sentence of the report had to say: “Despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries. Are you Shocked?  You shouldn’t be.  Why?  This is because this is nothing new at all.

According to the report: “Among the six nations studied—Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2006 and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror. Most troubling, the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last on dimensions of access, patient safety, efficiency, and equity. The 2007 edition includes data from the six countries and incorporates patients’ and physicians’ survey results on care experiences and ratings on various dimensions of care.”

Overall, Germany and the UK topped the list, with Canada and the United States bringing up the rear. Also worth noting here is that America spends close to three times as much for its mediocre approach to health per capita ($6,102) annually than does New Zealand ($2,083), and almost twice as much as Canada ($3,165). Even worse, American doctors are the slowest to change when it comes to technology, again, with the lowest numbers in relation to using electronic medical records or keeping up with the latest treatments via the Internet.

Now here is something that you will probably find interesting, even puzzling.  According to the report, “the area where the U.S. health care system performs best is preventive care, an area that has been monitored closely for over a decade by managed care plans.”

It’s always been abundantly clear that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For example, the May 9th edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) had an article entitled: “Cardiologists Get Wake-up Call on Stents.” According to the article, “Patients with stable coronary artery disease treated with stents and optimal medical therapy fare no better than those who receive optimal medical therapy alone, according to new findings from a large clinical trial.”

For many cardiologists, the results serve as a wake-up call that they need to reevaluate how frequently they offer stenting (which has slight risks associated with the intervention itself, as well as stent-associated thrombotic events) as a first option for relief of stable angina. The data comes from the Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation (COURAGE) Trial, reported here in March at the annual conference of the American College of Cardiology.

It seems like research is simply confirming what many thought to be true all along.  Prevention is far superior to invasive “crisis” procedures after years and years of neglect.  It is abundantly clear you cannot abuse or neglect your body and health and have the wonders of modern medicine save you.

Inability To Handle Stress Most Likely Leads To Early Death Unless…

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

If someone you love or you are a “worry-wart”, reading the rest of this article may prevent several deadly diseases and add years to your life. Allow me to explain. Why some people are healthy and others get sick has been a researched and heavily debated topic for a long, long time. Some give almost all the credit to genes. Basically you are pre-programmed at birth. Mother nature has dealt you a certain “hand” and that’s it. You will either be healthy, or sick, and there is nothing much you can do about it. Let’s consider for example, the “cancer gene.” If cancer is “in your genes,” you’re doomed. If not, you’re lucky. Supporters of this philosophy commonly use this example as proof: One person is young, eats all the right food and exercises and still gets cancer or has a massive heart attack. Yet, someone else eats junk, smokes, drinks and never exercised a day in their life and lives to be 95. Funny thing is you often hear these people say, “You can walk out of your house and get hit by a bus tomorrow,” as an excuse to completely neglect their health and future. Others don’t give genes much credit. They say it’s ALL (or at least MOST) how you live your life and take care of yourself. And then there are those somewhere in between. To them, both genes and how you live your life are important factors. Their argument is that the young guy or gal that took care of himself or herself and STILL got sick would have gotten sick sooner. And, the 95-year-old may have lived even longer if he or she took care of himself or herself. Obviously, all this is something to think about. Genes obviously have SOMETHING to do with our potential. But by how much is it? And is it as limiting as many once thought? The simple fact that our average life span is much different today than it was 100 or even 50 years ago should tell you something. There are factors that affect our lifespan and help determine if we live those years healthy and happy or sick and miserable. According to an April 5, 2007 issue of Science Daily, there is a broad consensus that there are five basic personality traits. These five are: Extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness to experience. There are sub-categories – but these five are what makes us up. But here’s what’s really important: Two of these traits – emotional stability and conscientiousness appear to be directly linked to your health and how long you may live. How? In psychology, the lack of emotional stability is called “neuroticism.” In other words, it’s a person’s tendency towards “hand wringing and negative thinking.” It is believed by many that high levels of neuroticism are inherited and such people do not handle stress well. They are often moody, anxious and uncomfortable. Studies have also shown a correlation to increased mortality. So, if “neuroticism” is inherited and leads to health problems and increased mortality, are some people simply pre-programmed to be unhealthy and die young? That’s where a Purdue University psychologist comes into the picture. According to the April 5, 2007 issue of Science Daily: “Mroczek decided to explore this idea. Using a standard measure of neuroticism, he tracked more than 1,600 men over 12 years, recording not only how neurotic they were at the start, but also whether they got more or less neurotic over time. He also looked at mortality risk for these same men over an 18-year span. As reported in the May issue of Psychological Science, those who increased over time in neuroticism was a ticket to an early grave. In other words, these men–all middle age or older to begin with–did not grow old gracefully. They likely got more and more stressed, worried or fretful, and this downward spiral increased their risk for dying, mostly from cancer and heart disease. The good news is that men with a fretful temperament, if they managed for whatever reason to calm down a bit over time, had survival rates similar to those of emotionally stable men.” So what’s the big lesson here for you, your health, and your longevity? First, it seems pretty clear your attitude does a whole heck of a lot more than just affect your success in business! Several studies show the way you think can have a profound impact on how healthy or sick you are. Namely diseases like cancer and heart disease. How? We don’t think anybody knows 100% for sure. It makes sense that stress (and the way you handle it) produces chemicals that suppress the immune system. This will have countless detrimental effects like aging: on the outside as well as the inside. But the real point here is: WHO CARES? Who really cares exactly how all this works on the cellular level? The bottom line is: it happens. Negative thinking, a lot of it, over an extended period of time will probably age you, make you sick and take years off your life. And, an even more important point: Changing the way you think and handle stress can stop the process. In other words, being a natural born “worry-wart”… You can change the way you handle stress and reduce the negative effects. Or, at least that’s what the above-mentioned study shows. And it only makes sense. Have you ever taken a walk in the dark and had some loud noise scare you? What happened? Your eyes widened. Your heartbeat drastically increased. Your brain signaled your body to produce adrenalin and other “flight or fight” chemicals were dumped into your bloodstream. At that very moment, you were wide awake, stronger than usual and could run like an Olympic track star! But what happens shortly afterward? You crash… right? You come back down and feel exhausted. This, my friends, is a natural high and hangover. When you are constantly stressed and worry and don’t deal with it well… you will continually go through a similar reaction. Your body and mind basically go through the ringer. It just makes sense that if you learn how to deal with the stress more effectively – you will be healthier and lives longer. Common sense doesn’t always match up with scientific proof, but it seems to in this example. I know what you’re thinking. How do you learn to deal with stress if you are a natural born “worry-wart?” The first thing is to realize NOTHING is ever as good or bad as it seems. And always change the things you can and forget about the things you can’t. Besides that, routine exercise programs and meditation have both been show to reduce stress. Maybe if we start enjoying this wonderful life a little – it will get even better and we will get more of it!

5 Common Mistakes When Thinking About Your Painful Experience.

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

It would be safe to assume as a San Diego chiropractor that at one point or another you have had some type of ache in your body. This is a pretty secure assumption. I would bet that you have also had some kind of difficulty that was brought on by something very small. Let me give you an example to think about. You wake up in the morning and walk into the bathroom and as you go to squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube and you drop the lid on the floor. So you bend down to pick it up and zappo, lightning sharp ache shoots up your spine and back down again. You try to stand up straight but for some reason it feels like someone is pressing against your back causing you to hunch over and making it nearly impossible to straighten up.

Here’s another typical ache invoking experience. You rush out the door because you are late for your appointment. As you settle into the car you remember that you forgot your keys so you hurry back into the house retrieve them and return to the car. As you start the engine and turn your head to back out of the driveway…whammo, someone stuck you with a hot barbecue poker in the back of the neck causing you great difficulty to return your head to a normal position without feeling that searing ache that we all enjoy.

So it may not be a toothpaste lid or the turning of your head that provokes you to fall to your knees in anguish, but I am almost certain that you have experienced a similar type situation in which the action you performed such not have caused SO MUCH ACHE! There are a few different responses to this type of circumstances. Before we talk about those, let’s just get real philosophical for a moment.

If you were hanging out with Hippocrates right now at Starbucks sipping on a Latte and talking about life and science and the human experience, how do you think he would respond if you asked him if it was ordinary for the body to respond like yours did when you bent over to pick up that heavy toothpaste lid or when you whipped your head around to back the cart out of the dirt road. I would guess that he would first ask you what toothpaste was and then once that was cleared up he would tell you no. This is not a normal physiological response for your body to such a minimal action. The reaction does not equal the action. Okay, philosophy class being over let’s get back to how you would respond to this state of affairs. Here are 5 ordinary mistakes that I have observed from patients at the chiropractic office in San Diego who experience these types of situations.

1. I use a heating pad or I took a hot shower on the area and it felt great. I am not against heating pads or heat but here is the situation. When you have an acute injury you generally should not put heat on it. Heat opens up the blood vessels which are already engorged even more causing more swelling and fluid accumulation in the injured area. This will result in relaxation for up to 12 hours after heat use and then ache worse than the initial event after the trip to lala land has ended. There are exceptions but for the majority of people please resist the urge to use heat unless I’ve told otherwise.

2. I thought it would go away but it has been two to three weeks and the ache hasn’t stopped. Ouch, this one is not good! The real question from me to you is why you thought that the ache would go away. Let me give you a simple analogy. Pretend the oil light on your car goes on, would you continue driving until it went out and just assume that the problem went away. I hope not. This is the best analogy that I can think of to relate to the ache signal that your body is sending you. Don’t pretend there isn’t something wrong. Get to the cause of the problem. Come get adjusted by a chiropractor immediately or as soon as possible after the initial event.

3. I don’t know why this happened, I am totally healthy, and there is nothing wrong with me. This is my favorite one from males. Guys, we have to admit to some facts. Women are much better at taking care of themselves then we are. The reason is because they are willing to tell someone when they aren’t feeling well and then they try to get help for it. Generally speaking, men are much more willing to put up with little problems that they experience. This is not good in the long run. One little crisis + one little difficulty + one problem = One BIG PROBLEM. The proof is that women tend to live something like 4 years longer than men. Surprise, surprise, I wonder if we men just think Oh well we aren’t going to live as long anyways so why not just put up with what we got and die sooner. This is of course some faulty logic because if we did take care of ourselves we would live longer.

4. I know that I only need one or two adjustments and everything will be fine.  Just crack my back and I’ll be all better. The only man I know in history who performed one treatment on someone and they were fine was Jesus. I am not Jesus. I don’t know any chiropractors named Jesus. Normally when people tell me the chiropractor fixed them in one adjustment and I look in their files, or consult with the other chiropractors I see that they have been adjusted 4 times on the low end and 8-10 on the high end (normal, about 6 visits) for an acute problem. My goal is to see you out of ache as quickly as possible so that you can function normally, but my goals do not end there! This leads me to the next common mistake.

5. Not getting adjusted by a chiropractor regularly to prevent these occurrences in your life. Now I am not saying that if you get regular adjustments your life is going to be perfect. Life is not perfect. I myself get regular adjustments. I don’t stop getting adjusted all together because I know that if I didn’t get regular adjustments and a flare up occurred, it would be a lot worse than it normally is. Our bodies are not perfect but if we work preventatively to keep things moving and aligned throughout the course of our lives a lot of these irritating aches could be avoided.

The joints of your spine are some of the key messengers of your nervous system. If they are not working there is no way for you to know because you cannot see them. Ache is your only signal and by then a lot of times it is already too late. Chiropractors are trained to detect problems with these joints and help prevent the ache before it occurs. Waiting too long will only cause more serious problems.

Science has proven that nerve endings are all affected during a chiropractic adjustment. The goal of chiropractic adjustment is to get you out of pain first of all, but to keep you ache free and fully functioning is the main idea. Chiropractors want to work with you to develop a healthy body which is firing on all cylinders so that you have a nervous system which is quick, alert, strong and ready to fight off any problems that you might encounter throughout the day. This is what regular chiropractic adjustments do. They help keep your central nervous system strong and healthy and give you the ability to live a better quality of life as far as your health is concerned. My desire is that you would all experience life and health to the fullest. For more information, contact New Century Spine Centers in San Diego at 619-630-9153. You can be treated by the best chiropractors and spinal decompression specialists.

Key Steps On Losing The Pounds Forever

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Successful weight loss is not just a matter of losing pounds. The emphasis needs to be on abandoning body fat and avoiding loss of lean body tissue, primarily muscle mass. Why is this the key to long-term success? Because muscle requires 15 times the energy compared to fat to survive (7.5 Calories per day for muscle versus 0.5 calories per day for fat). The more lean tissue, the more calories one can consume once desirable body weight is achieved. Overall, a moderate diet of at least 1000 calories of high quality food per day and exercise is clearly the best approach because 80% of the weight lost is fat. This plan protects lean body mass, which is critical to keep from gaining the weight back again.

Exercise in moderation is essential. It burns calories, which promotes weight loss. And it makes a body look good, inside and out: the payoff is a leaner, more attractive body, with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. However, physical activity by itself may not be enough to lose weight. For best results, it should be combined with a reduced caloric plan, calculated to match an individual’s new physical activity level.

Rapid weight loss can be encouraging at first, but long term results are disappointing. The lost weight (mostly water) rapidly returns, besides diets too low in calories quickly lower the body’s metabolic rule. This makes it even harder to lose weight and much easier to gain it back, creating a “yo-yo” dieting syndrome. More fat is lost when the rate of weight loss is about 2 pounds per week. The number of calories needed to achieve this varies for each person and should be determined on an individual basis.

There are immediate benefits to consuming the right number of calories. First of all, it helps to avoid the hunger, fatigue and grouchiness that so often accompany deprivation of food. It supplies the energy needed to exercise. Trying to exercise on a very low caloric diet is like starving yourself twice – it leads to further loss of lean body tissue.  It helps ensure that nutritional needs are met. This is especially important over an extended period of time.

Another important thing to consider is to choose the right foods. Many weight loss diets encourage avoiding carbohydrates (starchy foods), the body’s primary source of fuel. Such diets promote rapid loss of body water for a few weeks. But this can lead to a discouraging weight plateau, followed by weight gain from water and sodium retention once carbohydrates are eaten again. A healthy mix of foods, high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat, sugar and alcohol gives the individual the most for their calories plus a higher energy level and better nutrition.

Lifelong weight control requires more than a simple diet. A plan is needed that focuses on making changes in behaviors that have contributed to the weight problem, changes that are realistic and fit each person’s unique lifestyle. The best program for most people includes: a personal plan of action with specific solutions for permanent change, a program with the right balance of calories and physical activity to lose weight at an optimal rate, and the personal support they need to succeed. Doing it right helps ensure that the weight loss is not just temporary, but lifelong.

San Diego Spinal Decompression Holds Free Health Care Classes at New Century Spine Centers.

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Lots of people suffer with back and neck pain. Dr. Michael Pritsker, DC, is a spinal decompression specialist and chiropractor at New Century Spine Centers in San Diego. He is providing free spinal health classes in Mission Valley. These classes are held the first Wednesday of each and every month. Patients and others who attend learn some of the latest treatment options for back pain. They also learn some of the best self-help techniques exercises for low back pain.

Many people have experienced the benefits of chiropractic care. It is important for you to continue practicing safe and healthy habits so that you can stay healthy for a very long time. Maintaining a healthy spine is vital to your health and well-being. This pertains to lifting, working, playing, or simply doing routine daily activities. We can help relieve discomfort and pain so you may experience better health. However, regular use of a self-care program by you, the patient, may prove to be one of the best approaches to keeping your spine healthy and free of pain and discomfort.

Even if you have chronic spinal problems, or underlying conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or disc injuries, you can perform activities more easily by practicing basic self-care measures. The spine has a unique anatomical design, providing flexibility, balance, structural support, and a protective conduit for the spinal column and nerves carrying messages between your brain and the rest of your body. With a healthy spine, you can reach, stretch, bend and twist without much thought or pain. With proper care and a consistent exercise program, you can experience improved spinal function and range of motion in your daily life.

When you visit a chiropractor for the first time, a chiropractic evaluation is performed to locate the source of your problem. A set of radiographic exams may also be taken to view the area of your complaint as well. Chiropractic manipulations are also referred to as adjustments. They are done to realign your muscles, bones and joints to correct misalignments, or “subluxations.” The adjustments may diminish the pain, or may cure your problem completely. In either case, it is important that you continue to maintain good health and not just focus on symptoms.

The following are some simple tips that anyone can do to lead you on your way to taking better care of your spine. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended since it can cause additional strain on the neck and back. Make sure you have a firm mattress that keeps the spine aligned and supports the spinal curvatures. The best sleeping positions are on your back or side. A pillow can be placed under the knees when lying on your back to take pressure off of the lower back. Sleeping on a soft bed or couch can strain neck and back muscles since the three curves of the spine are not adequately supported.

High-heeled shoes may result in a “swayback,” which throws the natural curves out of alignment when standing or walking. Standing or bending forward for long periods can cause increased spinal pressure, especially if you slouch. Bending over with straight legs increases the pressure in the lower back. When standing for extended periods, rest one foot on a small stool to maintain spinal curvature and relieve pressure. The knees should be bent when bending forward. Low-heeled shoes may help by maintaining spinal curvatures and cushioning your weight.

Rolling up a towel or placing a lumbar or low back support cushion in the lower portion of your back may help to support your lumbar curve. Reposition the seat of your car so that your knees are level with your hips. Sitting in chairs that do not support your back may throw the natural spinal curvatures out of alignment and add extra stress to the neck and back. Slouching increases the strain even more on your spine. Sitting too far away from the steering wheel while driving also may increase stress to the neck and back. Use chairs that promote good posture and support your back.

Lifting and bending forward at the same time puts great strain on the muscles and increases the pressure inside the discs (the spongy materials between the bones of your spine) even more. When bending forward, keep your back straight while bending at the knees and hips. This will help to keep the three spinal curvatures in proper alignment. Bending forward with the legs straight causes a loss of the three natural spinal curves and puts undue stress on the lower portion of your back. When lifting, keep your spine straight while using your legs to do the brunt of the work. Hold the objects being lifted close to your body to keep the weight on your spine to a minimum.

The shape of the vertebrae do not allow the joints of the spine to twist easily. Imagine your body as being one continuous unit from your shoulders to your hips. When turning, use your feet to make the turns, not your back. Keeping the feet, knees and hips stationary while turning the lower back increases the chances of a twisting injury to the spine or an injury to the discs. A tool called a “reacher” can be used to grab hard-to-reach items. Always ask someone for help if the item is heavy or you don’t feel you can reach it yourself. Concentrate on moving your feet first in the direction you wish to turn, while maintaining the natural curves in your spine. Do not stretch your arms or back for something beyond your normal reach. This type of movement decreases the natural curves of the spine, resulting in additional stress or strain. Move your body close to the item you are reaching for. A ladder or stool may be used to reach items above your head.

Dr. Michael Pritsker can be contacted at New Century Spine Centers in San Diego. Their phone number is 619-630-9153. New Century Spine Centers in San Diego has regular spinal health care classes that are free of charge to local residents.

Possibly The Simplest And Easiest Way To Lose Weight Ever.

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Here’s a quick riddle for you…It’s everywhere because almost everyone wants it. Yet, most never achieve it. What is it? It is weight loss. You can’t flip through the pages of a magazine or the channels on cable TV without being bombarded by advertisements for a new breakthrough miracle weight loss solution. It seems like everyone has the answer yet there are so many people that are still overweight.

Maybe you’ve tried some of these “quick and easy” solutions, and maybe one word sums up the way you feel. That one word is frustrated. So, is there anything out there that actually works? The first thing to understand is that there are no overnight “miracles.” The hard truth is that the real secret to weight loss is doing the right things consistently for the rest of your life. Doing the right things will cause you to lose weight but as soon as you stop and go back to your old ways, the weight will come back, and come back with a vengeance. And along with that so will the frustration. Sometimes it’s referred to as yo-yo dieting.

That’s why the best way to lose weight is to become well educated on the subject. The internet has a frightening amount of information, some good and a lot bad. That’s why your best option is to talk to a healthcare professional that has already helped many others and can short-cut the process for you.

That being said, researchers have found when people eat quickly, they end up consuming more calories than they would have if they ate more slowly. In fact, according to a new study referenced in a February 10, 2010 New York Times article, “scientists found that when a group of subjects were given an identical serving of ice cream on different occasions, they released more hormones that made them feel full when they ate it in 30 minutes instead of 5. The scientists took blood samples and measured insulin and gut hormones before, during and after eating. They found that two hormones that signal feelings of satiety, or fullness – glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY – showed a more pronounced response in the slow condition.” This means you eat less. The New York Times article also mentioned a study done by the American Dietetic Association in 2008 that reported subjects felt more full and consumed 10% less calories when they ate slowly as opposed to “wolfing” down their food. And, a study in The British Medical Journal stated those who ate quickly and until full had tripled the rate of being overweight compared with others.

What does all this mean for you? This research simply suggests if you eat slowly you are likely to feel fuller and consume fewer calories. This of course is not a weight loss miracle. But, feeling full is nice, and eating fewer calories over the long run will lead to weight loss and greater health. If you think this isn’t a big deal, please remember that little hinges open big doors. It’s the accumulation of small things done consistently over time that leads to great success. In other words, stop looking for the big home run and start hitting singles. And, educate yourself as much as you possibly can. There is tons of information available for weight loss and health education. For more information, you can visit to read some of the latest health information.

Shocking Proof About How The Way You Think Can Relieve Pain And Cure Disease.

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Ever wonder why our healthcare system in the United States is in such shambles? Ever wonder why with all the amazing technology we have, and all the “breakthrough discoveries” you keep hearing about every night on the news, we are still a nation of chronic illness, pain and disease? Ever wonder why you keep suffering with aches, pains, and various illnesses and doctors never seem to help? Well the answer may shock you.

But first, a tiny piece of history so you understand where all this is coming from. This all started way back in the 17th Century with a physicist, physiologist and mathematician by the name of Rene Descartes. He’s the guy that said “I Think, Therefore I Am.” Descartes revolutionized “modern” thinking with his theory of dualism. In a nutshell, dualism says that the mind and body are completely separate. Descartes came up with his theory while meditating one morning. Then he actually made an agreement with the Roman Catholic Church that he, as a man of science, would restrict himself to the study of the physical body, while religion would deal with the “mind.” From that time on, studies of mind and body have for the most part, remained two distinct and separate fields. Scientists stayed within the realm of what they could see and measure. Meanwhile, those in the religious life lifted thought, reason, and emotion out of the body, into the realms of the spiritual. The first problem with this separation is that medicine used science as it’s ONLY measuring stick. Procedures are only used if they pass strict scientific testing. This means the procedures must be able to be seen and measured. If they can’t be seen and measured and proven through scientific experiment, they do not exist and will not be used in medicine.

What about this example? If you place your hand in a bucket of water, what happens to the water? It rises. It rises by the exact amount your hand takes up or displaces in the bucket. You know it happened because you can measure the level of the water. This happens every time, so it is called a law. It is known as the law of displacement. Now, what happens if I stick my hand in the ocean? Well, we know that your hand displaces water. It has to because it’s a law. The problem is…can you prove it? After all, you can’t measure it. You can’t see the results. So did the ocean actually rise? Absolutely! It rose in an immeasurable amount. At least immeasurable with the tools we have.

So what’s the point? The point is that by throwing out the mind-body connection simply because it could not be scientifically measured, medicine has ignored one of the most powerful healing forces known to man!

How do I know the mind-body connection is such an important healing force? In 1981 Neurobiologist David Felton at the University of Indiana discovered that the immune system is actually hard-wired to the brain through the nerve system. Why is this so important to you? In 1974, Ader, an experimental psychologist, made what most consider being one of the central discoveries of mind-body research. In the course of investigating conditioned response (Pavlov’s drooling-dog-and-bell concept), he was testing to see how long such a trained response might last in some laboratory rats. Using a combination of saccharine-laced water and the nausea-inducing drug Cytoxan, he had trained the rodents to associate the sweet stuff with a bad bellyache. Afterwards, while giving them saccharine-water without the accompanying Cytoxan, Ader watched to see how long it might take for them to forget the association between the two. Unexpectedly, during the second month, the rats began to fall prey to disease and die off. In investigating this unforeseen result, Ader checked into the properties of the nausea-inducing drug he had used and found that one of its side effects was as an immune suppressant. The rats had been conditioned to not only to associate sweet water with nausea, but also with an immune shutdown. The conclusion was obvious. Their minds were controlling their immune systems! Isn’t that amazing? The rats actually killed themselves just by thinking it! So, my question to you is, what are you thinking your immune system into doing? Are you thinking yourself healthy or sick? Here’s an even better question. Since your nerves serve as the communication lines between your brain and your body’s immune system, are you sure those lines are open so your brain can keep you healthy?

The bottom line is if you have misaligned or malfunctioning spinal bones, your brain cannot communicate properly with your body. And as you now know, this relates to the immune system. Having these spinal misalignments, also known as subluxations may not only cause pain, but also weaken your immune system and lead to sickness and possibly disease. The only way to keep your spine free from these subluxations and unnecessary pain and disease is by routinely getting your spine checked by your chiropractor just like you routinely brush your teeth and go to the dentist.