Monday, June 27, 2011

Don't "Choose My Plate"

As of June 2, 2011 our government has put out a new image to help us eat a more balanced diet. No more food pyramid. Hello Food Plate!

Why is it that we have to be told what to eat? Seriously. How is that Americans are so out of touch with their food? Well, it started ages ago with the introduction of packaged & processed foods when we gave up nutrition for convenience. To learn more about how this happened & continues to happen read, "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan. It's a fascinating read.

O.K. back to the food plate. I'm grateful that there are initiatives to help people eat a more balanced & healthy diet, but where is the science that says eating all these grains is beneficial & NEEDED?

This is what the plate looks like with actual food. WOW! 6 servings of grains are recommended & only 2 servings of protein. I sometimes have to scratch my head wondering what ties these scientists have to the pharmaceutical & food industries. Let's get real folks. Besides water, most of your body is made up of protein. Your muscles & organs & your tissues. The body breaks down proteins into tiny substrates called amino acids which are then used to rebuild your heart, your liver, your muscles, etc. It is a vital component to your health.

Carbohydrates in the form that most Americans are consuming them (processed) are troublesome (my nice word for what I really think they are). Once in your body carbohydrates are converted into sugar. And what does your body do with that sugar? Well if it doesn't get used up as energy, it gets stored as fat. Yup, fat! With government recommendations like this, obesity & massive health problems are the inevitable result.

In our office, we not only can help you have better structural alignment, but we can help you nutritionally as well. Dr. Terri has studied nutrition for several years now & can help you get a better handle on what you're eating. Sometimes we all just need a little nudge to start making better decisions.

One last thing. Of these 5 items listed below, which one of them would you least like to see destroyed or eliminated?

  1. Your car
  2. Your TV
  3. Your cell phone
  4. You job
  5. You health
If you answered number 5, what are you waiting for? Call 781-826-555 for a nutritional consultation.

~Dr. Terri

p.s. If answered anything other than # 5, you need help that I can't give you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back Surgery, Is It Worth The Risks

When is comes to resolving ones back pain, there are a lot of choices one can make in trying to accomplish this.  They can range anywhere from bed rest to back surgery.  Now I don't have to tell which is the risker option of the two, but I'm still amazed at the amount of people who opt for the riskier choice before trying something much more conservative.  Let me state from the onset that I am not against all back surgeries.  There are limitations that make it extremely difficult for the body to recover from and this is where surgery can be of help.  I still feel even in those cases its not the only thing someone should do.  (More on that further down)

For most people, disc injuries are years in the making and don't just happen.  The disc is very strong and when it's with in a normal structure (normal spinal alignment), it can withstand some pretty heavy forces.  As a matter of fact, sometimes the vertebrae will fracture before the disc gives out.  Our lifestyles and the choices we make on activities generally determine our health.  This include the health of our discs and spine.

Back to the choices we have to resolve the back pain...there are many.  I think it human nature for a lot of people to look for the easy way out and that is why surgery is so attractive.  It could also be that they were only given a few choices by their MD and they tried with not success and next on the list is surgery.  Whatever the reason it still falls short.  The injured disc, or even just back pain, is an end result of other dysfunctions that occurred previously in the body.  Poor ergonomics, improper lifting, too much sitting, etc... leading to an abnormal spinal structure putting abnormal forces on the disc and so on.  By the way, the only way to determine the extent of an abnormal structure is with weight bearing x-rays with a properly aligned x-ray system.  This is the blue print of your spine.  MRI are good for discs, not spinal alignment.  Is this starting to make sense?  Do you think it might be important to address those issues to correct this problem?  Do you believe cortisone shots will do this?  Now do you think surgery will do this?

"But I'm in too much pain to deal with all  that now.  I just need to get out of pain."  I understand and that is why our office has a complete disc correction program.  We use Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression to start healing the disc this gradually pulls the injured disc material back into its proper place with in the disc.  Corrective spinal adjustments with spinal remolding exercises and therapies to re-establish normal spinal alignment and therefore better mobility, stronger core, and less likely to suffer with a future flare ups.  There will be recommendations that will be given that will need to be followed as well.  These can include back support, home care, ergonomics review and modifications, nutritional assessment, etc...

"This sounds like a lot of work."  Yes it is.  There is no silver bullet.  I am not talking about uncomplicated low back pain.  This is usually chronic and /or disc related.  I've seen more than my fair share of back pain patients over the past 15 years.  Some who have even had multiple surgeries with limited success.  I have even recommended some to get back surgery.  Not everyone is a candidate for our services.  If you or someone you know is suffering with chronic lower back pain or a disc injury, call our office for a complimentary consultation.  Its a conversation, not a commitment.

Have a Great Day!
Dr. Deane

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Changing Your Thoughts on Weight Loss Part 2

A friend of mine & I were recently chatting & we were discussing the "detoxification" program I offer my patients. I was telling her how it cleanses the body & removes many harmful toxins that we are bombarded with every day. I happen to LOVE this program, because it truly shows people "how" to eat. Anyone can go on a diet to lose weight & most gain the weight back because they haven't learned life skills on how to eat. This program goes above & beyond that. A side effect of eating healthy is that many of my patients lose weight while on this program. My friend had an interesting response when I was discussing how we should be eating; she said, "Well I'm reactive hypoglycemic, so I can't eat breakfast or eat that often." It got me thinking about how confused people really are about what their bodies are doing.

My friend & I'm sure many others out there like her believe that hypoglycemia is a disease/disorder that they are afflicted with like cancer. But this isn't the case. Hypoglycemia is a process that occurs in your body when blood sugar levels do not remain steady, but dip down too low at certain times. A natural trigger then goes off to signal that the body needs more glucose. From there the body responds with a hormone called "glucagon" from the pancreas which will elevate blood sugar levels. My friend has been led to believe that she has "no control" over this disorder when nothing could be further from the truth. She has complete control over this & it starts with what she's putting into her body.

Simply eating carbohydrates, which is what most people eat,  leads to a progression of blood sugar problems which can escalate into insulin resistance. This means that the cells are less responsive to insulin & are less able to get glucose into the cell (which needs it to create energy). Eventually this leads to weight gain, especially in the abdomen & torso.

Things you can do:
  • start each day with a breakfast that includes a protein & a fat, along with a non-refined carbohydrate
  • eat every 2 hours
  • decrease coffee/cola consumption
Remember this is a naturally occurring process in the body. It's vital to maintain steady blood sugar levels & you do have control over this.

~Dr. Terri

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Changing your thoughts about Weight Loss

Are you one of those people who has tried just about every diet & weight loss trick out there, yet you still haven't kept the weight off? You're not alone. Countless people go through the process of yo-yo dieting & yet feel like they've really gotten no where.

How is it possible that so many diets fail people? Well, it's because most diets involve only a"temporary" shift or change in the persons eating habits. What hasn't changed is the person mind set on how & what to eat.Without making this profound change, most people will go back to their original ways of eating; the ways that lead to their weight gain.

I have had the opportunity to help my patients lose weight, but more importantly to make that mental shift on how & what to eat. In order to change the results you've been getting, you have to change how you think. A new paradigm is in order to make life changing results.

Weight loss can be more than just taking in less calories than expended. For many people, women especially, weight loss involves not only looking at what you are putting into their mouth, but also what are your hormones doing. I'll discuss the roles of hormones & how they may be preventing you form losing weight in my next post.

Dr. Terri

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Structural Foot Correctors

Many times a patient will present to our office with one or more symptoms that are very incapacitating.  They have usually tried a few different things to rid themselves of these symptoms and they're typically  at a loss as to why they continue to suffer.  More times than not, there is a primary structural condition that has never been addressed and therefore they are on a merry go round of treatments and ongoing symptoms.  A very common example is back pain.  I look at "back pain" as a big umbrella and underneath it there are various reasons as to why someone might be experiencing this.  Structural imbalances within the skeletal system can be the primary cause, but where did it start?  This is why we look at the WHOLE body for answers and not just the site of pain.  For example, the foundation for our body in the standing position is the FEET.

Structure Dictates Function...

The foot is designed to un-lock, or pronate, when it hits the ground for shock absorption and to conform to variable terrain.  Then it must re-stiffen (lock), or supinate for efficient leverage as we move ourselves forward into the next step.  When either of these phases are excessive or out of synch, the foot has faulty mechanical function.  Most people over-pronate, that is, their arches flatten too much (flat feet) and do not re-stiffen enough for efficient forward movement.  A small percent of people are over-supinators with high, rigid arch structure.  This leads to poor shock absorption and the body's weight becomes concentrated in a few spots.  A healthy arch acts like a spring.

What if you have one good arch and one bad?

  • This is very common and will lead to a couple of things. First the function of that one foot will be poor as described above. 

  • Secondly the faulty structure, arch, will lead to imbalances in structure in the knee, hip, pelvis, and spine.  Its a chain reaction!  (Add song here, foot bone is connected to leg bone, the leg bone is connected to the hip bone,.... ) Again this is where a complete structural exam will uncover all the structural faults and only then can we determine a thorough customized corrective treatment plan.  This is also why Structural Foot Correctors are prescribed in our office to complement the other structural rehabilitation procedures and give the patient the best chance to correct their spine and structure.

What are Structural Foot Correctors?

Well, they are not some generic insole that you get at the pharmacy that looks comfortable and supportive from inside the box. Many times these sort of insoles feel comfortable, but in reality they do nothing to change the structure of your feet.

They are most likely not the ones your podiatrist custom made for you either.  Although many podiatrists, PT's, and DC's are starting to use this style of foot corrector, at last check, we are only one of four offices in a 50 mile radius that uses them.  The majority of medical studies have shown that standard custom orthotics are no better or worse than off the shelf cushions.  This has not been the case for the Foot Correctors that we use.  It starts in the way in which the foot is casted (molded) and then  the foot corrector is made.  This is crucial to obtain the ideal arch height and foot shape.  They are calibrated for your weight, foot flexibility, and activity level; not to mention they are also made with top quality materials that will last over time.  This allows for better foot function as well as actually changing your foot structure!

 How do you know if you need Structural Foot Correctors?

In our office, it starts with a consultation.  Then after reviewing your history and discussing how our office treatment and procedures work, we do a Structural Exam.  Some of the tests that we do that would indicate the need for foot correctors are the following:

  • A particular x-ray view is taken to determine pelvic imbalance and leg length inequality (anatomical short leg). 
  • A digital foot scan  is performed to view the integrity of the arches and compare left to right.  
  • Visual and digital tests are also performed to asses the alignment of feet, knees, and hips and how that affects the rest of your structure. 
  • Your gait (the way in which you walk) is reviewed to determine if your structure is causing functional problems. 
For more information call 781-826-5555 to set up a consultation.   Remember, its a conversation, not a commitment.

Have a Great Day!
Dr. Deane