Category Archives: Odd Stuff that doesn’t fit elsewhere

The Effects of Drinking Soda on Your Health

Thanks to Dr. Gray for turning me on to this topic.  Let me start this post by saying that I drink soda.  I drink it about 6 times a year.  When I was in high school I ran cross country.  I also drank Mountain Dew as often as I could.  One season I noticed difficulty breathing and decreased energy when I drank soda, so I stopped.  I never really picked it back up.  I still drink it occasionally, but I do not buy it.  My wife puts it in punch for parties at times.  I felt better and ran better when I was not drinking soda.

Now as a health care provider I have a vested interest in topics like this for my patients sake I like to learn as much as possible.  After researching this topic I thought I’d pass on some facts to you.  The links may be dry but I like to back up my statements with research, and they have some good info.  So, here is soda in all it’s glory.

Drinking soda:

As a chiropractor my training includes nutrition and biochemistry.  Though I choose not to focus my practice on it, from time to time I do give nutritional counseling and supplement advice.  My advice for soda drinkers, quit!  It’s not a horrible thing on occasion, as I said, I myself will drink a soda from time to time.  Anything in excess is detrimental to your health.  For those of you who just can’t go a day without your soda.  Think about what that means.

If you want nutritional counseling many chiropractors offer it.  If you want to, you can even come and see me for it, I will likely refer you to a colleague who does that more exclusively, your health comes first, and I want you to get the best care/advice that you can get.  What I don’t want is your bones becoming weak and you falling and fracturing yourself or dying early due to diabetes complications.

Alternative Medicine or Alternative To Medicine

There are many alternative medicines.  Chiropractic is not one of them.

There are many alternative medicines. Chiropractic is not one of them.

According to the medical community I practice Alternative Medicine.   I don’t use any medicine in my practice at all.  An alternative medicine to Tylenol would be Advil, not chiropractic.  Perhaps if it was said that chiropractic is an alternative to medicine rather than chiropractic is Alternative Medicine then I could accept it.  The medical community is obtaining a monopoly on health care terminology.

It may not have been planned that way originally, but there are now laws being put forward by medical associations to ban non-MDs from using the title doctor or physician.  Below are a few samples of how the medical community refers to other providers of health care:

Here is the (government) MedlinePlus take (emphasis added):

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for MEDICAL products and practices that are not part of standard care. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists, practice.The claims that CAM treatment providers make can sound promising. However, researchers do not know how safe many CAM treatments are or how well they work…

They later recommend you discuss it with your “doctor”  implying of course medical doctor. This article leads you to the belief that “alternative medicine” is non-standard and of unknown safety.

This article on Wikipedia makes me want to become a Wikipedia editor.

Alternative medicine is any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but is not based on evidence gathered with the scientific method… Examples include homeopathy, traditional [folk] medicine, chiropractic and acupuncture.

Despite the myriad of medical treatments that are based on tradition rather than on the scientific method, and despite the mountain of scientific research supporting chiropractic treatment this article still exists.  

The Mayo Clinic starts it’s CAM article by saying “You’ve heard the hype about complementary and alternative medicine.  Now get the facts.”  They list chiropractic as CAM, and then proceed to tell us that many medical doctors don’t have any training in CAM.  They state that some CAM treatments have been proven effective (perhaps Wikipedia should cite the Mayo Clinic), but warn that because some aren’t proven you should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of these treatments about which they have no training.

I recommend that you discuss your treatments and possible treatments with all of your providers.  They should all be working as a team and some treatments do interact poorly.  The purpose of this article is not to discourage communication with your medical provider nor to disparage them.  Most of the medical doctors that I have worked with are well trained, intelligent, and work with alternative providers to compliment their own treatments.Conversation-bubble

I would like to bring attention to the fact that words have meaning.  Chiropractors have struggled for years to come up with good terminology in our profession, even skipping the debate on the word “subluxation,” we’re still left saying things like “it went” after a successful treatment.  Chiropractors need to do better producing our terminology, because if we don’t the medical community will.

According to the State of Utah I am a Chiropractic Physician, According to the Department of Education I am a Doctor of Chiropractic.  I am a practitioner that provides an alternative to medicine, but I am not an Alternative Medicine provider.

Disciplines of Health Care

Heath care has what I would call disciplines.  Each discipline has its strengths and weaknesses.  They use different tools or modalities and treat different complaints.  Many times there is overlap in their capabilities.  Medicine is excellent at managing life or death situations, or in other words keeping you alive by fighting disease processes.  I would however choose a dietitian for eating suggestions or a dentist for a root canal.  Like foods our variety provides for many different needs.  You get the idea.

To demonstrate and generalize: dentistry uses drills and amalgam, optometry uses lenses, surgery uses scalpels and lasers, medicine uses chemicals, psychiatry uses behavior and thought modification, chiropractic uses adjustments and manual therapies.  There are many others, (I’m not purposely leaving you out).  This is not to diminish any role, but to simplify for the purpose of making a point.  Each discipline is great with it’s own set of tools, but if you ask an oncologist to deliver a baby you might be in for some surprises.

I was taught in chiropractic school how to deliver a baby and even how to identify the rash on your backside.  I don’t use those things often enough to claim any ability or particular skill in that area however.  It’s true I am not utilizing all of my training.  I have others around me with more desire and experience at handling diabetes or blood pressure.  I have the training and could prescribe lifestyle changes that can allow people to avoid, manage or even turn around those issues early.  I have done in the past.  However the position I am in now allows me to focus on being the best at one thing.  I can focus on becoming the best adjuster around and get to know the manual therapies like no one else.  I still quickly and easily give advice on some of these other topics and then refer those patients to someone who is the best at what they need.  I don’t have to be a jack-of-all-trades.

I appreciate the position that I am in that allows me to focus.  I recognize that there are places that don’t have this luxury.  A physician can be a master of many disciplines and rural chiropractors and other physicians have to at times.  In places where it is possible working together instead of against each other benefits the patients and the health care industry.  I hope to see the trend increase particularly in chiropractic where one chiropractor may want to treat mainly sport injuries or another surgery rehabilitation.  I hope that chiropractors will refer to one another.  I also hope that our fellow physicians and health practitioners will see the benefit of others and refer to the best person for the job.  I’ve said before, perhaps our gate keepers need to be health referrers someone you call up who can take your history and refer you to the best person for your condition.

Be Present in the Present

This last week I went to the spring UCPA convention, and I learned some new things.  I’d heard the information presented before, but I did pick up some new things from the presenters and it was a good convention overall, but that’s not what I want to report on here.

I want to say something about presence.  109_2341-croppedBear with me because this will relate to chiropractic and life in general.  At this convention even though I felt I had heard it all before I tried to focus and be present in the moment.  As I did this I found insights from what the speakers said even though it wasn’t what they were talking about.  Their words sparked something in me that taught me truth beyond what was provided. Being present in the moment allows us to tap into that something more that is there.  A wise teacher once said, “be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the moment.”

In health care we can provide treatment and patients will still not get better even though that treatment may be exactly what is called for by the book.  But if we are present in the moment and truly there caring for the patient rather than just treating them, we are able to find what they may need, and give something more.  When working out if you are present and pay attention to your body you will have a better workout. Listen, look, and feel with your everything.  You may gain an insigt to your body.  You may discover that you’ve been doing things the hard way.  You may find the answer you were looking for right in front of you.

You can learn alot from the past, and you should have faith in the future, but if you’re not here now what good do those do you.  Be present in the present or you’ll miss it.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

There’s no chiropractic reason for this post, and it has been hectic lately and will be for the next week or so.  I wanted to get this in and I don’t think I will take the time on Christmas Day, so I thought I’d do it now while I have a moment.  Where ever you are and what ever you do; from the mothers who bring us into this life to the soldiers defending our lives and freedom to the artists who make life worth living to the people who work so hard to make our life easier, Merry Christmas.  I appreciate each and every one of your efforts.  Thank you for all that you do.

100th Post!

I began this blog in January of 2008.  Now, less than one year later I am posting my 100th post.  This is an exciting landmark for me, and I thought I’d mark it with a look back at the year.  I’d like to give you some insight behind the scenes of this blog.  I’m going to list some statistics, some of the most popular posts I’m made, some of my favorites, and anything else I can find that I think might be interesting.

Most hits in a month: August – 5747

I’m not sure what did it, but there were a couple of things going on to get those numbers.  One thing that contributed was that I was posting almost every day at that time.  I have since gotten to busy to do that and have been posting 2-3 times per week.  The thing that affected that number even more though was my top 3 posts of all time.  I found some less than ideal tools one called link baiting, that I did a case study with by using it on my blog once. The second tool was an accident that has since been remedied.  I used pictures from Google searches rather than ones that I use now that I verify are free.  Those two tools got a lot of hits from people looking for something other than I was producing.  The numbers looked great, but people weren’t really looking at the blog its self, though many did stop to look around.

The top real posts of all time on my blog:

Chiropractor for the US Olympic Team a Performance Enhancer

My Back Hurts When I Take a Breath

Is Popping Your Knuckles/Back Bad For You?

The number one tag however was for my Thoracic Outlet Syndrome post.  That’s not to say some of my others won’t be more popular in the future, as some of my current ones are popular and just have not had the same time running to get the numbers up.  This does give an idea of what people are reading.

Some of my favorites:

I really enjoyed putting together the chiropractic humor page.  I also really liked doing some of my series posts such as the ones on repetitive stress injuries and coming up with a conclusion as to what an adjustment actually does in basic terms.

Top 4 links to my blog, listed in order of most referrals:

Home Treatment for Repetitive Stress Injury

Dr. Gray’s Straight Talk

Safe Computing Tips

RochesterChiro’s Blog

Thank you to all of you , and I hope that you find this blog informative and useful.  I hope to continue providing useful information regarding chiropractic for discussion for many posts to come.

Motrin Attack Ad

I’m not in marketing as a career, but I do use marketing, and to me this recent ad put out by Motrin seems to attack the very market that they want to buy their product.

Here’s the video:

The ad mentions back, shoulder and neck pain.  I’m not sure how Motrin fixes those symptoms.  Now I know that Motrin is a pain medication.  They want to sell you drugs to mask the pain.  I am a musculoskeletal specialist, a chiropractor who works with a lot of pregnant women and new moms.  I know there’s stress added by carrying a child but carrying weight closer to your body actually reduces the stress to your spine, a real solution that Motrin seems to be mocking.  And, a carrying device can relieve the stress on your arms and neck.  The other option is not picking your children up, or as the ad suggests take a medication to mask the pain so that you can be trendy.

This ad says to me that moms are too stupid to take care of themselves, that all they do is follow the crowd.  It seems to say that carrying your baby close to you is only a fad, as though carrying your baby is a bad thing and that bonding experiences with your children are something negative.  The implication is that moms are selfish that that they put up with children rather than love them.  It speaks as though having a child is just a status symbol or “popular these days.”  I just saw the ad and am offended.  I haven’t looked into it, but I imagine Motrin just got some press that they didn’t count on.  Seriously who’s in their marketing department?

I don’t think they realized that the mom’s who buy these things do so because they are interested in taking care of themselves and their children.  They are the kind of women who try to eat right and exercise, they are the kind of women who avoid medication because they’ve done their research and know that there is no medication out there without risky side effects.  They carry their babies not because it’s in fashion, but because they care enough to do what they think is right.

There is a strain from pregnancy and carrying your children,  there are also natural ways to take care of your self to prevent and relieve that pain.  Carrying your baby closer to you is one of those ways.  It’s not like Motrin is a vitamin.  It’s not helping your body any.  If you do have back pain caused by carrying your child see an expert in the field visit your local chiropractor.  Don’t get health care advice from a drug company.  There is much that can be done to help you enjoy your life without pain, without medicating yourself.

Body Worlds

My wife took me to Body Worlds 3, a current exhibit in Salt Lake City, for a date.  My wife is facinated by the study of anatomy.  I got plenty at school.  It was a very well done presentation, and admirable as far as the preservation techniques that have been developed.

Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany, www.bodyworlds.com

I found the whole presentation a little odd in that it was more art than study.  There was no particular order to any of it.  I think it would have been better if they added a story line such as following the different systems or perhaps explaining what was displayed.  Though that may be my further study on the subject speaking because my wife said that she thought the explanations were interesting.  I thought they were shallow, and wanted more.

I did enjoy teaching, there was a high school group that went through at the same time as we did, and I had the opportunity to explain some things to the students.  I also found it humorous when some of the chaperones that were with them tried to explain things but found themselves at a loss.  The students asked very good questions.

Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany, www.bodyworlds.com

I was most impressed with the talent of the artist to tease out even the smallest of nerves and vessels.  This was a great opportunity for me to see well prosected models.  We weren’t able to take pictures inside of the exhibit, so you’ll have to settle for the marketing shots.  If you are curious and want to learn more about your body I would recommend this exhibit.  If you are squeemish however just check out an anatomy book from you local library instead.

Reader and Lurker Input

I’m planning to start another series of posts covering one of two topics.

The first idea is General populations and why they could benefit from chiropractic (i.e. why should musicians, office workers, moms, teachers, etc see a chiropractor). Each one would get it’s own dedicated post.

-or-

The second option would be, common conditions that a chiropractor sees; how you can recognize them and home care ideas.

I need your help to decide which series I should do. I’ll probably end up doing them both, but they are long term projects, so tell me which you want first. Ready, set, comment…