Rubber Band Exercise

This is Dr. Rob with your weekly health blog. I’ve been seeing a lot of people who work in front of the computer -most people work in front of the computer and text quite a bit- having problems with carpal tunnel syndrome. This is typically due to the position they’re putting themselves in: head forward, hand in a claw-like position. After awhile, the muscles in your hand begin shortening because of the constant position it’s put in.
Here’s one thing I want you to try for a week:
Get a rubber band, place it around your fingers, and as you’re driving or walking around, start pushing your fingers outward. Make sure the rubber band is not too thick just thin enough to provide resistance as you open up those muscles. If you keep opening those muscles, it will begin to develop the muscles on the opposite side of the hand.
That’s your homework for this week; you’ve got to do it a couple hundred times a day. You can easily do it while you’re driving or in front of the computer. You will see that you will soon have less pain in your hand.
We will talk more about how to correct forward head posture which is more complicated. Until then you can always call me at our office Bates Chiropractic at (310) 545-4188 or on our website: www.chiropractormanhattanbeach.com

Maintain Your Spine

This week I’d like to talk about a concern of mine for others. A statistic came out stating that about 80-90% of all Americans will have a serious bout of back pain sometime in their life. It wouldn’t be the case if people learned how to maintain their spine.

Think about it. How many people maintain their spine? How many people actually know how to maintain their spine? Were you taught how to? No, because we weren’t taught that way.

We’re taught how to take care of our teeth. We know we have to brush and floss regularly, eat right, and get regular check-ups with a dentist, but we aren’t taught how to take care of our spine.

It’s a big concern of mine. I had a lady come in yesterday. Her first visit was in 2006, she had a serious bout of back pain; I adjusted her and her back pain went away. But, people don’t realize that if you don’t maintain your spine, it can create problems. One thing that can happen is that your spine can form a situation called Degenerative Disc Disease; most of the time is a silent process.

When you look at the neck, there should be a nice arc. But if you look at the patient who came in 2006, you can see she had a reverse forward posture. The posture resulted in decreased discs and a big bone spur in her neck. We went ahead and adjusted her, she felt fine after one adjustment, so she thought she was fixed. We talked about how to correct and maintain her spine, but the problem was that she thought that if she felt okay, she was okay. That’s the way we were taught to take care of our health and this concerns me.

She came back just yesterday, 5 years later, she had back pain again. We took another picture of the neck, and you can see that the area where she had the bone spur before is almost fused together and that there are other bones that are starting to do the same thing. She was completely shocked; she couldn’t understand. She hadn’t experienced pain since the last time she had come in.

“How can that be?” she asked. “Because,” I said, “if you don’t maintain your spine, it will degenerate.”

If you don’t maintain your spine, it will go down hill. That’s what we do here at Bates Chiropractic, we correct and maintain the spine. You want to maintain your spine and not your problems. Unfortunately, a lot of people only manage their problems. So, the key to it is really maintenance.

If you want to learn more about maintaining your spine and that of your family, you can contact us at Bates Chiropractic at (310)545-4188 or online at www.chiropractormanhattanbeach.com

Sickness Vs. Health

Aloha from Kaanapali, Maui coming to you with our weekly health blog. This is an exciting topic, an interesting topic. We are going to talk about sickness versus health. When you think about sickness versus health, keep in mind this analogy:

You walk into a dark room and you flip on the light. What happens to the darkness? Nothing, because darkness is a non-entity whereas light is an entity.

Now, if you have a sickness or an illness, what happens to the illness? Nothing, because illness is a non-entity. You only get sick when you pull away or take away health.

So, what is health? Health is the body’s capability to adapt to its environment from internal mechanisms. Your ability to adapt comes from the inside out.

Now, what allows your body to adapt? One of the most powerful things that allows your body to adapt is your nerve system. The brain’s job is to coordinate all functions of your body via messages through the nerves. That means your ability of your body’s immune system to fight off infections. Your cardiovascular system, your digestive system, your reproductive system, all of it needs the proper coordination of the central nerve system so that it can stay at a higher level of health in order to function.

Chiropractically, when you have a subluxation -a bone out of alignment which interferes with nerve messages- the body can’t use the nerve system to coordinate its tissues or its systems as well so you have a lower level of health. This, in turn, opens the door to dis-ease, dysfunction, and for some people, disease.

When you get an adjustment, it puts the bone back into alignment taking pressure of the nerve allowing the body to communicate through that pathway. This allows the body to coordinate at a higher level and function at a higher level which means you’re going to have a higher level of health. That’s why it’s essential to get in for regular adjustments – not just for you, but for your kids, your parents, your aunts, your uncles, your neighbors, they should all be getting regular adjustments. That’s how you build health and keep at a higher level of health. That’s one of the most powerful things that you can do.

That’s were the analogy we talked about comes into play. We are not treating sickness; it is a non-entity, we trying to building health. We add health to the body. That is our goal chiropractically.

If you would like more information about this, contact us at Bates Chiropractic at (310) 545-4188 or www.chiropractormanhattanbeach.com

Stay regular with your chiropractic adjustments! Mahalo!

Mental Stress that Causes Disease

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This week we’re talking about stress on the body, mental stress to be precise. I know none of you have mental stress, except me…just kidding.

The prior two weeks we’ve talked about physical stress, which comes in the form of traumas. We’ve talked about chemical stress, which is poison to the body. This week is mental stress.

They say 90% of mental stress is in the form of auto-suggestion. Which really is just us beating up on ourselves. When we’re in a stressed state, there are two different sides of that. We are in the fight or flight response, which is like pushing the pedal to the medal on the gas. That is where everything is in high alert, such as when you find yourself in a dark alley and someone jumps out at you. Everything goes into high alert, and the blood rushes to the areas to get you to stay and fight or take flight.

The problem with that is a lot of times we get so used to being in this fight or flight response that our levels stay at a steady state of high stress for long periods of time.

We may feel stressed states for trying to get to work on time, waking up and rushing off to work, time schedules, paperwork, school, work problems, marital problems, and relationship problems. All these things create mental stress which is looked at, depending on how you interpret it, as a fight or flight response, and causes stress to the body.

When it does that your body is in high alert all the time, which is not what it’s supposed to do, it only should be during those life threatening situations when you have to fight or flight to save your life.

Your body has a tendency to start breaking down at that state, because it never has a chance to go on the other side of the coin, which is the restorative type of resting state that you should be in most of the time, in order to repair your body.

It’s really important to look at things this way, because a lot of times we are so used to it that we don’t even know we’re in this stressed state, because, it’s such a normal situation for our society or our lifestyle to be in a high stressed state.

It can be very hard to break these patterns, especially patterns of thought. Sometimes you think of something and automatically it’ll bring up a negative thought or feeling. It’s a reflex type of situation, because you’ve programmed yourself subconsciously that way.

The way the brain works is if you don’t use it, you lose it, but the more you use it, you have a tendency to go that way. It’s as if you’re walking through snow, the more you walk through one path the easier it is to go through it. So if that path is a negative thought or a negative auto-suggestion, when a situation arises, you will, more often than not, subconsciously take that negative path. So it takes a conscious effort to watch your thoughts, to see what you’re thinking, so that you can slowly start carving a path towards how you want to think.

It is up to you to really have the will to catch those negative thoughts of auto-suggestion. I want to some it up with a parable.

An old Cherokee was teaching his young grandson one of life’s important lessons. He told the young boy the following parable:

“There is a fight going inside each of us. It is a terrible fight between two wolves”, he said.

“One wolf is evil. He is anger, rage, envy, regret, greed,

arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies,

false pride, superiority, and ego.

The second wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,

kindness, empathy, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson thought about this for a moment.

The he asked his grandfather,

Which wolf will win this fight?

The old Cherokee simply replied,

The one you feed.

And it’s the same way with our bodies. Think about that, and next week we’ll go over the placebo effects of belief, which is very powerful as far as healing.

When The Cure is Worse Than The Cause

This is Dr. Rob with your weekly health blog. This week I’m concerned with an article I recently read. My concern is that a lot of times we do certain types of treatments on our bodies where the cure is actually worse than the cause. An article just came out in the New England Journal of Medicine stating “super-bugs” are being created due to an over-utilization of antibiotics. We’re using antibiotics for viral infections when they’re really designed for bacterial infections. What happens is when you take an antibiotic, most the bacteria die except for maybe a few, and those few will adapt over the course of weeks, months, and even years. Their offspring then become resistant to that antibiotic, so now when you go to take the antibiotic, it won’t work.
It forces our technology to try to keep up with the super-bugs, but what they’re finding is that it takes seven to ten years to develop a new antibiotic where it only takes a few months for super-bugs to multiply. We’re being faced on relying on our bodies to fight off these bugs where the antibiotics fail to work. We have to focus on building health from the inside out. We all know we have to eat right and exercise, but we also need a good nerve supply.
Why? Because the nerve system controls and coordinates the immune system.
When the body has interferences from subluxations, the immune system won’t work as well. So, it’s very important to get regular spinal checkups-even if you don’t have any pain- to make sure your body’s working well from the inside out.

Do You Have Smart Muscles?

Hello, Manhattan Beach, today we’re talking about making smart muscles as opposed to walking around with dumb muscles. Our goal here is to correct subluxations to free the nerve channels of the spine. Then we use certain types of neuromuscular reeducation exercises to make the muscles smart again. This connects the nerve system with the muscles, because, as you know, nerves control muscles. The muscles have to integrate with the rest of the other muscles and joints of the body in order to function right. What coordinates all of that together is the Central Nerve System.

You can see throughout the office we have people working towards smartening their muscles with spinal molding exercises, such as wall work and stabilization of the pelvis.

We’re just turning the power on here at Bates Chiropractic! Have a great day.

Life is Motion, Motion is Life

Life is motion and motion is life, and the same goes for your spine. What we find is that when you lose motion in your spine, the body begins to lose health. That’s why it’s really important to keep exercising, doing yoga and whatever types of stretching exercises you like to do, because it keeps global motion in your body.
When it comes to individual segments of your spine, the spine needs to move segmentally to work properly. If the spine begins to lose proper motion, it starts to create problems. The brain sends out messages and data to all of the organs of the body, but there are also messages and data that feed back up to the brain. When the vertebrae are moving properly, it actually sends out electrical impulses from the spine and nourishes the brain and allows the brain to regulate the physiology of all your organs to keep you healthy.
When the spinal vertebrae are not moving properly, the electrical impulses and data of those particular segments are no longer feeding into the brain. Now the brain is no longer receiving the electrical nourishment and is not able to regulate the physiology, meaning your health will suffer. That is called a subluxation.
That’s why we have whole families that come in, the children and grandparents get checked on a regular basis. Your body needs to have regular motion in the spine, that’s why we look for the subluxation. It’s very important to get family check ups. If you aren’t doing so, give us a call and we’d be glad to check you, your kids, and your whole family. If you have questions about this, don’t hesitate to contact us at Bates Chiropractic (310) 545-4188 or www.chiropractormanhattanbeach.com

How To Prevent The Flu

This week we’re going to talk about flu season. As we go into the holidays, it gets colder; people wrap themselves up, stay inside and don’t get enough sun. Typically people have a tendency to get the flu and upper respiratory infections during this time.

I’d like to go over ways to prevent the flu; since we know that getting the flu shot is not 100% effective, we will go over some ways that will build up our immune response:

One of the best ways to do so is to make sure your nerve system can properly communicate with the immune system. You do that by making sure your spine is free of spinal subluxations.

Studies show that regular spinal checkups help improve the immune response.

Another thing you can do is take vitamin D, because we’re not out in the sun as much, we’re not getting the sunshine vitamin. The studies show that taking vitamin D helps improve the immune response. You want to take 2,000 to 5,000 IU a day.

Also, you want to avoid sugar, excessive sugar, which is tough to do during the holidays.

You want to get plenty of rest and make sure you’re washing your hands. You also want to work on breathing exercises to reduce the stress and also regular exercise.

All of that is very important to boost your internal environment so that you can be passed by the flu where other people would drop like flies.

Make sure you spread the word to your loved ones. Many people blindly go get the flu shot, and that, by no means, is going to completely protect you against the flu.

Backpack Attack

It’s back to school week. One of the big problems we have when going back to school is Backpack Attack! We have severe problems with kids going to school, because their backpacks are loaded down with books, and kids start coming up with backpack injuries. In fact, some kids have backpacks that weigh 50 to 60 pounds. Compare that to their little bodies that only weigh 50-80 pounds, that is just way too much weigh for their bodies to take, and it creates postural imbalances as time goes on, and as their bodies are growing. It’ll create subluxations in the body and health problems down the line.

Now, one of the biggest problems heavy backpacks will create is Forward Head Posture, where the head goes forward in front of the shoulders. It creates a lot of undue stress on the ligaments, the nerves, the discs, and joints of the spine, and will set the tone for future degenerative disease like degenerative disc disease or arthritis.

So, what we want to do is keep the spine in alignment. One of the best thing you want to do for your kids regarding their backpacks is keep the straps tight with no more than 15% of the body weight in the packs.

Also, they need a strap or a buckle attached to the waist. So the weight of the backpack is more evenly distributed across the spine, this will help bring back the head a little closer.

Most kids wear their straps loose, which creates a lot of weight down low making the kids push their heads forward in order to counter balance the weight.

The key now would be to fix the cause, which is the backpack attack to where it is over-weighting the body and creating the turtle effect. Said effects create a lot of undue pressure on the areas mentioned before.

The other thing is to get your kids checked for subluxations, because if it’s already been going on for a few years, they’ll have degenerative disc disease building up. Since this is a silent process, their symptoms may then seem like they’re coming out of nowhere, such as severe neck pain, headaches, back pain, discs problems, and may end up with surgeries down the line.

Checking your children is a proactive, instead of a reactive, type of healthcare. First we have to fix the backpack problem, then get your kids checked for subluxations, and create the subluxation problem, so that they may lead a healthy life.

How You Can Dramatically Reduce Healthcare Costs and Save Lives!

Last week we talked about Drug Awareness Week that was being held in the local schools. Actually, there are a few schools that are having it this week. So, we’re going to continue on the D.A.R.E or drug awareness week. As you remember, last week we talked about the legal drug cartels.

This week, I want to talk about this interesting survey that came out about prescription drugs:

The National Health and Nutrition Survey was done over the course of ten years.

According to the study, over the last decade, the amount of Americans that took one prescription drug in the last month statistically went from 44% in 1999 to 48% today.

Those people that used two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%.

The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%.

In 2007-2008, one out of every five children, as well as nine out of ten American adults, had taken at least one prescription drug in the last month.

Interestingly enough, the business of prescription drugs is actually booming right now, which is part of our drug mindset culture that we were talking about last week. The total spent on prescription drugs in 2008 was 234 billion dollars, which is double from 1999.

Another interesting study came out with a potential solution to the over-spending: The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics revealed that after 4 years, 22,000 patients demonstrated a 51.8% reduction of prescription costs when care was directed by a doctor of Chiropractic.

If you extrapolate that 51.8% reduction of prescription drug costs that would have saved the U.S. Healthcare System 121 Billion in the last decade! It’s really amazing to think that by redirecting the focus away from drug therapy, such a huge change can happen on just the cost of healthcare.

I wanted to really bring that up, I’m not trying to say that medical doctors should be booted out of the primary care position; I think they should stay on as primary care physicians, but I think the way it should be thought of when we see our primary care physician is that when we have a certain complaint, the doctor should look at the complaint, and we should take those medications in an emergency situations, because that’s what they’re designed to do. Then, if the doctor rules out a medical emergency, then just go and see your chiropractor. That way you build your health through receiving adjustments that allow the internal mechanism of the body to enhance and work the way it’s designed to. The body works at its best, like it should, with no interference. So, when you correct spinal subluxations, the body can work at its optimum level.

If we can just get the word out where people start changing their attitudes on how they’re taking care of themselves, we can really affect the whole healthcare system. So, if you can spread the word to other people, you can probably save a life (and a lot of money).

Refer people to our website: www.chiropractormanhattanbeach.com and forward them this health blog.

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