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Maintenance Care for Chronic Low Back Pain

When people think of chiropractic, they immediately think of low back pain and are often surprised to find out that chiropractic can benefit many conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, rotator cuff tears, as well as hip, knee, and ankle conditions.  There is also research support for manipulation (a key component of chiropractic) and its role in managing “somatovisceral” related conditions such as pneumonia, dizziness, stage 1 hypertension, PMS, asthma, colic, and bed wetting.

Research clearly shows that chiropractic manipulation out performs other forms of treatment for acute, subacute and chronic low back pain. But, the question remains, can “maintenance chiropractic” PREVENT problems down the road? Ironically, two medical doctors in August of 2011 published an article in a leading medical journal (SPINE) entitled, “Does maintained spinal manipulation therapy for chronic nonspecific low back pain result in better long-term outcome?” The study’s objective was to determine if treating chronic low back pain patients (pain >6 months) after a course of 12 treatments in the first month would do better, the same or worse if treatments were continued at 2-week intervals for an additional 9 months. They compared 3 groups of patients: 1.) 12 treatments of “sham” (placebo) manipulation over a 1-month period. 2.) 12 treatment of “real” spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) for 1 month but no treatments for the subsequent 9 months. 3.) The same as #2 but with treatments every 2 weeks over the next 9 months. To determine the differences between these 3 groups, the authors measured pain and disability scores (using questionnaires), generic health status (questionnaire), and back-specific patient satisfaction (questionnaire) at 1, 4, 7 and 10-month intervals.

The results showed that groups 2 (SMT for 1 month only) and 3 (SMT for 1 month + every 2 weeks for 9 months) had significantly lower pain and disability scores than the 1st group (sham/placebo group) at the end of the 1st month or, 12 visits. However, only group 3 (treatments were continued for 9 months at 2 week intervals) showed more improvement in pain and disability scores at 10 months. Equally important, the scores for the non-maintained group 2 patients returned to near their pre-treatment levels by month 10!

The authors concluded that not only is spinal manipulative therapy effective for chronic low back pain, but more importantly, REGULAR ADJUSTMENTS EVERY 2 WEEKS after the initial course of concentrated care (3x/week for 4 weeks) was needed, “…to obtain long-term benefit,” suggesting that, “…maintenance SM after the initial intensive manipulative therapy,” is appropriate care to obtain long-term results.

This study FINALLY supports the recommendations made by chiropractors for many years –regular adjustments are beneficial to obtain a higher quality of life, less pain and less disability! While this study didn’t include Active Release Technique, we have observed that combining ART with adjustments is much more effective than adjustments alone. If you’re dealing with back pain, call us. We can help 303.300.0424.

The Whiplash Syndrome: Posture and Exercise

Whiplash can result from a number of causes, not just from motor vehicle accidents.  A fall on the ice or a slippery floor, from a sports related injury, or even at the county fair on one of those rides that throws you around can result in the same type of injury. Whiplash occurs when the head is literally “whipped” either forwards and backwards or from side to side. It can include hitting the head but often does not.

Symptoms vary considerably and therefore the term, “whiplash associated disorders” or WAD has been adopted, based on the clinical presentation of the patient and on the specific tissues injured. Common symptoms include neck pain, loss of motion, headache and sometimes arm pain or numbness resulting in difficulty driving, working, sleeping and concentrating.

Active Release Techniques and adjustments of the neck can be highly effective in the treatment of whiplash associated disorder, and hence, Chiropractic is often the recommended first order of treatment for patients suffering from this condition. We have previously discussed the steps involved when presenting to a chiropractic clinic, from taking a detailed history and performing a thorough physical examination, and well as the many types of treatment options that exist.

Exercise is one of the most important forms of treatment as they can and should be performed multiple times a day as directed by us, so that a return to normal function with no pain can occur as quickly as possible. Presented here are a few VERY EFFECTIVE exercises that we frequently give to patients suffering from WAD:

1 Posture Correction A. Arch the back.

B. Retract the shoulders and tuck in the chin. Hold for 10-30 sec. & repeat.

2 Chin Retractions A. Sit properly.

B. Place your finger next to the chin.

C. Retract head & hold 10 sec. & repeat.

3 Neck Strength

Exercises

A. Rotate RT using 10% Max.

B. Repeat to LT hold 5 sec.

Repeat this moving the head Forwards, backwards, & sideways in a similar way!*
  • For #3, ALWAYS apply a push or resistance with your hand through the FULL range of comfortable motion in that plane. That means, in one direction let the head “win” (like in arm wrestling) and when moving in the opposite direction, let the hand “win,” (but don’t let up pushing with the head).  In other words, you are ALWAYS resisting against the movement in both directions moving as far as you can in both directions.

We work with patients who’ve been in car accidents and work accidents, and accept all auto insurance, including Med Pay. We also take most major health insurance plans. Are treatment plans are focused on solving the problem, not extending the case. If you’re suffering from accident injuries, call us today at 303.300.0424. We can help.

Neck Pain & Headaches & The “Power of Placebo”

We have all heard about the “placebo effect” and the “power of positive thinking.” A placebo, according to Wikipedia, is “…a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient.” When a placebo is used, it will sometimes have a perceived beneficial effect. When this occurs, it is referred to as “the placebo effect.” Placebos are commonly used in research where one group will be given the “real” treatment, another a “placebo” and a third group will be given nothing at all.  The evaluators are usually blinded as to who received which of the 3 approaches. The group receiving the placebo is carefully compared to the other 2 groups (the real treatment group and the no treatment group). Common placebos include inert tablets (sugar pills), sham treatment (which may include surgery, detuned electrical stimulation, sham acupuncture, sham manipulation, and many more). What is compelling and interesting is that the placebo often has a surprisingly positive effect on the patient’s symptoms and because of this, research is quite extensive trying to figure out why even placebos can benefit patients.

The phrase, “…the power of positive thinking” has also been around a long time. Again, studies have shown that when a patient’s treatment plan is presented in a detailed fashion with a “positive spin” compared to when the health care provider seems skeptical that it might help, the results favor the positive presentation. Call it what you will – the power of positive thinking, faith, hope – it does appear to be an important part of the formula to obtain a positive outcome from treatment, any treatment.

When considering the placebo effect of chiropractic, specifically cervical manipulation and its effect on neck pain and headache, a landmark study published by medical doctors revealed significantly greater benefits of cervical manipulation for acute, as well as subacute and even chronic (pain > 3 months) neck pain when compared to other forms of treatment (muscle relaxants or “usual medical care”). They reported that the highest quality study demonstrated that spinal manipulation benefits patients with tension-type headaches. They also reported that the complication rate for cervical spine manipulation is low, estimated to be between 5-10 per 10 million manipulations. Another very supportive study looked at the immediate effects from only one cervical spine manipulation (CSM) using objective instruments that measured pain (algometry) and strength (grip strength dynamometer) on patients with elbow tendonitis pain (lateral epicondylitis). The patients received either CSM or a “sham” method they refer to as “manual contact intervention” or MCI. The “real” treatment group (CSM) showed a significant increase in grip strength and reduced pain compared to the MCI/sham group.

The “take-home” message here is clear. Cervical spine manipulation was found to be superior to sham manual treatment (placebo), as well as muscle relaxers, or “usual medical care” for neck pain and headaches. Second, cervical manipulation clearly out performed the placebo effect in patients with elbow pain.

While this study did not specifically include Active Release Techniques, we’ve found that combining ART with manipulation is far more effective than only doing adjustments. If you have neck pain or headaches, call us at 303.300.0424 to schedule your first treatment. We can help you.

Denver kidney donor to be first to run Leadville 100 & This Week’s 1-Page Newsletter

On National Donor Day, Dr. Jeff Stripling announced his goal to run 100 miles on behalf of all living organ donors. What follows is a recent press release from the American Transplant Foundation, and then This Week’s 1 Page Newsletter…

(DENVER, CO) – Being a living kidney donor will not stop Denver chiropractor Jeff Stripling from running 100 miles. In fact, it is what drives him forward

Dr. Stripling donated a kidney to his father in 2009. Today – National Donor Day – he announced his goal to be the first known living organ donor to run the Leadville 100 Mile Ultramarathon in August “on behalf of all living organ donors.

“Running 100 miles through the high Rockies will be tough, but that’s no because I’m a kidney donor. I want to shatter the misconception that you are limiting yourself if you donate an organ,” said Dr. Stripling.

“Being a live donor has proved to be the proudest moment of my life, and has enabled me to see my father healthy and enjoying retirement. Many people thought I would be limiting my own quality of life, but since I donated, my quality of life has only improved.”

To help other people become living donors, Dr. Stripling plans to raise funds for American Transplant Foundation’s Patient Assistance Program, which awards financial grants to offset expenses for living donors, such as travel costs to the surgery or time away from work during their recovery.

“We want people to understand that living organ donation is a viable option, and that it’s critical to reduce the transplant waiting list, especially for those who need a kidney,” said Kyle Pietari of the American Transplant Foundation. “Over 90,000 Americans are waiting for a new kidney. Most people don’t realize that the medical complication rate for live kidney donors is less than 1%. We are proud to work with Dr. Stripling and other living donors to raise awareness about this. They are truly heroes.”

“As a doctor, I understand that my body only needs one kidney. I can still workout, play sports, and attempt to run 100 miles. My father needed the other kidney much more than I do,” said Stripling.

The American Transplant Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that works to increase the donation of organs and tissue to reduce the growing list of men, women and children who are awaiting a lifesaving transplant.

Here’s this Week’s 1-Page Newsletter…

Mental Attitude: Emotions Not On My Sleeve? Contrary to what many scientists think, all people do not have the same set of biologically “basic” emotions and those emotions are not automatically expressed on the face. People do not scowl only when they’re angry or pout only when they’re sad. For example, people do a lot of things when they’re angry, sometimes they yell and sometimes they smile. Current Directions in Psychological Science, Jan 2012

Health Alert: Ten Ways To Decrease Cancer Risk 1.) Max BMI of 25; 2.) 5 or more servings of fruits & veggies daily; 3.) 7 or more portions of complex carbs daily; 4.) decrease processed foods & refined sugars; 5.) limit alcoholic drinks to 1/day for women and 2/day for men; 6.) limit red meat to no more than 3 oz daily; 7.) decrease fatty foods, particularly animal fats; 8.) limit intake of salted foods & use of salt in cooking; 9.) eliminate tobacco use; 10.) practice sun safety/recognize skin changes. American Cancer Society.

Diet: Soy And Hot Flash. According to a placebo-controlled study, daily doses of a soy germ-based nutritional supplement containing S-equol decreased menopausal symptoms 59%, including significantly reducing hot flash frequency after 12 weeks. It is believed that S-equol, produced from the isoflavone daidzein during the fermentation of soy germ, interacts with specific estrogen receptors to promote the improvement in menopausal symptoms. Journal of Women’s Health, Jan 2012.

Exercise: Colds And Exercise. Different levels of exercise can significantly increase or decrease your chances of catching a cold. If you tend to be a couch potato, then you will catch 2-3 colds per year, on average. Regular moderate exercise can reduce the risk of catching cold-like infections by 33% (this effect has been shown to be the result of the cumulative effect of exercise leading to long-term improvement in immunity). Prolonged strenuous exercise, such as marathons, can make an individual more susceptible to catching colds. We are constantly exposed to viruses, but it is our immune system that determines whether we get sick or not. Association for Science Education Conference, Jan 2012

Wellness/Prevention: Cancer Rates Dropping. In the last 20 years, one million deaths from cancer have been avoided. From 1990-2008, death rates dropped 23% in males and 15% in females. A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, Jan 2012

Quote: “There are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” ~Thomas A. Edison

Weekly 1-Page Newsletter for the week of 1/30/2012

Mental Attitude: Do Video Games Enhance Cognitive Abilities? In a recent study, it was demonstrated that there is little solid evidence that games enhance cognition at all. On the other hand, it may be the people who have these enhanced abilities are more likely to play video games. Frontiers in Psychology, Dec 2011

Health Alert: Diabetes Worldwide! There are 366 million diabetics worldwide and 4.6 million die each year from the disease. In the US, 8.3% or 25.8 million children and adults have diabetes, with 79 million having prediabetes. Diabetes Atlas, Nov 2011 & American Diabetes Association, 2011

Diet: Remember Cholesterol. High cholesterol levels may be associated with a greater incidence of brain plaques, a marker for Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology, Sept 2011

Exercise: Wide Waists Trim Lifespan. Since the mid-1970s, when Harvard published “The Nurses Study,” we’ve been told women with waists over 40 inches raised their risk of early death by 40% vs. women who maintained waists in the 26-27 inch measure. Pounds add up. Studies show that obesity is starting earlier than ever. 18% of children ages 12-18 are reported as being obese and 66% of baby boomers (81 million born between 1946-1964) are either obese or overweight. New England Journal of Medicine, Sept 2011

Chiropractic: Chiropractic and the NFL. All 32 teams in the National Football League offer their players and personnel chiropractic physician services for both managing and preventing injuries. Most have Active Release Techniques providers. Professional Football Chiropractic Society

Wellness/Prevention: Too Much Booze, You Lose. Men are more likely to binge drink than women. Research shows that drinking even a small amount of alcohol increases cancer risks, though moderate amounts of alcohol can show cardiovascular benefits that outweigh such risks. Men can play it safe by having no more than two alcoholic drinks per day. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Nov 2011

Quote: “A revolution is coming – a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough – but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character, we cannot alter its inevitability.” ~ President John F. Kennedy

Guess who’s doing the Leadville 100 Trail Run and this week’s 1-Page Newsletter

No, it’s not me (Glenn). But Dr. Jeff Stripling, my esteemed colleague here at Denver Chiropractic Center will be there on August 18 / 19. Dr. Stripling donated a kidney to his dad a few years ago, and will be racing in Leadville to raise money and awareness for transplant research. Stay tuned for more info on this remarkable guy and this remarkable challenge.

Here’s this week’s 1-page newsletter:


Mental Attitude: A Good Laugh. When we laugh heartily among friends, we exhale repeatedly without drawing breath. This physical effort leaves usexhausted and triggers the release of protective endorphins, one of the complex neuropeptide chemicals of the brain that regulate pain and promote feelings of well-being. Watching 15 minutes of comedy in the company of others can increase your pain threshold by an average of 10%. Laughter is 30 times more likely to happen when we are with others than when we are alone.Proceedings of the Royal Society, Dec 2011


Health Alert: Antibiotic Resistance. Overexposure to antibiotics has longbeen a concern in the medical community, most specifically the development of antibiotic resistant infections as a result of repeated use. Ophthalmologic antibiotics have been found to promote antimicrobial resistance too, prompting a call from Vanderbilt Eye Institute physicians to be more judicial in the administration of certain classes of antibiotics. Archives of Ophthalmology, Dec 2011


Diet: Protect Your Bones. A calorie-restricted diet higher in protein (mostlyfrom dairy foods) and lower in carbohydrates, coupled with daily exercise, demonstrated a major positive impact on bone health. Bone health improvements were particularly evident due to the diet’s high density of bone-supporting nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D and dairy-based protein.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dec 2011


Exercise: It’s Harder To Run As You Age. Runners who find it more difficult to run as they age can make the experience easier on themselves by adding strength training and flexibility exercises to their fitness routine. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Dec 2011


Chiropractic: Bad Posture. Asymmetries in posture and motion can causetethering, the adverse prolonged stretching of the central nervous system. This can result in spinal cord ischemia (lack of blood flow) and consequently motor, sensory, and autonomic neurological dysfunction. Tethering of the spinal cord has been linked to demylenating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. Koch, 2002


Wellness/Prevention: Cancer Prevention In Your 50s. Cancer is more likely to show up in men over 50 years old. That’s why the majority of cancer screening exams begin at age 50. Finding and treating cancer as early as possible is one of the best ways to beat this disease. In the case of prostate cancer (the most common cancer in men), treating the disease at an early stage means men may be less likely to experience long-term side effects, like impotence. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Nov 2011


Quote: “Money cannot buy health.” ~ Dorothy Parker

The Neck & Shoulder Pain Relationship

In our hectic lifestyles of driving, hunching over computers, talking on the phone, not to mention stress arising from multiple sources, the muscles in the neck, upper back and shoulders seem to tighten up and hurt at the same time. The question is, between the neck and the shoulder, which one is the “chicken” and which is the “egg?”

The neck gives rise to the nerves that innervate the head (C1-3 nerve roots), the shoulders (C4-5), and the arms (C5-T2). Hence, there are 8 sets of nerves in the neck, 12 sets in the thoracic (middle back region), and 6 sets in the lumbar or low back region and 5 sets in the sacrum, all of which travel to a specific destination allowing us to move our muscles and to feel hot, cold, sharp, dull, vibration and position sense.

When these nerves get pinched or irritated, they lose their function and the ability to feel, making it challenging to button a shirt, thread a needle, or pick up small objects.  It can also make it difficult to unscrew jars, squeeze a spray bottle, or lift a milk container from the refrigerator. Hence, the nerves arising from the neck, when pinched, can have a dramatic effect on our ability to carry out our desired activities in which the shoulder, arm and hand use is required.

On the other hand, when the shoulder is injured (such as a rotator cuff tear or strain), this can also result in neck problems. There are several ways pain from the neck affects the shoulder and vice versa. When the shoulder is injured, pain “information” is relayed to the brain starting at the nerve endings located in the area of the shoulder injury, transmitting impulses between the shoulder and the neck, and finally from the neck to the sensory cortex of the brain. That information is processed and communication to the motor cortex prompts nerve signals to be sent back to the shoulder through the neck and to the injured area (in this case, the shoulder).

A reflex muscle spasm often occurs as a result, serving as kind of an “internal cast” as the muscle spasm tries to protect the injured shoulder. This can become a “vicious cycle” or never-ending “loop” until the reflex is interrupted (perhaps by a chiropractic adjustment). Another means by which both areas become injured has to do with modifications in function. We tend to change the way we go about our daily chores when an injury occurs to the shoulder, such as putting on a coat differently by leaning over to the opposite side.

These functional changes can also give rise to neck pain. Because of this reflex cycle, as well as the close anatomic relationship between the neck and shoulder, not to mention the “domino effect” of soft-tissue injuries which seem to change the function at the next joint level, it’s not surprising that both the neck AND the shoulder require simultaneous treatment for optimal treatment benefit. However, the good news is, regardless which one is the “chicken or the egg,” your treatment at Denver Chiropractic Center for shoulder injuries will almost always include the neck and vice versa.

We use a unique combination of Active Release Techniques Soft Tissue Treatment, adjustments, and physical therapy exercises. Research shows that this combination is best. We realize that you have a choice in where you get your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Denver Chiropractic Center Weekly Health News For You

Have you ever noticed that you seem to drag during November and December? Well, there’s a reason for this. As the days get shorter and you get less time in the sun, your brain produces less Serotonin, the feel good brain chemical. The result is usually a little fatigue, less energy than normal, and the annoying urge to eat sugar. This is why many of us gain weight this time of year.

The best defense is to essentially go with the flow. Cut yourself some slack, try not to totally cave in to it, and know that soon the days will start getting longer (December 22). Try to get outside for a walk or run at least 3 times a week, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Try getting to the slopes or going out for some Nordic fun – snowshoeing or cross country. Open up those blinds and let the daylight in. It’ll help.

Mental Attitude: Commuting To Work Is Bad For Your Health! Spending hours each day behind the wheel or crammed in a public train or bus, commuting to and from work is bad for your health. Those who commuted reported more everyday stress, exhaustion, missed work days and generally poorer health. Those with longer commutes reported even worse health. Duke University, Oct 2011

Health Alert: Under Construction! Nearly all construction workers will experience one or more work-related injury or illness over a lifetime, plus a greater risk of premature death. Over a 45-year career, a construction worker has a 75% chance of a disabling injury, and a one in 200 chance of being fatally injured on the job. An individual who begins construction work at the age of 20 has a 15% chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and an 11% chance of developing dust-related parenchymal chest X-ray changes. Center for Construction Research and Training, Oct 2011

Diet: Strawberries & Stomach Ulcers. Scientists discovered strawberry consumption might help reduce and or slow the formation of stomach ulcers caused by alcohol consumption, viral infections and nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory medications, like aspirin and ibuprofen. Plos One, Oct 2011

Exercise: Good Reasons. Exercise helps speed recovery from chemotherapy treatments, increases the ability to supply blood to the skin for cooling and increases the thickness of the cartilage in your joints. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, 1996

Wellness/Prevention: Cranberry Juice vs. Cranberry Extracts. Cranberries have been recognized for their health benefits for years, especially in preventing urinary tract infections. However, it was found that drinking actual cranberry juice is much more effective in preventing a Urinary Tract Infection than simply consuming cranberry extracts. Food Science and Biotechnology, Oct 2011

Active Release: Posture and mobility. Do you ever catch yourself all hunched over, briefly horrified by your won bad posture? Recent research by Gray Cook from Functional Movement Screens points to poor posture and mobility of the thoracic spine as a contributing source of many problems- from hamstring injuries to back pain to headaches. We can help you with that. Active Release, spinal adjusting and rehab can all be used to improve posture and spinal mobility. If you have chronic back pain, we can help you. Give us a call: 303.300.0424

Thanks For Reading!

Denver Chiropractic Center

303.300.0424

Dr. Glenn Hyman

Dr. Jeff Stripling

How our Denver Active Release Clinic (Denver Chiropractic Center) can help you stay healthy.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I know you’re busy, so I’ll get to the point. We’ll be in the office all week this week, but just Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 9-Noon next week. Here’s this week’s health news for you:

Mental Attitude: More Vacations? Researches claim vacations help us recharge our batteries and perform at a higher level once we return to work. However, because the after-effects are short-lived, we should take trips more frequently in order to keep our levels of health and well-being high. The Psychologist, Aug 2011

Health Alert: Over Spending? Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine found $6.7 billion was spent in one year for unnecessary tests or prescribing unnecessary medications, with 86% of that cost attributed to the prescription of brand-name statins to treat high cholesterol. Archives of Internal Medicine, Oct 2011

Diet: Iron Man? The right amount of iron is needed for proper cell function, but too much may lead to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Men typically have more iron in their bodies than women, which may be why men develop these age-related neurodegenerative diseases at a younger age. (Younger women’s iron levels are thought to be lower because of menstruation.) To reduce iron levels: decrease over-the-counter supplements that contain iron, unless doctor recommended; eat less red meat; donate blood; and take natural iron-chelating substances that bind to and remove iron (such as curcumin or green tea). Neurobiology of Aging, Oct 2011

Exercise: Music To The Ears. Researchers found listening to music (in this case Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”) while exercising improved participants’ mental agility. The study’s author, Charles Emery, believes all types of music can produce a similar effect, no just classical. ABC News, April 2011

Brain Activity And Chronic Low Back Pain. A new imaging technique, arterial spin labeling, shows the areas of the brain that are activated when low back pain worsens in chronic pain patients. This is a first step towards objectively describing chronic pain, normally a subjective experience. When a patient has worsening of their usual pain, there are changes in the activity of the brain in the areas that process pain and mood. Anesthesiology, August 2011

Quote: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing.” ~ Muhammad Ali.

Active Release. How to stay healthy. Recent research has shown that chiropractic patients who receive monthly maintenance care have better treatment outcomes that last longer. While I have no formal studies to prove it, the many patients who come to see us for monthly ART sessions also seem to stay healthier. We can usually spot developing problems and get rid of them before they start causing pain.

Why my wife deserves a medal and this week’s Health News For You…from Denver Chiropractic Center

First off, I want to congratulate my friend and triathlon coach Cody Waite for finishing 39th at the Xterra Off-Road Triathlon World Championships Sunday (10/23) in Maui. Great Job Cody! Maybe next year I’ll be there (doing ART).

And speaking of congratulations, I hope you don’t mind if I congratulate my wife and myself on our 9th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe it was 9 years ago that we were saying our I-do’s on a beach in Hawaii. Next year will be #10. Maybe that is a good excuse to go to Maui.

Here’s this week’s brand new Health News For You:

Mental Attitude: Don’t Look At Me! Depressed people tend to avoid eye contact in social situations and in

experimental settings, whereas happy people actively seek eye contact. Sad people avoiding eye contact may lead to them

shunning certain social situations. Although this may reduce anxiety caused by the situation itself, it may actually increase social isolation and deepen their already depressed mood. British Journal of Psychology, Sept 2011

Health Alert: Hospital Staff Carry MRSA Superbug. 60% of doctors’ and 65% of nurses’ uniforms carry dangerous bacteria. In a 2009 report, rates of postoperative sepsis, or bloodstream infections, increased by 8%; postoperative catheter-associated urinary tract infections increased by 3.6%; and rates of selected infections due to medical care increased by 1.6%. 1 in 5 security cards carried by hospital doctors were contaminated with a variety of pathogenic bacteria, including the superbug MRSA, which kills thousands every year. Health and Human Services Department, 2009

Diet: Ginger Extract. Whole ginger extract has promising cancer-preventing activity in prostate cancer. Ginger extract had significant effects in stopping the growth of cancer cells, and inducing cell death in a spectrum of prostate cancer cells. Animal studies revealed the extract did not show significant toxicity to normal tissues, such as bone marrow. Research showed tumor regression up to 60%. Humans would have to consume about 3 1/2 ounces of whole ginger extract a day to get the benefits. British Journal of Nutrition, Aug 2011

Exercise: Good Reasons. Exercise reduces vulnerability to various cardiac dysrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), improves the likelihood of survival from a myocardial infarction (heart attack), and helps overcome jet lag. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, 1996

Active Release: What A Headache. “Cervical migraine is the type of headache most frequently seen in general practice and also the most frequently misinterpreted. It is usually erroneously diagnosed as classical migraine, tension headache, [or] vascular headache. Such patients have usually received an inadequate treatment and have often become neurotic and drug-dependent.” Ragnar Frykholm, Neurosurgeon, 1972 (Note: Active Release, in our experience over the last 13 years, is very effective in patients with neck-related headaches.)

Wellness/Prevention: Fish Oil For A Healthy Mind. Researchers found positive associations between fish oil supplements and cognitive function, as well as differences in brain structure between users and non-users of fish oil supplements. The findings suggest possible benefits of fish oil supplements on brain health and aging.

International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease

Quote: “A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.” ~ Harry S. Truman