Stay in the Garden (and Out of the Clinic!)

by Dr. Emily Smith, DC, DICCP

Spring can be a busy time for gardeners (and for those who take care of gardeners!).  Spring marks the time of year when plants emerge from their winter slumber.  It’s important to remember that our bodies too have been hibernating and need some tender loving care in order to enjoy spring without injury.  Read on to discover a few simple exercises that can prepare your body for what is to come. (Please consult your doctor or health care professional before beginning this or any exercise routine.)

The #4 Stretch

This is a simple exercise that can be done while sitting or lying down.  Place the left ankle on top of the right knee and if sitting, lean forward with a straight back.  If you prefer to do this stretch while lying down, position yourself on your back on a flat surface.  As above, place your left ankle on top of your right knee and grasp under your right knee and pull toward your chest.  Repeat this on the other side.  You will feel the stretch in the outer hip of whichever leg is on top, which is a common tight spot in those who sit a lot.

Chin Tuck Exercise

This is an exercise that can be done almost anywhere.  First jut your chin forward as far as you can and then immediately pull the chin backward as far as you can and simply hold it in that position for as long as you can.  The time may vary but will steadily increase as you practice.  This helps to stretch the muscles that attach the head to cervical spine (sub-occipital muscles).  Aggravation of this area usually occurs from keeping your head held in front of the rest of the body or from looking down (e.g., reading, putting together puzzles, working on the computer or phone, weeding, etc.).  This posture can most commonly lead to headaches and neck/upper back pain.  By simply tucking your chin whenever you are looking down or forward you can stabilize the cervical spine and prevent injury.

Arm Pulse Exercise

This is a great exercise to counteract the effect that gravity has on our upper body.  Stand up and place outstretched arms by your sides.  Open the shoulders by rotating palms outward and extend arms behind you.  Now pulse arms backward, as if you are trying to touch the wall behind you.  This will help to strengthen the muscles of the upper back, better align the shoulders to prevent injury and reduce/eliminate pain/numbness that may travel into one or both arms.

When beginning your spring gardening work, it’s also important to keep these points in mind:

• Stay hydrated. When your body is low on fluids your muscles will become tense and are more prone to injury (picture twisting a piece of jerky!)  Though heat/environment may increase your need, typical fluid intake should include half of your body weight in ounces of water on a daily basis (e.g., if you weigh 100 pounds you should attempt to consume 50 ounces of water daily).
• The most dangerous activity for the low back is a bend/twist/lift. This activity (e.g., raking, unloading items from the trunk, weeding, etc.) can place the joints of the lumbar spine in a vulnerable position and cause excess pressure on the lumbar discs.  It is always best to move your feet to rotate, rather than twisting your spine.  With raking for instance, it is best to use short strokes while holding the rake close to your body and switch from side to side (as opposed to planting your feet and bending/twisting to one side to reach the rake as far as you can).  The same goes for weeding (focus on the area in front of you rather than reaching off to the side).
• The body loves symmetry. It is difficult to always be symmetrical with gardening activities but do your best to switch sides and take turns from right to left.  This will help to minimize injuries by building strength bilaterally and avoiding overuse of one side of the body.
• Utilize the proper tools and equipment. This can make the yard work not only more efficient but also more enjoyable.  Stools, kneelers, or knee pads can help minimize stress and strain on the knee joints and allow you to spend more time in the garden.
• Take breaks frequently. Being in one position for more than thirty minutes can lead to muscle cramps and degrading posture.  Move around the yard or garden and change up your activity whenever possible.

For those who love to garden but are unable due to available space, body limitations, etc., there are options!  Check out https://es87578.towergarden.com/ to learn more about the Tower Garden, an aeroponic, vertical garden. The unit can be used outside or inside and requires no dirt and no weeding!

Dr. Emily Smith, of Smith and Prissel Chiropractic, has a specialty in Chiropractic Pediatrics but loves working with patients of any age.

Gardeners Beware: The Dangers of Pesticides

by Dr. Michael Court

There is nothing that pleases green thumbs more than the arrival of spring. Life is sprouting on the budding trees, flowers, and garden plants. It is time to start thinking about planting your garden. You can almost begin to taste those first vegetables of the season. GARDENERS BEWARE: those pesticides that seem so harmless and useful may be negatively affecting the soil, your health, and the health of your loved ones.

The massive use of chemical fertilizers, which totals well over millions of tons per year, has come to be an accepted method of forcing plants to grow. Herbicides are used on weeds; fungicides are used in fields, storage, and transportation to control rot. Pesticides are used on plants. Pesticides are mainly used by gardeners to kill insects that threaten trees and garden plants. The pesticides are usually applied through spraying or shaking. Insects have grown increasingly resistant to pesticides, which cause farmers to use larger amounts of toxic chemicals, which in turn kill the insect’s natural predators.

Many of these poisons work systematically and become both part of the soil and of plant tissues. Farmers consider this advantageous because they need not reapply them after a heavy rain. Some of the more familiar ones legally found in food are methyl bromide and lead arsenate. These pesticides are allowable in the food supply with concentrations of up to only 0.3 parts per million. So what is the problem? Although the trees, plants, and produce are saved, the pesticide residue is still on and in the food we eat. This residue eventually reaches the colon and builds up toxicity in the body. Pesticides kill insects by neurologically affecting them. DANGER: Pesticides poison humans as well and affect our brains and nervous systems.

How can we reduce the amount of toxic pesticides we ingest?
The National Pesticide Information Center states repeatedly to reduce your exposure. Make your lawn organic. Create your own pesticide-free space in your backyard. Educate yourself. Teach your neighbors. Take a stand against the use of toxic pesticides on the lawns of your communities and the places where children play every day.

Washing produce does help, but it does not clear the pesticide residue away completely.  Peeling is also helpful, but the pesticide can also be found throughout heavily sprayed produce.  Growing or purchasing organic food is always best; however, sometimes this is not a financially feasible option for everyone.

ALWAYS buy organic foods on the Dirty Dozen list. The USDA tested the residues of the foods on the Dirty Dozen list and found them to be positive for 46–67 different chemicals. The Clean Fifteen bore little or no traces of pesticides and are safe to consume in non-organic form.

Organic agriculture truly lives and breathes. Nurtured with natural fertilizers, a living soil provides plants with strength to resist disease and insects, as well as to have superior taste and nutritional value. Organic foods may initially cost more to produce because converting chemically overworked soils is not easy. Organic prices have come down in recent years. A USDA report concluded that organic farming is competitive economically with chemical farming. Organic works better, it is more efficient, and it ultimately saves the company money.  If we think that organically grown is more expensive than chemically grown food, we need to look at the overall picture. The price of the chemicals is reflected not only in the price of our food, but in the cost of our health care, the future of our soil, and the sustainability of our agricultural system.

Find the cause and restore your health with Nutrition Response Testing.  Nutrition Response Testing is a safe, non-invasive way to analyze what is out of balance in the body and design a nutritional program to feed the body exactly what it needs to fix itself.  Each person has a personalized program tailored for his or her body’s needs.

The best choice for restoring your health is to work with a health care practitioner to help you transition to a locally grown whole food diet and help your body remove any nasty pesticides using a personalized, clinically designed nutritional program. We see patients in our office that have been affected by pesticides, whether from flea spray use inside the home or insecticides being used in their own gardens. This toxic internal buildup can be from products such as Round-Up, Chlordane, DDT, and others. Some studies suggest they may not only cause long-term damage to cognitive abilities and neurological function, but may also kill the organisms and nutrients in our soil. Don’t let your health be negatively impacted by pesticide toxicity!

Dirty Dozen  (There are more than 12)

• Apples
• Blueberries
• Celery
• Cherries
• Tomatoes
• Cucumbers
• Grapes
• Hot Peppers/Sweet Bell Peppers
• Nectarines (imported)
• Peaches
• Potatoes
• Spinach
• Strawberries
• Summer Squash/Zucchini

Clean Fifteen

• Asparagus
• Avocado
• Cabbage
• Cantaloupe
• Corn
• Eggplant
• Grapefruit
• Kiwi
• Mangos
• Mushrooms
• Onions
• Papayas
• Pineapples
• Sweet peas (frozen)
• Sweet potatoes

Dr. Court and Chippewa Valley Wellness serve Eau Claire, Altoona, Chippewa Falls, and the greater Chippewa Valley area. The clinic offers a wide variety of alternative health services including Nutrition Response Testing, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and Upper-Cervical Chiropractic care. For more information see cvwellness.net, attend one of our free monthly health workshops, or call 715-723-2713.

More Than Just Water

Even though we know that washing our hands before we eat protects us against unhealthy toxins and bacteria, we don’t always think about also washing fruit and vegetables thoroughly before we eat them.

Did you know that a quick rinse under running water doesn’t really remove much of what is on most produce? Even organic or sustainably grown produce can have hidden dangers lurking on their surfaces. And even if you grow your own fruits and vegetables, fertilizers, animals, and unhealthy soil can contaminate even homegrown produce. Washing with a good fruit and vegetable cleanser can help eliminate surface toxic chemical residues, but it’s still better if you can buy organic versions of these twelve fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Peeling a piece of fruit or vegetable is sometimes an option, but that often removes beneficial nutrients.

The Threat of Fertilizers

Pesticides aren’t the only unhealthy element that may be in your fruits and vegetables. Fertilizers are also potentially dangerous. Although they increase the yield of produce, there are often adverse effects from them. At one time, the EPA decided that unwanted, treated sewage sludge from municipal wastewater treatment facilities was legal to give to farmers and anyone else to use as inexpensive “fertilizer” or “compost”. Farms and homes across the country unknowingly spread this sludge-derived fertilizer on their fields, lawns, and gardens. But, it’s been found to be loaded with chemicals and heavy metals.

The Environmental Working Group, who analyzed samples of this sewage sludge, found:

? Over 100 synthetic organic compounds including phthalates, toluene, and chlorobenzene
? Dioxins in sludge from 80 percent or 179 out of 208 systems
? Forty-two different pesticides
? Nine heavy metals, often at high concentrations

Why Rinsing Isn’t Enough Protection

It is impossible to remove all the contaminants mentioned above with just water. Plus, produce is often waxed after harvest to withstand the long time it takes to get to market and to protect it as many hands touch it. The wax seals in pesticide residue and debris, and this makes them very difficult to remove with just water. Thus, to get to and remove the contaminants buried beneath the surface of your vegetables and fruits, you need a cleanser that also removes the wax.

Products

The two-sided Veggie and Fruit Cloth is perfect for scrubbing and polishing fruit and veggies. Rough side for scrubbing, smooth side for polishing. www.Norwex.com

SunSmile® Fruit & Vegetable Rinse cleans dirt, waxy coatings, oily substances, and other undesirable residues from your fruits and vegetables. It even cleans delicate produce like broccoli heads, field greens, and herbs. www.Sunrider.com

Vermont Soap’s Fruit & Veggie Wash For the past hundred years or so we have bombarded ourselves with new chemical combinations on our food, now it’s time to get them clean again.  Apply directly to foods and rinse. Apply to a brush — scrub and rinse. Add to a container of water for root crops and larger volumes. Add just enough Produce Magic to the water to work up a hint of foam. www.vermontsoap.com

Antibiotics: What You Should Know Before Taking

by Judy Soborowicz

Bacteria are the omnipotent creators of ill health in our bodies according to societal paradigms, but are they truly that awful?

Bacteria help us create energy, grab nutrients from our food, and assist our bodies with a host of many other functions, including being an important key to the proper functioning of our immune system. We are, as human beings, dependent upon the bacteria in our gut, on our skin, and throughout our body for survival on this planet. The human body is made up of one human cell per ten bacteria! These bacteria are much smaller but do indeed out-number us, ten bacteria to one human cell. Bacteria are an essential part of our expression of life. Respect for and action toward preserving and nurturing our internal and external ecosystem has been proven to enhance our adaptability and survivability.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises medical practitioners and patients alike emphatically to avoid inappropriate use of antibiotics: “There are risks involved including creating a very vulnerable condition throughout your body by destruction of your own host bacteria,” the CDC states. Antibiotics are very necessary, in more limited cases, than one may imagine. If you doctor is encouraging you not to take a course of antibiotics for a health issue, DO NOT! Studies have shown an increase in prescriptions written when the parent of a patient or the patient themselves put pressure on the doctor to prescribe an unnecessary antibiotic. As a patient, you can choose to treat or not; there are several options your doctor may encourage you to opt into, the primary being a “watch and wait” approach.

Explore alternatives to antibiotics, alternative therapies that are effective in helping your body heal without harming the bacterial ecosystem of your immune system. Chiropractic adjustments focus on the nerve system to enhance all systems of the body, including the immune system. This is one reason why studies show chiropractic patients experience fewer health problems overall and need fewer medications to stay well. Chiropractic doctors are an excellent resource for enhancing and maintaining wellness naturally. Along with giving spinal adjustments, many chiropractors have experience with effective immune-boosting dietary choices or traditional remedies. There are options allowing you to avoid the perils that come along with widespread overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Position your body with your “by design” adaptable immune system against the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Your own bacteria, in concert with your immune system, can adapt and change as rapidly as the resistant bacteria. This adaptability happens constantly and rapidly, allowing defense against a variety of bacterial strains. Antibiotics do not adapt like your immune system does, thus the term antibiotic resistant. Not every immune system challenge (sickness) is a call for rescue. Each challenge you allow your immune system to process, allows it to adapt by fighting it off naturally and enhancing your adaptability. Building the adaptability of your own immune function and safeguarding your “good” bacteria by making effective alternative choices leaves you in better condition to hold fast against the inevitable future sicknesses that your body will encounter.

Many people have utilized antibiotics but may not understand the importance of reversing the long-term negative effects. Antibiotics kill bacteria in your body, and once they are no longer there, these bacteria can no longer protect you from an invasion of your body. Your immune system is designed to keep you from being a vulnerable victim of any random circulating bacteria or germ.

If it is not working as designed and you have to resort to antibiotic help for every infection you get, this is a sign that you may have lost the robust benefit of your own natural immunity. Every person who is exposed to “bad” bacteria does not get sick. Some have become better hosts than others. The objective is to make yourself a poor host by building your immune system. Supplementation with a high-quality probiotic is essential in any person whose immune system has been compromised with inappropriate antibiotic use. Preserving the bacteria in our developing ecosystem by avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics is best wherever possible. Adding probiotic foods such as kefir, yogurt, and fermented foods to our regular healthy diet encourages bacterial balance. Our bacteria are priceless and designed to encourage a proper and effective immune defense, and this translates to greater adaptability and overall health.

Judy Soborowicz practices chiropractic and nutrition at Active Health along with her husband John.  She enjoys writing, researching and lecturing on topics concerning chiropractic, healthcare and experience gained along the way.

Is Your Chronic Health Condition an Undiagnosed Case of Lyme Disease?

by Dr. Alan Lindsley

Many people suffer from a chronic health condition at some point in their life. Often these chronic conditions go undiagnosed for years, and when a diagnosis is finally reached, there seems to be no true identifying factor that triggered the disease process or a true cure. Some of these disease processes carry a genetic factor that, once triggered, can mean a fairly swift decline of health with death following close behind. ALS would be a good example of an inherited genetic problem that once triggered is often fatal within a couple of years. Alzheimer’s would be an example of a disease process that can take up to thirty years before a diagnosis is rendered. The real question that needs to be asked is simply this: Was the disease process started by an exposure to a pathogen (bacteria, parasite, virus) in our tissue that went undetected for years or decades or was it simply due to poor genetics?

Working with patients over the past several years, I have begun to see a direct correlation between chronic cases of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed Lyme disease and the triggering of a chronic disease process that our standard health care model has no answer for at this time. The single most important job of our body is to make energy—enough energy that we can wake up feeling rested and revived, exercise, work, play, digest, repair, and feel well all day long. I often tell my patients that if they are making energy properly, they are not in my office. It is not until we are unable to detoxify, digest, repair, and revive ourselves properly after a full day and a good night of rest that we begin to be concerned. When they seek help, thousands of dollars of testing commonly shows they fall within the standard functioning limits of the tests that were performed or the tests come back negative, and they are often told it is simply in their head and after all “you are not twenty any more”. The molecule used for energy in our body is called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and when we are making energy properly, we make our body weight in ATP every day. When we begin to have problems converting our food to energy, we begin to see inflammation and eventually degeneration in these cells. Eventually the inflammation and degeneration spread from a few cells to the whole tissue or organ involved. The degeneration process may take years to reach a point of deterioration in our body to develop a diagnosable disease, but when a diagnosis is reached it is often difficult to regain full health and normal tissue function. Often at this point a pharmaceutical intervention is used to suppress cell function or the immune system because of an autoimmune condition that has developed. If this fails to control the symptoms, the individual may have the organ or tissue removed permanently. If necessary, a transplant of human or animal tissue may be used to replace the diseased tissue in order to stay alive.

The onset of Lyme disease in the human body is often the starting point for a deeper chronic condition to develop unless it is quickly identified and removed from all tissues of the body. A tick bite is really an injection of several bacteria and parasites into our bodies that we have never seen or dealt with, leaving a lag in our immune system to cope with the onslaught of toxins that they secrete into our tissues. The result is that within a few days we begin to feel symptoms (fatigue, sweats, painful and swollen joints, mental confusion, headaches, to name just a few). What just happened to all of our energy? When these symptoms overtake us, we are really dealing with something blocking our ability to make energy and toxins building up in our tissues faster than we can remove them.

The main toxin secreted from bacteria and parasites associated with Lyme is ammonia. Ammonia has a pH of 11.46, making it 46,000 times more alkaline than our normal human tissue. This deadly neurotoxin not only causes blocks in the energy system, it also causes damage to tissue where it accumulates. The first symptoms of ammonia increasing in the brain tissue are headaches and pressure, along with behavioral changes such as anxiety, depression, and short-term memory interference and word search. Sleep patterns also shift to awakening four to five hours into a night sleep with little restful sleep past 3:00 a.m. The twitching of tissue that is not muscle cramping is also common with high levels of ammonia affecting neurological tissue. These pockets of ammonia toxin will not be seen in a blood test for ammonia because they are held at high levels only in the brain tissue due to the blood-brain barrier and synovial fluids of the joints. The ammonia toxin interferes with energy production due to an increase in pH of the tissue slowing normal enzyme functions, making it incredibly hard for normal tissue repair. Inflammation begins to increase in these tissues, and the functional levels of the all tissues exposed begin to decrease to the point of permanent degeneration over time.

When these early symptoms are treated with prescriptions instead of being identified as an energy deficiency in the tissue, we begin to see permanent neurological changes take place in the central nervous system (CNS) that can now be seen on MRI or other types of imaging devices. The sclerosis of these tissues in the CNS often creates a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s.

Muscle tissue that is painful and fibrous due to the inability to make energy can also be thrown into this disease category. Fibromyalgia (FM) is simply fibrous muscle pain. Any time muscle tissue does not make enough energy, it simply begins to create a fibrous feel. Calcium causes contraction of muscle tissue and magnesium causes relaxation of muscle tissue. Muscle tissue that is fibrous and painful is not making enough energy to completely remove the toxins and for all fibers in the tissue to reach a relaxed length could be diagnosed as FM. There are no drugs that will fix this problem, but they are often prescribed to decrease the symptoms. Restless leg syndrome or a chronic fatigue diagnosis may be rendered if the muscle pain or fatigue last longer than six months or if the muscle itself begins to move uncontrollably. The same is often done for joint tissue. Inflammation followed by the inability to repair the joint tissue is called arthritis. Arthritis simply means “joint inflammation”. Pick your type of arthritis: juvenile, rheumatoid, infective, or osteo. All four end up destroying the joint tissue and eventually are followed by a joint replacement. We now commonly see ALS diagnosis in patients in their thirties, joint replacement candidates in their thirties, and people suffering from forms of dementia in their forties. These diseases used to be diseases of people nearing the end of their life not in the prime of their life!

A hidden case of Lyme disease will create many of the diagnosable diseases listed above. In fact someone with Lyme disease can have several of these diagnoses at one time. The common factor that is overlooked time after time is simply understanding why the tissue is not making energy, finding the blockage of energy, and removing it, allowing the tissue to begin to repair and resume normal function. Simply diagnosing the end stage disease is a degenerative-sickness care model not a health care model.

Muscle testing and kinesiology are two methods of functional testing to detect the problems earlier.

Dr Lindsley is a former Lyme disease sufferer that has been studying natural approaches to help patients remove the source of the toxins from invading bacteria and parasites while naturally boosting their immume systems.  He is currently working on a book to help others educate themselves on effective natural approaches to heal themselves from Lyme disease.