Refocus in Four Steps

July 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

These four steps are adapted from Success Magazine and are quite easy, but I will also add how I manage my own focus.

The average person loses focus every six to ten seconds. When you find yourself drifting, recognise it and make a conscious effort to set yourself back on course. Here are four ways to refocus yourself:

  1. Start writing a to-do list. Just the cathartic act of writing down what you need to do will help you get back on track.
  2. Dive into your email. If you’re a deadline-driven person and find yourself without something pressing to do that minute, checking your backlog of unaddressed emails will help refocus that sense of urgency.
  3. Get up and walk around. Fresh air, a drink of water or a little conversation will help reset your mind for your next wave of productivity.
  4. Do something easy, that you know you’ll do well. That sense of accomplishment will help propel you into harder tasks on your to-do list.

There’s nothing worse than feeling overwhelmed to the point where you feel paralysed, do nothing, or go do something completely off task instead.

Time management is not as important as energy management. If I have more energy during focused blocks of time, I tend to get more done and the quality of that work is higher. This is principally why my practice hours are set the way they are. Like an athlete who gets “in the zone” for a two hour game, this is how I block my performance times. When I’m in practice, interfacing with people, I’m not thinking about anything else to do with the business. In fact, I don’t get any “work” done – all the stuff that drives the business. What happens during practice hours is the “show”, and all the preparation and rehearsing occurs during the other hours of the week: Meetings, research, case preparation, web work, study, phone calls, speeches, powerpoints, marketing, planning, envisioning, et cetera. Read more

Cholesterol drugs today’s Vitamin C?

July 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

The question is: Are cholesterol drugs really useful for disease prevention? Answer: No.

In this article, the authors address the question of “all-cause mortality” and statin use among persons who do not have a history of cardiovascular disease. The current mind set in primary care medicine is that statins (cholesterol drugs) are this generation’s Vitamin C: “It cures what ails ya”.

The direct-to-consumer ads quickly gloss over the idea that statins are, by their own data, useful in the presence of certain risk factors, but the impression that is left and the attitude assumed by many physicians is why wait for the symptoms, let’s use these things now and we will never get to the symptom level. In the words of the study, “Our objective was to reliably determine if statin therapy reduces all-cause mortality among intermediate to high-risk individuals without a history of cardiovascular disease.”

Again, in their words from the Data Synthesis portion of the abstract: “Data were available on 65,229 participants followed for approximately 244,000 person-years, during which 2,793 deaths occurred. The use of statins in this high-risk primary prevention setting was not associated with a statistically significant reduction (risk ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.83-1.01) in the risk of all-cause mortality.”

“Conclusion: This literature-based meta-analysis did not find evidence for the benefit of statin therapy on all-cause mortality in a high-risk primary prevention set-up.”

So does the risk of side effects, long term, outweigh the benefits? Always have a thorough understanding of what you’re putting through your lips. Download this PDF on useful links to understanding cholesterol drugs.

Reference: Ray, K. et al., Statins and All-Cause Mortality in High-Risk Primary Prevention. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010. Vol. 170 No. 12.

Finding an Alternative

July 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

by Alexis Fletcher, Midwife, Spinewave client.

I’ve always said that what’s “alternative” depends on your own priority list. With everything I’ve come to understand about health, function and what different health services provide, medical is definitely the “alternative” because I have yet to meet a client who puts their hand up for drugs and surgery as a first choice when looking to resolve a problem.

This is a great article by Alexis Fletcher, a Spinewave client, on finding an alternative…


During my last clinical block I have attended more antenatal (before birth) appointments than my fingers and toes can account for. Recently, I have been struck by the number of women newly arriving on my midwife’s doorstep having not found the right midwife for them. I pondered for a while what finding the right professional means in terms of the profession itself. For these women they could have disregarded midwifery care altogether. But because midwifery care in New Zealand straddles the fence between medicalisation and alternative, the socially accepted medical model enables women to seek another when the first did not work out. Much like finding a new G.P if your previous experience was unfavourable. Why don’t others do the same when seeking physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, or any other “alternative” health care provider?

Firstly, alternative is defined as pertaining to unconventional choices and conventional is conforming with accepted standards; therefore alternative is pertaining to something not considered socially acceptable. Secondly, one must understand why other health care providers are considered an unconventional choice and what/who decided that the medical model was the accepted standard in the first place? Whilst I would love to say “x” day was when society deemed medicine as the forefront of health care/promotion, societal changes and influences are not so definitively clear cut. What I can say is that society’s medicalisation justification has seen a shift in the way people rationalise their own health and how professions are categorised. The medical model has such an influential hold over health care that finding someone medical didn’t work the first time was not because medicine doesn’t work, it’s because the professional wasn’t right for the person involved. Yet on the other side of that equation, people accredit one session or program from an alternative provider not working… to that profession not working. And this is purely down to the mindset people receive from day one. Read more

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