The 1000th Straw

August 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

In our practice we often hear the following: “I only just…”  What follows this is something simple like, “picked up a sock” or “bent over in the shower” or “sneezed”!

What our clients are trying to convey is that a seemingly simple and non-taxing movement or action has created a disproportionate level of pain and discomfort somewhere in their body. They are trying to justify how this small thing could have created such a big response in their body. What they are saying is “the straw that broke the camel’s back” but what they are really describing is the 1000th straw!

When we think of the body and all its influences, it is too simplistic to think that one little action could create such a response.

This limited view holds many assumptions:

  1. That the body is fickle and easily effected.
  2. That the body cannot compensate and auto-correct.
  3. That we must be “careful” of all that we do, just in case we upset the balance.

What we know about the body is that it is in a constant state of auto-correction and compensation with its environment. This is a balance and the closer that we are to ideal health and environment the more able it is to perform this natural functioning.

What happens then to a system that is out of harmony and already carrying a great load? It becomes sensitive to even the slightest alteration and less able to adapt to its environment. Hence, the camel analogy. All the stressors or straws are loaded on it making it less mobile, agile and adaptable. These take many forms and fit into the physical, chemical and emotional realm and they can be accumulative if not removed. Then along comes the 1000th one, that is more than the system can bear and there goes the camel!

This analogy can be a great tool in explaining several concepts:

  1. The straws or stressors are asymptomatic until the system hits its threshold and creates a reaction.
  2. Spinal misalignments can act as straws and can be created by other straws.
  3. Chiropractic adjustments and good lifestyle choices remove straws and lighten the load.
  4. Your health is determined by your environment (physical, chemical and emotional).
  5. Health is all encompassing and your body’s ability to maintain balance is dependent on attention to multiple factors.

Reference: Powerful Practices.


Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation

August 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

My friend (and client), Jeremy, recently came out of brain surgery for a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

He’s now sporting a pretty wicked scar from the event and was kind enough to share it with us.

An AVM is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain.

The most frequently observed problems related to an AVM are headaches and seizures, but at least 15% of the population at detection have no symptoms at all.

Jeremy had no idea he had an AVM until a seizure whilst on holiday.

Other common symptoms are a pulsing noise in the head, progressive weakness, numbness, vision changes, as well as debilitating, excruciating pain. In serious cases, the blood vessels rupture and there is bleeding within the brain.

Chocolate found to boost brain health in seniors

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

Good news: drinking a cocoa-rich beverage or biting a chunk of rich, dark chocolate every day may help brain health in older adults, a new study shows.

The study, recently published in the journal Hypertension looked at data from 90 seniors who already had mild cognitive impairment, which often includes difficulty with memory, language, thinking, or judgement.

For eight weeks, subjects drank a cocoa drink that had high, medium, or low amounts of antioxidants called flavanols. Those who drank high and medium levels of flavanols in their cocoa outperformed those who consumed low doses on tests of attention and other mental skills.

Head researcher Dr. Giovambattista Desideri, of the University of L’Aquila in Italy, said: “This study provides encouraging evidence that consuming cocoa flavanols, as a part of a calorie controlled and nutritionally balanced diet, could improve cognitive function.”

“We can’t say, eat chocolate every day,” said neurologist and Alzheimer’s disease researcher Marc L. Gordon, MD, of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, NY. “People need to be very careful about making broad-based dietary changes based on one study.”

The research was funded by candy giant Mars, Inc., which has sponsored numerous studies examining the health benefits of cocoa flavanols. Other studies have linked dark chocolate with helping to protect against intestinal diseases like colon cancer, as well as a reduced risk of developing heart disease.

Reference: Hypertension. American Heart Association. July 30, 2012. doi: 10.1161.

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