Dr. G's Blog
A year and a half ago I suffered a major injury during an ice hockey game. Myself and another player collided and bounced off of each other. I came up off the ice at impact and landed on my back and head. Luckily I had full ice hockey equipment on including a helmet. I continued the game but had a slight headache and soon realized that I was having some confusion issues. In retrospect, I should NOT have continued playing as I obviously had a mild concussion.
The next day my right shoulder and neck drew together in a nasty spasm. For the first time, I had to take off work for myself. I saw my chiropractor a few times. My first mistake was that I should have gone to see him quite a bit more at that time. I guess because he was seeing me as a "professional courtesy" and not charging me as a fellow chiropractor, I didn't want to "wear out my welcome." That was dumb. I needed treatment, and I needed a lot of it.
Over the past year and a half I have had off and on issues with my right side of my neck, shoulder, and between my shoulder blades on the right side. My husband has tried to massage out the muscle spasms, but they kept returning. The biggest wake up call was a few weeks ago when I started to have pain in my chest and through to my back when swallowing liquids. I contacted my chiropractor with my theory and he agreed. My injury had started to manifest into something far worse and it was affecting my spinal accessory nerve and possibly my Vagus nerve which are two very important cranial nerves located in the brain stem.
I can't help but wonder what might have happened had I not known about chiropractic care. I imagine it would've gone something like this:
-----BEGIN HYPOTHETICAL MANIFESTATION-----
I would first be referred to a gastroenterologist for an upper endoscopy, put on medication for reflux or the like and when that didn't work, told they couldn't figure out what my problem was and that it must be "in my head." The pain may have become significant enough that I could drop a significant amount of weight.
Eventually the spasms (and what I now know was a severe misalignment of my occiput on my first cervical vertebrae as a direct result of the impact) may have manifested as a complete frozen shoulder syndrome on the right side. I would have received more medications such as muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, and pain pills. I likely would've been referred for physical therapy for my shoulder that never would have resolved the issue because the original cause (the occipital bone at the base of the skull affecting the spinal accessory nerve) would not have been corrected.
Later, the pain may have increased to the point of having to be on long-term narcotic pain medications and the loss of the ability to work or care for my family as before and (quite possibly) a psychiatric evaluation. These are the types of cases that I rarely see because people are not aware of what Chiropractic can do and they get stuck in the allopathic (M.D.) treatment model.
-----END HYPOTHETICAL MANIFESTATION-----
Another thing that bothered me was that my husband mentioned that, for the past year and a half, my posture has been terrible. He could tell that I was compensating for my injury by rolling my right shoulder forward. My gorgeous husband has the best posture of anybody I've ever seen so the VAIN part of me was completely embarrassed. A chiropractor with terrible posture?
I asked a colleague of mine at one of our board meetings about my injury. She quickly evaluated and gave her opinion of what specific type of adjusting would most benefit me. She referred me to a doctor that does just that type of adjusting in Dallas. I saw this doctor just last week and I'm significantly improved already. I have to get some very specific X-rays and continue treatment for a few more weeks, but my progress already is very encouraging.
Posture can show a lot about what is going on with a patient. In less than five seconds, my new doctor was able to diagnose exactly what was going on in the most important part of my spine by looking at my posture: the way my head was tilted and rotated, my shoulder rotated inward, and my hips and knees compensating for what my upper body was doing. He was then able to skillfully correct the primary cause of these compensations instantly improving my condition.
I'm trying to retrain myself to have good posture again since I have been compensating for my injury for so long. It's a difficult habit to break! I'm using an upper back brace similar to what you use when you have a collarbone fracture to help remind me to sit up with my shoulders back. The downfall is that it sort of looks like a shoulder gun holster so I've been getting some funny looks! I am also applying some breathing techniques that my doctor suggested.
I will continue to expand my knowledge base for the benefit of my patients' care. The doctor who is currently treating me happens to hold seminars on the specific type of evaluation and adjusting techniques that he uses in his practice. I plan to study his methods and help other patients with similar issues. We are always learning. When we stop learning and challenging ourselves we stop living. I intend to learn all my life.
So, I will admit to everyone that this newlywed has another love in her life. My husband approves it even. That love is yoga!
After having various injuries playing ice hockey: wrist sprain, bruised tailbone, minor concussion, whiplash (which I still occasionally struggle with), I JOKED that I should take up yoga in lieu of ice hockey. Well, I tried it and I am hooked like an addict! I had my first class last Monday and then proceeded to sign up for 4 additional classes just last week!
If you think yoga is just a bunch of hippies stretching (confession: that's what I used to think! HA!), then you are dead wrong (as was I)! The benefits of yoga are countless. It can increase lung capacity (deep breathing), decrease anxiety, increase flexibility, increase strength, increase balance, decrease stress hormones, and there's more where that came from! I was comfortably sore into the weekend. I was not so sore that I couldn't do yoga the next day but sore enough to know that I got a great, full body workout!
Another great thing about yoga is that it can be practically free. Now for me (and like most people), I tend to need a push. If I am signed up for a class and/or have friends expecting me, I'm more likely to do something. Many yoga studios offer discounts for package pricing or even a fee for unlimited classes. For someone who doesn't want to or is unable to pay for classes, a yoga mat (or towel or rug) and an internet connection is all that's really necessary as there are plenty of free videos out there that can get you started. I do recommend going to a few classes or private sessions to make sure you are using the correct form as to prevent injuries. A trained yoga instructor knows how to teach the correct form.
Secret: My hubs has joined me in my new hobby and that manly goaltender is enjoying it too! He said that he was breathing better and had more flexibility at his hockey game last night!
If you are looking for a low impact workout with big results then you may be a yoga addict too!
I've had several patients in the last week inform me that family or friends begged them not to go to their Chiropractic appointment this week. Luckily I haven't had a mass exodus from my practice and neither have any of my colleagues. The patients that mentioned this laughed it off as they understand what I do and how careful I am.
So how common is DEATH by CHIROPRACTIC?
If you know me, you know I LOVE analogies so I'll explain that way.
How many car wrecks happen in a day in the U.S.?
How many plane crashes happen in a day in the U.S.?
If a plane crashes, we see a story about it on the news, but there are SO many car crashes that unless it's something incredibly significant or part of the traffic report, we don't hear about it.
It's the same thing with this unfortunate incident. Every day thousands of people die from medication interactions or complications from surgeries and other medical procedures, but we don't hear about it. It's a fairly common occurrence. It is extremely rare for someone to die as a result of a Chiropractic adjustment, so if it happens, we hear about it.
Things that are rare and different make the news. Period.
In the case of this young woman, she had a fall at a photo shoot and hurt her neck. Now did the Doctor of Chiropractic do his/her due diligence to perform a very specific orthopedic test to rule out the complication that MIGHT have caused this chain of events after her adjustment? Did she give him/her all of the information? It's not terribly uncommon for a patient to downplay an accident or withhold certain information especially when dealing with an on-the-job injury. Maybe the doctor, given the information at hand, didn't feel certain orthopedic testing was necessary. Maybe the fall itself caused an injury to the artery that would have caused the stroke with or without the Chiropractic adjustment.
Bottom line. Tragic things happen in life. Mistakes are made by all sorts of practitioners and professionals. Some mistakes are FAR more rare than others, including a stroke caused by a Chiropractic adjustment. Regardless, be sure to disclose information to someone who is trying to evaluate or treat you and educate yourself on the treatment given. Just like in allopathic medicine, there are low-risk and high-risk treatments. Many Doctors of Chiropractic are trained in multiple types of adjusting techniques if you are not comfortable with traditional manual manipulation. There are possible risks or side effects to any type of treatment. Educate yourself.
I plan to write a blog soon about Allopathic Medicine vs. Chiropractic if this interests you. Stay tuned for that! I will add the link to this page.
Want to Lose Fat? Eat fat! Let's talk about this. But first? Let's get some free peanut butter.
Click this link or the photo to the right to get a free tub of Justin's Peanut butter from Thrive Market:http://go.thrv.me/aff_c?offer_id=39&aff_id=14485
Justin's peanut butter is the best peanut butter on the planet. It contains peanuts and palm oil. That's it! Peanut butter should NOT have sugar in it! There is no need! We go through a tub of this stuff about once a week at our house - we have a lot of kids and I also REALLY like peanut butter. If I'm feeling snacky, I grab a big spoonful of it and eat it straight.
Peanut butter is a good source of protein and fat. We were lied to in the 80s and 90s and told that fat was bad. The truth is that if you want to lose fat, EAT FAT! If your body doesn't get enough fat, it will HOARD fat in a not so sexy way. If you have a healthy diet with a regular, proper amount of fat, your body will let go of excess fat because it CAN (because it doesn't have the need to hoard on your belly or butt). Now I don't mean eat fried chicken and french fries, of course! But pan fry your green beans in some Kerrygold butter, roast a cauliflower with 4 Tbs of coconut oil, or grab a spoonful of peanut butter as a snack all you want!
My favorite quick meal is a recipe we simply call Bacon & Kale.
3 strips of bacon
1 bunch of kale (tear the leaves off the ribs and rip into smaller pieces)
Cook your bacon, set aside. Let the bacon grease cool a few minutes in the pan off the burner. Place the pan back on the burner and CAREFULLY add the kale to the bacon grease (if it's too hot still it may pop a little). Sprinkle with salt and curry to taste. Continue cooking for about 5-6 minutes.
Perfect. Meal. This meal is low carb, high protein and fat. It's what you might call a ketogenic meal which is part of a diet with a sure bet to help you lose weight efficiently. More on that this weekend.
As a mom (and stepmom) of 4, I am constantly thinking about ways that I can teach these munchkins life skills that they can use when they leave the nest. It will only be 3 years until E is officially an "adult." YIKES!!! Dinner used to be a daunting task - especially trying to make healthy meals that everyone will actually eat without complaint.
I got creative and now have my kids shopping and cooking, cleaning up after themselves, and the best... wait for it… NOT WHINING about what's for dinner!!!
Hint: If they COOK the veggies, they are almost 100% guaranteed to EAT them. Try it!!
So tonight we went to the store and the 2 I had at home today got assigned grocery items to pick up. The 3 of us gathered our items and met at the checkout area. My 6-year old got the produce (some easy things), the teen got the things I knew would be too difficult for the girl, and I got the items that I have picky preferences on (the noodles and the sauce).
The recipe they made is below. It was easy and kid-friendly. Usually we are heavy on the veggies, but tonight we were thinking fast and easy. It fed a 6-year old, a hungry 15-year old hockey player, and myself with 1 serving of leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow.
1 package of Ancient Harvest Quinoa noodles (see link to the right)
1 jar of sauce (see link below)
1 package of Italian sausage
You could also add a veggie such as sautéed broccoli. We were hungry and in a hurry.
Miss M was in charge of the noodles. E was in charge of the meat.
E actually came up with the idea to remove the casings on the sausage and make meatballs. He poured some olive oil in a pan and browned the meatballs. He learned a quick lesson in temperature - he had it on HIGH at first and burned the outside a bit, but he corrected the issue and they turned out just fine. He then helped Miss M strain the noodles and together they mixed in the sauce, meatballs and noodles together.
I was very proud of my little duo. They did a great job, were very polite and helpful to one another, and looked like that had a sense of teamwork. They were so proud of themselves that they were discussing what their next recipe would be so we made a meal plan for the week.