I have spent my entire career in the healing arts. First, armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, I spent several years working in various positions in a locked, acute emergency care, psychiatric facility.
After becoming disillusioned by the society’s ability to come to grips with mental illness and the reliance on pharmacology as it’s fundamentally single approach, I experienced a period of personal growth after starting Tai Chi and meditation. I learned of and became trained as a Biofeedback Therapist. Using applied psychophysiology (read: mind-body connection), I spent the next decade teaching people how to control pain and overcome anxiety by use their minds to better control their bodies. The outcomes were great and the work rewarding.
When I later learned in chiropractic school that classic chiropractic philosophy states that, as chiropractors we believe that an Innate Intelligence organizes and flows through the body… that resonated with me. I am not particularly religious but I do believe that we are spiritual beings having a human/physical experience.
I also learned that at about the same time that modern chiropractic was being developed and codified (about 100 years ago), a debate raged in scientific circles regarding the nature of life and its creation/creator. Indeed, I’m sure this debate impacted Drs. D.D. and B.J. Palmer and others in the early days of our profession.
In this struggle, there were two very different and opposing views, one might go as far as to call them world views: mechanism vs. vitalism. The mechanistic community believed that the universe was a giant machine, set into place by mere chance and sheer accident (Classic Newtonian physics), and therefore anything that could not be examined, measured or explained in that context was superstition and unreal. Vitalists, on the other hand, believed that there was a special quality to life beyond mere “action/reaction”, that other unseen forces may be at play and that implied the existence of some cosmic designer/creator. Sadly, this became a not-so-subtle platform for debating the very existence of God.
In the end, the mechanistic viewpoint eventually won out. (Or is it the end?) One reason that the debate was put to rest was because given the primitive state of technology at the time, certain currencies, frequencies and other measurements were unheard of at the time. Microcurrents were considered totally inconsequential. We now know, 100 years later, (with all of our integrated circuit chips functioning on microvolts; cell phones, desktop and laptop computers, etc.), just how powerful these microcurrents can be in our lives. We also know much more about the electroimpulses of the brain and of the heart and that these are self-generating. But to 19th century scientists, none of this existed therefore, no evidence existed. And so, this is how the sociopolitical opinion gradually shifted to an accidental and incorrect view that the mechanistic view is the only viable scientific approach of value. The vitalists were dismissed or merely ignored. Research direction and money flowed only to the model that supported this biomechanical view and therefore reinforced itself over time.
But the story isn’t over. New thinking in the world of quantum physics has lead to a reexamination of this once settled argument. The vitalistic paradigm has been resurrected, partly out of growing research being done overseas and partly out of a failure of the mechanistic approach in many cases to improve the quality of life for those suffering.
Having spanned the bridge both professionally and personally, I posit that chiropractors are uniquely qualified and positioned to lead the charge in the public demand for more encompassing health care. Our study of the mechanistic physical aspects of the neuromusculoskeltal system and our philosophy that joins a Universal and Innate Intelligence puts us right at the bridge of this ongoing debate. For more information on how I personally work with the subtle energies to promote greater health and genuine healing please feel free to visit our webpage at www.collegevillechiropractic.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
- May 31st, 2013
The holidays have passed and all the hoopla and running around is past. Its cold and the days are short. This is when many become susceptible to the “Winter Blues”. However, for many people these short dark days can bring on something more significant. Although we have past the winter solstice and are moving back toward the light, we spend much of the time without significant sunlight during the winter months.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, as many as 25% of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD to varying degrees.
SAD is a depression brought on by a decreased exposure to light. Sad has a long list of symptoms which may occur in any combinations including, fatigue, weight gain, oversleep, decreased motivation to socialize, and comfort food cravings. If you simply find yourself not enjoying the things that you normally do…that too is a common sign.
While still being investigated, researchers are considering a gene mutation in the retina of the eye as a possible explanation for the condition. The mutated gene causes an imbalance in the pineal gland. This in turn leads to increase secretion of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep regulation.
What You Can Do
- Increase your exposure…Get more light
“Light therapy is the most effective way to treat SAD,” says Stephen Josephson, Ph.D., clinical associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.” Just buy a light box and sit in front of it for about 30 minutes each morning .” Even cheaper….sit in front of a window facing the sun [that’s what I have started doing and I can feel the difference!]
- Forget The Shades
The eyes play a crucial role in regulating the biochemistry and rhythms of the brain and body. “For some people, their retinas are insensitive and therefore need more light to maintain normal functionality .”, Josephson says. The more early morning sunlight that enters your eyes, the less melatonin your body produces, making you less lethargic for the rest of the day!
- Cut the Carbs
Seasonal Affective Disorder brings with it a major diet wrecking symptom: the urge for high carb foods! Be on guard…”It’s like a drug,” Josephson explains. ” There may be some short term anti-anxiety effects, but over time it has some negative effects, too.” Don’t let a sudden urge derail your long term health and fitness goals.
Josephson states, “Inactivity hurts anyone prone to mood problems, Activities that make you feel accomplished or productive are helpful.” “The effects of exercise on mood is well documented. You have to exercise every day to see an effect on depression,” he adds.
Use these helpful tips to stay energized and happy…and don’t forget the effects of regular chiropractic adjustments have in helping your brain and body communicate!
Treat Holiday Shopping as an Athletic
• Stay hydrated! Drink eight to ten 8-ounce
glasses of water a day. (Coffee, tea, soft drinks
and alcohol are diuretics/dehydrators. Don’t
substitute them for water.) On shopping days,
you may need to drink even more water. Be
sure to stretch before and after a long day of
• When you are stressed-out, your muscles are
less flexible than usual.
• Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning in the
soles to absorb the impact of walking on those
hard shopping mall floors. According to recent
studies, 60% of women report wearing shoes
that are uncomfortable.
• Make sure the clothing you wear is as comfortable
as possible. It’s a good idea to wear layers,
because you may be going from a cold
environment (outdoors) to a warm environment
• Leave your purse at home. Wear a light fanny
pack, or if necessary, a light backpack instead.
Pack only those items that are absolutely
essential (driver’s license, credit card, etc.).
• If you start to feel some pain, nip it in the bud.
Apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20
minutes, then take it off for a couple of hours.
Repeat a couple of times each day over the
next day or two.
“During the holiday season, we’re running at absolute
maximum capacity, which can lead to stress and even
depression,” says Dr. Bautch. “Why do so many
people become depressed around the holidays? We
need to stretch and stay hydrated to increase our
capacity, so we are not overwhelmed by the activities
of the season.”
Plan Frequent Breaks During Your
• During a day of heavy shopping, most people
should take a break every 45 minutes. Those
with less stamina may even need to take a
break every 20-30 minutes. If you work in a
physically demanding job where you are accustomed
to being on your feet most of the day,
you may be able to get away with taking less
• If possible, obtain a locker. Lockers can help
cut down dramatically on how much you have
to carry around. You can take a load off by
scheduling trips to your locker into your breaks.
• If your mall or shopping center doesn’t offer
lockers, try to plan trips to your car. Don’t carry
around more than is absolutely necessary at
• When taking breaks, try to eat light foods. A
salad and some fruit is a much better option
than a burger and fries.
• Skip the coffee break! Coffee and sodas contain
caffeine and sugar, which add even more
stress to your body. Pass on the designer coffee
at the java stand and keep drinking water.
“We actually need to eat better than normal during the
holiday season,” explains Dr. Bautch. “On average,
people gain five to six pounds during the holidays. And
heart attacks occur more often during the holidays as
well. Eating a heavy meal and then running out on an
exhausting shopping trip can be very dangerous.”
Shopping With Children
• If at all possible, DO NOT bring a child or children
along on a holiday shopping trip. Most
children simply do not have the stamina for
such an event, and you and your child will only
become frustrated with one another. Don’t add
this type of stress to an already stressful situation.
• Try to split “child duty” up with a spouse or
another parent. They’ll watch your kids while
you shop, and vice-versa.
“Shopping with children is just a bad idea,” says Dr.
Bautch. “If your hands are loaded with shopping bags,
you may not be able to hold your child’s hand, which
could increase the chances he or she might wander
away from you. Take whatever steps necessary to not
have to bring your child along.”
Wrapping Your Gifts
• Since there is no “ideal” position for wrapping
gifts, the most important thing to remember is
to vary your positions. For example, try standing
at a table or countertop for one package,
sitting on a bed for another, sitting in a comfortable
chair for another, etc.
• Do not wrap packages while sitting on the
floor. Wrapping packages while sitting on a
hard floor can wreak havoc on your posture,
and should be avoided.
• Always stretch before and after you wrap gifts.
“When wrapping presents, it’s a good idea to ‘stretch
the opposites,’” says Dr. Bautch. “In other words, if
you are leaning forward when wrapping your gifts,
stretch backward when you are done.”
For more information on prevention and wellness, or to
schedule an appointment call 610-489-3600.
This patient information page is a public service of the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association. The
information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a
substitute for a diagnosis by a specialist. For specific information concerning your health condition, consult your
doctor of chiropractic. This page may be reproduced noncommercially by doctors of chiropractic and other
healthcare professionals to educate patients. Any other reproduction is subject to ACA approval.
- October 1st, 2012
Autumn has arrived and who doesn’t revel in the change of the seasons? Cooler days, colorful foliage, long sleeves and jackets, hot cider, football, and of course..the yard work!
Some may view it as a chore…especially if you have neither kids nor grand-kids to remind you of the simple joys to be found by jumping in a pile of leaves!
In our area, October is prime leaf-raking season. Leaf raking is a glorious way to spend one of those crisp Saturday afternoons. And while leaf raking is one of the hallmarks of fall activities, sadly, it’s also one of the most common ways to hurt your back this season. Cleaning up after the celebrating of of that fall foliage can easily lead to sprains, strains and subluxations.
To avoid that fate, follow these easy tips the next time you head out to rake:
Warm-up: Leaf raking is a form of exercise; and like any exercise activity, you should make sure that your muscles are ready for the work out. You should think especially about lightly stretching the muscles that support the low back and of course, any muscle involved in the actual raking (arms, shoulders).
Here are some easy stretches you can do for your low back to prepare for leaf raking. Just take 5 minutes and get your body ready.
Posture: Staying hunched over while raking is simply not good for your back. That posture places extra strain on your low back and makes it more likely that you’ll injure yourself.
Your spine has natural curves that are there to distribute your weight evenly and make it easier for you to move. For example, your low back (lumbar spine) naturally curves inward. Poor raking posture rounds your low back more than it’s used to, potentially leading to pain.
You should maintain those spinal curves while raking—but how do you know if you’re doing that? It’s not like you can stand perfectly straight while trying to make your yard look perfect.
Here’s one way: If you find yourself thinking, “Whoa, my back!” when you take a break from raking, you’re probably not using your spine correctly. If that happens mid-raking, do some more stretches.
And then when you go back to raking, try to avoid that hunched over posture. Rake, straighten up. Rake, straighten up. That should be your plan of attack to avoid putting too much strain on your low back. So many people rake with this pattern: rake, rake, rake, rake, rake, rake, rake, rake…look, I went super fast and made a huge pile! Whoa, my back!
Rake, straighten up. Rake, straighten up. Slow and steady.
Twist: There are leaves all around you, so what’s the most efficient way to reach all of them? Well, most rakers go for the stand in one place and twist approach, which isn’t bad overall.
But if you twist more with your low back—leaving your feet more or less planted—you’re relying too much on your spine. Let your feet and hips do some of the work! When raking, you should rotate by moving from your hips and shuffling your feet.
Relax: You do not have to do the entire yard in 15 minutes. In fact, you really should make leaf raking a leisurely activity. Rake for 10 to 15 minutes, and then take a break. On your break, make sure you hydrate—with water. You can reward yourself with some hot apple cider for after you’re done and you’re sitting on the porch admiring your handiwork…which most likely, will be covered by leaves again by this time tomorrow.
It’s important to take raking breaks because such a burst of high-intensity physical activity can lead to injury, especially low back injury.
You can get through fall with a healthy back and a raked yard. If, however, you already have back pain and don’t know if you can handle raking, just do what I do: Hire somebody else. That leaves you more time for going to pumpkin patches and corn mazes.
Updated on: 10/1/12
- September 10th, 2012
1) Get A Good Night’s Sleep…
Studies show that only a small minority of school students (as well as the general population) get a full nights rest. It is recommended that students get a full 8 hours sleep.
2) Don’t Skip Breakfast…
We all know that it is the most important meal of the day…Students need nourishment to fuel to all that mental activity.
3) How to Pack a Backpack
– The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends limiting the backpack’s weight to no more than 10 percent of the child’s body weight.
– Try to distribute weight evenly, using all compartments.
– Pack only essential supplies… leave non-essential items at home or at school.
How to Wear a Backpack
– Use both shoulder straps.
– Tighten the straps so the pack fits close to the body.
– The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline, says the ACA.
4) Get Your Students A Chiropractic Check-up…
All Students should get a chiropractic check-up at least 4 times a year. Student’s skeletal systems are still developing and care of the frame is of utmost importance for physical health for the rest of their lives. Remember: As the twig is bent, so grows the tree!
- May 22nd, 2012