Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poppin' Pills

So here's a little fact to get started.  Did you know that in 1970, there were 2 Billion pills prescribed in the US? Seems like quite a bit right?  But, in 2007, there were 113 Billion pills prescribed!  So, that must mean as a society as a whole, we're getting healthier right?  Not quite.

Chronic diseases (Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, heart disease, etc.) have been on an exponential rise for the past few decades.  We've also seem a new epidemic never witnessed before in the event of Childhood Obesity.  And, of course, these problems aren't just due to the over-prescription of medication, it also has to do with poor diet, lack of exercise, environmental toxins, and the like, but I think that the Rx meds have a little to do with it as well.

If you watch even only half an hour of TV per day, chances are you see at least one commercial for a new prescription medication.  What I want you to do next times is block out all the fancy "benefits", catchy music, and bright colors aimed at making you want to try the new drug.  Just listen for the boring drone of the side effects voice and see how "good" of a thing those drugs can be.  In fact, most drugs have serious side effects that need another drug prscribed with it to counter-effect the acts of the first drug.  Also, most of the time, many of the side effects of drugs sound like symptoms of chronic diseases.

So, you tell me, do you think there might be a slight connection between the two?  The fact is, the American society as a whole is a reactionary society when it comes to health.  If something's broke, fix it.  Don't worry about trying to prevent something bad from happening.  Prevention is what Chiropractic is all about.  Maintaining health is what Chiropractic is all about.  Eating what's good for your body, exercising, and keeping a positive mental outlook will help prevent most, if not all' of these chronic diseases from happening in the first place.

All the information you need is actually already there.  It's inborn into your brain.  All lot of the time, if you sit down and use common sense about what your body needs, you'll be able to make the right choice.

If anyone's interested in a good book to look into, check out Overdosed America.  It delves way more in to the topic than I can in the blog.

Disclaimer:  This should in no way be a recommendation to stop taking any of your prescribed medicine.  There is a time and place for some.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Breakdown on GMOs

This week's blogpost brings awareness to another acronym that doesn't get much press but is most likely a part of all Americans' life.  GMO.  GMO stands for genetically modified organism.  There's also GEO, or genetically engineered organism, which is essentially the same thing.  The reason that I wanted to talk about GMOs today is because we consume a lot of them in our diet without even knowing it.

Many food products and additives today are made from plants that are GMOs.  Now, this doesn't sound so harmful in and of itself, until you to start to look into what a GMO plant is.  If you look into the side that supports GMOs, they will say that they are able to produce bigger and better yields of the crop.  This is true about the bigger crop, but not necessarily the better part. 

You see, when you genetically modify or engineer a plant you are changing the basic properties of that plant at the genetic level.  In most cases today, especially corn and soy, these GMO plants are chemically changed to have anti-microbial / pesticidal qualities bred into them.  They are typically known as "Round-Up Ready" versions.  That means that if you are trying to avoid harmful chemicals such as pesticides, you won't be able to get away from them in GMOs, they are genetically bred into the plant.

Now, there are many different problems with this, the main one being that these chemicals are literally part of the plant now.  That means that most corn, and other products, that we eat today are completely different from what our forefathers ate even 50 years ago. 

Also, the companies that own these GMO seeds have a patent on them.  And if, per chance, some of the GMO seed were to end up in an organic farmer's crop, the organic farmer probably won't know it until the GMO company tests their crops then can sue the farmer for "illegally" using the GMO seeds without paying for them.  And these GMO companies are huge with lots of connections, so they typically win out.  If this sounds like a conspiracy theory, there's a lot of evidence that shows these facts.  Movies like Food, Inc. and The Future of Food have addressed these issues and there are a plethora of court cases dealing with this fact.

There are also health implications when you eat GMO foods.  Anytime your body eats something that is not a food (pesticides, food coloring, preservatives, fake sugars, etc.) your detoxification systems (liver and kidneys) need to get rid of it.  And in most cases, they can't get rid of all of that junk, so it builds up in your body.  There have been studies that have linked these chemicals to serious disease processes like Diabetes, Infertility, and Alzheimer's to name a few.  In fact, some countries, mostly in Europe, have banned these GMOs simply because there have been too many detrimental health implications.

So if you really want to make an effort to not eat as many GMO products as possible, read the label before you buy it.  Most products will say that they are GMO or GEO free.  Also, organic products should be GMO free.  Finally, just a little tip, my wife found out that all of Trader Joe's named products are GMO free.

Here's another link to the Future of Food video on Hulu that I posted earlier.  I'm posting again just because I think everyone should watch this.  This is a feature length documentary so plan to set some time aside to watch the whole thing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The American Sedentary Lifestyle

With the innovation of TV, computers, and video games, it's no argument that the American society has become more of a sedentary society.  Most people sit at their jobs or in school, come home and sit in front of the TV, then go to bed.  Of course this means that we aren't getting enough exercise when we are stationary all day long.  However, there are other detriments to sitting for a majority of your awake time.

When you're sitting in front of the TV or computer, most people tend to snack more.  Now, this wouldn't be too big of an issue if people snacked healthily and in moderation.  But that's typically not the case.  Most snackable foods are stuffed with simple carbs, fat, salt, and sugar.  And when you sit around and eat these types of food that are supposed to be converted into energy, your body stores them as fat.  Not only fat in the beer belly or thighs, but more dangerous fat that surrounds and can restrict our vital organs.  One way to help get rid of that fat is to get up and move around.

When you're sitting, you're not moving and not getting the essential exercise that your body needs.  Exercise helps keep your blood flowing, increases your metabolism, releases feel-good chemicals like endorphins and enkephalins, reduces body fat, and has many other benefits.  There are companies, schools, and programs that have realized that when people exercise, they are generally more productive and happy.  Programs like the NFL's Play 60 have really made an effort to promote kids getting up and moving around for at least 60 minutes per day.  There are a plethora of other programs by schools, businesses, and organizations that are helping to fight the sedentary lifestyle that most Americans have become accustomed to.

Finally, there's actually recent research that suggests that sitting too long during leisure time can increase your risk of premature death.  They studied two different groups of people; those who sat for more than 6 hours per day and those who sat for less than 3 in their leisure time.  And the surprising fact about the study was that it showed that the increased risk for premature death had nothing to do with exercise.  It was purely if you sat for more than six hours, even if you exercised.

So even if you don't want to miss that favorite show of yours, you can do some crunches or lunges while watching, or make sure that you go for a half hour walk outside before or after the show.  Just getting started is half the battle, and once you do, it will become second nature before you know it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The 33 Chiropractic Principles

This week, I decided to present a little more education about chiropractic as a whole.  Last year, I did a series in our office newsletters listing the 33 Chiropractic Principles.  I decided that I would post all 33 in this blogpost.  So feel free to read them all in one sitting or split it up.  And, if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer them in a timely manner.

The original 33 Chiropractic Principles were originally penned by a chiropractor named Ralph W. Stephenson in 1927.  His work has inspired chiropractors to reach beyond merely treating back pain, to look at the infinite possibilities of a well-adjusted spine and nervous system.

1. THE MAJOR PREMISE. A Universal Intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence.

2. THE CHIROPRACTIC MEANING OF LIFE. The expression of this intelligence through matter is the Chiropractic meaning of life.

3. THE UNION OF INTELLIGENCE AND MATTER. Life is necessarily the union of intelligence and matter.

4. THE TRIUNE OF LIFE. Life is a triune having three necessary united factors, namely Intelligence, Force, and Matter.

5. THE PERFECTION OF THE TRIUNE. In order to have 100% Life, there must be 100% Intelligence, 100% Force, 100% Matter.

6. THE PRINCIPLE OF TIME. There is no process that does not require time.

7. THE AMOUNT OF INTELLIGENCE IN MATTER. The amount of intelligence for any given amount of matter is 100%, and is always proportional to its requirements.

8. THE FUNCTION OF INTELLIGENCE. The function of intelligence is to express force.

9. THE AMOUNT OF FORCE CREATED BY INTELLIGENCE. The amount of force created by intelligence is always 100%.

10. THE FUNCTION OF FORCE. The function of force is to unite intelligence and matter.

11. THE CHARACTER OF UNIVERSAL FORCES. The forces of Universal Intelligence are manifested by physical laws; are unswerving and unadapted, and have no solicitude for the structures in which they work.

12. INTERFERENCE WITH THE TRANSMISSION OF UNIVERSAL FORCES. There can be interference with transmission of universal forces.

13. THE FUNCTION OF MATTER. The function of matter is to express force.

14. UNIVERSAL LIFE. Force is manifested by motion in matter; all matter has motion, therefore there is universal life in all matter.

15. NO MOTION WITHOUT THE EFFORT OF FORCE. Matter can have no motion without the application of force by intelligence.

16. INTELLIGENCE IN BOTH ORGANIC AND INORGANIC MATTER. Universal Intelligence gives force to both organic and inorganic matter.

17. CAUSE AND EFFECT. Every effect has a cause and every cause has effects.

18. EVIDENCE OF LIFE. The signs of life are evidence of the intelligence of life.

19. ORGANIC MATTER. The material of the body of a "living thing" is organized matter.

20. INNATE INTELLIGENCE. A "living thing" has an inborn intelligence within its body, called Innate Intelligence.

21. THE MISSION OF INNATE INTELLIGENCE. The mission of Innate Intelligence is to maintain the material of the body of a "living thing" in active organization.

22. THE AMOUNT OF INNATE INTELLIGENCE. There is 100% of Innate Intelligence in every "living thing," the requisite amount, proportional to its organization.

23. THE FUNCTION OF INNATE INTELLIGENCE. The function of Innate Intelligence is to adapt universal forces and matter for use in the body, so that all parts of the body will have coordinated action for mutual benefit.

24. THE LIMITS OF ADAPTATION. Innate Intelligence adapts forces and matter for the body as long as it can do so without breaking a universal law, or Innate Intelligence is limited by the limitations of matter.

25. THE CHARACTER OF INNATE FORCES. The forces of Innate Intelligence never injure or destroy the structures in which they work.

26. COMPARISON OF UNIVERSAL AND INNATE FORCES. In order to carry on the universal cycle of life, Universal forces are destructive, and Innate forces constructive, as regards structural matter.

27. THE NORMALITY OF INNATE INTELLIGENCE. Innate Intelligence is always normal and its function is always normal.

28. THE CONDUCTORS OF INNATE FORCES. The forces of Innate Intelligence operate through or over the nervous system in animal bodies.

29. INTERFERENCE WITH THE TRANSMISSION OF INNATE FORCES. There can be interference with the transmission of Innate Forces.

30. THE CAUSE OF DIS-EASE. Interference with the transmission of Innate forces causes incoordination or dis-ease.

31. SUBLUXATIONS. Interference with the transmission in the body is always directly or indirectly due to subluxations in the spinal column.

32. THE PRINCIPLE OF COORDINATION. Coordination is the principle of harmonious action of all the parts of an organism, in fulfilling their offices and purposes.

33. THE LAW OF DEMAND AND SUPPLY. The Law of Demand and Supply is existent in the body in its ideal state; wherein the "clearing house," is the brain, Innate the virtuous "banker," brain cells "clerks," and nerve cells "messengers."