Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Avoid Text Neck

With all those new phones/iPads given at the holidays, let's keep in mind our ergonomics! Happy New Year!  You can avoid text neck by bringing your phone to eye level instead of hunching over to text.

Dr. Stephanie Maj has a thriving family practice in the heart of Chicago. Her clinic is located at 1442 W. Belmont Ave., 1E, Chicago, IL 60657. 773.528.8485. www.communitychiropractic.net

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why Sitting is the New Smoking and Why Moving Heals!

If you’re like most people, myself included, you probably spend a large portion of each day in a seated position. It’s hard to avoid these days, as computer work predominates, and most also spend many hours each week driving to and from work.

Mounting research now suggests that sitting in and of itself is an independent risk factor for poor health and premature death—even if you exercise regularly.

Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, presents a simple yet powerful scientific explanation for why sitting has such a dramatic impact on your health, and how you can simply and easily counteract the ill effects of sitting.

She was one of the primary doctors responsible for ensuring the health of the astronauts as they went into space, investigating the health ramifications of space travel, and what can be done to counter them.

On a side note, one of my initial life ambitions was actually to be an astronaut, up until college when I opted for pre-med instead. I’m glad I didn’t pursue being an astronaut because I think there are far too many health dangers associated with working in space. But it was definitely an initial ambition of mine.

My primary passion is improving health which is why I’m very excited about Dr. Vernikos’ work. There have been a number of studies within the last year or two that show that even if you are very fit, exercising as much as five times a week for a half hour to an hour each time, you can fall far short of optimum fitness if you sit most of the rest of the time. You’re even at an increased risk of dying prematurely.

Dr. Vernikos’ research with astronauts has clarified why this occurs and, even more importantly, provides us with a simple regimen that could counteract those consequences.

In order to determine why regular exercise does not appear to compensate for the negative effects of prolonged sitting, some of her research focused on finding out what type of movement is withdrawn by sitting. What she discovered was as revolutionary as it was counterintuitive. Not only did she discover that the act of standing up is more effective than walking for counteracting the ill effects of sitting, the key is how many times you stand up.

It’s actually the change in posture that is the most powerful signal, in terms of having a beneficial impact on your health, not the act of standing in and of itself. Put another way, the key to counteract the ill effects of sitting is to repeatedly interrupt your sitting. The key is frequent intermittent interactions with gravity. Standing up 35 times at once will provide only a small percent of the benefit of standing up once every 20 minutes.

It’s All About Interacting Regularly With Gravity

During Skylab, which was the longest mission Dr. Vernikos worked on in the early 1970s, many medical observers noted that astronauts were prematurely aging while in space. Interestingly, the changes that were occurring were found to be very similar to what happens to you when you’re bedridden, and to the aging process itself. Initially, Dr. Vernikos referred to these phenomena as parallel processes, as she could not prove a cause and effect that were identical to all three.

That eventually changed when she was doing a bed-rest study.

“I was helping a friend out whose parents had come from Greece and spoke no English,” she says. “The lady had fallen and broken her hip, had it fixed and replaced. But she refused to stand up and get out of bed. She eventually ended up in a nursing home in California... What struck me at the nursing home was that many of the things I saw in these older people were very similar to what I could see in my subjects who have been lying in bed for seven days. Especially when they got out of bed, when balance and coordination is affected, and they would pass out when standing up, and they would shuffle their feet.

I thought, well, this is very strange. The people who are in bed, and the astronauts, recover. But here are these people in the nursing home who are showing exactly the same changes. Maybe one should turn the question around?
Maybe the question is not ‘what causes the changes in them—is it or isn’t it aging?’ Maybe it is the conditions that they find themselves in—the inactivity or the relative inactivity in space that induces these changes rather than the number of years one has? When I started asking that question, then some of the research began to make sense.”

Did you know that the changes in bone and muscle that occur here on Earth in one year’s time–approximately one percent loss of bone or one percent loss of muscle–occur in just one week to one month when you’re in space? Incredibly, you get close to a 10-fold acceleration of the aging process when you live in a gravity-free environment! And this is part of the equation when it comes to explaining why chronic sitting is an independent risk factor for premature death.

Astronaut Legend Proves Biological Age Can Be Counteracted

Astronaut John Glenn was the first man to perform an orbital flight. He eventually became a US Senator, and at the age of 77 became the oldest man in space, thanks to Dr. Vernikos, when he participated in her experiment to validate her theory of aging in the microgravity of space.

“[Glenn] happened to be chair of the Committee on Aging at the time,” she says. “It occurred to him, as he was listening to all these testimonies, that what he heard was very much like what he had experienced and what he knew his colleagues were experiencing as they flew. So, he got very excited.
One day in 1997, he walked into my office. He had done some fantastic research... comparing the aerospace medicine textbook with the PDR on the effects of aging and drew comparisons between the two. He said, ‘Well, I think if I flew again, it could provide information that could help everyone as we age’... I was concerned not because of what might happen to him during the nine days of flight, but what might happen to him in terms of recovery.”

Still, the flight took place, placing Glenn at the age of 77 in space with five other astronauts, averaging in age between 35 and 45. The results, which were double-blind, were presented before a full auditorium at the NIH.

“What they showed on the slide was that out of the seven people who flew, one was an outlier. So, we all thought to ourselves, ‘Oh, dear, they’re his. He’s an outlier. He’s older, that’s why'... This confirms that if you’re older, you will react differently.”

But when the identities of the astronauts in the data points were revealed, John Glenn was NOT the outlier. A 35-year-old astronaut was. Glenn was actually right in the middle of the cluster of astronauts, suggesting that if you’re healthy and fit, you really can do anything, regardless of your age. His recovery post-flight also turned out to be just as fast as his younger peers.

Your Lifestyle Determines How Quickly Your Body Ages

What this means for us living permanently here on Earth is that the changes that accompany aging are more likely a result of our lifestyle rather than the inevitable outcome associated with a numerical or physiological age. The good news is that you can prevent, and to a great degree delay, the damage associated with a large portion of biological aging, especially the most crippling, which is pain with movement and loss of flexibility that you had as a youth.

It also means that getting too hung up on a once-a-day exercise routine is to put the cart before the horse. FIRST you need to make sure you’re engaging in more or less perpetual non-exercise movement, as this is an independent risk factor. You then want to add structured exercise on top of that to reap all the benefits associated with exercise. Going to the gym a few times a week for an hour simply isn’t going to counteract hours upon hours of chronic uninterrupted sitting, which essentially mimics a microgravity situation, i.e. you’re not exerting your body against gravity. Only frequent non-exercise movement will do that.

“What became abundantly clear to me very quickly was that gravity plays a big role in our physiological function and in the aging process,” Dr. Vernikos says.

Fortunately, there’s nothing complicated about this. The key point is to move and shift position often, when you’re sitting down. Meaning, you want to interrupt your sitting as often as possible.

“We were designed to squat. We were designed to kneel. Sitting is okay, but it’s uninterrupted sitting that is bad for us,” Dr. Vernikos says. “We are not designed to sit continuously. We are not designed to be in quasi-microgravity... It’s not how many hours of sitting that's bad for you; it’s how often you interrupt that sitting that is GOOD for you!”

The other thing is that when I say ‘Stand up,’ then you say, ‘Okay, standing is the opposite of sitting.’ No, standing is not the opposite of sitting, because sitting continuously is bad for you, and standing continuously is bad for you. The body is not designed to respond to square waves. Any retail employee will tell you that they suffer all kinds of consequences of many hours of standing on the job. Even nurses have known this for years: standing on the job is not good for you It’s about interrupting the sitting. The interrupting the sitting is not necessarily walking; it is the change in posture [that matters].”

Gravity as a Stimulus to Achieve Health...

Interestingly, lipoprotein lipase is dramatically reduced during inactivity, and increases with activity, the most effective activity being, you guessed it, standing up from a seated position. Lipoprotein lipase is an enzyme that attaches to fat in your bloodstream and transports it into your muscles to be used as fuel. So essentially, simply by standing up, you are actively helping your body to burn fat for fuel. But what is it about the mechanism of standing up that would account for this?

“These are all movements, almost below-threshold kind of movements, that do not burn up a lot of calories, as we know them, but that are designed to work against gravity,” Dr. Vernikos explains.

Dr. Vernikos views gravity a bit differently from the norm. She thinks of gravity as a virtual rod that runs through your body when you’re standing up; down to the center of the Earth. This virtual rod acts as a stimulus for your body, or put another way, gravity is a source of stimulation to your body. When you use it; when you challenge its downward force, you get a sense of acceleration and a sense of fun. Examples include jumping, skipping rope, cycling, downhill skiing, snow- or bodyboarding...

“I’ve come to the conclusion that all the fun activities that we indulge in are based on gravity,” she says. “All these fun activities, all these games and play that we think of, are gravity-dependent. We are using gravity every which way. The moral to the story is be a child again. Have fun. Play!”

On Picking a Better Office Chair... And Standing Up 35 Times a Day

A better alternative to the traditional office chair, according to Dr. Vernikos, would be an upright wooden chair with no armrest.

“I will accept the armrest if you promise me that you really rest your elbows on it. You’re not resting your elbows, are you? If you rest your elbows and push them back every so often, which means your shoulder blades are being pushed back, and then you can relax again. But you do it as often as you possibly can. That will correct a lot of your postural problems. But if you sit in a hard back chair, a good old-fashioned chair, it can have a nice comfortable pillow, but it forces you to stand up and to sit up straight,” she says.

In the end, it’s really all about structuring your life to incorporate everyday body movements that your parents and grandparents used to do in the course of day-to-day living: picking stray socks off the floor, stirring a pot of sauce, reaching up high for an item in a cupboard, getting off the couch to change the channel, walking to the mailbox and back. Think about it... if you didn’t have a computer or a smart phone, what would you have to do to get that message to a friend, for example?

Dr. Vernikos calls these types of movements gravity habits or “G habits.” These are all movements that are quantified as non-exercise activities, and the challenge is to get more of them into your daily life. When it comes to interrupting your sitting, you want to stand up around 35 times a day or so to counteract the cardiovascular health risks associated with sitting. This is based on double-blind research where volunteers would spend four days in bed to induce detrimental changes. She then tested two groups to see which was more effective, walking or standing, and how long would you have to walk or how many times do you have to stand up to get better again?

Standing up once every hour was more effective than walking on a treadmill for 15 minutes for cardiovascular and metabolic changes
Sitting down and standing up repeatedly for 32 minutes does NOT have the same effect as standing up once, 32 times over the course of a day. To get the benefit, the stimulus must be spread throughout the day
What I Now Do to Interrupt My Sitting

After reading Dr. Vernikos book, Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, I was inspired to give some serious attention to this because even though I perform a lot of structured exercise, including high intensity interval training, I was guilty of sitting down a vast majority of the rest of the day.

So what I’ve done is this: I found an online timer and set it to go off every 20 minutes. When it goes off, I stand up and do four jump squats. I thought of this after looking at a table of different activities that increase your exposure to gravity in her book. One of them was jumping up and down, which gets you up to six times gravity. Alternatively, I simply stand up really slow and sit really slow five times doing a Foundation posture or I do four or five one legged squats and alternate during each period.

As explained by Dr. Vernikos, squatting is an extension of standing. If you squat and stand, you can get the maximum benefit of working against the force of gravity. By adding jumping to it (going from a squat to a jump, landing into a squat again), you end up with about 6.5 G’s.

However, an interesting update to this interview is that I introduced Dr. Vernikos to Dr. Eric Goodman, the creator of Foundation Training, and she was very excited to learn of his work as she believes it may provide an even more effective solution. They have yet to actually meet at this time but I am hoping they will have a fruitful collaboration and be able to report, at a future date, on a refinement of these current recommendations.

It’s Never Too Late to Start Delaying Aging

One of the most exciting aspects of Dr. Vernikos research is that it shows how dynamic and changeable the human body is. You can reverse damage already incurred, and it’s never too late to start. That is a massively important fact that you want to embrace. Your body CAN recover from the damage you have likely been inflicting on it for decades. Obviously, the younger and healthier you are, the quicker your body will likely respond.

“That’s why I called my first book The G-Connection: Harness Gravity and Reverse Aging,” she says. “[B]ecause yes, you can change what you are. Your body changes all the time. We have new cells being generated all the time – new brain cells – which was thought not to be the case some years ago, as well as new cells everywhere, including skin cells.”

You can boost the gravity stimulus by using either a sway plate, or a whole body vibration plate such as the Power Plate. This can be particularly beneficial for if you’re advancing in age. But other than that, what Dr. Vernikos is advocating is NOT exercise. It’s simply regular movements of everyday life:

“When you’re moving around and you see a speck on the floor, you bend down to pick it up, is that exercise? No. If you reach up to get a book off the shelf or a pot off the cupboard, is it exercise? No. When you brush your teeth, is it better to brush with a brush or with an electric brush? Electric brush already takes away some of the movement that we would normally do with a regular brush. Play golf... [but] don’t take a cart. Carry your golf-bag.”

An important and, I think, fascinating perspective that Dr. Vernikos brings to the table is that if you had to choose between starting up non-exercise activity or starting up an exercise program. Dr. Eric Goodman also believes similarly. He is in fantastic shape. He used to be a personal trainer and body builder but hasn’t worked out formally in many years; he just does his Foundation work throughout each day. They both believe non-exercise activities are more important than regular exercise programs, but ideally you would do both. Dr. Vernikos states:

“Yes, it’s my belief that the non-exercise activities are the foundation of your body tuning and your health, and more important than regular exercise,” she says. “Regular exercise is the next step. You build on the foundation.”

In short, as long as we understand the basic requirements that are dictated by our human ancestors, our biochemistry or genetics, and if we honor those with relatively simple techniques that only take a few minutes a day, it can have dramatic and profound implications on our health, and on the quality and length of our life. To learn more, I highly recommend picking up Dr. Vernikos book, Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, available online at Amazon. It’s an easy read, but it helps to reinforce the concepts discussed in this interview.

Dr. Stephanie Maj has a thriving family practice in the heart of Chicago. Her clinic is located at 1442 W. Belmont Ave., 1E, Chicago, IL 60657. 773.528.8485. www.communitychiropractic.net

Photo Credit: rwhites

Monday, December 2, 2013

This Is 200 Calories

Just a friendly reminder for holiday indulging! Dr. Maj Dr. Stephanie Maj has a thriving family practice in the heart of Chicago. Her clinic is located at 1442 W. Belmont Ave., 1E, Chicago, IL 60657. 773.528.8485. www.communitychiropractic.net

Monday, November 25, 2013

How I Gave My Son Autism - by Cam Baker Pearson

This is an eye-opener to anyone who hasn't paid attention to the autism epidemic. The author has bared her soul in the hope of saving other children. Her humility is combined with a powerful sense of morality and intelligence. Though she takes full responsibility for her child’s plight, the truth is that modern medicine has a world of destroyed lives to answer for.

I should start by saying that I was raised Catholic. The concepts of reconciliation and absolution are completely ingrained in me. I grew up going to confession at a beautiful monastery where Father Francis, an elderly monk, held my hand as we walked the grounds, and I asked for forgiveness for my transgressions. I always felt great relief and unconditional love after our time together.  Unfortunately, Father Francis passed away years ago, and I haven’t been to confession since. My spiritual beliefs have evolved and changed over the years, but the idea of forgiveness is still critical to how I walk through life. There are things I have done for which I know God forgives me. However, I’m pretty sure that I will never forgive myself, for my transgressions are embodied in a beautiful seven-year-old who tells me daily that I am “the best Mom in the universe.” I know the truth. And someday, so will he. All of these “unforgivable” actions were done with the best of intentions, but we all know what they say about “good intentions” and “the road to hell.” I am admitting here for all the world to see: I gave my son Autism. I did it. Me. And no one can ever take that away.

So … how did I give my son autism? I wish I could say it was one thing—one thing that I could take back that would make things neat and easy, but it wasn’t. It was mistake after mistake, assault after assault. The following are the biggest mistakes I made to which I attribute my son’s descent into autism. I’m going to provide links that are easily readable and understandable that contain links to the research rather than providing links to the research itself. A simple Google search about any one of these topics will provide more information than you could ever want. Here goes . . .

1) Ultrasounds: I had at least five while I was pregnant. I was assured that they were completely safe. Heck, you can get them in malls, so I assumed they were pretty benign. Wrong! While I didn't get ultrasounds in malls, I didn't research them either. Ultrasounds have, in fact, been implicated in autism among other neurological disorders. While there is no definitive “causal link,” enough has been found to warrant further research and precautionary measures.  According to this article, “Research shows populations exposed to ultrasound have a quadrupled perinatal death rate, increased rates of brain damage, nerve cell demylienation, dyslexia, speech delays, epilepsy and learning difficulty.”  Sound familiar?

2) High-fructose corn syrup: I drank Coca Cola every single day while I was pregnant. I was so incredibly nauseous and it made my stomach feel better. Fast forward a few years and Coca Cola Classic was found to have one of the highest levels of mercury due to HFCS of any product tested. I didn’t eat one bite of fish during my pregnancy for fear of mercury. While I didn’t know there was mercury in the Coke, I have to be honest and admit that of course I knew that eating and drinking junk wasn’t good for my baby.

Foods Containing Mercury
High fructose corn syrup’s not-so-sweet surprise: Mercury!

3) Lortab/Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) while pregnant: I have Fibromyalgia. It is painful normally, but it was practically unbearable while I was pregnant. My OB prescribed Lortab telling me that it didn’t cross the placenta and was perfectly safe. I was in so much pain that I wasn’t about to look into this further. I trusted my OB thoroughly and needed to feel better.

Again, did I honestly think that this was good for the baby?  Of course not.  Lortab is a Category C drug which basically means that not enough human testing has been done to qualify it as safe, but based on animal studies, there is reason to believe that it could be dangerous or problematic.  I couldn’t find any specific links between Lortab and Autism, but common sense dictates that this was not good.

4)  Pitocin: Two of the ultrasounds I received at the end of my pregnancy revealed that my water was getting dangerously low, so my OB felt we should induce labor. After several hours of not making progress on the Pitocin drip at low levels, the hospital encouraged me to sign a waiver allowing them to increase the Pitocin to illegal levels. Now, I know this seems absurd, but at the time, I was in incredible pain and was told by hospital staff that it was perfectly safe and was used at these levels all over the country. According to them, Montana just has a very low cap on the highest level allowed. I had Pitocin for 36 hours. Here is an explanation from an excellent article on that explains the potential risks associated with Pitocin:

In either induced or enhanced use of Pitocin, the blood supply, and therefore the oxygen source to the uterus, is greatly reduced. With naturally-paced contractions, there is a time interval between contractions allowing for the baby to be fully oxygenated before the next contraction. In induced or enhanced labor, the contractions are closer together and last for a longer time, thus shortening the interval where the baby receives the oxygen supply. Reduced oxygen to the baby in labor has life-long consequences on the baby’s brain function.

5) C-Section: George Malcolm Morley, OB/GYN has done extensive research regarding C-Sections and autism and has concluded that, “A baby born by C-section is 3-4 times more likely to have autism.” His theory is that it is probably due to ICC (immediate cord clamping) and there are really good reasons to think he may be right.  There are so many different elements that play a part in C-sections, however, that it is really hard to determine exactly which specific aspect is problematic: anesthesia, maternal immobility, labor trauma, cord clamping, post-op drugs or lack of friendly bacteria due to bypassing the vaginal canal are all suspect individually. It is easy to see how a combination of all of the above could have a negative impact.

Because I had made the bad decisions about the ultrasounds that led to the bad decision about the Pitocin that led to labor trauma, I ultimately had to have an emergency C-section. I can’t believe that there are so many women who choose to deliver via C-section for cosmetic reasons – I won’t elaborate on this one. Ick.  I’ll be honest; I am still a little bitter about this. I really wanted a natural childbirth. My husband and I took the classes; we practiced at home. Thirty-six hours of drug-induced hell, and I still ended up with a C-section. And not just a regular C-section: it was such an emergency that I had to be anesthetized via general anesthesia, even though I had an epidural in place.

6) Antibiotics: Oh boy. Where to begin? I have so many mixed feelings about antibiotics. Here is what I know: My son was exposed to antibiotics while he was in distress during labor. He was then exposed for the first two weeks of his life via breast milk. He then received five courses of antibiotics before he was a year old for chronic ear infections. While this is bad cumulatively, the one event that stands out for me, and literally makes me feel sick, was a single dose of Augmentin when he was six months old. At his six-month “well” visit, he was diagnosed with his second ear infection. He received vaccinations for seven different diseases despite being ill, and we left with a prescription for Amoxicillin. Six days later, he had developed an upper respiratory infection and the ear infection was worse. Because the Amoxicillin hadn’t worked, the pediatrician prescribed a course of Augmentin. After one dose of this drug and within 24 hours, my six-month-old baby had 35 acidic, liquid bowel movements. The skin literally peeled off of his bottom in sheets. I had never seen anything like it at that time, and I haven’t since. The pain that he was in was beyond description. I called the doctor and she changed the antibiotic to yet a different kind. So he had three different types of antibiotics in his system within eight days. This episode was the biggie. His gut was never the same after that. Nothing was.

Here is what everyone should know about Augmentin:  Augmentin has been implicated in autism.  It is comprised of Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. When it is manufactured, the clavulanic acid is fermented which involves large amounts of urea/ammonia. Even a small amount of ingested ammonia can potentially cause gut and brain inflammation. I strongly urge you to do your homework before using this drug.

If you will notice in this link, this study was released in January of 2005. My son was prescribed Augmentin in January of 2006. This was never mentioned when I was handed the prescription. However, if I had been a Thinker back then, I could have quickly Googled “Augmentin and autism,” and I would have made a very different decision.

7) Vaccines: I really don’t even know what to say about vaccines other than to say that if I had it to do over again, my children wouldn’t have received a single one. Of everything I did wrong, if I could have my pick of one thing to take back, it would be the shots. No question. Shortly after my son turned three, we left the idiot pediatrician that led me down this trail of terror. The new MD looked at my son’s blood work and heavy metals testing and informed me unequivocally that my son was vaccine injured and that he had never been a candidate for immunization. She said that because of my fibromyalgia and the fact that autoimmune disease and digestive disorders are pervasive across both sides of our family, he never should have been vaccinated. Add in the birth history and the fact that he had severe jaundice and a cephalohematoma that took more than six months to resolve, plus rashes, severe reflux, chronic rhinitis and ear infections along with eczema, it should have been very apparent that his immune system was not functioning properly. Vaccination REQUIRES a properly functioning immune system to work, which may explain why he has ZERO titers to the diseases he was immunized against. According to the CDC and the vaccine inserts, children should not be vaccinated if they are sick or on antibiotics. My son was sick and/or on antibiotics for almost every single round of vaccinations. People, I know what happened to my kid. I KNOW. I watched it. Ginger Taylor has been compiling studies for years that link vaccines to autism. That list has now reached over 60 studies.

Another word—Don’t bother making comments arguing about vaccines. I won’t post them. I am fully aware that there are children with autism who weren’t vaccinated. I am not suggesting that vaccines are solely responsible for every child’s autism. I know, however, that they caused irreparable damage to my son’s immune system, which ultimately led to his autism. There. Done.

8) Acetaminophen/Paracetamol: My baby received an incredible amount of this red, liquid death. Acetaminophen shuts down the production of glutathione, the body’s #1 antioxidant. Glutathione is absolutely critical in the body’s ability to rid itself of toxins. So basically, one of the absolute worst things you can do is to give a baby acetaminophen when they get vaccinations or when their body is trying to fight an infection. The nurse at my son’s pediatrician’s office literally dosed him with acetaminophen at the exact moment she stuck in the needle. When the ear infections and stomach pain and fevers started as a result of the vaccine damage, I gave him acetaminophen to alleviate his pain. Are you starting to see how all of these horrors interlace? One problem requires a solution that creates another problem that requires a solution that creates another problem, etc. For more information regarding acetaminophen and its link to autism, click here.

9) Fluoride: Fluoride probably pisses me off more than anything else on this list, because I am convinced that the fluoride program is one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated on a population in the history of mankind. If you ever have some time and enjoy history, Google “the history of fluoride.” It reads like a Dan Brown novel and would be completely entertaining, if it weren’t for the fact that children are being brain-damaged by the very water they drink. I’ll let you do your own research for the nitty-gritty, but here are the basics: Fluoride contains fluorine. Fluorine is only slightly less toxic than arsenic and is more toxic than lead. It is also a carrier molecule. It loves to combine with other materials and create even more toxic situations. It also can cross the blood/brain barrier. So if there is circulating aluminum in the body from say, oh, I don’t know, vaccine adjuvants for instance, or if there is lead in the joints of water pipes, the fluoride can attach itself to these toxins and escort them right across the blood/brain barrier and into the brain. According to the National Research Council, 36 studies have linked fluoride with reduced IQ in children. Here are some great links to fluoride information:

  • Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative
  • Fluoride Action Network
  • NoFluoride.com
  • Chronic Fluroide Poisoning

Here’s the kicker. This is the part where I bang my head on the table, pull my hair and yell, “Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!” like Chris Farley on SNL. We didn’t even have fluoridated water. I actually purchased it and gave it to my son on purpose. My pediatrician told me that he needed it because our water wasn’t fluoridated. I bought “nursery water” that came in cute little plastic bottles with pictures of Bert and Ernie and Cookie Monster on them. I also gave him prescription vitamins—Poly Vi Flor—that contained fluoride.  After all of this, we still ended up with over $4,000 worth of dental work by the time he was five. This dental work required general anesthesia that contained—yep, you guessed it—fluoride. Fluoride is also in many pharmaceuticals, including the antibiotic Cipro–drops used for ear infections—and Diflucan—the yeast killer we used off and on for years.  How in the hell could I make sure that I didn’t give him toothpaste that had fluoride in it because it was poisonous, but give him fluoridated water? If you want a good scare, read the label on a tube of fluoridated toothpaste sometime. Ingestion of only half a tube of that candy-flavored fluoridated toothpaste could be fatal to a child, and yet we fluoridate our water supply. It is criminal in my opinion.

I can think of many more things I did wrong that I am sure contributed to my son’s health crisis. I will mention diet, toxic cookware, benzocaine teething gel and toxic building materials but won’t elaborate because at this point, common sense should dictate. I am writing this to try to hit the biggies that people really need to research to make better decisions than I did.

I am already anticipating three different responses to this post:

Response 1) There will be people who read this and think, “Good grief, woman. How stupid can you be? What you did borders on child abuse. Of course your child has Autism.” And to that, I have no argument. You are absolutely right. And good for you for knowing better than I did.

Response 2) Some of you will read this and know exactly how I feel because your story is very similar. To all of you, you have my deepest, heartfelt sympathy. While we will always have our mistakes to live with, the best thing we can do now is to share our truth and our story to help others.

Response 3) There will be people who feel pity for me because I have not been able to make peace with myself for my role in my son’s health crisis. You will feel compelled to reach out to me with kind messages imploring me to forgive myself. Please … don’t. It won’t do any good. I am not fishing for forgiveness, and while I know you mean well, it won’t help me. If you really, really want to help, take five minutes and send this blog to everyone you know—especially those who are pregnant or have babies. Implore them to read this blog. No child should have to endure what mine has endured. No mother should ever have to experience the kind of torturous guilt I live with every day.

The mistakes I made were, by and large, recommended by healthcare professionals. That is no excuse.  My son’s health was my responsibility. I could choose to follow the recommendations or not. Even a small bit of research would have changed the outcome for my son. There are women, as we speak, who are on the way to the doctor for their second or third ultrasound. There are mothers dosing their babies with acetaminophen before their shots. There are expectant moms being hooked up to Pitocin drips. Some moms are administering unnecessary antibiotics for yet another ear infection and haven’t made the connection that their baby’s immune system is failing. There are also many, many mothers who are hearing the following words for the first time, “Your child has autism.” Help them.

I truly believe that my son’s autism was preventable. Think. Research. At this point, you can’t afford not to.

~ Mountain Mama

With thanks to Cam and the Thinking Mom’s Revolution for permission to publish! Original is here.

photo credit: hepingting via photopin cc

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cancer Treatment Centers to Incorporate Chiropractic Care

Groundbreaking, Integrated Approach to Treatment Demonstrates Commitment to Patient-centered Care—Arlington, Va.—The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) today announced that Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)—a pioneer in integrative care, incorporating chiropractic services and other supportive therapies into its advanced, evidenced-based cancer treatments—is the focus of the cover story in the August 2013 issue of ACA News. At CTCA's five regional hospitals, chiropractic physicians work on teams alongside surgeons and oncologists to support cancer patients during their treatment. 

Its patient-centered approach came from a simple question, "If your mother had cancer, how would you want her to be treated?" CTCA's founder, Richard J. Stephenson, lost his mother to cancer and wished that her treatment had been more focused on providing comprehensive care in addition to the advanced treatment options she needed. Chiropractic physicians joined CTCA's staff 10 years ago (due to patient demand), allowing its hospitals to offer truly comprehensive, integrated treatment under one roof. If a patient complains about a headache due to a new chemotherapy drug, his or her treatment team might first suggest the patient try a chiropractic adjustment as opposed to going on yet another medication. 

According to Jeffrey Sklar, DC, eastern regional director in the department of chiropractic at CTCA, "We are not treating cancer, we are treating patients with cancer; it is whole-person care. And that is what got me turned on about chiropractic to begin with." CTCA's model has influenced the way oncologists, surgeons and other clinicians around the country think about treating cancer patients. Whole-person cancer treatment combined with a compassionate, nurturing environment—known as the Mother Standard of Care—provides patients with much needed support during treatment. "I applaud CTCA as an institution for its dedication to treating the whole patient by offering therapy aimed at combating the difficult side-effects of grueling cancer treatments, as well as the cancer itself," said ACA President Keith Overland, DC. 

"I am truly inspired by my colleagues at CTCA, who are making a real difference in the quality of life for people undergoing cancer treatment."

Dr. Stephanie Maj has a thriving family practice in the heart of Chicago. Her clinic is located at 1442 W. Belmont Ave., 1E, Chicago, IL 60657. 773.528.8485.  www.communitychiropractic.net

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lower Blood Pressure With Flaxseed

Looking for a more natural, non-medication based solution to reduce and/or manage your blood pressure? New research suggests flaxseed has comparable results to current blood pressure medications. In a study of 110 participants, half were assigned to a group consuming 30 grams of flaxseed daily for 6 months and the other half to a group that did not consume flaxseed. On average, participants in the flaxseed group who had a systolic blood pressure (the 1st number in the blood pressure reading) of at least 140 mm Hg during initial testing experienced a 15 mm Hg systolic pressure drop. Those same individuals also experienced and a diastolic pressure drop (the 2nd number in the blood pressure reading) of 7 mm Hg. Participants in the non-flaxseed group experienced no blood pressure change whatsoever. Researchers state the study’s results are preliminary and more research is needed before they suggest people throw aware their blood pressure medication. However, as previous studies have also shown flaxseed to have beneficial effects on various cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammation and even hot flashes, incorporating flaxseed into the diet is becoming a no-brainer.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Hypertension, online October 14, 2013.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chicago Blackhawks - The First Vitamin D Team in History

Vitamin D Council

According to my sources, the Chicago Blackhawk team physicians began diagnosing and treating vitamin D deficiency in all Blackhawk players about 18 months ago. Apparently, most players are on 5,000 IU per day.

After many losing seasons, last year the Blackhawks came out of nowhere to win the Stanley Cup!!

According to my sources, improved athletic performance is only one of the benefits for the Blackhawk players. The other is a reduction in the number and severity of colds and flu and a reduction in the number and severity of repetitive use injuries.

Six months ago, Runner’s World published a story on vitamin D and physical performance.

Asp K. Running on D: The "sun vitamin" may boost performance, but you probably aren't getting enough. Runners World, December 2009. http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-301--13364-0,00.html

A year ago, the flagship journal of the American College of Sports Medicine was the first journal to publish the theory that vitamin D would improve athletic performance.

Cannell JJ, Hollis BW, Sorenson MB, Taft TN, Anderson JJ.  Athletic performance and vitamin D. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 May;41(5):1102-10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19346976

However, readers of the Vitamin Council's newsletter first learned about it in 2007:

Cannell, JJ. Peak Athletic Performance and Vitamin D. Vitamin D Council Newsletter, March 2007. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/2007-mar.shtml

I can only hope that since the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup this year, other teams, from high school to professional, may start paying attention to the vitamin D status of their players. That would be a big boost to those athletes looking for that extra boost in performance.

Dr. Stephanie Maj has a thriving family practice in the heart of Chicago. Her clinic is located at 1442 W. Belmont Ave., 1E, Chicago, IL 60657. 773.528.8485.  www.communitychiropractic.net

Monday, September 30, 2013

Safe Drug-free Treatment of Migraine Headaches

About 28 million people in the United States get migraines. If you’re one of them, you’ll know how bad these headaches can be. For many sufferers, a migraine means spending a day or more lying in a darkened room. As well as throbbing pain, some people feel sick to their stomach or become extra sensitive to sound and light.

Several clinical trials indicate that chiropractic adjustments help in the treatment of migraine headaches. In one study of people with migraines, 22% of those who received chiropractic adjustments reported more than a 90% reduction of attacks and 49% reported a significant reduction of the intensity of each migraine.
Seventy-two per cent of migraine sufferers in a clinical trial experienced either 'substantial' or 'noticeable' improvement after a period of chiropractic adjustments, defying historical skepticism of chiropractics by some medical practitioners.
In another study, people with migraine headaches were randomly assigned to receive chiropractic adjustments, a daily medication (Elavil), or a combination of both. Chiropractic adjustments were as effective as Elavil in reducing migraines and had fewer side effects. There was no added benefit to combining the two therapies.

The scientific evidence on chiropractic adjustments for the relief of chronic headache has been well discussed in systematic reviews of randomized trials.(4) These reviews looked at patient self-reported outcomes when evaluating treatment effect such as pain intensity, headache index, frequency, duration, and improvement.

In addition, researchers reviewed 9 studies that tested spinal manipulative therapy for tension or migraine headaches and found that it was as effective as medications in preventing these headaches.

Check it out.....call and get a check up and see if Chiropractic can get you back on the path of health and wellness!

Dr. Stephanie Maj has a thriving family practice in the heart of Chicago. Her clinic is located at 1442 W. Belmont Ave., 1E, Chicago, IL 60657. 773.528.8485.  www.communitychiropractic.net

(1)Tuchin PJ, Pollard H, Bonello R. A randomized controlled trial of spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000;23(2):91-95.
(2)Astin JA., Ernst E. The effectiveness of spinal manipulation for the treatment of headache disorders: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Cephalagia. 2002;22(8):617-623.
(3)Bronfort G, Assendelft WJ, Evans R, Haas M, Bouter L. Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001;24(7):457-466.
(3)Nelson CF, Bronfort G, Evans R, Boline P, Goldsmith C, Anderson AV. The efficacy of manipulation, amitriptyline and the combination of both therapies for the prophylaxis of migraine headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1998;21(8):511-519.
(4)Hurwitz 1996, Vernon 1999, Bronfort 2001, Astin 2002, Bronfort 2004, Lenssinck 2004, Fernandez-de-Las-Penas 2005 & 2006

Monday, September 2, 2013

This Wallet Says it ALL!!

Are you kidding me with this wallet?! My friend, Dr. JC Doornick, posted this picture on Facebook and it has stuck in my head ever since. This was in a new patient's back pocket and OF COURSE he came to the office with lower back pain and sciatica.   If you haven't heard, SITTING ON YOUR WALLET CAUSES LOWER BACK PAIN AND SCIATICA!!!   
I guess my issue with this wallet is my issue with America in general and how disconnected we are with our bodies and what we do to them.  I would not be surprised if this person blamed genetics on their problems! (oh, my father had sciatica, too!) WAKE UP AMERICA!  Sitting on a 4 inch thick wallet will cause problems. BIG PROBLEMS!! Funny thing is that there was less than $20 in that sucker. 

I can't believe what people do to their bodies!  There is a victim mentality when it comes to the state of people's health:
  • "It runs in my family" is the biggest excuse I hear
  • My husband "gave me" his cold - your immune system strength is your responsibility 
  • "Oh, it's just Stress" - like there is nothing that can be done about it.  FYI: Stress KILLS!
I am writing about this because I am on the front lines when it comes to helping people get well and the insanity by which people live boggles my mind. There are so many excuses that I hear on a daily basis and the truth is that when the time comes where health slips away, no amount of time, money or energy will be enough to bring it back. 

Please let me help you help yourself. I am here to assist and yet cannot do it for you. I can't make you eat veggies, drink water, get adjusted, exercise, relax and be good to yourself.  

Lets work together so that You Can Be Well, too!!

P.S.  Check out this link to give you more info on why NOT to put a wallet in your back pocket.  

Dr. Stephanie Maj has a thriving family practice in the heart of Chicago. Her clinic is located at 1442 W. Belmont Ave., 1E, Chicago, IL 60657. 773.528.8485.  www.communitychiropractic.net