Smaller Plate Leads to Smaller Stomach

Several months ago, I began eating my dinner on dessert plates. The plates are just a little bigger than a saucer. The plates won't hold nearly as much food as a dinner plate.
I'm recommending it. It seems to slow down the eating process and help me be more aware of what I'm eating and how much. I also realize when I'm full and don't have so much to do to finish my plate. My stomach seems to have shrunk and I'm full quicker.
This idea might be especially useful going into the holiday season.

Aspirin a Day to Avoid Heart Attack

A Japanese study is making the news. People with high blood pressure or high cholesterol were randomly given aspirin therapy (experimental group) or not (control group). The study was called off after about 5 years because there was no statistical difference between the two groups.

 It could be that Americans are different. It could also be that there is no benefit. We continue to find that taking medication for "health" is not such a good idea.

Finding the Cause of Pain

For many people in chronic pain, what doctors call "the pain generator" is never found. That was what I was told at the seminar put on by the Department of Labor and Industries yesterday.
When pressed, the doctor who made the statement told us that chiropractic care had not been part of their research. It leaves me to wonder how many people with chronic pain could be helped with chiropractic care.
I have found that the pursuit of the restoration of health is often more beneficial than treating the symptoms. That would be especially true when the cause of the symptom cannot be determined.

Chronic Pain

Today's seminar spent quite a bit of time on chronic pain - especially chronic low back pain. Research seems to indicate that not much helps. However, researchers have yet to include chiropractic care in their research.
One of the things that is being shown to help is helping people do activities that they believe will make them worse. That is one of the things I do on a daily basis. When patients get off the table, I often ask them to do the activity that would have given them pain. I do it to assess treatment. However, it may also have a psychological value. Patients discover that they can do what used to make them hurt.

Class Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be in class all day learning the latest information on treating injured workers. The class is put on by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. All health care providers are invited to attend.

The class is usually held this time of year and I tend to go every year. Last year I either missed it or it wasn't held so especially looking forward to this year.

Last time I sat by a neurologist and compared insights on our healthcare system. I was pleased at how much we agreed on the problems. He gave me some political and legal insights that I had not known.

The Department conducts research. They have a huge data base. One thing I learned last time I went was that the best predictor for a low cost claim is if the first doctor the injured worker sees is a chiropractor. Of course there could be many reasons for that, but the person making the comment was lending support to the idea that chiropractic care may be the most effective for many injuries.

The Department also learned that smokers who keyboard were less likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome. They believe it is because their muscles recover from the repetitive use during the smoke break.

I'll give an update Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Can You Help a 93 Year-Old with Sciatica?

That was a question I was asked yesterday. I had to admit that I happen to have a patient that age who is giving me a lot of trouble. I also have had a 95 year-old who did remarkably well.

As we age, the problems that occurred earlier in life and never were corrected, continue to get worse. We see those on x-ray as degeneration. Some think it is normal. However, I've taken many x-rays of elderly patients who had little if any degeneration. In fact, I put x-rays of three different patients on a view box and, according to the degree of degeneration, the oldest patient actually had the youngest looking spine. The give-away was the dentures.

What causes degeneration? There are several hypotheses and it depends on the type of degeneration. Often the problem is improper alignment of the bones. The alignment problem causes changes in weight bearing. Disc problems can be made worse as the weight of the body is more on the disc rather than the facet joints in the back of the spine.

Alignment problems can also cause improper motion. The lack of motion leads to dehydration of the discs, because discs get nutrition from the surrounding bones like a sponge. Movement causes the disc to squeeze in and out like wringing out a sponge and letting water back in.

Bone spurs are also thought to occur due to misalignment. The change in pressure on the bone causes a change in the electrical arrangement of the bone. Areas of higher pressure become more negative and draw positive calcium ions. That forms the spurs that we see on x-ray as degeneration.

Sometimes the pain from sciatica is being caused by misalignment of the bones in the neck. If that is the case, proper adjustment can help, even though there is degeneration in the lower back.

As you see the answer to the question is not a simple yes or no.

Are You Intelligent? Scientists Say No.

It is an assumption that we all make. We believe we have some degree of intelligence. We might conclude that others are more or less intelligent, but we believe we have some degree of the stuff.

What is intelligence? Some think of intelligence as information, like military intelligence. We go to school, read, listen and acquire information. That can be said to be gaining intelligence.

However, that isn't what I'm thinking about here. I'm thinking about the ability to adapt to new and trying situations. Some say the ability to reason and think. Do you have an ability to reason, think and then choose an action? If you are like me, your answer is "of course."

Imagine my surprise to learn that the scientific explanation of life is that we do not have that ability. It takes a while to explain the entire premise, but basically based on atheistic evolution, we evolved to have a brain and the mind is a creation of the brain. The mind cannot then turn around and control the brain that created it. According to science, your brain is the way it is because of your genetics PLUS your experiences. I like to think of it like a computer that adds programs and data every day. The problem is that according to science, your body/computer doesn't have an operator. Nobody is sitting at the keyboard or watching a screen.

In contrast, I believe that there is a realm of intelligence. The creation of the universe started from that intelligent realm. We can reason, think, and have free will because part of us is intelligent. That intelligent part of us seems to use the brain and nervous system to monitor and control body functions to keep us healthy.

Are you intelligent? I say yes. Some part of you is intelligent. I work with your nervous system so that part of you can restore your health. Some people say that is an unscientific approach. Now you know why. They don't think you are intelligent.