Backs and Packs and Facts


books-484766_1920aThe school year has started. Yesterday, my daughter brought her backpack to me and said, “Feel how heavy this is.” For her body weight, it felt about right. The recommended limit for backpacks is 10 to 15% of a child’s body weight. I said, “That’s good, I think you can manage that just fine.” “That’s just my folders and notebooks.”

Today, my daughter is supposed to receive and probably bring home her 6th grade textbooks. In addition to all of the “required” notebooks and folders, even one decent sized textbook is going to put her over the limit, never mind 6 of them!

As a parent and a chiropractor, how do I solve this dilemma? I don’t want her to get injured. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 14,000 children are seen by doctors for backpack injuries and 5,000 of those are ER visits. I see kids with backpack related issues and injuries. Based on what I see in my practice, I wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers represented significant under-reporting and were actually much higher!

While solutions like digital textbooks and cloud-based access are still not being implemented widely, there are a few DIY things that you can do to protect your child. Good suggestions can be found here .

Unfortunately, even these measures do not solve the fundamental issue of too much weight in the packs. Paying attention to how the weight is carried is helpful and necessary to reduce risk, but it ignores the structure responsible for actually carrying the weight. Let me ask you this. Is your child active? Do they run and play and engage in activities of physical development? Have they fallen or run in to another child or been jerked around, even when it was fun? Did they ride a roller coaster, or get pulled behind a boat this summer?

If the answer is yes, then they may actually have a structural/functional issue in their spine. It may not show up during normal activities, but when you add another 20 or 40% of their body weight, that stress alone may reveal, aggravate, or even cause additional injury to a structural and functional spinal problem called vertebral subluxation.
If the answer is no, then your child may be even more at risk for injury due to under-developed strength and balance. Until they develop these aspects, making sure that they are not growing into injuries is a smart move.
Regardless, they need to be in prime shape to try and manage that much additional weight. As a chiropractor, I can’t think of a profession more qualified to help in this regard. Do not dismiss complaints of pain or discomfort as “normal”. Schedule an appointment to have your child assessed for spinal subluxation that may not be readily apparent.

As a parent, I know you want to give your child the best start to the new school year. I also know that this time of year puts more demands on your budget. From now until the end of September, I have a special offer. I will give your child a special spinal screening to check for evidence of vertebral subluxation for a special price of $50. PLUS, if you bring in the child’s loaded backpack, I will include a backpack fitting at no charge. These will be available on Saturdays from 11am until I’m done.Backpack Fitting

I’ll be checking my daughter regularly, just like I’ve done her entire life. Depending on what I see in the days and weeks ahead, I may be making more inquiries with the intention of keeping her safe and hopefully all the children safer.

Preparing For War


Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

                                                   -Sun Tsu, The Art of War

 

Disclaimer: The conflict in the Middle East is serious business. This post is in no way an attempt to compare or capitalize on that engagement. This post is a metaphor about the very personal challenges we can expect to see in the coming months.

Later this year, my family will be enjoying an active Halloween celebration. After that, we will probably travel with three small children to Tuscaloosa or Wetumpka for Thanksgiving, making a few extra stops to visit along the way. And once that’s done, preparations for Christmas will begin with shopping and travel (or hosting) times with loved ones. All along there will be sugary sweets, rich food, long travel times, disrupted schedules, strange beds, very little rest, and lots and lots of stress.

Maybe this sounds a bit familiar. You may travel farther or host bigger. Or perhaps you struggle with being alone. Maybe your loved ones are not getting along, which can add to your own anxiety.

Here in Alabama, we can also add nearly every Saturday in between to the list. We tend to get worked up over some college boys in ridiculous outfits trying to steal a $10 torpedo-shaped ball from another equally silly looking group. Part of this ritual includes sausage, chicken wings, cheez curlz. And of course, smack talk. Roll Tide/War Eagle.

Fall is football season, holiday season, and flu season. It’s no wonder that people struggle with their health throughout. Every year I see people start dropping like flies the week after Halloween (and the requisite sugar overload). As people get sick, they tend to turn to any and every thing they can to try to maintain some semblance of function in the midst of so much activity. To make matters worse, even if you follow the strategy revealed in this article, the sheer volume of people in your environment that are actively sick and contagious will further tax your ability to resist.

It is a war you prepare for. The battle is for your health and happiness. Fighting this war will, and I emphasize, WILL, sap your strength and ability to resist. It is not hopeless though. You have the luxury of time right now to prepare for this war, to store up reserves, and give yourself every advantage to resist, bounce back, and most importantly enjoy the festivities of life!

Here is the strategy: your immune system is a defensive system. It must be well prepared if you expect it to perform well. How do you prepare an immune system?

Do the things you would ordinarily do to bounce back from an illness. I trust you have found strategies that work for you. This can be as simple as mindful eating. When we get colds, we profit from nutrient rich foods, like chicken soup. Healthy or sick, we benefit when we ensure adequate rest and hydration. Another huge component is an attitude of hope and faith. Individually, each of these strategies will help. Together these components synergize to even greater effect.

Tying these strategies all together is the ability of your body to receive, process, and assimilate their yield effectively. All of this happens through and by the nervous system. Interference at this level (via vertebral subluxation) will handicap all of your other efforts, even if you aren’t aware of it at the time. The structural and functional relationships between the central nervous system and the spine are well established. You cannot experience optimum performance at any endeavor, including immunity and resistance with vertebral subluxation affecting your master control system. For those who want the best opportunity to survive, thrive, and enjoy this upcoming season, a chiropractic check-up is in order.

INTACT

Let me touch on the flu shot for a moment. Whether you choose to get one or you choose to decline, the strategy above will benefit you. The flu shot, if it’s to be effective, relies on a healthy immune system. If you are like me, and choose to forego the shot, you will also be relying on a healthy immune system.

My hope is that everyone spends this the time between now and Halloween making sure that you’ve done all you can do to ensure a healthy, happy holiday season and set yourself up to step into the new year on a high note. Does it seem a little early to be thinking that far ahead?

Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.

Be the victorious General. Be Your Best!

AUG to OCT

Science for Sale?


www.bamachiro.com

“Let the researchers do the research,” explained a friend whom I consider to be both educated and intelligent. This was in response to all the “soccer moms” doing their own research about vaccines. I vehemently disagree because I’ve learned a thing or two about how research gets reported and applied. Still, it got me to thinking about how critically important research, and our ability to trust research is.

After all, parents research everything from prenatal vitamins to strollers to find the option that best suits their needs. Why not vaccines? If you truly believe that the case for vaccines has been settled, then how do you explain the sheer volume of people not accepting the vaccine story? Most of these people tend to be intelligent, well-educated, and wealthy, and their ranks include doctors, pediatricians, PhD’s, and immunologists, not to mention folks with enough study under their belts to qualify for a degree. I mean, even asking the question is enough to get you publicly hammered. Right, Katie Couric?

Among the many, many reasons to carefully research before you choose to force a cocktail of potent poisons into your child’s flesh is the fact that you cannot unvaccinate a child. Also, you the parents, and no one else, will be responsible for whatever the outcome is. Those two things alone are motivation enough to research. All that is required of researchers is the ability to read and critically think. And maybe Google. That’s it.

It’s important to research, because you find very interesting things. For example, Hooker, et al., released a review article in Biomed Research International titled, “Methodological Issues and Evidence of Malfeasance in Research Purporting to Show Thimerosal in Vaccines Is Safe.”

Basically, this paper refutes the SIX studies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses to calm people’s fears about thimerosal as bad science and using 165 studies to demonstrate a link between Mercury and Autism. The CDC can’t find a link, but Hooker finds 165 of them.Mercury

If the CDC, your State Health Department, and your doctor all tell you that vaccines are safe and that they have not been shown to cause autism (which is not exactly the same as “do not cause autism”) but 165 studies show the opposite, what’s a parent/researcher to think? Who can you trust? The charge of “malfeasance” should be more than troubling. And it certainly isn’t going to make people like me less inclined to question.

At the heart of this matter is not whether to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. And frankly, getting distracted in a senseless debate is destructive, no matter what side you find yourself on. The heart of the matter is informed consent. People without accurate information cannot render informed consent. Informed consent is necessary, whether convenient or not, and speaks to the core of individual liberty.

The science of vaccine safety isn’t settled. Neither is the science of vaccine effectiveness. Not when vaccine researchers, the ones paid to do the primary research, lie and fake data.  Not when vaccines like the DTaP fail to protect.  Not when the concept of “herd immunity” or “cocooning” is bastardized and falsely attributed to a vaccinated state.

Misinforming people and then performing procedures isn’t just fraud; it doesn’t just damage the public trust; it is assault. To assault masses of people is to declare war on them. The Nuremberg Trials punished war criminals and the Nuremberg Code was established to protect free peoples from War Crimes.

Am I reaching here? Overblowing it just a bit? This is bigger than vaccines. Parents are having their children confiscated, based on conflicting medical opinions.  An otherwise healthy baby was taken from its mother because she questioned a vaccine.

Not all of this is happening based on science and research, but there is a clear trend of assault and bullying of the individual by hospital staff, Child Protection authorities, the news media and federal agencies, like the CDC and the FDA. Scientific studies are used as the common link of evidence-based practice, as they should be. But if we can’t trust the science, what then?

Ben Goldacre has a popular video on TedTalks that highlights some additional failings, faults, and fixes of our current research and publish model.

 

The more emphasis we put on science, especially in healthcare, the more we need real assurance that the science is impeccable. Currently, profitable science is promoted, and even “doctored” to make it more profitable. Science should never be for sale.arm-wrestling

 

Choice and Chance in the Land of Healthcare


For thousands of years, coughs, fevers, throwing up, and other disgusting symptomatic expressions have served as a stark warning of the presence of sickness. Unless you have specific training, signs like these evoke a visceral, stomach-turning response that is impossible to miss. For these thousands of years, infectious disease has been the number one threat against the individual. Infectious disease takes advantage of every other kind of hardship to break us down and destroy us.

To avoid that destruction, we have learned through these long generations to avoid any possible sign of sickness and to assume that the lack of symptoms means “no news is good news.” We have come to view sickness and disease as the result of an outside agent that steps in and robs us of our health. The proposition and subsequent discovery of micro-organisms solidified this idea firmly in the mind of those disposed toward rational, scientific thought.

In the early 20th century, this led us to seek to eradicate microbes by any means necessary. Antibiotics, a major medical advancement, showed tremendous promise as a capital weapon in our war on germs. This promise was relatively short lived though. We soon became aware that the very weapon we wielded with impunity against our foe was creating a new generation of germ that thwarted our every attempt to contain it. Instead of eradicating the foe, we were causing it to become only more dangerous and deadly.

Predictions as recently as 1955 painted a very rosy picture of the upcoming new millennium and beyond. Women would appear forever young. Man would live well into his 2nd century. Infectious diseases were to be eradicated. Cancer would be contained. The common cold a distant memory. And so on. Meanwhile, diseases that had previously been conquered are showing up as superbugs, including tuberculosis, staph and the latest, gonorrhea.

According to the CDC’s Top Ten Leading Causes of Death, the only infectious disease that still makes the top ten is the flu. Flu makes the list only when exaggerated and combined with pneumonia. Almost none of the diseases and conditions on the Top Ten list are likely to have early symptoms or to be infectious. Why do we use a healthcare strategy, based on the chance that we can use the presence of symptoms to protect us from the things that aren’t our primary threats? It is a systemic and cultural failure to adapt. In nature, failure to adapt is lethal.

What has become clear is that the primary threats facing American health are related more to choice than to chance. We choose to value a lifestyle and pace of living that require our bodies to be in top condition to keep up, while we choose to neglect or abuse our body at every turn.

Take another look at the diseases and conditions in the Leading Causes of Death and see if you don’t see a rampant pattern of abuse and neglect.   Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems related to chronic organ dysfunction of the lungs and kidneys. (Not to ignore suicide, which could be the poster child for abuse of the self.) We can’t legitimately claim that consequences of long-standing physical and emotional abuse happen by chance.

Why do we sit around and do stuff we know is harmful to our health? There are three main reasons:

  1. The consequences aren’t immediate and there’s no “one thing” we’re doing (or not doing) that is the cause of the problem. It’s just not that simple. The cause is cumulative, just like many other modern problems.
  2. The incentives to be healthy contradict cultural norms and values. Our culture values convenience, sensuality, and time efficiency. Natural, healthy foods, as an example, can be convenient, but that limits variety. Variety is one way we satisfy the sensuality value. They are also commonly less time efficient because you are left with ingredients requiring preparation instead of pre-packaged ready to eat items.
  3. A false sense of security when it comes to healthcare.guardrailWe tend to think of the healthcare system as a safety net, because in a way it is. It is a great system for helping someone avoid death in a crisis. But when the crisis arises from a long series of choices we make as individuals, it is limited in how it can help those who choose not to help themselves. It can no more protect you from the cliff than a good guardrail. It may give you a second chance, but it will eventually fail.

We have to realize that the steering wheel is in our hands and that with planning and action on our part, we can make a big difference in our own health outcomes. Right now, we’re #50 in the world. I know we can do better.

This is why the message of Chiropractic is so important. Health and healing come from within. You were made to be healthy. When you disturb normal function, you necessarily disturb the natural ability of the body to express health. Nowhere is this more true than in the nervous system. It is the master control system of the body. It is the part that gets disturbed through vertebral subluxation. That is why Chiropractic exists. That is why Chiropractic saves people money on their healthcare expenses. That is why you should make the choice to get checked and improve your chances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restoration


Several years ago, a friend bought an old 1969 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible and wanted to have it restored. They are beautiful, powerful classic cars, and it would be a great joy ride. I happened to know a man who was a pretty good restoration guy, so I rode with my friend over to see what this man had to say.

car pre

After looking over the car and doing some quick math in his head, the restoration guy said he could get it in near showroom condition for about 15 thousand dollars. My friend, expecting something in the range of 2-3 thousand, started yelling at the man about being a rip-off and started giving me the stink eye.

Car post

But the restoration guy said, “Wait a minute. Do you know what you have here? In near showroom condition this car can fetch as much as $100,000. When he heard that, my friend couldn’t get his checkbook out fast enough.

Why am I telling this story about a car?

Nowadays, most folks throw temporary relief at problems and ignore the consequences until they can’t – just like a poorly maintained car will rust just sitting in a junkyard. It’s like no one told them that they are in possession of a masterwork. Your self-healing and self-regulating vehicle, when properly restored from the trials of the world has an AMAZING capacity to function. We depend on it to live here. Most of us are happy when it just gets us through the day. That’s not living; it’s settling for survival.

The truth is this: you can allow your body to continue to rust and just patch over it, or you can choose to work to restore and maintain the most unique and valuable thing on the planet.

At our office, we focus on the restoration of the master control system, because an intact nervous system will lead to optimum function of the human body.

Is It Plugged In?


Yesterday I saw this error message on my computer.

 No VGA Cable

After a quick check of the cables, I figured 2003 had finally called and wanted its video card back. The cooling fan on the card has been acting up for a while and I really expected it to go any time. Luckily, I had a spare and took the few minutes the swap it out. Then…

No VGA Cable

*sigh of defeat* <I’m not usually this fast on the frustration trigger. Earlier, I had spent the better part of an hour coaxing a stubborn brake drum off. It’s supposed to just slide off…>

A less quick recheck showed that one cable wasn’t completely plugged into the monitor. It looked attached at a glance, but it wasn’t. The actual fix merely required one second. My three-year-old could have literally done it.

It didn’t matter how many parts I swapped out, or how many times I rebooted. What mattered was that the signal could get all the way through.

<I wonder, how many kids learn to cuss while helping dad fix stuff?>

An intact nervous system will lead to optimum function

Your body works that way too. Who’s checking your signal to make sure it’s at 100%? Maybe you should have that checked before you put stuff in you don’t need or take stuff out that works just fine. If only someone with the right perspective could make a small adjustment and restore the connection. I’m the someone.

Robert Johns is a chiropractor with a practice in Mt. Laurel, AL, serving the Greater Birmingham, AL area. Feel free to contact him for more information on how chiropractic can help you find out if you’re fully “plugged in.”

Why I Study the Vaccination Issue


1024px-Syringe_Needle

The immune system is complex. 
Almost every organ in your body, from your skin and hair to your bones, is involved either directly or indirectly with immune function. Therefore, any part that is distressed becomes a weak link.

There have never been any medical studies that have been performed that clearly demonstrate that vaccines increase the immune system competence of the human body.
While antibody levels (titers) are an accepted measure of vaccine effectiveness, there are some inherent issues with this assertion. It does not explain the lack of resistance in individuals with high titers or the resistance of those without detectable levels. Titers measure only activity of a limited portion of immune system activity.

Vaccines effects are measured on a relatively small portion of the immune system.
The adaptive portion of the immune system is divided into humoral-mediated (antibodies) and cell-mediated (white blood cells, including T-cells). Vaccines effects are measured only through the humoral portion.

Many vaccines are targeted at viruses (e.g., measles, flu, chicken pox, polio, HPV).
The portion of the immune system that arguably does the lion’s share of the work is not the vaccine-targeted humoral-mediated division, but the general, non-specific immune system. Toxic interventions, including vaccines and antibiotics, risk weakening this barrier and lowering general viral defenses.

Vaccines are credited with the near eradication of many diseases, but incidence rates for infectious diseases were already in decline prior to the introduction of the vaccine. Are vaccine effects overstated?
Advances in infrastructure, like sanitation, our understanding of how the body works, the availability of adequate nutrition, and non-vaccine medical advances have all played a role in eliminating the environment necessary for infectious disease to gain a foothold. Giving credit to vaccines makes pharma companies and government policy-makers look good.

The Greater Good vs. Individual Rights
Recently, States, like California, have begun limiting the parental option to opt out of vaccines due to religious or philosophical convictions. At the same time, arguments have been made in medical-ethical circles that the liability and blame for infection of the vaccinated should be shifted to the unvaccinated. Both of these trends erode the protection of the individual from the government and set disturbing precedents with regards to the establishment of informed consent.

A lot of money is attached to public vaccination.
This, by itself, is not especially problematic. But profit incentives are not balanced by responsibility for the methods of achieving profit. Neither manufacturers nor providers have any specific liability incentives for securing best practices.

All liability lands on the shoulders of the parents.
Much of the time, parents vaccinate without legitimate informed consent. Risks are minimized, benefits are exaggerated, and strong-arm tactics are employed to achieve compliance. As a healthcare consumer, I believe that my questions need to be answered and my concerns addressed to MY satisfaction, before I can consent in a truly informed manner.

There is mounting evidence that the current US vaccine schedule is associated with rising incidence of lifelong debilitating conditions, ranging from neurodevelopmental disorders to autoimmune and allergic conditions.

In Prog Health Sci 2012, Vol 2, No 1, “Neurologic adverse events vaccination”, the Department of Pediatric Rehabilitation of the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland makes the following statements:

 “Reports in many Polish and foreign medical journals lead us to conclude that postvaccinal complications among children can be observed in sporadic cases and that they are disproportionate to the benefits of vaccination in the elimination of dangerous diseases in childhood.”

 “Notably, other than not providing an effective stimulus for proper immune system development, recent research has shown that vaccines are actually capable of disrupting it.”

The vaccine issue is not as simple as “vax vs. nonvax.” Nor is it as simple as vaccinating or “doing nothing.” In fact, there are many more issues than the ones I bring up today. I would encourage each parent to investigate the matter for yourself. Emotions have a tendency to run high on both ends, because each believes that lives of children are at stake.

Parent Pro-tip: Don’t wait until your well-baby visit to talk to your pediatrician. Appointment time limits may not allow for an adequate conversation. Let them know ahead of time that you have questions, and they can help guide you. Also, do research on your own. The more specific your questions, the more specific the answers are likely to be. A good starting point is the National Vaccine Information Center. No matter your decision, the risks and consequences lie with you and your child, alone.

My family utilizes a sensible, logical, scientific strategy to boost immune function. And yes, specific subluxation-centered chiropractic care is a big part of that strategy. I invite you to learn more about how a strategy that includes chiropractic care can benefit your family, no matter what your ultimate decision regarding vaccination is. We have a number of different opportunities for you to see for yourself.
Email us at info@bamachiro.com,and we’ll help you find the right fit.