Chiropractic… Natural, Safe, and Effective!

The mission of chiropractic is to help sick people get well, as well as to help healthy people function better in the absence of drugs or surgery.

When people are asked, “…what do chiropractors do?” the frequent response is, “…they crack your neck and/or back.”

Chiropractic spinal manipulation (frequently called an adjustment) often produces an audible popping or cracking noise.

This sound is known as joint cavitation and it is reported to be caused by the release of pressure created by gases (nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide) within the joint.


It is the same noise produced when one cracks their knuckles. One common myth is that cracking or cavitating a joint will produce arthritis in the joint—this is simply not true.

Several scientific studies of joint cavitation dispel this old wives tale. In fact, studies demonstrate that joint manipulation actually benefits patients with arthritis of the spine.

There have been a number of studies published on the topic of unwanted reactions to spinal manipulation.

In general, side effects, if any, are mild and transient.

When they do occur, they typically happen shortly after the first or second session of spinal manipulation, similar to the post-exercise soreness that occurs when first introducing a new sport or activity.

Unpleasant side effects such as this may occur in between 10% and 30% of patients. They occur more often in women than men, and as previously stated, they seem to occur more often after the first session of spinal manipulation.

The most commonly reported unpleasant reaction is temporary and transient increased pain or stiffness. This reaction usually resolves in 24 hours or less.

More rare reports of tiredness, light headedness, and occasional nausea have been infrequently reported.

The type and nature of these reactions may be associated with the severity and nature of the condition being treated.

It seems self evident that more severe problems have the potential to produce short-term increases in symptoms. The use of ice, ultrasound and or other modalities can help to minimize any irritation that may occur due to spinal manipulative treatment.


There are many reports on both sides of this subject, with some stating spinal manipulation can increase compression of the spinal nerves in patients with disk herniations as well as the opposite—that it reduces nerve root pressure.

The good news is that the rate of occurrence is only about 1 in 1- 3 million cases, making spinal manipulation for disk problems an extremely safe treatment option for patient with herniated disks.

Chiropractors will often use low-force manipulation methods for treating herniated disks that do not require a standard type of manipulation thrust.

These spinal methods are sometimes preferred over traditional manipulative techniques for the treatment of herniated spinal disks, but this is case dependent.

To make an educated decision about any type of care you may be considering, you must consider “relative risks”. Simply put, relative risks compare the risk of one procedure with the risk of a second procedure for the same condition.

For example, if you are taking medications to relieve your pain, how do the risks of the medications compare with the risks of an alternative treatment, like chiropractic care?

An example is chiropractic treatment versus drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen.


Interestingly, studies have reported that patients receiving chiropractic care were able to reduce their intake of drugs, thus, reducing the risks of drug reactions/interactions.

If you are trying to avoid surgery for a spine-related problem, your condition is more serious and potential side effects of surgery should be compared with chiropractic.

You should understand any patient who is a potential candidate for spine surgery has a serious medical condition. There is pressure on a nerve and the potential for permanent damage to that nerve exists. Studies show that chiropractic care often can reduce the pressure on a compressed nerve in the lower back or neck, without surgery.

The following references were utilized in the preparation of this information.


The audible release associated with joint manipulation. JMPT. 1995 Mar-Apr;18(3):155-64.
Does knuckle cracking lead to arthritis of the fingers? Arthritis Rheum. 1998 May;41(5):949-50.
Efficacy of treating low back pain and dysfunction secondary to osteoarthritis: chiropractic care compared with moist heat alone. JMPT 2006 Feb;29(2):107-14.
Comparison of human lumbar facet joint capsule strains during simulated high velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation versus physiological motions. Spine J. 2005 May-Jun;5(3):277-90.
Safety of spinal manipulation in the treatment of lumbar disk herniations: a systematic review and risk assessment JMPT. 2004 Mar-Apr;27(3):197-210.
Side posture manipulation for lumbar intervertebral disk herniation. JMPT. 1993 Feb;16(2):96-103.
Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical follow-up: study of 27 patients receiving chiropractic care for cervical and lumbar disc herniations. JMPT 1996 Nov-Dec;19 (9):597-606.
Prospective investigations into the safety of spinal manipulation. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2001 Mar;21(3):238-42.
Risks associated with spinal manipulation. Am J Med. 2002 May;112(7):566-71.
A risk assessment of cervical manipulation vs. NSAIDs for the treatment of neck pain. JMPT 1995 Oct;18(8):530-6.
J Side effects of chiropractic treatment: a prospective study. JMPT. 1997 Oct;20(8):511-5.
Frequency and clinical predictors of adverse reactions to chiropractic care in the UCLA neck pain study. Spine. 2005 Jul 1;30(13):1477-84.
Complications of spinal manipulation: a comprehensive review of the literature. J Fam Pract. 1996 May;42(5):475-80.
Dissection of cervical arteries Presse Med 2001 Dec 15;30(38):1882-9
Vertebral artery occlusion after acute cervical spine trauma. Spine. 2000 May 1;25(9):1171-7.18. Spine Journal
Internal forces sustained by the vertebral artery during spinal manipulative therapy. JMPT 2002 Oct;25(8):504-10


Chiropractic Benefits for Fibromyalgia

How Can Chiropractic Benefit Someone with Fibromyalgia?

A new study from Egypt reports that chiropractic care can be an effective treatment strategy for fibromyalgia treatment with chiropractic care.1 The study involved 120 people between the ages of 40 and 65 who had suffered with severe fibromyalgia for four years or more. Each person rated their pain as a 4 or higher on a pain scale and also had limited movement in their cervical (neck area) spine, specifically in their C1-C2 area. All of the individuals participating in this study engaged in 12 weeks of therapy which included:

• An education program (one two-hour session per week) designed to provide the participant with more information about fibromyalgia and care options;
• Cognitive behavioral therapy (one two-hour session per week) which involved discussion regarding pain management via relaxation exercises, challenging treatment-prohibitive beliefs about fibromyalgia, and positive reinforcement about what types of actions can be taken to ease fibromyalgia symptoms; and
• An exercise program (three one-hour sessions per week plus 20-minute session twice daily at home) which included relaxation techniques, as well as active and passive stretches.

One half of the individuals were randomly assigned to a chiropractic group, which meant that they also received chiropractic adjustments three times per week for the first month. This was then reduced to once a week sessions for the remaining eight weeks.

At the beginning of the study, the conclusion of the study, and at one year post-study, each participant was askegirl-walking-on-beach-wanderlustd to complete various questionnaires to help the researchers determine what effect, if any, that chiropractic had on easing fibromyalgia symptoms and reducing its impact on their lifestyle. Specifically, questions were asked regarding physical function abilities, work days missed due to fibromyalgia symptoms, sleep disturbances, level of pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

What Were The Results of the Fibromyalgia Study?

The individuals who participated in the chiropractic care group showed more improvement and better results than the control group who had no chiropractic intervention. This was validated by questionnaire scores that improved by 15 or more percent.

1. Moustafa IM, Diab AA. The addition of upper cervical manipulative therapy in the treatment of patients with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial. Rheumatology International 2015;35(7):1163-1174.

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

What Is Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy?

Swelling of the prostate gland and elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) are the latest conditions targeted by the pharmaceutical industry in their media blitz advertising campaign. Their goal is clearly to reach the millions of men suffering the discomfort and dysfunction of benign prostate diseases and to mobilize anxiety about the 30,000 men who die annually from prostate cancer. The awareness of the problem is good… but are drugs and surgery our only or our wisest choices?

Benign (non-cancerous) Prostate Hyper-trophy (BPH) alone contributes to over one billion dollars spent annually in pursuit of relief for symptoms of:

• Awakening from sleep to urinate a number of times per night.
• Feeling the bladder is not empty and frequent urination.
• Difficulty beginning urination.

While these symptoms are inconvenient, embarrassing and uncomfortable they are not immediately life threatening like heart attack or stroke.

Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH) is simply prostate gland swelling which is commonly related to an inflammation and/or infection of the lower urinary tract and prostate. This swelling leads to incomplete emptying of the bladder while increasing the risk of urinary tract infection. This vicious cycle of swelling, urinary retention, and infection causes a worsening of symptoms, sometimes even leading to prostate cancer.A farmer inspects canola crop.  Older generations still call canola rape or rapeseed.

What Is The PSA Test and How Important Is It?

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein that increases in the blood of men with various conditions of the prostate, including hypertrophy, inflammation, infection and cancer. It is NOT a specific indicator of cancer, merely an indicator of prostate tissue stress. Fueled by media frenzy and fear of prostate cancer, men often are counseled to aggressively pursue diagnostic studies and treatment of elevated PSA. But research shows that 85% of the time a man has an increase in PSA it is due to inflammation and infections of the prostate gland that have gone untreated and unsupported by healthful choices… not cancer!

How Does Lifestyle Affect The Incidence of BPH?

Research in China shows that men in rural areas have very low rates of clinical BPH, while men living in cities adopting a western lifestyle have a skyrocketing incidence of this condition (though it is still below rates seen in the West). Men who lead a western lifestyle have a much higher incidence of symptomatic BPH than men who lead a traditional or rural lifestyle.

What Causes Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy?

It is agreed by most experts that BPH is the result of 3 causes.
1. Inflammation
2. Infection
3. Autoimmune disease

Unhealthful lifestyle choices lead to impaired immune function that can lead to inflammation and decreased resistance to infection. Incomplete bladder emptying and sexual activity both may lead to bacterial concentrations causing infection of the urinary tract. Over months and years, bladder and prostate tissues stressed in this way could become damaged and result in autoimmune disease. When the protein component of an injured tissue enters the bloodstream, an antibody-antigen reaction develops against that tissue. If the injured tissue is from the prostate, one may suffer autoimmune attack on the prostate.

What Lifestyle Changes Can Help the Prostate Gland?

Take these steps for increasing prostate health:
• Eliminate processed foods and sugars
• Reduce or eliminate toxins in food, air and water
• Increase whole foods rich in antioxidants
• Increase whole foods rich in trace minerals such as selenium, zinc and iodine
• Increase healthful Vitamin D from brief periods of daily sunshine and whole food supplements
• Increase water consumption to frequently flush bacteria and toxins from the urinary tract
• Increase exercise

What About Supplements and BPH?

Some of the oldest nutritional support for BPH is the vitamin that used to be known as Vitamin F (Still available today as Cataplex F from Standard Process) If contains fatty acids, prostate extract and iodine. Research from the 1940’s showed the benefit of this combination is supporting BPH.1

TN-biking-390x245Vitamin D3 is vital for a healthy prostate gland and normal calcium metabolism which is necessary for the prostate. Used by doctors since 1953 prostate tissue extracts called PMGs or protomorphogens have been used to support the health and repair of the prostate. (Prostate PMG)

Also successfully used to shrink prostate swelling and support the prostate have been saw palmetto berry, prostate tissue extract, stinging nettle root extract, pygeum, zinc land tomato fruit powder (Available today as Palmettoplex from Standard Process).2

1. Hart JP, Cooper WL. Vitamin F in the treatment of prostatic hypertrophy. Report Number 1, Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1941
2. Wilt TJ, Ishani A, Stark G, MacDonald R, Lau J, Mulrow C. Saw palmetto extracts for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a systematic review. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11; 280(18):1604-9.

Exercise Halts the Dementia Gene

How Does Exercise Affect the Onset of Dementia?

Dementia is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. today, and experts say the next generation could see twice as many people suffering from it, particularly in old age. But avoiding the brain-deteriorating disease could be as simple as remembering to exercise just a few times a week, according to a new study, which appears to inhibit the expression of the “dementia gene.”

exercisingOver the course of 18 months, researchers from the University of Maryland measured the brain sizes of elderly participants who were divided into four groups. The activity levels of each of the participants were gauged in conjunction with whether or not they possessed a gene known as APOE-e4, which has been associated with an increased risk of dementia.

Up to 30 percent of the population possesses this gene, and the research team wanted to see whether or not physical exertion affects its expression. What they found is that those with APOE-e4 who exercised at least three times a week experienced a lesser overall decrease in brain mass, a common sign of dementia, compared to those who engaged in little or no exercise.

“We found that physical activity has the potential to preserve the volume of the hippocampus in those with increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, which means we can possibly delay cognitive decline and the onset of dementia symptoms in these individuals,” stated Dr. J. Carson Smith, one of the study’s authors. “Physical activity interventions may be especially potent and important for this group.”

Exercise alone is hardly the best approach, as nutrition is equally if not more important for preserving brain function, it is vital for maintaining good health, especially in old age. Though it defies the outdated conventional thinking of the past, consuming more saturated fats in the diet will feed your brain the nutrients it needs for proper repair and function. That means getting off the bad advice of the 70’s through the 90’s and getting off the nutrient deficient low-fat craze. The best saturated fats come from foods like coconut oil, pastured butter, ghee, and pastured animals. “The brain thrives on a fat-rich, low-carbohydrate diet, which unfortunately is relatively uncommon in human populations today,” wrote neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter in his best-selling book Grain Brain.

Prospering During the Flu Season

Is There Anything I Can Eat to Prevent Flu During This Time of Year?

It’s here now… flu season. Radical changes in temperature and weather, holidays (starting with Halloween), the stress of family visits and eating or drinking too much… and being exposed to all the people who are carrying the flu viruses from the flu shots, all lower our body’s resistance and increase our chances for the flu.

There are foods that you can eat that will help you to increase your natural resistance to the flu.

• Use garlic in your cooking. To get the benefits from the garlic you must crush the garlic first. Research indicates that garlic increases your resistance to infection

Yogurt and other fermented products are natural probiotics that increase your natural immunity.

• Foods with high vitamin C help the immune system. Foods with the highest vitamin C include kale, broccoli and berries. (all are higher than oranges)

Meats and nuts contain high zinc which is needed for optimum immune function


Are There Supplements That I Can Use That Will Ward Off Viral Infections?

There are a number of nutrients and herbs that have been demonstrated to
have clinical efficacy in up-regulating your immune system so you don’t get the flu in the first place. The most effective are:

Echinacea research has shown that the alkylamides from the roots help strengthen and support the immune system by optimizing the function of white blood cells. With Echinacea the benefits come from ongoing use, it can’t be used as a last ditch method to treat symptoms.

Zinc is needed to make healthy white blood cells and activate T-cells to fight viruses.

Probiotics will enhance the balance of gut flora. Often times the first exposure to viruses may begin in the gut.

Vitamin D receptors are found on both B cells and T cells. Vitamin D helps to modulate your immune response

St. John’s Wort is an herb that has been shown to have antiviral effects on enveloped viruses such as influenza and herpes. Ebola is also an envelope virus.

How to Stay Obese

What Can You Do To Stay Fat, Overweight or Obese?

Tens of millions of Americans are obese, and while figures have stabilized in recent years according to government findings, the numbers are still staggering. Poor dietary choices rank very high as a cause of obesity, but another factor is one that gets far less attention — is Americans’ increasing lack of physical activity.

fat-stomach-measuring-obese-tummy-In fact, a new study found that the average obese woman only gets one hour of vigorous exercise per year, while men don’t get much more… less than four per year. 1

The findings, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, stem from the tracking of participants’ movements over the course of a year. Researchers collected data regarding the amount of exercise participants engaged in and at what intensity levels.
Researchers defined vigorous exercise as jogging or other high-cardio-related, fat-burning exercises. For those who were considered extremely overweight, walking may be considered vigorous.
For women especially, researchers cited extremely busy lives as a major reason why they exercised so little. Between work, caring for children and sleep, they noted, women did not have much time in the day to devote to fitness.

“They’re living their lives from one chair to another,” Edward Archer, a research fellow with the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, “We didn’t realize we were that sedentary. There are some people who are vigorously active, but it’s offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive.”

How to Begin an Exercise Program?overweight-couple-on-treadmill

Finding the time to work in a fitness program is difficult in today’s busy world. But almost everyone has time for some sort of activity 3-4 times per week, if they really want to change their lifestyle. Here are some guidelines:

• Set a weight goal
• Take a before photo
• Don’t overdo it at first
• Don’t go it alone
• Pick something fun
• Don’t make excuses
• Clean up your diet

1. Edward Archer, Ph.D, December 2013 Mayo Clinic Proceedings

A Rifle For Christmas


Christmas Blessings to you as you read this!

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or for those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors.

It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving. It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted so badly that year for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

So after supper was over, I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace, waiting for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible; instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though; I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, but, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.

But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up, put my boots back on, and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short or quick or little job, I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him.

The cold was already biting at me, and I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain and all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something.

“Pa,” I asked, “what are you doing?”

“You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what? “Yeah,” I said, “Why?” “I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said.

He then turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading and went to the smokehouse where he took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.

When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. “What’s in the little sack?” I asked. “Shoes. They’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunnysacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.

“We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house, unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, and took the meat and flour and shoes around to the front door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?” Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all.

Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp. “We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks.

She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out. “We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said. He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and, as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes, too. In my mind, I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people. I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy, and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time.

She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.” In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it, I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth.

I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it. Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go.

I could see that they missed their pa, and I was glad that I still had mine. At the door, Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away. Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you”. Out on the sled, I felt warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold.

When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday, a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunnysacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent your rifle money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.” I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it.

Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night; he had given me the best Christmas of my life.