Alignment and Spark!

Can a car with bad alignment still be driven?  Yes – but it will never steer to its potential.  How about one running on 5 cylinders instead of 6?  Yes, it too can get you from point A to point B – but it will never accelerate to its potential.

In an effort to squeeze every bit of performance out of a car, you can try using higher octane gas, installing expensive tires or replacing your brake pads, but if the car’s alignment and ‘spark’ are compromised, it will never perform to the manufacturers intended specs…likewise with your body.

Organic food, cross fitness exercising and Pilates training are nice additives to squeeze more performance out of your body, but you’ll never perform to your potential if your back alignment and nerve system ‘spark’ are compromised (subluxated).  To get the most out of those extra-health activities, maintain your spinal integrity FIRST with regular Chiropractic care.

Who do you know that could use more ‘Spark’ in their Lives?  Share this handout with them and get their Nerve system checked and tuned up today!

The Yoda of Pediatrics

Since I was a young, I was obsessed with Star Wars. I was Luke Skywalker, sticks were lightsabers, the dog was Jabba the Hutt, and my back yard was Endor. I wasn’t alone in my obsession, either. Every kid I knew was a fanatic. The Star Wars series is *still* selling out box offices, toys are still flying off the shelves, and collections of memorabilia are still selling for millions of dollars! Generation after generation loves Star Wars!

The Jedi Power

What is it that makes Star Wars so magical and alluring for its fans? Is it the good vs. evil, man vs. man, man vs. himself, or is it something else? For me, it is the Jedi Power; the power that I still want to believe resides in all of us.
I vividly remember, as a child, desperately trying to ‘activate’ my Jedi powers, which I was positive were inside of me, but only lying dormant. I would close my eyes, focus as hard as I could, hold my breath (breathing affects a Jedi’s effectiveness, I’m sure there’s some science behind that) and try to move inanimate things with my mind. I was embarrassingly unsuccessful. All that changed one evening at dinner; I announced to my parents that I was going to move my drink without touching it. I closed my eyes, focused hard, held my breath, prayed to Yoda, and I was one with the Force – everything was right. I opened my eyes, and to my amazement, it had moved!!! You better believe that everyone I knew (and even a few I didn’t) heard ALL about this. I tried for months to do it again, each time failing. It finally occurred to me one day that my crowning moment, my induction into the Jedi Order, was really just my parents humoring me. My dreams were dashed, and my Jedi days were done. Over. Finished.

The Pediatric Jedi

Well, that was until I started a chiropractic practice with my wife, 17 years ago. My wife, Dr. Debra Cirone, pediatric chiropractor, is the Pediatric Jedi. We all know that children are often scared of going to the doctor, but she communicates with them as if she were Yoda. If I had a nickel for every time a parent has told me that their child is never going to allow a chiropractic adjustment…. Well, I’d have a lot of nickels. They’re never afraid of Dr. Deb though, because she’s a Jedi. And Jedi’s are good.

But here’s the best part: the children get well. And then they stay well. You may think of a very specific practice when you hear the word ‘chiropractic’, but we do so much more than just help with sore necks and backs. My wife has treated RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), ear infections, and everything in between, all with amazing results. One of her favorite sayings is “The answer to health does not come from treating symptoms with potions and pills from your medicine cabinet”. Is it just me, or does that that just sound like something a wise Jedi would say?

What’s her secret? I believe it’s simple:

  1. LOVE – She loves each child individually as if they were hers. We tried but unfortunately could not have children of our own.
  2. TRUST – Children have a 6th sense. Much like animals, they know if you are there to help or hurt them, or make them eat broccoli. She connects with each child in a unique way that inspires their complete and total trust from the minute they meet her.
  3. EXPERIENCE – In 17 years, she has seen it all. She has used a mixture of chiropractic and holistic treatment to treat thousands of children, encouraging and allowing their bodies to heal naturally.
  4. PASSION – After 17 years of the same work, she is still excited every single day about serving the children and our other patients. This is never ‘just a job’ to my wife, this is her life. They say that if you do what you love, then you’ll never work a day in your life. That saying definitely applies to my wife.

Sugar Hill Spine and Wellness is one of the largest pediatric offices in Georgia, largely due to my Jedi wife and our natural approach to healing. Our practice is committed to creating a healthier community as a whole by using natural, holistic methods; instead of drugs or surgery. We hope you’ll visit us soon, and witness ‘the Pediatric Jedi’ in action.

-Dr. Joseph Clarino

Keep your power lines clear!

Electricity flows through power lines and messages of communication flow through phone cables…but the ‘power’ that flows through Nerve fibers is far more intricate, intelligent and critical to your Life

Nerves carry ‘smart’ signals – organized instructions and data which relay from the brain to the body and from the body back to the brain.  This complicated loop forms the communication network needed to guide every physiological function in your body from respiration to perspiration…assimilation to elimination…tissue breakdown and tissue repair.  Innately, trillions of these messages flow through your nerve sustem every second of your Life, in an automated effort to keep you alive without your conscious input.  So how important is it to maintain this amazing system?

This is the realm of Chiropractic care- the protection and preservation of these ‘Life wires’ so that you can experience perfect function, abundant health and well being.  The doctor inside you can accomplish just about anything as long as your internal power lines remain clear.

 

Who do you know that could use an electrical system check of their ‘Life lines’?  

Chiro Myths & Facts

As successful as chiropractic has become, there are a lot of myths circulating among the general public. Times have definitely changed for the better, but the fact is that many people still do not understand what chiropractors do. Let’s talk about a few of the more common myths about chiropractic.

Myth #1 – Chiropractors are not real doctors.

A chiropractic college grants a D.C. or Doctorate of Chiropractic degree. Chiropractors are licensed as health care providers in every U.S. state and dozens of countries around the world. While the competition for acceptance in chiropractic school is not as fierce as medical school, the chiropractic and medical school curricula are extremely rigorous and virtually identical. In fact, chiropractors have more hours of classroom education than their medical counterparts. As part of their education, chiropractic students also complete a residency working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic. Once chiropractic students graduate, they have to pass four sets of national board exams as well as state board exams in the states where they want to practice.

Just like medical doctors, chiropractors are professionals that are subject to the same type of testing procedures, licensing and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards. Federal and state programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers’ Compensations programs cover chiropractic care, and all federal agencies accept sick-leave certificates signed by doctors of chiropractic. Chiropractors are also commissioned as officers in the military.

The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their level of education, but in their preferred method of caring for people. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicines (chemicals that affect your internal biochemistry) and surgery. Consequently, if you have a chemical problem, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or an infection, medical doctors can be very helpful. However, if your problem is that your spine is mis-aligned or you have soft tissue damage causing pain, there is no chemical in existence that can fix it. You need a physical solution to correct a physical problem. That is where chiropractic really shines. Chiropractors provide physical solutions — adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy — to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and poor posture. Another distinction is the fact that it is completely appropriate to receive chiropractic care even if you do not have symptoms. Unlike standard medical doctors, whom you visit when you have a symptom to be treated, chiropractors offer adjustments to improve spinal alignment and overall well-being before symptoms develop.

Myth #2 – Medical doctors don’t like chiropractors.

The American Medical Association’s opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest in the 1940s under the leadership of Morris Fishbein. Fishbein called chiropractors “rabid dogs” and referred to them as “playful and cute, but killers” He tried to portray chiropractors as members of an unscientific cult who cared about nothing but taking their patients’ money. Up to the late 1970s and early 1980s, the medical establishment purposely conspired to try to destroy the profession of chiropractic. In fact, a landmark lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Illinois in the 1980s found that the American Medical Association was guilty of conspiracy and was ordered to pay restitution to the chiropractic profession.

In the 20 years since, the opinion of most medical doctors has changed: several major studies have shown the superiority of chiropractic in helping people with a host of conditions, and medical doctors developed a better understanding as to what chiropractors actually do. Many people have returned to their medical doctors and told them about the great results they experienced at their chiropractors office. Hospitals across the country now have chiropractors on staff, and many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on staff. Chiropractors and medical doctors are now much more comfortable working together in cases where medical care is necessary as an adjunct to chiropractic care.

Myth #3 – Once you start going to a chiropractor, you have to keep going for the rest of your life.

This statement comes up frequently when the topic of chiropractic is discussed. It is only partially true. You only have to continue going to the chiropractor as long as you wish to maintain the health of your neuromusculoskeletal system. Going to a chiropractor is much like going to the dentist, exercising at a gym, or eating a healthy diet: As long as you keep it up, you continue to enjoy the benefits.

Many years ago, dentists convinced everyone that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt, that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. The same is true of chiropractic care for your spine. It is important to remember that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear as you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep, and bend. Routine chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you receive care for a short time, the real benefits come into play when you make chiropractic care a part of your wellness lifestyle.

How Does it Work?

Spinal adjustments to correct subluxations are what make chiropractic professionals unique in comparison with any other type of health care professional. The term “adjustment” refers to the specific force chiropractors apply to vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally.

The objective of the chiropractic adjustment is to reduce the subluxation, which results in an increased range of motion, reduced nerve irritability, reduced muscle spasm, reduced pain and improved function.The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas in the spinal joints that sounds like a “crack.” The sound sometimes surprises people the first time they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the person tenses up during the chiropractic procedure. There are times when the audible “cracking” does not occur. This is often due to either significant muscle tightness or the person having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments. Some adjusting techniques are designed to move the spine in a way that does not produce the audible sound at all. Chiropractic is so much more than simply a means of relieving pain.

Ultimately, the goal of receiving adjustments should be to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. In order to accomplish this, chiropractors can use and recommend a variety of natural healing methods, including adjustments, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, and counseling on lifestyle issues that impact your health. The primary focus is simply to remove those things which interfere with the body’s natural normal healing ability.The adjustment of the spine is the primary objective of a chiropractor. There are some chiropractors who also adjust the extremities and use other forms of physiological therapeutics including the use of electrical stimulation, ultrasound, traction, neuromuscular re-education, and a variety of manual therapies.

Increasingly, chiropractors’ offices are becoming full service wellness centers providing a variety of wellness services. A new trend that chiropractic wellness centers offer is wellness coaching. Some programs offer coaching at the wellness center, while others offer wellness coaching via telephone, email, or online instant messenger in an effort to make it more convenient. Chiropractic wellness centers may offer seminars in a variety of subjects such as spinal alignment, improved posture, and ergonomics, as well as programs on weight management, relaxation, smoking cessation, nutrition, and exercise. Some even offer pre- and post-natal healthy baby programs. The increasing number of chiropractic centers providing extensive wellness programs makes it convenient and affordable for just about anyone to adopt a wellness lifestyle. Chiropractors understand that within each of us is an innate wisdom or healthy energy that will express itself as perfect health and well-being if we allow it to. Therefore, the focus of chiropractic care is to remove any physiological blocks to the proper expression of the body’s innate wisdom. Once these interferences are reduced, improved health is the natural consequence. Who wouldn’t want that?

History of Chiro

Manual manipulation of the spine and other joints in the body have been around for a long time.  Ancient writings from China and Greece dating between 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain.  In fact, Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., published a text detailing the importance of manual manipulation. In one of his writings he declares, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases”.  Evidence of manual manipulation of the body has been found among the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Syria, Japan, the Incas, Mayans and Native Americans.

The official beginning of the chiropractic profession dates back to 1895 when Daniel David Palmer restored the hearing of Harvey Lillard by manually adjusting his neck and something told him that he was on to something good.  Two years later, in 1897, Dr. Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, which continues to train doctors of chiropractic to this day.

Throughout the twentieth century, the profession of chiropractic has gained considerable recognition and scientific support.  Research studies that have clearly demonstrated the value of chiropractic care in reducing health care costs, improving recovery rates and increasing patient satisfaction.  In fact, one very large study conducted in Canada, the 1993 Manga Study, concluded that chiropractic care would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually in work disability payments and direct health care costs.   Several major studies conducted by the U.S. Government, the Rand Corporation and others, have all demonstrated the incredible value of chiropractic care.

Story of Chiropractic

The word “chiropractic” comes from the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action) and literally means “done by hand.”  Instead of prescribing drugs or performing surgeries, chiropractors use manual treatments of the spine and joints, exercise therapy, massage, trigger point therapy and lifestyle changes to allow the body’s natural state of health to fully express itself.

Like conventional medicine, chiropractic is based upon scientific principles of diagnosis through testing and empirical observations. Treatment is based upon the practitioner’s rigorous training and clinical experience.  Unlike conventional medicine, which focuses on attempting to treat disease once it occurs, chiropractic attempts to improve the health of the individual in an effort to avoid illness in the first place.  Most people would rather be healthy and avoid illness, if they could.  This is one of the main reasons for the big upsurge in the popularity of chiropractic.  People are recognizing the benefit of seeking an alternative to traditional medicine; one that will help them achieve and maintain optimal health.

Chiropractors understand that one of the main causes of pain and disease is the misalignment and abnormal motion of the vertebrae in the spinal column called a subluxation.  Chiropractic works by removing these subluxations in the spine, thereby relieving pressure and irritation on the nerves, restoring joint mobility, and returning the body back to a state of normal function.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care is one of the most effective treatments for back pain, neck pain, headaches, whiplash, sports injuries and many other types of musculoskeletal problems. It has even been shown to be effective in reducing high blood pressure, decreasing the frequency of childhood ear infections and improving the symptoms of asthma.

The chiropractic approach to healthcare is holistic, meaning that it addresses your overall health.   It recognizes that many lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet, rest and environment impact your health.  For this reason, chiropractors recommend changes in lifestyle’ eating, exercise, and sleeping habits in addition to chiropractic care.

What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations.  The word ‘subluxation’ comes from the Latin words meaning ‘to dislocate’ (luxare) and ‘somewhat or slightly’ (sub).  So the term ‘vertebral subluxation’ literally means a slight dislocation (misalignment) of the bones in the spine. Although this term was adequate in the 1800s when much was still misunderstood about the human body, today the word ‘subluxation’ has changed in meaning to capture the complex of neurological, structural and functional changes that occur when a bone is ‘out of place.’  For this reason chiropractors usually refer to subluxations of the spine as the “Vertebral Subluxation Complex”, or “VSC” for short.

Chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxation have on the tissue of the body.  In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations.  Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through chiropractic care.

The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both.  Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a ‘crack.’  The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving.  Occasionally, minor  discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles  are in spasm or the patient tenses up during the chiropractic  procedure.  There are times when the audible ‘cracking’ does not occur.   This is often due to either significant  muscle tightness or that the patient may be having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments.

Chiropractic is so much more than simply a means of relieving pain.  Ultimately, the goal of the chiropractic treatment is to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health.  In order to accomplish this, I use a variety of treatment methods, including manual adjustments, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, massage, as well as counseling on lifestyle issues that impact your health.  Since the body has a remarkable ability to heal itself and to maintain its own health, the primary focus is simply to remove those things which interfere with the body’s normal healing ability.

Effects of Chiropractic Care

Wellness requires you to be a proactive agent for your body. You need to treat it well and not wait until you hurt before you decide to take care of it. As we’ve said before health is not merely the absence of disease any more than wealth is an absence of poverty. Let’s remember health is not simply “feeling fine,” for we know that problems may progress for years without causing any symptoms whatsoever. As you know by now, heart disease for example, often develops unnoticed for many years before it strikes: in fact, the first symptom of heart disease that many people experience is a heart attack or death.

Now let us be clear that we are not under the illusion that everyone who creates a wellness lifestyle will be immune from pain, sickness, and disease. There are many people who do everything right and still get sick and die. Some will argue that there are many people who do everything wrong and live long, seemingly healthy lives. However, since we have no way to predict who is who, we have to do our very best to reduce our risk and promote our health.

Over the years in private practice, we have seen how neglecting their health has drained people of thousands of dollars, sometimes to the point of bankruptcy. We have seen people who have saved up and waited their entire lives to take a dream trip or to send their kids to college, whose savings and dreams were siphoned away to pay for health care expenses. We have seen people with work injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or neck/back pain who have been unable to work, unable to drive, and even unable to sleep without pain. We have seen family members whose entire lives become dominated by the necessity to care for another family member who is sick or in pain. The effects of long-term illness or disability on a family can be devastating; in many cases, it happens to families who are already over-stressed, under-loved, and emotionally maxed out.

On the other hand, We have seen people who have been unemployed due to their pain or health condition choose to adopt new healthy habits: within a short period of time they are back at work making money, taking care of themselves and their families again, and are able to put away savings for their retirement.

We have heard every excuse you can imagine as to why people believe they can’t afford the time or money to invest in their health. But the truth is that you must invest in your health today, or disease may bankrupt you in every way later. If you don’t have the time and money to improve your health while you feel good, what makes you think you will have the time and money to improve your health once you have lost it? As Anthony Robbins once said, “you can make time for wellness now or you can make time for sickness later.” The choice is yours.

With regards to your wellness, the three main ideas that we really want to drive home . . .

  1. Health is not merely the absence of disease.
  2. The body has an innate intelligence that runs a series of complex systems that rely on proper balance and coordination in order to function correctly.
  3. By living a wellness lifestyle you can enrich your life with vibrant health.

What is Chiropractic?

What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations.  The word “subluxation” comes from the Latin words meaning “somewhat or slight” (sub) and “to dislocate” (luxate).  So the term ‘vertebral subluxation’ literally means a slight dislocation or misalignment of the bones in the spine.

When a subluxation occurs, a chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone and allow it to return to its proper position. This procedure is appropriately called an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both.  Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a “crack.”  The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving.  Occasionally, minor  discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles  are in spasm or the patient tenses up during the chiropractic  procedure.  There are times when the audible “cracking” does not occur.   This is often due to either significant  muscle tightness or that the patient may be having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments.  However, the chiropractic adjustment is still important.  The leak is fixed. The wiring is fixed. Information is flowing again. To keep the wiring fixed, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary, in addition to massage, physical therapy, stretching exercises, or strengthening exercises. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.

There are actually five components that contribute to the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC).

  1. Bone Component-where the vertebra is either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing degeneration.  This frequently leads to a narrowing of the spaces between the bones through which the nerves pass; often resulting in irritation or impingement of the nerve itself.
  2. Nerve Component-is the disruption of the normal flow of energy along the nerve fibers, causing the messages traveling along the nerves to become distorted.  The result is that all of the tissues that are fed by those nerves receive distorted signals from the brain and, consequently, are not able to function normally.  Over time, this can lead to a whole host of conditions, such as peptic ulcers, constipation and other organ system dysfunction.
  3. Muscular Component-since nerves control the muscles that help hold the vertebrae in place, muscles have to be considered to be an integral part of the vertebral subluxation complex.  In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC.  A subluxation can irritate a nerve, the irritated nerve can cause a muscle to spasm, the spasmed muscle pulls the attached vertebrae further out of place, which then further irritates the nerve and you have a vicious cycle.  It is no wonder that very few subluxations just go away by themselves.
  4. Soft Tissue Component-the VSC will also affect the surrounding tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues as the misaligned vertebrae tug and squeeze the connective tissue with tremendous force.  Over time, the soft tissues can become stretched out or scarred, leaving the spine with either a permanent instability or restriction.
  5. Chemical Component-is the change in the chemistry of the body due to the VSC.  Most often, the chemical changes, such as the release of a class of chemicals called “kinins,” are pro-inflammatory; meaning that they increase inflammation in the affected area.

These changes get progressively worse over time if they are not treated correctly, leading to chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, muscle trigger points, the formation of bone spurs, loss of movement,  as well as muscle weakness and spasm.  Chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxations have on the tissue of the body.  In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations.  Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through chiropractic care.

Wellness vs. Medical Care

What’s the main difference between wellness care and standard medical care? Wellness care seeks to turn on the natural healing ability, not by adding something to the system, but by removing anything that might interfere with normal function, trusting that the body would know what to do if nothing were interfering with it. Standard medical care, on the other hand, seeks to treat a symptom by adding something from the outside – a medication, a surgery or procedure.

Inside Out vs. Outside In

If a patient has high blood pressure, a standard medical approach would be to choose a drug that lowers blood pressure, and ask the patient to take the drug. This may serve to lower the blood pressure, but ignores the underlying cause that is making the blood pressure high, and runs the risk of side effects complicating the person’s recovery. Whether it’s a nutritional issue, faulty control by the nerve system or a manifestation of stress, the medication could decrease the blood pressure, leaving the problem causing the symptom of high blood pressure unaddressed.

The Wellness Approach

Wellness is a state of optimal conditions for normal function… and then some. The wellness approach is to look for underlying causes of any disturbance or disruption (which may or may not be causing symptoms at the time) and make whatever interventions and lifestyle adjustments would optimize the conditions for normal function. That environment encourages natural healing, and minimizes the need for invasive treatment, which should be administered only when absolutely necessary. When the body is working properly, it tends to heal effectively, no matter what the condition. When the body heals well and maintains itself well, then there is another level of health that goes beyond “asymptomatic” or “pain-free” which reveals an open-ended opportunity for vitality, vibrant health, and an enhanced experience of life.This is true for mental and emotional health as well as physical health. While some people may suffer psychological disorders, creating an atmosphere of mental and emotional wellness will address all but the most serious problems.