The Interactive Healer March 2008

The REAL Cause of Disease
by Jeffrey Tucker, D.C., D.A.C.R.B.

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I turned 50 years old this past January. I have been in continuous private practice for 25 years now. That means I have spent more than half of my life in Chiropractic and health care.
I have seen great changes in clients’ lives, yet I am also seeing clients coming in to my office in worse shape than even 10 years ago. WHY? People sit too much, drive too long, eat too much. People have less quiet time, aren’t getting enough sleep and have low energy.

Maybe you are someone with a pain in the neck and shoulders, with no history of trauma. Yet your posture tends to look like your head is carried forward, your shoulders appear rounded, the rib cage appears crowed, you might even have a mild scoliosis, your pelvis may feel “off”, you have short or tight hamstring muscles. You come in hurting!

Such a person may not be breathing fully and deeply, they may be an upper chest breather only, not taking air into the deeper, lower parts of the lungs and moving the belly up and down; this can lead to an altered carbon dioxide-oxygen ratio and even change a person’s pH to alkalization of the blood. The result of such a change in blood chemistry would include heightened pain perception, anxiety, over use of accessory breathing muscles causing you tight upper trapezius and scalenes muscles (top of the shoulders and front-sides of the neck muscles). These tight muscles around the neck and shoulders could cause a lack of blood flow to your head and hence not enough oxygen getting to the brain. This causes a feeling of “brain fog” or fatigue.

Apprehension and anxiety is an almost automatic result of increased alkalinity, leading to reinforcement of an upper-chest pattern of breathing. In some clients, a slumped posture might be from the anxiety at work from a stressed out boss, or the depression of work or a situation at home. Stress is all of the above.

Stress negatively impacts the immune function, negatively impacts your state of mind, negatively impacts your body composition, and negatively impacts recovery. Stress is the real cause of disease.

“The Real Cause of Disease” continued from Newsletter…

What have I learned in 25 years of practice:

  1. Everything works!
  2. Nothing works forever.
  3. Time magnifies all errors made.
  4. A healthy program is not a bunch of exercises or techniques put together.
  5. Positive and negative changes will happen in your body and mind if you are weak and deconditioned, are in good shape, or even if you push the limits of your body in the quest for super health, fitness or performance.

What will help you recover from some of your lost health? Realizing what you are doing over and over again that is harming you is the first step. Examine what each thing in your workout/job/relationship/diet does to you that may be harming you. Attempt to remove habits that produce and maintain dysfunction in your body and mind.

Another solution is to create good time management, improve your nutrition, your sleep, and get enough variety of movement in your life. If you enjoy yoga stretching, understand that activity improves flexibility. A yoga practice alone will not build strength like free weights will. Running, biking, or swimming by themselves is good for the heart (cardio), but causes the body to become tight and stiff and creates a need for extra stretching time.

My treatment goals are to help you:

  1. prevent injury
  2. decrease body fat
  3. increase lean muscle mass
  4. increase strength
  5. increase endurance
  6. increase flexibility
  7. increase performance.

Here are some of my suggestions:

  1. Use a foam roll to mobilize joints and stretch tight myofascial tissues.
  2. Perform corrective stretches concentrating on tight muscles only. The best way to stretch is to maintain an anatomical neutral spine. (I like to spend about 20 minutes using the foam roll and stretching together.)
  3. Perform core exercise training movements. These include bodyweight exercises. I particularly like squats and lunges.
  4. Perform strength and resistance training. I prefer free weights because where in real life do you sit down and push weights other than on a machine in a gym! When you train with weights I think you should train hard.
  5. Perform your cardio routine following your weight training. I have been advocating Interval Training for the past 2 years and all of a sudden it’s very popular.
  6. Schedule enough time to regenerate. Ninety-nine percent of my clients do not get enough sleep. More healing takes place during sleep than any other time. (Eight hours of sleep is the suggested minimum.)
  7. Evaluate and create your nutritional intake. Just start eating 5-6 smaller meals a day rather than 3 big ones – just start that for now.

You have seen how I keep changing the way I practice and adding new information to assist us in getting healthy and staying healthy. Ask me about any of the above and how I can help you reach your health goals.


Healing Techniques and Therapies Available
A Variety of Joint Mobilization and Soft Tissue Techniques and more!

Below you will find techniques utilized in my treatments:

  • Joint Mobilization and Manipulation
    • Promotes improved joint mobility and range of motion using a variety of treatment philosophies including: McKenzie, Mulligan, Muscle Energy, and Janda.
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization
    • Mobilization of the skin, muscle, nerve, and fascial layers to break down scar tissue and adhesions. This is also known as transverse friction technique.
  • Myofascial Release
    • Deep tissue palpation using a small surface area to promote fascial stretch and muscle relaxation.
    • If a muscle is in spasm it can lead to imbalances such as leg length discrepancies or rotation/obliquities in the pelvis, hips or shoulders. I am now using Deep Muscle Stimulator as part of my practice.
  • Trigger Point Release
    • Deep palpation to promote muscle relaxation in an area of hyper-irritability and contracture. This is also known as “ischemic compression” or trigger point therapy.

“Healing Techniques and Therapies Available” continued from Newsletter…

  • Dynamic muscular release
    • Deep palpation to the origin (attachment site) of a muscle as the patient contracts to engage in the muscles intended action.
    • Promotes improved muscle function.
    • Can eliminate musculoskeletal imbalance.
  • Neuromobilization
    • AKA “Flossing” or “Gliding.”
    • Helps decrease inflammation in nerves.
    • Breaks up adhesions around nerves that result from inflammation
    • Can eliminate the sensation of “pins and needles”, “weakness” or “numbness and tingling”.
  • Therapeutic exercise and activities
    • Exercises with the intent to improve injury prevention, muscle recruitment, strength, flexibility, and endurance.
    • Promotes proper technique in performing functional activities (example: lifting).
  • Gait training and mechanics
    • Analysis of walking to optimize form and make sure that your gait is not a repetitive trauma.
  • Neuromuscular training
    • Enhances the function of the body by balancing the muscle activation patterns about a joint.
  • Free weight training for weight loss and osteoporosis prevention
    • Specific exercise prescription based on your individual body type.
  • Balance training
    • Decreases fall risk.
    • Improves coordination for increased performance.
  • Core trunk stabilization training
    • Improves the recruitment of specific muscle groups that stabilize the hip, pelvis and lumbar spine.

Some specialty treatments include:

  • Temporomandibular treatments
  • Scar/tissue, capsular adhesion mobilization
  • Diet, nutrition, vitamin recommendations
  • High-powered warm laser

Certified to Perform the Functional Movement Screen!

Do you ever wonder which corrective exercises you should be doing to improve your posture, performance or to prevent injury? By performing the Functional Movement Screen, I can quickly ascertain potential risk when an individual’s movement patterns are limited or altered. These patterns often go undetected in conventional testing. I look at movement patterns to identify those who may be at risk for an injury as activity levels are increased. Others need the Functional Movement Screen to figure out which corrective exercises will help them get out of chronic pain.

A focal point in my program is that significant limitations or right and left imbalances exist in some individuals at very basic levels of movement. These limitations and imbalances should not be overlooked. The body should be free of restrictions and free of imbalances prior to exercise training, conditioning, competition and fitness activities. They rob the body of efficiency and are very often hidden by those individuals who learn to compensate and substitute with other movement patterns.

“Certified to Perform the Functional Movement Screent!” continued from Newsletter…

How close are you to a perfect score? 3 is the best you can do for each of 7 tests. 7 x 3 = 21.  What is your score? Schedule an appointment and tell the front desk you want the Functional Movement Screen.

The benefits of performing the Functional Movement Screen and teaching you core training exercises:

  • Improves functional and athletic performance.
  • Helps to reduce the potential for training and sports injuries.
  • Provides a simple grading system to assess your movements.
  • Easily utilized exercises.
  • Identifies physical imbalances or weaknesses.
  • Rehabilitates imbalances and strengthens weaknesses with corrective exercises.
  • Provides individual training exercises.
  • Prevention of injuries.
  • Identifies potential cause and effect relationship of micro-trauma as well as chronic injuries in relation to movement asymmetries.

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