Do you know how to walk?

Humans have been around how long?  Whether you believe we have been here a few thousand years or hundreds of thousands of years, we have been doing one method for getting around since the beginning: We walk.  Yet it is amazing how many people do not know how to walk!

At a conference many years ago,  Dr. David Leaf stated quite perfectly, that you can fix a person’s structural problem but if they do not walk correctly, they will walk themselves back into that same or another problem. Everyone should do some serious thinking about their walking.

People frequently ask, “Which exercise is best? Water aerobics? Swimming? Cycling? Elliptical?” To me the answer is simple: humans walk. Walk properly and you can literally walk yourself to health.  On the other hand, if you have problems with your walk (gait), you will literally walk yourself into problems.

walkpic

Going on a trip? Let’s say sightseeing in NYC. You dress in comfy clothes and shoes. You will probably walk many blocks without even thinking about it, and over the course of a long day you might walk 8-10 miles. Think about it: That distance is somewhere between a 10k race and half marathon.  Would you choose to wear those shoes for that distance? One of the iconic images of the dot com era is CEOs and other white-collar types wearing sneakers to work. Rethinking footwear conventions is still a smart idea.  I have had countless women defend that their profession requires high heels, etc.  In fact in any style there are good and bad choices.

Here are a few of other benefits people may not realize about walking.  It helps every part of your brain, from balance, to cross cortex communication, and even emotions and eyesight.  It helps balance hormones, blood sugar and stimulates a good immune system.  Additionally when you walk properly it is one of the best activities to loosen up your spine itself.  So many people say they “hold their stress” in their shoulders when in fact it is that they walk wrong and breathe wrong.

The best starting point I have learned was people should walk 10K -12K steps per day.  This equates to about 4 miles.  Therefore all you need to do is walk about 45 min per day and the rest of your day will likely get you to the goal.  For most people a good gait is about 16-18minute miles).  I recommend families take a walk around dinner time for 20-30 minutes.  It is good for everyone’s health, a great way to connect with your children and gets us off of the electronics we are obsessed with.  Then on a weekend day take a much longer walk.  Runkeeper is a great free app that tracks a walk and even maps it and estimates calories burned.

So what should you wear?  For some help deciding, read my blog on shoes and gait.

Shoes and Orthotics, Low Profile vs. Support

Want to open up a can of worms?  Discuss shoes and orthotics with professionals.  It quickly will devolve into a classic Budweiser “Tastes great, Less filling” commercial.  My answer to the debate: It depends.

Some people need orthotics; some people will be harmed by them; some people should be barefoot and others should never be barefoot. How do you know which you are?

flatvsnormal

Where do foot problems begin?  The old “Nature/Nurture” debate again…  I have had the privilege of knowing three generations of people with bad feet. Amazingly, grandma had ugly flat feet that were merely an older version of her grandson’s feet.  Definitely something genetic was going on! But are our feet doomed by our genes? Not necessarily.

You can alter many genetic abnormalities through proper training. Here’s an example:  Bunions.  Bunions develop because the abductor muscle that is supposed to pull the big toe out to the side either is not there or is rudimentary (not developed properly); Nature or genetics.

Muscles pull bones and, over time, the absence of muscle will distort skeletal structure. The big toe, which is used every day, will alter due to muscle imbalance.  So, if you can recognize a rudimentary muscle in a child’s foot and develop it, you can make that muscle normal and avert future problems.  If you have bunions and your child does not, read my article on how to fix them before it is too late.

So, what should you do about shoes and orthotics?  It depends.  Let your children walk barefoot as much as possible especially if they do not have very flat feet.  If you want to protect their feet, have them use sock or buffers without “support”.  Walking from an early age will develop their arches and feet muscles and they will be able to walk easily on almost any surface.

For adults with decent feet (not very flat or very high arches), I recommend going barefoot as frequently as possible and use low profile shoes. For adults with high arches, I think high heels and other shoes are usually okay, but do not wear orthotics. (Why wear an orthotic, which boosts the degeneration of your foot’s structure into a higher arch?) For adults with flat feet I believe orthotics can help and are sometimes very necessary. However, recognize we actually have three arches in our feet.  The foot is very similar to the hand; think of the many positions your hands can take while doing a push up. The most important and most overlooked arch is the metatarsal or transverse arch. transverseThe majority of Orthotics offered tends to limit support to only the longitudinal arch, thus further weakening the others. If you have medium arched feet or if you are young or athletic, I recommend that you do not use any support and select a no-low impact shoe.

Here is a good source for more information on low profile shoes
http://runblogger.com/2010/07/runbloggers-guide-to-minimalist-running.html

Dry-Fit Clothing and Skin Conditions

How cool is modern technology?  Awesome! But don’t forget the Law of Untended Consequences; with advances come certain other realities we may not be aware of immediately.  We live with cell phones and laptops, wanting a “signal” all the time, yet we completely ignore the overwhelming data that radiation and the massive increase in wireless signals adversely affects the body. But what can you do? So, let’s chat about a different new technology: Dry-fit clothing.drifit

If you engage in any type of physical exercise, no doubt you have worn a dry-fit shirt. If you think the shirts are great, just wait until you try the underwear!  This amazing bit of modern technology, however, has its unintended consequences, too.  I have seen several patients with unexplainable skin outbreaks that were resolved when they stopped wearing dry-fit clothing.  Am I saying get rid of your dry-fit stuff? Not at all.  I am saying if you have a sudden skin reaction, question the possibility that your new clothes, a chemical reaction from your detergent, or a combination of both is the cause. This is especially common for woman in the chest and décolleté.  If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “The cause of the problem can’t be [fill in the blank] since I’ve been using that for years.”  Consider, however, that it has deteriorated over the years and lost its positive effect, or perhaps you have now developed sensitivity to it.  Consider whether your new cool clothing technology—in addition to its great qualities—is a cause of a skin condition.  Modern materials do tend to break down at higher rates especially in athletic wear although it can be superior in the beginning.

Around in Germany for a while, we still do not see too much materials made with silver.  Silver has some really interesting anti-oder and anti-microbe benefits when woven in with fabrics.  Read labels, try and care for your items properly and if they cause a problem, get rid of them before creating a problem.

“dri-fit, exercise, health, skin reactions, advice”

Med Pay: A “must do” Insurance for any intelligent person

The biggest discussion going on in national politics is Obamacare.  What is very troubling is that it actually hurts the 20-30 year olds the worst.  No matter what your insurance coverage is however,  a “no brainer” that many people over look is Med Pay for their car insurance.

Whether you have health insurance or not, you definitely want to check and add it to your automobile insurance if you do not have it.  Med Pay is an add-on rider that will cover your medical injuries in the event of an accident.  It will cover you no matter who is at fault and an auto accident is the #1 statistical place you might get significantly injured.  So while that alone hopefully sounds important, here is the best part: It is cheap!  I pay about $48 every 6 months with State Farm for $25,000 coverage!  That covers each passenger in the car too.  Coverage starts at $1,000 and goes up as high as $50,000.  When you run the cost per coverage it makes sense to get a minimum $10,000 coverage in my professional opinion.

There is another huge benefit too.  Often if you are injured and it is the other persons fault you will rack up tons of bills and they will not get paid until the entire case is settled.  This will add stress and possibly credit issues if you can not financially cover it.  If you have a high deductible then it will cover yours as well.  Med Pay will pay as you go so your medical bills get paid along the way to recovery, another huge benefit.

You do not need to wait until your policy renews to add it either.  Go call your insurance company and get you and your family this often overlooked “no brainer”.

Should I buy Organic? – December 2010

 

This information came from Mercola.com online newsletter:

Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the Environmental Working Group and included in their Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce, these 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

Buying Organic

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes

In contrast, these foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn (frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Onion

Profit and Loss – February 2012

 

Thoughts of Empowerment for 2012: This is such a powerful and simple concept I felt it needed to be the focus for the beginning of 2012 newsletters. The analogy of a PnL with your health.

We all know the importance of a profit and loss statement. The majority of people need a budget, case being financially that we need to make more money than we spend otherwise we fail financially. Well, consider this same reality for your health. How is your diet? Do you eat foods that make your body healthier compared to the foods that kill you? Do you take supplements that help you function better compared to drugs that fool your brain into thinking you are healthy? (I’m not saying all drugs are bad in that statement of course). How about your body?

4Do you do healthy exercise like walking and getting outdoors more than your sitting on the couch or in front of a computer? Does your laptop and Smartphone posture happen more often than healthy posture activities? Are you stressed? What are you doing to enhance your soul and spirit? Or have you been ignoring that while focused on basic needs. Another powerful concept I re-learned recently: Money is a temporary motivator. If you want to be healthy and happy you need positive focus and goals. Passion and missions do more for your life than a money guided goal ever will.

I hope this simple concept is as empowering to you as it was to me. We are the only ones who can really call BS on ourselves. Here are some easy first steps if you recognize you may have faltered for a while:

Diet: Eat healthy 9/10 meals per week. Guaranteed you will feel and function better.

Exercise: Get out and walk! So many people focus on weights and heavy activity. Heart, Brain health comes from simple walking or light activity. Get outside and walk for 30 minutes each day and you will make huge changes.

Spirituality: What are you doing for your spirit? Meditate, Pray, go to church, do yoga, do something that helps you focus on the amazing reality that you exist in this moment in this reality.

Overall: Get help! People can be their own worst blockages. Talk to others, come get a visit, get other people involved in helping you get on track.

Hydration and Water – January 2011

HydrationWalk into any store nowadays and you will see all sorts of water types and products. There is tons of information around the internet if you want more information but here are some important tidbits.

  1. Bottled Water: – Can be just bottled tap water! – If it has sat in heat will leach very bad estrogen type compounds into the water. – Most are just filtered spring water from local sources. – Many expensive name brands do not release specifics of the bottle source. -When purchased in this form can cost 1800% more than its cost (WAY more than your gasoline)! Nestle was recently ranked one of the top, most consistent and full disclosure mass brands.
  2. Best water for home: Your best quality and long term bang-for-the-buck is reverse osmosis systems. You can find them for ~$150 undercounter versions in many discount stores. They typically last well beyond the recommended exchange times if you are on a municipal water system. Minimally use a faucet or pitcher filter.
  3. Bath time: The Chlorine in water that is very bad for us, evaporates in relatively low temperatures. So what are you breathing when you shower? Chlorine Gas! (Much worse in reality than drinking it). If you have never tried a shower filter you will be amazed at the difference you notice afterwards. While less convenient, I recommend END stage filtration like a shower filter rather than a whole house system, since there is an argument for wanting the chlorine in the pipes themselves to avoid bacteria.

People are not equal

We live in a world where everyone wants to be the same.  Everyone wants to be equal and fair for every race, gender, religion and so on.  There is one problem when it comes to the human body however:  We are not equal!  Commonly when dealing with clinical nutrition and diet issues in my practice, I ask people what their nationality is, not because I judge them, because that sheds light on what they might be deficient in.

Hopefully someone will  read this and learn that just because you bring up differences does not make one a racist.  Some bodies do things better, period.  The great thing of life is that persons body probably does something not as good also.  You might be predisposed towards diabetes and blood sugar problems, however you might also be less likely to get cancer.  It isn’t that any one is better, just different.

Lets start our example with white people vs. black people.  White people all come from northern climates if you go back many generations.  It makes perfect sense that their bodies adapted to their environments.  If there is one ultra common need of the past several decades it is unquestionably Omega 3′s (commonly found in fish oil or flax oil supplements).  Northern soil used to be very high in Omega 3′s.  Not just fish, but plants as well.  It is said that the ratio between Omega 3′s and Omega 6 oils used to be 2:1.  Now that estimate can be 20-25:1.  Hence why most white people need and do so much better when supplementing a high quality EPA/DHA (Omega 3) supplement.

OK, so what does this have to do with race again?  Simple, black people come from more equatorial climates that are higher in Omega 6′s.  Therefore they are not as deficient in today’s world where we can now travel everywhere and eat whatever we want.  Many of my black patients get help with Omega 3 supplements when they have injuries or major hormonal imbalance, but on a day to day basis they commonly do not need to supplement or even need specific Omega 6 products (such as Evening Primrose, Black Currant or Borage Oils).

Next up, Asians!  Asians respond well to soy, in fact much of the good outcome research is on Asians.  They traditionally eat fermented versions and have eaten them for generations.  In America, caucasian women read this, then get suckered into the bandwagon marketing to eat lots of soy.  One problem, soy mimics estrogen in the body.  What does estrogen do?  It makes fat cuddly moms!  Not what most middle age women are looking for right?  So wanting to be healthy but not knowing enough they then sabotage their own goals.

We can go on and on but I hope this gets the point across. Just because something worked for your neighbor doesn’t mean it will work for you.  The best advice on general diet is this:

Eat whole natural foods.  Eat a variety of foods.  Learn to Cook (basic healthy cooking is so easy anyone really can do it).  In future blogs I will delve deeper into some specific diet points mentioned throughout.

Pollen, Allergies and Atlanta

Published on March 19, 2008 in Health and Wellness0 CommentsTags: .

Atlanta is the pollen capital of the world.  We hold the world record and surpass it year after year.  Now Atlanta does have the highest pollen anywhere?  Probably not, but for areas tested it is.  For reference: pollen counts over 300 are considered extremely high and sensitive groups should stay indoors.  In Atlanta that scale is irrelevant.  We have been over 6000!

What to do?  Stay indoors?  Move?  Wear a mask?  With Professional Applied Kinesiology we have helped many people from all over the country to handle this better.  How?  Well that is simple and we don’t treat allergies either.  As George Goodheart always said: “treat the person with the problem, not the problem”!

That is how you do it!  If you have terrible problems or even minor problems with allergies and pollen, the key is to get your body functioning better, then it can handle the external stress more efficiently.

In Atlanta I have had patients so badly affected they were unable to mow their lawns even with a mask, that can now years later be outside throughout this season.  Are they perfect?  No.  But due to them knowing what their body needs and what to do for it, they can live with the rest of the world, outside in the spring.

So why all the pollen here?  Pretty much due to many many trees, and a lot of sprawl.  Atlanta is a sprawl city as there is no natural element(mountain, ocean, etc) to stop growth in all sorts of directions.  Then you end up with big open areas followed by dense tree areas.  This allows the pollen to float in the air much more than if it were just a dense forest.

This however is not the main issue.  Pollen is a very sticky substance.  Over the years treating patients in Atlanta and improving their function, I find more and more intestinal imbalances.  It was after several years that I came to a hypothesis for why this occurs.  Pollution!  Atlanta also has pretty crappy air!  The crud in the air gets trapped with the pollen.  We then breath in the pollen, and swallow it, thus swallowing pollution as well.  That ends up creating more havoc than the pollen itself!

But how do you treat pollution in the body?  Drugs?  Uhhh…. NO!  You treat it like everything else.  Treat it through finding out how to make your body healthier!  In doing that, you function better and can handle everything better!  See a pattern yet?  You will as this blog continues.

Proper Applied Kinesiology is a diagnosis method for evaluating function.  Along with traditional testing and analysis a doctor can determine what are the best ways to help the body function better.

What are some possibilities for pollen reactions?  Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids, Quercetin and Bromelain to name a few.  Bromelain is found in ripe pineapple if you want a great food source!  But more on supplements to come.  Other things to help are washing your hands, brushing off your pets and kids when coming in from outside.  Limiting your exposure on very bad days will also help.

If you function better, you will do better.  Nuf said!