Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: September 2008 Health Newsletter

September 2008 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Is Chiropractic Care Risky Business?
» Chiropractic Effective In Pregnancy-Related Low Back Pain
» Overcome The Obesity Gene Curse
» ATV's Responsible For Serious Spinal Injuries
» A Note from Dr. Susan
» Nutrition and the Immune System
» Habits That Weaken The Immune System
» Heart Health Nutritional Support
» Back-To-School Backpack Safety Checklist
» Keeping Young Athletes Healthy and Fit

Is Chiropractic Care Risky Business?

A newly published study in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics reconfirms the safety of chiropractic care by reporting, "The best evidence suggests that chiropractic care is a useful therapy for subjects with neck or low-back pain for which the risks of serious adverse events should be considered negligible." In a review of the current literature, researchers found that even the most adverse events associated spinal manipulation, a primary procedure used by the majority of chiropractors, are benign and self-limiting. Thus, those who may be concerned about initiating chiropractic care due to safety issues should rest assured that chiropractic care is not only highly effective for a variety of health conditions and related symptoms, it's also extremely safe.

Source: JMPT. Volume 31, Issue 6, Pages 461-464 (July 2008)
Copyright: LLC 2008

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Chiropractic Effective In Pregnancy-Related Low Back Pain

Many expecting mothers are well aware of the toll pregnancy has on their lower backs. The rapid weight gain and resulting postural changes often wreaks havoc on structures of the low back resulting in one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, lower back pain (LBP). Like many sources of LBP, chiropractic care has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment, even for expecting mothers. In a recent review of published research evaluating chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, for pregnancy-related LBP, researchers found that all studies reported positive results for chiropractic care of LBP during pregnancy. While there aren't a large number of studies to draw from and more elaborate studies are needed, those currently conducted have shown chiropractic care to be beneficial and safe for pregnancy-related LBP.

Source: JMPT. Volume 31, Issue 6, Pages 447-454 (July 2008)
Copyright: LLC 2008

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Overcome The Obesity Gene Curse

Medical researchers have known for quite some time that obesity has a genetic link within the human body. This genetic component makes it easy for certain individuals to pack on the extra pounds while others with the same dietary habits remain far leaner. The good news is that researchers have discovered those genetically predisposed to obesity can overcome this predisposition. In a recent study of Amish people, those with the obesity-related gene FTO, present in more than half of all people of European descent, who were very much physically active weighed the same as those without the obesity-related gene. Researchers were able to conclude that vigorous activity was able to more or less deactivate the effects of this extremely common obesity-related gene. Changes in lifestyle, primarily the reduction in physical activity, have made the effects of this gene much more pronounced than in the past. Therefore, it's time to get active and join us in saying, no more excuses!

Source: Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(16):1791-1797.
Copyright: LLC 2008

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ATV's Responsible For Serious Spinal Injuries

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, all-terrain vehicles (ATV's) accounted for an estimated 136,100 injuries and 767 deaths in 2005 alone. Moreover and the main reason we bring this to your attention, ATV injuries are associated with a high rate of spinal injuries, especially axial compression and burst-type fractures to the spinal vertebrae. Thus, while we sincerely want our patients to enjoy themselves and their ATV's, we want them to be acutely aware of the high incidence of ATV-related injuries as well as the seriousness of these types of injuries. Enjoy and please be safe!

Source: Spine. 33(18):1982-1985, August 15, 2008.
Copyright: LLC 2008

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A Note from Dr. Susan

When should preventative health care really begin?

Do you remember how you felt when you were a child; say about the age of six.  You could run fast and jump high, you had energy to burn!  The only body pains you had came from skinning your knee when you fell off your bike. 

When you were a child, you only saw doctor for "shots" which you had to take to keep you from contracting certain know communicable diseases.  You also saw your doctor when you got an ear ache or a sore throat and fever.  Otherwise, you were good to go.  Wellness counseling or preventative health care to help the child grow to a healthy adult was never offered. 

Fast forward to the present.  How do you feel?  Tired, achy, out-of-shape and overweight?  What do you tell yourself – "Oh, I'm just getting old".  Is this an acceptable answer? 

I think not.  Did you know that ageing is not a disease; it is a state of depletion.  That's right – you simply run out of the substances the cells of the body need to do their jobs.   

Consider the cells of the body as factory workers standing next to an assembly line.  On the assembly line is a collection of parts.  The cells' job is to build the robot (you).  Unfortunately, the assembly line has an ever-decreasing number of  parts available, so the robot that is made is full of holes.  When we have enough holes, we develop the symptoms of decompensation – aka – ageing. 

What do you think would have happened if the 'healthy' child were to have received preventative health measures beyond vaccinations?  How would your present life choices regarding food and exercise have evolved if you had had this information taught to you early in the game? 

Most of us were raised on Betty Crocker and Hamburger Helper.  Would we choose these foods that we now crave and cannot live without, if someone had taught us the value of eating organic foods and controlling carbohydrate (sugar) intake when we were children?  I think not.   

Learning new tasks comes more easily to us as a child.  Misinformation or disturbances in the early stages of our development exert a wide-ranging influence on our minds, bodies and spirits. 

We also know that we rarely unlearn an acquired pattern, whether that pattern occurs in our biomechanical environment, or more subtly in our biochemical, neurological or psychosocial environments.  We don't forget anything, we just get used to it.  So patterns acquired in early childhood can influence our behaviour and our physical health years and decades later. 

Life-long health begins in childhood.  Health is seated in neurological integration of our biomechanical and biochemical status.  This means nutritional support.  This means chiropractic adjustment.  Yes, good health begins at birth and should be supported throughout our lives.   

Did you know that professional pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplements are made for children as well as adults.  Pharmaceutical-grade nutraceuticals (dietary supplements) will never be found on a shelf at Wal-Mart, Costco or the local health food store.  They are only available when prescribed by a physician. 

Pharmaceutical grade nutrients are hypoallergenic, pure and sugar free.  Everyone, adult or child should be taking a good multiple vitamin/mineral mix to replace what their body uses each day, so that the cell can always make a complete 'robot'.

Don't you wish you were taught this when you were a child? 

Yours in Health, 

Dr. Susan

Author: Dr. Susan J. Aubuchon
Source: Dr. Susan J. Aubuchon
Copyright: Dr. Susan J. Aubuchon 2008

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Nutrition and the Immune System

At this time of year when our friends and family head back to school and work our immune system gets put to the test.  Now is the time to give your immune system a boost.  A stronger immune system may help prevent you from getting an infection that could make you miserable.

Immune System

The immune System is a complex network of specialised cells and organs that has evolved to defend our bodies against attacks by foreign invaders.  When it is working properly it fights of infections from such things as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.  When it malfunctions, however, it can unleash a torrent of diseases, from allergy to arthritis to cancer to AIDS.

The success of this system in defending our body relies on an incredibly elaborate and dynamic regulatory-communications network. Million and millions of cells, organised into sets of subsets, pass information back and forth like clouds of bees swarming around a hive.  The result is a sensitive system of checks and balances that produces an immune response that is prompt, appropriate, effective, and self-limiting.

Nutrition and the Immune System

The Immune System is one of the most important mechanisms for fighting disease and preserving health.  As we get older, the ability of our immune system to function at normal levels decreases and the likelihood of getting infections increases.  Nutrition has a significant role in determining the strength of the immune system.

*Good nutrition is an important factor in maintaining a healthy immune system.*

Adequately feeding your immune system boosts its fighting power! It is difficult for most people to get all the nutrients they need through diet alone.  Nutritional supplements may be needed to adequately supply your body with what it needs.

1) Vitamin C. * 200 milligrammes a day* Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses.  Vitamin C also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering blood pressure and interfering with the process by which fat is converted to plaque in the arteries.

2) Vitamin E. *100-400 milligrammes a day* Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells.  Vitamin E enhances the production of B-cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria

3) Carotenoids. Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate ageing.

4)Bioflavenoids. A group of phytonutrients called bioflavenoids aids the immune system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental pollutants. 

5) Zinc. (Caution: too much zinc in the form of supplements can inhibit immune function.  It is safest to stick to getting zinc from your diet and aim for 15 – 25 milligrammes a day.)  Foods rich in zinc are: oysters, Zinc-fortified cereals, crab, beef , turkey(dark meet) and beans. This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells helping to fight infection and fight it more aggressively.

6) Garlic. This member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production.  Garlic can also act as an antioxidant that reduces the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream.

7) Selenium. This mineral increases natural killer cells and mobilises cancer fighting cells,  The best food sources for selenium are tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, vegetables, brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, garlic, Brazil nuts, and lamb chops.

8) Omega 3 fatty acids. These acids act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria.  Essential fatty acids also protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection.

Nutrition Note

Spicy foods such as chili peppers, hot mustard, radishes, pepper , onions, and garlic contain substances called "mucolytics" (similar to over-the-counter expectorant cough syrups) that liquefy thick mucus that accumulates in the sinuses and breathing passages.

Author: Clearwater Chiropractic & Acupunctre P.A.
Source: Clearwater Chiropractic & Acupunctre P.A.
Copyright: Clearwater Chiropractic & Acupunctre P.A. 2008

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Habits That Weaken The Immune System

Certain food and environmental influences can keep the immune system army from doing a good job.  Watch out for these treats to your body's defences.

1) Overdosing on sugar.  The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less that thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. 

2) Excess alcohol. The first of two ways excess alcohol can harm the body's immune system is it produces and overall nutritional deficiency, depriving the body of valuable immune-boosting nutrients.  Second, alcohol, like sugar, consumed in excess can reduce the ability of white cells to kill germs.

3) Food allergens.  Due to a genetic quirk, some divisions of the immune army recognise and otherwise harmless substance (such as milk) as a foreign invader and attack it, causing an allergic reaction.  Before the battle, the intestinal lining was like a wall impenetrable to foreign invaders.  After many encounters , the wall is damaged, enabling invaders and other potentially toxic substances in the food to get in to the bloodstream and make the body feel miserable.

4) Too much fat.  Obesity can lead to depressed immune system.  It can affect the ability of of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies, and rush to the site of an infection.

Author: Clearwater Chiropractic & Acupunctre P.A.
Source: Clearwater Chiropractic & Acupunctre P.A.
Copyright: Clearwater Chiropractic & Acupunctre P.A. 2008

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Heart Health Nutritional Support

br logo nutriwest
Cardioplex:  Vitamins and phytochemically-rich herbs to help maintain a healthy heart
Core Level Heart:
Nutritional support of the cardiac muscles
Homocysteine Redux:  Nutritional support of the cardiac muscles

Calcium (citrate): Highly absorbable calcium; reduces the risk of osteoporosis, supports cardiovascular   and colon health
CoQ10:  Energy for cardiovascular health
l-Carnitine:  Cardiovascular and endurance support

ADHS:  Supports normal cortisol levels
L-Carnitine HCL:  Plays a critical role in fat metabolism and eneygy productions, therefore supports healthy heart function.
Mg Zyme:  Magnesium support for proper cardiac support


Author: Clearwater Chiropractic & Acupuncture P.A.
Source: March 2010; Vol 2, No. 1
Copyright: Dr. Susan J. Aubuchon 2010

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Back-To-School Backpack Safety Checklist

It’s about that time when our children and teens begin heading back to school. Given that, we’d like to share a few important tips, compliments of our friends at the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), with the parents of those lugging around those backpacks filled with books, laptops and other school related materials.

Backpack Safety Checklist:

Is the backpack the correct size for your child?  The backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso, and the pack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.

Does the backpack have two wide, padded shoulder straps?  Non-padded straps are not only uncomfortable, but also they can place unnecessary pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles.

Does your child use both straps?  Lugging a heavy backpack by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, low-back pain, and poor posture.

Are the shoulder straps adjustable?  The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. The backpack should be evenly centered in the middle of your child's back.

Does the backpack have a padded back?  A padded back not only provides increased comfort, but also protects your child from being poked by sharp edges on school supplies (pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.

Does the pack have several compartments?  A backpack with individualized compartments helps position the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child's back, and try to place the heaviest items closet to the body.

Source: American Chiropractic Association. August 17, 2006.
Copyright: 2006

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Keeping Young Athletes Healthy and Fit

According to the American Chiropractic Association's Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness, "The majority, if not all, sports are good, provided that the child prepares appropriately. Without proper preparation, playing any sport can turn into a bad experience. There are structural and physical developmental issues that need to be taken into consideration before children undertake certain sports."

The council recommends parents encourage their children to:

  • Wear the proper equipment. Make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads, and shoes, fit your child or adolescent.
  • Eat healthy meals. Make sure your young athlete is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Drink water. Teenage athletes should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks.
  • Follow a warm-up routine.
  • Take vitamins daily. A multi-vitamin and Vitamin C are good choices for the young athlete.
  • Get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for the young athlete.
  • Chiropractic care can help… Chiropractors are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention to young athletes.

Source: American Chiropractic Association.
Copyright: 2000

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