The Back Needs Attention Too

Many questions arrive each week relating to back pain. Statistically, many who are reading this have experienced or will encounter back pain. This is an important topic as back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world according to the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke. One in two American workers will have back pain each year and back pain is the second most common reason people go to the doctor. We often discuss heart disease, diabetes, cancer, nutrition, and mental health, but the back needs attention too.

Back pain can be caused by musculoskeletal strain, arthritis, narrowing of the spine, and rupture of a disc to name a few etiologies. By far, the most common cause is musculoskeletal problems, that is, problems with the muscles and ligaments. What could cause this? Poor posture, lifting incorrectly, obesity, footwear, inactivity and even ageing could put strain on the muscles. Remember, we were not designed to sit for prolonged periods of time, drive in a car all day, or even carry extra weight, all which could put strain on the muscles of the back. Factors like posture, dehydration and vascular disease can also change the function of the back. The same vascular disease effecting other blood vessels in the body can also effect the blood vessels supplying oxygen and nutrients to the back and spine. Just drinking water, eliminating fats, and moving to a plant based diet can help improve back pain.

What should I do if I have back pain? Ask the Ultimate Physician for guidance in finding the cause. If you think a muscle is pulled, rest might be all that is needed. One problem I observe frequently is that people who have back pain from a pulled muscle continue working. If you broke your arm, […]

Think about adding Music

I was riding in my car the other day and turned on some of my favorite, uplifting music and immediately began feeling better. I thought to myself, this is really cool. I should do this more often. Then, I remembered that all inputs change me for the good or for the bad. Inputs can include my own thoughts, but also inputs may be music. Why do I listen to the news programs when music can actually help me out?  Why do I bother listening to all the commercials? There are so many inputs we choose to put into our bodies. I want us to think about putting some good, uplifting, music into the brain to help our stress levels and overall health.

When was the last time you felt bad humming a tune or singing a song? There is something about music that has been uplifting through the ages. Feel bad? Sing a song, whistle a tune, or hum a jingle,

There have been numerous studies showing the benefits of music. Music helps ease pain. Music has been shown to help patients recover from surgery and relieve the anxiety of medical procedures. Music has been shown to help in the treatment of cancer.

Music also improves the brain. Want to memorize something? Set the passage to music. Music has been shown to improve cognition, memory, and test taking abilities. Music helps improve moods while driving and is a treatment for depression. Music has been shown to improve the ability to sleep, and better rest makes a better body. Remember when your mom use to sing you lullabies at night? She knew the chemical power of music. I bet you still remember those tunes. How many significant life […]

Grassroots, you know.

Negativity imparts a feeling of hopelessness to those who partake, yet we are inundated with it day after day. I want to talk about something positive.

Several months ago I started a program, Kelli’s Healthy Eats, the response has been good as people are writing in, letting others know that healthy food tastes good and improves the body. I want to thank every person who has written a review and ask more to do this as we change the world one bite at a time. A big part of our quality of life is affected by the food we eat. By simply encouraging others to eat fresh and making sure they have the resources to do so, we can improve everyone’s average quality of life and reduce disease rates.

With all the money involved in disease, I doubt there will be a big movement from government (or the pharmaceutical companies’ lobbyists) to change the current way of doing things. Unless we change, my generation will be on thin ice, healthwise. I hope to recruit more people my age to help in this movement. We can make a difference, but we must start from the bottom and work our way up. Grassroots, you know.

By |January 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Being Thankful, an Affordable Prescription

A few years ago when my kids loved to watch the Veggie Tale stories (as teenagers they still do watch though with less frequency). One song still rings in my mind sung by Madame Blueberry. “A thankful heart is a happy heart, I’m glad for what I have, that’s an easy place to start. For the love that we share, cause he listens to our prayers, that’s why I say thanks every day.” As Thanksgiving time is now here, I want to remind us all of the benefits of gratitude. In the book of Ephesians, is a text, admonishing us to give thanks for all things to God, the Father. There must be a health benefit in giving thanks.

In 1995, in The American Journal of Cardiology appeared an article which linked appreciation to heart rate variability. Heart rate variability means the ability of the heart to change speeds, to be able to speed up and slow down. This is good. People with good heart rate variability have better outcomes in congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease  In the study those who were appreciative had greater heart rate variability and this helped with high blood pressure. Want to lower your blood pressure and risk of heart attack? How about being thankful? The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reported in 2003 that being thankful is linked to a brighter outlook on life as well as being a better friend. In 2011, The Journal of Happiness showed that being grateful translated to higher grades for high school students. The Journal of Applied Psychology demonstrated that those who journaled for 15 minutes each night about what they were thankful for, fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep […]

The Beach is a Great Treatment

Every day, someone asks about which supplements need to be taken for optimal health. Everyone asks for specific advice, but it really depends on many factors. For instance, if a person eats 3-5 fresh fruits and vegetables a day and gets outside regularly, all the nutrients needed are probably available, and in a source that God made to be easily absorbed. However, if a person is a strict vegan, Vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and iron might be needed. If the soil is depleted of nutrients, magnesium or other trace elements may be needed. In general, I try to get people to eat their nutrients in whole foods.

   Some like to take a mega dose of vitamins or supplements. Usually this is OK as the excess is eliminated, but think of an orchestra: if you had 50 french horns, the balance might be disrupted. The same principle works with nutrients at a baseline.  However, here are some disease states where you need extra nutrients. Let me emphasize Vitamin D.

   Vitamin D is actually a pro-hormone, which is very important. It requires a dietary source or skin, as well as the liver and the kidneys to activate it. 25% of adolescents, 33% of young adults, nearly 60% of hospitalized patients, and more than 90% of critically ill patients or nursing home residents have a deficiency. Why the deficiency? We do not get out in the sun. We are spending more and more time indoors. Originally, we were designed to work outside in a garden with lots of fresh air and sunshine. We are just not getting out as we were designed to in the beginning.

   Vit-D has effects on multiple organs including the brain, bones, blood vessels, muscles, kidneys and heart. A deficiency has been associated […]