Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Training the Anterior and Posterior Power Lines

Last week I wrote a post about the Bunkie Test. It basically tests your fascial lines. Both my anterior and posterior power lines on the left were weaker then my right. This is what I came up with to strengthen them while getting some upper body work in.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

6 Ways to Raise your HDL Without Drugs

There's a lot of misinformation out there about cholesterol and the numbers that go with your heart disease check up.  LDL, HDL, VLDL are some of the acronyms thrown around.  First LDL, low density lipoprotein, High density and very low density.  VLDL is the worst, LDL is bad as well. HDL is the good guy.  The high number no longer seems to be as important in terms of total cholesterol score.  What is carrying more weight these days is your HDL to total score.  You want 5 or less.  So a total score of 240 and HDL of 60 would be 4.  Not bad.  Total score of 180 and HDL of 30 wold be a 3.  If you looked at the total score you would say the first person is worse off, not so.  The ratio is the key.

One of the things that "experts" are starting to agree on, is that the higher your  HDL score, the better off you are.  In fact HDL raises your chances for protecting you against heart disease and I recently read it raises your chances for preventing Alzheimer's.

So here are some concrete measure to raise that HDL score.

1.  Quit smoking if you smoke.  Hopefully you don't.
2.  Elevate your heart rate 20 min 4x a week.
3.  Add monounsaturated fats to your diet.  Think avocados, olive oil, walnuts, wild fish.
4.  Supplement with Omega 3's.
5.  Have some alcoholic beverages a few times a week.  No more then 1-2 a day.
6.  Supplement with B3 (Niacin).  I was reading this can raise your HDL levels by as much as 35%.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Plank Variations

Two types of plank variations after a front hold stops being as challenging.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Burzynski Documentary

Recently a friend let me watch the documentary Burzynski.  Burzynski is a MD from Poland practicing in Texas that has been treating cancers the last few decades with a "new" type of approach.

While most drugs for cancer treat one gene.  Burzynski developed what he calls antineoplastons that treat hundreds of genes at once.  I copied this from his website as it does the best job of describing antineoplastons.

"Dr. Burzynski discovered naturally occurring peptides and amino acid derivatives in the human body that control cancer, not by destroying cancer cells but by correcting them. He observed that cancer patients typically had deficiency of certain peptides in their blood as compared to healthy individuals.  He named these substances antineoplastons. Chemically, the Antineoplastons include peptides, amino acid derivatives and organic acids. They occur naturally in blood and urine, and they are reproduced synthetically for medicinal use. The name of Antineoplastons comes from their functions in controlling neoplastic, or cancerous, cells (anti-neoplastic cells agents)."

Now here is the catch.  The therapy is FDA approved.  FDA has said that the antineoplastons are safe.  Wait for it....the FDA gets to say who can and can't be treated.

FDA has decided that only people that have failed chemotherapy and radiation can qualify.  The other qualifier, a brain tumor that is so beyond what can be treated by are "recommended protocols."

The FDA actually set up a few clinical trials and these are the results.

Clinical trials of Anaplastic Astrocytoma patients treated with chemo
5 of 54 patients  9% cancer free

Treated only with Antineoplastons
5 of 20 patients 25% cancer free  with no toxic side effects.

FDA trial #2
Childhood brainstem glioma
treated with chemo
1 of 107 were cancer free no one  lived 5 years 
 treated with antineoplastons
11 of 40 were cancer free and 11 of 40 lived 5 years.

Pretty crazy stats.  The overall statistics not in the clinical trials would be better, but the ones the FDA says can be treated have already failed lots of chemo.  Chemo kills, literally kills your immune system.  So they are in a much weaker state. 

One of the things that really struck me is that with all this new research on cancer, many of the chemo drugs that are being used are the ones developed in the late 70's and early 80's.  That's not to breakthrough-ish to me.  Just a thought that I could be way off on, just seemed a bit wrong to me.  

The documentary wasn't entertaining, as much as it was enlightening.  I don't want to turn it into Big Pharma vs Health, but he has been on trial in Texas for almost 10 years.  Every time they go to court, the accusations are thrown out.  It just seems wrong that the FDA can control your options of treatment in the United States.  

If your interested in this type of subject, I recommend reading through his patients website.  Very interesting stuff.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Operation Hope for Japan

My good buddy Tetsuya Hasegawa is a chiropractor in Dallas, TX.  I met "T" through bobsled.  While I worked with Bobsled, the last couple years, T worked with the Skeleton athletes.  We were roommates in the Athlete Village for 3 weeks last year at the 2010 Olympics.
T grew up in Japan and still has many family and friends there.  I'm sure you've seen some of the heart wrenching footage coming out of Japan after the Tsunami.  T has started a project called Operation Hope for Japan.  He is trying to raise a dollar for every life lost during the earthquake and tsunami.  

T is currently trying to get Operation Hope for Japan non profit status, but in the meantime  you can send checks to:

Operation Hope for Japan, 6720 Horizon Road, Heath TX 75032. Pay to the order of Operation Hope for Japan. 

T is a great guy and I can vouch that this is a legitimate way to help out.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Testing Fascial line with The Bunkie Test in Grand Rapids

I discovered the Bunkie Test about a month ago surfing the Internet reading about fascial lines developed by Thomas Meyers, author of Anatomy Trains. The Bunkie Test was created by a physiotherapist in South Africa. I believe she calls it the Bunkie Test, because the test uses a small stool called a Bunkie. It is recommended the Bunkie be the height of the length of your humerus bone. The stool I use in my video was a little big. You could also use a TRX or other suspension trainer.

I actually first noticed a weak fascial line on my left doing single leg blast strap push ups. I felt very strong with right leg down and weak with my left leg down. This got me thinking of the fascial lines and what that all meant.

Bring in the Bunkie Test. Five positions are tested. Posterior stabilizing, Posterior power, anterior power, medial stabilising and lateral stabilising/power. Each test is tested bilaterally. You should be able to hold each position for 30 seconds. If not it it recommended you receive fascial work on the weak line and strengthen the line. You should see immediate improvement after treatment and retest.

I think the real beauty is the way it can show some discrepancies under load that tests the specific fascial lines, but also show right and left imbalances. Imbalance's between left side and right side have been shown to be a good predictor of injury.

I like that your athletes or patients can test themselves and show themselves what is weak. I love the fact that you can test, find weakness or strength, treat and then retest. Instant feedback.
I've started to use this test in my office in Grand Rapids and have had some promising results.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Self Limiting Exercises

I can't remember if I first heard the term self limiting exercise from Gray Cook or Alwyn Cosgrove.  Either way, I also am a big fan.

Self limiting exercises, as described by Cook, are activities that require a complete mindfulness, connectedness to the activity that is being engaged.  They produce greater physical awareness. They also have the ability to shore up the weak area.  They don't allow you to power through by cheating.  Thus, you tend to stop the exercise before cementing bad movement or use improper technique.

Here are some examples of self limiting exercises.  Barefoot running, jumping rope, turkish get ups, goblet squats, bottoms up kettlebell press, farmers carry, battle ropes, inverted rows and waiters walks.  All these exercise's you will stop when posture gives out, grip strength fails, core fails, ect....

In Cook's book Movement, he summarizes the work with Self Limiting Exercises as a way to shore up weak links because you can never become stronger then your weakest link.

So throw in a few self limiting exercises in your weekly training cycle and watch as your movements progress and you become stronger in a much safer manner.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nutrition Snip Its from Dr Rakowski

A mentor of mine turned me onto the information of Dr. Robert Rakowski.  He is a chiro/nutrition guy that works with many sprinters/athletes including Tyson Gay.

I was all excited to take a seminar with him in Minnesota this April, but it was cancelled.  I perused the Internet and found out that Charles Poliquin is also a big fan.  That's a pretty high endorsement.

He did an interview with him and here are some of they strong take home points.

Malnutrition is really the key.  Not overeating.  The reason people are malnourished is that the soil has become depleted in the last 1/2 century.  It takes 17 minerals to make a healthy plant.  We put three back in by way of fertilizers.  Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

Because the plants are weaker from lack of minerals they need pesticides to help ward off insects.  We ingest the pesticides and it takes energy to detoxify them.  We get less value from our food, while also requiring more of our energy systems to detoxify it.  Thus we turn to medications for myriad of problems.

He states that all things being equal, the athletes with the best nutrient status and least amount of toxicity in the body will win.

You must do your homework when looking for good supplements.  IOC (International Olympic Committee) found almost 15% of supplements from 640 types from over 200 companies were contaminated.  At least find one that is GMP certified.   (I recommend PURE)

Everyone needs a multivitamin, a plant source and omega 3's.  The data behind these 3 are amazing.

I'm hoping I can attend one of this guys seminars in June now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thoracic Mobility Drill

Thoracic mobility is a huge issue many people, including myself, have to keep working at. When you lose mobility in this region, you will often times develop shoulder dysfunction and even lumbar (lowback) pain. It can also be an underlying cause for cervical pain as well. This is an easy to do drill. The important key is to apply pressure through your knee into a foam roller/med ball. This locks your lumbar spine, which we want to keep stable, and allows the rotation to come through the thoracic area.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Leg Length Inequality and Knee Pain

Have you had your alignment check lately?  Hows this for a solid reason?  Knee pain.  The following study was done with 3000 people.  That's a pretty good sample size.  The findings:

70% had a leg length inequality.
14% had a leg length inequality greater then 1cm.
Those in the 14% group ended up having significant radiographic and symptomatic evidence of osteoarthritis.
The OA was more significantly found in the shorter leg.
It was also able to predict 30 months later symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.

Keep your pelvis level, your hip abductors strong and your legs lengths even.  Your knees will thank you.

Harvey WF et al. Association of leg length inequality with knee osteoarthritis: A cohort study. Annals of Internal Medicine 2010; 152: 287-295.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Product Review: Weighted Jump Rope

 I recently purchased a 4lb orange weighted jump rope through Power Systems.  Wow, talk about a big disappointment.  It actually hurt my wrists.  Not like muscular sore, like this will hurt my wrists if I keep doing this.  I did about 30 revolutions and decided it would cause joint problems.  The ball bearing in the handle was complete garbage.

I had a buddy of mine try it without telling him anything about it.  First thing he said after doing a few reps was that it hurt his wrists.  The good thing was Power Systems said I could return it.

So without a doubt, pass on the weighted jump rope.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Review for March

It's been awhile since I've done a book review, not because of lack of reading, but the choices haven't been to stellar on my part.  This all changed with the book "Unbroken."  It was written by Laura Hillenbrand, she wrote "Seabiscuit,"  also a great book.

It's unbelievable that this is the first that I or many people have ever heard of the story of Louie Zamperini.  He was an Olympic distance runner that was chasing the elusive 4 minute mile barrier in the mid to late 30's.  He competed in the 1936 Munich Olympics.  The story really quicks off during WW2 where he was on a bomber crew in the Pacific theatre.  Shot down, surviving on a raft, overcoming obstacle after obstacle.  I don't want to give out to much of the story, but if it was fiction, you would say it's over the top.

This is amazing history.  It's alive.   It makes you wonder how much one person can endure.  You will never forget the story of Louie Zamperini after reading this.  I highly recommend it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Everything You Wanted to Know About CoEnzymeQ10

Recently a good friend of mine sent me an article on CoEnzyme Q10.  CoQ10 for short.  I've stated before how CoQ10 is depleted when your on a statin drug.  Did you know that in Canada it's required by law that  there be precautionary statement that depletion in this vital nutrient can lead to more cardiovascular disease?  It's currently being reviewed by our FDA.  It's a fact though, that depletion in CoQ10, has been linked to cardiovascular disease since 1972.  It's 38 years later and the FDA is still "thinking about it."

Some key points that I just learned are some of the other ways CoQ10 gets depleted.  These drugs include diabetes, tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotic medications, beta blockers, diuretic drugs.  Also, low B6 levels play a roll in synthesis of CoQ10.

Synthesis starts to decline at 21.  At age of 20, the heart has the most CoQ10 and at age of 80, it's half that. The body needs about .5 grams per day to maintain it's 2 gram supply and its four day turnover.

This is usually accomplished by supplementing with 30 mg a day.  It's can be a hard absorbed nutrient so 100-300mg a day becomes the recommendation.   Dietary sources aren't a realistic avenue.  Think 1lb of sardines.

CoEnzyme Q10 is a very important nutrient for heart health and the Krebs Cycle.  If you're on any medications for the above mentioned conditions, get on a quality supplement.  Your heart will thank you.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Congrats to "Team SEND" West Michigan Youth Climbing Club

Train Out Pain Chiropractic decided to help sponsor a youth indoor climbing team this year.  They are called Team Send and they are coached by my friend Ted Bingham.  Team Send is made up of several youth climbers in the West Michigan area. 

A few weeks ago, Team Send, qualified two of their climbers to go out to Colorado and compete in the National Championships.  Both did really well.

I've talked before about why bouldering is such a great physical activity.  This article in Outside Athlete, "Getting Ready to Boulder."

If you're looking to get your kid involved in a great sport, healthy hobby, with a lot of positive reinforcement, bouldering with Team Send would be a great activity.  


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Power Poses for more Testosterone and less Cortisol

I was reading an article online the other day and it reference a study called Power posing: Brief Non Verbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance.

In this study a group of people were randomly assigned to one of two groups.  One group had open postures, the other group had closed postures.  There were two postures in each group.  Each posture was held for one minute.  Before and after saliva tests were done as well as a dice game for gambling that assessed risk behavior.

Those assigned to the open postures, see photos below, showed an increase in Testosterone and a drop in Cortisol, as well as more risk taking tendencies.  The opposite was true for the closed postures.  The open postures take up more space.  The closed postures shrink the person.

The implications could be pretty cool.  Will you have your athletes hold power poses before a big lift.  Have an important job interview and need a boost in confidence.  Are you trying to increase self esteem in a teenager?

The opposite is also true.  Bad posture can also lead to poor outcomes.  You're Moms old advice to sit up straight and quit slouching takes on new implications.  As a manual therapist dealing with lowback pain there's more evidence on how we need to break the negative feedback loop cycle to deal with cortisol.  How often have you seen a lowback pain patient not able to stand up straight,  they look small and crumpled up.

Physical movement continues to make more and more headlines.  A few years ago, smiling was shown, even if physically depressed,  to cause the release of endorphins and serotonin.  Even when they are fake. Now poses have been shown to increase or decrease testosterone and cortisol.  The article goes on to basically sum it up with the old adage, "Fake it till you make it."

The way you carry yourself affects your neuroendocrine pathways.  Your are in control of way more then you think you are!