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Research of the Day – Nov 12, 2012 – Fish oil can help your liver… but it isn’t magical

Hey Folks!

Research of the Day time! Todays research is brought to you by my homework as well as the fact that I got a bunch of fish oil in at the office last week and am hoping to dish it out to whoever needs the best fish oil money can buy! Great price too – but if you’d prefer not to buy from me, that’s fine too, I’ll get through them all myself eventually otherwise.

Todays article:

Omega-3 fatty acids for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

What they did:

  • Reviewed they literature regarding the use of Omega 3 fatty acids in the management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

What they reported:

  • Omega 3 fats EPA and DHA are associated with greater oxidation of fat (using it for enegy) in the liver… meaning less accumulation.
  • Reduced inflammatory markers and increased non-inflammatory markers in the liver
  • They inhibited liver glycolysis and lipogenesis by reducing the expression of genes involved with activating those pathways (YOU MEAN THE ENVIRONMENT AFFECTED THE GENES???)
  • Diets high in cholesterol, sucrose or fructose fed to mice eventually led to NAFLD
  • They tested rats with deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids for NAFLD, which they developed (along with insulin resistance), and then treated them with omega 3’s and they got better
  • They found when they changed their diet to a high fat diet with omega 3s they halted or REVERSED their NAFLD.
  • This even worked when the rats were leptin resistant too (a hormone that tells you when you’re satisfied AKA had enough food)
  • Omega 3 fats made the rats livers more resilient to injury then those rats without an omega 3 sufficient diet
  • Insulin sensitivity went up, inflammatory cytokines went down.

What does it mean???

  • It means fish oils are good for you. Especially if you’re deficient in them (like pretty much all of us are).
  • They increase insulin sensitivity (possibly by increasing cell membrane fluidity and by modulating gene expression)
  • They reduce inflammatory cytokines, which means less unnecessary inflammation.
  • They aren’t magic. You can’t cover up poop with perfume, so don’t take studies like these the wrong way and assume fish oil is the cure-all of the century. You still can’t eat like crap and just have some fish oil to fix it. Sorry.
  • You still need to exercise, sleep well, eat well, get your spine adjusted and take some vitamin D and fish oil to round out any deficiencies you may have. It just makes sense to create sufficiency where deficiency exists.

Have at it! If you’d like some fish oil from me, let me know – it’s in the office!

Stay healthy friends!

Dr. Adam Ball

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Research of the Day – Nov 11, 2012 – Sleep your fat away!

Hey Folks!

Todays post will be short and sweet because I don’t have the full study (they cost money… a lot) and because I need to go to costco and then study.

Todays research paper:

Impaired Insulin Signaling in Human Adipocytes After Experimental Sleep Restriction: A Randomized, Crossover Study

What did they do:

  • They asked some patients to either sleep 4.5 hours or 8.5 hours per night for 4 days
  • Then they took some of their fat cells and measured the amount of insulin it took to Saturate the cells receptors to a certain degree
  • They also used an intravenous glucose tolerance test

What did they find:

  • They found the people in the sleep deprived group required almost 3 times as much insulin to cause the same glucose to go into the cell

What does it mean:

  • It means you can eat right, think right, and exercise your butt off, but if you aren’t sleeping well then you’re “peeing in the wind” as a previous blog post would suggest
  • Make sure you get GOOD sleep. NO lights. Cool room. 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Try taking some natural calm or your other magnesium supplement of choice (NOT magnesium oxide…. that stuff is just stones and you’ll poop them out the same way)
  • Your body secretes growth hormones and other sex hormones to aid in the repair of your body. It is CRUCIAL to great health AND!!!! it’s free! :)

Stay healthy Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball

RED Project – Nov 9th, 2012 – Our world is but our looking glass…

Hey Folks!

Ok, so we’re onto day 2 of the RED project. I changed the name. ROD sounds like a dude… RED sounds like a colour I have a hard time seeing (I’m colour blind). It stands for Research Every Day. Let’s see if it sticks – RED project does sound cooler than ROD project anyway. I’m excited about it!

Todays article…

Acute stress influences neural circuits of reward processing

What they did:

  • Put people in MRI machines and took functional MRIs (to see which areas of the brain were being activated at different times)
  • They showed them playing cards and had them guess if the next card would be higher or lower
  • If they got it right, they were rewarded with money (reward) if they got it wrong it cost them money (punishment) to varying degrees
  • Half of the people had their hand/wrist covered in an icy cold glove to make them uncomfortable before the card guessing – They did this to simulate being stressed out (The nerves for pain and temperature are REALLY just nerves carry the signal for stress, so they cause a similar effect on the brain… beside they can’t ACTUALLY cause the people real pain or the study wouldn’t be approved for funding)

What they found:

  • TOTAL cortisol (a stress hormone) was elevated in the cold hand AKA stressed group versus the control group but NOT immediate levels of cortisol
  • The control group responded with reward areas of the brain lighting up when they were rewarded and not as much when they were “punished”
  • The Stressed group didn’t respond significantly to the reward unless it was high in magnitude but DID respond more to punishment

What does it mean?

  • Stress affects your physiology in a way that is too long winded to explain here however, from what this study is saying, those who were stressed showed different decision making abilities than those who were NOT stressed
  • Stressed Folks were more likely to respond to negative stimulus, meaning when you’re stressed out, it’s easy to focus on the downside of things. Have you ever been upset and had someone “trying to cheer you up” and it didn’t work at all? I have. The positive stimulus doesn’t have as much of an effect as if you were happy
  • Think of this scenario. You’re not feeling fantastic when you wake up, maybe a cold is coming on, you think. Luckily the coffee is already made, since it was set on a timer last night, but as you roll over in bed you realize you’re 10 minutes later than you expected to be. This is aggravating and causes you to pick up your pace a bit, then WHAM! you stub your toe and it’s the worst pain you’ve ever felt. The pain is amplified so much more by the stress. You grab your things in a hurry and leave with a grunt in response to your spouse’s, “I love you! Have a great day!”
  • Now a contrasting scenario: It’s Wednesday evening and you’re just relaxing with a friend. You remember a “hilarious” youtube video you saw over the weekend and realize this person HAS to see it. You watch it together and it’s funny, but for some reason you and your friend aren’t rolling on the ground crying because you’re laughing so hard. You also haven’t been catching up and laughing before the video was shown, and you aren’t as excited about what else you’re going to do that friday/saturday night. All those positive emotions amplified how funny the video was – as well as feeding off each others laughter on the weekend, but not now.
  • The stress response to the cold wasn’t transient – like it would be if a bear wandered into the MRI room with the people… it was longer lived and I would suggest that it is more realistic to the stress we deal with in every day life… Low level and “annoying”… but we can “deal” with it.
  • THEN, the stressed people needed a greater magnitude of stimulus to respond. This sound like anything? Kids seeking “thrills”, people doing extreme things versus being able to appreciate the small things in life, or things being “The WORST thing in the world” versus “oh…. darn… oh well.”
  • These stressed out people seek greater stimulus…. Sounds like society today (playing Call of Duty) versus what people would consider “the good old days” (playing Tag, hide and seek or cards?)

It’s interesting to me, because it shows the state of physiology you’re in directly and dynamically affects the way you respond to information. The SAME information could then make you either happier or less happy, all depending on your mood.

It reminds me of my all time favourite book/quote by James Allen

Daily ROD (Research of the Day) – It’s not about how many calories you burn…

In an endeavour to keep myself up to date and always learning I’m going to try to take something out of James Chestnuts Book and read one journal article every day – Although we’ll see how frequently I get to it as I’ve made this promise to myself multiple times.

I will post brief thoughts and a summary/synopsis based on those articles. They’ll all be interesting to me (hopefully) and useful for you (in one way or another).

Todays Article:

Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity

Summary:

They measured the energy expenditure (amount of calories burned throughout the entire day) of Hunter-Gatherers (the ones that still exist today) as well as matched controls in the western world.

What they found:

  • Hadza (hunter-gatherers/Foragers) and their western counterparts had the same total energy expenditure per day

So what?

  • As many hear, the obesity epidemic is due to “eating too much” and “moving too little” – not so according to this study as we burn the same TOTAL NUMBER of calories per day as those who have better chronic health markers
  • So how do we take this info? It means that what we’re putting in our mouths is very important. Hunter-Gatherers aren’t gathering wheat or beans. They gather tubers, roots, berries, and freshly killed animals (who happen to be the highest quality meat you could possibly find)
  • Energy expenditure was the same BUT, and it’s a huge BUT, the Hadza aren’t expending their calories the same way. They walk large distances, and occasionally sprint and lift heavy things (dang, I sound like Mark Sisson) – but overall, they also spend a lot of time relaxing.

Take what you will from this info (it IS only one study) but my takeaways are:

  1. If you don’t consider what’s going in your mouth, you’re losing precious ground that you shouldn’t be when it comes to health and performance
  2. Be intelligent with how you expend your energy – Sprint, lift heavy things, move slowly on a regular basis (Notice the lack of chronic 45 minute AMRAPs or 30-60 minute runs?)

Stay healthy, Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball

Blasting your mind… There is no spoon!

In search of providing the body with exactly what it needs – it isn’t hard to confuse yourself with all the recommendations IF we base our thought processes on the wrong paradigm.

While all these statements are true, if we fall into a, ‘eat this for that!’, or ‘you need THIS treatment for THAT complaint!’ pattern, we set ourselves up to be questioned and can eventually end up questioning our own intentions.

Once again, all true statements. So NOW who do you believe/which set of advice do you take???

We need to give up the, “it’s good because it has ______!”, and the “It’s bad because it has _______!” paradigm or all we’re going to do is confuse and frustrate ourselves. Being in health care, I’m not one to criticize something unless I have a better alternative. We need to base our recommendations (and more importantly, our choices) on the following question:

What is required to create and maintain a healthy human being?

Asking whether or not a particular treatment, or herb, or diet, can help with a particular injury, symptom or illness can create good research findings, but is inefficiency at its’ best (think about the number of studies this would require! Ok… fish helps with heart disease.; Does it help with stroke? does it help with cancer? Do we study its’ association with EVERY other state of physiology?).

So then, how do we approach finding out what is needed to create and maintain a healthy human being. Well, we’re going to have to ask a series of questions to find that out.

  • How do we define health?
  • What is a healthy human being?
  • Are there any healthy human beings to model off?
  • What does a human need to provide what is needed to create health?
  • How do we avoid what may prevent health?

These are the driving questions behind how we should approach our health. There may be sub-sections that we want to dive more deeply into, but for now, we’ll build a solid starting point.

So, let’s define “Health”:

  • A state of optimal and appropriate cell function
    • Your cells are 100% capable of responding to the requests being made of them

For example – if you were to live at elevation, your physiology would need to make changes, right? There is less oxygen in the air the higher above sea level you go. Your tissues still need the same amount of oxygen to function optimally. Your red blood cells deliver the oxygen you take in via your lungs to the other cells/tissues in your body. So there are two options, get the red blood cells to carry more oxygen (not possible), or make more blood cells. Your body creates erythropoietin and you make more red blood cells (there is also an effect where your red blood cells become more likely to give up their oxygen). Problem solved. When you return to sea level, your body lowers its’ need for red blood cells, and you make less, maintaining the optimal amount.

So when your cells can respond to the demands placed upon them, you remain in good health.

“What is a Healthy Human Being?”

A healthy human being is one who experiences a normal rate of cell division, creating and maintaining health as they age. The maximum potential life span for a human is approximately 120 years. Stress, whether it comes from poor food choices, poor sleeping habits, poor physical condition or from mental origins, accelerates the rate at which your cells divide – meaning your life will become shorter than the 120 potential years. This means resources need to be devoted to creation, maintenance AND repair for the bodies’ cells. As we know with multi-tasking, it makes you able to do more things less effectively. It also means a shorter, less enjoyable life.

“Are there any healthy human beings to model off?”

Yes. Our ancestors, and existing hunter-gatherer tribes live a life where 80% of their population ISN’T dying of lifestyle illnesses. What DO they die of? Injury, infection (usually associated with injury), and starvation. With our luxury of abundant food and climate controlled, weather-proof shelter, we tend to avoid these causes of death. So, as with all things, let’s take what works (NOT having heart disease), and leave what doesn’t (getting mauled by a tiger), for our benefit.

So then, what is required to be sufficient and pure? Providing all those ingredients in the right amounts to create optimal wellness in a human being. To some degree it will depend on your goals, but will be based off:

If it were as easy as being sufficient and pure, health would be more abundant (which would be nice). Unfortunately we very frequently find ourselves encountering many stressors that cause us to express less than healthy physiology. These stressors include (but are not limited to):

  • Low confidence & poor self image
  • Abusive relationships (mentally as well as physically)
  • Subluxations (movement restrictions & their sequelae) in the spine and extremities
  • Lack of exercise OR too much exercise
  • A diet with a lack of nutrition, too many calories and foods unfit for human consumption
  • Poor sleep and other habits limiting recovery

So, WHY would you go through the trouble of doing all these things? Because, as of now, 80% of us (those living in western nations) will die of lifestyle illnesses. Because for the first time in decades, children have a SHORTER expected life span than those born before them. We are on more medications, receiving more surgeries, spending more money on nutraceuticals and miracle cure promises than any time in history and we are less healthy, less happy and sicker than ever before. We are the sickest species on the planet and there are NO shortcuts, NO secrets and NO magic fixes that will make us healthy other than eating, moving and thinking in ways that will support our health.

Before I finish this post, I need to thank Dr. James Chestnut. I’ve used some of his analogies and verbiage as I don’t believe in the need to “reinvent the wheel”. He has worked hard to make the wellness lifestyle paradigm easy to understand and explain. Much love and respect goes out to his continued work to help people live happier, healthier lives.

It is NEVER too late to start and your start can be as comprehensive or as gradual as you want to make it. If you would like, I am available as a resource to help your spine move better, to make great use of that movement, and to fuel your body to optimally support your athletic and fitness endeavours. Click this link, if you’d like to book an appointment with me, or to sign up for a class at CrossFit Sudbury!

In health,

Adam Ball DC MScACN BHSc NMC CF-L1

Stop peeing in the wind…

Hey Folks!

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Do you suffer from IBS symptoms, acid reflux, varied energy levels, and/or various musculoskeletal aches and pains? You don’t need to live that way!

We’ve all slowly wandered astray when it comes to our health, often wondering, “oh no, what’s WRONG with me?” when our health is less than optimal. I’m here to tell you that there is NOTHING intrinsically wrong with you! If you forgot to water your plant or keep it in adequate light, you wouldn’t think to yourself, “the plant is wilting??? What is WRONG with it?” – you would probably think to yourself, “darn it, I forgot to water the plant again”.

So what? What’s the difference?

The difference is that we don’t assume there is something wrong with the plant – we assume we forgot to provide something to the plant that it needs to be health. Well if we apply that same paradigm to ourselves, then there is nothing wrong with you either. You are experiencing symptoms because your body is trying to tell you something. It’s trying to tell you that you are either deficient in some required ingredient for health, or that you are being exposed to something that is preventing you from expressing health.

So then, the magic questions are, “what are the requirements to create a healthy human being?” and, “what do I need to do, or avoid, to maintain my health once I’ve got it?”

For the vast majority of us, the answer to these questions is very simple. We need to live like humans should. Many folks believe this means going back to living like “a caveman”, but that isn’t true. We just need to live in a way that would emulate their lifestyle, while fitting it into our modern lives. This way we can take advantage of the benefits of modern living (like toilets and motorized vehicles) while enjoying the health and vitality of living in a more “natural” environment. But, how do we recreate that environment?

The folks in the NHL devote their lives to hockey, Accountants know how to best optimize your income, and I know how to help you live the healthy life you were meant for. I spend a large majority of my waking hours actively making people healthier, reading about making people healthier, or writing about making people healthier. I have spent thousands of hours, completed a masters degree and spend my days helping people improve and maintain their health. Let me be the one to help you too.

The services I provide are designed to make you healthier. They are simple, but not always easy (sometimes they are though!). I don’t provide anything outside of what you need. No fluff. No magic. No BS. I am your resource for information about eating well, moving well and reducing stress levels. When needed I refer to other health care professionals and gladly work with them. If you take the necessary steps to provide your body the base ingredients it needs to create health, it will have no choice but to respond. You can’t take supplements to fix a toxic and deficient diet. You can’t buy fancy supports to strengthen a weak back. You have to meet those basic needs before other things like supplements, supports, and fancy tweaks to your diet can have their desired effect. I wish there was a way around it (as it would be much easier to sell) but there honestly isn’t. No pill will ever replace exercise and an intelligent diet – and taking one with that goal in mind is doing as the title of this post suggests – peeing in the wind!

I’m available for chiropractic care, nutritional counselling and I own and run CrossFit Sudbury (a way of working out that will change your life). Check out the following link and book in for what best suits you. Or feel free to email me any questions you may have regarding chiropractic, nutrition, exercise or health in general. I love this stuff and love helping people. Looking forward to hearing from you!

You can also reach my office by phone at (705) 586-7873.

In health,
Dr. Adam Ball

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Respect the Pyramid

Hey Folks!

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Sport-specific training is becoming the new hot thing in young children. The idea is that if little Johnny has already thrown 10000 curve balls by the time he’s 15, he’ll have it mastered and get signed to the big leagues before anyone else. Or if little Susie runs drills and clocks thousands of kilometers a year, by the time she gets to college soccer, she’ll be a shoe in for a professional or national team. We can play out this scenario for any of the sports. Dry land training for Hockey has taken a back seat to heading to the arena all year round to work on skating and wrist shots. You know what else is all the rage these days? Overuse injuries. You know who it’s happening to at an alarming rate these days? Kids.

Something is wrong. Why would making our children better at a sport make them more prone to injury?

It simply comes down to excess. In the western world we very frequently fall into the trap of, “if a little is good, more must be better!” and it works to our detriment. Kids are playing one sport all year round starting as early as 4 years of age. Most sports are unilateral in nature (you hold the stick on one side, wear your glove on one side, are a better shot with one foot, etc.) and that predisposes us to repeat the same movement over and over, whether performed correctly or not. No sport is perfect and they will all lead to their own neuromusculoskeletal limitations. SLAP tears and ulnar neuropathy in baseball. ACL tears and other knee injuries in soccer. Spondylolysis/listhesis in gymnasts. Tennis elbow. Little leaguers elbow. Turf toe. But it isn’t about trying to find the “right” sport – we need to keep that in mind.

Kids used to play a variety of sports and as you excelled at one, you often would excel at others. Michael Jordan gets made fun of for his short stint in the MLB – but do we mean to forget that someone who trained hard enough to become the greatest basketball player ever (specialized training?) ALSO managed to make and play in Major League Baseball? Sure, he was no Bo Jackson, but he beat out a hell of a lot of folks training specifically for baseball!

Gary Roberts, Joe Nieuwendyk and John Tavares were all Lacrosse players as well as hockey players while growing up. All have credited playing lacrosse with making them better at hockey. Why didn’t they just do more sport specific training? Because building a base of athleticism requires more than specialization. It requires intelligent recovery, nutrition, and strength & conditioning.

It helps to think of our performance as building up a pyramid. The higher levels rely on a strong base below them. For most young athletes, recovery is simply sleeping and eating. They’re at an age where faulty biomechanics don’t provide instant feedback, they’re bodies will forgive them… for now. In learning proper biomechanics and how to approach and manage their myofascial limitations at an early point in their careers, they can prevent future overuse injuries due to poor biomechanics, starting now.

Nutrition is something that is also often overlooked in the young athlete. While there is no reason to complicate eating good food, and eating enough to support athletic performance some rough guidelines would benefit a lot of athletes in making them feel faster, stronger and more mentally acute.

Here is a great quote from a Review of the Literature surrounding resistance training in adolescents and children:
“In addition to enhancing motor skills and sports performance, regular participation in a youth resistance training program has the potential to positively influence several measurable indices of health. It helps strengthen bone, facilitate weight control, enhance psychosocial well-being, and improve one’s cardiovascular risk profile. Furthermore, a stronger musculoskeletal system will enable boys and girls to perform life’s daily activities with more energy and vigor and may increase a young athlete’s resistance to sports-related injuries.”
Sounds like training outside of the arena/field/competition grounds might be worth looking into.

Building up the 10 facets of fitness helps in aiding the sport specific athlete. Most sports require their own focus on particular facets of that fitness, but working to ensure enough balance to prevent injury is hugely important. That’s why Coach Drew Nadeau and I have created, “The Program” at CrossFit Sudbury. It is a strength and conditioning program designed to improve sport performance without drilling repetitive movement patterns that are already being honed by your other coaches. We have no problem with sport specific training, we just believe it should be done for the “fine tuning” of your complete performance in sport.

Let us help you build the pyramid the right way. You will complete the program feeling stronger, faster, more powerful and ready to push yourself harder than ever to excel at your sport. Click through to check out the gym or contact drew via email or phone to find out more info!

Email: drew@crossfitsubury.com
Phone: 705 255-7942

Some References to check out:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2105962,00.html

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/106/1/154.full

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17710194

http://ajl.sagepub.com/content/1/3/190.abstract

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=601349

http://www.ilindoor.com/2012/04/07/nhl-star-john-tavares-honed-his-hockey-skills-in-ontario-box-circuit/

Health, not anti-Disease

Hey Folks!

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So, at what point have we started eating, living and thinking in ways that are designed to avoid disease? I was just thinking the other day – there are so many “diet” books, and books on lifestyle interventions like exercise, stretching, meditation, etc. that are designed around preventing or treating a particular illness.

“The anti-cancer diet”

“The diabetes exercise solution”

“Meditate your fibromyalgia away!”

And so on and so forth…

What’s the Problem?

The problem is that we need to pursue health, not avoid disease. There are too many diseases to avoid any one in particular. What happens if you get cancer while eating the heart disease diet? Then you just happened to choose the wrong diet to adhere to?

We love doing things, or taking things for a particular reason. When I recommend to patients that they take fish oil, vitamin D or probiotics, the most common follow up question I receive is, “ok, but what is it for?”

It’s for making you healthy. That may seem like a facetious answer, and to some degree it is, but the truth is that I may recommend vitamin D to someone with MS, someone with rheumatoid arthritis, someone with IBS symptoms, and someone with chronic colds. So then, how do I answer that question?

I’m asking you to take vitamin D because living in northern latitudes we simply cannot absorb any from the sun between the months of October and March. We need to supplement it during those months because vitamin D is an essential nutrient involved with too many reactions in your body than this post can justify OR that science has even elucidated. Fish oil and probiotics can be added to that list – as can exercise, good quality sleep, loving relationships, and a whole slew of other healthy activities.

What’s the solution?

We need to realize that we aren’t eating good food, exercising, and loving each other because some scientist somewhere has “discovered” that it is associated with a reduction in your chances for colon cancer. We do all these things because they’re all associated with being healthy, and healthy people have a far lesser chance of getting sick from all illnesses.

The solution is Wellness and Prevention; it’s using and adjusting our lifestyle to match what our DNA requires from us to build a healthy human being.

So while you might take fish oil “for your arthritis”, you’re also taking it for the health of your nervous system, your cardiovascular health and to improve your insulin sensitivity. You exercise because it makes your knee feel better, but also because it helps keep plaques out of your arteries, and improves your ability to learn. You spend time relaxing because it relieves your headache, but also because it lowers cortisol in your blood, improves sexual function, and improves your recovery from exercise. You avoid grains because it makes you feel less bloated, but also because it lowers inflammation, improves the quality of your gut lining and improves the amount of serotonin and dopamine available to your brain.

How to implement all these activities and behaviors in your life will be saved for another post. If you’ve read my previous posts you probably have a good idea where to start though. Thanks for reading everyone!

In Health,
Dr. Adam Ball

Addressing Lifestyle & Making you “Healthy”

Hi Folks!

I have experienced a small handful of patients coming to see me who brought up in passing that “oh yeah, I’ve been feeling numbness over here” or, “oh yeah, and I hit my head really hard and have a wicked headache right now”… Both (and others) which were followed up with – “Can you help with that?”

Yes.  I can.

While my main concern is for the function and structure of your spine and its joints, I can address your extremities (feet, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands… anywhere you have a joint, really), I can address numbness and I can address headaches.  Pretty much any part of your health – I want to know about.  While I don’t want your symptoms to be your focus, knowing that they were present, and that now they are not is a nice metric of you getting healthier and your body finding its balance.  So please, let me know if there is something new, or something in particular that you’d like me to concentrate on.

I am concerned with improving your experience of how you look, how you feel and how you perform (thanks to Robb Wolf for articulating these concise metrics of health).  When you look, feel and perform well – you’re usually pretty darn healthy.  Healthy Folks don’t have numbness, headaches or debilitating back pain/IBS attacks.  Healthy Folks do eat an impeccable diet, exercise intelligently and regularly lower their stress levels.

You have the time.  You just need to schedule it in and be efficient.  Pencil in “20 minute workout”, or “prepare lunch and dinner for tomorrow” instead of “watch Greys”.  Set an alarm on your blackberry/iphone to remind you to work out, say “I love you” to someone or simply smile and take a deep breath.

Make living healthy a habit.  It isn’t difficult.  Living in a wheel chair is difficult.  Not playing with your children because you’re in too much pain is difficult.  The initial change might be uncomfortable at first, but once you’ve gotten used to making healthy decisions, you’ll notice it gets easier and easier.

If you have any questions, let me know – I am well studied in the areas of nutrition/diet, biomechanics, exercise, and most other areas that have an effect on health.

In health,

Dr. Adam Ball

Your DNA doesn’t care about who you are…

As a wellness and prevention practitioner, I face the occasional challenge in regards to patient compliance to a genetically congruent lifestyle far more frequently than I face those patients who have been provided with bad information.  My experiences with patients have taught me something that I’ve heard before, but which really resonated with me today.

Your DNA does not care one bit about WHO you are, how important you may be, or how much money you make.  Not even a little.  THAT is powerful information, and it can be an important reminder to be meticulous with how you spend your time, and what you allow to enter your body (in terms of food, thoughts and movement).

100 times out of 100 your DNA and its’ genes will respond to the stimulus they are provided.  You will only express genes and their corresponding proteins in response to the environmental demand you place on them.  This can mean the expression of vibrant health, or the expression of unfavourable physiological states (often referred to as pathology).

So, this is where the truth comes in, and in some cases where it can sting a little.  If you’re working your butt off, putting in 80 hour weeks, forgetting meals (which doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, depending on what foods you’re eating), neglecting friends and family (your positive social relationships with actual people), and reducing the amount of time you spend sleeping (or avoid it all together) – And all this makes you a billion dollars… well, I hope you have children to pass the money on to, because you aren’t going to be around long enough to enjoy it.

If you don’t make your health a priority now – you will have to at some point (if you’re lucky enough to live).  I know what this is like.  I had 40+ hours a week of classes, supplemented with 40+ hours a week of studying – all leading to something that was going to be my future career, i.e. if I didn’t pass those classes, then I just invested a tonne of cash in an education I wouldn’t be able to use.  That’s a fair amount of pressure and it’s a fair amount of stress – and my body responded with crappy sleep, lots of food cravings and a less than desirable body composition.  When I started out in my first year I would avoid going to the gym, going out with friends and a lot of other stuff I loved doing because I felt like I needed that time to study.  What I found out later on (when I knew I could get good grades without killing myself with the books for hours), was that when I spent that time in the gym or with my friends, that I was more focused when it came to study and I was far more efficient with my time.  My grades improved with less studying.  I retained the knowledge better.  I was healthier and in better shape.  And I grew my relationships with my friends.

What’s the moral of the story?  Your DNA wants you to succeed.  When you provide it what it needs, you will do better in every aspect of your life.  How concentrated are you at work during those 80 hours if you have back pain, blood sugar swings and some mild depression?  Does it make sense to you that you might feel better and concentrate more knowing you are experiencing the best health of your life?

It does to me.  And I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to help it make sense to you too.

 

Cheers Folks!

Dr. Adam Ball