3 Issues with Going the “One Way”

“Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick.

After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick.

Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick.”

– Bruce Lee

 

Hey Folks!

 

Today we will address something that has been plaguing CrossFit, Chiro, and life in general since I learned of its’ existence.  That thing is that there is NO ONE WAY.  I know what you’re thinking – That’s not a new idea, Adam.  I know it isn’t, but it never takes long for us to convince ourselves that maybe… just maybe there IS ONE WAY.

Oh I need to get my squat up, I have to do the Smolov method.  Oh, the warm up suggests jumping from 75% to 90% of our working weight, I’ll just slap these 45’s on then.  I’m not feeling great; it must be my serotonin levels.  I’d love to lose some weight, but you can only do it if you do the super mega cleanse, and I’m not ready for that.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.

 

Issue #1:   We want there to be only one way. 

You have this infection, you need this anti-biotic, and you need to take it for this long.  You want to lose 10 pounds so you need to eat this magic-berry this many times per day before you have your water and air to eat.  We want it to be true.  The number of times I’ve heard, “well just tell me what stretch I need to do”, or, “how many treatments does it take to cure this???” is quite honestly, too many.

 

Issue #2:  People don’t like for there to not be ONE WAY.

People want there to be ONE fix.  ONE stretch they aren’t doing.  ONE piece of food they need to add or omit from their diet that will cure their IBS, add 200 pounds to their back squat and get them an A in their Nuclear Biophysics course at University.  They want that “AHA! THAT is what I’ve been doing wrong!” moment.  They WANT easy.  But easy doesn’t exist – simple does.

Eating veggies, meats, tubers, fruits, and adding in some nuts and seeds is simple.  Coming to the gym and doing the work is simple.  Working on your mobility with a Lacrosse ball, foam roller and some stretches is simple.  Getting adjusted regularly to ensure a healthy nervous system is simple.  Unfortunately simple does not always or usually mean easy.  Endeavour for simplicity, it isn’t always easy, but there is a certain beauty in it.

 

Issue #3:  Many a person has gotten rich off selling you the idea that there is only one way. 

Want to know a surefire way to know when you’re hearing/reading good advice?  When the speaker/writer isn’t going to fight you on adhering to what they suggest.

“I can’t eat ‘paleo’ because I have to have yogourt/milk/oatmeal/etc.”, is a common response I hear to my recommendation for most folks to start with a stripped down paleo approach to eating.  Do you know what an appropriate response to this comment is?  “Ok, then have it – and if or when you’re ready to try going without that item as well, you can”.  Many of the truly successful people are not shoving their rules down peoples’ throats.  Mark Rippetoe doesn’t care if you want to compare Starting Strength to Wendlers 5-3-1.  Robb Wolf doesn’t care if you want to go all primal and add some dairy and wine in with your paleo diet.  Most Chiropractors don’t care if you want to come in once a month instead of once every 2 weeks.  What we do know is that if you stray too far from a plan, it doesn’t work as well, and we know what we know because we do it every day.

 

Notes to provoke your thoughts:

Want to know when you’re being sold something that may be suspect (products, services or advice)?  When the person wants to convince you of its’ truth.

I don’t want to pick on anyone as broad brush strokes are just that, broad, but two examples that come to mind are:

Vegans.  You can’t be “kind of” vegan.  From my experiences they will do everything in their power to convince you of the evils of meat and the saintly power of juicing or kale or whatever.  You can see this in the paleo world too with the “is it paleo” debates, which in my opinion are largely a waste of time.

“Evidence-based” healthcare practitioners.   They are typically extremely confident that their way is the only way.  That is until they learn more.  Until they learn about bias from researchers, from where funding comes from, from bias in statistical analysis (and it’s interpretation), and from poorly written conclusions, abtracts and introductions.  Until they learn about outliers, and paradoxical findings (and responders) and articles that conclude, “while this particular study does not support generally accepted findings, we still suggest that people follow XYZ” and wonder why doesn’t the study support it?

Please keep in mind, these are generalizations, and by far not all vegans or “evidence-based” practitioners are like this, but they come to mind first.  How will you know if the person you’re speaking to is unworthy of your trust?  They don’t listen to your side of the conversation.  Not even a little.  They speak louder to get their point across.  It’s painful to speak and debate with these people and we all get sucked into it from time to time.  Don’t’ waste your time or energy here.

 

Bruce Lee is still viewed with starry eyes.  He was a genius.  He knew that there was no one way, and that the more you learned, the more you realized you knew very little.  After understanding how little you know, you can fully acknowledge the breadth of the subject and how best to approach it.  The important thing to take into account is that we’re all trying to get on the highway to greater health and fitness, but few of us will be driving on the exact same onramp or will be driving the same speed, in my case I always check out the flexmastergeneral, Their newest machine is the Bowflex HVT and it is an awesome tool for my fitness goals.  Where you get on and how fast you go isn’t what matters, heading in the right direction is.  So when you begin to doubt yourself from time to time (and you will), remember, there is no one way, there is only the way you are going – just make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

As always – stay healthy, Friends!

 

Dr. Adam Ball

Strategies to avoid being SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

It’s a cold day in Northern Ontario today (-1 degree Celsius this morning!) and as the warmth and summer weather retreats until the spring, the prolonged daylight goes with it.  Shorter, colder days mean much less time spent outside, as well as less time exposed to direct sunlight.  What does this mean for us?

It means we aren’t connecting with nature as often as we would in the summer (raking leaves just doesn’t have the same allure as laying on the dock by the lake, does it?), which can have a profound effect on our mood.  There’s just something that incites a peaceful feeling about spending time outside.

Not being outside also means we aren’t exposed to the suns rays as much (as well as the changed angle of the sun entering the earth), which means our bodies don’t synthesize as much Vitamin D in the fall and winter as they would in the spring and summer.  Vitamin D is STILL a “hot” vitamin/hormone being studied for numerous connections to both mood and health in general.

The colder weather and lack of sunshine can mean some simple but meaningful changes in our lives.  More time spent indoors.  More time spent looking at screens (TVs, Cell phones, computers, etc.).  Less motivation to get out and move (outside or at the gym).  Less time spent connecting with friends and family.  Like everything in life, these things add up.  The problem is, they add up in a bad way.

Seasonal Affective Disorder exists on a gradient (like most psychological/affect diagnoses), and can affect different people in different ways.  Most people simply report they don’t feel as great in the winter as they do in the summer.  Others succumb to outright depression.  The lack of motivation, fatigue and general malaise that plagues SAD sufferers can be improved upon and sometimes alleviated all together.  The desire to change must be there, which is often the hardest part, but it can be upended by starting small.

I’ll outline a number of ways to approach improving your mood and your life – I suggest you pick and choose which ones work best for you, then, when possible, add in another – until you’ve gone through the whole list.  I don’t suggest trying to do them all at once, unless you already do most of them.

1. Move away from digital screens and fluorescent lighting at night

  • The blue light present in these bulbs and screens send a signal to our bodies through our eyes and skin that it’s “daytime”.  When it isn’t daytime and we’re exposed to blue light our bodies don’t unwind properly and our quality of sleep is affected.  No, it doesn’t matter if you can fall asleep immediately – the quality of your sleep is still affected.
  • Read a (paper) book or spend sometime journaling about 30-60 minutes before bed to the light of some candles, or an incandescent bulb.  Or find some other activity to do in the dark before bed, we’re just looking to reduce your exposure to light here.
  • Turn your clock/phone around/away and get some good quality blinds/drapes
  • These will help to reduce the amount of light you’re being exposed to while sleeping, which will improve the quality of your sleep

2. Get to bed at a decent hour and get enough sleep

  • Getting more sleep in the colder months makes sense, as the sun isn’t up as long.  Ever been camping?  Didn’t you feel pooched earlier than you’d expect while sitting around the campfire?  It’s because you’ve only been exposed to natural light since sunset.  Aim for 8 to 10 hours each night.  I know it’s a lot for a busy person but play around with as much as you can get and gauge how you look, feel and perform

3. Wake up grateful

  • Wake up and try to start your day with gratitude.  Be thankful you’re waking up in a bed, in a room, in a house.  That it’s warm.  That you have at least some food available to you for breakfast.  Many aren’t nearly as lucky/wealthy and are simply thankful to wake up in the morning.

4. Eat breakfast

  • It doesn’t need to be a lot, but have something for breakfast.  Start with something fresh, like some fruit, or veggies in an omelet.  If you’ve got veggies already cut up from last nights dinner, throw them in the pan with some eggs and voila, omelet!
  • Have some grapefruit with your coffee to help the caffeine burn a little extra fat.

5. Take your wellness essentials

  • Vitamin D, Fish oil and probiotics are necessary for everyone, everyday.  I wish this weren’t true, but it is.  We’ve affected both the environment, and our food chain to such a degree that it’s made these supplements necessary in everyday life.  You don’t need a lot, a few droplets of Vitamin D, a teaspoon of fish oil (or a few capsules), and a single small capsule of probiotics will set you up for success.
  • The vitamin D is like a shot of sunshine, the fish oil helps to balance out your mood, mental clarity and level of inflammation, and the probiotics will keep your gut populated with friendlies, reducing the chances of an infectious bacteria to set up shop.

6. Get some exercise

  • Get outside for a walk, do some squats and push-ups, some sit-ups and lunges.  Play sports you enjoy.  Come out to CrossFit and join a group of your peers trying their best to accomplish the same things.  Lie out or pack your gym/exercise clothes the night before.  Have everything you need ready – don’t give yourself the opportunity to make an excuse at the time of decision.
  • Movement through your joints and an elevated heart rate will help with your ability to cope with stress.

7. Have fun with friends

  • Get out to socialize, have a beverage, go skiing, whatever.  Just do something you enjoy, preferably with some people you like.  Vent about what’s bothering you, boast about your successes and laugh.  If there’s anyone you can be completely candid with, it’s friends and family.

8. Spend quiet time

  • Read, watch a movie, listen to music or an audiobook, go for a walk.  As a society we rarely take the time to do these things as it’s often viewed as “wasting time”.  If it helps you unwind and slow down your day a bit, then wasting time is something you need to make time to do, at least once a day.  It can be as little as 5 minutes, but is better off being in the 30-60 minute range.  Journaling and introspection I would put higher on the list than watching “The Avengers” for the 6th time.

9. Get Adjusted

  • Chiropractors and other manual therapists (Physio, massage, etc.) help to create, and maintain your full range of motion at the joints in your body.  The communication from your joints and surrounding tissues to your brain stimulates the movement-pleasure pathway, making you feel good.  More importantly, regular adjustments set you up with access to a full range of motion, so you can use it regularly on your own.  Using your full range of motion on a regular basis will help to maintain that range, and therefore keep you feeling great (and necessitate less frequent visits to your manual therapists – don’t worry we don’t mind so long as you’re being healthy!)

Use all, or some of the above suggestions and you should notice a difference with your mood, mental focus, physical health and even boost your immune system.  Our bodies are like an organic vehicle or house, and we want to maintain that vehicle with the best parts and ingredients as possible.  Take good care of your body; you only get one!

Stay healthy, Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball

The 7 Super Secret Ways to Stay Healthy!

Hey Folks!

I have a special level of distaste for these sorts of headlines. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no 7 Secrets that is the answer to everyone’s problems. If only it were that easy!  What really makes people healthy doesn’t involve secrets.  At one point or another you’ve always known.  It’s DOING the 7 (or 10, or 20, or 1, whatever) things that makes you healthy.  But let’s use an example to drive home this point…

So if we had a person who was:

  • Eating a diet of meat, veggies, some fruit and occasional nuts/seeds
  • Supplementing with fish oil, probiotics and vitamin D to shore up the deficiencies created by our food manufacturing practices and lack of interaction with nature
  • Exercising in a way that challenged their strength, flexibility, speed and cardio respiratory endurance
  • Visiting musculoskeletal focused healthcare practitioners like chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists to optimize and ensure quality movement and positioning in their life
  • Spending free time on hobbies, and with family/loved ones
  • Working on tasks that contribute and make a difference, feeling like an important part of the workplace and/or community
  • Getting enough, good quality rest/sleep – waking rested for the next day

Would this person be healthy or unhealthy? MORE importantly, would a person who was doing all these things, who stopped doing even just one of them get healthier or less healthy?

The answers to these questions seem obvious, but how many of us aren’t doing “all of the above”? Most, of the answers from the folks I help in the clinic and gym would probably be considered better than most, but far from complete. “Typical” answers from the general public hit on few, if any of these health producing necessities. It’s difficult asking someone to change such a significant part of their lives (sometimes ALL of it).

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So what is the solution? Achieve as many of these points as possible – EVERY DAY

1. Eat in a way that supports your goals, be they health-related or fitness-related.
2. See a variety of movement evaluating practitioners, Chiro, physio, massage. Get your tight spots evaluated and addressed properly – you aren’t special or perfect, we all have our tight spots.
3. Use your body! Exercise, play sports, move frequently. We can help 😉
4. Respect your body – your health team can provide suggestions as to what you need to mobilize on your own, but experimentation and practice will reveal what you need to work on regularly as well.
5. No TV, cell phones or other lit screens for 30-60 mins before bed. Use this time to stretch, read or “exercise”. Make sure it’s early enough to get 8-10 hours of sleep.
BONUS 6. Keep a journal. Write out your goals, your thoughts and feelings. See how your life compares in reality to how you’d like it to be. Awareness precedes choices, which precede results (thanks Robin Sharma).

So, if you are not achieving the level of success you’d like – evaluate your choices for areas you can improve and realize that how you eat, move and think affect your life in every aspect!

Ask me if you’re interested in Chiropractic & Wellness Lifestyle care, as well as if you’d like any suggestions for other Healthcare practitioners!

You can reach me by my contact form (located at the right of this text) OR phone (705) 521-4790.  You can also check my availability and book your own appointments through this link.

Stay healthy Friends!
Dr. Adam Ball

Navigating the Paleo World

Hey Folks!

SO!  Dr. Oz has finally decided to have someone from the paleo world on his show.  His guest today will be Dr. Loren Cordain – the author of, “The Paleo Diet” (among other books).  Dr. Cordain is probably the person most responsible for the expansion and popularization of the Paleo diet.  There were many others writing about it around the same time, but his book seemed to have the greatest effect.  Since Dr. Cordain published his book (and then later an updated version – to reflect some new research since the first publication), there has been an acceleration in the number of “paleo” books at Chapters (or barnes and noble or wherever you shop for books).

While it sounds simple, a diet based on “lean meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds” seems to be confusing for many people.  Let’s break it down a bit and do a little explaining as to what’s going on.

Loren Cordain

Lean Meats

The meat on wild caught, pastured and/or grass fed animals is typically more lean (i.e. containing less fat) then the meat we buy in the grocery store.  This is mostly because the meat we buy in the grocery store comes from factory farming.  This is where any amount of weight loss in an animal cuts into revenue – so exercise and nutrient dense, calorie poor foods are not the main source of food for those animals.  The animals are designed, and provided with a diet and lifestyle that will yield the most meat in the least amount of time.

On the other side of the coin is wild caught meat (Moose, elk, deer/venison, fish, etc.), pastured or grass fed meats (pork, beef, lamb, etc.) and chickens raised on pasture as well.  These animals live a normal animal life, and as such don’t tend to overeat, tend to move around to get their food (the many plants available in the field they live), and don’t tend to store unnecessary fat.   This makes the meat “lean”.

The general guideline here when purchasing at the store – buy organic grass-fed and/or “wild” and/or “pastured”.  If you do buy conventional beef or pork – leaner cuts are better choices (although often more tough and less delicious – the slow cooker is your friend).

Vegetables

This should make up the bulk of your plate.  Spinach takes up a lot of room on the plate.  So does most other vegetables.  The fibre, vitamins and nutrients available in the vegetables you eat provide a lot in the way of nutrition, and very little in the way of calories.

Aim to eat a variety of colours and textures with your vegetables.  This can also mean cooking or eating raw.  I recommend both to my patients.  There’s no secret that eating vegetables is good for you.  Choose the ones you like – and purchase organic if you can.  Better yet, plant a garden.

Fruit

Fruit are much sweeter than they were even 50 years ago (ask your grandparents).  They also contain less fibre.  They also contain lots of vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy.  So while the sugar content of fruit may set some peoples weight loss goals back, there is still value in eating them.  Berries are generally one of the best choices.  Local and ripe is ideal.  You don’t need fancy acai or goji berries from halfway around the world.  Local blueberries have about the same level of “antioxidants” and other health promoters.

Fruit should be kept in the breakfast and post workout windows or as a “snack” to help deal with cravings for sweets.

Nuts & Seeds

These are optional – they contain some great minerals and can help in the maintenance of good health – but they can also be a double edged sword.  They’re high in calories and it’s easy to eat  a lot of them.  They also contain a skewed ratio of omega 6’s to omega 3’s (the fats in our body that help make our cells pliable like they should be – and help us deal with inflammation).

Used as a garnish and as the occasional snack, nuts and seeds can be a good addition to our diet.

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Common Questions:

So what about carbs?

They’re present in your fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  If you’re an athlete using the glycolytic pathway (working very hard) frequently, adding in starchier vegetables is a good idea (potatoes, yams, squashes, etc.)

So is it LOW-CARB?  Or HIGH-CARB?

It’s whatever you need it to be.  The various natural, healthy living populations from the distant and recent past, as well as those still in existence today have their food groups in common – but their macronutrient ratio is all over the map.  This means there are groups like the Inuit eating very little plant matter and a VERY low carb diet, and there are groups like the Kitavans, who eat a lot of starchy roots and tubers, and derive most of their calories from carbohydrates.  You will likely fall somewhere in between them – and the only way to know best where you should be is to experiment and if you feel the need, to consult with an expert in this style of eating.

What about fibre?

There’s plenty in the fruit and vegetables you’ll be eating.

What about calcium?

This is a longer question to answer – but the bottom line is that there are far more minerals in bone than calcium, and eating in this way will create an internal environment conducive to creating and maintaining strong bones.

Can I eat (insert food you know you shouldn’t have) while eating “paleo”?

Yes.  You can eat whatever you want.  BUT – first you should set aside 30 days and eat a strict paleo diet – THEN feel free to add back whatever you want (1 thing at a time) and see how your body responds.  Maybe ice cream gives you a migraine.  Does that mean you can’t have it?  No.  It means you can have it so long as you’re prepared to have a migraine.  At least now you’ll know to be prepared and you know the connection between your food, and how you feel.  Your level of buy-in is ALWAYS up to you.

What if I have other questions?

I work with a large range of people with how to best tune their diet.  You will help improve health, performance and longevity but most importantly – you’ll develop a healthy relationship with what you eat.

Feel free to contact me about working together to find the right nutrition plan for you!

 

Adam.Ball.DC@gmail.com

(705) 222-7213

In health,

Dr. Adam Ball

Increasing ability versus decreasing disability

Hey Folks!

I am a healthcare practitioner that specializes in movement, nutrition and wellness.  My job is making people better.  That’s a very subjective goal, but it’s a crucial goal for sure.  Many people live their lives simply hoping they don’t encounter illness or disability.  Many hope it won’t “get” them.  I’m here to tell you, you can do more than hope.

In my practice I help people perform better.  I also help people experience less pain.  Some simply prefer to experience less pain and are happy with that much progress (it’s an easy progress indicator to gauge).  I’ve often been heard saying the perfect time to see a Chiropractor is 1 day before you start to notice any symptoms (whether they be as obvious as pain, or as subtle as less quality sleep or digestion).  This is a difficult goal – and in my opinion isn’t one we need to be concerned with.  So why do I use that example then?  Well…

Do we only eat well until we notice a change, and then stop and wait for the change to go away before eating well again?  Do we only go to the dentist when the pain is so bad we can’t handle it, then wait until that happens again to return?  How about learning piano or guitar – do we learn how to strum a couple chords and then stop, wait until we forget how, then re-learn, hoping to one day flawlessly perform “stairway to heaven”?  Or do we KNOW that it takes more diligence, more work, and more awareness than that?

Then why do we treat our spines (and therefore our nervous system) that way?  We go to the Chiropractor, and then don’t return until we’re in so much pain we can’t tie our own shoelaces.  It’s time to take some initiative and improve our situation.  It’s time to start taking the “moving well” out of eating, moving and thinking well a little more seriously.  Being in the gym is one way to do that.  Seeing a Chiropractor is the other.  They do not replace each other and both are crucial.

I’ve read literature showing Chiropractic improves high jumping, judo athletes grip strength, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, our ability to withstand mental stress, and obviously, our range of motion (and therefore how our body moves).  It’s inspiring and frustrating (chiropractic controlled trials are hard to perform and therefore are hard to come across).  Once you’ve read the literature and learned the physiological mechanisms for said changes, it makes sense.

This is how most perceive Chiropractic works:

Chiro Dx

This is what actually happens:

Subluxation and Adjustment diagram 

–       Courtesy of James Chestnut DC CCWP

So, the effect goes from the joint, all the way up to the brain.  It communicates and moves on to numerous other structures in the nervous system and eventually the body.  So along with the improvement in how the joint is moving we experience lowered stress levels, improvements in heart health measurements (cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate, vasodilation to the organs, etc.), a greater ability to learn (improved concentration), and tons of other benefits – all because your joints are moving the way they should be.

I’ve seen countless people come in grouchy, and leave far happier.  I’ve seen that happen on the Chiropractic table and I’ve seen it happen after training in the gym.  It comes from activating movement-pleasure pathways from the joints, to the brain.  When you receive that message through exercise, it is far more “clear” if your spine has access to its’ full range of motion.  Chiropractors (and some other manual therapists) are experts at providing you that range of motion.  The frequency with which you can benefit from an adjustment could be as little as once a week (after an initial phase of care), or as infrequent as once every 6 weeks.  Gauge your performance, your sleep, your digestion, your range of motion and even your mental clarity and mood – they’re all indications of your health status, and how your body is treating you.  It takes some trial and error, but you’ll find a frequency that works well for you.  For most living a fairly healthy lifestyle, this ends up being once every 2 weeks to once every 4 weeks.

For everything in life (and health) we live in a dynamic balance.  When we get cold we shiver, when we’re warm we sweat, when exercise or stress demands it, we raise our blood pressure.  Everything has a reason and everything has an effect.  Our ability to accommodate and then recover from stressors best demonstrates our level of health.  Chiropractic adjustments help us to address, and recover from the demands of our environment.

So as much as I love seeing people go from grimace to smile, I enjoy even more hearing that people are sleeping well, loving life and performing well at their hobbies.  Take care of yourself.  Eat well.  Spend time with your loved ones.  Exercise with purpose.  And see your Chiropractor.  Don’t live life from back twinge to back twinge – let me help you go from good to great – It would be my pleasure.

In health,

Dr. Adam Ball
BHSc MScACN DC NMC

If you’d like to book an appointment yourself, Click Here.  If you’d like to speak with me, send me an email through the contact form, or call the office at (705) 222-7213.

Research of the Day – Nov 22, 2012 – Fish versus Anxiety… Who wins???

Hey Folks!

Research of the Day!

Today’s Article:

Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

What they did:

  • Split a group of medical school students up into groups that received either ~2.3g of EPA + DHA per day, or some capsules containing ~2.3g of a mixture of palm, olive, soy, canola and cocoa butter oils (to mimic the average fatty acid intake in western diets).
  • They then took their blood 6 times throughout the 12 week intervention, once during a non stressful time and right before an exam (high stress time) without any supplementation and then twice again AFTER supplementation (or fake supplementation) right before a major exam, or during a less stressful time (beginning of a new semester, with many weeks until an exam, etc.)
  • They performed physicals at the beginning and end of the study that also included measurements of central adiposity (fat around the waistline), a food frequency questionnaire, a measure of sleep quality, a measure of physical activity, and a health review (to ask if the person had been sick at all, etc. over the last 12 weeks)
  • They performed two other tests to screen for depressive symptoms as well as symptoms of anxiety (as they are not the same) at each of the 6 visits
  • THey collected blood from the subjects at each visit to test them for their fatty acid profiles
  • They also checked for inflammatory biomarkers (IL-6 and TNF-alpha)

What happened:

  • EPA and DHA in plasma and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells increased significantly in the supplemented group
  • IL-6 and TNF-alpha were lower in the treatment group versus control after supplementation, but not to a significant degree
  • Anxiety, but not depression was reduced in the treatment group over the control group relatively by 20% (We are reminded that all subjects are healthy, young volunteers, that had low anxiety scores to begin with… although there was still a reduction in the treatment group)
  • They took ALL the blood samples and checked their omega 6: omega 3 ratio to check for correlations with inflammatory markers and anxiety scores and found an inverse relationship

So what’s going on?

  • Supplementing with ~2.3g of EPA + DHA was associated with increases in their concentrations in plasma and in percipheral blood cells
  • This increase correlated with improved omega 6: omega 3 ratios
  • improvements in that ratio meant less inflammation at rest as well as less inflammation when inflammation was stimulated
  • Improvements in that ratio ALSO correlated well with less symptoms of anxiety at rest and during high stress environments (medical exams, in this case)

And thennnn:

  • I’m really glad they checked the Omega 6: omega 3 ratio… it was a smart move
  • It shows that you can’t cover up a crap diet with fish oil (the ratio probably wouldn’t have changed in this case), and that when you create sufficiency where deficiency exists AKA Improve that ratio, good things happen
  • The students weren’t overly concerned with ameliorating symptoms, other than maybe hoping to feel a little less stressed during exams and the fish oil has the potential to lower inflammation and reduce anxiety levels

Take away, Fish oil isn’t something you take to fix this problem, or cure that illness; You take it to create balance in your body and to provide the proper building blocks for health. No one is going to disagree that less baseline inflammation and less inflammation during stressful environments is a bad thing.

If you need some fish oil, and you all do (unless you already are taking some), ask me in the clinic OR at the gym – I have some of the best quality you can find available for a great price $42 for approximately 100 servings. That’s less than 50 cents a day to make a difference in your inflammatory pathways as well as to reduce any resting anxiety. If I can help you out let me know!

Stay Healthy Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball

p.s. As usual, if you’d like to book an appointment for Chiropractic Wellness & Lifestyle care, book an appointment here, or call me at (705) 586-7873

Research of the Day – Nov 19, 2012 – Colic & Chiro, they go together like bacon and just about anything…

Hey Folks!

I took the weekend off – My brother and Sister-in-law were up to visit so I had more fun things to do.

Todays article

Efficacy of Chiropractic Manual Therapy on Infant Colic: A Pragmatic Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial

I don’t have the full text (yet), but I couldn’t rob you of this one…

What they did:

  • Split groups of babies into 1 – Treated and the parents knew, 2 – Treated and the parents DIDN’T know, 3 – not treated and the parents knew
  • I’m not sure why they didn’t include the fourth group (something the full text would elucidate I’m sure…) but oh well
  • Followed up with parents to see if there was any less crying in the colicky babies
  • A significant amount of less crying was quantified as 2 hours less
  • The two treatment groups were made to see if results were based on parents thinking their child got better because they were treated versus them actually being better

What they found:

  • The treated babies cried significantly less than the un-treated babies regardless of whether the parents observed the treatment or not.

What does it mean:

  • It suggests Chiropractic care may help with Colic in infants. Total time spent crying was reduced, which I’m sure would mean a lot to parents.
  • The results were not based on the parents hoping their children were better as even the parents who didn’t know their child was treated or not (but they were) reported less crying.

And so:

  • Chiropractic care with infants is extremely gentle, very low force and not what most would think of when they consider “Chiropractic care”
  • Ensuring proper movement in the spine and therefore better communication between brain and body in infants is less invasive and far more safe an intervention than drugs or surgery to prevent colic
  • I don’t have the full study, I don’t have children, and I’m a Chiropractor (and therefore have built in bias that can’t be avoided) but I believe Chiropractic care for infants should be the mandatory first step in addressing Colic (among other physiological perturbations) in children as it is the least invasive and introduces nothing novel into the digestive tract or blood supply of the infant.
  • I don’t suggest that it will work for all children as health is far more multifactorial than that, but to reduce the patient load on Medical Doctors/Pediatricians and to prevent unnecessary medication usage it only makes sense to have infants checked for movement restriction in their spine and the downstream effects it can have on the nervous system.

Stay healthy, Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball

p.s. If you don’t currently see a Doctor of Chiropractic and You or your loved ones are interested in making an appointment, you can book online here, or call my office at (705) 586-7873

Research of the Day – Nov 14, 2012 – Exercise… It’s good for you… Surprise!

Hey Folks!
I’ve skimmed about a dozen articles today and can’t really find a topic or good quality article I feel like reading, so I chose an easy and semi-boring one, in my opinion. Either way, here it is:

Todays Article:

Resistance Training and Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Strength of the Evidence

What did they do:

  • Searched far and wide for articles regarding resistance training and type 2 diabetes outcomes, musculoskeletal outcomes and body composition outcomes between the years of 2000 and 2011.
  • Combined the results from all those studies into a meta-analysis to glean more accurate results than any one study on its’ own

What did they find:

  • 3 studies met the criteria! Not very many and not enough to create statistical significance that wasn’t already found in the original studies, but if you’re the author, you’ve already worked hard to find the info, so you combine it and analyze it anyway… Then it gives people like me an “ok” article to link to and say resistance exercise is good.
  • Resistance training was associated with better muscle strength, functionality and size
  • Resistance training had a favourable but non-significant (meaning it could have been chance) effect on HbA1C (a measure of how high and low your blood sugar gets over a period of time)
  • Moderate and small effects were also favourable for blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, respectively
  • Body composition was unchanged

What it means:

  • Exercise is good for you – could potentially reduce the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes (and metabolic syndrome – associated with cardiovascular disease)
  • People got stronger before their body composition changed AKA You are going to get stronger FIRST, and THEN you’ll lose weight and look “cut”, “toned” or whatever other silly adjective you’d like to use for functionally designed
  • Blood pressure, cholesterol, and many other markers that are regularly measured to gauge health will improve when you exercise, but it takes time.

Not overly life changing findings, I know. But a nice reminder to keep up with the great efforts on the gym – If it’s important, do it every day.

Stay healthy, Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball

Research of the Day – Nov 13, 2012 – Weightlifting and injuries, so You’re saying there’s a chance…

Hey Folks!
Research of the day! I’m out a limb here – examining a paper reporting injury rates among Olympic Weightlifters. No one ever learned anything by turning a blind eye to the things they love just because they love them!

Todays Paper:

Injury Rates and Profiles of Elite Competitive Weightlifters

What they did:

  • They took data from USA weightlifting training camps (where the athletes train to prepare for world championships, olympics and other important competitions in weightlifting) regarding training hours, injury location, injury severity and injury nature
  • The weightlifting teams medical staff (MDs, physios, chiros, etc.) provided their information about any injuries that ocurred to the athletes while they were at the training camp with regard to type of injury (strain, sprain, contusion, fracture, etc.) location (knee, hip, elbow, etc.) nature (acute, chronic, recurring) and severity (time recommended to miss from training)
  • They took this data from 1990-1995

What they found:

  • Over the 6 years there were 560 injuries, of which 326 were located in the low back, knee or shoulder
  • 459 of those 560 injuries were considered a strain, sprain or tendonitis
  • 507 of the 560 injuries resulted in a recommendation of missing less than 1 day of training

What does it mean:

  • It means being competitive at Olympic Weightlifting carries about the same risk of injury as playing just about any other sport.
  • The authors suggest the injuries sustained are less severe as there isn’t any off centered or lateral movement during the weightlifting movements – lateral movements or off centered movements that are often attributed to causing stability injuries to soccer, football, and other sports players.
  • Rates of injuries and complaints in later life were similar to non-weightlifters, but not as bad as retired wrestlers.

What do I think:

  • We have the benefit of diversifying our training, and so not being exposed to the same movements every day (imagine training the snatch, clean and/or jerk, 6 times a day… THAT is repetition) – something that increases the chances of injury
  • We have the disadvantage of not being elite level athletes with thousands of hours of training and familiarity with the movements – something that would reduce the chances of injury
  • The point being… There’s ALWAYS risk to living life (and training). Daring to be great, pushing your comfort zone boundaries and endeavoring to be in better physical condition requires stresses being placed on the tissues of the body, which always carries a risk.
  • The question you can ask yourself is whether or not the risk is worth having better bone density, greater muscle mass and better insulin sensitivity, all things that are related to greater quality of life as well as greater longevity. You all know where I stand on this issue.
  • What we CAN do, is make sure we’re aiming for perfect form, that we’re making an effort to maintain a neutral spine at all times, that we’re keeping our shoulders in healthy positions when pulling or overhead, and that we’re pressurizing the trunk properly when bracing for a lift. THESE THINGS ARE IMPORTANT.
  • It’s also good to know that I’m not alone when my knees are a little achy after a heavy oly lifting session.

Stay healthy, Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball

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