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Only when you know the question, will you know what the answer means

42.

The answer to life, the universe, and everything.

I’ve used this joke a lot, but I’m about to be a Dad, so get used to me re-using jokes.  I think that’s part of becoming a Dad.  That, and I can rarely think of a better way to exemplify what I’m trying to say when I come across broad, over-arching answers.

This topic tends to come up with me one of two ways:

  • I’m making fun of something that is being touted as the new answer to everything (or is being advertised that way to do one thing… get you to buy and consume whatever it is).
    • My call for this year is tea.  No one particular tea, but ones with cool names in general, not the “normal” teas we’re used to seeing (like orange pekoe, earl grey or english breakfast), but the exotic sounding ones, like matcha, yerba maté, and other crazy stuff that might not even be tea but is being sold that way because we don’t know how else to conceptualize it otherwise.
  • I’m trying to explain the “Wellness and Lifestyle” model of healthcare.  Which, if we’re watching the slow decline of society into chronic illness, and chronic illness management, we desperately need.

Todays post is the latter of those two options.  Reading through research lately has been fun/tedious, but every once in a while you come across something seriously awesome.  I’m embarrassed I haven’t come across this sooner, to be honest.  but here it is:

Is it possible to have TOO much Nrf2? Stay Tuned... (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Cushman/Released)

Is it possible to have TOO much Nrf2? Stay Tuned… (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Cushman/Released)

Nrf2, a master regulator of detoxification and also antioxidant, antiinflammatory and other cytoprotective mechanisms, is raised by health promoting factors

This article is simply awesome.  Here is laypersons summary of their abstract:

  • Nrf2 is short for nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (yeah… Nerf 2 is a little easier to say/reference)
  • It’s a “transcription factor”, meaning it leads cells to “read” certain parts of our DNA and causes certain physiological cascades afterwards.
    • And this one activates the transcription of over 500 genes!
  • Things that it does:
    • detoxifies the body of molecules that can be toxic when accumulated to unhealthy levels as well as toxic metals
    • Anti-oxidant activities (reduces “bad” oxidation of molecules that can lead to mutations, aging, or unnecessary waste)
    • Produces anti-inflammatory changes (think, Advil, or fish oil)
    • Stimulates the creation of new mitochondria, and improves the function of already existing mitochondria (think, more energy, easier)
    • Stimulates autophagy – a cleaner for your cells, that gets rid of “trash” that can be problematic if not kept under control
  • Things that increase our amount of Nrf2:
    • Phenolic antioxidants, like plants, herbs and (wait for it…) tea
    • gamma and delta-tocopherols, tocotrienols.  Vitamin E – healthy fats, olive oil, avocado, etc.
    • Long chain Omega 3 fats EPA and DHA – from fish, krill, squid, grass-fed meats, etc.
    • Carotenoids like lycopene (in tomatoes and grapes)
    • isothiacynates from cruciferous vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, etc.)
    • Sulphur compounds from allium vegetables (garlic, onions, shallots, etc.)
    • Terpenoids (herbs like cinnamon and ginger)
    • Low level oxidative stress (low intensity exercise, like walking)
    • More intense exercise
    • Fasting/Caloric restriction
  • Chronic Inflammatory Diseases that are prevented/treated by increasing Nrf2?
    • cardiovascular diseases
    • kidney diseases
    • lung diseases
    • Diseases of toxic liver damage
    • Cancer [prevention]
    • Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome/Obesity
    • Sepsis
    • Autoimmune diseases
    • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Epilepsy
    • lesser evidence also points to the improvement of 16 other diseases

Sounds pretty impressive eh?  I like part of the conclusion, “Nrf2 is argued to be both lifespan and health span extending.” [emphasis mine]  FINALLY a focus on not just increasing the length of our lives, but also the quality of those years.

Get out for a hike for some low intensity restorative exercise!

Get out for a hike for some low intensity restorative exercise!

The authors also speak to the potential of having TOO much Nrf2 (which is smart to hopefully nip the “if some is good, let’s crank the knob up to 11!” bud), as it can cause a type of acne in certain cases, and more life-threatening risks in very extreme situations (in mice with a gene removed from their body that would regulate Nrf2, so it just continues to accumulate).  So it DOES NOT follow a, “if some is good, more is better” model either.  Very interesting… Almost like all those things that improve it should be employed, but not to excess.

News Flash – Being reasonable is healthy.

So if we want to improve our bodies detoxification pathways (which are a real thing, that your liver and kidneys help with), tidy up our cells, improve our mitochondrial health and generally improve our lives doing the things that help improve this particular transcription factor is not a bad idea.  What are those things?

  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit (of various colours and textures) and quality meats and fats
  • Use some herbs and spices to make your food a bit more interesting
  • Consider long term side effects of steroids supplementing a modest amount of Omega 3 fats from high quality sources
  • Move your body at a low, steady pace, most of the time.  Then at a hard pace every once in a while.
  • Avoid overeating, and maybe consider fasting or taking on the mindset from Okinawa of “Hara Hachi Bu” – meaning to eat only until you’re 80% full

Stay Healthy Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball

What You Need to Know to Get and Stay Healthy

Hey Folks!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted!  Apologies for that.  So I’ve been thinking about what sets Chiropractic apart from other professions, and why we’re crucial when we DO share so much of our scope and skills with many other professionals (physics, massage therapists, osteos, athletic therapists, etc.) and it ultimately comes down to our philosophy.

But I’ve spoken about that numerous times before like what do proteins do for the body

.  So while I may hint at it throughout the rest of my life (and this post), I’ll attempt to tackle a different topic today.

Today I’d like to speak about how the truth isn’t sexy.  The true, and ultimate answers with regards to health (and fitness, really) isn’t particularly sexy.  I’ve mentioned that there are no shortcuts before, but that truth continues to shine through time after time throughout the years. There is exceptions like if you smoke and switch over to vaping and try out box mods then you can see the difference quickly. A great brand is the trademark of glass blunts by smoke cartel on this market.

Chiro’s are different because we’re the only profession that is based on the idea that there’s nothing wrong with you.  Intrinsically, you likely have the genetic blueprint to live a long, healthy, happy life.  Some folks (a small percentage… though it seems to be growing) have gene-based alterations in their set point, but, luckily for us, the overarching treatment plan is largely the same.  Assuming you’re physiology is good, and providing the necessary ingredients to provide health to your body isn’t nearly as sexy as rushing you into an Operating Room to cut you open and pull out your ruptured appendix, preventing the immediate risk to your life.

Medical doctors do AMAZING things.  They literally SAVE peoples lives and prevent deaths that would be imminent without them.  We should be grateful for it (and in those situations, people typically are).  The problem, is that nowadays lifestyle illnesses are responsible for most deaths.  So while Emergency interventions with Medicine can save your life (in the right situation, unfortunately not everyone lives) in the event of a heart attack or stroke, the cause of those issues didn’t happen suddenly. One thing I highlight here is to take care of your teeth as early as possible, many people don’t have money when things get out of control, check out must read for clean teeth and stay healthy.

I’m totally borrowing this analogy from James Chestnut, but you can think of the Medical Community as the “fire department”.  In this analogy your body is your house.  When your house is on FIRE, you call the fire department.  Given good timing and adequate staffing, the fire department saves your house from burning to the ground, but there is likely damage that will need to be repaired to make it “new” again.  When that time comes, does it make sense to call the fire department to come fix your house up?  Would the fire department become frustrated with your calls to them to help fix your house?  Absolutely.

This is where we are right now.  The medical community is overwhelmed and frustrated with the number of people who are “pre-diabetic”, “at risk” for heart attack and stroke or cancer, but don’t actually HAVE those problems.  Makes sense, right?  You have the tool that helps when that situation arises, but it isn’t quite there yet, and you can tell that by the way the person is headed, that they’ll likely get there over time.  If only there was a way to help turn those people around.

Well there is.  The PROBLEM, is that it isn’t very sexy – so it doesn’t appear like it could be the answer.

And thennnnn…

You want to get fit.  You want to pack on some muscle, but you enjoy being able to go for a run, play volleyball on the beach and you don’t want to put on any fat while you get stronger.  Welcome to the goal of everyone.  Some people get past this issue and reorient their goals.  That’s what leads to elite performances in sport.  Strongmen, Throwers and Powerlifters don’t CARE how fast they can run 800m, unless it makes them better at their sport/tasks at hand, which it doesn’t.  Sprinters don’t care if their shoulders lack range of motion and that gymnastics would help make their shoulders stronger and healthier… because it doesn’t help them sprint faster.  One goal – be the best in the world at ONE thing.  For most of us, this isn’t the goal.  And to be honest, it isn’t particularly healthy – but when the stakes are olympic gold, or high salary contracts, I can understand when it’d be worth it.

To prepare for true fitness, you’ll get a million different opinions.  it is likely impossible to be the best at absolutely everything.  Who knows, maybe that will be proven wrong one day, but until then it seems like it’d be true.  So to improve your level of fitness, you need to lift heavy things, move your body in progressively more complex ways, sprint every so often and otherwise move about with a good amount of frequency.  You need to eat well, too, but we’ll cover that next.  There’s no “This ONE move you AREN’T doing and your trainer WON’T tell you about!”  It doesn’t exist.  There’s hard work at intelligent tasks and that’s it.  Work the short time domain and the long one.  Work the heavy stuff, the fast stuff AND the slow stuff.  Use gymnastics, kettlebells, medicine balls, barbells, rings,  and as many other implements as you can.  Give EVERYTHING you have sometimes.  Other times focus on quality and perfection in movement (though that should be the goal for ALL movement).  Work on moving hard and fast when you’re moving, and resting when you need to.  THAT, creates fitness.  No BS, no secrets.

And thennnn…

You want to know what to eat.  We were told fat was bad, and then that maybe it isn’t.  But what about vegetable oils, omega 3 oils, saturated fat and so on?  We are CONSTANTLY barraged with recommendations for supplements to take.  Whether it’s a commercial, a multi-level addiction marketing agency, we never know what to take seriously and what not to.  There is SO much information and contradictory claims out there with regard to nutrition that it has been the topic of hundreds of books.  And it will continue to be.

BUT, this is where that Chirpractic view of HEALTH comes in.  This is where we develop our BS filter.

Most Chiropractors are of the opinion that we don’t need more people trying to put out fires on their own with a garden hose and store-bought fire extinguisher (still speaking in metaphor here… those are actually good things to have around in the event of a real fire).  We don’t want to be responsible for putting out uncomplicated low back pain fires.  We want to increase your health.

Improve movement, mobility and stability in the spine and extremities, and you get healthier people.  Fine tune peoples nutrition to help them provide their body with what it NEEDS, and you get healthier people.  Teach people about the value of friendship, family values, being grateful, and positive thinking and you get healthier people.  THAT is what chiropractors like myself specialize in.  Your back/neck/shoulder/hip/knee/whatever pain will “magically” go away when you cover all these bases most of the time. Just search and read, the delfogo review. You can get some tips and advice there.

Devote yourself to getting HEALTHY, not just avoiding disease.  Be the healthiest, happiest person you know.

Stay Healthy friends,

Dr. Adam Ball

Increasing ability versus decreasing disability

Hey Folks!

I am a healthcare practitioner that specializes in movement, nutrition and wellness. Also, I have a free dental check up with free teeth whitening Kits containing carbamide peroxide. 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? Elan Kaufman – See why to choose KCDH As Your Child’s New Dental Home. For once in a while, go in front of the mirror and smile. Not to offend you, is your smile presentable? Perhaps you’ve realized that seeing your teeth as others do is far different from seeing your teeth under a layer of toothpaste foam every morning. It can be upsetting, right? Maybe your teeth look more yellow than you would like, or maybe more crooked. Well, I have a solution for you, go to Greenville Cosmetic Dentistry.

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. Finding a cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills to replace old dental implants can be a painless procedure if you find a provider that specialized in this type of treatment. 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 anabolic steroid 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 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 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 checking some Emsafety reviews 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

Stop peeing in the wind…

Hey Folks!

20120723-155434.jpg

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 healthy. 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

Health, not anti-Disease

Hey Folks!

20120320-104244.jpg

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

Wellness Explained: The Simple Math Analogy

Hey Folks!

New Zealand 1180

So I’m back again for another post about the Wellness Paradigm.  I’m always searching for good, or even better ways to explain what my goal is with the treatment of my patients as it can be quite different from the outcomes other health care practitioners are looking for.  While the distinction can be difficult to appreciate in some cases (i.e. where you actually HAVE a problem you would like to remedy and treatment from a Chiropractor provides that remedy for you) it is important to your future and ultimate health.  Let me begin by asking you a series of questions…

  • If you were in good health and you went and had your appendix removed, are you now healthier?
  • What if instead of removing your appendix, you decided to exercise – would that make you healthier?
  • How about if a healthy person decided to take statins and ACE inhibitors (common medications for to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, respectively) – would it make them healthier?
  • What if instead they decided to eat a high quality diet and see a Chiropractor regularly to ensure proper spinal movement – would it make them healthier?

I’ll stop now with the questions, but hopefully you’re sensing a common theme in those questions.  The point I’m trying to make is this – Medications and Surgery (and even many manual therapies) are aimed NOT at increasing health, but in decreasing disease.  This isn’t the same as increasing cold by decreasing hot.  No one in their right mind would elect to take medications or have invasive surgeries performed to increase their health – it’s ridiculous.  Now, this does NOT mean that I think these things are silly or unnecessary, as in many cases they are required to remove disease/dysfunction in order for you to achieve an appropriate baseline of health.  But the goal in treatment is different.

You take antibiotics, and have growths removed to decrease your disease/dysfunction while you exercise, floss, eat well, work your mobility and get your spine checked to increase your health.  Different approaches for different jobs!  You wouldn’t use an axe to rebuild the wall you just chopped down with it, you’d elect for a hammer – so why then, wouldn’t you decide to build on your health instead of waiting for a problem that needs to be “fixed”?

All the best Folks!

 

Dr. Adam Ball