Dr. Adam Baumgardner

Cramps, Spasms and Electrolytes

As a chiropractor I’m dealing with spasm all the time. A lot of the time it is because of a dysfunctional joint. That said though we can do a lot to help our muscles relax while we heal. The adjustment will help it relax, but what you do at home can be the difference between seeing me 1-3 times or many times for the same problem. If the muscles are more likely to spasm then the joint is likely to lock up again and you end up back in my office.

While it may sound obvious because everyone knows to eat a banana if you have a cramp there is a little more too it. You would need to eat 10 bananas to get the 4 grams of potassium you need in a day. This isn’t our only electrolyte either.

There are lots of lists of potassium rich foods. Here is one. Try to get in that 3-4 grams a day. Don’t forget to salt your food. Sodium and chloride are electrolytes to!

Magnesium is often not in the foods we eat in the levels we think. Pesticides prevent the uptake from soil that is often depleted already. If your muscles spasm when you rest or things are tighter in the morning this electrolyte could be running on empty in your body.

I always prefer to get nutrients from food when I can. If there is one I often suggest to people to supplement it is magnesium.

Special considerations

Exercising a lot: Try putting some of this in your water. It will compensate for what you loose and has no sugar in it. Doesn’t taste great, but if you need it you won’t notice as much.

Low Carb Diet (any of them): You will need more salt in your food and you will dump potassium at first. Plus if you notice the potassium rich foods aren’t low carb… That said Pills don’t do it because they don’t have enough in them. We carry a this powder at the office you can get. Bonus, it has some magnesium in it to.

Cramps even though you have plenty of electrolytes: You could have a PH problem that is preventing the use of the electrolytes you have. Try taking 2 table spoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in 10 ounces of water in the morning. This has also been shown to help with weight loss!

5 for Health and Holidays

As we head into this Holiday Season there are a few tips I would give you for your health. Most of them are geared to helping you eat healthier and keeping stress under control. These two things getting out of control lead to depressed immune systems and “Flu Season.”

  1. Keep hydrated. Sip water every 5 minutes all day long. This will help two things. It will help you feel better in general and it will keep you from being overly hungry and binge eating on foods that aren’t great for you.
  2. Have healthy snacks on hand. Nuts are great. Protein shakes, cut up veggies and dips (like Hummus), and berries are also going to be much healthier options than the other stuff that will be convenient.
  3. Start the day with lots of protein. This has been found to keep hunger cravings in check in children and adults.
  4. Plan your meals that won’t be as healthy. It is better to say “I am going to eat my foods at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but then go back to my diet” than say “I’m going to stick to my diet as best I can” and then fall off at the Holiday. In the latter you have failed and aren’t as likely to get back on the healthy horse.
  5. Do your stress relieving activities without fail. Meditate in the morning and as you go to sleep. Keep your house clean. Read from the best books. BREATH! You can also come in and laser. 😉

Two Tests For Health

People often think that they have to spend a lot of money on tests.

This can be true. THYROID testing can be a couple hundred dollars. The advanced FOOD SENSITIVITIES tests can be the same. Just to test inflammation markers to make sure you haven’t STRESSED YOUR BODY out can be $150. There are two tests I like that won’t cost you more than a one time < $100 purchase and you can do them every day!

The first is a Basal Metabolic Temp test. You will need a $10 shake out kind of Thermometer from Walgreens or Amazon. it is easy to do:

More accurate
Use this for BMT
  • Shake out the thermometer the night before and put it by your bed.
  • When you wake up in the morning don’t even sit up.
  • Reach over turn off your alarm and pick up the thermometer.
  • Put it in your mouth under your tongue for 3 minutes.
  • Write down your temp.

Why do this? Because it shows how well your body is doing… especially your THYROID. If it is in the 97.6-98.6 range you are doing great. 97-97.6 you are doing ok. Less than 97? You need to figure out why your body is stressed and fix it. Not sure where to start? We can talk about that, but the added bonus of the test is that as you make changes you will see your temp improve and you know you are on the right track! Just being dehydrated has caused mine to go down a whole degree! (Plug here for you to come in and do a Hydration Eval using our Bio-Impedance scale)

The second test is your Heart Rate Variability (HRV) You will need a Heart rate monitor and the SweetBeatApp. Every morning while taking your temp you will also track your HRV. If it is doing well you can exercise however you like. If it is low you have STRESSED YOUR BODY and need to recover and do some healing. Lower intensity exercise, meditation, restorative nutrition, sauna, etc. This will keep you from over training or over taxing your body beyond its ability to repair. Bonus here is that you can also use the SweetBeatApp to figure out FOOD SENSITIVITIES.


Genetic Testing

The Genetic Testing that is available today is amazing!  We are seeing all kinds

Genetic Testing gives a wealth of information, but what it actually tells you is often misunderstood!

of new opportunities for understanding open up.  There is some misunderstanding about how to look at it though so I thought I would lay out some basic guidelines that I use in looking at Genetic Testing.


First you need to know that genetic testing tells you what will happen easily.  Not what will happen.  My favorite nutrition instructor has horrible genetics when it comes to his cardiovascular system and blood pressure.  That means that without some serious effort he will have high blood pressure and will most likely die from cardiovascular issues.  Here’s the thing though… he gets tested every year and has the cardiovascular system of an 18 year old!


Genetics only tells you what you need to focus on. Not what will happen.

Why doesn’t he have an issue?  He knows where the weakness is in his system so he makes sure to do what is required to keep that part of his body healthy.  That is the advantage of it.  It tells you where you need to be strict and where you don’t have to worry as much.


A new area that also has started to make serious strides in helping patients is the new Genetic Testing for medication response.  Dr. Barbara, with whom I practice, has recently started to do this with patients who have difficulty with side effects and lack of positive response too medications.  What this test does is it tells you which pathways are open and which aren’t.  Essentially telling you what your Genetic type will respond well too and what it won’t in terms of medication!


The field of Genetic Testing is a brand new one and one that has many new problems to be overcome.  Recent companies like 23andme are exploring this

Test tubes don't tell you who you are. You decide that!

and bumping heads with the government as they try to figure out how to regulate it.  The main thing I think we need to realize though is that while Genetic Testing gives us a key to understanding… it is how we treat our bodies that ultimately determines our quality of life.


You are really the one who is in control.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently!  

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Mental Health and Physical Stress

English: Upper Yosemite fall with reflection

The mind and body are not separate. They reflect each other! (Photo credit Mbz1)

Integrated Practices for physical and mental health

Many are surprised when they find out that Dr. Barbara Baumgardner and I work together on many cases of Stress, Depression, Anger and Mental Health.  They often will say a ‘Psychologist and a Chiropractor working together… how does that work?’  It isn’t really that confusing when you understand that mental health can also be a reflection of physical health.


One excellent example of this is that of hormones. Low thyroid hormone can lead to depression.  Lower sex hormones can lead to a loss of libidoHaving high levels of the hormone cortisol during a stressful time can lead to lower production of neurochemicals like serotonin, leading to loss of self control, or Dopamine, making you feel less satisfied or loose interest in things that you used to find joy in.


Pain is a big motivator for people.  It can also modify their behavior.  Next time you see someone stub their toe try to have a calm, rational conversation with them!  Sometimes people have dealt with pain or physical stressors like a blood sugar issue for so long they don’t even recognize the need for help.  They don’t know why they are angry or unhappy with their lives.  They just are!

Psychosomatic Stress



Classic example: Japanese woman experiencing real stomach pain due to stress (Photo: tototo)

Many don’t know that we hold stress in our bodies.  Psychologists have recognized for many years now that mental health issues can manifest in a very physical way.  This is not imagined, but a real physical outcome.  This can manifest as high blood pressure, digestive distress, or even muscular complaints.  These are not things that can be imagined up, but are a real sign the the brain is in charge and if it is stressed it will show in the rest of the body!

What I can do

Because of the number of patient referrals from Dr. Barbara I have felt the responsibility to go and learn how I can help support the body in its effort to deal with these types of issues.  I approach these cases with a combination of care that might include:

Through aiding the body with the pain, psychosomatic issues, and hormone balances in this way we take much of the physical stress off of the patient.  They are then able to focus on their mental health and see much greater progress.  


It is always a pleasure to work with patients who want to become, not only mentally healthy, but also physically healthy so that the work they do is much longer lasting and effective.  It is certainly easier on their pocketbook in the long run!

My Favorite Healthy Smoothie!


With the right ingrediants a smoothie can be healthy and taste good!

Rushed for time?  Looking for a quick breakfast that won’t leave you hungry or tired later?  Feeling like the summer heat is getting to you?  Here is my favorite healthy Smoothie!


Before I give you the ingredients I should say that this is a very forgiving recipe and if you are rushed for time there really isn’t a need for exact measure… in fact I never measure!  You will figure out quickly if you make this a few times that you like more peanut butter or maybe less yogurt… play with it until you like it!  If you like it post it on the facebook page 😉


Also on a side note.  The cold foods we eat do impact our bodies in a certain way.  If we are overly hot they can have a wonderful cooling effect.  It does take extra work for the stomach however and effects the actions of the cells in the stomach that digest our foods.  Also from an acupuncture standpoint the stomach’s function is very important to the pancreas.  For this reason if you have acid reflux or blood sugar issues cold foods might not be for you.  Also as the all the nutrients in this smoothy are easy to digest it is ok for the food to be cold.  I wouldn’t, however, drink a Smoothie and then try to eat a steak right away!

Quick and Cool!

Healthy Smoothie Recipe:

2-3 cups of ice

1 medium size banana (organic of course)

2-3 table spoons of plain organic whole yogurt

2 table spoons of organic unsweetened peanut butter

1 scoop Micellar Casein protein powder (not whey if you don’t want to be hungry after)  You can buy this hereI don’t add any sweetners or flavorings.  I just get the protein and make my own stuff.  Tastes better this way!

2 scoops powdered KAL brand stevia (to avoid the stevia aftertaste)

1 table spoon organic flaxseed oil

Empty one capsule of Natural Factors brand Ultimate Probiotic 12/12 formula


Blend it all up and enjoy!!!

Macro Ingredient Ratios Balanced!


Having a balanced ratio of carbs/fats/proteins is good for keeping blood sugar from droping and stressing your adrenals! (Four-rocks-balance by Daliel Leite)

As an added bonus it is balanced in ratios of carbs/fat/protein and has 7 grams of fiber to boot!!!  If you want a Healthy Smoothie that doesn’t leave you hungry afterward this is a must!


Grams of Carbs            =37g

Grams of Protein          =37g

Grams of Fat                 =37g

Grams of Fiber              =7g

Vegetarians without Nutritional Deficiencies


A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

Vegetarian can be a colorful lifestyle. Make sure it is a healthy one too! (pic-Wikipedia)

I have no real issues with Vegetarians.  It is a lifestyle choice and when someone tells me they are a vegetarian I never try to talk them out of it.  I have noticed trends with many vegetarians in terms of what they eat and there are several health issues that can pop up.  This post is focused on preventing those problems from showing up. 

After all many who choose this lifestyle want to be healthy. It would be a real shame to make mistakes that lead to anything other than healthy vegetarians!

Vegetarians and B12

B12 is the main problem found with strict vegetarian/vegan diets.  This is really only found in enough quantity in meats.  It is also vital for brain and nerve function.  Damage from not having enough in your diet can be irreversible!  Therefore an alternative source should be taken by all vegetarians.  There is much literature out there on the web making statements that you can get enough from vegetables and not to worry.  Please don’t be pulled in by this.  There is no good research for these statements and blood tests prove otherwise.  As supplements go the best I have found is methylcoboalamin.  This is B12 with a methyl group attached that your brain can then use to transport neurochemicals around… double the good stuff!

 Vegetarians, skin, Calcium and Omega 3

English: Shelled almonds (Prunus dulcis) Itali...

Almonds are a great source of protien and calcium (Photo from Wikipedia)

Calcium often becomes deficient if enough vegetables aren’t consumed and even if they are other parts of a vegetarian diet can get in the way of good calcium absorption.  A supplement is helpful.  You will need both a good Calcium (not Calcium Carbonate as this takes a lot of acid to digest) and enough essential fatty acids in your diet.  Also Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for brain function and hormone production.  If fish is ok then fish are especially high in Omega 3 or

Mohandas K. Gandhi

You can be a vegetarian like Gandhi without the leathery skin 🙂 (pic-Wikipedia)

you can supplement with cod liver oil or other Omega 3 supplement.  Often the bad looking skin seen on vegetarians is usually a combination of low omega 3 fats, and thyroid problems.  A good source of the precursors to Omega 3 is Flaxseed Oil.  You will want about 2 Tbl for an adult, 1 for a child.

 Soy Question and Vit D thought

Soy foods are often consumed in larger quantities by vegetarians.  This can slow down the thyroid and clog up the liver.  Supplementation of iodine or consuming large quantities of iodine rich foods is suggested as is taking in lots of green leafy vegetables to help with liver detoxification.  Selenium is also needed for good thyroid function and may not be found in large enough quantities if the right foods are not consumed.  This is found in Brazil nuts.  You don’t have to go crazy there.  A handful a day is fine.


Sun exposure isn't all bad. Turns out without enough you're in trouble!

Vitamin D can be produced by exposure to the skin or supplementation will be needed.  this is especially vital for those who don’t get any from other sources in their diet.



Good Sources from food for Vegetarians

Vitamin B12 – supplements

Calcium – Nuts, seeds, tofu

Iodine – Kelp, asparagus, green leafy vegetables (very limited), iodized salt

Omega-3 fatty acids – flax seeds and oil, hemp, walnuts, green leafy vegetables,

Vitamin D – 30 minutes to an hour in the sun without sunscreen or supplementation

Selenium – Brazil Nuts


The other major concern for vegetarians is getting enough protein.  This is where most lack as it is just easier to eat carbs.  Remember that you will have problems with both strength and eventually heart problems if you don’t consume enough proteins.  A lot of initial signs of protein depravation only come on in extreme cases so you need to pay attention to this area even if you feel ok. 

English: A chocolate-flavored multi-protein nu...

Whatever shake you pick, make sure it is the right sweetner too! (Pic - Sandstein)

Look for a protein shake that is sweetened with Stevia or dextrose, not sucralose, fructose, Splenda or aspartame.  Hemp is an excellent source of protein though it can be harder to find.  Make a smoothy or two every day from your shake to make sure that you are getting plenty of protein.  60-80 grams is a good average, but you may need more or less depending on your size and level of exercise.  Between a couple of shakes and the nuts and seeds in your diet you should be able to get enough protein in every day to protect muscle mass and energy. 

Aromatherapy 101


Tea Tree Oil


Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils and other aromatic substances to treat and prevent disease, manage and reduce pain, alter mood, improve cognitive function and memory, and support overall health and well-being.  Aromatherapy is generally delivered using three modes of application: aerial diffusion, direct inhalation, and topical application.  The specific treatment or desired intent determines which of the three modes is used within an individual session.  Many aromatherapy practitioners offer a holistic approach to the treatment of illness and chronic conditions that includes promoting relaxation and internal harmony and restoring balance. 


People have believed that aromatic compounds have healing properties since ancient times.  Aromatherapy recipes can be found in the Bible and have been uncovered in the ancient tombs of the Pharaohs.  Infused oils were included in medical texts as far back as the first century and the use of essential oils as tools for healing can be found in the historical record of China, India, the Middle East, and ancient Rome.  Advances in distillation opened new doors for the creation of essential oils and allowed for significant advancement in the art and science of aromatherapy.

Despite this long history, the practice remains an alternative option for treatment in much of the western world.  Critics doubt the effectiveness of these treatments without acknowledging the rich history of plant compounds that have contributed to medical treatments and the role plants play in most of the modern medicines used today. 

How it Can Help

Aromatherapy works with the body to activate critical systems for healing like the limbic and immune systems.  When paired with complimentary techniques, aromatherapy treatments assist the body in finding natural healing paths and support the natural healing process.  Some treatments rely on the part of the brain that responds to smell to trigger these healing responses.  Other treatments use the pharmacological properties of the essential oils to produce the desired result through direct application to the skin. 

Most Popular Oils

Peppermint oil, made from the plant menthe piperita, is used to treat both headaches and muscle aches and can be helpful in treating some problems with digestion.

Ylang Ylang oil, made from cananga odorata, promotes relaxation, eases tension, and can be used to aid with depression.

Lavender Oil, made from the plants lavandula angustifolia and lavandula vera, is also used to promote relaxation and ease depression in its inhaled form.  Helpful for restoring hormonal balance in women, it can also be used to treat skin injuries including burns and wounds.

Eucalyptus oil, from eucalyptus globulus or eucalyptus radiate, is beneficial in the treatment of respiratory problems like coughing and asthma and can alleviate tense muscles.

Lemon oil, made from citrus limon, is used as a disinfectant in a variety of circumstances ranging from wound care to household cleaning.

Rosemary oil, from the plant rosmarinus officinalis, is used to stimulate the mind and body.  It is also helpful for engaging the immune system and the digestive system.

Tea Tree oil, from the melaleuca alternifolia, is known for its ability to boost the immune system and for its natural anti-fungal abilities.

How I use them

I have found that this is an especially helpful tool with children in cases where I don’t want to have them take herbs as they are to powerful.  Applying them to the skin allows the oil to be absorbed as the body needs.  Two companies that I see as very good at making pure oils are YoungLiving and BeYoung oils.  Both companies are actually founded by a set of brothers and they go to great lengths to make sure the oil is so pure you can even ingest it!  Ask me about it and I’ll be happy to tell you who I use to get the oils from.  Then you can get them yourself!!!  One of the best things about oils is anybody can learn how to use them and get them from a good source all by themselves.  You can be the one to help your family!

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Dealing with Sugar Cravings: How to Use Sweeteners the Right Way!

Everyone is upset with sugar.They talk about how bad it is for you and how people are addicted to it and on and on and on. Most

It's so pretty... just one bite couldn't hurt... By zigazou76

people then turn a deaf ear because they are GOING to eat their dessert, They have sugar cravings to satisfy… because, I mean, who wants life without desert right? 🙂


What if I told you that you can have your desert and it would taste good and it would be healthy? You can you know… you just have to be smart about how you do it.


I think such a conversation would go like this:


‘What?’ You say. Are you crazy? I only turn half a deaf ear… I know sugar causes diabetes, hypertension, and weight that doesn’t come off.’


And I say ‘yup and it doesn’t stimulate hormones like Leptin and Grehlin the right way so your metabolism doesn’t kick in like it should and you stay hungry, and it effect brain chemistry so endorphins get produced and kill your will power, and because it messes with Calcium levels in the blood your teeth rot too.’


‘You’re not really making your case here’ you say!


What is ‘Sugar?’

Let’s step back for a second and define our terms though. Sugar can

A representation of the structure of sucrose a...

Table Sugar or Sucrose is half Fructose. Image via Physchim62

indicate the white stuff most people think of as sugar. That is actually cane sugar.  You might also hear it called table sugar or sucrose. Other types of sugar are found in milk, fruits, veggies, honey, etc. These are all described as carbohydrates. Individual types of carbohydrates such as sucrose in cane sugar or lactose in milk are identified by their parts. For example cane sugar is half glucose and half fructose… the same fructose you find in your apple! Some people also break things into simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple being smaller and more quickly absorbed by the body… and therefore harder on blood sugar control.


Now I’m going to give you a few keys for using sweeteners the smart way.


Some Keys to Follow

If you are the type of person that has really bad sugar cravings there is still hope! There is an excellent book called Potatoes Not Prozac by Kathleen DesMaisons. I would get it and read it. She doesn’t know everything, but it is an easy read and gives you some really good information. Three things I would note when you read her book:

1. When she says sugar you should translate that into ‘all fructose not in whole fruit’

2. For really bad cravings consider coming to see me about getting some Gymnema

3. The ‘bland’ period she describes doesn’t have to be so long. Come ask me.


Healthy Breakfasts should also taste good! image By Annie Mole

Never eat carbohydrates by themselves. Carbs, as they are called, are a short term food. If you don’t also eat some protein and healthy fats at the same time your energy will plummet and you will have to eat sooner… and you will wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. A piece of white bread toast in the morning… not so great. A piece of Ezekiel 4:9 toast with some Omega 3 rich Karrygold butter and an Omega 3 scrambled egg on the side… Heaven and Healthy!


Stay away from concentrated sources of fructose. This doesn’t mean fruit, but it does mean fruit juices, sucrose, etc. Fructose isn’t metabolized in the body the way that other sugars are. It affects brain chemistry, metabolism, and the liver differently. Buffered by fiber in fruit this is ok, but take the fiber away and you start to have issues! For more on this watch this Amazing Video of a Cornell Grad MD lecturing on the effects of Fructose.


Choose Dextrose and Stevia as your main substitute in sweet foods. Dextrose is glucose and glucose (the sugar in your blood that your body likes to use) and is much better utilized in the body. You will get full quicker, your metabolism will be stimulated, and your liver will be happy! Dextrose is not as sweet as sugar. About 70% as sweet so some will add 1 ¼ cup dextrose when a recipe calls for 1 cup sugar. Stevia is very sweet, but has no carbohydrates in it so it is diabetic friendly. Use sparingly and get KAL brand to avoid the aftertaste most people don’t like in other brands.



Simple sugars should be eaten soon after exercise Image By alantankenghoe

Eat simple sugars soon after exercise. The body is primed for simple sugars after exercise. Insulin receptors are upregulated, the metabolism is up, and the muscle needs to be replenished. You should still avoid the fructose containing sugars, but even those with blood sugar issues can usually handle the simple sugars like dextrose, lactose, and others pretty well right after a good workout.


You Control Sugar, Sugar Cravings DON’T Control You!

Now, like I said, you can have your desert. Maybe it is cookies made with dextrose instead of sucrose and it is right after your workout and with some homemade trail-mix… but you get to have the cookies and not worry about paying for it later!  Enjoying the Holidays without sugar cravings and with a sense of wellbeing is so much better!


Try it Out!


Ezekiel 4:9 Cereal is a sprouted cereal that is a great alternative Image By Joelk75

Want a healthy sugar alternative to the sugar glazed breakfast cereal? Try Ezekiel 4:9 cereal with raisins, and banana cut up in it with unsweetened almond milk or raw milk poured over it. Want it sweeter because you just got back from your jog? Add a little dextrose powder!

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The Healing Power of Water

Healing Power of Water

In today’s world, we hear a lot about how eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking the right preventative measures can help us get healthy and stay healthy.   But there is one other thing that is as vital to our health as any of these that is often overlooked.  Even though it is one of the foundational elements of a healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t get the same attention as the others.  Water.  Clean, clear, potable water is vital to sustaining our lives and maintaining our health.

More than 75% of our bodies are composed of it and after air to breathe, it is the second most critical element to sustaining life.  While most experts agree that on average a person can live as long as 8 weeks without food, humans cannot live without water for more than 3 to 6 days.  This fact alone shows just how important water is to our health and wellbeing.

Why Water Matters

Our bodies use water and need water for almost every bodily function.  Water helps with circulation by maintaining the right viscosity of our blood.  It helps carry toxins and waste from our cells so they can be removed and is required for the removal process.  Some parts of our bodies are made up almost entirely of water and it is mandatory in order for our bodies to function.  We can lose as much as a gallon of water every day when we sweat, go to the bathroom, and even when we breathe.   Replenishing the water we are using and losing each day ensures our bodies have an adequate water supply to operate effectively.

What Happens When We Don’t Get Enough

Most people talk about dehydration without really understanding how prevalent a problem it is in America and how devastating it can be both in the short and long term.  When we think of someone suffering the effects of dehydration, we often picture someone in a movie who has just come out of the desert with dry cracked lips, who is stumbling and on the verge of collapse.  While this is an extreme picture of dehydration, you don’t need to watch a movie to see someone who is suffering the debilitating effects of dehydration.  Just look around you.  An estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated which means most of the people you see today aren’t getting enough water.

Everyone knows that those cracked lips and stumbling gait are indicators that someone needs water, but do you know the signs and symptoms of chronic dehydration?  They may surprise you and should help you understand why water can be said to have healing powers.  Here are a few of the signs someone is dehydrated:

·        Lack of energy and fatigue

·        Aches and pains throughout the body

·        Dry flaky skin

·        Short term memory problems

·        Impaired brain function

·        Digestive issues including constipation, nausea, and vomiting

·        Joint pain

·        Headache!  Big reason people come to see me!

How Much Do You Need?

Most experts agree that people need 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to remain properly hydrated.  The basic formula for you and your needs is your body weight divided by 2 times 1.1 as we live in a desert and then 1.15 if you drink anything with caffeine in it.  Some of that water can come from other liquids like juice and milk or from foods that contain a lot of water.  My rule of thumb here is cut it in half before you count it.  If you drink 8 ounces of juice count it as 4 ounces.  You can also go eat fruits that are higher in water content to help with your hydration.  Water melon being the highest there is a list of high water content fruits.  Any fruit over 80% water is going to help you out.  Beware of other beverages however, like soft drinks, coffee, and alcohol, which have the opposite effect and contribute to dehydration due to their caffeine and sugar content.  Remember that you are losing, potentially, a gallon of water each day just going about your business; replacing that water is as important to your health as choosing apples over potato chips and yoga over a rerun of Desperate Housewives.  

Best Tip For Hydration

I know you are thinking ‘if I drink that much I’ll be running to the bathroom every five minutes.’  Not if you drink it the right way.  Don’t chug it unless you are exercising.  The rest of the time take a gulp of water every 5 minutes.  Any faster and your kidneys will just dump the water you bring in.  You will have clear urine, but you will stiff be dehydrated!

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Muscle Testing Allergies, and other stuff: The Good, The Bad, The Video!

Collage of several of Gray's muscle pictures, ...
Not all muscle testing is the same. The different types are used for different types of problems.                                                                   -Image via Wikipedia

          Many are confused about muscle testing, if they even know what it is.  Some have heard of muscle testing allergies, some have heard of muscle testing for other reasons, and some have never heard of it all!  This blog will hopefully clear a few things up. 

          First of all not all muscle testing is the same.  There are several different types.  This confuses a lot of people and so they lump everything else in with what they had done to them.  This can be bad or good, but it is always confusing.  Here are the three main types:

1. Applied Kinesiology

          Also known as AK, this is where you check strength of a muscle and compare it side to side.  The idea here is that while you will get differences between the left and right naturally… as we are all left and right handed, you should still get nice resistance if the neurology and joint structure is working as it should.  When there is a big difference from side to side the practitioner searches for the disconnect.  Post treatment then they should re-check and see great improvement in the strength and the ‘lock’ of the muscle.

2. Response Testing (the type used for muscle testing allergies)

Allergens can be checked by holding part of the allergen, often contained in a glass vial, and checking musculature. Image By Helena Liu

            This is where you check a muscle, any muscle, pre and post exposure to a stimuli.  This stimuli can be potential allergens, stimulation of acupuncture points, homeopathics, nutritional supplements, etc.  A change in strength here usually indicates how the body will respond to that stimuli.  This is the type you use as muscle testing allergies and sensitivites and it can also figure out what the body needs in the case of acupuncture or other healing modalities. 

3. Suggestion

            The brain is aware of everything we are doing and what is happening to us.  With this in mind it isn’t that strange that musculature can become weaker or stronger with certain mental pictures.  Ask any psychologist about psychosomatic behavior… but be ready for a long discussion!  With this in mind certain techniques like NeuroEmotionalTechnique (NET) and others will say or have the person read a variety of things and see what happens to the musculature.  Depending on the way the practitioner is doing it a weak or strong response can mean a positive or negative response just like with Response Testing. 

Does it work?

          People often ask if this really works or if the practitioner is just pushing harder.  Or they say ‘wait I wasn’t ready!’  My favorite is the big muscular guys who at first can’t be budged and then I can use my pinky to bring their arm down… they really don’t like that 😉 

          The answer to the question of ‘does it work’ is yes and no.  It isn’t as sensitive a test as say blood work in the case of allergens.  It can be wrong in the case of joint dysfunction, but most of the time it is quite accurate and very cost effective.  To have a blood test done for $300 versus a quick muscle test, that costs no more than the evaluation it is part, of is a big difference for the 10% more sensitivity that blood work has in the case of food allergens.  

          When it doesn’t work it is usually an error on the part of the practitioner.  Unlike blood tests there is some art to muscle testing that has to develop with time and practice.  Also, just like everyone else, the practitioner can become confused and use the wrong type of muscle testing for the wrong thing.  This will almost never work and come up with false responses. 

Cheating with Muscle testing

Applied Kinesiology Demonstration

You need to be able to trust the person muscle testing you. Image by mandydax via Flickr

 There are unscrupulous people out there.  They sometimes use muscle testing at trade shows or fairs to sell products.  What they do isn’t even pushing harder.  They just change the angle of pull.  If you ‘seat’ the joint you push into it and give it more mechanical advantage.  If you pull it out of the joint you ‘unseat’ it and it becomes weaker.  They use this principle to trick people into thinking their product is good for them.  Don’t be fooled by this.  This kind of response testing can work, but you should be able to trust the person to be honest about it and not change the angle of pull.  If you can’t trust them beware.

Japanese Documentary

            There is a kind of muscle testing called Bi-Digital O-Ring testing.  This is a Japanese form of muscle testing that has had some great research done in hospitals in Japan.  It is Response Testing at its finest and there was even a documentary about it on the Japanese version of NOVA.  You can watch it for free here: Muscle Testing


          If you are looking into muscle testing allergies or for any other reason keep an open mind and first and formost find someone you feel/think you can trust to do it.  It can be very helpful, but  as it isn’t perfect it should be part of a whole range of methods of diagnosis used by your practitioner,  be they Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Naturopath or MD.


4 Myths about Acupuncture


Myths About Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the alternative treatments that is helping to bridge the gap between the practices of Eastern medicine that have been around for thousands of years. It is also a very good adjunctive therapy to the Western medicine most Americans use as their primary method of managing their health.  Despite being available in America for more than 30 years, many people still do not understand the health benefits of this holistic practice.  Myths and misconceptions about how much acupuncture hurts, how much it costs, how safe it is, and whether or not it is effective keep people from getting the benefits of this ancient art of healing.

Here are 4 of the most common myths about acupuncture and the facts that dispel the myth.

1.   Acupuncture Needles Hurt

Acupuncture needles are very fine and thin with very sharp ends… sharper means less painful when talking about needlesJ. The needles used for acupuncture are very different from those used for injections in Western medicine.   Most patients do not feel the needle being inserted and those that do feel, only feel a tiny pinch or prick that goes away almost instantly. 

Once the needles are inserted, they are left in place for a period of time ranging from 5-20 minutes.  The needles are so thin they do not generally cause tissue damage on insertion or removal and rarely leave a mark on the sign after removal.  When they do it is generally gone the next day.

2.   Acupuncture Only Involves Needles

While needles are the most common tools used by acupuncture practitioners, they do use other tools to treat their patients.  Especially if the patient is afraid of needles.

Some of the most common alternate types of stimulation of acupuncture points are:

  • Acupressure (simple pressure to the AcuPoint use a finger or rod)
  • Acustim (light electrical current to the AcuPoint)
  • Aculaser (Cold laser directed at the AcuPoint.  The replaces Moxibustion in most cases)
  • GauSha (Rubbing of the area around AcuPoints to increase blood flow)

3.   Only People Who are Sick or in Pain Can Benefit

Many people believe that acupuncture is only beneficial for people who are in pain or who are sick, but this is not true.  Acupuncture is gaining popularity as an accepted therapy used in chronic pain management but it can also be beneficial in boosting overall health and wellness.  Because acupuncture is a tool for restoring balance in the body, it can be used for a variety of treatments and has a place in any preventative wellness program.

Acupuncture has also been used to treat addiction and aid in weight loss.  As a preventative therapy, there are many potential benefits offered by the various acupuncture techniques.

4.   You Have to Believe in it for it to Work

Perhaps because of its origins in Eastern medicine, many people continue to doubt the effectiveness of acupuncture and attribute some kind of placebo effect to those who claim it is beneficial.  In essence, they believe that in order for it to work, you have to believe that it will.  However, because acupuncture causes physiological changes on the body, its effectiveness is not reliant on your belief that it will work.  By releasing endorphins, improving circulation, and other physiological changes acupuncture creates positive changes throughout the body.  It can be used to reduce stress, restore balance, and support immune system function… and much more.  If you would like to know if acupuncture might help your condition call and ask.  I’ll be happy to share what I know! 


Coming Soon!

As my patients know I’m constantly adding to my knowledge of how the body works and how to heal it.  Often I wish I had a way to keep patients who don’t have to see me as often updated on new information and new services I can provide for them.


Here Comes Facebook and Twitter!  Through these I will be letting my patients know about new information, things we are doing in the office and giving tips on how they can stay healthy.  Sometimes it will be little bits of advice that can fit in a tweet and sometimes it will be a link to the Fun Stuff page as I add new things here.  It will all be good information so Friend us and start learning the Fun way!!!