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Interested in Stem Cell Injections?

Interested in Stem Cell Injections? Increase your Chance for Success

By Dr. Noémie Long
August 2021

Stem cell injections are one of the most interesting options for those seeking help with chronic joint issues. People from all over are resting their hopes on this expensive and potentially life-altering procedure and its success. There are all kinds of stem cell injection and varied opinions about which form of regenerative therapy is the best. The point of this article is not to opine on which option is best, but rather to provide ideas for how to make your stem cells go the extra mile, improving your chances for success.

Think about if you were blind folded, taken from your home, and dropped in the middle of the Short Hills Mall during the busiest time of the year. As you opened your eyes, you’d see people running in all directions. Where should you go? Similar things happen with stem cells. They are injected into the body with the hopes that they survive, end up in the right place, and then become the right kind of cells. Quite often stem cells get carried to the most metabolically active sites and that means the heart and lungs which may not be where they are needed.

In cases where stem cells fail, a multitude of factors play into the failure. Did the stem cells go to the right spot (the knee versus the lungs)? Did they become the right kind of cell, or did they not survive? If your toxic body chemistry or a neurochemical shift caused the degeneration in the first place, did the new cells suffer the same fate as the original joints/cells? As an analogy, if we put roses in the garden and forget to water them, what will happen? The soil will dry up killing the roses. And if we plant new roses in the sandy dry soil, will they survive?

If you’re thinking about stem cell injections, how can you stack the odds in favor of success? The best answer is to be properly evaluated. See a provider who specializes in Neurochemical Shifts. The more pre-injection groundwork you lay, the better your odds of success. What else can you do? You can consider laser treatments before and after stem cell injections. We use the Erchonia FX635 laser which contains an advanced frequency that increases the probability that stem cells will go to the “right” place. It’s a safe and painless option with no side effects.

I’m happy to answer questions about Neurochemical Shifts and prepping your body pre-injections. If you need additional information about stem cells, cord blood or PRP, our Dr. Marc Funderlich, who has worked in regenerative medicine clinics, could be an excellent resource.

Core Therapies is a complete health solution. We are here to help answer any and all questions. Don’t hesitate to set up a consult and learn more about the cutting-edge tools we offer for those looking to improve their health.

Less Stress

Are You Addicted to Stress?

by Dr. Sonia Marques

July 2021 

 

While we all like to say that we’re trying to lower our stress levels, the reality is that, as much as we try, many of us just can’t seem to shake our stress.  We know how harmful it is to our long-term physical and emotional wellbeing, and yet it seems that despite our best intentions we cannot seem to overcome it and this leads to even higher levels of stress.

The reason for this, according to many prominent researchers and psychologists, is that, yes, we really can become addicted to our own stress. Research shows that cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can make a region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens become more sensitive to dopamine, a neurotransmitter that gives us the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. A fast-paced environment can lend itself to unchecked cortisol levels, which, if prolonged, can be a problem.  Rather than tapering off after the perceived threat has passed, chronic stress causes a drippy tap of cortisol and adrenaline to continuously pollute our system. Not only does this wreak havoc on your hair, skin, weight, heart and digestive system, it gets you hooked—and looking for more.

If this is true, how can we actually combat and eliminate stress in our lives?

Step 1

The first step, as with every addiction, is recognizing that you have an addiction to stress. For a lot of people, this can be very difficult. Many of us use our stress as a crutch to avoid deeper and more intimate self-reflection.  But when you start to recognize that there’s a pattern of stress in your life and that, more often than not, you can choose how you respond to an event, you can start to recognize your own addiction.

Step 2

Trick your mind into thinking relaxation is just another task to be accomplished and checked off the list. Once it becomes an assignment, it will no longer be associated with guilt and idleness, but be more a duty.

Step 3

Unplug from one of the most prevalent stress sources in modern society: your phone. Set internal rules, such as no checking the phone at dinner, or no email for an entire weekend day.

Step 4

Exercising is one of the absolute best ways to relieve stress while giving you the chance to unleash pent up aggression. Exercise releases a flood of endorphins that can replace the stress hormones you’ve been bingeing on.

Step 5

Make yourself your top priority and set aside “you time.”  Whatever you choose to do— walking in nature, reading a book, taking an exercise class, etc.—make sure you’re doing it just for yourself. Stress addicted people often use their extra time to catch up on chores or to do extra work, not to relax.  Stress can rob you of your identity, but you can reclaim it doing what you love. 

It’s important to remember that relaxation isn’t a luxury nor is living in a state of stress a badge of success or accomplishment. You can make the choice to approach each day of your life in a relaxed state of mind because, just like stress, relaxation is ultimately a choice.

 

 

 

ADHD in children

Understanding a Diagnosis of ADHD

by: Dr. Marc Funderlich

 

ADHD is the most common mood-related disorder in children and is being diagnosed more frequently, and at earlier ages than ever before. It affects about 10% of school age children (boys at a 4x higher rate than girls), an increase of 43% since 2003. Unfortunately, as high as 70% of these children will continue to be affected as adults. ADHD costs the United States $42.5 billion a year or about $14,000 per child. 

 

ADHD almost never lives alone. Two-thirds of children with ADHD have what is called a co-morbidity, meaning they have another symptom such as:

 

  • 50% dyscalculia, dyslectic
  • 50% movement disorder 
  • 40% oppositional behavior
  • 34% fear disorder
  • 25% autism, Asperger, PDDNOS 
  • 14% behavioral disorders
  • 11% tics
  • 4%   depression

 

It is important to note that children cannot be truly diagnosed with ADHD until the age of six.  If your child is under six and a provider wants to diagnosis them with ADHD, I would suggest this is ill-advised.  Taking medication at very young ages may do more harm than good. 

 

ADHD is defined as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, and characterized as Type 1 and Type 2. 

 

Type 1 ADHD: Inattention. Diagnosed when six (or more) symptoms have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and academic/occupational activities.  Examples might be: 

 

  • Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work or during other activities (e.g., overlooks or misses details, work is inaccurate)
  • Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities (e.g., has difficulty remaining focused during lectures, conversations or lengthy reading)
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (e.g., mind seems elsewhere even in the absence of any obvious distraction) 
  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked). 

 

Type 2 ADHD: Hyperactivity and impulsivity.  Diagnosed when six (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and academic/occupational activities:  

 

  • Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected (e.g., leaves his or her place in the classroom, office or other workplace, or in other situations that require remaining in place)
  • Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate. (Note: In adolescents or adults, may be limited to feeling restless)
  • Often unable to play or engage quietly in leisure activities, often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor” (e.g., unable to be or uncomfortable being still for extended time, as in restaurants, meetings; may be experienced by others as being restless or difficult to keep up with) 
  • Often talks excessively 

 

Type 3 ADHD will be diagnosed when the child exhibits symptoms of both Type 1 and 2.

 

Your doctor will rate the symptoms based on current severity: 

  • MILD: Few, if any, symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis are present, and symptoms result in only minor functional impairments. 
  • MODERATE: Symptoms or functional impairment between “mild” and “severe” are present. 
  • SEVERE: Many symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis or several symptoms that are particularly severe are present, or the symptoms result in marked impairment in social or occupational functioning. 

 

A complete diagnosis of ADHD should read like this: Patient Name exhibits a moderate combined Type 3 ADHD diagnosis. 

 

If your child has many of the symptoms from the above list or you have any questions about ADHD, give us a call and set up a complimentary consultation.  Let’s discuss what can be done for your child from a natural perspective!  

 

Why Sleep Is So Important?

Sleep Reset: Simple Steps to get Intentional about your Sleep

By: Dr. Katie Gleisner

Every night is a good night to sleep well. However, one in three of us struggles on a nightly basis with sleep. Whether falling or staying asleep is challenging, a poor night of sleep impacts every facet of your wellbeing. Your health is based on your movement, nutrition, and sleep. We spend a third of life sleeping, and it is a fundamental aspect of our physical, emotional, and chemical wellbeing. 

It seems everywhere I look there is another idea to improve sleep. As someone who loves and values my rest, I explore these ideas. Should I meditate? Should I take melatonin? Should I work out before bedtime? Should I read? And as a chiropractor, I care deeply about my patients’ sleep because those 7 to 9 hours of rest are essential for our bodies to detoxify, heal, and function optimally. Let’s explore the science of sleep and simple steps to catch some ZZZs with greater ease. 

Sleep is a biological necessity for your brain and body. It is Mother Nature’s built-in recovery and restoration system. The brain needs sleep to learn, be productive, and adapt to stress. However, humans are the only species that deprive themselves of sleep with little benefit. Many of us struggle with sleep deficiency, which seriously impacts our ability to focus, learn, create memories, fight off infections, and age well. Sleep expert and neuroscientist Dr. Matthew Walker has dedicated his research to the importance of sleep and its health benefits. Through his research it is recommended that adults get a minimum of 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Your brain requires this period of rest after learning to save memories, and to prepare for the next day’s learning. Studies comparing well-rested to sleep deprived participants found a 40% decline in learning—the difference between passing and failing an exam, due to hippocampus activity. The hippocampus is the information campus of the brain. It collects and holds onto our memories. When we are sleep deprived our hippocampus shuts down, thereby negatively impacting our ability to focus and learn. 

Your ability to cope with daily stress and handle anxiety or depression symptoms is impacted by your sleep. A lack of sleep causes the brain to revert to a primitive pattern of uncontrolled reactivity. We produce unmetered, emotional reactions due to heightened amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for processing fear and activating our sympathetic “fight, flight, or freeze” response. Less sleep creates a heightened amygdala response, resulting in increased sympathetic response and emotional outbursts. Decreased sleep leads to oxidative stress and inflammation, the root cause of ill health and disease. The hippocampus and amygdala are initial structures to suffer from this oxidative stress. Whether you slept poorly last night or you are suffering from chronic sleep deprivation, each evening with less rest decreases your ability to form new memories and cope with daily stress, as well as increases your risk to develop Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. 

Beyond the brain, your body needs sleep. Your genetic, immune, and cardiovascular systems all rely on sleep for proper function. Additional studies comparing well-rested to sleep deprived participants found a correlation between less sleep and upregulated gene activity. These activated genes are related to inflammatory and tumor promoting conditions. Also, decreased sleep is directly correlated with weaker immune system function. Our Natural Killer cells are your immune system assassins that identify and eliminate unwanted elements from your body. There is a 70% drop in Natural Killer cell activity with 4 hours of sleep, which studies correlate with higher rates of breast and colon cancer. While we sleep, our heart rate slows, blood pressure drops, and breathing stabilizes. Fragmented sleep negatively impacts the cardiovascular system, and every hour of sleep counts. Daylight Savings Time sleep studies found a 24% increase in heart attacks the day following springing ahead, and a 21% reduction in heart attacks after falling back.  Sleep impacts every aspect of your physiology and health. The shorter duration you sleep, the shorter your life expectancy. 

Sleep, just as every other facet of health, requires intentionality and commitment. So, let’s tuck in and discover simple steps to improve your sleep quality. 

  1. Regularity and Routine. Your body prefers routine. Creating a consistent bed and wake time helps establish a healthy sleep-wake rhythm. Whether weeknight or weekend, aim to be in bed and rise at the same time to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. 
  2. Keep it Cool. Turn down the thermostat to 65-68 degrees, the optimal sleeping temperature. Your body needs to drop its core temperature 2 to 3 degrees to initiate sleep and stay asleep.
  3. Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol. Caffeine is a stimulant and blocks adenosine, an essential sleep chemical in the brain. Avoid drinking caffeine after lunch to fall asleep easier. A cocktail or glass of wine can be relaxing in the evening, but limit alcohol consumption four hours before bedtime. Alcohol sedates the body and inhibits deep REM sleep, which relates to frequent wake ups and prevents optimal brain restoration. 
  4. Prioritize Unwind Time. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Whether you journal, take a bath, listen to soothing music, do some yoga stretches, or follow a guided meditation, take time to connect to your brain, body, and breath. Avoid high intensity workouts 2-3 hours before bed as it can inhibit your brain’s ability to relax.
  5. Don’t Lie in Bed. Avoid lying in bed for too long, as it can increase frustration and anxiety around falling asleep. Your brain will associate the bed with being awake. If you continue to feel awake after lying down for 25-30 minutes, get up, move to another room, and do a relaxing activity until you start to feel sleepy.

Sleep is a biological necessity that you depend on to heal and restore on a nightly basis. Hopefully, this post brings awareness around your sleep habits and some simple tips to create a healthier sleep routine tonight. By prioritizing your rest, you boost your mental and physical stamina to take on the following day and achieve optimal health.  


Sweet dreams.

 

HBOT NJ

Hyperbaric Oxygen May Be a Missing Piece of the Puzzle

By Dr. Jason Sonners, DC, CHP, DCBCN

Clinic Director, HBOT USA, Inc.

In traditional medicine, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been proven to be a very safe and effective tool for a wide variety of conditions. After thousands of research studies, it turns out that with all the different conditions where hyperbaric therapy can have a positive impact, the mechanisms for success are similar. These include, but are not limited to, reduced inflammation, increased stem cell release, nerve and brain tissue healing, increased oxygenation, new blood vessel growth, toxin inhibition and improved mitochondrial metabolism.

How does Hyperbaric therapy work?

The reason we absorb oxygen when we breath is because of pressure. Even right now, as you are reading this, you are surrounded by an atmosphere and that atmospheric pressure is what forces oxygen into your body when you take a breath in. We do not feel the pressure, but it is always all around us. If you have ever gone up to altitude, like on a big hike, you may notice that it seems harder to breathe. Some people say there is less oxygen at elevation, but this is not exactly true. There is always 21% oxygen in the air we breathe. The reason it is harder to breathe is because there is less atmospheric pressure the higher we ascend, and less atmospheric pressure means less driving force of oxygen into or body.  As a result, we absorb less oxygen with each breath. The opposite is true if we go below sea level; the “deeper” we go, the more pressure we are exposed to. This increase in pressure will increase the amount of oxygen we absorb as we breathe. 

The total amount of oxygen your body can carry is proportional to the amount of pressure and oxygen we are exposed to. Under normal atmospheric pressure, when your body absorbs oxygen, that oxygen is carried and delivered to your tissues by red blood cells and very little oxygen is carried by your plasma, the liquid portion of your blood. Under hyperbaric conditions, those red blood cells will still be fully saturated with oxygen, but in addition the plasma will become a reservoir of “extra” oxygen holding more than it is typically able to hold. This extra amount of oxygen is now free floating in your blood and able to deliver higher than normal amounts of oxygen to your cells.

Hyperbaric therapy can be delivered in a multitude of different oxygen percentages and pressures—from low or mild hyperbarics with about a 30% increase in pressure and oxygen absorption up to relatively high pressure and oxygen levels 10-12x the normal oxygen exposure. The amount of pressure and oxygen used depend on the clinical goals for the patient.

 

What we know about children affected by autism

Every family with a child on the spectrum has a unique set of circumstances and health concerns. I am yet to meet two children (even from the same family) who needed the exact same treatment protocols. This makes the process and journey of recovery often a long a winding road for most families seeking answers. 

According to the research, among children with ASD:

>70% have neuroinflammation

>75% have hypoperfusion to the temporal lobes

>80% have mitochondrial issues

>59% have gut issues

We also know that toxicity—including but not limited to heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives and mold toxicity—all play a role in the health of children affected by ASD.

What we do not know about ASD

Even though the above has been shown to be true in the research overall, knowing exactly which conditions each child has and in which order we need to work on them in is the most obvious clinical deficiency. Creating the priority and order of procedure is where the art of being in practice and clinical experience comes in. Some, but not all of these issues can be tested and measured objectively like using a SPECT scan for observing brain oxygen metabolism, or stool testing to better understand, diagnose and treat gut microbiome issues. There are some tests for mitochondrial issues, but the lack of definite specificity makes them less accurate than we would like to best understand mitochondrial disfunction. There are also tests for objectively measuring toxin loads in order to assess the need for detoxification being part of the healing process.

All of these factors—low oxygen levels, high levels of inflammation, gut microbiome imbalance, mitochondrial dysfunction and toxicity—can be helped through the use of hyperbaric therapy.

Looking for common denominators

Therapies can be broken into two main categories: targeted and systemic. Targeted therapies specifically treat a particular identified issue, while systemic therapies are those that are purposely delivered to the entire body for a full body experience. Both strategies have value and most doctors will want to use both at different times throughout the journey.

Targeted therapies:

In order to decide on targeted therapies, we need to identify specific issues often through lab testing. Testing for all of the potential issues at the same time can be costly, time consuming and potentially invasive depending on which tests are chosen. Spending the time to try and prioritize the needs of the child in order to determine the most likely underlying issues is an important part of the process. 

Systemic therapies:

As noted above, the testing process can be difficult, expensive and time consuming. While it does have tremendous value, we are also looking for low invasive, low risk, high return types of interventions first. If we can offer single therapies that are safe, effective and have very broad reaching effects, we can often begin to see a positive healing response. This does two things: First it is therapeutic and begins to encourage healing within the child’s body, and second it is diagnostic and actually helps the helping identify what tests ought to be considered next.

Hyperbaric therapy is inherently safe and effective

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has a more than 350 year history of safely and effectively delivering an increased level of oxygen to the body and cells in need. Every cell we have (except for red blood cells) requires oxygen for optimal function. Our body uses that oxygen in order to burn fuel and make energy for each of our cells. In fact, the only reason we breath is to absorb and deliver oxygen to our cells for the purpose of making ATP or cell energy.

If we are not getting enough oxygen, it is impossible to make the appropriate amount of cell energy and that will have a negative effect on the tissue or organ that is low oxygen. Whether we are talking about hypoperfusion, mitochondrial dysfunction, toxicity or inflammation, all are capable of causing low oxygen levels in the various tissues in the body, not allowing those tissue or organs to function properly, heal properly, detoxify properly or process properly in the case of our brain.

Using hyperbaric therapy, we observe both short- and long-term categories of improvement:

  • Short term: Within minutes of each session and for hours after the session, the body will have absorbed more oxygen than it typically gets. With that increase in oxygen the cells will be much more able to receive oxygen and process nutrients increasing metabolism and cell energy production.
  • Long term: As a result of extended hyperbaric use, the body will begin to go through many changes. New blood cells will be created allowing better delivery of oxygen all over the body; inflammation will be reduced as well as the overall inflammatory response inside the body; growth factors will be release along with stem cell release increasing the ingredients the body requires to actually heal and recover. Additionally, intestinal function, liver function, toxin inhibition, improved immune system activation and microbiome balancing are all part of the longer-term benefits of prolonged hyperbaric use.

We all know that there is no single cure for ASD. Simplified, it is a process of removing as many of the ingredients that are causing inflammation and imbalance as we can identify and at the same time adding back all the necessary ingredients the body requires to heal, repair and ultimately recover.

Hyperbaric therapy by itself cannot cure this disorder, but it can absolutely add back Oxygen, one of the most foundational and important ingredients in the body.

 

Dr. Jason Sonners, DC, CHP, DCBCN

www.HBOTUSA.com

www.NewJerseyHBOT.com

www.HbotPA.com

www.CoreTherapies.net

 

About Dr. Jason Sonners:

Dr. Jason Sonners is always working to integrate new knowledge and practical experience and is currently enrolled in the University of Miami School of Medicine earning his PhD in molecular biology with a concentration in regenerative medicine.  In addition to his Doctor of Chiropractic, he earned his Diplomate of the Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition (DCBCN) and his Diplomate of the International Board of Applied Kinesiology (DIBAK).   

While serving on the faculty of the International Hyperbarics Association, Dr. Sonners is also a faculty member of MedMAPS, a group of professionals offering comprehensive education and fellowship to medical professionals for the care of children with autism spectrum disorders and related chronic complex conditions.  

Dr. Sonners and his wife, Dr. Melissa Sonners, are co-owners of Core Therapies Family Wellness Center in Northern New Jersey, a holistic center where he combines Chiropractic, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Nutrition, Exercise, Detoxification programs and more to naturally support patients and guide them through their health challenges.  Core Therapies also offers acupuncture, massage, infrared, sauna, spinal decompression, yoga and laser therapies.  They are also the owners of NJ HBOT & HBOT USA.  

 

References:

Frye RE, Rossignol DA. Mitochondrial dysfunction can connect the diverse medical symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatr Res. 2011;69(5 Pt 2):41R-7R. doi:10.1203/PDR.0b013e318212f16b

Kong X, Liu J, Cetinbas M, et al. New and Preliminary Evidence on Altered Oral and Gut Microbiota in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Implications for ASD Diagnosis and Subtyping Based on Microbial Biomarkers. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2128. Published 2019 Sep 6. doi:10.3390/nu11092128

Bjorklund, Geir & Kern, Janet & Urbina, Mauricio & Saad, Khaled & El-Houfey, Amira & Geier, David & Geier, Mark & Mehta, Jyutika & Aaseth, Jan. (2018). Cerebral Hypoperfusion in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Acta neurobiologiae experimentalis. 78. 21-29. 10.21307/ane-2018-005.

Camporesi EM, Bosco G. Mechanisms of action of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Undersea Hyperb Med. 2014 May-Jun;41(3):247-52. PMID: 24984320.

Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, Catherine Lozupone, Dae-Wook Kang & James B. Adams (2015) Gut bacteria in children with autism spectrum disorders: challenges and promise of studying how a complex community influences a complex disease, Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 26:1

 

The Importance of Purpose

The Importance of Purpose

by Dr. Melissa Sonners

March 2021

 

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Have you ever read something or heard something that literally changed your life? When I read this quote about five years ago, it changed me.  And now, during this time it feels just as impactful. 

This has been an insane year for all of us and I don’t know about you, but I have found moments and times during this year where I have felt like I wasn’t sure where to put my focus.  Juggling homeschool, a new role with a non-profit organization, our office and our hyperbaric oxygen company has certainly proved challenging and yet at the same time, so rewarding.  I have been so thankful that I have a clear purpose and direction to help me feel that I have a direction to follow when all else seems chaotic.  

Knowing your purpose is so important, yet it can sound like an overwhelming task.  When you look to establish your purpose, issues and questions like these may arise: 

  • How do I fully commit to something? 
  • I am a mom and have forgotten my purpose outside my family.  
  • I work so much that I don’t even know what my purpose is outside of work.  

Well, let’s keep it simple.  What do you love to do? When you think about the things that you love, that lift you, that light you up, that excite you, that’s where you’ll find your purpose. 

If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion.  For your passion will lead you right into purpose!” – B. Jakes

So, for right now, in the midst of this year that can at times feel oh so heavy, take some time to think on what your purpose is and take steps each day to fulfill it.  

Go out and shine your light. The world needs you. The world is ready for you.  

The world needs more people who have found their purpose, who do what they love and create balance in their lives by working hard for something they believe in. Often in our lives, it’s not the darkness that scares us most—it’s our light. It’s our powerful light we all have inside that scares us.  It’s the “big ass goals” we’re sometimes too afraid to say out loud because we want them so badly, but don’t want to set ourselves up for failure.  

I want our kids to shine their lights. I want them to have those big ass goals that are so big and so scary that they make you shake with fear and excitement all at the same time.  Those are the things that make life an adventure. Those are the things that make life worth living.  

The Importance of Purpose

If we all did that, unapologetically, this world would be a better place.

 

Riding the Peloton Wave

Riding the Peloton Wave

By Dr. Matt McGowan D.C.

February 2021

 

There is no doubt that Peloton is the hottest thing going in the home exercise space.  It has had incredible popularity throughout the pandemic due to gym closures and personal preferences for working out at home.  While Peloton has made an excellent machine and an even better streaming service, there are a few things that I find myself repeatedly explaining to patients that I would like to share.  

 

Seated exercise is not the way to fix sitting problems.

 

In the current state of the world, most people’s work environments have them sitting more than ever.  Many are finding themselves sitting on couches, at kitchen tables, or at countertops sitting on stools.  The bottom line is that the amount of hours sitting is causing a shift in the balance of our hips and lower back.  Increased sitting and improper exercise habits will lead to the quads and hip flexors becoming the dominant movers for the lower body.  This can lead to pelvic imbalance and increased pressure and or injury on the lower back.   If all we are doing for exercise is hopping on a spin bike several times a week—still in a seated position—the cardiovascular benefits you are getting will be far outweighed by the increase in injury to the hips and low back.  

 

It is very important to diversify the movements you do on a weekly basis to make sure we are working out in all planes of motion.  For those finding themselves in a similar situation to what I have described, here are some easy additions that I recommend to many of my patients, including photo illustrations:

 

1.) Immediately after completing spin or cycle workout, perform a kneeling quad/hip flexor stretch.  You need to spend 2-3 minutes per side working in these positions.  It is important that before lunging forward, first squeeze the glutes to tilt the pelvis posteriorly (backwards), flattening the lower back.   This will ensure that the stretch is effective to the hip and will not bear any extra pressure on the lower back. 

 

2.) After working on hip extension mobility, it is necessary to also work on hip extension strength.   One of the best and easiest ways to start working on that are with glute bridges.  These are simple exercise that require no extra equipment; there are also endless ways to progress them forward and make them more difficult.  It is important to make sure you lift up your toes and press your heels into the floor.  Again similar to the hip flexor stretch, you should first posterior tilt the pelvis by pressing the lower back into the floor before pressing through the heels and bridging up.  

 

Riding the Peloton Wave

 

3.) Also add in exercises that work on strengthening the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings).  Some of my favorites are:

 

  • Romanian deadlifts (not as intimidating as they sound!)
  • Banded hip hinges
  • Russian Kettle bell swings 

 

With any exercise recommendation, proper form is of the upmost importance.  If you have any questions please reach out to one of us or a qualified fitness professional.  

 

Our Hawaiian Adventure:  Bringing Hyperbaric Oxygen to Oahu’s North Shore

Our Hawaiian Adventure:  Bringing Hyperbaric Oxygen to Oahu’s North Shore

by Dr. Melissa Sonners

January 2021

The International Hyperbaric Association (IHA) had a vision:  They would bring hyperbaric oxygen therapy to the pro surfers in the Vans Triple Crown competition at Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Jason and I were honored to be chosen as the doctors who would introduce hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to these incredible high performance athletes.  (As many of you know, we have a hyperbaric center in our Florham Park offices and other sites throughout the country.)  The plan was for us to spend the five weeks of competition on the North Shore with HBOT chambers set up so participants could come experience the therapy and see how much it impacted their performance and recovery.

We honestly didn’t know what to expect.  Being away from our practice for this long, having no idea if this would be a successful adventure or not, bringing our three kids and the covid situation all presented interesting challenges and obstacles.

Five weeks later we are home and happy to look back on our experience and share what an incredible opportunity this was for us and the community on the North Shore and surrounding areas.

Word quickly spread among the surfers that we were there. We were delighted to host among others some of the best surfers in the world, execs of corporate sponsor Red Bull, and announcers for the World Surf League.  Time and time again our attendees were elated to feel changes in their lives after just one session.  Many reported the best sleep of their lives including one mom with a three week old baby who said “Despite being up every couple hours to feed our baby, my sleep tracker still showed enhanced deep sleep and REM sleep, and I felt like I’d had a great night’s rest.”

We also had the pleasure of getting to know and treat the local lifeguards.  The lifeguards on the North Shore are some of the most amazing first responders we have ever met.  It was incredible to watch them not once, but numerous times throughout our stay, rush to the water and drag people out in the knick of time.  These men and women are truly inspiring.  One of the lifeguards had suffered an injury while lifting a jet ski six weeks before our arrival and was extremely frustrated with his lack of healing. It had not only impacted him physically, but emotionally as well.  He shares his experience here.

About halfway through our time there, word spread to the autism community and the local TACA (Talk About Curing Autism Now) chapter that we were there with Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers. We ended up hosting many of the families and giving them the opportunity to have their children experience the chambers.  We all noticed the children coming out in a very relaxed state.  They eagerly hopped in the chambers and most napped peacefully during their sessions.

Finally, we were able to install chambers and train two practitioners on the island.  One in Honolulu with a functional neurologist, Dr. Josuke Tanaka & Dr. Sara Chong, and the other with Dr. Andrea Mills, a detoxification specialist on Maui.

During our five weeks we hosted nearly 200 hyperbaric sessions.  The most common feedback and questions we received was how incredibly comfortable and effective the sessions were as well as questions about how they could continue their sessions once we had left.  We know without a doubt that we’ve instilled in the North Shore community a desire and demand for this amazing therapy.

We look forward to more adventures like this as a way to continue educating communities while giving them access to, and sharing  the experience of, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Doctor and Patient

Doc, Should I Take That New Test Advertised on TV/Facebook?

by Dr. Noémie Long

December 2020

Direct to consumer ads are everywhere! You’ll see tests for stool, gut health, vitamin reports, genetic risk, etc. While I’m all in favor of sick people being empowered to get the health information they need (especially if the conventional healthcare model is failing them), what I do not support is patients getting taken advantage of and misled. 

Here’s why it’s complicated.

How do DNA mutations work? There are at least 5 kinds: point mutations, nonsense mutations, insertions, deletions, missense, and silent mutations. Which kind do you have? Did it even change the protein you use it to encode? Maybe, maybe not. DNA is your blueprint. You’re born with 2 copies of DNA, one from mom and one from dad. We all have a certain number of mutations due to individual variations. Since we have two copies, if the bad copy is turned off it doesn’t matter much. What if you have two bad copies? The human body is smart. Do you think our species would survive if we were so fragile as to have our entire existence rest on one single gene? No. We have redundancy. Multiples genes code for the same thing. If you look at my personal 23AndME raw data, I have 20 markers alleging that I’m “predisposed to being overweight” and 16 markers alleging that I am “predisposed to being underweight.”  So why have I never had weight issues? Because environment rules all. There are redundancies in our genetic code to protect from single gene errors. This makes the value of a single “mutated gene” significantly less valuable than is marketed on TV. 

Genes are not all or none. There is a sliding scale of function. Depending on your mutation, that gene may work at 90% capacity, 65% capacity etc. The point is that this gene IS still working. People for whom the function being diminished presents a problem are aware of the mutation within the first few years of life.  For example, Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic lung condition usually diagnosed before 8 months of age. The most severe mutations result in an individual not being born (at least 50% of first trimester miscarriages are due to genetic abnormality). 

Apart from a very few select mutations, the issue with testing DNA for disease, diet and the like is that these tests are not very reliable. A 2018 research paper published in Genetics in Medicine came to the shocking conclusion that direct-to-consumer genetics tests have a 40% false positive rate. This means results are saying you have a disease—BRCA for breast cancer was the specific example from this research paper—when in fact you do not

Direct to Consumer labs are intended to do one thing: sell a product. In this case, sell a product to an audience who is probably not going to challenge them. The information you need is not going to be on their websites and often not easily accessible. One thing I can say, if you look at your “at-home microbiome test” and the report says “calculated based off a proprietary formula” … run. That’s a hallmark sign that you’ve been had. If you can’t prove to me HOW you got the answer, then it’s probably not real.  With this specific at-home microbiome test, it was ultimately easy for me as a provider to prove that the results were 100% unreliable.

Companies that try to sell meals or supplements or GI protocols “tailored for your DNA” are doing the same thing. They’re looking for all kinds of mutations, most of which are irrelevant, and trying to correlate that with a marketable lifestyle or product. The problem is that science has not proven the majority of these claims to be true. DNA itself can’t tell you that kind of information. Your environment, custom biology, and gut microbiome are what dictate which diet is best for you.

So how do you tell which tests are reliable and which are blowing smoke? The truth is, you can’t. The average person doesn’t possess the knowledge (nor should they be expected to) to understand if the technical jargon is real or not. Your best bet is to ask your provider, especially if they are someone well versed in reading blood work who understands laboratory machine/testing specifics. 

Now, what do you do if you KNOW you have a genetic risk? How do you know IF a gene has been turned on? That’s where a skilled provider comes into play. You’ll be pleased to know that Core Therapies has those providers at your disposal! 

 

  

 

Chiropractic and TMJ 

Chiropractic & TMJ

Chiropractic and TMJ 

By Dr. Sonia Marques 

November 2020 

Although chiropractic is not typically the first thing that comes to mind when you hear TMJ, chiropractic treatment is a viable conservative option for TMJ pain and TMD (temporomandibular disorder). 

First things first, what is the TMJ? The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bones of the skull, which are in front of each ear. The TMJ, which can rotate and move forward, backward and side to side, is considered one of the most complex joints in the body. This joint, in combination with other muscles and ligaments, lets you chew, swallow, speak and yawn. When you have a problem with the muscle, bone or other tissue in the area in and around the TMJ, you may have a TMD. 

Various factors contribute to TMD. By far, the most common cause is clenching and grinding. With the increased levels of stress everyone has experienced over the past several months, clenching has become more prevalent and as a result TMD cases have increased. Other causes of TMD include ill-fitting dental devices (crowns, dentures, fillings, etc.), trauma, inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and gout and hereditary issues. 

Many times, TMD goes undiagnosed because the symptoms may not include the obvious jaw pain or clicking that people associate with TMJ dysfunction. Headaches, particularly in the temples, neck/face pain and ear pain are common symptoms of TMD. Difficulty chewing and opening/closing your mouth may also be symptoms. These are a few symptoms that may be constant or that come and go. 

Many patients with TMDs get better by themselves without any treatment. To help ease sore jaw muscles, place a cold or warm compress to your jaw and gently massage your jaw muscles. Eat a soft diet, cut food into small pieces and avoid hard, chewy or sticky foods. Try not to open your mouth too wide, even when you yawn. And most importantly, relax your jaw muscles. 

When you are relaxed, your teeth should be slightly apart and your tongue should rest on the floor of your mouth with your lips barely touching or slightly apart. There should be a slight space between your upper and lower teeth except during chewing, speaking or swallowing. 

If TMD persists, is not showing signs of improvement or if the pain is severe despite your best efforts, treatments like chiropractic care can be very effective. Myofascial release, active release therapy, palliative modalities and gentle instrument-assisted chiropractic adjustments are a few of the techniques that can address and correct the joint and tissue dysfunction. Other possible contributing causes, like poor posture and forward head carriage, would also be assessed and proper treatments and exercises/stretches would be recommended.