Thursday, May 29, 2014

Groundhog Day - A Vicious Cycle

You wake up in the morning, groggy and feeling as though the previous seven hours spent sleeping never really happened.  Clearly, you slept.  The clock read “11:03 P.M.” right before you zonked out and you opened your eyes to “6:59 A.M.”  It doesn’t feel like it, though.  You push yourself out of bed and immediately notice that you’re leaning to one side.  Looking down at your feet, your eyes focus in as if staring at your knees, ankles, and toes might somehow reestablish a sense of normalcy during this all-too-common occurrence of seeming off balance.  Half stumbling and half walking, you maneuver yourself to the bathroom and flip on the light.  Once upon a time, this would have been when you sat down to eliminate the waste processed through your digestive tract from yesterday, but it has been a long time since that was the case.  Despite that gurgling sound in the pit of your stomach that suggests that a few moments on the porcelain God would be just what the doctor ordered, you’ve been through this routine enough to realize that nothing will happen if you do and that there are other things that have taken precedent in the morning routine.  

Two hours later, you are on your way to see what the day brings.  There’s that uncomfortable moment when you get into the car, your joints crackling as if you just sat down on bubble wrap.  The same thing happens when you get out of the car a bit later.  It always happens when you get in the car.  Speaking of the car, remember when you could turn your head so easily to check the blind spot over your right shoulder?  That online search for how “German engineers suggest using car mirrors” was quite helpful, you may recall.  In the future, you find out that using your mirrors in the manner recommended by BMW is actually a good thing, but it would have been nice to choose to do it that way rather than have to out of necessity.  Oh well.  Once the morning sluggishness finally wears off thanks to that third cup of coffee – or was it an energy drink today?  Memory isn’t what it used to be – you start your list of daily tasks.  You have to carefully concentrate on one thing at a time to avoid your mind traveling in a million different directions.  Did you put the clothes in the dryer?  That thing from the national board is due this week, right?  The dryer wasn’t left on, was it?  You never like leaving it on while you’re gone (just in case).  The meeting at 11:30.  Did you prepare?  You’ve got ample prep time, so you should be fine.  Whew, it’s been a long day already and it’s not even lunch time.
Lunch brings with it a set of challenges all its own.  You heart desires the Southwest chicken sandwich, but you know that eating something with a kick to it will make the afternoon a chore.  After all, it’s hard to get any work done when you’re constantly taking breaks.  You get that sort of nausea with it, too.  So, it’ll be the salad and soup again for the millionth time – “Just make sure that there’s no garlic in it” you call to the waiter, all the while thinking in the back of your mind how annoying it is to have to be so picky when you like so many things.  It’d be nice to have a “cheater day” and vary up the diet a bit.  The 11:30 presentation took a lot out of you and a dull ache has settled in the back of your head.  You barely notice it; it’s par for the course, at this point.  As the day continues, the ache spreads.  The more that you are on your feet, the greater the difficulty that you experience.  You don’t work out anymore – it hurts you too much to do so – but at the end of every day, you feel like you just worked out for the first time in two years.  As abnormal as it is, it has become normal for you, but - unbeknownst to you – it makes you very difficult to be around.  By dinner time, the day has worn you out and your patience has been reduced to nil.  Those close to you just assume that “it’s who you are, now” since the doctors said everything was normal.  You long since quit trying to find out why you feel and act the way that you do.  You guess that it’s just what getting older is like. 
You’ve become a human doing instead of a human being.  You exist more so than live.  Like the movie Groundhog Day, in which Bill Murray awakes to the same February morning repeatedly, life has become an endless loop of days you’re just getting through.  
I’ve met so many people in my career that would relate to the above.  I know that I sure relate to it.  That was me.  Upper Cervical Care gave me my life back and it took years of self reflection to find out when I actually lost it, ultimately realizing that it was gradual and cumulative.  By the time that I learned about Upper Cervical, I had developed a quiet assumption that I was never going to get better and had begun going through the motions of living.  Your level of health simply doesn’t always reflect what it says on some lab test.  Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have the bar raised for what I should expect from my life.  I sincerely hope that you are allowing us to help you raise that bar for your life.  Too many of us think that scenarios similar to the above are OK.  They’re not.  We should all want more and go get more from life…and that begins with your health.  
The Power of Upper Cervical documentary presentation – Tuesday, June 17th at 6:30PM
“You people will know…soon” states Dr. Drew Hall in the final line of Storyville Studios acclaimed documentary, The Power of Upper Cervical.  The fact of the matter is that most people don’t know about Upper Cervical Care.  This documentary is an excellent way for the uninformed to become informed.  Across the board, our collective health is suffering because we simply don’t understand the basics for what it takes to be healthy.  Like one of the patients in the movie says, “I didn’t know. I didn’t know any different.”  This film will teach you and your loved ones the “difference” that Upper Cervical Care can make.  Please join us!  Seating is limited, so please RSVP via email or by calling the office.
Thinking good things for all of you,

Dr. Chad

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Why is There Not More Research on Upper Cervical Care?

Many patients have previously asked - and many others have likely thought about it – “Why isn’t there more research out there about Upper Cervical Care?”

The answer to that question was, perhaps, best exemplified in a recent email that updated me about the progress of a study, which I donated money to about three months ago.
A little bit of background information before I continue: for the last several years, there has been a lot of research conducted in tandem between Upper Cervical Practitioners and Medical Doctors in Italy where Upper Cervical Care was given the wings of several Italian hospitals.  This is not unprecedented, as these types of joint tasks have occurred here in the United States, but suffice to say that a lot more research has been going on over in Italy where the system is better built to help patients find the root causes of their respective health problems.  Here in the States, there is a lot more bias toward the term “chiropractic,” creating a barrier between the paradigms which can often be difficult to overcome.  In Italy, this is less of a problem, in part because the Italian version of the AMA, as I understand it, does not view Upper Cervical Care and Chiropractic as the same entity.  Though groundbreaking discoveries are achieved in the USA when the two professions are able to collaborate -- such as in the University of Chicago Medical Center study that determined Upper Cervical Care is more effective than two blood pressure lowering medications! -- it has proven easier for more research to occur, with less hassle, overseas than in the US.

So, over in Italy about five years ago, the UC DCs and MDs combined to study whether the brainstem subluxation (misalignment of one of the top two vertebrae in the spine, to the point that the brainstem which rests within those bones is compromised) is one of the causes of Multiple Sclerosis, by using functional MRI to better assess the area.  Other forms of imaging have long-since established the neurological consequences of a foundational shift where the head and the neck meet, but the scientific community prefers the functional MRI.  That being stated, the brainstem subluxation was found to be a common link amongst M.S. patients in the Italian study.  Furthermore, it was found that not only was there a correlation, but that there a causative relationship; in fact, the brainstem subluxation was determined to be one of the four primary causes of M.S.  Powerful information, and game-changing for the scientific community.  For an Upper Cervical Practitioner, this study merely confirmed what we already knew, but as this information becomes scientifically solidified, it will begin to reach the public; and when it reaches the public, the manner in which M.S. and related conditions are handled is going to change… a much needed change.
The problem is that research – and this goes back to the question asked in the beginning – requires a lot of money.  The M.S. study in Italy ran out of it.  I happened upon this unfortunate fact on Facebook, of all places.  One of my colleagues posted a link asking for help in raising the remaining funds necessary to complete the study.  I made a donation.  Several months and tens of thousands of dollars later (from mostly UC docs and patient advocates), there still is not enough money to finish it.  Medical schools in the United States receive research grants provided by huge corporations with a vested interest in the results.  At least one pain medication earned well over a billion dollars in 2013.  As compared to the research described above, there is an endless funnel of money pouring into the studies on how to “treat” disease and infirmity, but a study that seeks the cause of such disease and infirmity gets stonewalled by too few dollars and cents.
Research in the Upper Cervical world does get done, but because we, the practitioners, essentially have to fund it on our own, it takes a lot longer.  Greater resources would lead to faster speed of completion, which would mean faster publication of results, which would make it faster and easier for the public to acquire access to that knowledge which the research concludes.  I once had a patient who asked me to verify the comments that I had made about another autoimmune disease.  I said, “I believe that if we can find out why your immune system is attacking your body, then we can do more than treat your diagnosis – we can put you in position to truly overcome.”  This patient abruptly quit receiving Upper Cervical care, because we could not provide him with the double blind, randomly controlled trials to back up such a statement.  No amount of philosophical discussion about the Law of Life that governs what we do as Upper Cervical Practitioners could knock down the mental barricade constructed by years of medical theories validated by research (but then, often, disproved by further research).  It took me 5 months to find the research for him; it now sits on my office’s educational wall.  Unfortunately, that patient left one month prior.
Upper Cervical has grown leaps and bounds in the last decade.  The relationship established with the Italian MDs has been a great one.  They literally said, “Upper Cervical Care makes all the sense in the world.  It is logical and reasonable.  We want to help you prove it scientifically.”  Good things are in the works, ladies and gentlemen.  For now, though, we, as doctors and patients, as well as the research community, simply have to be patient.  Money grows on trees if you want to spend hours in a lab trying to “cure” cancer, but it’s hard to find the location of those trees if your aim is to prove what causes it.
Thinking good things for you,

-Dr. Chad

PS - If, in reading this article, you find yourself inclined to learn more about Upper Cervical research and/or how you can contribute to it, visit

Friday, May 2, 2014

Choices Today That Affect Tomorrow

Recently, a patient asked me, “With all the advances in technology and years spent studying certain body parts, don’t you think they’d have figured out by now how to do something about (X, Y, and Z conditions/diseases)?”  My response was fueled by an article that I had read the day before – the published results of a 75 year study conducted through Harvard University.  I replied, “I think that we can pour a ton of resources into better understanding these various conditions, but until the research stops being all about finding ways to treat these problems once they have already developed, we’re unlikely to find the cures.  The future of health science – when all the major advances will come – will begin the moment that our society recognizes the futility in trying treat disease when nearly every disease is preventable.  Once we focus on preventing sickness and disease, the research is going to make people look back at the currently modern era of USA healthcare and roll their eyes.”

It goes back to age old adage about “an apple a day will keep the doctor away.”  If you make smart choices today, then you’re going to benefit from them tomorrow.  Part of the curse of the instant gratification mindset toward modern medicine is that it often does not eye the future.  Short-term gains using that model rarely result in long-term successes.  The aforementioned Harvard study has compiled three quarters of a century’s worth of data to prove it.  Back in 1938, a team of researchers gathered several hundred undergraduate students and enlisted them for a lifelong project designed to answer that which all of us are concerned about: what makes people happy?  I found it unsurprising that many of the suggested keys to life were grounded in good health – nor was I surprised to find that good health was largely shaped, according to the research, by the choices that were made early in life.  Hereditary factors were not disregarded, just as we at the office do not disregard them, but the conclusions drawn are quite firm in their observations that the family tree had far less to do with health in the long-term than did more controllable factors.  When smart choices were made in adulthood, for instance, there was a far better outcome in overall health in the elderly years. 

This would seem like common sense if we thought about it more often.  Choose to eat organic and drink the recommended consumption of water per day in your 30s or 40s and the odds are statistically and significantly stronger that you’re going to not just outlive your peers that do not maintain those habits, but that you will also maintain a far greater quality of life.  It is time that we all collectively begin to make the connection between lousy food and a lack of health the way that we do cigarettes or alcohol.  Just as overconsumption of alcohol, which is quite common, and the use of nicotine products are associated with health conditions such as liver disease, lung cancer, depression, and other neuroses, the same can be said of processed foods.  At the end of the day, debate the specific dangers all you want, but the common denominator amongst them is chemicals.  If you put chemicals into your body – and especially if you bombard your body with chemicals like those that drink multiple sodas per day – then you’re setting yourself up for failure.  If the quality of the foods that you eat is not up to par and then you, additionally, do not adequately keep yourself hydrated with water (preferably filtered via reverse osmosis), you are basically sending an open invitation to become (or remain) sickly.  Water filters the toxins out of our bodies.  In regards to lousy foods, it helps take the chemical waste to the kidneys to the bladder to be eliminated from the body.  Soda, Gatorade, coffee, and tea do not as effectively produce this vitally important result. 

One of the common myths about eating organic food or drinking high quality water is that it costs more.  Ditto for the idea that doing things to improve your health that are not covered by your medical insurance cost you more.  In the long run, that is not true.  Maybe – and it’s a big maybe, honestly (a big part of the myth) – they might cost more on the front end, but these are the things that take your body from a toxic, broken down invitation for sickness and disease and make you a healthier version of yourself protected against the onset of the 14,900 diagnoses that can be billed by your providers.  Ultimately, that SAVES you money.  It’s far more cost effective to maintain a car rather than wait for it to break down.  The same goes for your body.  It just makes sense to put constructive things into your body.  If you’re not doing that right now, then start doing that right now.  There’s no time like the present – your future depends on it.  

Other common sense additions to your healthcare quest are structural balance, normal function, and a good attitude.  Bodies that aren’t balanced break down instead of wear down.  Organs that fail to receive proper communication from the brain work abnormally instead of normally.  Bad attitudes equate to more stress and all the muck that comes with it.  So, start forming better habits across the board.  You only get one body. 

Thinking good things for you,

-Dr. Chad