Nutrition


Five Steps to Overcoming a Food Addiction
Nutrition
Written by Hedley Turk   
Saturday, 25 June 2011 02:35

hamburgeraddiction

Y
ou know the food you’re eating is bad for you—you just can’t stop eating it. You have a food addiction and you’re not alone. Millions of people are suffering as well.

This is the area of health where most of us have our greatest challenge. We want to eat healthier, we want to be healthier, but when it comes to eating right, we just can’t seem to do it.

If We Know Better, Why Do We Still Eat Unhealthy Food?

What we eat has less to do with our intellect and more to do with the associations we have to food. An association is a link in your mind between an emotion and an experience, person, place, or thing.

An example of an association is a fear of dogs. A fear of dogs is often the result of a person having been attacked or frightened severely by a dog. That event creates an association in the person's mind, linking dogs with fear. Now every time this person sees a dog, even if it's a friendly one with a big smile on its face, he or she will experience fear.

Food is another area where we've created associations. Once upon a time, you ate a food—a cake, a piece of chocolate, ice cream—and you liked the way it tasted. At that moment you created an association in your mind linking this food to feeling good. And each time you ate this food, it continued to make you feel good, further strengthening the association.

The result is you have an association to food that is extremely strong. As strong, if not more so, than the person who has a fear of dogs. If I tell that person that the dog approaching is friendly it won't matter because associations generally override intellect and that person will still be afraid of the dog. If I tell you that a food is bad for you, it also won't matter because your associations will override your intellect and you will eat that food anyway.

This is why it's so hard for you to give up certain foods. Your intellect is telling you that a food is bad for you, but your emotions, which are actually your associations, are telling you this food will make you feel good. How can you give up something that makes you feel good? See the conflict?

How Do We Overcome a Food Addiction?

The first and most important step to overcoming a food addiction is motivation. You have to want to make the change. Your motivation can come from different sources, such as a doctor’s diagnosis of a health condition that will worsen unless you make a change to your weight.

How can you give up something that makes you feel good? See the conflict?

It can come from your family and your desire to be healthy enough to participate with your kids in activities and sports. Your motivation can also come from the fact that you want to be around to see your children graduate high school or college, or to see them have families of their own.

Or maybe your motivation comes from the fact that you deserve it. You deserve to feel good, you deserve to feel healthy, and you deserve to live a long and healthy life.

The second step to overcoming a food addiction is identifying your current associations to the food that you want to stop eating. Answer the following question: Why do I eat this food? Be honest. Does it make you feel good? Does it give you pleasure? Does it satisfy you? Does it relax you?

The third step is to create new powerful negative associations to the food that you want to stop eating. Remember, it’s very difficult to give up something that makes you feel good and gives you pleasure. Therefore, you need to change the way you feel about the food from a positive to a negative.

The fourth step is to create new positive associations to not eating the food. The goal is that every time you resist the urge to eat the unhealthy food, you will feel good and feel pleasure. And each time, thereafter, that you resist the urge, you will feel even more pleasure, thereby reinforcing the association as well as building your strength and confidence.

The fifth and final step to overcoming a food addiction is to anchor your new associations. Anchoring an association is a way of reinforcing it, or making the link in your mind stronger. An association is anchored when a strong emotion is involved, as in the case of the fear of dogs, or through repetition, as is often the case with food.

Keep in mind that you may have to do this process more than once. Overcoming a food addiction is not easy, but if you’re motivated and committed to doing it, it can be done.

 

Hedley Turk, a former personal trainer, has overcome his food addiction and today is the author of Why Intelligent People Are Overweight: A Guide to a Healthier Life. He received his Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Albany School of Business and currently lives in Great Neck, NY where he is passionate about helping others overcome their food addictions and lead healthier lives. For more information, please visit www.WhyAreWeOverweight.com.

 
INTERNAL HEALTH: A Chiropractic Specialty The Lower Extremities—Part II
Nutrition
Written by Howard F. Loomis, Jr., D.C.   
Saturday, 25 June 2011 00:28

shortlegexam

L
ast month, I started a three-part series on the short leg syndrome and the absolute necessity of not only properly identifying it, but finding the exact cause, and tracing the effects up the leg into the pelvis and onto the spine.

I discussed the frequency of short leg syndrome in the population and its relevance to low back pain. We described the Allis Test for determining when the short leg was produced by structural misalignment above the knee, in the hip, and when the problem was below the knee, in the ankle. Either way, restricted joint range of motion was the result and, unfortunately, often goes undetected.

This month, we move down the leg to the feet and ankles. I’ll begin by describing what I believe is the most overlooked and underrated stress responsible for prolonging recurring and chronic structural problems.

Morton’s Syndrome—Long 2nd Metatarsal

Morton's Toe is the presence of a second toe being longer than the first toe. This may occur in one or both feet and is not an unusual finding, since it is estimated that 40% of the population has a 2nd toe that is longer than the big toe.

This condition causes the weight bearing surface of the foot to shift laterally from the 1st metatarsal to the 2nd metatarsal. This creates a knife-edge rolling effect and can be seen as the lateral heel and medial sole wear out on shoes. Since the big toe is designed to bear weight when walking, there is a profound instability in weight bearing. The only possible answer is to support the 1st toe. The patient should be fitted with orthotics to correct this mechanical problem and failure to do so will result in a continued major mechanical stress for the patient and render your therapeutic efforts ineffective.

Ankle Fixations

Have the patient straighten their legs and examine for limited plantar flexion and dorsiflexion.

Ankle Dorsiflexion

Examiner stands at the patient’s feet: Passively dorsiflex and slightly evert the patient’s feet. Notice if there is restriction, especially on one side. When positive, search the Gastrocnemius muscle for evidence of muscle contraction.

Ankle Plantarflexion

Passively plantar flex and slightly invert the patient’s feet. Notice if there is restriction, especially on one side more than the other. When positive, palpate the reflex point for the anterior tibial muscle.

There are a number of adjusting techniques available for correction of these restrictions; however, because of the stress of weight-bearing, orthotics are often necessary.

The Prone Examination

With the patient in the prone position, we examine for restricted knee flexion, restricted dorsiflexion (heel tension), and restricted hip extension.

Prone Knee Flexion

This test is conducted by lifting the lower leg, and gently pushing the heels towards the pelvis. You are looking for a restriction in one or both legs. It is very important to place your hands closer to the knee than ankles, as you gently test for equal “springing” in the knees and do not force the legs toward the buttocks. In other words, we are checking unequal range of motion in the two legs and muscle contraction in the Quadriceps muscle.

  • Restriction may also indicate cartilage degeneration damage in the knee joint.
  • Very often when conducting the test, the patient complains of pain or soreness in the lumbo-sacral area. This is caused by the stretching of the ilo-lumbar ligament that runs from the Ilium to the 5th lumbar and the increase of the A-P lumbar curvature.
  • When this occurs there will be muscle contraction and subluxation in the dorso-lumbar area, especially involving T11 to L1. Correction here will relieve the pain in the lumbo-sacral area much to the patient’s delight.

Ankle Dorsiflexion with Knee Flexion

Bend the lower legs off the table to 90o. Press downward on the balls of the feet pushing the toes toward the floor. The test is positive when there is unequal resistance. This indicates the presence of a stress point in the Soleus muscle. The Soleus and Gastrocnemius muscles are used to plantar flex the ankle joint. However, they can be examined separately because the Gastrocnemius is disabled when the knee is flexed to 90 degrees.

The Soleus is critical for running and jumping. When it is contracted, the patient often complains of painful heels and difficulty walking up and down stairs, as well as sacroiliac pain on the same side of the body.  The Soleus is often referred to as the “2nd heart” because of its role in returning blood up the legs. Large venous sinuses are found in the calves covered by a tough fascia with large veins above that.

Next month, I conclude this series by describing restricted hip extension and its significance. Then, we’ll conclude by summarizing the flow of kinetic energy when walking, from the feet up the leg to the pelvis and lower back, and its importance to our profession.

 
INTERNAL HEALTH: A Chiropractic Specialty The Lower Extremities—Part I
Nutrition
Written by Howard F. Loomis, Jr., D.C.   
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 18:42

lower-extremities

S
uccessful doctors treat the cause of the problem, not the symptoms.  They are able to quickly and accurately determine the source of thepatient’s stress, devise a plan of treatment, and confidently convey their findings to the patient. They specialize in helping problem cases—the ones no one else can help. They solve these cases by identifying the specific cause(s) of the patients’ symptoms that have not been identified elsewhere.

So allow me to ask you, what tests do you perform in your office that other practitioners do not? Oddly enough in my years of lecturing, I have discovered that very often the quickest and simplest physical tests are not routinely used. Yet it is these very procedures that reveal hidden sources of stress that prevent correction.

One incredibly important area of concern in our profession is the finding of unequal leg length not related to fracture or surgery. Such a finding is the source of continual stress on the body whether standing or sitting. It is imperative that the cause of this inequality is found and corrected if we are to expect satisfactory therapeutic results. So with that preamble in mind, I will begin the first of a three-part series on a convenient screening examination you will find useful regardless of your office procedure.

The Short Leg Syndrome

Inequality in the length of the legs is a continual stress to the body and undermines virtually any other condition the patient may have.

Studies have consistently and repeatedly shown the following statistics for the prevalence of short legs in an asymptomatic population:measuringtapemay

71 percent of the population has a leg deficiency of 1/16”

33 percent of the population has a leg deficiency of 3/16”

4 percent of the population has a leg deficiency of 7/16”

3/16” to 1/4” of leg deficiency is considered to be sufficient to produce low back pain

However, it should not be assumed that any leg deficiency is permanent. Unless there is a past history of surgery or fracture in the lower extremities, these inequalities should be considered as functional and can be corrected with specific exercises.

The Supine Examination

Standing at the patient’s feet, we can quickly determine structural stress coming upward from the legs. We will describe, in order, the Allis Test for determining the short leg, examination for a long 2nd toe or Morton’s Syndrome, internal and external hip rotation fixations, and ankle fixations. All of these problems, if overlooked, will render your therapy ineffective for lasting correction.

While lying supine, have the patient bend their knees and place the soles of their feet flat upon the table. Determine that the feet are properly aligned to each other at the heels.

Problems Above the Knee

Place your hands on the front of the knees, over the patella and compare. The hand closest to the pelvis indicates that the cause of the short leg probably is in the hip. We then check for limited hip range of motion, in particular, limited internal and external fixations.

So allow me to ask you, what tests do you perform in your office that other practitioners do not?

Have the patient straighten their legs. Stand at their feet and cup the heels in the palm of your hands. Raise the legs off the table slightly and rotate the legs first inward and then outward. Compare the rotation of one side and then the other. Restriction indicates muscle and ligamentous contraction and also indicates probable rotation of the ilium on the sacrum.

Limited Internal Rotation indicates the ilium is fixated in internal rotation on the sacrum. I recommend palpating the medial thigh, medial surface of the tibia (where the deep fascia attaches) and the medial surface of the calcaneus to locate a possible source of stress.

Limited External Rotation indicates the ilium is fixated in external rotation. I recommend palpating the lateral thigh, the lateral fibula, and the lateral surface of the calcaneus to locate a possible source of stress.

The astute clinician will recognize that any leg restriction described above is a function of the sacral base angle and side of weakness that we examined in earlier articles. This test is used to ascertain chronicity and involvement of the hip joints. The knee is not being tested specifically here, because there is no rotation in the knee joint when the knee is locked in extension, as it is when we perform this test. Nevertheless, this test is useful in determining a prognosis of knee and hip degeneration:

Prolonged fixation in internal rotation leads to knee degeneration due to compression stress on the knee.

Prolonged fixation in external rotation leads to hip degeneration due to shearing stress on the hip.

Problems Below the Knee

Next, place your hands on top of the knees and compare the height. The low knee indicates the cause of the short leg is probably in the ankle. While we still have the patient with their knees bent, we move our attention to their toes, looking for the presence of a bunion, but also the length of the toes.

Next month we will continue our examination of the lower extremities and look at the feet and ankles.

 
INTERNAL HEALTH: A Chiropractic Specialty Parasympathetic Dominance Sympathetic Weakness
Nutrition
Written by Howard F. Loomis, Jr., D.C.   
Monday, 25 April 2011 19:10

T
his is my third article in a series designed to highlight visceral dysfunctions that are perpetuating muscle contractions, loss of joint range of motion, and reoccurring structural misalignments that have become chronic and defy permanent correction. It is exactly these problems that cause patients to seek alternatives to continuing chiropractic care. I believe our profession must, in addition to specializing in structural disorders, begin identifying these underlying visceral problems and specialize in restoring normal function before disease entities can be identified.

Throughout 2010, my articles identified a series of tests for screening structural problems that may have an underlying visceral cause. I ended 2010 by discussing spinal flexibility tests and then began in February discussing the effects the autonomic nervous system has on the organs that share the same spinal innervation as the joints involved and the muscles that move them. More precisely, I am attempting to outline a means of quickly discerning possible lifestyle and dietary patterns responsible for visceral dysfunctions that produce muscle contractions responsible for loss of joint range of motion, pain and discomfort. That leads me to this month’s article and the correlation between excessive dietary alkalinity (protein and calcium deficiency) and the effects of parasympathetic stimulation.

We must always bear in mind that, because of the stress cascade, sympathetic stimulation always trumps parasympathetic stimulation.

Last month, I discussed the effects of sympathetic stimulation and the stress cascade—a specific cascade of physiological events initiated by the hypothalamus. Both the endocrine system and the sympathetic system must respond in a specific manner. We must always bear in mind that, because of the stress cascade, sympathetic stimulation always trumps parasympathetic stimulation. It is precisely this that causes so many seemingly indefinable symptomatic patterns.

The effects of autonomic stimulation are well known and possible causes easily recognized. But what is often overlooked is the possibility that, while the central nervous system may be calling for increased parasympathetic activity on the part of one or more organs, the organ or tissue may not be able to respond adequately due to a relative calcium deficiency. Let me say the same thing only differently; the hypothalamus may be signaling parasympathetic stimulation to an organ or tissue, but the cells may not be able to respond appropriately. Let’s examine what is required nutritionally for organs to respond appropriately to parasympathetic stimulation.

circlek

Just as an antagonistic relationship exists between H+ (acid) and OH- (alkaline), so does an antagonism exist between potassium and calcium with in the cells. The ability or inability of the organ/tissue to respond appropriately to autonomic stimulation rests on the balance between those minerals. Normally, the concentration of calcium ions is higher in the extracellular fluids while the concentration of potassium ions is higher within the cells.

symptomchart

Adequate calcium in the extracellular fluids is necessary for maintenance of a lesser amount inside the cells; otherwise intracellular calcium must begiven up to the extracellular fluid to maintain homeostasis. That would prevent the cells from responding appropriately to sympathetic stimulation and the patient would exhibit symptoms of parasympathetic dominance. Generally speaking, the patient would complain of excessive symptoms of an inappropriate need for rest, the inability to heal or recuperate, and reproductive problems.

Of course, the above has incredibly far-reaching influences and sometimes confusing consequences, not only for patients with chronic structural problems but for those who cannot respond appropriately to stress.

Lets’ carry that scenario a little further into a patient’s life and recognize the need for chiropractic as a profession to become recognized as the profession that restores normal function and maintains health.

The following is a list of symptoms associated with a deficiency of protein and calcium that causes the body to struggle maintaining homeostasis in the extracellular fluids. Obviously this stress, if long continued, results in necessary compensations and the appearance of chronic degenerative conditions. How many of your patients do you recognize from the following list of symptoms related to increased dietary alkalinity?

That is quite an extensive list of symptoms that you see frequently in your office. Picture in your mind a few patients, one at a time, which fit into a symptom pattern above. Now, superimpose over those symptoms the structural problems that you repeatedly see in these patients and understand that you cannot separate structure and function. Their dietary choices, with excesses and deficiencies, may very well be causing and perpetuating the chronic structural problems you seek to correct.

 
INTERNAL HEALTH: A Chiropractic Specialty Sympathetic Dominance, Parasympathetic Weakness
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Nutrition
Written by Howard F. Loomis, Jr., D.C.   
Friday, 25 March 2011 19:06

chart1loomismarch

T
his month, I begin a series of 24 articles each designed to highlight a set of symptoms that collectively point at a specific visceral problem that is perpetuating muscle contractions, loss of joint range of motion, and reoccurring structural misalignments that have become chronic and defy permanent correction. It is exactly these problems that cause patients to seek alternatives to continuing chiropractic care. I believe our profession must, in addition to specializing in structural disorders, begin identifying these underlying visceral problems and specialize in restoring normal function before disease entities can be identified.

Throughout 2010, my articles identified a series of tests for screening structural problems that may have an underlying visceral cause. I ended 2010 by discussing spinal flexibility tests and then began last month discussing the effects of sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation. That leads me to this month’s article.

The effects of autonomic stimulation are well known and possible causes easily recognized. But what is often overlooked is the possibility that, while the central nervous system may be calling for increased sympathetic activity on the part of one or more organs, the organ or tissue may not be able to respond adequately due to a relative potassium deficiency. Let’s examine what is required nutritionally for organs to respond appropriately to autonomic stimulation. I’ll discuss sympathetic dominance this month and parasympathetic dominance next month.chart2loomismarch

Just as an antagonistic relationship exists between H+ (acid) and OH- (alkaline), so does an antagonism exist between potassium and calcium within the cells. The ability or inability of the organ/tissue to respond appropriately to autonomic stimulation rests on the balance between those minerals. Normally, the concentration of calcium ions is higher in the extracellular fluids, while the concentration of potassium ions is higher within the cells.

Adequate potassium within the cells is necessary for the cell to respond appropriately to parasympathetic stimulation.

A diet with adequate alkaline minerals, provided by fresh fruits and vegetables, is needed to supply those minerals including potassium.

A diet high in simple sugars depletes alkaline minerals and is largely responsible for the potassium deficiencies seen in our offices.

The symptoms of a potassium deficiency are stiff sore joints, constipation, inability to concentrate or think clearly, and cardiac arrhythmias. Also sodium is, of course, an alkaline mineral whose ions are needed in the extracellular fluid. While the body produces aldosterone and vasopressin to maintain sodium, the dietary stress placed on the body can still produce a mild deficiency. The symptoms of a mild sodium deficiency are almost insignificant, but do result in movement of potassium out of the cell into the extracellular fluid to maintain homeostasis. This causes a compensatory movement of calcium into the cells.

chart3loomismarchWhile all of this may seem inconsequential in a structural practice, it does result in an inability to respond appropriately to parasympathetic stimulation with an apparent sympathetic dominance and the symptoms of Fright-Fight-Flight are well documented. Every day, we see patients who are irritable and argumentative, or cannot adequately tolerate stress.

Let’s carry that scenario just a little further into a patient’s life and acknowledge the need for Chiropractic to become recognized as the profession that restores normal function and maintains health.

During sympathetic dominance, there is an increase of intracellular calcium accompanied by a deficiency of intracellular potassium. Excessive sympathetic stimulation increases the heart rate and force of contraction, as well as constricting blood vessels and elevating blood pressure. Ultimately, this results in heart disease. Pharmaceutically, calcium channel blockers are used to blunt the sympathetic nervous system and slow the progression of congestive heart failure.

A prudent nutritional approach would be early recognition of the symptoms of potassium deficiency and sympathetic dominance as seen with:

The appearance of stiff sore joints and constipation accompanied by the muscle contractions, loss of joint range of motion

The structural misalignments associated with the various visceral dysfunctions.

Let’s examine what is required nutritionally for organs to respond appropriately to autonomic stimulation.

In addition to chiropractic care, dietary modification should be suggested by increasing the ingestion and digestion of foods high in alkaline minerals, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and reducing the consumption of simple sugars.

The following is a list of symptoms associated with a deficiency of alkaline minerals that causes the body to struggle with maintaining homeostasis in the extracellular fluids. Obviously this stress, if long continued, results in necessary compensations and the appearance of chronic degenerative conditions. How many of your patients do you recognize from the following list of symptoms related to increased dietary acidity?

Next month I will take up the 2nd article in this series of 24 – the other side of the autonomic nervous system – parasympathetic dominance.

 
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